v26-4 Edgewater Teaser #30

Vol. XXVI No. 4 - WINTER 2015

In our last issue we asked where the first public school in present-day Edgewater was located and what was it called.

Answer: The Rose Hill (or Rosehill) grammar school was the first public school located within the boundaries of present-day Edgewater. It was located on the west side of Clark/Ashland between Elmdale/Peterson and Glenlake but closer to Elmdale/Peterson but not on the corner. A Chicago fire station presently occupies the site. (A permit for a renovation/expansion dated July 2, 1910, shows the address as 6020-6024.)

The Chicago Board of Education records indicate that the building was built in 1883 when the area was part of the Village of Lake View. (The area was annexed to the City of Chicago in July 1889, after which time the school came under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Board of Education.) A.T. Andreas in his “History of Cook County” gives the year it was built as 1882 and indicates it was a brick building.

Another account, allegedly based on information apparently found in the cornerstone, indicates that the building was built in 1889, the architect was F.B. Townsend; the contractors were Peter Kinn and Mike Winandy (both local); and the school directors were L. Baer, N.H. Kransz, and N. Hansen (also local gentlemen). However, the fact that the school appears on the 1887 Rascher fire insurance map contradicts the 1889 date.

The school operated until the opening of the Stephen K. Hayt school which was built to replace it because of considerable overcrowding. A 1905 Chicago Board of Education report on all schools indicated that the Rosehill School had 289 seats but 427 students, of which 182 were in rented rooms. The Hayt School opened in 1906. Thereafter the Rose Hill school building remained vacant until September 1910 when it reopened as a branch of Lake View High School. To accommodate the high school students the building was given a partial rehab, and a one-story addition was built that housed two large classrooms. The building continued to operate as a high school until February 1913, when the students vacated the building and marched to the new Senn High School.

According to a 1927-1928 manuscript the school building was still standing at that time. A handwritten postscript to the document in the Chicago Board of Education Archives’ folder on Rosehill indicates that the building’s last use as a school was as a “parental school for girls” and that it closed January 8, 1929, and that after a fire damaged the building it was ordered demolished in 1931. A permit to wreck the building was issued June 25, 1932.

Unfortunately, the only close-up photograph of the school that has emerged is one that was reproduced in a newspaper. We have only the damaged fragment and do not have the name of the newspaper. See Figure 3. We do, however, have a “group portrait” in front of the school for the third and fourth grade class of 1894. See Figure 4.

A.T. Andreas indicates that the principal was a Mr. Williams (this in 1884); a 1900 report of the Chicago Board of Education indicates that the principal was E.L. Kletzing. He would become the first principal of the new Hayt School.

The brick building on Clark Ashland however appears not to have been the first school building to bear the Rosehill name. Walter E. Baxter in a January 1928 interview indicates that the Rosehill school was a white frame one room school located on Peterson just west of the tracks and just inside the land that the Rosehill cemetery now owns but didn’t say when the school was built. After the cemetery acquired the land, a Jim Anderson bought the school building, moved it just south of Cemetery Drive and converted it into a house. (You can read the entire interview on our website.)

Teaser #31

In 1913 what radical action did some Edgewater housewives propose to take to remedy the city’s failure to provide regular and adequate garbage pickup?