Michael Kenny Smyth
(-1852)
Bridget McDonnell
(1818-1878)
Thomas Alexander Smyth
(1848-1930)
Sarah Elizabeth Usher
(-1894)
John Usher Smyth
(1884-1935)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Jane McAvoy

John Usher Smyth 222

  • Born: 26 May 1884, Chicago 222
  • Marriage (1): Jane McAvoy on 12 Jun 1912 in Marion, IN
  • Died: 5 Aug 1935, Chicago at age 51 222
  • Buried: 1935, Calvary Cemetery, Chicago 223

  Noted events in his life were:

Education, 1890 -, Chicago. 224 John went to St. Jarlath's grammar school, St. Ignatius High School and then studied Engineering at Lewis Institute.

Occupation, Abt 1904, Chicago. 224 John was hired as a surveyor for the Sanitary District through his father's influence. His boss was Edward J. Kelly who later became Mayor of Chicago.

Occupations. 225 John worked many jobs including a night engineer in charge of construction of the Washinton Street tunnel under the Chicago River. Later he sold insurance for Moore, Case, Lyman and Hubbard until switching to the real estate business.

Meets his wife, 1908, Peoria, IL. 226 John was working on a surveying crew in the neighborhood of Democratic politician Frank Quinn. He heard that the Quinn's were having trouble with their mototboat and he and another fellow went to the Quinn's and repaired it. As they sat on the front porch, a young lady who was visiting the Quinn's and the Peoria McAvoy's from Marion, Indiana. They courted that summer and then by mail when she returned to Indiana.

First house, Apr 1917, Chicago. 8,225 John bought the family house at 1259 N. Mansfield Ave. from the builder, Mr. Billings who had met reverses. The price was $6500 with John paying part of the price with a couple of lots. John put only $500 cash into the deal. Mansfield Ave and Potomac Ave were both unpaved and there were big ditches filled with water at the edge of the street.

The family was still living there in the 1930 Census.

1920 Census, 1920-1930, Chicago, IL. 227 The family is living at 1259 Mansfield in Chicago in both the 1920 and 1930 censuses.

Occupation, 1922-1929, Chicago. 224 John worked at John M. Smyth as Treasurer. He left to return to his real estate business.

Occupation, 1929, Chicago. 228 John re-opened Smyth Realty in 1929 just before the start of the Great Depression.

Neighbors, Early 1930's, Chicago. 229 The Teamsters had a headquarters across the street from John's real estate office on Soth Ashland Blvd. One day the Capone gangsters threatened the Teamsters and the Teamsters offered to rent John's building. The State's Attorney moved their policemen into the second story with machine guns. The Teamsters then offered to buy the building and John was willing to sell. However, the President of the Teamsters, Paddy Berrell, was murdered, presumably by the Capone gang, before the contract was signed. A new President was elected and signed the sale contract and John was given the check the following Monday. However, the Reliance Bank failed over the weekend with all of the Teamsters money in it. John made no attempt to enforce the sale.

The Teamsters moved out eventually but the building couldn't be rented again. Eventually, it was vandalized and the neighbors sued to have the building removed. It was torn down in 1943.


John married Jane McAvoy, daughter of Daniel McAvoy and Ellen Ward, on 12 Jun 1912 in Marion, IN. (Jane McAvoy was born on 7 Jun 1886 in Peoria, IL, died on 15 Aug 1946 in Chicago and was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Chicago 223.)

  Noted events in their marriage were:

Wedding trip. 226 John and Jane went to Twin Lakes, WI.




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