Archer Heights
Archer Heights

Archer Heights

Origins Settled by William B. Archer in 1835 and annexed in 1889
Area Southwest Side

Stevenson Expressway on the north, railroad tracks to 53rd Street on the south, railroad tracks on the east heading into the intersection of 47th Street and Archer Avenue, railroad tracks on the west

Gangs founded Insane Popes (South Side),

William B. Archer was the first individual to own land in this area in 1835 as he allowed many temporary settlers mainly of Irish and German decent.  The area was swampy prairie which was not ideal for settlement or farming for the area.

The buildup of railroads and an 1889 annexation to Chicago did not cause much settlement besides a few farmers; it was not until the 1900s decade when Polish immigrants migrated to the area especially after 1906 when public transportation began.

By the 1920s Italian, Lithuanian, Czech and Russian Jews migrated to the area and now the area began to boom.

In the 1930s during the Great Depression era this neighborhood now known as “Archer Heights” named after William B. Archer and the “Heights” subdivision that built up, did not suffer especially after industries like Crawford Industrial District and Kenwood Manufacturing District brought industry to the neighborhood that boomed into the 1940s.  Midway Airport in nearby Garfield Ridge also brought lots of employment to the neighborhood.

In the 1950s decade greaser gangs began popping up in the neighborhood that mainly consisted of bored teens that had nothing else better to do but cause trouble and fight each other.

By the 1960s greaser gangs became increasingly prevalent and by the late 1960s there was a slew of different white greaser clubs.  In the early 1970s the notorious Spanish Cobras landed here; however, they were not a well-known gang back then; therefore, their arrival was not of significance.

It was not until the summer of 1973 when Archer Heights had significant gang activity when the Royal Popes now known as south side Insane Popes took formation in Archer Park.  The group started for the same reasons all their processors did, out of sheer boredom.  As the 70s would progress into the 80s the Popes soon had their hands full battling gangs near their border like the notorious Satan Disciples and Two Six gangs.

Archer Heights saw the most ruthless years in the 1990s when SDs and Two Six officially settled in the Clearing area.  The formation of the Almighty Popes in 1994 added more fuel to the fire.

Beginning in 1990, the white population fell in this area dramatically during that decade until by the year 2000 this Polish community changed to a more Hispanic community; however, Hispanic gangs would not migrate within these borders much.  The Popes kept many of these gangs out in the 80s and 90s and then when Popes began to decline in activity heading into the 21st only Maniac Latin Disciples found this area interesting enough to settle here.

Other than that a faction of Maniac Latin Disciples would open in later years but other than that this is the gang history of Archer Heights.

The 1990s and 2000s decade saw the heaviest gang activity; however, it never escalated to the point where the neighborhood was considered dangerous.  Archer Heights still has gang activity going into the 21st century but still not to the point of the neighborhood being on lock down from it; however, there still is a fair amount of violence and crime.

Archer Heights is the birthplace of the South Side Insane Popes.

Here the low down of the gangs that were and are still here

Almighty Popes Established 1994-1998

51st & Kostner

Insane Popes (south side group) Established 1973

47th & Hamlin (Old Vatican City)

48th to 50th, Kilbourn to Kostner (Archer Park) Established 1973

Archer & Komensky (Archer Bowl, Miami Bowl) Established 1973

Archer to 47th, Cicero to Pulaski Established 1973 (Kool City)

Maniac Latin Disciples

Archer to 53rd, Kostner to Kildare (Archer Heights section, 5-3)