quencies to the amount of $83.50. Paid out for
County Orders, $252.35 leaving balance in the
treasury of $15.93.
Thus stands the account current of Cook
county in the spring of 1832, only twenty-two
years ago ! The total receipts of taxes and
moneys from all other sources, is the enormous
sum of $357.78 ! How stands the account now ?
The total amount of moneys collected by the
City Treasurer for the year 1S53, is $135,752.
03 ; and by the County Treasurer $245,057.07
making the total amount of taxes collected last
year in Cook county, $380.809.10. Those who
have leisure may " cypher up" the ratio of in-
crease in the short spaqe of twenty-two years.
The whole assessed value of the personal pro-
perty of the city for the past year is $2,711,154 ;
real estate, $13,841,831 total, $16,841,831.
The entire valuation for Cook county is, personal
property, $4,450,630; real estate, $18,487,627
total, $22,937,657. Every one knows that
the assessed does not represent one fourth of
the real value of the properly in the county. It
ia entirely safe to set down the value of the
personal and real property of Cook county at the
lowest estimate at O.NK HUNDRED MILLIONS o?
It will be noticed by the above that several oi
the tavern keepers or merchants failed to pay
for their licenses, and it was accordingly ordered
by the Court that hereafter all taxes for liceniw
" shall be paid before the issuing thereof." The
tax of one half per cent, was extended to include
all personal property of whatever kind or de-
scription, and other measures suggested by time
and experience were adopted. Archibald Cly-
bourn was reappointed Treasurer for the ensuing
year. The Sheriff was authorized to procure a
room or rooms for the i.pril term of the Circuit
Court at the house of James Kinzie, provided it
can be done at a cost of not more than ten
We find several " items" upon the record,
among which we notice that John R. Clark was
the first Coroner. The first inquest was held
" over the body of a dead Indian." The second
was on " William Jewett, a passenger who was
The first stre'et leading to Lake Michigan was
laid out April 25th, 1832. This street com-
menced at what was then called the east end of
Water street, and ia described by Jedediah
Wooley, the surveyor, as follows: "from tbe
east end of Water street, in the town of Chicago,
to Lake Michigan. Direction of said road ia
south 88^ degrees east from the street to the
Lake, 18 chains, 50 links " Said street was laid
out fifty feet wide. The viewers on this occa-
sion " also believe that said road is of public
utility and a convenient passage from the town
to the Lake."
The first public building of which any mention
is made, was an " Estray Pec," erected on the
southwestern corner of the public square. The
lowest bid for the contract $20 was put in by
Samuel Miller, but upon the completion of the
edifice, the Treasurer was directed to pay there-
for but $12, on account of its not being finished
" according to contract."
At the March term, 1833, the Road Commis-
sioners reported their survey of a State road
leading from Chicago to the left bank of the
Wabash river, opposite Vincennes. Various
other roads in different directions were surveyed
and laid out during the spring and summer of
The next public building erected after the
" Estray Pen," was the Jail. The first contract-
ors failed to fulfil their contract, and a suit for
damages was instituted against them. The Jai!
was finally built in the fall of 1833, " of logs wels
bolted together," on the northwest comer of the
public square It stood there till last year, when
the new Court House and Jail having been
completed, it was torn down, and no vestige re-
mains to tell where once stood " this terror of
The minutes of the first meeting of the citi-
y.ens of Chicago, without date upon the rccoitls,
are as follows :
" At a meeting of the citizens of Chicago, con-
vened pursuant to public notice given according
to the statute for incorporating Towns, T. J. V.
Owen was chosen President, and E. S. Kimberly
was chosen Clerk. The oaths were then admin-
istered by Russell E. Heacock, a Justice of the
1'eace for Cook county, when the following vote
was taken on the propriety of incorporating the
town of Chicago, County of Cook, State of 1115-
For Incorporation John S. C. Hogan, C. A.
BaSlard, G. W. Snow, R. J. Hamilton, J. T. Tem-
ple, John Wright, G. W. Dole, Hiram Pearsons,
Alanaon Sweet, E. S. Kimberly, T. J. V. Owen,
Mark Beaubien 12.
Against Incorporation Russell E. Heac-ock
We certify tl.e above poll to be correct.
[Signed] T. J. V. OWEN, President.
ED. S. KIMBKRLY, Clerk.
