Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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Tyrol. In the last two we have the poet in battailous mood. He is here the
bard in whose mind lingers the memory of heroic days and who is familiar with
moving armies. In the King Harry lyric there is splendid pageantry and a mar-
tial clangor. The lines have the efTect of one of Saint Gaudens' equestrian monu-
ments. They are proudly warlike and heroical. In Guidarello Guidarelli again
the note is heroic, knightly — but, too, there is a wistfulness, a lyric sorrowful-
ness, deepening into tragedy — it is grief, but grief told in the ringing of rythmic
bells. To a Magnolia Flower is a revery — fit for the flower and for the place.
There is an imaginative suggestiveness in this lovely poem, which makes it as
typical as it is human and moving, and it rises in its concluding stanzas into a
deep and exquisite symbolism, most musically intoned. As Lincoln's deeper
thought, his leitmotif, comes to a stirring climax in the wonderful Gettysburg
address, so the 'leading motive' of Dr. Mitchell's later verse reaches its finest
expression in his Ode on a Lycian Tomb. In this the tragedy of life and death
is set to a very noble music. This exquisite poem Aldrich classed with the few
great elegies in the English language, giving convincing proof of the genius of
an author who has won laurels in other fields, but if poetry is what the world
believes, none are so likely to shine brighter or longer last."

The world knows Dr. Mitchell as scientist, novelist and poet, as a lecturer
and a critic, but in his home city, where every man is his friend and all honor
him for what he has accomplished. Dr. Mitchell is known in still another light.
He enjoys the fellowship of the clubs in which he holds membership and has
been termed "the loyal and noble friend who always pays devotion with a thou-
sandfold interest. * * * He has a humor distinctively his own. If you
could hear him read one of his poems of occasion after some Franklin Inn din-
ner, you would agree that wit did not go out with the publication of poor Rich-
ard's Almanac. The puns and the jeu d'esprit of Dr. Mitchell are common
mintage in Philadelphia and some of them go to the marrow of a subject more
potently than a whole discourse. I have known one or two such to give a quiz-
zical turn to a controversy, which made plain its specious origin and stilled it
forever. Wit is a tough argument to thrash and this master of men knows well
how to interpose it. Intuition and sympathy, joined to intellect, are the essen-
tials of both the physician and the bard, and when these are united at a high
level they may make a great doctor or a great poet, or a combination of the two
in one."

The manly sympathy and the intuitive knowledge of the needs of others,
which mark the doctor as well as the poet, also signalize Dr. Mitchell as a friend
and as a lover and helper of mankind. To any one who has ever, professionally


or personally, felt the generous and instinctive friendship of that fine but quite
disinterested spirit, who has partaken of his overflowing kindness and experi-
enced the help of his abundant understanding, it is needless to try for words
in which to describe the trait. It is an elusive trait and hardly bends to analysis
or definition, but such things of the soul are often more real than the things
of the flesh, and to those of Dr. Mitchell's circle and to his grateful patients, his
memorable characteristic will always be that of sympathy which apprehends and

Dr. Mitchell at the age of eighty-two continues to some extent his professional
work, engages in scientific research, spends hours at his desk in literary pro-
duction and continually gives out of his rich stores of wisdom and experience
to meet the world's needs and advance its progress.


I. Irwin Jackson, attorney at law, who in general practice has been very suc-
cessful, was born in New York city, November 23, 1876. His father, Mendel
Jackson, is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, and since 1890 has resided in Phil-
adelphia, where for some years he conducted business as a wholesale clothier but
is now retired. He married Rebecca Herschberg, a native of Berlin, Germany,
and they became parents of nine children, of whom I. Irwin Jackson is the eld-

