1610 N Honore St (formerly Girard St), otherwise known as lot 48 of E. R. Smith’s subdivision of Block 35 of Sheffield’s Addition to Chicago was (apparently) originally part of a plot of land once owned by Charles G Wicker (as in the Charles Wicker, of Wicker Park, the small park located one half-mile southwest of the property, general name of the neighborhood and title of the Hollywood feature film starring Josh Harnett). Somehow property #48, which was once a combined lot with #49, made its way into the hands of Nathan Corwith. And so our story begins:
1868 (yes 3 years after the end of the civil war)- Nathan Corwith sold the property along with another dozen parcels to Richard Hurd for $5,400.
1870 -Hurd dies and wills the property to his daughter Anna who marries Richard Folsom from Cincinati. (To his wife he leaves their Ohio home, $3,000, household goods, and ‘all his horses, carriages, and harnesses’)
1883 (August) – Anna (Hurd) Folsom sells the combined property (#48 & #49) to Henry Holpe for $700
1883 (November) – Holpe (along with his wife Hanna) divides the property and sells #48 (1610 N Honore) to Tollef Tollagsen and #49 to Amalie Schmragh (a spinster) for $450/each, pocketing a healthy 28% profit in just 3 months
1883 – 1890 – during this time Schmragh seems to have borrowed money from Tollagsen as well as a ‘bagman’ named George Coombs, using the #49 property as collateral.
1890- Tollagsen (and his wife Hilda) sell #48 to Wenzel Majeski for $3500- a 90% annual profit for Tollagsen (though as suggested by the map from 1886, Tollagsen may have been the person who built the home which stands there today)
1894- Majeski sells #48 to Alexander Wiedenhoft for an unknown amount of money (Majeski appears to have financed the deal for Wiedenhoft)
1924 – Wiedenhoft dies.
1925 (Feb) – Wiedenhoft’s heirs sell #48 to George Smegeil (a bachelor) for an unknown amount of money.
1925 (April)- Smegeil sells to William F. Ludwig by allowing Ludwig to assume a debt of $1800 that dates back to 1910 when Wiedenhoft borrowed against the property from a guy named Neuman. (Neuman!)
1925 Ludwig also buys #49 once again consolidating the two properties
1929 (March)- 7 months before the ‘Black Tuesday’ crash of the Wall St, the Ludwig family (operating under the trust ‘Ludwig & Ludwig’) sells the combined property to William and Helen Balrig.
1930s- the Balrigs seem to get in a bit of jam, having a mechanics lean placed on the property by the General Accept Company, and borrowing money from Seymour Marks, and the Noel State Bank, posting both properties as collateral.
1938 – the Balrigs quit their claim to the joint property and it goes to Jean Leibowitz (a spinster) who later marries a man named Diamond and takes his name.
1939 -1942 At the end of the great depression, there is a rapid series of transfers of the property. Diamond (Leibowitz) splits the property again and quits her claim on #48 to Erwin Klenn, who then quits his claim to Sarah Owcarz, who then quits her claim to Josephine Owcarz who then quits her claim to Sarah Carmst
1949- Eventually there is a real sale again and Sarah and her husband Edward Carmst sell to John Schaeffer and his wife Ellen, who take out a $4,000 mortgage. Shaeffer pulls the only building permit listed for the property which interestingly enough is for a 20 x 20 garage which (per the permit documents) is estimated to cost $460. (60 years later we’ll rebuild the garage at a cost of $115,000).
1956 (June)-Schaeffer sells to Peter Nikolich
1956 (October)-Nikolich sells to George Owcarz Jr and his wife
1974- Owcarz sells to Manuel Ramirez for an unknown amount of money. Ramirez takes out a $10,000 mortgage to purchase the property.
2008- Ramirez sells the property to Thomas McGrath (bachelor) for $565,000.
2010- stay tuned. . . . . .
(special thanks to the staff at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office- Pat, Michelle, Sam, Lawrence, and Rich, for their education and help in navigation)