1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chicago
CHICAGO, a city, a port of entry and the county-seat of Cook county, Illinois, U.S.A., the second city of the United States in population, commerce and manufactures; pop. (1900) 1,698,575; and (1910) 2,185,283. It is situated at the south-west corner of Lake Michigan (lat. 41° 50', long. 87° 38' W.), about 913 m. distant by railway from New York, 912 m. from New Orleans, 2265 m. from Los Angeles, and 2330 m. from Seattle. The climate is very changeable and is much affected by the lake; changes of more than thirty degrees in temperature within 24 hours are not at all rare, and changes of twenty are common. The city is the greatest railway centre of the United States, and was for several decades practically the only commercial outlet of the great agricultural region of the northern Mississippi Valley. Trunk lines reach E. to Montreal, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore (the nearest point on the Atlantic coast, 854 m.); S. to Charleston, Savannah, Florida, Mobile, New Orleans, Port Arthur and Galveston; W. to the Pacific at Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, and to most of these by a variety of routes. In 1905 about 14% of the world's railway mileage centred in Chicago.
With its suburbs Chicago stretches along the shore of Lake Michigan about 40 m. (the city proper 26.5), and the city in 1910 had a total area of 191.4 sq. m. It spreads loosely and irregularly backward from the lake over a shallow alluvial basin, which is rimmed to the W. by a low moraine water-parting that separates the drainage of the lake from that of the Mississippi Valley. The city site has been built up out of the “Lake Chicago” of glacial times, which exceeded in size Lake Michigan. Three lakes—Calumet, 3122 acres; Hyde; and part of Wolf—with a water-surface of some 4100 acres, lie within the municipal limits. The original elevation of what is now the business heart of the city was only about 7 ft. above the lake, but the level was greatly raised—in some places more than 10 ft.—over a large area, between 1855 and 1860. The West Side, especially in the north-west near Humboldt Park, is much higher (extreme 75 ft.). A narrow inlet from the lake, the Chicago river, runs W. from its shore about a mile, dividing then into a north and a south branch, which run respectively to the N.W. and the S.W., thus cutting the city into three divisions known as the North, the West and the South “Sides,” which are united by three car-tunnels beneath the river as well as by the bridges across it. The river no longer empties into Lake Michigan since the completion of the drainage canal. Its commercial importance is very great: indeed it is probably the most important non-tidal stream of its length in the world, or if it be regarded as a harbour, one of the greatest; the tonnage of its yearly commerce far exceeds that of the Suez Canal and almost equals the tonnage of the foreign trade (the domestic excluded) of the Thames or the Mersey. The increase in size of the newer freighters that ply on the Great Lakes has proved one serious difficulty, and the bridges and the river tunnels, which hinder the deeper cutting of the channel, are others. The improvement of the outer harbour by the national government was begun in 1833. Great breakwaters protect the river mouth from the silting shore currents of the lake and afford secure shelter in an outer roadstead from its storms, and there is a smaller inner-basin (about 450 acres, 16 ft. depth) as well. But the river itself which has about 15 m. of navigable channel, in part lined with docks, is the most important part of the harbour. Its channel has been repeatedly deepened, and in recent years—especially since 1896, after its control as a navigable stream passed (1890) to the federal government—widened and straightened by the removal of jutting building constructions along its shores. Grain elevators of enormous size, coal yards, lumber yards and grimy warehouses or factories crowd close upon it. The shipping facilities on the river are not so good in some ways, however, as on the Calumet in southeastern (or South) Chicago, whither there has been a strong movement of manufactures and heavy commerce.
The plan of the city is in general “regular,” i.e. rigidly rectangular, and the streets are in general wide. The evenness of the plain has saved Chicago from most of the vast expense incurred by some American cities (notably Boston and San Francisco) in the extension or levelling of their sites and the removal of obstructions unfavourable to their development. The business district is concentrated in a small area of the South Side, just below the main river and between the south branch and the lake. A number of the railway terminals, almost all the great wholesale and retail houses, the leading hotels and public buildings are crowded within an area of about 1.5 sq. m. The congestion of the streets—considerably lessened since the freight-subways have reduced the amount of heavy trucking—is proportionately great, and their din and crush is characteristic of the city. The residential districts, on the other hand, are unevenly and loosely spread; many areas well within the city are only sparsely settled. A belt of “bad lands”—occupied by factories, shanties, &c.—partially surrounds the best business district. The smoke resulting from the use of soft coal has given a drab and dingy colour- tone to the buildings. The low and even relief of the site and the long vistas of the streets do not lend themselves to the picturesque; yet this quality may be claimed for the high and broken skyline, varied colour, massiveness, bustle and impressive commercialism of the business district. Chicago is generally credited with being the original home of the steel-frame “sky-scraper,” though there are now higher buildings elsewhere in America. The unstable soil of sand, clay and boulders that underlies the city is unfavourable to tall constructions, and necessitates extraordinary attention to foundations. The bed-rock lies, on an average, 50 ft. below the level of the lake (in places more than a hundred). To the rock the foundations are often sunk in caissons, the buildings resting on monster columns of concrete and steel. In other cases great “pads” of the same materials, resting or “floating” upon the clay, sustain and distribute the weight of the building. The small extent of the business quarter adds to the effect of its tall structures. The Auditorium (1889; cost, $3,500,000), a huge building containing a hotel and a theatre (5000 seats), is one of the most massive commercial structures of the country. The Masonic Temple (cost, $3,000,000) is the tallest in the city (302 ft.). In 1909 there were some 475 structures ten or more storeys high. Not a few are noteworthy, whether for size—as the Monadnock office building of 16 storeys, with some 6000 occupants, and the new Northwestern Railway station; or for the luxury of their interior fittings—as the La Salle, Blackstone and Sherman hotels; or for boldness and originality in the treatment of the steel-frame type; or for association with the city’s life—as the Fine Arts building, given over to varied purposes of public amusement and artistic or intellectual improvement, or the Railway Exchange (cased in tiles), the University Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade; and many others are handsome and dignified examples of architecture. The Marquette building, consistently and handsomely decorated with works of art, is one of the finest office-buildings in the country. There are a number of enormous retail stores. The largest, and one of the finest in the world, is that of Marshall Field. The wholesale establishment of the same firm is the work of H. H. Richardson, considered one of his best, and one of the most admirable examples among American commercial buildings. The city hall and county court house (cost, $4,500,000) is an enormous double building in a free French Renaissance style, with columned façades. The new Federal building (finished in 1905; cost, $4,750,000) is a massive edifice (a low rectangle surmounted by a higher inner cross and crowned with a dome). The public library (1893–1897, $2,125,000), constructed of dark granite and limestone, with rich interior decorations of varied frescoes, mosaics, ornamental bronze and iron-work, and mottoes, is one of the handsomest libraries of the country. The Chicago Art Institute (1892–1893; Italian Renaissance), the Chicago Orchestra building (1904), and the Commercial National Bank, are also noteworthy. The finest residence streets are the Lake Shore Drive of the North Side and the “boulevards”—broad parkways that connect the parks of the city—of which Michigan Avenue, Drexel and Grand are the finest. The city’s environs are not of particular beauty, but there are bluffs on the lake to the north, and woods to the south-west, and a fair variety of pretty hill and plain; and though the Calumet and Chicago rivers have been given over to commerce, the valley of the Desplaines will be preserved in the park system. On the South Side are the Union Stockyards, established in 1865, by far the largest in the world. They cover about 500 acres, have about 45 m. of feeding and watering troughs, and can accommodate at one time more than 400,000 hogs, cattle, sheep and horses.
