West Town: Southern West Town (The Patch)

Origins
Area West Side
Boundaries

Chicago Avenue on the north, railroad tracks near Kinzie Avenue on the south, Dan Ryan Expressway on the east, intersection of Chicago Ave and Grand Avenue on the west.

Gangs founded C-Notes, Gaylords,
Gangs headquartered Ashland Vikings, C-Notes, Harrison Gents, Latin Kings, Satan Disciples,

This area’s borders are: Chicago Avenue on the north, railroad tracks near Kinzie Avenue on the south, Dan Ryan Expressway on the east, intersection of Chicago Ave and Grand Avenue on the west.

In the 19th century the area was settled by Sicilian/Italian immigrants over by Smith Park on the west and down to the present day Dan Ryan Expressway.  The first crime element to appear in this neighborhood was the “Black Hand” extortionists that were all of Sicilian/Italian background.  This group sent threatening letters to wealthy elites demanding money or else they would inflict harm.  The group rose up to power in the 1900s decade but they crossed the line when they kept threatening the first Chicago Outfit boss “Big Jim” Colosimo.

By 1912 most of the Black Hand was destroyed by the Outfit.  Eventually the Chicago Outfit settled in this area by the 1940s, this faction became known as the “Grand Avenue Crew.”

In 1952 the sons of Outfit members started their own mafia farm gang called the “C-Notes” that operated at the intersection of Ohio and Leavitt.  At the same time just a few blocks away another primarily Italian greaser club started called the “Gay Lords” that operated in the vicinity of Huron and Throop.  These gangs mainly had the goal of protecting the neighborhood from African American gangs and to stop the spread of African Americans into their neighborhood; however, because blacks were too frightened to cross the Kinzie tracks into mob controlled territory the greasers had nothing else better to do but bash each other’s heads in.

The business of stopping the spread of other races did not pick up until the late 1960s when Puerto Ricans began migrating to this part of West Town, and the first gang to pick fights with C-Notes and Gaylords was the Latin Kings that were more located a little north in the Noble Square/East Village area. Gaylords and C-Notes then formed a merger to help fight them off but by the early 1970s it was a losing battle for the Gaylords; however, the C-Notes only got stronger and even began recruiting United States born Puerto Ricans to fight against the Kings.

By the mid -1970s Gaylords moved out of the area and put more focus on several other pieces of turf in around the city, in their place the Satan Disciples would move into the area by the later 1970s.

Soon the C-Notes were fighting several other Puerto Rican gangs from East Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and the Near West Side neighborhoods.

By the 1990s Harrison Gents and Ashland Vikings began to settle in this southern region causing more wars with the Harrison Gents for the C-Notes.

By the mid-1990s this area became rough with gang violence and drug trafficking.  As Italians migrated out in higher volumes in the 1990s.

The area still struggles with crime presently by Smith Park.  In the further east part of this strip of land the area has become highly gentrified and renovated as yuppies and hipsters have taken over.

This area is the birthplace of the C-Notes and Gaylords.