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SYSK Selects: Did a cow start the Great Chicago Fire?

2017-10-07 | 🔗

In this week's SYSK Select episode, Josh and Chuck find who's probably to blame for the Great Chicago Fire. The newspapers of the day reported that a cow (or perhaps its owner) was responsible for a fire that burned half of Chicago in 1871. Yet in 1997 Mrs. O'Leary and her cow were exonerated.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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did a cow start, the great Chicago fire. You all know I'd love my history episodes, especially those where we can set something straight that history. You might have gotten wrong in class, at least is a kid, and we talked at great length today about the great Chicago fire. One of the great tragedies in american history give it a listen, and I hope you enjoy it and hope you have a great weekend- welcome to study, should now asking for external aid and look into the pod cast. I'm Josh Clark, Charles W Shock, o Brien. I just some explain how this study should not daisy the cat
This is the important no. That was now they would enable herbivore inequality that their marketing Nokia Elsie Elsie. Apparently this cow, either daisy metal, inner Gwendolyn, there's been different accounts or one of the count it wasn't even hers whose coolly talking about. Maybe we should clear everybody and Chuck. Yes, have you ever seen fire? Yes? Well, there happen to be one akin to what you saw except those massive asthma attack. Let's go back in the way back mission. Oh yes, it's been awhile are here blow both Dasa folks, capacitor watching me there
I think it's still working on buttons. You can go to date October to Sunday. Maybe we should go back on Saturday and stop it. Contrary space time continued. So here we are Chuck but a dump. It smells like the death. Cows and manure. Here they excrete has Chicago's issued stock, your town. If you can't tell the world there is twenty: two years off ghostbusters, a hundred and thirteen years away. Did you do that? You had risk in the middle of nowhere temporarily speaking, eighteen? Seventy one, nineteen
for months on end thirty, am I wrong nothing is right. We just had a argument, and I can't even in Chicago in Athens industry. You think we're throwing doctors, so anyway, there's there's some there's some things. I want to point out to you. Do you see the streets are paid? Would the sidewalk. Iran is wooden yeah and like ninety percent of the structures, here s. What I want you to take note of that also makes no the temperature its October, and yet it in the eighties, raising pretty hot and it's been re, it was really drive. Some dry silver does a lot of it again. His dry chow manure floating around, but it's also it's because, There has been any way at all you do it again,
Firstly, it looks like we back we're back. Ok, ok, so check those pretty good stake. Are you? I think it makes it so what was about to happen in I'm here? I really do feel for these people for not being able to stop it, especially to three hundred her about die through people die because we were too busy. Fill in our faces were stake rather than warning anybody near, but that's the that's the way of history. The tried can change it was about to happen is what is known as the great Chicago fire of October eighth, eighteen. Seventy one three hundred people die three point: five square miles of the city will be utterly destroyed. Eighteen thousand structures- yeah I've got some stats here. If I may, please could you hear about the great Chicago fire in the aid?
Hundreds is easy now to say: I guy owes a California but dude. It was insane how big this fire was. I know the West division. There are divided into two divisions back in the day: ok hundred ninety four acres burned, five hundred buildings, two thousand two hundred and fifty people homeless, south vision. Four hundred and sixty acres burned. This is like we're all the expensive stuff was. This is where my? you'll, see the courthouse. The newspapers that lofts is the banks are the good stuff. Thirty, six hundred fifty buildings twentieth hotels, twenty one thousand people promised when you say buildings, you're, saying destroyed burned, to the ground burned to the ground, north division, most devastating. Fourteen hundred and seventy acres burned out of the two thousand five hundred acres in the division, so almost the whole division burn,
Thirteen thousand buildings burned, I'm sorry, thirteen thousand buildings by seventy four thousand homeless in total because Molly she did a good job, But she related hammer home how severe this? What's in total, two thousand one hundred twenty four acres burned: seventeen thousand four hundred fifty buildings burned to the ground and almost two hundred thousand people, which is a third of the city, were homeless gear. And if you go and type in Google Earth Great Chicago fire and hit images, it has a picture of modern day Chicago and it has an read. What was the fire at its height though it looks like seventy five percent of the city, while a thrilling eight year is really really scary and neat and need so. The whole thing came to. Damages? Surprisingly for that much of Chicago? I guess there was a lot of valuable stuff there.
