Kathleen is described by many as a very feisty and energetic young woman of the times. Forward thinking and bold. She is considered one of the first to break into the levels of journalism that she did.
She got hired on to the staff of the Tribune in 1925. She was on the city desk and later became women’s editor. She travels extensively throughout the United States for the Tribune, and has a reputation as an excellent and popular speaker in the Chicago area especially about Women’s Rights.
Kathleen is most known for her covered gangster-related stories among others in Chicago.
Kathleen’s brother is named William McLaughlin. William runs the Club Laurel on Broadway, a swinging Chicago night spot that features everything from cha-cha night to sets by such jazz greats as Count Basie and Stan Kenton.
William is a young man in his early thirties. Charismatic and witty, with an entrepreneurial spirit.
The Club Laurel is located on Lawrence Avenue in Uptown. It was later moved to 5246 N. Broadway as the previous precinct was voted as being a dry precinct.
the club featured a round bar and two smaller side bars along with tables, all of which would be jammed when top acts like Basie played as three shows a night.
Mr. Ken Valerugo stands as the bouncer for the club.
Even on nights without a big act, the club would be busy with people from the neighborhood and friends of Mr. McLaughlin’s from around the city.
It was a late-hours joint. People go there when they don’t want to go home.
William and Kathleen grew up in Lincoln Square. Their father drove a streetcar on Western Avenue. William started selling newspapers as a young boy and then, desirous of indoor work during winters, took a job at a German butcher’s shop in the neighborhood.
William and Kathleen both attended St. Patrick and Amundsen High Schools. William left before graduating to join the Army during the Great World War. Kathleen fearing he would never return when he went missing in action behind German lines, joined the war effort as a war correspondent reporter. Eventually, William escaped from German and crossed the border to return home on a hospital ship. Kathleen also was honorable discharged before the War ended. Kathleen believed that William was never the same after his experiences in the war.
While in the foxholes, William became a skilled gin rummy player. He would regularly send his winnings from card games home to his mother and sister. When he returned to Chicago, he wanted to start his own butcher shop, and his mother handed over $8,000. She told him that that was the money he had sent her over the last couple of years.
William opened McLaughlin’s Butcher Shop on Webster Avenue. Sensing trouble for small, independent butchers, William sold his shop and put the proceeds into the club Laurel.
He dabbled in 47th Ward politics and was an early student of “Maguire University”. “Maguire University” could be a political radical underground group.
Quote out of Kathleen’s book “New Life in Old Lands”: “The field workers labor, not in the striped trousers of diplomacy but in the dusty corduroys and windbreakers, the well-worn dungarees or the much laundered uniforms of clinicians energetically on the job.”
Kathleen and William are both Catholic
Kathleen attended the Alfieri Party with Colonel Robert McCormick, editor of the Tribune. Kathleen knew that she would be just a trophy on his arm, but it was too great of an opportunity to let her feminine pride get in the way. It was at this party that she first sees Knighten Foraine, although they are never formally introduced.