Jesuit builds first building in Chicago – Dec. 4, 1674
This week marks the anniversary of when Jesuit missionary, Father Jacques Marquette, and his travel companions built a log cabin on what would eventually become the city of Chicago.
A native of France who had joined the Jesuits at age 17, Marquette traveled extensively in what is now Illinois and Wisconsin as part of efforts to convert the native populations.
While stalled by winter weather, Marquette and two companions constructed a log cabin in what is now Chicago, technically making it the first European settlement of the area.
According to a 1678 account written by fellow Jesuit, Father Dablon, Marquette eventually met with more than 500 chiefs and "explained to them the principal mysteries of our religion, and the end for which he had come to their country; and especially he preached to them Christ crucified, for it was the very eve of the great day on which he died on the cross for them."