Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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less woods," and that reflex ennobling which comes to every individual who
does, from the promptings of humanity, a good deed for his fellowmen.

There was nothing in his childhood that was a forecast of his future life.
A little hamlet. Ling Riggs, of three or four houses in rural England at the
head waters of the river Wear, was his birthplace, his natal day being Decem-
ber 15, 1845. The teachings of Wesley had there taken deep root and the at-
mosphere was one of strict Methodism that shut out much that is now consid-


ered harmless pleasure. He was eight years of age when his parents started
with their family for the new world, taking passage on a three masted sailing
vessel, the Sarah Jane, which weathered six weeks and three days of storm and
calm ere reaching New York. From that point the party traveled by rail and
canal to Pittsburg and the delightful part of the journey to the boy was the
walk along the tow-path, happy to have his feet on the rich brown earth while
every phase of nature as presented by trees and birds and squirrels was to him
a source of constant delight. It was the spirit of investigation rather than of
willful mischief that led him, after the family had become estabhshed in their
new home in a mining community on the Monongahela river, to place a stick
upon the track down which came the coal cars, for the purpose of seeing a car
jump the track. The result was so disastrous that he never again made a simi-
lar attempt. After two years the family removed to Canandaigua, New York,
and there, at the age of ten years, being the eldest of a family of five children,
Thomas Martindale earned his first wage in the employ of Mrs. Gibson, a
saintly old lady whom he almost worshiped. He had to pick for her the fruit
in the orchard and when she went shopping he rode on the seat with the driver
in order to help her with her bundles and parcels as she made her purchases.
About 1856 or 1857 the family went to London, Canada, where the father ob-
tained employment on the Great Western Railroad, and while Thomas had op-
portunity to attend school, his morning and evening hours were filled with tasks
around the home. His connection with the dry-goods trade began when he was
thirteen years of age, the young clerk earning twenty-five cents per day. He
worked so faithfully, intelligently and diligently that at the end of seven years
he was occupying the position of head salesman with a salary of four hundred
dollars per year, but realizing that there was no further advance to be obtained
in London, he went to Toronto, Canada, where he became manager of the white-
goods department in a store at the annual salary of four hundred and fifty dol-
lars. Conditions were not to his liking. Stores were kept open until eight
o'clock at night and until ten or later on Saturday nights, and wages were paid
in silver at par, which at that time was at a discount of eight per cent under
gold or bills. He called a number of salesmen together in a little meeting which
led to the formation of the first retail dry goods clerks protective association in
the world. He was elected president of the society, which soon convinced their
employers that it was to their interests as well as to the interests of the employed
that stores be closed at six o'clock on every week day except Saturday, and then
at seven. Arrangements were also made whereby salaries were paid in gold or
bills, or the eight per cent discount on silver allowed. After a few months the
Toronto firm made Mr. Martindale manager of their silk department at a salary
of seven hundred dollars per year, but when he felt that there was no longer
chance for advancement in Toronto he left that city and in the summer of 1868
became a resident of Boston. The position which he obtained in a dry-goods
house there was not particularly remunerative save that at the same time he
utilized every moment in reading, and in studying music, Latin and bookkeeping.
An invitation to visit relatives near Newcastle, Pennsylvania, was accepted,
and shortly after he made his way to Oil City, Pennsylvania, which, at that time
(March, 1869) was undergoing a great boom. He made application for a posi-


