The New International Encyclopædia/Chicago
CHICAGO, shĭ-ka̤′gō̇ The county-seat of Cook County, Ill., the second city in population and importance of the United States, and the railroad centre and commercial metropolis of the West (Map: Illinois, E 2). It is situated on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, at the mouths of the Chicago and Calumet rivers, in latitude 41° 53′ 6″ N., longitude 87° 38′ 1″ W.; distant 2417 miles from the Pacific coast, 911 from New York, 811 from Washington, and 915 from New Orleans.
Description. The city, one of the few great metropolises of the world built directly on a lake-front, extends along the lake for 24 miles, occupying, on a remarkably level site, an area of about 190 square miles, at a mean elevation of 25 feet above the lake and of 582 feet above sea-level. Within the municipal limits are several bodies of water, the largest of which—Calumet, Hyde, and Wolf lakes—are near the Indiana line, the last one lying partly in that State. Chicago was originally built on a flat prairie, which was but slightly elevated above the lake, and characterized by sand and swamp; but the grade of a large portion has been raised, block after block of buildings being lifted to the required level, streets elevated, and vast areas of solid masonry substructure laid.
Nature made of the lake-shore a level line of sand. The city's lake-front is protected south from Twelfth Street by the Illinois Central Railroad, and north from Twelfth Street to Chicago Avenue by the Government Pier, which protects the harbor. North from Chicago Avenue the Lake Shore Drive and Lincoln Park are secured by a massive sea-wall. Chicago is situated upon both sides of the Chicago River (q.v.), which, at a point little more than half a mile from its mouth, is formed by the junction of two streams or branches, one flowing from the northwest and the other from the southwest. The river and branches divide the city into three natural parts, legally known as the South, West, and North divisions. The South Division includes all the territory south of the main river, and the North Division the area north of the river: while the West Division comprises all that part of the city west of the two branches. These sections are connected by 60 or more bridges and several tunnels.
The bridges, of both the swinging and lift types, are operated mostly by steam, though with some of the more recent the motive power is electricity and compressed air. Grade crossings of the steam-railroads are obviated by numerous bridges, viaducts, and by track-elevation—the city containing more than twice as many miles of elevated tracks as are to be found in the combined mileage of all other cities in the United States. The street-railroad system, comprising cable, electric, and elevated roads, operates over 1000 miles of track. There are four elevated roads, having six terminal stations. There is a loop in the business centre, with stations two blocks apart, around which all trains must pass. These lines connect all parts of the city and suburbs, and are extremely efficient, the system probably being the best in the country. The various steam railroads, which have over 1500 miles of track within the city limits, offer additional transportation facilities; and a belt line, encircling the city on three sides, affords intercommunication between the many lines, and serves to unify the entire system.
The business centre is found wholly in the South Division, and extends from the river south to Twelfth Street. It contains the passenger-stations of several railroads, administration buildings, hotels, banks, commercial houses. Board of Trade, theatres, the newspapers, and the ‘skyscrapers,’ which have made of the Chicago office-buildings an architectural type. State, Clark, Dearborn, La Salle, Market, and Madison streets and Fifth and Wabash avenues are typical business streets. Fifth Avenue and Market Street being prominent centres of the wholesale dry-goods interests, and State Street the centre of the retail trade. In Chicago there has been a noteworthy development of the department store, establishments here ranking among the largest and most complete in the United States. Manufacturing establishments are found in various parts of the city, while the great live-stock and packing industry centres in the famous Union Stockyards, 475 acres in extent, some five miles southwest of the City Hall. On the waterways, among the objects of particular interest, are the great grain-elevators, of which there are thirty or more. The produce-market, South Water Street, presents a scene of great animation in the early hours of the day.
The streets, with few exceptions, cross at right angles, and are generally wide, some of the boulevards being 120 feet in width. Some of the long thoroughfares, notably Western Avenue and Halsted Street, nearly equal the length of the city. There are over 4000 miles of streets, over 1300 of which are paved, principally with wooden blocks, macadam, and asphalt, the mileage of the last-named material having increased rapidly in the last few years. Most of the main avenues are parallel with the lake. Of these, the Lake Shore Drive, Michigan, Drexel, and Grand boulevards, Prairie and Calumet avenues, Pine, Rush, and Cass streets, and La Salle Avenue, with Washington and Jackson boulevards running east and west, are conspicuous representatives of Chicago's more attractive residence avenues.
