In 1946, I attended school at 79th and State Road for one year. I then attended Luther Burbank School after it first opened (and remember we had to use outdoor bathrooms because the main bathrooms in the school had not yet been finished). I finished up grades 7 and 8 at E. J. Tobin and then attended Reavis.
Many of us [classmates] still communicate on Facebook these days but no one seems to remember the name of the school at 79th and State Road. Many of us called it "Little Tobin" but we think there is another name! I believe the location of the school is now a bank.
Can you be of any help?
According to School District 111 records, the school at 79th and State Road that Mr. Zieman referred to was originally called “Stickney Township School.”
The original Stickney Township School building was a two-story white frame house that was sold to the school district in 1875 for $300 by Mrs. John D. Lemoyne with the stipulation that it be converted from a home to a school.
That structure burned down in 1920 and a new building was erected the next year on the very same spot. Records seem to indicate that Stickney Township School later became the original Edward J. Tobin School.
[Ed. note: Stickney Township School may have been renamed around 1933 to honor the passing of Cook County School Superintendent Edward J. Tobin (see bio below).]
On April 5, 1940 a dedication was held and the new school at 85th and Narragansett was named Edward J. Tobin in honor of the late superintendent of Cook County Schools. Mrs. Belle Tobin, Edward's widow, attended the ceremony.
Around that time, Stickney Township School received the nickname “Little Tobin.”
“Little Tobin” remained a school until 1956 when the students were transferred to the new Harry Fry School at 78th Street and Mobile Avenue.
The following year “Little Tobin” was converted into the Board of Education Building that housed the district's administrative offices.
Eventually Burbank School District 111 relocated the central school office to a new administration building at 7600 S. Central Avenue.
“Little Tobin” was sold and razed in the 1970s to make way for a bank and office building.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCHOOL DISTRICT 111
- Prior to 1875 records show there was a school at 83rd and State Rd.
- In 1875 school was held in a two-story frame house at 79th and State Rd. This building was given to the district by Mrs. John D. Lemoyne and family to be used for school purposes. It was called Stickney Township School.
- In 1920 this building burnt [sic] down. The fire started on the North side of the building right after school was dismissed.
- In 1921 a school was built on the same place and called Stickney Township School. (This information was received from Mr. Herman a resident, and school district treasurer of District 111. He attended school in the district in 1911 and was later elected to the school board and he hired Mrs. McCord).
- In 1937 the first PTA was started and called the South Stickney Township PTA.
- In 1938 the school at 85th and Narragansett was built.
- On September 11, 1939 the South Stickney Township PTA met in the new school.
- On April 5, 1940 – the 85th and Narragansett school was dedicated and called Edward J. Tobin. It was named for the county superintendent at that time. The Stickney Township school then received the nickname of Little Tobin. This is believed to have been started by Mrs. McCord.
- January 13, 1941 the PTA changed its name to Edward J. Tobin PTA.
- In 1948 of the school at 83rd and Linder was built in for a long time was known as the Linder Avenue school. It was finally called Luther Burbank, Named after a famous horticulturalist.
- In 1950 to a school was built at 75th in Nottingham and named Nottingham Park school. It was named after the Nottingham fire department.
- In October 1952 the PTA changed its name to District 111 PTA.
- In 1950 for a school was built at 83rd and Sayre. It was name Rosa G. Maddock after a principal of the school district.
- In 1955 the Nottingham school formed its own PTA and named it after the school.
- In 1956 of school was built at 77th and LeClaire. It was named Marjorie Owens school, named after a principle of this district.
- Also in 1956 the Rosa Maddock school formed its own PTA and named it after the school.
- In 1956 the District 111 PTA change its name to Burbank Manor PTA, named after the Burbank Fire Department.
- In 1956 parents of the children going to Little Tobin formed a PTA and called get Harry Fry PTA. The children were transferred to another new school at 78th and Mobile, it was named Harry Fry after another principle of this district.
- In 1957 the Little Tobin school was converted into a board of education building for a central school office.
- In 1958 Marjorie Owens and Richard Bird school form their own PTA and name them after the schools.
- This left the Burbank Manor PTA which changed their name to Luther Burbank after the school. In 1960 the John Foster Dulles school was built and a PTA was started under the same name.
EDWARD J. TOBIN
Tobin attended public school in Kenosha until he was 16 years-old when he was given a job teaching at Kenosha High School. He left Wisconsin briefly to attended Valparaiso University for a summer but soon returned to Kenosha to resume his teaching duties.
Around 1893, Tobin moved to Chicago with his parents and secured a job teaching at the Bremen Cook County School in Tinley Park for a period of time.
He went on to attend Chicago Normal School (now Chicago State University), and Bryant and Stratton’s Business College.
Tobin began teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Around 1898, he was appointed principal of Hayes School located at Leavitt and Fulton Streets on the westside of Chicago. In 1904, he was appointed principal of Robert Healy School in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.
On July 24, 1907, Tobin married Miss Belle Padden, a teacher at Chicago’s Harrison School. They had two children together; Ruth Tobin Heffernan, and Edward J. Tobin, Jr.
In September 1910, he stood for election as the Democratic candidate for the position of Cook County School Superintendent and handily won. Tobin continued to be reelected to the position and remained in office for another 23 years until his death.
As Cook County School Superintendent, Tobin won high praise from educators and school administrators throughout the country. He inaugurated many changes in educational methods which were considered radical but in time became widely accepted.
He worked to eliminated all political influence from the school system. He was an innovator who reorganized the rural school system of Cook County — which was copied throughout the state and nation. Tobin also instituted new rules governing the hiring of teachers in which only college graduates were considered.
During his tenure as county school superintendent, Tobin and his family resided at 11350 S. Longwood Drive in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood and attended St. Cajetan Roman Catholic Church.
In February 1933, he was taken to the hospital suffering from heart disease and nephritis. He returned home and several weeks later succumbed to his illness on March 2 at the age of 61.
Funeral services were held at St. Margaret’s Church on 99th and Throop streets. Rural schools under Tobin’s supervision closed for the day in his honor and many students attended the services. Edward Tobin was interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Worth, Illinois.