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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Modoc, Illinois - Mississippi River Ferry.

Locally referred to as The French Connection, the Sainte Genevieve - Modoc Ferry is a quick connection between Ste. Genevieve, Missouri and southern Illinois.

From Illinois, the ferry provides a direct access to the shops, restaurants and historic sites of French Colonial Sainte Genevieve. From Ste. Genevieve, the ferry offers a quick route to Fort de Chartres, Pierre Menard Home and Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Parks - as well as other interesting attractions in Southern Illinois.

The ferry also provides a direct route for area truckers, farmers and industries, and is the official crossing point for bicyclists enjoying the Great River Road or the Mississippi River Bicycle Trail. The ferry operates year-round, except when river conditions make ferry operation unsafe.

The ferry was owned by a guy named Ardell Curratt in the 1940s. His nickname was Snap who was the proprietor of the old tavern in Modoc, which was at that time was called Snap 'n Jules. Jules was Ardell's father-in-law. Snap later became the sheriff of Randolph County. The tavern was a local hot spot in the days of old cars with running boards and loose laws.

The ferry was owned by Orville Albert around 1965. He was a local man of French and Indian heritage born and raised in Prairie du Rocher. His mother, Mary (Pelate) spoke only French until she entered school. Orville was a business man with earth-moving machines. Randy Albert used to pilot the ferry to Ste. Gen on Sunday afternoons in the late 1960s, although he never was licensed as a riverboat pilot. Randy was a locally famous musician and one of the bands he formed was called Modoc Ferry. He stole all the road signs leading to the ferry for the band.

Orville used to tell the story of a former owner of the ferry, name untold, who took a car across the Mississippi on one late afternoon, the last trip to Missouri before docking for the night. A man and his wife stayed in the car once on the ferry. Halfway across the river the man started the car, crashed through the chains and both drowned at the bottom of the Mississippi, leaving seven orphans. A suicide note was later found declaring his intent because he had discovered his wife had been unfaithful.

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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Manning & Bowes Saloon after a bomb explosion showing the room near the bar in ruins with four men standing and sitting at one end of the bar. The saloon was located at 501 South State Street (formerly 321 State Street) in the Loop community area of Chicago. (1909)

Chicago Sunday Tribune - June 27, 1909

Although the police profess to have one man under suspicion as having caused bomb explosion No. 30 at Manning & Bowes Saloon, 321 State Street, no arrests were made yesterday (Saturday, June 26, 1909). There is a rumor that is gaining in strength that the man under suspicion has a strong political "pull," but the police deny that this is true of the person they are seeking.

Detectives from the headquarters and the Harrison street station house continued work throughout the day upon the case, but were unable or unwilling to report any progress when asked about the bomb throwers.

Assistant Chief of Police Schuettler declares that every means the department has at its command is being used in the pursuit of the man or men responsible for the repeated outrages.

"I wish I knew who the certain police official is who knows the persona responsible for the dynamite bombs in the so-called gamblers' war; I would give ten years of my life to know who is responsible for the outrages."

This was the statement made last evening by Assistant Chief Schuettler, in response to a published account said to have been made by persons who are said to be in touch with gambling situation.
"I don't believe there is any official attached to the Chicago police department who has information that would lead to the identity of the perpetrators of the bomb outrages," said the assistant chief.

"I have officials of a powder company at work trying to locate the place where the bomb throwers obtain the powder which is the explosive used in most of the bombs. I believe we are close upon the track of the bomb throwers, but cannot afford to make arrests upon suspicion. We have several persons under surveillance, but it is our business to catch them in the act in order to secure a conviction."

"It makes me feel mighty bad to know that no arrest has been made as yet, but we would be in a worse way if we made arrests upon suspicion and were unable to produce evidence against the suspects that would satisfy a court."

"We have followed up the movements of all the known gamblers, and we have obtained lists of men that are supposed to be their enemies within the gambling fraternity. I have heard rumors that there is someone who we are afraid to arrest. That is untrue."

"If we secure evidence against anyone, no matter how he may be connected, we will not hesitate to make arrests. This last outrage has made the detectives who have worked at times upon cases determined to land the men who are responsible."

San Francisco Call, Volume 106, Number 132, October 10, 1909 - WHO IS CHICAGO'S BOMB THROWER?
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
The Origins of Nude Swimming in Illinois Public Schools.
Swimming pools were introduced in the U.S. by the YMCA in the 1880s. In the following 25 years, those pools became major sources of sustainable revenue. Boys drowning was the second leading cause of death, before age 16, after disease. The Y offered both organized lessons and teaching the fastest stroke possible, verified by the Olympics, the crawl stroke. In that pre-TV era, being the fastest was a big part of social entertainment. 
However, in 1906 Edwin Foster, a Northwestern medical school graduate working at a YMCA, (a typical situation), tested the water and discovered it was contaminated. This was a major threat to the business income because cholera and typhoid were transmitted through water. These diseases were still causing widespread, fatal epidemics that closed down cities. 
In 1906, the standard YMCA pool procedure was to drain the pool and refill it once a week. (This actually continued into the 1920s. In one case, in Spartanburg, SC, the 45,000 gallon pool was emptied and refilled twice a week into the 1920s.) In most cases, the men and boys swam naked just as they had in rivers and farm ponds. 
The YMCA National Council recommended the use of sand filters, which were known to be effective. What's available in the literature shows that by 1910 the first pool recirculating pump was installed and by 1913, chlorine chemicals were being added to the water. (The Federal government was just beginning to require chlorination of public water.) 
In 1926, the American Public Health Association published the first guidelines for swimming pool management. These guidelines were updated every one to three years, as needed. Those guidelines recommended that males swimming separate, take a soap shower and swim nude. Unadorned, undyed tank suits were recommended for females. (Keep in mind that women seldom swam in pools since female athleticism was disdained. Even in the 1930s doctors were writing books claiming that athletic women gave birth to ugly babies.)
The APHA pool management guidelines were not written about nude swimming but about keeping pools sanitary and that meant keeping the water disinfected. Consequently, male nude swimming was recommended in every edition until 1962. When one studies the APHA guidelines and those issued by other states, such as by the State of Illinois in 1948, (where they flatly state that sanitation is best preserved if people are separated by gender and swim nude. That came from fourteen of the best swim coaches, sports physicians, sports professors and water sanitation specialists the State could put on a board.)
Chlorine was difficult to use effectively because pH had to be managed in addition to having enough chlorine to kill bacteria. It was not until 1939, what was called the break point in water chlorination was discovered. It was then possible to make chemical tests that pool managers could use. However, WW II intervened and the equipment to do automatic chlorination was not available until the late 1940s. 
A few months after the U.S. entered WW II, the L-85 Regulation was implemented. This mandated the minimum use of cloth for clothing since it was needed for munitions. It also stopped the sale of home sewing machines. During that time, it became patriotic for men and boys to swim nude. A review of camp archives shows that nude swimming at camp became virtually universal during WW II. However, the hygiene and convenience was recognized and nude swimming at camps continued into the 1960s, beginning to fade in the mid-1950s. 
In 1948 and 1956, the Boys Club Operations manual required and then recommended, respectively, boys swim nude. The YMCA and Boys Club Operations manual both stated it was incumbent upon the boards of directors to abide by the state and American Public Health Association guidelines. 
The public school boards responsible for schools with pools also had to abide by the state public health and APHA pool management guidelines. That's why we swam nude in school pools.
By the way, pool filters get clogged with fabric fibers even today. (Case-in-point: put a load of shirts in a clothes dryer after cleaning the lint filter. After they are dry, check how much lint is in the lint filter.) It wasn't until the late 60s or early 70s that nylon suits became widely available. However, the fibers clogging the pool filter was only part of the story. What the Public Health officials wanted to avoid was telling all swimmers that their swim suits were probably contaminated from polluted water from their last swim at the beach or outdoor bathing place. As corroboration, recall that they used to have laundry tubs of chemicals you were to drag your suit though and then rinse, when you swam at a co-ed city pool. 
The 1948 State of Illinois Public Health Association pool management guidelines states specifically that to preserve female modesty, they could wear unadorned, undyed tank suits, after they took a nude soap shower. That's why females wore suits. 
Now as for YMCAs and nude swimming. If one researches this Nation's newspapers, one will find that when YMCAs ran ads for learn-to-swim, it was stated in both the display ad and in the reporter's commentary that boys swam nude and only needed to bring a towel. In a few cases, the boys were photographed swimming nude and the photographs published in the town newspaper. It was a socially expected practice since they were men and boys and had nothing to be ashamed of. 
By 1962, most Americans lived in suburbs and most boys, (who did most of the swimming), did not swim in polluted outdoor water but swam in city pools. Automatic chlorination was controllable to adjust for the contamination in pools. Medicine had conquered Polio and the medical profession was confident curative medicines could stop outbreaks of any disease that might be transmitted by pool water. Also, in 1962, there was no public outcry to end male nude swimming and there was no feminist pressure. 
In 1962, the American Public Health Association dropped the nude swimming recommendation because it was no longer needed to preserve public health. This insight is important because it underscores why male nude swimming was recommended and required for more than 50 years. The Y and schools continued nude swimming into the 70s, and in a few schools, into the 80s.
So many people today do not know about the era of nude swimming. After mentioning swimming naked in High School to people in “you won’t believe me… but” conversations, people thought it was creepy or that the instructors were pedophiles. Records shows a few were but the vast majority of the thousands who worked with boys as swimming teachers, coaches, or life guards were good decent men. Naked swimming was just the way it was, it was seldom sprung on the class as a surprise. Typically the students knew from a year or two before that when they reached that point they would swim naked.
It wasn't urban legend; just a normal part of life in a different and much more self-confident time.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
LOST TOWNS OF ILLINOIS: Hardscrabble, Illinois & Unionville, Illinois
Hardscrabble, Illinois was in LaSalle County situated on the Vermilion River approximately 80 miles southwest of Chicago in the prairie and farm land of north-central Illinois.

