ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Names on the Margaret Cross Norton Building
The Illinois State Archives building was completed in 1938 with the last names of 25 people engraved around the top. The twenty-three men and two women represent individuals who were related to Illinois in some manner and who made contributions to the cultural, social, educational, political and economic development of both the state and nation. They were chosen by the State Board of Art Advisors who in 1936 acted in an advisory capacity to the State Department of Public Works and Buildings. All of the honorees were deceased before the building opened. The names of 31 men and one woman had already been inscribed on the Centennial (Howlett) Building before the Archives was constructed.
The names on the Norton building, starting at the northeast corner and going counter clockwise.
JOHN AARON RAWLINGS (1831–1869)
Rawlings was born and practiced law in Galena. In 1861 he joined the Union army at the request of his fellow townsman Ulysses S. Grant and was appointed a captain and assistant adjutant general of volunteers on Grant's staff. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in 1863 and was made chief of staff of the whole Union army in March 1865. When Grant became President in March 1869, Rawlins became his Secretary of War but died that same year.
JULIUS ROSENWALD (1862–1932)
Rosenwald was a successful clothing retailer when he invested in the mail-order business Sears, Roebuck and Co. In 1910 he succeeded Richard Warren Sears as president, and in 1925 he was named chairman of the board of directors. He was well known for his philanthropy, especially for the advancement of African Americans. His endowment fund helped construct more than 5,000 schools in 15 southern states. In Chicago he established the Museum of Science and Industry.
JANE ADDAMS (1860–1935)
Addams won worldwide recognition as a pioneer social worker in America, a feminist promoting women's suffrage, and for her efforts to promote world peace. Born "Laura" Jane Addams in Cedarville, Illinois, she received a college degree in Rockford and then made several trips to Europe. In 1889, she and Ellen Gates Starr opened Hull House in Chicago in order to help recent immigrants to the city. In 1931 Addams became the first women to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She believed that "faith in new possibilities and courage to advocate them" was what let mankind overcome adversity and disaster.
JULIA CLIFFORD LATHROP (1858–1932)
Lathrop was born in Rockford and studied law in her father's office after graduating from Vassar. In 1890, she went to Chicago to join Hull House, a social service settlement, where she lived and worked for 22 years. In 1893 she was the first woman appointed to the Illinois Board of Charities and advocated reforms such as the separation of patients who required different types of care and the appointment of female doctors for patients who were women. In 1899 she lead a campaign in Illinois for the world's first juvenile court. Active in getting federal child protection laws adopted, Lathrop was appointed in 1912 by President Taft as the first head of the newly created Children's Bureau.
JOHN CRERAR (1827–1889)
Born in New York City and trained in bookkeeping, Crerar came to Chicago in 1862 to run a company that manufacturered and dealt railroad supplies. He made a fortune and gave much of it away during his life. Crerar left an endowment for a free public library which opened in 1897. The John Crerar Library is now affiliated with the University of Chicago and its collection specializes in scientific, technical, and medical information.
JOHN MILTON HAY (1838–1905)
Born in Indiana but partially schooled in Illinois, Hay practiced law in Springfield before becoming secretary to President Lincoln in 1861. After working for the New York Tribune he served in several government positions including ambassador to Great Britain and U.S. Secretary of State. He and John G. Nicolay authored an extensive biography of Lincoln in 1890. The insrciption on his bust at Brown University reads: "Poet, Historian, Diplomatist, Statesman, who maintained the Open Door and the Golden Rule."
VICTOR FREMONT LAWSON (1850–1925)
Born in Chicago, Lawson took over the Daily News in 1876 and in a journalistic era of political partisanship created an independent newspaper devoted to factual reporting. He created many newspaper innovations such as America's first foreign news service, and became the founder and first president of the Associated Press. He also promoted the creation of the postal savings bank, the parcel post system and various public health reforms.
WALTER LOOMIS NEWBERRY (1804–1868)
Newberry was a businessman and merchant who came to Chicago in 1833 and became wealthy through investments in banking and real estate. A collector of books, in 1841 he proclaimed, "We must encourage every thing that tends to enlighten and polish the human mind...." A large portion of his estate was left for the creation of a public library on the north side of Chicago. Created in 1887, the Newberry Library has become a world-class reference repository of books, manuscripts, maps, and other printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas.
THEODORE CHRISTIAN FRIEDRICH THOMAS (1835–1905)
A self-taught violinist, Thomas was born in Germany and emmigrated to the U.S. in 1845. After playing with the New York Philharmonic, he created his own orchestra which toured the United States for 20 years taking classical music to people who had never heard it while attempting to educate the listeners by mixing both light and more serious pieces. In 1891, he created what became the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and later promoted the construction of Orchestra Hall. Thomas only conducted in the new building for two weeks before his sudden death.
