Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Chicagoland Adventures -Johnson and Glessner family story threads, food and Glessner education in the South Loop Dec 9, 2014

Here I am on Polaski on my way to the south loop with Bob Shiel behind the camera on Polaski
On Tuesday Dec 9th. Bob Shiel, my host in north Chicago, and local guide, informed me that Polaski, a major N-S street, was named Polaski after a Polish Soldier in the 20th Century. From my research and the article from 1923 "Appleton Post Crescent
Mon., Nov. 5, 1923 Front Page  KAUKAUNA WOMAN AND HER SISTER DIED IN CHICAGO  Mrs. Gus Johnson Asphyxiated At Her Sister’s Home
By Associated Press
Kaukauna—Mrs. Gus Johnson, 62, of this city and Mrs. M. Walker, 75, of Chicago, were found dead about 11 o’clock Saturday evening in the latter’s apartment at 2050 Crawford-ave. Chicago, according to telephone messages received here Saturday night by Mr. Johnson. Death was due to gas poisoning.

Mrs. Johnson left Kaukauna at 10:20 Saturday morning intending to visit her sister in Chicago until Tuesday or Wednesday. She arrived in Chicago shortly after 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon and both women were killed between 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock. It is believed that in the excitement of greeting one of the women turned on the gas stove, forgetting to light it. Mr. Johnson left Sunday evening for Chicago and expects to return with the body Monday evening or Tuesday. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Mrs. Johnson is survived by her husband and six children. William, Edward, Elmer, Mrs. Max Streich, Roy, Geneva all of this city; one sister, Miss Hanah Johnson, Chicago; one brother, Andrew, Sweden and seven grandchildren."

 My sense is that,  Christina Johnson and her sister. Metelda Johnson Walker (Married Jacob)  lived here at 2050 Crawford, now Pulaski,  and turned on the gas and they both died in this home.  Christina was buried with her Wisconsin family in Kaukauna Wisconsin and Metelda in Mt Olive Cemetery in Chicago 

 Caleb in black - friendly wait person at Overflow Coffee on State Street in the South Loop. Note Johnny Cash Quote with an updated local quote about cash or credit :-)   Brandon and Amanda are creative owners here! Worth repeat visits.
I had discovered this venue, as a place to eat, have good coffee, and meet close near the Glessner House in the south loop in November with my friend Krystal.  She lives in the southern suburbs and  in November Krystal and I met at Union Station for lunch and then drove to the south loop to tour the Glessner House, 1800 S Prairie at the SE corner of 18th and Prairie Ave S.
North facing side of the Glessner House facing 18th as Krystal and I looked for parking. Nov 2014

Details of the north side, including the little holes for the doves above the entrance for the wagons and later the cars. Nov 2014 In November, a docent was called in for a tour with just me and Krystal. Here is the hallway on the first floor cordoned off as the floor was being sanded, in preparation for the holiday tours. 
Now back in December, this kind "Young man in Black", Caleb, served me and Bob Shiel Dec 9th on our way to meet Bill Tyre, the Executive Director of the Glessner house for a special Holiday season Tour.  I especially enjoy the youthful and family school energy of Overflow Coffee!  Thanks for the sweet welcome Caleb!  And I chose Cash. 

Bob Shiel ready to enjoy the hummus plate and the Ft Dearborn sandwich we shared having coffees as well prepared by the hands of Caleb and Brandon.  

In Nov, The music room, for me is like a warm drawing room, likely to draw out conversations about art and music.  The walls are decorated with William Morris reproduction wallpaper, to fit the original patterns discovered during renovations and restoration work.  Most all of the items are from the Family, shipped back from New Hampshire according to Bill Tyre.
from "William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement "

While in the piano, music room, is a Steinway Piano made custom for the Glessners on the right, the workings in New York and the woodwork in Boston.  My favorite piece of course is the nude male from on the small table.  So graceful and lithe!   The table cloth is attributed to Frances Macbeth Glessner, as one of her many talents.

On the second floor between the NE bedroom and the childrens' bed room, is a space now devoted to the New Hampshire Summer home, called the Rocks, Bethlehem NH near Littleton. see. for my info
Bill Tyre, started the tour with Bob and me in the basement school room.  Here is a domino set that advertises the Champion Reaper and Mower, made in Springfield Ohio. and the company started by, Benjamin Warder there. . - Then from, the story of Warder, Bushnell & Glessner"John Glessner was hired as a bookkeeper by the firm in 1863.  Three years later, the firm was reorganized as Warder, Mitchell & Company and John Glessner, then just 23 years of age, was taken in as a junior partner along with Asa Bushnell. John Glessner was made vice president in 1870, and immediately after his marriage to Frances Macbeth on December 7 of that year, moved to Chicago where he established the main sales office for the firm on Clinton Street.  The building survived the Great Chicago Fire the following year.  The final reorganization of the firm took place in 1879, when it became known as Warder, Bushnell &  Glessner.

Poster with an example of the Champion Harvesting machinery that was pulled by horse power, manufactured by Warder, Bushnell &  Glessner. of Springfield OH and Chicago IL  

On this tour, Bill Tyre spoke of this silver cabinet having been restored over the past year, with three of Frances Silver works on the second shelf, next to the dining room
I photo of Mrs Frances Macbeth Glessner on display in the front hall way.
Our special tour ended with the Jack Simmerling exhabit recently curated by Bill. Jack, was a local artist and became an expert on Old Chicago.  Here is an in depth article from the blog Story of a House.

Smiling Free Wheelin' Bob Shiel and Bill Tyre at the end of the tour in the Jack Simmerling exhibit room. Note the William Morris tie!  Great to keep coming back to this great place. Hope to co create a Glessner Family reunion sometime....perhaps with Jim Glessner family of Monroe Wi and others.

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