History of the Nickerson Mansion

W. A. Fiedler, date unknown image01
A. Fiedler and L. W. Murray, Artistic Furnishing and House Decoration, (C. H. Blakely & Co., printers, 1877)

Presented by A. Fiedler & Co.: Designers and Manufacturers of Artistic Furniture, Upholstered Goods, Hardwood Fittings, Draperies and Interior Decoration

What styles, then are to be advocated? It will not be a difficult matter to select from the different styles of architecture as represented in furniture (in their respective periods), those which conform to our climate, habits, and mode of life; such as the Gothic, Renaissance, and mainly Queen Anne. By this we do not mean the copying of existing examples, but rather, as the above styles offer the best motifs for construction and decoration, and, as applied to furniture, have not yet reached their fullest development, they give to a student of art a ground opportunity to display his originality, and enable him to produce like objects without repeating himself.   Read more
Residence of S. M. Nickerson, front elevation, The American Architect and Building News, February 26, 1881, Vol. 9, Iss. 270 image02
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 27, 1879, page 16

Something New in Houses – A Fire-Proof Residence

A fire-proof residence is something of a novelty in this country. The new residence that Burling & Whitehouse, architects, are erecting for S. M. Nickerson, President of the First National Bank, will have this unique claim to attention. It will be, besides this notable as the largest private house in the city. In size it ranks both Mr. George M. Pullman’s house and that of Mr. Cyrus H. McCormick, which have been till now the Gog and Magog of house-architecture in this city. Mr. Nickerson’s house, which is up to the basement, stands on the northeast corner of Cass and Erie streets. The dimensions of the ground-plan are 102 × 50 feet.   Read more
Nickerson House, exterior from the southeast, c. 1883 image03
D. Davis, Untitled letter, May 1881, Samuel M. Nickerson papers, Archive of the American College of Surgeons, Chicago, IL
232 W. Washington St.
Chicago, 5/22, 1881


Friend Mason:
Last Friday I received from Dufane [sic], then at Detroit, a telegram asking if I had received a letter from him during the week, which I had not, so I do not know its contents. The dispatch came in care of R. W. Bates & Co. so I fancied you must have had something to do with it. I wish you would send me Duvane’s [sic] present address. I answered on the back of the dispatch so I possibly would not get his initials right.   Read more
1883 image04
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 8, 1883, page 17
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 8, 1883, page 17

Art And Artists
The Fine-Art Collection of Mr. Samuel M. Nickerson


The art gallery of Mr. Samuel M. Nickerson, President of the First National Bank, is one of the handsomest, best appointed, and best lighted in the West, and though of considerable size, will soon have to be supplemented by additional accommodation if Mr. Nickerson continues to add to his art treasures. > Read more
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Chicago Daily Tribune, February 8, 1885, page 11
Chicago Daily Tribune, February 8, 1885, page 11

Mrs. Nickerson’s Reception

Following in the drift of fashion, which seems to run to receptions, occurred that given by Mrs. Samuel Nickerson Wednesday afternoon in honor of Miss Estelle Easton of Philadelphia, who has been her guest since Christmas. > Read more
1888 image06
Chicago Daily, February 11, 1894, page 36
Chicago Daily, February 11, 1894, page 36

Have Rare Pictures

Fine Art Collections Owned By Chicago Citizens.
Paintings by Old and Modern Masters in the Possession of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Nickerson — One of the Three Private Galleries That Form a Part of as Many Residences in Chicago — Famous Artists Among the Canvases of Albert A. Munger and Charles L. Hutchinson.

One of the blessings which all Chicagoans do not appreciate is the great value of the private collections of paintings to be found in this beauty-loving town. > Read more
1890 image07
Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1890, page 3
Chicago Daily Tribune, October 15, 1890, page 3

Entertaining the Lady Visitors
Receptions Given by Mrs. S. M. Nickerson and Mrs. H. H. Porter


Two pretty receptions were given yesterday afternoon by Mrs. S. M. Nickerson, No. 317 Erie street, and Mrs. H. H. Porter., No. 311 Erie street, in honor of some of the ladies accompanying the foreign visitors. > Read more
1890 image08
Samuel Mayo Nickerson, pictured with his grandson Roland Nickerson, Jr.
Chicago Daily Tribune, March 30, 1890, page 26

