Mary and Arne Oldberg Park, located in Evanston IL near Northwestern University is dedicated to the couple, who made a significant mark in the Evanston community. Mary Oldberg (1876 – 1968) was a prominent civic leader during her 60-year residency in Evanston. Throughout this time Oldberg founded the Council of Social Agencies (United Community Services), was the President of the District 76 Board of Education (1925-1940), became a trustee and the Vice President of the Evanston Public library for 37 years, as well as maintained leadership and membership roles in a variety of welfare projects and organizations in Evanston and Chicago.
Statue at Oldberg Park
Backstory and Context
After moving to Evanston in 1900, Mary Oldberg focused her attention on creating lasting change for welfare reform and health awareness through a variety of campaigns she headed as a part of the Woman’s Club of Evanston and in the Council of Social Agencies. For instance, her recurring Christmas Seals Committee was established as a charitable organization addressing the tuberculosis crisis. Oldberg remained civically active in Evanston until her death in 1968. She is memorialized as a pioneer for health and welfare reform in Evanston through a park honoring her and her husband, a renowned musician and professor at Northwestern University.
Evanston History Center Bio Files, Evanston Library Archives