V27-2 Teaser #32

Vol. XXVII No. 2 - SUMMER 2016

In the last issue we asked: What current Edgewater business has been in operation the longest at the same location and under the same name?

Answer: We believe the title belongs to the Barr Funeral home at 6222 N. Broadway. According to current owner Tim Harrington, Barr Undertakers opened in 1923, but at 6224 Broadway. The earliest documentation we have is a display ad in the Granville Avenue Presbyterian Church bulletin with a date of January, 1924, again with an address of 6224 Broadway. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds records, William Barr and his wife purchased the building to the south (6020-22) in 1928, and moved his business there, presumably after the purchase, but it could have been before. (According to Tim Harrington, he already lived in the upstairs apartment.) Even using the 1928 date, Barr Funeral is still the oldest by six years compared to its “runner ups”: John E. Maloney’s Funeral Home at 1359 Devon and Simon’s Tavern at 5210 N Clark. Maloney’s opened at that location in 1934; Simon’s Tavern opened the same year, following the end of Prohibition.

Barr’s also holds another distinction. Not only is it the oldest Edgewater business operating at the same location under the same name, it is also the oldest Edgewater business operated by the same family.

Here is the lineage: The funeral home was founded by William Martin Barr. According to his grandson Tim, he originally was a plumber but an injury prevented him from continuing in that line of work and he enrolled at the Worsham Training School to become an undertaker, obtaining his certificate in March 1923. In 1958 William died leaving four children: three girls and one boy (William Barr II). William succeeded his father in the business from 1958 until January 1970. After that, his sister Regina Barr and her husband Michael Harrington ran the business. Michael Harrington died in 1991, and his son Tim Harrington and his wife became the owners. Interestingly, Michael and his son Tim also graduated from the Worsham Training School. And not only was William Barr a graduate of the school but his wife Ellen was too, obtaining her certificate a year later in 1924!

For some time after 1924, the funeral home was in a single storefront at 6222 Broadway, but later (in August 1944) the family purchased the building to the south with storefronts at 6214 and 6216-18, and later expanded the funeral home into this building, creating additional chapels or parlors. In 2000 Tim Harrington and his wife created a new stone facade on the front of both buildings to create a uniform look to better disguise the fact that the funeral home is in two buildings.

Teaser #33

What Edgewater restaurant was open the shortest period of time?