Detached houses mark the purely residence districts, which, together with the more recently acquired suburban areas where rural conditions to some extent still prevail, and the magnificent parks and boulevards of the public-park system, are noticeable in contrast with the congested business area, with its noise, dust, and smoke, and scattered tall office-buildings. Of these varying mammoth structures, the tallest reaches 21 stories in height, and the largest has a capacity for 6000 tenants. They are constructed of a structural steel frame with an exterior shell of masonry, generally of terra-cotta. For some time a municipal ordinance limited the height of buildings to 150 feet, but this restriction was removed in 1902.
|COPYRIGHT, 1903, BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY.|
HEART OF THE CITY
Buildings. In the centre of the business quarter, and covering an entire square, is the Court-House and City Hall—a magnificent twin building of limestone, with fine granite columns, in a free rendering of French Renaissance, erected at a cost of $4,500,000. The east half is used for county purposes, and the west half by the city. In a space between the buildings is the Drake Fountain, with a bronze statue of Columbus, erected in 1892. On La Salle Street, running south from the City Hall, are some of the finest office-buildings. The Chamber of Commerce, one of the finest commercial structures in the world, costing more than $1,000,000, is 14 stories high, with a great central court roofed by an immense skylight, and a richly furnished interior. The Temple, of French-Gothic architecture, 13 stories high, consists of two great wings united by a narrow vinculum, forming interior courts which admit light and air. The first two stories are faced with red granite, the rest with red brick; and from the roof springs a bronze spire, 70 feet high, surmounted by a female figure. The Rookery, a Romanesque building of granite, brick, and terracotta, contains 600 offices. The Board of Trade, at the foot of La Salle Street, is a massive granite building. Other large structures on La Salle Street are the Tacoma, the Association, New York Life and Home Insurance buildings, and the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank, one of the finest banking edifices in the city.
The new Federal Building, 16 stories high, covers an entire block, 321 by 396 feet, bounded by Adams, Jackson, Dearborn, and Clark streets. The structure is of granite and steel, and is surmounted by a great dome. The original appropriation for the building was $4,000,000; and in 1903, $750,000 additional was voted by Congress to finish the interior.
In this vicinity are four great buildings, 16 stories high: the Great Northern Hotel and Theatre, the Monon, the Manhattan, and the Monadnock, costing $3,000,000, constructed of steel, and finished in granite and marble. Next to the last is the Union League Club, one of the most handsomely appointed club-houses in Chicago, West of the Federal Building, on Adams Street, is the Rand-McNally Building, well equipped, and one of the largest printing and publishing houses in the world. On the same street is the wholesale establishment of Marshall Field & Company, by Richardson—of note as a more attractive type of the commercial building, wherein purely commercial utility is not preëminent. At the corner of Monroe and Dearborn streets is the First National Bank, containing one of the largest banking rooms in the world. Dearborn Street is the site of several tall structures, among which the Unity, Hartford, Marquette, Old Colony, Manhattan, and Fisher buildings are prominent. Situated on one of the most busy corners in the heart of Chicago is the new 16-story building of the Chicago Tribune, one of the best examples of the growth of the aesthetic in Chicago. It is in the Italian style, being attractively built of Bedford stone, gray pressed brick, and terracotta trimmings. The corridors are floored in mosaics, with marble wainscoting. The woodwork is in mahogany throughout, and the floors of the office portions of the building are of polished oak. On State Street is the Spanish Renaissance Columbus Building, completed in 1893, at a cost of $800,000. It is 14 stories high, with a tower 240 feet high, tipped with a globe of opalescent glass, lighted by a powerful electric light. Over the entrance is a bronze statue of Columbus, and in the interior are two glass mosaics depicting scenes in his life. The retail house of Marshall Field & Company, on State, Washington, and Randolph streets and Wabash Avenue, represents the climax of Chicago's great buildings. There are in this structure over 1,000,000 square feet of floor-space, equivalent to 23 acres. The new granite addition of 12 stories erected upon the site formerly occupied by Central Music Hall. State and Randolph streets, rests upon 84 caissons of concrete, extending nearly 100 feet below the street-level. On one corner of Randolph Street is the Masonic Temple, the highest building in the city. Other structures of interest are the Fair, a building 190 by 350 feet, and 180 feet high, with a floor-space of 677,500 square feet; the building of Siegel, Cooper & Company, which affords 542,700 square feet floor-space; the Title and Trust Company Building, 16 stories high, which contains the Law Library of the Chicago Bar Association, and offices occupied mainly by lawyers; the Venetian and Reliance buildings; the Merchants' Loan and Trust Company Building, a 12-story structure of granite, finished in mahogany and marble; the publishing house of A. C. McClurg & Company; the Kimball Hall Building, a musical centre with 200 studios, a music-hall, and two recital-halls; the stately Schiller Building, containing the Dearborn Theatre, and halls, club-rooms, and offices; the new Ashland Block, built in classic style; and Bush Temple.
