From Victor's Autobiography
[In Chicago we] rented a six room new brick house. We then
went to a second hand furniture store and bought the most
necessary furniture. We only had $75.00 in our pocketbook
when we arrived in Chicago and that is not much to buy furniture
and necessities for a six-room house, although $75.00 went a
long ways at that time. We paid $16 a month for
rent. We took in four young men to room and board with us
and in a few days I started carpenter work, receiving $1.50 for
a nine hour day.
I worked all summer and part of the winter so we got along
well. My wife earned as much as I did. We kept on
this way for three years. Then I was earning $2.50 and
sometimes $2.80 per day. At this time we were the proud
parents of two daughters. My wife now gave up keeping
boarders and we moved to a suburb called Lake View, where we
rented a three room flat for $8.00 a month. At the end of
another year we had a bank account of $600.00 and then my wife
inherited $300.00 from her parents. With this we purchased
a lot in Lake View on Osgood St. (then called Baxter St).
I built a two flat building (frame) on the back of this
lot. There were four rooms in each flat and we rented the
second flat, living in the first flat ourselves. Here we
lived comfortably for ten years. I was nearly always busy
at my carpenter work, doing contract work and making my own
During this time I built a three flat brick building in
the front. Each flat had five rooms and bath, modern in
every way. At this time I helped in the building of the
new and present Swedish Baptist Church in Lake View on the
corner of Barry and Clifton Streets.
Lake View was becoming very closely settled, so we traded
this place for a home in the beautiful suburb of Rodgers Park,
three blocks from the lake on Estes Ave., and remodeled this
place somewhat. This property was on the beautiful corner
of Estes and Perry Aves. This was shortly after the
World’s Fair, which was followed by a never forgotten
depression, and it was then impossible at that time to get work
of any kind. I had been suffering for several years with
catarrh and dyspepsia and decided it would be best to try a
change of climate, so we traded this property for a farm in the
southern part of Missouri, near a town called Olden.
On a visit to Chicago in July 2012, my wife and I were able to
locate most of the places mentioned by Victor in the Chicago
section of his autobiography.
The entrance to Lakeview Swedish Baptist
Side view of Lakeview Swedish Baptist Church (from west).
The Lakeview Swedish Baptist Church
building still stands at the corner of Clifton and Barry
Streets in the Lakeview District of Chicago, but it is no
longer a church. The building has been repurposed and
now contains seven condos. The Lakeview District is on
the south edge of the Andersonville area of Chicago.
On the left is the apartment building which Victor built on
the front of his lot. He says in his autobiography that
it was on Osgood Street. However, many streets have been
renamed as well as renumbered, and the address now is 3349
Kenmore Street, in the Lakeview district of Chicago. On
the right is an aerial view of the neighborhood, courtesy of
Google Earth. Victor's building is near the center of
the picture, marked by the white circle in the street.
He says that toward the end of the 1890s "Lake View was
becoming very closely settled." This picture shows how
"closely settled" the neighborhood became.
Victor writes in his autobiography that, before he built the
apartments, he built a house for his family on the back of the
lot. There is, indeed, a frame house behind the
apartment building, shown in the photo on the left
above. I am fortunate to have a photo that was taken
during the time Victor and Hannah lived on Osgood
Street. The moment I saw the house behind the apartment
building, I knew I was in the right place. There can be little
doubt that the house at the back of 3349 Kenmore Street is the
house Victor built for his family. The photo on the
right was taken about 1895. Hannah and family are in the
lower right corner of the photo, and the children, from left
to right, are Ruth, Lawrence (in a dress), Esther and
Elam. The house in back / apartments in front
arrangement was used frequently in this neighborhood, as can
be seen in the Google Earth view above. Most of the
nearby lots have both buildings. I could not get as much
of the house into the current photo as is shown in the old
photo because there is no longer space enough between the two
buildings for a more complete photo.
In the late 1890s the Andersons moved north to Rogers
Park. We looked for Victor and Hannah's house in Rogers
Park but we did not have a current address for it (all street
addresses were changed in 1909) and the number we had, 941
Estes Avenue, no longer exists. We did drive down the
street and found it a pleasant suburban street with modest
single family dwellings for the most part. Later, we
learned that the current address is 1501 Estes Avenue.
The photos above were taken from Google Earth. The house
is near the center of the left picture. It is long and
narrow and has a dark grey roof with four dormers.
Victor says he was three blocks from the lake, and the picture
on the right shows that. "1501 Estes Ave." appears at
the center of this picture, and the house is on the southwest
corner of the intersection nearest "1501."
The map below will give you an orientation to Chicago and to
the location of these places in Chicago.