Portage Park Community Collection

Dates: 1859-circa 2000 (Bulk dates, 1900-1940)
Size: 1 linear foot in 2 boxes and 75 photographs
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Sulzer Regional Library, Northside Neighborhood History Collection, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
Collection Number: nnhc.ppcc
Provenance: The materials in the original portion of the collection were part of the collections of the West Side Historical Society, which were subdivided into the different neighborhoods covered. Materials in the supplement were found in unprocessed boxes and likely also originate with the West Side Historical Society
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Portage Park Community Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Northside Neighborhood History Collection, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Originally processed in 1985; updated in 2001. Updated by Allyson Smally, 2020-2021

Historical Note

Portage Park is one of Chicago’s 77 community areas, located on the Northwest side of the city nine miles from the Loop. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, the area along what is now Irving Park Road was once a portage that early Native Americans used to paddle from the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River. Europeans began to move to the area in the 1830s, and the construction of a tavern in 1841 led to increased migration to the area. Portage Park was part of Jefferson Township until it was annexed by the city of Chicago in 1889. In 1912, the Portage Park District was formed to develop a park, and eventually the name was applied to the entire area. Portage Park has been home to Polish, Italian, Irish, and German immigrants, and notable landmarks in the area include the park and the “Six Corners” intersection where Irving Park Road, Milwaukee Avenue, and Cicero Avenue meet.

Scope and Content

The Portage Park Community Collection (1859-circa 2000, bulk 1900-1940) contains programs, fliers, brochures, publications, and other material related to local businesses, schools, and community organizations; news clippings; a small amount of biographical information and historical sketches; and a scrapbook and scrapbook pages. It also contains a number of photographs, most of which date from the 1910s.

Arrangement/Series Description

This collection is arranged in ten series. When both documents and photographs are available on a series topic, they have been separated into two subseries. When a series contains only documents or only photographs, it contains just one subseries.

Series 1: Biographical, 1859-1949

This series contains news clippings, biographical sketches, photographs, and the contents of a scrapbook about a very small number of former residents of Portage Park, mostly the Baldwin family. It contains Subseries A: Documents and Subseries B: Photographs. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Series 2: Business Establishments, 1896-1987

This series contains a brochure, news clippings, photographs, and scrapbook pages on a few Portage Park businesses. It contains Subseries A: Documents and Subseries B: Photographs. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by the business name.

Series 3: Clubs and Organizations, 1917-1945

This series, the largest in the collection, contains programs, news clippings, ephemera, photographs, and other material from several Portage Park service organizations. It contains Subseries A: Documents and Subseries B: Photographs. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by the organization name.

Series 4: Historical Sketches, 1921-1991

This series contains four historic sketches of the Portage Park area, written between 1921 and 1991. They are arranged chronologically according to the year written in one subseries, Subseries A: Documents.

Series 5: Municipal Agencies, 1924, undated

This series contains two photographs of Cook County Institution, a mental institution and poorhouse, and one photograph of the Chicago Police Department's 26th Precinct station. They are arranged alphabetically in one subseries, Subseries A: Photographs.

Series 6: Parks, 1920-1931

This series contains a program and general ordinances related to Portage Park from 1931 and 1920, respectively. They are arranged alphabetically in one subseries, Subseries A: Documents.

Series 7: Residences, circa 2000

This series contains one subseries, Subseries A: Photographs, which contains a scrapbook of scanned images of the Koester family home.

Series 8: Schools, 1930s-1940, undated

This series contains a yearbook, programs, newsletters, and photographs of local Portage Park schools. It contains Subseries A: Documents and Subseries B: Photographs. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically by the school name.

Series 9: Streets, 1952

This series is arranged in one subseries, Subseries A: Documents, which contains a news article on Irving Park Road from 1952.

Series 10: Wartime, undated

This series is arranged in one subseries, Subseries A: Photographs, which contains an undated photograph of the First Cavalry, Illinois National Guard, Troop E.

Subject Headings

Portage Park (Chicago, Ill.)

