Life Span: 1851 – 1963
Location: NW corner of Randolph and Market Streets
150 N. Wacker
Architect: John M. Van Osdel
Sargent building, at the northwest corner of N. Wacker drive and W. Randolph street, was formerly known as the Lind Block. It was known in the 1930’s as the (Charles) DeLeuw-Cather (civil engineers) building. Because of its isolated location it was one of the very few buildings in the central business district that escaped the fire of 1871. The article on the right is from The Chicago Tribune, October 11, 1871.
It was a five-story building, mentioned in the Udall & Hopkins city directory of 1852-53 as being located on Market street between Randolph and Lake streets. It appears likewise in the Cass & Gager city directory of 1856-57. In D. B. Cook’s city directory of 1859-60 this building is described as being on the northwest corner of W. Randolph street and N. Market street (now N. Wacker drive). When the east face of the building was cut off on account of the N. Wacker Drive improvement in the 1920’s, the east wall of the south portion was rebuilt as a facsimile of the original by Arthur Woltersdorf, architect,
It housed Z. M. Hall’s wholesale grocery before the fire.
The Land Owner, May, 1873
A NOTABLE BUILDING.—THE ONLY BLOCK LEFT UNTOUCHED IN THE GREAT FIRE.—MESSRS. FULLER & FULLER, ITS OCCUPANTS
Our citizens and strangers who were in Chicago at the time of the great fire, remember how miraculously the building on Market street, corner of Randolph and the river, was spared by the flames. We herewith present a graphic illustration of it, and take occasion to say something about its occupants, Messrs. Fuller & Fuller1, wholesale druggists, as a matter of history, and a heretofore unwritten chapter of the great conflagration.
The Land Owner
This house occupies a large portion of this block, their warerooms rising one above the other five stories and basement in height. There are so many different departments and so vast amount of detail in this business, that one unacquainted with its world-wide ramifications can hardly comprehend their extent. Believing that a brief notice of an establishment so miraculously preserved from destruction at the time of the great fire would be interesting to our readers, we called upon Messrs. Fuller & Fuller, and obtained permission to examine the various departments of their business. Although aware that this was the oldest and largest drug establishment in the North-West—in fact one of the representative establishments of America—we were wholly unprepared for the extent and variety of the stock shown to us. Passing through their warerooms, we notice not only remedies for disease, but many crude articles required by various manufacturing interests, gathered from every country of the globe—gums from Arabia, spices from India, fragrant oils from Ceylon, rose leaves from Damascus, opium from Turkey, gambia from Singapore, shellac from Calcutta, madder from Amsterdam, cantharides from Russia, fine chemicals from China, olive oil and pumice stone from Italy, cochineal and sarsaparilla from Honduras, dyconde from Cuba, palm oil from Africa, indigo from Manila, and all medicinal productions indigenous to North America—stored ready for the constant requirements of numerous customers. Strict regard to quality in the selection of goods has always distinguished this house. Order, accuracy and dispatch are stamped on every department of their vast business, and every person seem animated by unity of object, effort and feeling. The reputation of this house for mercantile integrity and scientific knowledge is second to none in the land.
Our readers are generally not aware of the great importance of the drug trade to the industries of the country. The confectioner procures from Fuller & Fuller his essential oils, the soap-maker his potash, the apothecary his drugs and compounds. It is one of the vital elements of our civilization.
Chicago Tribune, October 9, 1875
FULLER & FULLER.
The one store that is invariably and always picturesque is a drug-store. The dullest country village has its one muddy street relieved, at night, by the flash of the many-colored jars in the apothecary’s windows. The store itself is the central point around which the health of the community revolves. Everybody has to take more or less medicine, and the homely home-brewed concoctions of our grandmothers have given place to the scientific preparations that crowd the apothecary’s shelves. His store in the Mecca to which anxious parents turn when their children lie on a bed of sickness, in which the husband turns for relief for his wife, the wife for her husband,—somebody for everybody. The powders, and pills, and potions, compounded and sold there are the weapons with which
WE FIGHT DEATH
step by step, and often drive him away. These weapons are prepared for us the world over. Nature is forced to yield up her secrets that Tom may live. Christendom and heathendom are both ransacked for specifics which will keep some Mary alive. The countless array of drugs thus procured are shipped from far and wide to the great cities, and thence distributed to tens of thousands of drug-stores, and so to millions of homes. Chicago is the natural distributing center of the Northwest. She is as far advanced in the control of the drug-trde as in that of other all-importaqnt industries. The house which THE TRIBUNE has selected as the representative of this business here is that of
FULLER & FULLER
at Nos. 22, 24, and 26 Market street, between Randolph and Lake. The selection has been made because this is the largest and best institution of the sort, not only in this city, but anywhere west of New York. Its equal is scarcely to be found, in fact, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Like most very good things, it is a growth. When the senior partner, O. F. Fuller, was a lad of 15, he began to learn the business. In February, 1852, he brought his ripe experience and trained skill to bear in starting a first-class drug-house in this city. He has seen his adapted home and his chosen business grow, and grow at a gigantic rate, together. He did an exceptionally large business the first year, but now has yearly transactions are twenty-five times as great as they were then. The success of Fuller & Fuller, Messrs. O. F. and H. H. W., has been won, not by good luck, but by hard work. In the first twelve-month of the former’s career here, his place on Lake street was scorched by fire, and this was only a premonition of the disaster seven years afterwards, when the flames found the firm’s store on Franklin street, and left only ashes to tell where it had been. In compensation for these disaster, the
now occupied on Market, were spared in 1871. This block and one other were the sole remains of the business quarter when the sun rose after that red October night. The preservation of their whole stock was an immense advantage to the firm. They did not lose a day by the disaster that cost some of their would-be competitors months. As a result, their already great clientage was enormously increased. They now sell goods from Ohio to California. It is not often that a house here does much east of Indianapolis, but Fuller & Fuller do a large business in Ohio alone. From the rolling prairies of the Buckeye State to the slopes of the Pacific Coast, the brand “Fuller & Fuller” lurks in nearly every drug-store on box, and bale, and package. That brand means several things. It means, first,
PERFECTLY PURE DRUGS.
