34-36 Lake Street Building
Life Span: 1862-1871
Location: 34-36 Lake Street (NW Corner Wabash and Lake)
Excerpted from Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men in Chicago, 1868
Portraits by John Carbutt
Philip Wadsworth—In 1853, his brother, E. S. Wadsworth, Esq., wishing to avail himself of the experience and knowledge in trade which Philip had acquired in New York, invited him to Chicago, to enter the extensive jobbing house of Cooley, Wadsworth & Co., (the same establishment which is now known as “J. V. Farwell & Co.,”) the first great wholesale dry goods house in the city. This establishment included in its business, also, the departments of clothing and boots and shoes, which were subsequently separated from it, the wholesale clothing department resolving itself into the firm of Huntington, Wadsworth & Parks, and the boot and shoe department into the present firm of C. M. Henderson & Co. On the death of Mr. Huntington, and withdrawal of Mr. Parks, the wholesale clothing house finally became the present well-known firm of Philip Wadsworth & Co., who are doing a business that aggregates not less than a million of dollars a year. For the past eight years, they have also had a house in Boston, where nearly alL their goods are manufactured. The New England trade of the Boston house amounts to about $500,000 annually, including the trade in woolen goods, as well as that of clothing. This Eastern connection gives Mr. Wadsworth unusual facilities for the prosecution of his business, which extends into every part of the Northwestern States and Territories. Being a fair, honorable, and straightforward gentleman, and possessing those fortunate qualities of mind and heart which attract friends and bind them to us, he has become one of the most popular merchants in the city.
Though amply possessed of “this world’s goods,” and ranking with the very best and most respected of citizens, Mr. Wadsworth is remarkably democratic in his ways. There is none of that show of aristocracy in his life and conduct among men which so disgustingly characterizes others who have much less occasion for “vain pride.” He regards pomp, glitter, and haughtiness of demeanor, in this republican land of human equality, as only so many signs of ill-breeding and a pitiful nature. With a large circle of friends and acquaintances, embracing the richest and poorest, oldest and youngest, he retains the respect of all. He possesses the faculty of being agreeable, and exhibits, on all occasions, the manners and bearing of a true gentleman. He treats all men as equals, and even in his store appears more as an associate than the employer of his clerks. In society, in the drawing-room, and at the social board, he is a general favorite. The elderly people love his gentleness and his sympathy, and the young are enlivened by his sprightly good nature.
LEFT: Chicago Tribune, March 6, 1862
RIGHT: Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1863
Chicago Illustrated, December, 1866
WEST ON WABASH AVENUE AND LAKE STREET. This is a view of the crossing of Lake Street and Wabash Avenue, Burch’s iron block being the building in the foreground. This view is taken from Lake Streets, looking west. These buildings were erected in 1857-8, and have iron fronts, corresponding with a similar block on the opposite side of the street. In the distance is the cupola of the Tremont House. The extensive and widely renowned publishing house of S. C. Griggs & Co., which is one of the institutions in Chicago, is in this block. The other buildings are all occupied by wholesale firms. On the north-west corner of the crossing is the extensive wholesale clothing establishment of Philip Wadsworth & Co.
James Sheahan, December 1866
Benedict, Field & Co., and Huntington, Wadsworth & Co.
34-36 Lake Street
Created by E. Whitefield for the map-making concern of Rufus Blanchard
After the Fire, Field, Benedict temporarily moved to 892 Wabash avenue, then in February, 1872, to its permanent location at the corner of Market and Washington streets.