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Newberry, Walter L.

Born: 1804-09-18 South Windsor, Connecticut

Died: 1868-11-06 Atlantic Ocean

Born into a wealthy Connecticut farming family, Walter L. Newberry moved to Oneida County, New York, soon thereafter. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy but did not attend because he failed the physical and began working as a shipbuilder for his brother in Buffalo. In 1830, he moved to his brother's store in Detroit, Michigan. Newberry won election to the city council in 1832 but moved to Chicago in 1833. Walter became one of Chicago's earliest residents and made money selling real estate in the upper Midwest. He also invested heavily in railroads and eventually became prominent in the administration of the Chicago Union Railroad. He was one of the original Illinois Whigs and a political partner of William B. Ogden. In 1842, he married Julia B. Clapp, with whom he had six children.

Newberry became involved in various offices and institutions throughout Chicago and was a millionaire by 1850. He joined the Republican Party in 1855 and supported Abraham Lincoln's political campaigns. He was struck with a mysterious illness in 1857 which diminished his activities. Newberry died during a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

Leslie V. Tischauser, "Newberry, Walter Loomis," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 16:324-25.