In 1860, my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew Yawman and his milliner wife and daughters were in St. Paul, Minnesota; in 1870, the family lived and worked as milliners in Chicago; in 1880, they were farming a homestead in Pipestone County, Minnesota.
Digging a little deeper in the records, I found the Yawman family in Chicago city directories in 1870 and 1871. The family lived at 714 Larrabee; daughters Rebecca Yawman and Kate Phillips were running a millinery and fancy goods shop at 92 State Street. Here is a map of modern-day Chicago showing those two locations (point A is the shop address and point B is the home address):
Following is a map showing the area of Chicago affected by the fire with an orange box around the area roughly matching the map above:
|Public domain map of Great Chicago Fire from Wikimedia.|
Although I cannot be sure that the Yawmans were in Chicago on October 8, 1871, it appears that the area in which they lived and worked was destroyed. Such a catastrophe certainly could be the reason they were back in Minnesota by the time of the 1880 census.
© 2011 Denise Spurlock