Saturday, March 10, 2012

1900 Chicago City Directory

I found the 1900 Chicago City Directory online and since I know that Albert Elsner lived in Chicago at that time, I had to look him up.

From the 1900 Census I know that Albert, was living in Chicago with his wife Lydia and their children Fred, Elizabeth, Otto, and Erick. He was renting his home at 492 N. California Ave. and his occupation was saloon keeper. There were five other families that lived at that same address. They included a soap maker, plumber, piano maker, and a dry good salesman. 

When I first looked for Albert in the Individual Listings, I did not see him.  But I couldn't believe how many Elsners there were!  Could they be relatives?  I read each name and occupation and that is when I found Albert. He is listed as John! 
From the 1900 Chicago City Directory

There is also a  section for Business Listings so I looked up "Saloons" and found about 19 pages of them!  I was hoping to find the name of the saloon.  There are no adds for any of the saloons, just columns of names and addresses.  I found Albert's listing, "Elsner John A. 492 N. California av." I also looked up a few of the other people that live at 492 N. California Ave. to see if their business listing had the California address like Albert's does.  But they had different addresses in the business directory.  So I think that they were all renting apartments above the saloon.
Just one page of Saloons listed in the 1900 Chicago Business Directory.

In 1909 and 1911, the city of Chicago renumbered and renamed many of the streets.  492 N. California Ave. was changed to 1001 N. California Ave. So if you are curious to see where Albert and his family were living, like I was, you will need to use the converted address.

I used google maps.  But when I looked at the street view, it put me on Augusta Blvd.  Just to the left is the side of 1001 N. California Ave. Continue to the corner and there is the entrance to the business.  I also googled the address and found that it had been a Humboldt Pie (pizza) restaurant and now is Knockbox cafe.

I also checked the Cook County Property records.  The records for 2011 show that 1001 N. California Ave. is mixed use commercial/residential with apartments above and that the building is 111 years old.  That would mean that the building was brand new when they moved in and the saloon opened!


Jeri Elsner said...

Why do you think Albert was listed as "John"? Was that a common thing? I love how they post their occupations.

Sheryl said...

I really don't know why he was listed as John.