William Lorimer Edit Profile
At age of 5 came with parents to the United States, and in 1870 to Chicago.
He subsequently served in the United States Senate and was known as the "Blond Boss" in Chicago. In 1912, however, the Senate held Lorimer's election invalid due to the use of corrupt methods and practices including vote-buying. His family immigrated to the United States in 1866, first settling in Michigan and then moving to Chicago in 1870.
Lorimer was self-educated. He worked in the Chicago meat-packing houses and for a street railroad company. In 1894, Lorimer was elected to the first of two non-consecutive tenures (1895-1901, 1903-09) in the US House of Representatives.
With Hopkins' re-election bid finished, Lorimer seemed surprised when a coalition of 55 Illinois state House Republicans and 53 state House Democrats pushed his name to fill the now-vacant seat. Lorimer's name went before the state Senate, and he was elected to the US Senate. He took his seat in March 1909.
In 1910, The Chicago Tribune published an admission by Illinois Assemblyman Charles A. White that Lorimer had paid $1,000 for White's vote in the election for U.S. Senator (prior to the Seventeenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, selection of US Senators rested with state legislatures, rather than popular vote). On July 13, 1912, after a Senate investigation and acrimonious debate, the Senate adopted a resolution declaring "that corrupt methods and practices were employed in his election, and that the election, therefore, was invalid." Many in Chicago believed that Lorimer’s ouster was politically inspired and that he was wrongfully deprived of his seat. When he returned to Chicago he was greeted by a parade and a throng at a meeting in Orchestra Hall.
He presented a resolution to the meeting reciting the wrong done to Mr. Lorimer, his fight for his seat and the faith of his friends in him. Lorimer served as president of La Salle Street Trust & Savings Bank from 1910 to 1915, and then entered the lumber business.
He died in Chicago at age 73. Tarr, Joel Arthur A Study in Boss Politics: William Lorimer of Chicago 1971 University of Illinois Press.
Member Lorimer & Gallagher, contractors, since 1900. Member 54th to 56th Congresses (1895-1901), 2d Illinois District and 58th to 61st Congresses (1903-1911), 6th District. Member coms. on Agriculture and Rivers and Harbors.
Married Susan Mooney, July 1884.