William Frederick Howat.

A standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) online

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Chicago in 1889.

In 1892 General Torrence sold his holdings in the companies men-
tioned, and in 1895 the Lake Michigan Land Company was organized
by Owen F. Aldis and associates, of Chicago, who acquired the property
now included within the limits of Indiana Harbor and began the im-
provements which eventuated in the establishment of the Inland Street
Company's mills in 1901. During that year the old East Chicago Com-
pany had been reorganized, and in 1903 the Calumet Canal & Improve-
ment Company, Standard Steel & Iron Company and Lake IMichigaxi
Land Company were absorbed by it. J. Kennedy Tod & Company
financed the purchase of the land from Caroline M. Forsyth in 1888 for
C. C. & I. Co. and S. S. & I. Co., and also the construction of Chicago &
Calumet Teraiinal Railway under direction of General Torrence.

The East Chicago Company

The East Chicago Company originally held 7,000 acres of land within
the present limits of East Chicago. Under the auspices of that company
and the active superintendence of C. A. Westberg, the harbor was con-
structed in 1901-3 and the canal commenced in 1904 and improved up
to the present time. About twenty-two hundred acres of its original
holdings remain to be sold to manufacturers and others. So that the
company is still perhaps the largest private factor in the future of
East Chicago.

]Mr. and .Mrs. George AV. Lewis

Among those who came to East Chicago in the early days of its
development was George W. Lewis. He has never tired of assisting
in the progress of the city from every point of view and there are none
now living in the locality who antedate his family as settlers, or who
can claim to be more faithful as workers for the best interests of East

He is one of the men who have been most intimately identified with
the growth and development of the City of East Chicago and was the


local manager of the corporation which some twenty or twenty-five years
ago did so much development work in that section, and for the past ten
years has been engaged in real estate and insurance business on his own
account at East Chicago. Mr. Lewis has had a long and thorough com-
mercial experience, and is one of the well known and highly esteemed
citizens of the Calumet region.

George W. Lewis was born at Kalamazoo, Michigan, February 22,
1863. Both his parents died in 1871 and from that age he was reared
on a farm in Kalamazoo County. That was his home until November 28,
1884, at which date he arrived in Chicago, a young man of twenty-one,
with an ambition to make something of himself in the commercial field.
During the winter of 1884-85 he studied stenography in a Chicago
business college, and had his first practical experience in a real estate
office for six months. Then followed one year in the office of E.
Rothschild & Bros., wholesale clothiers, then for about three years he
was private secretarj^ to the General Passenger Agent for the Chicago &
Atlantic Railway, now the Chicago & Erie, and for about two years
was assistant secretary and had charge of the office of the Chicago Coal
Exchange in the Temple Court Building.

Oji February 1, 1892, Mr. Lewis formed a connection with the East
Chicago Land Companies, and on December 8th of the same year moved
to East Chicago to take charge of the general office of the Land Com-
panies as local manager. When the East Chicago Company was
organized about 1900, he was elected its secretary, and held that office
until he resigned January 15, 1905. to engage in business for himself
in the real estate and insurance. He has since done a large general
brokerage business in loeal real estate, and represents some of the well
known insurance companies operating in this field.

Mr. Lewis was married September 5, 1889, to Miss Margaret A.
Hinds of Chicago. They have a married daughter and one son. Mr.
Lewis is a Knight Templar Mason, also a member of the Scottish Rite
Consistory, and is a member of the Hammond Country Club, the East
Chicago Club and the Hamilton Club of Chicago.

The Corporatiox

The city is well governed, with Frank Callahan as mayor; T. Y.
Tfichards, clerk: Charles E. Bowen, chief of police, and James F.
Doherty. chief of the fire department. There are flourishing public
libraries both within the territory known as East Chicago and Indiana
Harbor. The public schools are under the control of the Board of
Education, of which F. H. Fish is president, and are directly super-



intended by Edwin N. Canine. W. L. Spencer is secretary of the l)oard
and J. C. Dickson treasurer.

