• Pillowcase

Object ID
Object Name
Date Created
1890 – 1920
Arlene Kontos
Object Entities
Kontos, Arlene (collected by)
Lampos, Zafirios (is related to)
Zafirios, John (is related to)
Zafirios, Asimo (is related to)
Object Description
White pillow case with white floral trim on the mouth. Near the mouth, there are two red characters stitched onto it.
Owned by the family of Zafirios J. Lampos.
Zafirios/Zefirios/Jeffrey J. Lampos was born on Oct. 16, 1866, in the town of Kosmas/Kosma, state of Arcadia in the mountains of south-east Greece. He was the only son of John Zafirios and Asimo Zafirios. He had two older sisters (Chrisoula and Polyxeni) and five younger sisters (Ligerie, Alexandra, Vasiliki, Panayiotitsa and Marigo). Zafirios’ wife was born on Dec. 22, 1876, in Kosmas/Kosma.

In 1884, Zafirios and his brother-in-law Vasilios Kontos (Uncle Bill), husband of his sister Polyxeni, came to the U.S. They worked seasonally on the railroad, enduring a hard winter before starting a business peddling saltwater taffy, salted peanuts, lemonade roasting ears, chestnuts, etc.

After three years father and Uncle Bill (Vasilios) went west, moving eastward again, this time to Chicago for the World’s Fair in 1892. They bought a few restaurants over time, but eventually Zafirios had to sell his share.

Zafirios then moved to Ann Arbor, Mich. with one of his cousins. Uncle Bill went into the candy business. Through a series of unforeseen mishaps, Zafirios returns to Greece briefly only to have to return to America in 1899, only by selling his shares of his restaurant. With him he brought Panayiotitsa and Mary. Mary stayed with Uncle Bill and Aunt Polyxeni, while Panayiotitsa stayed with Zafirios and his wife. Zafirios then returns to Chicago in order to provide by working for a friend as a cook.

Jan. 16, 1901, John Lampos is born at what was then 515 S. State St. Soon after Zafirios opened a restaurant at 4702 S. State St. July 12, 1902, Brother George Lampos was born, and the family was then living near 63rd and South Park Ave. July 11, 1904, Brother Nicholas was born. In the meantime, Zafirios had brought mother’s brothers John and Michael to the U.S. He sold the restaurant on 47th St. and opened a new and successful restaurant on State St. just north of Polk St. with Michael. His brother-in-law John, on the other hand, also went into the candy business like Uncle Bill (Zafirios’ brother-in-law).

Jan. 24, 1906, Brother James was born. Zafirios also opened a successful steak house on State St., just south of Harrison St.

Zafirios and Xenephon bought the Richelieu Cafe at 211 w. 2nd St. in December 1910. In the next few weeks, the rest of the families moves as well to a house at 809 Commerce St.

In the mid-1920s, the family moves to Chicago, leaving Little Rock behind. They move locations in the city several times, landing on 6594 S. Green St. in 1935, when, on Father’s Day June 16, 1935, Zafirios passed away. The men of the family thus had to take care of everyone else until July 16, 1956, when Zafirios’ wife passed away.
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Pillowcase, 1890 – 1920, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/12971. Accessed 04/18/24.