Charles E. (Charles Elliott) Fitch.

Encyclopedia of biography of New York, a life record of men and women whose sterling character and energy and industry have made them preëminent in their own and many other states (Volume 5) online

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Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia of biography of New York, a life record of men and women whose sterling character and energy and industry have made them preëminent in their own and many other states (Volume 5) → online text (page 4 of 58)
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Presbyterian Church of Peoria, Illinois,
which he served from 1886 to 1889; pastor
of the church at Evanston, Illinois, 1889
to 1895; Central Church (Independent)
Chicago, Illinois, 1895 to 1899; Plymouth
Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New

York, since January, 1899, succeeding the
Rev. Lyman Abbott. Great congregations
throng to the church at every service,
attracted by the personality of the man
and by the bright and earnest discourses
he delivers.

The congregation to which Dr. Hillis
addresses himself is not to be numbered
by those who hear his voice. During his
pastorate in Chicago his sermons were
published in full in one of the leading
daily newspapers, and since his coming
to Brooklyn a journal of that city has
given them similar publicity. He is also
in great demand as a lecturer before lead-
ing educational institutions and other
important audiences. His lecture on
"John Ruskin's Message to the Twentieth
Century" has been delivered over two
hundred times. He is the author of: "A
Man's Value to Society," "How the Inner
Light Failed," "Investment of Influence,"
"Great Books as Life Teachers," "Fore-
tokens of Immortality," "Influence of
Christ in Modern Life," "Quest of Hap-
piness," "Success through Self-Help,"
"Building a Working Faith," "The Quest
of John Chapman," "The Fortune of the
Republic," "Contagion of Character,"
"Anti-Slavery Epoch," "Prophets of a
New Era," "Story of Phaedrus," "Lec-
tures and Orations of Henry Ward
Beecher," and "Message of David Irving."
In January, 1902, Dr. Hillis entered upon
an efifort for the erection of a Beecher
Memorial Building adjacent to Plymouth
Church. Dr. Hillis received the degree
of Doctor of Divinity from Northwestern
University in 1892, and L. H. D. from
Western Reserve University.

Dr. Hillis married in Chicago, Illinois,
April 14, 1887, Annie Louise Patrick,
daughter of R. M. Patrick, of Marengo,
Illinois. Children: Richard Dwight, born
1888; Marjorie Louise, 1889; Nathalie
Louise, 1900.



CORTELYOU, George Bruce,

Man of Affairs, Cabinet Officer.

George Bruce Cortelyou, who had the
distinction of holding confidential rela-
tions to three presidents of the United
States — Cleveland, McKinley and Roose-
velt — was born in New York City, July
26, 1862, son of Peter Crolius and Rose
(Seary) Cortelyou, and descended from
Captain Jacques Cortelyou, who was in
New Amsterdam (New York) prior to
1657, in which year he aided in making
the first map of the place, and also in the
erection of the wall which gave the name
to Wall street.

He was of remarkably studious disposi-
tion. After graduating from the Hemp-
stead (Long Island) Institute at the age
of seventeen, he entered the Normal
School at Westfield, Massachusetts, in
1882. For a time he was a school teacher
at Cambridge, Massachusetts, meantime
studying music, but soon returned to New
York to continue his musical studies.
From 1883 to 1885 he was associated with
James E. Munson as a law reporter. In
1S89 he became a stenographer and type-
writer in the customs service, and after
a year was transferred to Washington
City, where he served under Postmaster-
General Bissell, and on the recommenda-
tion of that official became secretary to
President Cleveland in 1895. While en-
gaged in the two last-named positions he
studied law in the law schools of George-
town and George Washington universi-
ties, and graduated from both. On Presi-
dent Cleveland's retirement in March,
1897, he became (on recommendation of
Mr. Cleveland) assistant secretary to
President McKinley, in which position his
duties were exceedingly arduous owing
to the ill health of Secretary John A. Por-
ter (whom he ultimately succeeded), and
the exactions of the Spanish-American
War period. He was at the side of Presi-

