Gookin Family Papers

Street Address: 
13 W. Walton
Chicago, IL

Gookin Family Papers, 1861-1922, bulk 1883-1921.

4.6 linear feet.

Collection includes family correspondence, including letters from Chicago banker, artist, calligrapher, and designer Frederick Gookin to his wife, Marie S. Gookin, 1897-1922, documenting Chicago friends, city life, and sports when Marie Gookin was away, as well as Frederick Gookin's activities while on business trips to New York. Frederick W. Gookin (1853-1936) was born in Ludlow, Vermont, to Frederick Young Gookin and Elisabeth Patrick Gookin. He had one sister, Mary H. Gookin (1855-1915). The family later relocated to Joliet, Illinois, and then to Chicago in 1872. Frederick W. Gookin went to work as a banker, supporting his parents and sister, while at the same time cultivating an interest in calligraphy, design, and Japanese art. Around 1903 he left banking to become a freelance art advisor, and was eventually appointed the first curator of the Clarence S. Buckingham Collection of Japanese prints at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was an early member of the Chicago Literary Club, and served as their secretary/treasurer from 1880-1920.

Other materials include diaries of Mary H. Gookin (Frederick’s sister) and her mother Elizabeth A. Gookin. The diaries chronicle her daily activities, including descriptions of the labor required to maintain the household, her health, and also her general attitude and emotional state. There is also is a detailed diary kept by Elisabeth Gookin of the family's twelve visits to the World's Columbian Exposition. The collection also contains artwork by Frederick done for A.C. McClurg, the Chicago Literary Club and others.

Call Number: Midwest MS Gookin

Finding Aids:
Collection-level catalog record
Online Inventory

Frederick W. Gookin lived at this address, 20 Walton Place (today it is 13 W. Walton) in the early 20th century.

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