2.JOHN VASILIS3 VLAGOPOULOS (VASILIS2, ??1) was born Bef. 1875 in Greece, and died 1936 in Greece2.He married GEORGIA GORFOPULAS, daughter of THEODORE GORFOPOLAS and VENETA GEORGIACOPOLAS.She was born 1866 in Greece, and died Aft. 1936 in Greece. Notes for JOHN VASILIS VLAGOPOULOS: John V. Vlagopoulos came to the United States with his brother Christos around 1900. The worked together on the railroad. They lived in Chicago. John became fairly weathly and moved back to Greece. Back in Greece he lost his riches. Children of JOHN VLAGOPOULOS and GEORGIA GORFOPULAS are:
Notes for BILL VLAGOS: Bill probably died before 1907 when another male child was born and given the name of Bill (actually Vasilis). This name was most important to the family since it was the name of his grandfather, his father's father. Greek tradition called for naming the first male child after the father's father. In addition each male child would have their father's name as their middle name. Thus this child being the first born male was probably named Vasilis Iannis Vlagopoulou (Bill John Vlagos). The next male child born was probably named Georgio Iannis Vlagopoulou (George John Vlagos). The first born female was named after her father's mother, Angelo Datsopulas. Therefore she was named Angelo Iannis Vlagopoulou. All of the females had their fathers name as their middle name. This is the reason that her middle name is Iannis (John).
VENETA JOHN VLAGOS, b. 23 Sep 1897, Pagrati, Greece; d. 13 Jun 1993, Wheaton, Illinois.
GEORGE VLAGOS, b. 1898, Greece; d. 1919.
Notes for GEORGE VLAGOS: George Vlagos died at about age 20. George Vlagopoulos came to the United States at the age of sixteen arriving April 24, 1914 at Ellis Island. The ship Pannonia departed from Patras Greece. According to the ship manifest George was going to Chicago to see his Uncle John Raklios. There were at least 9 other men from Pagrati Greece on this ship including his uncle Christos Vlagopoulos.
GEORGE JOHN VLAGOS, b. 10 Mar 1918, Pagrati, Greece; d. Oct 1970, Pagrati, Greece.
3.JOHN IRAKLIOS3 VLAGOPOULOS (VASILIS2, ??1) was born 17 Mar 1879 in Greece4, and died 19 Nov 1957 in Chicago, Illinois.He married MARY ZYDEL5 19156, daughter of ?? ZYDEL and ??? ??.She was born 1893 in Wisconsin7, and died Unknown. Notes for JOHN IRAKLIOS VLAGOPOULOS: According to the 1910 Chicago census, John and Mary Raklios are listed as "Roomers" in a building located at 27 w Superior Street. They were boarders along with about a dozen others in the same building. No ther Greeks lived there but several lived in the building behind theirs on Huron Street. The person listed as Head of the Household is Hannah Johnson. John is listed as a waiter in a restaurant. It also states that John and Mary had been married for three years. I previously thought that they got married in 1915, but had no solid proof. So they possibly got married in 1907. It further states that John came to the USA in 1903 thru Alabama from Greece and that Mary came in 1905 from Greece. He was listed as 30 and Mary as 23 in 1910. It is unconfirmed that John Leopoldo changed his name to John Raklios when he came to the United States in 1901. We know that John Raklios started up a restaurant business in downtown Chicago the very next year. It was a huge success and he opened at least 21 more restaurants in Chicago. Most of them were in the central business district called the loop. He may have had as many as 34 Raklios cafeterias. Some ot the food for the Raklios restaurants was actually cooked at a Commissary. There were at least eleven Thompson's Restaurants in the Chicago loop by 1901 when John Raklios came to the United States. John also owned two upscale restaurants named Elroy, one at 1117 Lawrence Ave. and one at 68 W. VanBuren St. John Raklios had a partner in the restaurant business named Vasilios (Bill)Coteones (or Cotseones). According the the 1923 City of Chicago Directory John Raklios was president /treasurer of John Raklios and Company and WilliamCoteones was the vice president. Bill Coteones remained very wealthy throughout his life.Coteones was a huge contributor to St. Andrews Church and he is buried under a large monument in Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois. His grave stone is very well maintained even though his only daughter died at age seventeen right in front on the families Wilmette home. People said thatCoteones was the nasty one of the two partners. Andrew Chronis was the secretary of the John Raklios company. The companies main office was located at 125 W. Ohio St. In 1928 the office was located at 247-267 E. Ontario St. Two of the restaurants were located on historic Route 66. One at the corner of Jackson Blvd and Halsted Street and one on Adams Street in the Marquette Building. In 1915 John Raklios resided at 900 N. Lasalle St. at which time he owned eleven lunch rooms and one commissary in Chicago. In 1916 he resided at 1702 N. Lasalle and had seven lunch rooms. In 1917 he only listed two lunch rooms in the Chicago City Directory. In 1918 Raklios lived at 1702 N. LaSalle Street according to his World War 1 Draft Registration Card. He was listed as a Naturalized Citizen at the time. It also indicated that he was of average height and stout build. He had brown eyes and black hair. At the height of his career, John Raklios was highly successful and had a huge mansion at 6326 North Sheraton Road overlooking Lake Michigan. Raklios