This is a summary of the findings of a community assessment of Rogers Park. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the actual and potential health needs of the community. Conclusions related to real and potential health problems were drawn based on an analysis of the physical environment, and social facilities, communication, educational facilities, shopping facilities, and the local health care facilities of Rogers Park. Data was collected by tour around the neighborhood, personal observations, assessment of local publications, and by an analysis of selected statistical and demographic data.
Specific statistical data included age distribution, annual family income by race, highest level of income completed, infant mortality rates, reportable illnesses, and the leading causes of death for the Rogers Park Community. A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF ROGERS PARK. Rogers Park is a small community that is located approximately ten mile north of Chicago’s Loop, at the northeast city limits. The Pottawattomie Indians first ceded the land in 1821. The first white settler to arrive was an Irish immigrant named Phillip Rogers, whom the community in now named after.
The development of Rogers Park began with a glacier that created the ridge that now gives Ridge Avenue its name (Chicago Sun-Times, 2000). The ridge was a raised shelf of land that extended west from the lakeshore. Ridge Road was the only route available at this time that permitted travel north or south through the Roger Park area. Ridge Road provided routes for mail delivery, trade travel, and stagecoach travels (Local Community Fact Book, 1990). The combination of the elevated marshy land, and easy access to textiles and other goods, encouraged Irish, Scottish, German, and English farmers to settle in along Ridge Road to further develop the land.
After Phillip Rogers’s death in 1856, a substantial amount of land, 1600 acres, was passed on to his daughter Catherine, and her husband Captain Patrick Touhy. They were responsible for establishing and developing some of the first churches in the area. Captain Touhy collaborated with other settlers and eventually formed the Rogers Park Building and Land Company in 1873. It was also during this time that the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad established their presence in the area. The railroad facilitated easier access and transportation in and out of the community for the local residents.
In 1878 Rogers Park was incorporated as a village with the natural boundaries west of Lake Michigan extending to the ridge of Ridge Avenue. When combined with the boundaries of Rogers and Devon Avenues, the area now recognized as Rogers Park became clearly defined. Clark Street, originally known as Green Bay Road, was an important Indian trail. It later served as the main link between Fort Dearborn in Chicago, and Fort Howard in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The early 1900’s were rapidly developing two story family homes in the eastern portion of Rogers Park.
It was at this time that annexation to Chicago was greatly welcomed by the local residents. Also, the residents of Rogers Park demanded that a park district be developed in their community at this time. Today Rogers Park has some thirteen public parks to its credit, as well as six field houses, which provides numerous extracurricular activities for both children and adults throughout the year. POPULATION As the population continued to grow, from a mere 3500 in 1893 to 7500 in 1904, there was yet another major development. The Jesuits purchased a twenty-acre space along Lake Michigan and developed what is recognized today as the Loyola University Campus.
The arrival of Loyola University helped to ensure the community’s growth in providing a place for a higher education as well as the opportunity for employment. Through the construction and establishment of the school. Local Irish parishioners, being faithful and loyal, moved near Loyola University to utilize the newly built frame church that was constructed at the same time as the university campus. By the 1930’s Russian Jews were second in number only to the Germans throughout the Rogers Park area. From 1930 to 1950 the Jewish population nearly tripled, and by 1960 they were the largest ethnic group inhabiting the area.
In 1950, the population of Rogers Park reached an all time high with over 62,000 residents inhabiting the area. Since that time, the population of Rogers Park has maintained a range between 55,000 and 60,000 (Local Community Fact Book, 1990). EDUCATION The elementary schools consist of classrooms, laboratories, music rooms, library, gym, computer rooms and cafeteria.
High school students achieve scores averages for ACT is 22. 4 to 23. 7. The students in the elementary schools scores well on IGAP mathematics and reading skill tests Comparison of Educational Levels (Table 7a, 7b), These tables compare the distribution of educational levels by race as well as by age between the period of 1980 and 1990 for the community of Rogers Park and the City of Chicago. We can see from the information presented, from 1980 to1990, that there was a 73% increase in the number of persons, 18 and over, who have reached the educational level of a bachelor’s degree. The table also shows that whites have had a 51% decrease in the numbers of those who have attained a bachelor’s degree from 1980 to 1990.
Also, the total number of those who have attained their high school diploma within the 25+-year old age group indicates a drop of 77% from 1980 to 1990. The total number of bachelor’s degrees achieved by the 25+ age group, across the board, including all of the races surveyed, indicates a decrease of 71% from 1980 to 1990. While there is a decrease noted in the white race, there is a definite increase noted in the black race from 1980 to 1990. The black race indicates a 34% increase in those who have graduated from high school, and a 32% increase in those who have obtained a bachelor’s degree.
These tables indicate changes in the educational levels of all races within the community of Rogers Park from the time period contained within the 10 year span. The drop in educational level attained by the white race could signify a shift of the more educated whites out of the neighborhood. The rise in the numbers of blacks, who have attained a higher number with a higher level of education, may signify that with higher education comes higher pay and those included in this category may be capable of better affording the cost of living in the Rogers Park community. The park dist: conducts seminars, and classes about Teen pregnancy, and D. A. R. E. programs.