A hundred and ninety two million dollars worth of damage. The switch three have billion now. Oh, so that's in that that errors yeah. Ok, can I make a lot more sense, So as a huge fires and enormous foreign again, like three hundred people lost their lives. Yes, I think it's a number three we all time in the? U S behind world trade, and she herself has generated a bet and the crazy thing about his fire is just about everybody points to the same location as the source today Then I knew it was in a barn at one. Three, seven D Covin Street in the barn did happen. Belong to a woman named Missus, o Leary Catherine, Kate, o Leary and Mr Hariri, Mister and Missus, o Leary and their children lived at one. Thirty seven Decoding Street Data house they run into another, how to another family. That was right in front of him and behind them was the barn,
the barn. They had three house three cows yeah, no five cows total. I think. Ok, fine cows, I believe a calf and a horse and then also in his mind, wooden by two tons of hay and two tons of coal and apparently like hundreds of pounds of wood shavings, which they kept it uses gambling and their pyromaniac nephew in a straitjacket. It was just pretty much accident waiting to happen here. Any you mentioned that day and another house, but they were poor. They weren't like us rich family, the these houses like there are poor family right, Mr O Leary. He was labour. I couldn't find. What kind who is there are definitely working class and Missus o Leary solar milk in the neighborhood, but they were on welfare, as I understand it, yeah ridiculously the Chicago Gaga Tribune claimed early on that one of her motives was that she was booted off
welfare when they found out in the city found out. She saw her milk and she was like I'll get. You turn the city down right, but it is resident, starting with all my stuff. This is the Chicago Tribune still rounded the tribune mediately. They pointed to the Larry's as the source of the fire. It was Missus, o Leary or another tribunal, Porter made up the idea. There is possibly her cow. A guy named Michael Ahern. Later confesses is making up the cow story and so MRS earlier is cow kicking over a lantern in setting the barn on fire that started the great guy or fire gained a lot attraction, but here a Hearn ever admitted to making it up. I think in many years later here he was a clear, quite the drunkard of new paper reporter and Nineteenth century Chicago is a drunkard actively her. So you right
the years through song and legend in story. Mrs earlier is cow was always blamed and if you ask people on the street jail in style, abet, eight out of ten people would say if they have heard of the great Chicago fire that it was started by a cow of some sort and then table windows. Embassy lawyers would serve you cease and desist papers here in jail and I'll get moving One of the other reasons at this cow has persisted for so long is cowardly, and that is because, like it makes a great story like a cow set Chicago on fire here, but also because they never really figured out The source was Mozilla, is kind of went down in history as this as the the villainous whether it was accidental or on purpose or, at the very least, the cause of the great Chicago fire. There was her barn yeah, no matter which way slice right, exactly
this is. Despite like an exhaustive inquiry, I mean you were saying it's an enormous fire Chicago burned. They did a really big investigation into this theirs. Seven hundred pages of testimony taken all taken by shorthand of some real court stenographer took it all by hand, man and they still never figured it out. But history has shown us possibly who the culprit was. Both talk. A second missus o Leary, first in, and why she may or may not have been culpable ok. She testified that her neighbours and was it in the house that there are ranking from her yet Mclaughlin in the house in front of her. She said they threw a big party there, all party in and some of them went into my barn to get milk for milk stake fur oysters, Mildred Oysters or a punch, their acquired milk yeah, a milk punch,
get up no punches, a thing salient sugar and vanilla, bourbon and milk, but scandal There's a lot of different milk punches did sense disgusting, let's get Berman in it which struck the birth and milk and oysters that's really to sketch Ives, really curious. What that's like, but I mean the about Oysters rock fellows cheesy, I mean what's cheese, if not milk, at its heart yeah, like the rock of other obscura, I like about what I do. I can pride. Only oysters pretty much anyway, as long as they're good. So anyway, Missus o Leary contains the party ears. The revellers went into her barn seeking milk for some odd me
I'm a drink time were soon there milking the cowardly, so wasted is actually an kicked. Overland either kicked over lantern or you know, was smoking out there something happened, they don't know. There was another suggestion, as recently as two thousand for that dealers comet split into pieces that night and chunks but set fires in various points, Oliver the Midwest burden on the same night. This is not possible that possible assigned to say that when a common energy, our atmosphere, it's not gonna, be what hot enough a meteorite to certify right. It's gonna cool down too much too. To be able to set a fire by the time it makes contact with the ground to have the subtraction in authority. No, I couldn't find that French. I was as a big. Experts? So those are a couple of the other theories on all. Yet I want one
MRS earlier herself, oh well. That she was out their milk in the cows at night. She said now I was asleep. She was asleep with sore foot in a piece of evidence that probably exonerates her more than any other is that none of her stuff was insured. We are exactly like I said earlier, while she burned down, especially retribution proving put up welfare. Why would she burner house down her livelihood livelihood down, possibly killing her her Her family cows, which is like ten amounted killing me, certainly the goal Nager. Yet it is due to the fact that it was an ensured is matter what kind of person she is right out the window. Nobody is going to do that on purpose. Now, to the very least you didn't do it on purpose, correct He also probably didn't do it on accident either. She probably really was in bed with a surfeit. No one saw her. There were no reports of any of her being
