member Joel Morbito recently took issue with the claim that
Beverly Hills, California was named after the Beverly Hills
neighborhood. The oft-told story is that one of the Silva
brothers, early real estate developers in the community,
moved to Los Angeles and continued his speculative ways.
It was supposedly Silva who provided the sobriquet "Beverly
Hills" to the future land of movie stars in honor of
his former place of residence.
To quote from the official history of Beverly Hills, CA:
1906, after the oil drilling ventures of the Amalgamated
Oil Company proved unprofitable, the Rodeo Land and Water
Company was formed under the guidance of Burton E. Green
for the development of property as a subdivision. A city
was planned with wide streets of easy sweeping curves
lined with palm, acacia, eucalyptus and pepper trees.
It was named Beverly Hills by Green and his associates,
after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, where Green lived."
thank Joel for this tidbit of humbling information.
Banks of The Ridge
Harold T. Wolff, Registrar
banks, as opposed to mechanical banks, are those little
banks - piggy banks, if you like, though they are not usually
pigs - in which you just insert money without the intervention
of a mechanical device. In mechanical banks, the clown may
stick out his tongue to receive your coin, tongue and coin
then retracting from the weight to allow the coin to fall
into the bank; or there may be a spring-driven device to
shoot the coin from one part of the bank to the slot. A
still bank may have moving parts so long as they are not
part of the mechanism to get money into the bank.
1963 until his death in 1986 the foremost modern collector
of still banks was a part of our community. He was 1. Andrew
Moore (1937-1986), who succeeded Arthur Baer as president
of Beverly Bank in July, 1975 and retained that office until
his death, March 14, 1986 at the age of 49. Mr. Moore kept
his collection of banks in his North Beverly home. From
there, he and his wife, Susan, published their 1984 book,
The Penny Bank Book: Collecting Still Banks. (The library
of Ridge Historical Society has a copy of this book, thanks
to the generosity of the late Gary Sauermann.)
Moore collection of Still Banks was mostly dispersed at
auction after Mr. Moore's death and none of it came to the
Ridge Historical Society. What RHS does have, however, is
a small group of still banks associated with local institutions,
given to the Society at various times.
the oldest bank in the Society's collection is from the
Morgan Park Trust and Savings Bank, given to RHS by David
A. Ruhl in 1979. This bank is in the form of a book,
is 42" high by 3-3/811 wide and one inch thick. It
is made of brass, with a leather cover embossed with the
bank's name. On the spine "Book of Thrift" appears
at the top while VIII is at the bottom. When unlocked, it
opens on hinges like a book.
Most of the other still banks in the RHS collection were
issued by the Beverly State Savings Bank of Chicago, as
Beverly Bank was known until 1957. Probably the oldest of
these is in the form of a barrel with a maximum diameter
of 2-1/811 and standing 2-3/411 high. Made of brass, it
has the bank's name on the slot end. The bottom carries
the message, "A coin in the barrel today starts a barrel
of coin on the way.
of the Beverly State Bank banks in the collection is in
the form of a recumbent dog, ten inches long from
toes to tail, 4-3/411 wide and 5-3/4" inches high.
It is of composition material, surfaced with flocking to
represent fur. Its dog collar has a metal tag bearing the
name of the bank. The designer gave the dog a face, half
half reproachful, looking up at the potential contributors.
have two examples of Beverly State Bank's calendar bank.
These Gerett Allcoin calendar banks were probably actually
mechanical banks. One is in its original box which a carries
instructions for setting the month and day on its face by
putting coins in the controlling slots. The back of each
of these banks bears a "conscience slot" for making
up short deposits and for inserting paper money.
Beverly Bank (as the institution has been known since 1957)
RHS has an iron liberty bell bank, 3-5/811 in diameter and
4111 high. Joan Wynne Murphy says that Beverly Bank commissioned
a 1/5th scale replica of the Liberty Bell from Whiteside
Foundry, London, in connection with the American Bicentennial.
It was issued in the early 1970s.
Historical Society also has a bank formed as a horse-drawn
Chicago Tribune delivery wagon issued as a premium
to new subscribers, probably in the late 1970s. It is 7"2
inches long. Lettering on the sides of the wagon tout the
newpaper's "Big Thanksgiving Day Issue."
Thanks to donors like David Ruhl, the Ridge Historical Society
has these examples of still banks with local connections,
only one of which was represented in the Moore collection.
& Water: Chicago Before Our Time
stops a glacier?
