Chicago Gang History

Rogers Park

NameRogers Park
LocationSouthern edge of Cavalry Cemetery on the north, Devon Avenue on the south, Lake Michigan on the east, Ridge Road on the west
SettledLate 1830s
FounderPhillip Rogers
Year annexed1893

 

Rogers Park was first settled in the late 1830s by Philip Rogers, hence, how to area was later named after him. 

In 1872 Patrick Touhy (yes the Touhy expressway was named after him) divided up the land for settlement and Irish and German settlers began to buy property here. 

In the year 1878 the “village of Rogers Park” was incorporated.  In the year 1893 Rogers Park was officially annexed into the city of Chicago. 

In the early half of the 20th century, many apartment buildings were constructed making Rogers Park unique for having several of these dwellings. 

In the 1940s the apartments were divided into smaller units to house more people, as this happened the buildings began to deteriorate which dragged the property values down.  Lower monthly rent payments were attractive to Chicago’s poverty stricken populace as the lower income classes moved into these buildings bringing about a poverty crisis by the 1960s. 

In the 1970s an influx of African American and Mexicans migrated into the neighborhood.  The scores of low rent apartment buildings made the area ideal for impoverished blacks and Mexicans to move in to escape the south side and west side ghettos; however, they would also bring migratory street gangs from other neighborhoods to the area. 

Starting in the 1970s and escalating into the 1980s Rogers Park become one of Chicago’s rougher and more violent neighborhoods.  Gangs like Latin Kings, Brazers, Gangster Disciples, Simon City Royals and Black P Stones came to the neighborhood and major gang wars erupted.   

Many renovations have been brought to Rogers Park since the later 1990s and upper classes have moved in; however, Rogers Park still struggles with crime and gang violence and has been known to experience quite a few murders, regardless, this neighborhood is still a very livable Chicago neighborhood; however, you have to be careful in these streets!

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