Who were the 38 who were killed during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919? Here you can read about these individuals before they fell victim to the violence of Chicago’s Red Summer, and also learn about the neighborhoods where people lost their lives. Expand the individual sections to read the biographies of persons included in our first phase of commemoration (please note: parts of this page are still under construction). For a full narrative of the riot visit The History page, and to learn about the proposed locations of the CRR19 commemorative markers view our interactive map.

"The Vortex of Violence" / The Angelus Riot
Front of a postcard of the Angelus Apartments. Image: Elizabeth Dale.

On the evening of Monday, July 28, 1919, rumors spread that a white tenant of the Angelus apartment building, located at 35th Street and Wabash Avenue, had shot a Black child. A crowd of several hundred Black Chicagoans gathered outside the building and over 100 policemen rushed to the scene. After the riots, the Chicago Commission Report described the police as searching the building for a shooter, finding no one, when a policeman was hit by a brick. Newspapers reported conflicting accounts, including that bricks were thrown or a shot was fired by building tenants, members of the crowd, or the police themselves. The police began firing into the crowd. Five men were killed. Four of them were Black.

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Joseph Sanford

Joseph Sanford, a Black man, was murdered by police during the so-called “Angelus Riot.” Born in Tennessee around 1882, Sanford married Mary Williams in Shelby County, Tennessee, on May 26, 1901. Read more

John Walter Humphrey

John Walter Humphrey was born in Alabama in 1898 and worked as a laborer at the Union Stock Yards. He lived at 3244 S. Federal St. with his brother, Edward. Read more

Hymes Taylor

Hymes Taylor was murdered during the clash at the Angelus apartment building on July 28th. A Black man born in 1881, Taylor lived at 206 E. 37th Street in Chicago at the time of his death. Read more

Edward Lee

Edward Lee was born in Chicago in 1871, and lived at 3436 S. Calumet Avenue with his brother, Attrus. Lee also worked at the Union Stock Yards at the time of the riot. Read more

William Otterson

William J. Otterson was a white man born on the Isle of Man in Ireland in 1885. He immigrated to the United States in 1904 and worked as a plasterer in Chicago. Read more

Bronzeville / 'The Black Metropolis'
Rand McNally Standard Map of Chicago, 1910. Image: University of Chicago Map Collection.

Bronzeville is a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, stretching from 31st to 51st Streets between State Street and Cottage GroveA historic and contemporary center of Black life and culture, the neighborhood was known as “The Black Metropolis,” home to celebrated business and community institutions and the residence of several prominent Black artists and intellectuals. Bronzeville was one of the few neighborhoods open to Black Chicagoans under racially restricted housing, in an area referred to as the “Black Belt.” A target of white racist violence and policing during the riots, as well as a center of Black resistance, Bronzeville was home to many of the killed and the location of several deaths.

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Theodore Copling

Theodore Copling was a Black man born in Pennsylvania in 1901. In Chicago, Copling lived at 2933 S. State Street with his father and worked in a barber shop as a porter. On July 30, 1919, Copling was part of a crowd of bystanders outside of a store on 2930 S. State Street. Read more

Samuel Banks

Samuel Banks was a young Black man born in 1903. Banks lived at 700 W. 43rd Street in Chicago and worked as a laborer at the Union Stock Yards. On July 30, 1919, Banks was confronted on Dearborn Street by three white policemen and a dozen Black ex-soldiers. Read more

Eugene Temple

Eugene Temple, a white man, was born on December 28th, 1887 in Chicago.  Temple lived at 3415 N. Clark Street, in the Lake View neighborhood and owned Columbia Laundry at 3642 S. State Street. He married his wife, Grace, on June 7th, 1907. Read more

Casmere Lazzerroni

Casmere Lazzeroni, a white man, was born in 1854 in Italy. He migrated to the United States in 1909, with his wife Carmela, landing in New York aboard the La Provence. Passenger records reveal Lazzeroni’s previous residence was Lucen, Italy, and that he intended to move to Chicago upon arrival. Read more

Stefan Horvath

Stefan Horvath, a white man, was born in 1891 in Hungary to John Horvath and Clara Capo. Cook County records indicate that, in 1913, Horvath married Mary Liber from Kiral, Hungary, in Aurora, Illinois, an industrial suburb of Chicago. US military records indicate that a “Stephen Horvath,” also born in 1891, was drafted into the US Army during the First World War. Read more

