History & Genealogy of
Presented by Illinois Genealogy Trails
Cities & Towns within Elk Grove Township:
Elk Grove Village (parts of Elk Grove are in Schaumburg township. View our Schaumburg twp webpage for more info.)
Johann Friedrich Busse
Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) July 20, 1941
BUSSES FOR 93 YEARS FOLLOW AMERICAN WAY
Elk Grove Family Is an Institution
It was 93 years ago this month that a German farmer with his wife and six children jolted out of Chicago in a covered wagon along the old Indian trail which is now Algonquin road. The way was he was to reach rough and the midsummer sun drew perspiration from his brow, but Friedrich Busse did not care. For after a two day journey the northwest tip of Cook county, where he was to found what might be called the Busse empire.
Today there are more than 1,000 of his descendants in Mount Prospect, Elk Grove, Arlington Heights, and surrounding territory. Many still farm the original lands that have been handed down from father to son. Some are statesmen, some bankers, ministers, florists, merchants, insurance salesmen, real estate agents. But no matter what vocation they have pursued, few of them have strayed far from the frame tavern and the fertile 160 acre tract of prairie land which the first Busse bought on July 5, 1848, for $2,700.
The history of Elk Grove township is practically the history of the Busse family. Seven generations of the hardy, industrious stock have played an increasingly large part in the development of the area from a wilderness to a thriving agricultural and industrial center.
It was County Commissioner William Busse, grandson of Friedrich, and his son, William Jr., who pioneered the first bank in the northwest part of the county. Since it was founded 30 years ago this July, the Mount Prospect State bank has been a family institution. Its founders conduct it as chairman of the board and president.
William J. Busse and Albert Froemling, grandson of the commissioner, are assistant cashiers. All nine of the bank's directors are direct descendants of Friedrich or related to the family by marriage.
Born in Original Home
Because of his long period of service in state and county politics, William Busse Sr. is perhaps the most widely known of the clan. He was born in the original homestead in 1864, and lived there until 1891, when he became deputy sheriff of the county, a position he held until 1900.
In that year he was elected to the county board, and in 1907, when Edward J. Brundage resigned from the presidency he was elected to the office. He was reelected the next year, presiding over the board until 1912, when he and all the Republican candidates were defeated by members of the Bull Moose party.
Two years later, however, Mr. Busse was returned to the board and has served on it ever since. He has been on all the important committees and has been especially active in the promotion of good roads and the development of the county's system of forest preserves. This year marks his 50th anniversary in public life.
Sold Farm in 1894.
His term as deputy sheriff convinced him that he could not be a farmer and a public servant at the same time. In 1894 he sold his farm and moved to Mount Prospect--at that time only a flag stop on the Chicago and North Western railroad with a population of 35.
There he became a driving force in the hamlet, organizing a public school district and serving as its first secretary from 1898 to 1905. In 1911 he helped to found the Mount Prospect Improvement association. The first improvement, according to the records, was the purchase and installation of 25 kerosene street lamps. When the village was incorporated, Willaim Busse was the logical man for board president, an office he filled from 1917 to 1929.
Altho he can be found in his office in the county building six days a week, Mr. Busse has found time to become interested in banking, auto sales, and real estate, to help organize the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran church, and incidentally to rear three sons and four daughters, all of whom are married and live in Mount Prospect.
Sons Shun Politics.
If none of his sons entered politics, it is because they have heeded the advice of their father. Despite his own success, he has never recommended it as a worthwhile field for a young man to enter.
But William Busse was not the only member of the family to enter public life. As early as 1856, his uncle, Christian Busse, eldest son of Friedrich, was elected to the office of town supervisor which included a seat on the county board. He remained as supervisor until 1900. Williams' father, Louis, the first of Friedrich's sons to wander off the family reservation, established a creamery in Arlington Heights and served ?0 years as a director of the school district and township highway commissioner.
William Busse Jr., under whose management the Mount Prospect State bank's deposits have grown from $11,000 to nearly a million dollars, also was the village postmaster for 21 years. Last year he was treasurer of the Illinois Bankers association, and is also a past president of group 3 of the association.
He is organizer and past president of the local Lions club, and is also in charge of the Mount Prospect United Service Organization drive which has exceeded its established quota.
Cherish American Way.
The American way of life has been cherished by the Busse family, from Friedrich on down. The first Busse walked all the way to Chicago to take out his first naturalization papers. he received his final certificate, still preserved in the family archives, eight years after his arrival in Elk Grove.
The call of the new world democracy, free from the whims of tyrants and the threat of wars, had been irresistible to him. A premonition which he often voiced, told him of "a great war in Europe when sovereigns would fall, war machines would move under their own power and the army of Prussia would be able to stand in the shade of one tree." Perhaps he also foresaw its resurrection at the hands of another tyrant.
At any rate, he died, happy in the realization that his progeny had become firmly established in the land of promise. In 1938, the 90th anniversary of his arrival in Elk Grove, 1,051 members of the family gathered to pay tribute to the patriarch. Seven years hence an even larger group perhaps will reunite to celebrate a century as an American institution. [submitted by Source #96]
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