Forgotten Chicagoans: C. Julius Zuehlke

The epigraph “C.J. ZUEHLKE” appears above the window on the top floor of 1439 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park.

The building, designed in the Queen Anne style, was originally home to Christoph Julius Zuehlke, a tailor born in the early 1840s in Germany. He arrived in Chicago in 1869. He originally lived at 168 Cornell (what would now be about 1208 W. Chestnut St.). He married his wife Caroline in 1872. Together, Carolina and Julius had 3 children. By 1875, he had moved to 66 Ridgeville Rd. (now Paulina Street starting at Milwaukee Avenue) and five years later, he was a partner with Frederick Shilling downtown in a shop at 6 1/2 Lake Street (now about 412 W. Lake Street).

He began his own business in this building in 1882. It became a family business with his sons Otto and Paul (Julius Zuehlke & Sons) by 1900, where they remained for at least a decade. By 1923, Paul had become a polisher and had moved to Elston Avenue, but Otto and Julius were still at this location.

Julius died August 9th, 1929.

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