Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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bishop Ryan November 4, 1901, and celebrated his first mass on the loth of
November at St. Stanislaus church in Philadelphia. He acted as assistant pas-
tor of St. Stanislaus church for three years, was for a short time pastor of
St. Casimir at Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and afterward was appointed to
organize the parish of St. Adelbert's. Here the work has steadily progressed.
The church has very fine stained-glass windows which were imported from
Europe. Most of these are memorial windows furnished by individuals and
societies. The people of the parish have given generously for the building of
the church and its different lines of work and the influence of the church has
been a constantly growing one.



PHILIPP FISCHELIS, M. D.

Dr. Philipp Fischelis, associate professor of histology and demonstrator of
embryology in the Medico-Chirurgical College, was born in Odessa, Russia, on
the 8th of December, 1857. The father was identified with merchandising in
Odessa throughout his entire life, and both he and his wife died in that city.
Dr. Fischelis acquired his early education in the common schools of Odessa
and afterward studied the natural sciences under Professor A. Kowalewsky and
Professor El. Metschnicoff at the university in Odessa. He began the study of
medicine in Germany in 1879 ^""^ continued his preparation for the profession
in Leipzig, Konigsberg and Berlin, being graduated from the University of Ber-
lin in 1885.

After four years' practice in the old world. Dr. Fischelis came to the United
States in 1889, passed the required examination and received a license to prac-
tice medicine in the state of Pennsylvania in May of that year. He at once
opened an office and has since been a representative of the medical profession
in this city, his ability gaining him wide recognition. He qualified under some
of the ablest medical educators of the old world and in his practice he has at
all times kept abreast with the most modern scientific methods. After having
filled the position of a demonstrator and instructor of throat and nose diseases
at the Philadelphia Polyclinic for post graduates for eight years, he was elected
as chief of the nose, throat and ear department in Mount Sinai Hospital, which
position he held for five years. In 1903 he became affiliated as a demonstrator
of histology and embryology with the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadel-
phia, and in May, 1909, was elected to the position of associate professor of





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HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA 383

histology and demonstrator of embryology in the medical and dental department
of that institution. His al)ility as an educator is manifest in the clear and con-
cise manner in which he imparts his knowledge to others, at all times holding the
attention of his classes. Anything which tends to bring to man the key to the
complex mystery which we call life awakens his earnest interest and further'
more his investigations have been carried forward along various lines of original
research. Dr. Fischelis has contributed papers to foreign journals on the De-
velopment of Thyroid and Thymus Glands, also on the Development of the
Lungs, and a chapter on Rep-roduction and Evolution in Dr. Ott's text-book of
Physiology. In association with P. NorrhanBroomell, D. D. S., he published a
text-book on Anatomy, Histology- and Embryology of the Mouth and Teeth. At
present he is engaged in writing a text-book of -Histology.

Dr. Fischelis has been medical exaramer of the Artisans Order of Mutual
Protection and of the Royal Arcanum, in both of which he holds membership.
He is also a member of the American Association of Anatomists, the American
Medical Association, the Pennsylvania State Medical Association, the Philadel-
phia County Medical Society, the American Association for the Advancement
of Science and the National Geographic Society. His political allegiance is
given to the republican party. Pleasantly situated in his home life, he was mar-
ried in Philadelphia, in 1890, to Miss Ernestine Kempt and their children are
as follows : Robert, Berthold, Wilhelm, Marie, Alice and Anna. Dr. Fischelis
has his residence and office at No. 828 North Fifth street.



CHARLES A. SPIEGEL.

Charles A. Spiegel is entitled to threefold prominence as a financier, lawyer
and philanthropist. Aside from his charitable work he is perhaps best known
as the treasurer of the Germantown Saving Fund Society, with which he has
been continuously connected for more than forty years, long serving in the offi-
cial position which he now fills. He was born in Albany, New York, April 7,
1854. His father, Charles Spiegel, a native of Berlin, Germany, and youngest
son of Karl Baron Von Spiegel became a resident of Albany, New York, when
about twenty-one years of age. His life work was that of teaching. He was
highly connected in Berlin but came to the new world because of the democratic
view-s which he held. In 1863 he removed to Philadelphia and remained there-
after a resident of this city. His wife, Anna Louisa BenninghofT, was a native
of this city.

