Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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the Quaker Seminary he engaged in teaching for three years, and in 1856 was
admitted to the bar and also was admitted to practice before the supreme court
of Pennsylvania on motion of David Paul Brown. In May, 1861, responding to
the country's call for troops to aid in crushing out the rebellion in its incipiency,
he received appointment to the rank of second lieutenant of the Eighth Pennsyl-
vania Cavalry, then known as the Chormann Rangers. On the 8th of November
following he was commissioned second lieutenant of Company F, One Hundred
and Ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, with which he first served at the front. In
the spring of 1862 he was assistant provost marshal and served on the staff of
General C. C. Augur at the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862, on which
occasion he was twice wounded. At the same battle he was captured and placed
in Libby Prison and with other Union officers was condemned to be shot. Presi-
dent Lincoln, however, forced the cancellation of that order and Major Veale was
exchanged. He was commissioned captain on the 4th of April, 1863, and did '
distinguished service at Chancellorsville and during the Gettysburg campaign,
serving on the staff of Governor General Geary, commanding the Second Divi-
sion of the Twelfth Army Corps. At the battle of Lookout Mountain on the
28th of October, 1863, he was constantly at the front and received the medal
of honor for his bravery in that engagement. Upon consolidation of the Eleventh
and Twelfth Corps he became identified with the Second Division of the Twen-
tieth Corps. He had previously been commissioned major May 4, 1864, and
after joining the Twentieth Corps he took part in the battles of Missionary
Ridge, Rocky Face Ridge, Ringgold, Nickajack Trace, Snake Creek Gap, Dal-
ton, Resaca, Cassville, Dallas and Kenesaw Mountain. At Rocky Face Ridge
he led the charge mounted and for his gallantry was mentioned in general or-
ders of the division commander. At Pine Knob on the 14th of June, 1864, he
was again severely wounded. Following his temporary absence he rejoined the
Army of the Cumberland in time to participate in the siege and capture of
Atlanta, the march through Georgia and the siege and capture of Savannah.
He was brevetted colonel January 16, 1865. Passing north with Sherman he
was in the action of Averysboro, also at Bentonville and Bennetts, North Caro-
lina, and accompanied the victorious army to Washington, where he was hon-
orably discharged June 8, 1865.

Few soldiers receive more praise in war time than did Major Veale. Gen-
eral Geary asked Governor Curtin to appoint Mr. Veale colonel of the regiment
and placed on file at Washington this brief but strong eulogium : "Veale was
the bravest of the brave." General Hooker wrote : "I knew Major Veale well
during the late war and I regarded his service on the staff of General Geary
as being the most able and distinguished of all his officers, of whom were many
of brilliant reputations." General Slocum named Major Veale to the president
for the medal of honor and his comrades paid him the high honor of electing
him commander of the Legion. He also served as junior vice commander of
the Loyal Legion and was a member of Post No. 2, G. A. R. ; president of the
state society, of Pennsylvania Sons of the American Revolution; and vice
president general of the same society.


Major Veale had an almost equally distinguished career in civil life. For
a time he was in Montana, first as United States attorney and later as clerk
of Indian affairs, being adjutant general with the rank of brigadier general, but
he spent most of his life in Philadelphia. In February, 1876, he was nominated
for the common council and in November, 1876, for the state senate. In 1882
he was appointed health officer and again in 1891 was called to that position,
and president of the state quarantine board. It was he who originated the idea
of conducting a scientific campaign against the spread of tuberculosis. In his
seventy-third year he was treasurer of the league for work among colored people
in the diocese of Pennsylvania ; was treasurer of the Church Club, treasurer of
the Boys Club; rector's warden of the parish of St. Philip's Episcopal church;
member of the vestry of the Church of the Crucifixion ; a trustee and manager
for the House of Industry for Discharged Prisoners ; a trustee of the Home
for the Homeless ; a trustee of St. Michael's and All Angels ; a trustee of the
Home for Colored Children (crippled) ; a member of the board of incorpo-
rators of the Hays Mechanics Home; a member of the Episcopal Board of Mis-
sions; a member of the board of managers of the Free and Open church of the
Episcopal church of the United States, and that of the Society for Advance-
ment of Christianity in Pennsylvania ; a member of the Penn Club and also of
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Major Veale was united in marriage to Miss Emma MacDonald, a grand-
daughter of Donald MacDonald, one of the free Quakers of the Revolutionary
war. Her mother was a great-great-great-granddaughter of Dr. Thomas
Wynne, who came to America as surgeon to William Penn. Major and Mrs.
Veale have a son and daughter, William MacDonald, whose wife was Blanche
Graham and Elizabeth Sharpe, the latter the wife of Herbert Morris.

Not from any sense of duty but from a deep and sincere interest in his
fellowmen did Major Veale put forth continued effort to relieve sorrow or dis-
tress or promote conditions that would develop in others upright, honorable
manhood and commendable purposes. Life was to him ripe with possibilities
and he realized clearly that character is above all laws. He sought out those
paths along which he believed the greatest good for the greatest number might
be reached and was untiring in his efforts to promote the cause which he
espoused for the benefit of others.


Craige Lippincott, president of the J. B. Lippincott Company, one of the fore-
most publishing houses of the United States, and well known locally as an active
factor in financial circles, was born in Philadelphia, November 4, 1846, a son of
Joshua B. and Josephine (Craige) Lippincott. A pupil in his youthful days in
the private school conducted by the Rev. James G. Lyons in Philadelphia, he later
attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his classical course
in 1866. He finished his education in Europe.


