Paddy Bauler

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Mathias 'Paddy' Bauler (January 27, 1890 – August 22, 1977)[1][2] was an American saloonkeeper and alderman of the 43rd ward of Chicago[3][4] from 1933 to 1967. He was known as a corrupt, controversial and charismatic Chicago political boss and is famous for the quote, "Chicago ain't ready for reform yet",[5] or "Chicago ain't ready for a reform mayor"[6] which he exclaimed many times over while dancing a jig[7] in his saloon upon the news of Richard J. Daley's first election as mayor of Chicago in 1955.[8] Mayor Daley banned Bauler from attending public functions for a time shortly after the quote was published,[9] he was the brother of John Bauler.

Personal life[edit]

Mathias Bauler's father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Illinois of German descent,[10] he weighed between 225[11] and 275 lbs.[12] and claimed that he did not know that his real name was not 'Paddy' until he was six years old.[11]

Saloonkeeping and politics[edit]

Paddy operated a speakeasy at Willow and Howe streets during prohibition and once prohibition was repealed became the first person to obtain a liquor license in Chicago. [13]

Bauler was known as a corrupt politician, and against reform, he has been quoted as saying that one reformer was "[...] so dumb he probably thinks the forest preserve is some kind of jelly."[8]

His two story political office on North Ave. and Sedgwick avenues, was also a saloon called De Luxe Gardens.[14][15][16][17][18]

Bauler once shot two Chicago police officers[19] (non-lethally) because, in Baulers words "...they swore at me and called me a fat Dutch pig".[20] Bauler was cleared from any wrongdoing. Mayor Kelly was quoted as saying that Bauler "Was a real straight-shooter".[16]

He had been accused of being a "...political power that protects graft, gambling, vice and other lawlessness...[21]"

On his retirement as an Alderman in 1966 Bauler was asked how he stayed in office so long, he replied "There ain't a thing they ask me that I don't try to do," [22]"

Bauer was friends with Charlie Weber.[23]


Bauler Park, Chicago


  1. ^ "St. Petersburg Times – Google News Archive Search". 
  2. ^ "Mathias J "Paddy" Bauler (1890–1977) – Find A Grave Memorial". 
  3. ^ "February 9, 1947 – VOTE TO KEEP BAULER OUT IS WALLER PLEA | Chicago Tribune Archive". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  4. ^ "February 12, 1967 – 2 in Lead for Paddy Bauler's Seat | Chicago Tribune Archive". 1967-02-12. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Good Government Movements". Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Challenging the Daley Machine". 
  7. ^ "Ebony". 
  8. ^ a b "American Pharaoh". 
  9. ^ "Mayors and the Challenge of Urban Leadership". 
  10. ^ "Chicago". 
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Chicago Politics, Ward by Ward". 
  14. ^ "Hidden History of Old Town". 
  15. ^ Sean Parnell. "De Luxe Gardens in Memoriam: Chicago Bar Project". 
  16. ^ a b "To Serve and Collect". 
  17. ^ Chicago Tribune. "Alderman Mathias". 
  18. ^ "LIFE". 
  19. ^ "BAULER ARRESTED; BAR SHUT (December 20, 1933)". Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "BAULER NAMED IN CRIME QUIZ (January 29, 1953)". Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  22. ^ "Chicago Politics In The Grand Style Of `Paddy` Bauler (September 11, 1988)". Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "The Funniest One in the Room". 
  25. ^ "Bauler Playlot Park". 
Political offices
Preceded by
John Bauler
Member of the Chicago City Council
43rd Ward

1933 – 1967
Succeeded by
William Singer