Edward H. Hadduck was born in Franklin, New Hampshire in 1811. After completing school, he worked for several years on his father’s farm, part of which had been sold to Daniel Webster. During this time, Hadduck became a close friend of the great statesman, who helped him throughout his life.
In 1833, Hadduck moved to Chicago to make his own way in business. This was a chance to fish in untouched waters; Chicago was a newly organized town, and would not be incorporated into a city until four years later. Although it was a great opportunity, it was also a risk; Hadduck had no assurance that the city would grow into a major center of commerce.
The United States Government was then supplying provisions to Native American tribes. An astute businessman even at age 22, Hadduck secured the government contract to supply bread to tribes in the Chicago area. He soon sold his interest in the bakery he had built for this purpose, and used his earnings to build a grain warehouse at the corner of Wabash and South Water Street.
Hadduck advanced through the ranks of the young city’s business and civic leaders. With the help of his friend and mentor Daniel Webster, he became the Collector of Internal Revenue for the district. He also served as one of Chicago’s first aldermen. At one point, he owned a famous hotel called the Mansion House, and for much of his life was associated with the Marine Mills, the Marine Bank, and the Loan and Trust Company.
Hadduck and his wife, Louisa, had one daughter, Helen, who married John DeKoven. Hadduck’s death in 1881 was considered a great public loss. He left behind one of the largest estates that had ever gone through the Chicago courts, as well as a great legacy of service to the city he had helped build.