Amos G. Throop

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Amos Gager Throop
3rd Mayor of Pasadena
In office
Preceded byM.M. Parker
Succeeded byT.P. Lukens
Personal details
Chicago, Illinois
Died1894 (aged 82–83)
Political partyTemperance
Plaque on Throop Peak

Amos Gager Throop (/ˈtrp/ TROOP; 1811–1894) was a businessman and politician in Chicago, Illinois during the 1840s and 1850s. Most famously he was known for being a staunch abolitionist prior to the Civil War. In Chicago, he lost two campaigns to be that city's mayor in 1852 and 1854. In both elections he was the nominee of the little-known Temperance Party, facing tough opposition from the Democratic Party. At the time of the Great Chicago Fire Amos was the city treasurer. He was instrumental in securing financing from New York to rebuild the wooden frontier town into a city of brick and mortar. Grateful Chicagoans renamed Main Street to Throop Street. Many years later and after moving to California, he was finally elected mayor—of Pasadena, California in 1888.

A fervent adherent to a liberal religion, Throop established a Universalist group in Pasadena in 1886: the church still survives as Throop Memorial Church. He is now best known for founding in 1891 (with a gift of over $100,000) the California Institute of Technology, which is today one of the world's most selective universities.[1] In fact, it was known through its first thirty years as Throop University, Throop Polytechnic Institute, and Throop College of Technology, before its administrators decided on its current name which took effect in 1920. Also part of the Throop Polytechnic Institute was Polytechnic School which separated from the Institute in 1907. It is currently a private college preparatory school across the street from Caltech with grades ranging from K-12. His motto was "learn by doing".

The scenic Throop Peak[2] 34°21′N 117°47.9′W / 34.350°N 117.7983°W / 34.350; -117.7983., known for its 360-degree views stretching from the Mojave Desert all the way to the Pacific Ocean, sits on the Pacific Crest Trail and is also named after Mr. Throop. Another landmark named after him is Throop Memorial Church, a Pasadena Unitarian Universalist congregation founded in 1923. Throop Street at 1300 West in Chicago also is named for him.

He was allegedly a descendant of Sir Adrian Scrope, the famous regicide, possibly of the English Scrope family. Amos Gager Throop's daughter, Martha married John C. Vaughan, founder of The Vaughan Seed Company.[3]


  1. ^ "History of Caltech (includes photo of Throop)". Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Throop Peak
  3. ^ "Martha Throop Vaughan". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
M.M. Parker
Mayor of Pasadena
Succeeded by
T.P. Lukens
Preceded by
Roscoe Thomas
Member of the Pasadena Board of City Trustees, Seat 1
Succeeded by
T.P. Lukens