Special Collections and Preservation Division
Neighborhood Research History Collection
South Chicago Community Collection
2 linear ft., 209 photographs, 4 oversize folders
Call number: Archives_SCCC
The South Chicago neighborhood has a long and rich historical tradition; dating back to 1830-33. Land speculators, anticipating the linking of the Calumet River to the projected Illinois and Michigan Canal began settling in the area in the 1830’s. Lewis Benton, a pioneer settler and businessman, acquired title to a large plot adjacent to the Calumet River and in 1836 platted it into lots and named it the "City of Calumet." When the plans for the canal fell through, the speculative boom in real estate came to a halt. In fact, development of South Chicago lagged behind that of other Chicago neighborhoods for at least a decade.
Despite the fact that development lagged in the area, some local improvements were undertaken. For example, in 1839 a toll bridge spanned the Calumet River for the first time; in 1848 the first railroad, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern ran along trestle work from South Chicago to Englewood and in 1851 the road connecting South Chicago to the "loop" had been completed. Industrial development, for which South Chicago is known, began in earnest after the Civil War.
South Chicago’s development received a boost from the Calumet and the Chicago Canal and Dock Company in 1869. The company was formed to operate and develop the Calumet canal harbor facilities. In 1870 Congress approved funds to improve the Calumet River’s ties. In 1870 Congress approved funds to improve the Calumet River’s docking and harbor facilities. The increased pace of industrial development attracted more and more laborers to the area. To meet housing demands, the Calumet and Chicago Canal and Dock Company subdivided 6000 acres of land and platted a new town on the old site of the Calumet Subdivision. South Chicago now stood poised for industrial greatness. By the early 1900’s and lasting until the 1960’s, South Chicago was one of the great steel producing centers in the world.
The SCCC is divided into nine series ranging from "Biographical Data" describing the area’s rich ethnic diversity to "Street Scenes." Photographs have been removed from the SCCC, indexed, classified and placed into the Neighborhood History Research Collection/Audio-Visual Collection (NHRC-AV). The SCCC is open to the public and available for research at the Special Collections Division’s office. Selected duplicates and photographs are available at the South Chicago Branch Library.
What follows is a list of significant subjects in the SCCC:
Calumet and Chicago Canal & Dock Co.
U. S. Steel
South Shore Methodist Church
South Chicago Community Forum
"History of South Chicago"
Cal-Sag Channel Project
Calumet River Improvement
Series I: Biographical Data, 1959 - 1970
This small series contains correspondence, booklets and newsclippings providing information about some of South Chicago’s residents. It is arranged alphabetically by biographee’s surname. Photographs have been removed and can be accessed in the NHRC-AV under the classification Portrait & Family Photographs.
Series II: Business Establishments, 1883 - 1956
Brochures, contracts, newsclippings and picture books describing South Chicago businesses are all found in this small series. Business establishments ranging in size from South Works to Brown’s Funeral Home can be found in this series. The series is arranged alphabetically by each business’s name. Photographs have been removed and placed in the NHRC-AV.
Series III: Churches, 1886 - 1961
This small series contains anniversary publications, historical sketches and newsclippings of South Chicago churches. It is arranged alphabetically by church name. Photographs have been removed and placed in the NHRC-AV.
Series IV: Clubs & Organizations, 1931 - 1960
Community service groups, religious organizations. Labor brotherhoods and fraternal clubs are all represented in this series. The series contains brochures, anniversary publications, newsclippings and yearbooks. It is arranged alphabetically by organization’s name. Photographs have been removed and placed in the NHRC-AV.
Series V: Community Historical Essays & Sketches, 1936
This series contains historical essays written about different aspects of South Chicago’s development. The essays, while covering a wide variety of subjects focus mainly upon the development of South Chicago’s industrial infrastructure. Materials arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series VI: Hospitals, 1952
This small series contains programs and newsclippings from the South Chicago Community Hospital. An eleven part series describing the development of this South Chicago institution is included in this series.
