Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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ful educator; at Mr. Dwight's school he was graduated in 1858, and entered,
next year, the New York University, where he completed the classical course
and was graduated with special honor as a B. A. in the class of 1863. While at
the university. Dr. Dripps was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity and also
of the Phi Beta Kappa.

After graduation, he spent some three years as a civil engineer in the con-
struction of railroads, under the direction of William E. Morris, the well known
Philadelphian, who was at that time vice president of the New York & Harlem
Railroad, and of his son, Thomas Burnside Morris.

In 1865 Dr. Dripps entered the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he
completed the course and graduated in 1868. During the next two years he
filled the pulpit of the First Presbyterian church of Indianapolis and that of
the American Presbyterian church of Montreal, Canada. He was then called
to take charge of a Presbyterian church in Brooklyn, New York, but did not
accept the call and returned to Philadelphia in October, 1869. In that same
month, October, 1869, Dr. Dripps occupied the pulpit of the First Presbyterian
church in Germantown, Philadelphia, and a few weeks later he was elected by
that church as its pastor. At his installation, the sermon was preached by his
own pastor. Rev. Dr. John Hall, of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian church, in
New York, and the "charge" was given to him by Rev. Dr. John Withrow, then
of the Arch Street church in this city, and later of the Park church in Boston.

During the pastorate of Dr. Dripps the number of members in actual attend-
ance was nearly doubled, and the Sunday school was brought from two hundred
up to nine hundred and one members. A new church edifice was dedicated in
1872, in a central location, on West Chelten avenue. The organization of women
in 1870, under the name of the Pastoral Aid Society attracted wide spread at-
tention by its successful operation, and was copied afterward in many other
churches. What was practically a quiet village church in 1869, was in 1880 well
on the road to its present position as one of the leading suburban churches in
the Presbyterian body, with a membership in 1910 of one thousand, five hun-
dred and thirty-seven.

Two missions were started during Dr. Dripps pastorate and under the care
of the First Presbyterian church, one of which developed later into the Westside


church, numbering seven hundred and fifty-one members in 1910, and the other
united with the Eastminster Mission of the Second church in 1910 to form the
Covenant church of Germantown. This congregation took also a very active
share in forming the Wakefield church of Germantown.

Several years of severe financial depression were included in the term of Dr.
Dripps' pastorate, but he was able to report a total of nearly one hundred and
ninety thousand dollars, as given by the church in that period. He took active
interest in re-arranging the benevolent and financial operations of the church, and
in these directions also its methods were widely influential. The church was sup-
porting a parish visitor, a chapel minister at Somerville and a foreign missionary
in Japan, before Dr. Dripps gave up its charge.

In 1880 Dr. Dripps was compelled to seek for change and rest, and he there-
fore spent two years without pastoral charge. In 1882 he succeeded Dr. Charles
Wadsworth as pastor of the Clinton Street Immanuel church of Philadelphia
and continued in that charge until 1886. The field open to that church had be-
come so circumscribed that he resigned its charge in 1886 and spent three years
in active church-extension work on various other fields. In June, 1889, he re-
moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he continued for seven years as pastor of
the Independent Presbyterian church. During his charge here the church and
Sunday school buildings, which had been destroyed by fire, were restored at a
cost of considerably over one hundred thousand dollars, and the various methods
of church work were entirely reorganized.

In 1896 Dr. Dripps returned to Germantown, where he and his wife became
proprietors of the Stevens School for Girls, which had originated in 1868, and
of which Mrs. Dripps took charge as its principal in 1896. From 1903 until
1910 Dr. Dripps added to his school responsibilities those of an active pastorate,
being in charge of the Church of the Redeemer in Germantown. By the end of
that time the double charge became too onerous for him, and he resigned from
the church in 1910. This was by no means the end of his activities as a minister
of the gospel, however, for his wide-spread relations as a veteran member of the
Presbytery are such as to bring him continually calls for active and useful serv-
ice in many directions.

