The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 23, 1874
    A Declaration from A. C. Hesing

    "Since much has been said and written in the last few days concerning my private affairs, and especially in regard to my connection with the Germania fire insurance, I wish to explain my financial situation to the public and let it be the judge.

    Refore the fire I was connected with three other business enterprises besides the Staats Zeitung, three of them and four beautiful homes became a prey of the flames. Only the lumber business and the plane mill connected with it, were spared. On that day I lost about $125,000.00. The news of the disaster brought me quickly back to Chicago. After an absence of eighteen months, I arrived in Chicago early in November, 1871, three weeks after the fire. A brief survey revealed that my credit was unimpaired. So I went to work and helped not only to erect the Staats Zeitung building, valued with the machinery at $265,000.00 but I also did my part for the reconstruction of the North Side by having several homes built. In March, last year when the Staats Zeitung's building was hardly finished, Mr. Gustorf, manager of the Garden City Manufacturing Company, paid me a visit in my quality of main share owner and told me that he could not pursue his work without an extension of his liabilities. The business owed at that time $100,000.00 to 2the banks, which I had indorsed; it owed further $125,000.00 to lumbermen and building debts, mortgages and business debts of $150,000.00. All together $375,000.00. It was considered best to call a meeting of the creditors and submit to them a statement of the assets and the liabilities. The report of Mr. Gustorf revealed that the Garden City Manufacturing Company had a surplus fortune of $175,000.00 beyond its debts, that the arrears could be easily collected and that it was only a matter of gaining time to be able to care for all the liabilities. At the meeting a committee of five was selected to examine the books. It was reported that they were in order, and the creditors were asked to grant time extension provided I was willing to furnish a guaranty. I asked for time to think it over. But as Mr. Gustorf assured me that the assets were on hand and that I did not risk anything I decided to indorse notes to the amount of $225,000.00.

    A fifth of this amount, $45,000.00 became due in September, 1873, and was paid promptly. Then came the financial crash. I wanted to wind up the business but Mr. Gustorf assured me, again, that he would be able to pull through with only a little more help, and in order to save my shares, which amounted to $100,000.00 as well as my indorsements, I gave again security for $30,000.00. But all was in 3vain. Credit and confidence disappeared everywhere and the Garden City Manufacturing Company was forced to liquidate. My responsibility towards the company amounted to $210,000.00. My security for it was a second mortgage on the will property. The first one amounted to $50,00.00.

    Few would have had the courage to keep on but I decided to call my friends and creditors together and see if I could not gain a time extension.

    All five banks were most friendly and gave me the desired time extension. I pawned all my personal belongings in order to pay all by debts up to the last penny. The creditors at a later meeting made the proposition that I should take over the mill property for $125,000.00 and pay the first mortgage. I accepted the proposition and the mill became my property.

    But I soon learned that I had been deceived, that the factory was in a bad shape. According to the report of October, 1873, $169,000.00 was supposed to be there and now it was discovered that nothing was, and that even the lumber provisions were quoted beyond their value. My loss was over $200,000.00.

    4

    Then came the court decision enjoining the stockholders of the Germania Fire Insurance to pay their notes in full. I was unable to pay the $19,500.00. Mr. Vocke received, then, the order to sell my notes, insured through the shares of the Illinois Streets Zeitung.

    Every one knows that money has no attraction for me. I have helped many of my fellow citizens.

    If some gentlemen asked why no judgment was pronounced against me, I retort, what good would it have done? Had I been thrown into bankruptcy, what would my creditors and the Germania have received? Some envious people resent my coach and horses but I am not going to sell a present received from my friends. I wish to insist that all my creditors will be paid and should I die, unexpectedly, my son and heir will assume all my responsibilities.

    "Since much has been said and written in the last few days concerning my private affairs, and especially in regard to my connection with the Germania fire insurance, I wish ...

    German
    IV, II D 2, II B 2 d 1, II A 2
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 30, 1879
    First Day of the Investigation Proceedings in Connection with the Germania Insurance Company

    The next witness was called to the stand. [Editor's note: The testimonies given here were made at the trial of A. C. Hesing, who was alleged to have attempted to defraud the Government. As these procedures are available in the court records, they were not re-translated here.]

