|26th Mayor of Chicago|
|Preceded by||Roswell B. Mason|
|Succeeded by||(Lester L. Bond), Harvey Doolittle Colvin|
April 6, 1823|
Saint John, New Brunswick, British North America
|Died||March 16, 1899
San Antonio, Texas
|Political party||Fireproof, Republican|
|Spouse(s)||Katherine "Kitty" Patrick Medill|
|Children||Katherine "Kate" Medill
Elinor "Nellie" Medill
Josephine "Josie" Medill
Joseph Medill (April 6, 1823 – March 16, 1899) was an American newspaper editor, publisher, and Republican party politician. He was co-owner and managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, and was Mayor of Chicago after the great fire of 1871.
Medill married Katherine "Kitty" Patrick on September 2, 1852, and they had three daughters, Katherine, Elinor and Josephine (1866 - 1892).
In 1853, Medill and Edwin Cowles started the Leader, a newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (It was later absorbed by The Plain Dealer.) In 1854, the Tribune's part-owner, Captain J. D. Webster, asked Medill to become the paper's managing editor. Medill was further encouraged to come to Chicago by Dr. Charles H. Ray of Galena, Illinois, and editor Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune.
Under Medill's management, the Tribune flourished, becoming one of the largest newspapers in Chicago. Medill served as its managing editor until 1864, when Horace White became editor-in-chief. At that time Medill left day-to-day operations of the Tribune for political activities.
But White clashed with Medill over the presidential election of 1872. So, in 1873 Medill bought additional equity from Cowles and from White, becoming majority owner. In 1874, he replaced White as editor-in-chief. Medill served as editor-in-chief until his death.
Under Medill, the Tribune became the leading Republican newspaper in Chicago. Medill was strongly anti-slavery, supporting both the Free-Soil cause and Abolitionism. Medill was a major supporter of Abraham Lincoln in the 1850s. Medill and the Tribune were instrumental in Lincoln's presidential nomination, and were equally supportive of the Union cause during the American Civil War. The Tribune's chief adversary through this period was the Chicago Times, which supported the Democrats.
In 1864, Medill left the Tribune editorship for political activity, which occupied him for the next ten years. He was appointed by President Grant to the first Civil Service Commission. In 1870, he was elected as a delegate to the Illinois Constitutional convention. In 1871, after the Great Chicago Fire, Medill was elected mayor of Chicago as candidate of the temporary "Fireproof" party, serving for two years. As mayor, Medill gained more power for the mayor's office, created Chicago's first public library, enforced blue laws, and reformed the police and fire departments. But the stress of the job impaired his health. In August 1873, he appointed Lester L. Bond as Acting Mayor for the remaining 3½ months of his term, and went to Europe on a convalescent tour.
Medill was a strong Republican loyalist who supported President Grant for re-election in 1872. The breach with White came because White supported the breakaway Liberal Republicans, reformists who nominated Horace Greeley for president. It was also at this time that Medill broke with Greeley.
|Medill Chicago family tree|
The tree omits Medill's third daughter, Josephine, who died in 1892.
- McKinney, Megan (2011). The Magnificent Medills. New York, NY: Harper Collins. p. 10.
- Rushton, Wyatt (1916). Joseph Medill and the Chicago Tribune (thesis). University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 2007-10-24. and White, James Terry (1895). The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States. James T. White & Company, via New York Public Library via Google Books full view. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- M. McKinney. (2011). The Magnificent Medills. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
- McKinney, M. The Magnificent Medills (2011)
- Anderson, Jeffrey Justin. "Joseph Medill: How one man influenced the Republican presidential nomination of 1860 PhD Diss. Roosevelt University, 2011.
- Tebbel, John William. An American dynasty: the story of the McCormicks, Medills, and Pattersons (Greenwood Pub Group, 1968
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