West Town: Southern West Town (The Patch)

Area West Side

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.

Beginning in the 1880s this 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 beginning in the year 1903.  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.  After destroying the black hand the Chicago Outfit made their way into this neighborhood and nearby Noble square by 1920.  It was on these streets that they Grand Nobles street gangs formed at Grand and Noble but more specific to the Patch came the Forty Two gang that formed in 1920 on these streets and the Near West Side in Little Italy.

The Forty Two Gang was especially violent and vicious composing of teenage boys that grew into violent young men.  These boys were hired and used by the Outfit to commit various crimes and some of the Forty Twos were even accepted into the Outfit when they became young adults.

In 1950 a mafia farm gang called the “C-Notes” began in this neighborhood as a money making crew.  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.  By 1952 the C-Notes took in young Italian youths from Ohio and Leavitt starting the most notorious and long lasting gang in the Patch.

C-Notes ruled the Patch throughout the 1950s and the early 1960s until Puerto Rican families began arriving in larger numbers by 1962.  By 1964 Puerto Ricans were gangbanging in this area after the Ashland and Cortez Latin Kings formed in nearby East Village and the Harrison Gents of Ashland and Beach in East Village.  Gaylords and C-Notes then formed a merger to help fight them off in 1964 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 1975 but mainly settled right in the middle of C-Note territory which caused the C-Notes to go into bloody war with Satan Disciples.

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 the Patch 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.