had huge parties is his ballroom. One that was quite famous was when his son, Hercules was christened. Raklios had Holy water flown in from the Jordan River to baptize his son. There were dignitaries that came from as far a way as Greece to attend. The Prince of Greece as well as Bishops and Archbishops came to Raklios' mansion for events. In a book called 'Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of The American Diet' author Harvey Levenstein wrote, in 1988, about Raklios "After two failures with full service restaurants, the Greek immigrant John Raklios realized that what Americans now wanted was cleanliness and the appearance of quality and built a chain of nineteen "luncheonettes" in Chicago on these principles. He advertised that he dealt only with major meat packers, displayed only Heinz and other high quality condiments, and employed only whites as waiters and waitresses. ("Colored help take care of the dishwashing," he said)" John Raklios was the one who sponsored Veneta Vlagos, who was his niece, to come to the U.S. He sent $125 to his cousin John Vlagos, who was Veneta's father on March 29, 1921 so that she could travel to Chicago to live with him. He promised that he would take care of her. He also asked the Consulate General of Greece in Chicago for permission to bring Veneta to the U.S. on February 23, 1921. He received the approval of the Consulate quite easily I am sure because John Raklios was very wealthy and influential. In 1937 Raklios lost his restaurants and unlike BillCotseones he lost his wealth. Soon Raklios filed for bankruptcy. The City of Chicago had passed a law prohibiting restaurants serving food that was not prepared on the premises. This severely hurt Raklios because he only had a few kitchens (commissaries) where the food was prepared and then transported to his cafeterias. At the same time the depression hit. John Raklios got sentenced to prison for not being able to pay off all of his debts. An attorney named John H. Lyle who helped Raklios without getting compensated, won his release from jail by filing a writ on habeas corpus. A federal bankruptcy judge, Archie Cohen, actioned off the last thirteen Raklios restaurants to an attorney named B.H. Matthews on August 9, 1937 for $86,500. Mr Matthews then sold the restaurants to Raklios main competitor, James R. Thompson. After John Raklios lost everything he was scheduled to be on the television show called "This Is Your Life". His wife Mary was already at the TV studio but John never arrived. Apparently he got lost. Mary was on the show without John who was supposed to be the star of the show. The depression and losing everything took its toll on John so much that he lost his mind. Here is an article written about John Raklios in 1940. It appeared in Time Magazine. "Business Second Generation Restaurant Monday, Jun. 10, 1940 As familiar to Chicagoans as Thompson's off-the-arm restaurants was a chain of 23 Raklios eating houses that dotted the Loop and nearby business districts in the early '30s. Almost as familiar was the legend of their bush-browed proprietor John Raklios. He had hit the Loop in 1901, fresh from Greece with $10 in his pocket, had parlayed a basket of fruit into a sidewalk fruit stand, then switched his bet to popular-priced restaurants. In 1928, his top year, his chain did a gross business of $3,600,000, and talkative John Raklios, with a classic "stromberry" accent, counted himself a millionaire, with a $65,000 mansion on Sheridan Road. Depression took John Raklios back to shirtsleeves. Bankruptcy cut his chain to 13 restaurants, and more bad business put them on the block to be bought by Thompson's. Last year John Raklios, 58 and ailing, peddled bread at $25-30 a week for White Baking Co. Chicago newspapers reviewed his rise and fall last August when he was jailed for two days for a $2,000 debt under Illinois' antique debtors' law. Last week, on the window of a shiny, 33-seat restaurant-lunch counter at 330 South Clark Street in the Loop, the name of Raklios appeared again. This time it was followed by two letters that marked the passing of a generation. The sign said "Raklios Jr." Proprietor of the new stand: 22-year-old Hercules John Raklios. His business adviser: old John, who eased up on his bakery rounds on opening day to shake hands with old customers, proudly pasted in his son's window the $5 bill laid down by the first customer, who bought a 5¢ cigar." So, Raklios' son Hercules John opened a restaurant in one of his father's old spaces--330 south Clark which was one of the "full service" restaurant locations.This address is actually around the corner from Jackson, in what is now the Trans-Union Building. That bit about John Raklios being jailed under an "antique debtors' law" is not exactly accurate. Briefly, John Raklios borrowed money under the understanding (according to the lender) that he would use the funds to bid on and buy back some of his restaurant equipment from a bankruptcy auction. He would then (according to the lender) use the re-purchased equipment to start up a single new restaurant. It seems that John did not use the funds for this purpose--he did not participate in the auction at all, or did not prevail, and the lender wanted his money back. When John did not return the money the lender brought charges of loan fraud. John was able to beat the charges on a technicality. But to refer to this as an "antique debtor's