Public Works and Communications.—Local transit is provided for by the suburban service of the steam railways, elevated electric roads, and a system of electric surface cars. Two great public works demand notice: the water system and the drainage canal. Water is pumped from Lake Michigan through several tunnels connecting with “cribs” located from 2 to 5 m. from shore. The “cribs” are heavy structures of timber and iron loaded with stone and enclosing the in-take cylinders, which join with the tunnels well below the bottom of the lake. The first tunnel was completed in 1867. The capacity of the tunnels was estimated in 1900 by two very competent authorities at 528 and 615 million gallons daily, respectively. The average daily supply in 1909 was 475,000,000 gallons; there were then 16.6 m. of tunnels below the lake. The wastes of the city—street washings, building sewage, the offal of slaughter-houses, and wastes of distilleries and rendering houses—were originally turned into the lake, but before 1870 it was discovered that the range of impurity extended already a mile into the lake, half-way to the water “crib,” and it became evident that the lake could not be indefinitely contaminated. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, for which the right of way was granted in 1821 and which was built in 1836–1841 and 1845–1848, and opened in 1848 (cost, $6,557,681), was once thought to have solved the difficulty; it is connected with the main (southern) branch of the Chicago river, 5 m. from its mouth, with the Illinois river at La Salle, the head of steamer navigation on the Illinois river, and is the natural successor in the evolution of transportation of the old Chicago portage, ½ m. in length, between the Chicago river and the headwaters of the Kankakee; it was so deepened as to draw water out from the lake, whose waters thus flowed toward the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 96 m. long, 40-42 ft. wide, and 4-7 ft. deep, but proved inadequate for the disposal of sewage. A solution of the problem was imperative by 1876, but almost all the wastes of the city continued nevertheless to be poured into the lake. In 1890 a sanitary district, including part of the city and certain suburban areas to be affected, was organized, and preparations made for building a greater canal that should do effectively the work it was once thought the old canal could do. The new drainage canal, one of the greatest sanitary works of the world, constructed between 1892 and 1900 under the control of the trustees of the Sanitary District of Chicago (cost up to 1901, $35,448,291), joins the south branch of the Chicago with the Desplaines river, and so with the Illinois and Mississippi, and is 28.5 m. long, of which 15 m. were cut through rock; it is 22 ft. deep and has a minimum width of 164 ft. The canal, or sewer, is flushed with water from Lake Michigan, and its waters are pure within a flow of 150 m. Its capacity, which was not at first fully utilized, is 600,000 cub. ft. per minute, sufficient entirely to renew the water of the Chicago river daily. A system of intercepting sewers to withdraw drainage into the lake was begun in 1898; and the construction of a canal to drain the Calumet region was begun in 1910. The Illinois and Michigan canal is used by small craft, and the new drainage canal also may be used for shipping in view of the Federal government’s improvements of the rivers connecting it with the Mississippi for the construction of a ship-canal for large vessels. The canal also made possible the development (begun in 1903) of enormous hydraulic power for the use of the city. The Illinois and Michigan Canal has been supplemented by the Illinois and Mississippi Canal, commonly known as “the Hennepin,” from its starting at the great bend of the Illinois river 1¾ m. above Hennepin, not far below La Salle; the first appropriation for it was made in 1890, and work was begun in 1892 and completed in October 1907. Its course from Hennepin is by the Bureau Creek valley to the mouth of Queen river on the Rock river, thence by the Rock river and a canal around its rapids at Milan to its mouth at Rock Island on the Mississippi river. This barge canal is 80 ft. wide at water-line, 52 ft. wide at the bottom, and 7 ft. deep. Its main feeder is the Rock river, dammed by a dam nearly 1500 ft. long between Sterling and Rock Falls, Illinois, where the opening of the canal was celebrated on the 24th of October 1907.
Beginning with 1892 steam railways began the elevation (or depression) of their main tracks, of which there were in 1904 some 838 m. within the city. Another great improvement was begun in 1901 by a private telephone company. This is an elaborate system of freight subways, more than 65 m. of which, underlying the entire business district, had been constructed before 1909. It is the only subway system in the world that seeks to clear the streets by the lessening of trucking, in place of devoting itself to the transportation of passengers. Direct connexion is made with the freight stations of all railways and the basements of important business buildings, and coal, building materials, ashes and garbage, railway luggage, heavy mail and other kinds of heavy freight are expeditiously removed and delivered. Telegraph and telephone wires are carried through the tunnel, and can be readily repaired. The subway was opened for partial operation in 1905.
