Friday, November 29, 2013


In September of 2011 I told the story of Louis Lakin, Tuley High School basketball star who was shot and killed trying to "crash" a dance at the Herzl Community Center in 1932. 

When I related that story I didn't know that during Lakin's funeral procession to Jewish Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, a young classmate of Lakin's was killed after her car was forced to leave the procession and was hit by a coal truck.  To find out what happened, we turn to the Chicago Daily Tribune of January 20, 1932:

Car Forced Out of Line by Union is Hit by Truck
Nine Students Hurt in Accident.

One young woman was fatally injured and nine other youths and girls were hurt, two of them seriously, yesterday afternoon when their automobile collided with a coal truck after they had been forced to leave a funeral procession on orders of a hearse driver.

The hearse driver was enforcing the new rule of the livery chauffeurs' union that no privately driven automobiles may take part in a funeral procession.

Funeral for Slain Athlete.

The funeral was that of Louis Lakin, 18 years old, captain of the 1931 Tuley High school basketball team, who was shot to death on Sunday night when he and other youths tried to "crash" a dance at the Herzl Community center, 1335 North California avenue.

Witnesses of yesterday's rites said the union chauffeurs  made it their business to see that the hundreds of persons who wished to follow Lakin's body to the grave did so under difficulties.  Besides the accident, the funeral procession was interrupted several times by union warnings.

Nine Injured in Crash.

The collision of the automobile and the truck occurred at Division street and Pine avenue when the car was hurrying to reach the cemetery in time for the burial.  The young woman who died as a result of the accident was Shirley Pearlman, 17 years old, 2057 North Sawyer avenue.  She was a Tuley High school student, as are all those injured. They are:

Dolly Rand, 17 years old, 1350 North Leavitt street, who was thrown through the windshield and suffered a skull fracture and internal injuries which may cause her death.

Harry Sandman, the driver, 19 years old, 1319 North Irving avenue.

Molly Mines, 17 years old, 3226 Potomac avenue

Jennie Ram, 17 years old, 1432 North Artesian avenue.

Adele Kroon, 16 years old, 2725 Crystal street.

Phyllis Malman, 3232 Crystal street.

Max Holtzman, 17 years old, 2068 North Western avenue.

Harry Slotsky, 17 years old, 2744 Division street.

Inquest Will Be Today.

Coroner Frank J. Walsh ordered the body of Miss Pearlman taken to the county morgue, where an inquest will be held at 2:30 p.m. today. All the witnesses to the action of the hearse driver and the union chauffeur of the first limousine in the cortege, as well as those who saw the crash, have been summoned.

The accident and the interruptions of the Lakin funeral procession were the only serious troubles that occurred during the many funerals yesterday.  The union drivers were able to inflict their rule upon other mourners.

The Lakin funeral had many more difficulties than that.  Young Lakin lived at 1206 North Kedzie avenue.  The funeral services were held in the William Hartman & Son mortuary at 2018 Division street. Thousands of persons had gathered, and there were scores of privately owned automobiles ready to take the friends of young Lakin to the Jewish Waldheim cemetery.

The hearse and the first limousine in line are owned by a livery concern in which the Hartman mortuary is interested.  Milton Jaffe was in charge of the hearse and Carl Adams of the limousine.

Police Captain Keeps Order.

Traffic was blocked at Division street and Damen avenue, when, according to witnesses, Jaffe in a pleasant manner advised the mourners not to join in the procession.  The order was not obeyed but there was no disturbance, Police Captain Patrick Collins keeping order at this point.

One block to the west, the hearse and the first car were pulled up to the curb.  Jaffe and Adams climbed out to the sidewalk and waved to the following automobiles to go ahead.

"Pull on by," he shouted.

Apparently his orders were not obeyed with sufficient promptness.  The halt and the arm waving were repeated at Claremont avenue, at California avenue, and at Kedzie avenue.  There was still another halt at Homan avenue, where the hearse was turned south.  Here Sandman, at last obedient to union dictation, kept on west with the car containing the young friends of the dead Lakin.  

Car Collides With Truck.

As Sandman and the others were approaching Pine avenue, hurrying to reach the cemetery in time, a truck owned by the Lund Coal company and filled with five tons of coal turned into Division street.  Sandman was trying to pass another automobile and his car and the coal truck collided head on.  William Rous, 1739 North California avenue, driver of the truck, was unhurt.

All those in Sandman's car were injured.  The automobile burst into flames a few seconds after the accident while the persons in it were being extricated.  John Robertson, attendant at a nearby filling station, ran to the car with a fire extinguisher and succeeded in putting out the flames before any further casualties occurred.

The injured girls and youths were taken to St. Anne's hospital, where Miss Pearlman died.  Word of the accident reached the cemetery and there was danger of violence, but Driver Jaffe succeeded in calming those persons who were talking of retaliation.  Jaffe said he and his fellow drivers were merely obeying union orders and should not be held responsible for what had occurred.

A tragedy, to be sure.  Let's see what we can find out about the young girl killed as she attended the funeral of Louis Lakin:

Shirley Pearlman was born June 5, 1916 in Bialystok, Poland to Louis Pearlman (1885-1959) and Rebecca (1893-1980).  The Pearlmans had one other daughter Julia (b. 1924).  According to their naturalization papers, Louis and Rebecca were born in Poland - the family name was originally "Pewrko."  Louis came to the United States in 1906.  He was a carpenter by trade.

Here's a photo of the building where the Pearlmans lived (2057 N. Sawyer, Chicago):

2057 N. Sawyer, Chicago

The accident that killed Shirley Pearlman took place near the intersection of Division Street and Pine Avenue in Chicago.  Here are two different views of the intersection:

Here is the interim Death Certificate which allowed Shirley's body to be buried:

Here's her death notice:

From the Chicago Daily Tribune of January 21, 1932:

Crowd Aroused at Inquiry Into Girl's Death.