    Charles F. Pietsch, secretary of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung since July 1, 1867, declared that he was in charge of financial matters of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung Company. He said further: "The capital stock of the Company at the time of the Chicago Fire was worth between $104,000 and $106,000; on May 6, 1872, it was increased to $179,000. The 170 bonds given to the 2Germania Insurance Company as security would be equal to 267 bonds of the new capital.

    "In April, 1872, a dividend of twenty-five per cent was declared on the old capitalization; in January, 1873, fifteen per cent; and, in 1874 a dividend of twenty per cent was declared on the new capitalization.....

    "The net profit of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung in 1872, was $82,000; in 1873, $60,210.92. The stock on April 20, 1874, was worth about 133, and the bonds about $35,000....."

    Other[less important]witnesses follow.....

    Joseph Medill was the next witness; he said: "The proper way to estimate the value of a newspaper's stock is to consider the average income for a number of years." He did not know what the value of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung was in 1874, but thought that if the land where the plant is located was 3bought for $80,000, and the building and machinery cost an additional $260,000, and, assuming there were no debts, then the bonds would be fully worth the quoted value.....[Translator's note: Other items, not bearing directly on the financial status of the paper, have been omitted.]

    In answer to Knott's question, Mr. A. L. Patterson, the business manager of the Times for the last eight years, said that, in so far as he knew, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung was the most influential, and the largest German newspaper of the Northwest; that it was political as well as general in text....

    Calvin T. Wheeler, president of the Union National Bank for fourteen to fifteen years said....that the capital stock of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung Company was worth $400,000.

    The next witness was called to the stand. [Editor's note: The testimonies given here were made at the trial of A. C. Hesing, who was alleged to have attempted to ...

    German
    II E 2, IV, II D 2, II A 2, I D 1 a, II B 2 d 1
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 31, 1879
    .... A. C. Hesing ....

    [Translator's note: For details about this case see the Chicago court records. Several items of more or less significance in the life of A. C. Hesing, prominent Chicago German-American, may be of interest and have been translated. The court records which give an exhaustive account, involve the bankruptcy proceedings of the Germania Insurance Company.]

    A. C. Hesing is called [to the witness stand]. He is the president of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung Company [a publishing company], and at present is engaged in forming a mining company in the Globe District, central Arizona [Translator's note: the property comprises twenty mines and a reduction mill; silver is to be mined.] Mr. Hesing has lived in Chicago since 1854, with the exception of two years during which he was in Lake County, near Waukegan, where he operated a brick manufacturing plant; in 1857 or 1858 he was deputy sheriff, and in 1860 he was elected sheriff of Cook County; in 1862 he bought 2shares in the Illinois Staats-Zeitung. He has taken a profound and active interest in politics since he has been in the city; he helped to organize the Republican party; he has known Mr. Blodgett since 1855 and supported Blodgett's candidacy....and when Blodgett wanted to be judge, Hesing wrote a personal letter to President Grant and procured signatures from prominent Germans and others.

    Hesing's connection with the Germania Insurance Company was of importance. He founded the Company, obtained its charter, and owned most of the shares. The Company became bankrupt after the [Chicago] Fire; he owed the Company fifteen thousand dollars on two notes which were secured by 170 bonds of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung. Hesing was connected with the nomination of Vocke as receiver: firstly, because he [Vocke] was a German and most stockholders of the Insurance Company, as well as the policyholders, were Germans, almost without exception; and, secondly, Hesing desired to have a friend in the receiver's office.

    3

    Hesing's Cross Examination

    [Goudy]: "Were you ever accused Mr. Hesing?"

    Hesing: "Yes!"

    Goudy: "What for?"

    Hesing: "For an alleged conspiracy to defraud the Government."

    Goudy: "Did the case go to trial; did you have a trial?"

    Hesing: "No!"

    Goudy: "Did you plead guilty?"

    Hesing: "Yes, because...."

    4

    Goudy: "Answer only--confine yourself to my question...."

    Goudy: "Blodgett convicted you?"

    Hesing: "Yes, to two years in the county jail--a verdict which President Grant considered atrocious and decreased to a total of three months."

