Artesian Avenue

From HistoryWiki

Artesian Avenue Soundex Code A632

2432 W. from 7458 N. to 11856 S. This street is in West Ridge from Birchwood south to Bryn Mawr - ONLY

The City Council passed a lengthy ordinance Monday, January 14, 1895, rationalizing the street naming system. Artesian Avenue addresses under the OLD street numbering system went as far north as: 2852 which is 4745 by the new street numbering system. No conversions are needed for Rogers Park addresses as none existed before the new street numbering system went into effect.

Not listed in the 1895, 1897, 1898, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904 Chicago Blue Book.

This street owes its name to a 19th Century spiritualist who fell into a trance and proclaimed he’d struck oil on Chicago’s West Side.

On a Sunday in October 1863, Abraham James, a trance medium accompanied several oil scouts for the Chicago Rock Oil Co. to the outskirts of town, then near Western Avenue and Chicago Avenue. According to Adaline Buffum, a member of the Spiritual Philosophers sect that founded Rock Oil, James and his companion walked around for about a half-hour and were about to leave when James "became suddenly entranced" and marked three spots with heaps of stones.

He ran to a large tree and fell down, "apparently exhausted, still being in the trance state."His companions "learned from him, by signs, not speaking, that at the places indicated, the oil would be found." Drilling began. Finally, in 1865,at a depth of 1,200 feet, Rock Oil struck a gusher of water. Rock Oil had dug an early Chicago Artesian Well. A few Spiritual Philosophers hastened to clarify the original revelation. Both oil and water had been prophesied, the explained. And this, after all, was a truly heavenly elixir.

"Pure and sweet" Artesian Water is untainted by "the charges of disease and death that now lie at the door of the present Chicago Water Works," said George A. Shufeldt, Jr., a charter member of Rock Oil. "When this water is once in common use, Erysipelas, boils, and eruptive diseases (e.g., Measles, Chickenpox, etc.) will disappear, and that bane of our Western cities low typhoid fever, will be abated in Chicago."

"This living well of water will be the poor man's friend for all time to come, and the doctor's enemy for eternity."

But Buffum took Shufeldt to task. Nobody, certainly not Shufeldt, had mentioned a prophesy of water until water had been found, she said. "Water and oil," she insisted, "will never mix." Over the next 20 years, artesian wells were drilled all over town. Nineteen wells yielding a million gallons of water every ten hours, were drilled in the Union Stock Yards, alone. Even the packer barons, apparently had gotten religion.

West Ridge Addresses

6400 Block

6401 N. Artesian Avenue, Zam's Hope Community Resources, 2016.

6500 Block

6517 N. Artesian Avenue, the Anderson House.

6555 N. Artesian Avenue the Lenn/Diercks House.

6700 Block

6719 N. Artesian Avenue, Jack Zuta’s home.

6733 N. Artesian Avenue, Frank Stark’s home.

7400 Block

7447 N. Artesian Avenue, Harry L. Metzger, 1919.

7451 N. Artesian Avenue, Ferdinand Hengesch, 1919.

7451 N. Artesian Avenue, Ben La Buy, 1919.