20,000 years ago the Laurentide Ice Sheet, centered on Hudson's
Bay, extended an icy finger southward, now called by geologists
the Wisconsin lobe. This massive glacier, more than a mile
high at its thickest, carved out the Lake Michigan basin,
scouring the bedrock and pushing millions of tons of rock
and dirt ahead of it. When the combined effects of this
ever-increasing burden and ever warming temperatures began
slowing the glacier as it passed the future site of Chicago
14,500 years ago, there was a major climatic shift that
raised temperatures five to ten degrees in a relatively
short geologic time. The mighty Wisconsin lobe began to
break up, calving into small icebergs that were soon borne
away by the rising waters of melted ice. The glacier gave
its last gasp and deposited its burden where it stood, forming
the massive Tinley Valparaiso Moraine--everywhere but here.
ridge was a fluke. What apparently happened was a major
calving took place just east of the ridge, and a huge chunk
of ice, with its share of rock and sand, just stopped there
and stubbornly made the rest of the Wisconsin lobe proceed
around it, pushing onward towards Palos, melting to slush.
to leaving the Blue Island ridge, our glacier, in its demise,
deposited thousands of boulders forming a "bowlder
belt" (as geologist William C. Alden spelled it in
1902) that extended from Park Ridge south to Parvey. Referred
to as "fieldstones" by early pioneers, they proved
to be useful resources for building foundations or fences.
Mostly they were a pain, needing to be dragged away before
farming could commence.
earliest surveyors, in the 1820s and '30s noted their presence.
State Road surveyors apparently used fieldstones to mark
the route of Vincennes Road in 1833-34. Only a few of these
so-called "milestone markers" have been located
and identified. Finding others is where Newsletter readers
Ridge Historical Society a photograph and/or description
of the big old rock or rocks on your property. Include
whatever you know about them. Does such a rock delineate
your property line? Does it appear to have been moved from
another location? Does it have any marking carved into it?
marker stones further south are reported to have markings
describing how many miles to Vincennes, Indiana. We are
already informed about the commemorative boulders at 92nd
and Pleasant and at 112th and Lothair. Others need to be
located and documented.
Also solicits readers for stories about underground streams
(it seems everyone has them), seasonal ponds and those mysterious
deep holes found in some residential yards. They might be
old wells or even cooling cellars for early breweries. Pre-pioneer
history is all around us.
Historical Society Newsletter, June-July, 2001
Mike Stachnik left Ridge Historical Society he and I began
compiling facts on local Indians. Tribes associated with
the Chicago/Calumet area include the Illinois, Pottawatomies,
Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa (Ojibwa), Mascoutin, Fox and Winnebago.
As historians tell us, Indian history and geography is confusing
because they had no concept of personal property and the
tribes led a peripatetic lifestyle, following game south
during winter months.
villages, occupied nearly year around, could be found just
south of St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island, at the north
end of the Ridge in Dan Ryan Woods and on "Acme Bend"
near 127th and Michigan Avenue. The dozens of summer camps
that dotted the area were usually sited on wooded ridges.
we think that history happens someplace else, it should
be recalled that it was in our very neighborhood that Pottawatomie
War Chief Main Poc (who had his villages south of Blue Island)
assembled his "troops" here preparatory to the
Ft. Dearborn massacre.
further reading try R. David Edmunds' epic titled The Pottawatomies:
Keepers of the Fire.)
Historical Society Newsletter, April-May, 2001.
Family Initiatives Launched Community
Morgans (of Upwood fame) were, at one time, the largest
landholding family in southern Cook County. Only Stephen
Douglas, around Lake Calumet, and the Andrews brothers,
along the Calumet River east of Blue Island, came close.
(The Andrews family bible is part of the Pioneer Exhibit
Morgans transported the world of the English gentry to the
Illinois prairie, injecting a significant element of upper
class British culture to the mix of American wild west stage
coach types, some merchants and German and Irish farmers
that were fencing in the wilderness.
nearest neighbor was Richard Bingle who located on the Ridge
in 1842 following several years when Chicago actually lost
population. The failure of many mid-western state banks
had caused the so-called Panic of 1837, bringing a halt
to work on much needed internal improvements like the Illinois-Michigan
Canal. The Bingle house later became the William Morgan
residence, and for years was located on the grounds of Mt.
Olivet Cemetery before being moved to another location.
Morgans, originally from Surrey, England (where Elton John
and Eric Clapton and other gentry currently maintain substantial
mansions) made their money in the diamond mines of South
Africa. They had a household staff and hired a tutor for
their children. They embraced the local shepherd economy
with its early center in nearby Blue Island that, for a
time, surpassed Chicago in the production of wool.
draining the swamps along 95th Street and rerouting the
Vincennes Road around their farm, the Morgans built a substantial
stone sheepcote into the ridge to protect their flocks.
