Wahlfried Williamson

Wahlfrid Williamson Interview*

History of Uptown, Ravenswood District, Swedish Newspaper, Document #51
Source: Informant Wahlfrid Williamson, publisher of a Swedish newspaper, interviewed in January, 1928.
I came to Chicago from Sweden in 1869 at the age of nineteen. I had no friends in this country and could speak very little English then. In Sweden I had learned the printing trade and because I knew there were several Swedish papers being printed in Chicago I came directly to that city. At that time the “Hemlandet” and “The Messenger” were the two dominant Swedish papers. However, when I got to Chicago I could find nothing to do so I went to St. Louis where I found some work to do, until I was called back to Chicago by an opening on one of the papers. That spring there was a strike in the printers’ trade in Chicago and because of it I was able to start in the printing trade in Chicago. The business burned in the fire of ’71 and we started at 103 North Clark Street soon after. When that business burned in 1903 I moved my printing business to the ground floor of my home on Winona Street where I have been conducting business ever since.
In 1892 I bought a lot of Mr. Anderson and built my home on Winona. From that time until 1903 I used the Northwestern to take me to my work. The Northwestern tracks were elevated just after 1892 and improved the district very much. I used to listen for the train whistle at Rosehill and then if I ran I could still make the train. There were but few improvements in at the time I bought this property. Soon after we moved oil street lamps were put in and a short time after that we had gas put into our home.
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.
Interview date: December, 1927