It is with great sadness that I write to you about the horrible events in Chicago. In just 15 hours last Sunday, the great city was practically destroyed. This is possibly the greatest loss of any city in the world, not even excluding – the Great Fire of London in 1660 – or Russia’s burning of Moscow against Napoleon – the amount of which can be determined – if known – 200 Churches are destroyed by fire.
First and foremost, I must express my gratitude for having a home to sleep in yesterday night, when up to 75,000 individuals did not.I drew a crude map of the “burned down” neighborhood that shows my house on Fourth Avenue 175 feet south of Harrison Street, which is truly the burned-down neighborhood’s southern limit, because the north side of Harrison Street— – Not Destroyed ,
A farm building behind Jones School, corner Clark and Van Buren Sts, a row of brick houses with 100 ft fronts – Corner 4th Ave and Harrison Sts, Methodist Church on the corner of N.W. Wabash Ave and Harrison Sts – Then between Wabash and Michigan Ave and one block north of Harrison St to Congress St, with the exception of about 3 houses in the N.W. corner of the block. With these exceptions, Harrison Street is the main thoroughfare from Lake West to the rail line and south to Taylor.
The entire north of it, as pictured, 4 miles x 3/4 to 1 mile wide, is in rubble, [what] saved me and the part of the city that was [on] the yard line on southern Michigan and Chicago and the sides of the Rock Island Railroad tracks. The freight yard on the west side of the tracks was bricked – low – and destroyed. The rail yard on the east side of the tracks also has a low brick roof with no openings on either side – a formidable barrier when the stations are known to stretch several blocks along the line – thus dividing the line Come on. The burned area on the south side west of the line between Harrison Street and Taylor Street.