Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

Philadelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) online

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resrdted in the upbuilding of important business enterprises in Philadelphia, and
who also extended his efforts to the development of mining resources of the west
and south, was born in Langnau, Switzerland, February i, 1828. He won his
success despite difficulties and hardships which would have seemed insurmount-
able to many boys. He was early thrown upon his own resources and at the age
of nineteen sought the opportunities of the new world, coming to America with
his father and four sisters. Settling in Philadelphia, he made a most humble
start in the business world by handling various lines of goods. Later he engaged
in the manufacture of lye, for which he found a ready market and learning the
composition of the article from a friendly chemist began its manufacture on his
own account. Subsequently he acquainted himself with all the details of the
Swiss embroidery business. In 1872 he formed a partnership with William H.
Pulaski under the firm style of Guggenheim & Pulaski and established a busi-
ness which was the beginning of his real success. The partnership was dissolved
in 1881, at which time Mr. Guggenheim was joined by his four sons in organiz-
ing the firm of M. Guggenheim Sons, which still continues, the three younger
sons having since been admitted to partnership. On its organization the firm
began operations in New York city, confining their attention exclusively to em-
broideries and handling an extensive business in Swiss importations. Within
nine years they had built up a trade of large volume, the house becoming one of
the best known in the east. In the meantime Mr. Guggenheim had become in-
terested in silver mining operations in Colorado that had grown to such propor-
tions that he decided to relinquish the embroidery business and engage exclusively
in mining and smelting. He therefore erected smelting works in Colorado and
Mexico and acquired mining interests not only in the United States but also in
Mexico and South America, which placed him in the front rank among the world's
producers of precious metals. All his plants were admirably equipped and the


most scientific methods and improvements employed in their operation. When
the American Smelting & Refining Company (the Smelter Trust) was formed,
M. Guggenheim Sons maintained for a time their independence but joined the
trust on the 1st of January, 1901, and are today among its leaders, controlling
the greater majority of the most extensive and important mining and smelting
plants of the country. Throughout his long business career Mr. Guggenheim
never had any interruption to his remarkable success. Whatever he undertook
seemed to prosper. He possessed notable constructive genius, initiative spirit
and ability to formulate practical plans wrhich in their execution brought the
desired financial result.

On the 5th of September, 1853, in Philadelphia, Mr. Guggenheim was mar-
ried to Miss Barbara Meyers, whom he first met on the vessel coming to America.
Although Mrs. Guggenheim has reared a large family, fully meeting every obliga-
tion of wifehood and motherhood, few women have been more active in private
charities and as prosperity has come to the family her gifts have increased, her
ready sympathy finding tangible expression not only in aid to organized
benevolences but also to the individual. Eight sons and three daughters were
born unto Mr. and Mrs. Guggenheim, of whom one son died in infancy. The
other sons, however, Isaac, Daniel, Murray, Solomon R., Benjamin, Simon and
William, have all become prominent in the financial world, their names being
widely known and honored in financial circles.


Edward Swift Buckley for many years figured as a prominent representative
of the iron industry of Pennsylvania, and as a factor in the management and
control of various corporations. His life record compassed almost eighty-three
years and was crowned with success and honor resulting from close applica-
tion to and intelligent direction of business afifairs and honor in every relation
of life.

He was born at the family homestead at Laurel Iron Works, Chester county,
Pennsylvania, December 30, 1827. His parents were Matthew Brooke Buckley
and Mary Swift Buckley, and he was a descendant in the fifth generation of John
Buckley, of Wiltshire, England, who in 1681 acquired from his friend William
Penn in London a grant of land at Brandywine Hundred in Delaware, upon
which he built a large dwelling before settling in America in 1682. For many
years afterward the Buckley family enjoyed high reputation as iron masters.

