1940 Census - Chicago, Illinois - Thure and Evelyn Johnson

2117 W. Gladys Chicago, Cook, Illinois

The 1940 US Census finds Thure and Evelyn Johnson living in Chicago with his widowed mother. Also in the same house is Thure's divorced sister, Mildred. Thure's two younger siblings, Stanley and Florence also live in the home. Now add Thure's sister Emma, Emma's husband Charles and Emma and Charles daughter, Thure's niece, Georgia. That's correct, there are nine people living in this rented single family home which most likely has just three bedrooms! With today's values and circumstances it would be easy to say..what a bunch of dead beat kids still living off their widowed mother! It is important to know and appreciate the times and the culture they were living in.  These last ten years in Chicago and the rest of the Western world and for the Johnson family were very tough indeed.  In the early part of the 20th century Chicago was booming and growing. Then came the Great Depression. Chicago grew by only an additional 20,000 folks in the 10 years from 1930 to 1940. Most came from the farming South, hoping to find work. Immigration from Europe had all but ceased. The work just wasn't there, 20% of Chicago was out of work. In the 1930 census Thure's parents, Thure and Frances, owned their own home. They now lived in a rented house and you see that Frances is a widow, Thure Sr. had died. In the 1940 census the government tried to get a sense of how folks had fared by asking where they were in 1935. The Johnsons were in the "same place". 1935 was the year Thure Sr. died at the young age of 50. Perhaps due to the depression or his death the family no longer could afford the mortgage and lost their home. The adult children were perhaps not working themselves or working to help their mother pay her rent, so she and the younger kids have a home. Another possibility? No where to go. During the depression virtually no new building went on and in 1940 the US is soon to enter the war raging in Europe which would revive the economy but take all building supplies, raw materials and manpower for the war effort. Extended families living together, sharing expenses or renting out your bedrooms to boarders were common and often necessary occurrences in the 30's and 40's of Chicago.

The young couple, Thure and Evelyn, had just been married 4 months previously. Living with your mother is not an ideal way to start out a marriage but when you are young and in love the future always promises to be bright.

my first cousin once removed
Evelyn Jacobson
b. 16 July 1916 Moline, Rock Island, Illinois
d. 3 December 1987 West Chicago, DuPage, Illinois

her husband
Thure Walter Johnson
b. 12 September 1912 Chicago, Cook, Illinois
d. 10 August 1994 West Chicago, DuPage, Illinois

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