For one year I. Irwin Jackson was a pupil in the schools of New York and
for about two years attended night school in Philadelphia but is practically a
self-educated as well as a self-made man, his advantages being only such as have
been acquired through his own ability. At the age of fourteen he went into his
father's store as a clerk and later became designer. He was connected with the
business until 1900, when a desire for a professional career led him to take up
the study of law in the office of Thomas Diehl. Pursuing his reading as op-
portunity off^ered, he was admitted to the bar in March, 1906, and at once began
practice in Philadelphia, opening an office in the Betz building. He is now lo-
cated, in the Real Estate Trust building and in the general practice of law has
met with rapid and gratifying success. He was connected in the profession with
John C. Grady, late director of docks, wharfs and ferries, and has won a large
and distinctively representative clientage. The habits of thoroughness, ready
adaptability and resourcefulness which he formed in his youth now stand him
in good stead, enabling him not only to successfully conduct a large and growing
law practice but also to act as officer of various corporations. He has represented
several corporations in a legal capacity, is president of the Finance Building As-
sociation and solicitor for the Granite, General, Gilt-Edge and John Marshall
Building & Loan Associations.

In January, 1906, Mr. Jackson was married to Miss Lena Loew, of Phila-
delphia, and they have one daughter, Gladys, born in April, 1907. Mr. and Mrs.
Jackson are members of the Ethical Culture Society and he is prominent in sev-
eral fraternal organizations, now serving as commander of Maneto Tent, Knights




of the Maccabees; as master of Rising Star Lodge, No. 126, F. & A. M.; and as
counsel of tlie Loyal Order of Moose. He is a member of Paconta Tribe, No.
31, I. O. R. M. ; Philadelphia Aerie, No. 42, Fraternal Order of Eagles; the Gar-
field Circle; the Brotherhood of the Union; and the Artisans Order of Mutual
Protection. He is likewise a member of the Philadelphia Law Academy, the
Philadelphia Law Association and is counsel for the Servian and Romanian
Beneficial Association of Philadelphia.

In politics an earnest republican, Mr. Jackson is a member of the First,
Twelfth and Twentieth Ward Republican Associations. He takes an active part
in politics and is a popular campaign speaker, often making public addresses in
behalf of the candidates of his party. He is a member of the business men's
committee appointed by Mayor Reyburn to further the interests of the city, and
was a member of the naval committee by appointment of the mayor during
Founders week in 1908. He is classed with those men who are leaving their im-
press upon the public life, standing for progress, reform and improvement in all
things relative to municipal welfare.


Ability adequate to the demands of a growing and important business and
initiative spirit resulting in the formulation of good and practical plans for the
management of the trade have brought William Henry Bower prominently be-
fore the public as a manufacturer of heavy chemicals, operating under the name
of the Henry Bower Chemical Manufacturing Company. Philadelphia num-
bers him with her native sons, his birth having occurred here on the 13th of
June, 1864. His parents were Henry and Lucretia Kirk (Elliott) Bower. The
mother was a daughter of Isaac and Elisa (Thomas) Elliott. Isaac Elliott was
born in Philadelphia, February 17, 1795, and was descended from John Elliott,
of Manton, England, who came to Philadelphia in May, 1753. Elisa Thomas
was a representative of the Thomas and Mather family, prominently connected
with the history of Pennsylvania.

Henry Bower, father of William Henry Bower, was a son of William and
Fannie (Bennett) Bower, who came to Philadelphia from Hamburg, Germany,
about 1825. Henry Bower was born in Philadelphia in 1833 and was graduated
from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1854. He engaged for a time
in the business of broker in chemicals and in 1856 began the manufacture of
chemicals at Twenty-ninth street and Gray's Ferry Road, where the works
which he established are at present located. Throughout his active business
career he was prominently identified with every movement affecting the growth
of the chemical industry in the United States. He was the first in this country
to use potash salts as an ingredient of the fertilizers which he manufactures;
also, he was among the first, if not the first, to recover, on a large scale, the
ammonia from the "gas liquors" of the gas works. He received from the
Franklin Institute in 1878 the Elliott Cresson medal as the first in this country
to make pure inoderous glycerine. He received also medals for the excellence



of his manufactures at the exhibitions of Vienna in 1873 ; Franklin Institute in.
1874; Philadelphia in 1876; Paris in 1878; and Chicago in 1893.

