Margaret Dilger

Margaret R. Dilger Dilger Interview*

History of Uptown, Rosehill District/Early Life, Document #2

Source: Mrs. Robert F. Dilger, 6058 North Clark Street. A woman who has lived on Clark Street since 1887 in the Rosehill district. Interviewed in December, 1927.

So you want to know what this place looked like when I came here. Well, there were a few stores in 1887. Most of them are gone now. The drug store on Clark at the southwest corner of Granville was run by the same man that runs it now. This has been the nearest store to us ever since I came until they built the building across the street just last year. Baer had an old tavern at Ridge and Clark. He owned a good deal of land around here from the Northwestern tracks to Clark Street, beginning at Ridge Boulevard. His land went up to Granville west of Paulina Street. And thirty-five years ago he sold some of this to Kemper who subdivided it. Kemper built some of the homes along the tracks and sold them to Swedish people.

There used to be a shoe store owned by Mr. Simens between Cemetery Drive and Ridge on Clark Street. He moved out to Niles Center some time ago. Peter Kinn built a store and had a grocery in it. He’s dead now. The butcher shop was run by Balis and the hardware by Hermis. Both of them are dead. These stores were pulled down when Clark Street was widened. There were farms south of these shops below Cemetery Drive on Clark. Mrs. Hauser had a bake shop on Clark near Granville twenty years ago. She has sold it now though. Mr. Schneider built a three-story building on Clark Street a long time ago. But the other store buildings were smaller ones. Other old settlers were Becker and Eckhart.

Clark Street was graveled when I came and the horse cars took us to the street car line. Lawrence Avenue was the end of the line then. The horse car went by every half hour. We used to think we were going pretty fast in those cars.

The old frame building on Ridge west of Clark was where Mrs. Miller had her dry goods store. That was over thirty years ago. The store was turned into a school building when the Rosehill School became too crowded. Just the first three grades went there. Later they rented rooms at Schneider’s store. Devon had a few stores early too.

The Kransz subdivision sold out pretty fast. The houses north of Glenlake and east of Clark Street were built around twenty-five years ago. Some, of course, have been built since then. Mr. Flood lived at Peterson and Ravenswood a long time ago. There were more houses south of Cemetery Drive than north when I first came.

The Congregational Church was the first one, but it died and the building is now used as an apartment. This building is on Cemetery Drive about a block from Clark. The other early church was St. Henry’s. The Presbyterian came next at Granville and Greenview and then the Methodist on Granville. I don’t know of any other churches in Uptown, but I suppose there are some.

The people had their truck gardens and worked for the Cemetery and some of the Swedish people along the tracks in Kemper’s subdivision worked on the cars and at the car barns on Clark Street.

* Margaret Riedel Dilger was born 3 January 1864 in Marquette, Michigan, to parents born in Germany. She married Robert F. Dilger in 1887 and raised her three sons in the Rosehill district of Edgewater. She died 25 June 1936 at her home near Dempster and Harlem in Morton Grove, Illinois

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.