Jacob J. Novak
In 1909 our grandfather, Jacob J. Novak came to America from Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, wanting a better life for his family. In 1920, as a 12-year-old boy, our grandfather helped to build his family home on 1225 Adams Street in North Chicago where he and his four sisters settled. As a young child, Jake was stricken with polio, and at the age of 14, Jake was forced to drop out of school to help support his family. He found work setting pins at a bowling alley in North Chicago. From these humble beginnings, and with only an 8th grade education, our grandfather made a good life for himself and his family.
Later, he met and married our grandmother, a school teacher named Marcella. Through hard work and drive, our grandfather became Chief of Police for the City of North Chicago in 1935. He held that post for 28 years and was later named President of the school board in 1939 on which he served for 30 years. In 1957, the city of North Chicago dedicated a school named in his honor and the Chicago Police Department created a scholarship in his name.