The Village of Forest View has approximately 792 residents and encompasses 1.29 square miles. However, upwards of 70,000 people visit, work, or pass through the Village of Forest View every day. The residential section encompasses only about 10% of the area, while the other 90% is comprised of the Stevenson Expressway corridor, industrial areas along Harlem Avenue, and the trucking related facilities on 47th Street between Central and Laramie Avenues. The Village of Forest View has a robust industrial corridor along I-55, but with that comes challenges in providing quality services while sustaining affordable taxes, and making sure that everyone who lives, works, or passes through the village does so in a safe and effective manner.

The Village of Forest View was originally conceived by attorney Joseph Nosek as a haven for World War I veterans. Founded in 1924, the village received its name for the view of the forest preserves and beautiful wooded and flowered prairies just west of the newly incorporated area across Harlem Avenue.

In the mid-1920’s Nosek and others were forced to leave town by gangster Ralph Capone, and Forest View soon earned the nickname “Caponeville.” Newspaper accounts from the period refer to Forest View as a ''mystery town'' run by ''phantom men'' and detail how the mobster muscled his way into Forest View, driving out the veterans and their families. Capone housed bootleg liquor distilleries in local homes and garages and founded the Maple Inn, an infamous brothel on what is now the 4600 block of Maple. Encouraged by police, vigilantes burned down Capone`s headquarters, and the gangster moved his operation north to Cicero. With Capone`s departure, the village receded from view. After Capone's influence waned, the effects of the Great Depression prevented Forest View from developing. Growth came in 1949 when Commonwealth Edison built a huge generating plant between Oak Park and Ridgeland Avenues. Revenues from the plant gave the town a new lease on life, and the annexation of industrial land (part of the Clearing Industrial District) fueled further development after1952. The village expanded from 50 homes to more than 250, and the proliferation of industry led some to refer to it as the trucking capital of the world. What was once Caponeville became the ‘Cinderella Village” in the 1950s. 

1974 (50th Anniversary) History of the Village of Forest View        1999 (75thAnniversary) History of the Village of Forest View

Inscribed in the original incorporation book are the words:

The Village of Forest View as founded and incorporated in memory to those who joined and participated in the Country’s cause in the World’s War of 1917 - 1918. 

It is the only known Village in the United States of America originally governed exclusively by ex-servicemen.

Past Village of Forest View Presidents

Past Village of Forest View Administrators