On Michigan Avenue and Congress Street is the Auditorium, built at a cost of $3,500,000, of granite and brick, 10 stories high, and extending, on the longest front, 300 feet. It contains a large hotel facing the lake, and a beautiful theatre. The tower, occupied by a station of the United States Weather Bureau, commands a magnificent view from its height of 270 feet. The main entrance, on Congress Street, leads through a beautiful court, splendidly decorated and with an elaborate mosaic floor, to the grand staircase of marble and bronze. The theatre, which seats 5000 persons, is luxuriously furnished and decorated with attractive mural paintings. The Fine Arts Building, Michigan Boulevard, is a centre of artistic, literary, and educational interests. It contains three auditoriums; Studebaker Hall, with a seating capacity of 1550; University Hall, with 703 seats; and an assembly room. North of it is the splendid Romanesque Chicago Club House, and farther north the Montgomery Ward Building, with a tower which rises above the roof of the Masonic Temple. On the Lake Front Park, at Adams Street, is the building of the Art Institute, 320 feet long and 208 feet wide, built of Bedford limestone in Greek style. The institution, dating from 1860, was known previous to 1882 as the Chicago Academy of Design. It contains a library and lecture-hall, and collections of great value, some of which are loaned, including paintings, sculptures (both originals and reproductions), textiles, and antiquities. Connected with the institute is a school of art instruction (see below). On the opposite side of the avenue, to the north, is the magnificent structure of the Chicago Public Library, built 1893-97. It is a successful rendering of the classic type of architecture, and cost $2,125,000. The interior is enriched with Sienna and Carrara marble, with 10,000 square feet of glass mosaic, and with beautiful frescoes, mottoes, etc. The library has been planned to accommodate 2,000,000 volumes, and an illustration of its extraordinary size may be found in the delivery-room, 139 by 49 feet. The building contains also a large G. A. R. Memorial Hall.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
On the North Side, on Walton Place, is the Newberry Library, an imposing structure of steel and granite, which, when completed according to the projected plan, will occupy an entire square, and afford room for 4,000,000 volumes. Other institutions of allied character, which have noteworthy buildings, are the Chicago Historical Society, in a stone edifice at Ontario Street and Dearborn Avenue—the repository of a fine collection of paintings and interesting historical relics, and of a valuable library; and the Chicago Academy of Sciences in Lincoln Park. The buildings of the University of Chicago, of which twenty or more have already been erected, are planned to cover a plot of 40 acres, bordering the Midway Plaisance between Jackson and Washington parks. They are built principally of limestone, in Gothic type. Other notable buildings are the Union, the Chicago and Northwestern, Dearborn, and the Grand Central Railroad stations; and among ecclesiastical edifices are the Cathedral of the Holy Name (Roman Catholic), the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Protestant Episcopal), and the Second Presbyterian, Plymouth (Congregational), Church of Christ (Christian Science), and the First Unitarian churches.
