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One of the great American metropolises, Chicago rises out of the prairie in the heart of the country, buffeted by winds coming off the plains and cooled by the waters of the inland sea of Lake Michigan. Chicago is a city of size and mass, the cradle of modern architecture, the freight hub of the nation, a city built on slaughterhouses and cacophonous financial trading tempered by some of the finest cultural institutions in the world. While many histories have been written of the city, none can claim the scope and breadth of the long-awaited Encyclopedia of Chicago.
Developed by the Newberry Library with the cooperation of the Chicago Historical Society, The Encyclopedia of Chicago is the definitive historical reference on metropolitan Chicago. More than a decade in the making, the Encyclopedia brings together hundreds of historians, journalists, and experts on everything from airlines to Zoroastrians to explore all aspects of the rich world of Chicagoland, from its geological prehistory to the present.
The main alphabetical section of the Encyclopedia, comprising more than 1,400 entries, covers the full range of Chicago's neighborhoods, suburbs, and ethnic groups, as well as the city's cultural institutions, technology and science, architecture, religions, immigration, transportation, business history, labor, music, health and medicine, and hundreds of other topics. The Encyclopedia has the widest geographical reach of any city encyclopedia of its kind, encompassing eight of the region's counties, including suburbs. Nearly 400 thumbnail maps pinpoint Chicago neighborhoods and suburban municipalities; these maps are complemented by hundreds of black-and-white and color photographs and thematic maps that bring the history of metropolitan Chicago to life. Additionally, contributors have provided lengthy interpretive essays—woven into the alphabetical section but set off graphically—that take a long view of such topics as the built environment, literary images of Chicago, and the city's often legendary and passionate sports culture.
The Encyclopedia also offers a comprehensive biographical dictionary of more than 2,000 individuals important to Chicago history and a detailed listing of approximately 250 of the city's historically significant business enterprises. A color insert features a timeline of Chicago history and photo essays exploring nine pivotal years in this history.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago is one of the most significant historical projects undertaken in the last twenty years, and it has everything in it to engage the most curious historian as well as settle the most boisterous barroom dispute. If you think you know how Chicago got its name, if you have always wondered how the Chicago Fire actually started and how it spread, if you have ever marveled at the Sears Tower or the reversal of the Chicago River—if you have affection, admiration, and appreciation for this City of the Big Shoulders, this Wild Onion, this Urbs in Horto, then The Encyclopedia of Chicago is for you.
— Tom McNamee
— Rick Kogan
— Leopold Froehlich
— Joseph Epstein
Abolitionism. Chicago's antislavery community included a variety of activists and sympathizers, including former slaves and evangelical Christians from northeastern states. Among white Chicagoans, opposition to the extension of slavery into new territory was more popular than abolition. To many whites, abolitionist crusades seemed as much a threat to the Republic as slavery itself.
African American Chicagoans voiced unanimous opposition to slavery but risked reprisal if their actions brought individuals to public notice. Even so, the community, which included many former slaves, took seriously its commitment to UNDERGROUND RAILROAD activity assisting fugitive slaves. John Jones, a prosperous free black tailor, often served as a link between African Americans and white abolitionists. It was to John and Mary Jones's house that John Brown brought his band of militant abolitionists when they came through Chicago in 1859 on their way to Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
Abolitionists first organized in Chicago through churches, beginning around 1839 with prayer meetings led by the minister of the First Presbyterian Church. Members of other churches also participated, on the grounds that slaveholding was a sin. Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church also sponsored abolitionist activities, including an organized watch for slave catchers. Institutional support for the abolitionist movement culminated in 1862 when several Chicago churches voted to send a delegation to plead with President Lincoln for an emancipation policy.
Secular abolitionist institutions included the Chicago Anti-Slavery Society and the Chicago Female Anti-Slavery Society. Chicago abolitionists circulated petitions against slavery to be sent to the U.S. Congress. The Western Citizen, a Chicago-based NEWSPAPER, served as the official organ of the Illinois Liberty Party and was the primary abolitionist press for Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Abolitionism enjoyed little success at the ballot box, although one alderman, Ira Miltimore, was elected in 1844, with Liberty Party support. In 1848, the Western Citizen endorsed Martin Van Buren, the Free Soil Party's presidential candidate, as the best chance to elect an antislavery man and found itself in step with a majority of Chicago voters. Thereafter, most Chicago abolitionists who voted became a small, radical portion of the free-soil, anti-Nebraska, and Republican Party coalitions.
Linda J. Evans
See also: Civil Rights Movements; Fenianism; Politics; Whigs
Further reading: Gliozzo, Charles A. "John Jones: A Study of a Black Chicagoan." Illinois Historical Journal 80.3 (Autumn 1987). Mahoney, Olivia. "Black Abolitionists." Chicago History 20.1-2 (Spring-Summer 1991).
Accounting. Chicago's emergence as a major center of professional accountancy began during the 1890s. Initially, Chicago businesses relied on semiprofessional bookkeepers who were usually ill-prepared to develop innovative responses to the bewildering measurement problems associated with new technologies, legal contracts, transactions, management practices, or organizational forms.
A major focus of the early drive to professionalize accounting centered on the founding in 1897 of a state professional association that later became the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants. Public accountants provided three distinct services: (1) certification of financial statements; (2) consulting services concerning accounting systems; and (3) tax compliance and planning services after the passage of the federal corporate excise tax (1909) and the federal corporate income tax (1913). The Illinois licensing law (1903) was similar to New York's-both required an examination and practical experience-but the Illinois law provided for reciprocal licensing for practitioners certified in other jurisdictions. Besides encouraging more competitive markets, reciprocity facilitated the building of branch offices and interstate practices.
A unique aspect of Chicago's leading accounting practices was the importance of consulting. The central role of consulting was illustrated by the experience of two early public accounting firms that eventually grew to be giants, Arthur Andersen & Co. and McKinsey & Co. The initial impetus came from a plethora of small- and medium-sized businesses in the Chicago area whose managements were often skilled in either manufacturing or marketing but were not knowledgeable about finance and accounting.
To help clients overcome these weaknesses, Arthur Andersen created a new service in the 1920s known as financial and industrial "investigations." These were specialized studies employing accounting analysis to evaluate markets, organizational structures, plants, or products. Besides assisting business operators, they were also used by bankers in planning mergers or new securities issues. In 1932, this proficiency led to Andersen's selection as the monitor for the financial restoration of Samuel Insull's bankrupt utilities empire. Beginning in the 1960s, Andersen Consulting registered strong, sustained growth because of the advent of new opportunities attributable to the use of electronic data processing. Under the leadership of Leonard Spacek, the firm assisted clients in converting from manual-mechanical to computer-based accounting systems. In 1989, Arthur Andersen & Co. elected to spin off Andersen Consulting, later renamed Accenture, which had grown to become the world's largest consulting practice. The remaining firm, known simply as Andersen, lost its accounting business suddenly in 2002 because of its association with a financial fraud scandal at Enron corporation, one of its clients.
McKinsey & Co. was formed by James O. McKinsey, a CPA and University of Chicago professor. McKinsey's pioneering Budgetary Control (1922) established the intellectual underpinning for a service specialization that supported the formation of his firm three years later and eventually drew it into consultancy. Although budgeting was a practice then thought primarily relevant to the fund accounting procedures of governmental enterprises, McKinsey demonstrated that it also had great utility in business planning and control. The firm avoided the controversy over audit independence that developed in the 1970s, having completely abandoned its accounting practice in 1935. McKinsey & Co. gradually diversified into strategic planning services and became one of the world's largest management consultants.
Chicago also became an important center for accounting education and research. Foremost in this regard was the University of Chicago, which in 1922 was the first U.S. institution to grant a doctoral degree in accounting. Historically, its scholarly agenda was shaped by two initiatives taken in the allied discipline of economics. The first was the longstanding interest of professional economists during the Progressive era in the cost structures of monopolistic and oligopolistic business enterprises. The Interstate Commerce Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and a host of state regulatory boards sought a better understanding of the economics of high-fixed-cost businesses in order to curb monopoly power or to assure the equity of rate bases. These concerns affected the program in accounting through the emphasis placed on budgeting and cost and managerial accounting. The second initiative began in the 1950s with the rise of positive economics under the leadership of Milton Friedman and others. This aspect had its greatest impact on accounting through the theoretical work of Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller on the functioning of efficient capital markets.
The accounting program at Northwestern University, on the other hand, developed more directly in response to the needs of practice. The Northwestern program was founded after the passage of the Illinois CPA law to meet the need of local firms for college-trained accountants. Its closeness to the profession was reflected by the fact that its two earliest chairs, Seymour Walton, of Joplin & Walton, and Arthur Andersen, were both leading practitioners.
Another dimension of accounting education in Chicago involved the activities of proprietary academies and extension institutes. Proprietary schools like the one founded by Seymour Walton after he left Northwestern concentrated on providing rudimentary training in bookkeeping on a part-time basis to the city's large force of CLERICAL workers. It functioned as an adjunct to the local high schools that lacked a commercial arts curriculum. A variant of the proprietary school was the extension institute, which imitated the approach of the city's great retailer, Sears, Roebuck. The LaSalle Extension University supplied accounting education via MAIL ORDER beginning in the 1910s. Eventually, both types of institution were found wanting in preparing candidates for careers in professional accounting, and state licensing authorities mandated the completion of a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for sitting for the CPA examination.
A fourth development was CPA-firm-sponsored professional education. Initially this took the form of staff training designed to standardize practice procedures among new hires. An early example of such tutelage was the in-house development programs established by Arthur Andersen for his junior accountants in the 1920s. In the 1970s, with the introduction of continuing education requirements by state licensing boards and by the quality-control standards mandated for practices by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, firm training also became focused on assuring the continued technical competency of those in the profession. The extent of this training became clear when Arthur Andersen & Co. acquired a former college campus in suburban St. Charles for these purposes.
By the end of the twentieth century, strong connections had been forged to the global economy through the competencies of Chicago's accounting and educational organizations. In these and other ways, professional accounting has been deeply intertwined with the developments that have shaped Chicago.
Paul J. Miranti, Jr.
See also: Business of Chicago; Chicago School of Economics; Management Consulting; Schooling for Work
Further reading: Miranti, Paul J., Jr. Accountancy Comes of Age: The Development of an American Profession, 1886-1940. 1990. Previts, Gary J., and Barbara D. Merino. A History of Accounting in America: An Historical Interpretation of the Cultural Significance of Accounting. 1979. Reckitt, Ernest. Reminiscences of Early Days of the Accounting Profession in Illinois. 1953.
ACLU. See American Civil Liberties Union
Acting, Ensemble. Ensemble acting in Chicago began in the 1950s with creative collaborations that subsequently evolved into the ensembles that now constitute a major segment of Chicago theater. Like the improvisational movement, the ensemble philosophy in Chicago THEATER first emerged at the University of Chicago, an institution famous, ironically, for encouraging theory more than practice. University students Paul Sills, Ed Asner, Fritz Weaver, Mike Nichols, and Sheldon Patinkin formed a theater group that eventually grew into the Playwright's Theater Club, a professional repertory theater on Chicago's North Side that performed classics and modern plays. In 1955, the Compass, a group developed by David Shepherd as a theater for "the proletariat," was established with Viola Spolin, the mother of IMPROVISATIONAL THEATER. It was here that Nichols and Elaine May, whom Sills called "the world's fastest humans," first developed the brilliant improvisational sketches that took them to Broadway and launched their distinguished theater and film careers. In the 1960s, Bob Sickinger founded Hull House Theater, where he created an environment in which young talent could flourish according to a professional standard. These early efforts provided a foundation for the vibrant theater scene that would soon emerge.
