Adolph Hegewisch, president of the U.S. Rolling Stock Company (a railroad car building company), bought 100 acres of land in 1883 with the hope of establishing a town for his employees. If it sounds familiar, Hegewisch was somewhat following the lead of Pullman, "the world's most perfect town," which was established a decade earlier by George Pullman for the employees of his Pullman Palace Car Company.
Unfortunately, the company town of Hegewisch didn't achieve the same level of success as Pullman. The neighborhood lacked jobs and was too far for residents to commute to downtown for work. Because of this, Hegewisch remained sparsely populated throughout the first few decades of the 1900s. Housing development surged after World War II, "and Hegewisch found itself with a 25 percent increase in population," many of who were steel workers and municipal employees.
"Although its isolation from the city made it difficult for Hegewisch to grow," the neighborhood's seclusion from the more populated areas in Chicago is a major contributor in making it what it is today. With recreational areas such as Mann Park and Wolf Lake, Hegewisch is able to offer outdoor activities, from biking to fishing, that aren't as accessible in most other parts of the city.