Dr. Kimberly informs us that the meeting was
held some twenty days before the election which
The first election for five Trustees of the town
of Chicago was held at the house of Mark Beau-
bien, on the 10th of August, 1833, at 11 o'clock
in the forenoon, and the polls were closed at 1
-"'clock. The following are the names of the
voters, and those elected on that occasion :
Voters E. S. Kimberly, J. B. Beaubien, Mark
JJ-js.uV'ien, T. J. V. Owen, William Ninson, Hi-
ram Pearsons, Philo Carpenter, George Chap-
man, John Wright, John T. Temple, Matthias
Smith, David Carver, James Kinzie, Charles
Taylor, John S. C. Hogan, Eli A. Rider, Dexter
I. H;ipgood, George W. Snow, Madore Beau-
bien, Gholson Kercheval, Geo W. Dole, R. J.
Ilamiliqn, Stephen F. Gale, Enoch Darling, W.
II. Adams, C. A. Ballard, John Watkins, James
T. J. V. Owen received 26 votes.
Geo. W. Dole " 26 "
Madore Beaubien " 23 "
John Miller " 20 "
E. S. Kimberly " 20 "
And so were elected Trustees of the town o
At this election there were in all twenty-eight
voters in the "TOWN or CHICAGO" on the 10th
day of August, 1833. "Canvassing" at elec-
tions did not require quite so much labor, and
there was far less money spent then than tberf-
is now. Two of the first Trustees, Dr. Kimberly
and G. W. Dole, Esq., are still residents of the
city. The "town of Chicago" has not, there-
fore, arrived at the lull age of twenty-one years.
To those who have not become familiar with
such facts, they are more wonderful than the
wildest dreams of a " poetic fancy." They are,
however, plain sober history such history, how-
ever, as can only be found in the annals of the
The Trustees held their first meeting at the
Clerk's office on the 12th day of August, 1833.
The limits of the corporation were defined as
follows : Beginning at the intersection of Jack-
son and Jefferson streets, thence north to Cook
street, and through that street to its eastern ex-
tremity in Wabansia, thence on a direct line to
Ohio street in Kinzie's addition, thence east-
wardly to the Lake shore, thence south with the
line of beach to the northern TJ. S. pier, thence
northwardly along said pier to its termination,
thence to the channel of the Chicago river,
thence along said channel until it intersects the
eastern boundary line of the Town of Chicago,
as laid out by the Canal Commissioners, thence
southwardly with said line until it meets Jackson
street, thence westwardly along Jackson street
until it reaches the place of beginning.
The 26th of September, 1833, is a memorable
day in the history of Chicago. The Pottawot-
amie Indians, to the number of 7,000, had been
gathered here for the purpose of making a treaty
with the United States. On that day the treaty
was signed on the part of the United States by
T. J. V. Owen, G. B. Porter and Wm. Weather-
ford, and by a la^ge number of Indian chiefs, by
which the Indians ceded to the United States all
their territory in Northern Illinois and Wiscon-
sin, amounting to about twenty million acres.
The treaty was made in a large tent on the north
side, a little north of the Lake House. The
largest part of the Indians were encamped in th<-
woods on the north side. Two bands from Cold-
water, Mich., encamped under a large cotton-
wood tree, which then stood in the rear of I.
Speer's Jewelry store, near the corner of Lake
and State streets. There were a large number
of speculators and others present, and there
were scenes enacted which it would be no credh
to humanity to narrate. Quite a large number
of our present citizens were here at the time of
On the 26th of November, 1833, the first
newspaper ever printed in Chicago, or Northern
Illinois, was published by our friend, John Cai-
houii, Esq The bound volumes of that paper
for t-vo years are before us. The perusal of its
pages has filled up some of the moat interesting
hours in our study of the *' ancient history" of
Chicago. It has since fallen into other hand*,
and merit* no notice from us. In this first num-
ber, Mr. Caihoun stiongly urges "the com-
mencement and completion of the long-contem-
plated canal to connect the watej^ of Lake Mi-
chigan with the Illinois river," and adds, that
"even with the present limited facilities of navi-
gation, goods have been Uaimpoited from New
Yoi k to St. Louis in the ahoi t space of twKity-
three days!" Thanks to our railroads, goods
can now be sent through by express in three
The second number cf Mr. Ca'honn's paper,
issued on the 3d of December, 1833, contains ihi 1
names of the following peiuons as advertisers,
who are still residents of Chicago: S. B. Cobb,
John S. Wright, Walter Kimball, Philo Carpen-
ter, P. F. W. Peek, R. M Sweet, A. Clybourne,
John Bates, jr., G. W. Dole, B. Jones, SUr
Footo, C. Harmon, E. S. Kiniberly, John H. Kin-
zie, S. D. Pierce end II. J. Hamilton. We think
this fact is n or thy of notice by those v. ho have
been led to believe that Chicago is an unhealthy
city. Never was there a more gratuitous or uu-
During the summer of 1833, Chicago, as has
already been intimated, grew rapidly. Attention
had been called to the place by an appropriation
of $00,000, made in the spying of. that year by
Congress, to build a harbor here to accommodate
the commerce of Lake Michigan. The harbor
was pushed forward rapidly during the sumn.er,
and in the following spring there was a great
freshet, which carried out the san'J f.-om between
the piera, ai.d opened the harbor to the Lake
So late as 1884, only twenty years ago, there
was but one mail per week frora Niles, Michigan,
to Chicago, and that was carried on koraebaclc.
