The story of the Kerfoot Block is one of the most popular in the published accounts of the fire. William D. Kerfoot settled in Chicago in 1861 and entered the real estate business, which he reopened in a shanty (shown above) the day after the fire ended. His faith in himself and the city, summed up in his lack of hesitation and the crude sign he prepared that proclaimed, "All gone but WIFE CHILDREN and ENERGY," made him seem the embodiment of the undaunted determination of Chicago entrepreneurs.
W.D. Kerfoot Block 1871
Al Capone - Chicago Black Sox - A Century of Progress - Chicago Fire
The World's Columbian Exposition - Parades, Protests and Politics
The Pullman Era - The Stockyards
Fort Dearborn (Coming Soon!)
Back to the Chicago Historical Society Home Page
Copyright © 1999 by the Chicago Historical Society