Parks. Chicago has a splendid system of public parks, covering over 2200 acres, and connected by wide, level boulevards which have aided materially in making the greater Chicago an organic whole. There are about 40 parks, of which seven are of considerable extent. There are, in addition, numerous attractive playgrounds to meet the needs of great masses of children who were without convenient access to the parks. The principal parks are maintained by State funds, and are controlled by a Board of Commissioners for each division of the city, appointed by the Governor; the smaller areas are under municipal control. In the city there are about 45 boulevards, aggregating in length a total of 70 miles. These include the well-known Lake Shore Drive, Sheridan Road, Diversey Avenue, and Ridge Avenue boulevards in the North Division; Humboldt, Washington, and Jackson boulevards in the West Division; Michigan Avenue, Grand, Drexel, and Garfield boulevards in the South Division. The North Side park system centres in Lincoln Park (320 acres), one of the most beautiful in the city, with attractions in the way of a zoölogical collection, conservatories and gardens, and an electrically illuminated fountain. It has, also, statues of Lincoln and Grant (among the most notable of the city), of Linnæus, Schiller, and La Salle, and the Ottawa Indian monuments. Of the South Side parks, the Lake Front (210 acres), adjoining the business section on the east, is noteworthy, being on ground mostly reclaimed from the lake. It contains the Art Institute and the proposed site for the Field Columbian iluseum, now in Jackson Park. Jackson Park (586 acres) has a world-wide reputation, having been the spacious site of the World's Columbian Exposition (q.v.), of which a few features remain, the most important being Field Columbian Museum. It was the Fine Arts Building of the Exposition, has a library and scientific collections, and is endowed with $1,500,000. The famous Midway Plaisance (80 acres) leads from Jackson Park past the buildings of the University of Chicago to Washington Park (371 acres), noteworthy for its trees and flowers. The West Side Division has a total park area of 625 acres, including Douglas Park (179 acres), Garfield Park (185 acres), and Humboldt Park (200 acres), all of which contain lakes and special features. In the last-named park is located a fine monument to Humboldt. The distribution of smaller parks and squares throughout the city adds to the effectiveness of the system.
Other notable monuments of the city are the mausoleum and statue of Stephen A. Douglas in Douglas Monument Square; an equestrian statue of General Logan in Lake Front Park; the Police Monument, in Union Square, commemorating the victims of the Anarchist riot of 1886; and the Confederate Monument in Oakwoods Cemeterv. At the end of Michigan Avenue, a tablet marks the site of Fort Dearborn. There are several cemeteries within the city limits. Of these, Graceland and Rosehill, in the North Division, are worthy of particular mention for beauty.
Educational Institutions. Chicago has a carefully planned system of public-school education. In 1847 there were four schoolhouses in Chicago, built at a cost of $5000 each—two-story brick buildings with an assembly-room and four classrooms on each floor. The educational department in 1902 comprised 15 high schools, including English high and manual training schools, and 233 elementary schools, besides a normal school, a reformatory school, a parental school, and institutions for the deaf. The course of elementary instruction inclines to the English public school and the Continental (lycée and gymnasium) systems wherein Latin is offered at an early period. The study of German is introduced as an elective in the grammar grades on account of the large number of Germans in the city's population. Manual training is provided for boys of the seventh and eighth grammar grades, and household training—cooking and sewing—for girls of the same classes. The programme is purely elective for those who are not candidates for graduation.
The school year of 1900-01 closed a decade of remarkable growth. During this period the school population increased from 320,790 to 626,516, or 90 per cent.; while the attendance in the private and parochial schools only increased from 61,916 to 84,737, or 30 per cent. At a total expenditure of $8,855,000 there were erected 103 new buildings. The number of teachers increased from 3,300 to 5,951, or 80 per cent.
The higher educational institutions are the University of Chicago (q.v.); Saint Ignatius's College (Roman Catholic); the Northwestern University (Methodist Episcopal), at Evanston, whose professional schools, excepting the Garrett Biblical Institute, are in Chicago. The Chicago (Congregational), Chicago Lutheran, McCormick (Presbyterian), and Western (Protestant Episcopal), are theological seminaries. There are several medical schools, the most prominent of which are the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Rush, the Homœopathic, the Hahnemann, and the Bennet; several schools of law; also dental colleges, colleges of pharmacy, training-schools for nurses, and a veterinary college, art schools, and schools of music. In the educational work of the city, a prominent place is occupied by the Art Institute, the numerous classes of which are as free as practicable, and are attended by 1000 or more students. Its Art School, which is self-supporting, offers one of the most complete courses in America: besides the usual branches of art, prospective and mechanical drawing, ceramics, and the modeling of ornament are taught by a large staff of professors. There are a year's traveling scholarship in the department of drawing and painting, and two annual scholarships for women. The library and gallery of the museum, as well as the lectures, are open to all students. The fee is from $5.00 to $25.00 for a term of 12 weeks. The Armour Institute of Technology, similar in scope to the Pratt and Drexel Institutes, has been enlarged since its inception in 1893 to include, besides manual and technical training, various courses in engineering, architecture, and science, leading to the degree of B.S. The Lewis Institute, opened in 1896, is an institution for the practical training of poor young men. The Chicago Athenæum is a private philanthropic institution, maintaining daily and nightly sessions for a considerable part of the year, to which students are admitted at any time on payment of a nominal tuition fee. It has also a library and reading-room.
