Joseph Fitzgerald (1904-1979)

Memories of growing up in Maple Park, Illinois

By Joseph John Fitzgerald

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Heritage in Maple Park, Illinois
Chapter II: Fitzgerald’s General Store
Chapter III: Maple Park Shops
Chapter IV: Chicago
Chapter V: DeKalb
Chapter VI: Chicago Northwestern Railroad
Chapter VII: Entertainment
Chapter VIII: Aurora and DeKalb Railroad
Chapter IX: Leaving Maple Park


Joseph J. Fitzgerald wrote his “Memories of Growing Up in Maple Park, Illinois” longhand in the late 1970s.
His youngest daughter, Anne F. O’Neill, noted that he started over several times, passing away before finalizing his work. His eldest daughter, Susan F. Rice, compiled Joe’s handwritten drafts in the 1990s (?), and provided a bound copy to all of Joe’s grandchildren.

As part of his research into the Fitzgerald family in 2013 and 2014, Joe’s youngest grandchild, Michael O’Neill, transcribed Susan’s work into the current edition. Michael made several updates to Susan’s edition, including:

  • The addition of the many non-family photographs. Most pictures were acquired online, while the period pictures of Maple Park’s Main Street and the railway depot were purchased at eBay.
  • Reorganization of several subtopics, including consolidating the tobacco, egg and farmer/credit subjects in chapter II; Riverview Park in chapter IV; the station agent and livestock in chapter V/VI; and possibly one or two more.
  • Moving the DeKalb chapter from the last chapter (IX) in Susan Rice’s edition, to position V; as well as changing the title of chapter VIII/IX from “Banking” to “Leaving Maple Park.” Ending with James Fitzgerald’s death and the entire family living in Evanston, this chapter seemed a logical conclusion to Joe’s life in Maple Park.
  • Adding footnotes that explain some references that may be more (or less) obscure thirty years later, as well as clarify some items of purely genealogical interest