Grand jury action was ordered yesterday by State's Attorney Swanson when the funeral disturbances caused by the livery car chauffeurs' union brought an outburst of public indignation during the inquest into the death of Miss Shirley Pearlman, 17 years old, of 2057 North Sawyer avenue.  Miss Pearlman, a student in Tuley High School, was fatally injured on Tuesday when an automobile in which she was riding collided with a coal truck after the car had been forced out of a funeral procession in compliance with a union edict.

Mr. Swanson directed Assistant State's Attorney Charles J. Mueller, head of the racket bureau, to present evidence to the grand jury and ask the indictment of union officials and livery car owners on charges of conspiracy.  The union's order to the public to keep private cars out of all funeral processions is a crime, the prosecutor declared.

Crowd Attends Inquest.

The inquest room at the county morgue was filled when Coroner Frank J. Walsh convened the hearing into the cause of the death of Miss Pearlman.  Nine other high school boys and girls were riding in the car with her when the accident occurred.  They had attended the funeral services for Louis Lakin, Tuley high school athlete, and were hastening to the cemetery after leaving the funeral procession when their car collided with the truck.  All nine of the passengers besides Miss Pearlman were injured.

Attorney William A. Cunnea, appeared at the inquest representing the union.  He declared that the union was not involved because the accident occurred away from the other cars in the funeral.

"If the union rule had not forced the automobile out of the line, this accident would not have happened and the girl would be alive," Deputy Coroner Jacob Schewel retorted.  In a a second the room was in an uproar, the crowd shouting approval of Schewel's statement.

Two Funeral Drivers Testify.

Milton E. Jaffe, 3021 Lawrence avenue, manager of the Active Auto Livery company, was called as a witness.  He was the driver of the hearse in which Lakin's body was taken to the cemetery.  Many of the mourners said Jaffe halted the funeral procession several times, motioning the persons in privately owned automobiles to get out of the line.

Jaffe declared he had not ordered any cars out of the funeral procession.  To a direct question as to whether he had not been instructed by union officials to prevent mourners in their own cars from following the hearse, Jaffe replied that he had not.  Another union driver, Carl Adams, 1110 North Christiana avenue, made the same answer when called as a witness.  He, too, denied that any automobiles were barred from the Lakin cortege.

Tells of Mystery Men.

Arthur Stearn, 5036 Ridgeway avenue, testified that he had attended the Lakin funeral, driving his own car.  He declared that the union drivers and two men in a roadster which drove alongside the cortege had repeatedly motioned those in private automobiles to get out of the line.

He said his car as well as the car in which Miss Pearlman was riding did get out of the procession on the orders of the two mysterious men and were proceeding to the Jewish Waldheim cemetery at the time Miss Pearlman was killed.

Frank Tomaso, 1311 North Kedzie avenue, testified that he drove his own automobile to the Lakin funeral, was forced to go to the cemetery by a route different than that taken by Jaffe on the hearse, and that his car was immediately behind the one in which Miss Pearlman met her death.

Harry Sandman, 1319 North Irving avenue, driver of the car in which Miss Pearlman was riding, was unable to testify because of injuries, and the inquest was continued pending his recovery.       

The story was still making headlines the next day.  This is from the Chicago Daily Tribune of January 22, 1932:

Report Six Named in True Bills

Three blows were received yesterday by the livery car chauffeurs' union in its attempt to compel mourners to ride to funerals in hired automobiles:

Private Autos Follow Hearse.

No union livery cars were hired for the funeral of Miss Shirley Pearlman 17 year old high school girl who was killed in an accident on Tuesday after the automobile in which she was riding to a funeral was forced out of the cortege by union orders.  The driver of the hearse that carried Miss Pearlman's body to the cemetery was warned by law enforcing officials to make no hostile or dilatory move and the cortege of private cars followed the hearse in defiance of the union edict.

Court to Hear of Tactics.

The death of Miss Pearlman is to be called to the court's attention, it was announced.  testimony was given at the inquest that she and others were compelled to take their cars out of the cortege following the body of Louis Lakin, an incident that was followed in a few minutes by the fatal accident, when the car in which Miss Pearlman was riding collided with a coal truck.  Lakin, a high school youth, was killed by a watchman.

Nearly 1,000 persons attended services for Miss Pearlman in the undertaking rooms of Weinstein Brothers at 3556 Roosevelt road.  Rabbi Goldstein of the First Rumanian congregation officiated, but in his talk said nothing of the cause of death of the girl.

Mrs. Beckie Pearlman, mother of the dead girl, had to be carried away from the coffin.  Weeping was heard throughout the services.  The family had decided not to employ union cars, but of necessity had to have a hearse which had a union chauffeur.

"Let me alone," was all this driver would say when asked his name and what orders he had from his union officials,  Prosecutor Mueller and Investigator Roche told him they would permit no trouble and if he attempted to do anything to block the funeral or embarrass the mourners he would be locked up and a policeman would drive his hearse.

Six girl friends of Miss Pearlman were pallbearers.  They were Ruth Sinow, Ethel Menna, Ida Fink, Hilda Gordon, who is president of the Jovials Social club of which Miss Pearlman was a member.  The girls were students at Tuley high school, which Miss Pearlman attended, and of which Lakin had been a student.

Following a religious custom, the mourners followed the hearse for two blocks on foot before entering their automobiles.

Then, with no effort on the part of the driver to comply with the union order, or any interference, the privately owned cars lined up back of the hearse and the procession proceeded to Jewish Waldheim cemetery.  Sixty-one private cars were in line, among them being several cars of policemen and representatives of the state's attorney.