Charles A. Spiegel was a lad of but nine years at the time of the removal
of the family to Philadelphia. He pursued his studies in a convent school at
Frederick City, Maryland, to the age of thirteen years, when he attended the
John Quincy Adams grammar school in Philadelphia, after which he was grad-
uated from the Crittenden Commercial College in the department of accounting
and banking. In 1868 he began the study of law under Robert II. Hickley and
afterward attended the Temple College Law School. Later he passed the ex-
amination and w'as admitted to the bar. He continued his reading with Mr.



384 HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA

Hickley for two years but did not enter upon practice for some time afterward
owing to the fact that he became connected with the Saving Fund Society in
1869. This was incorporated April 6, 1854. Samuel B. Morris, whose benevo-
lence ever prompted him to take a deep interest in the welfare of those around
him was largely instrumental in calling the preliminary meetings which after-
ward led to the permanent organization and procurement of the charter. Today
only one of the original board of managers is still connected with the institution
- — Elliston P. Morris, who is secretary. The Saving Fund Society was estab-
lished to encourage frugality and economy among small wage earners of the dis-
trict. The charter requires that the assets of the society must be examined
annually by a disinterested committee of citizens, styled auditors. Their re-
port is published in three papers and must also be sent to the speaker of the
house of representatives and to the speaker of the senate. Deposits are received
from ten cents upward and interest is paid on all sums above five dollars. On
the 1st of January, 191 1, the number of accounts was twenty-four thousand,
three hundred and ninety-one and the amount of deposits was eight millions,
four hundred and thirty-two thousand, nine hundred dollars and forty-four
cents. For some years the treasurer, George A. Warder, and his assistant, Mr.
Spiegel, were the only officers and the success of the institution was largely due
to their united efforts and their ability to win the confidence of the growing
community. Mr. Spiegel has been the treasurer since 1880 and has virtually
grown up with the institution. He is also counselor at law with the firm of
Peck, Shields & Clark. He has always been interested in the law but the
banking business makes such demands upon his time as to leave him little op-
portunity to engage in practice, but his legal knowledge is often of great use to
him in the conduct of financial affairs as well as to the law firm with which he
is connected.

Mr. Spiegel is a man of benevolent and kindly spirit, generous to the poor
and needy, often extending a helping hand where assistance is needed. He is
also the treasurer of the Germantown Relief Society, an important organiza-
tion of the town, and one of its managers since 1880 and in this connection his
labors have been of the utmost value in promoting the work of the society.
They own their own building, which was purchased by voluntary contributions
procured by Mr. Spiegel. Supplies are given to those in need from a stock
bought at wholesale prices. This is the first organization of the kind not only
in Philadelphia but in the United States. A splendid work is being carried on
and the success of the project is due in no small measure to the business ability,
careful management and humanitarian spirit of Mr. Spiegel.

In June, 1906, occurred the marriage of Mr. Spiegel and Miss Rachel Frances
Sharpless, a daughter of William C. and Ellen (Watts) Sharpless, of Phila-
delphia. They have one child, Ellen Mary, born October 16, 1908.

In his political views Mr. Spiegel is a stalwart republican but not an active
worker in party ranks. He belongs to the First Presbyterian church at Ger-
mantown, also served as church trustee and as Sunday school superintendent
but is now devoting his time and energy outside of business hours to the lines
of charity with which he is actively connected. He was at one time a leading
member of the Young Men's Christian Association and did an especially help-



HISTORY OF i'lilLADKLl'lllA 385

ful work in promoting and aiding its g>mnasium. He has taken the lodge and
chapter degrees of the Masonic fraternity, belongs to the Germantown Cricket
Club, the Hunting Valley Country Club, the Lawyers Club, the City Club of
Philadelphia — and a life member of the City Parks Association. He is a deeply
interested member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
and a life member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Few men are
more thoroughly informed concerning sociological and economic questions of
the day and while working toward high ideals for the benefit of others he has
labored along practical lines that have produced substantial and far-reaching
results. As a business man he sustains an unassailable reputation, as a citizen
enjoys in a large measure the good-will and confidence of all, while many who
have benefited by his bounty entertain for him the most heart-felt gratitude.