It was chieily owing to his representations that the United States census
bureau determined in the census of 1880 to have the statistics of the chemical
industries reported as a separate branch of manufactures. Henry Bower was
appointed the special agent of the bureau to collect these statistics for the census
of 1880 and 1890 and the excellence of these reports bears eloquent testimony
to the painstaking and thoroughness with which he devoted himself to the work
entrusted to his hands. His intimate acquaintance with the chemical industry
of the United States was widely recognized and the fact that his opinions and
advice were frequently sought by the committees of the senate and house of
representatives in the framing of tariff legislation bearing thereon, affords capi-
tal evidence of the extent and accuracy of his knowledge of the subject and of
the soundness of his judgment. He was for many years secretary and treasurer
of the Manufacturing Chemists Association of the United States and was promi-
nent in its councils. Mr. Bower was elected a member of the Franklin Insti-
tute in 1858 and was a member of the board of managers from 189 1 until the
time of his death March 26, 1896.

By his marriage to Lucretia Kirk Elliott he became the father of four chil-
dren, the eldest of whom is our subject, William H. ; George R., who is the
president of the Henry Bower Chemical Manufacturing Company ; Elise Elliott,
the wife of Sydney Thayer, secretary and treasurer of the company ; and Frank
B., second vice president. Mr. Bower was widely known in social circles but
was of retiring nature. He was identified as a member of the Philadelphia Club
and the "Rabbit," a well known organization.

In the acquirement of his education William H. Bower attended the Lauder-
bach Academy and the University of Pennsylvania, which conferred upon him
the B. S. degree. He was graduated in 1886 after devoting his time largely to
the mastery of a course in chemistry and kindred subjects. In 1887 he became
connected with his father in business under the firm style of Henry Bower &
Son but later the firm organization was converted into a corporation under the
present style of Henry Bower Chemical Manufacturing Company. William
Henry Bower, of this review, made it his purpose to thoroughly perfect himself
in every branch of the business in connection with the manufacture of the prod-
ucts of the house and was thus enabled to assume the management of the busi-
ness. Under his administration the company has constantly enlarged its opera-
tions and today manufactures and controls a most extensive output. He is also
a director of the Mutual Chemical Company of America.

Mr. Bower is a "regular" republican and has done expert work for the
committees in congress during the last three revisions of the tariff. He has
always taken an active interest in affairs of municipal government and the high
ideals which he cherishes have found embodiment in practical effort for their
adoption. He is well known in various social and club relations, belongs to the
Phi Kappa Psi fraternity of the University of Pennsylvania, and also to the
Rittenhouse, University, Markham, Manufacturers, Union League, Philadelphia
Country, Philadelphia Gun, University Barge and Riverton Yacht Clubs. He
has also served as secretary, as chairman of the executive committee and as


president of the Manufacturing Chemists Association of the United States. He
is fond of atliletic sports and is a lover of books. He possesses a splendid col-
lection of English romantic works and novels. He also has an interesting col-
lection of books on worship and his library contains many rare works. It is
well that so successful a man should also have found time for the finer things
that many business men are prone to overlook, enriching his life by the works
of art and literature and by travel.


William L. McLean, publisher of the Evening Bulletin, the leading daily
paper of Philadelphia, was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania, May 4, 1852. He acquired his early education in the common
schools of his native town and while yet a boy removed to Pittsburg. There
at the age of twenty years he entered the office of the Pittsburg Leader, where
he was first engaged on the compilation of a newspaper almanac. Subsequently
he was appointed to a position on the reportorial staff and finally worked his
way upward through the circulation and advertising departments, gaining a
thorough knowledge of the business. He resigned his position in connection
with that paper, however, in 1878, and came to Philadelphia, after which he
purchased an interest in the Press, with which he was connected as business
manager and advertising manager until 1895.

