Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Dienes Hat Store, Chicago, ABT 1888

This is the Dienes Hat Store in Chicago that I referred to in my previous post. According to the 1888 Chicago voter registration, my great-great grandfather, Fred Dienes, was living at what was then 287 Division Street. He had been living in that precinct in Cook County for 10 years, which corresponds with the last Springfield, Illinois, city directory where I found him (in 1878). On the 1880 census, the Dienes family was residing a couple blocks away at what was then 193 N. Sedgwick Street, all on Chicago's Near North Side.

I believe the photo shows Fred and his wife Regina Matheis Dienes in front of their hat store, and the family probably lived just above it. You can see "287" on the banner above the store, to the left and right of "Dienes Hat Store." The young girl in the photograph may be my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Camilla Dienes Massmann, born in 1877, although it could also be her sister Clara (born 1874) or even Amelia (born 1867) or Paulina (born 1865), depending on just when the photo was taken--which would have been somewhere between 1878, when the family moved to Chicago from Springfield, and 1896, when Fred Dienes died.

© Amanda Pape - 2010


  1. Very cool! My ancestors moved from Milwaukee to Chicago about 1890. I'll have to see where they lived in relation to this store.

  2. I have in my possession movie film strips that I purchased in Chicago many years ago. Some of the title frames say, 'Fred Dienes Presents.' These appear to be taken in the late 1920s, so maybe not the Fred Dienes mentioned here — but a relative? Bill

    1. Hi Bill!

      Very possibly a relative. Fred Sr. died in 1896, but he had a son, Frederick J. (1864-1927), who also had a son named Frederick Bernard (1896-1972). I would LOVE to know more about these film strips!