William and Julia Rooney
(U.S. Copyright Registration TX0007522662)
William Rooney was a member of the Old Settlers Club of Chicago that was organized by the Calumet Club for individuals who came to Chicago prior to 1840. There were approximately 300 names associated with the Old Settlers. The Calumet Club set up a meeting place for them, and lined the room with portraits of each Old Settler. The Calumet Club was located near 18th and Michigan on the south side of Chicago.
Michael M. Byczek is the great-great-grandson of William and Julia Rooney, and he has a copy of the original portrait from the Settlers Club. Their daughter Katherine married Edward Talbot at Holy Name Cathedral. She was residing with her parents at 43 E. Division with a brother and two sisters.
The rowhouse on Division was built by William Rooney after the Chicago Fire, and the adjoining residence was occupied by the original owner of the land. William and Julia passed away in 1885. Their daughter Katherine with her sister Hannah became executors of Julia's will. Katherine arranged for her sister Mary to purchase the residence on Division. It stayed in the family until it was sold prior to World War II.
William Rooney's legacy began with his arrival to Chicago in 1835, his acquisition of a large tract of farmland in Des Plaines, the utilization of lumber for his construction business in Chicago, and two historical buildings that were built by him in Chicago. His residence at 43 E. Division and a commercial building located at 235 W. Lake were built after the Chicago Fire.