The incident happened Monday in Palatine behind a supermarket near Hicks and Dundee.
The cover of the manhole was missing.
The 76-year-old woman fell about twelve feet and used her phone to call the emergency dispatcher.
Because she wasn't clear on where she was it took a long time to find her.
The woman was not seriously injured.
Police say the owner of the property was notified of the missing cover on Friday but didn't order a replacement until Monday after the accident.