EDWARD CLARKE DIEHL.

For almost four decades Edward Clarke Diehl engaged in the practice of
law and his career at the bar was marked by a steady progression that won for
him the admiration and respect which are instinctively given those whose promi-
nence is worthily won and well merited. He was born in Philadelphia on the
22d of July, 1833, and was a great-grandson of Captain Nicholas Diehl, who
commanded a company of Pennsylvania Militia in the Revolutionary war and
participated in the battle of Long Island on the 27th of August, 1776. He was
also captain in the Third Battalion under Colonel Hugh Floyd in 1776, and cap-
tain in the Third Battalion, Fifth Company, in 1777, serving under a second
commission. He was afterward commander of the Light Horse in 1780-1781,
a volunteer militia company of the Sixth Battalion, under Colonel Caleb Davis.
The history of his military service is given in Pennsylvania Association and
Militia of 1775, also in Martin's History of Chester and Smith's History of
Delaware County. He died in 1819. William Jacoby Diehl, the father of Ed-
ward Clarke Diehl, was born in Philadelphia May 14, 1805, and died January
9, 1833. He wedded Mary A. Fouche, of Philadelphia, formerly of New York,
and they became the parents of three sons, Thomas J., William and Edward
C. The second named died in early childhood.

Edward Clarke Diehl supplemented his literary education by the study of law
and was admitted to practice at the bar of Philadelphia county on the 4th of
April, i860. He was in active association from that time until his death and
was admitted to the bar of Delaware county on the 29th of May, 1871, to the
supreme court of Pennsylvania, March 4, 1871, and to the United States district
court, eastern district, March 4, 1871. He was appointed commissioner of the
district court to Philadelphia on the 7th of March, 1870. and was reajipointed
commissioner of the courts of common pleas January 9, 1875, the common pleas
court No. 2, January 16, 1875, common pleas court No. 3, January 4, 1875, and
common pleas court No. 4, January 4, 1875. For ^ half -century he followed
his profession in which connection he displayed an ability that placed him with
Philadelphia's strong and able lawyers. He was conscientious in the performance



386 HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA

of professional duties and his devotion to his clients' interests was proverbial.
He seemed to knov^r almost instinctively when to defend and when to attack in
the trial of a case, where to cite precedent and where to fortify his cause with
legal principles. He won many favorable verdicts and was accorded a large
clientage. He was for many years counselor for the famous theatrical firm
of Nixon & Zimmerman.

On the 1 8th of February, 1857, Mr. Diehl was married to Miss Annie E.
Mcllvaine, an only daughter of Spencer and Sarah (Crosby) Mcllvaine, of
Chester, Pennsylvania. Her father was a large landowner of Chester and was
prominently connected there. Her mother was a descendant of Captain John
Crosby, who was in the Pennsylvania Militia and was taken prisoner by the
English. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Diehl are Sarah M., Ella T. and Mary.
The last named became the wife of William Semple and to them were bom
two children, Edward Clarke and Marion Patton Semple.

Mr. Diehl gave his political allegiance to the republican party and was well
informed upon the leading questions and issues of the day. He was of the
Episcopalian faith and was a member of the society of the Sons of the Revolu-
tion, to which he was elected on the 13th of October, 1890. His entire life was
passed in Philadelphia and no better indication of his honorable and upright
career can be found than in the fact that many of his boyhood companions gave
him their stanch friendship throughout his life. The years, however, added con-
tinually to the circle of his friends as the circle of his acquaintance widened.
His death occurred January 3, 1910, and he was buried in Chester rural ceme-
tery.



CHARLES FRANCIS GUMMEY.

The University of Pennsylvania numbers among its alumni many men wha
have gained distinction and honors in all parts of the country, while among its
Philadelphia alumni are those who are regarded as men of eminent authority
in various walks of life and twenty-two years' active connection with the bar
demonstrated Judge Gummey's right to rank with the strong and able members
of the legal profession.