The region around Streator was the development of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1821. This canal connected Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, greatly increasing shipping traffic in the region. Land speculation in areas lining the canal and rivers ensued and towns sprouted quickly. Individual settlements in the Bruce Township region started as early as 1821.

In 1861, John O'Neil, a miner, established the first settlement in what was to become the city of Streator when he opened a small grocery and trading business. O'Neil is credited with giving today's town of Streator its first name, "Hardscrabble" after watching two teams labor to pull a loaded wagon up the hill from the landing on the Vermillion Rover. O'Neil remarked that it was a hard scrabble (hard struggle) and then stenciled "Hard Scrabble" on the front of his store.

The Civil War led to Streator's second name - Unionville. Stories vary as to whether the name represented simply the community's devotion to the Northern cause, or whether it symbolized the accord of Democrats and Republicans as soon as war actually broke out. Evidently many people regarded the change as merely symbolic, and continued to call the settlement by its original, more descriptive name of Hardscrabble.

Both Unionville and Otter Creek had bazaars and community meetings where they engaged in work similar to that done by the Red Cross volunteers during recent wars - picking lint and making bandages and underwear for the hospitals.

All during the war the post office (called "Eagle") was about two miles from Unionville. The school children usually went from school to Squire Painter's house for the mail. It came twice a week. And when the spring or fall rains came the road was full of water in places and you had to walk on rail fences to get to the post office. Overholt and Holmes had a general store at Reading, but when the Vermillion River was past fording you could not get to Reading and the road to Ottawa was nothing but mud and water, so supplies got quite limited.

The men who returned to Unionville after the Civil War found little change. There were probably a few new settlers and a few new shanties along the river where Water Street is now; the Springer and Painter store had opened for business, in 1864. But when the town was platted on April 27, 1865, scarcely six square blocks were encompassed by its boundaries: Main Street on the south, Bloomington on the east, Kent on the north, and the river on the west. James Campbell, John O. Dent, Clark S. Dey, and Isaac A. Rice signed as owners of the land.

In 1865 some coal samples from the area were sent to Worthy Stevens Streator, a prominent railroad promoter, physician, industrialist and entrepreneur from Cleveland, Ohio. Streator was immediately struck by the quality of the coal and financed the region's first mining operation, forming the Vermillion Coal Company. Streator approached his nephew Colonel Ralph Plumb at a railway station in December 1865 about overseeing the mining operation in central Illinois for him and several investors. Col. Plumb agreed and arrived in the town then called Unionville in January of 1866 with instructions to purchase and develop 4000 acres of coal lands, as acting secretary, treasurer, and resident manager of the Vermillion Coal Company. He wasted no time. Under his supervision, miners went to work and sank the shaft of the company's first mine, the "Old Slope." Located east of the river, at the foot of Adams Street and just north of Cedar, the mine reached a depth of fifty feet and eventually covered about sixty-five acres. (It never became a large operation, in its heyday employing only between fifty and a hundred men and averaging seventy tons of coal a day.)
While miners worked below ground, workmen above were laying track for the first railroad into Unionville, the fifteen-mile "Stub End Road" that led westward to Wenona and a junction with the Illinois Central line. (It later became part of the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio road.) Halfway between the two towns grew up a small community which Plumb named Garfield after his Civil War commander.

With the new mine and the new railroad, Unionville gained more settlers. A row of wooden shacks sprang up along the railway near the mine. Overholt and Holmes moved their store from Reading to Unionville and put up a two-story building at Main and Bloomington - a site later occupied by the Plumb Hotel. Just back of the store and fronting on Main Street was a three-story frame structure erected by Dr. E. E. Williams; its top floor was the chief place for entertainments prior to the construction of Oriental Hall. Zephaniah Schwartz, one of the earliest settlers in Livingston County, moved to the growing community and built a large rooming house, called Streator House, on the southwest corner of Main and Bloomington.

Unionville was obviously growing beyond the boundaries drawn for it in 1865, so Colonel Plumb and other residents arranged to have it replatted. In the meantime, they gave the town its third and present name, commemorating the efforts of the Ohio doctor who believed in its possibilities. Unionville officially became Streator on November 26, 1867. Less than three months later, on February 10, 1868, Ralph Plumb as secretary together with James Huggans, Albert McCormick, and William Rainey - signed the second plat, which extended Streator's boundaries south to Wilson Street, east to Wasson, and north to Morrell. In the spring a meeting was called "for the purpose of determining by vote the question of incorporating the town of Streator." On the night of April 9, a group of about seventy landowners and businessmen met above the Overholt and Holmes store. There they voted, 56 to 5, for incorporation, and later that month, the townspeople chose five trustees for the village council: H. R. Stout, R. P. Smith, Robert Hall, A. J. Baker, and George Temple. The new village was formally incorporated in 1870, with a population of 1486.

In 1870 the Vermillion Coal Company opened its Number 1 mine, with a shaft located just north of Grant and east of Vermillion Street. This mine, the largest in the entire Streator area, was in the thirtieth year of its operation to spread over about 930 acres at an average depth of 80 feet. With a vein of coal between 4 1/2 and 5 feet thick, the mine at its peak yielded more than 2500 tons a day, to make a total of approximately 5,000,000 tons. In 1871 the Vermillion Company united with the Chicago and Wilmington Coal Company to form the Chicago, Wilmington and Vermillion Coal Company - called simply the "Vee Cee" by local residents.

Worthy S. Streator served as an Ohio State Republican Senator from 1869 to 1873.

Note: The Streator High School yearbook is still named "The Hardscrabble."
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Arthur Novit, Chicago Police Officer, Superman of the Subway, c1970s, Chicago.

[Obiutary from the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper]
Arthur Novit, officer who was "Superman of the Subway," dies at age 89. Chicago Police Officer Arthur Novit was an expert at disguising himself as a vagrant or country bumpkin while he worked as a decoy in the subway to attract would-be robbers.

But one day he decided to have a little fun. The adventure earned him a nickname: "Superman of the Subway."

Mr. Novit dressed in a Superman costume and hid in a CTA storage closet while he waited for criminals to make their move on a fellow police decoy slumped on the floor — like a man on a bender — at the Red Line station at Jackson and State.

When two robbers pounced, Mr. Novit burst out in full superhero regalia, knocking the closet's steel door to the ground as if it were made of cardboard. (He and other officers had loosened the hinges so they could slip in and out.)

And he made a speech that would become departmental legend.
"Halt! In the name of the Law! Law and Order will prevail in the subways of Chicago!" he told Leonard Aronson, who reported the story in a 1976 issue of Chicago magazine. "As long as I'm in this metropolis, law and order will prevail."

When one of his police partners thanked "Superman" for helping officers, he replied, "Any time you need me, I'll be here. It takes me only 10 minutes by cape."

When the robbers appeared in court, a judge asked them who made the pinch.

"Superman arrested me," one said. The judge sent him to see a court psychiatrist.

Mr. Novit died July 8, 2012, at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center at 89.

"He was a good policeman; a very active policeman," said his friend, retired Officer Harold Brown, who recalled the Superman adventure. "He did make a lot of arrests."

