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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Dr. Thomas Neill Cream (May 27, 1850 – November 15, 1892); Serial Killer.

Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, was a doctor secretly specializing in abortions. He was born in Scotland, educated in London, active in Canada and later in Chicago, Illinois.

Cream established a medical practice not far from the red-light district in Chicago, offering illegal abortions to prostitutes. He was investigated in August 1880 after the death of Mary Anne Faulkner, a woman on whom he had allegedly operated, but he escaped prosecution due to lack of evidence. In December 1880 another patient, Miss Stack, died after treatment by Cream, and he subsequently attempted to blackmail a pharmacist who had made up the prescription.

On 14 July 1881, Daniel Stott died of strychnine poisoning at his home in Boone County, Illinois, after Cream supplied him with an alleged remedy for epilepsy. The death was attributed to natural causes, but Cream wrote to the coroner blaming the pharmacist for the death after again attempting blackmail.

Cream was arrested, along with Mrs. Julia A. (Abbey) Stott, who had become Cream's mistress and procured poison from Cream to do away with her husband. She turned state's evidence to avoid jail, laying the blame on Cream, which left Cream to face a murder conviction on his own. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Joliet Prison. One night unknown persons erected a tombstone at Mr. Stott's grave which read, "Daniel Stott Died June 12, 1881 Aged 61 Years, poisoned by his wife and Dr. Cream."

Cream was released on July 31, 1891 when Governor Joseph W. Fifer commuted his sentence after Cream's brother pleaded for leniency, allegedly also bribing the authorities. Moving to London, he resumed killing (mostly prostitutes) and was soon arrested. He was hanged on 15 November, 1892.

According to the hangman, his last words were reported as being “I am Jack the...". Records show Cream was in prison at the time of the last three Ripper murders in 1888.
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I've never heard of him. Thank you for sharing this. 
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Lyon and Healy, Chicago, IL

Lyon and Healy is a musical instrument manufacturer that still operates in Chicago. Formed in 1864, Lyon and Healy opened a factory at Randolph and Ogden in 1890 that is still operation.

Known for their harps, they have also at times made guitars, banjos, pianos, and other musical instruments.24 In 1913, the factory depicted on the postcard was opened (designed by Hyland and Green). Located on Fullerton just west of Pulaski (then Crawford), along the Milwaukee Road line, the factory included a station along the railroad named after the complex; the station is still called Healy to this day.

The Lyon and Healy factory on Fullerton did not remain in operation for long; by the 1930s, it was home to the Mills Novelty Company, a noted coin-operated machine manufacturer.26 The usual model of industrial de-concentration would suggest that the company would have closed their original factory on the Near West Side and made the Fullerton location their main operation. In actuality, the Fullerton operation did not last twenty years, and the firm’s 100+ year old Near West Side factory still remains in operation to this day!
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, IL

Take a step back in time. Experience what life was like on a DuPage County Farm in the 1890s. Stroll through restored farmstead structures and meet the historically-costumed interpreters operating this living-history farm using the tools and techniques of the past. Activities and events at the farm re-create the seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries.

Kline Creek Farm presents 19th-century farm activities, such as baking, canning, planting, harvesting, sheep shearing and ice cutting among other activities. The farmhouse was the center of domestic activities and today contains original artifacts and reproductions that enhance its homelike atmosphere. Depending on the time of year, staff and volunteers plant heirloom fruits and vegetables in the kitchen garden, tend to the orchard, work in the wagon shed or cure sausages in the smoke house. Percheron work horses help plant and harvest crops of corn, oats, and other small grains; and resident livestock, such as the farm’s Southdown sheep, Shorthorn and Angus cattle, and chickens, occupy the farm’s coop, barn, fold, and pastures.

Beekeeping is also a long-standing tradition at Kline Creek Farm. Since 1984 volunteer beekeepers have managed the farmstead’s apiary by caring for the bees, extracting and processing honey, and leading educational programs and tours that focus on the honeybee’s role as primary pollinator for two-thirds of all U.S. crops.
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Neil Gale
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Photographs & History  - 
 
Join our main group on Facebook. LIVING HISTORY of ILLINOIS and CHICAGO® has over 17,000 members. 
http://LivingHistoryOfIllinoisAndChicago.org 
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I've tried on my PC and my smartphone and I am unable to access the above page.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Christopher, Illinois in Franklin County.

Christopher is located 20 miles north of Carbondale, Illinois. According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 1.58 square miles and a population of 2,382.

Prior to 1880, Christopher was merely a trading post in an area that was sparsely settled. However, with the construction of the railroad through the area, growth was inevitable. The first railroad engine arrived on November 16, 1879. A meeting was held in the store of James B. Pharsis and the name of the town was selected as Christopher. It was named after Christopher Harrison, a grandson of one of the early settlers, Isham Harrison, who represented the county as a delegate to the Illinois First Constitutional Convention held in Kaskaskia in 1818.

In 1879, the local people banded together and built the first railroad depot; thus Christopher, Illinois was born. The first Post Office was inaugurated on January 19, 1880 and was located in the general store owned by Mr. Pharsis, who was the first Post Master (1880-1882). On September 28, 1903, Christopher voted to become a village by a 30 to 16 vote margin.

The sinking of Christopher’s one and only coal mine began in January, 1906. This mine was the North Mine and was located just north of the city and west of the Christopher to Sesser Road. A seam of coal eleven feet thick was found at a depth of 517 feet. Following the success of the coal mine, Christopher started to grow. The village voted to become a city on January 11, 1910 with a 72 to 36 margin. Then on April 10, 1910 the first Mayor was elected.

On July 28, 1915, eight men were killed, eight seriously wounded and a dozen slightly hurt by a gas explosion in the United Coal Mining Company Mine No. 1, one-fourth of a mile east of Christopher. The explosion took place in the sixth, southeast entry, where more than 100 men were working.  The cause of the explosion was never discovered and remains unknown today.  

Even though Christopher’s current population stands at about 2400, it once had a population in excess of 10,000. The city had four theaters, three-three-story hotels, 28 grocery stores, five bakeries, a swimming pool a miniature golf course, a skating rink, a dance hall, a bowling alley, nine automobile dealers, two banks, five pool halls, two lumber yards, nine dry goods stores, six furniture stores, eight ladies’ ready-to-wear stores, nine men’s stores, 12 service stations, and more.