Series VIII: Municipal Agencies, 1892 - 1940, n.d.
Reports, newsclippings and a tax assessor’s receipt book are some of the items contained in this brief series. This series is arranged alphabetically. Photographic materials have been placed in the NHRC-AV.
Series IX: Schools, 1943 - 1963
This series contains historical sketches and newsclippings from some of South Chicago’s most familiar schools. The schools are arranged alphabetically. Photographic materials have been placed in the NHRC-AV.
Series X: Street Scenes, 1880 - 1957
This series contains pamphlets and newsclippings about the development of certain streets in South Chicago. Streets are arranged alphabetically. Supplement 1
The tax receipt book of John Bruszer, 1880-1899, has been added to the section of Community Histories. It is in folder 3:31.
Separation Record: Oversized Materials
The following items have been removed to the locations given.
Map of subdivisions of the Calumet &
Chicago Canal & Dock Co. At South
Chicago, Cook County, Ills. Map,
41x44 inches. Scale 1:2400.
Rand McNally & Co., printers, 1884.
Subdivision of the Calumet & Chicago
Canal & Dock Co., in sections 5 & 6,
T. 37 N, R. 15 E. Of the 3rd P. M. at
South Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
Folding map in 24 sections, 30x38 inches.
R. W. Dobson, surveyor & lithographer. No date.
Clubs and Organizations
Chicago Federation of Labor,
Oversize—SCCC 3 Federation News. 68:35, 1956
September 3. Two copies. Streets Map of Hyde Park, Calumet, Thorton, Folio Oversize—SCCC 4
South Chicago and northern portion of Lake County, India. "Owing to the natural advantages of its situation, South Chicago is to become the great industrial center of the north west." map; 24x27". Handcolored.
No date, [1850s?]
The South Chicago Community Collection (SCCC) began in 1948 when Mrs. Evelyn Walter, South Chicago Branch Librarian, published an open letter in The Daily Calumet. Mrs. Walter’s letter attempted to generate community interest in an historical society for South Chicago. The historical society was to have met several times a year for the purpose of, "preserving the records of earlier days and . . . providing a reason for some of the old residents to get together."
Mrs. Walter’s letter did provoke some limited community interest about preserving South Chicago’s history. The South Chicago Branch of the Chicago Public Library served as the repository for historical records and photographs brought in by South Chicagoans. The records were collected and cataloged by the library’s staff and stored at the branch library. There is no evidence of there ever been a South Chicago historical society.
From 1948 until the summer of 1985 the records remained at the South Chicago Branch. The records consisting of historical documents, newsclippings and photographs were removed from the South Chicago Branch and placed under the custody of the Special Collections Division of the Chicago Public Library. There the papers and photographs were processed and stored according to standard archival procedures.
Processed April 1989.
The South Chicago Community Collection 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. 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.
BOX 1 Series I: Biographical Data
1. Bruszer, John: Special Assessment Receipt, July
2. Buchanan, Alderman John J.: Newsclippings, 1969-70.
3. Butler, Walter: Newsclippings, 1959.
4. Cranby, Helena Nix: Newsclipping 1961.
5. Kazacik Family: ALS, March 25, 1969. Booklet, 1969.
6. Langer, Edward: Newsclipping, ca. 1941-45.
7. O’Hara, Congressman Baratt: Newsclipping, 1969.
8. Pavichevich, William: Newsclipping, 1966.
9. Rowan, William A.: Correspondence, ca. 1940’s.
10. Walters, Nenona: Newsclipping, 1965.
11. Zirngible, Andreas von: Newsclipping, 1962.
Series II: Business Establishments
12. Brown Funeral Home: Newsclipping, 1960.
Calumet & Chicago Canal &
13. Agreements, 1883-85.
14. Contracts, 1884.
15. Court Petition, US Northern District v Calumet & Canal & Dock Co., 1884.
16. Ordinance of Permission, 1886.
17. Specifications, 1883-89.
18. Subdivision map, ca. 1880’s. See: Oversize 1& 2
19. Calumet National Bank: Brochure, "South Chicago - Its History and Progress," 1927.
20. Calumet Publishing Co.: Directory, ca. 1940. Carneogne-Illinois Steel Corp.: See: Soth Works.
21. Chicago Steel & Wire CO.: Picture book, 1945.
22. Clinkerville Gulch: Program, Sept.-Oct. 1903.
23. Inland Steel: Booklet, 1956.
24-28. In Print, 1952-1956.
