ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 18th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Just to muddy the waters . . .

The 1901 city directory for Chicago on Ancestry.com lists as one of the tenants of 73 Plymouth (where McKinney was located in 1902) "Jordan Show Printing". The president of Jordan was Howard M. Andrews.

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Zenner
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 19th, 2015, 5:50 am

I was very disappointed with the McDermott book. There was nothing new apart from his alleged discovery of the hotel used by Messrs Erdnase & Smith and that turned out to be impossible - the State Hotel had not yet been built and it was in the wrong place! As you know, there was a smaller hotel called Bartl's on the corner of State and Harrison Streets but that was there until at least 1904 and none of the windows could have possibly faced north.

Martin Gardner wrote
It was in a very cheap hotel on the east side of State Street. He thinks it was on the S. E. corner of Congress and State, and he thinks the window faced north. Might have been a corner room.


Just as I once wrote, "artists are trained observers", artists prefer north facing windows. No, you don't have to take my word for it, Bill. I did a search for someone to back me up. Try http://www.finearttips.com/2010/01/why-how-to-turn-your-window-into-instant-north-light/

Contrary to most people on here, I believe Marshall Smith's testimony. If he wasn't sure, he said so. There must have been something on the south-east corner of Congress and State, so I set out to have a look myself.

Bartl's hotel is listed on page 358 of Flinn's Chicago: Marvelous City of the West. The proprietor was John Bartl and the address was 355 State Street (the State Hotel was numbers 351-359) It didn't take long to search for John Bartl in the 1900 Census and then have a look back to see who or what was at the north end of that same block. Hey Presto!

The enumerator started on that stretch of State Street with number 325. So that must have been the one on the corner. What was there? A saloon run by Jacob Schram Junior and a hotel run by William Kerr. They are described as "Saloon Keeper" and "Hotel Keeper" respectively.

The only problem is that the name of the establishment is not given and a search of the internet and the guide books has yielded nothing. Maybe it was called "Schram's" or "Kerr's"? When Smith said it was a cheap hotel, he meant it. In 1900 the "lodgers" were low paid workers - cooks, waiters, porters, actors, etc.

Why did they use a cheap hotel? It was right next to the terminal for the first elevated railway in Chicago? The track ran along an alley behind the buildings and terminated on Congress Street. Or maybe it was because they knew somebody? William Kerr's son, John, was an apprentice book-binder in 1900, so he could have been the contact.

Over to you, Bill.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 19th, 2015, 10:57 am

Zenner wrote:I was very disappointed with the McDermott book. There was nothing new .....


From the publishers statement, referencing Hurt's book:

"the book's primary purpose is to survey all existing theories"

I don't see anything in that statement that would promise the book would present anything "new".
Having said that, Hurt certainly penned some wholly original thinking that was indeed his own, and most definitely "new".

Hurt's book is excellent, and a mandatory Erdnase reference.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 19th, 2015, 1:36 pm

Hey everyone,

For some reason i haven't had a look at the editions we have in the Swedish Magic Circle's library until now, so this is just a quick update on what's there. I have not done any close inspection yet, as I had quite a headache when I last visited, but let me know if you want me to look for anything in particular next time, e.g. measurements, signature count, page count, etc.

The oldest copy is a Drake one, that with only 178 pages and far too small margins. After the 178 pages is a number of blank pages, and last an ad page of another paper type/color: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Next is the Powner/Fleming hardcover, inscribed by M. D. Smith: image 1, image 2

There are also the paperback Powner editions, both with the original title and as "Card Secrets Exposed": image 1

Then, the MacDougall edition: image 1

There is also the 2002 facsimile edition of which I didn't take any pictures, as well as the Gardner-Smith correspondence, The Man Who Was Erdnase, all the various annotated editions (Revelations, Ortiz, etc.), the issues of Magic, Genii and Magicol with articles on Erdnase, and the Montana history magazine, and probably some more stuff I forgot.

So as I said, just let me know if you want any additional information on any of these.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 19th, 2015, 4:20 pm

Hi All,

This post was inspired by Peter Zenner's most recent post.

Back in 2012, Hurt McDermott and I corresponded a little bit about the geographical area of the State Hotel (which in the Erdnase era had a different name).

Hurt was kind enough to share a little bit of his additional research with me, and it is my understanding that if he had lived long enough, he was going to use some of his new findings in a revision to his book Artifice, Ruse & Erdnase.

