H. H. Kohlsaat

Herman Henry Kohlsaat (March 22, 1853 Albion, Illinois – October 17, 1924 Washington, D.C.) was an American businessman and newspaper publisher.

Herman H. Kohlsaat[1]


Herman Henry Kohlsaat was born March 22, 1853 in Albion, Illinois, one of six children of Reimer and Sarah (Hall) Kohlsaat. His father had been an officer in the Danish Army, and immigrated to the United States, settling in Albion in 1835. Kohlsaat's mother came from England to Illinois with her family in 1821. Reimer and Sarah Kohlsaat were abolitionists whose home was reportedly a station on the Underground Railroad. Kohlsaat's siblings included Christian C. Kohlsaat, who later became a well known jurist in Chicago. The year following Herman's birth, the family moved to Galena, Illinois where he attended school and learned farm work until 1865, when they moved to Chicago. He attended school there for two years and in 1867 went to work as a carrier for the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Kohlsaat later worked for several Chicago merchants, including Carson Pirie Scott and Company. He became a traveling salesman, eventually working for Blake, Shaw and Company, a wholesale bakery owned by R. Nelson Blake, who was to become Kohlsaat's father-in-law. In 1880, Kohlsaat married Mabel E. Blake (1861–1959) and became a junior partner of Blake, Shaw in charge of a bakery-lunch establishment. In 1883 he bought out Blake, Shaw's interest in the establishment and started H.H. Kohlsaat and Company, which for thirty years was one of the largest baking establishments in Chicago. He became the originator of the "bakery lunch", and subsequently became successful in other enterprises.

From 1891 to 1893, he was part owner of the Chicago Inter Ocean. In 1894 Kohlsaat abandoned his interest in the Inter Ocean, and purchased the Chicago Times Herald and Chicago Evening Post. From 1894 to 1901, he was editor and publisher of the Evening Post and the Times Herald. Under Kohlsaat's direction, the newspapers became increasingly involved in national politics. He converted the papers from Democratic Party to Republican Party organs. In 1901, the Times Herald was merged with the Chicago Record into the Chicago Record Herald, where he was editor from 1910 to 1912. In 1912 he bought the now-bankrupt Inter Ocean and shepherded it through receivership in 1914, when he combined it with the Record Herald, the new paper being known as the Chicago Herald. At that time, Kohlsaat retired from the publishing field.

Kohlsaat was a friend, confidant and advisor of five U.S. presidents: William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Warren G. Harding. He helped draft the gold standard plank of the Republican Party's 1896 national convention in St. Louis.[2] McKinley's campaign for president against William Jennings Bryan was ultimately won on the gold standard issue, with Kohlsaat one of his strongest allies. Kohlsaat visited McKinley at the White House in 1898.[3] According to one published account, McKinley confided to Kohlsaat that he was having difficulty sleeping over an upcoming decision to go to war with Spain over Cuba. Kohlsaat later related that McKinley broke down in his presence and cried like a "boy of thirteen".

In 1923, Charles Scribner's Sons published Kohlsaat's book From McKinley to Harding: Personal Recollections of Our Presidents.[4] The book, a collection of short anecdotes featuring Kohlsaat's experiences with five presidents, serves as his memoirs. Kohlsaat also wrote several articles for the Saturday Evening Post in 1923 and 1924, including one about Ulysses S. Grant. Kohlsaat had a personal interest in Grant, presumably influenced by his early childhood in Galena. In 1891, Kohlsaat presented Galena with a monument of Grant for the city’s Grant Park.

Kohlsaat died on October 17, 1924 in Washington, D.C., while in town to attend the 1924 World Series. He was staying at the home of Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce.[5] A memorial tablet in the Washington National Cathedral is dedicated to Kohlsaat.

