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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 21, 1861Meat of Dead Animals Sold in City (Editorial)
Last week we made a tour of North Kinzie Street. Of course we saw no large business establishments, such as one sees on Clark Street or Lake Street, but we did see a number of butcher shops, and instinctively our thoughts turned to the sale of human beings in the South. Here we saw meat the color of which could not be discerned; it was neither red, white, nor yellow, but had a tinge of black, an indication that the animals were dead before they were butchered. We accidentally met two experienced butchers and they confirmed our fears.
Are there no officers in our city who have the authority to put a stop to this fraud? Why control the bakers but not the butchers who are guilty of many serious violations of the law, and whose offenses are much more detrimental to the health of the community than those of the bakers?2
There are people who make a regular business of buying dead or half-dead animals and selling the meat to commission men. We hope that our most wise city fathers will pass an ordinance similar to the one which is in force in the East, making it mandatory that all meat offered for sale must be brought to the public market, which is under the control of the city--that is the express purpose of maintaining a public market, but ours is never used. [Translator's note: The author does not reveal, nor is the writer able to ascertain in what manner the city controlled the quality of goods offered for sale in the public market.]
Last week we made a tour of North Kinzie Street. Of course we saw no large business establishments, such as one sees on Clark Street or Lake Street, but we ...
I M, II A 2
Secondary listingsGerman // Contributions and Activities > Vocational > Industrial and Commercial (II A 2) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- February 24, 1862The Rebel Captives in Camp Douglas Chicago Endangered by Their Presence (Editorial)
There are already four thousand Rebel captives at Camp Douglas, and this number is to be increased to seven thousand, according to reports. Such is the present state of affairs. The English newspapers have broached the question of what is to be done with these captives? Some would have them returned to the South; others would have them exchanged for Union captives, even though from twenty to fifty Rebel captives might have to be sent back for each Union captive; still others would like to see them distributed among the counties of the Northern States, making the Federal Government responsible for their care and support, and requiring that the National Authorities pay the respective states a certain sum for the keep of these unfortunate Confederate soldiers. If the season were advanced by a few weeks, we would recommend what we proposed last summer, namely that the 2Rebel prisoners be distributed among the farmers, in order to replace the farm workers who have left to defend the country against these accursed slave holders.
There can be no doubt that it will be necessary to build large forts in the interior, and that the Illinois-Michigan Canal will have to be enlarged to connect the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River, and thus with the Gulf of Mexico. A large number of workers will be required to do this work, and the more workers that can be employed on these projects, the sooner these very important enterprises can be finished.
Therefore, we recommend that the seven thousand prisoners with whom Chicago is to be blessed be used for the immediate construction of fortifications along the Canadian border, and for the contemplated enlargement of the Illinois-Michigan Canal.
"Idleness is the root of all evil," and seven thousand Rebel prisoners 3confined in a space the size of Camp Douglas cannot but demonstrate the truth of this proverb, and therein lies a great danger for the city of Chicago, and for the lives and property of its citizens.
The barracks of Camp Douglas consist merely of four rows of wooden buildings which surround a four cornered plot for reviewing and exercising. These barracks and the wooden fences, which do not even enclose the camp from all sides, cannot prevent seven thousand captives from escaping any time they wish, even though a garrison of several thousand men were kept at the camp at all times to watch the prisoners. If these prisoners should make independent attempts to gain their liberty, they could be frustrated--a double or triple line of pickets could be maintained and the sentries ordered to shoot every fugitive who did not halt immediately on command; but concerted action by all the prisoners could not be prevented, even if several thousand sentries were employed and if the prisoners had no weapons.
If the entire number of Rebels made a well planned mass attack upon the 4"fortifications," only a few hundred could be shot to death or wounded, while most of the prisoners would escape and could then attack the city.
Then again, if one remembers that it would be very easy to set fire to the barracks which are joined one to the other (and it would be impossible to extinguish the fire), how could anyone prevent these hordes from scattering and taking French leave?
Should the Rebels once be free to attack the city, which is protected by only sixty policemen, everybody can picture to himself what grave danger would threaten the lives and property of the citizens.
However, it would not even be necessary that all prisoners break out at the same time. Let us assume that only one hundred escaped. One hundred hostile people (no doubt the boldest of them would leave first) without money, without any means of subsistence, dependent upon robbery and 5plundering, let loose upon a city protected by only sixty policemen--what a menace to the community they would be!
