Great Chicago Fire of 1871 - Beginning Scenes

In 1937, a film called "In Old Chicago" was distributed by 20th Century Fox.  It tells the story of the Great Fire of 1871.

The film's back story - about the O'Leary family - is fictional.  For example: 

  • Patrick O'Leary was still alive when the fire occurred;
  • The O'Learys had two children - James Patrick (a son who later became a gambler and a saloon-owner) and Anna (who married James Ledwell);
  • None of the O'Learys died in the fire;

Despite the movie's fictional back story, historians have praised the film for its depiction of the Great Fire. 

NOTE:  To see the story of the fire - which, in this film, uses the legend of Mrs. O'Leary and her cow as the ignition source - move the video forward to 09:44.

Media Credits

Clip from "In Old Chicago," a 1937 film, by 20th Century Fox.  Copyright, 20th Century Fox, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the production.


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"Great Chicago Fire of 1871 - Beginning Scenes" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. May 21, 2019.
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