Southeast Historical Society News
Volume XVI No. 1
A Few Words From the President:
In a short recap given during our annual meeting on March 16th, I
to relate the accomplishments of our society during the past year as
as some ongoing projects, among which was a partition wall
24 feet long covering the backs of storage boxes facing our computer
We extended our thanks to Al Lerch, John Novak
and Bill Finlan for erecting this wall.
The intent of this wall in our museum is to
provide a backing for a Velcro surface, which will accept various
displays about our history that can be changed during the year.
Velcro will be here for installation during April.
This brings up the question ‘WHY?’
Rather than printing the by-laws relating
to the purpose of our society, it is simpler to say ‘to share our
records and artifacts with our children, grandchildren and visitors.’
Unfortunately, some people feel things should
be saved and boxed with a ‘do not touch’ label. This museum is
‘ Grandma’s attic’ in which to store things but a place to exhibit our
Our museum can be a pleasant, orderly and
neat place for people to visit. Sure, some day we may get more
but for now we must utilize what we have.
We are open to suggestions that we could
in the hope that additional improvements could be made at minimum
Joseph A. Mulac
President Southeast Historical Society
Karen Corder donated 2 pictures of graduating classes of Gallistel
One was from 1908 and the other from 1917. Graduation programs
names of graduates were included. If you are doing family
the pictures may be of some use to you. These photos add to one
the most popular collections in the museum, that of school
We have quite a good collection
at this time but certainly do not have all the hundreds (thousands?)
of photos that were taken at local schools over the years. Do you
have any class or graduation photos laying around? Bring them in
and we will scan them for the museum collection. When our new
and loop / velcro wall is installed they can be displayed for all to
John Clasby donated thirteen 4x6 photos showing the demolition
of Goldblatts in November 1996. Also donated was the 20th
Program of Trinity Hospital.
A photo of the 1937 CYO city champions baseball team from St.
Kevin Church is also available for viewing at the museum.. Names
of all team members and their coach are listed with the photo.
We are indebted to Harold and Bernice Anderson for their donation
of a photo of the 50th Anniversary of the 1946 Bowen High School
class. They also donated four class photographs from Gallistel School,
two from Henry Clay School, the 1941 Clay graduating class, the June
Gallistel graduating class, the Bethel Free Church Confirmation class
May 1941, and the Bethel Young People in 1941. WITH NAMES!
Erin Cullen donated two photos of participants in the CCC
Conservation Corps) during the Depression years. One shows
at Camp Watersweet, Michigan and the other, taken on August 13, 1935,
a CCC group at Three Lakes, Wisconsin. His father, Beryl Cullen,
in both photos. These photos will be on display with other
at the Annual Dinner.
If you have something of historical interest and value please
consider donating or loaning the items to the museum. Loaned
can be copied on our high quality scanner without any damage to the
items. Check your attic, basement, and other storage areas for
hidden historical treasures.
Article by Barney Janecki
Circle Sunday May 19th, our annual installation of officers
of the Southeast
Side Historical Society. Come socialize and enjoy the
(Information on separate sheet with this mailing)
Come and visit our museum, Thursdays from 1:00PM to 4:00PM and
the first Sunday of the month from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM.
