I Love Mokena: Who Is Mokena Royalty?

If Mokena had royalty, here's one long-time resident we think definitely deserves a crown.

Welcome back.

Royalty. Not something we give much credence to in the good old U.S. of A. Sometimes we give in to the fascination of monarchies in other countries, but here, well, it's just not our thing.

There have been comparisons to royalty in America, the Kennedys' and their Camelot during the White House years comes to mind. If we did have nobility in Mokena the Dina family would certainly be considered part of the local aristocracy.

Since the end of World War II the Dina's have called Mokena home. Patriarch Anthony Sr. and his wife Evanis purchased five acres of land and built their original homestead, which still stands today, as the first home in the Sunny Acres subdivision. Tony Sr., a barber by trade, would commute to Chicago to work at the Dina family's two Chicago area barber shops.

By 1948 Tony Sr. decided his commuting days were over. At that time, across the street from what is now , Andy Harr ran a barber shop out of a building shared with the Post Office (if you're starting to hear the Andy Griffith Show theme song whistling in the back of your head right now don't be alarmed, it happened to me too).

Tony and Evanis purchased property on Front Street and built , currently the longest operating family owned business in our beautiful little village. The honor of the first haircut was given to local contractor Phil Hacker, whom built their first home and the barber shop. As soon as the last floor board was nailed down, Tony Sr. set up two saw horses and a wood plank, sat Phil down and went to work with his shears.  That was only the beginning.

During the early 1950s Dina Sr. got together with Boy Scouts leader Art Omland and founded the original Mokena Civil Defense Patrol, the predecessor to our current ESDA. Also, Anthony Sr. spent some time as Mokena Police Commissioner, forerunner to the current position of Police Chief.

Next week we will continue the story of the Dina Family in Mokena, and even explain a "singed haircut."

As promised, here is the contact information for another business that was submitted by our readers hoping to see a site open in Mokena. For point of clarification, I have been advised by several of the companies contacted that requests sent through regular mail send a stronger message than emails, phone calls, tweets or Facebook wall postings.

Portillo's Restaurant Group, Inc.
2001 Spring Rd., Ste. 500
Oak Brook, IL 60523-3930

. More winter milestones are coming fast. Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day and the Daytona 500 bring us that much closer to the end of winter.

Kudos to our favorite candy store, Mokena's own , for their appearance on WGN TV's "Chicago's Best" yesterday evening. And yes, that was Walter Payton's daughter.


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