Early Chicago, 1833–1871
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
DOCUMENT 39REPORT AND ORDINANCE FOR OPENING DEARBORN STREET
July 1, 1861
By June 8, 1861, all eleven Confederate states had seceded from the Union. The onset of the war did not stop the economic advance of Chicago which in 1861 had a population of over 120,000. The city was alive with new construction and expansion. In the instance of this document, Dearborn Street was being extended from Madison Street to Monroe Street. It was to be 80 feet wide and 404 feet long. The cost to the city was $7,000 for the land, $2,500 for portions of buildings to be torn down, $20 for engineering, $24 for advertising, and $46 in sundry costs, for a total of $9,590. The actual cost of street construction was to be borne by the property owners who adjoined it.
Points to Consider
What businesses are currently located along Dearborn Street between Madison and Monroe?
Why was this street being constructed?
What voice did the property owners along this new section of Dearborn Street have regarding the street's extension?
Why was this report on a pre-printed form?