Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood Research History Collection
Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association
Records, 1929-1978, 1984
(Bulk dates, 1934-1953)
3 linear ft., 31 photographs
Call number: Archives_LCHA
In the week of December 10-15, 1934, the John Toman Branch of the Chicago Public Library (4005 W. 27th Street) placed on display a photograph exhibit entitled "Historical exhibit of Lawndale-Crawford" (see photographs 1.16 and 1.17). In conjunction with this exhibit, and "Old Settlers" meetings was scheduled for December 13, at which Peter B. Ritzma, Charles Ebright, Arthur Bliss and others spoke on their reflections on the development of the community. While only thirty persons attended the meeting-almost all of them "old settlers" indeed-this was the origin of the Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association.
The Association was incorporated by the state on September 16, 1935. The stated objectives of the society (see folder 1.2) were: "To commemorate persons and events of the earliest years of Chicago's westward expansion, to stimulate interest in the traditions of those primitive days and their preservation, and to afford occasions for renewing and maintaining acquaintance among those who lived Lawndale and Crawford long ago."
These early beginnings opened a deluge of community projects and activities by the Association and the branch library in which it held its meetings, including publication of two early resident directories, The Old Families of Lawndale and Crawford (1935) and An Experiment in Friendship (1937). In addition, many local histories were composed, the most comprehensive of which was the History of Lawndale-Crawford in 1952. Photographs, manuscripts, printed items, and memorabilia collected by the Association to document the community's history were kept at the Toman Branch Library. Annual meetings, held traditionally on September 26, the birthday of Peter Crawford, the area's first settler, presented Lawndale-Crawford history via addresses, slide shows, and interaction among the members.
The abrupt and dramatic change in Lawndale-Crawford population in the 1960s and 70s took a toll on the Association. An increasingly greater percentage of the members no longer lived in the community, but commuted form LaGrange, Riverside, Winnetka, Evanston and Western Springs to meetings. It is not without poignancy that the newspaper announcement of the Association's 50th Anniversary (and incidentally last) meeting appeared beside a newsclip written in Spanish.
The first five-member board of LCHA included Toman Branch librarian Helen Hamel (one of two Directors) and assistant librarian Marie Stampen (Historian and Secretary). Other members of the first board were Larned E. Meacham, President; Mary Newett Broadway, Vice-President; and Peter B. Ritzma, principal of Farragut High School, Director. The last President of LCHA was John H. Toman, a distant cousin of the man for whom the branch library was named.
This collection concerns the organizational files of the LCHA. Local history materials (including photographs) collected by the Association have been cataloged as part of the Lawndale-Crawford Community Collection. The various directories (folders 1:4-7) and histories (1:8-9) are included here because they were research projects engineered by the Association itself.
SERIES I: Administrative & Historical
This series contains minutes, reports, and speeches from various meetings and the results of certain projects. It is by no means a complete record of the Association's entire activity or history.
SERIES II: Correspondence Files
This contains correspondence to and from Association and Board members, principally with Toman librarian Helen Hamel. Of special significance is the correspondence of John A. Ouska, which reveals many highlights on the history of the community and its early settlers. Files are arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.
SERIES III: Card File
Compiled from questionnaire returns and through the research of librarian Marie Stampen, this alphabetical card file of 5x7 index cards contains a wealth of historical notes and anecdotes re community history.
SERIES IV: Scrapbook
The scrapbook (box 5) contains newsclippings, notices of meetings and related items reflecting activities of the Association and earlier community life, 1929 to 1948.
Separation Record: Oversized Materials
The following items have been removed to the given locations.
Three folders of newspaper clippings
Oversize-LCHA 1, 2, and 3.
mounted and Encapsulated.
See folder 1:15
The collection and office files of the Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association were maintained at the John Toman Branch Library since the society's founding. The decline of the Association's local membership and decreased usage of the historical collections made it desirable to transfer this material to the Special Collections Department of The Chicago Public Library in the early 1980s, where it was cataloged in its present form. The collections were broken up into the following smaller collections:
Girl Scouts of America Troop #427
Toman Branch Library (Chicago Public Library Archives)
See the separate guides to these other
The material in folder 1:18, which concerns the 50th anniversary meeting of the association was added to the collection after its original processing.
The Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association Records are available to the public for research in the Special Collections and Preservation Division Reading Room on the 9th floor of the 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 a 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: Administrative & Historical records
1. Annual meetings-Minutes, reports,
speeches; 1936, 1952, 1953, 1968
2. Certificate of Incorporation; 1935 Sep 16
3. Community questionnaire; c. 1937-39
4. Directory: "Old Families of Lawndale & Crawford"; 1935
5. Directory: "An Experiment in Friendship"; c. 1937
6. Directory: Typescript; n.d.
7. Directory: Typescript; n.d.
8. Historical essays, notes, sketches; 1935-40
9. "History of Lawndale-Crawford"; 1952
10. Local Historical Societies-Report on meetings; 1939, 1941
Membership Questionnaire; 1949
15. Newsclippings; 1935-62 (See oversize
16. Programs-Announcements & flyers; 1934-78
17. Song Sheets; n.d.
18. 50th Anniversary meeting-Newsclips; 1984
Series II: Correspondence; 1935-72 (predominately 1935-53)
19. Correspondence: A
20. Correspondence: B
21. Correspondence: C
22. Correspondence: D
23. Correspondence: E
24. Correspondence: F
25. Correspondence: G
26. Correspondence: H
27. Correspondence: I-J
28. Correspondence: K
29. Correspondence: L
1. Correspondence: M
2. Correspondence: Meacham, Larned E.; 1936-53
3. Correspondence: N
4. Correspondence: O
5. Correspondence: Ouska, John A.; 1937
6. Correspondence: Ouska, John A.; 1938
7. Correspondence: Ouska, John A.; 1939
8. Correspondence: P
9. Correspondence: R
10. Correspondence: S
11. Correspondence: T
12. Correspondence: U
13. Correspondence: V
14. Correspondence: W
Series III: Card File of personal names, churches, streets, clubs, events, etc. Concerning Lawndale-Crawford A-L
Series IV: Scrapbook Scrapbook; 1929-1948
Lantern Slide Show
First meeting; 1934 Dec 13 [3 copies; Copy 3 is from collections
Side Historical Society]
1.2 Annual meeting; 1939 Sep 26 [3 copies of 1.3]
1.3 Annual meeting; 1939 Sep 26 [3 copies of 1.3]
1.4 Annual meeting-Group at meeting; 1940 Sep 26
1.5 Annual meeting-Officers; 1940 Sep 26 [2 copies]
1.6 Annual meeting; 1944 Sep 30
1.7 Annual meeting-Officers; 1947 Oct 8
1.8 Annual meeting-Members; 1948 Oct 21
1.9 Annual meeting; 1949 Oct 27-Larned Meacham, President
1.10 Annual meeting; 1949 Oct 27-Officers
1.11 Annual meeting; 1949 Oct 27-Members [2 copies]
1.12 Annual meeting; 1949 Oct 27-Shedd Park Square Dance group performing
1.13 Annual meeting; 1951 Sep 26
1.14 Annual meeting-Guest speakers; 1957 Oct 10
1.15 Second Federal Savings Bank exhibit: "Historical Old Lawndale- Crawford" [2 variant views]
1.16 Second Federal Savings Bank exhibit: "Historical Old Lawndale- Crawford" [2 variant views]
NOTE: A series of thirty glass plate negatives and sixty-four lantern slides were received as part of the LCHA Collection. While these slides were certainly used for Association meetings, and are therefore documentary of the Association’s history, the slides themselves have been processed as part of the Lawndale-Crawford Community Collection because they also document the history of the area.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Supplement 1
The following photographs were transferred from the Toman Branch Library to Special Collections in 1991. They appear to be photographs in conjunction with a Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association meeting which concerned the 75th Anniversary of Blessed Agnes Catholic Church at 2651 S. Central Park. The meeting was held in the Toman Branch Library.
2.1 Blessed Agnes Church: Front
2.2 Blessed Agnes Church: Side and tower
2.3 Blessed Agnes Church: Facade
2.4 Blessed Agnes Church: Front door
Clubs and Organizations
Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association
Meeting at Toman Branch Library: General shot of Library
2.6 Meeting at Toman Branch Library: Meeting attendees-right side of room
2.7 Meeting at Toman Branch Library: Meeting attendees-left side of room
2.8 Meeting at Toman Branch Library: introduction of unidentified speaker
2.9 Meeting at Toman Branch Library: unidentified speaker
2.10 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
2.11 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
2.12 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
2.13 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
2.14 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : reception after Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
2.15 Meeting at Toman Branch Library : reception after Blessed Agnes Church lecture, n.d.
LAWNDALE-CRAWFORD HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
LANTERN SLIDE SHOW
At one point in time, a lantern slide show was prepared from historical photographs in the Association's collections. These slides were numbered 1 to 64. For most of them, 8x10 prints were made, and given the same numbers as the slides. From the quality of these prints, it is assumed that the prints were made from the slides. While presumably all these slides at one time had glass plate negatives as well, today only 30 of those negatives survive. It is also interesting to note that the slide show at one time had at least 68 slides. We know this because the 8x10 print of what became known as slide #32b is marked # 67, and because the print of Blessed Agnes Church and School (LCCC 1.447) is marked #68. There is a negative for this image but no lantern slide.
