Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"Abraham Lincoln ♦ A History." The Complete Ten-Volume Set in Searchable PDF Format.

"Abraham Lincoln  A History" is a ten-volume account of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, written by John Nicolay and John Hay, who were Lincoln's personal secretaries during the Civil War (1861-1865). Published in 1890.











Cable Court, a One Block Private Street, a Turnaround for Cablecars, in Chicago.

The Hyde Park turnaround, which ran on a separate electric cable, was at Cable Court (5622S 1500W) was named in honor of Ramson R. Cable, President of the Rock Island Rail Road in 1857.

The private street, Cable Court (5622S 1500W) is pictured here from Lake Park Avenue looking east. Circa 1950
Cable Court ran between 56th and 57th Streets. When the cable car system was abandoned the street was used for a turnaround for electric trolly buses which did not use the streetcar tracks. 

During an Urban Renewal project shortly after this photo was taken the street was reclaimed for buildings.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Assassination of Abe Lincoln's Dog, Fido.

Fido was a mixed breed dog with floppy ears and a yellowish coat. When fireworks and cannons announced Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the Presidential election of 1860, poor Fido was terrified. The Lincolns were worried that the long train trip to Washington, D.C., in 1861, combined with loud noises, would terrify Fido. 
In 1893 John Eddy Roll copyrighted this picture and turned it into a Carte de Visite (Cabinet Card) that was sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago.
A Cabinet Card that was sold at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition.
John and Frank Roll, two neighborhood boys, promised to take good care of Fido. Mr. Lincoln made them promise to let Fido inside the house whenever he scratched at the front door, never scold Fido for entering the house with muddy paws, and feed him if he came to the dinner table. The Lincolns gave the boys the roll pillows from their sofa so Fido would feel at home! Did you know “Fido” is Latin? Fido is from “Fidelitas,” which translates as “Faithful.”
A cropped picture of Fido from a Cabinet Card.
Fido outlived President Lincoln but came to a similarly tragic end in 1866. Fido was exceedingly friendly and had a habit of showing his congeniality by depositing his muddy forepaws plump on the breast of anyone who addressed him familiarly. His excessive friendliness eventually caused his death in a very unique way, in that Fido suffered the fate of his master — assassination. 

So there was Charlie Planck, one day in 1866 heavily intoxicated, sitting on a curb, head hanging down. Some accounts say he was whittling a stick. In any event, he was holding a "sharp, long-bladed knife." A friendly yellow dog came up to him, the way it often approached strangers. And it put its muddy forepaws on Charlie Planck. In a blind, drunken rage, Planck drew the knife and plunged it into Fido's chest.

Wounded and whimpering, the most famous dog in Springfield — an in all of America, for that matter — struggled to make his way back home, back to the Roll house, hobbling, hobbling, while blood poured from his chest. But it was too far. He would make it only as far as the Universalist Church on the corner of Fifth and Cook, just three blocks from the Roll mansion.

Fido, mortally wounded, his yellow coat matted with blood, labored to the backside of the church. He curled up tight against the chimney as if to keep warm. And there he died.

Poor old Fido was buried by loving hands in a spot that is kept sacred to this day.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

President Lincoln Reviews Court Martials.

On July 18, 1863, in a six-hour session, President Lincoln reviews several pardon cases; regarding one, he writes Advocate General Joseph Holt regarding the case of soldier Michael Delany sentenced to be executed: “Let him fight instead of being shot.
I am in a state of entire collapse after yesterday’s work,” Presidential aide John Hay writes the next day. “I ran the Tycoon through One hundred Court martials! A steady sitting of six hours!” Hay writes in his diary: “Today we spent six-hours deciding on Court Martials, the President, Judge Joseph Holt, and I was amused at the eagerness with which the President caught at any fact which would justify him in saving the life of a condemned soldier. He was only merciless in cases where meanness or cruelty was shown.”

Lincoln was especially averse to punishing with death cases of cowardice. Lincoln said, "it would frighten the poor devils too terribly, to shoot them."

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Four Draft Versions of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

There were five versions of the Gettysburg Address that were acknowledged by Abraham Lincoln in his lifetime. Here are those versions, along with the Associated Press (AP) wire copy from November of 1863.
Painting of Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.
THE OFFICIAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN [271 WORDS]
CLICK FOR AN ENLARGED PHOTOGRAPH
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

THE HAY VERSION [268 WORDS]
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

THE EVERETT VERSION [271 WORDS]
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

THE BANCROFT VERSION [271 WORDS]
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

THE BLISS VERSION [272 WORDS] The original draft.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP) VERSION [266 WORDS] "Applause" not counted.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. [Applause] Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a general battle-field of that war; we are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, but in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. [Applause] The world will note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. [Applause]. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. [Applause]. It is rather for us here to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain. [Applause] That the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the Government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. [Long applause. Three cheers given for the President of the United States and the Governors of the State."]

