End of Strange Romance (1902)

The marriage of John M. CURRIER of Valparaiso, Ind., and Mrs. Laura M. MORSE of Chicago was the final act in an unusual romance.

The groom is an old and prominent resident of that city. He was divorced from his bride more than forty years ago.  He is 79 years old and she is 72.  Both have grown children from marriages subsequent to their separation. She stayed at their family home, while he stayed on those vacation rentals houses until he find something more permanent.

Source: The Polk County News (Columbus, NC), 27 February 1902. Available on DigitalNC.org.

1940s Pictures of Chicago

Photos from the collection of Hubert and Hildred Hitzelburger. Contributed by family member A. Wilkinson.  Click on each image for a bigger view.



Lake Forester Newspapers Online: 1899-1940

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune highlights the availability of historical digitized issues of the Lake Forester Newspaper (Lake County, IL) now online! The issues span 1899-1940 and should be of great interest to anyone with Cook County connections. 


1899 issue of the Lake Forester newspaper

Lake County borders Cook County on the north side and with this 40-years span of historical newspapers, there is a treasure trove waiting to be explored for Cook County citizens.  You can access the issues on the website of the Lake Forest Library and you can read more about the project at the Chicago Tribune website

1906 Cook County Specimen Ballot


Republican Ticket
Sheriff: Christopher Strassheim; County Treasurer: John R. Thompson; County Clerk: Joseph F. Haas; Clerk Probate Court: Guy Guernsey; Clerk Criminal Court: A.J. Harris; County Superintendent of Schools: Augustus F. Nightingale; Members Board of Assessors (2 to be elected): August W. Miller, Walter E. Schmidt; Member Board of Review: Fred W. Upham; President Board of County Commissioners: Edward J. Brundage; County Commissioners (10 to be elected): Edward J. Brundage, Louis H. Mack, William J. Umbach, Oscar De Priest, Carl R. Chindblom, Albert G. Lanto, Max Blumenfeld, W. Schrojda, Joseph J. Elias, Joseph M. Dennis; Trustees Sanitary District (3 to be elected): Edward I. Williams, Adolph Bergman, Thomas J. Healy; Clerk Municipal Court: Homer G. Galpin

Democrat Ticket
Sheriff: Harry R. Gibbons; County Treasurer: Ernst Hummel; County Clerk: George L. McConnell; Clerk Probate Court: John W. Farley; Clerk Criminal Court: William J. Krueger; County Superintendent of Schools: G. Charles Griffiths; Members Board of Assessors (2 to be elected): A.W. Schwane, C.R. Walleck; Member Board of Review: Thomas J. Webb; President Board of County Commissioners: John Minwegen; County Commissioners (10 to be elected): John Minwegen, James C. Denvir, Jacob A. Mueller, James J. Lyons, George Sultan, Leonard D. O’Hara, Albert Rose, Joseph A. Swift, H.A. Quinn, Thomas Blake; Trustees Sanitary District (3 to be elected): William Gleeson, Laurence J. Coffey, Ross C. Hall; Clerk Municipal Court: Michael Zimmer

Prohibition Ticket
Sheriff: S. Allen Wilson; County Treasurer: John Whitson; County Clerk: David B. Decker; Clerk Probate Court: Nicholas Ozinga; Clerk Criminal Court: Harry B. Shewell; County Superintendent of Schools: John W. Troeger; Members Board of Assessors (2 to be elected): William Kennedy, Frank L. Malmstedt; Member Board of Review: Edmund F. Woodruff; President Board of County Commissioners: Samuel T. Jacobs; County Commissioners (10 to be elected): Samuel T. Jacobs, John C. McCutchen, Christian J. Wernet, Charles Schoenlaub, Carl E. Johnson, Joseph F. O’Neal, Frederick J. Nauta, George Haverkamp, E.L. Griffith, Frank Engel; Trustees Sanitary District (3 to be elected): Edwin F. Walker, Louis C. Proesch, Edwin Burke; Clerk Municipal Court: N/A

Source: Winchell, S R. A Civic Manual for Chicago, Cook County and Illinois ; Containing a Brief Account of Their History and Exhibiting Their Geographical, Political, Educational, Industrial, and Commercial Features. Chicago : Flanagan, 1910.; page 262.

The First Schools in Chicago (1910)

Previous to 1844, sixty-five years ago, the city did not own a single school building, and not until 1856 was there any kind of high school.  In the fall of 1843 the Chicago Female Seminary was opened on Clark Street, between Madison and Monroe, by Dr. Abner W. HENDERSON

In 1844 the University of St. Mary’s of the Lake was founded by the Roman Catholic Church, under the immediate direction of Bishop William Quarter.  This school was opened in 1846 in St. Mary’s Church, which stood at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street.  In 1867 this institution was abandoned and the building which it occupied was given up to the St. Joseph Orphan Asylum. 

