Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicago, Looking Back (May 23, 1872)


Found on the pages of The Chicago Tribune on May 23 of 1872 . . .

Another vignette to demonstrate what Chicago was like just a year after the Great Fire destroyed most of the city.  I quote directly . . .

“An exciting and novel runaway occurred yesterday morning, on East Washington street.  A pair of spirited horses attached to a pie wagon, taking fright at some object on the sidewalk near Clark street, started with the speed of a quarter horse east on Washington street.  The driver jumped from the wagon, shouting at the top of his voice to a small boy inside to stop them.  The youngster pulled at the lines with all his might but to no purpose.  A short distance east of Clark street the wagon collided with another, wrenching off a wheel, throwing the boy out, and scattering pies all round.  The team continued on with the wreck, leaving an occasional pie at irregular intervals, when, at Wabash avenue, the wagon overturned and became a complete wreck, and the horses continued on until their appetites for speed were fully satisfied.  The boy was very badly shocked from his fall.  The driver, who followed the runaways on foot, when he saw the collision, remarked to a man on the sidewalk, ‘Well, that settles it,’ and passed into a neighboring saloon to quaff a pint of cooling beer.’”

Pies all around.  Nice of the driver to let the kid take the reins.

The dash east on Washington Street would have begun opposite the construction site for the new courthouse building and ended opposite the construction site for Levi Leiter’s and Marshall Field’s new store between State and Wabash.

3 comments:

Jill said...

This is interesting reading, can't believe how you find this stuff. But glad you do! Its always fun to read.

Mike said...

Dude flat out lie. The child in the middle of the pie wagons is Andrew J. Copperthite and the picture is from the 25th Anniversary of our company in Georgtown DC 1913.
Www.cocopieco.com. The Connecticut Copperthite Pie Baking Company. Www.cocopieco.com that child was my grand father. mike Coperthite and this pictures we donated to the Smithsonian.

jim said...

Mike,
There was never an intent on my part to connect the Andrew J. Copperthite enterprise with the runaway in Chicago a half a continent away. I chose a Google photo that would serve as a graphic for the test. Thank you for your message and the information. You will notice that I removed the photo since I assume this is what you have been calling about.
Jim