Upon the settlement of the estate of the late Gibson Peacock, who had
founded the Evening Bulletin in 1847, that paper was offered for sale, and Mr.
McLean in connection with some of his associates purchased it, forming the
Bulletin Company, of which Mr. McLean was chosen president. He later ac-
quired sole ownership of the paper, which he has since published alone. At
the time of his purchase the Bulletin was an eight page, six column paper and
had a circulation of less than six thousand. Today it runs from sixteen to
twenty-four pages with an average circulation of nearly two hundred and fifty
thousand. This marvelous growth is direct evidence of the business ability and
enterprising spirit of Mr. McLean, whose thorough practical experience in all
the departments of newspaper publication have enabled him to build up one
of the strongest dailies of the country, winning for the Bulletin a position of
leadership in Philadelphia. The business having outgrown its quarters at No.
612 Chestnut street, Mr. McLean purchased the property at the northeast corner
of City Hall Square in 1906 and erected the handsome new building which is
now the home of the Bulletin. In the construction of this building he endeav-
ored to make it worthy, architecturally, of its location and erected a ten story,
white stone structure, of which the two upper and two lower floors are devoted
to the newspaper offices and plant, and the intervening floors to modern offices.
The pressroom contains ten large sextuple presses of the latest design, with a
practical capacity of two hundred thousand twenty-four page papers per hour.
There are also four large casting furnaces and galleries, from which to supply
paper to the upper sections of the presses, together with every conceivable mod-


ern convenience that facilitates and promotes the work of a model newspaper
office of the present day. One entire floor is devoted to the composing and
make-up department and is arranged with a greatest possible care for facility
and speed and equipped with all that is most modern in the way of machinery.
The editorial and reportorial rooms are models of neatness and completeness,
and adjoining is a large library and biographical reference department. The
questions of light, air and sanitation were kept constantly in mind in the con-
struction of this building and every department of the plant is all that years of
experience and investigation, together with liberal, yet not useless expenditure
on the part of the builder, could make it. Newspaper men from all sections
of the country and from various points abroad have visited the Bulletin office,
have found here much to interest them and have pronounced the building and
its equipment one of the most perfect plants in the country.

The Bulletin is an independent daily newspaper with republican tendencies.
It is recognized as eminently fair in the treatment of all public questions and
its great success is due to the fact that it has had no interest to serve except
those of its readers.

In 1889 Mr. McLean was married at Philadelphia to Miss Sarah B. War-
den, a daughter of William G. Warden, of this city, and with their family of
three sons and a daughter they reside in Germantown. Mr. McLean is a big,
plain man, broad-minded, genial and gracious to all. He has devoted his at-
tention entirely to his paper and has permitted himself no other financial in-
terests to distract his energies from the successful conduct of this enterprise.
He has, however, been a director of the Associated Press for the past fifteen
years, identified with the Illinois corporation until its dissolution in 1900, when
with five others, he organized and incorporated the present Associated Press
under the laws of New York.


The Episcopal faith is strongly upheld in Philadelphia by St. Elisabeth's
church. This church had its beginning in 1888 when the Rev. W. W. Webb,
now bishop of Milwaukee, and the Rev. M. L. Cowl, both assistants of the
Church of the Evangelists, expressed to the rector their desire to begin new
work. After some negotiations it was decided that the new work should be
undertaken in a district west of Broad street. A small house at 1925 Hicks
street, then the utmost bounds of the built up part of the city, was rented. The
first session of the Sunday school was held November 18, 1888, and the first
service. Evensong, was held the same evening, fifty-three persons being in at-
tendance. Diligent house to house visitation bore abundant fruit afterward, be-
yond all expectations. In February, 1889, a charter was secured and the church
organized under the name of St. Elisabeth's. On February 13, 1889, they elected
Rev. Dr. Percival as the first pastor. The growth of the new church necessi-
tated increased accommodations and after a lot was secured at Sixteenth and
Mifflin streets ground was broken for the present parish building October 7,


:' Is


1889. The cornerstone was laid just a year later. On November 20, 1889, Dr.
Percival resigned the rectorship and Rev. Mr. Webb was chosen to the vacancy.
A canonical relation of the clergy of St. Elisabeth's with the Evangelists was thus
severed and St. Elisabeth's now stood out with a distinct and independent paro-
chial life of its own. On Febniary 16, 1890, the first service — a celebration of
the holy communion — was held in the completed parish building, and the follow-
ing day the building was formally dedicated. Rev. Mr. Webb resigned Novem-
ber 12, 1892, and on the 31st of October of that year the Rev. Maurice L. Cowl,
who had been identified with the work and success of St. Elisabeth's from the
beginning, was chosen the first rector. In the spring of 1894 he called the Rev.
William L. Hayward to be his assistant. Mr. Cowl's rectorship continued four
years. In the autumn of 1896 he and Mr. Hayward were joined by six other
priests who began community life together at St. Elisabeth's, at which time he
resigned the rectorship and the Rev. William McGarvey was elected to succeed
him on October 29, 1896. In May, 1908, he and his stafT of clergy resigned, and
the Rev. C. W. Robinson, rector of the Church of the Evangelists, took charge
of the parish until a rector should be called. The present rector, the Rev. Fred-
erick D. Ward, was elected November 10, 1908, and took up his duties on Advent
Sunday, November 29th. Meanwhile the work of the church had grown to such
proportions that a church edifice was a necessity and on June 12, 1897, the cor-
nerstone of the church and the clergy house were laid by the bishop. Seven
months afterward the church was formally opened and blessed by the bishop,
January 12, 1898.

