The abiding myth of “Da Mare,” Richard J. Daley, is that he spent his entire life in Bridgeport, also home to the two mayors preceding him. But online census records tell a different story, about a period when Daley left his homeland to wander the south side.
The 1910 census shows Michael Daley, a sheet metal worker, living with his wife, Lillian, and their eight-year-old son, Richard, on South Parnell, a few blocks west of Comiskey. By 1920, though, they had moved into a two-flat at 7621 S. Green—in Auburn-Gresham.
To be fair, it wasn’t such a huge leap. Auburn-Gresham was the site of the original South Side Irish Parade (formerly known as the Southtown Parade) and, in those days, home to many immigrants from the ould sod of Bridgeport, several with the last name of Daley.
The length of Daley’s exile is unclear. Michael’s 1918 draft registration card (also available online) gives the Auburn-Gresham address, and the family is still there for the 1930 census. But by 1940, everyone—including Richard’s wife, Sis, and their first two kids—was at 3536 S. Lowe, two blocks from where they started, just where you’d expect the Daleys to be. The house on Green stayed in the family, though, until 1974, when hizzoner sold it for $18,000.