None of their neighbors could afford such luxury, and the
flocks of those without the means to construct a huge barn
suffered poaching by wolves.
hunts, organized by the Morgan and Andrews families, pretty
well rid Wolf Ridge (a wooded bluff near 115th and Racine)
of these varmints by 1870. These forays resembled Surrey
fox hunts. Soon all the game that had been in the area was
gone. Interestingly, coyotes are currently making a comeback
in the forest preserves and around Harbor Point International
golf course on Lake Calumet.
further reading on local pioneers consult A. T. Andreas'
History of Cook County, two copies of which are at Driscoll
Historical Society Newsletter, April-May, 2001
Illinois and The Glaciers
BY CHRIS HUPPERT
of Illinois topography was created as a result of masses
of ice covering it during four major periods of glaciation.
Over ninety percent of our state was covered by as least
one of these great ice sheets that moved slowly over the
land, filling in river valleys and leveling the hills as
a giant bulldozer might change the landscape.
sixty million years ago, the temperature began to fall rapidly
in Illinois. Great amounts of snow began to accumulate,
remaining even in the summer. Soon huge mountains of snow
up to three miles high had formed. As the weight of the
snow in- creased, gigantic sheets of ice began to form and
to move gradually southward over the land.
of the major periods of glaciation was named for a state
where glacial drift-clay, sand, gravel, and boulders-were
left in great abundance. The first and oldest glacier to
enter Illinois was called the Nebraskan, and the next was
the Kansan glacier. Their deposits were obscured by the
third and most important glacier, which was named the Illinoisan
because it covered so much of this state. It began approximately
one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand years ago and
reached as far South as Harrisburg and Carbondale before
it began to recede. It has pushed farther south than any
other glacier in the history of North America. Only in western
Illinois near Quincy is there some of the Kansan glacial
drift still on the surface.The
last of the great glaciers to enter Illinois was called
the Wisconsinan, and covered most of the northern and eastern
part of Illinois. About fifty thousand years ago, it pushed
as far south as Mattoon, and receded some twenty-five thousand
years later. After this last glacier melted and left an
uneven layer of glacial drift, windstorms blew a thick,
fertile layer of new soil over the Prairie State. This rich
black topsoil, known as loess, varied in depth from two
feet to one hundred feet.
the glacial period most of Illinois' surface is level or
gently sloping with the exception of a broken, hilly ridge
that crosses the southern part of the state and the rugged
terrain of the northwestern corner in Jo Davies County.
These two sections were not touched by the glaciers, and
two other very small areas in the southwestern part of the
state also were not touched (see map). The wonderfully rich,
level prairie land left from the glaciers has played a major
part in the development of Illinois' physical geography.
Clarence Alvord, The Illinois Country, 1673-1818, pp. 17-19;
Allan Carpenter, Illinois: Land of Lincoln, pp. 24-27; Robert
P. Howard, Illinois: A History of the Prairie State, pp.
7-10; Federal Writers' Project, Illinois: A Descriptive
and Historical Guide, pp. 9-10.]
Illinois History Magazine
of years ago the glaciers that covered much of Illinois
left deposits that were scraped from hills and valleys.
Geologists call these deposits moraines.
definition of a moraine, as given by the Encyclopedia Americana,
is a "deposit of rock debris, composed of sand, gravel,
or clay, made by a glacier." It later states that these
materials are un-stratified, or not in layers.
The names of these moraines, or drifts, reveal their location
in Illinois, for many are named for the communities built
on them such as Bloomington, Shelbyville, Marseilles, LaMoille,
Paw Paw, Mendota, West Chicago, Champaign. Chicago is built
on glacier deposits, as are most of the other communities
glaciers moved across this land, they scraped rock, sand,
dirt, and other materials off the ground. They carried these
along until they stopped advancing. Then they let go of
them as the ice melted.
are basically two different types of moraines: those formed
on the ice itself are called lateral, medial, and ablation;
those formed in front and around the edges of the glacier
are called terminal, recessional, and ground.
A lateral moraine is a ridge of earth and stone scraped
from valley walls or collected from avalanches on top of
the ice. Where two lateral moraines meet and join, a medial
moraine is formed when the ice melts and deposits its debris.
The ablation moraine is a collection of soil and rocks which
was frozen in the ice but was dropped to the ground as the
moraine forms when a glacier is melting as rapidly as it
is advancing; the rocks and soil freed from the melting
ice settle as the water flows away. A recessional moraine
is formed when a glacier pauses several times in its retreat,
leaving debris in rows. Ground moraines are made of the
loose debris spread smoothly over a wide area of land as
the glacier advances. Most of Illinois' farmland is composed
of ground moraines. The northeastern part of Illinois is
largely made up of terminal moraines with some ground moraines
Allan Carpenter, Illinois: Land of Lincoln, p. 26; Encyclopedia
Americana (1967), Vol. 19, p. 437; Illinois State Geological
Survey, Geology and Mineral Resources of the Marseilles,
Ottawa, and Streator Quadrangles (1942), Bulletin No. 66,
p. 142 and Pleistocene Glaciations in Illinois, pp. 2, 4,
5; maps from Illinois State Geological Survey.]