lion as engineer of an oil well to John A. Rich, owner of the most prosperous
oil field of the Alleghanies. He was not equipped for such work and Mr. Rich
set him to the task of digging a road from one oil well to another along the
mountain side, which was covered with stones and small scmb oak. On his
return a week later he found that young Martindale had stuck to his task and
thus proved that he was made of "sterner stuff" than many a young man of the
world. In consequence he was soon installed as an engineer at three dollars
per day. Not long afterward he availed himself of an opportuinty to purchase
a grocery store in Oil City and in this undertaking prospered from the outset.
Selling his first establishment, he purchased a larger one, later becoming con-
nected with the wholesale trade, and then again entered the retail field, pro.sper-
ing at all times until, owing to fluctuation in oil value, he decided to seek a
field where the business opportunities were of a more substantial character and
returns therefore more secure. It was at this time— 1875— that Mr. Martindale
arrived in Philadelphia and became the first to introduce California products
here upon a large scale. His business record has since been an important chap-
ter in the commercial history of Philadelphia in his gradual advancement to a
foremost place among the business men of the city. His success was thus won
at the cost of earnest, self-denying labor, but he never faltered in his purpose,
utilizing for business the hours that others would have spent in pleasure or
frivolity, closely studying the situations of the trade and utilizing every oppor-
tunity pointing to legitimate advancement.

It would be untruthful to characterize Mr. Martindale as a millionaire mer-
chant, for there is so much more in his life beyond his business record. He
studied not only his own specific needs and plans, but the broader questions of
business policy afifecting all trade relations. The Forecast Magazine of June,
1910, wrote of him : "With tongue and pen, on a platform and in the press, he
labors and always has labored for the civic and business interests of his adopted
home. The same progressive spirit that formed the first Retail Dry Goods
Clerks Association in Toronto in 1866, inaugurated the Philadelphia Trades
League in 1891. Likewise it founded the Poor Richard Club, an organization
which exists to promote good fellowship among that city's advertisers. Al-
though he does not pose as a philanthropist he is always the first to lend a hand
when assistance for suffering humanity is needed. When the Irish Relief Com-
mittee was formed in 1879 Thomas Martindale was the chairman of the mer-
chandise committee. When Russia was famine stricken Thomas Martindale
was the pioneer in one of the greatest charitable movements of the age and one
of the organizers of that wonderful, successful and far-reaching charity. In
times of distress and disaster he is always there, quick to act, generous of purse
and large-hearted. The tnie brotherhood of man has been to him a fact and not
an ideal. Though distinctly a man of the present day, a man of deeds, yet he
possesses the world-old homely virtues that have made for true success in all
ages. Conviction, enthusiasm, sincerity, loyalty, courage, independence, are his
to a marked degree and have made him one of the positive forces of his com-
munity and generation."

Many of his closest friends think Mr. Martindale is seen at his best when
near to the heart of nature, in the midst of the Maine woods, in the sublime


fastnesses of the mountains of the northwest, or by some lovely lake or stream,
where'er it chanced to be. There are indeed few men who can so thoroughly
throw off the cares of business and the perplexities of life in order to enjoy
communion with nature in her varying forms. He is an enthusiastic sportsman
and has hunted big game in various sections of North America; he is equally
skillful with rod and reel, and each summer he takes his vacations far from the
haunts of men. Above and beyond his interest in fishing and hunting, however,
is his love of the animate and the inanimate in nature and in three or four pub-
lished volumes (which, by the way, show that in authorship he is not behind his
success in other lines of life) he makes appeal to his fellowmen, especially those
who are bearing the burden and heat of the day in the business world, to go to
nature for rejuvenation and enjoyment. In one of his volumes entitled "Sport
Indeed" he says : "It must be a man of little soul and less sentiment who thinks
himself alone when he has nature at his elbow. And she was at mine, opening,
as it were, a drama before me, and for my express edification. I looked upon
it and wondered at the sight, wondered at the wealth of her life, her plant life
and her strange animal life, whose strangeness is so notably marked in the
caribou. Alone? Oh, no! These 'goodly creatures' of the bog were to me
more genial company than would have been that of men and women with nerves
and temper and energy and strength, jaded and worn by the fantastic fads and
customs of civilized life. No, I was not alone." Again as an example of his
literary style as well as an indication of what nature meant to him we quote
from "Wildwood Ways and Down East Wilds." "Is it strange that I should
have such a fancy for this halcyon spot ? Is it strange that when amid the sum-
mer dust and swelter of a city and weary in brain and body — I say — is it strange
that my fancy should then tear me from my tiresome desk and transport me
to the shores of 'Our Lake?' In the city there are a thousand discordant noises;
here there is none. The city's atmosphere is filled with noxious fumes ; here the
air is purity itself. In the city I am but one of a million; here, like Selkirk, 'I
am monarch of all I survey.' In a word, 'Our Lake' is a spot to approach with
the keenest joy and to leave behind with as keen regret. At night, after the sun
has set behind the cedars and we lie down upon our couch of fragrant boughs,
we lift our thoughts to the Great Giver of all good things and pray with 'Tiny
Tim' 'God bless us every one!' " "Leave your desk," he writes in Sport Indeed,
"and turn your back on the streaming streets of civilization and your thoughts
where nature tempts with her trout streams, her mirrored lakes and her game-
abounding retreats; to her forests, fragrant with balsamic odors and watered
with living streams made wholesome with the leeching of the spruce and pine
and cedar."

