Newberry, Walter Loomis

Newberry, Walter Loomis, 1804–68, American merchant and banker, b. East Windsor (in the section now South Windsor), Conn. In 1822 he entered the shipping business with his brother Oliver in Buffalo, and in 1826 they went to Detroit, where they established a prosperous dry-goods business. In 1833 he moved to the newly established town of Chicago, where he had previously made extensive investments in real estate. He engaged in the commission business, prospered, and later entered banking and also became president of the Galena and Chicago Union RR. He was active in civic affairs, founded the Young Men's Library Association, and made numerous philanthropic gifts. His will provided for the founding and endowment of the Newberry Library in Chicago, a free reference library that specializes in the fields of history, literature, music, and philology and has gained an international reputation. It has a fine collection of Americana.

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