Rosehill gatekeeper

Rosehilll Gateman Interview*

History of Uptown, Rosehill District/Rosehill Cemetery, Document #5

Source: Informant man working at Rosehill Cemetery gateman for thirty-six years. Interviewed December, 1927.

I have been working here for thirty-six years, but the superintendent beats me by several years. The Anderson Monument Works in the corner of the lot just outside the gate is the oldest concern around here. It was started by Jim Anderson sixty-two years from this year. He had a son-in-law, Tim Avery, who ran it after Jim gave it up and then Avery sold to Stutzer. This man came here from Portage, Wisconsin. Jim and his son are dead but his two daughters are living. Erasmus Hansen leased the works to Anderson but the name is still kept. Peter Evart rented the land from Jim Anderson for his saloon south of the Drive. Anderson owned from the corner to the two florists on the south and on the east. Schausbow’s florist shop has just been here two years. Matt Evert is still living. His father’s name was Frank and he had a truck farm west of here at Peterson and Robey Streets. The Ladenbach [Ledenbach] house on the south side of the Drive near Hermitage was the only house on that side for a long time. Across from her was a man named Bruno.

The streetcar line on East Ravenswood Park came in in the years between 1895 and 1900.

The land south of the Drive was farmed until five or six years ago. Albert Paschke owned from Bryn Mawr to Jim Anderson’s land west of Heritage. Paschke subdivided the land and five houses were built. Schneider had previously opened up this land bordered by Bryn Mawr, Edgewater, Hermitage and Ashland in 1893. Six or seven homes were built by the buyers but the pace did not develop. In 1901 I built my home in this tract and the people wondered who would build on the prairie. In that year there were no sewers, water, gas or sidewalks. There were big ditches on the east side of the streets that we had to jump across. Gas was furnished in 1902. I have lived there for thirty-six years.

In the early days we had single men working on the Cemetery grounds and they used to board out at the places on the Drive east of the Cemetery. Only a few had work all the year round; the others worked in the summer time and then had to go someplace else for winter work. Some of these men came from around Robey and Lincoln Avenue. There were no Hungarians, but a few Luxemburgers. There were Irish over on Clark Street. The people here are mostly Swedes and Germans.

Heritage was opened up to the north before it went south of the Drive. The first apartment around the Cemetery was built recently Hermitage just south of the Drive by Paschke.

The name for the Cemetery came from the that grew on the hill which was the original site. There were wild white roses and the superintendent says now you can’t make them grow, but then they were all over.

* Identity not established.

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.