J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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promise, and the courses of study were consequently rearranged. The course!
adopted conforms in many respects to that one mapped out by Superintendent Wells
in 1861. Mr. Wells' educational theories were far in advance of his time, a fact


which is evident in comparing the graded course which he arranged with the modern
course of study as it stands. One of the good results of the "war on fads" was that
it aroused the public interest in school matters, and caused them to make known
their opinions.


In the 1897 report appears the brief statement: "The need of a suitable insti-
tution to instruct the blind children of Chicago, without sending them to the State
Institution for the Blind at Jacksonville, has been presented to the Common Coun-
cil, which set apart $50,000 out of the school tax to be used in purchasing a site
and erecting a building. This school should also be sustained and managed by the
State." The appropriation was made in 1893, but no plan was considered other
than building within the city a school with dormitory adjoining. This was de-
cided to be unwise, because in such a school, blind children are educated as mem-
bers of a distinct class, apart from the ordinary conditions of community life, and
they find it difficult to adjust themselves to these conditions on leaving the school.
The plan was finally approved of treating the blind children as the deaf chil-
dren at the city schools are treated giving them the opportunities to mingle as
much as possible with normal children, through their being taught at centers
established in the regular schools. The work was begun in 1900. A supervisor
and four teachers were employed and three centers in as many schools were opened.
The first year there was a total enrollment of twenty-three children, at a per
capita cost to the city of $166.95; in 1910 the total enrollment was forty-four, and
the number of teachers employed was four.

The contact of the blind children with seeing children in classroom work has
proved of great value and, in general, after the second grade the blind pupils have
taken an active part in the work of the school. In the elementary grades these
pupils have a special teacher, but in the high school they work in the regular
classes, with occasional individual help from the regular and special teachers.
Yet even in the elementary grades the blind children are on the first day enrolled
and seated in one of the regular school rooms, although they may be obliged at
first to spend much time in the room of the special teacher. The duties of the spe-
cial teacher are many and varied. She must correct the habits of inattention, lack
of concentration, and timidity that she finds in many of the pupils who come to
her. She must teach them to read and write the Braille system. She must assist
them in the preparation of different lessons for recitation in the regular class room,
and must see that all written work and examinations given by regular teachers
are reproduced in ink and returned to the room teacher for correction.

The power to use the hands skillfully is one of the chief needs of the pupils,
and is given by systematic work in construction in the grades of each center, the
principal materials used being raffia and beads. In the upper grades the boys
have been given the manual training course of the elementary schools, and the
girls sewing, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Instruction in reading and
writing of the Braille system is begun at once and continued until the pupil is
old enough to use the ordinary typewriter. In the regular class room the blind
pupil reads his Braille reader with sufficient speed to follow the children using the
ordinary copy, and to take his turn in reading aloud. In his work he is marked


according to the same standard as are the other children. There is now a super-
visor of schools for the blind.

The apparatus of the printing department, consisting of a stereotyping
machine, a printing press and a map machine, is in one of the schools. It is the
purpose of the printing department to keep the pupils supplied with Braille copies
of the books used by the seeing children. The entire work of stereotyping the
plates and of printing and binding the books used by the blind pupils is done here.


There is now in the school system of Chicago a department for instructing the
children who are too far below the average in intelligence to take part with profit
in the work of their classes. Before there was provision for them in the schools,
or a compulsory education law, there were several hundred school children in the
city who were in no school, and were receiving no training or instruction. In
several instances parents had had applications on file at the State Asylum for
Feeble Minded at Lincoln, Illinois, but could not secure admission for their chil-
dren because there was no room for them there. Recommendations were made
to the board of education from time to time to make provision for the proper in-
struction of sub-normal pupils, and in 1905 Superintendent Cooley wrote in his
report: "It seems only just that, as the state levies taxes to provide for the spe-
cial education of various classes of defective children, and Chicago pays about 75
per cent of all such taxes, the state ought to establish and maintain, in Chicago,
schools or homes for the training and instruction of the deaf, blind, feeble minded,
and the helpless cripples. This would enable the Board of Education to give all
its energies and resources to the education and proper training of the great mul-
titude of normal children." For fifteen years before this was written, there were
in the school ungraded rooms to which the so-called feeble minded children were
sent, not always with good reason. Recently, with the help of the Child Study
department, established in 1899, the sub-normal pupils have been classified, placed
in their proper grades in the rooms assigned such classes as centers, and specially
trained teachers placed in charge of them. In the latest report issued by the board
of education recommendations are made by the district superintendent supervising
the department that will work further improvements in the training of this class
of pupils, many of whom, it is felt, have already been saved from a life of use-
lessness and even crime by the attention given them in special classes.