If you need a birthday gift or an anniversary gift for someone
you know or for that someone who has everything, how about our
Chicago’s Southeast Side Revisited? Only $19.99 for members
(non members pay sales tax making the total $21.75). How about
gift of a life membership to the Southeast Historical Society, only
Article by former President Alex Savastano
Wisconsin Steel Workers Reunion
On Wednesday, March 27, 2002 former workers of Wisconsin Steel gathered
for the 22nd reunion since the mill shut down on March 28, 1980
put more than 3,000 people out of work. The reunion
held at the union hall in South Chicago and was attended by numerous
employees. A highlight of the gathering was a display of photos
by M. E. Dixon, a 27 year veteran of the mill, who took hundreds of
at the plant during his lunch and other breaks. Most of the
were of employees at the plant and most were not of individuals with
safety helmets. The white helmets signified “bosses” and Dixon
the “regular folk” who made the steel. Those who attended were
to identify the names of those pictured because that had not been done
previously. It was very interesting to watch and listen to the
workers try to remember who some of the people were and to relate
to one another about the people in the photos. By the end of the
evening numerous yellow “sticky tabs” identified many, but far from
of the individuals in the photos. Also in attendance were Frank
and his wife Beatrice, author of Always Bring A Crowd, the story of
Lumpkin’s life and his efforts to secure the benefits lost by the
when the mill closed. Ed Sadlowski, former union official for the
steelworkers, also was present and made brief remarks to the
The event this year was particular bitter sweet in light of recent
of Acme Steel and LTV. What the former workers of Wisconsin Steel
went through over twenty years ago is being experienced by steel
today. The story of the deindustrialization of
American steel industry is still not finished.
Our Museology class is hard at work on a new booklet, “Chicago’s
Side; Cultural Institutions”. The class is looking at how various
ethnic groups maintained their culture and at the same time adapted to
the new customs and culture of American society. The primary
of the booklet will be the churches of the area and various ethnic
and groups. We are looking for photos information about the many
churches of the area, especially books published at 25th, 50th,
or other anniversaries of the church. We have a number of such
at the museum but are missing numerous others. The class is doing
an inventory of materials in the museum related to churches and
our collection of materials about area churches to make them more “user
friendly”. Our web site (www.neiu.edu/~reseller) will be
by the new information as well. Funding for the project is
by a grant by the Disney Learning Partnership through a $2000 grant and
a $1800 grant from the Oppenheimer Family Foundation. We are
that the grants will enable us to publish a 2003 local calendar.
Another component of the project is a tour of the area for the Cultural
connections program of the Field Museum on May 18, 2002 from 10:00AM to
2:00PM. The tour is open to the public, will include lunch, and
in the Museology class will act as tour guides. Information about
the tour is available at the museum or by calling the Field Museum
Connections office at 312-665-7474. The cost of the tour and
If you are knowledgeable about the history of a particular church
or congregation we would like to interview you. Contact Rod
Lifetime Membership Dues Increase
It was voted at our Annual Membership Meeting held on March 16, 2002 to
increase Life Member dues from $50 to $75. Yearly dues remain
Are your dues paid up? If not stop in the museum or mail your
May 5,2002 Book sale and signing by James
of South Chicago U.S.A. From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Southeast
Historical Society Museum at the Calumet Park Field House.
May 6, 2002 Chicago Stories on Channel 11 features the
Side Mexican Communnity
May 18, 2002
Southeast Side Cultural Institutions Tour sponsored by the Field Museum
Cultural Connections Program. Tour leaves the Southeast
Museum at 10:00 AM. More information in brochure available at the
We are encouraging your input to make this newsletter more interesting
and enjoyable. If you have any Southeast Side trivia, send it to
or drop it off at the Southeast Historical Museum. Trivia
(and answers) will be published in our next newsletter. Here is
example from one of our previous newsletters.
We had an Alderman in the 10th Ward who put “THANK YOU FOR
ME” signs up after the election and who removed them before they became
eyesores. Who was this unusual politician? (Answer
in the newsletter)
Mexican Community Pictures
Recently a producer for Channel 11's Chicago Stories series visited the
museum in search of materials for a program scheduled to air in early
(May 6?) about the southeast side Mexican community. The
will focus on Our Lady of Guadalupe church and the surrounding
Numerous photos from the museum collections were used to prepare the
Originally the producer was doing preliminary research on materials but
he became so interested in this story that he took over the project
rather than “farming it out” to a staffer. We look forward to
the finished production.
