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Illinois National Guard First Regiment Armory
Life Span: 1877-1900
Location: 22-26 Jackson (Between Michigan & Wabash)
Illinois National Guard First Regiment Armory & the Leiland Hotel
THE FIRST REGIMENT, ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD
This regiment was in progress of organization, but had enlisted only one hundred and twenty men, at the time of the breaking out of the labor riots of 1877. When, however, a call for troops was made, over six hundred men responded, and, with scarcely an exception, every active member of the old organization enlisted, and bore arms during the troubles. Colonel McClurg was in Europe at the time, and the command devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel . Sherer. The regiment was stationed on Twelfth Street and in the lumber district. Several of the companies were stoned by the rioters and three men were badly hurt by the flying missiles, but the troops behaved with coolness and good sense, and not a shot was returned. After its duty here, the regiment was ordered to Braid wood, Will Co., 111., for two days’ service, thus making its entire time under arms about two weeks. Immediately after, and as a salutary result of the riots, Companies. ” H,” ” I ” and ” K ” were recruited, thus making full ten companies. Colonel McClurg retained the colonelcy until in December, 1877, when he resigned.
A degree of more than usual prosperity seems to have followed this regiment since its organization in 1877. Most of its officers and men are young in years, but are enthusiastic, under strict discipline, and well drilled; make a creditable display in peace, and, under the lead and control of the regiment’s veteran leaders, would make a good showing in a time of difficulty and danger. The present armory of this regiment is at Nos. 22-26 Jackson Street, in a building especially erected for its uses by the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Maine, and occupied under a ten-year lease. Although Cos. ” H ” and ” K ” have been disbanded, the regiment feels cramped for room, and is making vigorous efforts to secure more commodious quarters.
The armory moved to larger quarters on Michigan and 16th Streets. The Illinois Theater occupied this site from 1900-1936.
Robinson Fire Map