Albert G. Lane was superintendent of Chicago public schools from December,
1891, to July, 1898. He had spent his life in teaching in Chicago schools, first
as principal for ten years of the old Franklin school; then, from 1868 to 1891, as
superintendent of Cook County schools, with the exception of four years in which
he engaged in banking; from 1891 to 1898 as city superintendent, and from the
latter year until his death in 1906 as district superintendent. He was active and
influential in the affairs of the State Teachers' Association, of which he was at one
time president, and contributed greatly to the success of the National Education
Association as a member for many years of its executive committee. He had an


Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools
from 11)09 to the present time

Original owned by Chicago Historical Society

Photograph by Sykes


Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools
from 1850 to 1864 from 1891 to 1898


intimate knowledge of the school affairs of city, county and state, and this, added
to his sound judgment, his wide acquaintance and his unselfish devotion to the
schools, made him almost indispensable as a counselor to his successors in the city
office. This service was freely rendered and fully acknowledged. He was a man
of high honor and courage and enjoyed the genuine and wide respect of his
fellow citizens as well as the confidence of the teachers among whom he worked.


Following Mr. Lane as superintendent of schools was Dr. E. Benjamin Andrews,
formerly president of Brown university, who occupied the position for two years.
Dr. Andrews was succeeded by Mr. Edward G. Cooley, who for nine years was
superintendent, and in 1909 resigned to become president of the publishing firm
of D. C. Heath and Company. Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, the present superintendent
of schools, was elected in Mr. Cooley 's place, the first woman to hold the position.
Under her active and progressive leadership original and radical improvements are
being brought about in the public school system of the city.











STUDY of old directories brings to light many curious references to
persons and conditions connected with the history of the years they stand
for. An examination of the entire series of Chicago directories would
be an appalling task, though it would be a fruitful field for the re-
searches of a specialist. We may, however, glance at a few of the more
important ones. The first directory of Chicago having any pretensions to com-
pleteness was prepared by James W. Norris, an attorney, in 1843, and was pub-
lished by William Ellis and Robert Fergus. This directory will be noticed later
in the course of this chapter.

There is, however, a directory of Chicago for the year 1839, which, rather
oddly, was not published until 1876, at this latter date appearing as Publication
Number 2, of the Fergus Historical Series. In the introduction to this valuable
publication, Robert Fergus says that in the year 1839 the Chicago Common Council
ordered the "Laws and Ordinances" of the city to be printed in pamphlet form.
At the end of the pamphlet was a six-page supplement containing a list of the
names of business men, set up by the printer as the names occurred to him, without
written "copy" to guide him, and without any previous canvassing whatever. Nat-
urally by such a method many names were omitted. There were no numbers in
use at that time except on Lake street.


Chicago was incorporated as a city on March 4, 1837, when its population was
4170, and at the time the "Laws and Ordinances" was published the city was



still in its infancy. The publication, with its six pages of names at the end, was
the first attempt made to print a directory. In 1876, Robert Fergus, taking the
list comprised in the six pages referred to as a basis, and with the assistance of
many of the old residents, compiled a "Chicago Directory of 1839." Many of
the names appear without given names, and all of them are included in thirty-one
pages having an average of fifty names on a page, a total of about fifteen hun-
dred and fifty names. The compiling of this directory may be considered a
rather remarkable feat, when it is remembered that thirty-six years had elapsed,
and that the names were largely recovered from the memory of those surviving
that period.


