Julian S. Rumsey

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Juliam S. Rumsey
Location Chicago

Julian Sidney Rumsey was a shipping company owner who was a founding member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He served as the president of the CBOT in 1858 and 1959, then served as mayor of Chicago at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War (1861-1862).[1]

Rumsey was a founding member of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club in southern Wisconsin where he maintained a summer home.[2][3]


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Rumsey was born born in Bataia, New York, 3 April, 1823 and died in Chicago, Illinois, 20 April, 1886.[4] Rumsey is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, home to many late mayors and prominent Chicagoans.[5]<refTri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice. JoyceTice.com.</ref>

Rumsey arrived in Chicago in 1835 to work for a shipping company owned by his uncle, George Washington Dole. The firm, known initially as Newberry and Dole, is credited with sending out the first shipment of grain from Chicago in 1839.[6] In 1852, Rumsey's uncle retired, and with his brother George who had joined the firm, the name was changed to Rumsey Brothers. The firm devoted itself exclusively to the grain commission business.

He was a founding member of the Chicago Board of Trade and served two years as its president, in 1858 and 1859. He was one of the primary movers behind implementing the stringent grain inspection that established Chicago's solid reputation in the national grain markets.[7]

Personal Life

In 1849 in Chicago, Rumsey and his brother George cleared away trees to make Huron Street, where they both built large homes between Rush Street and Cass, now called Wabash.[8] The house burned down in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Rumsey also owned property in southern Wisconsin in the Lake Geneva area, including near Button's Bay. He sold off a piece of property totally 8 acres along the Geneva Lake shore that would become the Geneva Inn, formerly called The Shore Club.[9] After the Chicago Fire, Rumsey initially moved his family to Lake Geneva.

He was also president of the Corn Exchange Bank at the time of the Chicago Fire of 1871.[10][11][12] Rumsey was subsequently elected Cook County treasurer after the fire.[13]

Rumsey and his wife Martha Turner Rumsey had ten children.


  1. History of Chicago: From the earliest period to the present time, Volume 1. {{{org}}}.
  2. LGYC History. Lake Geneva Yacht Club.
  3. The Melges Dynasty: From Inland Lakes to International Success. Melges Boat Works.
  4. Julian Sidney Rumsey. FamousAmericans.net.
  5. 18th Mayor of Chicago, buried in Graceland Cemetery. Graceland Cemetery.
  6. History of Chicago: From the earliest period to the present time, Volume 1. Google Books.
  7. Chicago Mayors. ChicagoHistory.org.
  8. Rumsey House. Chicago Historical Society.
  9. The Geneva Inn on the Lake. Geneva Inn.
  10. The urban establishment: upper strata in Boston, New York, Charleston. Google Books.
  11. Ada Rumsey. Chicago Historical Society.
  12. The Bankers' magazine, and statistical register, Volume 25. Google Books.
  13. Herringshaw's national library of American biography: contains thirty-five. Google Books.