The Stevens School, meantime, had increased its roll from seventy-five to
more than twice that number and had broadened its scope in so many ways that
it gave full scope to the energies of all connected with it. It was the first school
in Germantown to prepare girls for college, and by the test of the college en-
trance examinations its standard of attainment has always been recognized as
unsurpassed. The Beta Sigma or Bible-Study Guild, originated in the Stevens
School and was maintained here for seven years of vigorous life, when it was
recognized as of peculiar value by the Young Women's Christian Association of
the United States and was transplanted into other schools also. It has some-
times retained the name Beta Sigma but is often known simply as the Young
Women's Christian Association of the school. The veiy fact that the Beta Sigma
was originated and maintained voluntarily by the girls themselves is really an
indication of the wide and deep influence for good which was always exerted by
Mrs. Dripps during her whole life. The Stevens School nearly doubled the size
of its building in 1896, when Dr. and Mrs. Dripps purchased the property, and


another very considerable enlargement was niatle in 1910, when new rooms were
provided for chemistry and domestic science, as also for drawing, etc. It is no
inconsiderable item, among the assets for which Philadelphia is honored, that such
an institution as the Stevens School for Girls has lived and grown in German-
town through more than forty-two years.

Dr. Dripps is the author of a volume entitled Love and Friendship and of
publications on Faith and Repentance, and on otlier similar subjects ; as also of
the carefully prepared and elaborate History of the First Presbyterian Church in
Germantown, which was published at the centennial of the church in 1909.

The Rev. Dr. J. Frederick Dripps was married on January 27, 1875, at the
church of which he was then the pastor, in Germantown, by the Rev. Dr. Henry
Jackson VanDyke of Brooklyn, New York, to Miss Emily Dunning. Miss Dun-
ning was the daughter of Robert Dunlop Dunning and Frances Dorrance Dun-
ning, who were then resident in Germantown. Mrs. Dripps was the chief co-
worker with her husband, in all the activities of church and school life. She de-
parted this life in September, 1904. The only child of Dr. and Mrs. Dripps is
Robert Dunning Dripps, who was born in Germantown, February 11, 1877, and
after graduation at Princeton, 1898, entered upon the practice of the law in
Philadelphia, where he has also been active in city politics.


Benjamin Adams, district manager in charge of the sales and engineering
work for the American Blower Company, was born in Belmont, Massachusetts,
September 25, 1873, his parents being Benjamin F. and Emma L. Adams. The
former is now deceased and the latter resides in Belmont, Massachusetts. His
ancestral history is one of close connection with New England from the pioneer
epoch in the settlement of the New England colonies. He is a descendant of
Henry Adams, who settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1633. Some of his
direct ancestors served through the early Indian wars in Massachusetts and also
through the French and Indian war, occupying various positions of military com-
mand. His great-grandfather, Captain Samuel Adams, served with the Con-
tinental army in the Revolutionary war. His grandfather was General Benja-
min Adams, of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, who not only won distinction
in military circles but was also prominent in political affairs as a member of the
state senate. The father and uncle of Benjamin Adams served in the Union
army during the Civil w-ar. In the maternal line he is descended from the Will-
iams family, who were sea captains prior to and after the Revolutionary war
and residents of Charlestown and of Salem, Massachusetts.

Benjamin Adams, in pursuit of his education, attended the Boston Latin
School and the Massachusetts School of Technology, from which he was grad-
uated in 189s with the Bachelor of Science degree. In the field of engineering
he has continued his labors to the present time, and broad and practical experi-
ence have constantly promoted his ability, which has also been supplemented by
wide reading and study. He was thus engaged in engineering work with the


American Telephone & Telegraph Company. In 1901 Mr. Adams took over
the eastern Pennsylvania business for the American Blower Company and is now
district manager in charge of the sales and engineering work for that company
over a wide territory, including eastern Pennsylvania, eastern Maryland and Vir-
ginia, Delaware and southern New Jersey.