He was bom in this city December 22, 1862, a son of Charles F. and Mary
Emma (Schaffer) Gummey, and was prepared for college at the Germantown
Academy, entering the University of Pennsylvania for a scientific course, from
which he graduated with the degree of B. S. in 1884. Turning his attention tcv
preparation for the bar, he read law with John G. Johnson, Esq., as his pre-
ceptor and later matriculated in the law school of the University of Pennsyl-
vania, which conferred upon him his LL. B. degree in 1888. On the i6th of
June of that year Judge Gummey was admitted to the bar and continued in the
active practice of his profession until his appointment to the position of judge
of the orphans' court of Philadelphia county on the 31st of October, 1910.

Judge Gummey was married June 7, 1900, to Miss Florence Catherwood, a
daughter of John H. Catherwood; and resides at No. 2126 Locust street, Phila-
delphia. He is a member of several leading clubs and of the Sons of the Revo-




(HAWl.KS F. tiUMMEY



HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA 389

lution, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Colonial Society and other
societies. He has always taken an active interest in matters relating to the
University of Pennsylvania, being at the present time a member of the central
committee of the Alumni and also secretary of the Society of the Alumni of
the Law Department.



HENRY S. BELBER.



Prominent among the energetic, capable and prosperous business men of
Philadelphia is Henry S. Belber, who from the position of errand boy with a
salary of one dollar per week has made consecutive advance in commercial and
manufacturing circles until as the president of the Belber Trunk & Bag Com-
pany he is at the head of the largest establishment of the kind in the world.
The company manufactures trunks, traveling bags and other similar leather
articles, and such has been the growth of the business that the name is known
wherever the traveler is found.

Mr. Belber was born in the little village of Herlau in Romania, December
8, 1873, and was a lad of about six years when brought to Philadelphia by his
parents. He attended the public schools until fourteen years of age, when the
necessity of providing for his own livelihood prompted him to secure a position
as errand boy. His salary was but one dollar per week. Carefully availing him-
self of every opportunity for advancement, he afterward became an apprentice
in a trunk-making establishment and had obtained such thorough knowledge of
the business that at the age of seventeen years he felt justified in establishing
a small repair shop and retail business in that connection with his father and
brothers. They were successful from the beginning and prospered as the years
went by. In 1891 the present business was established and in 1909 the sales
amounted to more than a million dollars. Not only is the output shipped to all
parts of the United States, but they also do a large export business, shipping
to Cuba, the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines and the Orient, and in fact to
all parts of the globe. They manufacture trunks, suitcases, telescopes, bags and
leather goods, and the extent of their trade is aptly expressed in their advertise-
ment, a trunk, termed "The New Atlas," supporting the world. In 1903 the
business was incorporated under the state laws of Pennsylvania with Henry S.
Belber as president, Aaron S. Belber as treasurer and Theodore Dimmick as
secretary. Recently two blocks adjacent to their present location have been
purchased on which addition a factory will be erected and connected with their
present plant by bridges and viaduct. When finished their plant will cover four
blocks. Their present location is bounded by Turner, Hancock, Masher and
Columbia streets and the new property is bounded by Hancock, Oxford, Turner,
Palethorp and Masher streets. To the initiated it takes but a glance to show
how thoroughly modem is the equipment of this extensive enterprise which
was founded and has been promoted by Henry S. Belber, whose business ability
is not only manifest in his administrative direction and executive force, but also
in the fact that he has been able to surround himself with a most able corps of



390 HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA

assistants. There are now over five hundred operatives employed in the factory
and the house is represented by a large force of office help and traveling sales-
men.

On the loth of May, 1898, Mr. Belber was united in marriage to Miss
Minnie Belber, and they have five children: Edmond, born March 5, 1900;
Sophie, born September 19, 1902; Milton, born March 30, 1904; Mervin, born
November 22, 1905 ; and Phyline, born October 30, 1909.

