Chicago


(1907 -- Prima Dance Hall in Chicago on 35th St. near Solomon Lewis Store)

Chicago was the gathering place for the wave of immigrants from Lithuania in the late 1860s and early 1870s, who came by way of England.  It seems logical that there must have been Jewish families, Jewish organizations or Lewis relatives already in Chicago to receive those immigrants.  However, that has not yet been determined.

Harris, Solomon and Moses Lewis were all married in Chicago, Solomon spent the last 50 years of his life in Chicago and is burried there, and Moses was transported for burial from Highland to Chicago in 1901.

After Solomon and his family returned to Chicago from Linden, Wisconsin, Solomon and twelve other community leaders, in 1888, founded what was to become the South Side Hebrew Congregation.  Solomon was Vice President of the Congregation as late as 1922.

Click here for more details of the South Side Hebrew Congregation.

Solomon Lewis's store and residence were at 37th and La Salle St., with the residence above the store.  Five of Solomon and Esther's 10 children were born in Chicago.  Charles was born in Chicago before the move to Linden, Wisconsin, five children were born in Linden, and four children were born after the move back to Chicago.  Before the 1929 Stock Market crash, Solomon owned many properties on the south side of Chicago.  He was a millionaire at a time when a million dollars was real money!

A Lewis family member has been told a number of times that Solomon Lewis helped bring many Jews to Chicago from Lithuania.  Click on the following for an explanation of: The reasons for the emigration of the Lewis Brothers from Lithuania.

There is a great deal more about Chicago in the Memoir of Jacob Lewis, which can be accessed from the sidebar or you can click here to read the memoir.

For another description of the Solomon Lewis family, click here to read  remembrances by Ben Lewis's daughter, Joanne.