He told me in essence that he had determined to a high degree of certainty that "James Manning's saloon" occupied the southeast corner of State and Congress in 1902. He provided me with a few other details as well, and sent me a digital version of an old photograph of the place taken somewhat later -- which as I recall I was able to locate myself on the internet later on.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 19th, 2015, 5:57 pm

Image

NO ARRESTS FOR BOMB NO. 30
Chicago Sunday Tribune - June 27, 1909

Although the police profess to have one man under suspicion as having caused bomb explosion No. 30 at Manning & Bowes Saloon, 321 State Street, no arrests were made yesterday (Saturday, June 26, 1909). There is a rumor that is gaining in strength that the man under suspicion has a strong political "pull," but the police deny that this is true of the person they are seeking.

Detectives from the headquarters and the Harrison street station house continued work throughout the day upon the case, but were unable or unwilling to report any progress when asked about the bomb throwers.

Assistant Chief of Police Schuettler declares that every means the department has at its command is being used in the pursuit of the man or men responsible for the repeated outrages.

"I wish I knew who the certain police official is who knows the persona responsible for the dynamite bombs in the so-called gamblers' war; I would give ten years of my life to know who is responsible for the outrages."
This was the statement made last evening by Assistant Chief Schuettler, in response to a published account said to have been made by persons who are said to be in touch with gambling situation.
"I don't believe there is any official attached to the Chicago police department who has information that would lead to the identity of the perpetrators of the bomb outrages," said the assistant chief.

"I have officials of a powder company at work trying to locate the place where the bomb throwers obtain the powder which is the explosive used in most of the bombs. I believe we are close upon the track of the bomb throwers, but cannot afford to make arrests upon suspicion. We have several persons under surveillance, but it is our business to catch them in the act in order to secure a conviction."

"It makes me feel mighty bad to know that no arrest has been made as yet, but we would be in a worse way if we made arrests upon suspicion and were unable to produce evidence against the suspects that would satisfy a court."

"We have followed up the movements of all the known gamblers, and we have obtained lists of men that are supposed to be their enemies within the gambling fraternity. I have heard rumors that there is someone who we are afraid to arrest. That is untrue."

"If we secure evidence against anyone, no matter how he may be connected, we will not hesitate to make arrests. This last outrage has made the detectives who have worked at times upon cases determined to land the men who are responsible."

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Zenner
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 19th, 2015, 9:11 pm

Roger M. wrote:
Zenner wrote:I was very disappointed with the McDermott book. There was nothing new .....


Expertly edited Roger. You purposely missed out the rest of the sentence --

apart from his alleged discovery of the hotel used by Messrs Erdnase & Smith and that turned out to be impossible - the State Hotel had not yet been built and it was in the wrong place!


I knew that the rest of the book was a summary of other people's research. I had already confirmed that with the publisher.

What is the point of anybody contributing anything to this discussion when people like you are lurking in the shadows? I was disappointed to find that McDermott had invented "information" that just wasn't true. Get it?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 19th, 2015, 10:18 pm

Zenner wrote:...
What is the point of anybody contributing anything to this discussion when people like you are lurking in the shadows? ...


To state your case with verifiable information and add to what others can learn by reading here.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 19th, 2015, 11:13 pm

Zenner wrote:
Roger M. wrote:
Zenner wrote:I was very disappointed with the McDermott book. There was nothing new .....


Expertly edited Roger. You purposely missed out the rest of the sentence --


No, you noted very specifically that there was "nothing new" in Hurt's book, and I pointed out that there was never a promise of anything "new".

The remainder of your sentence being edited out changes nothing.

(BTW ... I'm not at all "lurking in the shadows" (I post quite regularly to this thread, always under my own name).
Also, I'll point out your phrase "people like you" is probably a bit too personal, and off-topic.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 20th, 2015, 5:51 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:
NO ARRESTS FOR BOMB NO. 30
Chicago Sunday Tribune - June 27, 1909

Although the police profess to have one man under suspicion as having caused bomb explosion No. 30 at Manning & Bowes Saloon, 321 State Street, no arrests were made yesterday (Saturday, June 26, 1909).


So we know that the saloon at 321 State Street belonged to Messrs Manning & Bowes in 1909. In 1892 a saloon at that address belonged to John Howland; it was mentioned in the Chicago Tribune on December 3, 1892, that he was still open at two o'clock in the morning when he should have closed at midnight.

In 1893 the whole site, including a single-story saloon owned by Messrs Crosby & Beer on Congress Street, between Howland's bar and the 'L' railway terminal, was purchased by Frederick Siegel and a three-storey building was erected.

321 State Street was a bar, on street level, and obviously remained a bar until at least 1909 when it was bombed. People don't live (permanently!) in bars and that's why #321 wasn't included in the 1900 Census. It wasn't a hotel.