THE ART INSTITUTE
Libraries. Chicago has three great libraries, besides that of the University of Chicago. The Public Library, with over 300,000 volumes, founded in 1872, has one of the largest circulations in the country, and maintains 50 or more delivery stations at various points in the city. The Newberry Library is a reference library, containing notably fine collections on music, medicine, and religion. The John Crerar Library, which occupies temporary quarters until its permanent home shall be erected in the South Division, is endowed with $2,500,000, and has valuable works on natural, physical, and social science. Accessions to these libraries are made with reference to the other book collections in the city, thus affording opportunity for a wide range of study. The library of the Chicago Law Institute is large and valuable, and the Chicago Historical Society has a fine collection of Americana. There are also the libraries of the several educational institutions, and of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Field Columbian Museum.
Charitable Institutions. The city contains a great number of hospitals—the largest being the Cook County Hospital; the Presbyterian; the United States Marine Hospital, one of the largest of its kind in the country; Saint Luke's and Saint Joseph's Hospitals; the Women's Hospital; and the Hospital of the Alexian Brothers. There are many dispensaries, asylums, and homes, day nurseries, reformatories, and relief societies. One of the most interesting institutions is the Armour Mission (non-sectarian), the object of which is industrial, mental, and religious training. It is maintained as a memorial to Mr. Joseph Armour. The oldest and most influential of the social settlements of the city is Hull House, modeled after Toynbee Hall, London, and situated in the slum and Ghetto district on the West Side. Next in order of importance are Chicago Commons, also on the West Side; Northwestern University settlement, in the northwestern section of the city; and the University of Chicago settlement, in the stockyards district. These settlements are contiguous to or are surrounded by foreign colonies. The Chicago Bureau of Justice employs legal talent in aiding the poor to recover just wage-claims. The Bureau of Associated Charities carries on a worthy work by means of its summer camps and outings; and the Chicago Charity Organization Society, made up of representatives from the various allied organizations, exercises to some extent a centralized power by virtue of its general supervision.
Theatres, Clubs, Hotels. There are numerous first-class theatres and places of amusement in Chicago. The leading playhouses are the Auditorium, Bush Temple, Chicago Opera House, Dearborn, Grand Opera House, Great Northern, Illinois, McVicker's, Powers, and Studebaker.
The leading clubs are the Argo, Athletic, Calumet, Chicago, Illinois, Iroquois, La Salle, Marquette, Standard Union, Union League, the Chicago Women's Club, and the Woman's Athletic Club. The Calumet, Chicago, Athletic, and Union League have magnificent club-houses.
Chicago is known as a great convention city. Its hotel accommodations, which were increased considerably for the World's Fair, are very extensive. Among the most prominent hotels are the Auditorium, with a large annex; the Great Northern, Metropole, Palmer House, Grand Pacific, Wellington, Lexington, Victoria, Virginia, and the Sherman House.
Commerce and Industry. The secret of Chicago's rapid development is found in its commanding position relative to an extensive and phenomenally productive region. Situated at the southern end of Lake Michigan, the city enjoys the navigable facilities of the Great Lakes, while the railways crossing the country from the East to the Northwest naturally touch here. The Southern lines, connecting with the Great Lakes, also find it a natural terminal point. Chicago, the greatest railway-centre of the United States, is therefore of first importance as a collecting and distributing centre. The numerous railways converging in and tributary to the city operate 120,000 miles of line, two-thirds of the total mileage of the United States. These connections reach every State of the Union; also Canada and Mexico. The railways are supplemented, too, by lake navigation. Lines of steamers connect Chicago not only with the Northern States and Canada, but with the outside world. The importance of this outlet has greatly increased with the recent improvements in canals at different points, ocean vessels now making their way to Chicago. Many difficulties still beset this branch of transportation, however, and its practicability on an extensive scale is yet to be determined. Perhaps the possibility of uniting Chicago with the Gulf of Mexico is equally significant. It is estimated, indeed, that the new sewerage canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River represents two-thirds of the work necessary to make of it a ship canal.