ADLAI E. STEVENSON I (1835–1914)
Stevenson was born in Kentucky but his family moved to Bloomington in 1852 where he eventually became a lawyer and Democratic politician. He was twice elected and twice defeated to a seat in the U.S. Congress and became Vice President of the United States from 1893 to 1897. He later lost elections for Vice President and Illinois governor. The Stevenson name became famous in Illinois politics. Adlai's only son, Lewis Green Stevenson, was Illinois secretary of state (1914–1917). His grandson Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was governor of Illinois from 1849–1953, Democratic candidate for President in 1952 and 1956 and Ambassador to the Unitied Nations. His great-grandson, Adlai E. Stevenson III, was U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1970 to 1981 and an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1982 and 1986.
OTTO LEOPOLD SCHMIDT (1863–1935)
Schmidt was born in Chicago and became a prominent physician. He was a promoter of historical studies and served as president of the Chicago Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. He was also the chairman of the Illinois Centennial Commission.
JOHN DEERE (1804–1886)
Deere was born in Vermont and moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836 where he worked as a blacksmith and designed and manufactured the first self-scouring steel plow. This invention revolutionized farming on the prairie and was the basis for the John Deere Company that still exists in Moline.
GUSTAVUS FRANKLIN SWIFT (1839–1903)
Swift was born in Massachusetts and worked as a butcher and cattle trader. In 1875 he came to Chicago earned his fortune by organizing the large-scale slaughter and processing of cattle in the Midwest and shipping its products to East Coast population centers via refrigerated railroad cars. He found many profitable uses for animal by-products while controlling costs at his plants and offices. The innovations adopted by Swift also played a vital role in establishing the modern American business system, with an emphasis on mass production, functional specialization, managerial expertise, national distribution networks, and adaptation to technological innovation
JOHN ALEXANDER McCLERNAND (1812–1900)
McClernand was born in Kentucky but raised in Shawneetown and became an attorney in 1832. After serving as a Democrat in the Illinois House for three terms he was elected Congressman six times. In 1861, he resigned from Congress to accept a commission as brigadier general of Volunteers for service in the Civil War and returned to Illinois to raise troops for the Union Army. McClernand became a political rival of U.S. Grant, but as a "War Democrat" was kept in the Army by Abraham Lincoln until 1864. He returned to the practice of law and in 1870 was elected a circuit court judge. In 1876 he presided over the Democratic National Convention.
JOHN TODD (1750–1782)
Todd was born in Pennsylvania, educated in Virginia and became a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He settled in Kentucky in 1776 and represented Kentucky County in the Virginia House of Delegates. He joined George Rogers Clark's 1778 expedition to capture Kaskaskia and Vincennes from the British. Virginia Governor Patrick Henry appointed Todd the first commandant of Illinois County in December 1778, and Todd organized Illinois County's civil government. Todd returned to the Virginia House of Delegates as Kentucky's representative during the 1780–1781 session. During his short legislative career he procured land grants for public schools and introduced legislation for the emancipation of slaves. Todd was killed by Native-Americans at the battle of Blue Licks, Kentucky on August 19, 1782. He was the granduncle of Mary Todd Lincoln.
EDMUND JANES JAMES (1855–1925)
James was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, and after receiving his doctorate in Germany worked in several Illinois schools. He taught economics at the University of Pennsylvania where he claimed that the greatest good came not from individual initiative but from the larger social community, whether local, state or national. In 1902 he became president of Northwestern University and helped create the business school. As president of the University of Illinois (1904–1920) he was instrumental in transforming it into one of the leading universities in the United States. He advocated municipal ownership or control of utilities, federal aid to education at all levels, and he generally criticized laissez-faire economics, suggesting that the state should take an active part in advancing human welfare.
JOHN PETER ALTGELD (1847–1902)
Altgeld was born in Germany and came to the U.S. as an infant. He enlisted in the Union Army and after the Civil War became a teacher, lawyer and real estate invester. Moving to Chicago he became active in Democratic politics and served as a judge. In 1884, he published a book on prison reform, which revealed Altgeld's belief that the poor had a less than fair chance in American life. When elected Illinois governor in 1892, he embarked on a program of reform, which included improvement of the conditions of prisons and factories, and the promotion of higher education. His most controversial act as governor was pardoning the three remaining anarchists who had been sentenced to life in prison for the Haymarket bombing in 1886. Altgeld was not elected to a second term or to any other political office during the remainder of his life. Denounced as a radical in his own day, he is now regarded as a defender of the freedom of the individual against entrenched power.