S. M. Nickerson, Clerk
He Makes a Voyage to Florida and Fails, Comes to Chicago and Wins


Mr. S. M. Nickerson, President of the First National Bank of Chicago, is about as democratic as anyone who makes a specialty of being so. You are not heralded into his presence. The latchstring of his office door is not only out during business hours but afterward. The door is never closed. > Read more
1891 image09
The Dining Room, c. 1890
Chicago Daily Tribune, March 14, 1891, page 12

Purchases Made by Chicagoans at the Brayton Ives Sale


At the Wednesday sale of Oriental porcelains collected by Brayton Ives Chicago again carried of the rarest and costliest of the collection from the assembled connoisseurs of New York and Boston. The two most important purchases of the day were by S. M. Nickerson and Potter Palmer. > Read more
1892 image10
The Dining Room, c. 1890
Chicago Daily Tribune, March 14, 1891, page 12

Purchases Made by Chicagoans at the Brayton Ives Sale


At the Wednesday sale of Oriental porcelains collected by Brayton Ives Chicago again carried of the rarest and costliest of the collection from the assembled connoisseurs of New York and Boston. The two most important purchases of the day were by S. M. Nickerson and Potter Palmer. > Read more
1894 image11
The Art Gallery, c. 1890
Chicago Daily, February 11, 1894, page 36

Have Rare Pictures
Fine Art Collections Owned By Chicago Citizens.
Paintings by Old and Modern Masters in the Possession of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Nickerson — One of the Three Private Galleries That Form a Part of as Many Residences in Chicago — Famous Artists Among the Canvases of Albert A. Munger and Charles L. Hutchinson.


One of the blessings which all Chicagoans do not appreciate is the great value of the private collections of paintings to be found in this beauty-loving town. > Read more

1899

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Curio Cabinet, the Front Parlor, c. 1883
Chicago Daily Tribune, February 23, 1899, page 5

Rob the Nickerson Home
Thieves Invade Residence of National Bank President. Use a Jimmy at 2 in the Morning to Gain Access Through Windows Supposed to Be Burglar Proof — Prowl Around by Candle Light and Abstract $400 Worth of India Curios — Leave the Ivory Carvings and Jades.


In spite of safeguards against thieves perhaps the most elaborate and costly possessed by any private residence in Chicago the home of Samuel M. Nickerson of the First National Bank, at Erie and Cass streets, has finally been entered by burglars and looted of some of its costly India bric-a-brac and silver. > Read more
1900 image13
The Art Gallery, c. 1890
Chicago Daily Tribune, January 26, 1900, page 1

Gift to the Art Institute
Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Nickerson Present Their Collection
Said to be second only to one of its kind in the United States — valued at $50,000 — rich in rare ivories, jades crystals, carvings, and oriental curios — includes many paintings — formally accepted by its trustees


Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Nickerson have given to the Art Institute their entire art collection, said to be the most valuable collection of ivories and rare Oriental carvings in Chicago, and second in value only to one of its kind in the United States > Read more
1900 image14
Nickerson House, exterior from the southeast, c. 1900
Chicago Daily Tribune, May 3, 1900, page 9

Nickerson Homestead Sold to
L. G. Fishe
r

A deed was placed on record transferring from Samuel M. Nickerson, former President of the First National bank, to Lucius G. Fisher, President of the Union Bag and Paper company, the Nickerson homestead at 317 Erie Street, 150 × 100 feet, for $75,000. > Read more
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Raimundo De Madrazo Mathilda Pinkham Nickerson Oil on canvas 1901
Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago, July 1912, Vol. 6, No. 1, page 3

Mrs. Samuel M. Nickerson

By the death of Mrs. Nickerson in New York, March 15, the Art Institute lost one of its best friends. The portrait here reproduced was painted by Madrazo in 1901. > Read more
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Samuel Nickerson (right) pictured with his son Roland Nickerson (left) and grandson Roland Nickerson, Jr. (center), c. 1890s
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1914, page 7

S. M. Nickerson Expires in East
Pioneer Banker of Chicago Dies in East Brewster, Mass, at Age of 84
Retired 15 Years Ago


Samuel M. Nickerson, 84 years old, a founder, and for twenty-five years the president of the First National bank, died yesterday evening at 6 o’ clock at the summer home of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Roland C. Nickerson, at East Brewster, Mass. Mr. Nickerson retired from active business more than fifteen years ago. > Read more