The port of Chicago owes much to the presence of rivers. The mouth of the Chicago River, formerly a sluggish bayou, has been deepened by piers that extend into the lake, leaving an entrance-way about 500 feet wide; while long breakwaters on the east and southeast, constructed by the United States Government, form an outer harbor with an average depth of 16 feet, and an area of about 455 acres. Additional protection to vessels is given by an exterior breakwater, 5436 feet long, which extends in a northeasterly direction about a mile from the river's mouth. In South Chicago, at the northern mouth of Calumet River, is another harbor, 300 feet wide between piers. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, constructed in 1836-48, connecting with the Mississippi and its affluents, is no longer an important means of transportation. This canal extends to La Salle, the head of navigation on the Illinois. It is 96 miles in length, and at its highest level was originally 12 feet above the lake; but in 1866-70 the city deepened it, so that it is now 8½ feet below the ordinary level of the lake.
The tonnage of vessels arriving at Chicago in 1900 was 7,044,000, as against 4,616,000 in 1880. This places Chicago next to London, New York, and Antwerp as a commercial port. There is a decided increase in the average tonnage of vessels frequenting Chicago, as is evident from the fact that during the above period the number of vessels decreased from 13,218 to 8714. Foreign exports by lake increased from $3,900,000 in 1891 to $9,926,000 in 1898. Over half of this amount is represented by corn, wheat being the next item. The largest lake import is lumber. The vastness of the forests to the north, and of the farming interests of the surrounding region, gives Chicago precedence over all other markets in lumber, grain, and live stock. For thirty years the annual imports of lumber have exceeded 1,000,000,000 feet, and in certain years have doubled that amount. About one-half of this import has been, in turn, shipped to other points. The trade in lumber products has shown, in recent years, some tendency to decline. The imports of grain in 1900 amounted to 307,000,000 bushels, besides 9,300,000 barrels of flour. In these products Chicago has exceeded Minneapolis, Duluth, Milwaukee, and Saint Louis combined. There is a marked increase in the importation of corn and oats. For the decade ending with 1900, the annual importation of hogs has averaged over 8,000,000 head, and of cattle and sheep over 3,000,000 each. There has been, recently, a large increase in the importation of butter and dairy products—the imports of butter for 1900 being 244,000,000 pounds.
As a natural consequence of being a collecting and distributing centre, Chicago has developed an extensive manufacturing industry. According to the census of 1900, the manufactured products reached a total value of $888,786,000, and there were 262,600 wage-earners employed—an increase of 37.8 per cent. during the decade. A large per cent. of the live stock received in Chicago is slaughtered and packed there, the total value of these packing-house products in 1900 being $248,811,000. For two decades the average number of hogs packed annually has been about 5,000,000 head. This is considerably over a third of the total number packed in the West during that period. Over 25,000 men are employed in the industry. Every part of the slaughtered animal is utilized, thus giving rise to the manufacture of important by-products (such as soap and candles), the value of this product alone in 1900 being over $9,000,000. The tanning of leather is of almost equal importance.
The convenient location of Chicago with respect to the coal-fields of Illinois and the iron-ore regions of Lake Superior contributes greatly toward the industries which depend upon these two supplies. The iron and steel products in 1900 reached a value of $31,461,000, while the foundry and machine-shop products passed $44,561,000. The demand of the surrounding region for agricultural implements gives rise to another important branch of manufacturing. The output of agricultural implements in 1900 amounted to $24,848,000. Chicago is a centre for the manufacture of harvesting machines. The McCormick, and the Deering Harvesting Machine Works are the two largest harvesting machinery manufactories in the world. The former's area is 150 acres. Being a lumber-market, the city has developed extensive manufactures of lumber, the value of the manufactures of furniture being estimated at $12,344,000, and the lumber and planing mills products at $7,530,000. Owing to Chicago's prominence as a railroad centre, the manufacture of dependent products is naturally great. The products itemized in the census report as “Cars, steam-railroads, not including operations of railroad companies,” amounted to $19,108,000, and the “Cars, and general shop construction and repairs,” to $8,145,000. Chicago is the leading clothing manufacturing centre of the West, the total product in 1900 exceeding $57,000,000 in value. A like position is held in the printing and publishing business, this output in 1900 being estimated at over $32,000,000. There is also a long list of other important manufactures—electrical apparatus, bicycles, tricycles, roasted and ground coffee, etc.
