Friday, December 29, 2017

December 29, 1886 -- General John A. Logan Given a Grant Park Resting Place

December 29, 1886 – At a special meeting of the Chicago City Council an ordinance receives unanimous approval that an offer of a burial place in the Lake Front Park, today’s Grant Park, be made to the family of General John Logan.  The Civil War hero and United States Senator from Illinois had died just three days earlier.  A legal opinion had already been obtained, stating that “the title to Lake Park south of Madison street is vested in the City of Chicago, and the City Council has the power to permit any use of the same not inconsistent with its use as public ground or for park purposes, and not inconsistent with the particular statute governing the city in this matter.  Such a use of this public ground as was contemplated was not at variance with its use as a park.  Precedents are numerous where parks and public grounds of this character have been devoted to use for the burial-place and monuments of eminent citizens.”  After the opinion is read, the ordinance is then read and adopted.  It states, “That the portion of Lake Park lying south of the south line of Harmon court extended eastwardly be, and the same is hereby, set apart as the site for the burial-place and monument of the late John A. Logan, United States Senator from the State of Illinois, and said site may be hereafter used as a burial-place for the widow of the deceased when she shall have departed this life; provided, that this ordinance shall be void unless the family of the deceased shall signify their acceptance of this offer within six months from the passage hereof.  This ordinance shall take effect immediately.”  It took a while.  The memorial, designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Alexander Phimister Proctor with a plinth by New York architect Stanford White, would not be dedicated until July 22, 1897.  For additional information on the monument itself, you can turn to this blog entry in Connecting the Windy City.  The above photo shows the dedication of the Logan monument in 1897.

December 29, 1944 -- John H. Lescher, a Chicago police officer for 35 years, turns in his star and announces he will work his last day on January 2.  An era ends with Lescher’s retirement because he was the first officer to sound the alarm on July 24, 1915 when the Eastland turned on her side at Dearborn Street, carrying 844 passengers and crew members to their deaths.  Assigned to the central station, he spent 32 of his 35 years patrolling the Loop.  Lescher, a bachelor, was an accomplished amateur wrestler who at one time held the world welterweight championship.December

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