Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood Research History Collection
Milk Dealers Association Ledger and
The Milk Dealers Association was apparently founded some time prior to April 15, 1891, the date of the first meeting recorded in this book. Accounts on page 146 date back to November 1889, but even the Association seems to have been an established entity. The name of the Association is not entirely certain: "Milk Dealers Association" appears on page 127 in the minutes, but the name is given as "Milkman Association" on page 192. While the Association's beginning date is unclear, its date of disorganization is contained in the book: on August 6, 1895, the Association voted to disband.
The location of the Milk Dealers Association is identifed only by the location of its meetings: Roseland neighborhood's Kensington Avenue, which in the 1890s ran from Michigan Avenue east to Lake Calumet, between 115th and 116th Streets. Of the six secretaries who kept the minutes of the Association, three are listed in the 1893 Lakeside Business Directory of Chicago, all with Roseland addresses: T. Ibbotson, 230 111th Street; Frederick H. Niemeyer, Jr., State Street near 116th Street; and Williams J. Powers, 2551 [now ca. 125] Kensington Avenue.
It is probable that minutes began to be kept in this book when William J. Powers became secretary as Powers' name appears on the inside of the back cover. The first ten pages of the book, which are missing could have contained unrelated material which was removed when the book was devoted to the Association’s records.
The bulk of the written-upon pages of this book are taken up with the minutes of the Association’s meetings. These began at a place called "Tucks Hall" but were later moved to a location not specified but rather given simply as "Kensington Avenue." It is possible that the metings were held at the home of William J. Powers who was heavily involved with the Association and lived on Kensington Avenue, see above. The meetings were primarily concerned with the importance of making the union effective. For instance, the minutes of April 24, 1891, contain the motion "that milk men are not allowed to sell milk to any milk man outside the association and that any milk man that takes a customer away from another in the association below the prices agreed upon is to be fined $5.00 for every offense ." The value of the book is its documentation of a grass-roots union movement in Chicago within a service industry which itself is entirely gone from the landscape. A table of contents is given on the next page.
The account book of the Milk Dealers Association was received as part of the Calumet Pioneer Historical Society collections. It was originally cataloged in the Neighborhood History Research Collection as part of the Calumet Region Community, considered to be the oversize account book of Jessen and Turner, milk dealers. The last secretary of the Association was George T. Turner, and it is probable that he just kept the book after the Association disbanded. The book has now been separately cataloged in order to give it more visibility.
Processed by Galen R. Wilson, July 1992.
This volume is 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. It 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.
Page No./ Contents
11-30. Accounts, member by member, of dues and assessments; 1891 Apr-1892 September
31-55. Monthly household expenses, no name given; 1912 January-1914 January
100-135. Meeting minutes; 1891 April 15-1895 Aug 6
140. Income accounts; 1889 November
146. Scab list; 1889 November 23
181. Pencilled meeting minutes; [no year given] March 4
184-185. Household accounts; n.d.
186-187. Roll call; 1895 January 15-June 21
188. Receipts and expenditures; 1891 April 15 -December 31
189. Money deposited by members of the Milk Association as a guarantee;1893 March 7-May 31
190-191. Receipts and expenditures; 1892-1895
192-. Roll call; n.d.