Edward Swift Buckley acquired his early education at Dr. Bolmar's school
at West Chester and afterward attended the University of Pennsylvania as a
member of the class of 1846. He left college, however, in 1844, his sophomore
year, and entered his father's iron works, which had then been moved from
Laurel to Flat Rock on the Schuylkill. From that time he devoted himself to his
business, assuming entire charge at his father's death, and in 1858 moved his iron
works to Grays Ferry, Philadelphia. He was also largely interested in the blast
furnace at Hopewell, Berks county, Pennsylvania, which interest he had inherited


through his father from his grandfather, Daniel Buckley. In 1888 he retired
from business and devoted himself to the discharge of the many duties connected
with the various corporations in which he had become interested.

He was for many years a director of the Philadelphia National Bank and of
the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, and up to the time of his death was a
director in the Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives & Granting An-
nuities, the Insurance Company of North America and of the Philadelphia Sav-
ing Fund. Of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Saving Fund he was
the senior member. He had been for many years a director of the Library Com-
pany of Philadelphia and chairman of its finance and book committees. In 1890
he was elected by the board of judges of the court of common pleas a member of
the Board of City Trusts, on which board he served until failing health demanded
his resignation. He was a member of the Protestant Episcopal church and had
been for many years a vestryman of St. Mark's Episcopal church and afterward
of St. Paul's church, Chestnut Hill. He also for many years was a member of
the Seventh Ward Relief Association, a member of the board of trustees of the
Episcopal Academy, member of the board of trustees of the Bishop White
Prayer Book Society, and the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in
Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Union League, his membership dating
from the time of the Civil war until his death.

Mr. Buckley was married three times. His first wife was Harriet, a daughter
of the Hon. Thomas Smith, at one time a member of congress from Delaware
county. His second wife was Katharine, daughter of the late Colonel John G.
Watmough, a gallant officer of the United States Army and veteran of the war
of 181 2. His third wife was Mary Wain Wistar, daughter of the late Hon.
Richard \'aux, who survives as do also six children.

Mr. Buckley never sought to figure prominently in public life, yet must be
numbered with that class of men who cast the weight of their influence on the
side of progress and improvement, laboring always for the betterment of condi-
tions whether along material, intellectual, social or moral lines.


James Duross, deceased, whose connection with the business interests of
Philadelphia was that of a furniture merchant at Sixth and South streets, through
many years, was a native of Ireland, in which country his youthful days were
passed and his education was acquired. When a young man he determined to
leave the Emerald isle, for he heard the call of the new world and, crossing the
Atlantic, established his home in Philadelphia, where his remaining days were
passed. As the years went by he eagerly availed himself of every opportunity
for business progress and advancement, and for a considerable period was en-
gaged successfully and extensively in the furniture business at Sixth and South
streets, where he conducted a well appointed store, carrying a large and carefully
selected line of goods. Straightforward in all his business dealings, he won a


liberal patronage and thus at his death left his family in comfortable financial

Mr. Duross was married to Miss Mary O'Neill, of Philadelphia, a daughter
of James O'Neill, a furniture dealer of this city. Unto them were born four chil-
dren, of whom three are now living: John, who is married and makes his home
in Philadelphia ; Margaret, the wife of Charles Tete, of this city ; and Mary, the
wife of Harry Pattison, of Philadelphia. Mrs. Duross is still living and yet occu-
pies the old homestead where she has now resided for more than thirty years.
In his religious faith Mr. Duross was a most earnest and zealous Catholic and
in his political belief was a stalwart democrat. He never sought to figure promi-
nently in public affairs, however, preferring to concentrate his time and energies
upon his business interests.


