While living in Kansas City, Walt’s father Elias invested his life savings (and much of his children’s savings) in the O-Zell Company in Chicago. O-Zell made jelly and was developing a juice soft drink to rival Coca-Cola.
In 1917, the company began facing financial difficulty and the Disney family moved from Kansas City back to Chicago so Elias could take a more prominent role in the company. While living in Chicago, they rented a small apartment at 1523 West Ogden Avenue.
Walt worked for his father on the O-Zell factory floor, washing jars and packing cartons for the company. Walt would continue working at this factory, located on the 1300 block of West 15th Street, until 1918 when he left home to volunteer with the Red Cross Ambulance Corps in France.
After almost a year abroad, Walt returned to Chicago in 1919 but didn’t stay long – rather than pursue a high school diploma, he was eager to start his career as an artist. Walt returned to Kansas City, where his older brother Roy was working as a bank teller.
The home on Odgen Avenue has since been torn down and there is no trace of it in the area today.
Address: 1523 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Visitor Information: Site no longer exists
1523 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois