Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-02 > 1172095186

From: Beth Walsh <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Chicago City-Wide Collection 1835-1990
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 13:59:46 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Nan, (and Kathleen)

A few years back, I called the Hiram Kelly Branch Library (that's the branch in the Englewood neighborhood) and spoke with a very nice librarian there. She told me that any of the 'local history' collection of the Englewood neighborhood had been forwarded to the Harold Washington Library, Special Collections. I did visit the Englewood HS Library (I know, I took a lot of flak over that from my family and friends, but I lived to tell about it!) and was able to look at the yearbooks and make copies of the years my mother attended the school. Of course as I subsequently found out, the same yearbooks are available at Harold W. Since then, however, I have been able to purchase all 4 years worth of yearbooks on eBay, as my mothers had been destroyed in a flood years ago.
I also visited the Special Collections Dept at Harold W. and while I enjoyed looking through the various items, they unfortunately were not from the time period I was interested in.
Anyway, I have been trying to find copies of the "E Weekly" (the EHS school newspaper) and have only been able to find a few issues at the Chgo History Museum, though I haven't gone there yet to look at them.

Yes, the Harold Washington Library does have thousands of rolls of newspapers on microfilm, both the Chicago dailies and many local neighborhood papers, including the Southtown. However, the Oak Lawn Public Library (in Oak Lawn, IL) also has the Southtown (in its various name varieties) all the way back to 1924. The Southtown itself does research at the library, as the newspaper does not have the back issues either, surprisingly enough!

If you were able to find a particular newspaper that you were interested in viewing and is listed on the Illinois Newspaper Project database, you could do an interlibrary loan and view the reel or reels at your local libary on their microfilm reader.

As far as St. Martin's Church - that's where my parents were married, so I have lots of pictures of the interior. Recently (well a few years ago!) I was able to visit the church with a co-worker of my cousin. The church had been vacant for years and most of the interior gutted. A black church congregation(I can't remember the name or kind offhand) bought the building and did a wonderful job of restoring or rehabbing the inside, though it looks nothing like the original. The original stained glass windows are still intact (except for portions of a few where the glass had been broken). The lights or lanterns that hung all the way down the main aisle were replicated and look exactly like the originals. Of course the pews, statues, etc are long gone and the walls were taken out back to the brick, which was all re-tuckpointed. I do have many pictures of the inside that we took including the original tile in the entryway that still says St. Martin's Church. I just read on the
cinema treasures website that the gold statue of St. Martin's had been removed ? Any news on that ?

Kathleen, my mother's family lived at 5932 Stewart (that's where she was born in 1912. The home is still there actually), then a very short time on 61st Pl, then they moved to 227 W 60th St where they lived until about 1950. So, it's very likely she may have visited your family's store. I heard many many stories about the 'old neighborhood' through the years.

Also, if you're interested in viewing the church baptismal, marriage records - they would be available at the LDS library - the one in Palos would be closest to you. However, those only go up to 1916. I have never used the Archdiocesan Archives myself, so have no input as far how to or what's available.


Nan Brennan <> wrote:

Thanks very much for the reply with the description of your
experience. Very helpful.
I'm assuming you were at Harold Washington, is that correct?
I wonder how much they might have out at the local library in the
Englewood neighborhood.
What about newspapers? Did the library have any of the old local
neighborhood papers?Did you take a look at the Illinois Newspaper Project?
I haven't been to the Archdiocesan archives. I hope to hear on this list from those who have.

Kathleen wrote:
> Why Englewood? During the 1920's and early 1930's my maternal grandparents Patrick Francis and Sarah (Ryan) FitzGibbon owned a grocery and butcher shop on the corner of 59th & Princeton across from St. Martin's Catholic Church.
They 'lost' their business during the Great Depression. I was
hoping to find some photos of the neighborhood and or the Church in the collection, but none found.

My mother (Catherine aka Kay) and uncle (Patrick Martin) graduated from St. Martin's Grade School, and my mother from Englewood HS. Her brother quit high school at age 17 to enter the Marine Corps during WWII -- he went MIA in 1945
during the campaign for Iwo Jima when his plane and the crew of 3 went down in rough seas -- he was only 19. I have my mom's yearbook, but hoped that subsequent classes may have mentioned those former classmates who died in the service of their country -- but no luck there for me, as well.

> Kathleen
> -------------------------------

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