dent McKinley when that great American
was prostrated by the bullet of the assas-
sin, and remained at the bedside of his
chief until death closed the vigil. The
very close relationship in which he stood
to the late President and his family is
evidenced by the fact that Mrs. McKinley
declined to act as executrix of her hus-
band's will, and named Mr. Cortelyou,
with Judge Day, to act in her stead.
When Vice-President Roosevelt succeed-
ed to the Presidency, he retained Mr.
Cortelyou as secretary until the creation
of the new Department of Commerce and
Labor, to which he at once appointed Mr.
Cortelyou, who at once entered upon the
great task of organization. Mr. Cortel-
you not only succeeded masterfully in his
new position, but as chairman of the Re-
publican National Committee he aided
largely in the election of his chief to the
presidency, and at the beginning of Presi-
dent Roosevelt's administration was
called to his cabinet as Postmaster-Gen-
eral. In his new position he displayed
masterly qualities, and instituted numer-
ous salutary reforms, establishing the
good behavior tenure for fourth-class
postmasters, extending rural free delivery
and instituting a parcels delivery system,
protecting the service more efficiently
against uses for fraudulent and immoral
purposes, and also materially reducing
the annual deficit in the accounts of his
department. On March 4, 1907, Leslie M.
Shaw resigned the Treasury secretary-
ship, and Mr. Cortelyou was made his
successor. Within a few months a mone-
tary panic set in, resulting in the suspen-
sion of numerous strong financial houses.
The condition was considerably ameli-
orated by Mr. Cortelyou's judicious dis-
tribution of funds to points where the
monetary stringency was most severe,
but the relief was only partial, and re-
sulted in Mr. Cortelyou recommending
more adequate provisions, a suggestion



which Congress at once acted upon by-
passing an act providing for a more elas-
tic currency system, and which was later
developed into that which now obtains.

Mr. Cortelyou retired from the cabinet
with the close of President Roosevelt's
administration, and became president of
the New York Consolidated Gas Com-
pany, in which capacity he is now serv-
ing. He received the honorary degree of
Doctor of Laws from Georgetown Uni-
versity, the University of Illinois, and the
Wesleyan University of Kentucky. He
married, in 1888, Lilly Morris, daughter
of Dr. Ephraim Hinds, who was his pre-
ceptor at Hempstead Institute. A biog-
rapher has said of Mr. Cortelyou that "he
is the most notal)le example in public life,
of high attainments in the public service,
without winning any distinction whatever
in a private capacity, or relying upon out-
side influence ; and personally serving
three presidents of strangely divergent

DIX, John Alden,

Ex-Governor of Ne-w York.

Ex-Governor John Alden Dix is a rep-
resentative in the ninth generation of a
family of English origin, the earliest
known members of which were in the
fleet with Governor Winthrop in 1630.
They settled at Watertown, Massachu-
setts, removing later to Connecticut, in
which State many of their descendants
resided, some of the later members of
the family residing in Vermont and New
York, the latter State having been the
birthplace of the parents of Governor Dix,
namely, James Lawton and Laura Ann
(Stevens) Dix.

John Alden Dix was born at Glens
Falls. New York, December 25, i860. He
studied at the Glens Falls Academy,
graduating in 1879, and then entered Cor-
nell University, graduating in 1883. He

worked on a farm, then in the machine
shops of his native town, and later en-
gaged in the lumber business with Lemon
Thomson, of Albany, at Thomson, New
York, under the firm name of Thomson
& Dix. On the death of the senior part-
ner in February, 1897, the firm was dis-
solved, and Mr. Dix was appointed exec-
utor of his deceased partner's estate. He
purchased the latter's interest and de-
veloped a paper mill at Thomson, where
his chief business is centered, gradually
building up one of the most efficient wall
paper plants in the country and at the
same time turned his attention to the
conservation of natural resources. Mr.
Dix realized that much of New York's
wealth lay in her trees, and to protect
himself he acquired a tract of seventeen
thousand acres for his own mills, and
made it a rule that for every tree which
was cut down another should be planted.
Prior to this he was a member of the firm
of Reynolds & Dix, black marble, this
connection continuing from 1882 to 1887.
He is president of the Iroquois Paper
Company and the Moose River Lumber
Company, vice-president of the Blandy
Paper Company and the First National
Bank (Albany), treasurer of the Ameri-
can Wood Board Company, and director
of the Albany Trust Company, Glens
Falls Trust Company, National Bank of
Schuylerville and the Adirondack Trust

