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Mount Greenwood

Mount Greenwood, IllinoisLocated 14 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop, Mount Greenwood is well known for the many Chicago firefighters, police offers and union workers that live in its borders.

Those borders include Beverly and Morgan Park to the east, Evergreen Park to the north, Oak Lawn to the west and Merrionette Park and Alsip to the south. In the mid-nineteenth century, German and Dutch farmers were the first to settle the area, which received its name in 1879 after George Washington Waite, a surveyor first platted a land grant he was awarded from the federal government.

The village was incorporated after a group of citizens banned together to stop the movement of saloons to the area, which was considered “dry.” After two decades later, the Mount Greenwood community was annexed into Chicago in an effort receive better services.

Improvements were slow, but as they began to take effect, the area was able to maintain its staunchly blue collar identity. The last farm in Chicago called Mount Greenwood home. It was owned by Peter Ouwenga until the mid-1980s when he sold it to the Chicago Public School system.

What resulted was the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science and a host of agricultural science programs offered to urban students. It served as the second school of its kind after W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia.

The Mount Greenwood is known to have a historically Irish population. The area boasts the fourth highest percentage of self-reported Irish Americans in the nation.

One of the top community assets in the Mount Greenwood area is Saint Xavier University. In 1956, the university moved to the area from Douglas. Adding to the educational resources in the community, Saint Xavier compliments the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences located at the southeast corner of 111th and Pulaski. The community has one Catholic elementary school, St. Christina and three popular Catholic high schools, Brother Rice, Marist and Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. A host of public grade schools dot the area and the area also boasts its own branch of the Chicago Public Library, which boasts a large Irish heritage collection of books.

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