The city hall at East Chicago, which was built in 1908 at a cost of
$65,000, is a tine building located on a large, beautiful site, and worthy
of being the home of the municipal departments.

The fire department is housed in its own building near the city hall.
It is valued at $20,000.

The municipal building at Indiana Harbor, whicli was erected ni
1908 at a cost of $28,000, houses both the police department and the
branch of the fire department. In 1913 the Twin Cities purchased two
of the largest and finest auto fire engines in the state, each costing over

Public Library, East Chicago

nine thousand iloUars. With tht^ special tire protection provided bv
most of the industrial plants located within the city limits. East Chi-
cago rightly considers that her safety in this regard is well assured.

The Public Libraries

It was through the efforts of Mrs. John D. Kennedy, president of the
"Tuesday Evening Reading Club," that tlie movement for the estab-
lishment of a library was started. The first action was taken hy ]\Irs.
Kennedy on December 1, 1908, when she appointed a committee to solicit
books with the idea, they would fonn the nucleus of a public library.
After the ladies had raised several hundred dollars tlirough circulating


a subscription ainoug the business men of the town and the observance
of a "Tag day," iMesdames Kennedy, Johnson, Williams, Meade, Fischer
and Jacob went ])efore the City Council and petitioned that body to pass
an ordinance to make a levy for library maintenance, the Council unani-
mously voted to levy one mill on the dollar which was the maximum levy.
The first Library Board consisted of J. G. Allen, John R. Farovid, Geo.
W. Lewis, Dr. A. A. Ross, Mrs. J. D. Kennedy, Mrs. A. H. W. Johnson
and Mrs. E. V. Walton.

Two libraries were established Marcli 1, 190!). One in the city hall
in East Chicago and one over the tire station in Lidiana Harbor. Mr.
L. B. Blanchard was the first librarian. The matter of a Carnegie
Library was first discussed l)y the board in December, 1910. Doctor Ross,
Mr. Farovid, ^Irs. Johnson and ^liss Sweezy, the librarian were appointed
to take the matter up with ]\Ir. Carnegie and this effort was successful.
Mr. Carnegie donated $40,000, which was equally divided between two
buildings, which are constructed of red vitrified brick. The one in East
Chicago is located on what is known as the "Circle" at Chicago and
Baring avenues, the site having been donated by the East Chicago Com-
pany. It houses a well-selected collection of 3,967 volumes, with Mrs.
Frances Byers as librarian. John R. P^arovid is president of the library
board and H. C.,Rutledge secretary.

The Indiana Harbor Library is located at the corner of Grapevine
and One Hundred and Thirty-sixth streets, on a site purchased by the
Library Board. The collection comprises 3,456 volumes ; ]\Irs. Byers is
librarian for both and has assistants at each library.

The Commerciat. Cub

The Commercial Club has done much to advance the interests of East
Chicago and Indiana Harbor. It was organized in 1909 and that year
the club erected its permanent and liandsome home on Guthrie Street,
one of the main thoroughfares of Indiana Harbor, at a cost of $20,000.
It is a two-story brick building, occupying a 50-foot front. Its main
floor is rented for business purposes and the club has reserved the second
floor for its pleasant rooms and offices. The membership of the club
numbers 340. Pre.sent officers: Newton AY. Hem1)roff, president: M. E.
Crites, secretary.

Public Schools

Superintendent Edwin N. Canine, head of the East Chicago public
school system, has prepared the following condensed statement of the



present status of the six modern schools which are doing such fine work
in the education of varied minds and nationalities.

Harrison : Corner of Magouu Avenue and One Hundred and Eorty-
fourth Street. A stone building erected in 1898 for high school pur-
poses. It now houses the junior high school, consisting of 200 seventh,
eighth and ninth-grade children. Large yard and athletic field. Value
of building and grounds, $60,000.