Parks.—The park system may be said to have been begun in 1869, and in 1870 aggregated 1887 acres. Chicago then acquired the name of “The Garden City,” which still clings to her. But many other cities have later passed her (until in 1904, though the second largest of the country, she ranked only thirty-second in her holdings of park area per capita among American cities of 100,000 population). In 1908 the acreage of the municipal parks was 3179 acres, and there were 61.4 m. of boulevards. After 1900 another period of ambitious development began. The improvement of old and the creation of new “internal” parks, i.e. within the cordon of those older parks and boulevards that once girdled the city but have been surrounded in its later growth; the creation of a huge metropolitan ring—similar to that of Boston but vaster (35,000 acres)—of lake bluffs, hills, meadows, forests and river valley; and a great increase of “neighbourhood parks” in the poor districts, are included in the new undertakings. The neighbourhood park, usually located near a school, is almost all-inclusive in its provision for all comers, from babyhood to maturity, and is open all day. There are sand gardens and wading ponds and swings and day nurseries, gymnasiums, athletic fields, swimming pools and baths, reading-rooms—generally with branches of the city library—lunch counters, civic club rooms, frequent music, assembly halls for theatricals, lectures, concerts, or meetings, penny savings banks, and in the winter skating ponds. These social centres have practically all been created since about 1895. There are also municipal baths on the lake front and elsewhere. The older parks include several of great size and beauty. Lincoln Park (area 552 acres), on the lake shore of the North Side, has been much enlarged by an addition reclaimed from the lake. It has fine monuments, conservatories, the only zoological garden in the city, and the collections of the Academy of Sciences. A breakwater carriage drive connects with a boulevard to Fort Sheridan (27 m.) up the lake. Jackson Park (542 acres), on the lake shore of the South Side, was the main site of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and contains the Field Columbian Museum, occupying the art building of the exposition. It is joined with Washington Park (371 acres) by the Midway Plaisance, a wide boulevard, intended to be converted into a magnificent sunken water-course connecting the lagoons of the two parks with Lake Michigan. Along the Midway are the greystone buildings of the University of Chicago, and of its (Blaine) School of Education. On the West Side are three fine parks—Douglas, Garfield (with a fine conservatory), and Humboldt, which has a remarkable rose garden (respectively 182, 187 and 206 acres), and in the extreme South Side several others, including Calumet (66 acres), by the lake side, and Marquette (322 acres). Jackson Boulevard, Western Avenue Boulevard and Marshall Boulevard join the South and the West Park systems. Neither New York nor Boston has preserved as has Chicago the beauty of its water front. The shore of the North Side is quite free, and beginning a short distance above the river is skirted for almost 30 m. by the Lake Shore Drive, Lincoln Park and the Sheridan Drive. The shore of the South Side is occupied by railway tracks, but they have been sunk and the shore otherwise improved. In addition to Calumet and Jackson parks there was another just below the river, Lake Park, which has since been included in Grant Park, mostly reclaimed from the water. Here are the public library and the building of the Art Institute (opened in 1893); the park had also been proposed as the site of a new building for the Field Museum of Natural History. The park and boulevards along the lake in 1905 stretched 10.78 m., within the city limits, or almost half the total frontage. The inner “boulevards” are broad parked ways, 150 to 300 ft. wide, joining the parks; Chicago was the first American city to adopt this system.
Art.—Among the monuments erected in public places are a Columbus by D. C. French and a bronze replica of French’s equestrian statue of Washington in Paris; statues of John A. Logan and Abraham Lincoln by St Gaudens; monuments commemorating the Haymarket riot and the Fort Dearborn massacres; statues of General Grant, Stephen A. Douglas, La Salle, Schiller, Humboldt, Beethoven and Linnaeus. There is also a memorial to G. B. Armstrong (1822–1871), a citizen of Chicago, who founded the railway mail service of the United States. A city art commission approves all works of art before they become the property of the city, and at the request of the mayor acts in various ways for the city’s aesthetic betterment. The Architectural Club labours for the same end. A Municipal Art League (organized in 1899) has done good work in arousing civic pride; it has undertaken, among other things, campaigns against bill-board advertisements, and against the smoke nuisance.
The Art Institute of Chicago contains valuable collections of paintings, reproductions of bronzes and sculpture, architectural casts, and other objects of art. Connected with it is the largest and most comprehensive art school of the county—including newspaper illustration and a normal school for the training of teachers of drawing in the public schools. The institute was incorporated in 1879, though its beginnings go back to 1866, while the school dates from 1878. The courses in architecture are given with the co-operation of the Armour Institute of Technology. There are also a number of notable private art collections in the city. In 1894 the Chicago Public School Art Society was founded to secure the placing of good works of art in the public schools. Picture collections are also exchanged among the neighbourhood-park homes.
Music in Chicago owes much to the German element of the population. Especially noteworthy among musical organizations are the Apollo Musical Club (1872) and The Theodore Thomas orchestra, which has disputed with the Boston Orchestra the claim to artistic primacy in the United States. Its leader from its organization in 1891 until his death in 1905 was Theodore Thomas, who had long been identified with summer orchestral concerts in the city. In 1904 a fund was gathered by public subscription to erect a handsome building and endow the orchestra.
The Field Museum of Natural History, established (1894) largely by Marshall Field, is mainly devoted to anthropology and natural history. The nucleus of its great collection was formed by various exhibits of the Columbian Exposition which were presented to it. Its collections of American ethnology, of exceptional richness and value, are constantly augmented by research expeditions. In addition to an original endowment of $1,000,000, Mr Field bequeathed to the museum $8,000,000, Lo be utilized in part for the new building which is being erected in Jackson Park.
Libraries.—At the head of the libraries of the city stands the public library (established 1872; opened 1874), supported by taxation, which on the 1st of June 1910 had 402,848 volumes, and in the year 1910 circulated 1,805,012 volumes. In 1889 John Crerar (1827–1889), a wealthy manufacturer of railroad supplies, left to the city for the endowment of a non-circulating library funds which in 1907 were estimated to amount to $3,400,000. The library was incorporated in 1894 and was opened in 1897; in February 1908 it had 216,000 volumes and 60,000 pamphlets. It occupies a floor in the Marshall Field Building on Wabash Avenue. Another reference library was established (opened in 1887) with a bequest (1868) of Walter L. Newberry. It has a rich endowment, and in February 1908 had 191,644 volumes and 43,644 pamphlets. By a plan of co-operation each of these three libraries devotes itself primarily to special fields: the John Crerar is best for the natural, physical and social sciences; the Newberry is particularly strong in history, music, medicine, rare books and fine editions; the public library covers the whole range of general literature. The library of the University of Chicago contained in 1908 some 450,000 titles. Among other collections are those of the Chicago Historical Society (1856; about 150,000 titles in 1908), the Athenaeum (1871); the Law Institute and Library (1857), which in 1908 had about 46,500 volumes; the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Academy of Sciences (1857) and the libraries of various schools.
