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Morgan Park Co-op Credit Union Archives

Identifier: harsh-2001-02

Scope and Contents

The collection covers the history of the Morgan Park Credit union with organizational materials, awards, and photographs.


  • 1940-1995


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restriction

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are open without restriction

Biographical / Historical

On September 17, 1940, residents of the Morgan Park community organized the Morgan Park Community Consumers Cooperative. The credit union’s name was changed to Morgan Park Co-Op Credit Union on April 24, 1949, and in 1989 the name was changed again to Morgan Park Credit Union (MPCU). Morgan Park Credit Union was the first Black credit union established in Chicago. Morgan Park was annexed in 1914 and became part of Chicago’s 32nd Ward with four precincts. Morgan Park was originally part of the Washington Heights community, but the continuing influx of African Americans gave rise to a dividing line along Vincennes Avenue. The majority of African Americans lived east of Vincennes while the whites occupied the west side of the dividing line.

The cooperative was founded by 22 people, mostly civil service employees. Their first office was mobile. Their first treasurer, Carl Carter, went door to door taking care of credit union business. Within 5 years, its membership had grown to over 300. The original site was at 111th and Bishop. It operated in a church basement located at 11115 Loomis for 15 years. Then the organization purchased land and built a new site at 11043 Vincennes Avenue in November 1955, sharing space with the new Jack L. Cooper Medical Center.

E.M. May (treasurer and general manager) said in a 1955 interview that the MPCU was the only community-type credit union in Chicago that owned its own building and had built its headquarters from the ground up. The credit union was community-based and well-organized: it had a membership committee, credit committee, treasurer, education committee, nominating committee, and family counselors on the medical center side. While giving traditional loans to the community, members were also able to get loans for debt consolidations, vacations, tuition, home remodeling and automobiles.

On March 31, 1995, the Morgan Park Credit Union celebrated 55 years of service to the community. The credit union made its last move in 1989 to 111th and Longwood Drive where it stayed until it merged with Credit Union One in 2001. The donor, Rose Givhan-Blair, was Vice-Chair of MPCU during its merger with Credit Union One and worked with the union for over 16 years.


6.5 Linear Feet (in 6 boxes, includes 13 photographs)

Language of Materials



The Morgan Park Co-op Credit Union, founded in 1940, is the oldest African American credit union in Chicago. The collection contains photographs, legal documents, history brochures and memorabilia.


This collection is arranged in three series by type of material: Organizational History, Plaques and Awards and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These records were donated in March 2001 by Rose Givhan-Blair, Vice Chairman of the Morgan Park Credit Union Board of Directors

Related Materials

Related materials at the Chicago Public Library include:

  • AMF (Air Mail Field) Midway Postal Retirement Organization Archives
  • Milton O. Davis Papers
  • Washington Heights Community Organization Archives

Morgan Park Credit Union Archives
Beverly Cook, Librarian III, and Elizabeth Loch, Archival Specialist
February 2021
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection Repository

Woodson Regional Library
Chicago Public Library
9525 S. Halsted Street
Chicago IL 60628 United States
(312) 745-2080