In addition, seven thousand Rebel prisoners would also endanger the health of the city. It would be necessary to keep them in the barracks where they would find it impossible to move about very much. This close confinement in small, unventilated rooms filled with foul oders emanating from the hay and from the perspiring men, could not help but cause sickness, and, what is more, contagious disease. All measures to prevent the latter would be futile, and thus the disease would quickly spread.
It is not our intention to scare our citizens, but we do call attention to the danger in order that they may give serious thought to the feasibility of organizing home guards and arming the citizens in general, for the purpose of protecting the city and its inhabitants.
There are already four thousand Rebel captives at Camp Douglas, and this number is to be increased to seven thousand, according to reports. Such is the present state of affairs. ...
I J, I G, I M
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 16, 1863Wholesome Drinking Water
Yesterday Mr. [John G.] Gindele, president of the Board of Public Works, invited the members of Chicago's daily press to a trip on Lake Michigan for the purpose of viewing the boring operations which are being carried on to determine the practicability of Mr. Gindele's plan to build a tunnel under the Lake.
At two o'clock in the afternoon, the tugboat "George B. Wood," which was built last summer, left the pier at the Clark Street Bridge under command of Captain Bird. The members of the Board of Public Works and quite a number of guests were aboard. The leading newspapers of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Post, Chicago Times, Illinois Staats-Zeitung, and Evening Journal, were represented by reporters who were accompanied by their wives.
After a short journey over Lake Michigan's smooth, clear waters, the boat arrived at a spot about two miles from shore, just north of the present water 2works, where two scows were at anchor. The water at this particular place is as clear as crystal, and it was possible to see the iron pipe, which serves to guide and protect the boring apparatus, for a distance of at least fifteen feet downward. The depth of the lake at this point is thirty feet. Boring operations were going on between the two previously mentioned scows.
The drill which is being used is of very simple construction and is about one and one-half feet in diameter. It was driven thirty-two feet into the ground, and when it was pulled up it showed unmistakable lumps of blue clay which contained no admixture of sand or gravel. This kind of clay is the most suitable soil for tunnel construction. Hence the Board of Public Works will have a better constructed drill made, and if the clay extends all the way to the shore, as is very probably the case, Mr. Gindele's plan for constructing a water duct to the shore of Lake Michigan is not only practicable, but its execution will not even be expensive; and citizens of Chicago may soon have the most wholesome drinking water in the world.
Yesterday Mr. [John G.] Gindele, president of the Board of Public Works, invited the members of Chicago's daily press to a trip on Lake Michigan for the purpose of viewing ...
I M, IV
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 12, 1863Lack of Water and the State Street Fire (Editorial)
According to an investigation of Saturday's fire on State Street, lack of water was the cause of the rapid spread and heavy damage of the conflagration. The inquiry revealed a very dangerous condition, which is not known to many of our readers, and it will cost much money to remove the hazard. It developed that the main water pipes in State Street are only four inches in diameter, while the lead pipes to the various buildings are only three inches in diameter. It requires but little figuring to prove that the pipes are much too small to fulfill their purpose, and it is almost incredible that this fact was not considered when the pipes were laid. Considering that we have eight engines and that the smallest water plugs are at least two-and-one-half inches in diameter, one can readily see that eight 21/2-inch plugs cannot be adequately fed by one four-inch pipe.2
The same condition prevails on all the streets of the South Side, with the exception of Clark Street, where six-inch pipes have been laid. And this fact explains the complaints of South Siders that there is a lack of water after every fire. Thus the efficiency of our able fire department is greatly reduced and the South Side is exposed to grave danger. Of course, this state of affairs cannot be tolerated. The situation calls for immediate attention. It is the duty of the competent municipal authorities to take action now, even though a large expenditure of money is involved.
During the State Street fire, which raged for three hours and rendered many families poor and homeless, water was drawn from Clark Street, Wabash Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and Third and Fourth Avenues, and still the supply was not sufficient until hose was laid from the river to the scene of the fire--a distance of nearly a mile. Of course, the lake is closer, and it would have been easier to get the water from the "reservoirs of Michigan", but the shore in that vicinity is too steep to permit the setting up of a pump.3
The small capacity of the water mains is the only reason for the rapid spread of this fire, which destroyed property valued at $100,000. The authorities will have to take measures to prevent another such disaster.
According to an investigation of Saturday's fire on State Street, lack of water was the cause of the rapid spread and heavy damage of the conflagration. The inquiry revealed a ...
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 30, 1866Chicago Needs a Swimming School and a Public Bath (Editorial)
The meeting to discuss Chicago's need for a swimming school and public bath, which was to have been held last Saturday in Room 5 of the Courthouse, had to be postponed until next Saturday, March 31, (tomorrow), because so few people appeared at Saturday's meeting.
