Sample home research letter


Dear ——–:
Here is what I found regarding the house at 5550 N. Wayne (2571 old number).
The microfilm of the permit ledgers shows that a permit [#6751] was issued on June 20, 1907 to a T. E.. Telfer, for a two story frame building on the north 9 ½ feet of lot 7 and the south 23 ½ feet of lot 6 in block 4 of John L. Cochran’s third addition to Edgewater. The address was given as 2571 Wayne, and the builder was given as “owner.” The estimated cost was given as $3,500. Unfortunately, the architect was not listed on this document.
The PIN (permanent index number) for the property (with an address of 5550 N. Wayne) is 14-08-103-023 and the legal description is the south 14 ½ feet of lot 3 and the north 18 ½ feet of lot 4 in block 4 of John L. Cochran’s third addition to Edgewater, platted and recorded in the fall of 1890. You will note the legal description differs from that shown on the permit. However, since this legal description appears on all the documents under this PIN, we may assume that it is correct and that there was an error in transcribing the lot information onto the permit ledger.
John L. Cochran was Edgewater’s founding father and its major developer. His 3rd Addition to Edgewater is now known as Lakewood Balmoral. [The original subdivision and first two additions were east of Broadway.]. For more information about Cochran and Lakewood Balmoral please consult our website, It is fully searchable.
A review of the real estate transactions for this property as found in the Cook County Recorder of Deeds tract book 587-H shows that the land was first sold to Thomas E. Telfer on June 14, 1907, which was just a few days before the permit was issued. Below is a table showing the Warrantee Deeds for the property through 1984 based on my review of the transactions on the property. Because the handwriting became progressively worse with the years, there is a possibility of misspelling as well as my missing a warrantee deed transaction:
Date of transaction
Name to whom WD was given
Thomas E. Telfer
Melinda J. Lawrence
William J. Lawrence
Marie M. Brill
E.J. Ford
It is interesting to note that although property in the 3rd addition was available for sale as early as 1891, this parcel was not sold until 1907. Thus, the Cochran syndicate carried the property for at least 15 years! It was not a quick profit for Cochran and his investors, but they were patient. Thomas Telfer was more fortunate: he sold the house he built just 3 and half months after he bought the land.
Thomas E. Telfer built several other homes in Edgewater including 5548 Wayne, which was permitted on the same day as 5550 Wayne. Other homes were 5540, 5544, and 5546 Magnolia (February 1, 1908) and 1221, 1225, 1227, 1229, and 1233 Hood (May 6, 1911). The 1910 Census shows him living at 5540 Wayne, occupation, building contractor. Sometime in the 1920s he moved to Pasadena California, where he died in March 1932.
LeRoy Blommaert