Created in 1912, Matanky Park, originally known as Morse Park, was the first of four parks created by the Ridge Avenue Park District. The Ridge Avenue district was among 19 neighborhood park commissions established after 1896 to serve areas recently annexed to the city. When Rogers Park residents decided to form a park district in 1895, a bitter fight immediately arose between two local factions. Farmers living in West Rogers Park resented the prospect of being taxed for lake front improvements by east side "silk stockings." The farmers, derisively called "cabbage heads" by the east siders, fought to establish their own park district west of the Northwestern Railway line. After a lively campaign rally in which the west siders paraded with cabbages on poles, the farmers won the right to create their own Ridge Avenue Park District. The Ridge Avenue district initially focused on upgrading and maintaining Ridge Avenue, but as its West Rogers Park neighborhood grew, the need for parkland became more pressing. In 1912, the district purchased property at Ridge Avenue and Morse Street, which quickly became known as Morse Park. The new park took its name from the adjacent street, in turn named for Charles H. Morse, an early developer of Rogers Park. In 1984, the Chicago Park District renamed the site Matanky Park for respected local resident Eugene Matanky (1922--1982). Matanky, a newspaperman and real estate developer, was a founder and vice-president of the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park, and a member of the Uptown Chicago Commission.