Hazel Crest was first settled in 1870 in a farming community known as South Harvey. An enterprising newspaper editor named William McClintock moved here from Ohio in 1890, buying 80 acres from farmer Fred Puhrman.
McClintock built a depot so that the local milk train would stop here, and this single move opened up transportation opportunities to Chicago and beyond. The little depot which he built served as the area’s first real estate office, a public meeting place, a Sunday School room, a day school, and eventually, the post office.
In 1900, the name was changed to Hazel Crest to reflect the large numbers of hazelnut bushes that grew on a rise of land just South of town. At the time, the southern border was 175th Street and the western edge of the Village was Kedzie Avenue.
Hazel Crest was incorporated in 1912. Many of the families of the early residents still live in the Village, and they continue the founders’ tradition of community involvement and commitment to excellence.
Over the years, significant developments have occurred because groups of residents joined together for common goals. Examples of this spirit range from the construction of the Community Church in 1894 to the 1984 adaptation of an elementary school building which has now become the Martin J. Kauchak Municipal Center, named for President Kauchak who served the Village for twenty years.