A few names may here be mentioned. There is the name of Isaac N. Arnold,
"attorney and counsellor-at-law," with the address given as "Clark street." Arnold
was a member of Congress in later years, a friend of Lincoln, and the writer of
a "Life of Lincoln." Another lawyer, Joseph N. Balestier, then a young man
twenty-five years of age, is mentioned with the address, "24 Clark street." Balestier
was a Vermonter who resided in Chicago a few years only and returned to his
native state. He is remembered chiefly as being the first of our historians, hav-
ing delivered a lecture before the Chicago Lyceum in 1840, the title of which
was the "Annals of Chicago," though the city was yet scarcely more than three
years of age. This lecture was published as Number One, of the Fergus Historical

There are four Beaubiens mentioned, Charles H., John B., who held the rank
of general in the state militia, Mark, and Medard, often called Medore. Other
French and Indians in the population whose names appear are the three mem-
bers of the La Framboise family (sometimes appearing as one word, Laframboise),
Claude, Eugene, and Joseph. The two latter are given as "Indian Chief." Billy
Caldwell, well known as a chief among the Pottawattomies, is mentioned, and his
residence is given as on the North Branch of the Chicago River.

There are still a few survivors of those days among us at the present time
who no doubt are familiar with the names in this directory, but even the resi-
dents of Chicago who can date their arrival within two or three decades will rec-
ognize many of them and the places filled by them in the affairs of the city and
nation. For example, here is the name of Henry W. Blodgett, "clerk for P. F.
W. Peck," who was afterwards United States Circuit judge; the names of the old
time Bradleys, Asa F. Bradley, city surveyor; Cyrus P. Bradley, clerk for Nor-
ton & Co.; David Bradley, plow maker; David M. Bradley, foreman of the Chi-
cago Democrat; and Timothy M. Bradley, clerk for Norton & Co. The name of
Justin Butterfield, "attorney," appears. Butterfield secured an appointment as
United States Land Commissioner, an office which Lincoln, in 1849 made a trip
to Washington to obtain for himself, though he failed in the endeavor.

John Calhoun. who started the Democrat in 1833, and sold it to John Went-
worth a few years later, is mentioned as "county collector." Other names are:
Philo Carpenter, druggist on South Water street; Stephen F. Gale, bookseller at
159 Lake street; Shubael D. Childs, engraver; Charles Cleaver, soap and candles;
Archibald Clybourn, farmer and cattle dealer; Silas B. Cobb, saddle and harness


maker; George C. Cook, afterwards wholesale grocer, clerk for Thomas Church;
and Walter L. Newberry, who afterwards endowed the Newberry Library.

We find here the names of all the mayors of the city, past, present and future,
down to the war period. There are the names of William B. Ogden, mayor in
1837 (the first mayor after the incorporation of the city); Buckner S. Morris,
1838; Benjamin W. Raymond, 1839 and 1842, dry goods merchant at 122 Lake
street; Alexander Loyd, 1840, builder; Francis C. Sherman, 1841, 1862 and 1863;
Augustus Garrett, 1843 and 1845; Alson S. Sherman, 1844; John P. Chapin,
1846; James Curtiss, 1847 and 1850; James H. Woodworth, 1848 and 1849, dry
goods merchant at 103 Lake street; Walter S. Gurnee, 1851 and 1852, saddlery-
hardware at 106 Lake street; Charles M. Gray, 1853; Isaac L. Milliken, 1854;
Dr. Levi D. Boone, 1855; Thomas Dyer, 1856; John Wentworth, 1857 and 1860;
John C. Haines, 1858 and 1859; and Julian S. Rumsey, 1861. No mayors, hold-
ing office at a later date than 1863, when Francis C. Sherman was mayor for the
third time, appear in this directory.