The story was "wrapped up" by February 28, 1932 as indicated by this small item in the Tribune:

Here is the "Final" Death Certificate with the Coroner's finding of "Accidental Death:"

Shirley was buried at Gate #111 of Jewish Waldheim Cemetery "Lomzer" - a burial society for those who came from Lomza, Poland:

Shirley Pearlman - a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her - struck down because a union tried to dictate who could ride in a funeral procession.  On her way to the cemetery to bury a classmate, Louis Lakin, who died because of an error in judgement, Shirley's death just compounded the loss. 

May she rest in peace.

Friday, November 22, 2013


If you were to wander the corridors of the magnificent community mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago, you might happen upon this crypt:

It is not a particularly remarkable crypt; there are many at Rosehill that are more elaborate.  It is not in a family room, it's just down one of the corridors.  What the crypt does not tell us is that it is the final resting place of the man who designed the Rosehill Mausoleum  - and forty-eight others of the finest, largest and most successful mausoleums to be found anywhere:  Sidney Lovell.  (Some sources credit Lovell with fifty-six mausoleums; I could only find evidence of forty-nine.)

Sidney Lovell

The March 26, 1913 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune carried the following advertisement:

Rosehill Cemetery was announcing that they would be building a community mausoleum at the cemetery. The ad lists the advantages of mausoleum entombment and even gives the reasons that a community mausoleum is preferable to a family mausoleum.  The ad triumphantly declared that the Rosehill Community Mausoleum (would) "Endure Until the End of Time."  One thing the advertisement does not tell, is the name of the architect who would be designing the beautiful marble temple.  Perhaps they did not give his name because he had never designed a community mausoleum before.  But even if Rosehill had listed his name, most people outside the would of architecture would have never heard of him.  

What can we find out about Sidney Lovell, the theater designer who instead would become better known and remembered for the mausoleums he designed?  Let's take a look:

Sidney Lovell was born February 26, 1867 in Racine, Wisconsin, to Phillip Lovell (1821-1875) and Louisa Maria nee Knill (1827-1917). Phillip and Louisa had both emigrated from England to Wisconsin. They met and married there in approximately 1848.

Sidney had eight brothers and sisters:  William (1850-1919), Frank (1851-????), Emily Louise (1857-1936), Henry (1859-1862), Charles (1861-1904), Julia (1863-1954), George (1865-1869), and Frederick (1869-1936).  Their father Phillip Lovell was a butcher, by trade.

In 1882, Colonel James M. Wood (1841-1903) arrived in Racine, Wisconsin for the grand opening of the Blake Opera House in which he was the architect.  Colonel Wood was a recognized Chicago architect who specialized in the designing of theaters. It was at this time that fifteen year-old Sidney Lovell met Colonel Wood, and when the Colonel left Racine for his next theater project at Wausau, Wisconsin in 1883, Sidney went with him.

After the theater project in Wausau was completed, Colonel Wood and Lovell traveled to Chicago and found work at Scenic Studio. It was during this time period that Sidney Lovell studied architecture, and passed an architectural examination.  A news article in the Racine Daily Journal dated August 10, 1885, states "Sid Lovell, now a full-fledged architect in Chicago, spent Sunday with his mother."

During 1885 to 1888, Wood and Lovell traveled from Michigan to California, designing and remodeling opera houses. Upon the completion of the remodeling of the Grand Opera House in California, Lovell was taken in as a partner, and the architectural firm of Wood and Lovell was established, with an office in San Francisco. This partnership produced many fine examples of theaters in the East Indian style of architecture between 1888 and 1893.

While working in San Francisco, Lovell met Jane Winters Bruner (1869-1953).  Jane was the daughter of noted physician and surgeon William Happersett Bruner (1826-1886) and his wife Jane Winters Woodruff. Sidney Lovell and Jane Bruner were married in San Francisco on April 16, 1890.  Sidney and Jane were blessed with two children:  Marion McDonald Lovell (1895-1960) and Alice B. Lovell (1897-????)

In 1893, the firm of Wood and Lovell relocated their offices to the newly built Ellsworth Building at 537 S. Dearborn Street in Chicago, Illinois.

537 S. Dearborn, Chicago

Their interest in theater design continued with great success and many fine examples were produced.  After Colonel Wood's death in 1903, Sidney Lovell continued the work of designing theaters and single family homes in Chicago and outlying areas.

Here's a mention in the Chicago Daily Tribune of May 23, 1897:

And another mention from July 16, 1904:

Neither of these buildings still exist today.

In 1912, Sidney Lovell was approached to design a community mausoleum for Rosehill Cemetery.  Lovell related that he was asked to design a building that would show security and permanence.  He had no experience designing mausoleums prior to this, but he decided that this was a challenge he wanted to tackle.

From the beginning, Lovell decided that the Rosehill Mausoleum would be better than all mausoleums built to date.  He had a budget of $300,000 so only the finest materials would be used.  One innovation would be that all interior surfaces would be marble - floors, walls, and even the ceilings.  (It turned out that marble ceilings were not used until Unit 2 was built in 1919).  And further, only the finest marble would be used.  The original sections of the Rosehill Mausoleum are built of Yule Creek marble - the rarest and purest of all marble - and the most expensive.  It is the same marble that was used for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.  Lovell spent $50,000 on the Yule Creek Marble alone.  For more information on Yule Creek marble, check out

The Rosehill Mausoleum quickly came to be known as "The Westminster Abbey of America".

Ground was broken April 10, 1913.

Rosehill's display ads in the Tribune kept people informed about progress with the mausoleum.  From September 9, 1913:

On April 9, 1916 it was finally announced that the Rosehill Mausoleum was "Now Completed (and) will be open for inspection Sunday Afternoon:

Over the main entrance:

The three panels of the frieze along the facade:

Even the corners of Lovell's mausoleums are works of art in themselves:

Unlike some of his other mausoleums, Lovell's name is not mentioned anywhere at Rosehill:

Many people think that embalmed bodies interred in above-ground mausoleums will not decompose. That is not true.  Decomposition is a natural process that produces fluids and gasses unless moisture is removed from the crypt.  As you walk through the corridors of a mausoleum you don't think about the fact that there are hundreds of bodies decomposing behind those walls, at different rates and at different stages of the process.  Sidney Lowell knew this, however, and actually patented a process to ensure that each crypt was properly ventilated with a fresh supply of dry air.  Here is a drawing of the process which Lovell included with his patent application filed May 16, 1917:

and here's a copy of the explanation of the process itself:

For this, Lovell received Patent #1244109 on October 23, 1917.