The State Hotel was on the corner of State and Harrison Streets BUT, if you look at the picture of it, you will see that right on the corner, on the ground floor, was a business called 'Dineen Buffet'. The bedrooms of the State Hotel extended over the the Dineen Buffet, so they were both on the corner.

Whoever owned the bar at #321 between 1893 and 1909 we don't know (yet). In 1900, however, #325 was the first inhabited building listed on the Census and it was a hotel with a bar. There is no reason not to believe that the bedrooms extended over the bar on the corner (and whatever was at #323) in just the same way as the State Hotel/Dineen Buffet example.

It would be great to know what William Kerr's hotel at 325 State Street was called. Come on Bill, you're the man for this!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 20th, 2015, 4:39 pm

I just re-looked at the email from Hurt McDermott in which he mentioned the James Manning establishment. It appears that Hurt was indicating that the southeast corner of Congress and State was at that time also occupied by a couple of other entities, but I'm not getting into that at the moment, in part because Hurt is not here to qualify what I am saying.
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 21st, 2015, 12:37 am

For what it's worth, Bryan Lloyd's vice maps says the southeast corner of State/Congress was a place called "The Eldorado": http://www.artifacting.com/historic-vic ... f-chicago/ Not entirely clear though in what year, I've emailed and asked him.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 21st, 2015, 5:50 am

mam wrote:For what it's worth, Bryan Lloyd's vice maps says the southeast corner of State/Congress was a place called "The Eldorado": http://www.artifacting.com/historic-vic ... f-chicago/ Not entirely clear though in what year, I've emailed and asked him.


That's interesting, mam, but the State Hotel is marked on that map, so I presume that it was drawn up after 1904. As I posted, Bartl's was there until at least that year.

I have found what was at 323 State Street at the time of Erdnase. It had been a massage parlour and a pharmacy but in the Chicago Tribune for Sunday, January 27, 1895, there was a large advert for a Doctor F.L. Sweany with an office at that address. He was still there in February, 1902, as an advert on page 3 of The Chicago Live Stock World dated February 12, 1902, confirms.

So, on the ground floors at 321 and 323 were a saloon bar and a doctor's office. There were two floors above those premises though and I believe we will find that they were occupied by bedrooms belonging to William Kerr's hotel at #325 - eventually!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 21st, 2015, 5:56 am

Hi All,

At the moment, on my S.W. Erdnase blog I am running a little series of posts on this whole “Erdnase hotel” business.

However, there a couple of things I wanted to mention here at this time.

I think it has been mentioned a number of times on this thread that there were many hotels in the area of State and Congress back in the 1901-1902 era, so I am not presenting that generalization as a new fact.

The State Hotel (to use a more recent name) in my view was and continues to be the best candidate for being the Erdnase hotel, even though it was located at the other end of the block from where Hurt McDermott’s book placed it.

But still, we don’t know which hotel is the right one, and while Smith’s recollection of the location could have been right, that was definitely an area upon which he did not express certainty. He seemed sure about the east side of the street, but not about the intersection, the north-facing window, or the corner room. (On these last things, Gardner used the word “thinks” or “might.”)

But of course one wonders what other known hotels were in the general area.

I don’t think anyone has ever attempted to list them. Moran’s Dictionary of Chicago, 1893, which is on the Hathi Trust Digital Library website, is early, but probably gives some indication of how numerous the hotels were in the area. It lists hotels with “moderate prices” at the following addresses (among others):

109 State Street
230 State Street
248 State Street
250 State Street
262 State Street
268 State Street
310 State Street
312 State Street
326 State Street
346 State Street
355 State Street
368 State Street
398 State Street
407 State Street
487 State Street
499 State Street

Now it would not surprise me if a number of these came into existence in connection with the World's Columbian Exposition, and vanished soon after. But my point is that for just about any stated address in the area, it would not be surprising to find a that a hotel was there.

I am very unclear on what Peter Zenner’s evidence is for a hotel at 325 State Street. I "get" that he says that a “Hotel Keeper” was at that address, but I did not see him say that the census records stated that a hotel is at that address. Possibly even more important, 325 State is not 321 State, although it certainly seems possible that a hotel, if present in that area, could have spanned three (or more) street addresses. Also, the year 1900 is not the year 1901 or 1902 (though of course we don't really know when Erdnase and Smith met).

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 21st, 2015, 10:37 am

Tom Sawyer wrote: At the moment, on my S.W. Erdnase blog I am running a little series of posts on this whole “Erdnase hotel” business.


I hope that you are not lifting material from the Genii Forum to include on "your" blog!

