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The Hawthorne Hotel
The Hawthorne Hotel. The restaurant part to the left was machine gunned in September of 1926 by The Northsiders hunting for Al Capone. This was in response to Dean O'Banion's 1924 murder by the Southside gang.
Incorruptible William Emmett Dever is elected Mayor from 1923 - 1927, making the Torrio / Capone move their operations to the suburb of Cicero. There they pay off officials and run their booze, gambling and prostitution business unimpeded.
Hymie plans a on the spot attack against Capone in Cicero September 20,1926, eight car loads of Northsiders drive past Capone's headquarters.They let loose with a first volley of blanks from a machinegun to make any Capone gangsters appear, but none show up as Capone himself is thrown to the ground by his bodyguard Frank Rio.The real shooting begins and about a 1,000 rounds* are poured in the Hawthorne Hotel. (Blanks being used were questioned by many historians. It's quite possible that they shot the thompson machine gun in the air to make the hotel occupants come out).
* The amount of bullets are grossly exaggerated. The amount may have been something like two hundred bullets in total when you factor the amount of men and cars. Maybe one Thompson submachine gun with a hundred round clip, several pistols a shot gun or two. Someone had suggested recently 2000 rounds? Lunacy! That is way off base and would equal 100 Thompsons with 20 round clips or 40 Thompson submachine guns with 50 round drums or 20 Thompsons with 100 round drums. I don't even think all the gangs combined in Chicago at that time had 20 Thompsons.
Token from the Hawthorne Smoke Shop located next door to the Hawthorne Hotel. Capone picked up his cigars here.
(Mario Gomes Collection).
September 20, 1926.
1929 Cicero listing with Theodore Anton's brothers as owners of his hotels (Dan and Nick). His wife Irene is also listed.
By 1932, the Hawthorne was renamed The Western Hotel and still making news after Capone left.
Chicago tribune April 12, 1932.
Photo circa 1939. Renamed the Suburban Hotel .
The old Hawthorne hotel in the late 20's becomes The Western, and then The Surburban Hotel in the 30's. In it's final years, it becomes The Towne Hotel, owned by Joe Aiuppa when it burns down on February 17,1970.
The Towne, once known as the Hawthorne Hotel was the target of Hymie's machinegun caravan. The restaurant part of the hotel was where Capone was dining when the bullets hit. Theodore Anton's brother Nick Anton, and his remaining brothers continue on with the hotel business, owning both the Anton and Western hotels. Nick has his share of troubles with the law, especially immigration who want him sent back to his native Greece. Shortly after Theodore's death, The Anton Hotel is renamed The Alton. That hotel will be demolished in January of 1994.
Nick Anton eventually lost his hotels and moved out to California. He made his living as a waiter in San Francisco, and passes away in Watsonville (Santa Cruz), California on October 20,1997 at age 95.
Funny to note that great author Bill Helmer visited the hotel just before it burnt down in the early 70's. The goon looking desk clerk asked Helmer what he wanted. Helmer had asked about the Weiss drive by shooting in 1926 against Capone, to which the desk clerk seriously replied, "I don't know nuttin", "I wasn't dare".
SEE Theodore Anton