Universities and Colleges.—There are three universities situated wholly or in part in the city. The leading institution is the University of Chicago (see Chicago, University of). The professional department of North-Western University is in Chicago, while its academic department is in the suburb of Evanston. North-Western University was organized in 1851 and is under Methodist Episcopal control. Its students in 1908 (exclusive of pupils in “co-operating” theological schools) numbered 3850; the best equipped departments are those of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy. There are two Roman Catholic colleges in Chicago: Loyola University (chartered in 1870), with a department of law, called Lincoln College (1908), and a medical department; and St. Stanislaus College (1870). The College of Physicians and Surgeons is the medical department of the University of Illinois, at Champaign-Urbana. Theological schools independent of the universities include the McCormick Theological Seminary (Presbyterian); the Chicago Theological Seminary (Congregational, opened 1858, and including German, Danish-Norwegian and Swedish Institutes); the Western Episcopal Theological Seminary; a German Lutheran theological seminary, and an Evangelical Lutheran theological seminary. There are a number of independent medical schools and schools of dentistry and veterinary surgery. The Lewis Institute (bequest 1877, opened 1896), designed to give a practical education to boys and girls at a nominal cost, and the Armour Institute of Technology, one of the best technical schools of the country, provide technical education and are well endowed. The Armour Institute was founded in 1892 by Philip D. Armour, and was opened in 1893. It comprises the College of Engineering, including, besides the usual departments, a department of chemical engineering and a department of fire protection engineering, a department of “commercial tests,” and the Armour Scientific Academy (preparatory). In 1907 the Institute had 1869 students. The Chicago Academy of Science (1857) has a handsome building and museum collections in Lincoln Park.
The leading daily newspapers are the Record-Herald, Evening Post, News (evening) and Journal (evening), all Independent; the Inter-Ocean and Tribune, Republican; and the Evening American and Examiner, both Democratic. There are several journals in German, Bohemian, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Many trade papers are published in the city, which is also a centre for much of the religious publishing of the Middle West. Chicago’s position in the labour world has made it the home of several socialist and anarchistic periodicals.
Industry and Commerce.—Chicago’s situation at the head of the most south-western of the Great Lakes has given it great importance in trade and industry. The development of its extraordinary railway facilities was a recognition of its supreme advantages as the easiest outlet for the products of the Middle West, on whose wealth its prosperity is founded. The growth of its trade has been marvellous. The last years of the 19th century showed, however, an inevitable loss to Chicago in the growth of Duluth, Kansas City and other rivals in strategic situations. In particular, the struggle of the North and South railway lines in the Mississippi Valley to divert to ports on the Gulf of Mexico grain and other freight caused great losses to Chicago. An enormous increase in the cereal trade of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newport News and Norfolk was partly due to the traffic eastward over lines S. of Chicago. The traffic of the routes through Duluth and Canada does not, indeed, represent in the main actual losses, for the traffic is largely a new growth; but there has been nevertheless a considerable drain to these routes from American territory once tributary to Chicago. Altogether the competition of the Gulf roads and the lines running S.W. from Duluth had largely excluded Chicago by 1899 (according to her Board of Trade) from the grain trade W. of the Missouri river, and in conjunction with southerly E. and W. routes had made serious inroads upon trade E. of that river. Its facilities for receiving and distributing remain nevertheless unequalled, and it still practically monopolizes the traffic between the northern Atlantic seaboard and the West. New York alone, among American cities, has a greater trade. Chicago is the greatest railway centre, the greatest grain market, the greatest live-stock market and meat-packing centre, and the greatest lumber market of the world. The clearings of her associated banks amounted to $13,781,843,612 in the year 1909. The wholesale trade was estimated in 1875 at $293,900,000 and in 1905 at $1,781,000,000. The average annual grain receipts (including flour in wheat equivalent) in the five years 1900–1904 amounted to 265,500,000 bu. (12,902,310 in 1854; 72,369,194 in 1875), and the shipments to 209,862,966 bu. The first shipment of wheat was of 78 bu. in 1838. The grain elevators are among the sights of Chicago. They are enormous storehouses into which the grain is elevated from ships and cars, sorted into grades and reloaded for shipment; all the work is done by machinery. Their capacity in 1904 was 65,140,000 bu. In the same quinquennial period, 1900–1904, the average yearly receipts of lumber aggregated 1,807,066,000 ft., and of shingles, 410,711 thousand; of cattle, 3,078,734; of hogs, 8,334,904; of sheep, 3,338,291; of butter, 239,696,921 ℔; the exports of hides, 167,442,077 ℔; of dressed beef, 1,126,995,490 ℔; of lard, 410,688,319 ℔; of pork, 191,371 bbl.; of other hog products, 600,503,394 ℔. The combined tonnage in and out averaged 14,135,406 tons. There is a large direct trade with Europe, mainly in goods that come in bond by rail from Atlantic ports. In 1907 the value of Chicago’s imports was $27,058,662, and of its exports, $5,643,302.
The value of manufactures (from establishments under the “factory system”) in 1900 was $797,879,141, 71.2% of all those of Illinois, and in 1905 was $955,036,277, 67.7% of all those of the state; in both these years Chicago was second only to New York City. Wholesale slaughtering and meat-packing (not including many by-products), valued at $256,527,949 (32.2% of the city’s total) in 1900 and at $269,581,486 (28.2% of the total) in 1905, are the most important of the city’s industries; in 1905 the product value in Chicago was 29.5% of that for the slaughtering and meat-packing of the entire United States. Other important manufactures are foundry and machine shop products, $44,561,071 in 1900, and $51,774,695 in 1905; and other iron and steel products, $35,058,700 in 1900 and $27,074,307 in 1905; clothing ($58,093,572 in 1900, and $64,913,481 in 1905); cars and other railway construction, $28,369,956 in 1900 and $36,080,210 in 1905; malt liquors ($14,956,865 in 1900, and $16,983,421 in 1905), and furniture ($12,344,510 in 1900 and $17,488,257 in 1905). The Illinois Steel Company has the largest rolling mills in the world. The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company is the largest concern in the world manufacturing agricultural implements. Pullman in southern Chicago, in the sparsely settled outskirts of the city, is a model little “labour town,” planned and constructed with regard for both appearances and conveniences by the Pullman Palace Car Company, which has its works here. The town consists mainly of workmen’s cottages. Most of the population are dependent upon the car works. The Pullman Company owns and operates dining and sleeping cars on practically all the railways of the country. In addition to its own cars it builds ordinary passenger and freight cars on contract.
