Oak Lawn is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 56,690 at the 2010 census.
Oak Lawn is a suburb of Chicago, located southwest of the city. It shares borders with the city in two areas, but is surrounded mostly by other suburbs.
In August 1835, James B. Campbell purchased the land stretching between Cicero Avenue and Central Avenue from 95th Street to 103rd Street. It is unclear what Campbell's intentions with the area were, but by 1840, he had lost a court battle with the Illinois State Bank and his land was sold in a public auction. John Simpson, a prominent figure in early Oak Lawn history, bought the northern half of the property in 1842. By 1859, the recently incorporated government of Worth Township paid for the construction of Black Oak Grove Road, an early name for 95th Street. Black Oak Grove is also the earliest known name of the area that would become Oak Lawn. It was later shortened to Black Oak or Black Oaks, but in 1882, the post office, train depot and surrounding community became known simply as Oak Lawn. Over the next two decades, the area grew in population as more homes were built and local business sprang into being.In 1909, Oak Lawn officially became an incorporated village. The following years saw major improvements to local infrastructure and government services such as the introduction of the Police Magistrate and Village Marshal, along with the building of a Village Hall and jailhouse. In addition, electric lights were brought to 95th Street in 1911, the volunteer Fire Department began in 1923, Oak Lawn’s first bank opened in 1925, and the Community High School District 218 was formed. The population had grown to 2,045 by 1930, and civic improvements were steadily made over the next decade. In 1934, an initial collection of one hundred books was the beginning of the Oak Lawn Public Library. By 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration as part of the New Deal which supported a variety of public works, including libraries. With the help of a WPA grant, the new library opened its doors in 1936.