Archive for the 'THIS DATE IN CHICAGO HISTORY' Category

A House in Forest Park (5-18-1946)

The sad tale was treated as filler, reported in a few sentences in a few Chicago newspapers in May 1946.

William Blythe was a 29-year-old World War II army vet. Leaving his pregnant wife Virginia with her parents in Arkansas, he’d come to Chicago looking for a job. Blythe was hired as a salesman by a West Side auto parts company. He bought a house at 1314 South Marengo Avenue in Forest Park and began stocking it with furniture.

On May 17, Blythe set out by auto to bring his wife back to their new home. Just outside Sikeston, Missouri, the vehicle skidded off the road and crashed. Police found William Blythe face down in a roadside ditch, drowned in a few inches of water.

Now, for the rest of the story—

Virginia Blythe decided to stay in Arkansas after her husband’s death. Their son was born on August 19, 1946, and named after his late father. The house in Forest Park was sold. It’s not known whether Virginia ever saw it.

In 1950 Virginia Blythe remarried. Her son later adopted his stepfather’s last name. William Blythe’s posthumous son eventually became the 42nd President of the United States—Bill Clinton.

The house on Marengo Avenue still stands, a private residence. It’s not known whether President Clinton ever saw it.

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