Lorenzo Bull
Lorenzo Bull
Margaret Bull
Margaret Bull

Lorenzo Bull married Margaret Hunter Benedict on 18 January 1844 in Adams County, Illinois. On 28 August 1850 Lorenzo Bull (32), wife Margaret (29), children; William (6), Elisabeth (4) and domestics; Christiana Kinsley (22) and Martha Wise (17) lived in 2nd Ward of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Lorenzo was a merchant. On 17 July 1860 Lorenzo Bull (41), wife Margaret (38), children; Wm. B. (15), Elizabeth G. (13), Mary B. (9), Margaret H. (5), Lorenzo Jr. (1), domestics; Kate McKinney (25), Mary Bone (18), Hannah Moenke (14) and man servant, Henry Kanfeldt (28) lived in 5th Ward of Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Lorenzo was a hardware merchant. On 27 July 1870 Lorenzo Bull (50), wife Margaret (49), children; William (25), Lizzie (23), Mary (18), Maggie (10), Lulu (8), servant girls; Eliza Brown (20) and Louise Stolbe (18) lived in the 5th Ward in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Lorenzo and son William were bankers. On 4 June 1880 Lorenzo Bull (61), wife Margut H. (59), Wm. B. (35), Elizabeth G. (31), Mary B. (28), Margaret H. (24), Anna L. (18) and servants; Ella M. Fendrich (18) and Maggie Meyer (17) lived at 1550 Maine in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Lorenzo was a banker. William was Superintendent of Water Works.

Quincy Daily Journal November 2, 1905



One of Quincy’s Oldest Pioneer Citizens, an Honored and Very Successful Businessman for Seventy Years, is No More – – All Children Present at the Final Summons, Which Was Peaceful.


    Lorenzo Bull, pioneer merchant and foremost financier of Quincy, passed away this morning at 8 o’clock at his late home, Sixteenth and Maine streets.

    Dissolution was peaceful, the mental faculties remaining normal with the deceased until the snapping of the life thread, which set the soul free to return to its maker. The end had been expected at any time for the past week.

    The deceased was in the 87th year of his life, and but for the troublesome and very painful malady on his neck, his body was particularly well preserved. For some years past he had suffered much, but he was patient to the very last, ever striving with the strong mind that he had, to hold down his physical infirmity, so that those about him would know little of his real agony. When Mr. Bull returned from his last trip to the Eastern sea shore, where he went every summer, he was noticed to be growing more feeble. He was given close attention and his wishes were always gratified when consistent with his condition.

    Knowing that the end was very near, the children out of the city were called home some days ago, and were present at the close of the good father’s life.

    In the passing of Mr. Bull our city loses one of her oldest and firmest friends, and the community the example of an honorable Christian life. The sympathies of friends that reside in all parts of the country, are extended to the bereaved family, including the remaining brother, Mr. Charles Henry Bull.

    The surviving children are five in number and are as follows: William B., of New York City; Mrs. Elizabeth J. Parker, cashier of the State Savings Loan & Trust Co. of Quincy; Miss Mary Bull, of Quincy; Mrs. Margret B. Prudden, wife of Dr, Prudden, of west Newton, Mass.; Mrs. Anna Louise Benedict, of Boston, Mass. Dr. Prudden and Mr. Benedict are here.

A Long Life is Closed,

Lorenzo Bull, one of the very earliest settlers of Quincy, was born in Hartford, Conn., March 21, 1819, and was in his 87th at his death. He came of Puritan ancestry on both sides of the house, his ancestors having been members of a party who, under Rev. Thomas Hooker, settled in Hartford in 1634. His grandfather, Isaac Bull, was a native of the state as well as his father, Lorenzo Bull. The latter married Miss Elizabeth Goodwin. The deceased was the eldest of the children born to the union.

    Mr. Bull’s opportunities for an education were limited to the district schools of his native city, which he left at the age of 13 years, to remove to Quincy, arriving here on the 11th of May, 1833, being then 14 years of age. His journey to the then far West, consumed an entire month. On account of the long trip, the money that was given to him when he left home as being ample to cover all of his expenses gave out and he was obliged to fall back on his companion for some additional expense on arriving at his destination.

Reached Illinois Without Funds

    The debt was soon paid out of his small salary earned in the office of Judge Henry H. Snow, who then held most of the county offices, being at one time clerk of the county commissioner’s court, clerk of the circuit court, recorder, judge of probate court, notary public and justice of the peace. The writing and practical work of these offices was at once turned over to young Bull.

     The deceased remained with Mr. Snow two years. The first year he received $6 a month salary and the second year $10 a month, in addition to his board in Judge Snow’s family.

    His next position was with the firm of Holmes, Brown & Co., then one of the largest mercantile firms in the city.

