The Back of the Yards neighborhood, located in back of the Union Stockyards and composed of Packingtown, Town of Lake, and New City, was the setting of Upton Sinclair’s classic 1906 novel, The Jungle. Permeated by an unforgettable smell, Back of the Yards was a melting pot of immigrants, many who worked in the stockyards. In 1894, Mary McDowell started the University of Chicago Settlement House in Back of the Yards. She improved living conditions and in 1905 helped create Davis Square Park. The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council was founded in 1939 by Joseph Meegan, Saul Alinsky, and Bishop Bernard Sheil and is America’s oldest notforprofit communitybased organization. It consisted of 185 delegate organizations involving residents, business owners, churches, parks, schools, and social clubs that worked to advocate improvements. The council motto continues on as “We the people will work out our own destiny.” Relive the bustling activity and the lives of the people in the neighborhood through the historic images in Back of the Yards.