Former Cook County Courthouse, Jail, and Gallows Alley


The original Cook County Courthouse, where the Haymarket Eight were tried and convicted, was torn down in 1892. The trial began on June 21, 1886; two months and 981 witnesses later, Judge Joseph E. Gary sentenced seven of the eight to death by hanging. Oscar Neebe received fifteen years of hard labor in Joliet Prison.
The Haymarket Eight were held in the Cook County Jail on the southwest corner of Illinois and Dearborn Streets. Before the jail was torn down in 1929, it also held Eugene V. Debbs when he was arrested during the 1894 Pullman Strike, and "Big Bill" Heywood was here for six months in 1917-18 after the Palmer Raids.
In 1886, the alley between the Courthouse and the Jail was a courtyard. The city erected the gallows in this courtyard and, at about 11:30 AM on November 11, 1887, hanged George Engel, Aldolph Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies.

Labor Trail




N Dearborn St & W Hubbard St

Labor Trail

The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.

We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.

Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at

More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at:

The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle

Project Director:
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Advisors:
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University

Administrative Director:
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Assistants:
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago

Web Design:
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer