SanbornHale BW



According to the 1900 U.S. census, the Township population had grown to 7,299.

The villages had electric lights and telephones. Those noisy new gas-powered autos were scaring the horses. 

By 1920 the Township population had grown to 20,860, and the days of roving goats, sheep and pigs were over. Social service needs began to play a more important role in Township activities.

Increased population and rising property values meant more money for the Township. There was a surplus in the treasury, and in 1936 the Township found itself with an $18,000 surplus. A request was sent to the County to reduce the tax levy. At the same time, the Township was facing the need to act as the distribution agency for welfare funds supplied by the State on the theory that the agency of government closest to the taxpayer should distribute the funds.

The Great Depression changed the character of the services the Township offered the community. Mrs. Janet Burgoon was appointed Public Welfare Director. From her office at 561 Lincoln Street, she provided emergency financial aid on a case-by-case basis as well as counseling. She helped clients work through the red tape to get support from state and federal agencies. A directory of services published by the Township welfare office in 1945 listed 40 agencies concerned with residents’ welfare.

In 1944 Mr. Thallmann, Commissioner of Noxious Weeds, was asked to deal with poison ivy and ragweed with the help of village managers. Sanborn Hale, the Township Collector since 1923, was reprimanded for not providing an accounting of his collections and was told he would not be paid until he did.

In 1945 there was a significant change in the way Township officers were elected. Instead of a separate election, Township candidates appeared along with village officials on a ballot and the villages shared the cost of the election with the Township.
A report published to mark the first 100 years stated that from 1941 to 1945 the Township office provided for 219 families: 55 percent in Wilmette; 21 percent in Winnetka; 20 percent in Glencoe; 2 percent in Northfield; and 2 percent in Kenilworth.

The Township was called on to meet emergency needs while residents’ eligibility for state funds was being investigated. Still aware of one of its founding principles — to assist neighbors in need — the report stated:
Financial distress may spring from a wide variety of causes. It is no respecter of persons and observes no rules...Those in distress in this township are self-respecting victims of misfortune reluctant to accept aid of their neighbors, eager to become independent as quickly as possible.

Today, the same principles hold true. In 2007 New Trier Township unveiled a strategic plan to guide the Township through Fiscal Year 2012. The plan "Moving Forward: A Strategic Plan for New Trier Township" identified emerging needs and included an action plan that employed traditional as well as new funding methods. 

In the Fall 2007 Courier Newsletter, it was written that…
The Township will continue to be at the forefront of what local government can do to best serve the needs of its most vulnerable residents. In determining our residents’ unique needs, some emerging needs that will be addressed include:

The concept of "aging in place" and "universal design" which will be further explored with a goal of developing and/or supporting community-based programs that help seniors and persons with disabilities remain in their homes.

An assessment of how best to aid residents whose income is low due to long term unemployment or chronic under employment conditions and who are lacking in ability to escape personal and economic contingencies.

How to act as a resource for programs that address social isolation, particularly among young adults in the Township.

The plan was made available to residents in both paper copies and on the Township’s website.  

Read the next chapter - New Township Era: Specialization in Human Services

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