Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Storey, Wilbur Fisk
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Storey, Wilbur Fisk
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|Edition of 1900. See also Wilbur F. Storey on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
STOREY, Wilbur Fisk, journalist, b. in Salisbury, Vt., 19 Dec., 1819; d. in Chicago, Ill., 29 Oct., 1884. He received a common-school education, learned the printing trade at twelve years of age, and supplemented his training by wide miscellaneous reading. He worked steadily in the office of the Middlebury “True Press” until he was seventeen years old, when he went to New York and set type on the “Journal of Commerce.” Two years later he went to La Porte, Ind., and had there his first experience in publishing a newspaper, which was unsuccessful. He kept a drug-store for some time, and edited a country weekly, and, growing tired of Indiana, went to Jackson, Mich., and studied law for two years. He next established the “Patriot” in that town, of which he was appointed postmaster under Polk's administration, whereupon he sold the paper. Having been removed by Taylor in 1849, he set up another drug-store, was chosen the year following a member of the State constitutional convention, and subsequently appointed state-prison inspector. In 1853 he removed to Detroit, bought an interest in the “Free Press,” and ere long rose to be its editor and sole owner. He went to Chicago in 1861 and purchased the “Times,” which then had a very small circulation. His energy, enterprise, and fearless expression of his views on every subject gave the paper notoriety. No man in the northwest has done so much as he both to benefit and injure journalism. Without faith in any one, as a consequence no one placed faith in him. He was independent in an extreme and unwholesome sense, boasting that he had no friends and wanted none, and apparently doing his utmost to create enemies. His whole mind was bent on giving the news, his idea of what constitutes news being frequently morbid and indecorous. He was daring to a degree of recklessness and repellent cynicism, but his course yielded him a large fortune. About 1877 his health began to fail, and he went abroad. In the summer of 1878 he had a paralytic stroke, and was brought home. He was adjudged of unsound mind in 1884, and a conservator of his estate was appointed by the courts.