Cyrus Hall McCormick
née Nettie Fowler
1835 – 1923
Orphaned at the age of seven, she came to Chicago to care for
her cousin’s children. Then she met Cyrus McCormick, inventor of
the reaper, one of the founders of the International Harvester
Company, and later considered to be one of the wealthiest men in
the United States. The couple was married in 1858, and she
became her husband’s personal secretary and business confidante.
Because of their frequent travels abroad, much of Mrs.
McCormick’s wardrobe came from Paris, especially the House of
Worth. Many of these garments were donated to the Chicago
History Museum, along with personal accounts of the purchase,
shipping, and remaking of many ensembles.