Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chicago, a city of the United States, in Illinois, and the capital of Cook county, is situated on the S.W. bank of Lake Michigan and on both sides of the Chicago river. The area of the city was originally a swamp, but it has been drained, and filled in, and many even of the largest buildings raised by ingenious engineering appliances about six feet. It exceeds 23,000 acres, and is divided by the river into three parts, viz. the north, south, and west. These are connected by numerous bridges and tunnels. Its spacious streets are laid out at right angles and are adorned with rows of fine trees. Among its public buildings of note are the county court house and city hall, erected at a cost of 6,000,000 dols., the United States custom house and post-office, the chamber of commerce, the art institute, and the exhibition building, and the auditorium, with seating accommodation for 7,500. It is also well provided with places of amusement, and has some of the finest hotels in America. Benevolent institutions also abound, and its public parks cover an area of 2,000 acres. The churches number 245, and its Sunday Schools 300. In its public library are about 140,000 volumes. Its public school system is most liberally supported out of a fund exceeding 2,000,000 dols. There are four high schools, 36 grammar schools, and 56 primary schools. In addition it has a number of free schools supported by religious denominations, and more than 300 private schools and academies. The university, which is controlled by the Baptists, has law, medicine, and scientific faculties. The Roman Catholics have St. Ignatius College, and there are four other theological seminaries, six medical colleges, and three commercial schools. The town derives its water through the medium of tunnels, which extend for two miles under Lake Michigan and thus draw off the pure water from that lake. Its sewage is discharged by means of a canal into the Mississippi, the garbage being consumed by fire in a furnace capable of destroying 150 tons daily. To its situation as a great railroad centre, and at the head of the great chain of American lakes. Chicago owes its commercial importance. The Union Stock Yards, covering about 350 acres to the S.W. of the city, form the most, extensive live-stock markets on the globe. Its trade in pork-packing is enormous, reaching in busy seasons to as many as 60,000 hogs in one day. It is also the leading American market for grain and timber, and deals largely in flour, provisions of all kinds, wool, hides, etc. This great city suffered severely in 1871, when on October 7th, a Sunday, a great fire broke out, and destroyed 17,450 buildings, rendering 98,500 persons homeless and destroying 200. The loss was estimated pecuniarily at 190,000,000 dols. Three years later another fire destroyed property to the extent of 4,000,000 dols. In 1886 occurred the bomb-throwing by anarchists, whereby eight policemen were killed and 60 injured. Four men were hanged for this, who are still regarded as martyrs by a large number of Socialists and Anarchists in Europe and America.