DANIEL HUDSON BURNHAM (1846–1912)
Born in New York, Burnham was raised and educated in Chicago and gained his early architectural experience under William Le Baron Jenney, the so-called "father of the skyscraper." In 1873, Burnham formed a partnership with John Wellborn Root that produced many famous structures in Chicago. In 1893 he supervised the laying out and construction of the World's Columbian Exposition and, in 1909, he and Edward Bennett prepared The Plan for Chicago, which is considered the nation's first example of a comprehensive urban planning document. He also made master plans for several other large cities. Burnham is often remember for saying, "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized."
NICHOLAS VACHEL LINDSAY (1879–1931)
Lindsay was born in Springfield only a few blocks from the Capitol. After studying medicine and art he believed his life's-calling was poetry. For many years he traveled around the country trading his poems for food and shelter and later was referred to as the "Prairie Troubador." He wrote about Lincoln, his home town and war and became nationally famous after his work was published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. Because of his use of sound in works such as "The Congo", he is considered the father of modern lyrical poetry. Lindsay's name also was placed on the Illinois State Library Building.
GEORGE MORTIMER PULLMAN (1831–1897)
Pullman was born in New York and moved to Chicago in 1855 where he worked at raising buildings onto higher foundations. He soon became wealthy from building sleeping and dining cars for railroads. In 1880 he built a new factory and the town of Pullman for its workers on the southern edge of Chicago. During the Depression of 1894 his failure to lower rents, utility charges and products led his workers to launch a strike that eventually forced the Pullman Company to divest ownership in the town, which was then annexed to Chicago.
PHILIP DANFORTH ARMOUR (1832–1901)
Armour was born in New York and became prosperous in the 1852 California Gold Rush before becoming a wholesale grocer in Wisconsin. Moving to Chicago in 1875, Armour & Co. was the first company to produce canned meat and also one of the first to employ an "assembly-line" technique in its factories. Known for using every part of slaughtered animals, Armour famously declared that from hogs he made use of "everything but the squeal". In 1893, he donated $1 million to found the Armour Institute of Technology which evolved into the Illinois Insitute of Technology.
WILLIAM RAINEY HARPER (1856–1906)
Harper was born in Ohio and was considered an academic prodigy, enrolling in college at age ten and receiving his Ph.D. at age seventeen. He was a Semitic languages scholar and teacher and was named the first president of the University of Chicago in 1891. His enduring contribution to American higher education was as an organizational genius and innovative leader who is credited for creating the prototype of the modern American university. In 1967, the new community college in Palatine, Illinois was named William Rainey Harper College in honor of the "father" of the two-year-college concept.
PETER CARTWRIGHT (1785–1872)
Cartwright was born in Virginia and raised in Kentucky where he became a Methodist minister. In his 1856 autobiography Cartwright states that he moved to Illinois in 1824 so he "would get entirely clear of the evil of slavery, that he could improve his financial situation and procure lands for my children as they grew up. And... I could carry the Gospel to destitute souls that had, by their removal into some new country, been deprived of the means of grace." Rev. Cartwright promoted Methodist education and helped found McKendree College, MacMurray College, and Illinois Wesleyan University. He was also active in politics, twice elected to the Illinois General Assembly but losing his bid for Congress in 1846 when he was defeated by Abraham Lincoln. Cartwright served as a Methodist preacher for seventy years.
MELVILLE ELIJAH STONE (1848–1929)
Stone was born in Illinois and was a reporter when he founded the 1876 "penny paper," the Chicago Daily News. While serving as a Chicago bank president in 1893, Stone became general manager of the reorganized Associated Press, which under his direction became a prominent international news agency.
JOSEPH MEDILL (1823–1899)
Joseph Medill was born in Canada and grew up in Ohio where he became a newspaper publisher before moving to Chicago in 1855. That year, he purchased an interest in the Chicago Tribune. Medill opposed the expansion of slavery into the western United States, was one of the founders of the Republican Party and played a central role in Abraham Lincoln's nomination for president in 1860. Immediately after the Chicago Fire of 1871 he told readers that the city would rise from its ashes. He was elected mayor a month later on the Fireproof Party ticket and presided over the creation of an area in Chicago within which buildings had to be constructed of brick. Medill took the Tribune from a small, frontier paper to a major force in American journalism. Several of his descendants became well known in the newspaper industry and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University was named for him.