Christopher, Illinois is the one and only community with that name in the entire USA; coast to coast and border to border you will find no other Christopher.
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Neil Gale
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Wyatt Earp, born in Monmouth, IL

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was born at 406 South 3rd Street in Monmouth,Illinois on March 19, 1848 to widower Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey.

In 1849 or early 1850, Nicholas Earp joined about one hundred others for a trip to California, where he looked for good farm land, not gold. When their daughter Martha became ill and later died, (reports claim he never reached California, but found the land in Iowa suitable to his needs.) the family stopped and settled in Pella, Iowa. Their new farm consisted of 160 acres, 7 miles northeast of Pella, Iowa.

In 1864 he moved with his parents to California. After working as a stagecoach driver and buffalo hunter, he served as deputy marshal in Wichita, Kansas and Dodge City, Kansas, where he became friends with Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday, and established his reputation as a lawman and gambler. His first wife died and a second marriage didn't last.

In Tombstone, Arizona, Earp acquired the gambling concession at the Oriental Saloon and met his third wife Josie. In 1881, a feud with the Clanton gang ended with the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral. Three of the Clanton gang were killed. The three Earp brothers, Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan, survived, along with Doc Holliday.

Wyatt and Josie Earp moved often. Between 1885 and 1887, they arrived in booming San Diego, where Wyatt gambled and invested heavily in real estate and saloons in the Stingaree district, now the Gaslamp Quarter. They lived here on and off for several years. Earp owned or leased four saloons and gambling halls in San Diego. The most famous was the Oyster Bar located in the Louis Bank Building at 837 5th Avenue. He refereed at local prize fights. During the heyday of San Diego's boom, Earp won a trotting horse named Otto Rex. He and Josie began to travel the racehorse circuit. They left San Diego in the early 1890s.

In 1897 Wyatt and Josie operated a saloon in Nome, Alaska, during the height of the Alaska Gold Rush. In 1901 they moved on to a gold strike in Tonopah, Nevada, where saloon, gambling and mining interests again proved profitable.

Wyatt Earp spent his final years working mining claims in the Mojave Desert. He and Josie summered in Los Angeles, where they befriended early Hollywood actors and lived off real estate and mining investments. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 80 on January 13, 1929.
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Neil Gale
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The Fair Store, Chicago, IL (1874-1963)
[photo] 1891 construction.

The Fair Store was a discount department store which was founded in 1874 in Chicago, Illinois. Founder Ernst J. Lehmann decided on the name "The Fair Store" as he felt "the store was like a fair because it offered many different things for sale at a cheap price." Lehmann bought and sold goods on a cash-only basis; he offered odd prices (i. e., prices not in multiples of five cents) to save customers a few pennies on every purchase. The flagship store was moved to the corner of State and Adams Streets in 1875; a modern twelve-story building for the store would be completed on that site in 1897 and contained 286,000 square feet of floor space. Promoting itself with the motto “everything for everybody under one roof,” the Fair was now one of the largest retailers in the city. Offering a wide range of goods at low prices, the store offered services such as free wrapping, delivery, and an on-site nursery. In 1900, when annual sales were about $8 million, the store had nearly 3,800 workers; by the 1910s, floor space reached nearly 800,000 square feet. The Fair had 5,500 workers, making it one of the largest employers in the city.

The Fair Store promoted itself as a Discount Department Store in the early 1900s. In 1915, a booklet published by the store stated "The Fair Store is still, as it always has been and undoubtedly always will be, the store of the people, the down-town shopping center for the Savers, the market place for the Thrifty." In 1925  the Fair was purchased by S. S. Kresge & Co., the Detroit-based dime store chain (which would eventually become known as Kmart). Under its management, branches were opened on Milwaukee Avenue (1929), in Oak Park, Illinois (1929), at the Evergreen Plaza Shopping Center in Evergreen Park, Illinois (1952), and at the Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, Illinois (1956).

In 1957, Montgomery Ward purchased the State Street flagship store, as well as the Oak Park, Evergreen Plaza, and Old Orchard locations, from the Kresge syndicate in a bid to expand its Chicago operations; unlike many other retailers, Montgomery Ward had not joined in the construction of branch stores immediately following World War II. Initially, these store retained the Fair nameplate, and one more Fair Store would open, at Randhurst Mall in Mount Prospect, Illinois (1962). However, the Randhurst store would also be the first converted to the Montgomery Ward nameplate, in August 1963; the other locations would convert to the parent company's name plate in 1964. The flagship building on State Street was closed and demolished in 1984; though a new building was planned for the valuable real estate, none was built until 2001.
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Neil Gale
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Chicago's story. - The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919.

[PHOTO] Inspecting Chicago street cleaners for Spanish influenza. Officials are wearing gauze masks. 1918

“First in violence, deepest in dirt; loud, lawless, unlovely, ill-smelling, irreverent, new; an overgrown gawk of a village,” journalist Lincoln Steffens described the Windy City in 1903. From its start as a marshy portage for Native American and French trappers and traders, Chicago grew to a bustling metropolis of 2.7 million by the time influenza arrived on September 8, 1918, when a few sailors at the nearby Great Lakes Naval Training Station fell ill with the disease. A week later, seven army cadets from the Northwestern University SATC unit came down with influenza. Then, a few days after that, cases developed among cadets at the Lewis Institute SATC unit on South Hoyne Street in Chicago itself. The epidemic had begun.

Military officials acted quickly in an attempt to contain the disease. At Great Lakes Naval Training Station, officers instituted isolation and quarantine controls, ordered all 50,000 sailors to be given daily nose and throat sprays (where, presumably, they could also be quickly examined for symptoms), placed 1,000 men in isolation when they developed symptoms and an additional 4,000 sailors under quarantine for suspect contact with the ill, and cancelled all liberty leave for enlisted sailors until the epidemic had passed. Surprisingly, although sailors were prohibited from leaving Great Lakes station, civilians were still permitted to visit.