The indifference of the German public toward useful institutions in general has become proverbial, and if we view our social conditions more closely, we can readily explain this apathy toward a matter which is so important to the comfort, health, and progress of our citizens.
With the exception of our Turnhalle, we Germans have no other building devoted to the cultivation of art and science--at least no building of which we need not be ashamed--and in this respect some small country towns are far more 2progressive than ours. Milwaukee has magnificent school buildings in which German teachers are employed; it has two good theatres, a fine park, a swimming school, and splendid hotels--all built and maintained by Germans.
Why must Chicago be without these public institutions which are indispensable to the residents of a large city?
There is no lack of money, nor of a desire to participate in enterprises which benefit the community; but our people have not the necessary time to devote to a successful undertaking. I was literally "swamped" with questions concerning the action taken in the meeting with reference to a swimming school, and everybody regretted that nothing had been done.
"I think it would be too bad if nothing came of it, for a swimming school is so pleasant, so convenient, so necessary to health;" and "I shall be happy to do my part," were some of the remarks made to me--and yet nobody came to the meeting. After leaving the Courthouse at eight o'clock, I visited the 3nearby saloons. There I found meetings galore and an "abundance of time". I would not have said anything about building a swimming school; but many asked that I express myself on the subject, since very few persons have clear and definite ideas on the matter and few, therefore, have made an effort to co-operate. That is not a valid reason to remain away from the meeting, for the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the matter, to inform, to exchange ideas. Now I do not consider my opinions to be decisive. I merely wished to introduce the matter and to contribute my mite to the success of the good cause, just as anyone else would have done; and I ask the kind reader to weigh my opinions in that spirit.
I would build the swimming school and public bath after the pattern of the "Diana Bath" at Vienna, Austria. This structure is a hall 250 feet long and 150 feet wide. The roof is arched, the framework is of steel and the ceiling is of glass. The pool is about 200 feet long and 100 feet wide; two thirds of the pool is 15feet deep, one third--used for bathing--is 51/2 feet deep, and the pool is made of wood.... [Translator's note: The next sentence of 4this paragraph is too obscure to be read.]
The water is pumped from the Danube by means of a steam engine and flows constantly, while part of the water in the pool drains constantly. Ample provisions for ventilation have been made; the large windows of the wall and a part of the roof can be opened. Bathtubs have not been forgotten; and there are sofas, chairs, a reading room, and smoking rooms. The ground surrounding the building has been landscaped, and presents a beautiful view to visitors.
It cannot be denied that institutions like the one described above are a credit and a benefit to the cities which erect and maintain them. They are also a source of lucrative financial gain; the income derived from them is enormous and the operating cost low. Chicago's facilities for constructing and maintaining a swimming pool and public bath are much better than those of Vienna; for Chicago has its waterworks and can pump the necessary water to any location at any time. When the new water tunnel has been finished 5we will always have water that is as clear as crystal, and no doubt our City Fathers will donate the water, since it is to be used for so beneficial a purpose. Of course it all depends upon who takes the matter in hand. I am firmly convinced that under such favorable circumstances and under good management the bonds sold to defray the cost of erecting a pool and bath would soon be worth double their par value, and would be a very good investment. All persons interested in the enterprise should meet very soon, each should subscribe for a one hundred-dollar bond, and when a sufficient amount has been raised in this way, a piece of ground should be purchased. When this has been done, there need be no worry about the completion of the project. It is therefore very desirable that the meeting tomorrow evening be well attended. I wish to add that the water that is pumped into the pool could be kept at an even temperature by heating the pipe that is connected with the pool.
The meeting to discuss Chicago's need for a swimming school and public bath, which was to have been held last Saturday in Room 5 of the Courthouse, had to be ...
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 20, 1871No News of the Swim Bath
Again for some time we have heard nothing of the planned swimming establishment. The short-sightedness of the city authorities is truly lamentable. In St. Louis, too, there is much agitation in this cause, a proposition is in the City Council, and it is the German press, too, which agitates for the adoption of the proposal. There, the health council has given its support in wards similar to those of ours; bathing contributes more than anything else to conserve physical health in summer...... For a swimmer a tub bath is only a poor substitute for a swim in the open. But even a provision for tub baths is lacking in many houses, and the baths in barber shops and hotel bath rooms are in summer far from enticing.
A report of a police committee was presented to the City Council. It recommends that the creation of bathing houses be left to private enterprise, but with public subventions. Specifically it advises to vote $2000 to W. Gutschow for the construction of a bath house on 25th Street, Gutschow offers to build such a house and to keep half of it open for free public use.
