"Wicked City"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 4 09:14:29 UTC 2004

I might as well discuss this. No one else will.

In the 1870s, Chicago was also known as the "Wicked City." This was never
very popular as a specific nickname that you'd see in, say, the Sporting  News,
but Chicago's "wickedness" was and still remains very popular. Jokes about
Chicago and religion (or the lack thereof) filled the news paragraphs of the

Here are a few "wicked" examples.

(Library of Congress)
    Brief Description: _Stevens,  Grant Eugene._
Wicked city / by Grant Eugene Stevens.
Chicago :  [s.n.], 1906.
340 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.

    Brief Description: _Johnson,  Curt, 1928-_

Wicked city Chicago : from Kenna to Capone / Curt  Johnson and R. Craig
Chicago : December Press, c1994.
viii,  390 p. : ill., ports. ; 23 cm.

_ILLINOIS.;  Internal Revenue Matters-Commercial Colleges-State Association
of Spiritualists. _
New York Times (1857-Current file). New York,  N.Y.: Jul 6, 1868. p. 3 (1
With this fact before you, of the existence of one drinking establishment  to
every one hundred and fifty people--men, women and children, is it surprising
 that Chicago is a wicked city, and that murders and other heinous crimes run
 riot with us?

8 May 1872, FORT WAYNE (IND) DAILY SENTINEL, pg. 2, col. 2:
Chicago has had the reputation of being a wicked city, but if it is true
that the Lord helps those who help themselves, He will probably be on the side
of Chicago hereafter, and we shall never again laugh at any predictions that
shall be made of this Western Capital, no matter how extravagant and absurd
they  may seem.

14 November 1873, SANDUSKY (IL) DAILY REGISTER, pg. 2, col. 2:
The new Common Council of Chicago is composed of seventeen Irishmen, nine
Germans, and fourteen Americans. Paddy is ahead of them all, and when he joins
fists across the bloody chasm with Hans, he can "scoop out" the Yankee every
time. The foreign element has the full swing in the wicked City of the  West.

2 March 1874, DAILY REPUBLICAN (Decatur, IL), pg. 2, col. 3:

30 November 1876, ATHENS (OH) MESSENGER, pg. 2, col. 1:
Nearing Chicago our rout lay along Lake Michigan for six or eight miles. We
could see vessels of various sizes coming in and going out of port. The train
entered Central depot at 8:30 a.m. This "Wicked City" has its many
attractions  and I was well pleased with what I saw of it.

Delineations of  Newspaper Men Bead and Alive of the Garden City -- Dr. Ray Long
Join Went-  worth, Horaes White, Jo Medill, She- han, "Old Storey" and
Others. _
The Washington Post (1877. Mar 22, 1878. p. 1 (1 page) :
This is one cause of the general reputation of Chicago papers for pure
wickedness. The editors themselves are, as a rule, perfectly upright men,  leading
sober, righteous and godly lives. But Chicago is a wicked city in many
respects, as it is a gloriously good one in many others.

9 February 1905, STEVENS POINT (WI) DAILY JOURNAL, pg. 3, col. 5:
Surely there is need of revival, and for this reason the various religious
denominations are energetically engaged in efforts to redeem this great and
wicked city.

Chicago's fame as a wicked city has gone abroad, and has brought one of
Englanf's strong preachers here to aid in the fight against "the world, th  flesh,
and the devil." When the call came to Rev. William Kirk Bryce at  Nottingham
from the Fourth Baptist church of Chicago, he is reported as  exclaiming: "I
have heard that Chicago is the wickedest city in the world, and  that is why I
want to go there."

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