Thursday, October 23, 2008
The John A. Walsh School was founded in Chicago's "Bloody Maxwell" district in 1866. Between 1880 and 1905, it served as the primary battleground for two vicious street gangs of boys, the Irishers and the Bohemians. The school sits on Peoria St., then known as Johnson St., which was the border line between the Irishers' territory to the east, and the Bohemians to the west. During the 1880s and 1890s, blackjacks, clubs, and pistols were frequently used, both inside and outside the school, leading to the death of several students, and leading up to the final battle in December of 1905.
In that month, around 50 Irishers and Bohemians faced off in a gun battle at the school in which between forty and fifty shots were fired. When the police arrived, they found no boy older than 15, and many as young as ten.
Following the battle, no one was allowed to enter the school without a thorough search.
The building of the Walsh School has since been rebuilt.