Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Schiller Park Greyhound Track

While coming home from an event in Rosemont on Tuesday, I stopped for a light at the intersection of Lawrence Ave. and Mannheim Road (US 12), which is on the eastern edge of O'Hare International Airport and (I think) happens to be in the small suburb of Schiller Park. I noticed a sign I'd never noticed before, and I happened to have a camera handy. Normally I'd take such a picture for reference only, but it turned out reasonably well, considering it was taken on an overcast day through a car windshield. So here it is.

Former Site of Dog Track • Raced Greyhounds • Schiller Park Historical Commission (Bullet points added.)

So a dog track used to be here. O'Hare was built in the 1950s, so it must have been before that. Maybe on clear, moonless nights when the traffic isn't so heavy, you can stand near the sign and hear the faint baying of ghostly hounds, forever rounding the track to the cheers of Depression-era working men.

Curiously, according to testimony heard by the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce in 1950, "During the heyday of Al Capone, the Capone syndicate was in control of dog tracks in virtually every part of the country... The Capone syndicate czar of dog racing during that period was Edward J. O'Hare, who was killed in gang warfare in Chicago on November 9, 1939."

Edward "Easy Eddie" O'Hare testified against Capone in the early '30s and for that, we can be sure, he eventually bought the farm. He was also father of the fighter pilot Edward "Butch" O'Hare, for whom the airport is named, and who didn't live much longer than his dad, since he was killed in action in the Pacific in late 1943.

It seems likely that the Schiller Park dog track would have been in the orbit of the elder O'Hare. For all I know, the track might have been small potatoes to him, but he surely must have visited on occasion. I doubt that he could ever imagined something so important in the area would someday have the same name as him, though honoring his son.

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At 10:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hopefully one day all greyhound tracks will just be a distant memory.

Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Greyhounds endure lives of nearly constant confinement, kept in cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. While racing, many dogs suffer and die from injuries including broken legs, paralysis, and cardiac arrest. And many greyhounds are euthanized every year, as the number retired from racing exceeds the number of adoptive homes.

At racetracks across the country, greyhounds endure lives of confinement. According to industry statements, greyhounds are generally confined in their cages for approximately 20 hours per day. They live inside warehouse-style kennels in stacked cages that are barely large enough to stand up or turn around. Generally, shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding.

An undercover video recently released by GREY2K USA shows the conditions in which these gentle dogs are forced to live:

For more information on injuries these dogs suffer, please view:

Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries and individuals that do them harm.

V Wolf Board Member, GREY2K USA

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments in the above post WERE true, back in the 1970's,80's and 90's. Some problems were reported in the early 2000's but as of now, these old facts are not true.Anti racing people still keep bringing up this old data because they do not have any thing new.Things are very different now. Tracks are taken care of, dogs are loved and put up for adoption and broken leg and hurt dogs are taken care of.Please read the facts! Look up the websites of the kennels, go visit them, take to people and you will see that the environment these dogs are in is very clean and they are taken care of. There are always bad apples in every bushel but please do not lump all owners together because there are a few bad ones. By the way, I never hear of peole talking about the inhumane treatment of racing horses. They are much worse off them the dogs ever were and people do not have a fuss about that! By the way, all of you who send money to Grey2K, they never spend any of it on helping dogs. It goes into the saleries of their employees. They do not ever donate time or money to helping the adoption groups that are tirelessly rehomeing these wonderful pets. All of this info is a fact and can be found on the Federal Income tax reports that are public knowledge found on the internet. If anyone wants to really help the dogs, please donate you time and money to any Greyhound adoption group. They are ALL run by volunteers and all monies donated are tax deductable, unlike the donations people give to Grey2K. Did you know that HSUS and ASPCA also do not donate to the care and welfare of these dogs? The monies given to these 3 groups all pay the salaries of employees. How can they be advocating that they help the dogs??? They just stir up trouble with lies. This info can all be found on the internet. They cannot lie on the reporting to the Federal Government when it is all available to the General Public. Please look up and get current facts before believing anything you read about these 3 groups. Also, lets check out info on the live gaming horses and get our focus where is should be now.


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