Friday, July 6, 2012

Chicago Fountains and Families

"I only know one person who became the matriarch of a family at age 24," writes Angela F. Cathey McGhee in the Spring 2012 Chicago Genealogist. The article is her work-in-progress account of her grandmother Mabel (Jordan) Cathey (1885-1970) and family. It's well-documented (with footnotes, not endnotes, thank you!) and well contextualized, and a reminder that we don't have to be done with our research in order to publish it. This is the kind of article that every local, state, and regional quarterly editor needs to be soliciting and encouraging, because publishing lists, indexes, and databases on paper wastes both time and trees.

The Spring 2012 Chicago History includes two lengthy articles on topics of genealogical interest as well:

* Leslie Coburn chronicles the development of public water fountains in Chicago -- a kind of public utility that served humans, horses, and dogs -- while furthering the causes of temperance and kindness to animals.

* Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck give short accounts of eight not-well-enough-known American Indians in Chicago 1890-1940: Potawatomi leader Simon Pokagon, physician Carlos Montezuma (Yavapai), anthropologist William Jones (Fox), athletic director Francis Cayou (Omaha), businessman Scott Henry Peters (Chippewa), opera singer Tsianina Blackstone (Cherokee), baseball player Charles Albert Bender (Ojibwe), and entertainer Evelyn "Billie" Frechette (Menominee). Even when overt racism was not involved, they all lived in the crosshairs of contradiction, needing both to succeed in an overwhelmingly white world and to affirm their own culture and roots.

Angela F. Cathey McGhee, "Building a Chicago Family: The Cathey Group," Chicago Genealogist 44, no. 3 (Spring 2012): 95-101.

Leslie Coburn, "The Water Question," Chicago History 38, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 4-21.

Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck, "Crossroads for a Culture," Chicago History 38, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 22-43.

Harold Henderson, "Chicago Fountains and Families," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 6 July 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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