Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Places & Faces

More fallout from Panic of 1884

See also

Railroads and related industries, like iron and steel, suffered most. Business activity was reduced to 32.8%. Data regarding gross domestic product (GDP) and unemployment weren’t collected during this third longest recession. National scandal, stock market collapse and runs on banks led to an investigation into the business practices of the Grant and Ward investment firm.

Former President Ulysses S. Grant and his son Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. were cleared of wrong doing. Their influential name was used by Ward to entice investors, and they believed they would receive 50% of the firm’s profits. Like the other investors, they lost everything.

Ferdinand De Wilton Ward, Jr. was convicted of grand larceny. It was discovered he falsified returns and audit reports. He was convicted of grand larceny and served more than six years in Sing Sing Prison in New York State. Because of his swindle and its effect on the Grants, Ward lost his title as the “Young Napoleon of Finance” and became “the Best-hated Man in the United States.”

Chicago and its surrounding communities produced 30% of the nation’s steel rails through the efforts of the Union Rolling Mill Company, the North Chicago Rolling Mill Company and Joliet Iron and Steel Company. Production of steel rails decreased by 71%, and production of iron rails was decreased by 61% during the depression.

The German National Bank, Scandinavian National Bank, Fourth National Bank, City National Bank, Third National Bank and Central National Bank, all of Chicago, went out of business in 1884 in the money panic.

The decline in railroad construction reduced production and caused a depression of business throughout Illinois. Workers lost their jobs either temporarily or permanently. Factories closed as hard times continued for thirty-eight long months.

Enlighten your life with history.

www.examiner.com/chicago-history/elaine-shigley

Use this link to become an Examiner, http://exm.nr/NDivQU .

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!