Some of the young lawyers, other than those already mentioned, were: John
D. Caton, afterwards a judge on the State Supreme bench; Hugh T. Dickey,
afterwards judge of the county court; Norman B. Judd, afterwards a friend of
Lincoln's, and minister to Prussia; Grant Goodrich, prominent in Chicago affairs
for fifty-five years; S. Lisle Smith, who died in 1854 at the early age of thirty-
seven, having already established a reputation as "one of the most brilliant cam-
paign orators in the West;" Theophilus W. Smith, then a judge of the State
Supreme court; Mark Skinner, later United States District Attorney under Presi-
dent Tyler, and, in 1851, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Cook County;
J. Young Scammon, whose name is met with constantly in the city's annals through-
out the fifty-five years of his life in Chicago; George Manierre, afterwards judge:
Thomas Hoyne, one of Chicago's most public spirited citizens; Richard J. Hamil-
ton, whom Bross said was "the oldest permanent resident" of Chicago; Mahlon
D. Ogden, brother of William B. Ogden, the first mayor; Alexander N. Fuller-
ton, who later drifted away from the practice of the law into commercial life and
made a fortune in the lumber business ; Ebenezer Peck, afterwards one of the
founders of the Republican party and a friend of Lincoln; James H. Collins, who
in later years was a stanch abolitionist; and Henry Brown, who in 1844 published
a history of Illinois.

In a more miscellaneous group may be mentioned the names of John Frink.
of the firm of Frink & Walker, operating several lines of stages ; Russell E.
Heacock, known as "Shallow-cut Heacock," because he advocated a shallower depth
for the canal than that proposed by the engineers; Frederick A. Howe, justice of
the peace, whose son of the same name died early in 1911, after a residence in
Chicago of nearly seventy-seven years; Fernando Jones, who came to Chicago in
1835, and has resided here continuously since that time and is now hale and hearty
at the age of ninety-one ; Captain David W. Hunter, son-in-law of John Kinzie,
a graduate of West Point Military Academy, a partner with his brother-in-law
John H. Kinzie in the forwarding business, who in later years became a Major
General during the Civil War; Colonel James M. Strode, register of the United
States Land office, known to fame as the commander of a force which suffered
defeat at Stillman's Run in the Black Hawk war; the three Kinzies then residing


Arrived in Chicago June 7. 1834. nnd has resided here continuously
since that time. He is seveiitv-iiiiie rears old.


in Chicago, James, John H., and Robert A., the first a half brother of the lat-
ter two, and all sons of the original pioneer of Chicago, John Kinzie, who had
then been dead eleven years. The wife of John H. Kinzie was the author of the
book entitled "Wau-Bun," well known to all students of the early history of Chi-
cago. Both John H. and Robert A. Kinzie were paymasters in the army during
the Civil War, and both held the rank of major.

Other names of historical interest may be added. Some of these are as fol-
lows: Gholson Kercheval, real estate man; John S. C. Hogan, who had been
postmaster from 1832 to 1837; Amos Grannis, builder of many fine structures in
later years; Elijah M. Haines, who became prominent in state politics and was
twice elected speaker of the Illinois General Assembly; George F. Foster, ship
chandler j six persons bearing the name of Hugunin, Daniel, Hiram, James R.,
John C., Leonard C., and Robert; Charles N. Holden, grocer; Tuthill King, clothier,
at 115 Lake street; Michael Lantry, in the teaming business, who later became
the stepfather of Colonel James A. Mulligan; Ira Miltimore, afterwards the
leader in the movement to build the first schoolhouse in 1844; Peter Page, builder;
Philip F. W. Peck, real estate dealer; John, Maurice and Redmond Prindiville;
James H. Rees, surveyor; Sidney Abell, postmaster; and the following names
of those who afterwards became postmasters; William Stuart, editor of the Chi-
cago Daily American; Hart L. Stewart, canal contractor; Richard L. Wilson, canal
contractor; George W. Dole, city treasurer; Isaac Cook; and Francis T. Sherman.