Tom Sawyer wrote: The State Hotel (to use a more recent name) in my view was and continues to be the best candidate for being the Erdnase hotel, even though it was located at the other end of the block from where Hurt McDermott’s book placed it.


Why? It was not where Smith said it was and there were NO north facing windows. If you are going to totally ignore Smith then you might as well go for any of the "between fourteen and fifteen hundred hotels in the city of Chicago, including small and large, and houses of all grades, but excluding lodging houses, boarding houses and distinctively family hotels, where no transients are received."

Tom Sawyer wrote: But still, we don’t know which hotel is the right one, and while Smith’s recollection of the location could have been right, that was definitely an area upon which he did not express certainty. He seemed sure about the east side of the street, but not about the intersection, the north-facing window, or the corner room. (On these last things, Gardner used the word “thinks” or “might.”)


McDermott wrote on his page 124:
The fact that The State Street Hotel occupied the corner at which Marshall Smith remembered the hotel, while not proving it absolutely, is still solid external evidence that Marshall Smith's memory may have been correct on this point
.

Back on his page 123 he wrote:
When I found out that a hotel did actually exist at the point where Marshall Smith remembers the meeting, I made a pilgrimage down to Congress and State. On the spot where the hotel stood, there now stands a building called University Center which hosts classrooms for three Chicago institutes of higher learning, Roosevelt University, DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago (no relation to Wilbur Edgerton Sanders's alma mater). On the corner itself is an entrance for Panera Bread on the first floor. The present address is 501 S. State Street.


He couldn't have been more precise in his placing of the State Hotel BUT IT WAS TOTALLY WRONG. Not only that but THE STATE HOTEL DID NOT EXIST IN 1901-02. I will take Smith's testimony over McDermott's any day.

Tom Sawyer wrote: Moran’s Dictionary of Chicago, 1893, which is on the Hathi Trust Digital Library website, is early,


The 1900 Census is only about 18 months before the Erdnase period; a bit nearer.

Tom Sawyer wrote:I am very unclear on what Peter Zenner’s evidence is for a hotel at 325 State Street. I "get" that he says that a “Hotel Keeper” was at that address, but I did not see him say that the census records stated that a hotel is at that address. Possibly even more important, 325 State is not 321 State, although it certainly seems possible that a hotel, if present in that area, could have spanned three (or more) street addresses. Also, the year 1900 is not the year 1901 or 1902 (though of course we don't really know when Erdnase and Smith met).


If you would like to read my post again, you will find that I had checked the 1900 Census. A Census lists the people living at an address at the time it was taken. I wrote:-
When Smith said it was a cheap hotel, he meant it. In 1900 the "lodgers" were low paid workers - cooks, waiters, porters, actors, etc.


How would I know that, if the "lodgers" at the hotel hadn't been listed on the Census? It was pointless to list all of the "lodgers" because they may well have changed by 1902. There were 23 on June 1, 1900, the date of the Census.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 21st, 2015, 12:28 pm

As a little intermission, for your entertainment, I present the following graph:

Image

Also, 2011 had more posts than the four years before that, combined. However, 2015 will soon have twice the posts of the three years before that, combined. Is it currently the golden age of the ERDNASE thread? :)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 21st, 2015, 3:32 pm

To mam:

That is a revealing graph. The rebirth of my own intense interest in the topic dates back to about the first red line, with all of the excitement that Richard Kaufman generated in connection with Marty Demarest's then-forthcoming article.

To Peter:

Thanks for clarifying about the source of your inference about there being a hotel at 325 State Street and of your list of the types of "lodgers." As a matter of fact, I wondered where you got that latter information as well. If you had said originally that the information came from the census, I would not have had those questions.

I think everything I said in my most recent post remains valid, but thanks for taking the time to reply.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 21st, 2015, 3:40 pm

Tom Sawyer wrote:That is a revealing graph. The rebirth of my own intense interest in the topic dates back to about the first red line, with all of the excitement that Richard Kaufman generated in connection with Marty Demarest's then-forthcoming article.

On a five hour train ride today I finally finished reading the entire thread, up until my own first few posts here. It has been quite a journey reading those 280,000+ words spanning twelve years. All the various ideas and topics, people coming and going, the build-ups to central events such as the Demarest article, the sad demise of some key contributors, and just the sheer curiousness of everyone involved. A big thank you to all of you! It's exciting to have entered the quest at a time where activity is at an all-time high, where every single day yields interesting posts in this thread.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 21st, 2015, 11:17 pm

1906 map of the SE corner of State and Congress

Image

Link for bigger picture.