During his thirty-five years' residence in Philadelphia every movement look-
ing to the city's civic betterment has had Thomas Martindale's hearty coopera-
tion and support and few men have given so liberally of their energy, time and
means for the public good, going on numerous occasions before both the state
and national legislatures in the interest of legislation directly afifecting his adopted
city. He was one of the most prominent men in the fight for pure food legisla-
tion which has contributed so largely to safeguarding the country's food supply
against adulteration. He has taken a most active interest in the subject of in-


tcrnational waterways and served as vice president and chairman of the execu-
tive committee of the canal commission of Philadelphia organized to further the
project of building a canal connecting the Delaware river and Raritan bay, de-
signed to give the city's commerce an air line route to the sea. While he has
taken a most active part in all projects of public moment, he has steadily refused
to accept public office or to be a candidate for election to any of the many posi-
tions his fellow citizens have urged him to accept.

Mr. Martindale was married October 25, 1870, to Rosie Crum, a daughter
of Solomon and Mary Crum, of Oil City, Pennsylvania. They have two chil-
dren: Thomas C, who is associated with his father in business; and James J.,
a consulting electrical engineer. The city residence is at 413 North Thirty-third
street and their summer home is at Wildwood, New Jersey.


Manton Eckfeldt Hibbs, a structural engineer connected with the bureau of
building inspection of the department of public safety, was born in Philadelphia
February 8, 1867, a son of James M. and Marie E. (Eckfeldt) Hibbs, the for-
mer a native of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of Philadelphia.
James M. Hibbs became a resident of Philadelphia about 1855 and is now sec-
retary of the Hoopes & Townsend Company, bolt and nut manufacturers. He
is still a very active and enterprising man, being wonderfully preserved although
seventy-six years of age. He has the vigor and endurance of a man much
younger in years, keeping in touch with the progressive spirit which character-
izes business methods of the present day. His wife was a daughter of George
Eckfeldt, who was largely responsible for the development of the United States
mints in Dahlonega, Georgia, New Orleans and San Francisco. In the last
named mint his son, John M., was the first coiner.

Manton Eckfeldt Hibbs pursued his education in Rugby Academy and the
University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated with the Bachelor
of Science degree in 1888 and the degree of Civil Engineer in 1889. He then
entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a member of the
construction corps, with which he was connected until 1903, when he entered the
department of public works as a draftsman in the survey bureau. He became
connected with the bureau of building inspection as assistant engineer in De-
cember, 1899, and in the fall of 1905 was made structural engineer, which posi-
tion he has since filled. He has read papers on road construction before the
cemetery superintendents of the United States at one of their annual meetings
and also a paper before the Engineers Club on the building of Hammerstein's
Opera House in Philadelphia. He has come to be recognized as one who is
competent to speak authoritatively upon the involved scientific and practical
problems of the profession, and he is frequently employed as a consulting engi-
neer on important works for the purpose of reporting on existing structures.

