George A. Brennan Papers

Dates: 1915-1958
Size: 0.5 linear foot in 1 box, plus 1 oversize folder
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe.gab
Immediate Source of Acquisition: The collection was transferred from Chicago Public Library's Pullman Branch in the 1980s, funded by a Dr. Scholl Foundation Grant.
Conditions Governing Access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Preferred Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: George A. Brennan Papers [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Finding Aid Author: Original author unknown. Processed, 1980s. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.


The collection reflects George Brennan’s personal interest in the local history of the Calumet region and the early Dutch community in Chicago.


George A. Brennan was born in 1856 outside New York City. His family settled in the Chicago area around 1868. Upon graduation from college, Mr. 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, Mr. 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.

Mr. 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.

Scope and Contents

The papers included in this small collection reflect Brennan’s personal interest in the local history of the Calumet community and the Dutch immigrants who settled in this region of Chicago. Appearing are news clippings, notations, and photographs of Native American artifacts that Brennan collected and exhibited at the Chicago Historical Society. Also included are typescripts, notes, illustrations and handwritten manuscripts of several of Brennan’s historical accounts of the Dutch and their settlement in the Calumet region.


The files are arranged alphabetically by title.

Separated materials

  • 2 photographs of Brennan were moved to the Calumet Region Community Collection.
  • The Wonders of the Dunes, by George A. Brennan, was cataloged with call number F547.M56B83.

Subject Headings

  • Brennan, George A.
  • Dutch — Illinois — Chicago — History
  • Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Roseland (Chicago, Ill.)

Related Collections

Collection Inventory

Box 1 Folder 1 Biographical news clippings, 1934, 1958, undated
Box 1 Folder 3 “Brief History of the Ninth Ward,” typescript, undated
Box 1 Folder 4 The Dutch in America, typescript with notations and corrections, undated
Box 1 Folder 5 The Dutch in America, typed copy, undated
Box 1 Folder 6 The History of Chicago-Calumet Region (December 13, 1926), 1944 August
Box 1 Folder 7 “Hollanders first to Make Roseland Home,” The Examiner, 1915 March 22
Box 1 Folder 8 “Jean Baptiste de Saible, The First Citizen of Chicago, and its First Business Man,” handwritten manuscript, undated
Box 1 Folder 9 “Jean Baptiste de Saible, The First Citizen of Chicago, and its First Business Man,” typescript, undated
Box 1 Folder 10 Illustrations for writings, undated
  Oversize Folder 1 Map of Chicago-Dune Region in 1856, compiled by George A. Brennan and drawn by Joseph Turner, Chicago, undated
Box 1 Folder 2 Notations and artifacts photocopies, 1920s
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