I have looked inside empty crypts in the Rosehill mausoleum.  If you didn't know it was there you wouldn't see it, but in the back of each crypt is the pipe Lovell talks about to allow gasses to escape, and dry air flow into the crypt.  Before a crypt is used, the mausoleum attendant removes the cover from the ventilation pipe at the back of the crypt.  It is done before mourners arrive, so people are not aware that it happens.  I have also been in the basement of Unit 1 (the oldest section) at Rosehill.  Extending down from the ceiling are literally hundreds of pipes, each that connect to a crypt.  As long as Lovell's process is used, and there is a constant flow of fresh dry air into each crypt, "exploding caskets" are eliminated and any unpleasant smell is minimized.

Back at Rosehill, a major portion of Phase I was sold before ground had even been broken.  The first phase had been so successful that on July 9, 1919 they announced that an addition to the mausoleum would be built:

Construction on Phase II started in May of 1920:

And the roof was in place by October 6, 1920:

A Second Addition to the mausoleum was announced October 12, 1923:

And in July of 1925, the "Central Unit" was announced:

They now referred to it as the "Mansion of the Silent."

The 4th Addition was announced November 3, 1929:

Rosehill ran weekly display ads like the ones shown above, all through the 1920s.  They ran their last display ad on November 21, 1930.  No ads were run until October 22, 1935, and that was to announce the 5th Addition to the mausoleum:

That was the only display ad run in 1935.  It is surprising that in the depths of the Great Depression Rosehill was willing to put up the money to expand the mausoleum yet again.  The Depression did affect their advertising budget however, because only one display ad was run in 1936, and no further display ads until May of 1942 announcing the 6th addition:

Here are the units at the Rosehill Mausoleum that Lovell was involved in, and the dates each was constructed:

Original            Unit 1     April 10, 1913
1st Addition     Unit 2     July 1919-1920
2nd Addition    Unit 2     October, 1923
Central Unit     Unit 3     July, 1925
4th Addition     Unit 4     November, 1929
5th Addition     Unit 5     October, 1935
6th Addition     Unit 6     May, 1942

I bet you didn't know that the halls at the Rosehill Mausoleum had names.  Here are the names of the halls on the main floor (Garden Level):

And here are the names of the halls on the ground floor (Terrace Level):

There was one mistake made with the construction, however.  Whether it was Lovell's mistake (doubtful) or the management of Rosehill is not known.  Here is a view of the mausoleum from above from Google Earth:

The areas below Unit 1 and above Unit 5 in the view above are closed in.  They can only be reached from within the mausoleum by going down stairs and out a door, but there is no access from outside the mausoleum.  It is, in effect, "dead space."  The areas are let grow wild and every few years when the growth becomes too much, everything is cut down to ground level and the growth cycle begins again.  If the management of Rosehill were smart, they would turn these areas into exclusive private burial gardens, along the lines of the enclosed "Gardens of Memory" at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.  I have suggested this several times, to no avail.

Between 1912 and 1933, Sidney Lovell designed forty-nine mausoleums in the Midwest:

State   City Name Date
Illinois   Chicago Rosehill Mausoleum 1912
Iowa   Sioux City Graceland Park Mausoleum 1917
Kansas     Independence Mount Hope Abbey Mausoleum 1917
Missouri   St. Louis Valhalla Mausoleum 1917
Illinois   Sycamore Sycamore Mausoleum 1918
Ohio    Piqua Forest Hill Mausoleum 1918
Oklahoma   Oklahoma City Fairlawn Mausoleum 1918
Michigan   Saginaw Oakwood Mausoleum 1919
Oklahoma   Oklahoma City Rose Hill Mausoleum 1919
Virginia   Norfolk Forest Lawn Mausoleum 1919
Kansas   Wichita Old Mission Mausoleum 1920
Michigan   Lansing Deepdale Mausoleum 1921
Texas   Sherman Sherman Mausoleum 1922
Illinois   Astoria Astoria Memorial Mausoleum 1923
Illinois   Dixon Oakwood Memorial Mausoleum 1924
Illinois   Sterling Riverside Memorial Mausoleum 1924
New York   Valhalla Kensico Mausoleum 1924
Pennsylvania   Allentown Grandview Memorial Mausoleum 1924
Illinois   Bloomington Park Hill Mausoleum 1925
Illinois   Jacksonville Diamond Grove Mausoleum 1925
Missouri   Kansas City Forest Hill Abbey Mausoleum 1925
Ohio   Defiance Riverside Memorial Mausoleum 1925
Michigan   Flint Sunset Hills Mausoleum 1926
Missouri   St. Louis Mount Hope Memorial Mausoleum 1926
Missouri   St. Louis Oak Grove Mausoleum 1926
Ohio   Mayfield Hts Knollwood Mausoleum 1926
Illinois   Decatur Fairlawn Memorial Mausoleum 1927
Kansas   Eureka Greenwood Abbey Mausoleum 1927
Kansas   Salina Hillcrest Mausoleum 1927
Ohio   Youngstown Tod Memorial Mausoleum 1927
Florida   Miami Woodlawn Park Mausoleum 1928
Kansas   Topeka Mount Hope Mausoleum 1928
Texas   Houston Forest Park Abbey Mausoleum 1928
Illinois   Glen Carbon Sunset Hill Mausoleum 1929
Illinois    Pekin Lakeside Memorial Mausoleum 1929
Illinois   Peoria Springdale Mausoleum 1929
New Jersey   Camden Harleigh Memorial Mausoleum 1929
Ohio   Napoleon Forest Hill Mausoleum 1929
Oklahoma   Blackwell Greenlawn Abbey Mausoleum 1929
Pennsylvania   Pittsburgh Mt. Royal Memorial Mausoleum 1929
Texas   Amarillo Llano Pantheon Mausoleum 1929
Wisconsin   Fond du Lac Rienzi Memorial Mausoleum 1930
Kansas   Emporia Maplewood Mausoleum 1931
Ohio   Cleveland Mayfield Mausoleum 1931
Indiana   South Bend Highland Mausoleum 1932
Kansas   Hutchinson Fairlawn Mausoleum 1932
Minnesota   Minneapolis Sunset Chapel Mausoleum  1933
Wisconsin   Appleton Riverside Mausoleum (never built) N/A
Michigan   Caro Caro Community Mausoleum  Unknown