Kohlsaat had two daughters. Pauline (1882–1956) married Potter Palmer II, son of a successful Chicago businessman. The Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois gives the Pauline K. Palmer Award for "exceptional commitment and service to children and families".[6] Katherine (1889–1991) married Roger Bulkley Shepard of St. Paul, Minnesota and had four children: Roger Jr., Blake, Constance, and Stanley. In 2013, the Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center became the recipient of Katherine's family homestead in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, which had been in her family for nine decades.[7]


  1. ^ Donovan, Henry. "Chicago Eagle". Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Herman Henry Kohlsaat Papers, 1892–1924". Chronicling Illinois. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
  3. ^ Miller, Scott (2011). The President and the Assassin. New York: Random House. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-1-4000-6752-7.
  4. ^ https://www.questia.com/library/719234/from-mckinley-to-harding-personal-recollections-of
  5. ^ Frederic Logan Paxson (1933). "Kohlsaat, Herman Henry". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  6. ^ Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois
  7. ^ http://www.twincities.com/washingtoncounty/ci_24008894/familys-cottage-grove-homestead-donated-dodge-nature-center


  • Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Kohlsaat, Herman Henry" . Encyclopedia Americana. This work in turn cites:
    • Flower, E., “H. H. Kohlsaat,” Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vol. XXXV, New York, 1903, p. 338
    • Wellman, W., “Mr. Kohlsaat of Chicago and His Part in the Political History Making of 1896,” Review of Reviews, Vol. XV, New York, 1897, p. 41

External links

Albion, Illinois

Albion is a city in and the county seat of Edwards County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,988 at the 2010 census. The city was named "Albion" after an ancient and poetic reference to the island of Great Britain.

Chicago Inter Ocean

The Chicago Inter Ocean, also known as the Chicago Inter-Ocean, is the name used for most of its history for a newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, from 1865 until 1914. Its editors included Charles A. Dana and Byron Andrews.

Chicago Record-Herald

The Chicago Record-Herald was a newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois from 1901 until 1914. It was the successor to the Chicago Morning Herald, the Chicago Times Herald and the Chicago Record.H. H. Kohlsaat, owner of the Times-Herald, bought the Chicago Record from Chicago Daily News publisher Victor F. Lawson in 1901 and merged it with the Times-Herald to form the Record-Herald. Frank B. Noyes became part-owner of the new newspaper at the time and served as publisher, with Kohlsaat as editor. Kohlsaat retired from the paper in 1902, but re-purchased it from Noyes in 1910 to serve as editor and publisher.In May 1914, the circulation of the Chicago Record-Herald was reported to be 149,776 daily and 209,105 on Sunday. It was then acquired by James Keeley, then general manager of the Chicago Tribune, who also bought the Chicago Inter Ocean out of receivership at the same time. Readers decided that Keeley's new consolidated newspaper should be named The Chicago Herald, which name it held until it was bought by William Randolph Hearst's Chicago Examiner in 1918, and named the Chicago Herald and Examiner.

Chicago Times

The Chicago Times was a newspaper in Chicago from 1854 to 1895, when it merged with the Chicago Herald.The Times was founded in 1854 by James W. Sheahan, with the backing of Democrat and attorney Stephen A. Douglas, and was identified as a pro-slavery newspaper. In 1861, after the paper was purchased by Democratic journalist Wilbur F. Storey, the Times began espousing the Copperhead point of view, supporting Southern Democrats and denouncing the policies of Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, General Ambrose Burnside, head of the Department of the Ohio, suppressed the paper in 1863 because of its hostility to the Union cause, but Lincoln lifted the ban when he received word of it.

Storey and Joseph Medill, editor of the Republican-leaning Chicago Tribune, maintained a strong rivalry for some time. In 1888, the newspaper saw the brief addition of Finley Peter Dunne to its staff. Dunne was a columnist whose Mr. Dooley satires won him national recognition. After just one year, Dunne left the Times to work for the rival Chicago Tribune.

In 1895, the Times became the Chicago Times-Herald after a merger with the Chicago Herald, a newspaper founded in 1881 by James W. Scott. After Scott's sudden death in the weeks following the merger, H. H. Kohlsaat took over the new paper. He changed its direction from a "democratic" publication to an "independent republican" one. It supported "sound money" policies (against free silver) in the 1896 election.Kohlsaat bought the Chicago Record from Chicago Daily News publisher Victor F. Lawson in 1901 and merged it with the Times-Herald to form the Chicago Record-Herald. Frank B. Noyes acquired an interest in the new newspaper at the time and served as publisher, with Kohlsaat as editor.

