Walter NewberryWalter Newberry
(Sept. 18, 1804–Nov. 6, 1868)

Real estate investor Newberry organized the Whig party in Illinois and helped Ogden become Chicago’s first mayor. He was president of Chicago’s first Young Men’s Library Association, a member of the board of health, the board of education, and a major contributor to St. Paul’s Evangelical Church. An antislavery man, Newberry joined the Republican Party, and supported Abraham Lincoln for the Senate and the presidency. He donated to the Orphans Benevolent Association and helped to found the Chicago Historical Society. After his death, his wishes were carried out and $2.1 million and some prime city property were donated to the Newberry Library, which became one of the world’s great research libraries.

photo and text by Joe Collier