On the 9th of June, 1904, in Philadelphia, Mr. Adams was married to Miss
Mary Hart Shriver, a daughter of John N. and Katharine H. Shriver, and they
now have one child, Katharine Hart Adams. The parents attend the Presby-
terian church and have many warm friends in the social circles in which they

In business Mr. Adams has contributed largely to the success of the company
which he represents, his scientific and practical knowledge of engineering and his
aptitude for successful management enabling him to carefully and successfully
conduct the interests entrusted to his care. He has been a resident of Philadel-
phia continuously since July, 1896. His favorite reading is American history,
and he also finds interest and recreation in the study of natural history, espe-
cially ornithology and botany. He delights, too, in hunting and fishing trips,
which bring him near to the heart of nature, and forest and stream are to him
an interesting volume, each page of which claims his earnest attention.


The financial and commercial concerns, the educational, political, charitable
and religious interests which constitute the chief features in the life of every
city have all profited by the support and cooperation of the Hon. Henry Z. Zieg-
ler. While he was preeminently successful in business, his life was never self-
centered but reached out to the broader interests which affect mankind in so-
ciological and economic relations, and at all times he cast the weight of his in-
fluence on the side of progress in those connections. He was also an advo-
cate of esthetic culture, of the introduction of that which is beautiful and artis-
tic into the different phases of life that there might be maintained an even balance
between those and the interests which work for material progress. His labors
indeed constituted an element of usefulness in the life of the city, and his name
is on the roll of the worthy men whom Philadelphia delights to honor.

Henry Zook Ziegler was born May 22, 1837, in the home of his parents,
George J. and Anna B. Ziegler, who at the time of their marriage in the early
part of the nineteenth century settled in Chester Valley, twenty miles north of
Philadelphia. He was one of a family of five sons and four daughters, and
the public schools afforded him his opportunities of an education. He after-
ward learned the cordwainer's trade in his father's store and his youth was
largely a period of unremitting diligence, in which he gained considerable busi-
ness experience. He became a resident of Philadelphia at the age of twenty
years, and his ability won him the position of foreman in a shoe factory.
I audable ambition pointed out to him a way for engaging in business on his
own account. He practiced careful expenditure of his earnings and the utmost


PUBLIC U'"' '"''' '



industry, so that his services brought him a good salary and in time he pos-
sessed a sufficient sum to enable him to become one of the founders of the shoe
manufacturing firm of Ziegler Brothers in 1869. From the outset the business
grew and prospered, becoming one of the important productive industries of
the city. For twenty-four years Mr. Ziegler remained actively associated with
this important business enterprise and upon his retirement in 1893 was honored
with a public banquet by the Shoe and Leather Exchange. As he prospered
in his chosen field he extended his efforts in other directions. In the autumn
of 1892 he was elected president of the West Philadelphia Title & Trust Com-
pany, of which he had been one of the incorporators. He retained this position
of executive control until his death and for sixteen years he was one of the di-
rectors of the Mechanics National Bank.

Mr. Ziegler occupied various other positions of a public and semi-public char-
acter. He was made a member of the board of directors of the American Aca-
demy of Fine Arts and was a member of the Fairmount Park Art Association
and also of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He acted as one of the
managers of the West Philadelphia Institute and his interest in what was being
wrought along the line of propagating and developing fruit is indicated in the
fact that he held membership in the Horticultural Society. These were but
phases of his activity, however, for, as every true American citizen should do,
be kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day and did not shirk
his responsibilities along political lines. He served as a member of the com-
mon councils from 1895 until 1896 and from 1901 until 1905 was representative
from the twenty-fourth ward and in this connection he exercised his official
prerogatives in support of various measures and projects which he believed
would prove of municipal benefit. By appointment from the governor of the
state he was an inspector of the Eastern Penitentiary from 1892 until 1899.

On the nth of September, 1862, Mr. Ziegler was united in marriage to Miss
Elizabeth Ascough, of Philadelphia, and through the intervening period to the
time of his death forty-five years later, theirs was a most happy married rela-
tion, their mutual love and confidence increasing as the years passed by. In
1878 they removed to the handsome residence at No. no North Thirty-fourth
street, in which Mr. Ziegler passed away and which is still occupied by his
widow. Their only son, Horace Binney, died in childhood. The three daugh-
ters of the family are: Mrs. E. Lamar Richards; Mrs. Walter R. Livingstone;
and Mrs. Robert W. Rogers, of Madison, New Jersey.