Community life -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- Sources

Container List

Series 1: Biographical, 1859-1949

Subseries A: Documents, 1859-1949

Box 2 Folder 1 Baldwin, Harry Herbert - obituary and biographical data, 1940-1941
Box 2 Folder 2 Baldwin, Julia M. - biographical data, 1941
Box 2 Folder 9 Baldwin, Julia M. - correspondence with Wallace Rice, clipping, and notes regarding Chicago flag, 1935-1939
Box 2 Folder 10 Baldwin, Julia M. and Harry - scrapbook contents, 1859-1934
Box 2 Folder 11 Baldwin, Julia M. - correspondence and pamphlets regarding United States flag and national anthem, 1916-1924
Box 2 Folder 3 Kolze, William and family – news clippings and scrapbook pages, 1904-1949
Box 2 Folder 4 Smyser, Washington Dana - biographical sketch, 1937

Subseries B: Photographs, circa 1898-circa 1920s, undated

Photograph 1.111 Baldwin, Harry Herbert, undated
Photograph 1.121 Baldwin, Julia M., circa 1920s
Photograph 1.112 Kolze, Elizabeth, undated
Photograph 1.113 Kolze, Henry Sr., undated
Photograph 1.114 Kolze, Kath. And Henry Jr., undated
Photograph 1.115 Kolze family, circa 1898
Photograph 1.116 Kolze family, 1910
Photograph 1.7 Stewart, Mrs. E.J. informal portrait, standing outside, 1919 July 4

Series 2: Business Establishments, 1896-1987

Subseries A: Documents, 1927-1987

Box 2 Folder 5 Dickinson's Tavern – news clippings, 1927-1943
Box 2 Folder 5a Hoyne Savings - “A Century in the Life of Hoyne Savings” brochure, 1987
Box 2 Folder 3 Kolze's Electric Park – Kolze, William and family news clippings and scrapbook pages, 1904-1949 [see also Chicago Tribune 1951 May 3]

Subseries B: Photographs, 1896-1936, undated

Photograph 1.101 Dickinson Tavern, undated
Photograph 1.102 Kolze's Electric Park, entrance gates, undated
Photograph 1.103 Kolze's Electric Park, outdoor tables, undated
Photograph 1.106 Kolze's Inn, 1900
Photograph 1.108 Kolze's Inn, 1936
Photograph 1.107 Kolze's Place, 1912
Photograph 1.104 Kolze's Tavern, 1896
Photograph 1.105 Kolze's Tavern, 1900
Photograph 1.119 Mount Olive Cemetery entrance, undated

Series 3: Clubs and Organizations, 1917-1945

Subseries A: Documents, 1917-1945

Box 1 Folder 1 American Legion Post #183 Memorial Day program, 1931
Box 1 Folder 1 Council of National Defense/Women's Committee, 63rd Exemption District - letter, maps of the 61st-64th Exemption Districts, and news clippings, 1917-1918
Box 1 Folder 2 Girls Patriotic Service League - playbill for The Real American Girl, pledge card, and news clippings, 1919, undated
Box 1 Folder 3 Henry Playground Athletic Association – ribbons, 1927
Box 1 Folder 3 Northwest Federation of Improvement Clubs brochure [formerly 27th Ward Federation of Improvement Clubs], 1945
Box 2 Folder 12 Portage Park Independence Day Celebration Association - programs, fliers, and typescripts, 1920-1927
Box 1 Folder 4 Portage Park's Silver Jubilee Celebration Association flyer, 1937
Box 1 Folder 5 Portage Park Women's Club - "The Seventh District in Picture, Song & Story" program, undated
Box 2 Folder 6 Saint Mary of Providence Institute - Crippled Children's Cottage news clippings and card, 1938-1940