    He remained with this house through its successive changes as follows: S. & S. Holmes, Holmes & Co. and Holmes & Wood, until the year 1844, when, upon the settling up of the business of Holmes & Wood, he formed a partnership with his brother

 under the firm name of L. & C.H. Bull and opened a store for the sale of crockery, hardware, farm machinery, etc. In 1849 the built the building recently vacated by Clark & Morgan on the south side of Washington Square.

Entered Banking Business in 1861

    The two brothers continued in business quite successfully until the year 1881 when they sold their mercantile business and embarked in the banking business, removing to the corner of Fifth and Maine streets, the old firm name being retained, the business growing until it was reorganized as the largest banking institution in this state outside of Chicago. In their banking methods the deceased and his brother were very particular about the management and the handling of ther people’s money. They were considered very conservative, and yet when they deemed the time right were ready to invest. They were liberal in matters that would have the tendency to promote the public welfare.

Retired from Active Pursuits Some Years Ago

    In the year 1893 the banking institution was reorganized under a state charter as the State Savings, Loan & Trust Co., with a capitol of $300,000. Mr. Lorenzo Bull was the first president of the reorganized bank and continued in that office until the First National bank was consolidated with the Savings, Loan & Trust company bank. He then retired from active management of the institution, opening up an office for his private use in the Dodd building. It was while the deceased was still the executive head of the bank that the fine present bank structure was erected. The business of the bank which had such a solid foundation in the confidence of the people has continued to flourish.

    Mr. Bull was married to Miss Margaret H. Benedict, daughter of Dr. William M. Benedict, of Millbury, Worchester county, Mass., and sister of Mrs. N. Bushnell, then of Quincy, Jan. 18, 1844. To this union were born six children, five of whom are living. The children are: William Benedict, Elizabeth Goodwin Parker, Mary Braman, Margaret B. Prudden, Lorenzo and Anna Louise Benedict, all living except Lorenzo, who died at the age of 10 years.

Wife Died Two Years Ago

    On Nov, 23, 1903, Mar. Margaret Hunter Bull, devoted wife of the now deceased Lorenzo Bull, died at the Bull home in this city at the southwest corner of Sixteenth and Maine, at the ripe old age of 83 years, closing a long and useful wedded life of three score years, lacking one.

    Like her husband, Mrs. Bull was of a retired disposition, and while both were often intimately connected with those objects that tend so much towards the happiness and well-being of humankind, they made no show of such acts. When both were in the vigor of health, the Bull home was the scene of many very enjoyable social gatherings. Refined in their tastes, they wished and did promote that atmosphere in home, society and church.

    Mr. and Mrs. Bull first made their home in Quincy on the north side of Jersey street, near Fifth, later the site of Gen, Morgan’s home, and now a part of the Cheerful Home. About fifty years ago the present commodious residence was erected at Sixteenth and Maine.

At the Head of Many Public and Private Enterprises

    Mr. Lorenzo Bull was given credit with having been of the shrewdest, if not the leading successful business men of long residence, that Quincy has numbered in her citizenship, dating back for a period of practically sixty years. He was not only a successful banker and merchant, but he was a man of keen foresight in taking hold of enterprises of a public nature.

    The deceased uniting with such men as Nebemiah Bushnell, Hiram Rogers, James Pitman and Gen. Morgan, took hold of the dead Northern Cross railroad project, and in five years had built a road from Quincy to Galesburg, completing the line in January, 1856, the road from Galesburg to Chicago to connect with the Quincy enterprise having been completed in the meanwhile. The deceased made the first trip over the line from Quincy to Chicago, the time consumed being twenty-four hours.

    He was one of the original incorporators of the Union Pacific railroad.

    In any private enterprise which Mr. Bull took stock, the shareholders were always sure of securing a good return on their investment. He was one of the promoters of the Quincy street car system, and was its president for twenty years. He brought up the Quincy water works plant from a small affair to one of the best plants in the country, especially as regards the purification process, on which was expended many thousands of dollars in experimenting for the results obtained.

Gave Time and Means to Education and Charity.

    Mr. Bull also gave much of his time and means in an educational and philanthropical way. He was one of the early trustees of Woodland Home, was active in the associated charities organization, Humane society and Historical society.

    When the first public library association was formed in Quincy in 1840, Mr. Bull was made its secretary and retained that office for many years. As the city grew and her needs of a larger public educational force of this kind were realized, Mr. Bull and his brother Charles Henry, were instrumental in having the city take hold of the project and gave much of their means and time in seeing the handsome new library building erected at the southwest corner of Fourth and Maine streets.

    Among the latest benefications for the good of the city and her deserving children born of humble parentage are the very liberal contributions which he made to the Cheerful Home organization, which made it possible for the home to not only come in possession of a fine piece of property near the business center of town, but assisted quite materially in the erection of a fine addition.

Was Prominent in Church Councils

    The deceased was a member of the Congregational church of this city and often served in an executive capacity in the affairs of this church. He was the most liberal contributor that this church had on its roles. Whatever a special call was made Mr. Bull was counted on for a round contribution after he had satisfied himself that the object was a worthy and needy one. At different periods when the church building has needed improvements he was the first to put down a good sum. His advice and financial aid will be missed in that congregation.

