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Fri, 12.14.1917

Robbins, Illinois is Founded

*On this date in 1917, Robbins, Illinois, was founded.  Robbins, Illinois, is a village and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States.

Robbins is one of the oldest incorporated Black communities in the United States and the oldest Black suburb in the Chicagoland area.  Robbins was named for Eugene S. Robbins, a real estate developer who laid out the village's early subdivisions.  

The village's founder and the first mayor was Thomas J. Kellar, who said in an early interview, "Our people in Robbins are mostly people who get tired of the white fights and the crowded city. They come out here to raise chickens, make gardens, and be a little freer". Kellar, a clerk for the Cook County Board of Assessors, was tasked with investigating the incorporation procedures. Thomas J. Kellar School in Robbins was named in his honor and first opened in 1954.  

After incorporation, the community became a popular recreation spot for Black Chicago citizens, who crowded its picnic grounds and nightclubs on summer weekends.   The population was 5,337 at the 2010 census, down from 6,635 in 2000. Tyrone Ward is the current mayor.  

Reference:

Robbins Illinois

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