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Mary Heftel Hooton Collection

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Collection Identifier: C.2006-09
Extent of collection
16 reels of Super 8mm film totaling 4,440 feet
Inclusive Dates
1967 - 1971
The Mary Heftel Hooton collection includes Super 8mm home movies of vacations she and her husband, William Heftel, took from 1967-1973. The films document trips to Japan, Hawaii, Norway, Antartica, Australia, and the Bahamas. Hooton was a lawyer and Illinois judge. Heftel was a Chicago area realtor.
The Hooton collection contains 16 reels of Super 8mm film documenting at least 8 vacations she took with her husband, William Heftel between 1968 and 1973. The films appear to have been photographed by Heftel with Hooton often appearing on-camera.
The films were all shot on Ektachrome ECO stock and have faded purple.
There are four reels of a 1968 vacation that spanned Hong Kong, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Another reel contains a 1968 journey to Antarctica. There are two reels of a 1969 trip to Japan and Bangkok. For the couple’s trips in 1970 there are 1 reel of the Netherland Antilles, 1 reel on the Bahamas, and two reels of Norway. There is one reel from a 1971 trip to Australia. Two reels were recorded during their 1971 vacation in Morocco. There are also two undetermined reels that date from 1967 and 1973; more research is needed to properly date and locate the footage on these reels.
Hooton, Mary Heftel (was created by)

Mary Reardon Heftel Hooton (July 5, 1919-January 1, 1993) worked as a lawyer and judge in Chicago for over forty years. As a lawyer she specialized in matrimonial law and was a committed advocate for children’s rights. As a state judge she served on the Juvenile Court, Housing Court, and as the supervising judge at the First Municipal Court. She was involved in the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) for decades and served as its president from 1976-1977. In honor of her service, the WBAI bestows the Judge Mary Heftel Hooton Award to a lawyer or judge who has advanced the cause of women lawyers.

Born and raised in New York City she was briefly married to Thomas Hooton. In 1936 she moved to Chicago, attended DePaul University law school graduating in 1943, and went into private practice. In 1948 she married realtor William Heftel and shared an office with him first at 30 N. La Salle and later at 188 W. Randolph Street. Decades later, Heftel managed his wife’s successful 1976 campaign to the Illinois judgeship. She ran as an independent and bucked the Chicago Democratic political machine. As a new judge on the state Juvenile Court, Hooton immediately became embroiled in a dispute with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Hooton ordered children be removed from dangerous foster homes, defying the DCFS directives. During the fall of 1976 this conflict played out in the pages of the Chicago Tribune generating editorials and letters for and against Hooton. Hooton and her second husband raised nine foster children. At her death she willed her estate to the WBAI.

Heftel, William (was created by)
William J. Heftel (October 31, 1918-June 4, 1988) worked as a realtor of property on Chicago’s near north side. He founded and was president of the Greater Rush Oak Walton business association. For the last ten years of his life Heftel worked as the accountant for the Cook County Highway Department. He married Mary Hooton in 1948 and the two shared offices at 30 N. La Salle and 188 W. Randolph. Heftel was active in Chicago Democratic politics and was a precinct captain in the 42nd Ward. He ran his wife’s political campaigns for judgeships. The two were advocates for children’s rights and fostered nine children over the course of their marriage. Nothing is known about his interest in filmmaking or whether he shot other home movies than the 16 reels in this collection. [Based on Heftel’s obituary, “William Heftel, President of Gold Coast Art Fair,” in the June 8, 2008 Chicago Tribune.]
Custodial History
The films in this collection were created by Mary Hooton and her husband, Bill Heftle, who predeceased her. After Mary's death, the collection was stored by Charlotte Adelman, Archivist and Historian of the Women's Bar Association Illinois, who donated them to CFA in 2006.
Language of Materials
Access Restrictions
This collection is open to on-site access. Appointments must be made with Chicago Film Archives. Due to the fragile nature of the films, only video copies will be provided for on-site viewing.
Use Restrictions
Chicago Film Archives holds the copyright for the films in this collection.
Antarctic #1
Australia #2
Chicago's Merchandise Mart - South America - Panama
Curaçao #1 - Bugsy’s Wedding