Psi Omega / Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


James Franklin Aldrich, son of William Aldrich, was a Representative from Illinois.  He was born at Two Rivers, Manitowoc County, Wis., April 6, 1853, and moved with his parents to Chicago in April 1861.  He attended the public schools and Chicago University; was graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., in 1877.


He engaged in the manufacture of linseed oil and later engaged in the gas business.  He was a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners 1886-1888, serving as president in 1887.  He was a member of the county board of education in 1887; commissioner of public works of Chicago from May 1, 1891, to January 1, 1893; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1897); chairman, Committee on Accounts (Fifty-fourth Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1896.


He was appointed consul general at Havana, Cuba, in 1897, but did not reach his post to serve owing to the sinking of the battleship Maine and to the war with Spain which followed.  He became a receiver of national banks and was a railroad appraiser from 1898 until 1923. He died in Chicago March 8, 1933 and is interred in Rosehill Cemetery.



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