He was a born performer who could play music and sing in the style of Sinatra, said his wife, Arlene. "Being a decoy fit him perfect," she said. He also had boxes full of commendations for his work.

With expert use of cosmetics, fake facial hair and changes in clothing, he could transform into a captain of industry or a tourist or a homeless person. Often, he would flash a gold watch to attract the attention of thieves before lying on the subway floor to approximate a drunken stupor.

"He used to dress up like a cowboy, like he just came from Texas," his wife said. "He had fake moustaches; he had fake sideburns. He put powder in his hair so it looked gray."

He was so skilled at disguise that a neighborhood busybody felt it was her duty to inform Mr. Novit about the strange men she thought she saw going in and out of his house.

She warned Mr. Novit, "'You don't know what your wife does when you're at work,' " Arlene Novit recalled with a laugh. The woman told him, " 'When you're not here, I see a wealthy businessman come out; I see an Indian.' ''

Mr. Novit thought her nosiness was so funny that he didn't explain: "He said, 'Thanks for telling me.' ''

He received many commendations from the Chicago Police Department. "He was a natural police officer who had a sixth sense about the street," said his former partner, Vic Jacobellis. "His best disguise was Superman. . . .I trusted him more than I trusted anyone else I worked with. He would never back down to anyone and always had everybody's back."

Mr. Novit grew up in Albany Park at the height of the Great Depression.
"Dad went to a lot of different grade schools, eight different grade schools," said his son, Anthonie. "My dad said they kept bouncing; he had to keep moving out of one apartment to another to another."
He attended Von Steuben High School. Those early hard times made him especially generous with others, his son said. He always worked two jobs, and he loved to see his kids' faces when he bestowed gifts or shiny new bicycles.

In his prime, Mr. Novit played handball every day at the YMCA, and he enjoyed Chinese food so much, he could eat it all day, every day. He loved his dog, Booboo, a husky mix with powder-blue eyes who lived 15 years. He swore the dog had ESP and could follow commands without a word.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Broadwell Inn & Tavern, Clayville, Illinois
Moses Broadwell, the Inn's first proprietor, was a Revolutionary War veteran from New Jersey who migrated to Illinois by way of the Ohio River and Cincinnati, arriving at Beard's Ferry landing in 1820. He settled south of Richland Creek about 12 miles west of Springfield. He arrived with his wife, Jane, and their nine children in June or July and proceeded to build a log house. Three years later, Broadwell bought the 550 acres on which he was living. His sons later purchased additional land to bring the total to 790 acres.
The brick house or Inn was built about 1824 in the architectural style of the Federal period not unlike those of the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio area from which Mr. Broadwell had come. The Inn, built with native clay bricks, originally had two two-story wooden porches on its north and south facades. The structure and cabinetwork of this Inn are unusually fine for its day, and the building has been recorded by the Historic American Buildings as an outstanding example of early architecture in Illinois.
Great exposed, hand-hewn center “summer” beams run through the structure at three levels for support. The walnut mantels, cabinetwork and most of the flooring are original, and the doors have great hand-forged strap hinges and large iron or brass locks. The bricks were handmade on the site. A brick oven built into the kitchen fireplace is one of the few beehive ovens in this region in which bread or other goods are still baked. Outside, the original hand-dug stone-cased well still has good water. The furniture for the Inn, in addition to its glass, china, pottery, and kitchen gadgets, has been obtained mostly from old families of Sangamo Country. The structure represents a transitional period between the cabin of the rugged pioneer at New Salem and the more comfortable homes of Springfield before the Civil War.
In 1842, the area around Broadwell's Inn was renamed "Clay's ville" because of the sentiment for the perennial Whig candidate, Henry Clay.
During the heyday of the Inn, Reverend Peter Cartwright often spent time at Broadwell's Inn. In fact, Reverend Cartwright held a large camp meeting at Clayville in 1832.

Mentor Graham, Lincoln's teacher, held classes at the Clayville Schoolhouse in 1830 and 1836; and according to Carl Sandburg, it was at this log schoolhouse at Clayville that Lincoln sat and listened to students recite their lessons.
Dr. Charles Chandler, founder of Chandlerville, was a frequent visitor to Clayville on his way to and from Springfield. Lincoln himself is said to have stayed at the Inn, even though no actual proof exists. Lincoln was the lawyer of the Broadwell family, and it is unlikely that he made the journey from Springfield to confer with his client and returned home all in the same day.
To the traveler, Clayville tavern offered comfort and warmth within its walls. To the Broadwells, it provided an income which was needed to raise their large family. In addition to the tavern, the Broadwells also operated a store and a tannery nearby on Richland Creek. According to the store daybook, the Broadwell store stocked flour, sugar, molasses, salt, whiskey, gin, nails, dye stuffs and other staples of the day. The tannery ledger shows that approximately twelve men were employed in the tanyard, and that this business operation supplied leather to farmers, bootmakers and harness makers.
In addition to the family's businesses, a mill and blacksmith shop and schoolhouse completed this rural community. Ten miles to the north at Sangamo town, the Broadwells operated their own grist mill. (During the restoration of the tavern, a barrel stencil and stencil brush used by the miller were found under the boards in the stairway.)
Moses Broadwell died in 1827 and the family operations fell on the shoulders of son John. In 1834, a fire broke out in the Inn and partially destroyed the west end. The tavern was rebuilt, but even today evidence of the fire can be seen in one of the upstairs bedrooms. After the structure was rebuilt, the family prospered until the advent of the railroads. With the iron horse also came the death of the Clayville community.
All of the businesses at Clayville depended upon the post road and stagecoach line. The post road, which originally opened in 1825 and ran from Springfield to Beard’s Ferry, was extended in 1829 to Quincy on the Mississippi River. With the railroads in the 1850’s, the need for a tavern no longer existed, and the Inn became a family residence. The structure was used as such until the 1930's when it became a storage barn for hay. It remained that way until the Pearsons came along.
In 1960, Dr. Emmett and Mary Pearson purchased the property from the family of Dr. Fink and began a restoration process. Two log cabins, two large barns, a blacksmith barn, and other out buildings were acquired and moved to the site over the next few years. In 1972, the Pearsons donated the site to the Sangamon State University Foundation; the university operated the site until 1992 as the Clayville Rural Life Center.
In 1992 the site was sold into private ownership and over the next several years deteriorated to a point that in 2007 it was declared one of the ten most endangered historic sites in the State of Illinois.
In 2009, headed by Jim Verkuilen, The Pleasant Plains Historical Society was formed with the purpose of purchasing and saving The Clayville Historic Site, in May of 2010 the purchase of the site was finalized.
In 2012, Landmarks Illinois, the organization that in 2007 had declared the site to be one of the most ten endangered sites in Illinois, awarded The Pleasant Plains Historical Society it’s advocacy award for saving the site.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
(via: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, published:1900)
The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois series is in our groups Digital Library. http://livinghistoryofillinois.com/

An exhibition of the scientific, liberal and mechanical arts of all nations, held at Chicago, between May 1 and Oct. 31, 1893. The project had its inception in November, 1885, in a resolution adopted by the directorate of the Chicago Inter- State Exposition Company. On July 6, 1888, the first well defined action was taken, the Iroquois Club, of Chicago, inviting the co-operation of six other leading clubs of that city in “securing the location of an international celebration at Chicago of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus.” In July, 1889, a decisive step was taken in the appointment by Mayor Cregier, under resolution of the City Council, of a committee of 100 (afterwards increased to 256) citizens, who were charged with the duty of promoting the selection of Chicago as the site for the Exposition. New York, Washington and St. Louis were competing points, but the choice of Congress fell upon Chicago, and the act establishing the World's Fair at that city was signed by President Harrison on April 25, 1890. Under the requirements of the law, the President appointed eight Commissioners-at-large, with two Commissioners and two alternates from each State and Territory and the District of Columbia. Col. George R. Davis, of Chicago, was elected Director- General by the body thus constituted. Ex- Senator Thomas M. Palmer, of Michigan, was chosen President of the Commission and John T. Dickinson, of Texas, Secretary. This Commission delegated much of its power to a Board of Reference and Control, who were instructed to act with a similar number appointed by the World's Columbian Exposition. The latter organization was an incorporation, with a directorate of forty-five members, elected annually by the stockholders. Lyman J. Gage, of Chicago, was the first President of the corporation, and was succeeded by W. T. Baker and Harlow N. Higinbotham.

In addition to these bodies, certain powers were vested in a Board of Lady Managers, composed of two members, with alternates, from each State and Territory, besides nine from the city of Chicago. Mrs. Potter Palmer was chosen President of the latter. This Board was particularly charged with supervision of women's participation in the Exposition, and of the exhibits of women's work.

The supreme executive power was vested in the Joint Board of Control. The site selected was Jackson Park, in the South Division of Chicago, with a strip connecting Jackson and Washington Parks, known as the “Midway Plaisance,” which was surrendered to “concessionaires” who purchased the privilege of giving exhibitions, or conducting restaurants or selling booths thereon. The total area of the site was 633 acres, and that of the buildings - not reckoning those erected by States other than Illinois, and by foreign governments - was about 200 acres. When to this is added the acreage of the foreign and State buildings, the total space under roof approximated 250 acres. These figures do not include the buildings erected by private exhibitors, caterers and venders, which would add a small percentage to the grand total. Forty-seven foreign Governments made appropriations for the erection of their own buildings and other expenses connected with official representation, and there were exhibitors from eighty-six nations. The United States Government erected its own building, and appropriated $500,000 to defray the expenses of a national exhibit, besides $82,500,000 toward the general cost of the Exposition. The appropriations by foreign Governments aggregated about $86,500,000, and those by the States and Territories, $6,120,000 - that of Illinois being $8,800,000. The entire outlay of the World's Columbian Exposition Company, up to March 31, 1894, including the cost of preliminary organization, construction, operating and post-Exposition expenses, was $27,151,800. This is, of course, exclusive of foreign and State expenditures, which would swell the aggregate cost to nearly $845,000,000. Citizens of Chicago subscribed $5,608,206 toward the capital stock of the Exposition Company, and the municipality, $5,000,000, which was raised by the sale of bonds.

The site, while admirably adapted to the purpose, was, when chosen, a marshy flat, crossed by low sand ridges, upon which stood occasional clumps of stunted scrub oaks. Before the gates of the great fair were opened to the public, the entire area had been transformed into a dream of beauty. Marshes had been drained, filled in and sodded; driveways and broad walks constructed; artificial ponds and lagoons dug and embanked, and all the highest skill of the landscape gardener's art had been called into play -to produce varied and striking effects. But the task had been a Herculean one. There were seventeen principal (or, as they may be called, departmental) buildings, all of beautiful and ornate design, and all of vast size. They were known as the Manufacturers' and Liberal Arts, the Machinery, Electrical, Transportation, Woman's, Horticultural, Mines and Mining, Anthropological, Administration, Art Galleries, Agricultural, Art Institute, Fisheries, Live Stock, Dairy and Forestry buildings, and the Music Hall and Casino. Several of these had large annexes. The Manufacturers' Building was the largest. It was rectangular (1687x787 feet), having a ground area of 31 acres and a floor and gallery area of 44 acres. Its central chamber was 1280x380 feet, with a nave 107 feet wide, both hall and nave being surrounded by a gallery 50 feet wide. It was four times as large as the Roman Coliseum and three times as large as St. Peter's at Rome; 17,000,000 feet of lumber, 13,000,000 pounds of steel, and 2,000,000 pounds of iron had been used in its construction, involving a cost of $1,800,000.

It was originally intended to open the Exposition, formally, on Oct. 21, 1892, the quadricentennial of Columbus' discovery of land on the Western Hemisphere, but the magnitude of the undertaking rendered this impracticable. Consequently, while dedicatory ceremonies were held on that day, preceded by a monster procession and followed by elaborate pyrotechnic displays at night, May 1, 1893, was fixed as the opening day - the machinery and fountains being put in operation, at the touch of an electric button by President Cleveland, at the close of a short address. The total number of admissions from that date to Oct. 31, was 27,530,460 - the largest for any single day being on Oct. 9 (Chicago Day) amounting to 761,944. The total receipts from all sources (including National and State appropriations, subscriptions, etc.), amounted to $28,151,168.75, of which $10,626,330.76 was from the sale of tickets, and $3,699,581.43 from concessions. The aggregate attendance fell short of that at the Paris Exposition of 1889 by about 500,000, while the receipts from the sale of tickets and concessions exceeded the latter by nearly $5,800,000. Subscribers to the Exposition stock received a return of ten per cent on the same.

The Illinois building was the first of the State buildings to be completed. It was also the largest and most costly, but was severely criticized from an architectural standpoint. The exhibits showed the internal resources of the State, as well as the development of its governmental system, and its progress in civilization from the days of the first pioneers. The entire Illinois exhibit in the State building was under charge of the State Board of Agriculture, who devoted one-tenth of the appropriation, and a like proportion of floor space, to the exhibition of the work of Illinois women as scientists, authors, artists, decorators, etc. Among special features of the Illinois exhibit were: State trophies and relics, kept in a fire-proof memorial hall; the display of grains and minerals, and an immense topographical map (prepared at a cost of $15,000), drafted on a scale of two miles to the inch, showing the character and resources of the State, and correcting many serious cartographical errors previously undiscovered.

191 Original Photographs; Glimpses of the World's Fair, 1893 - [in high-resolution b/w]
http://livinghistoryofillinois.com/photo_albums/Glimpses of the World's Fair, Chicago, Illinois 1893/album

Two complete sets of 1893 World's Columbian Exposition Official Postcards.
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That is so awesome and amazing! 
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
The Flanagan House, Peoria, Illinois

The Judge Flanagan House illustrates, through it furnishings and decorations, life in the Midwest immediately preceding the Civil War. The house and its objects tell the story not only of the Flanagan family but also of Peoria.

When the elder John Flanagan (Senior) died around 1834, John C. Flanagan (Junior) was called to Peoria from Pennsylvania to settle his father’s estate. Part of his father’s estate included a 650 acre tract of land. Entranced by the beauty of the Illinois River Valley and the prospects of frontier living, John moved his mother, Jane, his brother, James, his sisters Louise and Letitia, as well as Letitia’s husband, David Maxwell, to make Peoria their home. He built this house on the East Bluff overlooking the river. In 1837, it was probably the largest house in Peoria.

John Flanagan practiced law for a short time in Peoria gaining for himself the honorary title of “Judge” for his contributions and participation in the community affairs of Peoria. He spent much of his time dealing in area real estate. He was a staunch Democrat and was a supporter of politician Stephen A. Douglas, Democratic Senator for Illinois, who was a guest in the house many times. He was very active in the development of the city of Peoria and founded the Old Settlers Union, an organization that is still in existence today. He never married. According to the History of Peoria County edited by David McCullouch, Flanagan felt it to be his lifelong duty to devote himself to the care of his invalid sister, Louise. He died in 1891 and is buried in Springdale Cemetery.

After Judge Flanagan, the house was occupied by his sisters. His niece, Louisa Williamson, later inherited the house and then sold it out of the family in 1902. It was subsequently occupied by various families until 1962 when it was purchased by the Peoria Historical Society.

The Flanagan House is the oldest standing residence in Peoria. It was continuously occupied from its construction in 1837 until 1962 when it became part of the Historical Society.

The house was dedicated “Historical Museum and Harry L. Spooner Memorial Library of History” in 1963, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Take a tour of the Flanagan House. The Peoria Historical Society has an Open House every first Sunday of the month from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
via Peoria Historical Society.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Edith Spurlock Sampson (1901-1979)

Edith Spurlock was born in Pittsburgh on October 13, 1901. She grew up in a working class family, one of seven children, and attended Pittsburgh’s Peabody High School. Upon graduation, she married Rufus Sampson, a field agent for Tuskegee Institute.

After working briefly for Associated Charities in Pittsburgh Sampson decided to enroll in the New York University School of Social Work. One of her instructors, George W. Kirchwey, a Columbia University Law School professor, suggested she pursue a career in law after he noticed her doing exceptionally well in his criminology class.

Sampson and her husband moved to Chicago to care for two children left by her deceased sister. She attended evening classes at the John Marshall Law School and earned a law degree. She then enrolled in Chicago’s Loyola University Law School. In 1927 she became the first woman to receive a Master of Law degree from Loyola University.
Sampson went to work for Cook County in 1927. She worked as a probation officer and then assistant referee in juvenile court, a post she held for eighteen years. In 1934, Sampson established her own practice and became one of the first women to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court. By 1947 she was appointed assistant state’s attorney (prosecutor) for Cook County.

Sampson was also affiliated with the Chicago Professional Women's Club, the Afro-World Fellowship, and the Women's Progressive Committee, serving for a time as president of each organization. She worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the League of Women Voters, the National Council of Negro Women, and the Chicago Urban League.

