« PreviousContinue »
provement Scheme had collapsed, times had at all revived. Why, then,
beef and pork, and in 1839 the pro-
But the best evidence of returning haps not too bold statement to sense and the promise of a prommake that Chicago's existence as a inent stability was the zeal with city was not more in peril after the which Chicagoans begun to enter fire of October, 1871, than after the the industrial walks of life. George first disastrous conflagration which W. Dole, Archibald Clybourne, Gurshe suffered, on the 27th of October, don S. Hubbard, and Sylvester Marsh 1841. The fire commenced on Lake had been packing hogs for six or street, 'near Dearborn, the Tremont seven years.
Earlier still there had House and seventeen other buildings been
blacksmiths being burned, among which mend the soldiers' guns and shoe many of the leading business houses their horses, and that trade was still in the city. The total loss was about represented. Asahel Pierce, the $70,000, which occurred before the Vermont blacksmith, had been merri
ly hammering away at his plows- $33,000 for 1839*; from which it will shop corner of Lake and Canal be easy to compute how bulky the streets-through all the days of high imports were. Traffic had grown to hopes and hard falls. Later, Slow & such proportions that in July, 1839, a Co. made their first castings in the regular line of steamboats was estab. Chicago furnace on Polk street, west lished between Chicago and Buffalo. side. There was already a saw and Although there are no figures acshingle-mill on the North Branch, cessible as to the growth in the outnear Division street, and a little brick put of manufactures, still a statement yard near the north bank of the of the enterprises which were inauguriver, between Dearborn and Clark rated in 1839 is a sufficient proof that streets. Vessel building had also Chicago was, more than ever, getting made a beginning in Chicago. The to be both industrious and industrial. bridge builder, Nelson R. Norton, Goose Island, in the North Branch, had gone into this business, and had, was the scene of noticeable activities. in 1836, seen the successful launch- Not only had vessels been turned out ing of the “Clarissa."
But larger of its shipyard, but two steamers had game was in store for the year 1839. been constructed there in 1838–39–
Furthermore, for three years, Jared the "James Allen"and the "George W. Gage had been conducting our first Dole.” The most interested parties in and only flour-mill on the South these enterprises were George W. Branch, and Charles Cleaver had Dole and John H. Kinzie, their been for two years in his nice, two- steamers afterward running between story soap factory, corner Washing- St. Joseph and Michigan City. ton and Jefferson streets. The Miller It was during 1839 that the metal brothers had been running a tannery manufactures of Chicago first comfor a number of years (since 1831) menced to assume proportions Elinear the Miller tavern and the junc- hu Granger-subsequently alderman tion of the two river branches. So -erected a foundry on the north that prior to our epochal year of bank of the river, near Clark street, 1839, Chicago had made considerable and the Rankin Brothers established advances outside of the speculative a brass manufactory, further north, walks of life.
on Illinois street. Smaller industries During that year, as stated, our in this line sprung up, and the Chiproduce trade took a leap from $26, cago Furnace, on the west side, was 000 (in 1838) to $36,000, and the total still busy. This year, also, marks the commerce from $593,000 to $664,000. beginning of Chicago's immense Of the last named sums, however, the export were $16,000 for 1838 and
* From reports of the Collector of the Port.
brewing industries, in the little build- of Van Buren street bridge. The ing occupied by William Till, at the factories on the south side were corner of Pine street and Chicago sprinkled along the South Branch
It did seem at this time, as and the Main river, between Market if the North Side—now peculiarly the street and Wabash avenue, and Lake residence district of Chicago-was was the principal business street, and destined to be the manufacturing Randolph a favorite thoroughfare section.
for the wagon and carriage makers. In brief, the manufactories were : There was a little tannery on the West side: Two candle and soap; northeast corner of Madison and one sash, door and blind; one flour Clark streets. mill; one foundry; and one machine The manufacturing district of the shop.
north side covered far more territory. South side: One fanning mill; three The foundries, the fanning and wagon and carriage; one sash and pump factories and carriage shops door; two tanning; one grain cradle. were within five or six hundred feet
North side: One fanning mill; two ot the river, between Dearborn iron; one wagon and carriage; two
and State street. Capt. brewing; one distilling; one steam Huntoon's steam saw-mill, on the saw-mill; two sash and door; one other hand, was on the North Branch, tanning; one buhrstone; one pump; near Dursin, while the tiny breweries one match-making and brick-mak- and distillery were near the lake, the ing.
latter Illinois street, and the The manufacturers on the west former close together on Chicago side were scattered from Washing
All the warehouses were ton to Polk streets, as far west as built on the north bank of the river. Jefferson. The flour mill was located
H. G. CUTLER. at what would now be the west end
JOHN W. JACKSON.
