This story doesn't tell us the ages of the children involved, but presuming the youngest would be at least 12 years old, it still is amazing that parents would allow their children to spend a week in Chicago during Prohibition. According to University of Houston's Digital History website www.digitalhistory "By 1923, the city had an estimated 3,000 illegal speakeasies, along with 10,000 stills." I can't imagine ushering 1500 teenagers anywhere, let alone a major city for an entire week. This was truly an amazing event for all concerned.
Champion pig-club boy tells of his free trip to Chicago
Published in the Kennewick Courier-Reporter
December 13, 1923
Robert Zindel, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Zindel of Finley who was awarded the Armour & Company prize for the best record in Pig Club work in the state of Washington returned and has written the following letter to tell other club members of his experiences.
Fellow club members,
I thought I would tell you of some of the things I saw on my trip to Chicago which I won on my club work.
I received a check from Armour & Company for $175 to pay my expenses as the prize.
I left Kennewick November 26 on the O-W railroad and reached Spokane at 7 o'clock the next morning. Spent the next day in Spokane with Miss White, our State club leader. That evening we were joined at the Milwaukee station by three girls from Washington who had won free trips too, which made five in our party.
We took advantage of every 10 minute stop by getting off the train to stretch and look around though we saw more as we were traveling than we could at the stations.
It took us three nights and two days to reach Chicago. We were met at the station and went to the Atlantic Hotel and got rooms and cleaned up. Then we went to the Stock Yards where there was the most stock I had ever seen and the best that could be found. We went to the National club building which has just been built for the club boys and girls and it is sure fine. It was dark by that time so we took the elevated railroad back.
Saturday we went out and saw a little of the city.
Sunday we went to preaching at the biggest church that I ever saw. The preaching was fine and the singing too. In the afternoon we took a look around town again.
Monday morning at 8:15 all the club members met at the Morrison Hotel which was our Congress headquarters, and registered.
There were 1500 of us and Secretary Noble divided us into two battalions. After that we marched in fours to the different places. On Monday first to the International Live Stock Show and it was sure great. I was in battalion 1. Both battalions marched together into the grounds and around the amphitheater and stopped before the new Boy's and Girl's Club building and listened to the dedication ceremonies. After that every day was full of entertainment by Swift & Co., Armour & Co., Chicago Live Stock Exchange and Wilson & Co. After showing us all through their plants we were banqueted royally by each.
December 5th was Loop Day. Fist to the new Field Museum of Natural History. Here there was so many interesting things that I would have liked to have spent a month there but we had to hurry on to the Chicago Board of Trade and then on the Montgomery Ward & Co. and Sears Roebuck & Co. where we were again banqueted, after which we went on special elevated trains to Orchestra Hall where free concert was given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This was compliments of the Chicago Piano & Organ Association and Chicago Orchestral Association.
December 6th was another big day. The International Harvester Company showed us through their plant from 9:15 to 12:30 at which time they served us with luncheon. At 2:30 we were taken on chartered cars to Lincoln Park to see the tropical gardens, bird of paradise, lions, tigers, monkeys, the baby hippo, sea lions and all the rest. At 6:30 p.m. we were all gotten together for a final banquet as guests of the eight Chicago railroads.
December 7th, the last day, we went on a special train for a 40 mile trip up the north shore on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Electric Railway to the mills of the American Steel & Wire Co. at Waukegan, Illinois, where they make wire, barbed wire, nails and woven wire. Saturday we spent as we pleased getting ready to come home.
I sure had a fine time and though I spent all I had made on my hogs I was glad I went and hope some of you will get the same trip next year.