Category: Historical Research

130th Anniversary of the First Man to Die by Electric Chair - William Kemmler

130th Anniversary of the First Man to Die by Electric Chair - William Kemmler
In 1881, in Buffalo, N.Y., former steam-boat engineer, dentist, and inventor Alfred P. Southwick witnessed an intoxicated man die instantly after inadvertently touching the terminal of a large generator.   Southwick had been thinking about a more humane way of executing condemned criminals and electrocution he thought could be the answer. After David B. Hill was... Read more »

Help Pass Illinois HB4210 A Win for Public Information Access and Historic Research

Help Pass Illinois HB4210 A Win for Public Information Access and Historic Research
As Illinois taxpayers, we have become accustomed to the term “proposed legislation” translating to “how much more is this going to cost us?”   That is not the case here. I have been doing historical research professionally for about 15 years now and many times that research sends me to Cook County Coroner’s inquest records.  It... Read more »

A 19th Century Chicago Horror Show – The Electric Light Bug

A 19th Century Chicago Horror Show – The Electric Light Bug
Alright, I am not squeamish by any stretch of the imagination but when I came across this little historic gem I have to admit it took a little while to get it out of my head. I was browsing through some nineteenth-century newspapers recently, as us history geeks like to do on occasion, and almost... Read more »
Advertisement:

Old Chicago: A Man, A Monkey, and an Amusement Park

Old Chicago: A Man, A Monkey, and an Amusement Park
Once upon a time, in Bolingbrook, Illinois, stood a very fun place, at least in the eyes of a nine-year-old kid from Cicero. Its founder was Californian Robert Brindle and the 500,000 square-foot building with almost 9,000 parking spaces stood roughly at the southwest corner of where IL Rt. 53 met I-55. The concept was... Read more »

The Devil in the White City, Dr. H.H. Holmes, linked to Celebration of Flag Day

The Devil in the White City, Dr. H.H. Holmes, linked to Celebration of Flag Day
Much has been written about Dr. Herman Webster Mudgett and his murderous escapades in Chicago while using the alias Dr. H.H. Holmes.  Thanks to Erik Larson’s best-selling book and many other books and shows, the murderous con-man will be forever linked to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. What many don’t know is that... Read more »

Otto Funk - The Great Chicago Library Book Thief

Otto Funk - The Great Chicago Library Book Thief
This story was a long time in the making and realistically too long for a blog post so I am including the link to the full story here. As a book lover myself, I was drawn to the story of Otto Funk, the most prolific book thief in Chicago history.  As most great stories, I... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Chicago Memorial Day Massacre of 1937…or was it?

The Chicago Memorial Day Massacre of 1937…or was it?
Chicago is no stranger to labor disputes.  In fact labor is one of the reasons that a traditionally Republican establishment turned Democratic toward the end of the 19th century and never looked back. While many history buffs are familiar with the Haymarket Riot or Haymarket Affair as it is sometimes called, many are not familiar... Read more »

Update #2 Mystery of August Boness ( Bonas ) SOLVED!

Update #2 Mystery of August Boness ( Bonas ) SOLVED!
Link to Original Article:  “What will be the Fate of the 101 year-old Grave of August Boness?” Link to Update#1:  “Update on the 101 year-old Grave of August Boness (Bonas): Is Bethania Hiding Something? Since I published my last two articles I have been hard at work to discover a little more history on the... Read more »

Update on the 101 year old Grave of August Boness (Bonas)

Update on the 101 year old Grave of August Boness (Bonas)
  Link to First Article:  “What Will Be the Fate of the 101 Year-Old Grave of August Boness?” Link to Update #2 August Boness (Bonas) MYSTERY SOLVED! I had to post this update as soon as possible because time may be running out.  For years people have thought that the grave stone that is in... Read more »
Advertisement:

What will be the Fate of the 101 year old Grave of August Boness?

What will be the Fate of the 101 year old Grave of August Boness?
  Update Article #1: Update on the Fate of the 101 year-old Grave of August Boness (Bonas) Update Article #2 Mystery of August Boness (Bonas) Solved!   For years legend has surrounded the gravestone that until recently was hidden under bushes in the parking lot of the apartment building at 7889 Archer Ave in west... Read more »