Meat-packing is the greatest local industry and is that for which Chicago is best known. In the enormous stock-yards from two-thirds to four-fifths of the cattle and hogs received are killed, and sent out in various forms of prepared meats and by-products (lard, fertilizers, glue, butterine, soap, candles, &c). This industry is remarkable for the extraordinary division of labour in its processes. In the preparation of a bullock more than thirty specialties are involved, and some twenty different rates of pay. This system enabled the packing companies, until checked by the development of labour unions, to save money not only by paying low wages for crude labour and high for skilled, but to develop wonderful expertness in every line, and so “speed up” the workmen to a remarkable pace. No more interesting field can be found for the study of the qualities of foreign races. The introduction of the refrigerator railway car in the ’seventies of the 19th century, making possible the distant marketing of dressed meats, enormously increased the business. The workmen of the yards were organized in a national union of meat packers in 1897, and all the different classes of workmen have their separate organizations, formed mainly between 1900 and 1902. The number of women employed more than doubled in the decade 1891–1900, constituting probably about 9% of the total in the latter year.
Administration.—Chicago is governed under a general city-charter law of Illinois of 1870, accepted by the city in 1875. In November 1904 the people of Illinois adopted a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature of the state to provide a complete new system of local government for Chicago, but the old system continued and is here described, the new charter, from which so much had been hoped, being rejected by the voters of the city by an overwhelming majority in September 1907. A common council chosen by wards and renewed in half each year controls the budget, police, liquor licences, city contracts and the granting of franchises; it also confirms appointments made by the mayor and by a vote of two-thirds may pass legislation over his veto. The mayor, chosen for four years, is the executive head of the city, and has large power of appointment and removal, limited by a civil service law, under which he must submit reasons for removals, while two-thirds of the council may prevent them. On the other hand the mayor can veto separate items in the council’s budget. The administrative departments are generally headed by single commissioners; but those of elections, education and the public library are exceptions. The council was once all important, but as early as the charter of 1851 it began to lose power to the mayor, whose directive and executive powers have steadily increased, beginning first in the financial department. Administration was once performed entirely by boards as in other American cities: every specific problem or demand for municipal activity was met by an appeal to the state legislature for special legislation and the creation of a board. The substitution of single commissioners began in 1876. The state constitution of 1870 forbade special legislation, prescribed a general city charter law and forbade special amendatory acts for Chicago. This stopped grave abuses, but because a large part of the state has not been interested in Chicago’s special needs and demands for betterment it also saddled upon the city an organization which in 1901 remained practically the same as in 1870, when Chicago was an overgrown town of 300,000 inhabitants. Chicago was the only large city of the state, and a charter generalized from village experience was unsuitable for it. The parts of Cook county outside the city have also been very jealous of forwarding its reorganization, important features of which must be either, the complete absorption of the county or at least the reconstitution of the county government, which the constitution left unchanged, and which, with the city’s growth, has caused clash of interests and authority. Nor is this dual government—though the city has above nine-tenths of the population and pays nine-tenths of the taxes of the county—the only anomaly. Illinois has had since 1848 a modified New England “township” local-government system, and various townships have been absorbed by Chicago, yet they all retained till after 1900 their political structure and some of their functions. There are three park commissions, two appointed by the governor and one by circuit court judges, created for different parts of the old city, differently constituted and all independent of the city; their jurisdiction was not enlarged as the city grew, so large portions remained free of charges for parks and boulevards. A special park commission now supplements them and lessens this anomaly though increasing administrative diversity. A sanitary and drainage district, not larger than the city area but quite different from it, was created in 1886 (present form 1890) to carry through the drainage canal. The school board has been nominally separate from and almost independent of the city government in power since 1857. The courts of law are courts of the state of Illinois, but a certain number of justices of the peace are designated by the mayor to act as police magistrates. The initiative and referendum in local matters has been made possible under a state law, and has been several times exercised in important questions. Financial arrangements have been loose and inefficient. Independent taxing power has been lavishly granted. State, county, city, three park boards, the school board, the public library board, the drainage board, and as late as 1903 ten townships, exercised this sovereign right within the municipal area. Tax assessment valuations have been excessively irregular (e.g. the “equalized” value for 1875 was $55,000,000 greater than that for 1892), and apparently very low. The average assessment valuation for the years from 1904 to 1908 was $438,729,897 (403.28 millions in 1904, and 477.19 millions in 1908), and in 1907 the highest taxing rate was 8%. The bonded debt in 1908 was $25,157,400, about half of it old ($11,362,726 in 1870; 4.5 millions contracted to aid the World’s Fair of 1893). In the early years following 1900 the city paid more than half of its income on police; this expenditure, per capita of population, was not high (in 1901 Boston $5.03, New York $3.21, Chicago $2.19), and the results were not exactly efficient. The difficulty is that the city is poor and can pay only for strict necessities. Its poverty is due mainly to state laws. The taxation limit on property is 1% on the cash value, thus compelling special dependence upon all sorts of indirect taxes; the debt limit is 5% on the assessed valuation. Since 1900 relief has been given by state law in some matters, such as for the park system. The water system has been operated by the city since 1851, and has been financially very successful from the beginning: rates are far lower than in the other great cities of the country, and a handsome net revenue accrues to the treasury. A municipal electric-lighting plant (1887), which was paid for gradually out of the general tax levy and was not built by the sale of bonds, gave excellent results in the city service. The city, like the state, has power to regulate the price of gas sold by private companies. The elevation of the railway tracks within the city was begun in 1892; at the close of 1908 the railway companies had accepted ordinances of the City Council for the elevation of 192.77 m. of main tracks and 947.91 m. of all tracks, and the construction of 724 subways, at an estimated cost of $65,000,000; at that time the railway companies had completed the elevation of 133.83 m. of main tracks and 776 m. of all tracks, and had constructed 567 subways, at a total expense of $52,500,000. The system of intercepting sewers begun in 1898 to complete the service of the drainage canal has been constructed with the profits of the water system.
In addition to the movement for a new charter to remove the anomalies and ease the difficulties already referred to, two great problems have been in the forefront in recent years: the lessening of municipal corruption and the control of local transit agencies.