Government. The Constitution of Illinois provides for uniformity in the government of municipalities, prohibiting special legislation. Chicago is, accordingly, governed by a general act of the Legislature passed in 1875, and by such subsequent acts as have in some measure modified the original act. The council is unicameral, with 70 elected members, there being two from each of the 35 wards. An elected mayor presides at the meetings of the council, and has a vote in case of a tie. He also has a veto, which may be overridden, however, by a two-thirds vote of the council. Some of the powers vested in the council have been delegated by it to special departments—i.e., police department, etc. These departments are in the hands of single commissioners, who are appointed by the mayor, and whose terms of office expire with the term of the mayor (two years). The mayor is further fortified with the power to remove these commissioners; but such act may be disapproved by a two-thirds vote of the council. The legislative function of the school department is intrusted to a board of education of 21 members, who are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council. The trustees are appointed for a term of two years, and serve without pay. Civil-service methods prevail in the administration of affairs, the regulations being prescribed by the State Civil-Service Commission. Owing to prohibitive legislation, the township and county government still exists. Township officers are elected in town-meetings, as in the rural districts, and the county elects a board of commissioners. These organizations are an important factor in the financial affairs of the city.
The city owns and operates its water-works system and electric-light plant. The water-supply is obtained from Lake Michigan, cribs having been located at a distance of from two to four miles from the shore, in order to secure uncontaminated water. It is conveyed to the city by means of underground tunnels. Notwithstanding this precaution, there was evidence that the drainage of the city into the lake affected the quality of the water, and consequently the municipality was induced to construct the greatest sanitary engineering work of the country—the Chicago Drainage Canal (q.v.). It was built with a view to ship navigation. When the Illinois River shall have been improved, access to the sea through the Mississippi will be assured.
Finance. The per capita receipts and expenditures of Chicago are low when compared with those of other large cities, and it suffers from inadequate funds, as the State Constitution places a limit upon tax-rates. In 1898 a new revenue law was passed, creating a Board of Assessors which levies assessments for the entire county of Cook. Subsequent legislation abolished the numerous offices of Town Collectors and made the County Treasurer ex-officio collector for all the towns. The municipality is compelled to resort in an unusual degree to indirect taxes—such as licenses, fees, fines, etc. Property, real and personal, is now assessed on the basis of 20 per cent. of its full value. The budgets are determined by committees of the council. The total debt is $35,164,000, or the comparatively modest per capita amount of $19.42. The following are the principal items of the receipts and expenditure for the year 1900: The actual income was $26,867,000, of which $14,295,000 was from property tax, and over $3,000,000 each from liquor licenses, water-works, and special assessments. The total expenditure, including loans repaid, was $22,673,000, of which $19,518,000 was for maintenance and operation—the largest items being: Schools, $6,200,000; police department, $3,773,000; fire department, $1,617,000; interest on debt, $1,313,000; and water-works, $1,240,000. There are certain items of county and township government not herein included—e.g. the county maintains the charitable institutions at an annual cost of $800,000.
Population. No other city has attained anything like the magnitude of Chicago in so short a time. With but 4470 inhabitants in 1840, the city had increased in 1870 to 298,997, ranking fifth among American cities; in 1880, to 503,185, ranking fourth; in 1890, to 1,099,850, standing second; in 1900, to 1,698,575, still holding second place. Greater New York alone had as great an absolute growth during the last decade; but New York's per cent. of increase was much less. Chicago's phenomenal growth seems quite natural, however, when compared with the development of the ‘Great West,’ of which it is a part. Chicago has a remarkably high per cent. (34) of foreign-born population, and of the native-born, 59 per cent. are of foreign parentage. Of the foreign nationalities the Germans are most numerous, aggregating more than twice the number of Irish—the latter having shown a decided inclination to remain in the Eastern towns, Chicago contrasts also with Eastern cities in that it has a large number of Swedes and Norwegians, Bohemians, Poles, and Canadians, while the number of Italians, Russians, and Austrians is comparatively small. The negro population is given at 30,150. Certain of the foreign nationalities, notably the Germans and Swedes, are well distributed over the city; others tend to congregate in limited districts which are overcrowded—chiefly those adjoining the central business section of the city. Chicago boasts of the healthfulness of its situation and sanitary conditions, having the lowest death-rate (14.68) of any of the large cities in the United States.
