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Frank C. Rathje, Sr. | 1947

Founder the Mutual National Bank of Chicago, President of the Chicago City Bank and Trust Company and advisor to President Truman.

1881-1967 | Artist: Othmar J. Hoffler (1893-1954)

Impact & Accomplishments

With a law degree from Northwestern University, Frank C. Rathje founded Mutual National Bank of Chicago in 1917, and was, simultaneously, president of the Chicago City Bank and Trust Company.

Credited with predicting the forthcoming stock market crash and financial crisis, he prevented a run on his banks during the Great Depression. His institutions were two of the seven Chicago banks that the U. S. Treasury allowed to remain open.

Rathje was elected president of the American Bankers Association in 1945 and served as a regular economic advisor to President Harry Truman. He was also president of the Transportation Association of America and a member of the Chicago Plan Commission from 1937 to 1954.

Did You Know?

Rathje owned several cattle and grain farms in rural Illinois.

Rathje served as President of the Percheron Horse Association of America.

The Percheron show horses were also the work horses on the farm. They were used throughout the year to raise and harvest the crops but, from June through November, select horses would be shown at state fairs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. The exhibition season culminated with the International Livestock Show in Chicago after Thanksgiving." - Bill Engler, son of Paul Engler who was farm manager for Rathje from 1941-1964.

Percheron colt on the Rathje farm. Photo Bill Engler.

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