I'm pretty sure that the building labeled "Stewart Radio" is in this picture is 321 State, and http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy173/amcombillv/190x%20postcard%20ne%20corner%20of%20State%20and%20Congress_zpsrirhilkz.jpghere is an earlier (but not as detailed) photo of it.

Compare this to the Vice map that mam linked to above -- it only includes four addresses on the East side of State between Harrison and Congress, when there are in reality many more.

Note that the address "321 State" could just as easily be called "61 Harrison".

Zenner wrote: The enumerator started on that stretch of State Street with number 325. So that must have been the one on the corner.


325 State is an address in the 2nd building from the corner. The building at the corner includes 321 and 323 State.
Last edited by Bill Mullins on September 22nd, 2015, 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 22nd, 2015, 12:19 am

Okay, the State Hotel (and predecessors in that building) at the NE corner of State and Harrison did have at least some northern exposure. The Sanford Fire Insurance map I linked above shows the hotel going from 351-359 State St.

If you look at this bird's eye view map, you can see that the hotel has a small open space between 351 and 349 State, and that it includes some windows. And once you know what to look for, you can see the space on the 1906 map. So it is certainly possible, that if Erdnase met Smith here, he could have had a room with a North-facing window.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » September 22nd, 2015, 12:38 am

It is interesting that Campbell owned a place across the street in 1932.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 22nd, 2015, 2:52 am

Hi All,

Bill Mullins posted some quite interesting information above regarding the intersection of State and Congress and related matters.

This caused me to undertake another search for the source of the image that Hurt McDermott sent me of the intersection of Congress and State.

This was probably Hurt's source: Link to photo.

Here is a link to a related photo, a close-up of the entrance to the US Army recruitment office at 323 State Street. You can see part of the signage for the “gowns” store found in the wider shot. Link to other photo.

I’m providing links, because the website mentions restrictions on the images, and I don’t know what those might be.

The photos were taken later on, and possibly the relevant address changes had already taken place.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 22nd, 2015, 4:11 am

Bill Mullins wrote:I'm pretty sure that the building labeled "Stewart Radio" is in this picture is 321 State, and http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy173/amcombillv/190x%20postcard%20ne%20corner%20of%20State%20and%20Congress_zpsrirhilkz.jpghere is an earlier (but not as detailed) photo of it.

Actually, I think Stewart Radio is on 323 State. All their signs say 505 State, which is what maps to 323 State with the street renumbering of 1911. Also, if I read it correctly, the Sears & Roebuck building occupies 282-319 State in the old numbering.

Also wanted to point out that the US Army/Gowns building in Tom's photos match the Stewart building in Bill's, looking at the appearance of these, e.g. the decorations on the top of the buildings (can't remember the term for this).

Edit:

The 505/323 State address is listed as an upstairs address in the 1911 renumbering document, while the street level 323 address became 503.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 22nd, 2015, 6:19 am

Zenner wrote:So, on the ground floors at 321 and 323 were a saloon bar and a doctor's office. There were two floors above those premises though and I believe we will find that they were occupied by bedrooms belonging to William Kerr's hotel at #325 - eventually!

There were two 323's, one store and one upstairs. I would guess the upstairs one was Dr. Sweany, because at 323 was in 1902 also the Bipper Bros store selling meat among other things (see Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1902), which would lead me to the conclusion that they had the store level address. This also means no hotel could have had rooms at 323 State since both ground and floor levels were occupied by other businesses. This is based on the assumption however that both upstairs floors belonged to one tenant (Sweany) which I have not been able to confirm yet.

Dr. Sweany had some great ads by the way.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 22nd, 2015, 6:58 am

Another interesting note is from The Inter Ocean, March 1, 1902 where it is written that "The following writers were indicted yesterday on the charge of keeping a common gaming house" and for the 325 State adress is given one "N. Hansen".

Since 323 became 505 and 327 became 509, I draw the conclusion that 325 became 507 (it is not written out in the 1911 renumbering document), 507 is by the way seen in one of Tom's photos, at which time it was apparently a liquor store. But that is much later than 1902.

My current thinking is this:

If Smith remembers correctly that the hotel was one the east side of State, and he "thinks" at it crossing Congress , we can start excluding possible locations. Sears & Roebuck occupied the entire block on the NE, so not there. We are left with the entire SE block. The further south, the less likely it gets, to the point where you hardly even see the State/Congress intersection. This is on the assumption that Smith remembered that intersection because it was near the hotel rather than at the exact corner.