History. The name ‘Chicago’ is probably derived from an Indian word meaning ‘wild onion’—a plant which grows abundantly in this locality. Before the coming of the whites, the place was a rendezvous for various Indian tribes, and a favorite meeting-place for voyageurs and traders. In 1673 both Marquette and Joliet stopped here for a few days, and the former spent most of the winter of 1674-75 here. Later, the locality was visited by La Salle, Hennepin, and others; and on a map (Franklin's) published in Quebec, in 1685, it was designated as Fort Chicagou, which would seem to indicate the existence thus early of a trading-post.
Jean Baptiste Point de Saible, a mulatto refugee from Haiti, who came about 1779, is generally considered the first settler. In 1790 he sold his cabin to Le Mai, a French fur-trader, who in turn sold out early in 1804 to John Kinzie, the first white man of American birth to make his home here. The military importance of the place was quickly recognized by the Government, which in 1795 forced the Indians to cede a tract of land “six miles square at the mouth of the Chicago River,” and late in 1804 erected Fort Dearborn (q.v.) on the south bank of the river, near its mouth. On August 15, 1812, in accordance with orders received several days earlier. Captain Heald and the garrisons evacuated this fort, but were ambushed by their Miami escorts and other Indians, and 38 soldiers, two women, and 12 children were killed, and many others captured. On the following day the fort was burned, but it was rebuilt in 1816. In 1830 the town was laid out, and the first map, dated August 4, gives its area as three-eighths of a square mile. There were then twelve families here, besides the garrison. Three years later Chicago was incorporated as a town, its population being 550, and its area 560 acres; and in 1837, then having 4170 inhabitants, it was chartered as a city. In 1833, 7000 Indians assembled here and sold a large tract of land in this vicinity, agreeing to move across the Mississippi. This they did two years later; and the fort, being no longer necessary, was abandoned in 1837 and demolished in 1856.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal, begun in 1836, was finished in 1848; and in the same year the first railroad, the Chicago and Galena Union, was completed. Four years later the Michigan Southern and the Michigan Central, the first roads leading to the East, entered the city, which from this time grew with unprecedented rapidity. In 1860 the Republican National Convention, by which Lincoln was nominated, was held in Chicago. In October, 1871, the most destructive fire in the history of the country occurred here. Breaking out in a barn in De Koven Street, and fanned by a gale, it spread with the greatest rapidity, and raged uncontrolled for two days and nights, sweeping over 2100 acres, destroying 17,450 buildings, and causing 200 deaths, besides the greatest destitution and suffering. Out of a population of 324,000, more than 70,000 were rendered homeless, and almost one-third of the property in the city ($190,000,000 out of $620,000,000) was destroyed. Relief poured in from all sides, $7,000,000 being quickly contributed in Europe and America, and within a year the city was largely rebuilt.
In July, 1877, the railroad riots, caused by discontented laborers, necessitated the calling out of militia and United States troops, and in May, 1886, occurred the celebrated ‘Haymarket riots’ (q.v.), consequent upon the labor troubles of 1885-86. On May 4, while the police were attempting to break up an Anarchist meeting, a bomb was thrown among them, and 27 of their number were wounded, of whom seven subsequently died. In 1893 the great World's Fair (see World's Columbian Exposition) was held here. In 1894 a large number of laborers went on a strike, destroying property valued at $1,000,000, and again making it necessary to call out the militia and a detachment of United States troops.
Bibliography. Mason (editor), Early Chicago and Illinois (Chicago, 1890); Kirkland, The History of Chicago (Chicago, 1892); and Moses and Kirkland, History of Chicago (Chicago, 1895); the various papers in Fergus's Historical Series, Nos. 1-22 (Chicago, 1876-82); Hurlburt, Chicago Antiquities (Chicago, 1881), and a chapter by Lyman J. Gage, in Powell, Historic Towns of the Western States (New York, 1901); Andreas, History of Chicago (Chicago, 1884).
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