1. Sauganash Hotel: Advertisement brochure, Dec. 1961.
2. South Chicago Savings Bank: Silver anniversary souvenir book, ca. 1926.
3. South Works: Pamphlets, 1950’s.
4. U. S. Steel: Newsclippings, 1960.
5. Wisconsin Steel: Newsclipping, 1977. See also: U. S. Steel & South Works.
Series III: Churches
6. Congregational Church: Centennial Concert Program, 1876.
7. Immaculate Conception B.V.M. Parish: 75th Anniversary book, 1957.
8. Our Lady Gate of Heaven: Newsclippings, 1957.
9. Our Lady of Peace Parish: "Fr. Friel’s Pastoral Jubilee," 1953.
10. Sacred Heart Croatian Church: "Memorial Book of WWII," 1946.
St. George Church:
11. Parish almanac, 1943.
12. 50th Anniversary Souvenir Booklet, 1953.
13. St. Mary Magdalene Church: Newsclippings, 1960.
14. St. Patrick’s Parish: Centennial Souvenir Program, 1957.
15. St. Petri Evangelical & Reformed Church: Newsclippings, 1960.
16. SS. Peter & Paul Parish: Jubilee Program & Newsclippings, 1957.
17. South Deering Methodist Church: Brochure, n.d.
18. South Shore Methodist Church: History, 1956
Series IV: Clubs & Organizations 1
9. Calumet Region Youth Council: Newsclipping, 1957.
Chicago Federation of Labor: Federation News - Special Labor Day Edition, Sept. 20, 1956. See: Oversize 3.
20. East Side Lions Club: Centennial Publication, 1951.
21. Industrial Management Club: Newsclipping, 1957.
Old Settler’s Association of South
22. Jubilee Publication, 1936.
23. Newsclippings, n.d.
24. Political Organizations: 10th Ward Alderman, 1889-1910.
25. South Chicago Chamber of Commerce: Newsclipping, 1957.
26. South Chicago Chamber Community Center: Brochure, 1960.
South Chicago Community Forum:
27. Activities outline, 1943-47.
28. "Atomic Energy and the Industrial Future," 1948.
29. "The New Congress & Labor Legislation," 1949.
30. "Compulsory Health Insurance," 1949.
31. "Lighting Chicago’s Score in Human Relations," 1950.
32. "The Free Trade Union in Modern Society," 1950.
33. India & Pakistan Today, n.d.
in the Coming Elections," 1948.
2. "Toward Brotherhood in Chicago," 1949.
3. "The Work of the 81st Congress," 1949.
4. "Why Read Books?" 1949.
5. South Chicago Historical Society: Organizational papers, 1948.
6-8.South Chicago Trades & Labor Assembly: Yearbooks, 1948, 1956, 1957.
9. Southeastern Chicago Steel Workers: Local 65, 1952.
10. South Shore Commission: South Shore Scene, 1962.
11. The Steel City Business Service: The South Chicagoan, 1949.
12. United Steelworkers of America: ". . .The First Ten Years," 1944.
Series V: Community Historical Essays & Sketches
13. "Forty-four Cities in the City of Chicago," 1942.
14. "History of South Chicago," by Frank J. Markin, 1970.
15. "History of South Chicago 1836-1936," by George A. Rodney, ca. 1936
16-19. "History of South Chicago: "Newsclippings, ca. 1940.