Alderman Schaffner speaks warmly of the creation of public baths. He points to 2those poor families who live packed together in unhealthy living quarters and have no possibility to receive the benefit of a bath - a necessity both for reasons of health as well as of simple humanity. In New York and Boston these establishments had proven their worth.
Again for some time we have heard nothing of the planned swimming establishment. The short-sightedness of the city authorities is truly lamentable. In St. Louis, too, there is much agitation ...
I F 4, I M, I H
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Health and Sanitation (I M) ?
German // Attitudes > Social Problems and Social Legislation (I H) ?
Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 19, 1871[Gutschow's Swimming School]
The Swimming School of Mr. Gutschow at the foot of Erie Street offers all desirable bathing comfort. The piers are 280 feet long, the breath is about the same, so that the water surface inside the enclosure measures almost 80,000 square feet. 75 bathing cabins are completely sufficient for the numbers of visitors on the average. The number of the regular visitors, or the holders of season tickets, is about 80, the number of swimming pupils 40. The establishment has much to suffer from the weather, especially in Spring, so that it costs quite a bit of money to keep it always in such good conditions, as it is being kept. It is therefore worthy of public recognition that Mr. Gutschow not only maintains this swimming school, but has now created a second one on the South side, at the foot of 18th Street.
The City council, as has been mentioned before, appropriated some money for this establishment under the condition that part of it be kept open to the public free of charge. This then is a public swimming establishment which, we hope, will soon be followed by others.
The Swimming School of Mr. Gutschow at the foot of Erie Street offers all desirable bathing comfort. The piers are 280 feet long, the breath is about the same, so ...
II B 3, II B 2 f, I M
Secondary listingsGerman // Contributions and Activities > Avocational and Intellectual > Intellectual > Special Schools and Classes (II B 2 f) ?
German // Attitudes > Health and Sanitation (I M) ?
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 25, 1874Health Department Negligent (Editorial)
During the past few days the Illinois Staats-Zeitung has received numerous complaints that the Health Department of our city is very negligent about posting notices on homes where there are cases of smallpox. For instance, the house (in North Larrabee Street) occupied by the rich American Weed family that has been visited by the terrible disease, bears no yellow sign to warn that it is dangerous to enter. Several members of the Weed family have suffered from the disease for more than six weeks. Still the house has not yet been quarantined; even the postman who is duty-bound to visit the house nearly every day, knew nothing about the illness of these people until yesterday when he learned by accident (and then convinced himself) that a yellow sign is nailed to the rear door. The same condition is prevalent at 41 Goethe Street and at other places. In recent times several foreigners have been severely dealt with by the city authorities for not placing yellow signs at the place prescribed by law.2
They deserved to be punished. But the wealthy should be no exception to the rule. The Health Department will do well to look into this matter. It will do no good whatever to force people to submit to vaccination, if thoughtless spreading of the plague is encouraged. A postman could easily transmit the germs of the disease from home to home. We advise Mr. Weed to immediately attach the yellow sign to the front door of his palatial residence.
And the Reverend Robert Laird Collier who is well informed on the matter, as we positively know from a very reliable source, and who even voted twice on November 4, (no doubt for the purpose of giving special expression to his pious convictions) would do something really humane and Christian, if he raised his holy voice against such flagrant transgressions of the law.
During the past few days the Illinois Staats-Zeitung has received numerous complaints that the Health Department of our city is very negligent about posting notices on homes where there are ...
I M, I F 6
Der Westen -- September 19, 1875[The Viaduct] Must Be Built
A meeting was held yesterday evening at Ruehl's Hall, where citizens of the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Wards voiced their protests at the delay in constructing a viaduct at the corner of 18th Street and Blue Island Avenue. About sixty people were present and formed an organization. Henry Valk was elected president and Otto Hagist secretary.
Henry Pilgrim, the first speaker, explained the purpose of the meeting and declared that there is vital need for the construction of such a viaduct, because Blue Island Avenue is the main thoroughfare for the southwestern part of the city.
"The lives of the people are in constant danger because of the numerous trains of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Accidents are frequent.
"The City Council and the Bureau of Public Works have recognized the need for this 2viaduct, and the railroad company is willing to start construction at any time, but Comptroller Hayes resorts to the hackneyed excuse that the city treasury is too low at present to defray the cost of approaches and of any filling-in of the street that may be necessary.
"Comptroller Hayes is the only stumbling block in this matter of the viaduct, particularly in view of the fact that the contractors are willing to perform the work on a credit basis.
