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Fred Busse Edit Profile

politician , Mayor of Chicago

Fred Busse, American former mayor. Member Republican State Committee, Cook County Republican Central Committee; Member Masons (32d degree), Hamilton, Marquette, Chicago Athletic, Press (life), Germania Männerchor Clubs.

Background

Busse, Fred was born on March 3, 1866 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Son of Captain Gustave and Caroline (Gross) Busse.

Education

Public schools of Chicago.

Career

Busse became a local Republican leader, first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1894 and again in 1896. In 1898, Busse was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He then served as Illinois state treasurer beginning in 1902.

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him Postmaster of Chicago, a political position at that time (see USPS History). In business, Busse had been Secretary and Treasurer of the Northwestern Coal Company until 1905. Busse's mayoral tenure is noted for its extensive corruption and presence of organized crime in the city.

Busse's inaction in the face of growing popular concern led to the formation of several organizations opposed to crime and desirous of cleaning up the city government. Busse's image was used by at least one brothel owner to promote her business. While reform, both political and moral, was beginning to appear Chicago, Busse noted, "They don't need anyone sleuthing around after me.

They can always get me any evening at J.C. Murphy's saloon, Clark Street and North Avenue." By 1907, pressure was strong enough that Busse was forced to appoint a vice commission, although the commission didn't issue a report until Busse was out of office. As mayor, Busse was a strong supporter of the Plan of Chicago. He died on July 9, 1914 of valvular heart disease at 48 in Chicago, Illinois.

He was buried in Graceland Cemetery.

Achievements

  • He won the 1907 election for mayor against Democratic incumbent Edward F. Dunne.

Membership

Member Republican State Committee, Cook County Republican Central Committee. Member Masons (32d degree), Hamilton, Marquette, Chicago Athletic, Press (life), Germania Männerchor Clubs.

Connections

Married Josephine Lee, April 17, 1908.

father:
Captain Gustave Busse

mother:
Caroline (Gross) Busse

spouse:
Josephine Lee