Leonetti Family

Luigi’s Birth Act

Luigi Leonetti
The birth was reported to the mayor by the father Saverio Leonetti, aged 36 on March 25, 1865. Saverio lived in the contrada (hamlet) of Castagna. The mother was Carmela LaTorre, aged 30 and was his legitimate wife living in the same home.  The witnesses were Gaetano Coscarello aged 42 who was a laborer and Vincenzo
Bartucci aged  50.  Luigi was baptized at Madonna della Neve on the 26th of March in Santa Maria La Castagna.  (hamlet)

From fellow researcher Cathy Napolitano:
I think you have Luigi’s mom’s name wrong…close but wrong.  The name as you wrote it is unfamiliar to me, However, I think her name was Carmela LaTorre.
His father was Saverio so based on that information I can tell you the names of his a few of his siblings:
Gaspare born in 1879
Rosaria born in 1861
Francesco born in 1868
Giuseppe born in 1857
I am sure there are more but that is all I found for now.

Sadly, I think we will come to a permanent dead end on the Leonetti line with Luigi’s father.  His birth name may have been Esposito…that means Saverio was an orphan and the Leonetti was added later – probably after his adoption.  They married in 1855 so I will look for the marriage act to prove that.  On the LaTorre side we should be able to find more. 

Alderman’s Wars

The Alderman’s Wars is a term used to describe the series of murders and violent rioting between warring Aldermen Johnny ‘de Pow” Powers and Anthony D’Andrea between 1916 and 1921 in Chicago. Over a period of five years, over 30 deaths were reported during the struggle for control over the bloody 19th Ward of Chicago’s Little Italy.

Chicago’s Unione Sicilliana 1920 – A Decade of Slaughter (Part One)

The Chicago Crime Scenes Project – Alderman John Powers’ Home Bombing

Chicago Daily Tribune – January 4, 1920

A dynamite bomb thrown at the house at 612 South Morgan Street at 12:30 o’clock this morning wrecked the house and drove 20 families into the street. They were taken in by neighbors. Only one boy was injured, which seems remarkable, considering that windows were shattered for a block around, and the house was demolished.
The first two floors are occupied by Peter Batalico and Louis Leonetti and their families. Leonetti is a bailiff in municipal court, and it is believe the bomb may have been a result of some arrest he made in the past. His son, Amerilla, was cut above the head by the blast.

Chicago Daily Tribune
January 12, 1920

The bomb explosions which in the last week have endangered the lives of two Italian Democratic leaders in the Nineteenth ward were attributed last night by Ald. Johnny Powers to recent strife between Democrats and Republicans.

Early on Sunday morning the residence of Representative Charles Cola at 817 Forquer Street was partially wrecked. The Black Hand was blamed.

A week ago Louis Leonetti of 612 South Morgan Street, a friend of Cola, was blown out of his bed by a bomb. This incident was classed as “mysterious”.

Investigation last night revealed that there have been recent “flare-ups” between Italian factions of both parties.

Politics, Says Powers

“It seems to me to be a case of politics”, said Ald. Powers. “Italian Republicans and Democrats have not been on good terms and may be that the bomb play has been injected for revenge”.

Representative Cola denied he was a target in the bomb explosion. He also denied knowledge of any political strife.

Leonetti, a municipal court bailiff, admitted political friendship with Cola, but denied any partisan feuds.

1920 Chicago Ward Map

19th Ward Detail Map

The Black Hand Letters

May 14, 1921

Dear Friend, I want $2000 from you Luigi at midnight, come and bring the money to Taylor and Canal Street.  Thank You   The Black Hand

February 27, 1925

Dear Friend, Finally we want to know what day we can come over and see you.  We pray that you can present us with the sum of $5000 as soon as you get this letter.  We will be very good friends.  Don’t fail for you and all your family.  Consider this a good thing you are doing.  The Black Hand

la mano nera = The Black Hand

1930 US Census

1930 Census

1930 United States Federal Census         
Name: Louis Leonettii
Home in 1930: Chicago, Cook, Illinoiss
Age: 65                   Estimated birth year: abt 1865
Birthplace: Italy       Year of Immigration: 1880
Head of House
Spouse’s name: Petrina  (note Petrina’s age at marriage – 14)
Year of Immigration: 1893

Household Members::
Name                        Agee
Louis Leonetti           65
Petrina Leonetti        46
Emil Leonetti             24
Camille Leonetti        20
Edward Leonetti        17
Martha Leonetti         14
Richard Leonetti        12
Mary Leonetti            11

1258 S Fairfield Ave Chicago circa 2007

Louis Leonetti – 1941