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Andreas’ History of Chicago, 1884
FIRST CITY HALL
Before referring to those early corporate homes, styled by courtesy “City halls ” in former days, a description of a noted edifice is given, because it was used as the first city hall. The structure stood on the southeast corner of Lake and Clark streets, and was erected in 1836 by Captain J. B. F. Russell and G. W. Doan. At that time it was not only the finest hall in Chicago, but was not eclipsed by anything of the kind in the West. In this hall on Monday evening, January 23, 1837, the meeting of a few of the leading citizens of the town was held, for the purpose of preliminary action in procuring a city charter. It was also devoted to public entertainments of various kinds, political and religious meetings, concerts, traveling shows,etc. The name of this hall would to the casual reader, appear to connect it with a house of no very good repute; but such an impression would he erroneous. The word ” saloon ” as applied to this edifice had a very different meaning from what it now has. Its use was synonymous with the French salon, which means literally a grand and spacious hall.
Chicago Tribune, June 10, 1947
The first Cook County jail as it appeared in 1836. The jail stood in the public square at the southeast corner of Randolph and LaSalle streets.