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Chicago Streets

A number of streets in the City of Chicago are named after Scots. McVicker Avenue is located at 6032 West and 7347 North to 6258 South. Those familiar with street numbering in Chicago will understand this designation. James Hubert McVicker (1822-1896) was a Scotsman and a comedian. On May 2, 1848, he appeared as the “First Low Comedian” in a theater owned by James B. Rice. Rice would later become Mayor of Chicago. McVicker worked in France and England and owned a stock company of actors in the U.S. He is best known, however, by the theaters he owned. In 1857, he built a theater on Madison Street west of State. His second theater was built in 1871 and was destroyed in the Great Fire nine weeks after opening night.

After the fire, he spent $200,000 to build the Theater Ludlow. Sarah Bernhardt on her first American tour appeared at McVicker’s Theater. In 1862, John Wilkes Booth appeared in Richard III. His daughter, Mary, was a popular performer starting at the age of ten. When she was 18, she married Edwin Booth, the brother of the assassin. She died in 1881, 33 years of age and childless.

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