20. "History of South Chicago District," by Hanberg, ca. 1949.
21. "History & Progress of East Side 1851-1951," by East Side Lions
22. Calumet River Improvement - Instructions for Bidders, 1887-88.
Cal-Sag Channel Project:
23. Information pamphlets, 1956-58.
24. Newsclippings, 1956-57.
25. Newsclippings, 1956-57.
26. Newsclippings, 1958.
27. Newsclippings, 1959.
28. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, n.d.
29. City Dump Project: Newsclippings, n.d.
30. Reports: Census Analysis, 1940.
31. Bruszer, John—Tax receipt book, 1880-1899.
1. "Mystery of Our Street Names," by Alice Costello,
2. "The Old Stateline Monument," The Economist, May 3, 1945.
3. "South Chicago History is Older than Chicago," Daily Calumet, 1952.
4. "South Chicago-City with Romantic Past and Highway Leading to It," n.d.
5. "South Chicago’s History for First Hundred Years," Daily Calumet, 1936.
6. "The Story Behind Chicago’s Street Names," Chicago Tribune Magazine, Aug. 18, 1968.
7. Report of a Brief Community Analysis of South Chicago, 1940.
8. Industrial Surveys, 1940’s.
St. Lawrence Waterway & Power Project:
9. Brochures, 1958, 1961.
10. Newsclippings, 1957-58.
11. Newsclippings, 1956-61, 1966.
12. Water Filtration Plant Project: Newsclipping, 1961.
Series VI: Hospitals
South Chicago Community
13. Dinner Dance Programs, 1952-53..
14. Newsclippings, 1958.
Series VII: Municipal Agencies 1
5. Cook County Collector’s Office: Receipt Book, 1892-94.
16-22. Chicago Recreation Commission: Recreation & Juvenile
Delinquency Study, ca. 1940.
23. Victor L. Schlaeger (fire boat): Newsclipping, n.d.
Series VIII: Schools
24. Susan B. Anthony Elementary School: Newsclipping, 1957.
25. Bethlehem Lutheran School: Newsclipping, 1969.
26. Bowen High School: The Bowen Arrow, April 2, 1943.
27. Buckingham School: Newsclipping, 1962.
28. Phil Sheridan School: Historical sketch, 1963.
28a.South Chicago High School: Graduation program, 1897.
29. J. N. Thorp Elementary School: Newsclipping, 1962.
30. George Washington School: Newsclipping, 1956, 1957.
Series IX: Street Scenes 3
1. Greenwood Avenue: Improvement Project – Flyer, [1880s]
32. 130th Street Bridge Project: Pamphlet, 1949.
