The first CHICAGO, a protected cruiser,
was launched 5 December 1885 by John Roach and Sons, Chester,
Pa.; sponsored by Miss E. Cleborne and commissioned 17 April
1889, Captain H. B. Robeson in command; classified CA-14 on 17
On 7 December 1889, CHICAGO departed
Boston for Lisbon, Portugal, arriving 21 December. The cruiser
served in European and Mediterranean waters as the flagship of
the Squadron of Evolution until 31 May 1890 when she sailed from
Funchal, Madeira, to call at Brazilian and West Indian ports
before returning to New York 29 July.
operated along the east coasts of North and South America and
in the Caribbean as flagship of the Squadron of Evolution and,
later as flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron, until 1893.
After taking part in the International Naval Review in Hampton
Roads in April, she left New York 18 June 1893 to cruise in European
and Mediterrranean waters as flagship of the European station.
She returned to New York 20 March 1895 and was placed out of
commission there 1 May. Recommissioned 1 December 1898, CHICAGO
made a short cruise in the Caribbean before sailing for the European
Station 18 April. She returned to New York 27 September and participated
in the naval parade and Dewey celebration of 2 October 1899.
CHICAGO sailed from New York 25 November for an extended
cruise, as flagship of the South Atlantic Station until early
July 1901, then as flagship of the European Station. With the
squadron, she cruised in northern European, Mediterranean, and
Caribbean waters until 1 August 1903 when she proceeded to Oyster
Bay, N.Y., and the Presidential Review.
Between 3 December 1903 and 15 August
1904, CHICAGO was out of commission at Boston undergoing
repairs. After operating along the northeast coast, the cruiser
departed Newport News 17 November 1904 for Valparaiso, Chile,
arriving 28 December. There, on 1 January 1905, she relieved
NEW YORK as flagship of the Pacific Station and for 3
years operated off the west coasts of North and South America,
in the Caribbean, and to Hawaii. Also in 1905, members of the
California Naval Militia trained aboard
On 8 January 1908, CHICAGO departed San
Diego for the east coast and in May joined the Naval Academy
Practice Squadron for the summer cruise along the northeast coast
until 27 August when she went into reserve. CHICAGO was
recommissioned the next summer (14 May-28 August 1909) to operate
with the Practice Squadron along the east coast, then returned
to Annapolis. On 4 January 1910, she left the Academy for Boston
arriving 23 January. She then served in commission in reserve
with the Massachusetts Naval Militia until 12 April 1916 and
with the Pennsylvania Naval Militia between 26 April 1916 and
On 6 April 1917, CHICAGO was placed
in full commission at Philadelphia and reported to Submarine
Force, Atlantic, as flagship. On 10 July 1919, she departed New
York to join Cruiser Division 2, as flagship in the Pacific.
She was reclassified CL-14 in 1921. From December 1919 until
September 1923, she served with Submarine Division 14 and as
tender at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor.
was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor 30 September 1923; served
as a barracks ship there until 1935; renamed ALTON 16
July 1928 and reclassified IX-5; and sold 15 May 1936. ALTON
foundered in mid-Pacific in July 1936 while being towed from
Honolulu to San Francisco.