In 1950, Edith Spurlock Sampson became the first African American named to the permanent United States delegation to the United Nations. While working at the UN, Sampson went on several international lecture tours and held membership on the U.S. delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In 1962, at the age of 61, Sampson was elected a judge on the Chicago Municipal Court. With that election she became the first black woman in the United States elevated to the bench by popular vote. Edith Spurlock Sampson retired from the bench in 1978 and died one year later in Chicago.
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Fun fact and very interesting. Look Bobbie Wiggins what I found.
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About this community

POSTING AND COMMENTING RULES FOR: LIVING HISTORY OF ILLINOIS AND CHICAGO® community. **Please Read This >>BEFORE<< Posting or Commenting** Digital Research Library of Illinois History®: 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 (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Marshall Field Garden Apartments, Chicago, IL.

[PHOTO] Construction of the Marshall Field Garden Apartments, located on the block bounded by West Blackhawk Street, North Sedgwick Street, West Siegel Street, and North Hudson Avenue in Chicago, ca. 1928.

[HISTORY] The Marshall Field Garden Apartments, located at 1450 North Sedgwick in Chicago, is a large non-governmental subsidized housing project in the Old Town neighborhood. The project occupies two square city blocks (6 acres...) and was the largest moderate-income housing development in the U.S. at the time of construction in 1929. Marshall Field Garden Apartments has 628 units within 10 buildings. Construction was financed by Marshall Field III.

This "experiment", built by Marshall Field III, aimed not only to provide housing at a reasonable cost but also to provide a catalyst for renewal of the surrounding area. Marshall Field Garden Apartments was at the time of construction one of two large philanthropic housing developments in Chicago. The other was Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments, at 47th and Michigan. Both were built in 1929 and both were modeled after the Dunbar Apartments built by John D.
Rockefeller, Jr., in 1926 in Harlem, New York City.

All 628 apartments are currently Section 8 assisted living units.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Effects of the Panic of 1893 in Illinois and Chicago.

The Panic of 1893 was a true and severe financial panic lasting from May of 1893 to November, 1893, with a run on currency, and banks closing, and businesses and manufacturers not being able to open because they had not cash to pay workers or buy materials. The panic included precipitous declines in the stock market, the failure of Wall Street brokerage houses, and the failure of 158 national banks in 1893, mostly in the South and West. Other bank failures included 172 state banks, and 177 private banks, as well as 47 savings banks and 13 loan and trust companies and 16 mortgage companies. The panic started in New York and spread to the rest of the country.

In a nut-shell, people attempted to redeem silver notes for gold; ultimately the statutory limit for the minimum amount of gold in federal reserves was reached and U.S. Notes could no longer be successfully redeemed for gold.

For the first time in July of 1893 Chicago banks approved the issuance of clearinghouse loan certificates, foreshadowing the eventual suspension of cash payments and the price of silver fell. The Panic of 1893 was followed by an economic depression in employment and prices which lasted until 1897. Had the United States Federal Reserve Bank system existed, the panic probably would have been averted.

The Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, opened on May 1, 1893 and claiming 27,300,000 visitors (paying and non-paying) after closing on October 30, 1893. There were 46 Countries participating in the World's Fair. The shock came to Chicago a week after the Exposition opened. In spite of the depression, the World's Columbian Exposition was financially immensely successful. The admission to the Fair cost 50¢. October attendance had reached over 6.8 million paid visitors - doubling August's 3.5 million. Chicago Day (October 9) alone saw 716,881 Fairgoers. The concession stands brought in over $4 million, the Ferris wheel (50¢ admission for two rotations) turned a profit, and when all the calculations were complete, the Exposition itself more than broke even, with a $1 million surplus to be returned to its 30,000 stockholders.

During the summer of 1893 commercial, industrial and manufacturing depression accompanied financial panic. Businesses failed and several major railroads, with Chicago as their transportation hub, went into receivership, and control of ‘unprecedented mileage’ was handed over to the state and federal courts in bankruptcy. For the year ending in June, 1894 over 125 railroads went into receivership.

The year also saw prosecutions under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, aimed at curbing the abuses of monopolies. By July and August of 1893 unemployment in factories was severe, and wage reductions widespread. Many banks were reporting declines in their gold reserves; the United States debt increased and money and gold flowed out of the country. The depression reached its low point in July of 1894. About 20%-25% of the United States workforce was unemployed at the panic's peak.

The economic misery was exacerbated by an extraordinarily harsh winter in 1893, Coxey’s army of unemployed marched to Washington, D.C. in 1894, and in April of 1894 more than 40,000 workers were reported to be involved in over thirty national strikes. The most dramatic and important of all of these strikes was the Pullman Strike which started in May of 1894 which tied up 50,000 miles of rail on July 26.

Jane Addams, Florence Kelley and many others at Hull House spoke out and wrote about the circumstances and conditions of the strike.
At one point 5,000 Federal troops, called in by Grover Cleveland over the objection of Governor John Peter Altgeld, were camped alongside the Lake in downtown Chicago.

As with many former and subsequent financial crises, there were international roots and ramifications. The United States tariff policy played a role, as did the political stalemate over taxes, and whether United States currency should be backed by gold alone, or gold and silver. These issues remained central to the hotly contested presidential campaign of 1896 when the Democrat William Jennings Bryan was defeated.

The financial crisis was precipitated by an unexpected event, when Baring Brothers, a financial house in London, defaulted on 21 million English pounds of debt which had been collateralized by its heavy investment in Argentina. To cover the default the Bank of England borrowed from the Bank of France which borrowed from the Bank of Imperial Russia, and in November of 1890 there were numerous bank failures and run on currency in Europe.

The financial crash of 1893 would have come sooner to America had there not been a bumper crop of wheat in the face of European famine, and thus gold temporarily poured into the coffers of United States banks. Then there was a political revolution in Brazil, followed by a banking crisis in Australia. And the economic depression in France and Germany depressed the price of silver. This further increased the immigration to the United States, and to Chicago.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Lee's Place / Hardscrabble - The Bridgeport Neighborhood of Chicago

A settler, Charles Lee, had come to the Chicago area about 1804 with his family, and had preempted a large tract at what afterwards became Bridgeport.  Charles Lee owned a farm on the South Branch about four miles from its mouth; his house stood on the northwest side of the river in a grove and was first called "Lee's Place," and later "Hardscrabble."  Lee and his family built a residence near Fort Dearborn (the fort was built during the summer and fall of 1803) and were thus residents of Chicago very early. Farm products such as livestock and hay were known to be produced here.

At the time of the massacre of 1812 the families of Lee, Burns, Kinzie and Ouilmette, lived close to the fort. The Lee house at "Hardscrabble" was occupied by Lee's employees or tenants; Liberty White, a Frenchman named Debou, a discharged soldier named John Kelso (or Kelson), and a boy.

The massacre of 1812 was due the attack of the Indians at Lee's Place. On April 6, 1812, a party of ten or twelve Winnebagoes, dressed and painted, arrived at the house, and, according to the custom among savages, entered and seated themselves without ceremony.

Something in their appearance and manner excited the suspicions of Debou, who remarked, "I do not like the appearance of these Indians - they are none of our folks. I know by their dress and paint that they are not Pottowattamies."
Kelso then said to the boy who was present, "If that is the case, we had better get away from them if we can. Say nothing; but do as you see me do."
As the afternoon was far advanced, Kelso walked leisurely towards the canoes, of which there were two tied near the bank. Some of the Indians inquired where he was going. He pointed to the cattle which were standing among the haystacks on the opposite [right/south] bank, and made signs that they must go and fodder them, and then they should return and get their supper.
Kelso got into one canoe, and the boy into the other. The stream was narrow, and they were soon across. When they had gained the opposite side, they pulled some hay for the cattle - made a show of collecting them - and when they had gradually made a circuit, so that their movements were concealed by the haystacks, they took to the woods, which were close at hand, and made for the fort.
They had run about a quarter of a mile, when they heard the discharge of two guns successively, which they supposed to have been levelled at White and Debou that they had left behind. On their way to the fort they notified the family of Burns, living on the river at what is now North State Street, of their danger, and a squad of soldiers was sent to escort them to the fort.

All of the families gathered in the fort and the Indians left the neighborhood. Later, news reached the fort about White and Debou being stabbed, scalped, shot and mutilated.

This was the precursor to the Fort Dearborn Massacre later that summer. The Lee farm was abandoned following the Fort Dearborn massacre in August of 1812. While fur traders were thought to have still traversed the area, American activity did not resume until after federal troops returned (July 4, 1816) to rebuild Fort Dearborn.
1816 was also a new beginning for Lee's Place, though the name would be changed to Hardscrabble. Until roughly the Black Hawk War of 1832, Hardscrabble served as a fur trading outpost consisting of several cabins, a trading post, and a lodging house.

