Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood Research History Collection
Lower West Side Community Collection
.25 linear feet, 8 photographs
Call number: Archives_LOW
The Lower West Side neighborhood is 3 miles southwest of the Loop. This community is bounded by the Chicago River on the south and east and by the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks on the north and west. The northeast sections of the neighborhood were included in the city's boundaries when it incorporated in 1837. The remaining sections were annexed in 1853. It is number 31 of the 77 official communities that make up Chicago.
For an overview of the Lower West Side, see
- "Lower West Side," Encyclopedia of Chicago
- "CA31 -- Lower West Side," Local Community Fact Book, Chicago Metropolitan Area, 1990
The materials in this collection document the era when the Czechoslovakians and Germans held sway in the Lower West Side. The bulk of the collection concerns the Gads Hill Center which was a settlement house, and Trinity Evangelical Church, whose newsletters continued to be published in English and German into the 1940s. More information re Trinity Church can be found in the Kircher Family Papers; Julius Kircher pastored the church for half a century.
Supplement 1 consists of a photocopy of an unpublished autobiography of Emma Rouse King, who was born on in the Lower West Side neighborhood in 1879. The manuscript was written in the 1950s, and covers not only King’s girlhood, but her life subsequent to leaving Chicago. In addition to the manuscript are photos and biographical information about the author.
These materials were donated to Chicago Public Library by King’s
daughter, Faith Evans, in 1989.
The collection was originally housed in Chicago Public Library's Legler 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. Related materials in the NHRC files are the Belmont-Cragin, Portage Park, Humboldt Park, and West Side Community Collections.
Processed November 18, 1988
The Lower West Side Community Collection is 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 i.d. and complete a Reader Registration Form. Telephone inquiries on this collection and other Special Collections holdings can be directed to (312) 747-4875.
BOX 1 Religious Institutions
1. Mennonite—Newsclip; 1939
2. St. Procopius—Postcard; n.d.
3. Swedish Free Mission—Dedication program; 1906
4. Trinity Evangelical—Anniversary booklets; 1909, 1934
5. Trinity Evangelical—Bulletins; 1904-1917
6. Trinity Evangelical—Bulletins; 1939-1944
7. Trinity Evangelical—"Der Dreieinigkeits-Bote"/Trinity Herald" (Newsletter); 1924, 1932-35, 1939-41
Clubs & Organizations
8. Gads Hill Center—Annual reports, brochures, newsletters,
9. Gads Hill—Historical pageant script; 1938
10. Gads Hill—Pamphlets & programs; 1924-1943
11. Bartolozzi, Lorraine, "Community Study of the Lower West
12. Jirka, Komensky, Whittier; 1938-1940
SUPPLEMENT 1 Biography
13. King, Emma Rouse (1879-1956)—Biographical information,
14. King, Emma Rouse, My Span of Life—Autobiography; [1950s]
15. Hoyt, Homer, "Rebuilding Old Chicago—The Lower West Side," 1941
1.1 Business Establishments--Heydenreich Drug Store, 1892-93
1.2 Religious Institutions--St. Paul’s Church, 1902
1.3 Clubs & Organizations--Gad’s Hill Center, 1930s
1.4 Schools--Pickard School, 2nd grade, 1891
1.5 Schools--Pickard School, 4th grade, 1891
1.6 Transportation--Bridge: Halsted & 22nd St., 1911
1.7 Business Establishmetns--T. W. Harvey Lumber Co., c. 1900
1.8 Portraits--Ruth Austin, 1919 W. Cullerton; 1940?
Related Material Not Housed With Collection
Austin, Ruth. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1939 Oct 15; and folders
Gorski, Albina. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1944 Apr 27
Hunt, Susan Hadley. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1941 Sep 10
Husek, Joseph. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1940 Sep 8
Kircher, Julius and family. See Kircher Family Papers
Novak, John. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1952 Aug 3
Novak’s Apothecary Shop. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1952 Aug 3
German Evangeli. Trinity. See Trinity Evangelical (1:4-7)
Halsted Street Institutional. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1941 May 23, May 17;
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1938 May 29
Sacred Heart. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1938 May 15.
St. Procopius. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1942 Jun 6
Trinity Evangelical. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1940 Oct 20
Clubs & Organizations
Howell Neighborhood House. See CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1939 Jan 29
Martha Verein. See Trinity Evangelical Church (folders 1:4-7)
Bohemian Community. See CHICAGO DAILY NEWS, 1941 Feb 8