Here is a map representation of the Lovell mausoleums:

Sometime about 1924, Sidney Lovell's son, Marion McDonald Lovell (1895-1960) joined his father's firm, which was then know as "Lovell and Lovell."

From the very beginning, the private Family Memorial Rooms at the Rosehill Mausoleum were very popular with Chicago's elite.  In the early 1960s, Rosehill published a pamphlet called "Cemetery and Mausoleum Facts."  In the pamphlet was a list of "Owners of Memorial Rooms in Rosehill Mausoleum."  Here is the list:

Mrs. Augusta Abram
Mrs. Helen L. Adams
Franklin Ames
Lillian C. Appleton
Hugo F. Arnold
Frederick C. Austin
Sewall Avery

Mrs. Lillian D. Bamberger
Francis N. Bard
Mrs. Cecille Benedict
J.A. Benjamin
Norman E. Bensinger
Mrs. Dorothy Cole Berger
Coloman Berki
Thomas C. Bermingham
Mrs. Johanna B. Bersbach
Mrs. Philip Blazer
Emanuel J. Block
Joseph L. Block
L.E. Block
Mrs. Rose L. Block
John Blocki
Alfred Blomquist
Leopold Bloom
David Blum
Harry Blum
Mrs. Nanda H. Blum
Mrs. Dwight S. Bobb
Albert C. Bodman
Henry T. Boerlin
Thomas J. Bolger
Walter E. Botthoff
Charles B. Burt
Mrs. George A. Bush
Oscar Brickman
Michael Britten
Mrs. Anton Brust
Brittin I. Budd
Daniel Burkhartsmeier
Mrs. Mary Burkhartsmeier
Mrs. Dorothea Burks

Mr. and Mrs. Rolly M. Cain
C.C. Carr
Robert F. Carr
Homer W. Chandler
Daniel R. Chernyk
Julius P. Chernyk
Bonnie C. Clark
Estate of Eugene B. Clark
Almer Coe
Mrs. Elmer F. Cole
Charles R. Cole
Peter W. Coppersmith
Frederick D. Corley
James C. Cox
Fred B. Cozzens
Charles E. Crown, Jr.
Irving Crown

John W. Dalman
Mrs. Hugo Dalmar
Ira C. Darling
Henry M. Dawes
Mrs. Henry G. Dawson
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Deagan
Joseph H. Defrees
Lewis Degan
Mrs. Pauline E. Deming
Wesley Dempster
Mrs. Samuel Deutsch
Harvey C. Devereaux
Alan C. Dixon
George W. Dixon
John N. Dole
Mrs. R.B. Donham
Scott M. Douglas
Joseph Downey
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph S. Duncan
John H. Dunham
Lee Y. Dunham

Mrs. Louis Eckstein
Charles M. Eddy
Emil Eiger
Mrs. Moses Eisenstaedt
Mrs. Albert Ellinger
Mrs. Percy M. Elliott
Charles S. Ellis
John W. Embree
Edward A. Engler
Leola S. Epstein
Alma Escher
Paul Escher

John N. Faithorn
Mrs. Joseph Finn
Mrs. Harry Fisher
Mrs. Washington Flexner
Harry J. Flood
Louis Florsheim
Mrs. Milton S. Florsheim
Mrs. John B. Foley
Charles K. Foster
Abraham J. Freiler
Rosamund Freund
L.J. Friedman

Mrs. William A. Gardner
Belle W. Gedwitz
John S. Giles
Charles W. Gillett
John H. Goessele
Mrs. Egbert H. Gold
Mrs. Lillian Goldsmith
Samuel Goodman
Mr. and Mrs. M. Martin Gordon
J. Parker Gowing
Walter R. Green
Benjamin B. Green-Field
David I. Green-Field
John B. Grommes
Ward E. Guest
Arnold Gundelfinger

Mrs. Carl Hansen
Mrs. Lesly C. Harbison
Mrs. Marie Price Harrah
Leslie R. Harsha
Leon Hartman
Milton L. Hartman
Henry E. Hedberg
Albert Heller
Benjamin Heller
George Herrmann
Mrs. Cora Heyman
Adolph Hieronymus
Mrs. Georgiana Hill
Charles W. Hills
John William Hirst
Howard H. Hitchcock
Mrs. William L. Hodgkins
Barney Ets Hokin
Allen C. Howes
Frank W. Howes
Richard W. Howes
Mortimer L. Hudson
Ernest M. Hunt
Mrs. John D. Hurley
Max E. Hyman

Mrs. Bertha Helm James
Sidney T. Jessop
Charles W. Jinnette
William A. Johnert
Edgar A. Jonas
George W. Jones

