Introduction to Cicero, Illinois
Cicero is bordered by Chicago and located in Cook County. It was named after Cicero, New York. The well known criminal Al Capone resided in Cicero after he established his criminal empire in Chicago.
The city has a large Hispanic community and includes a significant number of mini-malls and major retail stores. The original township consisted of six times its current acreage. Ogden Avenue was one of the first roads in the city and was formerly an Indian trail. Numerous opportunities for entertainment are located in nearby Chicago.
In 1848 an extension of the Chicago Union Railroad connected Cicero to Chicago. In 1869 the town was incorporated. It also experienced a significant loss in population due to the annexation of property by the city of Chicago. Being situated near several railroad lines, two railroad companies decided to establish manufacturing as well as repair facilities in Cicero. Soon, other businesses such as a silver smelting/refining company and a cotton mill were established. The new businesses caused significant population growth.
In 1904 Western Electric constructed their telephone equipment manufacturing facility which employed over 20,000 workers; an amount that was larger than the population of Cicero. The population rapidly grew with Eastern Europeans flocking to the city. Criminals from Chicago began to move to Cicero in the 1920's, including Al Capone, in order to evade the grasp of Chicago's law enforcement authorities.
- St. Mary of Czestochowa features Polish Cathedral type architecture.
- The Chodl Auditorium, situated at J. Sterling Morton High School, is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Cicero Community Center is dedicated to the youth of Cicero.
The elementary school district is one of the largest located outside of the Chicago city limits. Cicero residents have opportunities for higher education in Chicago.