the barn right and haven't MR o Leary escape all this. I dont know if he's a worker somethin, I guess she was really strongly associated The count em you here you always only hear about her mister o Leary dislike. I guess you enjoyed his anonymity while she did too just like ITER, as you find later on my MAC outright, exactly he just a news agency, if she's like city, so they want to be in the papers. Hey everybody. I wanna talk to you about your website. That doesn't look good and this hard to program because square space does it better yeah they do square space. Is this amazing magical tool that you can just? Basically good people
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today for a free trial when you're ready to launch everyone, use the offer code stuff to save ten percent on your first purchase of a website or domain square space discotheque in it. So where are we then so o leary we're gonna go ahead, just kind of exonerate heard. This point agreed, which eventually happened in ninety ninety seven gray, there's a guy named Louis M cone, who went on great wealth in Chicago and later on. He after he died. Somebody came forward, I think, in the forties and said member Louis Cone, heat
hold me there, when he was eighteen years, gambling in the o, Leary Barn, wearing one of the Leary boys which can hold water. James O Leary went on to become one of the biggest gambling bosses in Chicago around the sons and kicked over a lantern, accidently and set the said the place on fire. We accidently started the Chicago fight US girls, apparently kind of a boastful type, so it's possible that he made it a bright and said I was winning at the time right like he brag about it here so you got all these people and none of them really, though, can hold the candle, even MRS Hillyer herself too, Daniel, Peg, Leg Sullivan, are the count, haggling for a very good reason yet one wooden leg. Is anyone caught clock club that right and he testified he testified? Sorted- became a case of Thou death protest. But Sir yeah does he made up the story will remember in the lying episode. It's like when you add stuff,
need to be evaluated, usually a pretty good sign and I'll bet he didn't use any contractions when he gave his testimony did not turn is like you want to know. I can't believe you want to know why I was sitting on the curb in front of someone else's you want to know, then I will tell you, but I can't believe you wanted and meantime he's cook in this story up. He testify he had gone to visit delirious, but eight clock that night said Miss O was in bed again. Commissioner, Mr Holm period. After the visit. He apparently still want to go home to this. Get it says that he started for home than later. It says he passed his home right and to smoke a pipe in front of willing. Why, alas, said I'm gonna go have little pipe smoke for some reason: I'm gonna walk by my house,
to do it in front of Willie White tell you know why here's why he said that, because that places him near enough, the fire that he could reasonably say side near, but not so close to them. A glock learns how like his house was closer to the Mclaughlin that the very heart of Europe could have been like. I didn't see you there and I was standing right outside looking at in front of your house. Very clever matter, said: Mister Beg leg, his claims that he spotted the fire and ran for help screaming fire. A hundred ninety three feet with his peg leg and tried to extinguish the fire and then escaped to the burning freeing animals to you who freed the animal solely any actually did do that. Bareheaded. Yes, so this guy was there, was? He was around the fire, but the problem is placing him,
on the curb in front a volume. Whitehouse yeah has some real problem. So no one disputes that this guy was near the fire. But exactly where that was changes, everything right so weak. He was pig leg in PIG, legged man, so he couldn't. He couldn't run fast now, we're not close the two hundred feet. No one heard anybody shouting fire alongside the House right Cephallenia him, so he he definite in another problem was that he his mother, kept the cow in the o, Leary Barn, and he admitted to frequently visiting the cow in the evenings a really good. And it's also possible that another man named Dean Dennis Reagan was present. It was something of an accomplice, or at least the sympathetic witness
two piglike right, because he had another part of the story they didn't quite at up. He was not a block away in his home and he testified, He heard someone yelling fire jumped out of bed to help, but Richard Bales, this attorney modern day attorney for a title entrance coming Chicago's when the Douglas all up pieced together and said. How this guy a block away, have heard this right and none of the other people delirious especially not have heard this morning, Then you get his hands on the property diagrams of the area at the time I'm a method. Al emplaced, piglet he said he was an showed that he would have you have been able to look clear through a two story house. May I see the barn there's no way he could have seen that it was on fire, from where he said he was sitting. So the fact that this guy confabulate it. All of this story suggest that he may have done it employ
Thirdly, what he did was he was visiting his mother's cow decide have a smoke after and dumb accidently set the bar on fire the lawyer, richer, bales, very understanding his. He said it was probably an accident, but that once he saw that it pretty much burned a third of the city of Chicago down he just kind of kept his mouth shut and, like MRS O Leary, take the fire once that rumour circulated, I'm sure he was like here. That's all when downright really crazy. I was there. I think I feel bad for the guy he's. There probably start. Ceasefire probably gets out of hand in freaks out and had homicide animals first, it really any kind so and in the end they couldn't put out the fire for some the reasons about earlier are the wood, the dryness
