Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Grand Crossing Improvement Club

These minutes of the "Grand Crossing Improvement Club" are excerpted from "Neighborhood Improvement In and About Chicago", 1909, and are an example of the types of neighborhood civic groups being organized at the time.

Organized and incorporated 1905. District includes territory from Cottage Grove Avenue to Stony Island Avenue, and from 71st Street to 87th Street. Officers for 1909: President, E. P. Williams; Secretary, J. W. Classen. Membership, 375. Nineteen
special committees and eight working districts. Executive committee made up of chairmen of sub-committees is the working force of the club. Women honorary members. Annual fee, $1.00.

Complaints are invited and carefully investigated. The following appeared in a local paper after the last annual meeting.

There were eight regular monthly meetings held in Turner Hall, upstairs ; two executive meetings held in President Williams' office, and one special meeting held in the office of Vice-President Math, June 5th, for the purpose of considering ways and means to induce the council to force vhc railways to widen the subways under 75th Street and South Chicago Avenue. There was no meeting held in November. There were three special meetings held in District No. 1, one in No. 2, two in No. 4, and one in No. 6.

There were 1,950 postal cards sent out notifying members of the meetings of the club and thirty communications sent out by the secretary by order of the club to public department officials and persons as follows: To the superintendent of streets, four;
Commissioner Hanberg, three ; smoke inspector, two ; oil inspec- tor, one; corporation counsel, three; ward superintendent, five; manager of Calumet Electric Street Railway, one; Mr. Speedell, one; lieutenant of police, one; Alderman Hunt, three; Alderman Biehl, two ; secretary Park Manor Improvement Club, one ; secre-
tary Anti-Smoke League, one; principal Cornell school, one; family F. C. Schmidt, one.

During the year records show there were forty complaints made in the different districts of bad crosswalks, garbage, sewers stopped, etc. Relief in the way of repairs, etc., was effected in fourteen cases, some of which covered several complaints. There were nineteen special committees appointed during the year, of
which several have failed to report up to this writing.

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