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by collecting facts and writing sketches of persons and events connected with every period of Chicago history. His book makes no pretensions to being a consecutive narrative, but it is brimful of information, and the work is likewise well indexed. His facts and dates are accurately given, while at the same time he is especially keen in correcting the mistakes of other writers. He devotes nearly a hundred pages of his book in quoting passages from various writings on Chicago history, criticising them, adding to the statements made, and making comments in his own inimitable manner, often sarcastic, always intelligent, and showing a thorough knowledge of his subject.


We cannot speak too highly of this history as a repository of a great number of facts, indeed it is packed full of information, gathered with great industry and intelligence. It is also well supplied with maps most useful for illustration of the text, and portraits of a great number of the pioneers and men of more recent periods who have borne a large share in building up the city. This work was published in 1884, in three volumes, under the title of "History of Chicago." Andreas' history, however, is not well arranged, and the interest of the reader is continually broken by sudden excursions to widely separated topics, and far removed in point of time from the natural course of his narrative. Such a method is often enough necessary, as any writer will find if he attempts a similar task; but the summary manner of breaking off and leaving the reader to his fate is often highly exasperating, though with some compensation when he finds the thread resumed elsewhere. But nothing has escaped the author, and, in some form or other, either by allusion, quotation or footnote, he has taken note of everything known at the time of his writing. There is probably no work that is consulted so often by investigators and students, as Andreas' history. In every public library or Historical Society Andreas is regarded as the chief authority on the subject of Chicago history.


The "History of Chicago," by John Moses and Joseph Kirkland, in two volumes, was published in 1895. Both of these authors had already written historical works, and were well versed in the details of their subject. Moses was the author of a "History of Illinois," published in 1889, and Kirkland of a work entitled "The Story of Chicago," published in 1892. The former was secretary of the Chicago Historical Society from 1887 to 1893, while the latter was the literary editor of the Chicago Tribune for some years. There could hardly be a greater contrast than in the literary style of these two authors thus working in collaboration, Kirkland's diction being florid and affected, while that of Moses was dignified and direct. This work, however, is arranged in good literary form, provided with a comprehensive index, and is of great value to students of Chicago history.


Other histories have been written, many of them made up largely of personal recollections, such as Charles Cleaver's "History of Chicago," published in 1892, a very interesting little volume; and Edwin O. Gale's "Reminiscences," published in 1902, filled with interesting details; besides many historical sketches in other works, statistical, biographical, and descriptive.







NTIL the year 1855 no effort had been made to provide a system of sewerage for the city. Previous to that time the city was drained by wooden conduits placed beneath some of the principal streets. Primarily, these were constructed to supply water for use in extinguishing fires. They were found to be serviceable in carrying off surplus water from the streets, and were used to a limited extent for house drainage. As they were laid without system and were limited in capacity they were of little use except for surface drainage. In wet seasons they failed even to carry off the surface water. "As a result," says Brown, "the city was scourged with epidemics for six years in succession. The death rate became higher than that of any other city in the country. In 1854, with cholera raging, nearly five and one-half per cent of the population died."

In 1855 the first board of Sewerage Commissioners was appointed by the city council, this board consisting of William B. Ogden, J. D. Webster, and Sylvester Lind. Ellis S. Chesbrough, of Boston, was appointed chief engineer. In 1861 the duties of this board were transferred to the Board of Public Works organized in that year. Systematic sewerage in this country was unknown when Mr. Chesbrough assumed his duties, and he was confronted by a difficult problem in planning a system for the city. Not only was he unable to profit by the experience of other cities, but the local conditions were unfavorable. When the surveys were made the surface of the ground in the vicinity of the North and South branches of the Chicago River was found to be only three or four feet above the surface of the lake. There was an irregular rise to the eastward, until at Michigan avenue and Rush street the surface was from ten to twelve feet above the lake; to the westward it reached about the same height at Ashland avenue, then called Reuben

street. These varying contours made it necessary to raise the grade of the streets in the lower portions to keep the proposed sewers under ground. It was decided to raise the grade of the streets adjacent to the river to a level of ten feet above the lake. A higher grade than this was proposed but the ten foot grade was adopted for the reason that "there would be difficulty in securing sufficient earth to raise the streets to the minimum height decided upon. A few years later," says Brown, "It was found that the surplus earth of the South division was sufficient not only to raise the grade of the streets but to fill up the entire lake basin between the Illinois Central Railroad and Michigan avenue."

