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 maintained a number of occupations in his lifetime. He’s been listed as fireman, pipeman, county agent, until finally settling as a saloon owner. In 1867, he built this building – originally 448 W. Chicago Ave. – to house his family and run his saloon. He remained here until he died on October 12, 1901. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery.  His son, Nicholas Jr., ran the saloon until he died in 1936.

Pretty interesting to find out that this otherwise unappealing building has been around since before the Great Fire.

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