Wedge lots – the McMaster Story

When the survey crews reached Grand Avenue (now Sheridan), on April 27, Frank McMaster, a former reporter at the Chicago Times, learned that the two lots that he had claimed were located in the street. Like many others in the chaos of the preceding days, he had no idea where the lines would be drawn, but was furious to discover that he would be moved off his claim. But because Main Street and all streets north surveyed by the Seminole survey crew were perpendicular to the railroad but not truly east-west, the compromise survey that resulted created “wedge lots” running east-west to fill in the cracks mid-block. McMaster was given lot 42 in block 23, where he operated his newspaper, the Evening Gazette, for many years. (true?) He became a supporter of the Kickapoos and a fiery opponent of the Seminole faction that controlled the city government. He famously dubbed Grand Avenue “Stolen Avenue”, because its relocation deprived so many settlers of their lots without compensation.


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