||Oshkosh Public Museum
||Quarter-plate Daguerreotype of John Fitzgerald with glass, brass mat, preserver, and housed in a half case of wood with embossed brown letherette paper.
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||4" x 5"
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||Half seated view daguerreotype of John Fitzgerald wearing a suit with dark collar, white shirt, and tie, and a chin beard. Left half of full case with P2006.4.6.
John Fitzgerald was born in New York circa 1825. He came to Wisconsin from Indiana, he speculated in the grain and flour trade, monopolized the Steamboat industry on the Wolf and Fox Rivers and Lake Winnebago, was elected to the state senate in 1855, operated the 1st National Bank in Oshkosh from 1856-1860, mayor of Oshkosh in 1861. On January 4, 1855 he married Mary Doty, the daughter of the first Territorial Governor of Wisconsin, James Duane Doty, they had two children, only the daughter Nellie survivied. After an extended illness, Fitzgerald died in New York city in January 1863 at the St. Nicholas Hotel while there on business. His body was returned to Oshkosh where he received Masonic rites and religious services at the Episcopal church. According to the Nancy Derby diary (RG62) notation of February 7, 1863, "The largest funeral procession has just passed our house that I have seen this winter. It was also accompanied by the "Free Masons" on foot dressed in their regalia & carrying mourning flags. It was the funeral of Mr. Fitzgerald-a wealthy man, who committed suicide in New York City at the St. Nicholas Hotel. He went there on business & for some reason shot himself." She goes on the next day to say, "I have been thinking today of the sad fate of the man who was buried Saturday. He was a poor boy & raised himself to wealth. Nature did much for him, for although his education was limited, yet he was a gentlemanly appearing man & was generous & whole souled. But alas the destroyer had got hold of him - whiskey; & it is more than probable that it was the cause of his death."
Capitalists & financiers
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009