Category: Epigraphs

Forgotten Chicagoans: John F. Dugan

Forgotten Chicagoans: John F. Dugan
Atop the building at 1282 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park reads “DUGAN 1888”. The building, completed in 1888, was originally owned by John F. Dugan, an Irish real estate agent and former butcher. He moved several times while living in Chicago. Although putting his name on the building would seem to indicate some intention... Read more »

Forgotten Merchants: Common Sense Novelty Company

Forgotten Merchants: Common Sense Novelty Company
Carved in stone over the doors at 2435 N. Sheffield Avenue in Lakeview is a sign for the Common Sense Novelty Company. The Common Sense Novelty Company was founded in 1903. Originally at 215 S. Clinton Street, they built this factory in 1909, as the sign states. Their main entrance at the time was around... Read more »

Forgotten Chicagoans: Charles Schroeder

Forgotten Chicagoans: Charles Schroeder
At the top of the building at  1323 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park reads “1885 C. SCHROEDER.” Charles Schroeder had a meat market at this building, which he had built in 1885, at what was once 981 Milwaukee Avenue. Within 15 years, Schroeder had moved his business to 532 Thomas. The building is one of the contributing... Read more »
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Forgotten Merchants: Hollenbach Seed Company

Forgotten Merchants: Hollenbach Seed Company
On the building at 808 W. Lake Street on the Near West Side, the name HOLLENBACH is in big letters. The Hollenbach Seed Company was founded by Peter Hollenbach, a German immigrant, in Chicago in 1877. He was originally on West Randolph then North Halsted and finally, this building, built in 1909 by Worthmann and Steinbach. Additions were made... Read more »

Forgotten Building: The Coliba

Forgotten Building: The Coliba
Atop the building at 2213 North Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park reads “THE COLIBA.” Older North Side readers will recognize this building as a major community center for Romanian citizens. The Coliba was opened in 1920 by the parish of St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Church, which was originally located nearby at 1345 W. Webster Avenue. At... Read more »

Forgotten Merchants: John Sexton and Co.

Forgotten Merchants: John Sexton and Co.
The condo building at 360 W. Illinois Street reads “JOHN SEXTON & CO.” John Sexton, born in Canada in 1858, came to Chicago in 1877. He was a grocer and developed a chain of tea and coffee stores. In 1883, he partnered with George Hitchcock to found the wholesale grocery company Hitchcock & Sexton. Three... 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: Mathias Hibbeler

Forgotten Chicagoans: Mathias Hibbeler
At the top of the building at 917 W. Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park reads MATH. HIBBELER 1895. Mathias J. Hibbeler was born in Germany in 1866. He arrived in the United States in 1884. He married Emelie (“Emma”) Huber in 1889 and became a naturalized citizen in 1890. He had a son, Mathias Jr.,... Read more »

Forgotten Merchants: Coles Brothers

Forgotten Merchants: Coles Brothers
At the top of the building at 907 W. Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park reads COLES BROS. 1890. Charles A. Coles was born May 13, 1863 in Chicago. His brother Walter was born October 7, 1865 and William was born November 23, 1867. Their parents were English. In 1890, 907 W. Armitage was 173 Center Street.... Read more »
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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 »
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