Mack & Conant, extensive merchants at Detroit, in the Indian trade, became the owners of this property about the year 1816. They sent Mr. John Craft with a large supply of Indian goods to take possession of it, and establish a branch of their house there, the principle object being to sell goods to such traders as they could residing throughout this country, without interfering with the interests of those traders who purchased goods from him.

Mr. Craft repaired the dilapidated building, adding thereto, and erecting others necessary for the convenience of business. He named it 'Hardscrabble;' whether he or someone else, it bore that name in 1818.

Chief Alexander Robinson owned a cabin at Hardscrabble, and several members of the La Framboise family, who were French-Indian, lived there. Robinson had put up the Galloway family at his cabin when they were coldly received by agents of the American Fur Company at Chicago in 1826. One of the girls of the family later became the wife of Archibald Clyborne. She recalled five or six cabins of the several persons living nearby.

Another early settler was Russell Heacock. He took up land on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River near what is today Thirty-Fifth Street. Heacock was staunchly independent, which is probably the reason he had moved to the Hardscrabble area in the first place. He found it necessary to move closer to Chicago so that his children could attend school, himself becoming one of Chicago's early school teachers. In spite of moving to Chicago, he retained his property on the South Fork. Heacock is notable for two other reasons. First, he was the sole dissenter when a vote was called to incorporate the Town of Chicago (1832). The second thing he was noted for was his promotion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Because funds to build the canal were scarce, a plan was devised to make it less expensive by reducing the intended depth of the canal. Russell Heacock was perhaps the most vocal proponent of the plan - which earned him the nickname of Shallow-Cut. Maybe he hated the nick name, but the shallow cut plan was ultimately successful.

Even before the canal construction was begun, Hardscrabble became the site of a quarry, which was opened in 1833 in order to cut stone needed to improve Chicago harbor. And because of the relentless pounding of Lake Michigan waters, the harbor improvement project dragged on for many years. Later the stone quarry became known as Stearns' Quarry. The opening of the quarry and the construction of the canal mark the transition from the frontier outpost of Hardscrabble to the Bridgeport that we know today.

What came to be known as the town of Bridgeport was platted by the canal commissioners in 1836; although it was not yet going by the name of Bridgeport. Canalport or (Canal Port) was platted by private interests in 1835 in one of the even-numbered sections not controlled by the canal commissioners. The beginnings of the settlement are somewhat obscure, since it is so old and because many of the records pertaining to that period, such as those kept by the county, burned in the Chicago Fire of 1871. The origin of the name Bridgeport is shrouded in myth, purportedly owing to a low bridge spanning one of the waterways which forced a transfer of cargo from larger to smaller vessels. Some sources say this bridge was "at Ashland avenue," others say "near Ashland avenue." It should be noted that here was no bridge at Ashland avenue, nor was there an 'Ashland avenue' per se.

The nearby named Canalport would also indicate that the site was foreseen as a cargo transfer point. The forks had already been marked as the 'Head of Navigation' in the 1821 survey. The bridge in question was presumably the bridge at the lock, located just to the east of future Ashland Avenue (also known early as Lisle or Reuben street north of the river). Aside from the bridge altogether, the narrow width of the canal lock made cargo transfer necessary. A very low bridge would have at the most compounded this fact, and if it were built low enough to impede traffic, the canal commissioners probably did so by design. The reason is simple; being that the commissioners held the land in the odd-numbered sections (here Section Twenty-nine), they naturally would prefer that the highest valued lots fall on canal lands rather than to those (like Canalport in Section Thirty) promoted by private speculators. According to Michael Conzen, this is what the commissioners were doing in places like Lockport (vying with Joliet) and La Salle (in competition with Peru).  The naming of Bridgeport probably had as much to do with the commissioners’ efforts to distinguish their platting from Canalport as it had with any physical bridge. Moreover, 1840 federal census information in A. T. Andreas' History of Cook County (1884) mentions the Bridgeport precinct of Cook County. There was no water in the canal at the time. In any event, whoever named it, Bridgeport became the real town, while Canalport remained a paper dream. A Street by the name of Canalport Avenue is the only remnant left of the "town."

