Bross, William

Born: 1813-11-04 Sussex County, New Jersey

Died: 1890-01-27 Chicago, Illinois

Flourished: Chicago, Illinois

William Bross was a journalist, politician, Presbyterian and Republican. He attended Milford Academy in Pennsylvania and after graduating from Williams College in 1838, he taught school for ten years. In May 1848, he moved to Chicago and became a partner in the book-selling firm of Griggs, Bross & Company, withdrawing from the firm at the end of the year. Bross then began publishing the Prairie Herald, in connection with J. A. Wight, a venture that lasted two years. In 1852, Bross partnered with John L. Scripps and created the Daily Democratic Press, which in 1858 merged with the Chicago Tribune. Bross served as president of the Tribune for many years. Bross’ political career began in 1855 when he joined the Chicago city council. He also served as lieutenant-governor of Illinois from 1865 to 1869.

Bross married Mary E. Jansen in 1839 and the couple had eight children. By 1860, Bross had amassed real estate valued at $10,000 and a personal estate worth $5,000.

James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., “Bross, William,” Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton, 1887-1889), 1:391; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 1, Chicago, Cook County, IL, 87; The Chicago Tribune (IL), 28 January 1890, 1:5-6; Gravestone, Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, IL.