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Mundelein, Illinois (Images of America Series)

Mundelein, Illinois (Images of America Series)

by Shawn P. Killackey

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Tucked away in the northeastern part of Illinois, just north of Chicago, is the village of Mundelein. Starting out in the mid-1800s as unsettled and unincorporated areas of land, this little village continued to form and grow throughout the years with many settlers, pioneers, and entrepreneurs who wanted to bring their ideas and dreams to this area, from Samuel


Tucked away in the northeastern part of Illinois, just north of Chicago, is the village of Mundelein. Starting out in the mid-1800s as unsettled and unincorporated areas of land, this little village continued to form and grow throughout the years with many settlers, pioneers, and entrepreneurs who wanted to bring their ideas and dreams to this area, from Samuel Insull extending the Chicago-Milwaukee railroad into the community to Card. George Mundelein creating and constructing the St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, which brought half a million people on one day to gather in this unknown village. In turn, the village was named in the cardinal's honor and since its settlement has gone from a population of 500 to over 30,000.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: New book details Mundelein's history

Author: John Roszkowski

Publisher: Mundelein Review

Date: 11/12/09

Mundelein's centennial year is nearly over, but a local author has detailed the village's history in words and photographs in a new book hitting bookstores this week.

Shawn Killackey wrote the new book "Mundelein," which is part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. The book was slated to be released on Monday and Killackey will have a book signing at the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Westfield Hawthorn mall in Vernon Hills from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 20.

Killackey, who served on Mundelein's Centennial Committee, contacted Arcadia earlier this year to see if they would be interested in a book on Mundelein as part of its local history series on towns across the country.

"Being on the Centennial Committee, I noticed when I went to their Web site that they didn't have a Mundelein book," he said. "I told them I'm an author and if they'd like me to do a book on Mundelein I would."

Arcadia agreed but asked him if he could have the book completed by the end of June so it would come out in time for the village's 100th anniversary this year.

"I approached them at the beginning of May and they wanted to get it out for the centennial year and before the holidays so I had to have it done by the end of June," said Killackey. "I'd actually tried to get it released by Oct. 17 for the unveiling of the (village's restored 1925) fire truck but they couldn't get it out that early."

200 photos

Killackey gathered information from his book from a variety of local sources, including the village of Mundelein, Lake County Discovery Museum, Historical Society of the Fort Hill Country, and local residents. The book contains about 200 historical photos dating back to before the turn of the 20th century.

During his research, Killackey found many interesting facts about the town's history, including the fact that it had four names before finally settling on Mundelein in 1924. He also learned about the first Eucharistic Congress that was held at the St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein seminary in 1926, which is estimated to have drawn 500,000 people to the then tiny rural town.

"I'm still amazed about how many people came to that. That's the most people that have ever been in Mundelein at one time," he said.

The book also includes a number of historical photos of the corner of Seymour Avenue and Park Street in downtown Mundelein, pictures of old Mundelein phone books and postcards, and a full chapter on the history of the Mundelein fire and police departments.

"I've always just loved history. Being an author and having a love of history combined well to do this book. I enjoy going through old pictures to see how things have changed over the years. I just love that kind of stuff," he said.

Mundelein's Assistant Village Administrator Mike Flynn said the village supplied many of the historical photos for the book and he praised Killackey for taking the initiative to write a book documenting Mundelein's past for the village's centennial anniversary.

'Time and effort'

"I think from the village's point of view we're really pleased to be included in the Images of America series," he said. "I applaud Shawn for putting in all the time and effort to put this together."

Killackey, a stay-at-home dad who takes care of his three-year-old daughter, wrote one previous published book in the 1990s, a fictional story entitled "You are the Magnate," and is writing a children's book which he hopes to get published. He was originally born in Massachusetts and he and his wife, Kim, have lived in Mundelein for about the past five years.

He said his book on Mundelein will be available for purchase at most local bookstores, the Lake County Discovery Museum, and on-line at www.arcadiapublishing.com. The price of the book is $21.99.

Title: He's written the book on Mundelein history

Author: Russell Lissau

Publisher: Daily Herald

Date: 11/2/09

Mundelein's yearlong centennial celebration is drawing to a close, but a local author's book about the village's history is about to hit shelves.

Shawn Killackey's "Mundelein," due out Nov. 9 in paperback, tells the town's story using dozens of photographs dating back to the 19th century. That's actually long before the community was incorporated - then under the name Rockefeller - in 1909.

The 127-page book is part of Arcadia Publishing's popular "Images of America" series. The books, all of which have similar sepia-toned covers and logos, generally focus on the histories of small towns and cities across the country.

Vernon Hills' Cuneo Museum and Gardens, Libertyville, Grayslake, Gurnee and Fort Sheridan are among the other local subjects of the series.

Killackey, who became interested in the village's history while volunteering on Mundelein's centennial committee, was surprised his town wasn't yet included in the series.

"Now I get to be a part of that history," said Killackey, 44.

"Mundelein" features photos of key historical figures such as Cardinal George Mundelein, the town's namesake; original fire chief John Dietz; A.C. Kracklauer, a business owner who donated land for a fire station and a park that bears his name; and John Holcomb, a 19th century settler for whom the town briefly was named.

Old snapshots of Hawley Street, the former Central Hotel, Lincoln School, the St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Diamond Lake and other landmarks are featured, too.

Killackey's favorite photo spans pages 64 and 65. It features the town's original 1925 fire truck at Chicago's Navy Pier, where it received regular pump testing.

The truck, long out of service, recently was reacquired by the village and restored.

"I'm from a firefighting family," he said. "That's why I have a whole chapter on the fire department, too."

The photographs Killackey included in the book came from a variety of sources, including village hall, the Fort Hill Historical Society and the Lake County Discovery Museum.

He was amused to learn the northwest corner of Seymour Avenue and Park Street in downtown Mundelein - once primarily occupied by Abernathy's department store - hasn't changed much through the decades.

"It's the same building sitting there," he said.

"Mundelein" is the Massachusetts native's second book. His first is a 2005 work of fiction titled "You Are the Magnet."

Mundelein Trustee Ray Semple was excited about the new book's impending release. He expects to buy several copies for holiday gifts.

"It's always nice to reminisce and read that stuff in print," he said. "It's a nice closure for our centennial celebration."

"Mundelein" will retail for $21.99 and will be available online and at suburban bookstores.

Killackey is set to promote the book with a pair of signings at the Vernon Hills Barnes & Noble store, 720 Hawthorn Center. They're scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20 and Friday, Dec. 11.

For more about the "Images of America" series, visit arcadiapublishing.com.

Product Details

Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
Images of America Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Mundelein celebrates the village's 100-year history, the inventiveness and drive of its people, the landmarks that made Mundelein unique, and the life of a village that has been a beautiful home to so many throughout the years. Shawn P. Killackey is a published author who lives in Mundelein with his wife and daughter. By also being on the Mundelein Centennial Committee, he was able to collect all the wonderful images and information for this book.

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