The house was built for Edgar Galloway and his wife, Helen. They bought the land in 1874 from Thomas A Cosgrove, a member of the Ravenswood Land Company.
Edgar’s brother Albert bought the lot just north of this one in the same year. The Galloways, like other early residents, then began acquiring additional property in Ravenswood.
For example, between 1874 and 1880 they purchased or had financial connections to every lot on this side of Hermitage between Wilson and Sunnyside except the church property and the two end lots at Sunnyside.
Their holdings made the Galloway brothers particularly interested in community improvement projects. Edgar, who was a pluumber, was active in the movement ot bring sewers to Ravenswood. In 1884 the movement gained momentum and engineers were consulted.
They recommended running a line down Montrose to the Chicago River to take advantage of the natural drainage this route offered. But the river was in Jefferson Township, and Jefferson objected to a sewer line at Montrose and the river.
For its part, Lake View, which ended at Western Avenue, would not allow Jefferson to run a water main through Lake View to Lake Michigan.
Ravenswood was forced to use an alternate route: it built a sewer main down Damen from Lawrence to Belmont, then over to Western and the river, which at that point was part of Lake View.
Like many large projects, construction of the sewers fell behind schedule. Collection of the homeowners’ special assessment, however, continued on schedule. In 1888 this led several homeowners on Commercial Avenue to petition Lake View City Council to suspend collection of their assessments. The petition was denied. The sewer was eventually built.
Office of Deeds early maps; 1880 Census.
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