    Goudy now read parts of the Munn process where Hesing made statements about his [Hesing's] connection with the whiskey ring, and the money he [Hesing] had received from H. B. Mueller, Rehm, Powell, Juessen, etc. [Hesing claims to have been convicted on a technicality: He never handled a barrel of whiskey in his life; he was only a silent partner.] [Other items about Hesing were brought forth.] Facts about Vocke's appointment [as receiver of the bankrupt Germania Insurance Company, and as a personal friend of Hesing] were obtained.....

    Hesing: "I explained my financial position to Judge Blodgett at a private conference, and there I told him that when I went to Europe I had 5a net income of thirty to thirty-five thousand dollars unencumbered by debts; that everything I owned was turned into ashes with the exception of the large sawmill, which is bankrupt and which is mortgaged for $250,000. I possess only the bonds which are now in the hands of the receiver, and I implored the judge [Blodgett] to help me protect these securities, so that they would not be disposed of at a public sale. He asked me how high the debt was and I replied, '$15,000 and $5,000 in accrued interest.' I told him that the newspaper was almost as dear to me as my own child; that I helped develope the publication until it became the leading German paper of the Northwest; and I reminded him that I was always a staunch party member [Republican]. The judge said, 'you obtained Vocke's appointment and are on a friendly footing,' to which I assented. 'Well then,' suggested the judge, 'let Vocke obtain some offers on the stock, and you can arrange it so that they are not too high.'"

    Cooper: "And you did that?"

    6

    Hesing: "Since 'squealing' has been considered honorable by Judge Blodgett and the Government officials, I may as well tell all. Of course I saw to it. Banker [Henry] Greenebaum was my friend....he offered $5,000 as I suggested. He obtained the bonds and I gave a note for them, and he kept both for security."

    Hermann Raster, editor in chief of Illinois Staats-Zeitung since 1874, revealed [in his testimony] that the property of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung in 1874 consisted in the main of its good name, the building, 40 by 150 feet, and 100 feet high, built of brick with a facade of artificial stone, and the cost was $225,000, including the ground. "Its location is the second best in the city, and the site will be of first rank when the courthouse is completed. The debts at the time consisted of a $75,000 mortgage. The paper is larger than any German newspaper west of the Alleghenies. Membership in the Associated Press is worth $25,000....." He considers the name of the paper to be worth $200,000. Mr. Raster also said that on the day after the Fire the paper had nothing except its good name, and on the strength of this, the paper erected a large building, large machinery etc....

    7

    Court was adjourned until 1:45 P.M.

    The next witness was Mr. Greenebaum. He was in the banking business and had followed that activity in 1874; he was the president of the German National Bank, and the German Savings Bank at that time; he was a member of the house of H. Greenebaum and Company and knew Hesing for twenty years......He appraised the property of Illinois Staats-Zeitung at at least $180,000, at which time it was encumbered by a mortgage of $75,000; he knew that the newspaper paid dividends prior to that time.....He further said that the Illinois Staats-Zeitung was then worth about $150,000 with enough debts to give one a headache. He could not recall definitely whether he declared that the dividends of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung were equivalent to a capital of $400,000 at the rate of twenty per cent. As far as he knew, the bankruptcy procedures were over; the last installment to the creditors was not paid yet; and only one of the eight hundred creditors objected.....

    [Other witnesses followed.]

    8

    [Translator's note: A compilation of A. C. Hesing's endeavors comprised the following diverse activities: politician, sheriff, co-founder of the Republican party in Illinois, newspaper owner, sawmill owner, brick manufacturer, silent partner of a whiskey distillery, insurance company organizer, and a mining and ore-reduction plant promoter.]

    [Translator's note: For details about this case see the Chicago court records. Several items of more or less significance in the life of A. C. Hesing, prominent Chicago German-American, may ...

    German
    II E 2, IV, IV, I F 6, I F 5, II D 2, II A 2, I D 1 a, II B 2 d 1
  • The Occident -- September 10, 1886
    United Order of Honor

    The Honor B. J. David, Deputy Supreme President, organized Occidental Lodge Monday Evening, September 6 inst. in St. Georges Hall 182 E. Madison Street, with a large Charter membership, composed of many of the most learned professional and able business men in our city.