William H. Futrell, lawyer, was born near Jackson, North Carolina, on the
17th of June, 1863, and came of New England ancestry, his mother being de-
scended from the well known Coffin family of Massachusetts. In 1887 he was
graduated from Haverford College in the department of arts. His popularity
and also his high scholarship while there was evidenced by the fact that he was
president of the Everett Society and vice president of the Loganian Society and
that he was the fortunate winner of the prize for oratory and also the essay prize
given by the Everett Society, the debating prize and the prize for oratory of the
Loganian Society. He was likewise the successful competitor for the alumni
prize, the most important one given by the alumni of the college for oratory and

Mr. Futrell prepared for the bar in Philadelphia and was admitted to prac-
tice in the courts of this city in 1890. In the intervening period of twenty-one
years he has made continuous progress and stands today very high at the Phila-
delphia bar. His splendidly developed powers and talents have won him wide
recognition as an able lawyer and have gained for him that distinction which fol-
lows mastery of legal principles and correct application of the law. In 1895 he
was junior counsel for the senatorial investigating committee which was auth-
orized by the legislature of Pennsylvania to investigate the municipal conditions
throughout the state. He has had large experience in road jury practice and has
tried many cases involving the law of eminent domain. He has also been iden-
tified with the settlement of estates in the orphans' court and is an active practi-
tioner at the Philadelphia bar. The court records contain the proof of his ability
and in his trial of cases he has displayed an able mastery of the involved and in-
tricate problems which are presented for solution.

Mr. Futrell is identified with various organizations which have a social, scien-
tific or beneficial basis. He belongs to the Union League, the Young Republi-
can Club, the University Club, the Lawyers Club, the Merion Cricket Club, the
Radnor Hunt Club, the Historical, Geographic and New England Societies and
is a member of the corporation of Haverford College. He is also thus connected


with the Friends Asylum of Frankford, is one of the board of managers of the
Fuel Savings Society, the Friends Freedmen's Association, the Public Education
Society and is interested in many organizations for charitable, educational and
philanthropic work. In these connections he unites the intensely practical with
high ideality. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he
studies the grave political, sociological and economic problems of the country
with the same thoroughness that he manifests in the preparation of his cases and
the mastery of the legal problems that are involved. He is married and has a
summer home at Bryn Mawr, while the winter months are passed at the Aldine
Hotel in Philadelphia.


Frank Samuel, manufacturer and importer of iron, having extensive trade
interests with England, Spain, Brazil and Russia, has throughout his business
career displayed an aptitude for successful management that has resulted in the
development and upbuilding of extensive enterprises that are elements in the
commercial prosperity of the state as well as sources of individual success.
He was born in Philadelphia, December 4, 1859, and represents one of the old
families of the city, being a great-grandson of John Moss, at one time a promi-
nent merchant of Philadelphia with large shipping interests, owner of the cele-
brated ship Speedwell. In the maternal line Frank Samuel is descended from
Jacob De Leon, a famous surgeon of the Revolutionary war, acting as special
attendant on General De Kalb at the time of his death, which was occasioned
by wounds received at Camden, South Carolina. His parents were John and
Rebecca Samuel, the former for many years a distinguished member of the bar
but now retired. He was also a member of the board of censors and chairman
of the library committee of the Law Association.

Frank Samuel pursued his education in Dr. Faires School of Philadelphia
and afterward engaged in the glass business with E. R. Wood in New Jersey,
becoming vice president of the Malaga & Millville Glass Company. He was
identified with that enterprise until 1888, when he resigned his position to accept
the vice presidency of the North Branch Steel Company, with which he was
identified for five years. This was the first company to produce successfully the
modern girder steel rails, thereby producing a complete revolution in the con-
struction of street railroads. He resigned his position with that company in
1894 to enter upon an active business, yet retained a directorship in the North
Branch Steel Company for some time. Since 1894 he has been engaged as a
general iron and steel commodities merchant and represents some of the largest
iron furnace interests in the country. He was one of the pioneers in America
to engage in the exportation of iron and steel to all parts of the country. In
1894 he engaged in business under his own name as manufacturer and importer
of iron, and today ranks among the foremost of those operating in this line. He
has large foreign business interests with England, Spain, Brazil and Russia, and
has an extensive mill located at Davisville, Pennsylvania, for the production of


special iron for steel manufacture. He is today one of the leading representa-
tives of the iron trade in Pennsylvania, which is one of the most important world
centers of the iron business. He does no exporting at the present time, this part
of the business having been taken over by the United States Steel Company.
He is, however, an importer of iron ore from Spain and Africa and of Manga-
nese ore from Brazil and Russia. In addition he has large financial interests
that include association with the Trust Company of North America, of which
he was a director for many years. He is also vice president of the Graham Iron
Company and a member of the firm of Howe & Samuel. He bears the reputa-
tion not only among his associates but also in the city of his nativity of being
one of the most representative and progressive men of the country.

