Nathaniel K. Fairbank

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Nathaniel K. Fairbank
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Occupation Former President of the Chicago Board of Trade

Nathaniel K. Fairbank was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, and served as its president in 1878.[1]

Background[edit]

Fairbank was born in Soldus, NY in 1829. After a common education, he became an apprentice bricklayer at age 15. In 1855, after a stop in Rochester, NY, he moved to Chicago and worked for David Dows & Company.

Career at the Chicago Board of Trade[edit]

After the Civil War started and patriotic emotions rang strong, Fairbank and other members of the Chicago Board of Trade took exception to the Chicago Times, an anti-war newspaper edited by Wilbur F. Storey. In response to the daily anti-war stories from the Times, on the last day of the year 1862, Fairbank offered the following resolution to the Board of the CBOT, which were adopted"[2]

"Whereas, The articles appearing almost daily in the Chicago 'Times' newspaper are calculated to give aid and comfort to traitors engaged in a most unholy war upon the Government; and, "Whereas, In publishing such matter as charging upon the administration, in its efforts to put c^own the rebellion, the 'murder of the fathers, sons and brothers of the North,' as well as almost every other crime in the category, said paper is doing what lies in its power to create discord and dissension at the North, leading to the loss of the Constitution and the ruin of the Union, and

"Whereas, The said paper is in the practice of making the most outrageous and uncalled-for attacks upon the private character and standing of our most respectable citizens, thereby causing it to be deserving of unmeasured reprobation

"Therefore, Resolved, By this Board of Trade, while disclaiming all partisan feeling, and being actuated by no other motive than the public welfare and the fair fame of our city, that the Chicago 'Times' is unworthy of countenance or support, and that the Directors are hereby requested to exclude it from the reading-room of the Board.

"Resolved, That this Board knows of no objection to the commercial editor of the Chicago 'Times,' personally, but inasmuch as his presence on 'Change, to a certain extent, tolerates the paper, he is hereby excluded from the rooms, as a reporter for said paper."

At the fifteenth annual meeting of the Board of Trade, Fairbank was elected first vice-president and John L. Hancock was elected president, while Charles Randolph was elected second vice-president.

In 1863, the need for more room for the CBOT became an urgent need and the CBOT president, John L. Hancock appointed a committee consisting of Fairbank, Stephen Clary, Charles Randolph, John C. Dore, Julian S. Rumsey, W. D. Houghteling and Calvin T. Wheeler to recommend the creation and organization of the Board of Trade Building Association. The committee was also supposed to submit a proposed amendment to the charter of the exchange under which it was believed it could construct and own its own building. Further work discovered the plan to be impractical and a new committee was appointed.

Fairbank participated in the Canal Convention in Chicago as a delegate representing the Chicago Board of Trade, along with fellow members John L. Hancock, Stephen Clary, George Armour, Charles H. Walker, Ira Y. Munn, William Sturges, R. McChesney, W. D. Houghteiing, Calvin T. Wheeler, Julian S. Rumsey, G. S. Hubbard, Charles Randolph and E. W. Densmore. U.S. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin was elected the conventions permanent chairman.

At the annual meeting in 1867, Fairbank was a candidate for president of the Board against Wiley M. Egan and Robert McChesney, with Egan winning easily. The first vice-president was Lyman Blair and the second vice-president C.B. Goodyear. The secretary was John F. Beaty and the treasurer was George F. Rumsey. Fairbank was elected a director with a term expiring in 1869, along with W. E. Richardson, W. H. Lunt, S. H. McCrea, G. M. How and George Field. Commercial Committee : J. C. Dow, H. C. Ranney, Charles Randolph, Robert McChesney, W. D. Houghteling, W. T. Coolbaugh, John L. Hancock, J. M. Douglass, P. W. Gates, S. Clement, W. E. Doggett, Nathan Mears, J. V. Farwell, W. R. Gould, R. Prindiville, Ira Y. Munn, Wm. Blair, Stephen Clary, T. B. Sidway, P. Wadsworth and S. M. Nickerson. The directors with terms expiring in 1868 were J. H. Dole, H. A. Towner, H. Botsford, T. H. Seymour, H. C. Ranney.

"Whereas, It is believed by some of the members of the Board of Trade that some of the rules heretofore adopted for the government of the Arbitration Commhtee are inconsistent with other rules so adopted and are in conflict with the charter of the Board, and with the laws of the State ; therefore,

Resolved, That Wm. H. Low, Julian S. Rumsey, N. K. Fairbank and R. McChesney, be and are hereby, appointed a committee to revise the general rules and by-laws now in force and submit such amendments thereto as to their judgments may seem best.

Resolved, That said committee be, and are hereby, requested to submit their report for the action of the Board at the earliest day practicable—not later than ten days before the approaching annual meeting of the Board."

References[edit]

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