NEW EBOOK NOVEL
The Uncommentator: Story of the Day (January, 2017)
Daily Herald history columnist retiring at age 93
By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald correspondent
Daily Herald columnist Margery Frisbie is a prolific author, with nearly a dozen books to her credit -- from biographies, to local history and children's books. She's also served as editorial consultant for the Alexian Brothers and public relations director for Mundelein College.
But if there is one constant in her long career, it's her ability to tell stories.
For nearly 20 years, Frisbie has been doing just that in her series of columns that ran in the Daily Herald. In 1997, she was recruited as one of four rotating columnists the city staff added to its Arlington Heights Neighbor section, and she is the last one standing.
Her monthly column last appeared in June, and Frisbie, now 93 years old, has decided to retire. It was a difficult decision, she says, but she figures it was time.
"It's been fun," Frisbie says. "It's made me feel a part of the town."
Frisbie suspects she was asked to write the column because of the many oral histories she had completed throughout Arlington Heights.
"I have these millions of tapes to draw from," Frisbie says, "so it turned into a history column, but I've really enjoyed it."
She helped to document the history of St. James Catholic Church, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights and the Arlington Heights Historical Society.
"Their stories captivated me," Frisbie says, describing one local resident who told of coming to the village in the 1930s from Eastern Europe and finding work pulling onions in the fields, with her infant in tow.
"I also learned just how intensely people love Arlington Heights," Frisbie adds, "and it made me feel strongly about sharing their stories."
Frisbie and her husband, Richard, moved to Arlington Heights from Chicago in 1954. At the time, Richard Frisbie worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and Margery stayed at home raising their four children.
They moved in 1961 to their current home on Dunton Avenue in the historic section of the village, and eventually raised eight children there. Frisbie adds that they live on the same block where the father (Asa) of William Dunton, who founded Arlington Heights, once lived. Consequently, he has always fascinated her.
"We were so fortunate to have such a generous person who instigated the start of the town," she adds. "He was a wonderful man, who was always handing out land to people.
"I love that notion, and that kind of character has been reflected in the growth of the village," she adds. "It has added such a lovely flavor to the town -- when there's so much turmoil in the world today."
Frisbie says she thinks of William Dunton's lasting contribution to the village every time she passes his statue, sculpted by artist Franz Volz, at the northeast corner of Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway.
Her own contribution to the village, and that of her husband, Richard, who served 44 years on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library board, may not warrant a bronze statue, but in their own way they helped to foster a sense of community -- and identity -- in a fast-paced, growing suburb.