Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Wentworth (mayor)
Born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, John Wentworth was a huge man, towering 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) high and weighing more than 300 pounds (136 kg). He drank at least a pint of whiskey each day and would eat from 30-40 different foods during a single meal.
Wentworth was educated at Dartmouth College and graduated in 1836. Later that year, he left for Chicago, arriving in the city on October 25. He was managing editor of Chicago's first newspaper, the Chicago Democrat, eventually becoming the owner and publisher. He started a law practice, and eventually entered politics. In 1844, he married Roxanna Marie Loomis.
He served for six terms in the United States House of Representatives (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1851 and March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1855 as a Democrat; and March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1867 as a Republican). While in the House, a controversial vote arose by which Wisconsin claimed land in Illinois as far as the tip of Lake Michigan. If Wentworth voted to give the land, including Chicago, to Wisconsin, he was promised a Senate seat. Wentworth declined the offer.
As a Republican, Wentworth served as mayor of Chicago for two terms, 1857&ndash'1858 and 1860–1861. Wentworth instituted chain gangs in the city and tried to clean up the city's morals. To do this, he hired spies to determine who was frequenting Chicago's brothels. In 1857, Wentworth led a raid on the Sands, Chicago's "Red Light} District, which resulted in the burning of the area.
Wentworth was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln.
|First term preceded by:|
|Mayors of Chicago||First term succeeded by:|
John Charles Haines
|Second term preceded by:|
John Charles Haines
|Mayors of Chicago||Second term succeeded by:|
Julian Sidney Rumsey
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