McKinley : Corner of Magoun and One Hundred and Forty-eighth
Street. A brick building witli sixteen school rooms, besides a full equip-
ment for manual training and domestic science. Erected in 1905. Large
playground. The school city owns and uses the old Methodist Episcopal

McKixi.Kv SriiooL, East Chicago

Church on the opposite side of IMagoun. On this site a l)uiUling for
auditorium, gymnasium, industrial and administrative purposes will be
erected. Value of present building and grounds. $85,000. Enroll-
ment, 800.

Garfield : Corner of Melville Avenue and One Hundred and Forty-
eighth Street. Erected in 1912. Will be doubled in size, making a
building of twenty-five classrooms, besides gymnasium, auditorium,
offices, etc. Value $75,000, including old Wallace Building and grounds
on opposite side of street. Enrollment, 600.

Washington: Corner of Parish Avenue and One Hundred and
Forty-first Street. Erected in 1907 as a grade building, but remodeled
in 1914 for a junior-senior high school, with an enrollment of 350. Value
of building and grounds, $85,000. The school owns one block of ground


just across the street, which is being fitted for a playground and athletic
field. Has manual training, printing and domestic science equipments.

Riley: Corner of Elm Street and One Hundred and Thirty-eighth
Street. First half erected in 1912, and completed in 1914. Twenty-five
classrooms, gymnasium, auditorium, shower baths, etc. Playground
across the street. Value of building and grounds, $110,000. Enroll-
ment, 950.

Lincoln : Corner of Elm and One Hundred and Thirty-sixth streets.
Erected in 1903, eight rooms. Has good playground. Value. $40,000.
Enrollment, 350.


Total value of buildings and equipment, about $500,000. Total
enrollment. October, 1914, 3,200. Total number of teachers. 115.

High, Night and Summer Schools

The high school is organized on the six-and-six plan, with a junior
high school in the Harrison Imilding and a junior-senior high school
in the Washington building. The eighth year is regular high school
work and the twelfth year corresponds to the first year in college, giv-
ing pupils sophomore standing.

The night school, with an enrolhnent of 500, offers P^nglish courses
for foreigners, industrial and domestic science, commercial and otlier

The summer school provides opportunity to make up back work or
to advance in grades. The shops and playgrounds are kept open dur-
ing the summer with regular teachers in charge. Home gardens are
supervised, and frequent Nature-study excursions conducted during the
summer by teachers employed for that purpose.

Effective Educational System

Superintendent Canine has in his 1913 report so elucidated the
interesting East Chicago system that liberal extracts are taken from it,
as follows: "East Chicago, like the other Lake County cities, has to
meet many school and community situations peculiar to a rapidly grow-
ing industrial region. The population is cosmopolitan and yet intensely
democratic. There is no wealthy or especially cultured class, and
extreme poverty is uncommon. And yet, while the community is com-
posed almost wholly of working people and their children, these same


children vary greatly in their mental aptitudes and physical abilities.
The old-fashioned set course of study with cultured aims has caused
many failures, produced hundreds of misfits, and driven innumerable
boys and girls to leave school as soon as the law will permit. To avoid
these results in so far as possible a few special features are introduced.
''It is asserted that 20 per cent of the children in the public schools
of the United States fail to pass in their grades. For several years East
Chicago has employed the best grade teachers that could be secured to
assist or coach backward pupils. In the school year 1911-12 the per-
centage of failures was 11.7 per cent, while the average for fourteen
cities in Indiana was 12.7 per cent. Their per cent of failures for the

Chicago Avenue East of Forsyth Avenue

first term in 1912-18 was 6".5 per cent, the greater number of wliich
were in the first grade, where it is especially hard for foreign children
to master the English language.

"The coach teachers assist pupils during their study periods, the
aim being to develop proper habits of study. The children recite in
their regular classes. ]\Iany children come to the school directly from
European schools, ^vith no knowledge of English. They are assisted
by the special teachers and are soon able to take their proper places in
the grades.

"In the Lincoln and Riley buildings the special instructor teaches
reading exclusively, and the regular teachers coach their backward

"It was found that some children, especially in grades five, six and


seven, seemingly could not do the regular work and were repeating for
the second and in some cases for the third time. Special classes have
been formed. One-fourth to one-third of the time is spent in the manual
training and domestic science departments, where the work is closely
correlated with the book work and made just as practical as possible.