In politics Mr. Dix is a Democrat, and
at the national convention at St. Louis in
1904 he met and became acquainted with
many of the leading men of the Demo-
cratic party. In 1906 he was a candidate
for the gubernatorial nomination at Buf-
falo, New York : in the fall of 1908 was
placed on the ticket as Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor : in the spring of 1910 was chosen
chairman of the Democratic State Com-
mittee, and in the fall of 1910 became the
Democratic nominee for Governor and



was elected. He was an advocate of an
honest revision of the tariff, of an eco-
nomical administration of the affairs of
the State, and of a cutting off of the use-
less expenditures. Among the important
and constructive laws and measures
championed and approved by Governor
Dix were : The Fifty-four Hour Law, the
Cold Storage Law, the establishment of a
State Fire Marshal's Department, insur-
ance laws improved and strengthened,
and agricultural education encouraged by
liberal appropriations and the establish-
ment of agricultural schools and colleges.
His administration was unique in its rec-
cord of achievement. Its distinctive fea-
tures were the application of the princi-
ples of efficiency and economy in the con-
duct of the business of the State, and a
determination to keep faith with the peo-
ple. He was one of the founders of the
Democratic League and as such stands
for personal freedom, national and State
economy, the revision of the tariff and
revenue laws, and the abolition of protec-
tion for gigantic "Infant industries." Mr.
Dix is a warden of St. Stephen's Epis-
copal Church of Schuylerville, and a mem-
ber of Glens Falls Lodge, Free and Ac-
cepted Masons, Theta Delta Chi frater-
nity. Fort Orange Club, Albany Country
Club, Albany Institute and Historical and
Art Society, National Democratic Club
(New York) and Lake George Club.

Mr. Dix married at Albany, New York,
April 24, 1889, Gertrude Alden Thomson,
born at Albany, daughter of Lemon and
Abby Galusha (Sherman) Thomson,
granddaughter of Charles C. Thomson
and August Sherman, great-granddaugh-
ter of Charles Thomson, great-great-
granddaughter of Benjamin Thomson, the
emigrant ancestor of the family, coming
to this country from Scotland, and a lineal
descendant of Roger Sherman, a signer
of the Declaration of Independence, and
of Joseph Williams, a Revolutionary sol-

FARLEY, John M.,


The Right Rev. John Murphy Farley, a
Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church,
was born at Newton Hamilton, County
Armagh, Ireland, April 20, 1842, son of
Philip and Catherine (Murphy) Farley.
The Farley family comes of good old
Irish stock of County Monaghan, Ireland,
and the ardent patriotism that has dis-
tinguished its history in Ireland for gen-
erations is a matter of the keenest pride
with all its members at the present time.
Cardinal Farley has always devoted him-
self, heart and soul, to everything per-
taining to the welfare of Ireland. In boy-
hood he exhibited a singular seriousness
in everything he said or did, and being
a remarkably bright boy his knowledge
of his religion was such that he was con-
firmed at the early age of seven years.
On that occasion the bishop said that he
was too young and ordered him sent back,
but the priest answered, "Question him
on his catechism ; no one here knows it
better." Then the bishop gave him a very
rigid examination, asking him many diffi-
cult questions and he was perfectly satis-
fied with the answers.

John Murphy Farley received his early
education under the direction of a private
tutor named Hugh McGuire, a very pious
and serious man who afterwards became
a priest, and this was supplemented by a
course at St. Marcartan's College, Mon-
aghan, Ireland. In 1870 the Farley fam-
ily removed to the United States, and the
education of John M. was continued at
St. John's College, Fordham, New York,
from which institution he was graduated
in 1866. He had always been devoted to
the church as a child and those who
watched him felt certain that he would
eventually become a priest, but he him-
self never dreamed of such an honor until
he had approached very near to maturity.
Finally deciding to study for the ministry,



he went to St. Joseph's Seminary at Troy,
New York, which had been established by
Bishop Hughes a few years previously.
Here he displayed such evident ability
and so distinguished himself in his work
that he attracted the attention of Arch-
bishop McCloskey, who sent him to the
American College at Rome to complete
his course, and he was a student there for
the following four years or until his grad-
uation. He was ordained to the priest-
hood in Rome, June ii, 1870, and his first
appointment was as curate to the Rev.
James Conran, pastor of St. Peter's
Church, New Brighton, Staten Island,
New York, in which capacity he served
until 1872. In that year Monsignor Mc-
Neirny was made bishop of Albany, and
Cardinal McCloskey made Father Farley
his private secretary and he served as
such until the year 1884, when he was
appointed pastor of St. Gabriel's Church,
New York City, to succeed Father Clow-
ny, deceased, and during his pastorate
there he erected St. Gabriel's Parish
School, a model educational institution.
In 1884 Pope Leo XIII, by request of
Cardinal McCloskey, appointed him pri-
vate papal chamberlain with the title of
Monsignor, and the same year he was
unanimously elected rector of the Ameri-
can College in Rome, which honor, at the
request of Cardinal McCloskey, who
valued his services to the diocese so
highly that he would not consent to his
departure for Rome, he declined. In 1886
he was appointed diocesan consulter, one
of the official advisers of Archbishop Cor-
rigan, and for some time he was also a
member of the diocesan school board and
the diocesan board of examination. In
November, 1891, Archbishop Corrigan ap-
pointed him vicar-general of the arch-
diocese of New York to succeed Mon-
signor Preston. He was domestic prel-
ate of Pope Leo XIII., appointed April
8, 1892 ; prothonotary apostolic, appointed