By late-September, it appeared that the epidemic at Great Lakes station had crested. Station health officers were happy to report that the number of new cases was decreasing at a rate of approximately 10% per day. In Chicago, Health Commissioner Dr. John Dill Robertson announced that officials had “the Spanish influenza situation well in hand now.” To monitor the situation, Robertson made influenza a reportable disease on September 16, but took no further action.

Chicago’s epidemic, however, had only just begun. On September 21, city health officials took note of a sudden marked rise in the number of deaths due to acute respiratory diseases. By September 30, there were 260 cases in the city. The large and sudden jump in new cases led Health Commissioner Robertson to order the immediate isolation at Cook County Hospital of all known cases. Realizing that hospital isolation would soon become impossible, he told residents to prepare to isolate themselves should they become sick. “Every victim of the disease is commanded to go to his home and stay there,” he announced. “No visitors are to be allowed.”

Robertson was hesitant to implement any further epidemic control measures that might disrupt life or lower morale, and he therefore moved in a slow, step-wise fashion. A survey of the city’s schools showed that Chicago children had thus far managed to escape the brunt of the epidemic, and attendance was still nearly normal despite excluding all students with cold or flu-like symptoms. Schools were therefore to remain open. Robertson and representatives of the city’s various child welfare agencies and organizations believed that children were better off in schools anyway, where they were under watch and kept from roaming the streets.

Despite his hesitation, Health Commissioner Robertson did ask Chief of Police John Alcock to have his officers stop all persistent sneezers and coughers who did not cover their faces with handkerchiefs. Those violators who promised to obey instructions in the future would be let go, but anyone who gave the officer a difficult time would be arrested, given a lecture on the dangers of influenza, and sent before a judge for arraignment. Robertson also warned theater managers and owners to ensure patrons used handkerchiefs or he would shut down their establishments. Churches, schools, theaters, restaurants, streetcars, and other places where people congregated were ordered to maintain proper ventilation. For the time being, these were the extent of Chicago’s control measures. Both Robertson and the Illinois Influenza Advisory Commission agreed that no closure order should be issued, arguing that the epidemic was “practically at a standstill” in Chicago and the northern part of the state.

Chicago may not have needed a public gathering ban yet, but it did need more nurses. On October 11, the Chicago chapter of the American Red Cross issued an urgent call for volunteers. Highlighting the plight of the city’s ill and playing on the heartstrings of women across the region, the Red Cross printed the story of a nurse who made a house call expecting to find a sick mother. Instead, she discovered that the entire family was stricken with influenza: the mother and two young children were all bedridden with high fevers, a 10-month old baby was starving, and the father was wandering the streets in fevered delirium, desperately trying to find a physician to care for his family. “This case,” the Red Cross coordinator wrote, “tells its own story and makes its own appeal to the womanhood of Chicago.” The city’s settlement houses likewise called for volunteers. Some turned themselves over entirely to the epidemic cause. The University of Chicago Settlement House, for example, stopped all its regular activities for several weeks during the epidemic in order to host an emergency hospital and diet kitchen, the latter serving a total of approximately 3,000 meals.

Perhaps because of the increasing occurrence of news such as this, the Illinois Influenza Advisory Commission slowly began changing its tune. The first steps it took were to pass a binding resolution on October 11 banning public dancing in all clubs, cabarets, and halls and to prohibit all public funerals across the state. The Commission reasoned that public dancing was a particularly efficient way both to transmit and contract influenza because of the close contact between dancers and the chilling of sweaty bodies that usually followed a rigorous dance. Receiving the news the next day, Health Officer Robertson notified Chief of Police John Alcock of the ruling and requested that officers stop all dances across the city starting that night – the first night in nearly 16 years that Chicago did not have a weekday public dance. The same day, October 12, the Commission recommended that Chicago’s transit company keep streetcar front doors open to ensure a constant stream of fresh air into the cabins. Robertson and the Commission worried that the Liberty Loan parade, held that day, would result in an increase in the number of new influenza cases, but realized there was little they could do at this late date to try to stop the event. The best that could be done was to warn parade-goers to take precautions. Unfortunately, the prescription missed the mark: Robertson told the public to head home as soon as the parade was over, put on warm clothes, and take a laxative to minimize their chances of catching influenza.

By now, Chicago physicians were reporting a staggering number of new cases, reaching as high as 1,200 a day and climbing. The Illinois Influenza Advisory Commission, with Health Commissioner Robertson fully participating, now had little choice but to contemplate seriously the closure of public places. On October 14, the Commission invited representatives from professional organizations, the Red Cross, clubs and trade organizations, federal and state officials, and the Liberty Loan committee to meet at the upscale Hotel Sherman, a well known night spot for celebrities, jazz musicians, and Chicago’s high society set, to discuss the possibility of issuing a general closure order. As Robertson put it, “We wish to take no rash action, and desire to be sure that whatever we do will be for the benefit of the city.”

After hearing from constituents, the Advisory Commission handed down its final decision: beginning on Tuesday October 15, all theaters, movie houses, and night schools were to close immediately for an indefinite period, and all lodge meetings and other similar gatherings were prohibited. The Commission included “all other places of public amusement” in its order, but acknowledged that further clarification was needed in order to determine the exact extent of the phrase. Churches were left off the list for the time being, since no religious services would be held for at least three more days. In the end, Chicago churches were not required to close, although clergy were asked to keep services short and their buildings well ventilated. An unintended but salutary effect was that many churches organized parishioners into soup brigades to help families stricken by influenza. At a time when charity and volunteer work was practically the only safety net, churches and synagogues were major centers and organizers of aid, and many did their best to alleviate as much of the ancillary suffering as they could.

Movie houses and theaters were the prime focus, as they were seen as the places most likely to cause the spread of influenza. Public schools were to remain open because of well-organized systems of medical inspection already in place. In fact, school health officers and nurses were instructed to drop all their routine work and concentrate solely on student inspections. Closing schools may have mattered little by this late date anyway, as absentee rates had already reached as high as thirty percent, and would spike to nearly fifty percent within a week. Not all of these absences were due to illness; some were the result of worried parents. Others were due to mischievous students who took to sniffing pepper in order to induce a coughing or sneezing fit, knowing that they would be sent home for a week.