' ' One-fourth to one-third of the time is spent with the special teacher,
who teaches the work of each grade to these children. The absolutely
essential and most practical phases of English, arithmetic, geography
and civics are presented. The remainder of the time is spent in regular
classes. Last year some of the boys passed under these conditions, not
only the grade in w^hich they had failed, but the next grade as well.

"Additional teachers have been employed and this work extended
and more carefully organized. It is planned so that these classes run
parallel with the regular classes and that children may pass from one
to the other without losing grades. If a boy 'finds himself he can
pass back into his regular work. The work for these classes consists
of English, including writing and spelling, and arithmetic of the most
practical nature ; geography as related to the industries of the com-
munity and thus reaching out into all parts of the world, together
with carefully prepared lessons in civics and hygiene. Elementary
science, which relates the work to the industries and practical life, is
made also a very large part of the work. The children visit the labora-
tories wliere the older children are at work and make in their manual
work apparatus for the simple, practical experiments.

"The work is open to not only boys and girls under fourteen who
are still in school, but to those over fourteen who have quit school and
were loafing. Such j^upils do not have to go l)aek into lower classes
from which they dropped, but are given the work which they can do
in the special ungraded classes.

"The work in the high school is being planned in the same way.
Pupils who have had the special work in the grades may enter and
complete the high school without handicap. They could not and would
not care to pursue the usual college preparatory course, but their studies
are such as fit them for the industries into which they may go — elemen-
tary and practical mathematics, business English, including spelling
and wTiting, general science, bookkeeping, typewriting, civics, mechan-
ical drawing, shop work, cooking, sewing, millinery and general house-
hold arts.

"Continuation classes are provided for boys and girls who are
employed, but who wish and are permitted by their employers to spend
a part of each day or one day in a week in school. A few boys and
girls are availing themselves of this opportunity, thanks to their own


ambition and the liberality and foresight of their employers. May the
tribe of each increase. "With this school, as with all others, the best
work for these classes is as yet undetermined. We are using what
seems best and possible at present.

"In order that boys and girls may be induced to remain in school,
or to return to school for all or part of the time, and in order that
they may be fitted properly into the suitable positions awaiting them
in the community, a committee of vocational guidance has been organ-
ized, with the supervisor of manual and industrial training as chairman.
All the principals and the industrial teachers, together with the attend-
ance officer, are members. It is the business of this committee to study
carefully the adaptabilities for work of every boy and girl in and out
of school and to keep a card record of the same, to collect and tabulate
tiomplete data concerning the industries of the community and to instruct
children in the requirements, opportunities, advantages and disadvan-
tages of each kind of employment. They shall co-operate in every way
possible with parents and employers in placing boys and girls in suitable
positions and give them advice as to how to continue their school work,
whether it be in part time classes or regular high school and college work.

"Many pupils are not failures and are not necessarily backward,
but are unable to do the average amount of work. On the other hand
many pupils are capable of doing much more work than the average
done by the class. Assignments are made in accordance with the above
principle. If the average pupils of the class are assigned fifteen prob-
lems, the slower pupils are assigned but eight, ten or twelve typical
problems, while the bright pupils are given twenty or more. The same
principle is applied easily in geography and history and to some extent
in the English M^ork. In the high school it is employed in the English,
science and commercial work. The principle is to adapt the work to
the ability of the boy or girl. It prevents slow children from becoming
discouraged and affords the brighter ones opportunity to advance as
rapidly as is consistent with health and proper development. One very
successful fifth grade teacher says that it has solved absolutely the
problem of discipline. There is no jealousy on the part of pupils, and
parents make no objections.

"Believing that the energies of pupils are unnecessarily divided and
dissipated by the increasing number of subjects with which the course
is burdened, the following plan was adopted :

"In the four lower grades there is one long period each day given
to language work, the material for which is found in literature, history
and nature study. These subjects all form one line of closely related
work and are not given separate places on the daily program.