George Wheeler Hinman

George Wheeler Hinman (November 19, 1864 - March 31, 1927) was an American writer and newspaper publisher. He also served as the president of Marietta College in Ohio from 1913-1918.

Hinman was born in Mount Morris, New York in 1864, and graduated from Hamilton College in New York in 1884. After working at newspapers in Chicago and St. Louis, he obtained a masters and Ph.D. degree from Heidelberg University in 1889. He then joined The Sun (New York), where we remained on the staff for about ten years. Around 1898 he took a position as editor and manager of the Chicago Inter Ocean, and bought a controlling share in the paper in 1906. He sold the paper to H. H. Kohlsaat in 1912.

From 1913-18, he was President of Marietta College in Ohio, and later became publisher of the Chicago Herald and Examiner.

History of Illinois

The history of Illinois may be defined by several broad historical periods, namely, the pre-Columbian period, the era of European exploration and colonization, its development as part of the American frontier, and finally, its growth into one of the most populous and economically powerful states of the United States.

List of people from Galena, Illinois

The following list includes notable people who were born or have lived in Galena, Illinois. For a similar list organized alphabetically by last name, see the category page People from Galena, Illinois.

Mark Hanna

Marcus Alonzo Hanna (September 24, 1837 – February 15, 1904) was an American businessman and Republican politician, who served as a United States Senator from Ohio as well as chairman of the Republican National Committee. A friend and political ally of President William McKinley, Hanna used his wealth and business skills to successfully manage McKinley's presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900.

Hanna was born in New Lisbon (today Lisbon), Ohio, in 1837. His family moved to the growing city of Cleveland in his teenage years, where he attended high school with John D. Rockefeller. He was expelled from college, and entered the family mercantile business. He served briefly during the American Civil War and married Charlotte Rhodes; her father, Daniel Rhodes, took Hanna into his business after the war. Hanna was soon a partner in the firm, which grew to have interests in many areas, especially coal and iron. He was a millionaire by his 40th birthday, and turned his attention to politics.

Despite Hanna's efforts on his behalf, Ohio Senator John Sherman failed to gain the Republican nomination for president in 1884 and 1888. With Sherman becoming too old to be considered a contender, Hanna worked to elect McKinley. In 1895, Hanna left his business career to devote himself full-time to McKinley's campaign for president. Hanna paid all expenses to get McKinley the nomination the following year, although he was in any event the frontrunner. The Democrats nominated former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who ran on a bimetallism, or "Free Silver", platform. Hanna's fundraising broke records, and once initial public enthusiasm for Bryan and his program subsided, McKinley was comfortably elected.

Declining a Cabinet position, Hanna secured appointment as senator from Ohio after Sherman was made Secretary of State; he was re-elected by the Ohio General Assembly in 1898 and 1904. After McKinley's assassination in 1901, Senator Hanna worked for the building of a canal in Panama, rather than elsewhere in Central America, as had previously been proposed. He died in 1904, and is remembered for his role in McKinley's election, thanks to savage cartoons by such illustrators as Homer Davenport, who lampooned him as McKinley's political master.

Mr. Dooley

Mr. Dooley (or Martin J. Dooley) is a fictional Irish immigrant bartender created by American journalist Finley Peter Dunne. Dooley was the subject of many Dunne columns between 1893 and 1915, and again in 1924 and 1926. Dunne's essays contain the bartender's commentary on various topics (often national or international affairs). They became extremely popular during the 1898 Spanish–American War and remained so afterwards; they are collected in several books. The essays are in the form of conversations in Irish dialect between Mr. Dooley, who in the columns owns a tavern in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, and one of the fictional bar's patrons (in later years, usually Malachi Hennessy) with most of the column a monologue by Dooley. The pieces are not widely remembered, but originated lasting sayings such as "the Supreme Court follows the election returns".

Mr. Dooley was invented by Dunne to replace a similar character whose real-life analogue had objected. By having the garrulous bartender speak in dialect and live in an unfashionable area of Chicago Dunne gained a freedom of expression he often did not have in standard English. The first four years of the weekly column made Mr. Dooley popular in Chicago, but little noticed elsewhere. Dunne was a rapidly rising newspaperman, and the pieces mainly appeared in the Chicago paper which he worked for. During that time, Dunne detailed the daily life of Bridgeport through Dooley's lips, painting a portrait of ethnic urban life unparalleled in 19th-century American literature.

