Archive ID: 1981-047-09

Linus Findeisen diving into water

Date Created: undated

Donor: James Fitzgibbons

Media Type: Photograph

Description:

Linus Findeisen diving into the Calumet River. The camera is looking west along Slip #4 near Rialto grain elevator (close to the site of what would later become General Mills).

Backstory:

The Findeisen family, a relatively prosperous German immigrant family, left a treasure trove of striking black and white photos of Southeast Chicago from the early 20th century. Anna Nega and Linus Findeisen Sr. had emigrated from Germany in the 1880s and settled on the East Side. They married in 1890 and had four sons. Linus Sr. worked at first in the steel mills; later, he and his sons set themselves up as plasterers in a family business. Although possessing only elementary school educations, the Findeisens appear prosperous in their photos. (Even owning a camera instead of having photographs taken in a studio was unusual for the time). In addition to numerous family portraits and gatherings with neighbors, the photographs depict family vacations to neighboring states and a small pleasure boat the “Oro” that they used on local waterways. Their photographs also document the experiences of a son Linus Findeisen Jr. who served as a soldier during World War I and was stationed in Texas. He is also portrayed diving into the Calumet in this photograph. In later years, Linus Jr.’s son would also become a plasterer and live on the East Side, along with other cousins and extended family. This cache of historic photographs was donated by one of the founders of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society, Jim Fitzgibbons, a neighbor of the Findeisens.

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