The annals of Chicago have been pioneers, whose early struggles have prolific of characters, the stories of obtained for them a place among the whose lives should be preserved for affluent citizens of Chicago, is John the benefit and encouragement of W. Jackson, who left his ancestral those who come after them, who may home in England, a young man, to glean therefrom much that will con- seek his fortune in the United States. tribute to their success. Especially He was born in the town of Riston, interesting and encouraging are the eleven miles from the famous old records of the experiences of the
town of Hull, September 25th, 1809. pioneer settlers, to that class of young His father, Robert Jackson, was an men who are dependent upon their English farmer in moderate circumown resources, who must be continual- stances, and as a child he enjoyed ly reminded thereby, of the fact, that fair educational advantages. At an industry, integrity and tenacity of early age, however, it became necespurpose seldom fail to be properly re- sary for him to earn his own living, warded. The successful men among which he did by obtaining employthe early settlers of the city, those ment with a neighboring farmer. Bewho have amassed fortunes, who have fore he attained his majority he demade substantial improvements, and termined to come to America, and at contributed in various ways to the the end of a voyage of something less upbuilding of the metropolis have than five weeks, in those days concome from all the walks and callings sidered a quick voyage, he landed at of life. Lawyers, doctors, merchants, Quebec, with just money enough in mechanics and laborers of every class, his pocket to take him to Montreal, have wrought successfully in their the objective point of his journey. respective callings and fortune seems Disappointed in securing profitable to have distributed her favors with employment at Montreal he worked an impartial hand.
at whatever he could find to do, until Conspicuous among these worthy he had gathered enough money to
gether to take him to what was then ed a luncheon and then walked to known as Little York, since become Dearbornville, where he obtained emthe city of Toronto.
ployment at the village hotel. When he arrived at the latter place, After he had been at Dearbornville a Halifax shilling was the sum total some days, it struck him that one of of his cash possessions, and this he the needs of the village-a stirring offered to a teamster whom he hap- place just at that time—was a meat pened to meet, as a consideration for market, or as such a place was genercarrying his trunk to a lodging house. ally called in the west “butcher The kind-hearted teamster-Thomas shop." Not having any capital of Coke-afterwards a warm friend and his own he pursuaded one of the vilbusiness partner of Mr. Jackson in lagers to advance money enough to Chicago, understanding his situation, purchase the first animal slaughtered, declined to take from the young man and in this way he began a business his last shilling and performed the which he carried on for nearly two required service free of charge.
years. Stopping only one day in Toronto, At the end of that time, not being Mr. Jackson made his way into the satisfied with his prospects in Dearcountry where he obtained employ- bornville, he went to Michigan City, ment with a farmer living near the Indiana, and from there came to village of New Market. Here he re- Chicago, in the summer of 1836. mained something more than a year, Pleased with his new location, he bent receiving fair compensation for his all his energies toward accumulating services. Carefully hoarding his earn- something for investment. ings he invested them in a small farm time he had an uphill struggle on acand began to look forward to the count of the depressed condition of time when he should be able to en- all kinds of business in Chicago in gage in agricultural pursuits on his 1837-38, but he finally succeeded in own account. His first investment, getting a foothold and engaged in however, turned out unfortunately, the freighting business, making and, through the dishonesty of a sup- regular trips between Chicago and posed friend, he lost the small amount Galena, Illinois, and also between of his accumulations.
Chicago and Peru, distant a hundred Again he determined to seek a new miles from the city. location, and, with considerable dif- After following this business a numficulty, made his way to Detroit, ber of years he turned his attention Michigan. He remained in Detroit again to the same business he had one night and after paying for his carried on in Dearbonville, this time supper, lodging and breakfast, had on a larger and more successful scale. ten cents left, with which he purchas- At about the same time he purchased