Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association Records

Dates: 1929-1978, 1984 (Bulk dates, 1934-1953)
Size: 3 linear feet, 31 photographs
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: Archives_LCHA
Provenance: The collection was originally housed in Chicago Public Library's Toman 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.
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association Records [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.

Historical Note

In December 1934, librarians of the John Toman Branch Library of Chicago Public Library placed two 19th century neighborhood photographs on display and encouraged residents to work with the library on an historical association. On December 13, 30 people gathered at the library to hear Peter Ritzma, Charles Ebright, Arthur Bliss and others speak about their recollections of the development of the neighborhood. The Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association was incorporated by the state on September 16, 1935.

The Association and the Library worked on a number of community projects and activities, including two publications, The Old Families of Lawndale and Crawford (1935) and An Experiment in Friendship (1937). In addition, many local histories were written, the most comprehensive of which was the History of Lawndale-Crawford (1952). The Association worked with the Library to collect photographs, manuscripts, printed items and memorabilia. Annual meetings were held traditionally on September 26, the birthday of Peter Crawford, who had an early farm in the area. The last annual meeting was held in 1984.

Scope and Content

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 1: Administrative & Historical Records

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 2: 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 3: 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 4: Scrapbook

The scrapbook (box 5) contains news clippings, notices of meetings and related items reflecting activities of the Association and earlier community life, 1929 to 1948.

Oversize Materials

Three folders of newspaper clippings Oversize-LCHA 1, 2, and 3.

Separation Record

A series of thirty glass plate negatives and sixty-four lantern slides were received as part of the Lawndale-Crawford Historical Association. While these slides were certainly used for Association meetings, and therefore document 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.

Related Materials

Container List

Series 1: Administrative and Historical Records

Box 1 Folder 1 Annual meetings, minutes, reports, speeches, 1936, 1952, 1953, 1968
Box 1 Folder 2 Certificate of Incorporation, 1935 September 16
Box 1 Folder 3 Community questionnaire, circa 1937-39
Box 1 Folder 4 Directory, “Old Families of Lawndale & Crawford,” 1935
Box 1 Folder 5 Directory, “An Experiment in Friendship”; c. 1937
Box 1 Folder 6 Directory, typescript, undated
Box 1 Folder 7 Directory, typescript, undated
Box 1 Folder 8 Historical essays, notes, sketches, 1935-40
Box 1 Folder 9 History of Lawndale-Crawford, 1952
Box 1 Folder 10 Local Historical Societies, report on meetings, 1939, 1941
Box 1 Folder 11 Membership Questionnaire, A-C, 1949
Box 1 Folder 12 Membership Questionnaire, D-L, 1949
Box 1 Folder 13 Membership Questionnaire, M-R, 1949
Box 1 Folder 14 Membership Questionnaire, S-Z, 1949
Box 1 Folder 15 News clippings, 1935-1962 (See oversize 1-3)
Box 1 Folder 16 Programs, announcements and flyers, 1934-1978
Box 1 Folder 17 Song Sheets, undated
Box 1 Folder 18 50th Anniversary meeting, news clippings, 1984

Series 2: Correspondence, 1935-1972 (Bulk dates 1935-1953)

Box 1 Folder 19 Correspondence − A
Box 1 Folder 20 Correspondence − B
Box 1 Folder 21 Correspondence − C
Box 1 Folder 22 Correspondence − D
Box 1 Folder 23 Correspondence − E
Box 1 Folder 24 Correspondence − F
Box 1 Folder 25 Correspondence − G
Box 1 Folder 26 Correspondence − H
Box 1 Folder 27 Correspondence – I-J
Box 1 Folder 28 Correspondence − K
Box 1 Folder 29 Correspondence − L
Box 2 Folder 1 Correspondence − M
Box 2 Folder 2 Correspondence − Meacham, Larned E., 1936-53
Box 2 Folder 3 Correspondence − N
Box 2 Folder 4 Correspondence − O
Box 2 Folder 5 Correspondence − Ouska, John A., 1937
Box 2 Folder 6 Correspondence − Ouska, John A., 1938
Box 2 Folder 7 Correspondence − Ouska, John A., 1939
Box 2 Folder 8 Correspondence − P
Box 2 Folder 9 Correspondence − R
Box 2 Folder 10 Correspondence − S
Box 2 Folder 11 Correspondence − T
Box 2 Folder 12 Correspondence − U
Box 2 Folder 13 Correspondence − V
Box 2 Folder 14 Correspondence − W

Series 3: Card File

Box 3 Cards A-L
Box 4 Cards M-Z

Series 4: Scrapbook

Box 5 Scrapbook, 1929-1948


Photographs with the prefix “2.” 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 that concerned the 75th Anniversary of Blessed Agnes Catholic Church at 2651 S. Central Park. The meeting was held in the Toman Branch Library.

