Posts tagged "West Town"

Ghost Signs: Van Houten's Cocoa

Ghost Signs: Van Houten's Cocoa
Ceonraad Johannes Van Houten is the creator of modern cocoa powder. In the early-to-mid 19th century, he created a new process to make chocolate production easier. He was also the inventor of Dutch chocolate. It began in Holland, but by the end of the 19th century, Van Houten had spread across Europe and eventually made... Read more »

Forgotten Chicagoans: F. J. Dewes

Forgotten Chicagoans: F. J. Dewes
Atop the building at 319 W. North Avenue in Old Town reads the name “F.J. DEWES.” The building was once home to the F. J. Dewes Brewing Company. Owned by Francis J. Dewes, the company lasted fifteen years under this name, opening in 1882 and changing to City Brewing Company in 1898 and Standard Brewery soon after.... Read more »

Ghost Signs: Howaniec Furniture Co.

Ghost Signs: Howaniec Furniture Co.
On the west side of the building at 1551-53 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town reads “Howaniec Furniture Co.” The company began as E. Howaniec Furniture Co. in 1947, but the “E” was soon dropped. Edward Howaniec, who founded the business, was born March 11, 1914 and died September 22, 1973. The business was run by his... Read more »
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Forgotten Chicagoans: Henry Biermann

Forgotten Chicagoans: Henry Biermann
The residential building at 1800 W. Huron Street (alternately 708 N. Wood Street) in West Town displays the stylish epigraph of “H. BIERMANN” on the Huron side. This was the former residence of Henry Biermann, who was born in 1838 in Germany. He married Dorothea (“Dora”) Schuske in the early 1860s. They had three sons and a... Read more »

Forgotten Chicagoans: Adam Ochs

Forgotten Chicagoans: Adam Ochs
At the top of the building at 1178 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Noble Square is an epigraph that reads A. OCHS 1873. Adam Ochs was born in Hesson, Germany in November 1841. He arrived in Chicago when he was 11 years old. He married Sophia Michels in 1864 and had 3 children with her. It was... Read more »

Forgotten Chicagoans: Nicholas Eckhardt

Forgotten Chicagoans: Nicholas Eckhardt
On the Rothschild Liquor building at 1532 W. Chicago Avenue in Noble Square reads a decorative epigraph with the name “N. ECKHARDT”. Nicholas “Nick” Eckhardt was born in Germany on September 9, 1832. He came to Chicago in 1854 and married his wife Sophia four years later. He and Sophia had a 3 sons and 3 daughters. He... Read more »
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Forgotten Chicagoans: Henry Worthmann

Forgotten Chicagoans: Henry Worthmann
Above the doorway on the building at 1859 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town reads “H. WORTHMANN BUILDING.” Henry W. Worthmann was born around June 18, 1857 in Hanover, Germany. He arrived in the United States in 1882 and he became a naturalized citizen in 1888. That same year, he married his wife, Agnes. He soon... Read more »

The Old Telephone Numbers of Chicago

The Old Telephone Numbers of Chicago
Before area codes, there were exchange prefixes in the Chicago telephone system. When the telephone system began in Chicago in 1892, the caller would connect to the operator and provide them the name of the exchange they wished to call, followed by their contact’s assigned specific 3-digit number (ie. Mulberry 666) Of course, by 1921,... Read more »

Forgotten Merchants: General Furniture Company

Forgotten Merchants: General Furniture Company
The building at 1709 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town now houses a boxing training facility, but its elegant terra cotta facade gives an indication of what was once here. The General Furniture Company began in the early 1900’s. Billing itself as “Chicago’s Greatest Chain of Furniture Stores,” they had multiple other locations around Chicago,... Read more »
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The Old Addresses of Chicago

The Old Addresses of Chicago
Chicagoans: The next time you give directions to your friends, you can thank this guy – Edward Brennan – for making it a little bit easier. Before 1909, addresses were generally designated by the branches of the Chicago River. Although it was simple, since the river doesn’t flow in a straight line, it would easily... Read more »
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