    After the election and installation of officers and appropriate speeches had been made by the various members, the Honor B. J. David replied,

    "Officers and members, it affords me great pleasure to see so much enthusiasm in my midst, which demonstrates to me that you are well pleased with the noble principles of this Order. On April 26, 1881, the first lodge was organized, and now its usefulness has reached nearly every State in the Union. (Yellow-Fever districts excepted.) It is universally accepted by the most competent Judges to be one of the most refined, useful inexpensive and progressive 2societies in existence, and endorsed by our best class of citizens. Its objects are literary, social and mutual aid, and gives its members the kind of protection they require, because it pays $1,000, $2,000, or $3,000, the full amount, to its members first should they become permanently disabled by accident or disease by which they can enjoy it while living, or second when they attain the age of seventy five years, or third at the death of a member, the amount goes to their will and this endowment is paid within thirty days after being notified of such.

    "I trust that you will ever bear in mind that charity is one of the noble principles of this order, and that you will never be guilty of withholding the hand of charity from any deserving member."

    The Honor B. J. David, Deputy Supreme President, organized Occidental Lodge Monday Evening, September 6 inst. in St. Georges Hall 182 E. Madison Street, with a large Charter membership, composed ...

    Jewish
    II B 1 d, II D 2
  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 17, 1890
    German Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

    The German Mutual Fire Insurance Co. held its annual meeting, yesterday, at Folz's Hall, corner North Avenue and Larrabee Street. The majority of its 1,700 members were present. The proceedings were cordial and very pleasant. The last biannual financial report of Christian Zuber, the treasurer, contains the following information:

    Dec. 31st, 1889.

    Cook County Bonds, yielding 5% $3,000.00
    Chicago City " " 4½% $4,500.00
    " " " " 4% $43,500.00
    " " " " 3.65% $3,000.00
    Cash $5,379.98

    Total $59,379.98

    2

    During the last six months the risk-rate was diminished by accepting insurance valuations of $700.00; a diminishing of premium notes amounting to $52.50, and an increase through net-receipts that produced $3,082.31.

    The financial condition, according to Dec. 31st, figures, shows the following:

    Liabilities to cover all accepted insurance policies, $2,980,000.00
    Capital, in the possession of the company and covered by premium payments $ 223,545.63
    Cash funds in bonds and money $ 59,378.98

    The expenditures of the large company have been very nominal during the preceding year, only $1,004.00 has been paid for actual damage by fire and a little more than $1,300.00 for current expenses. The net profit of $3,000.00 will be used for an initial fund, which is to be used for the erection of its own office building.

    Election results: Mathias Schmitz, President.

    The company received a petition, signed by fifty respected German citizens from 3the Fullerton to Belmont, and Ashland to the Lake district, requesting the insurance firm to open a branch office. A committee of ten will take the matter under advisement.

    The German Mutual Fire Insurance Co. held its annual meeting, yesterday, at Folz's Hall, corner North Avenue and Larrabee Street. The majority of its 1,700 members were present. The proceedings ...

    German
    II A 2, II D 2
  • Abendpost -- January 17, 1890
    German Mutual Fire Insurance Yearly Meeting and Election

    Folz's hall, corner North Avenue & Larrabee was the assembly place for hundreds of the Mutual Insurance Company's 1700 members.

    President Mathias Schmitz, other officials elected. Half yearly report, $59,378.98.

    Capital in bonds and money $223,545.63.

    Capital, premium notes, and $2,980,600 obligations for its active polices.

    Net profit $3,000.

    The last amount is to become the initial fund for the erection of their own Administration bldg. In the vicinity of Fullerton and Belmont Ave. a branch is contemplated.

    Folz's hall, corner North Avenue & Larrabee was the assembly place for hundreds of the Mutual Insurance Company's 1700 members. President Mathias Schmitz, other officials elected. Half yearly report, $59,378.98. ...

    German
    II D 2, II F
  • Abendpost -- January 23, 1891
    The German Insurance Company

    The German Fire Insurance Company of the Northside held their Annual meeting last night at the Folz Halle, corner Larrabee and North Avenue.

    Of 1500 members only 500 appeared, and they started to elect officers.

    The report of the Secretary showed $2,950,000.00 of insurance was received for the past six months. The amount of money on hand is $58,849.00 of which part is cash, however, most of it is in Government Bonds.

    General expenses for the length of the period were $6,287.00

    The German Fire Insurance Company of the Northside held their Annual meeting last night at the Folz Halle, corner Larrabee and North Avenue. Of 1500 members only 500 appeared, and ...