So if all addresses along that block can be pinpointed to other businesses in 1902, it could be narrowed down. And it would not surprise me at all if we end up on Bartl's/State Hotel, which occupied 351, 353, 355, 357 and 359 State.
Last edited by mam on September 22nd, 2015, 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 22nd, 2015, 7:18 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Note that the address "321 State" could just as easily be called "61 Harrison".

Zenner wrote: The enumerator started on that stretch of State Street with number 325. So that must have been the one on the corner.


325 State is an address in the 2nd building from the corner. The building at the corner includes 321 and 323 State.


Thanks Bill - I knew that you would come up trumps. Those pictures are definitely of the building we are referring to - but in no way could 321 be called 61 Harrison. The building stood on the corner of CONGRESS and State Street. It was neither Bartl's nor the State Hotel!

#321 was a street level saloon, #323 was Dr. F.L. Sweany's office up to and including 1902 at least, and #325 was the hotel - shown as a doorway to Stewart Radio Service upstairs and over the top of numbers 321 and 323. That doorway was shown on Tom's photographs as the entrance to the army recruiting office which occupied the same space - upstairs and over the top of 321 and 323!

We have actually found the site of the hotel where Erdnase & Smith met up. Now all we need is a photograph of the building when the space later occupied by the above two lessees was occupied by the hotel which was run by William Kerr at the time of the 1900 Census.

The building was erected in 1893 by Frederick Siegel and the different premises were let to different businesses. If you check the advert for Dr Sweany's business, which I mentioned in a previous posting, you will see that his address was "323 State St., Cor. Congress, Chicago, Ill". Even though 321 was on the actual corner, he still referred to 323 as being on the corner.

I can't find one but there should be a book about Dr. Sweany and his nefarious activities. He sounds very interesting but he is definitely off-topic in this thread:-)

Thanks again Bill,

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 22nd, 2015, 9:09 am

mam wrote: at 323 was in 1902 also the Bipper Bros store selling meat among other things (see Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1902),


I think that you might have misread the number, mam. The following is from the Chicago Tribune dated November 9, 1900, page 4:-

Frederick W. Bipper died at the Mercy Hospital at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon as the result of an operation. He was taken ill on Saturday.

Mr. Bipper was born in Germany fifty-seven years ago and came to the United States in 1860, settling soon after in Chicago. In 1873 he started a meat market at Eighteenth street and Wabash avenue, and eighteen years ago moved his business to 373 State street, which he managed up to the time of his death.


As for your discovery that:
"The following writers were indicted yesterday on the charge of keeping a common gaming house" and for the 325 State address is given one "N. Hansen".
I can quite believe that Mr Hansen had replaced Mr Kerr between June, 1900 and March, 1902.

I didn't understand the term "writer" in that context but a quick search on Google has revealed that it is short for "policy writer", a person who operated the Numbers game - an illegal lottery. But then I suppose that our American friends would already know that. :-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 22nd, 2015, 10:05 am

Zenner wrote:
mam wrote: at 323 was in 1902 also the Bipper Bros store selling meat among other things (see Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1902),


I think that you might have misread the number, mam. The following is from the Chicago Tribune dated November 9, 1900, page 4:-

I got it from this article, scroll to page 3 and look at the second to last column:

Image

Might be a typo in the article though, but the location seems to fit with the larger description of the meat convoys during that (very violent, by the way) strike. Also, if Frederick W. Bipper died in 1900, someone was obviously continuing the business, and it may have moved to 323 State between 1900 and 1902.

Zenner wrote:As for your discovery that:
"The following writers were indicted yesterday on the charge of keeping a common gaming house" and for the 325 State address is given one "N. Hansen".
I can quite believe that Mr Hansen had replaced Mr Kerr between June, 1900 and March, 1902, but I don't understand the word 'writer' in that context.

Perhaps one of our American friends can explain - is it a term used in gambling over there?

For anyone with a Newspapers.com account, here's the entire article (first column on page)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 22nd, 2015, 11:56 am

Zenner wrote: Those pictures are definitely of the building we are referring to - but in no way could 321 be called 61 Harrison. The building stood on the corner of CONGRESS and State Street. It was neither Bartl's nor the State Hotel!


Whoops -- you caught me in a mistake. I was thinking Congress, but my fingers typed Harrison. But it's pretty obvious to anyone who looks at the map -- 321 State and 61 Congress are two addresses for the same corner.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » September 22nd, 2015, 7:09 pm

Zenner wrote:
Tom Sawyer wrote: At the moment, on my S.W. Erdnase blog I am running a little series of posts on this whole “Erdnase hotel” business.

I hope that you are not lifting material from the Genii Forum to include on "your" blog!