Mr. Samuel was married on the 7th of December, 1887, to Miss Mary
Buchanan Snowden, a daughter of Colonel A. Louden Snowden. Mr. and Mrs.
Samuel have three children : Elizabeth S., Rebecca and Snowden. He belongs
to the Philadelphia Country, Radnor Hunt, Rittenhouse, Merion Cricket and
Racquet Clubs, and the Reform Club of New York city, and is an athlete and
enthusiastic outdoor sportsman. He is interested in furthering the welfare of
athletics and all manly outdoor sports. He is, moreover, regarded as one of
the most representative and progressive citizens of Pennsylvania and the com-
manding position which he occupies in business has made him an influencing
factor in trade and manufacturing circles of the state.


Robert Baile, Sr., a well known and successful representative of industrial
interests in Philadelphia, is the president of the Robert Baile Company, Incorpor-
ated, now conducting an extensive business in heaters, ranges and roofing. His
birth occurred in this city on the 19th of February, 1861, his parents being Francis
and Mary Baile. The father, a native of Ireland and of Scotch-Irish descent, came
to Philadelphia in 1847, engaging in business as a house painter. At the time
of the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted for service in the Union army as
a member of the One Hundred and Sixth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and
was wounded in 1863. His demise, which occurred in 1900, was the occasion
of deep and widespread regret.

Robert Baile, Sr., attended the public schools until thirteen years of age and
then began learning the trade of a tinsmith under the direction of A. C. Smith,
with whom he remained for three years. Subsequently he worked as a journey-
man tinsmith in the employ of various firms for seven years. On the expiration
of that period he embarked in business on his own account as a tinsmith and
extended the scope of his activities to include roofing, sheet iron work and the
sale and installation of heaters and ranges and hot air furnaces. In 1905 he was
elected president of the Robert Baile Company, which was incorporated in Au-
gust of that year and of which he has since remained the chief executive officer.
About fifty men are employed by the company, which represents the following
stove concerns : the Abram Cox Stove Company, the Thomas Roberts Stephenson

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Stove Company, and the Isaac A. Shepard Stove Company. Mr. Baile has thor-
ough knowledge of tlie best methods of carrying on an enterprise of this char-
acter and his honorable and reliable dealings commend him to the confidence and
good-will of all with whom he is associated either in business or social circles.

As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life Mr. Baile chose Miss
Mary Brehm, whom he wedded in May, 1881, and whose death occurred in
December, 1887. Three children were born unto them as follows: Joseph F., who
was bom in June, 1882; Robert, who was born in June, 1884; and Henrietta.
The sons are both associated in business with their father. In April, 1890, Mr.
Baile was again married, his second union being with Annie Robinson, and unto
them has been born a daughter, Mary. Mr. Baile gives his political allegiance to
the republican party, while in religious faith he is a Presbyterian. In the city in
which his entire life has been spent he enjoys a wide and favorable acquaintance.


A brief review of the life of L. L. Rue, president of the Philadelphia Na-
tional Bank, is not only of interest to his fellow citizens but should be an in-
centive to the young men of the present day as showing how a young man without
influence may by perseverance and well directed effort attain a position of emi-
nence in the community. Of engaging personality, possessed of a keen intelli-
gence, executive ability of a high order, clear in discernment, quick of action,
firm but just in his business relations, he has risen from a minor clerkship to
an enviable position in the financial world.