The names thus chosen may be considered fairly representative, though many
readers with the directory before them would doubtless have made a different selec-
tion. Summarizing a city directory in this manner is no easy task, especially
when one's attention is constantly arrested by names which bring to mind numer-
ous events in the history of the city or of the persons mentioned, and one has dif-
ficulty in making a choice among so many.

Looking at this directory in the light of subsequent events it seems like an
index to the history of the city and its builders. Within its thirty-one pages are
the names of many who bore leading parts in the development and renown of the
city of destiny. Men who afterwards filled honorable stations in the city, state
and nation, who served their country in the field of war and diplomacy, or who
built up large fortunes which contributed to the material prosperity of the com-
munity and to the endowment of great institutions ministering to the public wel-
fare, are found in this modest compilation. Their names are perpetuated in the
names of streets, buildings, institutions and parks, and in the memory and respect
of the people of later times.

Comparing this old directory of 1839 with that issued for the year 1910 we
note a marvelous contrast. The Chicago directory for 1910 comprises a volume
of 1752 pages, of which 1454 pages are taken up with the names of residents of
the city, the number of names printed, it is stated, reaching a total of 803,108.
The names given in the old directory would scarcely fill three pages of this colossal
work. Such is the difference between the two periods separated by a space of
seventy-one years, showing the wonderful progress made in the intervening time.



Robert T. Fergus in 1896, he was then eighty-one years of age compiled
a directory of Chicago for 1843, much in the same manner as that in which he
compiled the directory of 1839 twenty years before. Mr. Fergus took as the
basis for the compilation a directory of Chicago for 1843; that is, the canvas
had been made for it in 1843, but the directory itself was not published until
1844. This directory he extended, corrected, and generally revised, afterwards
issuing it as Publication Number 28 of the Fergus Historical series. This re-
printed directory contains seventy-one pages of names, averaging thirty-three
names to a page, a total of about 2340 names. In passing it may be interesting
to state that the population of the city in the year 1843 was 7580.

A valuable feature of this reprint is that Mr. Fergus, from his abundant knowl-
edge and vivid recollection, has added many details to the names given in the
original, involving bits of subsequent history of great interest. Many names given
in the directory of 1839 are of course found here also; but among those who ap-
pear here for the first time a few may be mentioned.

We find in the directory of 1843 the names of William Blair, hardware dealer,
at number 111 South Water street; James V. Z. Blaney, Professor of Chemistry
at Rush Medical College; Isaac H. Burch, banker; Zebina Eastman, editor of
the Western Citizen; Charles B. Farwell, clerk for J. B. F. Russell, land agent
(Mr. Farwell arrived early in January, 1844, but in sufficient time, it appears, to
have his name included in the directory of 1843) ; Joseph K. C. Forrest, law
student with Scammon & Judd; Thomas L. Forrest, clerk for Norton & Co.;
Samuel Hoard, clerk of the Circuit court; Charles C. P. Holden, clerk; Allan
Pinkerton, cooper; Joseph T. Ryerson, dealer in iron and nails, number 74 Lake
street; Robert W. Patterson, Presbyterian clergyman; Orrington Lunt, commis-
sion merchant; Amos G. Throop, lumber merchant; Murray F. Tuley, law student;
Charles G. Wicker, who sold dry-goods and groceries, number 94 Lake street; and
Alden G. Wilder, teacher in the public schools.


Taking up the Chicago directory for 1857, published by John Gager & Co.,
one sees a great increase in size as compared with the ones previously noticed.
Chicago had now attained a population of about 85,000, though the directory pub-
lishers speak of the city as containing 100,000 souls. The United States census
for 1860, three years later, gave the city a population of 109,206. A rough com-
putation shows that there are about 29,000 names in this directory. An unusual
feature was the addition, after the name and address, of the previous residence of
the person whose name appears, and the length of his residence in Chicago. This
was not done, indeed, in every case, as it was no doubt impossible to procure the

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.1) → online text (page 44 of 59)