in August, 1895. On December 21, 1895,
he was consecrated in St. Patrick's Ca-
thedral with full canonical ceremony titu-
lar bishop of Zeugma and auxiliary bishop
of New York, by Archbishop Corrigan,
assisted by Bishop McDonnell, of Brook-
lyn, New York, and Bishop Gabriel, of
Ogdensburg, New York. Bishop Mc-
Quade, of Rochester, New York, preached
the sermon; the Very Rev. Joseph T.
Mooney was assistant priest; the Rev.
Edward McKenna and the Rev. John Ed-
wards, deacons of honor ; the Rev. James
H. McGean, deacon of the mass ; the Rev.
Charles H. Colton, sub-deacon; the Rev.
Michael J. Lavelle, chaplain of the briefs;
the Rev. Cornelius G. O'Keefe, deacon of
the cross ; the Very Rev. Albert A. Lings,
the Revs. Francis P. Fitzmaurice, James
J. Dougherty, Nicholas J. Hughes, M. C.
O'Farrell and John J. Flood, chaplains.
On the death of Archbishop Corrigan,
May 5, 1902, Bishop Farley resigned the
pastorate of St. Gabriel's Church and was
appointed administrator of New York,
and on September 15, 1902, he was ap-
pointed by the Pope to be the fourth arch-
bishop of New York. He was elected to
the cardinalate, November 27, 191 1. He
is a man of brilliant attainments — active
and progressive — and has always been
staunch in his advocacy of all that is
Catholic, and outspoken in his views when
the interests of Catholicity have de-
manded it. He is the author of : "Life of
Cardinal McCloskey" (serially in His-
torical Records and Studies, New York),
1899-1900; "Neither Generous nor Just"
(reply to Bishop Potter); "Catholic
World," 1898; "Why Church Property
Should Not Be Taxed," Forum, 1893;
"Historv of St. Patrick's Cathedral."

GOETHALS, Col. George W.,

Military Engineer.

Colonel George Washington Goethals,
a most distinguished engineer officer, and



world-famous for his achievements in on the Tennessee river, a stream abound-

connection with the Panama Canal, was \ng in shoals — and President Roose-

born in Brooklyn, New York. June 29, velt appointed him chairman and chief

1858, son of John Louis and Marie (Le engineer of the Isthmus of Panama Canal

Barron) Goethals. Commission, a body of army officers ap-

He began his education in the local pub- pointed to succeed civilian engineers,

lie schools, pursued advanced branches in The members of the commission at once

the College of the City of New York, then took up their residence on the Isthmus,

receiving appointment to the Military and Colonel Goethals set out to a well

Aacdemy at West Point, from which he defined system involving radical changes

w'as graduated at the age of twenty-two, from that which had formerly been pur-

with the commission of second lieutenant sued, and including a widening of the

of engineers. He was retained for a time canal and locks, and a relocation of the

as instructor in astronomy at the acad- Isthmian railroad. His labors have been

emy, and was then assigned to duty with of so technical a description as to forbid

the corps of engineers at Willet's Point, relation here. Sufficient to say, that he

New York ; meantime being advanced to could not escape criticism and some of his

a first lieutenantc}'. From 18S2 to 1884 methods were severely attacked. Presi-

he served under General Miles, in the dents Roosevelt and Taft both personally

Department of the Columbia, and was inspected the scene of Colonel Goethals

then made assistant to Colonel Merrill, labors, and the former appointed an ad-

at Cincinnati, Ohio. Here, on the Ohio visory board of engineers to examine into

river, the young engineer entered first and report upon the canal operations, with

upon experience which was to be invalu- the result of entire approval. The great

able to him in after years, bringing him to engineer became a full colonel in 1909,

some of most important construction and in 1914 was made civil governor of

work on canals, dams, and locks. From the Panama Canal Zone — the first ap-

1885 to 1S89 he was again at the Military pointee to the position. He has received

Academy, as instructor and professor of medals of honor from the National Geo-

engineering, then resuming work with his graphic Society, the Civic Forum, and the

corps on the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. National Institute of Social Sciences. He