Sidney H. Kahn
Morton J. Kallis
Norman S. Kaplan
A.E. Kauffman
Robert W. Keeton
Mrs. Elodia C. Kehm
Mrs. Clarence Kellogg
James S. Kemper
Philip C.  Kessler
Mrs. Charles M. Kittle
Bertram A. Klein
Leon Klein
Mrs. Theodore A. Klein
Mrs. Clara P. Knoke
Mrs. Birdie Mintz Koch
Maurice Kozminski
Herman L. Kretschmer
Stella Krom
Benjamin and Lilly G. Kulp
Ruth Kunin
George B. Kurtzon

Josephine B. Laeffler
Miss Ida M. Lang
Robert L. Langford
Henry A. Langhorst
Albert D. Lasker
H.B. Leavitt
Mrs. Elma H. Levis
John M. Levis
Alexander M. Levy
Henry R. Levy
Silas Libby
Walter Lister
Andrew S. Littlefield
Philip O. Lochman
Theodore K. Long
James Lyons

Paul H. Manz
Mrs. Matie Flannery Mark
Meyer S. Marks
Mrs. Ida Marks
Robert Mautz
Mrs. Levy Mayer
William Wallace McCallum
Jay C. McCord
Miss Olga Menn
Mrs. B.F. Metzenberg
Alfred C. Meyer
Joseph Michaels (Heirs of)
Mrs. John S. Miller
Mrs. Florine C. Mix
Richard P. Moffott
Nicholas P. Moses
Mrs. Beatrice J. Monheimer
Mrs. Mary A. Morgan
Walter P. Murphy
Mrs. Louisa Mutter

Mrs. Jacob Newman
A.C. Nielsen
George J. Nikolas
George J. Nikolas, Jr.
Arthur G. Norris

Cassius O. Owen

Thomas L. Parker
Mrs. George W. Pattullo
Mrs. Walter B. Pearson
Daniel Peterkin
Albert Pick
Milton S. Plotke
Frank W. Porter
Edgar A. Potter
Forest Pratt
Georgia K. Gann and
  Eleanor Gann Prosser

Frederick H. Rawson
Mrs. Edith M. Reade
Joseph Regenstein
William Renshaw
Isaac and Emma Rice
Mrs. Otto M. Rice
William T. Richards
George P. Richardson
Mrs. Milton Robinson
Robert M. Roloson
Benjamin J. Rosenthal
Lubin L. Rosenthal
Maurice L. Rothschild
Mrs. Rosine Rubin

Mrs. Albine Sachsel
Percy G. Saunders
George A. and Ethel Saylor
Peter J. Schaefer
Morton G. Schamberg
Mrs. Albert C. Schmidt
Ernst R. Schmidt
George K. Schmidt
Elmer E. Schram
Harry S. Schram
Theodore Schwarz
Richard W. Sears
Andrew E. Seaver
N. Marshall Seeburg
John C. Shaffer
Eulah P. Shaw
John G. Shedd
Mrs. Marjorie Sherman
George L. Shuman
Harry L. Siegel
Sigmund Silberman
Lewis J. Silverman
William J. Sinek
Mrs. Elsie Paine Smith
Harry T. Smith
Louise B. and Hugo Sonnenschein
Isidore Spinner
Mrs. Josephine Kean Stafford
P.A. Stark
Albert Stein
William D. Stein
Charles Stein
Alfred W. Stern
Mrs. Henry L. Stern
Herman Stern
Lawrence F. Stern
Mrs. Alice M. Stevens
Charles A. Stevens
Harry M. Stevenson
Christian H. Stoelting
Frank B. Stone
William E. Straight
David Straus
Mrs. Irma B. Straus
M.L. Straus
Madeline B. Straus
S.J.T. Straus
A.R. Stumer
Mrs. Pauline Suekoff
Nate J. Sugar
Dollie Swarts
Delia F. Sweeten
Mrs. Hortense M. Swift

Oren B. Taft
Sherman Taylor
William L. Taylor
Gale Thompson
George R. Thorne
Albert S. Tyler
Mrs. Caroline Macalister Tyler

Charles F. Unrath

Sanford S. Vaughan
William H. Vehon

Herman Waldeck
Clara J. Walker
A. Montgomery Ward
James V. Watson
Mrs. Hannah Weil
Charles H. Wheeler
Harry A. Wheeler
George E. White
Charles B. Willey
Albert H. Williams
Ednyfed H. Williams
Richard L. Williams
Mrs. Celia M. Wolf
Joseph Wolf
Chris J. Wolff
Warren Wright

Mrs. Millie Alma Young

Homer G.  Zimmerman

Sidney Lovell died on August 6, 1938 in Chicago from heart disease:

Here is his obituary and death notice from the Chicago Daily Tribune of August 7, 1938:

On August 8, 1938, Sidney Lovell was laid to rest in his greatest accomplishment - the Rosehill Mausoleum where he remains to this day. He rests in the midst of the beauty he created.

When theater architect Sidney Lovell was approached in 1912 by the Rosehill Cemetery Company, he was asked to design a community mausoleum that would show security and permanence.  He did such a fine job that he went on to design at least forty-eight other mausoleums, as well as additions to the Rosehill Mausoleum.  We are lucky that Lovell's talent is still around for us today to enjoy, and still exhibiting that same security and permanence.

Sidney Lovell - architect extraordinare - may he rest in peace.

I don't want to end this article without mentioning the accomplishments of Jane Bruner Lovell, the wife of Sidney Lovell.  She was a championship Contract Bridge player.  Under her professional name of Mrs. Sidney Lovell she won the Vanderbilt trophy in 1928 and the National Open Pairs competition in 1929.  She is considered one of the truly great bridge players of her era.  Jane Bruner Lovell died in 1953 and is interred next to her husband in the Rosehill Mausoleum.

Acknowledgements:  This article about the life and work of Sidney Lovell would not have been possible without the assistance of David G. Stuart.  Dave has studied Lovell and his work for years and has amassed a tremendous amount of material, which he freely shared with me, and has made available to anyone who is interested via the Internet:

Dave is such a fan of the work of Sidney Lovell that he has purchased his own final resting place in one of Lovell's mausoleums:  The Old Mission Mausoleum in Wichita, Kansas.