law" is a bit misleading, since using borrowed money for other than the stated purpose is still potentially considered fraud. My grandfather Theodore Georgas was one of the people that bid on one of the restaurants and lost the auction. In April 1952 James Annes gave Raklios a job in his loop restaurant after learning how he had lost all of his money and filed for bankrupcy. Mr. Annes had worked for Raklios in 1915 as a counter man. On July 3, 1952 John was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital by the Sheffield Avenue police after was found he laying in the street gutter at the corner of Barry and Broadway.The policeman immediately recognized the famous Raklios and took him to the hospital. He had been found wandering from home on previous occasions. His health was failing but he was not in serious condition according to an acticle in the Chicago Tribune. Larry Raklios (John's grandson) remembers driving with his parents to Chicago from Seattle upon hearing that his grandfather, John Raklios was very ill. Along the drive they had the radio on in the car . It was tuned into the show with Paul Harvey. Then Paul Harvey announced his sadness at the lost of his close friend John Raklios. This is how John's son (Hercules) and grandchildren learned of the death of John Raklios. He died in Cook County hospital. He was buried in Elmwood cemetery as were most Greeks with a small and simple gravestone. After the death of John Raklios a major movie studio offered Mary Raklios a large amount of money to make the story of John Raklios into a movie. She refused because she was ashamed of what happened to them even though she was poor and really needed the money. The following was written about John Raklios in 1922 in the Press Club of Chicago Official Reference Book: 'John Raklios, restaurateur, found the road to success a hard one to travel. Business depressions, explosions and fires all conspired to work against him but these experiences left him unscarred and today he has caught that fleeting thing called success. He is at the helm of a $500,000 restaurant business, which operates in every part of Chicago. He is also director of the Altas Exchange National Bank. Mr. Raklios was born in Greece in 1879; s. of Jenny (Johnson) and Hercules Raklios. He was educated in schools in Greece. In 1915, he married Mary Zydel, Chicago. Children: Helen, Hercules. When Mr. Raklios set foot in the United States in 1900, he had just $10. His first venture was peddling fruit in Chicago loop office buildings. He then entered the flower business, but this proved disastrous and he opened a restaurant at 489 S. State Street. Poor business forced him to sell out. With two partners, he opened a restaurant at State and Harrison Streets. A gas explosion wiped out the business and left him $2000 in debt. By obtaining an extension from his creditors, he was able to start anew at 613 S. Kedzie Ave. Here he prospered, was able to wipe out all of his debts and build a nucleus for a $500,000 Raklios Restaurant Corporation. As he bought more restaurants, he established a commissary at 125 W. Ohio Street, where also are located his offices. Mr. Raklios resides at 6336 Sheridan Rd. Article in the Chicago Trinune about his death: "1957-11-20 Chicago Tribune (IL) JOHN RAKLIOS DIES; EX-OWNER OF CAFE CHAIN Depression Wiped Out 4 Million Fortune Edition: Chicago Tribune John Raklios, a Greek immigrant who once owned a chain of 32 restaurants and had a 4 million dollar fortune, died yesterday in County hospital at the age of 77. he went bankrupt during the depression, when long term leases he had signed on choice locations during the boom days, ate up not only his profits but capital as well. Raklios arrived in Chicago from Athens in 1901 with $10, and got a job scrubbing floors. Four years later, he opened his first restaurant at 489 S. State st. His Own Bakery Later he owned a total of 32 restaurants, but not all at one time, since he kept closing some of the old restaurants while opening new ones. At the peak of his prosperity, he operated his own bakery, and paid $70,000 cash for a home at 6326 Sheridan rd. His daughter, Virginia, was christened with water brought to Chicago from the river Jordan. On one occasion, Raklios was host to Crown Prince Paul of Greece. Altho in failing health, Raklios planned several comebacks in the intervening years, but something always interfered. For several years he has lived with his wife, Mary, at 4227 Broadway. Signed Too Many times Raklios blamed the loss of his fortune on "signing my name too many times." Raklios entered County hospital last Friday, suffering from a severe cold. A hospital spokesman attributed death to bronchial pneumonia and a heart ailment. Besides his wife, he leaves a son, Hercules John, of Bunkie, La., and two daughters, Mrs. Helen Akers and Mrs. Virginia Witamaki. PHOTO CAPTION: Raklios Memo: Photo Copyright 1957, Chicago Tribune. For permission to reprint, contact Chicago Tribune. Record Number: 19571120ob009 " More About JOHN IRAKLIOS VLAGOPOULOS: Burial: 23 Nov 1957, Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, Illinois Cause of Death: bronchial pneumonia & a heart ailment Medical Information: Stroke in 1959 Notes for MARY ZYDEL: Mary was employed by Raklios as a cashier which was how they met and married. More About JOHN VLAGOPOULOS and MARY ZYDEL: Marriage: 19158 Children of JOHN VLAGOPOULOS and MARY ZYDEL are: