Mayor James Hutchinson Woodworth Biography

Mayor of Chicago, 1848-1850

  • Independent Democratic Party (Fusion ticket of Whigs and Democrats)
  • Elected 12th mayor of Chicago March 7, 1848; defeated James Curtiss (Democrat)
  • Elected to second term March 6, 1849; defeated Samuel D. Childs, Lewis C. Kerchival and Timothy Wait (Democrats without formal party nomination)
  • Inauguration to first term: March 14, 1848
  • Inauguration to second term: March 16, 1849


  • Born December 4, 1804 in Greenwich, N.Y.
  • Worked in the dry goods business
  • Married Miss Booth of Onondaga County, N.Y. in 1842
  • Served in Illinois State Senate, Illinois State House, Chicago City Council and as a U.S. congressman
  • Owned and operated Chicago Hydraulic Flouring Mills for 10 years
  • Served as president at both Merchants & Mechanics’ Bank and Treasury Bank of Chicago
  • Died March 26, 1869 in Highland Park, Ill.
  • Buried in Oakland Cemetery, Dolton, Ill.


  • Andreas, A.T. History of Chicago: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time. A.T. Andreas, 1884–86.
  • Dodge, Andrew R. and Betty K. Koed, editors. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005: The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, Inclusive. U.S. G.P.O., 2005.
  • Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff, editors. Encyclopedia of Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • "Obituary." Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1869, p. 3.
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