In his political views Mr. Belber is independent, considering more the capa-
bility of the candidate than his party affiliation. He belongs to the Reformed
Hebrew church, his membership being with the congregation of Keneseth Israel
on Broad street. He is affiliated with Keystone Lodge No. 271, F. & A. M.,
and is a member of the executive committee and board of directors of Mount
Sinai Hospital at Fifth and Wilder streets. His success has enabled him to give
generous expression to his charitable impulses and of various benevolent insti-
tutions he is a liberal patron. Relaxation from the cares and responsibilities
of a strenuous business life comes to him through his fondness of outdoor
sports, especially horseback riding and driving. His life is a notable example
of the self-made man who through the improvement of opportunity reaches the
goal of substantial and enviable success.



JUDGE ROBERT RALSTON.

Judge Robert Ralston, lawyer and essayist, for a quarter of a century identi-
fied with the Philadelphia bar and now judge of the common pleas court, was
born in this city, March 11, 1863, and completed his more specifically literary
education by graduation from the Episcopal Academy of this city. In 1878 he
entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and after severing
his connection therewith was identified with the Reading Iron Works from
1879 until 1882. He preferred to concentrate his energies upon professional
rather than mechanical interests, however, and taking up the study of law was
graduated LL. B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1885.

Admitted to the bar the same year Judge Ralston has since continued in
active and successful practice. Soon proving his worth as counselor and advo-
cate by the wise and conscientious use of his talents and powers, he also be-
came known as an attorney of marked devotion to the interests of his clients
and yet he never forgets for a moment that he owes a still higher allegiance to
the majesty of the law. In 1892 he was appointed assistant United States dis-
trict attorney and remained as the incumbent in that office until 1898. He then
resumed his private practice which in the meantime had become of an important
and distinctively representative character. In 1901 he was elected judge of the
common pleas court of Philadelphia for a term expiring in 191 2, and has now
sat upon the bench for nine years, the impartiality of his rulings and his clear
exposition of the law as related to the points in litigation winning him high
encomiums from the bar as well as from the general public. He is the author
of various legal essays and has edited a number of legal text-books. He de-



HISTORY OF PHILADELPHIA 391

lights in the science of jurisprudence as well as in the practical phase of litiga-
tion and court decision and in his work manifests a notable faculty for the
separation of the important features of any subject from its incidental or acci-
dental circumstances.

Judge Ralston in 1893 was elected first lieutenant and in 1895 succeeded
Edward Morell as colonel of the Third Regiment of the Pennsylvania National
Guard. He commanded the regiment during the war with Spain and resigned
when he went upon the bench in 1901.



JOSEPH NAPOLEON DU BARRY.

Biography gives many proofs of the fact that the field of business is limit-
less and that there is always opportunity for progress and advancement in any
of the great avenues to which men direct their energies. The life history of
Joseph Napoleon Du Barry is the record of continuous progress in railway
circles until he reached the position of vice president of the Pennsylvania Rail-
way Company. He learned to correctly value life's contacts and experiences, to
judge men at their real worth, to recognize opportunity and to coordinate forces,
and these qualities gave him eminence in a position calling for marked executive
ability and administrative control.

Mr. Du Barry was a native of New Jersey, his birth having occurred in
Bordentown, on the 19th of November, 1830. His father, Dr. Edmund L. Du
Barry, was a distinguished surgeon in the United States navy and acted as sur-
geon to Prince Joseph Napoleon of France when the latter was in this country.
It was in his honor that he named his son, the subject of this review.

J. N. Du Barry was a young lad when he accompanied his parents on their
removal to Washington, D. C, and there in the private schools of the capital he
pursued his education. After his school days were over, at the age of seventeen
years, he entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, but in 1856 left that
company and for two years was connected with the Pacific Railroad Company
of Missouri, with headquarters at St. Louis. At the end of that time, however,
he returned to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and, being actuated by a
laudable ambition and firm purpose to work his way upward, he applied himself
to his tasks with such diligence and manifested such capability in their discharge
that he was promoted from time to time, each promotion bringing him large
responsibilities and wider opportunities until at length he reached the position
of vice president, being second in executive control of one of the most important



Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 39 of 62)