Anna Rascher

Anna Rascher Interview*

History of Uptown, Summerdale District/Rascher’s Subdivision, Document #18

Source: Anna [Mrs. Charles V.] Rascher, 5425 North Paulina, wife of the subdivider of the Summerdale section, who has lived in the district since 1890. Interviewed in January, 1928.

My husband bought his land in 1888 and subdivided it in 1890. At the time he purchased it, the land was a farm of twenty acres run by a man named Welter who rented it from the Mann family. The land went from East Ravenswood Park to Ashland, and Balmoral to Bryn Mawr. My husband called the subdivision the Summerdale Park subdivision. He put in streets and planted trees. A few of the houses were built by him. During the panic years he sold lots to his friends. These were either single lots or two or three together.

We used to take the Northwestern to the city. They really had good service. Then there was a bobtail on Clark Street to Lawrence. You had to foot it from there, but we always had a coachman. In 1890 there were stops called Deering and Cyler further south of us. I don’t remember the name of Flaxon up here.

You should have seen this land when we first came. There was just prairie in most parts, though there were some farms. The Mount Pleasant House was just back of us on Clark Street between Catalpa and Rascher Streets. It was running when we came and I think it was still open in 1910. It changed hands several times so that I don’t remember who owned it., but at one time there was a man named Kelly there. Funeral processions used to stop there for refreshments.

As far as I can remember there were no stores at the Summerdale station when we first came. The only one was a grocery stores run by Mrs. Olson who kept the post office there too. The Congregational Church was here early.

* Anna Rascher (nee Kurtz) was born July 1860 in Illinois to parents born in Germany. She married Charles W. Rascher in about 1885 and they had two children, a daughter Carlotta and a son Charles. Charles Rascher (originally Carl von Rascher), born in Switzerland, arrived in the United States in 1870. At first a surveyor, he became a well known map publisher and part-time real estate developer in the Summerdale section of Edgewater. He died 8 November 1900. Anna and later their children continued to live in the family home at 5425 North Paulina into the 1960s.

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.