Search billions of records on


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 268-269

CHARLES EDWARD PIPER was born in the city of Chicago June 12, 1858.  His father, Otis Piper, well and favorably known to the pioneer business men of Chicago, was of English extraction, and traced his descent directly to ancestors who arrived in America and settled at the town of New Salem in 1782.  His mother, Margaret (McGrory) Piper, of Scotch-Irish lineage, was a native of Prescott, province of Ontario, Canada, whither her father removed in 1824.

Otis Piper, with his family, came to Chicago in 1851, at a time when the struggling town was barely beginning to give promise of future importance, and cast in his lot with the few fervent-spirited citizens whose eyes of faith saw, above the alternating sand dunes and swamps of that early period, something of the glory of the present metropolis.  Amid the surroundings common to the pioneer outposts of civilization in our country, Charles Edward Piper, the subject of this sketch, first saw the light of day.  The foundation of his education was laid in the public schools of the city, and in the face of many trials and vicissitudes was, nevertheless, so firmly planted in the mind of the young boy that an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and an indomitable determination to obtain it, impelled him to successively graduate from the high school in 1876, the Northwestern University in 1882, and the Union College of Law in 1889, earning, in the mean time, his own livelihood and the means to meet his student's expenses.

After completing his law course, he entered upon practice with Mr. Wilbert J. Andrews, under the firm name of Andrews & Piper, a firm which is recognized as one of the leading real-estate law firms in Chicago.  The business of buying and selling real estate has naturally grown up with the practice of real-estate law, and the suburban town of Berwyn was founded by and is today, to a considerable extent, the property of Mr. Piper and his associates.  Socially Mr. Piper is a genial, warm-hearted gentleman, easy in his manners and a favorite in several social organizations with which he is connected, notably the Prairie Club, of Oak Park, and the Lincoln Club, of West Chicago.  In religious matters he is a follower of Wesley, and a consistent member of the Methodist Church.  He is President of the State Epworth League and Treasurer of the National Epworth League.  Politically he is a Republican, "dyed in the wool," is President of the town of Cicero, and has held the office of Supervisor of the town of South Chicago, as well as that of member of the Board of Education of the town of Cicero.

August 15, 1882, he married Carrie L. Gregory, daughter of Edwin and Anna S. Gregory, of Nauvoo, Illinois, and granddaughter of Robert Lane, partner of John Morris, of Philadelphia, of Revolutionary fame.  The three living children of Mr. and Mrs. Piper are: Carrie E., born May 29, 1884; Lulu L.; and Robert G., December 6, 1889.

Mr. Piper vividly recalls the burning of Chicago on the fatal October 8, 1871, but at that time, fortunately, was residing outside of the burnt district, and escaped any serious personal damages or loss.  He is the President of the Methodist Forward Movement of Chicago, and takes deep interest in the building of the Epworth House, at Number 229 Halsted Street, now in process of erection.  This house, like its prototype, Hull House, is designed to serve as an oasis in the desert of poverty and iniquity, and will aid greatly in the regeneration of that benighted region.  He was one of the founders, and is now an officer, of the Epworth Children's Home, and is at the present time President of the Chicago Methodist Social Union.

— Submitted by Sherri Hessick on December 27, 2000.

DISCLAIMER: The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.