Adulteration is so easy and so profitable that it is unblushingly practiced. Only a highly-trained taste, often only a scientific analysis, can tell whether a particular preparation is pure or not. But if it is not, the difference between the thing prescribed and the thing taken may be the difference between life and death. A dishonest wholesale druggist runs the risk of killing by wholesale for the sake of his dishonest gains. When you buy goods of him, you do not get goods at all; you get bads. No such reproach can be brought against the great firm. Its success is a striking proof that honesty is the best policy. The stamp “Fuller & Fuller” is a guarantee of honest drugs. It is a synonym for full weight, too. The average man’s ideas of a scruple, drachm, etc. are of the most hazy character, and he can therefore be cheated with impunity. Two years ago, every druggist in a certain quarter of London was convicted for using false weights, and fined. It was an era of general investigation. Some thousands of other dealers were convicted at the same time. It made a great sensation, and Tom Hughes, the famous English author and politician, who then represented the district in Parliament, lost his seat because he denounced the nefarious practice. The evil may not be as wide-spreasd here, but it is nevertheless great. It finds no place, however, in the establishment of Fuller & Fuller. Here, then, we have two great resources of success,—pure goods and full measure. There are few persons who have been in business for themselves for nearly a quarter of a century who can point to so good a record as the members of this house. The firm has a large capital at its disposal, and uses it with admirable tact. The firm, too, has a large staff of skilled employes and a great amount of skill.
INSIDE ITS OWN TWO HEADS.
The Messrs. Fuller have the business at their fingers’ ends. A lifetime’s devotion to it has taught them everything the druggist needs to know. The site of their building is no mean advantage in itself. They occupy three large stores, Nos. 22, 24, 26 Market street, which run back from that broad avenue to the river. Then, as a matter of fact, their prices are
—lower, in many cases, than they were before the (Civil) War. By importing part of their stock directly from Europe, they save dealers’ and jobbers’ profits, and can afford to supply first-class goods at very low rates.
Their three stores are filled from turret to foundation-stone—which is the Walter Scott way of saying from basement to garret—with desks, clerks, and drugs. Besides the eighteen floors thus occupied, they have to hire storage-room outside. One floor is give up to the office. That is, it was so given up, but growing business has compelled the firm to line it with cupboards, and to fill even the space beneath the many desks with drawers and shelves. The desks themselves encroach upon the floor-room to such an extent that the visitor has to tread his way along narrow aisles. The office is decorated with rich stained glass, in which beauty and advertising are happily combined.
The representative of THE TRIBUNE left the office in company with Mr. O. F. Fuller to make the tour of rooms which contain the
Wholesale Drug House of Fuller & Fuller Advertisement
The Land Owner
LARGEST STOCK OF DRUGS
in the Northwest. The large packing and shipping departments are like those of any immense business, but the floors above are unique. Strangely-packed bales exhale aromatic odors. The products of every quarter of the globe be side by side. Here is a ponderous package of sarsaparilla, bound up in the hides of cattle that once roamed Central America plains. Great bales of arnica and chamomile flowers, which waft a strange fragrance through the air. History tells us of the
HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON
built to suit a despot’s whim, and rich in every flower. In these lofts we find a sort of hanging garden,—a long stretch of plants suspended from the ceiling and covered with the flowers of every clime.—dried, but none the less medicinal, and scarcely less fragment. Going through the great establishment is like taking a course in geography, Every part of the world is represented.
The drug business overlays several others. It includes paints and oils, etc., etc. Fuller & Fuller are prepared, in fact, to equip a drug store with dispensing counters, cases, glasses, show-jars, signs, and every possible variety of drugs. They furnish a surgeon with his tools. They offer you your choice of 105 kinds of oil with which to dress a salad or grease a locomotive-axle. You can select your favorite bitters from a hundred varieties. Two dozen hair-dyes will enable you to disguise your age. You can get enough chloroform here to lull the world to sleep, enough rubber rings for the world’s babies to cut their practice teeth upon. You can buy
in endless variety. You can fine pure wines and liquors. If you are anxious to discover the sport of remedy Othello had i,n mind when he said his tears dropped.
