Founded by Charles Weeghman, the club finished 1½ games behind the Indianapolis Hoosiers in the inaugural season for the league, during which the team lacked a formal nickname and was known simply as the Chicago Federals (or Chi-Feds). Prior to the start of the season, Weeghman built a stadium for the team, called Weeghman Park, designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, who had previously designed Comiskey Park. Now known as Wrigley Field and used by the Chicago Cubs, it is the only Federal League stadium still in use.
In the league's second and final season, the Chicago Federals adopted the nickname Whales, and included the logo of a whale inside a large "C" on their uniform shirts. The Whales won the league championship, finishing with 86 wins and 66 losses, percentage points ahead of the St. Louis Terriers' 87-67 record. When Kenesaw Mountain Landis brokered a deal between the Federal League, American League and National League that ended the Federal League's existence, Weeghman was allowed to purchase the Cubs. Weeghman abandoned the wooden West Side Park and moved his team into his new steel-and-concrete structure, where they remain today. Weeghman had purchased a 99-year lease on the property, which would presumably expire in the year 2013.