On the llth of January of that year, & large
public meeting of the citizens of Chicago was
fceld at the house of Mark Eeaubien, at which, of
course, " speeches were made," and a memorial
was drawn up and sent to the Postmaster Gen
era], stating the grievances under which the
citizens labored, and the pree&ng necewuty there
was for increased mail facilities. The contiast
presented by the present post ollice business is
truly astonishing. The Chicago post oilice u
now seniiiiig out and receiving fourteen daily
mails, besides aevejal weekly aud tri-weeKly.
Tiie receipt of the ofiice for the quarter ending
Jan. !bt, 1854, were over $130,000.
The number of letters passing- through the
office averages over 3n,000 daily, and there are
76 bags containing 4-">,000 newspapers. The
average number of lettei s received by our citi-
zens, and sent out from this office, is about 5,000
We gather the following items from our friend
("alhoun's paper. On the ICih of April, 1834.
there was still but one mail per week, and he
ives as an excuse for not having more news,
that for that week it did not arrive. The same
week he commences a marine list, noticing the
a'-rival of one schooner from St. Joseph's, and
the departure of two fir the same port. On the
3'lth of the same month he says that emigration
had faiily commenced, as more than '' a, hundred
had arrived by boats and otherwise within tlw
last (en days.* Astonishing! an average of tan
persons per day! What would cr two great
Ka.*ter railroad* pay to such an amount of travel?
On the 4th of June Sir. CVlhoun announces with
groat satisfaction ''that arrangements have been
made by the piopiietors of tbe steamboats on
Lake Erie, r.horeby Chicago 13 to be visited by a
steamboat ttnre a toetk till the 25lh of August."
This was certainly an era in the history of the
"town of Chicago." On Saturday, July llth,
1834, the schooner Illinois entered vbe harbor t
and nailed up the river amid the acclamations of
the citizens. She was the Srst larg;- vessel that
ever e?itered the Chicago river. The bar be-
tween the piera was worn out by c great freshet
the spring previous. Before this, vessels wer*
obliged to anchor outside the bar, .vad received
and discharged their cargoes by n:cjr,s of scow?
and lighters. The Illinois was the pioneer of the
immense commerce which now finds its centro
in Chicago. In the same paper, of the 6th of
August, we find the whole numbar.of votes
polled in Cook county, which then embraced th<>
present counties of Will and Dupage, was 528.
During the summer of 18S4 Chicago grew very
rapidly, for we find Mr. Caihoun stating, on the
3d of September, " that one hundred and fifty
vessels had discharged their cargoes since tha
20th of April previous."
We musi not suppose, however, that Chicago
was "out of the woods," for there w:>8 a fin
grove of tJrolxw along the river on the east side,
extending south from Ifadison street. Some of
these trees are still standing, and we present a
pi-, a in ihcir behalf, that the." n>ay IHJ spared ihf
"lemo.seless axe." On Monday morning, Oct.
th, the citizens of this quiet town were staitled
by the announcement that >\ large black bear was
gaf ly domiciled in this "xtiip of tiniler" All
the town of cuiee turned out to give Bmin
anything but a generous welcome. He was soon
found, and following \.'u ancient custom, "took
to a tree" This was" of comae no secmity, and
he was shot near the corner of Market and .Juek-
isoii streets. In these woods multitudes of pi-aiiio
wolves were accustomed to harbor, and in the
night they would visit all parts of the town.
Excited by their success against poor Bruin, the
citizens manfully detei mined to give the wolves
no quai ter. They therefore formed several par-
ties, and at iiijrht it was found that they had
dispatched forty of these midnight marauders.
