Walter S. Gurnee

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Walter S. Gurnee
WalterSGurneeSenorAnderson.png
14th Mayor of Chicago
In office
1851–1853
Preceded by James Curtiss
Succeeded by Charles McNeill Gray
Personal details
Born (1813-03-09)March 9, 1813
Haverstraw, New York, U.S.
Died April 18, 1903(1903-04-18) (aged 90)
New York State, USA
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois
The mausoleum of Walter Gurnee

Walter S. Gurnee (March 9, 1813 – April 18, 1903; buried in Sleepy Hollow, New York) served as Mayor of Chicago (1851-3) for the Democratic Party. The town of Gurnee, Illinois is named for him.[citation needed]

Gurnee was born in Haverstraw, New York and arrived in Chicago after spending time in Michigan.[1] Once in Chicago, he established a tannery, which, by 1844, employed between thirty and fifty men.[2] Prior to becoming the mayor of Chicago, Gurnee was the primary partner of Gurnee & Matteson, a sadlery and leather firm. Gurnee did well enough in this business, and in his tannery, that he amassed a large fortune before moving to New York City.[3]

Gurnee campaigned for the mayoralty on the issue of public ownership of the city's water supply. Once in office, he fought against the merger of the Illinois Central and Michigan Central railroads, originally planned to meet up south of the city.[4] Elected to two terms in 1851 and 1852, Gurnee ran for a third term in 1860 and lost to "Long John" Wentworth, who had previously served a term as mayor as a Democrat, but had switched to the Republican Party.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pierce, Bessie Louise (2007). A History of Chicago: The Beginning of a City, 1673-1848. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 177. 
  2. ^ Pierce, Bessie Louise (2007). A History of Chicago: The Beginning of a City, 1673-1848. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 141. 
  3. ^ Gale, Edwin O. (1902). Reminiscences of Early Chicago and Vicinity. Chicago: Revell. p. 385. 
  4. ^ Fehrenbacher, Don E. (1957). Chicago Giant: A Biography of "Long John" Wentworth. Madison, WI: The American History Research Center. p. 110. 

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