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Carter Harrison Sr.
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Mayor
    (February 15, 1825-October 28, 1893)
    Born in Fayette County, Kentucky
    Carter Henry Harrison
    Mayor of Chicago (1879-1887; 1893)
    Author of ' A Summer's Outing and The Old Man's Story' (1890)
    Represented Illinois' 2nd District in the US House of Representatives (1875-79)
    Presiding magistrate over the historic World's Columbian Exposition, in Chicago (1893)
    Murdered in his home by disgruntled office seeker, only two days before the end of the World's Fair, by Patrick Eugene Prendergast (who was found guilty on murder charges and hanged on Jul. 13, 1894)
    A widower twice, he was rumored to have a sweet tooth for much younger women near the end of his life.
    He loved watermelon; insisting on eating it with all three meals.
    He acquired the Chicago Times newspaper after his failed 1891 mayoral bid.
    He used the Times as a bully pulpit to kick off another run for the office, despite having already served four terms.
    On the campaign stump, he liked to address his remarks to a stuffed eagle he carried with him as a prop.
    He liked to tell jokes about his Republican opponent Samuel W. Allerton, calling him 'a most admirable pig sticker and pig slaughterer' (he followed up, saying 'I admit it and I don't arraign him beause he slaughters the Queen's English; he can't help it!').
    His campaign was widely opposed on the grounds that the city needed new leadership, but it was also a poorly kept secret that the only reason he really wanted to be Mayor again was so that he could greet the influx of tourists, arriving by the millions for the upcoming Columbian Exposition, as the 'Fair Mayor.'
    He was present during the 1886 demonstrations at Haymarket Square, and before going home warned the police to treat the protestors gently (hours later a riot broke out causing multiple casualties on both sides).
    He was fluent in French and German.
    He graduated from Yale College and earned a law degree from Transylvania College.
    He was allegedly capable of reciting Shakespeare passages on a whim.
    His desire to be Mayor at the time of the World's Fair was attributed to his wish to 'show the world the real Chicago.'
    Joseph Medill, a political opponent, called him 'the most remarkable man our city has ever produced.'
    He was a distant cousin of the 9th President, William Henry Harrison (thereby also making him a relative of the President's grandson, and his contemporary, President Benjamin Harrison).
    He was a beloved figure among the Chicago working class who - in spite of his elite background - regarded him as 'one of them' (or more affectionately 'Our Carter').
    He was known for being warm, personable and open among voters (and, in fact, his penchant for welcoming constituents into his home at all hours is partly how Prendergast was able to get to him so easily).
    He had never even met Prendergast prior to his murder, and it was reported that the assassin had been violently obsessed with the Mayor ever since his reelection (likely bitter he had not been granted a cabinet appointment).
    His death not only sent shockwaves through the city, but also put a damper on the closing festivities for what was otherwise a historic months-long extravaganza (the Fair's finale celebration set to take place was cancelled in favor of his memorial service).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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