Mayor Joseph Medill Biography

Mayor of Chicago, 1871-1873

  • Fireproof Party
  • Elected 26th mayor of Chicago November 7, 1871; defeated Charles C.P. Holden (Democrat)
  • Resigned from office in September 1873 to travel to Europe for health reasons.  He returned to Chicago in November 1874. In his absence, from August 22, 1873 until Mayor Harvey Doolittle Colvin’s inauguration on December 1, 1873, Alderman Lester Legrand Bond served as acting mayor.
  • Inauguration: December 4, 1871


  • Born April 6, 1823 in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Admitted to the bar in 1846 and practiced law before becoming a journalist
  • Married Miss Katharine Patrick of New Philadelphia, Ohio, in 1852; together they had three daughters.
  • Served as editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune
  • One of the founders of the Republican Party
  • Died March 16, 1899 in San Antonio, Texas
  • Buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago


  • Andreas, A.T. History of Chicago: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time. A.T. Andreas, 1884–86.
  • Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff, editors. Encyclopedia of Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • "Joseph Medill is Dead." Chicago Daily Tribune, March 17, 1899, p. 7.
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