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Bewildering Chicago Murder of Michael Stopec in 1927.

The mysterious James Britt who rented room 330 of the apartment hotel known as the Morcelia Apartments, located at 4047 North Kenmore in which Michael Stopec, alias Harvey Foxton, was found slain Friday night, July 22, 1927, was identified by Charles Krieger, 29 years old, a former pal of Stopec.

Stopec's body was found in his apartment kneeling in front of a sofa and shot in the heart. His neighbors said they heard the shot and saw a woman leaving the scene. The breakfast table was still set for three people, but only two meals had been touched.

Krieger had a criminal record, and the police, comparing his description at the bureau of identification with descriptions furnished by residents in the hotel in which Stopec was killed, decided that Krieger and Britt were the same man. The search centered on Krieger, believing that he did the shooting or was a witness to it.

Two women who had been friends of the dead man were held for questioning. The police were convinced a woman was involved in the slaying. It was thought that Mrs. Emma Stopec, wife of the victim, was present in the room when her husband was shot. She was sought for questioning.

Anna O'Grady, known as 'Babe' was taken into custody. She said she was engaged to marry the man she knew as Foxton. Here was another motive, the police said, pointing out that Stopec may have been killed by his wife in a fit of jealousy. Miss O'Grady approved of this theory. She said she heard that Mrs. Stopec was extremely jealous. She also admitted the possibility of her fiancée having been slain by rival bootleggers.

Miss O'Grady and Lillian Wallen were found in Stopec's apartment, 148 W. Goethe Street, where they said they were waiting for James Curtain and George Dunasik. All were questioned regarding the murder.

Another theory of Chief of Detectives William E. O'Connor is that Stopec was slain by members of a booze ring following a dispute over dividends. 

It was discovered that Stopec rented an apartment under the name James Britt. He was married but was dating at least five women. At age 28, he already had a rap sheet for larceny and burglary and was suspected of being a bootlegger.

On July 25, 1927, it came to light that a county jail prisoner Robert Stanley, 33 years old, supplied several missing links into the murder of Michael Stopec. Captain John Norton, acting on information furnished by Lilian Wallen and Babe Grady which began the search for Stanley, which ended at the cell where Stanley was being held on a larceny charge. After prolonged questioning, Stanley admitted, according to Capt. Norton, that it was a message he delivered to Stopec which sent Stopec to his death at his Kenmore Apartment. "A fellow, I won't say who told me to tell Mike to meet him up there. So I let Mike use my car and he drove the two girls, Lilian Wallen and Babe Grady, as far as Graceland Cemetery."

Henry Guardino was suspected of firing the shot which killed Stopec. It was learned that bad feelings existed between Guardino and Stopec over the affection of Gertrude 'Billie' Murphy.
Gertrude 'Billie' Murphy, 22, is brought in for questioning in the murder case of Michael Stopec, who was shot and killed in an apartment hotel on July 22, 1927. 
Two witnesses had said they saw Guardino enter the death apartment on the day of the murder and when arrested, Guardino was carrying a pistol of the caliber used by the killer. Guardino admitted he visited the apartment, which had been engaged by a man, still sought, who gave the name "James Britt." But Guardino persists in denying knowledge of the shooting.

Another person, in addition to the killer and his victim, is known to have been present at the time of the shooting and Capt. Norton admits there is some possibility of Stanley, the prisoner, being this third person. Another theory is that the third person was a woman.

"It is clear that Stanley hastened to give himself up at the jail to avoid arrest in the murder case," said Chief of Detectives William E. O'Connor. Mrs. Murphy was still in custody.

Police interviewed five women and four men, all of whom had good reasons for wanting Stopec dead. His wife was one of them. So was his fiancée. Stopec was scheduled to be married the week after he was murdered, despite the fact he was already married. There were also accusations that he was a broker of shady marriages, arranging for pals to marry recently widowed women who had received large payouts from their husband's life insurance policies.

Despite all the suspects, no one was ever charged with his murder. The main suspect, one Robert Stanzley, was arrested in August 1927, but the grand jury and coroner couldn't find enough evidence to bring him to trial and he was released.