Several private and semi-public schools had been taught in previous years, and money had been appropriated from the school fund in 1834 to aid in maintaining a school in the Presbyterian Church which stood on the west side of Clark Street between Lake and Rudolph.  This school was taught by Miss Eliza CHAPPEL, who that year married Jeremiah PORTER, the first pastor of a church in Chicago.  He had organized the first Presbyterian Church in the fort the year before.  The public meetings of the society were held over Peck’s store, on the southeast corner of Lake and Water Streets. 

A school in the Baptist Church on Water Street, near Franklin, the same year, was called a public school; also, in 1835, a school on the north side of the river was called a public school.  There were seven schools, public and private, in the town that year. 

When Chicago became a city, in 1837, the members of the Common Council were made Commissioners of Schools for the city.  They elected ten School Inspectors. 

In 1839 the legislature passed a special act which placed the schools on a permanent and self-supporting basis.  In November, 1840, free public schools were permanently established and a Board of Inspectors was organized.  The salary of each of the four male teachers employed that year was $33.33 a month. 

In 1844 the first public-school house was erected, on Madison Street, between Dearborn and State, and this building was standing there when the great fire of 1871 consumed all that part of the city. 

In 1846 there were three male teachers and six female teachers; in 1851 four male teachers and twenty female teachers. 

Source: Winchell, S R. A Civic Manual for Chicago, Cook County and Illinois ; Containing a Brief Account of Their History and Exhibiting Their Geographical, Political, Educational, Industrial, and Commercial Features. Chicago : Flanagan, 1910.; pages 26-27. 

Editorial Note: the date of marriage for Eliza & Jeremiah is incorrect. Ms. Porter’s personal memoir provides evidence that they were married in 1835.  

Rush University Yearbooks, 1971-2014


Recently added to the Internet Archive are yearbooks from Rush Medical College (& now Rush University) spanning 1971-2014.  These volumes include both the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.  Not all the publications are yearbooks, some annual picture books are included too.

It’s definitely worth checking out if you know of anyone who attended the school. You can see them here.


Schweristhal Starts Bank (1889)

Mr. Michael SCHWEISTHAL, long and favorably known as cashier of the International bank, and later as cashier of the Fort Dearborn National Bank, has gone into business for himself, under the firm name of “Michael SCHWEISTHAL & Co, bankers.”  Mr. SCHWEISTHAL has been connected with the banking business all of his life.  He has always been careful, honest and trustworthy, and his host of friends wish him that success which he will surely attain.

Source: Chicago Eagle, 12 October 1889, page 4. Available at Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

O’ROURKE, John – (d. 1877)

The body of John O’Rourke, the brave fireman who lost his life at the fire at Field and Leiter’s Wednesday night, was yesterday buried at Calvary Cemetery.  Long before the hour appointed a large crowd gathered outside the late residence of the deceased,on the corner of Maxwell and Jefferson streets and by 10 o’clock there were fully 2,000 persons present.  The fullest sympathy was expressed for the unfortunate widow and her fatherless children.

At 10 o’clock a detail of 84 firemen with Marshall Sweeney in charge assisted by Marshalls Kenney and Green, took up their positions in the line.  Major Nevan’s band led the procession, which was of considerable length. The many friends of the deceased turning out to pay their last respect to his remains.  The procession moved on Jefferson to Nineteenth Street and thence west to the Church of the Sacred Heart, corner of Johnson Street, where Father Corbett performed a requiem high mass.

The services lasted about an hour, the officiating priest making a brief address in which he dwelt upon the bravery of the deceased and reminded his bearers that death must come to all.  O’Rourke died in the discharge of his duty, and although, his fate was dreadful one, they should all remember that a better life awaited him.

At the conclusion of the services, the procession reformed and marched on Halstead to Harrison, thence east to Desplaines and then north to the Kinzie Street Depot of the Northwestern Railroad where the coffin was transferred to one of the cars, but as the road is extensive and have several curves, many of this services count with road risks insurance to prevent and get aid in case of any eventuality.  Many of the friends accompanied the body to Calvary Cemetery.  There were about 40 carriages in the procession and several hundreds who could not afford the expense of a vehicle accompanied the cortege to the depot.  The appearance of the firemen was highly commended, their marching being excellent.

Source: Chicago Daily Tribune 18 November 1877 page 8

Contributed by Liz Randolph