We simply make a note, that on the spot where
Chicago now stands, less than twenty years ago,
a " great hunt" was gotten up, and one bear
j>r ; d proliably within the present city limits
forty wolves were killed in a single day.
Mr. Calhoan was present at the Indian pay-
ment in 1834, and has handed us the following
account of it. lie says :
"On the '28th of October the first annuity was
paid to the Pottawatomio and other Indians un-
der the treaty which was made the year pre-
vious for the purchase of their lands in Michigan,
Illinois and Wisconsin, About $30,000 worth
of goods were to be distributed. They assem-
bled to the number of about 4,000. The distri-
bution took place by piling the whole quantity
in a heap upon the prairie on the west side of
die river, near the corner of Randolph and Canal
irtreets The Indians were made to sit down
upon the gra=s in a circle around the pile of
goods their squnws sitting behind them. The
half breeds and traders were appointed to dis-
tribute the goods, and they leisurely walked to
the pile and taking in their arms an armfull of
good-j, proceeded to throw to one and another
of those sitting on the giaps, and to whom they
were appointed to distribute such articles as they
iww fit, and then returned to the pile to replen-
ish. Shortly the Indians began to show an anx-
iety not to be overlooked in the distribution, and
at first got on their kn <?'?, vociferating all the
time in right lusty Indian "gibberish." Then
they ro->e on one foot, and soon all were stand-
ing, and then they began to contract the cii-cle,
until they finally made a i u^h for t'-e pile. I saw
then a manner cf di-pi-rsing a mob that I never
saw exemplified before nor since. The crowd
was so great around the pile of goods that those
that were back fiom them could not get to them,
and the "outsideis" at once commenced hurling
into the air whatever missiles they could get hold
of, literally filling the ai:-, and causing them to
fall in the centre where the crowd was the most
dense. These, to save a broken head, rushed
away, leaving a space for those who had hurled
the missiles to rush in for a share of the spoils.
The Indians were paid their annuities for two
years after the treaty, before they were removed
west of the Mississippi. These Indians were a
degraded set, and did not inspire a person with
any respect for the prowess and savage character
which our forefathers had to encounter. A num-
ber were killed here at every payment in their
On the 9th of September, 1833, our fellow
citizen, Col. J B. F. Russell, advertises for forty
ox teams, t-ach team to be composed of two yoke
of oxen, to remove the Indians to the country
" allotted to them West." On the first of Octo-
ber Colonel Russt-11 started with the " forty ox
teams," containing the children and baggage ot
the last remaining remnant of the Red Men,
about 1,500 in all, and was twenty days in reach-
ing the Mississippi. 'I hey were twenty days
more in reaching the land allotted to them west
of Missouri. It is not, therefore, nineteen years
since Chicago was surrounded by Pottawatomie
In Mr Calhoun's paper of November 25th,
1835, we find the first census of the town ot
Chicago and the county of Cook. The town,
then contained 3,265, and the county 9,77 8 in-
habitants Mr. Calhoun speaks of this as a very
encouraging increase, as the county contained
only a very few inhabitants when it was organ-
ized in 1830. As late as the '2oth of January,
1836, he regrets to learn that Will county is to
be set oflffiom Cook, as it will probably "lessen
our politicnl influence in the Sti.te." On Thurs-
day, May 18, 1830, the sloop Clarissa, the first
vessel ever built in Chicago, was launched. It
was an occasion of much* interest.
The Fire Department was organized on the
19th of September, 183/>, as appears by the fol-
lowing resolution passed by the Board of Trustees
on that day :
" Rexnlvfd, That the President order two en
gines for the use of the Corporation, of suck
description an he shall deem necessary, and also
1,000 feet of hose, on the credit of the Corpo-
The first lawyer's bill we find on the records
was paid to James H. Collins, Esq., on the 16th
day of August, 1834. Some differences had
arisen in reference to the right of the city to
lease certain water lots. Mr. Collins was applied
to for an opinion, for which he charged and re-
ceived $5. On the 7th of October, 1835, John
Dean Caton's bill against the Corporation for
counsel fees and services rendered during the
years 1833-'4 was paid. The amount of the bill
was $75. Our friends, the lawyers, manage at
present to get a much larger slice from the
On the 13th of February, 1836, notice was
given that the " Trustees of the Town of Chi-
cago will not hold themselves accountable for
any damages which may arise to any person by
reason of crossing the bridges over the Chicago
river, or over the north and south branches
thereof, the said bridges being considered dan-
gerous, and the said Trustees not having funds
out of which to repair the said bridges." Rather
a sad state of affairs that.
