J.L. Cochran Edgewater Newspaper Advertising and Coverage
History of Uptown, Edgewater District/J.L. Cochran’s Subdivisions, Document #12
Source: Extracts and notes taken from the J.L. Cochran scrapbook of newspaper advertisements concerning his subdivisions.
The Inter-Ocean, January 1, 1887
McDowell [older half-brother Marcellus Edward McDowell] and Austin [first cousin Samuel Henry Austin, Jr.,} of Philadelphia are listed as associates of Mr. Cochran. There are ten houses, two stores and a hall already built.
The Times, January 2, 1887
Edgewater is “beautiful for situation, naturally, above all the residence localities brought into the market by the opening of the Chicago and Evanston road. Edgewater has the advantage of extensive improvements already made and to be made.” A 38 acre tract is also advertised in this paper which was owned by H.S. Chase of Chicago. It was near the station, had the advantage of the Lakeview water system and drainage, and if not sold in bulk was soon to be subdivided.
Chicago Journal, “Social Gossip” section, Summer of 1887
The advertisement stresses the desire for cool homes at this time of year. “Who has not been out to Edgewater?” Not to know of it would be to “argue oneself quite ignorant of the latest society ‘fad.’” The prophecy is made that it will be as thickly populated with well known people as a Bellevue Street.
The Tribune Times-Herald, July 9, 1887
The stain glass used in the houses in Cochran’s subdivision is made by Louis Tiffany of New York city. The grounds are laid out by a landscape gardener. These two features are used in advertisements.
The Tribune Times-Herald, June 26, 1887
“Verdict of recent purchasers of Homes in Edgewater.” “It is very satisfactory to know that my home is constantly increasing in value.” Signed by W.H. Bartlett. Other statements mention the satisfaction of the subdivision as a home place.
The Inter-Ocean, January 1, 1888
Thirty houses have been reared in one year.
The Inter-Ocean, July 15, 1894
The advertisements tell of the transportation facilities. One can take all the North Side “Limits” cars and make direct connection with electric cars for Edgewater.
Chicago Journal, April 23, 1894
“Edgewater is one of the most beautiful and exclusive suburbs of Chicago.”
Chicago Journal, July 4, 1895
$12,000 is to be spent for fireworks in North Edgewater. Old Edgewater had a good celebration of it in ’94 but North Edgewater was not invited to participate in it. G.P. Jones dropped into the Edgewater Club and said he would put up money again for the Fourth, but that old Edgewater was slow to get organized. He lives between the two towns. Samuel Dalton and A.L. Duval got a committee together and one thousand citizens of North Edgewater raised more than one dollar apiece for the celebration before the next day. The old Edgewater gave up the idea of celebrating.
Chicago Journal, April 2, 1896
Advertisements stress the fact that the Northwestern L will be running in January of 1897. An advertisement pictures the proposed Lake Shore Drive showing it to be right on the same of the lake shore.
Chicago Journal, March 28, 1897
There are now 175 residences in Edgewater. It is called the “picturesque village of Edgewater which ten years ago had little or no improvements.”
Pamphlet [undated/about 1890]
This pamphlet shows pictures of the public hall, a good looking building of brick and wood. There are young trees planted on the streets. The Edgewater Stables are housed in a big two-story brick and wood building. Announcement is made of the completion of the Epworth Methodist Church scheduled for the summer of 1890. The Church of the Atonement has already been built. Telegraph and express service are now provided. The organizations listed are a Gun Club, Boat Club, tennis courts and a bath house on the lake for use of residents. There are also unnamed social clubs.
Booklet “A Home by the Lake” [undated/about 1899]
Pictures of two-flat buildings are published in this booklet. There are more than twelve miles of roadways, and flagstone pavements. Tree planted are oak, elm, white birch, wild cherry, Balm of Gilead, and evergreen. The subdivision has a three-story brick school building. The North End Ladies Club of Edgewater meets at the Casino Club.
Announcement is made of the extension of the L soon. The station at North Edgewater is pictured, showing a cobblestone and frame, good-looking building. Pictures of golf grounds, of the Presbyterian and Catholic frame churches and the Methodist and Episcopal brick churches are included. There are a number of private schools, the “well-known Stickney school” being particularly mentioned. The Casino and Saddle and Cycle Club have club houses, and former has a membership of three hundred.
[Unknown publication], April 2, 1899
“Many Chicago people think that all houses in Edgewater are high priced. The newest ones are not.”
[Unknown publication], June 10, 1900
The advertisements say that the L is now running.
[Unknown publication], March 18, 1899
Advertisements about the third addition and other additions say that the contracts have been let for thirty-three houses. Three miles of streets are to be improved. More money is to be spent in the third addition than in other parts of Edgewater improved before. Sheridan Drive is to be improved from Foster to Thorndale Avenue. Wayne Street is to be opened from Lakewood to Southport. With the exception of Wayne, the streets in the third addition have had everything done to them before this time but the macadamizing of them. Wayne was known as a cabbage patch and has been objectionable in the past to the neighborhood. Trees have already been planted in the third addition.
The prices of the first ten houses will be from $600 to $4,700. Twenty-three of them will be finished this summer. While many will be on Wayne, some will be scattered on the other streets. These houses are not so expensive as former homes in Edgewater, but are attractive, never the less.
Building is also going on in the third addition. A new departure for Edgewater is the semi-detached homes, the only ones of the kind in the suburb. They are much more profitable to the owner than a single home. One can live in one and rent the other. Those will cost $7,000. Such homes are not a new idea but have been built in fashionable eastern suburbs for some time.
Until this season the third addition has been coming slowly. After the town proper was built, attention was directed to the district north. At this time the third addition was only a celery patch owned by a Frenchman who boasted of rich soil and marveled over three crops a season. Cochran bought the land in 1890, a tract of eighty acres. He immediately subdivided it into four miles of frontage.
Cover page: Documents: History of the Uptown Community, Chicago. Prepared for the Chicago Historical Society and the Local Community Research Committee, University of Chicago. Research under the direction of Vivien M. Palmer; staff investigators Marion Lindner and Beatrice Nesbit. These documents contain data just as it was secured form old residents and from existing documents. A final check of the data will appear in the volume of the Social History of Chicago.
Format: Photocopy of a typescript without page numbers in the Chicago History Museum library; volume 2 of a 6-volume set containing documentary information on 20 Chicago community districts/areas.
Publication date: 1925-1930.