The Loop
LaSalle Street from the Board of Trade building in the Chicago Loop. Image: Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

As news of the riot’s events and rumors spread across the city, the nexus of violence expanded beyond the city’s Black Belt including northward into the Loop. The morning of July 29, a mob of around 200 white people gathered in Chicago’s downtown area. The majority of the group were young, white soldiers and sailors. The mob proceeded through the Loop, sometimes splintering into smaller groups, targeting all Black Chicagoans in their path whom they beat, robbed, and killed indiscriminately. Police did nothing to stop this white supremacist mob and city leadership declined to call in state militia to quell the bloodshed.

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Paul Hardwick

Paul Hardwick was a Black man born in Georgia in 1868. After moving to Chicago, he worked as a waiter at the legendary Palmer House hotel. At the time of the riots, he lived with his wife Laura at 6730 S. Langley Avenue. Read more

Robert Williams

Robert Williams was a Black man born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1878. He migrated to Chicago, where he lived at 1532 W. Jackson Boulevard on the Near West Side and worked as a janitor. Read more

Harold Brignadello

Harold Brignadello, a white man, was born in 1884 in Chicago. After marrying, Brignadello moved to Rock Island, Illinois, where he lived with his wife and worked as a laborer at the Rock Island Arsenal. Read More

Back of the Yards
Damage from the riot in Back of the Yards neighborhood. Imagee: The Chicago Commission on Race Relations.

Back of the Yards was the name for the neighborhood situated just south and west of Chicago’s Union Stock Yards, stretching from 39th to 55th Streets between Halsted and the railroad tracks. The neighborhood was heavily populated in the early twentieth century by first- and second-generation European immigrants. In the years before the Riot, Back of the Yards became associated with Irish athletic clubs and youth groups known for gang activity and racial antagonism near the Black Belt. The Chicago Commission held these groups responsible for much of the violence during the Riot itself.

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Joseph Schoff

Joseph Schoff, a white man, was killed after a racist encounter with a man named Jose Blanco. At the time of the riots, 33-year-old Schoff lived at 2519 W. 47th Street and worked as a millwright. Read more

John Mills

John Jeans Edward Mills, a Black man, was born in Illinois on October 23rd, 1885. According to his draft card, in 1918 Mills lived with his wife, Pearl, at 4714 S. Evans Avenue in the so-called “Black Belt.” Read more

Oscar Dozier

Oscar Dozier, a Black man, was born in 1884. While few details about his age, place of birth, or early life exist, he likely was one of the tens of thousands of African Americans who moved to Chicago from the “Jim Crow” South during the Great Migration. Read more

Henry Goodman

Henry Goodman, a Black man, was born in Alabama in 1883. Scant details about his life before he moved to Chicago exist, but records indicate that his father lived in Alabama, as well. Read more

Louis Taylor

Louis Taylor, a Black man, was born in Maryland in 1864. His mother and father were also born in Maryland. It is possible, given Taylor’s birth year and location, that he was born a slave. While it is uncertain when Taylor left Maryland, records indicate that he married Augusta Sonweid in 1901 in Chicago. Read more

Near West Side
View of West Roosevelt Road from Peoria in the Near West Side community area of Chicago. Image: Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

During the riots, a streetcar strike forced many Black Chicagoans to seek alternate transportation home. Because racist housing policies, intimidation, and violence confined Black residents to a narrow section of the city, these alternate routes required passage through hostile white neighborhoods. The Near West Side was home to a neighborhood of Italian immigrants agitated by a false rumor that an Italian girl had been shot by a Black employee of a nearby factory. Following a similar pattern to violence in other neighborhoods, a mob formed in response to the rumors. The mob pursued and murdered Joseph Lovings, a Black porter traveling through the neighborhood on his way home from work.

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Joseph Lovings

Joseph Lovings, a Black man, was born on December 28th, 1876 in Kentucky. A WWI veteran, Lovings drafted in the US Army in 1917 and served until 1918. In Chicago, he lived with his wife Carrie at 2032 S. Dearborn Street. Lovings worked as a porter. Read more