On the 26th day of October, 1836, initiatory
steps were taken towards obtaining a City Char-
ter. The town being then in three districts, the
President of the Board of Trustees invited the
inhabitants of each district to select three per-
sons to meet with the Board, and consult upon
the expediency of applying to the Legislature
for a City Charter, and to adopt a draft to ac-
company such application. The district meeting
was held, and the following delegates chosen :
From 1st District Ebenezer Peck, William
Stuart, E. W. Casey.
From 2d District J. D. Caton, Chad-
wick, W. Forsyth.
From 3d District John H. Kinzie, W. L.
Newberry, T. W. Smith.
The above delegates met with the Board on
Friday evening, November 25th, at the Trustees'
room, opposite the Mansion House, and it was
resolved " that it is expedient for the citizens of
Chicago to petition the Legislature for a City
Charter. Also, that a committee of five, con-
sisting of one delegate from each district, and
two members of the Board, be appointed by the
chair to prepare a draft of a City Charter, -to be
submitted to this convention. Whereupon the
chair (E. B. Williams) appointed Messrs. E.
Peck, District No. 1, J. D. Caton, District No.
2, and T. W. Smith, District No. 3, and from
the Trustees, Messrs. Bolles and Ogden. The
committee met again Dec. 9th, and through E.
Peck, Esq., presented their draft of a City Char-
ter. After some discussion and amendment, it
was adopted for presentation to the citizens, and
500 copies were ordered to be printed.
The charter was parsed by the Legislature,
and approved March 4th, 1837. The city ol
Chicago is therefore not " out of her teens."
She is a buxom maiden of only SEVENTEEN sum-
mers, and what she is destined to be when sin-
becomes a matron of sixty, we dare not veututv
The first election for city officers was held on
the 1st Tuesday of May, 1837. It resulted a.*
Wm. B. Ogden, Mayor.
J. C. Goodhue, Alderman 1st Ward.
J. S. C. Hogan,
J. D. Caton,
John Shrigley was elected High Constable
and at the first meeting of the Council, May 3d.
1837, N. B. Judd, Esq., was elected City At-
torney. The total number of votes, as appears
from the canvas for Mayor, then in the city, was
The first census of Chicago was taken July
Y'rs of A*e
Over 5. un-
der 21 Y'rs.
1st Ward. 57 9
2d Ward. 76 77
3d Ward. 11 16
4th Ward. 15 15
5th Ward. 32 87
6th Ward. 53 65
Total white ......
. . . .3,980
" black.. .
. . .4.0i!.i
Sailors belonging to vessels owned
The census shows that there were
29 Dry Goods Stores.
B Hardware Stores,
3 Drug Stores.
19 Grocery KSI& Froritioc.
17 Lawyers' oSr-i-s.
L.it <f Mayors.
1837 W. B. Ogder.
1838 B. S. Morris.
1839 Benj. W. Raymond.
1840 A. Lloyd.
1841 Francis C. Sherman.
1842 Benj. W. Raymond.
1843 Augustus Garrett
1844 A. S. Sherman.
1845 Augustus Garrett
1846 John P. Chapin.
1847 James Curtiss.
1848 James II. Woodworth.
1849 James H. Woodvrorth.
1850 James Curtiss.
1851 Walter S. Gurnee.
1852 Walter S. Gurnee.
1853 C. M. Gray.
18541. L. Mffliken.
We left the history of the Illinois and Michi-
gan Canal at the laying out of the town of Chi-
cago in 1829, by the Canal Commissioners.
Nothing effectual was done till the special ses-
sion of the Legislature in 1835-'6, when the
canal board was reorganized, and an act was
passed authorizing a loan of half a million of
dollars to construct the canal. Ground was
broken at Bridgeport on the fourth of July, 1836.
At the session of the Legislature in 1886-"7,
the State entered upon a splendid scheme of
" internal improvement." The State was com-
pletely chequered with railroad projects, and
many millions were squandered. The total
length of the roads to be at once completed was
some thirteen hundred miles, and five millions
<n dollars were expended in locating and grading
them. Amid the general financial embarrass-
ment which followed those years of madness and
folly, the credit of the State went down, and
bankruptcy and a general suspension of the
public works were the consequence. In 1841
the total State indebtedness amounted to fifteen
i,,'dlions of dollars.
It is worthy of remark, however, that the only
mistake the statesmen of that period made, was
to embark the State in a general system of inter-
nal improvements, and in addition to this, their
plans were in advance of the times in which
they lived. Twenty years will accomplish by