In the 1970s and 1980s, resident ensemble companies came to the fore. Stuart Gordon's Organic Theater became known for inventive ensemble-driven pieces like Warp and Bleacher Bums. In 1974, the Goodman Theatre established Stage 2, a program that supported the collaboration of playwright David Mamet and director Gregory Mosher. Mamet associates William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, and Lindsay Crouse often performed in Chicago premieres of both local and national productions of Mamet's plays and, later, in Mamet's films. By 1985, Mosher had established the New Theatre Company, consisting of a resident ensemble of actors, playwrights, and designers that produced new plays in both the Goodman Studio and the Briar Street Theatre. But the company immediately folded when Mosher was tapped to run the Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Robert Falls, who had been artistic director of Wisdom Bridge Theatre, inaugurated in 1986 a new kind of ensemble at the Goodman. Falls quickly assembled a directorial triumvirate consisting of himself, Frank Galati, and Michael Maggio in a partnership modeled on one Falls had observed at the National Theatre in London. Whereas Steppenwolf, which featured such actors as John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Joan Allen, and Laurie Metcalf, was an actor's ensemble in which directing was less crucial to the process than visionary, visceral acting, Falls created a director's ensemble in which the passions of individual directors drove play selection and production concepts. Falls's vision evolved in the 1990s with the addition of such artists as Mary Zimmerman, Henry Godinez, and Regina Taylor to the Goodman artistic roster. Zimmerman, a uniquely gifted director/ adaptor of major works of world literature to the stage, did her earliest ensemble work with the Lookinglass Theatre ensemble, which has established its own prominence in the Chicago theater scene. Zimmerman's commitment to ensemble has extended to her casting process: at her auditions she observes multiple actors interacting at once, with special attention to each actor's physical capabilities. Her production of Ovid's Metamorphoses went from Chicago's Ivanhoe Theatre to Broadway in 2002, displaying to a larger audience a prime example of Chicago ensemble work.
Andrea Telli Richard Pettengill
See also: Playwriting; Second City Theatre; Theater Companies
Further reading: Houston, Gary. "A Vital Arrogance." In Resetting the Stage: Theater Beyond the Loop. Exhibition catalog. 1990. Ryan, Sheila. At the Goodman Theatre: An Exhibition in Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of Chicago's Oldest Producing Theatre, October 12, 1985-January 11, 1986. 1985. Sweet, Jeffrey. Something Wonderful Right Away: An Oral History of the Second City and the Compass Players. 1978.
Addison, IL, DuPage County, 20 miles W of the Loop. Addison's roots lie German and Lutheran tradition. By the 1840s the area was thriving with German newcomers. The town, originally known as Dunklee's Grove, grew to 200 people and had a steam gristmill, a general store, a cobbler's shop and a blacksmith shop. Stagecoaches stopped to change horses along present-day Lake Street.
In the early 1860s a Lutheran teacher training school located in Addison. In 1874, the Evangelical Lutheran Church built an ORPHANAGE to provide the seminary students with teaching experience. The orphan children learned various trades until they were 14 years old, and then were sent to work with area families.
Beginning in 1877 the Orphan Home Association held an Orphan Festival, later the Kinderheim Picnic, which drew large crowds. Music, hymns, games, a BASEBALL game, and tour of the grounds were conducted. Because the festival attracted so many people, the need for a RAILROAD spur line became evident. In 1890 five of Addison's citizens formed the Addison Railroad Company and made an agreement with the Illinois Central Railroad to maintain the line. The train doubled festival attendance from 5,000 to 10,000.
The Lutheran SEMINARY relocated in 1913, and its buildings were occupied by the Chicago City Mission Society, which opened a home for troubled youth referred by the courts. The Addison Manual Training School for Boys and Industrial School for Girls, known as the Kinderheim, opened in 1916. A new, larger facility housing 250 children was built in 1925, adjacent to the Orphan Home. The Kinderheim and the Orphan Home combined in 1940 under the Lutheran Child Welfare Association and operated until 1960. Lutherbrook, a facility for emotionally disturbed children, opened in 1961.
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List of Maps
Staff and Consultants
Metropolitan Reference Map
City as Artifact
Timeline and Year Pages
Maps in Color
Dictionary of Leading Chicago Businesses, 1820-2000
Chicago Metropolitan Population
Posted March 5, 2005
I found most of the entries in this book written by people who have a excellent knowledge of their subject. There are problems though. I found the Czech-Bohemian article to be full of errors and poor research. The article on Free-Thinkers, the Swedish and Slovaks are excellent as were the neighboorhood articles on Andersonville, Hinsdale, Pilsen and many many more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2005
This is an outstanding account of Chicago history. I love reading it and it is amazing how much of my own family history is found in the book. Do yourself a favor and turn off the TV and read this amazing account of Chicago's history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2004
For anyone interested in Chicago history, this volume is an absolute 'must have!' Incredibly detailed, it is well worth the price tag. I've read through about 100 pages already, and am thrilled with how comprehensive and easy to read this volume is. It's bulk is a bit of a deterrent as I can't cart it around to read during my daily commute with any sort of ease, but less content would not do the subject any justice. Enjoy!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.