Full Size Map: http://livinghistoryofillinois.com/images/Lees_Place_Map_1812.jpg
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
The Origin and Meaning of the Name Chicago.
The name Chicago is derived from the local Indian word chicagoua for the native garlic plant (not onion) Allium tricoccum. This garlic (in French: ail sauvage) grew in abundance on the south end of Lake Michigan on the wooded banks of the extensive river system which bore the same name, chicagoua. Father Gravier, a thorough student of the local Miami language, introduced the spelling chicagoua, or chicagou, in the 1690`s, attempting to express the inflection which the Indians gave to the last syllable of the word.
The French who began arriving here in 1673 were probably confused by the Indian use of this name for several rivers. They usually wrote it as Chicagou. Gradually other names were given to the streams composing this system: Des Plaines, Saganashkee (Sag), Calumet (Grand and Little), Hickory Creek, Guillory (for the north branch of the present Chicago River), and Chicago or Portage River (for the south branch). Students of early Chicago history likewise tend to get confused, unaware of these name changes, but early French maps and narratives, when carefully interpreted, make it possible to discover who and what was where, and when.
As a name for a place, as distinct from a river, Chicagou appears first in Chicagoumeman, the native name for the mouth of the present Chicago River, where Fort Dearborn was built in 1803. As a name for a place where people lived, the simple Chicagou was first used by the French about 1685 for a Jesuit mission and French army post at the site of Marquette`s 1675 camp along the south branch. This interpretation, and the etymology of the name Chicago, derive largely from the memoirs of Henri Joutel, the soldier-naturalist associate of La Salle on his fatal last journey, 1684-1687, to Texas. Joutel spent nearly three weeks in the Chicagou area in 1687-88, and one of his first investigations was into the origin of this name which he had heard from La Salle and many others. His detailed description of the plant, its "ail sauvage" taste, its differences from the native onion and its maple forest habitat, point unambiguously to Allium tricoccum.
English accounts tracing the name to a "wild onion" date from after 1800, when different groups of Indians, mainly Potawatomi, had displaced the original Miami. In the Potawatomi language, chicago meant both the native garlic and the wild onion.
The downtown Chicago or Fort Dearborn area, exposed to wind, weather and passing enemies, was not where the local Miami and other people lived when Frenchmen, led by Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, S.J., began arriving in 1673. In early 1675 Marquette found a group of Illinois merely camped there before setting out for the Green Bay area. The local population`s villages were scattered along rivers and streams in more sheltered environments. Archaeologists have identified dozens of places in the greater Chicago area where they lived, and a few were vaguely recorded by the early French.
Early French forts, camps and settlements, and one or two British army camps are also rather vaguely recorded and can only be approximately located by examination of many obscure pre-1800 maps and documents. The following represents an attempt to piece together all available clues and put these locations and people in a time series. In so doing, it will be necessary to correct some longstanding misconceptions, such as the customary labeling of Jean Baptiste Point de Sable as Chicago`s first permanent resident. This account, however, ends with the important figure of Point de Sable, because with him begins an era for which historical data are available in much greater abundance. Detail may be found in the encyclopedic entries of this website under the appropriate names, and in the chronology section under the dates given.
• Louis Jolliet, Jacques Marquette and five others; 1673 camp at western end of portage des chênes, marked by the Chicago Portage Historical site. Marquette`s party also camped here in March 1675.
• Louis Jolliet and associates, 1673-1675; two 1674 maps prepared under Jolliet`s direction allude to the explorations made during this period. Jolliet`s detailed rendering of the river system in the Chicago area and of the lower St. Joseph River indicate intimate knowledge of the terrain. During this time period, there were probably two building sites on the west bank of the Des Plaines (then Chicagou). One was probably at the mouth of the Tukoquenone (Du Page) River, the other opposite the mouth of Hickory Creek at Mont Jolliet in present Joliet. This distinctive alluvial mound, which the Indians called Missouratenoui (place where pirogues were dragged or portaged) was a prominent landmark for native and French travelers, as it was at the crossing of the major east-west Sauk trail. Marquette in early 1675 met two of Jolliet`s associates who were living and trading in this area: Pierre Moreau (La Taupine) and Jean Roussel or Rousseliere, the unnamed "surgeon" in Marquette`s journal.
• Jacques Marquette, S.J.; 1674-75. He and his two companions, the experienced voyageurs Jacques Largillier and Pierre Porteret, camped briefly near the mouth of the Chicago River, and in mid-January moved to a site on the south branch, probably selected as a result of 1673-74 explorations in the employ of La Salle, in which Largillier may have taken place.
• Claude Allouez, S.J.; 1677. He visited for several days at a native village somewhere along the Des Plaines, en route to the great Kaskaskia village opposite Starved Rock.
• La Salle`s employees; 1677-79. Two trading camps, probably both on Hickory Creek, perhaps near New Lenox. The surgeon Jean Roussel, who worked for La Salle in 1669 and again in 1677-80, may have been in both groups, because he knew the area from his 1673-75 experience. Assuming the same for Michel Accault (Aco) would explain the latter`s detailed knowledge of native traders, and of their territories and languages, as early as 1679-80. The 1677 trip produced the buffalo pelts which La Salle showed to Louis XIV in France the following winter. In 1678 the king gave La Salle control over the Illinois country and the rights to trade in buffalo, which were very abundant southward from Mont Jolliet and Hickory Creek. The 1678-79 trip produced a large quantity of beaver pelts which were taken to present Door County, Wisconsin, and loaded on the Griffon, which soon sank with great loss to La Salle`s creditors. La Salle seems to have traveled along Hickory Creek twice in 1680, on a route he had not previously seen. On his second trip he found a trace of earlier European presence, a bit of sawed wood.
• La Salle and party, January 1682. Camp along the west bank of the Des Plaines, en route to the mouth of the Mississippi River, probably at Mont Jolliet, opposite the mouth of what the chaplain, Father Zénobe Membré, called the Chicagou (Hickory Creek). They were waiting for a party of hunters who had separated from the main group after leaving the St. Joseph River. [Hickory Creek flows west from Skunk Grove in eastern Frankfort Township. Chicagoua is the Miami and Illinois word for skunk.]
• La Salle`s fort, 1683. Probably at the New Lenox site. In 1994 a team led by archaeologist Rochelle Lurie unearthed, in the midst of an extensive Indian settlement, a rectangular feature of apparently European origin. La Salle, in a letter from here (at the "portage de Chicagou") described it as being 30 leagues, about 72 miles, from his newly completed Fort St. Louis on Starved Rock and near a trail (Sauk) from the east. The actual river distance, measured on the plats of the 1822 U.S. Government surveys, is about 32 or 33 leagues. The west end of the portage des chênes, the only portage route seriously studied by historians in three centuries, was about ten leagues farther to the north, a route La Salle disliked.
• Jesuit mission and French army post, c.1685-86. Probably on the site of Marquette`s 1675 camp, about where Damen Avenue crosses the south branch of the Chicago River. Referred to by Joutel, who described the entire area and the maple forest where he found the native garlic, but not the mission and post which had probably been mostly destroyed by the Iroquois in July 1686. This site is probably the same one farmed 1809-1812 by James Leigh (often erroneously called Charles Lee), a retired sergeant of the Fort Dearborn garrison. In an 1811 letter to his commander-in-chief Col. Jacob Kingsbury, Leigh mentioned the maple-basswood forest here, a typical habitat of the native garlic, Allium tricoccum.
• French fort, commanded by Lt. Nicolas d`Ailleboust, sieur de Mantet, 1693-96. Probably at the mouth of the Grand Calumet River, then near present Gary, Indiana. The river is marked R. de Chicagou on the "Louvigny" map, which Mantet helped prepare in 1697. Mantet had been ordered to the region to quell Indian unrest in the St. Joseph River area. He and the garrison evacuated this post in May or June of 1696, pursuant to royal orders. This fort, which was erroneously placed in the Fort Dearborn area by the Treaty of Greenville, 1795, may be the same as the Petit Fort or "Little Fort" of various British and American accounts of 1779-c.1803, and the mythical progenitor of the later settlement at Waukegan.
• Jesuit Mission of the Guardian Angel, 1696-c.1702. Site of the Merchandise Mart. Headed by Father Pierre-François Pinet. Two large Miami villages were nearby.
• Trading post of Tonti, Accault and La Forêt, managed by Pierre de Liette, Tonti`s cousin, 1697-c.1702. Near site of Tribune Tower. Was probably discontinued with the establishment of Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit by Cadillac.
• Trading post owned by Simon Guillory of Michilimackinac, manager not known; c.1716-[?]. Opposite Merchandise Mart on the west bank of the north branch of the Chicago River, which was still called Guillory River in 1824 and 1830. Gurdon Hubbard described the site as it appeared in 1818, sometime after it had been vacated by French traders forced out of business by the American Fur Company. Guillory`s father, also Guillory, was a trader to the Great Lakes as early as 1683.
• British trading post, 1782-83. Probably that of Jean Baptiste Gaffé, somewhere along the Chicago River. This may have been where Mme Rocheblave, wife of British commandant, took refuge with their children on her way to Quebec after he was arrested at Fort de Chartres and imprisoned at Williamsburg and New York. Her sister was the widow of Prisque Pagé, prominent Kaskaskia merchant and mill owner, whose family name became attached to the Du Page River and the village, now called Channahon at its mouth.
• Farm of Jean Baptiste Point de Sable, c.1784-1800. Near site of Tribune Tower; later `owned` by John Kinzie.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

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S. Rosen's Baking Company, 5001 West Polk Street, Chicago, Illinois
S. Rosen’s was founded in Chicago in 1909 by Sam Rosen, who left his home in Poland at age 9 to become an apprentice baker in Germany. Rosen came to the U.S. at age 13, opened his own bakery in New York at 16, and helped organize the first bakers’ union in that city. That activity cost him the hearing in one ear when a strikebreaker hit him over the head.
He moved to Chicago in his early 20s, purchased a small bakery on Chicago’s Northwest side called the New York Baking Company, and introduced Rosen’s now-famous rye bread to the Windy City. The bread used to be delivered unwrapped before dawn by horse and buggy, and placed in wooden breadboxes that were situated outside grocery stores.
Rosen's has continues to be part of Chicago and the Rosen family. Don Rosen, the son of founder Sam Rosen, joined the company in 1945 and took the reins after his father retired. Steve Rosen, Don’s son, joined in 1974 and today serves as Vice President and General Manager. Steven A. Rosen retained his position as Vice President and  General Manager when Alpha Baking Company purchased Rosen's in 1981. One of Steve's brothers, Michael, was the company’s Director of Human Resources.
In 1981, Alpha Baking Company purchased S. Rosen’s Baking Company, a Chicago staple and baker of Jewish hearth rye breads and variety rolls. Back in 1979, Alpha Baking bought Mary Ann Baking Company, famous for "The Chicago Hot Dog Bun".
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

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Bunker Hill, Illinois Tornado of 1948.

Bunker Hill, Illinois - This community of about 1,700 in southern Macoupin County has seen its share of high wind in the last century.

The town was spared devastation during the tornado of 1925, which killed 540 people in southern Illinois. Bunker Hill was hit in 1928, but only a few buildings lost roofs. Then in 1958, five of the town’s half-dozen churches were either demolished or damaged by a tornado that did an estimated $250,000 in damage, which is nearly $3.8 million in today’s money.

Then came the tornado on March 19, 1948. It killed 19 people and injured 126.  

Almost every structure in Bunker Hill was destroyed, only two buildings were left standing, by the tornado that arrived shortly before 7 a.m. With so many men recently home from World War II, comparisons to bombed-flat European cities were understandable.

Wayne Heal, then a senior in high school, remembers racing into town with his father from the family farm five miles away. They were worried about Heal’s grandparents. They couldn’t get past the edge of town, owing to bricks in the streets.

“An average of three feet deep,” Heal said. “We went through about three blocks of that, altogether.”

The roof of his grandparents’ home was gone. So was the entire north side of the house, Heal said. But his grandmother and grandfather were fine.

That was largely a matter of luck. Nothing fell on them, and a 2-by-6 board that went through a kitchen window and embedded itself in a wall missed everyone.

“It went in deep enough that it was suspended there, like you’d driven a nail,” Heal recalled. “If that had caught anybody, it would have cut their head off.”

Carolyn Scroggins was working as a clerk in St. Louis when she heard the news and jumped on a bus.

“On the way home, the traffic was just car after car after car, going very slowly all the way to Bunker Hill,” Scroggins said. “People were going there for sightseeing. It took us nearly all day before we finally got home to Bunker Hill.”

Her future husband, Glenn, had already started helping with cleanup, despite a piece of glass in his eye.

“He got his clothes on, he says in about three seconds, then started uptown,” Scroggins said. “As he went uptown, there was a lady lying in the middle of the street without any clothes on, so he covered her with his raincoat.”

The woman was dead, Scroggins said. But others were more fortunate.

