Carter Harrison, Jr.

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Carter Henry Harrison, Jr. (April 23, 1860, Chicago, Illinois - December 25, 1953; buried in Graceland Cemetery) served as Mayor of Chicago (1897-1905 and 1911-1915). The City's 30th mayor, he was the first actually born in Chicago.

Like his father, Carter Harrison, Sr., Carter Harrison, Jr. gained election to five terms as Chicago's mayor. Educated in Saxe-Altenburg, Germany, Harrison returned to Chicago to help his brother run the Chicago Times, which their father bought in 1891. Under the Harrisons the paper became a resolute supporter of the Democratic Party, and was the only local newspaper to support the Pullman strikers in the mid-1890s.

As with his father, Harrison did not believe in trying to legislate morality. As mayor, Harrison believed that Chicagoans' two major desires were to make money and to spend it. During his administrations, Chicago's vice districts blossomed, and special maps were printed to enable tourists to find their way from brothel to brothel. The name of one Chicago saloon-keeper of the time supposedly entered the English language as a term for a strong or laced drink intended to render unconsciousness: Mickey Finn.

However, Harrison was seen as more of a reformer than his father, which helped him garner the middle class votes his father had lacked. One of Harrison's biggest enemies was Charles Yerkes, whose plans to monopolize Chicago's streetcar lines were vigorously attacked by the mayor. During his final term in office, Harrison established the Chicago Vice Commission and worked to close down the Levee district, starting with the Everleigh Club brothel on October 24, 1911.[1]

Harrison was a hopeful for the 1904 Democratic nomination for President, but was unable to negotiate his way through a tangle of conflicting loyalies to different Party bosses; the nomination went to Alton B. Parker, who was soundly defeated by Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1915, when Harrison left office, Chicago had essentially reached its modern size in land area, and had a population of 2,400,000; the city was moving inexorably into its status as a major modern metropolis. He and his father had collectively been mayor of the city for 21 of the previous 36 years.

Harrison wrote his autobiography, not once but twice; his wife, Edith Ogden Harrison, was a well-known writer of children's books and fairy tales in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Ancestry

Harrison was a descendant of Robert Carter I, Benjamin Harrison IV, William Randolph, and Isham Randolph of Dungeness.[2][3]

References

[[Category:People from Chicago, Illinois]

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