Col Ira Clifton Copley

Col Ira Clifton Copley

Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, USA
Death 1 Nov 1947 (aged 83)
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Burial Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 15526342 · View Source
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Ira Copley moved with his parents Ira Birdsall Copley and Madeline Whiting to Aurora, Illinois at the age of three. He attended Yale University and founded the Copley Press newspaper publishing company in 1905. He was a nephew of Richard H. Whiting.

His former residence in Aurora, the Col. Ira C. Copley Mansion, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ira Copley House was constructed for Ira Clifton Copley. His house was designed by Jarvis Hunt and constructed in 1917.

Copley revived his father's utility corporation by marketing gas as a fuel instead of an illuminant. Copley went on to acquire other utility companies, which he merged in 1905 to form Western United Gas and Electric Company, later renamed Western Utility Corporation, of which he was president. Copley continued to acquire additional gas and electric companies, as well as streetcar lines after the merger. In 1914, Copley diversified and began to market coke and coal along with utilities.

Among other things Colonel Ira C. Copley was a philanthropist who stepped forth with major funding in the late 1920s and early 1930s when the City of Aurora could no longer support the city hospital which dates back to 1886. In later years, it became Rush-Copley through an affiliation with Rush University Medical Center. To put things in historical perspective, Benjamin Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. leaders


The following is Ira's biography as recorded in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

COPLEY, Ira Clifton, (nephew of Richard Henry Whiting), a Representative from Illinois; born near Galesburg, Knox County, Ill., October 25, 1864; moved with his parents Ira Birdsall Copley and Madeline Whiting to Aurora, Ill., in 1867; attended the public schools and Jennings Seminary at Aurora; was graduated from Yale University in 1887 and from the Union College of Law at Chicago in 1889; became connected with the gas and electric business in Aurora, Ill., in 1889; owner and publisher of the Beacon-News at Aurora in 1905, the Courier-News at Elgin in 1908, and the Herald-News at Joliet in 1913; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Congresses; reelected as a Progressive to the Sixty-fourth Congress and as a Republican to the Sixty-fifth through Sixty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1911-March 3, 1923); was not a candidate for renomination in 1922; continued the development and publishing of daily newspapers, acquiring the Illinois State Journal at Springfield, the Union and the Tribune at San Diego, Calif., and eleven other dailies in southern California; died in Aurora, Ill., November 1, 1947; interment in Spring Lake Cemetery.


see also:

Copley Press
Sun Times Media Holdings
San Diego Reader Article
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Family Members


  • Maintained by: Pat McArron
  • Originally Created by: DHM
  • Added: 27 Aug 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 15526342
  • Pat McArron
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col Ira Clifton Copley (25 Oct 1864–1 Nov 1947), Find a Grave Memorial no. 15526342, citing Spring Lake Cemetery, Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Pat McArron (contributor 47348594) .