A CLOSED CHICAGO

Despite the grumblings of some residents, the closure order had the desired effect. Chicago’s loop district, home to most of the city’s entertainment district, was suddenly empty at night. Newspapers reported that the sidewalks were clear, the restaurants half deserted, and the taxicabs idle. Health Commissioner Robertson was pleased with the news. Theater and movie house owners and employees, naturally, were not. Estimates as to the financial losses they would suffer varied greatly, but it was generally agreed that approximately 650 theater workers and an additional 500 movie house employees were now out of work. Lost box office receipts were difficult to ascertain, but at least one theater had already sold $80,000 in advance tickets for just a single performance. Workers were especially hard hit. “Unfortunate now are these comely young women of the chorus,” one newspaper columnist wrote of the theater closures, “for their misfortune is not their fault. It is not to preserve their health but our health that they bravely forgot their right to earn bread and rest.”

More businesses were about to be affected. On October 15, the Illinois Influenza Advisory Commission met to try to decide what other places of public amusement and gathering should be closed. No definite consensus could be reached, although the group did agree that ice skating rinks would be added to the list. The next day the Commission members finally concluded that all non-essential public gatherings should be banned, but that actual implementation of the recommendation should be left up to State Health Commissioner C. St. Claire Drake and local authorities. Drake immediately issued the recommendation as a statewide order, decreeing that all public gatherings of a social nature and not essential to the war effort be discontinued indefinitely. All banquets and public dinners, conventions, lectures and debates, club and society meetings, union gatherings, and athletic contests (whether indoor or out) were therefore prohibited. Saloons could remain open, as could poolrooms and bowling alleys, so long as they were properly ventilated. All other forms of gathering not expressly prohibited by the state order could continue, so long as spitters, coughers, and sneezers were kept out and crowding was not permitted. Both Illinois and Chicago officials continued to enact epidemic control measures in a stepwise manner.

The epidemic raged. Sad stories of influenza-stricken Chicagoans filled the pages of the city’s newspapers: Phyllis Padula and her four young children suffering from bad cases of influenza when her husband Angelo ventured out in search of a physician, only to commit suicide by jumping into the frigid Chicago River; a Spanish-American War veteran, armed with a shotgun and two revolvers and delirious with fever, in a two-hour standoff with police; a wife suffering a mental breakdown after caring for her sick husband and five children, dousing her family’s clothing in gasoline and setting the pile ablaze as they all shivered in the cold. In another case, Peter Marazzo killed his wife and four children by slitting their throats. Brought to trial, the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity due to his high fever brought on by influenza. An army doctor at the trial testified that the toxins from the influenza germ had “lodged in the brain cells and wrecked Marazzo’s mind.” Several physicians at the time observed that various psychoses, most notably dementia praecox (schizophrenia), seemed to develop shortly after bouts with influenza.

By the last days of October, new case reports indicated that the epidemic might be on the decline across Illinois. The Illinois Influenza Advisory Commission hesitated to recommend lifting the closure order and gather ban just yet, though, preferring to hear from local authorities as to the precise conditions in the communities. In Chicago, Health Commissioner Robertson was hopeful that the epidemic would soon be over, but believed that the control measures be kept in place for a short while longer. In the meantime, he suggested that everyone curtail his or her usual Saturday night revelry, go to bed early, and get plenty of rest on Sunday. To many, it sounded far too much like a dose of parenting.

Whether or not Chicagoans followed his advice, by Monday, October 28 the case tallies had declined enough to warrant serious consideration of removing the bans. Robertson and the Health Department drafted a tentative plan that called for the step-by-step and district-by-district return to normal city life over the course of a week. The next day, Tuesday the 29th, after gaining Drake’s approval, Robertson and the Chicago Health Department put the plan into action. Beginning that day, all music and entertainment could resume in the city’s restaurants, cafes, and hotels. On Wednesday the 30th, theaters and movie houses between Howard and Diversey Parkway could re-open. The following day, theaters and movie houses between Diversey Parkway and 12th Street could resume their hours. On Friday, November 1, the rest of the city could re-open. Public meetings were to follow a similar schedule starting on Thursday, with all meetings allowed in all parts of the city by Saturday, November 2. Theaters had to pass inspection before they could re-open their doors, coughers and sneezers were prohibited from entering, no crowding would be allowed, and all public places were required to close by 10 pm. Public dances could resume on Monday, November 4. The reason for the geographically staged schedule was simple: by the fourth week of the epidemic, the greatest number of new cases had occurred in the half of the city south of 12th Street, and Robertson believed that area needed a few more days before it was firmly in the clear.

Conditions in Chicago continued to improve even as residents mixed and mingled in theaters, movie houses, cabarets, and restaurants. In most cities, the removal of social distancing measures was met with a great deal of joy. In Chicago, it was met with some grumbling, aimed primarily at Health Commissioner Robertson. During the epidemic, Robertson had banned smoking on all streetcars, elevated trains, and suburban light rail lines. Now that the danger had passed, however, Robertson refused to remove the no-smoking ban. Reporting on the news, the Chicago Tribune referred to Robertson as “his highness.” On November 2, Robertson ruled that city entertainment venues could remain open until 10:30 pm, adding an extra half hour to Chicago’s nightlife. Robertson advised that all revelers therefore get an extra half hour sleep on Sunday morning in return. The Tribune quickly attacked him for his paternalism, referring to him as “his eminence” repeatedly. “Chicago may disport itself tonight into the late hour of 10:30 by virtue of the gracious order of Dr. John Dill Robertson, city health commissioner,” wrote the Tribune. The following day, when the last remaining flu bans were about to be removed, the Tribune continued its attack on Robertson. “Outside of the fact that you mustn’t cough, sneeze, expectorate or osculate, mustn’t smoke on street cars or in the elevated trains, can not visit sick friends and must continue to observe the food and fuel regulations and keep up your installment payments on Liberty bonds, you can get up tomorrow and do as you darn please,” the article began. Those who wished to attend one of the long-suspended public dances could glide across the floor “without fearing the intrusion of a health department chaperon with untimely remarks about the dangers of proximity.” The editorial staff of the Tribune, and likely many other residents, had thoroughly tired of Robertson’s restrictions and paternalism, especially when they had been placed on top of the already onerous wartime social restrictions and civic responsibilities.

