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Louis J. Cross diaries

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Cross

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly diaries, 1932-1969; also correspondence, clippings, datebooks, club publications, and biographical sketches.

The Louis J. Cross diaries document Cross' daily life, his work, travel, political views, and business relationships in detail. He records the time of his rising, his commute, business lunches, and after-work socializing almost every day. He held strong political views and diaries kept during the depression are heavily critical of Roosevelt and New Deal economics. Cross also describes the Chicago financial world, the ups and downs, mergers, and relationships with an insider's eye. He rose steadily up through the ranks of Hornblower & Weeks which went through many changes during his tenure. In addition, Cross kept letters, clippings, and other items in his diaries, which give further insight into his work and life. The few existing letters include correspondence from family as well as congratulatory letters, death notices, and a few short notes from Richard Nixon and Everett McKinley Dirksen, both of whom Cross supported politically as well as humorous Christmas letters he wrote which he sent out to friends and colleagues each year. Also included are date books covering the years from 1949 to 1968, club membership publications, and a booklet of biographical sketches of executives at Hornblower & Weeks-Hemphill, Noyes.


  • Creation: 1932-1974



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Louis J. Cross diaries are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Louis J. Cross diaries are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Louis J. Cross

Chicago bonds salesman and investment banker, long time partner in the investment banking and brokerage firm of Hornblower & Weeks.

Louis J. Cross was born around 1898 in Illinois, the son of English immigrant John R. Cross and Mary B. Cross. He attended school and the Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He was associated for most of his career with the investment banking and brokerage firm of Hornblower & Weeks, starting at Paul H. Davis & Co. in 1929, which then merged with Hornblower in 1953. He was partner in the firm from 1939 to 1969. Cross was also associated with several other companies, serving on boards or in a consulting capacities, including the Jefferson Electric Company, the Jessop Steel Co., and the River Forest State Bank. Cross was a devoted Catholic and attended mass several times a week. In addition, he belonged to numerous social clubs including The Attic, The Chicago Yacht Club, The Saddle and Cycle Club, and the Germania Club.

Cross married Gladys Kendall in 1921 and they had two children, Louis R., born in 1923, and Margery, born in 1927. Gladys passed away suddenly in 1963, and in 1964 Cross married Frances Seymour Kluck. Both of his wives converted to Catholicism upon their marriages. Cross lived most of his life in River Forest, Illinois, but spent time each winter in Palm Desert, California. He eventually bought a retirement home in Palm Desert, and it was there he died of a heart attack in 1975 at the age of 77.


5 Linear Feet (12 boxes)


Diaries, date books, and a few miscellaneous items of Louis J. Cross, Chicago bonds salesman and investment banker. Diaries cover the years between 1932 and 1969, and discuss Cross' daily routine as well as political and financial developments in America, and the internal workings of the Chicago business world.


Arranged chronologically with datebooks and a few miscellaneous items following diaries. Loose items that were oversized or in danger of damaging diary pages were removed and placed in folders following each correlating diary.

Collection Stack Location

1 13 1-2


Gift, Louis R. Cross, 2002.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2010.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Louis J. Cross diaries, 1932-1974
Lisa Janssen
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States