Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stories in Stone--C. Heinze

This past week I was sitting in Cumin, a delightful Nepalese/Indian restaurant in Wicker Park, a Chicago neighborhood, having a sumptuous lunch buffet when I noticed a "Story in Stone" right across the street. Atop the windows in stone, C. Heinze and the date 1878

Usually I don't make a habit of researching a Story in Stone in a large city as I have found that it becomes too difficult to nail down the family. With a surname like Heinze, though, I thought I might have at least a chance even in a city the size of Chicago. And I was right!

The Heinze store is located across from Cumin on North Milwaukee Avenue. I did not take a close-up of the number on the Heinze building; however Cumin is listed as 1414 North Milwaukee Avenue. When I located the family of Charles Heinze, a butcher, in the 1880 Illinois Census, the address listed was 1067 Milwaukee. This is the only C. Heinze in the Chicago area in 1880. Building numbers do change from decade to decade as additional houses and shops are built, so this address could well be what is today listed as 1415 Milwaukee Avenue.

In 1880, the Heinze family was living in an apartment building with several other families. One is a baker and one is a grocer. It makes me wonder if they all had a grocery business together in the Heinze Building or if Charles ran his butcher shop out of that store front alone. Looking at the size of the building, it would be possible for several families to live in the rooms above the shop.

The census also lists that Charles two sons, Herman and Henry are also butchers and young Charles was a butcher apprentice. It was a family business.

Charles Heinze born about 1821 in Prussia
Wilhelmine Grusches Heinze born about 1823 in Prussia

The Family of Charles Heinze and Wilhelmine Grusches:

1. Herman Heinze b. Oct 26, 1853 in either Wisconsin or Illinois. d. Jan 16, 1926, Chicago, IL. Buried at Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL. Made his living as a butcher.

2. Henry Heinze b. 1955 in Chicago, IL. d. Mar 16, 1928 at Bremen, IL. Buried in Chicago, IL. Made his living as a butcher.

3. Charles Heinze (Charles M. Heinze) b. Jan 14, 1864, Chicago, IL. d. Aug 17, 1928, Chicago, IL. Buried at Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL. Made his living as a butcher.

4. Agnes Heinze b. 1872, Illinois.

5. Lillie Heinze (Lillian C. Heinze) b. Nov 1, 1873, Chicago,IL. d. Jan 28, 1946 Chicago, IL. Never married. Buried at Holy Sepulchre, Worth, IL.

6. Willie Heinze b. 1876 Illinois.

I was able to follow Charles, Jr. and his brother Herman through the early 1900 Chicago censuses. They worked as butchers and Herman, who never married, lived with his younger brother Charles until their deaths. The address listed on the 1910 and 1920 census was 1415 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL. The brothers were operating a butcher shop out of the store front in the Heinze Building. Henry continued to work as a butcher, but not in Chicago.

I was not able to locate death records for Charles and Wilhelmine, nor a marriage record for Agnes.

-1880 Census, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 196; Page: 438A; Enumeration District: 150.

-1900 Census, Chicago Ward 14, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T623_261; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 418.

-1910 Census, Chicago Ward 16, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_259; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0768.

-1920 Censue, Chicago Ward 16, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_327; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 957.

-Heinze, Charles, Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947. Digital Folder Number: 4206135, Image Number: 2820 , Film Number: 1892224, Volume/Page/Certificate Number: rn 24892.

-Heinze, Henry, Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947. Digital Folder Number: 4008217, Image Number: 1402, Film Number: 1614308, Volume/Page/Certificate Number: cn 9158.

-Heinze, Herman, Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947. Digital Folder Number: 4204779, Image Number: 1575, Film Number: 1877729, Volume/Page/Certificate Number: rn 1495.

-Heinze, Lillian C., Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947. Digital Folder Number: 4005309, Image Number: 755, Film Number: 1985094, Volume/Page/Certificate Number: Item 1 cn 3207.

© 2011, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. And I guess, the rest is history. I've always thought I'd like to trace somebody, not in my family, and I'll remember I got the idea from you. Nice report.

  2. I love when you do one of these, they are so fascinating!

  3. Linda,
    Thank you for sharing this. I grew up in this building from 1972 through 1998. My grandmother owned this building and the adjoining home behind (1420 N.Wood) connected to the building which also had an underground tunnel. Growing up I was always curious who lived there before and what it was. We always assumed it was a butcher store because of the pre-existing built in refrigerator and there was a huge butcher block table in the middle of the kitchen area. The basement had many hooks railings which my dad always said were meat hoods and like a drain spout where we presume animal's were gutted. The 2nd and 3rd floor were absolutely beautiful you will never find that type of architecture again. From spiraling stairs cases, to huge sliding wooded doors with vintage glass and antique bathrooms. There was also a small elevator shaft that was a type of dolly that we assumed was used to send up trays of food or other things. I loved growing up in this building it was not a normal home but it was very unique my little castle. My family was forced to sell thanks to gentrification but
    A piece of me will always live there.
    Thank you so much for sharing this interesting find. It comforts me to known about the family that lived there they were hard working small business owners as was my family who had a Mexican Restaurant named Alicia's there for over 30 years. I can now believe and bring life to the stories my grandmother use to tell. She would tell us about things she would see. When she was simply tired of being a strong single women, business owner and stepmother of 6 she would say that a man with a tall figure would appear to her and nod as if telling her she can do it all will be fine. To think two generations of immigrants in some spiritual way connected.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Susan Villanueva