Whoever killed Michael Stopec got away with it.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The 1894 Fire in Rogers Park Community of Chicago.

We should all be familiar with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that burned from Sunday, October 8, 1871, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing nearly 300 people and destroying about four square miles of Chicago. Almost unknown is the "Saturday Night Fire" that struck downtown Chicago ten blocks north of the great fire, the night before on October 7, 1871, leveling four-city blocks.

HOW PHILLIP ROGERS' LAND FORMED THE BASIS OF ROGERS PARK
On April 29, 1878, Rogers Park was incorporated as a village of Illinois governed by six trustees. At one time West Ridge was adjoined with neighboring Rogers Park, but it seceded to become its own village in 1890 over a conflict concerning park districts (known as the Cabbage War) and taxes. The Village of Rogers Park was annexed to Chicago on April 4, 1893, along with the Village of West Ridge, each becoming one of Chicago's 77 communities today.
The Birch Forest extended from about Birchwood Avenue south to Touhy Avenue, about 1/2 mile, and west to just west of where Sheridan Road is today, in the Rogers Park community of Chicago, ca.1900.
By the turn of the 20th century, a lot of Rogers Park lakefront was still Birch and Oak Forests which, not surprisingly, gave its name to Birchwood Avenue. The subdivision of Birchwood Beach extended from Birchwood Avenue south to Touhy Avenue, about 1/2 mile, and west to the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad tracks (today's CTA Red Line) in the Rogers Park community of Chicago. The Birchwood Country Club, a nine-hole golf club was short-lived from 1906-1913 and was limited to 100 individual members living in the Birchwood Beach area.

THE GREAT ROGERS PARK FIRE
On Wednesday, August 8, 1894, one-city block of Rogers Park bounded by Clark Street, Market Street (Ravenswood Avenue), Greenleaf Avenue, and Jackson Avenue (Estes Avenue) went up in flames. Clean up and rebuilding took several years.
Shaded area shows burnt district at Rogers Park.
By a fire that broke out in that part of the city known as Rogers Park at 9:30 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday, August 8) an entire block was wiped out, including stores, factories, and dwellings, fourteen in all, while ten families were driven out homeless. The loss of property was $34,550, but during the excitement, many persons narrowly escaped injury, while five were hurt.

The scene of the fire was but a few hundred feet northeast of the Chicago & North Western Railway depot (now Metra) and in the principal business portion of the former village. The burned territory is bounded by Clark Street, Greenleaf Avenue, Jackson Avenue, and Market Street, along which the Chicago & North Western Railway has its right-of-way. At the southwest corner of the block at Greenleaf Avenue and Market Street was the Planing Mill of George Gerner & Sons, composed of one- and two-story Frame Buildings, occupying 100 feet of ground each way. The fire started either on top or within the Boiler Room of the mill, the generally accepted theory being that it was set by sparks from a passing engine on the North Western tracks.

Only a block away, on the east side of Clark Street and Jackson Avenue, stands the old Rogers Park Village Hall, the pride of all citizens there, which is now the headquarters of Precinct 44 of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department Truck Company № 25, with two men under the command of Lieutenant Healy. The two pieces of horse-drawn apparatus there consist of a truck, hose wagon, and chemical combined and is of the general variety used in country towns. The alarm at the Gerner factory was immediately sent in for this piece of apparatus, but it is reported that it was fully 20 minutes before the scene of the fire was reached, and, of course, the big mill, dry as tinder, like everything else in the neighborhood was doomed. Moreover, the fire was reaching after three frame cottages standing north of the mill, and for Burbank’s Drug Store, a two-story frame building standing east of the mill and facing Clark Street.

The firemen attached their lines to the hydrants, but the streams issued from them would barely reach a foot from the nozzle. Rogers Park, though annexed to Chicago for nearly a year, has been without city water all that time, and compelled to depend on a private waterworks, which were pumping under about ten pounds pressure when yesterday’s fire broke out. Calls for assistance were quickly sent out by Lieutenant George W. Perry to the Evanston and city departments. Hose companies from Evanston were earliest to respond, but by the time of their arrival, all of the buildings save one in the doomed block had been destroyed, and the fire was endeavoring to grasp the City Hall across Clark Street, as well as a long row of frame buildings containing the Rogers Park Library, several stores, and the houses of many families. The City Hall was set on fire several times, but the Evanston firemen managed to avert the danger, while several young men from the same classic town by hard work prevented one building from going down on the burning block.

