Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-07 > 1184712240

From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Rita Clubs?
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 17:44:00 -0500
References: <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hello Susan,

How interesting. For many years there was a woman's temporary
residence organization called "The Eleanor Club" in Chicago.
One of their residences was on the corner of North Avenue and
Dearborn. I lived there for a few months in the earlier 70s.
I believe they finally closed down in 2001.

But your address 158-162 North Avenue must be quite close to the same
The official address of the Eleanor North Ave residence was 1550 N
Dearborn. The Eleanor Club was not run by nuns however.

It was started at the turn of the century for housing for working
woman who were not allowed to live in the downtown clubs.
I think their mission has changed somewhat in recent years, still
involved with woman but more focused on affordable housing for low-
income woman and giving money and support to other women's
organizations .

The Rita Club was a national Catholic organzation and I think it may
have had more several residences in Chicago. I found these two Trib
classified ads from 1933:

North Av W 158. Rita Club No 1 for girls; complete service daily;
wonderful food. $6.7.50 wkly, Diversey D654.

West Side. Jackson Blvd 1700--Rita Club No 1 for girls. complete
service daily; wonderful food. $6.7.50 wkly, Seclay 0530.

The Rita Clubs were sponsored by "The Mission of Our Lady of Mercy"
according to a 1968 obituary of a 90 yr old Mary A. Cogley, who had
been "director of the West Side Rita Club for 23 years"...and
director of the Rita Club at West North Avenue in Chicago for

Full obit of Mary A. Cogley here:


On Jul 17, 2007, at 3:59 PM, wrote:

> My great aunt Margaret Kane told me before she died that she
> (before she married) lived in a girls residence in Chicago that was
> chaperoned by nuns.? Talked abt. how strict it was and how she and
> her friend Ruth Rooney decided when they could to get lodging with
> fewer rules, but how they "had a ball" together.
> I have found them in the 1930 census at no. 158-162 West North
> Avenue in ward 43 city of Chicago and the name of the institution
> there was "RITA CLUB No. 2".
> Does anyone have information about this organization.? Don't really
> need it, just curious.
> Susan
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> To: ;
> Sent: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 3:18 pm
> Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Genealogy Center
> I'd be willing to attend such a meeting. It should definitely
> include someone
> who volunteers at a Family History Center and is familiar with
> their policies
> and procedures. Margaret McCarthy said she volunteers in Buffalo
> Grove, and
> there may be others on the list. And Brian Scott Donovan should be
> there, of
> course.
> Diane </HTML>
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