Having known Tom for well over 40 years, I find that remark insulting to him. If you took the time to read his blog, then you'd realize your comment was out of line.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 22nd, 2015, 11:19 pm

Clay, thank you, that was very kind of you. --Tom
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 23rd, 2015, 7:26 am

mam wrote:
Zenner wrote:So, on the ground floors at 321 and 323 were a saloon bar and a doctor's office. There were two floors above those premises though and I believe we will find that they were occupied by bedrooms belonging to William Kerr's hotel at #325 - eventually!

There were two 323's, one store and one upstairs. I would guess the upstairs one was Dr. Sweany, because at 323 was in 1902 also the Bipper Bros store selling meat among other things (see Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1902), which would lead me to the conclusion that they had the store level address. This also means no hotel could have had rooms at 323 State since both ground and floor levels were occupied by other businesses. This is based on the assumption however that both upstairs floors belonged to one tenant (Sweany) which I have not been able to confirm yet.


I found that rather confusing, mam, after doing my research on the 1900 Census. Now I have found that 1911 book on the re-numbering and have realised that the mistake was with whoever compiled the book. I am sure they got it wrong. 321 & 323 were stores (s). 323 upstairs (u) was actually 325 on the 1900 Census. 507 is missing but it was actually 325 in 1906 when Otto Trogisch got his licence and 507 on the photograph taken outside the army recruiting office in 1916.

So there were apparently two 325s, not 323s. The premises at 325 on the 1900 Census listed both Jacob Schram (Saloon Keeper) and his "servant", a cook called Frederick Hawes, and then William Kerr (Hotel Keeper) and his family, along with all of his "lodgers".

Jacob Schram must have occupied the premises later occupied by Otto Trogisch. Even though Trogisch's premises appear to be in the next building, he shared his street number with the business up those stairs and over numbers 321 and 323. No wonder that Chicago needed to sort its street numbering out!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 23rd, 2015, 10:07 pm

There were a LOT of hotels in the immediate area of the SE corner of State and Congress. Within just a one-block radius, the 1905 Sanford Fire Insurance maps show hotels at:

78-80 Vanburen (Sheet 68)
76 Vanburen (Sheet 68)
286-288 State (Sheet 68)
290 State (Sheet 68)
318-324 State (Sheet 68)
336 State (Sheet 68)
346 State (Sheet 68)
352-354 State (Sheet 68)
341-345 Wabash (Sheet 69)
355-361 Wabash/33 Harrison (corner building) (Sheet 69)
351- 359 State/47-57 Harrison (Bartl/State Hotel) (corner building) (Sheet 69)
347-349 State (Sheet 69)
38-40 Harrison (Sheet 77)
62-72 Harrison/356-358 State (corner building) (Sheet 76)

And lodging houses at
306 State (Sheet 68)
308 State (Sheet 68)

(Sheet 68 is the one I posted. 69, 76, and 77 are all adjacent to it.)

Per the listing of hotels in the 1900 City Directory, p 2256, we can give names to some of these:
Congress Hotel 318 State
Great Western Hotel 38 Harrison
Meyer's Hotel 356 State
New Century Hotel 306 State
Royal Hotel 308 State

If you accept Peter's argument that there was a hotel at SE State and Congress, you can take Smith's memories at face value. But if you decide that Smith was a little off, and that the hotel in question was merely near SE State and Congress, it is a leap of faith to say it was Bartl's -- it could have been any of a number of other ones.

And from this same 1900 Chicago Directory, we know that Marshall Smith worked at 324 Dearborn (p. 1768) at the time -- only a couple blocks west. Which sort of raises the question -- "Who chose the hotel?" Erdnase, for reasons we can only guess at, or Smith, because it was only a short walk from where he worked? (Tom Sawyer has annotated a map that shows just how close everything was.)

And note the saloon Peter mentions above at 325 State, only listed under Jacob Schramm, not Jacob Schram, listed on p. 1690 of the directory linked above. William Kerr is shown has having furnished rooms at 325 State (p. 1035). I'd envision "furnished rooms" as being a rooming house, much less transient than the hotel Smith describes, and not amenable to day rates as Erdnase and Smith used.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Pete McCabe » September 23rd, 2015, 11:11 pm

Was there a similar concentration of hotels in other sections of town? If not, if this area is uniquely hotel-rich, what does that say about it?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 24th, 2015, 12:17 am

I think the area was hotel-dense, but not uniquely so. I suppose you could go to the list from the 1900 City Directory, and plot them, and get an idea if other areas had as many.

To me, the area is interesting because of the concentration of printers -- everything else that is Erdase-interesting about the area ultimately stems from that, I think.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 24th, 2015, 5:14 am

Congratulations on more excellent research, Bill.

