Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood History Research Collection
George A. Brennan
.5 linear ft., 1 oversize
Call number: Archives_GAB
George A. Brennan was born in 1856 outside New York City. His family settled in the Chicago area around 1868. Upon graduation from college, Brennan became one of the first school teachers in the "South End" of Chicago's prairie settlements. His first assignment was in 1876 at Fernwood School. When Van Vlissingen School was erected, Brennan became its first head. He later went on to become principal emeritus of this school. He also taught at Roseland School, and ultimately retired from the teaching profession in 1926.
Brennan was also active in local civic and historical groups, and held major offices in them. He was an officer and director of the Roseland's Lion's Club, Education Committee member of the South End Chamber of Commerce, and active in other groups such as the Chicago Historical Society and the Prairie Club.
The papers in this collection reflect, through his historical writings, Brennan's personal interest in the local history of the community and the people who settled in this region of Chicago.
Series I: Biographical Material,
This small series of two file folders contains newsclippings, notations, and photographs of Native American artifacts that Brennan collected and exhibited at the Chicago Historical Society.
Series II: The Writings of George A. Brennan, 1920s, 1944. This series includes typescripts, notes, illustrations and handwritten manuscripts of several of Mr. Brennan's historical accounts of the Dutch and their settlement in the Calumet region of Chicago. The files are arranged in alphabetical order by title of work. The last folder in the series contains illustrations for several of his writings.
Two photographs of Mr. Brennan have been removed to the Calumet Region Community Records, under the classification Portrait and Family Photographs.
The Wonders of the Dunes, by George A. Brennan, has been separated from the collection, and is being maintained in the Special Collections Library.
Duplicates and xerox copies have been returned to the Pullman Branch Library.
Separation Record: Oversized Material
The following items had been removed to an oversize folder:
Map of Chicago-Dune Region in 1856.
Compiled by Geo. A. Brennan.
Drawn by Jos. Turner. Chicago, Illinois.
The collection was housed in Chicago Public Library's Pullman Branch Library. In the 1980s Special Collections, working with a Dr. Scholl Foundation grant, transferred and processed the collection to make it fully available to the public.
The George A. Brennan Papers are available to the public for research in the Special Collections and Preservation Division Reading Room on the 9th floor of the Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60605. The collection does not circulate, although photocopy and photoreproduction services are available depending upon the condition of the original materials. First time patrons to Special Collections must present photo identification and complete a Reader Registration Form. Telephone inquiries on this collection and other Special Collections holdings can be directed to 312-747-4875.
Series I: Biographical Material
1. Biographical newsclippings, 1934, 1958,
2. Notations and artifacts photocopies, ca. 1920’s
Series II: The Writings of George A. Brennan
3. "Brief History of the Ninth Ward,"
4. The Dutch in America, typescript with notations and corrections, n.d.
5. The Dutch in America, typed copy, n.d.
6. The History of Chicago-Calumet Region (December 13,1926), August 1944.
7. "Hollanders first to Make Roseland Home," The Examiner, March 22,1915.
8. "Jean Baptiste de Saible, The First Citizen of Chicago, and its First Business Man," handwritten manuscript, n.d.
9. "Jean Baptiste de Saible, The First Citizen of Chicago, and its First Business Man," typescript, n.d.
10. Illustrations for writings, n.d.