The North Will Rise Again

Saturday, December 16, 1871

Property owners from the North Division meet at the Metropolis Hotel at Fourteenth Street and Michigan Avenue in the South Division. They resolve unanimously to rebuild as soon as possible.  Some express skepticism that the proposed strict fire limits will ever be enforced, while others maintain that the walls of brick buildings do not need to be as thick as the proposed new regulations prescribe.  The owner of Lill’s Brewery, which had been located just south of the Pumping Station on Chicago Avenue, states that he has no desire to reopen the business.  Although making beer is profitable, he says, the fact of the matter is that everyone connected with a brewery is a drunkard, and so he would rather find another kind of work.  Fifty-eight-year-old Julian Rumsey, a leading grain broker who was mayor in the early 1860s, declares that he lived for thirty-five years on the North Side before he was burned out, and he wishes to remain there thirty-five years more.  Rumsey will pass away fifteen years later.