Death came to Mr. Ziegler on the 6th of September, 1907, and after funeral
services were held at his home by his pastor. Rev. L. K. Willman, assisted by
Dr. Henry Wheeler and J. Richards Boyle, he was laid to rest in Laurel Hill
cemetery with Masonic honors. He had long been a devoted member of the
fraternity which has its basis in a belief in the brotherhood of man and the
fatherhood of God. Moreover, he was a devoted Christian gentleman, having
at the age of si.xteen years become a member of the Salem Methodist Episcopal
church in Chester Valley, Pennsylvania. Following his removal to Philadelphia
he joined the Front Street church and taking active part in its work served as
a steward and as secretary of the Sunday school. In 1871 he united with Christ
Methodist Episcopal church in West Philadelphia and for thirty years was one


of its most prominent and influential members. He acted as superintendent of
its Sunday school for a quarter of a century and was president of its board of
trustees for sixteen years. In 1881 he was chiefly instrumental in securing the
payment of its large debt and throughout his prolonged association with that
church he was by counsel and example one of the most helpful leaders in its
spiritual life. In 1901 he became a member of the Spring Garden Street Meth-
odist Episcopal church, in which he held the office of steward, and there his
ability, liberality and devotion were cordially recognized. From 1880 until 1888
he was a member of the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episco-
pal church and for many years was a director in the Philadelphia Conference
Education Society. His services in these various positions of responsibility
in the church were characterized by the same devotion that distinguished his
career in business life. Into the field of charity and benevolence he extended
his efforts on many occasions and was one of the directors of the Western Home
for Poor Children.

Of him it has been said by one who knew him well: "Personally Mr. Zieg-
ler was a man of many rare and attractive qualities, whom to know was to re-
spect and love. Massive and dignified in presence, and frank and benign in
countenance, he was a noticeable figure in any assembly. V/ise and sagacious
in judgment, positive yet tolerant in conviction, public-spirited but safely con-
servative in purpose, he was always a valuable counselor. High minded, hon-
orable, just and considerate, he was esteemed by his business associates and em-
ployes and by the world at large. Genial, generous, hospitable, sympathetic
and sincere, he was a friend most precious. Loyal, devout, optimistic, he was
a lover of the church and its ministries, an inspiration to his brethren and a
comfort to his pastors. An exemplar of every domestic virtue, he was the be-
loved of the home. A successful business man with no stain on his record, a
manly man among manly men, a friend of every good cause, a lover of children
and a helper of struggling youth, a prayerful, saved man of God, he was ever
a consistent example of the Christian gentleman."


An analytical review of the life and work of George A. West brings to mind
the words of the poet:

"How blest is he
Who crowns in shades like these
A youth of labor
With an age of ease."
Entering business circles of Philadelphia at the age of eighteen years in a
humble capacity, Mr. West gradually worked his way upward and the success
which came to him as the reward of close application and ability has enabled
him during the past ten years to live retired.

He has passed the eighty-eighth milestone on life's journey, his birth having
occurred at Moorestown, New Jersey, June 29, 1823. His parents were John


ami Elizabeth West, long since deceased. The common schools afforded him
his educational opportunities but his advantages in that direction were some-
what meager, owing to the necessity of providing for his own support. When
eighteen years of age he came to Philadelphia and worked in a dry-goods com-
mission house for a number of years. For twenty-five years he was engaged
in the general insurance business and during the past ten years has been actively
connected with no business undertaking. The story of his life seems a simple
one but he who reads between the lines will leam something of the energy, de-
termination, the definite aim and the resolute purpose which characterized his
service in every relation. Faithfulness and trustworthiness have always been
numbered among his strong and salient characteristics and gained for him the
high position which he holds in the regard and good-will of his many friends.

