City of Evansville
Evansville’s progressive mayor Benjamin Bosse came to the city when he was 15, penniless and with very little formal education. By the time of his death 32 years later, he was a millionaire, the owner of numerous businesses, the president of at least 20 companies, and a member of the boards of directors of more than 25 companies. In his mid-20s, Bosse formed Globe Furniture Company and later Bosse Furniture Company and World Furniture Co. He merged the three companies, creating Globe-Bosse-World, the world's largest furniture manufacturer at the time. Recognizing the importance of a global economy, Bosse pursued sales in a number of foreign countries. Bosse formed the West Side Bank, where he served as president. He also was the president and owner of The Evansville Courier newspaper and the Vendome Hotel, as well as coal, real estate, development companies, furniture manufacturers, and a soft drink bottler. Three times Bosse was elected mayor of Evansville. During his tenure as mayor, the city built Bosse Field, the Coliseum, the Municipal Market, and numerous schools and parks.
Bosse helped to bring Evansville College to the city and served on the college's Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the college's Executive Committee. Bosse served as one of three lay members of the board of directors of the national Lutheran Church and was elected president of the National Furniture Manufacturers Association, using this forum to advocate for a shorter work week, higher pay, and better working conditions for furniture workers.