Rogers Park Water Works

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The Rogers Park Water Company was incorporated on January 24, 1889, under the laws of the State of Illinois, to construct and operate a system of waterworks in the Village of Rogers Park, and to acquire such property and exercise the powers necessary thereto.

The Village of Rogers Park was, from November 12, 1888, until April 4, 1893, a municipal corporation organized under the laws of Illinois. At the latter date it was annexed to the City of Chicago.

In 1890, the newly formed Village of West Ridge announced that it would obtain its water from the Rogers Park Water Company through water mains on Ridge Avenue, north of Columbia Avenue.

The company constructed and operated a system of waterworks in said village. The pump could move 1.5 million gallons per day. The rates for such water under the ordinance of the City of Chicago were $8.72, payable in advance, for the half-year from November 1, 1897, to May 1, 1898.

The enlarged water intake was completed on July 19, 1893. This was just a few months after Rogers Park was annexed to Chicago.

In consideration of the public benefit to be derived therefrom, the Village of Rogers Park, Illinois, granted the exclusive right and privilege, for a period of thirty years from the time the ordinance should take effect, 'unto Harvey Eugene Keeler (1855-1933), his successor and assigns, of erecting, maintaining, and operating a system of waterworks in accordance with the terms and provisions' of the ordinance. There was a grant of the use of the streets and alleys for mains and conduits, and power given to extend the system to new territory, if any should be acquired by the village. There were provisions prescribing the character of the system to be constructed, and that the village should pay 'an annual rental for fire protection, for less than 5 miles of mains within the corporate limits of said village, for the aforesaid period of thirty years, at the rental rate of five hundred and seventy-five ($575) dollars for each mile of main, to be payable semiannually.' There were also provisions for payment of taxes by the company, the flushing of sewers, and the maintenance of fountains, for the supply of water to the inhabitants, the quality of water, and the manner of the supply before prescribed, and for the acceptance in writing by the company of the terms of the ordinance. Provision was also made for the purchase of the system by the village.

The Rogers Park Water Company charged the following annual water rates to consumers of water during the existence of this franchise, and they had the right at any time to insert a water meter into the service pipe of any consumer, and to charge and collect from him at meter rates, provided that in such case the minimum annual rate paid by any one consumer shall be $5.

Newton Augustus Partridge was the Treasurer.

On September 20, 1906, the City of Chicago took over the Rogers Park Water Works.

The Leone Beach fieldhouse/boathouse is the building that once housed the Rogers Park Water Company.


Harvey Eugene Keeler



Harvey Eugene Keeler


Newton Augustus Partridge


Harvey Eugene Keeler


RPWRHS photo C002-0106 shows the Rogers Park Water Company building. Located at 1200 W. Touhy Avenue (at the lakefront), the Rogers Park Water Company was owned by businessman Harvey Eugene Keeler. The utility was operated from the 1880s until it was sold in the 1900s. The photo was taken in the 1890s.

RPWRHS photo R044-0232 shows Water Works - Rogers Park Water Company.