South Lawndale: Marshall Square
South Lawndale: Marshall Square

South Lawndale: Marshall Square

Area West Side

Ogden Avenue on the North up to Douglas Park, railroad tracked along 33rd Street on the south, Western Avenue on the east, Kedzie Avenue on the west

Gangs founded Cullerton Deuces, Insane Majestics, Two Two Boys, Stone Kents,
Gangs headquartered Satan Disciples, Two Two Boys, Latin Kings, Stone Kents,

This area was first settled in 1827 as the largest part of the Lawndale-Crawford settlement; from there many farms were built in the area.

In the year 1863 the expansion of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads caused Lawndale and Crawford to become separate communities with Lawndale on the north and this area became Crawford.  After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 many German, Irish, Dutch and Scottish immigrants fled to this area to start a new life far outside from the woes of the inner city.

In 1873 McCormick Reaper Works built their brand new facility in South Lawndale right after the fire of 1871 and this made the area even more attractive to immigrants looking for housing near employment.  The area was annexed in 1889 during the major annexation plan of 1889 and the area was renamed “South Lawndale.”

The area remained mostly farmland until the 1900s decade when Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works was built in nearby Cicero and the Sears Roebuck tower was constructed in neighboring North Lawndale.  Now new subdivisions were laid out while Czechoslovakians began moving in large numbers to the community as Irish, Dutch and Scottish began moving out.

In the 1940s decade the Czechs were joined by a large influx of Polish immigrants that were lured in by the many manufacturing jobs in the area and now Germans, Czechs and Polish dominated the area.

Marshall Square (Named after James A. Marshall, a dancing school teacher in Chicago in the 1830s) is a section in South Lawndale of its own; however, most Chicagoans just call it Little Village, no one ever says “South Lawndale” or “Marshall Square” but I want to educate everyone on the facts, regardless of preferences.  This is also a west side neighborhood not a south side neighborhood like many think, South Lawndale lies within the boundaries of Chicago’s west side.

Mexican and Puerto Rican families began to settle this area in 1966 as University of Illinois at Chicago campus construction and Lincoln Park urban renewal projects pushed Hispanic families out and brought them to Marshall Square as the first Hispanics in the area.  As soon as Hispanic families moved to Marshall square the Satan Disciples, Artistics and Morgan Deuces Street gangs moved in from other neighborhood.  As these gangs got to know each other in the 1960s “white flight” took off as more manufacturing industries closed down.  Mexican families moved in to take the place of the white families that departed but soon found themselves in a state of poverty just like in neighboring Little Village.

By the 1970s new gangs formed in this area such as: Two Two Boys, Cullerton Deuces and the Artistic Kents and gang rivalry heated up in this area.

The 1970s, 1980s and 1990s became the most violent years in Marshall Square.  Eventually the Kents left the area and Cullerton Deuces decreased activity at times.  Two Two Boys and Satan Disciples although violence is not as intense in this area as the last three decades of the 20th century this area still has higher crime.

Marshall Square is the birthplace of the Two Two Boys, Insane Majectics (when they were Majestic Party Crew), Stone Kents and Cullerton Deuces.