That Mr. Hibbs' interests arc wide and varied is indicated by the fact that
he holds membership in the Engineers Club, American Society for Testing Ma-


terials, the National Geographical Society and the Young Republican Club of
Philadelphia. He is, moreover, a member of the Spring Garden Street Meth-
odist Episcopal church, in the work of which he is actively and helpfully inter-
ested, serving as president of the Missionary Society and also as a teacher of
the young men's Bible class. He has devoted much study and research to the
history of America and especially of Philadelphia, and has delivered several
lectures on Howe's campaign against Philadelphia, and while one of the editors
of the Spring Garden Street Herald he wrote a series of articles on historic
points of the fifteenth ward.

Mr. Hibbs was married on the 19th of October, 1910, to Ray Irian Allen,
a daughter of William F. and Aura (Knight) Allen, of Philadelphia. They
reside at No. 1423 North Fifteenth street.


The spectacular phases of the law are found in the pleadings before the court
where surprises are often found in unexpected statements or in the introduction
of a startling bit of evidence hitherto unsuspected by the opposing counsel or
the public. But the most difficult work of the lawyer is done in his preparation
in the quiet of his office, where he studies out the relation of cause and effect
and searches for incident, for precedent and for principle bearing upon the
case in litigation. It was in this branch of the law that John B. Warner was
best known, being recognized by his colleagues for his diligence in research and
the great thoroughness and precision with which he prepared for the presenta-
tion of a cause before the courts.

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Warner was born October 26, 1834. His grand-
father, Lee Warner, was a native of Delaware and became connected with the
old United States Bank at Philadelphia. He built a beautiful home at Wilming-
ton, Delaware, which he afterward sold to Senator Byers. The name of Warner
has long figured prominently in the history of this section of the country. The
father, James Henry Warner, was well known as a leading merchant oi Balti-
more and in the schools of that city John B. Warner pursued his education to
the age of thirteen years, when the exigencies of the time compelled him to put
aside his text-books and start in business life for himself. Believing that he
would more readily win success in the professional field, he studied law under
the preceptorship of his uncle, Oliver H. Hatch, and when twenty-two years of
age successfully passed the required examination for admission to the bar. He
then began practice and was a member of the firm of Morrison & Warner, rec-
ognized among the most capable lawyers of Philadelphia. It was Mr. Morrison
who planned the cases for the court and secured and arranged the evidence,
while Mr. Warner conducted the pleading. They carried on a general law prac-
tice with excellent success. Mr. Warner was also clerk of the court under Judge
Marshall for some time, serving with distinction in that position.

On the 2d of October, 1856, Mr. Warner was married in Wilmington, Dela-
ware, to Miss Anne R. Rice, a daughter of Edward L. Rice, a leading and highly



\ AUTori, Lt.-iO» AND



respected merchant of this city and a representative of one of its old families.
There were three children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Warner, all of whom are now
deceased, Catherine R. having died about nine years ago. A grandson, John H.
Warner, now makes his home with his grandmother. Mrs. Anne Warner, in Phil-
adelphia, where he has lived for a number of years. He was educated in the
Germantown Academy and in a commercial college. The death of John B.
Warner occurred July 26, 1881. He manifested a citizen's interest in the political
situation of the country, and with the pride with which every young man casts
his first vote he supported Millard Fillmore. He remained throughout his life
a practitioner in the field to which he directed his energies in young manhood,
his success proving that his choice of a life work was wisely made. Mrs. Warner,
residing in Philadelphia, is well known here and has a large circle of warm


Albert J. Sanders, a representative of the real-estate business in Philadelphia,
was born in Rostov on Don, Russia, May 29, 1876. His father, Moses D. San-
ders, came to the United States in the '80s, settling in Philadelphia. He was for
many years engaged in the retail jewelry business in the southern part of the
city and remained active up to the time of his death, which occurred in Decem-
ber, 1909. He married Anna Dubrow, in the above city, a daughter of a promi-
nent grain merchant. She is still living, making her home with her youngest
son. The family numbered three sons and one daughter, namely : Albert J.,
of this review; Dr. David M., a dentist who resides at No. 1307 Girard avenue
in this city; Louis, who is engaged in the retail jewelry business and makes his
home at Twelfth and Master streets; and Laura, the wife of Max Perel, of
Baltimore, Maryland. The father was a man of unquestioned character, honesty
and integrity. His unostentatious manner and philanthropy won for him many
friends who deeply deplored his early death.

