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Prospectus of the Chicago Cooperative Society.

Attention is hereby called to the desirability of starting and conducting in this city a Distributive Co-operative Society upon the same principles as those adopted and adhered to by the Rochdale "Equitable Pioneers." Competition among dealers by no means prevents the charging of extortionate prices to customers; and trade tricks and practices force each shopkeeper to follow the example of his neighbor, and adulterate almost every article he offers for sale.

Not only, therefore, are purchasers compelled to pay prices which net large profits on invested capital, but their health is seriously imperiled from dangerous adulterations. By Co-operation profits would be equitably divided, and only absolutely pure articles would be offered for sale. "The whole atmosphere of the Co-operative Store is honest. Buyer and seller meet as friends. There is no overcharging on the one side, and no suspicion on the other. Those who serve have no interest in chicanery; their sole duty is to give fair measure, full weight, and pure quality." In brief, people can have no incentive to overcharge, swindle, or poison themselves.


The objects of the Society will be:

First. To supply members and the general public, honestly and economically, with pure and unadulterated groceries and other articles for household and personal use at current retail prices.

Second. To save for its members the profits upon their purchases, by buying for cash at wholesale, selling for cash at retail, and dividing the profits thus realized between its members, in proportion as they may have contributed to the same, by their capital, labor, or custom.

Third. To provide a safe and profitable investment for the savings of its members.


It is proposed to establish a Central Store at such place as the members may decide, and, as the membership and business of the Society increase, to open branch stores wherever the local membership is sufficient to support them, and to provide a system of order and delivery capable of supplying the wants of any member in the city, wherever located.

This Society will not permit in sales light weight, short measure, nor any misrepresentation or concealment regarding its trade or any article it offers for sale.

It will do a strictly cash business, both in buying at wholesale and selling at retail.


Any person may become a member of this Society by paying an entrance fee of fifty cents, and subscribing for one share of its capital stock. Subscribers are limited to one share each.



The capital of the Society will be $25,000, divided into shares of twenty-five dollars each, payable ten per cent. ($2.50 each share) upon its organization, and in installments of one dollar per month thereafter until fully paid. Any member may pay the whole or any number of monthly, installments upon his share at the time of the organization of the Society, or at any subsequent date may anticipate the monthly payments at his option.

The liability of members is limited by law to the par value of their share.


The profits realized will be divided equitably among the members, in proportion to their contribution to the business of the Society by their capital, labor, or custom.

To the owners of full paid shares profits will be paid in cash.

Members entitled to receive profits in cash may leave the same as an interest investment, at six per cent, per annum, at their option. Settlements will be made quarterly.


Scrip certificates will be issued to members and others, at their request, for any sums of money due them for interest, dividends, or money paid to the Society for such purpose.

Investments in scrip certificates shall draw interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum (one and one-half per cent, per quarter), payable at the end of each financial quarter, but shall not further participate in the profits of the Society, or entitle their holders to vote.


Until the desired number of members is secured to effect the permanent organization, the Committee named below has been appointed to superintend the preliminary work of organization.

JAMES CHARLTON, Gen. Passenger & Ticket Agt C. & A. R. R.
JAS. R. MAY, Pres. People's Building and Loan Ass'n.
W. B. WICKERSHAM, Secretary Public Library.
DR. B. P. REYNOLDS, 128 Clark St.
JAS. KAY APPLEBEE, 128 Clark St.
C. McAULIFF, 249 E. Indiana St.
WM. CURRAN, with J. V. Farwell & Co.
www JOHN J. FLINN, Associate Editor "Daily News."
ROBERT E. HILLS, (Wilde & Hills) Brass Founders, cor. Michigan & Wells Sts.
C. G. DIXON, manufacturer of House Moldings, 17, 19 and 21 N. Jefferson St.
H. E. STUMP, City Supt, American Express Co.
ALEXANDER BELFORD, (Belford, Clarke & Co., pubs.), 192 State St.
JOHN R. MARKLE, Secretary Hogle Rock Oil Co.
ANDREW B. ADAIR, South Evanston, Ill.
JOHN F. TREGAY, contractor, 40 S. Peoria St.
E. B. RAMBO, Agt. Am. Powder Co., 14 State St.
F. A. HILDRETH, 144 Dearborn Av.
J. SEYMOUR CURRY, Evanston, Ills.
IRVING H. BEALL, with Marshall Field & Co.
J. TIMPERLAKE, with Rand, McNally & Co., printers.
JOHN SCOTT, 337 Wabash Av. (Room 3).
GEO. H. BRANDT, 36 Dearborn St.
J. B. EDWARDS, (Clark & Edwards, printers) 164 S. Clark St.
HENRY SUMNER, 1734 Indiana Av.
STANDISH ACRES, 94 Napoleon Place.
S. F. NORTON, publisher "Chicago Sentinel."



As soon as, in the judgment of the Committee on Organization, a sufficient number of persons (not less than five hundred) to insure the success of the movement have signed the subscription papers and paid the entrance fee, a meeting of the subscribers will be called for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization. At this meeting will be elected the Officers and Trustees of the Society, and all necessary measures will be taken to secure the speedy development of its business and the able and economical management of its affairs.


