Carol Stream is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Incorporated on January 5, 1959, and named after the developer's daughter, Carol Stream had a population of 40,438 as of the 2000 U.S. census.
A veteran of the War of 1812, Anning S. Ransom, came to farm the area around 1840. He was followed in 1844 by Vermonter Daniel Kelley, who purchased 1,400 acres and settled at "Tall Trees" with his wife to raise Spanish Merino sheep. The Kelleys and their 11 children all became actively involved in
Wheaton's political and business life. Daniel Kelley donated land for the Chicago Great Western Railway, and the area around the railroad stop became known as Gretna after 1887. Gretna was settled by German farm families, largely Roman Catholics from Southern Germany.In 1853, St. Stephen Catholic Church was built in Gretna. The church was closed in 1867. When St. Michael Church was opened in Wheaton in 1872, the St. Stephen parishioners were transferred to that parish. The church building was dismantled sometime in the late 19th century. St. Stephen Cemetery was located adjacent to the church building. It was last used for burial in 1910. The St. Stephen Cemetery (located north of the Great Western Trail behind Meyer Material Company on St. Charles Road) was rededicated 100 years later on September 12, 2010.
In 1952, a farm from the area was featured on NBC; it was the site for the first outdoor telecast by the network in 1954.
A common misconception is that the municipality of Carol Stream was named for a local minor waterway. In fact, Carol Stream is one of the few communities in America which took its name from the first and last names of a living person: Carol Stream, the daughter of its founder Jay Stream.
Jay W. Stream (April 17, 1921 – January 26, 2006), a military veteran who had previously sold insurance and ready-mix concrete, was in the mid-1950s heading Durable Construction Company. He became frustrated with red tape while negotiating a planned 350-400 home subdivision in nearby Naperville, Illinois. A Naperville clerk reportedly advised Stream to "build your own town", and in 1957, Stream began buying unincorporated farmland outside Wheaton.
On Monday August 26, 1957, Carol and three friends were returning from Racine, Wisconsin in a 1949 Studebaker. While attempting to cross U.S. Route 45 in central Kenosha County, the car was struck in the right rear corner, killing 15-year-old Richard Christie of Chicago, the passenger seated there. Carol was ejected through the windshield and into a utility pole. Neurosurgeons at Kenosha Memorial Hospital said the comatose girl might never awaken or, if she did, would likely be severely handicapped. On advice of the doctors that her recovery might improve with good news, Jay decided to name the new community in her honor. After four months in a coma, Carol regained consciousness. Learning the new village bore her full name, Carol said she thought it "odd and silly" at first (as she told Chicago Tribune reporter Eric Zorn in 1991).
Carol Stream was nearly named Jacqueline Stream, but her parents changed her name to Carol when her due date fell near Christmas. She never lived in her namesake community but moved from Wheaton, Illinois to Arizona in 1957 following the end of her parents' marriage. She still participates in municipal celebrations and rides in parades during anniversary celebrations of the municipality's 1959 incorporation, and is frequently asked for autographs when she is in town. Jay Stream is also commemorated in the town - his name is on the middle school. He died on January 22, 2006.
- 1958: On November 1, 1958, the Blum family becomes the first residents of the village, moving into a home at 141 Mohawk.
- 1959: The village of Carol Stream is founded by Jay Stream, who envisions strong corporate growth in the area. First village board meeting is held on February 12. James Balog is the first Village President.
- 1962: The Carol Stream Public Library opens at 397 Blackhawk Drive.
- 1963: Volunteer fireman Ed Mangels dies while fighting a barn fire.
- 1964: The Carol Stream Park District is formed.
- 1965: The first Citizen of the Year Awards were presented to Carl Bornholt and Elsie Johnson.
- 1966: Nina Jo Schmale of Carol Stream is one of the 8 student nurses killed by Richard Speck.
- 1967: Hires Rudy Mikulich to be the first Village Manager.
- 1968: Glenbard North High School opens in Carol Stream.
- 1972: The Carol Stream Fire Protection District is formed
- 1976: As part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations, Carol Stream opens Gretna Station Museum with a July 4 dedication.
- 1979: Janice Gerzevske is first woman elected Village President.
- 1984: The Carol Stream Association of Business and Industry is formed.
- 1984: The first post office opens in Carol Stream.
- 1992: The Carol Stream Post Office opens a regional processing center at Schmale and Fullerton. Most of the unincorporated areas around Carol Stream assume the ZIP code of the new post office.
- 1992: The Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce is incorporated.
- 1998: The Town Center is dedicated, later to be known as the Ross Ferraro Town Center.
- 2002: The College of DuPage opens a regional branch on Kuhn Road.
- 2006: Founder of Carol Stream, Jay Stream, dies January 22
- 2009: Carol Stream celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Most students in Carol Stream attend school in the Consolidated School District 93, a K-8 district. The District 93 schools in Carol Stream are: Carol Stream School, Cloverdale School, Heritage Lakes, Western Trails, Roy DeShane, Stratford Middle School and Jay Stream Middle School. District 93 is only K-8; thus, students must attend a different district when they reach the high school level. They are served by Glenbard Township High School District 87 (the third largest school district in Illinois), which includes Glenbard North, located in Carol Stream.
Part of the village is served by an Unit School District, the Elgin Area School District U46. It serves an area of some 90 square miles (230 km2) in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties. Almost 40,000 children of school age are in its area. District U-46 is the second largest in Illinois. High school students who live within the U-46 boundaries attend Bartlett High School.
The western section of the village is served by Benjamin School District 25, a small, two-school district. Evergreen Elementary School is located in Carol Stream while Benjamin Middle School is nearby in unincorporated West Chicago. Founded in the 1840s, Benjamin 25 is one of the oldest school districts in DuPage County. High school students from Benjamin attend West Chicago Community High, District 94.
Carol Stream has six major roads running through the village. The most important of these is North Avenue, which runs relatively close to the center of Carol Stream and serves the majority of its industrial areas. North Avenue is an East-West road which extends a further 30 miles East into Chicago as well as further west across the state. Army Trail Road and Geneva Road are the other major east-west roads.
Gary Avenue is a major north-south road to the commercial center of Bloomingdale and the Stratford Square Mall. County Farm Road also serves as a major commercial route for residents. Schmale Road serves a small commercial area on the southeastern side of Carol Stream. Kuhn Road also runs north-south, but is not that major.
Lies Road is a minor east-west road that bisects the village starting from Fair Oaks Drive on the west to Schmale on the east. The portion from Country Farm Road thru Kuhn Road to near Gary Avenue is the route for the annual Fourth of July parade.
A feeder line from the nearby Illinois Central Railroad serves the main industrial complex for Carol Stream. The old Gretna Railway Station was preserved and moved to the Carol Stream Park District, where it serves as a museum and a home for the Carol Stream Historical Society.
Carol Stream is located at 41.922000, -88.140755.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 8.9 square miles, of which, 8.86 square miles of it (99.55%) is land and 0.04 square miles of it (0.45%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 40,438 people, 13,872 households, and 10,140 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,545.8 people per square mile. There were 14,200 housing units at an average density of 1,596.3/sq mi. The racial makeup of the village was 78.51% White, 11.20% Asian, 4.24% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.79% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.03% of the population.
Of the 13,872 households, 45.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.9% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the village the population was spread out with 30.9% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 36.6% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $64,893, and the median income for a family was $74,984 (these figures had risen to $68,893 and $80,786 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $50,398 versus $31,757 for females. The per capita income for the village was $25,152. About 2.4% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.