Elmer Washburn was the 3rd Director of the United States Secret Service.

Elmer Washburn
Elmer Washburn (1).jpg
3rd Chief of the U.S. Secret Service
In office
1874 (1874) – 1876 (1876)
PresidentUlysses S. Grant
Preceded byHiram C. Whitley
Succeeded byJames Brooks
General Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department
In office
August 12, 1872 (1872-08-12) – December 29, 1873 (1873-12-29)[1]
Preceded byWilliam Wallace Kennedy[1]
Succeeded byJacob Rehm[1]
Personal details
BornJuly ,1839
New York

Early life and careerEdit

Washburn was born a member of the Washburn family.[2]

Washburn served as warden of the Joliet Penitentiary.[3]

Washburn served as superintendent of the Chicago Police Department under mayor Joseph Medill.[1][3]

Director of Secret ServiceEdit

Washburn served as head of the United States Secret Service under president Ulysses S. Grant from 1874 to 1876.

Washburn took office on October 1, 1874.[4]

Washburn helped thwart the attempted theft of Abraham Lincoln's corpse.[5][6][5][7]

Subsequent careerEdit

Washburn unsuccessfully ran in the 1891 Chicago mayoral election, in which he placed fourth and was defeated by his cousin once-removed Hempstead Washburne.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d http://www.chicagocop.com/history/people/heads-of-the-chicago-police-department/
  2. ^ a b Biography of Elihu Benjamin Washburne Congressman, Secretary of State, Envoy Extraordinary: Volume Six: Remaining Years in France as American Minister by Mark Washburne Xlibris Corporation, Oct 14, 2016
  3. ^ a b Lindberg, Richard (2009-06-12). The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine. ISBN 9780809328932.
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1875/12/04/archives/the-secret-service-report-of-chief-washburn-the-work-of-the.html
  5. ^ a b Lewis, Lloyd (1994). The Assassination of Lincoln: History and Myth. ISBN 0803279493.
  6. ^ "The Princeton Review". 1883.
  7. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2008-01-05-0801040500-story.html