33. Stony Island Avenue Project: Newsclippings, 1957.
1.1 Calumet Iron and Steel Works-At Gummings
1.2 Daily Calumet
1.3 Gaslight Era, End of
1.4-5 Gayety Candy & Soda Fountain
1.6 Goldblatt’s Department Store Ground breaking
1.7 Grand Crossing Tack Co.
1.8 Helbing’s General Store
1.9 Illinois Steel Company
1.10 Illinois Steel Co. - Hospital
1.11 Illinois Steel Co. - Machine Shop
1.12 Illinois Steel Co. - Main Gate
1.13 Illinois Steel Works
1.14 M. Shields Co.
1.15 Ship Building
1.16 Ship Yards
1.17 South Chicago Savings Bank-Parade
1.18-19 South Works
1.20-21 Trudg Cigars & Tobacco
1.22 Wisconsin Steel - Safety Comm.
Clubs & Organizations
1.23 American Legion - Illiana Post #220
1.24-25 Rowan’s Horse Shoe Club
1.26 Saint Patrick-Committee for Golden
1.27-30 South Chicago Community Forum
1.31 South Chicago Eagles Aerie #1358
1.32 South Chicago-Home-Coming Week Meeting
1.33-34 Washington Physicians and Newspapermen Manresa Group
1.35 Women’s Relief Corps - Post #161
1.36 Y. M. C. A.-Gayety Cup Award
1.37 Altgeld Gardens-U. S. Housing Project
1.38 Political rally; n.d.
1.39 South Chicago Public Library-Exhibit
1.40 South Chicago Public Library - Labor Exhibit
1.41 Fire Boat Crew
1.42-43 Fire Department
1.44 Bessemer Park - Field House
1.45 Irondale Playground (?)
1.46 108 St. Playground - Ground breaking
1.47 South Deering A. C. - Ball Park
1.48 Trumbal Park
1.49 Windsor Park Bench
1.50 Anderson, Paul Edward
1.51 Ansbury, Jas
1.52 Badtke, D. H.
1.53 Balash, Mary Ann
1.54 Ballahan, Jerry P. Jr.
1.55 Baumgartner, Robert
1.56 Behnke, William E.
1.57 Benne, Robert
1.58 Bennett, John I.
1.59 Bialas, Frank
1.60 Blank, Walter
1.61 Boris, Clarence Bruce
1.62 Brokop, Henry
1.63 Busckley, Waldron
1.64 Bulla, Albert J.
1.65 Daniel, Chester
1.66 Danielweskt, Michael W.
1.67 Dingell (?), John D.
1.68a-b Dolosinski, Henry
1.69 Drous, John A.
1.70 Dupler, Leo
1.71 Duszyaski, Edward H.
1.72 Dwyer, Eugene
1.73 Dwyer, Gerald L.
1.74 Erikson, Lloyd
1.75 Ewing, George A.
1.76 Gonzalez, Reuben
1.77 Gordon, Thomas S.
1.78 Gorski, Martin
1.79 Grabowski, Stanley
1.80 Hough, William
1.81 Langer, Edward
1.82 Lesinski, John
1.83 Lynn, Brother J.
1.84 Malecki, Helene
1.85 Markusic, Charles D.
1.86 Merquesh, Carl
1.87 Merrick, Arthur
1.88 Myers, Francis J.
1.89 Paganini, B.
1.90 Parkinson, Warren C.
1.91 Peloza, John Florian
1.92 Robertson (?)
1.93 Rowan, William A.
1.94-1.145 Rowan, William A.
1.146 Ruowski, Edward J.
1.147 Sadoroski, Geore S.
1.148 McAdam, "Spike" (?)
1.150 Van Deloar, Father
1.151 F. J. Lewis Sub-Division
1.152 91st & Greenbay
1.153 2958 E. 91st
1.154 3360 E. 91st
1.155 2863 E. 96th St.-Ground Breaking
1.156 10940 Ave. J.-Groundbreaking
1.157 South Deering-U. S. Housing Project
1.158 Bowen High School Addition-Ground Breaking
1.159 Bowen High School-Opening of New Addition
1.160 92nd St. & Calumet River
1.161 95th St. & Calumet River
1.162 Commercial Avenue
1.163-165 91st St. & Commercial Avenue
1.166 92nd St. & Commercial Avenue
1.167-171 Funeral Procession
1.172 Irondale & Torrence
1.173 95th St. - Ground breaking
1.174 97th St.
1.175 103rd Viaduct - Ground Breaking
1.176 89th & So. Chicago-Dedication
1.177-178 Stony Island Ave. - Official Opening
1.179 Unidentified Street
1.180-181 Unidentified Street Scene
1.183 Bruszer Boats
1.184-185 Chicago - Lake Shore & Eastern RR Co.
1.186 Horse Drawn Wagon
1.187-188 Horse Drawn Buggy
1.189-1.190 Port Elizabeth Hull 139 - launching a tug
1.191 River Tug
1.192 Street-Car Line - 87th St. - Opening day ceremony
1.193 Subway- Construction
1.194 Goldblatt’s Department Store - Ground Breaking
War Time Activities
1.195 Honor Roll-Local 66
1.196 O. P. A. - Poster Contest
1.197-209 Pacific Theatre Tour