Earliest Residents of the Pike House: Billy Pike 

By Carol Flynn 

This is the second in a series about the families who have lived in the Eugene S. Pike House at 1826 West 91st Street. The Beverly Area Planning Association has joined with the Beverly Area Arts Alliance and the Ridge Historical Society to preserve this historic building. 

The original house, designed by architect Harry Hale Waterman, was built in 1892 as a “gardener’s cottage” on Pike’s private estate. 

Pike, a Chicago real estate developer with a keen interest in horticulture, offered beautifully landscaped plots of land for sale to prospective home builders in North Beverly. 

The landscape gardener who worked for Pike, Frederick Anton Schaefer, was an early resident of the cottage. He was born in Frieberg, Germany, in 1849, where he “won acclaim as gardener for the royalty.” 

Schaefer and his wife Augusta Friederika, also born in Germany, and their children, immigrated to the U.S. in 1892. On the 1900 U.S. Census, the parents and four of their children, including the youngest son born in the U.S., were living in the Pike cottage. They later moved to Crystal Lake where Schaefer continued to win acclaim for his work. He died in 1935. 

In 1917, Raymond A. Maitzen and his wife were residing at that address, according to his World War I draft registration, and he was employed as the gardener for the Pike estate. Maitzen was born in Paris, France, in 1890, and came to the U.S. when he was four years old. In 1916, he married Olive Kathryn Hewitt who was born in Ohio. 

In between these gardeners, the youngest son of the Pike family, William Wallace Pike, and his family lived in the house. 

William, known as “Billy” was born in 1872. He graduated from Yale University in 1895 in chemistry. He became president and general manager of the Chicago Concentrating Company, manufacturers of flavoring extracts and essential oils, in 1897. 

His relationship with a woman named Josephine Moffitt caused quite a media sensation from 1902 to 1904, when she claimed she was his common law wife and sued him for financial support. She also sued his parents, Eugene S. and Mary Pike, his older brother Charles Pike, and several of his business associates for “alienating his affections and inducing him to abandon her.” 

According to newspaper accounts, this caused patriarch Eugene “to raise a storm.” He had William take a lengthy trip to Europe. Charles vowed that the Pike family was “determined not to give up one cent on this claim.” 

The case was ultimately settled in the Pike family’s favor when the court found that the couple never had a marriage relationship, but not before it played out in courtroom scenes that were full of “laughter and disorder” from “Billy’s” men friends, spectators at the trial. Testimony, repeated in lengthy articles in the newspapers, was filled with details of the couple’s relationship. 

In March of 1902, while the trial raged in Chicago, William married Johanna Kaiser, born in Bavaria and the daughter of a manufacturer, in Munich, Germany. They returned to Chicago, where their daughter Mary Louise was born in September of 1903. 

They took up residence in the gardener’s cottage and became members of the Beverly Country Club. During this time, Waterman, the architect, was hired to design an addition, and the cottage was expanded into the house it is today. 

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