Subseries B: Photographs, 1917-1921

Photograph 1.4 27th Ward Federation of Improvement Clubs Garbage Vigilance Committee, circa 1917
Photograph 1.5 27th Ward Federation of Improvement Clubs, group photograph, circa 1918
Photograph 1.1 American Legion, Portage Park Post - group photograph in meeting hall, circa 1919
Photograph 1.2 American Legion, Portage Park Post - exhibit of World War I artifacts and souvenirs, circa 1919
Photograph 1.3 American Legion, Portage Park Post - group photograph with interior view of meeting hall, circa 1919
Photograph 1.29 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - hanging the service flag on Berteau Avenue, 1918 August
Photograph 1.30 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival/salvation army workers, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.31 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival/citizens of Berteau Avenue, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.32 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.33 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival/war garden booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.34 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival/booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.35 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival/woman in front of booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.36 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival - women behind booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.37 Council of National Defense - 63rd Exemption District - street carnival - women behind booth, 1918 August 10
Photograph 1.9 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter, group picture, 1921 January 31
Photograph 1.10 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter, group picture, circa 1919
Photograph 1.11 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter, group picture, circa 1919
Photograph 1.12 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter, group picture with marching band, circa 1919
Photograph 1.13 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - swimming at Portage Park, circa 1919
Photograph 1.14 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - swimming at Portage Park, circa 1919
Photograph 1.15 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - chaperones, circa 1919
Photograph 1.16 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - group "in the hay at Frieda's," circa 1919
Photograph 1.17 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - group at "the pump at Frieda's," circa 1919
Photograph 1.18 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - group preparing for a lawn party, circa 1919
Photograph 1.19 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - group in costumes, circa 1919
Photograph 1.20 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - outing at Thalitiers Woods, circa 1919
Photograph 1.21 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - group going on a hike, 1920 May
Photograph 1.22 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - outing to Wheeling, 1919
Photograph 1.23 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - just before leaving on a ten mile hike, 1919 May
Photograph 1.24 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - picnic, 1919 June 21
Photograph 1.25 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - picnic, 1919 June 21
Photograph 1.26 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - Dorothy Meadows and Mrs. Stewart, 1919 July
Photograph 1.27 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - Ruth Baley as Uncle Sam for the play The Real American Girl, 1919 March 21
Photograph 1.28 Girls' Patriotic Service League, Portage Park Chapter - Frieda Rateike as the Puritan Girl for the play The Real American Girl, 1919 March 21
Photograph 1.8 Portage Park Women's Club "hard times party" at Portage Park School, group photograph, circa 1918
Photograph 1.38 Red Cross - Mayfair or Portage Park Unit in Mayfair Labor Day parade, 1917 September
Photograph 1.39 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit (7th District Auxiliary) at Independence Park, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.40 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Red Cross drive, Zoe Brett and Harry H. Baldwin, 1918 May
Photograph 1.41 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Red Cross drive, Mrs. R. Brett, 1918 May
Photograph 1.42 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Red Cross drive workers, 1918 May
Photograph 1.43 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Red Cross drive workers, 1918 May
Photograph 1.44 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit in Portage Park Parade, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.45 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Mildred Schiebler, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.46 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit in Portage Park Parade, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.47 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - soldiers raising the colors at the Portage Park parade, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.48 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit in Portage Park parade - Mildred Schiebler as the "Greatest Mother,” 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.49 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - the Red Cross shop at 4043 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.50 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - women in Portage Park Parade, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.51 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit - Aleta Lott and Julia M. Baldwin, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.52 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit in Portage Park parade, 1918 July 4
Photograph 1.53 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit in Portage Park parade, 1917 July 4
Photograph 1.54 Red Cross - Portage Park Unit – “saying good bye to the boys in the 63rd Exemption District,” 1918 February 28

Series 4: Historical Sketches, 1921-1991

Subseries A: Documents, 1921-1991

Box 2 Folder 13 Stewart, Agnes Griffith - Portage Park Women's Club - "The Seventh District in Picture, Song & Story" program, 1921
Box 1 Folder 6 Chicago Plan Commission, "Portage Park and Dunning," 1942
Box 1 Folder 6 Ryan, David Joseph - "The Development of Portage Park from the Earliest Period to the 1920s," 1974
Box 2 Folder 15 Carlson, Melvin A. - "Letters to my grandchildren" - history of Portage Park in the 1920s, 1991

Series 5: Municipal Agencies, 1924, undated

Subseries A: Photographs, 1924, undated

Photograph 1.6 Chicago Police Department, 26th Precinct station, exterior, 1924
Photograph 1.109 Cook County Institution, Dunning, undated [mental institution and poorhouse]
Photograph 1.110 Cook County Institution, Dunning, undated [mental institution and poorhouse]

Series 6: Parks, 1920-1931

Subseries A: Documents, 1920-1931

Box 2 Folder 16 Old Portage Park District - general ordinances, 1931 October 19
Box 2 Folder 17 Portage Park Sportsmen's Club Field Day and Patriotic Demonstration - program, Memorial Day, 1920

Series 7: Residences, circa 2000

Subseries A: Photographs, circa 2000

Box 1 Folder 7 "5946 W. Byron," scrapbook of scanned images of the Koester family and their house on Byron Street in Portage Park, by Louise Koester, circa 2000

Series 8: Schools, 1930s-1940, undated

Subseries A: Documents, 1939-1940, undated

Box 2 Folder 7 Foreman High School yearbook and programs, 1939-1940
Box 2 Folder 8 Portage Park School newsletters, 1940, undated

Subseries B: Photographs, 1930s, 1937

Photograph 1.117 Luther High School site, 1930s
Photograph 1.118 Thorpe School site, undeveloped, 1937

Series 9: Streets, 1952

Subseries A: Documents, 1952

Box 2 Folder 14 Irving Park Road - news article, 1952

Subseries 10: Wartime, undated

Subseries A: Photographs, undated

Photograph 1.120 First Cavalry, Illinois National Guard, Troop E, undated
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