History Of Cicero

Incorporated as a Town in 1863, the original boundaries of Cicero were Western Avenue on the East, 39th Street on the South, Harlem Avenue on the west and North Avenue on the North.  Cicero used to include all of what is now Berwyn and Oak Park and a considerable amount of Chicago’s west and southwest side wards.  Chicago annexed chunks of Cicero Township and by 1901, Berwyn and Oak Park had formed their own municipalities.

Cicero was a bustling manufacturing town because of its proximity to a growing Chicago and because of its proximity to several train routes, the Ship and Sanitary Canal, and even its own pre-Midway airport, the Cicero Airfield.  White ethnic immigrants, primarily Bohemians, Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians and Italians flooded into Cicero to be within walking distance of their factory jobs.  In 1920, the Western Electric factory along Cicero Avenue was the largest manufacturing plant in the world, including the Ford Motor Company assembly line in Detroit

In 1923, the City of Chicago elected a reform Mayor who cracked down on organized crime, prompting Al Capone to engineer the political takeover of neighboring Cicero to establish a new base of operations.  In 1924, there was a brutally violent Cicero municipal election in which both cops and criminals had running gun battles in the Town – one result of which was the shooting death of Al Capone’s brother Frank by a police officer.  When prohibition ended, the Chicago Outfit began planning for its financial future beyond bootlegging by expanding their operations to include gambling, prostitution, the jukebox/vending industry, the horse racing wire service, controlling labor unions, controlling government officials throughout Illinois, Nevada and California, and financing the expansion of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

It is said the remnants of the Chicago Outfit have considerable influence in Cicero Town Hall today in the administration of current president Larry Dominick.  Dominick and his associates are reported to be the targets of several Federal investigations which will be made public within the next year.  Dominick political ally and governmental appointee Joseph Mario Moreno was indicted on June 28, 2012.  Moreno’s indictment detailed wiretaps involving Cicero officials and prominently featured “Town Official A” and “Town Attorney A”, widely considered to be Town President Larry Dominick and Town Attorney Michael DelGaldo.