|Death: ||Jan. 28, 1942|
He was survived by his wife, May Belle (Knubbe) Fortune, his son, Russell Fortune, and two daughters, Evelyn Fortune Bartlett and Madeline Fortune Elder; Grandchildren: Russell Fortune, Jr., William L. Fortune, Robert Fortune, Evelyn Lilly, Anne Elder, and William L. Elder, II.
William Fortune the son of William Harrison and Mary (St. Clair) Fortune. After basic schooling, he became an apprentice on the Boonville Standard at the age of thirteen. In 1881 he published a history of Warrick County, and later the same year did research on the Indiana period (1816-1830) of Abraham Lincoln's life. Fortune moved to Indianapolis in 1882 and took a job at the Indianapolis Journal, where he soon became city editor. Resigning due to ill health in 1888, he served as correspondent for several eastern newspapers during Benjamin Harrison's Presidential campaign, and briefly edited a weekly paper, the Sunday Press. He then worked for two years at the Indianapolis News. In 1884 Fortune married May Knubbe. They had three children, and raised his family in a house they built in Woodruff Place. In the early 1890s Fortune became involved with civic improvement. In 1890, working with Colonel Eli Lilly, he helped found the Commercial Club, which in the next few years worked to pave the city's streets, to get the city's first big convention (the Encampment of the GAR), to get railroad tracks elevated, and to provide relief during a depression in 1894-1895. Fortune was an early advocate of automobiles, heading an early automobile club and working for good roads. In 1904 he took a lead in hosting a visit to Indianapolis by Prince Pu Lun of China. For twenty years he operated a trade magazine for the paving industry, Municipal Engineering. From 1908 to 1924 he was president of a group of independent telephone companies. Invited to buy some stock in Eli Lilly and Company in 1916, Fortune served as a director of the company for eleven years and as chairman of the finance committee for five years. Through most of his life he was a close friend of Josiah K. Lilly, and he went on a world cruise with him in 1923.
In 1916 Fortune organized the local chapter of the American Red Cross. He raised large amounts of money, coordinated hundreds of volunteers, and organized the local War Chest. He continued to head the Red Cross chapter until his death. In the 1920s he was active in the national Red Cross and in the national Chamber of Commerce.
After his wife's death in 1898, and the marriage of his children in the early 1900s, Fortune was a prominent public figure enjoying the limelight, and used his prominence to promote his chosen causes. [bio by: Rick France]
Mary St Clair Fortune (1843 - 1912)
May Belle Knubbe Fortune (1863 - 1898)
Evelyn Fortune Bartlett (1887 - 1997)*
William Fortune (1863 - 1942)
Mary May Angela Clare Fortune Tansy (1867 - 1916)*
Note: burial: OCT 21,1942
Crown Hill Cemetery
Plot: Sec: 61, Lot: 2
Created by: John C. Anderson
Record added: Dec 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45939962
Fortune served as a director of the Eli Lilly and Company for eleven years and as chairman of the finance committee for five years.|
Added: Apr. 26, 2015
Added: Sep. 4, 2012