"It is, of course, true that the Blue Island Avenue district is not as wealthy as other parts of the city, but the inhabitants consider their lives just as valuable as those of others.
"We must see to it that construction and filling is started in the fall; otherwise an entire year will pass before the viaduct can be finished.
"Furthermore, we must prove to the Comptroller that he must respect the demands 3of the community, and that the viaduct is a vital necessity."
Mr. Ruehl concurred in the first speaker's remarks and added: "It is up to the Comptroller to find the funds; the citizens will gladly bear the expense for street improvements, but they wish to be assured, first, that work on the viaduct will be actually started!"
Mr. Lawler was more outspoken about the Comptroller. He said: "When the Railroad was built, that district was desolate and sparsely inhabited. Today it is different.....The same Comptroller, who now constantly advocates saving, saw to it that his salary was raised to eight thousand dollars at the very beginning, when he was inducted into office. And the same applies to the City Council--formerly a police superintendent and a deputy were considered sufficient, but now the office of city marshal has been created, which mulcts the taxpayers out of about four thousand dollars. Why? Did it improve the police department? I hardly think so! If a viaduct had to be built on Randolph or Madison Street, the Comptroller would find some way of obtaining the necessary 4funds.
"It is plainly evident that the demands of the people of the Southwest Side are being deliberately ignored.
"No alderman is present at this meeting, which shows definitely that they feel little concern for such an important question, which affects the interests of the people of the West Side. But we'll show them--when they run for office again. However, the purpose of this meeting is to convince the Comptroller that we consider this a serious matter, and that he must solve the problem of obtaining money for the approaches to the viaduct."
Pilgrim then moved that a committee of ten be nominated to interview the Comptroller and Bureau of Public Works tomorrow at three o'clock in the afternoon. Pilgrim's suggestion was accepted, and a committee, consisting of the following gentlemen, was nominated: Messrs. Wm. Ruehl, Henry Bartels, John Chip, Fred Myers, Henry Valk, Henry Pilgrim, J. G. Schaar, Commissioner Burdick, Samuel Johnson and Christian Schulz.5
The committee will meet tomorrow at S. H. Kerrfoot's office, at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets, at two o'clock in the afternoon, and will proceed from there to the Comptroller's office.
The meeting was adjourned. The committee will submit its report next Tuesday at eight o'clock in the evening.
A meeting was held yesterday evening at Ruehl's Hall, where citizens of the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Wards voiced their protests at the delay in constructing a viaduct at the ...
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Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 28, 1879City Finances (Editorial)
As gratifying as our city finances appear, when considering the comptroller's report given to the city council yesterday evening, we see, nevertheless, serious problems involved when we scrutinize the facts more thoroughly. In giving intrinsical cogitation to some matters, one is confronted with ominous doubts about the advisability of accumulating public money at the office of the city treasurer. There is for instance, $82,276 in the city treasury belonging to the school fund--more than sufficient to build three schools. Yet, thousands of school children are trying in vain to gain admittance in public schools; thousands others must spend hours in unsanitary, inadequate, rented buildings which serve as auxiliary institutions of learning.
The Department of Public Works has a cash balance of $107,315.40 available; yet, the approaches to most bridges are in dire need of repair, and the unpaved streets 2are just about unpassable, quite aside from the despicable fact that the city laborers are paid in script, whereby they lose at least eight per cent. The city treasurer probably drew interest on the money with which the officials bought up the script--money which in all fairness should have been used to pay the workers.
Of the appropriations for drainage canals, $63,476.92 is still unused, although we have streets where drainage ditches are a necessity. Promises were made three years ago to alleviate conditions; yet, property owners still wait hopelessly to see this work performed, and look with apprehension toward the time when children will die with scarlet fever and diphtheria.
The taxpayers do not donate money to see an imposing balance in the treasury at the end of the year, but they expect public improvements to be made in conformance with appropriations, and that public servants be properly reimbursed for their labor. Hoarded wealth in the city treasury does not benefit the municipality; on the contrary, if the proceeds derived from taxation are not 3kept in constant circulation, the total tax burden may become even greater. With this circulation it will not be so unbearable as when the accumulated funds at the city treasury retard the normal flow of money.
As gratifying as our city finances appear, when considering the comptroller's report given to the city council yesterday evening, we see, nevertheless, serious problems involved when we scrutinize the facts ...
I H, I F 6, I M
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Politics > Graft and Corruption (I F 6) ?
German // Attitudes > Health and Sanitation (I M) ?
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