The plans adopted provided for a system of sewers extending from Taylor street on the south to Chicago avenue on the north and from Halsted street to the lake. The sewers were built to discharge into the river, the waters of which flowed into the lake. "Mr. Chesbrough," says Brown, "foresaw the evils resulting from the discharge of sewage into the lake. It was impossible at that time to create an outlet to the southwest, but he appears to have believed that this would be the ultimate solution of the sewerage problem, and his plans were in harmony with it."


In his report on drainage, Mr. Chesbrough regarded the plan of draining the river "into the proposed steamboat canal," by which there would be diverted "a large and constantly flowing stream from Lake Michigan into the Illinois River," as too impractical for present consideration. "Should the proposed steamboat canal," says Chesbrough, "ever be made for commercial purposes the plan now recommended would be about as well adapted to such a state of things, as it is to the present."

In December, 1856, Mr. Chesbrough was instructed by the Sewerage Commissioners to proceed to England and the continent of Europe, "for the purpose of examining the various methods of sewerage adopted there," and of their operation and all matters connected with them, which might aid in the further perfection of the sewerage of the city of Chicago. Mr. Chesbrough accordingly visited cities in England, Scotland and other countries in Europe, and, in 1858, submitted a detailed report to the board. In the course of the report he returned to the idea, which seems to have taken a firm hold upon his mind, that the Chicago River, into which the sewage was then draining, must be made to flow westwardly through the Illinois and Michigan Canal when it should at length, be sufficiently deepened and enlarged; that "it would furnish a constant and abundant stream from the lake flowing westwardly throughout the season of navigation, and consequently during the warm and sickly portions of the year."

Referring to this report, Mr. Benezette Williams says: "It is hard for us to appreciate the importance of this report and the effect it exerted, not only upon the destiny of Chicago, but also of other cities of the country. It may aid us in doing so, however, to remember that at the time it was written there was not a town or city in the United States that had been sewered in any manner worthy of being called a system. This being perhaps the first really thorough and exhaustive study which the subject had received at the hands of an American engineer, and Chicago being the only city on this continent to proceed systematically

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with a sewerage system, Chicago and Chicago's engineer soon became famous, and for twenty-five years thereafter E. S. Chesbrough was the recognized head of sanitary engineering in this country."


During the earlier years of the sixties the pollution of the water in the Chicago River increased to such a degree that its condition was the subject of almost constant discussion. The pumping works, located at Bridgeport, which had been built for the purpose of supplying, in part, water for the Summit level of the canal, were now expected to afford relief by keeping in operation constantly. But even when this was done the relief was only partial. When at length, in 1865, the State Legislature passed an act authorizing the deepening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, it was recited in the preamble, "that it had been represented that the City of Chicago, in order to purify or cleanse the Chicago River, by drawing a sufficient quantity of water from Lake Michigan directly through the Summit division of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, would advance a sufficient amount of funds to accomplish this desirable object." The act was passed on this understanding, and the work was inaugurated in 1867, and completed in 1871.

A report was made to the mayor and common council by a commission created by the council, which, after discussing various plans for disposing of the sewage, contained this recommendation: "In view of all the facts of the case, the best plan for cleansing the Chicago River that we can devise, is to cut down the summit of the canal so as to draw a sufficient quantity through it from the lake to create the necessary current in said river." The commission then referred to the law just enacted by the State Legislature, and it states in the report that "we do not think that in deciding this question we have a right to disregard other considerations of great importance to the interests of the city, especially the law passed at the recent session of our State Legislature which gives the City of Chicago a lien upon the Illinois and Michigan Canal and its revenues, after the payment of the present canal debt, until the whole cost of making the 'deep cut,' and the interest accruing thereon, shall have been reimbursed to the city." Thus the way seemed clear for carrying out the plan recommended by the commission, and the report was promptly approved by the common council.


The work of "cutting down the summit" or deepening the canal was begun in the fall of 1867, and carried on during the closed season of each year until its completion in the spring of 1871. The total amount expended by the city in this work was three million, three hundred thousand dollars. The act of the Legislature, previously referred to, gave the city a lien upon the revenues of the canal to the extent of two and one-half millions of dollars, but after the great fire at Chicago, in October of that year, the Legislature reimbursed the city in great part by an appropriation of nearly three millions of dollars, so that the City of Chicago was not obliged to await the slow and uncertain maturity and liquidation of the debt under the terms of the act of 1865.

By the cutting away of a temporary dam which had been thrown across the canal at Bridgeport, to hold back the waters of the Chicago River, the final act

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