Clubs and Organizations

Photograph 1.1 First meeting, 1934 December 13 [3 copies; Copy 3 is from collections of West Side Historical Society]
Photograph 1.2 Annual meeting, group photo, 1939 September 25
Photograph 1.3 Annual meeting, group photo, 1939 September 25
Photograph 1.4 Annual meeting, group photo, 1940 September 26
Photograph 1.5 Annual meeting, officers, 1940 September 26
Photograph 1.6 Annual meeting, 1944 September 30
Photograph 1.7 Annual meeting, officers, 1947 October 8
Photograph 1.8 Annual meeting, members, 1948 October 21
Photograph 1.9 Annual meeting, Larend Meacham, President, 1949 October 27
Photograph 1.10 Annual meeting, officers, 1949 October 27
Photograph 1.11 Annual meeting, members, 1949 October 27
Photograph 1.12 Annual meeting, Shedd Park Square Dance Group, 1949 October 27
Photograph 1.13 Annual meeting, 1951 September 26
Photograph 1.14 Annual meeting, guest speakers, 1957 October 10
Photograph 2.5 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, undated
Photograph 2.6 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, meeting attendees, right side of room, undated
Photograph 2.7 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, meeting attendees, left side of room, undated
Photograph 2.8 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, introduction of unidentified speaker, undated
Photograph 2.9 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, unidentified speaker, undated
Photograph 2.10 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 2.11 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 2.12 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 2.13 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, speaker giving Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 2.14 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, reception after Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 2.15 Meeting at Toman Branch Library, reception after Blessed Agnes Church lecture, undated
Photograph 1.15 Second Federal Savings Bank exhibit, “Historical Old Lawndale-Crawford,” 1934
Photograph 1.16 Second Federal Savings Bank exhibit, “Historical Old Lawndale-Crawford,” 1934

Religious Institutions

Photograph 2.1 Blessed Agnes Church, exterior, front and tower, circa 1977
Photograph 2.2 Blessed Agnes Church, exterior, side and tower, circa 1977
Photograph 2.3 Blessed Agnes Church, exterior, front, circa 1977
Photograph 2.4 Blessed Agnes Church, exterior, front, circa 1977

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, 8” x 10” 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 8” x 10” 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.

For a complete list of all glass plate slides (positive and negative) please see the archivist.

An * indicates that there is a glass plate negative as well.

