| Henry Proesel
Originally incorporated in 1911 as Tessville, the Village enjoyed for the twenty-five years the rather dubious distinction of being a "saloon infested" farm town.
Johann Tess and George Proesel, two early pioneers searching for land at a cheap price, founded the farm community on the northern outskirts of Chicago. It wound up abutting the city, which led to the spillover of taverns across the line and into Tessville.
The saloonkeepers banded together in 1922 and officially incorporated the Village. This was so they would have the power to grant liquor licenses. A heavy burden was placed on the farmers in the form of skyrocketing taxes. The revenue was needed to pay for the water pipes for the growing town, and by 1920 an even larger Village Hall had been constructed.
These tillers of the soil were irate but essentially powerless, at least until the mid-1920's, when the introduction of electric rail service came to Niles Center, since renamed Skokie, and forced a change in Tessville's civic and social life.
At the end of the decade and into the 1930's, Tessville was establishing itself as a popular haven for people who needed to commute into Chicago but did not want to live there. The election of Henry Proesel, a grandson of the Village's co-founder, as mayor in 1931 was seen as a positive move for the town's prosperity. An early move by Proesel during the Great Depression was to assign Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers the monumental task of planting 10,000 elm trees along all Village streets. In 1934, an ordinance limiting the number of liquor licenses was passed and became Village law. It served as a model for the Illinois State Liquor Control Laws.
By 1936, the name of the Village had been changed to Lincolnwood, a move that substantially changed its image for the better.
The practice of offering large parcels of relatively inexpensive land continued over the years, but at the same time Lincolnwood was able to keep taxes attractively low by fostering the growth of light industry and by attracting such giants-to-be as Bell & Howell. The opening in 1951 of the Edens Expressway, though, probably had the most profound impact on the growth in the Village's history. It offered easy and fast access to and from Chicago, causing the Lincolnwood population to grow from 3,072 in 1950 to more than 12,000 in 1970, a figure which has since remained fairly constant.
Mayor Proesel ended his 46 years in office in 1977, a record mostly unmatched by any other mayor in American history. Succeeding him was John Porcelli, who introduced the Village's paramedic service during his two terms. Porcelli was followed by Frank Chulay. In his two terms he oversaw development of the Lincolnwood Town Center, with its 70 stores, Lincolnwood Place, Barclay Place, and construction of a new Village Hall.
Lincolnwood's first woman mayor, Madeline Grant, succeeded Chulay, and in 1995 created a nine-member Economic Development Commission. She was involved in overseeing such major public works programs as the construction of a 1.5 million-gallon water tower, the renovation of the Village's 13 parks, and needed infrastructure repairs.
Since 2005, Jerry Turry has served as the Village President. Prior to serving as Mayor, President Turry served as Village Trustee from 1995 to 2005. During his tenure as Trustee, he served as the chairman of the Streets & Alleys Committee, the liaison to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals, a member of the Police, Licenses and Health Committee and Committee on Ordinances, Rules and Building (CORB).