——as fast as the Arabian trees
Their Their medicinable gum
a line addressed to “Fuller & Fuller, Chicago,” will bring you samples forthwith. Carlyle could get enough mortars and pasties here to bray his “forty millions—mostly fools of Englishmen. The crowded floors have armies of barrels, unnumbered thousands of corks, tons of soaps, a myriad of boxes and bales from every zone, a bewildering variety of wares. The customers of O. F. Fuller and H. W. Fuller are courteously and fairly treated. They therefore come and come again. The firm’s drugs are never a drug on the market, and they themselves are the representative drug-house of the West. As such, THE TRIBUNE introduces them to its hundred thousand readers.
Chicago Tribune, December 4, 1896
THE LIND BLOCK, A LANDMARK IN RANDOLPH STREET.
The Lind Block, at the northwest corner of Randolph and Market streets, was partly destroyed by fire at 1 o’clock yesterday morning. The flames were confined, to the top story and the next lower story, but the damage from water ran the loss up to $25,000.
The Lind Block is a Chicago landmark. it was one of the few buildings that the fire of 1871 mysteriously skipped. In this it is like the Ogden mansion on the North Side and the office building that used to stand at the northeast corner of La Salle and Monroe streets. It was erected by Sylvester Lind, a Scotchman, and one of the oldest Chicago settlers, who kept a lumberyard on the site before he erected the building and who lost this and all the rest of his property during the war through the wildcat banks of that day.
The name of the Lind Block is now confined to the south half of the original building, which has had two stories added to it within the last six years. This part of the building now belongs to Edwin B. Wright and the site to Jonatnan Abel. The north half of the building and ground belongs to the McCormicks.
The Lind Block is said to have been the headquarters of the Fenlans at the time of the raid on Canada. It is now one of the two or three structures on which the city authorities have caused marks to be chiseled from which to determine city data.
Chicago Tribune, February 24, 1899
OLD LIND BUILDING BURNS.
Market Street Landmark a Prey to Flames—Surveyor’s Monument Destroyed—Joseph Ehert Hurt.
The Lind Building, 28 to 32 Market street, one of the landmarks that withstood the fire of 1871, succumbed, to the flames early yesterday morning. With it was destroyed a monument which for half a century had been the authentic basis of calculations from city data. The monument was imbedded in the wall of the building in 1847 at a level established by the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission and was used as the official level for the old canal and later for the drainage channel. The federal government adopted it as the basis of its harbor and river survey, in 1867 It was adopted by the city as the basis of its surveys of the sewer and water systems.
Owing to the fire in the Stock-Yards few engines were available. The fire tugs Illinois and Fire Queen, however, were brought into service on the 4-11 alarm, and, to good advantage. Joseph Ehert, a pipeman of engine company No. 34, was on the third floor when it fell. He crawled out of the ruins and was taken to the North Side Hospital. It is not believed his injurles are serious.
The fire was discovered by a night watchman and was soon blazing on two floors. The fireproof walls protected the adjoining buildings, but for three hours streams of water were poured into the burning structure, all the contents being destroyed. The loss on the building will be $40,000, covered by insurance. The total loss of tenants was estimated at from $80,000 to $110,000.
A curious coincidence in Judge Kohisaat’a court resulted from the fire. On Tuesday afternoon Frank O. Nelson, the conservator of the estate of Carl O. Maimghen. insane, who had a machine shop in the building, received an offer of $1,850 for the business and machinery in the shop, and the matter was brought to the attention of the courts yesterday for the approval necessary for the consummation of the contract for sale. Attorney W. F. A. Bernamer. who represents the estate, was advising the court of the facts in the case when news of the destruction of the building and its contents was brought Into court, and Judge Kohlsaat decided that there evidently was nothing to sell.
Robinson Fire Map
Volume 3, Plate 2
1THE FULLER & FULLER COMPANY was established in this city by O. F. Fuller in 1851, at which time Mr. Fuller was connected with M.P. Roberts under the firm name of Fuller & Roberts. In 1855, the firm was composed of Mr. Fuller, E. B. Finch and Charles Perkins, and, in 185S, was known as Fuller & Finch. The style of the firm was Fuller, Finch & Fuller in 1862, and since 1871 has been Fuller & Fuller. The present company was incorporated on June 15, 1885, of which O. F. Fuller is president, Joseph G. Peters and W. H. Rockwood, vice-presidents; J. Walker Scofield, secretary; and Jacob M. Shipley is treasurer. They occupy a six-story business block, at the comer of Randolph and Franklin streets. Their establishment is the largest wholesale drug-house west of New York. It is well and favorably known throughout the Middle and Western States.
—History of Chicago by Andreas (1884)