The traction question may be said to have begun in 1865, in which year, and again in 1883, public opinion was bitterly aroused against an attempt of the traction companies to secure a ninety-nine year extension of franchises. Following 1883 all lines were consolidated and enormously over-capitalized (in 1905 about $150,000,000 of stocks and bonds on a 6% basis, two-thirds of which rested only on the franchise). In 1895–1897 bold attempts to secure a 50-year extension of franchises were defeated by Governor John P. Altgeld (1847–1902), by the formation of a Municipal Voters’ League, and by a representative committee of 100 sent from Chicago to attend the legislature at Springfield. The transit service of the city had for years been antiquated and inadequate. At the mayor’s elections in 1897, 1899, 1901 and 1903 the victory lay with the opponents of the companies, and in 1905 the successful party stood for immediate municipal acquisition of all roads. Meanwhile, under the state referendum act, the city in 1902 voted overwhelmingly for municipal ownership and operation (142,826 to 27,990); the legislature in 1903 by the Mueller law gave the city the requisite powers; the people accepted the law, again declared for municipal ownership, and for temporary compulsion of adequate service, and against granting any franchise to any company, by four additional votes similarly conclusive. At last, after tedious negotiations, a definite agreement was reached in 1906 assuring an early acquisition of all roads by the city. The issue of bonds for municipal railways was, however, declared unconstitutional that year; and at the municipal elections of 1907 there was a complete reversal of policy; a large majority voted this time against municipal ownership in favour of leaving the working of the street railways in private hands, and strengthening the powers of municipal control.
The active campaign for the improvement of municipal service and politics may be said to have begun in 1896. A civil service system was inaugurated in 1895. The salaries of the councilmen were raised with good effect. Numerous reform associations were started to rouse public opinion, such as the Citizens’ Association of Chicago, organized in 1874, the Civic Federation (1894), the Municipal Voters’ League (1896), the Legislative Voters’ League (1901), the Municipal Lecture Association (1902), the Referendum League of Illinois (1901), the Civil Service Reform Association of Chicago, the Civil Service Reform Association of Illinois (1902), the Merchants’ Club, the City Club (1903), the Law and Order League (1904), Society of Social Hygiene (1906), and many of the women’s clubs took an active part. They stood for the real enforcement of the laws, sanitation, pure food, public health, the improvement of the schools and the widening of their social influence, and (here especially the women’s clubs) aesthetic, social and moral progress. The Merchants’ Club reformed the city’s book-keeping, and secured the establishment (1899) of the first state pawnbrokers’ society. The Civic Federation demonstrated (1896) that it could clean the central streets for slightly over half what the city was paying (the city has since saved the difference); it originated the movement for vacation schools and other educational advances, and started the Committee of One Hundred (1897), from which sprang various other reform clubs. The Municipal Voters’ League investigated and published the records of candidates for the city council, and recommended their election or defeat as the case may be. Moreover, a “Municipal Museum” was organized in 1905, mainly supported by private aid, but in part by the board of education, in order to collect and make educational use of materials illustrating municipal administration and conditions, physical and social.
Education and Charity.—The school board is appointed by the mayor. Since 1904 a merit system has been applied in the advancement of teachers; civil service rules cover the rest of the employees. Kindergartens were maintained without legal sanction in connexion with the public schools for several years, and for more than twenty-five years as private schools, before their legal establishment as a part of the system in 1899. Free evening schools, very practical in their courses, are utilized mainly by foreigners. Vacation schools were begun in 1896. So far as possible the school buildings are kept open for school, lectures and entertainments, serving thus as wholesome social centres; and a more adequate use is made of the large investment (in 1908 about $44,500,000) which they represent. In all the public schools manual training, household arts and economy, and commercial studies are a regular part of the curriculum. A department of scientific pedagogy and child study (1900) seeks to secure a development of the school system in harmony with the results of scientific study of children (the combination of hand and brain training, the use of audio-visual methods, an elastic curriculum during the adolescent period, &c.). The expenditure for all purposes by the city in 1903 for every dollar expended for schools was only $1.713; a ratio paralleled in only a few cities of the country.
Hospitals, infirmaries, dispensaries, asylums, shelters and homes for the defective, destitute, orphaned, aged, erring, friendless and incurably diseased; various relief societies, and associations that sift the good from the bad among the mendicant, the economically inefficient, and the viciously pauper, represent the charity work of the city. Among public institutions are the Cook County hospital (situated in the “Medical District” of the West Side, where various hospitals and schools are gathered near together), asylum and poor house. Since 1883 a Lincoln Park Sanitarium has been maintained for infants and small children during warm weather. Two legal-aid societies, the Chicago Bureau of Justice (1888) and the Protective Agency for Women and Children, collect small wage claims and otherwise aid the poor or helpless. The most important charitable societies of the city are the United Charities of Chicago (1909), the United Hebrew Charities (1857), and the Associated Jewish Charities (1900). The first is the union of the Relief and Aid Society (1857) and the Bureau of Charities (1894), and tries to prevent overlapping of efforts and to weed out fraud. Following the gradual development of New York state laws on behalf of children was enacted the Illinois Juvenile Court Law, which came into force on the 1st of July 1899 and was largely the result of Chicago’s interest in juvenile reform. Much philanthropic work centres in the West Side with its heterogeneous population. A famous institution is Hull House, a social settlement of women, which aims to be a social, charitable, and educational neighbourhood centre. It was established in 1889 by Miss Jane Addams, who became the head-worker, and Miss Ellen Gates Starr. It includes an art building, a free kindergarten, a fine gymnasium, a crèche, and a diet kitchen; and supports classes, lectures and concerts. It has had a very great influence throughout the United States. The Armour mission (1886) for the poor is organized with similar breadth of scope.
Population.—Of the total population in 1900 not less than 34.6% were foreign-born; the number of persons either born abroad, or born in the United States of foreign parentage (i.e. father or both parents foreign), was 77.4% of the population, and in the total number of males of voting age the foreign-born predominated (53.4%). Of the latter category 68.2% were already citizens by naturalization. 3.9% of the inhabitants of ten years of age or upward were illiterate (unable to write), while the percentage of foreign-born whites was 8.2% (93.9% of illiterate males of voting age). Germans, Irish, Poles, Swedes and Bohemians made up respectively 29.1, 12.6, 8.6, 8.3 and 6.2% of the foreign-born population. It was estimated in 1903 by a very competent authority that above 500,000 persons spoke German, 125,000 Polish, 100,000 Swedish, 90,000 Bohemian, 50,000 Norwegian, 50,000 Yiddish, 35,000 Dutch, 25,000 Italian, 20,000 Danish, 17,000 French and 12,000 Irish (Celtic), and that each of fourteen foreign languages was spoken by more than 10,000 people: “Newspapers appear regularly in 10 languages, and church-services may be heard in about 20 languages. Chicago is the second largest Bohemian city of the world, the third Swedish, the fourth Norwegian, the fifth Polish, the fifth German (New York being the fourth). In all there are some 40 languages spoken by . . . over one million” persons. The death-rate of Chicago is the lowest of the great cities of the country. Births are but slightly in excess of deaths, so that the growth of the city is almost wholly from immigration. The death-rate is the lowest of the great cities of the country (16.2 in 1900; New York, 20.4; Boston, 20.1, &c.).
