Aside from where I stand at any given moment, the centrum mundi of egoism in North America is the Dill Pickle Club of Chicago Illinois. Here are excerpts from the Chicago Tribune on the rising and falling fortunes of the building where Sirfessor Malfew Seklew and Ragnar Redbeard once held court.
Jack Jones was the proprietor of the Dill Pickle Club and the Dill Pickle Press (publisher of Might is Right).
Andrea Hofer Proudfoot (1866 – 1949) founded the League of International Amity in 1913, the Poetry Lovers of America in 1922, and after World War One the American Committee For Vienna Relief. She was the author of several books, including Trolly Lines (Chicago: R.F. Seymour circa 1919).
Elizabeth Fuller Goodspeed (1893 – 1979) was called “Bobsy” throughout her life. She was the President of the Arts Club of Chicago, a friend of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and was a Chicago socialite.
Sidney H. Minchin (1893 – 1951) immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1900. Among other Chicago landmarks, he designed the Storkline Furniture Corporation Factory of Chicago, a building listed in the National Register of Historic Places Program.
– Trevor Blake is the author of Confessions of a Failed Egoist
(Baltimore: Underworld Amusements 2014).
Mystery Angel Plots $250,000 Dill Pickle Club (March 7 1920)
A mysterious woman, scion of “one of Chicago’s oldest and richest families,” is at the bottom of an arch plot to overthrow Greenwich Village and the Latin quarter of Paris as capital of the bohemian world, and make Chicago the ultimate goal of short haired women and men that barbers know not. With a few years she plans to set up the Dill Pickle Club, that highbrow organization at 18 Tooker place, as the style center of the globe for aesthetic ideas and untrammeled thoughts. There the newer poetry will be born and the higher art will receive its swaddling clothes.
Jack Jones, chief dill among the intellectual pickles, admitted the plot yesterday. He said a woman interested in the club promised to advance $250,000 for the erection of a building containing a “telescopic” theater, a ballroom, and studios where the inspired may be instructed for a nominal sum. The structure will contain four stories and look externally as plain and dilapidated as the most rabid bohemian could desire. The inside, however, is to be a beauty and a joy – all pink shaded lamps and black casts and incense and Turkish cigarets.
‘Angels’ of New Dill Pickle Club Abandon Clouds (March 19 1920)
The mystery of the feminine “angel” who was to erect a $250,000 building for the dill pickles and give Chicago the world’s greatest “Latin quarter” has been solved. [Yesterday] it was discovered there are at least a score of well-to-do folk who will finance the build-structure for the muses to muse in. Among these “angels” are Mrs. Andrea Hofer Proudfoot, author of “Trolly Lines” and president of the Poetry Lovers of America, Mrs. Elizabeth Fuller, wife of a mine developer in the Porcupine gold fields of Ontario, and Sidney H. Minchin.
The latter has already drawn preliminary sketches of the new building, which he describes as a style suitable for the housing of Dill Pickles. In this structure is to be a ball room, a telescopic theater which will fold up so that even the smallest audience may fill it, cosy eating places, and a number of studios where instructions will be given to the talented. […] The success of the building venture will depend, it is claimed, upon a ball to be held tomorrow night at the North Side Turner hall. It is to be an “affinity costume” affair, with the dancers masquerading as milk and cream, squirrel and nut, Antony and Cleopatra, and other great inseparables. There will also be vaudeville and boxing. One thousand dollars must be realized from the ball to obtain an option on the new building site. Then the “angels” will do the rest.
Blaze Damages Printing Plant of Dill Pickles (October 12 1929)
The printing plant of the Dill Pickle club, rendezvous of a so-called Bohemian set at 10 Tooker place, was wrecked yesterday by a fire which for a time threatened to destroy the entire club quarters. Sam Hall, 1216 North Dearborn street, a printer, discovered the blaze and turned in an alarm. Jack Jones, owner of the premises, and manager of the club, estimated the loss at $500.