Julius & Brunis lived in Chicago during the years 1895-1902, and it was here that their family found its first foothold in America. During this time, Chicago was the United States’ second largest and most rapidly growing city, fueled by tremendous economic growth and immigration. In 1900 nearly 35% of all Chicagoans were born abroad; among America’s largest cities, only New York and Boston had bigger immigrant populations by percentage. In some ways Chicago represented an urban and industrial interlude for the Pauls between long eras of farming and rural life. In other ways Chicago served — and still serves — as a geographical anchor that Paul descendants return to again and again. Below you’ll find stories of that first era around the turn of the twentieth century.
“it is constantly in motion, as if huge fish were feeding in it, or great leviathans disporting themselves in its depths.”
Settling into urban life.
Squalor and grief.
Workin’ in the steel mill, makin’ pig iron all day.
Growing the family.
“The Lord has prospered my way”