Charles L. Hutchinson

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Charles L. Hutchinson

The late Charles L. Hutchinson was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and served as its president in 1888 at the age of 34.[1][2] He was a civic and humanitarian leader in Chicago, helping found the Art Institute of Chicago. He was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago, where he served as a trustee and as treasurer.[3]

Hutchinson was also president of the Corn Exchange Bank in Chicago.[4][5]


Charles Lawrence Hutchinson was the son of Benjamin P. Hutchinson who was the most powerful trader at the Chicago Board of Trade from 1887 to 1890. C.L. Hutchinson's father was called "Old Hutch" and was responsible for multiple attempted corners of the markets.

Charles Hutchinson was born in 1853 in Lynn, MA. He began his career as his father's clerk in the firm of B.P. Hutchinson and Son.

Hutchinson helped found the Art Institute of Chicago in 1882, when he was 28 years old. He helped the Art Institute build its collection, including persuading friend Bertha Palmer, Chicago's elite social queen, to donate her collection of Impressionist paintings. He served as the original president of the Institute.

He was involved in other banks besides the Corn Exchange Bank, most notably as a director of Northern Trust. He was chairman and director of the Fine Arts Committee of the World's Columbian Exposition. He was a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also served as president of the Chicago Orphan Asylum. Additionally, he served as president of St. Paul’s Universalist Church, vice president of the Egypt Exploration Fund, and treasurer of Rush Medical College.

Hutchinson was a member of the Chicago Literary Club from 1884 until his death on October 7, 1924. He was president of the Club in 1907-08.


Hutchinson attended Chicago High School, the only high school in the city at the time. He did not attend college, instead went into his father's business.

He received an honorary A.M. from Tufts College in 1901 and from Harvard University in 1915.[6]


  1. Annual Report of the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Volume 57. Google Books.
  3. Lawrence Hutchinson {{{name}}}. Chicago Literary Club.
  4. Undercover Reporting. New York University.
  5. People & Events: Charles Lawrence Hutchinson (1854-1924) and the Art Institute of Chicago. {{{org}}}.
  6. Guide to the Charles L. Hutchinson Postcards 1905. University of Chicago.