Founder of the Chicago livestock commission firm of Rosenbaum Brothers and a major player on the Chicago Board of Trade.
1838-1919 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
Born in Bavaria, Joseph Rosenbaum and his brother Morris came to America in 1850 and established a general store in Cedar Falls, Iowa. After serving in the Civil War, the brothers turned to handling livestock and grain, shipping to the Chicago market.
In 1867, they founded two banks, and then in 1874, launched the Chicago livestock commission firm of Rosenbaum Brothers. In a good year, their sales topped $10,000,000. Joseph Rosenbaum also established one of the largest grain houses in the U. S. and became a major player on the Chicago Board of Trade.
He loaned enormous sums of money to Montana cattle operators, including Conrad Kohrs, and he saved them from losing everything after the 1887 blizzard. The ranchers, in turn, saved Rosenbaum from bankruptcy during the panic of 1907.