Dunne's bartender came to wider attention with the wartime columns, and the Dooley pieces were soon in newspapers nationwide. Both the columns and the books collecting them gained national acclaim. Beginning around 1905, Dunne had increasing trouble finding time and inspiration for new columns, and they ended in 1915, except for a brief resurrection in the mid-1920s. Even in Dunne's own time (he died in 1936), his work was becoming obscure in part due to his use of dialect, and the unusual spellings that it required have proved a lasting barrier for potential readers.

William McKinley

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).

McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted soldier, beginning as a private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial, which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896 amid a deep economic depression. He defeated his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan after a front porch campaign in which he advocated "sound money" (the gold standard unless altered by international agreement) and promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity.

Rapid economic growth marked McKinley's presidency. He promoted the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition and in 1900 secured the passage of the Gold Standard Act. McKinley hoped to persuade Spain to grant independence to rebellious Cuba without conflict, but when negotiation failed he led the nation into the Spanish–American War of 1898—the United States victory was quick and decisive. As part of the peace settlement, Spain turned over to the United States its main overseas colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines while Cuba was promised independence, but at that time remained under the control of the United States Army. The United States annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898 and it became a United States territory.

Historians regard McKinley's 1896 victory as a realigning election in which the political stalemate of the post-Civil War era gave way to the Republican-dominated Fourth Party System, which began with the Progressive Era. McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election in a campaign focused on imperialism, protectionism and free silver. His legacy was suddenly cut short when he was shot on September 6, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a second-generation Polish-American with anarchist leanings. McKinley died eight days later and was succeeded by his Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. As an innovator of American interventionism and pro-business sentiment, McKinley's presidency is generally considered above average, though his highly positive public perception was soon overshadowed by Roosevelt.

William McKinley 1896 presidential campaign

In 1896, William McKinley was elected President of the United States. McKinley, a Republican and former Governor of Ohio, defeated the joint Democratic and Populist nominee, William Jennings Bryan, as well as minor-party candidates. McKinley's decisive victory in what is sometimes seen as a realigning election ended a period of close presidential contests, and ushered in an era of dominance for the Republican Party.

McKinley was born in 1843 in Niles, Ohio. After service as an Army officer in the Civil War, he became a lawyer and settled in Canton, Ohio. In 1876 he was elected to Congress, and he remained there most of the time until 1890, when he was defeated for re-election in a gerrymandered district. By this time he was considered a likely presidential candidate, especially after being elected governor in 1891 and 1893. McKinley had incautiously co-signed the loans of a friend, and demands for repayment were made on him when his friend went bankrupt in the Panic of 1893. Personal insolvency would have removed McKinley as a factor in the 1896 campaign, but he was rescued from this by businessmen who supported him, led by his friend and political manager, Mark Hanna. With that obstacle removed, Hanna built McKinley's campaign organization through 1895 and 1896. McKinley refused to deal with the eastern bosses such as Thomas Platt and Matthew Quay, and they tried to block his nomination by encouraging state favorite son candidates to run and prevent McKinley from getting a majority of delegate votes at the Republican National Convention, which might force him to make deals on political patronage. Their efforts were in vain, as the large, efficient McKinley organization swept him to a first ballot victory at the convention, with New Jersey's Garret Hobart as his running mate.

McKinley was a noted protectionist, and was confident of winning an election fought on that question. But it was free silver that became the issue of the day, with Bryan capturing the Democratic nomination as a foe of the gold standard. Hanna raised millions for a campaign of education with trainloads of pamphlets to convince the voters that free silver would be harmful, and once that had its effect, even more were printed on protectionism. McKinley stayed at home in Canton, running a front porch campaign and reaching millions through newspaper coverage of the speeches he gave to organized groups of people. This contrasted with Bryan, who toured the nation by rail in his campaign. Supported by the well-to-do, urban dwellers, and prosperous farmers, McKinley won a majority of the popular vote and an easy victory in the Electoral College. McKinley's systemized approach to gaining the presidency laid the groundwork for modern campaigns, and he forged an electoral coalition that would keep the Republicans in power most of the time until 1932.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.