There is a very long. When did you notice the strong when we visited Chicago? I dont know if they did, but it was strong Josh fifty six miles, a wooden streets, five hundred sixty miles a wooden sidewalks and only about two hundred firemen and all city, those about sixteen acre fire. The night before the day, put out right and I'm already started the they thought it all through the. Before and in the Sunday afternoon. Ok, so most of these guys, hadn't, like inner, slept right fire. The fire brigade damage their equipment. In some cases, then some of the fire genes, went to the wrong addressed to the begin with right, there's a guy whose job it was to look out for fires like he sat and basically closeness to the courthouse, Firewater Iraq and he didn't see it for a while. He finally did, but he picked
wrong department to activate a really yeah like the wrong like little segment, that he was just a guess, and so some people went to the wrong place first in a little while the corrected. So there is some confusion, so that happen to and then apparently the fire destroyed the building that house the water pumps for the city, and then they try to get water from Lake Michigan and that didn't work out so well, and all these things added up to the third biggest the disaster in the nations history. Unlike you said, the lunkhead idea of connecting the the. Wooden buildings with a wooden streets in wooden sidewalk near that I think, fell out of fashion, pretty quick after Chicago Fire, thy bet and people smoking on the streets, and while that pride involves even you, two tons of hay into town call, apparently it burned what through the following evening and then Will it finally reigned in that helped put it out, and that is a great Chicago fire.
What do you want here in irony of it all up to the o, Leary House was spared no way yet there was not burned, so I just took off in one direction in from the. The barn and now the lyrics how's, the the house. They ran to the neglect lens. William White has always of his gone in its places, Chicago fire departments, Training Academy and they have a maltese cross on the floor, live across on the floor. That marks the spot where the barn stood or that you can say like a sea vs. Now now it's very properly the photo party they do that their own purpose I believe that it has been too much conclusive. A ever missus o Leary really did not like the Washington. The limelight. I get the impression anyway, but she really didn't like being treated like this horrible person now and
Wade's, not shy about taking a broom the people like reporters who came to our doorstep and dumb. She also chased off a representative of Pity Barnum's. Send somebody to go offer a job travelling with the circus as like that the scapegoat play. I guess you bring out a cow and her and oh, no I've we forget to mention she had a pretty healthy beard. So I would ask Man is in their online work. This what a gun right up to the fire paralysis, fare, better beard burned a good deal to Chicago These issues exonerated rank ass. She is exonerated fittingly the richer bales weren't Nike. Ninety seven had something else. Oh, I think it's just remarkable that did you have the number three hundred people died? I seen varying accounts, but that's the max that I've heard it is just amazing that
That much of the city burned and eighteen thousand eighteen thousand buildings burned down. Like you hear about a fire today that it's like three buildings on a block in a city, it's a huge deal. I'm surprised only three inner people that pretty remarkable and that's a lot, but I'm surprised it wasn't. You know like five thousand people, they always say: God loves Chicago Sup. When it comes to the Cubs If you want to learn more about Missus, o Leary, her cow luggage, decay of fire, fires and general anything, you can whatever you want in the search bar how stuff works that come. I said, search bar and this time or listener male up. First.
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playing catch up and listening to his many episodes that I can on a daily basis to quench my thirst for knowledge, and I currently live near Philly, my wife and new daughter, but I sling drinks in New York, I've been turned audio. I dreaded my two hour commute now. I look forward to it in a managed to list two hundred and ninety two episodes nice dedication that sort Gordon several years ago my uncle decide to purchase a new saltwater aquarium and ended up purchasing almost one hundred and fifty in unit about the tank mind for reputable website, but save money he purchased most of the instruments. Including writing: fish, coral and plant life from a local pet store. Others where it gets good, because alighting he purchase was a special type. A lamp also very commonly used in both houses. Must have been flagged by the d a moment of sale, because about a month later after the tank was finished, On Tuesday evening, my uncle my aunt em cousins, are under the age of seven we're sitting. Dinner in an instant six,
the agents burst into the house, so my girl, including front door back door and from the garage and proceeded to scream things along the lines of on the floor, hands behind your head they even how my novel at gunpoint, while they looked around the house after searching from top to bottom. Relaxing they made a huge mistake. They calmly large eyes then left Monaghan, Versicherung. Boys were involved, but my family received a handsome compensation mistake Albert that from then the bartender and she has a hook up force If we want to have it at a bar ties- and sometimes I know we may see, New York, Oliver were travel has been in certain other city near so you see us. I can't I can't say, send your other Mason
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-08.