    German
    II D 2
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 28, 1892
    Sacred Heart Society Elects Officers for the New Year

    New officers were elected to head the executive board of the Sacred Heart Society No. 1, at a meeting held last Tuesday, at St. Stanislaus Kostki's Parish hall. The president's chair went to M. Kalaczynski; John Reich, vice-president; Stanislaus Czajka, recording secretary. J. Jedrzejewski was chosen guardian of the sick.

    A resolution was passed lowering the initiation fees as follows: Those from the ages of 18 to 25, three dollars; from 25 to 35, five dollars, from 35 to 40 eight dollars.

    The Sacred Heart Society No. 1, maintains a death benefit fund for their members. At the present time there about 134 in this group. This 2organization is connected with the Roman Catholic Church.

    Those who are of good character and standing and wish to join this Catholic organization are invited to attend any of our meetings, which are held every fourth Tuesday of the month. You will be convinced that it will be to your advantage to be a member of this organization.

    New officers were elected to head the executive board of the Sacred Heart Society No. 1, at a meeting held last Tuesday, at St. Stanislaus Kostki's Parish hall. The president's ...

    Polish
    III B 2, III C, II D 3, II D 2, II D 1
  • Abendpost -- January 29, 1892
    Der Wirtstag (The Tavernkeepers' Day)

    The delegates of all German saloon and tavernkeeper's Organizations of Chicago had an important meeting last night at the Northside-Turnerhall. Mr. Rudolp Ambach, who presided over the meeting, pointed in his opening speech to the necessity of a close and dependable cooperation among German saloons and taverhkeepers, in order to fight successfully the steadily growing opposition against the saloon-business.

    During the following deliberations, a resolution was adopted, to start an agitation among all members towards the foundation of a Life-Insurance Institute as a branch of the Organization. The price for the charter would be $5000.00, which could be brought together in shares of $10.00 from interested members of the Organization.

    The following new officers were elected: Philip Castler, President; R. Ebert, Vice-President; R. Ambach, Secretary; H. Rock, Treasurer. The meeting then adjourned.

    The delegates of all German saloon and tavernkeeper's Organizations of Chicago had an important meeting last night at the Northside-Turnerhall. Mr. Rudolp Ambach, who presided over the meeting, pointed in ...

    German
    II A 2, II D 2
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- March 17, 1892
    A Letter to the Editors from the Holy Name Society

    Chicago, Ill.,

    March 14, 1892.

    Dear Friends, Polish Catholics!

    The fraternal order of the Holy Name Society of St. Albert's parish held its semi-annual meeting Saturday, March 5. A general report on the financial status revealed that the organization is functioning on a sound basis. Three new members have been initiated into the order.

    The Holy Name Society is associated with the Roman-Catholic Union and follows the latter's by-laws in every respect. This connection enables the Society to use the services of the Union's doctor, who examines every 2member at the time of entering the Holy Name Society. Only candidates of sound physical health are accepted. All must pass the doctor's examination. Members that become ill are given medical attention by the same doctor. It has been estimated that during the past three months over one hundred dollars has been saved by this medical service which is rendered free to the members.

    All the activities of this society, both social and athletic, have been carried with success and order. The directors of this organization are proud of this record.

    The following is a resume of the benefits received from this society:

    1. Five dollars per week is given in case of sickness. Members will make regular visits if permissible. In case the sick member requires some 3assistance in the home, the society furnishes the necessary help.

    2. Death benefits: husbands, $600; wives $300. Eight pall bears will be furnished. Entire funeral to be directed by the society.

    Membership entrance fee is as follows:

    From the ages 20 to 30 $5.00
    " " " 30 to 35 $6.00
    " " " 35 to 40 $ 7.00
    " " " 40 to 45 $9.00

    We ask the Polish Catholics of the city of Chicago to investigate the advantages the Holy Name Society offers to its members. The public is 4invited to visit the office of the secretary at 630 W. 17th Street, or the headquarters of the society at St. Albert's parish. All will be gladly welcomed.

    Very truly yours,

    Frances Nowak, President.

    Chicago, Ill., March 14, 1892. Dear Friends, Polish Catholics! The fraternal order of the Holy Name Society of St. Albert's parish held its semi-annual meeting Saturday, March 5. A general ...

    Polish
    III C, II B 3, II D 2, II D 3, II D 1