In 1893 Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition. There were many inventors and exhibits. Among them was engineer George Ferris who introduced the world to his soon-to-be iconic Ferris Wheel.
The Wheel stood 264 feet high and had a diameter of 250 feet. Each of the structure’s 36 cars could hold 60 to 65 people. Folks stood in long lines to pay 50 cents each to ride on the slowly spinning marvel.
My great-great grandfather was living in the city, in Little Italy. He was studying to become a dentist. My great grandmother was a toddler.
Oh, how I wish I could sit with them both and talk about their memories of this time.
annual paycheck from the feds for corrupt
Jesse Jackson Jr.!?
Despite having been convicted and imprisoned for corruption, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. collects a hefty salary, milking the taxpayers for even more. Meanwhile, shootings and murders in Chicago continue to plague the populace, the homeless and the poor continue to struggle, and the politicians continue to bilk the system.
The site where Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, lived during the 1840s is planning a celebration of his birthday. They lived near some of my ancestors, the Parkers and the Goodells.
I learned something, a historical sidenote, that I did not know.
It’s remarkable, in this day and age of discarding, demolishing and replacing, that the old Cook County Hospital has been spared. I wish more communities would do this. So many quirky and interesting places, each with their own unique histories, are being lost.
My great grandmother, born in rural Iowa in 1891, was just a baby. I wish I had the chance to talk with her about any experiences she remembered from that time. She died in 1983 and I was just a kid, and it was before my interest in the family history blossomed into a sincere passion, which I started compiling in 1989.
I was looking for where in Chicago the family lived and came upon the 1920 census.
All I know is what’s been passed down through oral tradition: that they lived in the “Italian” section, apparently a rough, seedy neighborhood. My grandmother recounted a story of a drunk and rowdy man trying to get into their apartment. Whether he was confused or had evil intentions isn’t known. Thankfully, he didn’t succeed, only putting a big scare into the kids.
After learning about Chicago during this time, it is understandable why Grandpa Darling wanted to return to Iowa, preferring rural life to that of the big, smelly, dangerous city.