Mr. Rue was born in Philadelphia, July 14, i860, and on both the paternal
and maternal sides is a representative of old and prominent families of this
city. His grandfather, Jean Leroux (Rue), was born in Nantes, France, coming
to America early in life and settling in Philadelphia. He married Ann Rego
and of their six children, Francis J. Rue, the father of Levi L. was the youngest.
He became one of the prominent merchants of Philadelphia, being for many
years an importer and dealer in white goods and embroideries, later turning his
attention to the silk trade, in which he was likewise successful.

Mr. Rue's maternal grandparents were Levi and Elizabeth (Douglass)
Lingo. The former, a native of Delaware, came to Philadelphia when a boy and
was in later years a lumber merchant in this city. His wife was a granddaughter
of John Douglass, who raised a company of riflemen at the time of the Revolu-
tionary war, equipped them at his own expense, and as captain of the company
went to the scene of hostilities and served throughout the entire war. It is
interesting to note that all of these were natives of Philadelphia with the excep-
tion of the maternal and paternal grandfathers.

Francis J. Rue had hoped that Levi L. would study law, but the son desired
to at once enter into the activities of business and in December, 1878, following
an education in the public schools of Philadelphia, supplemented by the study of
shorthand, he obtained a position with the Philadelphia National Bank as sten-
ographer to B. B. Comegys, who was from 1879 until his decease in 1900 presi-
Voi. rv— 8


dent of the bank. The industry which he displayed, the aptitude with which he
mastered the tasks entrusted to him, and his fideHty won him promotion through
all the intermediate positions of the bank as teller, assistant cashier in 1893 and
cashier in 1894. Six years later, in 1900, he was elected vice president of the
bank and in 1907 was called to the presidency, as the one most competent to
assume the responsibilities and direct the afifairs of this — one of the largest and
strongest financial institutions of the city. When the financial panic of 1893
came on, Mr. Rue was assistant cashier, to which position he had been recently
appointed. The bank was without a cashier, and the president, Mr. Comegys,
was absent, so that the management and direction of the institution during that
trying period devolved largely upon Mr. Rue. The ability which he manifested
at that time proved his worth and was largely instrumental in bringing about the
rapid advancement which has since come to him.

He is otherwise prominent in financial circles, being chairman of the clearing
house committee, which is the executive committee of The Philadelphia Clear-
ing House Association and in which is vested most comprehensive power. Mr.
Rue is also president of The National Currency Association of the Banks of
Philadelphia, designed to facilitate the expansion and contraction of bank note
circulation. He is a director of The Philadelphia Trust, Safe Deposit & Insur-
ance Company and The Provident Life & Trust Company.

Mr. Rue has received at various times flattering proposals to become officially
connected with financial institutions in other cities, ranking among the largest
in the United States, but has preferred to devote his energies to bringing the
Philadelphia National Bank to the commanding position which it now occupies.

In his political affiliations, Mr. Rue is a republican, but aside from a citi-
zen's interest in the questions of the day he is not active in politics. He is,
however, an interested church worker and is trustee of the Baptist Home. He
is a member of the Union League, the Society of the Sons of the American Revo-
lution, and the Down Town Club.

Mr. Rue married October 6, 1887, Miss Mary McCurdy Gill, of Philadel-
phia, and with their son and two daughters, they make their home at No. 4226
Spruce street. Mr. Rue's interests are broad and varied and in every relation
of life he fully meets the duties and obligations that devolve upon him. This
element in his business career won him advancement, and his life history is
another proof that character and ability will command recognition.


Dr. H. Ralston Swing, deceased, who engaged in the practice of dentistry in
Philadelphia from the time of his earliest connection with the profession until his
demise, was born near Coatesville, Pennsylvania, June 28, 1871, a son of Dr.
E. V. and Rachel V. Swing. Both parents are natives of New Jersey and the
father is one of the most prominent physicians of Coatesville, where he has not
only enjoyed a large private practice but was also instrumental in establishing

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 15 of 62)