Mayor John Wentworth Biography

Mayor of Chicago, 1857-1858, 1860-1861

  • Republican Party
  • Elected 19th mayor of Chicago March 3, 1857; defeated Benjamin F. Carver (Democrat)
  • Elected 21st mayor (second term) March 6, 1860; defeated Walter S. Gurnee (Democrat)
  • Inauguration to first term: March 10, 1857
  • Inauguration to second term: March 22, 1860


  • Born March 5, 1815 in Sandwich, N.H.
  • Grandfather was a member of Continental Congress from New Hampshire.
  • Graduated from Dartmouth College
  • Editor and manager of The Chicago Democrat
  • Studied law at Harvard University, practiced in Chicago
  • Served five terms as a Democrat in Congress before serving as mayor; served one term as Republican in Congress after serving as mayor
  • Nicknamed “Long John,” he was 6’6” tall and weighed 300 pounds.
  • In 1844, married Roxanna Marie Loomis in Troy, N.Y.; together they had five children.
  • Died October 16, 1888 in Chicago
  • Buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago


  • 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.
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