Incorporated on October 17, 1914, the Village has an area of approximately 2.2 square miles and is located in the southwestern portion of Cook County, Illinois, which is about 20 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.
The path of Stony Creek arcs through the village. It is not only an old creek but also the remnants of a feeder canal for the Illinois & Michigan Canal that reached from the Little Calumet River westward through the Saganash-kee Slough. Although the work on the feeder canal brought some settlers in the 1840s, German and Dutch farmers arrived after the 1850s.
Settlement increased with the coming of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad in 1882. Later, the Wabash would be crossed in the middle of Chicago Ridge by the Chicago & Calumet Terminal Railway, which also established rail yards in the village.
In 1898, the Paul E. Berger Company, manufacturers of cash registers and slot machines, located adjacent to the railroad. The Berger Company built housing for its employees, and a settlement emerged around the factory, with a tavern, rooming house, and grocery store. The first post office opened in 1900 in the Berger factory, and in 1902 the Wabash Railroad established a train station.
Both Chicago Ridge and Worth benefited from the activity and economic influences of a racetrack operating on 111th Street. Local residents proudly recall that a member of one of the founding families of the Chicago Ridge area, Fred Herbert, won the Kentucky Derby in 1910. The racetrack was torn down in 1911 and is now the site of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
After Oak Lawn incorporated in 1909, Chicago Ridge considered the move. An incorporated government could replace wooden sidewalks, deal with the stagnant waters in the swampy areas, initiate local municipal services and provide locally elected and accountable officials. They accomplished those tasks and more. Their successors then built on those early improvements with paved streets, sewers, street lights, and sidewalks. They also brought Lake Michigan water to the area.
Chicago Ridge grew from 176 in 1920 to 888 in 1950. With the great demand for housing and the expansion of road networks to include expressways, Chicago Ridge was poised for growth. Along with a strong new industrial and commercial base, the population increased dramatically, to 5,748 in 1960 and 14,127 in 2000.
There were 5,739 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the village the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 35.9% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $44,101, and the median income for a family was $56,314. Males had a median income of $38,464 versus $27,683 for females. The per capita income for the village was $20,278. About 8.1% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Village of Chicago Ridge is governed by a President and Board of Trustees. The Village President is the chief executive officer and the Board of Trustees is the legislative body. The Village Clerk is the keeper of the records. The Village President, Board of Trustees and Clerk are all elected to four year terms. Local elections are held every two years in the spring.
The Chicago Ridge Park District offers a "before/after" school care program.
The Park at Chicago Ridge is a 135 acre Industrial Park located off Southwest Highway at 103rd Street, which features rail transport and easy access to major expressways, including the Tri-State Tollway, and the Stevenson and Eisenhower Expressways.
(1)Represents compounded annual growth rate from 1987 to 2002.
Pace bus 835, which stops at Birmingham and Ridgeland, also transports commuters to the downtown area.
Elden Finley Junior is Chicago Ridge's middle school. Their website is- http://www.crsd1275.org/finley/index.htm. The mascot is a viking. The colors are black, white, and gray. They provide grades 6 through 8.
Ridge Central Elementary School is one of Chicago Ridge's elementary schools. Their website is acessed through the main website- http://crsd1275.org/. The mascot are stars. the colors are navy blue and gold. They provide grades pre-kindergarten through fifth. Ridge Lawn Elementary School is the other of Chicago Ridge's elementary schools. Their website is also acessed through the main website. The mascot is an eagle. The colors are royal and white. They provide grades pre-kindergarten through fifth.
- Home of the 12 year old Home Run Leader, Chris Elliott.