River Forest, Illinois

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River Forest, Illinois

Village of River Forest
Location of River Forest in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of River Forest in Cook County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°53′35″N 87°49′3″W / 41.89306°N 87.81750°W / 41.89306; -87.81750Coordinates: 41°53′35″N 87°49′3″W / 41.89306°N 87.81750°W / 41.89306; -87.81750
CountryUnited States
TownshipRiver Forest
NicknamesRF, RoFo
 • TypeVillage
 • Total2.48 sq mi (6.43 km2)
 • Land2.48 sq mi (6.42 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total11,172
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,470.97/sq mi (1,726.43/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code(s)708
FIPS code17-64304
Wikimedia CommonsRiver Forest, Illinois

River Forest is a suburban village adjacent to Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, U.S. Two universities make their home in River Forest, Dominican University and Concordia University Chicago. The village is closely tied to the larger neighboring community of Oak Park. There are significant architectural designs located in River Forest such as the Winslow House by Frank Lloyd Wright. The population of the village was 11,172 at the 2010 census.[3] River Forest has a railroad station with service to Chicago on Metra's Union Pacific/West Line.


According to the 2010 census, River Forest has a total area of 2.482 square miles (6.43 km2), of which 2.48 square miles (6.42 km2) (or 99.92%) is land and 0.002 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.08%) is water.[4]


Dominican University and Concordia University Chicago are both located in River Forest.

There are two public elementary schools, Lincoln Elementary School and Willard Elementary School, and one public middle school, Roosevelt Middle School. The elementary and middle schools are in River Forest Public Schools District 90. River Forest shares a high school with Oak Park, known as Oak Park and River Forest High School, located in Oak Park.[5]

River Forest is home to two Catholic grade schools and one Lutheran grade school. One Catholic school in St. Luke Parish and Grace Lutheran School enrolls children from 3 years old through eighth grade. River Forest has one all-girls' secondary school, Trinity High School.

River Forest also has the Keystone Montessori School, established in 1994. It serves children 9 months of age to 8th grade as an alternative learning style for children.[6] It educates children using the philosophy of Maria Montessori.

The River Forest Public Library is located at 735 Lathrop Avenue.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the River Forest Post Office at 401 William Street.[7]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201810,903[2]−2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2010, there were 11,172 people, 3,961 households, and 2,776 families residing in the village. There were 4,176 housing units. The racial makeup of the village was 84.8% White (down from 86.35% in 2000), 6.7% African American (down from 7.8%), 0.1% Native American, 4.5% Asian (up from 3.13%), 1.8% from other races (up from .98%), and 2% from two or more races (up from 1.59%) Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6% of the population (up from 4.01%).[10]

The average household size was 2.61; the average family size was 3.19 (families constituted 70.1% of households). 51.5% of family households had related children under age 18 living with them. People living alone constituted 26.3% of households. The median age was 41.3, with 14.2% of residents being over age 65.[11]

The median income for a household in the village was $122,854, and the median income for a family was $171,100. Males working full-time had a median income of $124,695 versus $64,250 for females. The per capita income for the village was $66,028. About 3.4% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.[12]

Notable residents[edit]

River Forest has been home to many notorious Italian organized crime families since the early-20th century, including Tony Accardo (boss from about 1945 to 1992) and Joseph Andriacchi.[13] Former Mystery Science Theater 3000 actor Kevin Murphy grew up in River Forest. Famed radio commentator Paul Harvey resided in River Forest until his death in 2009,[14] as did Nello Ferrara, founder of Ferrara Pan Candy Company (Lemonheads, Red Hots, Original Boston Baked Beans).[15] Anne Smedinghoff, the first State Department Foreign Service Officer to be killed in Afghanistan, also grew up there.[16] Director of the first and second Harry Potter movies Chris Columbus kept a home in River Forest due to his wife's family ties, and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano once lived in River Forest.[17] Kathryn McGee, a resident of River Forest since 1956, has been recognized for founding two of the first organizations for the benefit of those with Down syndrome. Cook County former state's attorney Anita Alvarez lives in River Forest.[18] Several junk food inventors resided in River Forest, including Edwin Perkins, who invented Kool-Aid, James Dewar, who invented the Twinkie, and Franklin Clarence Mars, who invented the Mars Bar.[19] The winner of MasterChef Junior (U.S. season 4) was Addison Osta-Smith, a 9-year-old from River Forest.[20] Charles F. Baumrucker owned a jewelry business in River Forest; Baumrucker served as president of the village of River Forest and also served in the Illinois Senate.[21]

Notable events[edit]

River Forest hosted the 2016 Little League Baseball Illinois State Tournament at Keystone Park.

2019 Little League Illinois Baseball Champions[22]

For 18 years, the neighborhood has hosted a yearly 9/11 Lemon-Aid stand on the 700 block of Bonnie Brae which donates all proceeds are donated to local charities. The first year, the event raised $400 for Hepzibah Children's Association. Last year, $36,000 was raised for Kidz Express. To date, $323,000 has been donated by the event.[23]

Every year, the Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest hosts the Food Truck Rally in Keystone Park that donates all net proceeds to local charities. The event includes 10 trucks with sweet, savory, and beer trucks; a live music stage; and, a family activities area.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): River Forest village, Illinois". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  5. ^ "Oak Park and River Forest High School". www.oprfhs.org.
  6. ^ "Keystone Montessori School". www.ksmontessori.org.
  7. ^ "Post Office Location – RIVER FOREST." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". factfinder2.census.gov.
  11. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Results". factfinder2.census.gov.
  12. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "American FactFinder - Community Facts". factfinder2.census.gov.
  13. ^ "Real Boss".
  14. ^ Park, Oak. "Oak Park - Paul Harvey". www.oprfhistory.org.
  15. ^ "A Candy-Coated Life: Lemonheads, Fireballs And Song". NPR.org.
  16. ^ "Foreign Service Officer Died Doing What She Loved". NPR.org.
  17. ^ "Carlos Zambrano takes large loss on River Forest home".
  18. ^ "It's River Forest versus Riverside for State's Attorney". www.oakpark.com.
  19. ^ "Wttw". Chicago's Western Suburbs: From Prairie Soil to Prairie Style. Wttw.com. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  20. ^ Handout. "Young River Forest chef wins 'MasterChef Junior'".
  21. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1937-1938,' Biographical Sketch of Charles F. Baumrucker, pg. 146-147
  22. ^ https://www.unpage.org/illinois/il-dir2019.htm
  23. ^ "LemonAid". LemonAid. Retrieved 2020-02-07.
  24. ^ "River Forest Park District » Food Truck Rally". Retrieved 2020-02-07.

External links[edit]