In the Cook County Recorder of Deeds files, one name that kept popping up with many of the houses in the neighborhood was Thomas K. Valos.
In later years of the logbook I noticed a reference to Valos Realty Company. This led me to believe that he was perhaps the developer for the neighborhood.
His obituary, dated September 3, 1969, states that he “developed areas in the northern suburbs” in addition to shopping centers and drive-in restaurants. As a young man he developed a chain of 15 restaurants in the Loop (downtown Chicago) and surrounding areas and later developed his own movie theater chain. Quite the successful businessman.
Through the North Suburban Library System website, I found a 1925 advertisement in the Greater Niles Center News for the sale of apartment buildings in Niles Center (now Skokie), owned by Thomas K. Valos.
In that same newspaper is an article mentioning Thomas K. Valos, “a prominent realtor with Northwestern Realty Co.”
I think it’s safe to say that he was not only the developer for our subdivision (named Northwestern Realty Co. Dempster Terminal) but also for many if not all the bungalows in the area.
The first transaction involving our lot occurred May 31, 1929 between Foreman Trust & Savings Bank and Thomas K. Valos. I didn’t have time to look up the actual documents on microfiche, so I’ll need to go back at some point and do that. However, according to the log, this was a deed between the parties.
If that’s the case, our house could not have been built before June 1929. It certainly wasn’t built in 1928 as we were first told.