When the Spanish-American war broke received the degree of Doctor of Laws

out, he was a captain, and he was now from the University of Pennsylvania in

commissioned lieutenant-colonel of volun- 1913. He married, in 1884, Effie, daugh-

teers, and assigned to duty as chief engi- ter of Thomas R. Rodman. Of their two

neer of the First Army Corps. He was sons the eldest George R., is a lieutenant

honorably discharged from the volunteer of engineers. United States Army.

service at the end of the war, and returned

to the engineer corps of the regular armv, t t-tt-w to- ii,r

u^- . J . xi t r • T LEVY, Jefferson M.,
being promoted to the rank of major. In

1903 he became a member of the army

general stafif and given charge of the forti- JelYerson Monroe Levy, member of

fication planning and construction in Congress and owner of Monticello, the

Rhode Island. In 1905 he was graduated homestead of Thomas Jeflferson, was born

from the Army War College. His labors in New York City, a son of Captain Jonas

in western waters had given him a broad P. and Fanny (Mitchell) Levy. He was

prestige — especially his canal construction educated in the public schools, studied


Ovrner of Monticello.


law at the New York University, was ad-
mitted to the bar, and entered upon prac-
tice the same year. He was elected as a
Democrat to the Fifty-sixth Congress
(1899), by a majority of more than six
thousand over James W. Perry, chairman
of the Republican county committee of
New York, overcoming a Republican ma-
jority of seven thousand at the preceding
election, and he was returned to the Sixty-
second and Sixty-third Congresses. He
is a member of the Democratic Club of
New York, which he organized, and of
which he was vice-president many years;
of the Manhattan Club, the New York
Yacht Club, the Meadow Creek Country
Club, the Sandown Park Club, the Cham-
ber of Commerce, and the Board of Trade
and Transportation of New York.

Mr. Levy is a nephew of Commodore
Uriah P. Levy, a distinguished officer of
the United States Navy of the last gen-
eration. Commodore Levy was mainly
instrumental in the abolition of flogging
in the navy. In 1830, at the suggestion of
President Andrew Jackson, he purchased
Monticello, the homestead of Thomas
Jefferson, near Charlottesville, Virginia,
and which, at his death, descended to
Congressman Jefferson M. Levy. The
homestead, built in 1764, is maintained
by Mr. Levy in accordance with its estab-
lished traditions, and is always open to
those of the public who desire to visit this
Mecca of Democracy, and of whom there
are thousands every year.

DEPEW, Chauncey Mitchell,

statesman. Orator, Man of I^arge Affairs,

Chauncey Mitchell Depew is descended
from a famous Huguenot family, and his
New England ancestry includes the im-
portant Mitchell, Sherman, Palmer, Win-
ship, Wellington, Minott, Chauncey and
Johnstone families, various of whom are
hereinafter mentioned

The name Du Puy or De Puy is one of
the most ancient known in French his-
tory, and was prominent in Normandy as
early as the eleventh century. Raphael
Du Puy was an officer of rank in 1030,
under Conrad XL, of the Holy Roman
Empire, and his son Hughes distinguished
himself in the Crusades. The history of
the family in France is marked down the
centuries by many noted names in both
church and state. The surname Du Puy
has masqueraded in many forms in its
passage from France to Holland, and
thence to America. It is found recorded
as Dupuis, Depui, Depuy, Depee, Depuy,
De Pue, Depu, etc. Francois, grandson
of the original Francois, who was bap-
tized August 20, 1700, in the old Dutch
church of Sleepy Hollow, at Tarrytown,
is generally recorded as Frans De Pew ;
later the name took its present form of

(I) Francois Dupuis fled from France
on account of religious persecution and
took refuge in Holland, whence he came
to America, being the first of the family
to locate in New Amsterdam. The earli-
est record of him shows him as one of the
first twenty inhabitants of Boswyck
(modern Bushwick), now a component
part of Brooklyn. He signed a petition,
dated March 14, 1661, asking for privi-
leges usually desired by a newly incor-
porated village. In 1663 his name is en-
rolled as a member of a company of
militia with Ryck Lykeker as captain,
this company being probably organized
for the purpose of protection against the
Indians. It is uncertain how long he
lived at Bushwick, as William is his only
child known to have been born there,
although there may have been others. He
may have resided in New York for a time,
although this is uncertain. During the
years 1671-77 the baptism of three of his
children is recorded in the New York Re-
formed Church. In 1677 it is claimed that




Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia of biography of New York, a life record of men and women whose sterling character and energy and industry have made them preëminent in their own and many other states (Volume 5) → online text (page 4 of 58)