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Address:Bryn Mawr and Kedzie Avenues, Chicago, IL 60659
Authentic, red-serial numbered Declaration of Trust certificate dated 1891 and issued by the Chicago Real Estate Trustees, whose name appears in formal classic font across the top of document.
Upper-left corner contains a graphic of a stately nine-story office building with a streetcar traversing in the middle of the street along with four horse-and-buggy-carriage riders nearby. A few pedestrians stroll on the sidewalk in front of the office building. Document is dollar-bill green in color, counter-signed and registered by the Northern Trust Company and produced by the Western Bank Note Company of Chicago.
The five hand-signed signatures on the certificate are an All-Star line-up of prominent Chicago Real Estate Trustees officials. From left to right, they are: #1 J. Kennedy Tod, a wealthy bank and railroad magnate from Greenwich CT, #2 Chicago real estate agent Owen Aldis who personally managed the expanding real estate investments of wealthy Boston brothers Peter and Shepherd Brooks who believed that Chicago would soon be America's largest city and whose Chicago investment development property included the Marquette Building (140 S. Dearborn Ave.), one of the earliest steel frame skyscrapers of its day, #3 Byron Laflin Smith, who in 1889 founded The Northern Trust Company, a major financial institution which began as a one-room office in the Rookery, a famous building near the Board of Trade in Chicago's Loop, #4 Bryan Lathrop, a prosperous real estate developer, philanthropist and cultural leader who served as President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1899-1916 and over saw the construction of Orchestra Hall. His refined Georgian style house built in 1892 at 120 E. Bellevue Place in the Gold Coast neighborhood was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1973 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and #5 Henry W, King, a leading Midwestern clothing wholesaler and retailer who employed about 5,000 people around the country. Back in the day, men even wore suits to attend baseball games.
The benefactor of the Trust agreement is Peter Brooks, the Boston real estate developer previously alluded-to above, who visited Chicago only once, but through his real estate agent Owen Aldis kept abreast of every detail of every project via thousands of letters and telegrams describing land transactions and values, local politics and construction concerns. Brooks' hand-signed signature appears on the back of the document.
Certificate is in Excellent condition with no flaws. Paper has retained most of its original crispness after 124 years. Measures 8 1/4 X 12 1/2 and is suitable for framing.