John L. Hancock

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John L. Hancock
Occupation Former President Of The Chicago Board Of Trade

The late John L. Hancock (1812-1890) was a prominent member of the Chicago Board of Trade who served as its president twice during the U.S. Civil War. He was in the beef packing business.[1]

As president of the Chicago Board of Trade and a leader packer, Hancock was involved in the decision to clean up the Chicago River by changing the direction of the river's flow.


He was born in Buxton, ME in 1812 and started in the beef-packing business in West Brook, ME. He later formed a partnership with Cragin & Co. of New York and went to Chicago as their western representative.[2]

He twice served as the president of the Chicago Board of Trade, in 1863 and 1864. He was instrumental in raising the Chicago Board of Trade Battery and then later other Illinois regiments.[3] [4][5]

Because of his support for the Union cause during the U.S. Civil War, he was honored by the naming of a Camp Hancock, located a few hundred yards south of Camp Douglas.[6]

Hancock served on the building committee that oversaw construction of a new building following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.[7]

Hancock served as a director of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce and of the Pork Packers Association of Chicago.[8]

He died in 1890 and is buried in the Oak Woods Cemetery near the Confederate Mound in Chicago.


  1. Obituary. New York Times.
  2. Chicago's Pride: The Stockyards, Packingtown, and Environs in the Nineteenth. Google Books.
  3. Illinois Independent Artillery Regiment History Chicago Board of Trade Light Artillery. The Illinois USGenWeb Project.
  4. History of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery. Google Books.
  5. THE CAIRO EXPEDITION. Chicago Literary Club.
  6. Camp Douglas: Chicago's Civil War prison. Google Books.
  7. History of Chicago, Volume 3. Google Books.
  8. The Lakeside annual directory of the City of Chicago. Google Books.