Tuesday, May 26, 2015

John Dorman

I noticed this item about A.G.* Kemerley's new lunch counter/rooming house and thought it might refer to what eventually became the Ho-Hive house

2015-5-26. Kemerly rooming house/restaurant
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 24 Feb. 1922.

… until I checked the 1922 Sanborn map and saw that there were three houses north of the Nickel Plate Garage. Which was the MacPherson place is a mystery to me.

But here's what I found most interesting in this issue of the Gazette — an open letter wherein John Dorman, amid the name-dropping, gives us some tidbits about his life before coming to Ainsworth:

2015-5-26. John Dorman -- open letter

From the historical listing of aldermen in the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Chicago for 1900-1901, I gather that the four years he mentions were 1891-1895.

That information led me to an on-line issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune of March 22, 1892, which, under a headline reading, "WHO THE INDICTED MEN ARE" (with a subheading, "The Record of the Aldermen Charged With Boodling"**), included this very brief biography:
John F. Dorman, Alderman of the Tenth Ward, was born in Germany forty years ago. He came to Chicago with his parents when a boy and received his education in the Lutheran parish schools of the southwest section of the city. In the winter of 1887-'88 he was one of the Representatives of the Fifth Senatorial District at Springfield, where he made no particular reputation for himself one way or another. He has been a committeeman from his ward for a number of years, has held minor appointive positions in the City Hall and other public offices, and has been more or less of a local politician for a long time. He was elected to the Council a year ago. He is a Democrat.
I gather that this indictment did not lead to any serious consequences for Alderman Dorman. Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the eyesight to read up on all the details of this case, or of John Dorman's political career in general.

2015-5-26. J.F. Dorman portrait
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Chicago Daily Tribune, 22 March 1892.

*He liked to go by his initials, evidently; his name might have been Arthur Garfield Kemerly but I'm not certain.
**More precisely, the charge was conspiracy to commit bribery, according to another story from the same issue.

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