THE CONCLUSION

Between the start of Chicago’s epidemic on September 21 and the removal of restrictions on November 16, the Windy City experienced a staggering 38,000 cases of influenza and over 13,000 cases of pneumonia. The white population of the city experienced an increase in deaths of 2,610 percent over the previous year. The African American population, on the other hand, experienced an increase of only 1,400 percent. Health Commissioner Roberston attributed the difference to the intrinsic immunity to influenza and pneumonia among the city’s African American population. In reality, the discrepancy was likely due to racial disparities in Chicago’s health care and access: African American Chicagoans were already much more likely to die of disease than their white counterparts. Epidemic influenza, a disease that did not respect color or socioeconomic lines, therefore only appeared to attack whites with more virulence.

Doctors and nurses worked around the clock during the crisis. Morris Fishbein, a prominent Chicago doctor and later editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, wrote in his memoirs that most Chicago physicians visited some sixty to ninety patients each day during the height of the epidemic, unable to do much besides try to make them comfortable. Yet, despite these staggering numbers, Chicago actually did fairly well for a city of its size. In fact, with a population of 2.7 million, Chicago’s epidemic death rate for the period was only 373 out of 100,000, not much worse than much touted (and its long-time rival) St. Louis.

Chicago’s epidemic experience led to important changes in the city’s medical care infrastructure. In January 1919, with the main danger over, Health Commissioner Robertson turned his attention to correcting some of the shortcomings the city experienced during the crisis. Highest on his list was the nursing shortage. In 1907, after several failed attempts, the Illinois legislature had passed a law creating a board to register trained nurses after two years of schooling. At the time, Robertson opposed the bill, arguing that it would drive up the cost of nurses and create a system whereby those of only modest means would not be able to afford adequate care. “The nurse has become a necessity in our present civilization,” he argued, “but her cost has made her services a luxury that only those in good circumstances can enjoy.” He believed that any woman (and, following the sexism of the times, he considered women as natural nurses due to their innate ability to follow a man’s orders) with intensive training could be made a competent nurse in a matter of three to six months, not two or three years. If the army could churn out perfectly good officers in three months, he argued, good nurse educators should be able to do the same. Now, in the wake of the epidemic, Robertson felt an even greater sense of urgency in bolstering Chicago’s nursing corps.

To create a large contingent of these “practical nurses” as he called them, Health Commissioner Robertson suggested several changes. First, hospitals should immediately modify their curricula so that two classes of nurses could be trained. One track would become registered nurses, while the other would take six months of intensive training. Second, the state legislature should change current nursing law to allow for the training of these practical nurses as well as lower the number of years required of registered nurses from three to two. Lastly, Robertson suggested that if Illinois lawmakers did not act, then Chicago should take the lead in licensing practical nurses much the same way as it licensed undertakers.

His ideas were welcomed by some and angrily dismissed by others. Within a week of announcing the idea, the city’s Director of the Department of Education and Registration had already drafted a bill allowing for a one-year course of training for practical nurses, which he said he was prepared to present to the state legislature. A group of supportive physicians offered to travel to Springfield to support the bill if necessary. The Journal of the American Medical Association endorsed the idea of a separate track of practical nurses in an editorial blaming trained nurses for the current woes. A nurse should be “a true physician’s assistant and will be a household helper not too proud to assist in the kitchen or even to help care for the baby,” the editor wrote.

On February 18, 1919, the new nursing bill was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. The bill provided for a one-year course of training for practical nurses, granted authority to the State Board of Registration to license those who passed the training, and made it illegal to pose as a registered nurse unless entitled to do so. Hospitals, which would benefit from the lower cost of practical nurses, supported the bill. Registered nurses, who stood to lose some control over their profession and who feared a decrease in their wages, naturally opposed it. In the end, the support for the proposal was simply too strong for nurses’ groups to withstand. The bill passed.

On July 21, 1919, Chicago’s Training School for Home and Public Health Nursing opened its doors. Nearly 800 women completed the inaugural class, and within two years some 3,000 women had passed the course. When influenza returned in 1920, 600 of these graduates answered the call for volunteers, exactly as Health Commissioner Robertson had hoped they would. The program worked so well that Robertson instituted a second similar program in connection with the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1920. Never again would Chicago be faced with a critical shortage of nurses during a time of need.
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Excellent! Thanks for sharing this.
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Neil Gale
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Starlight Drive-In Theatre, Alton, IL

The Starlight was listed in the 1949 Theatre Catalog, but ground wasn’t broken until the following year, and the opening date was May 5, 1950. A newspaper article at the time claimed that the drive-in had parking for 600, but longtime employee Glenn Ballard later recalled that the theatre started with 400 stalls, and the capacity grew to 960 when a second screen was added (it was in place by 1977). This number was cut back to 800 when a new concession stand and playground (right under the main screen) were added. He also noted that there was a long, long line of customers to see "Bridge on the River Kwai" for 50c a head. The original owners were Harry H. Beck of the "now-demolished" (it’s not) State Theatre and Joe Goldfarb, who ran the Uptown. The BAC chain assumed control in 1953 (according to the Alton Telegraph; BAC’s Steve Bloomer says 1950), and ran the drive-in until its demise. Ballard was listed in the Alton directory as the Starlight’s manager from 1961 to 1973 -- assuming that he was also known as Jesse G. Ballard, which is how the manager was listed starting in 1966. Don Rawls managed the drive-in from 1974 to 1984.

In summer 1984, St. Louis landowner-developer Donald Soffer sold the 19-acre property to a local doctors’ group, Alton Multi-specialists, headed by Drs. Chester Hill and Phillip Kannel. Soffer had pledged that the drive-in would remain as long as he owned the land, and Steve Bloomer of BAC hoped that the doctors would let the drive-in continue to operate on at least part of the land for a while longer. "I have absolutely no comment to make," huffed Dr. Hill. The docs planned to bulldoze and subdivide the land for construction of more medical buildings. The Starlight’s last manager, Charles Myers, conceded that the drive-in was "definitely closing, but who knows for sure of the actual time?"