"In grades tive and six the study work is centered around reading^
arithinetif and geography. The lifth year history, whieh consists of
American history stories, is presented as a part of the geography of the
region and is used as supplementary and home reading. European
history stories are used in the same way in the sixth grade. Seven
B pupils study and recite reading, arithmetic and geography, while 7 A
pupils substitute grammar and history for reading and geography.
Eight B pupils carry reading, arithmetic and history and change to
grammar, arithmetic and physiology in 8 A. There are thus but three
lessons to prepare and recite, to which six 30-minute periods are devoted
daily. Five 30-minute periods each day are devoted to the drill subjects,
manual training and play.

"Seventh and eighth grades are centered in the Washington and
McKinley schools and the work is fully departmented. In these build-
ings the work of the fifth and sixth grades is done partly on the depart-
mental plan and partly on the regular grade or room plan, thus bridg-
ing over the gulf between the two plans.

"The board employs several teachers for the full year, and the fol-
lowing work of the suumier school is offered to both grade and high
scliool pupils:

"1. Opportunity to make up work in whicii the pupil for any reason
is behind his regular class.

"2. Classes in which pupils who are especially strong ma\- make
up an extra graile.

"3. All phases of industrial work. The home garden work is espe-
cially emphasized and competent teacliers are in charge.

"4. Playground activities are continued throughout the sunnner
with the regular directoi*s. The Commercial Club for the past two
years has given prizes for lawns and gardens. In September splendid
flower and vegetable exhibitions Avere held in the Lincoln and Wallace

"East Chicago organized the first night schools in Lake County.
The work consists of :

"1. Classes for foreigners, whose first aim is to learn the English
language. As rapidly as possible they are given practical arithmetic
and civics.

"2. Commercial Subjects — Business English, bookkeeping, type-
writing and stenography.

"3. High School — Any subject for which twelve or more people

"4. ^lechanieal drawing, shop work and domestic science and arts.


Especial effort is made to give the men and women work that correlates
with and supplements their daily occupations.

' ' The enrollment for the present year in all departments of the night
school is 250.

"In the Washington and McKinley buildings physical training is a
regular part of the department work, with competent teachers in charge.
In the other buildings the regular teachers do the work. At least one
30-minute period each day, in addition to the various shorter periods,
is devoted to physical development.

"The board has supplied full equipment for indoor and outdoor
baseball, volley ball, soccer ball and various games. Dumbbells, Indian
clubs, wand and other drills are emphasized. The playgrounds are
being equipped by the special and industrial classes.

' ' Two practicing physicians examine all pupils yearly and make spe-
cial examinations and recommendations whenever requested. Parents
have, as a rule, co-operated and many physical defects of pupils to
which attention has been called have been corrected.

East Chicago High School

"The East Chicago High School was commissioned in January, 1902.
For the past nine years it has been a member of the North Central
Association of Colleges and Secondary' Schools.

"The dominant idea in arranging the different courses offered in
the high school has been to give the pupil the opportunity of pursuing
the course of study that will best prepare him to pursue his chosen line
of work after finishing the high school course. If a pupil so desires,
he can take a full year's course in the high school without any thought
of preparing to enter a university after graduating. For the pupil
desiring a business education a two years' course is offered, embracing
not only strictly commercial subjects, but also other studies that will
tend to broaden his view and better enable him to follow his business
vocation successfully. For the boys two years of manual training and
three years of mechanical drawing are offered; for the girls, two years
in domestic science, including cooking and sewing. Either of these
subjects may be taken as elective work in the regular courses. Subjects
will also be given in the high school especially adapted to the needs of
those boys and girls recommended for such work by the board of voca-
tional guidance, whose work is discussed elsewhere in this article.

' ' On the contrary, there are offered in the college preparatory course
all the various subjects required for entrance into the university. Among
the subjects offered in this course are four years of English, four of


Latin and German, four of science, four of niatlunnatics, including plane
triorononietry. and three years of history and civics.

Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 40 of 44)