The public schools of Philadelphia afforded Albert J. Sanders his early
educational privileges, which were supplemented by study under private tutors
and a course in the Baltimore Law School at Baltimore, Maryland, from which
he was graduated with the class of 1901. He then became and is still a member
of the court of appeals of that state, but after practicing for a short time in
Maryland he again came to Philadelphia and turned his attention to commercial
pursuits, withdrawing from active connection with the legal profession. Here
he became interested in the fireproofing and building business, which he carried
on continuously and successfully until February, 1907, when he ceased his
operations in that line to give his attention to real estate and building. In this
connection he has transformed unsightly vacancies into attractive business dis-
tricts and has negotiated many important realty transfers, securing a clientage
which has made his business an extensive one. He keeps thoroughly informed
concerning realty values and few men are better versed concerning the Phila-
delphia property that is upon the market or the price demanded in its sale.


On the 26th of June, 1905, in Philadelphia, Mr. Sanders was married to
Miss Fanny Ginsburg, a daughter of Hyman and Dora (Ginsburg) Ginsburg,
the former for many years prominent in the iron and metal business here. Both
her parents have been active in local philanthropic and communal work. Mr.
Ginsburg, who was a man of great liberality of thought and action, stood for
all that was just and righteous, irrespective of caste or creed, race or color. Mrs.
Sanders has followed the example of her parents, doing much charitable and
educational work. She is a member of the Philadelphia Playgrounds Associa-
tion, the University Extension Society and several other literary and social
organizations. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sanders have been born two children, Ida
Edith and Dorothy, aged respectively five and two years.

Mr. Sanders belongs to the Philmont Country Club and the Manufacturers
Club of Philadelphia and also to University Lodge No. 610, A. F. & A. M. His
political indorsement is given to the republican party, although he is not an
active worker in its ranks. With no assistance at the outset of his career he
has climbed the business ladder of steady progress and has reached the plane
of affluence, winning for himself a creditable name in real-estate and building
circles of the city.


Horace Franklin Whitman was for a considerable period president of the
firm of Stephen F. Whitman & Son, confectioners, and as such occupied a lead-
ing position in the business circles of Philadelphia. He was born in this city
September 7, 1848, of the marriage of Stephen and Lydia (Rowland) Whit-
man. His education was acquired in the Friends school at Fifteenth and Race
streets until he was equipped for college work and then entered Yale, being
graduated therefrom as an alumnus of 1869.

On his return to this city he became associated with his father, who was the
founder of the business carried on under the name of Stephen F. Whitman &
Son, Inc. They were prominent candy manufacturers and upon the father's
death Horace F. Whitman succeeded as president of the company. The Phila-
delphia branch of the business is at No. 1316 Chestnut street. Mr. Whitman
remained active in its management and in the introduction of improved and
progressive methods until a few years prior to his demise, when ill health forced
him to retire and he spent his remaining days in the enjoyment of well earned
rest. Their retail place of business at No. 1316 Chestnut street with wholesale
manufacturing plant on Race street, is still carried on and this is one of the
finest confectionery establishments in this city.

On the 6th of October, 1870, occurred the marriage of Horace Franklin
Whitman and Miss Ida S. Cox, a daughter of William C. Cox, of Philadelphia,
and unto them was born a daughter Lillian, now the wife of Edward Woolman.
At his home at No. 3801 Walnut street, he passed away January 9, 191 1. He
was a member of the Union League Club and of the Historical Society, and his
interests in esthetic culture was evidenced by his membership in the Art Club.


He attended the Episcopal church. His business interests and social activities
ever balanced up with the principles of truth and honor, and in his home life he
manifested a quietude of deportment and easy dignity, and a frankness and
cordiality in address that indicated a man ready to meet any obligations of life

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 31 of 62)