Friday, November 15, 2013


In my story for this blog about Horatio May, I included a newspaper clipping about his funeral.  It gave a list of pallbearers, and included on the list was W.D. Kerfoot.  A research "angel" who helps me with these writeups commented that Mr. Kerfoot had been involved with the Chicago Historical Society and he definitely wasn't a fan of one of her relatives by marriage a few generations back. "I think she irritated him no end." 

So that got me to wondering who W.D. Kerfoot was, and why he would be a pallbearer for Horatio May. Even though I was not familiar with the name W.D. Kerfoot, it turns out that he was quite a real estate magnate in Chicago at one time, but was mostly remembered for something he did after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  Here's the story from the Chicago Tribune from October 16, 1871, less than one week after the fire was out:

Mr. W.D. Kerfoot

Chicago (Oct. 13) Dispatch to the Cincinnati Inquirer

To Mr. W.D. Kerfoot, real estate dealer, formerly of Cincinnati, belongs the credit of putting up the first building in the burnt district, at No. 89 Washington street, the site of his former block.  To-day his building of rough boards, covering an area of about twenty square yards, and one story high, is up, and the windows and doors are in.  Over the door appears the following legend:  "W.D. Kerfoot real estate dealer, No. 89 Washington street."  On another part of this building is painted, in rough characters this characteristic sentence: "Lost all but wife, children and energy."  On another place is painted "Kerfoot's Block," in large letters.

Mr. Kerfoot gives the following graphic account of his escape from the fire with his wife and children: "Being the owner of a horse and carriage which I used to go to and from my business, when I became satisfied that my house would soon be enveloped, I brought my horse and carriage before the house and placed my wife and children in it. There was then no room for me, so I mounted the back of the animal and acted as postillion.  While driving through the flame and smoke which enveloped us on all hands, I came across a gentleman who had his wife in a buggy and was between the thills hauling it himself.  I shouted to him to hitch his carriage on behind mine, which he did, and then got in beside his wife.  I then drove forward as fast as I could, for the flames were raging around us.  After proceeding a short distance another gentleman was found standing beside the street with a carriage waiting for a horse, which was not likely to come.  I directed him to fasten on behind the second carriage which he did, and in this way, we whipped (rest of the line illegible).    

So what else could I find out about this Chicago real estate man who refused to give up after losing everything?  Let's see.

William Dale Kerfoot was born April 16, 1837 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to George Barrett Kerfoot, MD (1808-1851) and Eliza, nee Reid (1805-1887).  William's father, George Barrett Kerfoot, M.D., was born in Dublin, Ireland, June 27, 1808.  He came to America with his parents in 1819, who settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.   

Eliza Reid Kerfoot, William's mother, was born in Pennsylvania in 1805. George and Eliza were married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 5, 1829.  William had five siblings:  Ann Louisa (1831-1918), George Barrett (1834-1917), Eliza Reid (1839-????), Emma L. (1841-????) and Sweety H. (1847-1928).

William Kerfoot first came to Chicago in 1854 when he was seventeen years old, finding employment in the real estate offices of James H. Rees.  From 1856 to 1861 he attended St. James College, Hagerstown, Maryland - first as a student, but by the 1860 Census as a "Tutor of History."  St. James is a private boarding school under the auspices of the Episcopal Church.  The first headmaster of St. James was John Barrett Kerfoot, the uncle of William Kerfoot, who went on to become the first Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh.

Here's a photo of W.D. Kerfoot about the time he returned to Chicago in 1862:

W. D. Kerfoot

William Kerfoot returned to Chicago in 1862, entering the firm of Thomas B. Bryan as a clerk.  In 1865 he took time out of his busy schedule to court Miss Susan Cooper Ballinger Mooklar (1843-1918) of Covington, Kentucky, and married her in Chicago on May 30, 1865.

On the 1870 Census, Kerfoor lists his occupation as "real estate agent". He lists the value of his real estate at $10,000.00, and the value of his personal property at $5,000.00.  He and Susan have two domestic servants, and Susan's brother William, a tobacconist, was living with them as well.  Not bad for a man of thirty-three.

Here is an ad from the Chicago Daily Tribune of April 1, 1870 for the real estate firm of William D. Kerfoot, located at 89 Washington Street:

Then came the Great Chicago Fire on October 8-10, 1871.  Within a short time, William Kerfoot was wiped out.  The land he owned was still there, but the improvements were reduced to smoldering rubble.   From Industrial Chicago - The Commercial Interests: "At 10 o'clock on Monday morning, October 9, 1871, Lind's block stood alone among the a spirit in a shroud of smoke.  On Wednesday the 11th, a little frame office building suddenly sprung up on the curb line of Washington Street, outside the old building line of No. 89, and the same day the sign and bulletin boards were attached to the little building.  William Kerfoot realized that the economy of Chicago was basically sound, and that rebuilding would start right away.  He knew there was money to be made, and put himself right in the middle of it. Here is Kerfoot's ad from the Chicago Daily Tribune of October 17, 1871 just one week after the fire, announcing his reopening "at the old place".

From Industrial Chicago - The Commercial Interests:  "From that date to September 30, 1872, there were 7,140 real estate transfers recorded, the total value being $42,007,286.  At that time purchasers were compelled to rely upon the statements of agents and owners, as the county abstracts were destroyed and private abstract concerns charged prohibitory prices.  The name of W.D. Kerfoot was a magic one then and the little frame structure became the rendezvous of buyers and sellers.  (Kerfoot) collected all the plats, maps and documents possible to reinforce his personal knowledge of property, and became the medium through whom millions worth of property changed hands. The history of the rebuilding of the city is partly a history of Mr. Kerfoot; for his dealings with eastern investors, who flocked hither, were coextensive with local patrons."