Slide 1 LCCC Photograph 4.20a* Farms in Lawndale-Crawford, map, (Box 4, Folder 20a)
Slide 2 LCCC Photograph 1.234 Peter Crawford (1796-1876)
Slide 3 LCCC Photograph 1.235 Sophronia Crawford (1807-1886)
Slide 4 LCCC Photograph 1.229 Peter Crawford, daughter-in-law, and grandson
Slide 5 LCCC Photograph 1.394* Farm of Henry Smith, Ogden and Springfield
Slide 6 LCCC Photograph 3.2* Farm of Peter Ritzma, 22nd & Crawford, 1863
Slide 7 LCCC Photograph 1.661* Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad, engine
Slide 8 LCCC Photograph 1.663* Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad, station, Harry Ellis and father
Slide 9 LCCC Photograph 1.664* Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad, station, interior, Harry Ellis
Slide 10 LCCC Photograph 1.662* Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad, accident
Slide 11 LCCC Photograph 1.2 Aggen’s greenhouse, 25th and Kolin
Slide 12 LCCC Photograph 2.4* John Crawford home, Keeler and Ogden Avenues
Slide 13 LCCC Photograph 1.430* Charles Broadway home, 25th and Keeler; Kinzie
Slide 14 LCCC Photograph 1.529 Crawford Academy, built 1871
Slide 15 LCCC Photograph 1.532* Crawford Academy, Miss Gould’s room, 1885
Slide 16 LCCC Photograph 1.533 Lawndale School, Crawford Branch, class photo, 1891
Slide 17 LCCC Photograph 1.6 Barth’s Post Office and Store, Keeler Ave., 1893
Slide 18 LCCC Photograph 1.309 Rufus Norton, Crawford mailman
Slide 19 LCCC Photograph 1.676* U.S. mail car (Chicago Union Traction), Crawford Ave
Slide 20 LCCC Photograph 1.14* Lloyd’s Drug Store, 26th and Karlov
Slide 21 LCCC Photograph 1.29 Patsy Stoke’s Saloon, 26th and Crawford
Slide 22 LCCC Photograph 1.15* Nick Madge’s Barber Shop, 26th and Crawford
Slide 23 LCCC Photograph 1.7* Broadway’s dental office, interior, Ridgeway and Ogden
Slide 24 LCCC Photograph 1.294 Crawford Trio, One-Lung Crosby, Chas. Charlton, Harry Lunn
Slide 25 LCCC Photograph 1.101 Crawford Baptist Church
Slide 26 LCCC Photograph 1.105* Crawford Congregational Church, 26th and Keeler
Slide 27 LCCC Photograph 1.114 Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Slide 28 LCCC Photograph 1.646 25th Street, looking west from Keeler Avenue, circa 1900
Slide 29 LCCC Photograph 1.592 Funeral procession, Keeler between 25th Street and 25th Place
Slide 30 LCCC Photograph 4.20* Shedd Park, 23rd and Lawndale, 1875
Slide 31 LCCC Photograph 3.1* Millard Avenue station, Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad (now 3.3)
Slide 32 LCCC Photograph 1.250* Robert K. Gowenlock, first postman in Lawndale
Slide 32b LCCC Photograph 1.541 St. Ludmilla School, 1900 (originally Slide 67)
Slide 33 LCCC Photograph 1.443* George Smith home, 18th Street and Central Park, 1885
Slide 34 LCCC Photograph 1.608* Millard Avenue, north from Ogden, 1890
Slide 35 LCCC Photograph 1.608* Millard Avenue, north from Ogden, 1905
Slide 36 LCCC Photograph 1.404* Millard, A. C. home, 22nd and Lawndale
Slide 37 LCCC Photograph 1.406 Smith, A. C. home, 23rd and Lawndale
Slide 38 LCCC Photograph 1.402 Albro, E. S. home, 22nd and Millard
Slide 39 LCCC Photograph 1.389 Orvis, E. G. home, Ogden and Central Park
Slide 40 LCCC Photograph 1.599 Double-decker street car, Lawndale Avenue
Slide 41 LCCC Photograph 1.127* Millard Avenue Baptist Church, 24th and Millard
Slide 42 LCCC Photograph 1.121* Millard Avenue Baptist, Larned Meacham’s S.S. class, 1900
Slide 43 LCCC Photograph 1.138* Millard Avenue Congregational Church, 23rd and Central Park
Slide 44 LCCC Photograph 1.97* Young Ladies’ Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament, 1897 (missing)
Slide 45 LCCC Photograph 1.110* Fowler Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895
Slide 46 LCCC Photograph 1.509 Lawndale School, class picture, 1890
Slide 47 LCCC Photograph 1.510 Lawndale School, class picture, 1891
Slide 48 LCCC Photograph 1.417 Burns School picnic
Slide 49 LCCC Photograph 1.40 Tebbett’s Hall/Tennes Barber Shop, 22nd and Millard
Slide 50 LCCC Photograph 1.31 Tebbett’s Coal Yard
Slide 51 LCCC Photograph 1.21 Millard Avenue Hotel
Slide 52 LCCC Photograph 3.1* Wood, John, first grocer in Lawndale
Slide 53 LCCC Photograph 1.11 Holmes Store, Millard Ave. (Wm. Simpson, Wm. Homes and Mr. Geroux on steps
Slide 54 LCCC Photograph 1.378 Bliss, Arthur and family in Surrey
Slide 55 LCCC Photograph 1.216* Kinder, Florence and Charles Baldwin
Slide 56 LCCC Photograph 1.261* Hawkins, Alice and Arthur Hoskings, Millard Avenue
Slide 57 LCCC Photograph 1.168 Pest House and Isolation Hospital, 34th & Lawndale
Slide 58 LCCC Photograph 1.42* Western Electric Co., 1906
Slide 59 LCCC Photograph 1.219* Belsky, John, organizer of first Lawndale Fire Department
Slide 60 LCCC Photograph 1.671 Lawndale Fire Department
Slide 61 LCCC Photograph 1.670 Lawndale Fire Department, Hook and Ladder Company
Slide 62 LCCC Photograph 3.4 Horse car pulling out of Ogden barns (mass transit)
Slide 63 LCCC Photograph 1.656 Open air summer car, 26th and Keeler
Slide 64 LCCC Photograph 1.652 26th Street, looking east from Cicero, 1890
Slide 67   Original number of 32b
Slide 68 LCCC Photograph 1.447*  


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