2nd Lt. Israel Rumsey

Israel P. Rumsey was a 2nd Lt. in May of 1861.  Promoted to 1st Lt. in October of 1861 he served under Captain Barrett at the battle of Shiloh.  When Captain Barrett was promoted to Major in February of 1863 Rumsey was promoted to Captain and given command of Battery B.  Captain Rumsey mustered out of service in July of 1864.

   As the metropolis of the great Middle West, and  one of the most important commercial centers of the country, Chicago has long taken a first line part in the history of the day, and has attracted to it some of the master minds not demand strenuous action and trained ability, and where men possessing these qualities con­gregate, success is sure to follow, and a further enlargement of business fields and operating opportunities. No man ever rose above his fel­lows unless he possessed something more than they, advantages of money, mind or native ability, and oftener than ever, the first plays but a small part compared to the power of the lat­ter. The career of Captain Israel Parsons Rumsey, president of the well known commission house of Rumsey &  Company, of No. 141 West Jackson boulevard, proves the truth of the fore going and points out to others the road to success.  

Captain Rumsey was born at Stafford, N. Y., February 9, 1836, a son of Joseph E. and Lucy (Ransom) Rumsey.  After attending an academic school, at the age of seventeen years, he left it to become a clerk in a Buffalo dry goods store, in the employ of his uncle, E. H. Howard. The spirit of the great city imbued him with some of its resistless force, and be was fired with an ambition to make something of his life, beyond that indicated by mere material prosperity. Feeling that youth was better served in the cities further west, he went to Keokuk, Ia., in 1837, and there continued clerking, later owning and running a newspaper route from one o'clock a. m. to seven o'clock a. m.  Never losing faith in himself, or ceasing to hunt for suitable opportunities, he became manager of a hardware store and by order of the owner moved it to Chicago in 1857, and in 1858 left that desirable connection to engage with Flint and Wheeler, commission merchants, and in this line found his life work. In 1860, the firm of  Flint, Hoyt & Rumsey was organized, this being one of the early commission houses of the city. The concern has developed into the present one of Rumsey and Company, being comprised of Mr. Rumsey and his eldest son, Henry A., he being the head. This firm ranks with the leaders in this field, and is one of the most extensive receiving houses on the board.  In addition to this connection, Captain Rumsey is also interested along other lines, being president of the Prairie State Grain Elevator Company, and a director of the Belden  Manufacturing Company.  

In 1861, he was instrumental in organizing Taylor 's Chicago Battery, which was in the service of the state until mustered into the United States service on July 16, 1861, as Company B, First Illinois Light Artillery. Mr. Rumsey was elected junior Second Lieutenant, and later senior Second Lieutenant, and served with the battery through its memorable career, acting as Assistant Adjutant to General W. H. L. Wallace at Fort Donelson and Shiloh , General Wallace being mortally wounded in the latter engagement.  During the siege of Vicksburg, Mr. Rumsey was promoted to the rank of Captain, and served as such until the expiration of the battery's enlistment in July, 1864, when be was honorably discharged, and returned to Chicago.  He saw much active service during his military career, participating in a number of hard-fought battles, including those of Belmont, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, in the campaigns of the Army of the Tennessee, the Atlanta campaign and others.  

Captain Rumsey has been active in reform politics, especially in securing high license laws. He has served as president of the Citizens League for suppression of the sale of liquor to minors and drunkards, since 1877.  In 1906, he was instrumental in having passed a state law prohibiting saloons within one and one-eighth of a mile of army posts or naval stations. He was also instrumental in awakening public interest and baying gambling prohibited in Chicago, some years ago. He also waged war on the notorious gambling interests in Lake County just across the Cook County line, to which those desiring to gamble could go for twenty-five cents the round trip. In less than eighteen months of hard fighting, Captain Rumsey succeeded in rid­ding Lake County of what he felt was a terrible incubus.

No citizen of Chicago has accomplished more for good government, pure politics and the upholding of honorable principles than Captain Rumsey. In addition, he has been prominent along other avenues, for he served on several committees for securing for Chicago the Columbian Exposition, and was chairman of the financial committee which raised money far erecting the Grace and Sixth Presbyterian churches, both of which he served for several years as an elder. For the past twenty-six years be has been an elder of the Lake Forest Presbyterian Church. For eighteen years he was a member of the Board of Managers of the Presbyterian Hospital.  

 His relations with the Loyal Legion and George H. Thomas Post No. 5, G. A. R., are useful to  his old comrades, and he is also an honored member of the Union League Club of Chicago.  

   Captain Rumsey was married in 1867 to Miss   Axtell of Batavia, N. Y., and they had six children, namely: Juliet Lay; Lucy Ransom.; Henry Axtell ; Minnie May; Frances, who died in Infancy; and Wallace Donnelson. Public spirited and charitable, Captain Rumsey has always given generously towards those measures which he believes will tend towards the betterment of the masses, and carries into his everyday life the principles be professes in his church associations. The family residence is at Lake Forest and the members of the household all are held in the highest esteem.