Origins Settled c. 1850 and annexed in 1889
Area Far Southwest Side

Railroad tracks north of 75th Street, 89th Street to Vincennes Avenue to 91st Street on the south, Halsted Street to Wallace Street to Stewart Avenue on the east, railroad tracks then along edge of Dan Ryan Woods to South Beverly Boulevard on the west

This area was annexed into the Lake Township area in 1850 and around this time some dutch and German truck farmers settled in the area.

In the year 1865 this area was annexed into the town of Lake but was a rural part of the town with scattered farmers; however, more German and Irish workers came here to work at the railroads and at the Union Stock Yards; however, it was still a rural area even by the time the area was annexed into Chicago in 1889.

This area remained as a small rural community with scattered farms until the 1900s decade when the city put in public transportation, this caused a boom in the area with German, Swedish, Polish, Italian and French Chicagoans from Back of The Yards, Bridgeport and Englewood looking to escape their tough neighborhoods.

Children playing on a dumpster in an Auburn-Gresham alley in 1908

Many houses and apartments were constructed in the 1920s as city workers like firemen, policemen, stockyard and construction workers came to live in this community.  The neighborhood did quite well during the harsh 1930s decade during the Great Depression era and continued to prosper as an ideal neighborhood all through the 1940s and 1950s decades.

In the year 1958, construction began for building the Dan Ryan Expressway which displaced many African American residents around the city and many were taking up residence in the nearby communities.  The usual reaction in all-white communities was to panic and bail out of the neighborhood, bring about disinvestment or to inflict violence on the African Americans, the Auburn-Gresham community had a more positive approach to deal with this potential crisis, this was done by forbidding block busting, teach residents to not act violently against blacks and to also upkeep commercial and residential property so nothing falls into deterioration.  Most of the white community welcomed middle class African Americans in order to ease the transition; however, blacks did not arrive until later.

The first five or six years of African American migration to this neighborhood went well as the process ran smoothly especially thanks to the efforts of the Organization of Southwest Communities (OSC) that organized all this positive behavior.

Beginning in 1964 crime drifted over from neighboring Englewood and Greater Grand Crossing.  The neighborhood was experiencing several petty crimes but also some more serious crimes like purse snatching, mugging and break-ins.  There were also issues with heavier amounts of traffic and noise in the community and lacking of parking, all these factors caused white flight to increase as more African American families moved in often fueled by block busting efforts.  The violence of the Martin Luther King protests of 1966 and also the violence in the African American communities after his assassination in 1968 scared more white residents that were worried their neighborhood would become the same way which prompted more white flight.

In the year 1964 as crime was becoming an issue and more undesirables entered this community the Blackstone Rangers and Devil’s Disciples settled on these streets mainly in the eastern part of the community that borders Roseland and Chatham.  This settlement came to protect the growing black community and to weed out the undesirable criminal element that had arrived; however, many Rangers and Disciples would partake in crime as well especially when they battled with each other.

In the year 1968 the Outlaw Supreme Gangsters arrived on these streets that were started in the Roseland neighborhood, the Gangsters would soon become stronger than the Disciples and by 1969 they were part of the Black Gangster Disciples.  This is the story of how Gangster Disciples became a permanent group in this community.

Property values soon decreased entering the 1970s decade.  By the year 1970 the neighborhood was just shy of 70% African American as white flight of the late 1960s was rapid.  The 1970s decade would see the departure of the rest of the white population as African Americans now settled in the western part of the neighborhood as well.

Black P Stones and Gangster Disciples are the more dominant groups in this neighborhood since the 1960s.

Auburn-Gresham did survive massive urban decay thanks to the easy transition of white to black in the 1960s and 1970s; however, gang violence became a major issue as the neighborhood has been consistently on the higher list of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in the city.

In the 21st century there have been efforts to restore the neighborhood and bring about a renaissance which has had a positive impact on the community; however, the violence still continues making this neighborhood one of the harder and more dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.

The gangs that still do or ever have ever walked these streets are:

Black P Stones Established 1964-present years

79th to 80th, Hoyne to Damen (BBG)

79th to 80th, Emerald to Union (Espot SYS)

85th to 87th, Winchester to Hoyne

82nd to 87th, Justine to Ada (Foster Park)

83rd to 85th, Aberdeen to Carpenter (8 Tray)

Vincennes from 85th to Birkhoff (Stone Terrace)

87th to 88th, Marshfield to Justine (Cross Ashland)

89th to 90th, Emerald to Union (Fintown Sicko Gang)

77th to 81st, Halsted to Wallace (Trap Town)

79th & Winchester (Terror Dome, Shared with Conservative Vice Lords)

81st & Marshfield

82nd from Emerald to Union

83rd & Damen

87th from Damen to Winchester

87th & Racine

87th & Aberdeen

87th from Euclid to Jeffrey (Apache Stones, Outlaw City)

87th & Wallace

83rd & Marshfield (The Royal, El Rukns)

79th & Homan

79th & Racine

83rd & Rhodes

87th from Damen to Racine (Duck Town)

87th & Ashland

87th & Halsted (Fin Town)

Gangster Disciples Established 1964 as Devil’s Disciples, 1968 as Outlaw Supreme Gangsters.  Establishment 1964-present years

Ada from 77th to 79th (Central City, Shared with Conservative Vice Lords)

76th & Emerald (E-Block)

76th & Union (U Block)

77th & Emerald (Heart of the City)

78th & Union

77th from Throop to Laflin and 81st from Halsted to Ashland (G-Ville)

77th & Ada (Ada War)

Loomis from 78th to 79th

77th & Bishop

79th & Bishop

79th from Wood to Bishop

87th & Vincennes

75th to 77th, Damen to Wood (Jaylo World 5 Block Killa Ward)

78th to 79th, Hermitage to Ashland (Kutthroat Freakoworld Killa Ward)

76th to 79th, Halsted to Wallace (Central City)

80th to 83rd, Hermitage to Marshfield New Money Killa Ward)

79th to 80th, Ashland to Justine (Fuck City)

83rd to 85th, Marshfield to Ashland (Smashville Pat World)

89th to 90th, Hermitage to Ashland (9-0) bordered with Washington Heights

87th to 93rd, Racine to Vincennes (Georgetown CTG Cutthroats) bordered with Washington Heights

Black Disciples

Morgan from 78th to 80th (ATM BussGang Trey Town)

85th to 87th, Morgan to Sangamon (Mike City)

Conservative Vice Lords 

Sangamon from 77th to 79th (CuttaGang)

79th & Seeley

82nd to 83rd, Morgan to Green (3rd Ward)

78th & Carpenter

79th from Hoyne to Winchester (Terror Dome)