William and Susan found time to have a family in the midst of all this chaos.  They had eight children, but sadly, when William died in 1918 only three were still living.  Their children are:  William D. (1867-1877), George (1867-1908), Susan (????-1918), Margaret Dalton (1870-1948), Rev. Charles Stewart (1871-1945), Russell (1874-1876), Eliza Reed (1878-1917), and Ethel Mooklar (1884-1970).  

In looking through Chicago newspapers of this era, not more than a day or two goes by without some mention of William D. Kerfoot.  As one of the leading real estate men in Chicago, Kerfoot was involved with the Chicago Real Estate Board from its founding on January 11, 1883.  He was one of the original signers of the Articles of Association for the Board and in 1887 he was elected its President.   During Kerfoot's time as a member of the CREB he worked tirelessly for legislation standardizing Title and Policy work, the recording of deeds, and the Torrens System of transferring land titles.

Here's a drawing of the Kerfoot Building in Chicago in 1883, just twelve years after the Fire:

In 1883, a section of road in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood from 83rd to 85th street was named "Kerfoot Avenue", a name it retains to this day.

During this period from the 1880s onward, William Kerfoot branched out from being just a land developer to a builder, being responsible for approximately 1/3 of the residences built in what came to be known as the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago on the west side of downtown.  Kerfoot built a mix of two- and three-flat apartment buildings and gable-topped brick "Kerfoot cottages" that to this day are often passed down from generation to generation and remain in a single family.  Here is an example of Kerfoot construction in Ukrainian Village:

While he was building houses for immigrants to Chicago, William Kerfoot also had a grand house built for himself.  At the beginning of this article I talked about the connections between Kerfoot and Horatio May.  For one thing, they were Astor Street neighbors.  Horatio and Anna May built their imposing house at 1443 N. Astor in 1891; William and Susan Kerfoot built theirs at 1425 N. Astor in 1895:

1425 N. Astor Street, Chicago

The May house was designed by architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee; the Kerfoot house was designed by architect John N. Tilton.

One of the first "modern" post-fire office buildings in Chicago, the Chicago Opera House, was conceived by W.D. Kerfoot, and the syndicate that developed it was organized by him:

Image courtesy

The lot on which the ten story structure stood is 107 feet on Washington street by 180 feet on Clark street.  The contract between the Chicago Opera House Company and the landlord, made in 1884, provided for an annual rental of $30,000.00 on a valuation of $500,000.00, and a proportionate rental on each revaluation of every five years.  The completion of this intricate deal, and the demolition of the previous building, The Tivoli, to make way for the new building was credited to Mr. Kerfoot.

Along with other Chicagoans of every station, William D. Kerfoot was intimately involved with the planning and execution of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1892-1893.  Here is a listing of officers of the Fair from the Chicago Daily News Almanac, and as you can see, Kerfoot's name is everywhere:

On May 16, 1899, W.D. Kerfoot was called again to wear another hat. Mayor Carter H. Harrison, Jr. named Kerfoot as Chicago City Controller, the very same job his friend Horatio May had held in 1891 for Mayor Hempstead Washburne.  After a short time in office, Kerfoot admitted that he did not like the job.  He told the Tribune on June 16, 1899, "I do not mind saying I do not like my present job.  The purely financial and commercial part of it, what I supposed constituted the major part of the work when I undertook it, is all right, but the many and petty intrigues which are constantly coming under my notice, I do not like at all."    

Those who were reading the Chicago Daily Tribune on August 4, 1899 were shocked to see the following article:

In the two years he held the office, W.D. Kerfoot revolutionized the City's finances as the Tribune reported in February of 1901, "Bookkeeping methods have been revolutionized.  The indebtedness of the city has been reduced by $2,000,000.00 without increasing the City's floating debts.  Bonds of the City have sold at a lower rate of interest than ever before.  Special assessment accounts have been looked into and unraveled, until in time, property-owners will receive rebated due to them.  After thirty years a correct balance of accounts in the office is being effected. Trust funds have been preserved intact, and, greatest of all the scheming and fighting, the loan sharks have been driven from City Hall."

As a member of the city government, Kerfoot was called on to represent Mayor Harrison at the memorial service for Queen Victoria at St. James Cathedral on February 2, 1901.  As a cradle Episcopalian and nephew of an Episcopal Bishop, Kerfoot was a good choice to represent the mayor.

Mayor Harrison was easily reelected in 1901, but W.D. Kerfoot announced that he would retire as City Controller on May 1, "on the advice of his physician."  Kerfoot had a taste of politics and he did not like the taste at all.

After May 1, 1901, William Kerfoot gladly returned to his real estate empire.  Here's an ad from the Chicago Daily Tribune of June 25, 1901:

Kerfoot did agree to help Mayor Harrison by serving on a committee to determine if high pressure water mains were appropriate to serve fire hydrants in the downtown area.  This was in 1903-1904.

William D. Kerfoot spent his remaining years doing what he liked.  He was called upon by the newspapers to give a real estate outlook on a regular basis.  He enjoyed the Union League Club, where he was a member.  He stayed active in affairs of the Chicago Real Estate Board. He was still involved in commercial real estate but he could "cherry pick" the deals he wanted to be involved in, like the new $1,000,000.00 International Harvester Building built on Michigan avenue in 1906.

The Chicago Daily Tribune of March 31, 1916 reported that W.D. Kerfoot was recovering from an illness connected to his falling on a slippery sidewalk the previous November.

William D. Kerfoot died on January 5, 1918 in his Astor street home at the age of eighty of arterio-sclerosis.  Here is his death certificate:

His obituary from the Chicago Daily Tribune of January 6, 1918:

He was buried in the family plot at Graceland Cemetery:

William D. Kerfoot, who was the living embodiment of Chicago's motto "I Will".  May he rest in peace.