1869-1879

The Uhlich Evangelical Lutheran Orphan Asylum is incorporated in the state of Illinois, marking the
official beginning of UCAN as it’s known today.

1866

The concept of an orphan home originates with members of St. Pauls Church in Chicago who commit to care for youth whose fathers might not return from battle in the Civil War.

St. Pauls members raise $8,000 and the Women’s Auxiliary started a children's orphanage in a small cottage at LaSalle and Ontario streets in downtown Chicago.

Concerned, active women serve as matrons and are the most fervent supporters, event organizers and fundraisers.

Christine Rathsfeld serves as the first matron and the home’s only employee.

1867

St. Pauls members Mr. and Mrs. Carl Uhlich donate a parcel of land to support the founding of a German children’s orphan home. The land is sold for $1 to the home, which is then named the Uhlich Evangelical Lutheran Orphan Asylum (September 19).

Located on Wentworth Avenue and LaSalle Street between 23rd and 26th streets, the home specifically provides support for orphans of members of the Evangelical Lutheran faith.

1869

The Uhlich Evangelical Lutheran Orphan Asylum is incorporated in the state of Illinois, marking the official beginning of UCAN as it’s known today. (March 10, 1869)

1871

St. Pauls Church and the Uhlich home are destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. The Chicago Relief and Aid Society donates almost $21,000 to rebuilding efforts. (October 8, 1871)

1872

St. Pauls’ pastor lays the cornerstone for the new home of the Uhlich Orphan Asylum at 2014 N. Burling Street. in an economically mixed but predominately German community served by the home. (November 1872)

1873

The first wing of the new Uhlich Orphan Asylum is completed and occupied with additional space scheduled for the summer of 1889 with support from Chicago businessman Charles Wacker.

1874

For more than two decades in the late 1880s, Uhlich continues to serve and be supported by the predominately German population that worships at St. Pauls and is active and visible in the community.