October 8, 2015

The "Great Chicago Fire" started this day

On this day in 1871 the "Great Chicago Fire" destroyed more than half of the city, killed some 300 people and left 9,000 people homeless. The fire was famously blamed on Mrs. O'Leary's cow  but that has been debunked. The city was composed of mostly wooden structures, the air was dry and fires were almost a daily event in Chicago. The good news is that rebuilding Chicago caused an economic boom and a hugh increase in population that made Chicago a major player. Chicago's opportunity for work made her a prime draw for young immigrant men and women with the skills to help launch Chicago into the 20th century.