Photos from our collection also appear in Mexican Chicago by
Rita Arias Jirasek and Carlos Tortolero, a book published by Arcadia,
company which published our two pictorial histories on the Southeast
A copy of Mexican Chicago is available for viewing at the
Museum materials relating to the Mexican community have been
used for numerous projects, magazine articles, and by many
The State of Illinois and Chicago Board of Education have passed the
legislation to enable veterans of World War II and the Korean War to
their high school diplomas if they did not complete high school
because of military service. The City of Chicago and the
Board of Education are participating in this program which is
“Operation Recognition”. Diplomas may be issued posthumously and
surviving family members of eligible veterans may apply for the
The Illinois School Code requires that a veteran (or surviving family
requesting a diploma for a veteran) meet the following requirements:
Left high school before graduating in order to
serve in the
armed forces of the United States.
Resided in the City of Chicago
at the time that he or she left high school.
Served in the armed forces of
the United States during World War II or the Korean Conflict.
Was honorably discharged.
Has not received a high school
Please contact Rod Sellers, social studies teacher at
School, if you know individuals who may be eligible for this program or
if you have any questions. Completed application may be turned in to
Sellers at Washington High School. The school phone number is
or you may contact Mr. Sellers at email@example.com
Do You Remember?
We would like to include a section in our newsletters which looks back
at life in the community in the “old days”. Your comments and
are necessary to make this a success. The first subject is the
5 streetcar and a poem written by a former South Chicago doctor:
“Streetcar No. 5"
South Chicago where I grew up
Alien words, ‘less you know all the lore
Gayety, the candy shop,
also the theater with cowboys galore.
Bessemer Park with the swimming pool on hot summer days,
Cole and Young for your Bowen High ring.
Gitter and Siovic, if sports were the thing.
I’ll never forget the gumball machine,
at Bazley Meats, where the sawdust was clean.
The area names ring nostalgic with thrill,
Frogtown, The Bush, and up on the hill.
The Gayety is full? Try Pete’s Nickle Show.
Then catch No. 5, if the traveling is slow.
The depression years made many a moan,
Salvation for some, Royal Savings and Loan.
On Commercial Avenue where the streetcar bends,
Always some fun with no need for amends.
For a prescription, The Red Star Drug Store.
For flashy new threads, try Lester’s next door.
Buy your block ice at half the price;
You pick it up at Consumers Ice.
Carry it home on the bumper of the car
down Anthony Avenue, make sure not too far.
Once a year, the great big parade
at Columbus Square, the color of jade.
On Saturday night, a dance at the Y.
Hi CVS - Hi Bowen High.
If shopping you go, for clothes that are neat,
Gassman’s the place, right down the street.
If shopping you go, a bargain to get,
Goldblatt’s the place, buy the whole damn set.
For pastries divine, the Greene’s we attest,
If hamburgers you want, White Castle’s the best.
Powerful words - the heaviest ring -
Please keep the mills rolling.
These are but words of places and things,
Some tell of joys, some tell of strings.
But when I think back to where I grew up,
‘Tis the old No. 5 - Clang - Clang, please step up.
I live it again, lest I should forget
That’s my Chicago, I love you yet.
By Harry Thomas Hannig M.D.
A copy of this poem was received by Rod Sellers from the
poet over the
past summer while Rod was working on his latest book at the
Does this trigger any memories or comments? Do you have your own
poem about the history of the area? What are your memories about
shopping on Commercial Avenue, at Goldblatts, at Gassmans, Cole and
Do you remember riding the No. 5? What was the route of the No. 5
streetcar? Which of the businesses mentioned in the poem are
in existence? Send comments and stories to:
Who was Emil Pacini? He served 16 years as Alderman of the 10th
from 1947 to 1963.
Trivia courtesy of Gloria Novak
First Edition Book Donation
Claudia Paolone donated a first edition, signed copy of We
Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the
War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L.
Claudia’s deceased husband Ernie was a participant in this battle and
mentioned in the book several times. The book is the basis for
current movie “We Were Soldiers” starring Mel Gibson.