Was One of Quincy’s Wealthiest Men

    Mr. Bull has been reported at different times as being a millionaire and there are those who are more or less acquainted with his affairs who believe that while his estate may not reach that figure, he was one of Quincy’s wealthiest men. He is known to have had quite a large sum invested in railroad bonds and other well secured assets. To use a financial phrase he was “long-headed” in all of his business transactions. In his commercial dealings he required all that was due him and endeavored to give all that he promised. When the deceased and his son disposed of the water works plant to local parties about a year ago they received in cash practically $650,000.

He Never Held Public Office

    Mr. Bull was a whig in politics and later a republican. While having his political choice, he was at the same time independent, always being found on the side of good citizenship.

The Quincy Daily Whig, Wednesday November 25, 1903


Death Last Night of a Good and Noble


The Wife of Lorenzo Bull, the Venerable Banker.

Had Been a Resident of Quincy Since 1843.

At- 10 o’clock last night death came to close forever the eyes of a noble and true woman, one widely beloved and respected—Mrs. Margaret H. Bull,  wife of Lorenzo Bull, the venerable banker. The end was not unexpected, Mrs. Bull having been falling rapidly since last Saturday when she was “Obliged to retire to her bed with what appeared to be a general breaking down of the system.” At her advanced age she was unable to rally and the physicians held out no hope of recovery.

At her bedside when she died were Mrs. Bull’s husband, her daughters, Mrs. E. J. Parker and Miss Mary Bull,  and her son, W. B. Bull.  During the three days that she was confined to her bed, Mrs. Bull suffered no pain and when the end came it came peacefully and gently, as sleep comes to a tired child.

Mrs. Bull had always been in the best of health and up to the time of losing her strength; last Saturday, was in her usually vigorous condition. She was a woman of great activity and the passing of the year did not interfere with her in the performance of those duties of kindness and generosity which made her beloved of all who knew her. Her mind remained untimid by age until the end.  

Margaret Hunter Bull was born October 28, 1820 in Millbury, Mass., the daughter of Dr. William M. Benedict. She was educated in the east. In 1843 the young woman came to Quincy to visit her sister, Mrs. Bushnell, who was living here and it was here that she met Lorenzo Hull, a young hardware merchant of the firm of L. and C. H. Bull. The following year, Miss Benedict and Mr. Bull were married. January 18.  1844, and since that time Mrs. Bull had made Quincy her home continuously.

Quincy, at that time, ‘was little more than a country village. Mr. and Mrs. Bull first went to housekeeping in a little cottage on the north ship of Jersey street near Sixth, ‘ the later site of the Wells’ residence, now the Cheerful Home: Over 50 years ago, however, they removed to the site of the present Bull residence, Sixteenth and Maine, streets.

Mrs. Bull was essentially a woman’ of domestic tastes. With her, home was before all else. Her highest ideal was to make happiness for those near and dear to her and how well she succeeded in this respect the husband and children who survive her alone realize.

Mrs. Bull was endowed with those rare mental qualities which contribute to the moral power of many a person. She was one of the honored members of the Friends in Council and many similar organizations of women in which high ability was placed above all else. 

Mrs. Bull was a devout member of the Congregational church and was not a Christian woman in name only but indeed as well, as many knows who have appreciated her quick, sympathetic nature and her ungrudging generosity. She was the friend of the sick and the poor, the champion of the persecuted and the oppressed. Her refined nature was sensitive to the condition of others and she spread happiness wherever she went.

To the bereaved husband the death of Mrs. Bull is an almost unbearable loss. The two were inseparable and after nearly sixty years of the companionship of a brave-hearted and loving wife, the blow to the venerable citizen is a peculiarly severe one. It is not made the less hard to endure from the fact that the death of Mrs. Bull is the second in the family in sixty years, the other being that of Lorenzo: Jr., a son, who died November 21, 1869.

Besides the husband, four children survive. They are William B. Bull, of Chicago: Mrs. E. J. Parker and Miss Mary Bull, of Quincy; Mrs. Theodore P. Pruden, of West Newton, Mass., and Mrs. George W. Benedict, of Boston. There is also a half-brother, William G. Benedict, of Boston. Mrs. Bushnell, the only sister of Mrs. Bull, died several years ago.

Mrs. Pruden and Mrs. Benedict were notified of their mother’s Illness when it appeared her condition was serious and started at once for Quincy. They will arrive this morning.

The arrangements for the funeral will be made after the arrival of Mrs. Pruden and Mrs. Benedict and will be announced later.


The Morgan-Wells house on the National Register of Historic Places at 421 Jersey. Purchased and donated by the Bull family for Cheerful Home the first licensed day care in the State.
Torn down in 2014.