|1860 US Census, Chicago, IL|
|Chicago Address list for James Brown|
|1857 Chicago looking west from Lake Michigan. Location of tobacco|
manufacturers along the Chicago River are circled. Streets where James
lived at various times are shown in blue rectangles.
Chicago, Braunhold & Sonne, 1857 (click to enlarge)
Tobacco was a rapidly growing business in Chicago in the 1870s exceeding production in both Detroit and St. Louis3; and, in fact, by 1877, Spaulding and Merrick of Chicago, was the second largest tobacco factory in the United States employing over350 men and women in producing chewing, smoking and plug tobacco4. In 1867 James was working for the Chicago Tobacco Works on North Water Street. Later he worked for Merrick, Allen & Co. (which became Spaulding & Merrick) on River Road. (They had other locations on South Water Street.) All of these buildings were destroyed in the 1871 fire. Spaulding and Merrick rebuilt a six-story building on River Road. On June 1, 1877, this building too experienced a fire. The night watchman discovered some tobacco smoldering on the top floor which eventually burned through the roof. Considering the flammable nature of the product, the fire was rather quickly extinguished due to the efficiency of the Chicago Fire Department, the design of the new building, and their location on the Chicago River from which water was pumped to fight the flames. Despite heavy fire, smoke, and water damage to the upper three floors, Levi Merrick, owner of the company, stated there would be little delay in re-starting operations5.
|Clip from the David Brown letter (click to enlarge)|
|1880 US Census (click to enlarge)|
|Chicago Court Document|
(click to enlarge)