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Charles Frederick Gunther. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society (IChi-10584).


Gunther, Charles Frederick (06 March 1837–10 February 1920), Chicago confectioner, politician, and antiquarian collector, was born Carl Friedrich Guenther in Wildberg, Wurttemberg, Germany, the son of Marie and Johann Martin Guenther, a candle and soap maker. The family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1842, and at age ten Gunther began work as a government mail carrier, traveling forty miles daily by horseback. In 1850 they resettled in Peru, Illinois, an important ice harvesting center on the canal linking Chicago with the Mississippi watershed. Gunther found work as a cashier in a bank, where he came in contact with many of the merchants who shipped 100,000 tons of ice down the southern rivers during prosperous years....


Washburn, Cadwallader Colden (22 April 1818–14 May 1882), industrialist, miller, and politician, was born in Livermore, Maine, the son of Israel Washburn and Martha Benjamin, farmers. After being educated in local schools, Washburn briefly taught school in Wiscasset, Maine. But with few other opportunities, the 21-year-old Washburn borrowed money and headed west. He initially settled in Davenport, Iowa, where he took a job with the U.S. Geological Survey. The following year he moved across the Mississippi to Rock Island, Illinois, studied law, and was elected county surveyor. Still restless, Washburn moved again in 1842, this time to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where he opened a law practice....