The church is early Italian and is built of brick. The choir is raised eight
steps above the level of the nave and gives the high altar beyond a most solemn
dignity. The altar is eight feet long, of white marble, and stands before a rere-
dos containing a copy of a "Resurrection" by Raphael. Going to the left from
the steps of the choir is the Lady Chapel. It consists of three bays. The altar
in this chapel is furnished with a lofty reredos made after the one in the Church
of Santo Spirito at Florence. It is of wood richly and beautifully carved by
hand and gilded with gold leaf. The pictures set in it are copies of two paint-
ings, both by Era Filippo Lippi. "The Annunciation" was copied by Miss Nevis-
son from the original in the Accademia at Florence. East of the Lady Chapel is
St. Saviour's Chapel, in memory of the Rev. Stewart Stone. The altar here is
of cok>red marbles and in the reredos is set a magnificent copy of Corregio's
"Marriage of St. Catherine." In 1902 a very graceful campanile was erected at
the northeast corner of the church. In this there is the Chapel of the Visitation,
where hangs over a beautiful altar of variegated marbles an excellent reproduc-
tion of the "Visitation" by Albertinelli. This chapel and campanile are in mem-
ory of Thomas and Elizabeth Percival, the parents of the Rev. Dr. Percival.
During the summer of 1908 the south aisle was completed, which greatly im-
proved the appearance of the church. The altar of St. Joseph, a memorial to
Elizabeth Frances Taft, was placed there.

The church has a seating capacity of seven hundred and fifty. It is situated

at the corner of Sixteenth and Mifflin streets. The church is of red brick and

there is a clergy house of three stories. There are four hundred families in the

parish and one hundred and forty-one children in the Sunday school, with one

Vol. IV— 20


hundred and thirty-four members in the guilds. The church is a very high ritual-
istic Episcopal church.

Rev. Frederick D. Ward, the present rector, was born in Hamilton, Bermuda,
and was educated in the Western Theological Seminary at Chicago. He was
ordained to the deaconate May 31, 1892, and to the priesthood February 17,
1893, by Bishop McClaren of Chicago. He was stationed at Sycamore, Illinois,
in 1892 while deacon, remaining there in St. Peter's church until 1896. He was
afterward rector of St. Paul's, of Plymouth, Wisconsin, until 1897 and then went
to Bermuda where he remained until 1899. In that year he became assistant
at St. Clement's church, in Philadelphia, where he continued until November,
1908, when he was elected rector of the parish of St. Elisabeth's. This parish
publishes St. Elisabeth's Parish Paper, a monthly pertaining to parish announce-
ments and news. The parish has property valued at about sixty-eight thousand
dollars and is in good shape financially. The work of the church is also well
organized in its various departments and is being carried steadily and effectively
forward by the present rector.


Walter Cresson was born in Philadelphia, March 11, 181 5, and died at his
home in Germantown, Philadelphia, March 29, 1893. His parents, John Head
and Rachel (Walter) Cresson, were members of the Society of Friends, and in
the doctrines of that faith he was carefully educated and trained. About the
year 1842, however, he joined the Protestant Episcopal church, in which he was
for many years an earnest and faithful worker.

On May 29, 1844, Mr. Cresson married Alice Hannum, daughter of Joseph
and Ann (Fairlamb) Hannum, of near Concordville, Delaware county, Penn-

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 41 of 62)