As the “Henry Ford of Electricity” who created an electric power system that made the benefits of electricity available to the masses, Samuel Insull became one of the wealthiest people in America. He eventually controlled electric and gas utilities in 35 states, including Commonwealth Edison and the gas companies serving Chicago and northern Illinois. A resident of Chicago, he built a weekend retreat in Libertyville (now known as the Cuneo Mansion), a dairy farm known as Hawthorn Mellody Farms, a Catholic university in Mundelein known as St. Mary of the Lake, and the interurban railroad serving northern communities including Lake Forest (North Shore Line), among dozens of other local projects.
This program of over 100 PowerPoint images describes Insull’s life, his time working for Thomas Edison, his coming to Chicago, and his assent to become one of the leading businessmen of the 20th Century. The focus of this program centers on his many contributions to Lake Forest and the balance of Lake County.
John Maxson is a veteran of the electric power industry, having spent 32 years as a manager at Commonwealth Edison (with the last third of that time managing the company’s office in Washington, D.C.). He moved on to serve as president of the Illinois Coalition, the advocacy organization for Illinois’ six large research universities and three national laboratories, and then serving as president of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the business organization for 800 retailers, hotels, and restaurants on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.