At the time of the Civil war Mr. West was a member of the Philadelphia
City Guards, thus serving from 1862 until 1865. He has never belonged to but
one fraternal organization — the Masonic — with which he has been identified
for forty years. He has always adhered to the teachings of the Episcopal church
and during much of his long membership therein has been a vestryman of the
Church of the Incarnation. For many years he was a close personal friend of
the late Bishop Phillips Brooks. He has builded his character upon the founda-
tion stones of industry, integrity, progressiveness and reliability and has come
to an honored old age, enjoying the good-will and respect of all with whom he
has been brought in contact.

Mr. West was married January 6, 1848, to Cornelia Vaughn, and two chil-
dren, John V. and Anna M., were born to them.


Not the partial view of friends but the consensus of public opinion as well
places Dr. Leon Thomas Ashcraft among the leading and most distinguished
surgeons of Philadelphia. His pronounced ability has been manifest in ad-
vanced steps which others have followed, but in various methods of practice
he has been the pioneer and his labors have been a contribution of distinct
value to professional service. He enjoys an extensive private practice and
important connection with some of the leading hospitals of the city.

He was born in Philadelphia, November 4, 1866, a son of Samuel and Sarah
Ashcraft. His early education was acquired in Rugby Academy, from which
he was graduated with the class of 1883. He graduated from Dickinson Col-
lege with the class of 1887 and from that institution received the degree of
Master of Arts. He afterward entered Hahnemann Medical College of Phila-
delphia and won his professional degree in 1890. Entering upon the active
practice of medicine. Dr. Ashcraft has sought that success which comes in recog-
nition of true merit, and the fact that he has been called to many prominent
positions connected with the profession is indicative of the regard entertained
for him. He now holds the professorship of genito-urinary surgery in Hahne-
mann Medical College of Philadelphia, is surgeon-in-chief of the House of


Detention for Delinquent and Dependent Juveniles of Philadelphia, a member of
the surgical staff of the West Philadelphia General Hospital, of the Women's
Southern Homeopathic Hospital and of the Mercy Hospital and School for
Nurses. He has a unique record as a surgeon, having been the originator of
several operations. He is an author of note, having written extensive brochures
on Genito-Urinary Surgery, and has made valuable contributions to Bartlett's
System of Medicine, while to various medical works and journals he is a con-
stant contributor. He has long been a thorough student of surgery and among
his scientific compeers is ever received with a most cordial evidence of respect
and appreciation.

At Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he married Eleida Hermann Bosler, a daughter
of Joseph and Lillian Bosler, on the i8th of June, 1908. They are communi-
cants of St. James Protestant Episcopal church. Dr. Ashcraft belongs to Uni-
versity Lodge No. 610, F. & A. M., and to the University, Racquet, Penn,
Merion Cricket and the Players Club. Professionally he is known through his
membership in all the different medical associations.


Andrew J. Sauer, an architect and engineer of Philadelphia, was born De-
cember 8, 1878, in the city where he still makes his home and where he has come
to be widely known as a prominent representative of his profession. His
parents were Andrew and Amelia (Muesse) Sauer. The father, who was bom
in Rheinfels, Bavaria, Germany, came to America in 1864 and has since been
connected with manufacturing interests in this city.

In the public schools of Philadelphia and in the Franklin Institute Andrew
J. Sauer pursued his education and, formulating the plan of some day becoming
an architect, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts and also pursued a course at
the New York Beaux Arts Society, from which he received a diploma of hon-
orary mention. He also was the second holder of the Walter Cope memorial
prize given by the T Square Club of Philadelphia for the best architectural sug-
gestion on civic improvement, the prize being a trip to Europe. He likewise
studied architecture in New York and Europe and at the age of twenty-five en-
tered upon the active practice of his profession, which he is now following as
a member of the firm of Sauer & Hahn. Their work has covered a wide range,
including principally reinforced concrete and protected structural steel fireproof
buildings, central and suburban real-estate improvements, country homes and

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 27 of 62)