The growth of Chicago has been remarkable even for American cities. Any resident of four-score years living in 1900 had seen it grow from a settlement of fourteen houses, a frontier military post among the Indians, to a great metropolis, fifth in size among the cities of the world. In 1828 what is now the business centre was fenced in as a pasture; in 1831 the Chicago mail was deposited in a dry-goods box; the tax-levy of 1834 was $48.90, and a well that constituted the city water-works was sunk at a cost of $95.50; in 1843 hogs were barred from the town streets. Such facts impress upon one, as nothing else can, the marvellously rapid growth of the city. In 1830 with a population of less than 100, in 1840 with 4479, the increase by percentages in succeeding decades was as follows: 507.3, 264.6, 173.6, 68.3, 118.6 and 54.4; an increase equivalent to 8.6% annually, compounded. Such a continuous “boom” no other American city has ever known.
History.—The river Chicago (an Indian name of uncertain meaning, but possibly from Ojibwa she-kag-ong, “wild onion place”) was visited by Joliet and Marquette in 1673, and later by La Salle and others. It became a portage route of some importance, used by the French in passing to the lower Illinois country. In 1804 the United States established here Fort Dearborn. In 1812, during the Indian War of Tecumseh, the garrison and settlers, who had abandoned the fort and were retreating toward safety, were attacked and overpowered by the savages at a point now well within the city. The fort was re-established and fitfully occupied until its final abandonment in 1837. When Cook county was organized in 1831, Chicago, then a tiny village, became the seat of justice. It became a town in 1833 and a city in 1837. By that time Chicago was confident of its future. The federal government had begun the improvement of the harbour, and the state had started the Illinois and Michigan canal. There was a federal land-office also, and the land speculator and town promoter had opened a chapter of history more picturesque, albeit sordid, than in any of the old French days. The giant growth of the lake trade had drawn attention before railway connexion was secure with the East in 1852, making progress even more rapid thereafter. During the Civil War a large prison-camp for Confederate prisoners, Camp Douglas, was maintained at Chicago. In 1870 the city had 306,605 inhabitants and was already a commercial centre of immense importance.
In 1871 it suffered a terrible calamity. On the 8th of October a fire broke out near the lumber district on the West Side. Two-thirds of the city’s buildings were wood, and the summer had been excessively dry, while to make conditions worse a high and veering wind fanned the flames. The conflagration leaped the river to the South and finally to the North Side, burned over an area of 31 sq. m., destroyed 17,450 buildings and property valued at $196,000,000, and rendered almost 100,000 people homeless; 250 lost their lives. The flames actually travelled 21 m. in an air-line within 6½ hours. Thousands of persons, fleeing before the flames and fire-brands, sought refuge on the shore and even in the waters of the lake. Robbery, pillage, extortion, orgies and crime added to the general horror. In the South Side the fire was checked on the 9th by the use of gunpowder; in the North (where the water-works were early destroyed) it had extended almost to the prairie when rainfall finally ended its ravages, after about twenty-seven hours of destruction. With the exception of the San Francisco fire of 1906 this was the greatest fire of modern times. A vast system of relief was organized and received generous aid from all parts of the world. The money contributions from the United States and abroad were $4,996,782; of this foreign countries contributed nearly $1,000,000 (England half of this). These funds, which were over and above gifts of food, clothing and supplies, were made to last till the close of 1876. Out of them temporary homes were provided for nearly 40,000 people; barracks and better houses were erected, workmen were supplied with tools, and women with sewing-machines; the sick were cared for and the dead buried; and the poorer classes of Chicago were probably never so comfortable as during the first two or three years after the fire. The rebuilding of the city was accomplished with wonderful rapidity. Work was begun before the cinders were cold. The business district was largely rebuilt within a year, and within three there were hardly scars of the calamity. Wood was barred from a large area (and subsequently from the entire city), and a new Chicago of brick and stone, larger, finer and wealthier, had taken the place of the old. Business and population showed no set-back in their progress. The solidity and permanence of this prosperity were confirmed during the financial panic of 1873, when Chicago banks alone, among those of the large cities of the country, continued steadily to pay out current funds.
In its later history certain special factors stand out, apart from continued commercial progress.
Chicago has been a storm centre of labour troubles, some of them of a specially spectacular character. There were great strikes in the packing industry in 1886, 1894 and 1904. But more noteworthy are the railway strike of 1894 and the unsuccessful teamsters’ strike of 1905. The former began in the works of the Pullman Car Company, and its leader was Eugene Victor Debs (b. 1855). When the contentions of the Pullman employees were taken up by the American Railway Union the strike immediately extended to tremendous proportions. Union men throughout the country refused to handle Pullman cars, and since Pullman cars are almost invariably attached to mail trains the transportation of the United States mail was thus obstructed. Chicago, as the greatest railway centre of the country and the home of the strike, was naturally the seat of the most serious complications. There was much rioting and destruction of property, and the railway service was completely disorganized. President Cleveland, on the ground of preventing obstruction of the mail service, and of protecting other federal interests, ordered a small number of federal troops to Chicago. Those interests were, he contended, menaced by “domestic violence” evidently beyond the control of the state power. Governor Altgeld denied the inability of the state to deal with the difficulty, and entered a strong protest against Federal interference; but he himself did nothing to put down the disorder. Federal troops entered the state, and almost immediately the strike collapsed. The high officials of the Railway Union, for ignoring a court injunction restraining them from interfering with the movement of the mails, were imprisoned for long terms for contempt of court.
Out of a strike in the McCormick works in 1886 there sprang another famous incident in Chicago’s history. The “international” anarchists of Chicago had been organized in “groups” about two years earlier, and were very active. They were advocating a “general strike” for an eight-hour day, and the tense excitement among the labourers of the city, owing to the McCormick strike, induced unusually ultra utterances. There was a riot at the McCormick works on the 3rd of May, in which several men were killed by the police. An anarchist meeting was called for the next day at the Haymarket, a square in Randolph Street, and when the authorities judged that the speeches were too revolutionary to be allowed to continue, the police undertook to disperse the meeting. A bomb was thrown, and many policemen were injured, seven fatally. No person could be proved to have thrown the bomb, or to have been directly implicated in its throwing; but on the ground that they were morally conspirators and accomplices in the killing, because they had repeatedly and publicly advocated such acts against the servants of government, seven anarchists were condemned to death. An application to the United States Supreme Court for a writ of error was unanimously refused.