In the disaster’s wake, Scroggins said, townfolk began wondering about an infant girl found alive in the debris of a demolished house. Her mother, father, brother and sister were all dead, leaving her alone in the world at just 6 months old. The family had lived in Bunker Hill for fewer than five years and wasn’t well known, she said.

“I bet you that’s been one of the most-asked questions: Whatever happened to her?” Scroggins said.

Last fall, Scroggins got her answer when someone from the local library called: There’s a woman here who says she was a baby when the tornado hit, and she wants to see pictures. Scroggins, who is president of the Bunker Hill Historical Society, knew exactly who the librarian was talking about.

“I said, ‘Oh my goodness!’” Scroggins said. “We ran to the museum.”

The woman had been taken in by an aunt and raised in southern Illinois.

“She was a delightful person,” Scroggins said. “She was like a ray of sunshine.”
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

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Feedback and suggestions would be helpful.
Welcome to the Digital Library of the Living History of Illinois and Chicago® Community.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

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LOST TOWNS OF ILLINOIS: Town of Brownsville, Illinois

The Town of Brownsville, Illinois, was established in 1816. Doctor Conrad Will "Father of Jackson County" offered to donate twenty acres near his salt works on the Big Muddy as a town site. His offer was accepted, thus Brownsville was founded. It was not a favorable location for a town being that it was off the main trail and difficult to reach. Nevertheless, regardless of this handicap, it was a lively place for years. Brownsville was said to be the third largest town in Illinois.

Brownsville was the first county seat of Jackson County from 1817 until 1843 when the Brownsville’s court house burned down on the night of January 10, 1843, the twenty-seventh anniversary of the birth of the county. Very few records were saved from the flames. This is the reason that so few records of Brownsville’s pioneer days exist.
Brownsville continued to flourish until about 1835, when it began to decline. There were several reasons for this. Doctor Will, its leading citizen, died the previous year and his various enterprises ceased operation. People began settling in the northern and western portions of the county and they demanded a more central county seat.

After the destruction of the court house in 1843, Doctor Logan offered to donate twenty acres as an inducement to relocate the county seat on his farm in Shieldsboro, Illinois (which change names to Murphys Borough), now where Murphysboro stands. His offer was accepted and the new town was started. Many citizens of Brownsville moved to Murphysboro, some of them razing their buildings and moving them to the new location. Other buildings were bought by various persons and removed from the Brownsville location.
Thus, in a few years the town had vanished.

By referring to a map of Jackson county, it will be noted that the Big Muddy river swings northwestward at Murphysboro, flowing in that direction some two or three miles, then swerves slightly to the southwest for a considerable distance. It was on this stretch of the river that Brownsville was located, on the north bank of the stream, on the dividing line of sections two and three, Sand Ridge township, about five miles west of Murphysboro. Route 149 now passes within a short distance of the historic spot.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
LOST TOWNS OF ILLINOIS: Village of Tessville, Illinois.

Potawatomi originally settled this wooded area, but vacated the land after the Indian Boundary Treaty of 1816. Rural development proceeded slowly on treacherous plank roads along present-day Milwaukee and Lincoln Avenues. Johann Tess, for whom the village of Tessville was originally named, and his family came from Germany in 1856, purchasing 30 acres of barren land in the area. Population slowly increased, and the first commercial establishment, the Halfway House Saloon, was established in 1873.

The agrarian population grew after the establishment of a Chicago & North Western Railway station in nearby Skokie in 1891 and the completion of the North Shore Channel in 1909, which made the easily flooded prairie land manageable. More saloons and taverns soon appeared, specifically along Crawford and Lincoln Avenues. Because only organized municipalities could grant liquor licenses, 359 residents incorporated in 1911 and named the village Tessville.

Tessville annexed land throughout the 1920s, finally stretching to Central Avenue on the west and Kedzie Avenue on the east. During Prohibition, Tessville became a haven for speakeasies and gambling facilities. Tessville was long reputed for drinking and gambling until the 1931 election of its longest-serving mayor, Henry A. Proesel, a grandson of George Proesel, one of the original American settlers. In 1932, Lincoln Avenue, formerly a plank toll road, became a state highway. Proesel then worked with the federal government's Public Works Administration and hired the community's entire unemployed workforce to plant 10,000 elm trees on the village streets. Most important, the community passed a liquor license law in1934 that limited the number of licenses allowable within the city limits and became a model ordinance for other communities. Proesel finally changed Tessville's image when he renamed the village “Lincolnwood” in 1936.

Today, Lincolnwood, Illinois is a two-and-a-half-square-mile suburb of Chicago.
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Neil Gale (Ph.D.)

Photographs & History  - 
Cicero, Illinois race riot of 1951
Be sure to read the news clipping image.

The Cicero race riot of 1951 occurred July 11–12, 1951, when a mob of 4,000 whites attacked an apartment building that housed a single black family in the neighborhood.

In early June 1951, Mrs. DeRose, who owned an apartment building at 6139–42 W. 19th Street in Cicero, got into a controversy with her tenants and was ordered to refund a portion of the rent. Afterwards, out of anger and/or profit, she rented an apartment to Harvey E. Clark Jr., an African-American World War II veteran and graduate of Fisk University, and his family in an all-white neighborhood. A high Cicero official learned that an African-American family was moving into a Cicero apartment and warned Mrs. DeRose that there would be "trouble" if he moved in.

At 2:30 pm, on June 8, a moving van containing $2000 worth of Clark's furniture was stopped by the police. The rental agent was ushered out with a drawn revolver at his back. A jeering crowd gathered and Clark was told by the police to get out or he would be arrested "for protective custody." A detective warned Clark that, "I'll bust your damned head if you don't move." At 6:00 pm, Clark was grabbed by 20 police officers. The chief of police told him, "Get out of here fast. There will be no moving into this building." Clark was hit eight times as he was pushed towards a car which was parked across the street and was shoved inside the car. The police told him, "Get out of Cicero and don't come back in town or you'll get a bullet through you."

A suit was filed by the NAACP against the Cicero Police Department on June 26, and the Clark family moved in.

With the Clarks now living in the apartment, word was passed along that there would be "fun" at the apartment. On July 11, 1951, at dusk, a crowd of 4,000 whites attacked the apartment building that housed Clark's family and possessions. Only 60 police officers were assigned to the scene and did little to control the rioting. Women carried stones from a nearby rock pile to bombard Clark's windows. Another tossed firebrands onto the window and onto the rooftop of the building which 21 family members fled before the rioting. The mob also destroyed a bathtub, woodworks, plaster, doors, windows, and set fires to the place. Most of the whites who joined in the rioting were teenagers. Firemen who rushed to the building were met with showers of bricks and stones from the mob. Sheriff's deputies asked the firemen to turn their hoses on the rioters, who refused to do so without their lieutenant, who was unavailable. The situation appeared to be out of control and County Sheriff John E. Babbs asked Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson to send in the Illinois National Guard. As troops arrived at the scene, the rioters fought with them. Armed with bayonets, rifle butts, and tear gas, the troops ended the riot by setting a 300-yard perimeter around the apartment block in which the rioting was in progress. By July 14, most of the violence had ended. When the riot was over, $20,000 in damage had been done to the building.

The Cook County grand jury failed to indict any of the accused rioters, instead indicting Clark's attorney from the NAACP, the owner of the apartment building, and the owner's rental agent and lawyer on charges of inciting a riot and conspiracy to damage property. The charges were dropped after widespread criticism.

A federal grand jury then indicted four Cicero officials and three police officers on charges of violating Clark's rights in connection with the race riots after the United States Attorney General launched an investigation of the incident. Charges were dropped against the fire chief, whose firefighters refused to direct their water hoses at the rioters when requested by the police, and the town's president. The police chief and two police officer were fined a total of $2,500 for violating Clark's civil rights. The federal prosecution was hailed as a courageous achievement, since it was rare that civil rights in housing had stirred action by federal officials.

The Cicero Race Riot of 1951 lasted several nights, involved two- to five thousand white rioters, and received worldwide condemnation. It was the first race riot to be broadcast on local television. Most viewed the rioting in Cicero from the comfort of their living rooms on television sets before they read it in the papers. The press in the 1940s Chicago housing attacks was largely ignored, but when the eruption occurred in Cicero in 1951, it brought worldwide condemnation for the first time and a dramatic climax to an era of large-scale residential change. The black population continued to increase in Chicago despite the incident, and the Chicago Housing Authority reported a decrease in the number of black families requesting police protection. Although the housing assaults did not end, they became less frequent than in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
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I grew up in Cicero never heard of a race riot.
thanks for the post.
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