When the Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association materials were processed in 1983, the slides were processed as part of the Lawndale-Crawford Community Collection. In an attempt to unify the processing, these slides have now (1990) been reprocessed for the LCCC, as duplicate images of corresponding prints in that collection. In the interests of provenance, the original order of the lantern slides is given here, along with current location.
|1||4.20a||Farms in Lawndale-Crawford (map) In ms. Box 4:20a|
|2||1.234||Peter Crawford (1796-1876)|
|3||1.235||Sophronia Crawford (1807-1886)|
|4||1.229||Peter Crawford, daughter-in-law, and grandson|
|5||1.394||Farm of Henry Smith, Ogden & Springfield|
|6||3.2||Farm of Peter Ritzma, 22nd & Crawford, 1863|
|7||1.661||Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad engine|
|8||1.663||CB&Q Railroad station, Harry Ellis & father|
|9||1.664||CB&Q Railroad station, interior, Harry Ellis|
|10||1.662||CB&Q Railroad accident|
|11||1.2||Aggen's greenhouse, 25th & Kolin|
|12||2.4||John Crawford home, Keeler & Ogden|
|13||1.430||Charles Broadway home, 25th & Keeler; Kinzie|
|14||1.529||Crawford Academy, built 1871|
|15||1.532||Crawford Academy: Miss Gould's room, 1885|
|16||1.533||Lawndale Schoo-Crawford Branch, class photo, 1891|
|17||1.6||Barth’s Post Office & Store, Keeler Ave., 1893|
|18||1.309||Rufus Norton, Crawford mailman|
|19||1.676||U.S. mail car (Chicago Union Traction), Crawford Ave.|
|20||1.14||Lloyd’s Drug Store, 26th & Karlov|
|21||1.29||Patsy Stoke's Saloon, 26th & Crawford|
|22||1.15||Nick Madge's Barber Shop, 26th & Crawford|
|23||1.7||Broadway's dental office, interior, Ridgeway & Ogden|
|24||1.294||Crawford Trio: One-Lung Crosby, Chas. Charlton, Harry Lunn|
|25||1.101||Crawford Baptist Church|
|26||1.105||Crawford Congregational Church, 26th & Keeler|
|27||1.114||Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church|
|28||1.646||25th Street, looking west from Keeler Ave., c. 1900|
|29||1.592||Funeral procession, Keeler betw. 25th St. & 25th Pl.|
|30||4.20||Shedd Park, 23rd & Lawndale, 1875|
|31||3.1||Millard Avenue station, CB&Q Railroad now 3.3|
|32||1.250||Robert K. Gowenlock, first postman in Lawndale|
|32b||1.541||St. Ludmilla School, 1900 Originally slide 67|
|33||1.443||George Smith home, 18th & Central Park, 1885|
|34||1.609||Millard Ave. North from Ogden, 1890|
|35||1.608||Millard Ave. North from Ogden, 1905|
|36||1.404||A.C. Millard home, 22nd & Lawndale|
|37||1.406||A. C. Smith home, 23rd & Lawndale|
|38||1.402||E.S. Albro home, 22nd & Millard|
|39||1.389||E.G. Orvis home, Ogden & Central Park|
|40||1.599||Double-decker street car, Lawndale Ave.|
|41||1.127||Millard Avenue Baptist Church, 24th & Millard|
|42||1.121||Millard Ave. Baptist: Larned Meacham's S.S. class, 1900|
|43||1.138||Millard Ave. Congregational Church, 23rd & Central Park|
|44||1.97||*Young Ladies' Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament, 1897|
|45||1.110||Fowler Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895|
|46||1.509||Lawndale School, class picture, 1890|
|47||1.510||Lawndale School, class picture, 1891|
|48||1.417||Burns School picnic|
|49||1.40||Tebbett's Hall/Tennes Barber Shop, 22nd & Millard|
|50||1.31||Tebbett's Coal Yard|
|51||1.21||Millard Avenue Hotel|
|52||3.1||John Wood, first grocer in Lawndale|
||Holmes Store, Millard Ave. (Wm. Simpson, Wm. Homes and Mr. Geroux on steps)|
|54||1.378||Arthur Bliss and family in surrey|
|55||1.216||Florence Kinder and Charles Baldwin|
|56||1.261||Alice Hawkins & Arthur Hoskings, Millard Ave.|
|57||1.168||Pest House & Isolation Hospital, 34th & Lawndale|
|58||1.42||Western Electric Co., 1906|
|59||1.219||John Belsky, organizer of first Lawndale fire dept.|
|60||1.671||Lawndale Fire Department|
|61||1.670||Lawndale Fire Department: Hook & Ladder Company|
|62||3.4||Horse car pulling out of Ogden barns (mass transit)|
|63||1.656||Open air summer car, 26th & Keeler|
|64||1.652||26th Street, looking east from Cicero, 1890|
|67||Original number of 32b|
|68||1.447||Blessed Agnes School, exterior, 1906|