OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 03, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-06-03/ed-1/seq-3/

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has since announced that he will not
push the passage of his bill.
The entire matter has grown out
of the Illinois Central lake front steal
of 1851, and the road's efforts to pro
tect its stolen right of way. At that
time, instead of buying a right of
way into the city froni 51st street to
the river, the Illinois Central built its
tracks on piles out in the lake about
300 feet from the shore. Many old
citizens remember this fact. The in
tervening space has since been filled
in, much of it with the debris of the
Chicago fire in 1871. The railroad
grabbed this made land, built a stone
wall on the west line of its "right of
way" and has since had enough in
fluence with state and city officials
to hold it
But the railroad officials knew that
a day of reckoning would come some
time, and to prevent this they got up
the outer boulevard scheme. Attor
ney Drennan of the I. C. drafted the
bill which empowered the South Park
Board to build the outer boilevard.
This was passed in 1907. Among
other things the bill authorized the
park board to agree with the shore
owners upon a division of the made
land. This was to pay for the "rip
arian rights" and also to confirm the
present holdings of the present illegal
right of way, but also to gain an ad
ditional strip five miles long and from
300 to 600 feet wide. This land is
worth millions of dollars.
But the Supreme Court of the
United States has made "three de
cisions on the status of the Illinois
Central's title to the lake front The
I. C. claims the property under a
grant from the state. The court says
the state can not give away lake front
land, but that the state must retain
it forever in trust for the people in
the interests of navigation and fish
eries. The I. C. has always had
enough influence with city and state
officials to hang onto this right-Hf-way
in spite of the Supreme Court
decisions.
It is evident, if the railroad does
not own its right-of-way but is at
present holding it illegally and is a
trespasser, that it has no riparian
rights to trade. Therefore to give it
millions of dollars' worth of land in
exchange for these imaginary rights
is a steal and a gross breach of faith
with people and an indefensible piece
of criminal graft
The gentlemen who are trying to
put this over for the railroad in
clude the stockyards members of the
South Park Board and their attorney,
John Barton Payne (president),
Mayor Harrison and other members
of the city administration, the "Chi
cago Plan" patriots and certain mem
bers of the Chicago Association
Commerce and the Chicago Real Es
tate Board, and the loop press.
The stockyards connection with
the steal is interesting. After Attor
ney Brennan of the I. C. got his, law
passed in 1907 the road waited until
the right kind of commissioners were
appointed to the park board. After
a few years the public was surprised
at the appointment of several prom
inent packers and their star lawyer
as members. Shortly after, a secret
contract was made with the L C. giv
ing the railroad the big lake front
steaL A harbor ordinance smoked
out this secret contract which vas
said to be part of the "city beauti
ful" scheme. Mayor Harrison was
prevailed upon to veto the harbor or
dinance, but the council would not
approve the scheme. It subsequently
was confirmed by Judge Honore, one '
of the judges who appointed the
board. The Supreme Court of Illinois
refused to review the case because '
the objectors owned none of the land
in question and "represented only the
interests of the public!"
The stockyards magnates own the
Chicago Junction R. R., which con- '
nects with the I. C. at about 41s,t
street.
Those opposed to the Illinois Cen-
tral-South Park lake front steal in- '
elude the city council that refused to 1 '
approve the lake front contrast be- 'I
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