Co-operative trading saves a little on every purchase, without trouble or loss of time, or the sacrifice or denial of any comfort or want, and may be expected to result in an average saving of about


To people with large families and limited incomes, the Co-operative System presents peculiar advantages. The quarterly dividends on their purchases will amount to a very considerable saving, while the funds of the Society will be the best place for the investment of their earnings, as they will secure six per cent. interest for the use of their money, and will assist in creating a capital which will be employed to supply their own wants. In addition to this, their participation in the management of the affairs of the Society will educate them in business habits and in sound principles of social and political economy.

The marvelous success of the co-operative movement in Great Britain — where there are now over 1,500 societies, with a membership of upward of 600,000 and a capital employed in business of over $30,000,000, earning an annual net profit of $l0,000,000 — demonstrates the great advantage and economy of the Co-operative System of trade. The whole of this has been created within a generation!

These advantages are secured as follows:

If a member owns one full-paid share and his purchases at the store amount to twenty-five dollars per month, he will be turning his capital over twelve times a year. Estimating the average net profit, after paying for the use of capital, sufficient to make a dividend of only eight per cent, upon the capital and sales, the quarterly statement of such a member will be as follows:

Capital invested, $25 — one quarter $6.25
Purchases, one quarter, of only 75.00
Total entitled to dividend $81.25
Dividend, 8 per cent 6.50

The result of the year's business at his own store will be four times these amounts:

Capital invested, one year. $25.00
Purchases, one year 300.00
Total entitled to dividend $325.00
Dividend, 8 per cent 26.00



While the pecuniary gain is great, of far greater importance is the example of honest, honorable dealing, and the fact of paying as one goes — "Out of debt, out of danger." The member is a capitalist. "He can look the whole world in the face, for he owes not any man."

Many will say: "I have seen co-operation tried, and have always known it to fail." Those who think and speak thus, have seen that kind wherein entered not the true spirit, understanding, or practice of the system, — nothing beyond hanging out a sign emblazoned "Cooperation." Such can only be termed spurious or counterfeit. A vicious system or bad article is never counterfeited. The good, only suffer from such misrepresentations, and when Co-operation is adulterated with joint-stockism or other device, and then palmed off as genuine the result is always a swindle — a scheme enabling the few to reap the profits and the many to be plundered. Thus, how easily a good system may be misunderstood and condemned by the very people it aims to benefit.

To the working classes particularly — to all those dependent upon wages or salary for existence — the Co-operative system specially commends itself. By this means a considerable saving is effected without inconvenience or effort, and the habit of accumulation, so necessary to independence, acquired. But beyond and above this, those interested are educated to an appreciation of the benefit and potency of association, whereby the combination of small sums produces such wonderful results. Distributive co-operation is but a stepping-stone — a means of saving the capital and acquiring the business tact, method, and knowledge needful for the inauguration and management of successful production. Therefore, the industrial classes should take advantage of a system which is eminently fitted and has so thoroughly demonstrated its power to secure them their independence, stop competitive dishonesty, and ultimately destroy corporate greed.

The following distinguished gentlemen have heartily indorsed the Co-operative movement: John Stuart Mill, George Jacob. Holyoake, W. H. Thornton, the Bishop of Manchester, Prof. Fawcett, the Bishop of Durham, Thomas Burt, Hon. W. E. Gladstone, Richard Cobden, the Earl of Derby, Thos. Hughes, Q. C., Hon. Josiah Quincy, Robert Collyer, Wendell Phillips, James Kay Applebee, Brooke Herford, and thousands of others of all creeds and conditions.

Subscriptions will be received by any member of the Committee, and at the office of the Secretary, 66 E. Lake St.

Secretary pro tem.


"So cool a critic as Mr. Herbert Spencer sums up the causes of the prevailing immorality in English trade into ‘the indiscriminate respect paid to wealth,’ and says: ‘This gigantic system of dishonesty, branching out into every conceivable form of fraud, has roots that run underneath our whole social fabric, and, sending fibres into every house, suck up strength from our daily doings and sayings.’"

What Business System can be introduced into the world best calculated to inaugurate a hell of fierce and selfish strife between individuals, classes and nations, to the end that man may be made thoroughly mean, and hopelessly impotent?

Given the question, primitive man, if wise, would have answered, "GIVE US THE COMPETITIVE SYSTEM BY ALL MEANS."

The Devil replies promptly, "Verily, I CHOOSE THE COMPETITIVE SYSTEM, for without such my business will decay, my habitation become superfluous, and for want of patrons forced to close its doors. Then would I become a wanderer and a vagabond." "OH! THE COMPETITIVE SYSTEM MEANS PLACE, AND POWER, AND MEAT FOR ME."


Application of the Principles of Co-operation.

ALLEN R. FOOTE, Publisher,


Price ten cents: six months, 60 cents; one year, $1.00.

JOHN R. MARKLE, Western Agt.,
66 Lake Street, CHICAGO, ILL.