After the flames had almost destroyed everything on the block, Fire Marshal Frederick J. Gabriel of the 13th Battalion arrived, followed by the Engine Companies № 70, № 55 from 685 Sheffield Avenue, № 56 from Noble Street and Clybourn Avenue, № 53 from Clybourn and Southport Avenues, and Hose Company № 4 from Clark Street and Belmont Avenue, and № 6 from Balmoral and Ashland Avenues. Some of the companies had driven six miles at full pace, with the thermometer at 95° F in the shade, and men and horses were alike worn out. But the former went to work with a will in a dire emergency. Every building on the block save one had gone down, and the fire had extended to the east side of Clark Street, where the two-story building occupied by W.P. Foote’s grocery store and home and the office of Expressman Anthony Cook had taken fire. Captain A. William Lawson and Lieutenant Quinlan with their men pushed into the building to stay the start the fire had taken for the destruction of another block. While at work Lawson and Quinlan were overcome by the heat and fell into a mass of burning debris on the second floor, whence they were rescued after heroic efforts, both being painfully burned. The building was gutted. Marshal Gabriel and Lieutenant Perry had by this time succeeded in getting the manager of the private waterworks to put on a greater pressure, and after a hot fight at Clark Street and Greenleaf Avenue, the flames were barred from further progress.

At 10:00 a.m. the wires of the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad Company and the Chicago Telephone Company were burned or cut down to avert danger, and there was no telephonic or electric car communication between the city, the northern suburbs, and Evanston until late last evening.

Police Officer John Weldon was the hero of the fire. He is from Summerdale Station. After the Burbank store and residence on the corner of Greenleaf Avenue and Clark Street had been encircled by the fire he rushed up the stairway leading to rooms above. Mrs. Gurney, the mother-in-law of Dr. Lowell, was there with Mrs. Burbank, both women frantic from fear. Mrs. Burbank hurried down the stairway, her clothing taking fire in her progress. She was seized by bystanders, who extinguished the flames on her gown, and she escaped with a few slight burns. In the meantime, Officer Weldon held Mrs. Gurney at a window, from which smoke was issuing freely, and was calling for a ladder. He knew the attempt down the stairway was fraught with danger. Finally, a ladder was placed against the window and the officer carried Mrs. Gurney to the ground where both fell unconscious from the smoke they had inhaled. Officer Weldon was also burned on one side of the face. Other praiseworthy work was done by Lieutenant George W. Perry and the twenty-two men of his command, in the way of saving threatened property and one of their deeds was of particular daring. On the railroad track, less than fifty feet from the blazing mill stood a tank car loaded with oil and wedged in between the other cars on either end of it. There was great danger of an explosion of the oil, which would have added horror to the fire disaster. Lieutenant Perry called all his men together and with desperate strength, they removed the cars from one end of the tank car, which had become heated to a dangerous point, and then they shoved the oil car to a safe distance.

The three cottages north of the planing mill on Market Street, now Ravenswood Avenue went down in a hurry before the flames. Nicholas Stuer and his wife, living in a part of the first cottage, lost everything, while Louis Petrie saved only a pair of trousers. Nicholas Michaels, living in the next cottage, saved part of his effects, while James Michaels, in the third cottage, saved all his furniture. The last building on Market Street, a large livery stable operated by J.P. Goodwin, was quickly destroyed, with a number of sleighs and a quantity of feed. He succeeded in saving his horses, carriages, and hearse.

Fronting on Clark Street, besides the Burbank Building, were a double two-story frame building occupied by John Hinds’ Bakery and John Weas’ Shoe Store, a brick building occupied by Sharp Brothers’ dry goods store, and a brick residence annex, and the frame residence and Butcher Shop of John Lindley. The undertaking establishment of Peter Weimeschkirch, which also constituted the Rogers Park Morgue, was but partially destroyed, the undertaker finding time to save most of his stock. His residence was saved.

George Gerner, in whose planning mill the fire originated, thinks with proper protection the fire should have been extinguished in a few minutes with but little loss.

Serious complaints were made against the private waterworks and the newly-annexed people think the city should take charge of the water supply. Harvey Eugene Keeler is the Superintendent of the works, which are said to have been originally built by the National Tube Company and later delivered to a stock company. The works stand at Touhy Avenue and Sheridan Road and are substantial and well equipped. Citizens complain that besides not being protected in cases of fire the water company charges exorbitant rates.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
Source, Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society.
Source, Chicago Tribune.