Bill Mullins wrote: If you accept Peter's argument that there was a hotel at SE State and Congress, you can take Smith's memories at face value. But if you decide that Smith was a little off, and that the hotel in question was merely near SE State and Congress, it is a leap of faith to say it was Bartl's -- it could have been any of a number of other ones.


As I previously wrote:
If you are going to totally ignore Smith then you might as well go for any of the "between fourteen and fifteen hundred hotels in the city of Chicago, including small and large, and houses of all grades, but excluding lodging houses, boarding houses and distinctively family hotels, where no transients are received."


How can you pick and choose between Smith's statements? Either you believe him or you don't. You are insinuating that he was either a liar or totally senile. Martin Gardner wrote:
“Although Smith must have seen him on several occasions, he can recall only one meeting, but that one he recalls vividly. It was in a very cheap hotel on the east side of State Street. He thinks it was on the S.E. corner of Congress and State, and he thinks the window faced north. Might have been a corner room.” (Gardner-Smith Correspondence, page 7)

VERY CHEAP
HOTEL

O.K., you have shown that William Kerr was just a keeper of furnished rooms, but on the 1900 Census, he described himself as a "Hotel Keeper". It's the same address we are talking about and only the terminology we are arguing about. There's no great difference between a very cheap hotel and a dozen or so furnished rooms.

Bill Mullins wrote: And note the saloon Peter mentions above at 325 State, only listed under Jacob Schramm, not Jacob Schram, listed on p. 1690 of the directory linked above.


I used the spelling on the 1900 Census. He also appears on the 1880 Census with the same spelling. His father was also a Jacob Schram and he also was a saloon keeper. Schram or Schramm, it's the same bloke we are talking about.

So Bill, we have a very cheap hotel on the east side of State Street, on the corner of Congress and State in fact. And the rooms on the Congress Street side of this very cheap hotel must have been north facing.

Thanks for doing the research but I still believe Marshall Smith :-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 24th, 2015, 7:21 am

The way the evidence is mounting up, it seems to me that the chances of there having been a hotel (or anything remotely like a hotel) at the southeast corner of State and Congress during the 1901 to 1902 era are slim. At least, nothing I have seen supports that view.

It is possible, I suppose, that Professor Host, whose opinion Hurt McDermott originally relied on, may have had some information we do not know about that supports the idea of a hotel there. This possibility would seem to be predicated on the concept that the "State Street Hotel" is different from the "State Hotel."

So I am not really ruling out the possibility. I'm just saying that I have not seen any evidence that supports the idea.

The Chicago Tribune, January 27, 1901, talks about the corner building being sold. It says:

"State Street Building Sale.

"Oliver & Scott have sold for $30,000 cash for Henry Siegel of Siegel, Cooper & Co., to J. C. Billingslea, the three-story pressed brick store and office building at the southeast corner of State and Congress streets, 40x80 feet, together with the unexpired portion of the ground lease, which has still fourteen years to run. The building will be occupied by several farm journals."


Nothing there about any hotel. On the other hand, I don't see that the "farm journals" ended up there.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 24th, 2015, 12:27 pm

Peter -- if you want to believe that the upper floors of 325 State were a hotel/ rooming house/ lodging whatever, I've got no beef with that. Obviously a bunch of people lived there in 1900.

But there is no reason to believe that the upper floors of 321/323 was a part of the same hotel. Arguing against it:

1. The fire insurance map shows a solid masonry wall from ground level to roof between 323 and 325. There was no internal access between the two buildings. I tend to think this is highly reliable, since this sort of information is exactly why fire insurance maps existed.

2. The 1932 photo of 321 through 325 shows that the two buildings are separately constructed and are distinct from each other.

There is no reason to believe that 321 State/61 Congress had a hotel.

And as far as Marshall Smith, I think he expressed confidence about the "East side of State", but not so much about the exact corner or address. So it could have been any of the hotels on that street, including the Bartl/State hotel (which, as I showed earlier, did have north-facing windows.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 24th, 2015, 12:48 pm

mam wrote:Also wanted to point out that the US Army/Gowns building in Tom's photos match the Stewart building in Bill's, looking at the appearance of these, e.g. the decorations on the top of the buildings (can't remember the term for this).


Crenellations?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 24th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
mam wrote:Also wanted to point out that the US Army/Gowns building in Tom's photos match the Stewart building in Bill's, looking at the appearance of these, e.g. the decorations on the top of the buildings (can't remember the term for this).


Crenellations?

Almost, it's cornices :)


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