OPENED: 5/5/50; Movie: Sitting Pretty.
CLOSED: 1984 and DEMOLISHED.
CAPACITY: 600 then 960.
CONSTRUCTION: Johnson Construction.
LANDSCAPING: Edwin H. Burns.
SIGN: Maguire Signs.
DECOR: Gene Sawyer.
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Greg Kientop

Photographs & History  - 
 
A. R. McAllister and John Philip Sousa
1928 - Joliet Union Station
(Photo contributed by Scott McAllister)

Many citizens of Illinois don't know it, but the Joliet Township High School Band program is the oldest continuously active band in the United States.  The great John Philip Sousa once referred to them as "the best band in the land".  They still win band competitions throughout the state even today.

They began their climb to fame by playing for returning veterans as they returned home at Union Station in Joliet -after many international conflicts.   
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POSTING AND COMMENTING RULES FOR: LIVING HISTORY OF ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO® community. **Please Read This >>BEFORE<< Posting or Commenting** Our Digital Library: http://LivingHistoryOfIllinois.com Illinois History Store®: http://IllinoisHistoryStore.org 1. To protect the enjoyment of the group, we have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for racist, anti-Semitic, ethnic, and religious or LGBT slurs and pornographic material. Criticism of administrators, disrespectful comments, members who start an argument, fight, affix blame, instigate, make trouble, political or religious bashing, people that are belligerent, post nasty or hateful comments, disseminate their twisted point of view (even in jest), or use profanity, will be banned immediately. 2. If you are too lazy to READ THE ENTIRE post and the comments, this is not the group for you. Your question may already be answered in someone else's comment. 3. Your own personal photos, one (1) family photo [with a history], Internet discovered pictures* (no smartphone/tablet screen captures), videos*, and non-sexual comments are welcome as a posting. 4. This is a STATEWIDE history group. You are expected to: - a. Present/write the history about the photo you post; - b. Post the location including the city because some members don't know. - c. Posting with no comment is a "Hit-and-Run" and will be deleted. 5. Links are NOT ACCEPTABLE as the MAIN POSTING in this group (i.e. no links to Websites OR other Facebook groups, walls, timelines OR other photo albums like Flickr, OR file sharing sites like Google Docs, etc.). >> BUT... if you post a photo (not a photo link), you may include a URL link in the posts body. >> TO TEST<< Click on the image presented. If it takes you to a website or another Facebook group or page, it is not posted properly for this group. >> Video links and PDF files ARE ALLOWED with a text description. 6. As a Comment; Website links (Non-sexual. Non-adult) are allowed except for other Facebook groups, pages, walls, or timelines. They will be deleted. 7. NO mentions of or links to any other Google+ Communities are allowed (unless approved). Other groups do not reciprocate links. Web links and photos ARE ALLOWED in the comment, except for Google+ links. 8. Administrators may remove a post that has already been posted recently to avoid duplication. 9. Thread comments must be on the posted topic. Comments not on topic will be removed. 10. The group is not a quiz show, trivia game or a request line and those types of posts will be removed. Search Google for your answers or photos requests. 11. Who remembers and personal journal type posts will be removed. 12. Group Get-togethers are not sanctioned. 13. Only posts about Illinois are allowed. *Copyrights to photographs/videos belong to their owner. Plagiarism may occur in this open, public forum, but it's not a crime. This group displays images and text for historical presentations only.

Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Herbert Televox, the Mechanical Man, Chicago, IL

[PHOTO #1] June 28, 1928 - "Mechanical Man" does his stuff in Chicago. A new version of the "Mechanical Man" was exhibited to the association of Iron and Steel Elcetrical convention delegates in Chicago last night. The mechanism, more properly called Televox responds to sounds transmitted through the telephone. The earlier models all have used an answering signal consisting of a buzzer mounted in front of the transmitter. The Televox exhibited last night has been given a voice with which it responds in spoken words. The photo shows Irene McCoy lighting a cigar for the mechanical man last night.

[HISTORY]
Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co's first robot was Herbert Televox, built in 1927 by Roy Wensley at their East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania plant. The robot was based on the patents of Wensley, filed in 1923, 1927 and 1929. The first man weighed 600 pounds, but the one above only weighs 40 pounds. The Televox could accept a telephone call by lifting the telephone receiver. It could then control a few simple processes by operating some switches, depending on the signals that were received. Televox could utter a few primordial buzzes and grunts and could wave his arms a bit. Although speechless when first created, Televox later learned to say two simple sentences.

From the January, 1928, issue of Popular Science Monthly journal:
…Look first at that mechanical creature answering the telephone. He is the invention of R. J. Wensley, an engineer of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, and goes by the name of Televox. It you could dissect him you would find his inner workings much like those of your radio receiver, and little more complicated. Yet if you should establish him at home in your absence—which the inventor says is not at all impracticable—he would serve you as a trustworthy and obedient caretaker.

The mechanism consists primarily of a series of electrical relays, each sensitive to a sound of a certain pitch, and capable of translating that sound into specified mechanical action, such as opening and cloning the switches of electrical appliances. Each relay is actuated through a tuned electrical circuit responsive to vibration of a given frequency and no other, somewhat as the circuits of your radio can be tuned to a broadcasting station of a given wave length.

The mechanical man is not connected electrically to the telephone, but listens much as you would. His ear is a sensitive microphone placed close to the receiver. His voice is a loudspeaker close to the transmitter. And the language he speaks is a series of mechanically operated signal buzzes.

Experimentally, he has been made to understand and respond to words uttered by human voices, but for practical operation the language which spurs him to action has been simplified to three different sounds of different pitches. These sounds are made either by three tuned pitch pipes or, as in the New York demonstration, by three electrically operated tuning forks.

For illustration, imagine you are at the house a friend and are calling your home equipped with a Televox. In the ordinary way you telephone your home. Why, your phone rings. Televox lifts the receiver and utters a combination of buzzes which tell you that you have the right number.

Now you sound a single high note from the first pipe, which means, "Hello, get set for action." Televox stops buzzing and responds with a series of clicks, saying "All set: what do you want?".

