River Forest Township
serves approximately 12,100 residents. It is located in western Cook
County, bounded by Harlem Avenue, North Avenue, Madison Avenue to
Lathrop Avenue, to Central Avenue and back to Harlem. These borders
enclose the Village of River Forest.
Village incorporated in 1880 as part of Proviso Township. Miss Thatcher,
a resident at that time, said, "The Village of River Forest was
incorporated as a matter of necessity to defeat the saloonkeepers'
project to organize and open a liquor sales district, and destroy our
village." Ironically, later that year, the village trustees licensed two
saloons in the east part of the village to raise funds for running the
1917, the board of education petitioned the village to create a separate
township in an effort to increase revenue to fund growing educational requirements. Cost savings were anticipated by avoiding the duplication
of certain village and township officers. Taxes for township roads and
bridges were eliminated.The plan also made funds raised by taxation
immediately available to the community to support community interests.
Finally, it was thought that an in-town assessor would provide a more
equitable tax assessment. This separation was approved by citizens via a
postcard referendum vote held on April 17, 1917.
recent years, township officials are most proud of steps taken to open
the lines of communication to our residents and with other governmental
entities. We now publish a semi-annual newsletter to inform residents of the
services available to them. A
Youth Services Advisory Committee was
formed and an agreement was reached to work jointly with Oak Park
Township Youth Services in projects which support the youth of both our
communities. A joint
Senior Services Committee has also been
formed and most of our services to seniors are administered by the
Senior Services office in Oak Park. These steps are part of our effort
to provide a wider array of
services at reasonable cost. Our tax levy has actually decreased the
last five tax years without a decline in the number or quality of
The Township's greatest
asset is the unselfish volunteerism of its residents. In the beginning
and continuing today, Township Trustees serve without monetary
compensation. Residents give freely of their time to fill advisory
boards and to serve organizations giving support to those who need help.