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                                     CHARLES HENROTIN
                                    Cook County, Illinois


Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 33-34

CHARLES HENROTIN, one of the ablest financiers of the
pre-eminent, commercial city of Chicago, that municipality
the undertakings and successful achievements of whose
citizens astound the conservatives of the East and the Old
World, is a worthy son of a noble father.  He is the eldest
of the surviving children of Dr. Joseph F. Henrotin (see
biography in this volume), and was born in Brussels,
Belgium, April 15, 1843.  He was in his sixth year when the
family arrived in Chicago, and his first attempt at learning
was made in the public schools of the city.  He subsequently
attended other schools and the University of Notre Dame,
Chicago.  He went abroad with his parents in 1856, and
entered the Athenæum of Tournai, Belgium, from which he was
graduated in 1860.

In the spring of 1861 he became a permanent resident of
Chicago, and shortly after took employment as clerk in the
Merchants’ Loan and Trust Company Bank. It was his intention
to enter the Union army as soon as he was of age, but after
the death of his elder brother he was persuaded by his
parents to remain at home. He applied himself to business
with such diligence and ability that he was elected Cashier
of the bank in 1867, to succeed Lyman J. Gage, who then went
to the First National.  Mr. Henrotin continued to fill this
position to the satisfaction of his employers and the
public, enjoying the confidence and friendship of all with
whom he had business or social relations, until he decided
to engage in business on his own account, in 1877.

He then opened a private bank, dealing extensively in stocks
and bonds. Many enterprises of very large local importance
owe much of their success to his judicious management and
assistance. He has ever shown himself a public-spirited and
generous citizen, and has borne an active part in many
undertakings of great moment. He was one of the workers, and
gave financial assistance, in locating the World's Columbian
Exposition at Chicago, and served as a Director of the
corporation which carried through that hitherto
unprecedented enterprise.  Many large syndicate operations
of recent years have been negotiated by Mr. Henrotin, among
which may be mentioned the purchase of the Union Stock Yards
and several Chicago breweries by English capital.

The action of Mr. Henrotin in the financial crisis of the
city in 1877-78 entitles him to the grateful remembrance of
all good citizens. When a large amount of city scrip had
been declared illegal, and the credit of the municipality
was in grave danger, he wrote a letter to Comptroller
Farwell, offering to take all the scrip, regardless of kind
or amount, at 92, upon which its market value immediately
jumped from 85 to 93. Mr. Henrotin made good his offer, and
carried also the defaulted coupons of the city bonds for a
year, until arrangements could be made to redeem them.
In 1876 he was appointed Belgian Consul, to succeed his
father, who had held that position nineteen years, and is
still fulfilling the duties of that office. During the same
year he was appointed Turkish Consul, to succeed William E.
Doggett. In 1888 he was knighted by the Belgian King for
valuable services rendered his Government, and served as
Honorary Commissioner, representing that Government at the
World’s Fair.  In 1892 he was promoted by Turkey to be
Consul-General to the Northwest, and received the decoration
of Commander for services rendered to that country and its

Mr. Henrotin is a member of the Chicago and New York Stock
Exchanges and of the Chicago Board of Trade. He also holds
membership in social, literary and other clubs, among the
most prominent of which are the Union, Bankers’, Germania
and Contributors’. He enjoys the companionship and
co-operation of a noble and intelligent wife, who holds
prominent positions in many social and woman’s clubs. She
was Vice-President and Acting President of the World’s
Congress Auxiliaries, of which C. C. Bonney was President.
She received many compliments of high order for her services
in that connection, being especially mentioned and decorated
by the Turkish Government, and received an autograph
portrait, engraved for the occasion, from the Queen of
Belgium. She is now President of the Federated Women’s Clubs
of the United States, having a membership numbering
sixty-five thousand. The wedding of this couple occurred
September 2, 1869, the bride being Miss Helen M. Martin, a
native of Portland, Maine, daughter of Edward Byam and Sarah
E. (Norris) Martin, of Portland, of English descent. They
are related to Sir Edward Byam, of England, and to the
Choate and Norris families, noted in two hemispheres for
intelligence and refinement. Three sons complete the family
of Mr. Henrotin, namely: Edward Clement, Charles Martin and
Norris Bates.

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