The four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America was commemorated by a World’s Columbian Exposition held at Chicago. The site was in Jackson Park and the adjoining Midway, and included 686 acres, of which 188 were covered by buildings. On the 21st of October 1892—corresponding to the 12th of October 1492, O.S.—the grounds were formally dedicated, and on the following 1st of May opened to the public, continuing open for six months. The number of paid admissions was 21,500,000; of total admissions 27,539,521. The buildings, planned by a commission of architects—among whom John W. Root and Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago were responsible for the general scheme—formed a collection of remarkable beauty, to which the grounds, planned by F. L. Olmsted, intersected by lagoons and bordered by the lake, lent an appropriate setting. The entire cost of the fair is variously estimated at from 33 to 43 million dollars, according to the inclusiveness of the estimate; the local cost may be put at $28,151,169. Of this Chicago gave about 10½ millions, in addition to a preparatory house-cleaning that cost 3½ millions; and finally a very small dividend was paid to stockholders. The whole undertaking, carried through with remarkable enterprise, was an artistic and educational triumph of the first order.
Owing to its position Chicago has long been a favourite convention city. Lincoln (1860), Grant (1868), Garfield (1880), Cleveland (1884 and 1892), Harrison (1888), Roosevelt (1904), and Taft (1908) were all nominated here for president; and in addition not a few candidates who were unsuccessful. A national peace jubilee was held here in 1898.
Authorities.—See the annual reports of city officials, board of trade, park commissions, sanitary board, &c.; A. T. Andreas, History of Chicago (Chicago, 3 vols., 1884–1886); R. Blanchard, Discovery and Conquest of the North-West with the History of Chicago (Chicago, 2 vols., 1898–1903); J. Kirkland, Story of Chicago (Chicago, 1892); issues of the Fergus Historical Series (1876, ff.); T. J. Riley, A Study of the Higher Life of Chicago (Chicago University, doctoral dissertation, 1905); S. E. Sparling, Municipal History and Present Organization of the City of Chicago (University of Wisconsin, doctoral dissertation, Madison, 1898). Periodical literature contains a vast amount of information on Chicago’s progress and conditions that is elsewhere unobtainable; exact references may be obtained in Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature.
- In 1889 the total area (land and water) was increased from 43.8 to 169.9 sq. m.; in 1890 the land area was 163.49 sq. m.
- About 15 ft. in elevation; hence the possibility of the drainage canal.
- Among the last are many swing and “jack-knife” bridges, bascules, and a lift-bridge that can be lifted bodily 155 ft. above the channel. Steam, compressed air and electricity are used as power.
- By 1900 almost all were being built of a length exceeding 400 ft.
- The highest value ever paid in Chicago for land actually sold, up to 1901, was $250 per sq. ft. (1892); a few rental contracts have been based upon an assumed higher value. A municipal ordinance placing the extreme construction at 150 ft. was repealed in 1902.
- This is true of all the new large buildings. The “old” post office, completed in 1880 at a cost of $5,375,000, was practically a crumbling ruin within fifteen years; its foundations were inadequate. Years were spent in sinking the foundation of the new Federal building that replaced the old.
- Total excavation, 42,397,904 cub. yds.; of solid rock, 12,265,000.
- It has been conclusively proved that the Illinois is purer than the Mississippi at their junction. The undiluted sewage of the old canal drove the fish from the river, but they have come back since the opening of the new canal.
- The cut was almost entirely through firm clay. It was estimated (1905) that the total freight handled weekly in the business district was nearly 500,000 tons, and the subway was designed to handle this amount when completed. The tunnels are 12.75×14 and 7.5×6 ft., all concrete. The cars are drawn by trolley wire locomotives on a track of 2 ft. gauge.
- The Illinois Central enters the business centre by tracks laid along the lake shore. Certain rights as to reclaiming land were granted it in 1852, but the railway extended its claims indefinitely to whatever land it might reclaim. In 1883 began a great legal struggle to determine the respective rights of the United States, the state of Illinois, Chicago, and the Illinois Central in the reclaimed lands and the submerged lands adjacent. The outcome was favourable to the city.
- There were 50 m. of them in 1904.
- Thomas Hughes was a leader in gathering English gifts for such a library immediately after the “great fire.” A nucleus of 10,500 volumes—7000 from England and 3500 from other countries, especially Germany—was thus secured.
- In 1900-1904 the average freight rate per bushel of wheat to New York was $0.04998 by the all-water; $0.10554 by the all-rail route. In 1859 it cost $0.1575 to send a bushel of corn to Buffalo by water; in 1890, $0.019.
- It has been above 1,000,000,000 ft. since 1870, and has in some years risen to 2,000,000,000.
- This is for the entire Chicago customs district, including Waukegan and Michigan City.
- The number of hogs packed yearly averaged 7,255,245 in 1900–1904; the cattle packed, 1,955,765; the sheep shipped (partly live), 616,476 (one-fifth those received).
- e.g. in the most skilled labour, the speed was increased 87.5% from 1884–1894. In 1905 a gang of 230 men would dispose of 105 animals hourly; equivalent to 131 minutes for one man in taking the animal from pen to refrigerator; the average wage was $0.21 per hour (highest 0.50) and the average cost per bullock, $0.46.
- Cook county is Republican in politics generally, the rural districts being so strongly so as often to overbalance the normal Democratic plurality in Chicago. Thus another ground of jealousy is found In the distribution of county offices.
- An amendment of 1904 provided that the legislature should enact the consolidation of the townships with the city in matters of taxation, but no further steps had been taken to the end of 1907.
- The net revenue per million gallons in 1890–1899 was $35.04.
- Prof. C. D. Buck in Decennial Publications of the University of Chicago (1903, vol. 6).
- There was an insurance of $88,634,122 on the losses, of which about a half was recovered. F. L. Olmsted estimated that one-third of the roof surface and one-half the cubic contents of the city’s buildings were destroyed.
- Four were hanged, 1 committed suicide, 2 had their death sentence commuted to life-imprisonment, the eighth was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years. 981 men were panelled in selecting the jury. Governor J. P. Altgeld in 1893 pardoned the three in prison on the ground that the jury was “packed” and consequently incompetent, that no evidence connected the prisoners with the crime, and that the presiding judge was prejudiced. See an article by Judge J. E. Gary, who presided at the trial, in the Century Magazine (April 1893).