Next you sound two short notes from the same pipe. These tell Televox to connect you with the switch on the electric oven. The reply is two short buzzes saying, "You are now connected," followed by a long buzz-z-z-z, which informs you that "the switch is open."

At this, you sound a deeper note on the second pitch pipe, meaning "Close the switch and start the oven." Immediately Televox ceases the long buzz, closes the switch, then replies with a short, snappy buzz informing you that the switch has been closed and the oven is going.

Next you may wish to inquire about the furnace, and with the first pitch pipe you sound three shrill notes. This means "Connect me with the furnace and tell me how hot it is." The reply is three short buzzes, telling you that the connection has been made, followed by a pause, then two more buzzes which say, "The furnace is pretty low."

So you blow four blasts from the same pitch pipe, meaning "Connect me with the switch operating the drafts." Televox replies with four buzzes, signifying that the connection has been made; then one short buzz informing you that the drafts are closed. With one blast from the second pitch pipe you order the drafts opened. Televox instantly opens them, then gives the long buzz to say that the job is done.

If nothing further requires attention, you blow the third pitch pipe, the lowest in tone of the three, which says "Good bye." Televox hangs up the receiver, and stands ready for the next call.

Each of these astonishing actions, as already explained, is accomplished by a different sound-sensitive relay. When the bell rings, the noise causes the first relay to lift the telephone hook and start the signal buzzer. The high note of the first pipe serves to connect any desired one of a number of relays, each of which has been arranged to control a certain operation. Thus, when the note is sounded twice, it moves a switch that connects relay number two, controlling the electric oven. When sounded three times, it connects relay number three, and so on, according to the number of operations for which the apparatus is designed. Each time a relay is connected, Televox gives a corresponding number of buzzes, indicating that the connection has been made. Moreover, it sounds an additional long or short buzz indicating whether the switch to be operated by the relay is open or closed.

The lower note of the second pitch pipe is the operating note; that is, it causes the connected relay to open or close the switch as may be required; also to report the fact by changing its long buzz to a short one, or vice versa. The deep note of the third pitch pipe simply causes Televox to quit work and ring off.

To demonstrate that Televox will respond to spoken words as well as musical notes, the inventor has set up in the Westinghouse laboratories at East Pittsburgh, Pa., a mechanism which will open a door to the call of "Open sesame!". The sounds of the voice, however, are too highly complicated for use in general practice. Still, a person with a good ear for music can get response from Televox by whistling or singing in the exact notes to which the relays of the machine are tuned.

Three of the machines already are in actual use in Washington, D. C., replacing watchmen at reservoirs. By their buzzes they tell the distant caller the height of water as shown by the gage in the reservoir, and also control the flow of water at his bidding…

The Herbert Televox robot became a national sensation, and was followed by a parade of increasingly advanced machines.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Red Bud, Illinois - Old Opera House

[BUILDING PHOTO] by Neil Gale.
This beautiful Opera House, located at 116 East Market, Red Bud, IL, was built in 1855 in downtown Red Bud. It is now the site of the Red Bud Area Museum. The museum's mission is to collect, preserve and display exhibits, artifacts and documents that chronicle the city's history and growth.

[HISTORY]
The city receives its name from the redbud tree, a species of flora that grows in the area. The first development by a German settler within what is now the city limits was made by Preston Brickey in 1820. He constructed a log cabin a few yards north of where the depot now stands, and here cultivated a farm. In 1839 James Pollock placed a small stock of goods in the log cabin built by Henry Simmons, where he did business for about a year. This was situated about a quarter mile east of today's Catholic Church building. The next year he moved his stock of goods into a log building erected by John C. Crozier, which was situated on the ground now occupied by Henry O'Harra's lumber yard. He continued the business there about three years, when he moved to Preston. In 1840 R.D. Dufree became the first permanent merchant in Red Bud. Two years later he built a frame store house on the southeast corner of Main and Market streets. The first brick school house was erected in 1854, in the east part of town.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Help our community grow. Share this community with your Google+ followers and invite your Illinois connections to join.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
The  Living History of Illinois and Chicago® Digital Library.
http://LivingHistoryOfIllinois.com

Feedback and suggestions welcome.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
The Old Gillett Farm, Elkhart, IL

This historic seventh generation family farm is located on Elkhart Hill (the highest point between Chicago and St. Louis). Still owned by the descendents of John Dean Gillett, who built the original house and barns in 1870, this beautiful farm encompasses 700 acres of lawns, gardens, woodlands and open fields. In addition to the main house, a 3-bedroom guesthouse and chapel are available for private bookings. Overnight accommodations, special events, weddings and tours are arranged on an individual basis.

Here history lies undisturbed. Indian burial mounds and rare botanical species are protected in the unique virgin woodland comprising the Elkhart Grove Forest Preserve. Walking trails wind among ancient Blue Ash, Burr Oak and Black Walnut trees. Cattle graze the hillside pastures, horses are stabled in the orignial barns where "Graceland Arbians" began their breeding operation in the 1970's. Descendents of John Dean Gillett still reside in the “Big House” where generations of original furnishings and memorabilia reflect the family's history. Sloping lawns and perennial gardens frame the hilltop's spectacular Vista, which stretches for miles in all directions. At the time of his death John Dean Gillett owned 20,000 acres that he could survey from the vantage point of his front porch.

Well-known visitors to the farm included Abraham Lincoln, who was a personal friend and family lawyer of the Gilletts, 3 term governor of Illinois Richard J. Oglesby (who married the oldest Gillett daughter) and Adlai Stevenson, a friend of Elizabeth Drake (great grand-daughter of Gillett) and her husband William Drake from the Drake Hotel family in Chicago. Adlai wrote one of his presidential campaign speeches on the porch of the Big House, claiming that the peaceful setting cleared his thoughts and the view inspired his words. Today's visitors often express the same sentiments as they experience the magic of this very special place.

[ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHAPEL]
This Episcopalian Chapel was built in 1890 by Lemira Parke Gillett in memory of her husband John Dean Gillett. It is the only privately owned and operated church in Illinois. Constructed by the Culver Stone and Marble Company of Springfield, it is one of the few remaining Culver buildings in the area. Designed in Gothic Revival style, it houses one of thee oldest working pipe organs in the state (built by Hook and Hasting Company out of Boston) Beautiful Tiffany style stained-glass windows grace the interior of this historic Chapel. Weddings and memorial services are held in the Chapel by special arrangement.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Chicago Water Tower.
Photo: 1871 (after the Great Chicago Fire)

Located in the northern portion of the Magnificent Mile at Chicago Avenue, the Chicago Water Tower was built in 1869 and is one of few buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, due to its construction of limestone blocks. The tower, which resembles a small castle, is functionally obsolete and serves as a visitor information center, where the public can obtain literature about Chicago attractions. The Water Tower is also home to City Gallery, Chicago's official photography gallery. The pumping station still pumps water for the city. The Chicago Water Tower was designated the first American Water Landmark in 1969 and was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1971.

The Water Tower was erected to house a 138-foot-tall standpipe, three feet in diameter. This standpipe served to equalize pressure and to minimize the pulsation of the water flowing in the mains. The foundation of the Water Tower consists of 168 piles filled with concrete and capped with 12-inch oak timbers. Massive stones laid in cement complete the base up to six feet below the grade. The tower rises in five sections from the square ground- level base with battlement pillars at each of its four corners. Each of the 40-foot-wide sides has a stately doorway and two grand windows. The second and third sections are similar in design as they rise in diminishing size. The octagonal tower is centered and set back from the top of the third section. It rises 154 feet above the ground level. The standpipe was removed in 1911 when it was no longer needed. The spiral staircase which encircled the standpipe, however, is still intact and is used to reach the tower cupola.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
Dallas City, IL

Dallas City was first laid out in 1848 by John Finch. It was originally a wild thicket of brush and trees and inhabited by the Sac and Fox Indian tribes. Finch Purchased the land from Israel Atherton in 1836, the first white man known to settle here. Prior to this, Pontoosuc was the name of the entire area and a very large settlement according to the times. When Finch and Rollison, merchants in Pontoosuc, Moved to this area to start businesses here, they were still forced to go to Pontoosuc for their mail because the government would not allow post offices to be located under 5 miles apart. There was a post office at the camp creek area, south-west of the future town run by Silas McKaig's father. When Finch and Rollison heard the McKaig wanted to get out of business, they arranged for him to resign in favor of their taking over this route. In return, they promised to deliver his mail to Camp Creek free for the rest of his life. Thus, “South Bend” got its post office.

The river was the only means of transportation in and out of town. There was a low water rapids between Ft. Madison, IA and Nauvoo, IL (named Commerce at the time) and during the summer many larger boats could not get past them. The main road in and out of town was along the river banks and often muddy and covered with brush. President James Polk and his Vice-President George M Dallas got stranded for a time in the island directly across from the South Bend area. It was decided to name the island after the president and the town after the vice-president. Abraham Lincoln also visited this area in 1858 when he was running for President of the United States. The American Legion tried to put Memorial plaques on two large granite stones they bought and had moved to the Riverfront Park at the end of Oak St. honoring the three men in the 1930's, but only the Lincoln stone got a bronze plaque. The second stone was intended to honor Polk and Dallas. The name Dallas “City” came after the city planners got enough signers on a petition sent around for signatures of people who had come many miles to hear Mr. Lincoln.

Henry Farnwald Black came down river in 1857 with a large load of logs he intended to sell at Ft. Madison or Keokuk, but after checking out the Dallas City area, decided to start a lumber business of his own and also a planeing mill to go along with it. Mr. Rollison started a flour mill along the river and a distillery. Dud Butler, future editor of the Dallas City Review paper stated there was continual procession of boats of all kinds going out and coming to the river landing and horse and wagons waiting in long lines to buy and sell wares or get their wheat ground.

Also, around this time, the front street of the town was a great place for the thirsty river boat lumbers crew to “relax and have a good time”. Sort of an old western Dodge City. The other citizens of the town closed their blinds and locked their doors when the river boats crews landed in town.

When the Keokuk Dam was built in 1912, it eliminated the problem of low water, but also covered a large area of the waterfront upstream.

The Q.B.&Q. RR came into existence in the late 1860's and the Santa Fe in the 1880's. Telephones came into existence in the late 1900's, electricity in 1907, and city water system around that time also. The necessity of a sewer system came into being in the 1930's.

In 1890, the “City Fathers” realizing the importance of employment if the town was to grow, gave Louis Burg $5,000 and a large parcel of land on the east side of Dallas City to bring his buggy factory to town. A button factory was established in the late 1890's for further employment. Our unique three story High School building was built in 1895, largely with the German immigrants influence of a “Castle on Der Rhine” as Louis Burg Stated.

With this beginning, Dallas City has evolved into a pretty and peaceful little town of around 1,000 people on the banks of the Mississippi River.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
For all who celebrate, may you and your loved ones have a Merry Christmas.

This is our groups official greetings to avoid dozens of postings. PLEASE... make your wishes known here. Other posts will be removed.
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Neil Gale
owner

Photographs & History  - 
 
I recently applied for Trademark / Servicemark protection for the name "Living History of Illinois and Chicago".

The Illinois Secretary of State declared "Living History of Illinois and Chicago" has been registered as a Servicemark on December 2, 2014.


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Greg Kientop

Photographs & History  - 
 
A bedrock excavator/grinder on the Hillside Strangler project circa 2000.  It was contracted-in from a firm from Austin, TX.  The Hillside Landfill is located to the immediate left.  The interchange with I-290/Eisenhower Expressway with Mannheim Rd./US 12/20/45 is seen in the right background.  This equipment was utilized to avoid having to have blasting adjacent to an active expressway.  All this rock was recycled as sub-grade material on this long-awaited project.  Even with other "downstream" improvements needed along the I-290 corridor, the improvements at this bottleneck improved the commute by 15 minutes during rush hour.  With the traffic volume, this amounts to about an entire human lifespan every 3 months, not to mention the equivalent fuel/pollution offset and normal traffic fatalities. Two years planning was condensed into a few months time.  What was begun in 1998... had been constructed by 2002.  
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