In 1866 he entered the pubhshing house of J. B. Lippincott & Company, one
of the old estabUshed enterprises of this character not only of Philadelphia but
of the country and maintaining throughout the years an honored and conspicu-
ous position. Well organized in all of its departments, holding to the highest
standards in the character of its service to the public, in the personnel of the
house and the nature of its productions, the business has been continued with con-
stantly growing success, embodying the progressive spirit of the age. In har-
mony therewith the business was reorganized and incorporated in 1885 under
the style of the J. B. Lippincott Company and the following year Craige Lippin-
cott succeeded his father to tlie presidency. Philadelphia points with pride to
this as one of her most extensive and important productive industries but is
prouder still of the high and unassailable reputation which the house has always
borne. In the field of financial activity Craige Lippincott is also known as a rep-
resentative of the directorate of the Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of
Philadelphia and of the Pennsylvania Company for the Insuring of Lives and
Granting of Annuities.

On the 13th of April, 1871, in Philadelphia, was celebrated the marriage of
Craige Lippincott and Miss Sallie E. Bucknell, and their family numbers three
children. Mr. Lippincott is identified with the most prominent clubs of Phila-
delphia, his association therewith also indicating the varied nature of his inter-
ests. He belongs to the Racquet, Bachelors Barge and Huntingdon Valley Coun-
try Clubs, wherein he finds opportunity for participation in athletics and outdoor
life and sports ; is a member of the Rittenhouse, the Union League and the Art
Clubs. While thus prominently known in the select social circles of the city, he
is honored and respected in a wider range by reason of the success he has at-
tained in the legitimate fields of business, where advancement has its root in un-
assailable commercial integrity and continuous development.

Mr. Lippincott passed away since this sketch was written, his death occurring'
April 6, 191 1.


Dr. Richard H. Harte, whose earnest work in the field of medicine and unre-
mitting labors as an educator in the science of medicine and surgery has won him
honor and distinction and has classed him not only among the eminent surgeons
of Philadelphia but of the country, was born near Rock Island, Illinois, October
23, 1855. and comes of a distinguished Irish family, who have long been actively
identified with Trinity College, Dublin. His grandfather, the Rev. Richard Harte,
of Gurtun, County Limerick, was a noted traveler and his granduncle, Henry H.
Harte, F. T. D., was a distinguished mathematician.

His father was William H. Harte, in whose short life were crowded many
thrilling incidents and romantic adventures, in which he was the brilliant and
dominant figure. He showed an early fondness for the sea and was appointed a
midshipman in the Royal navy, which post he later resigned, fearing that advance-
ment would be slow, owing to the death of his friend, the then lord of the admir-




alty. He availed himself of an unusual opportunity to come to America on a
hunting trip with some friends, and while the guest of an Irish gentleman in the
west he met his daughter, Mary A. Betty, whom he later married. They had one
child, the subject of this sketch. His nautical knowledge and training stood him
in good service, for he soon became interested in steam-boating on the Missis-
sippi river and for some time owned and ran a well known boat. On the breaking
out of the Civil war, he received a commission in the United States navy and soon
saw a great deal of active service on the Mississippi, Tennessee and White rivers
under Commodore Foote and Admiral Porter. His brilliant and active career
was suddenly cut short by the explosion on the "Mound City" while in action,
owing to a shell piercing the boiler and driving every person thus exposed to the
fiery steam overboard, where they either drowned or were deliberately shot in
attempting to reach the shore. This shot happened to be the most destructive
single shot fired during the war, as it directly caused the death of one hundred
and twenty-six officers and men. VV .'3 vi '■■,••.; -

Richard H. Harte's early education v^as acquired in the Rock Island schools
and later under tutors, who prepared him for the University of Pennsylvania,
from which he graduated in 1878. He w,as ekoted resident physician in the Uni-
versity Hospital after a competitive examination and gained from hospital prac-
tice that broad practical experience which serves as an excellent foundation for
advancement in the medical fraternity. He afterward spent some time abroad
in European hospitals, and, returning to Philadelphia, was elected resident physi-
cian to the Pennsylvania Hospital in this city, where he served the usual term of
eighteen months. He then was elected assistant demonstrator of anatomy and
surgery in the University of Pennsylvania. He was also made surgeon to the
University Hospital dispensary and, in further recognition of his ability, he was
in 1883 made attending surgeon to the out-patient department of the Pennsylvania
Hospital and served there until he was elected a member of the surgical staff in
1893. He was afterward made assistant to Dr. D. Hayes Agnew in his lectures
on surgery before the medical department in the University of Pennsylvania and
continued in his position under Professor John Ashhurst. He was demonstrator
of osteology in the same school, having charge of the instruction in that branch
until 1899. Subsequently he became adjunct professor of surgery in the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania. In 1889 Dr. Harte was appointed attending surgeon to St.
Mary's Hospital and two years later to the Episcopal Hospital, where he served
twelve years. Dr. Harte is now senior surgeon to the Pennsylvania Hospital,
surgeon to the Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases and con-
sulting surgeon to several other hospitals. His progress is thus indicated and he
is honored by his fellow members of the profession as well as by the general

Dr. Harte is a fellow and treasurer of the College of Physicians, a fellow
of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery and a member of the Academy of Nat-
ural Sciences. He was for several years recorder and editor of the Transac-
tions of the American Surgical Association and is now its president. He is a
member of the American Society of Clinical Surgery ; a member of the board of
managers of the Episcopal Hospital and of the White Haven Sanatorium. He
has written many interesting and valuable papers on various phases of surgery


for professional and scientific publications and is joint author of a book on Local
Therapeutics, and his experience and researches have been so extensive that his
opinions are largely accepted as authority.

Aside from professional matters, Dr. Harte has found time to take an active
interest in civic affairs. During the reform movement in Philadelphia in 1907,
he represented the eighth ward in select council with credit and respect to him-
self. He has been actively associated also with the important movement in-
stigated for the purpose of procuring a portion of Mount Desert island in Maine
as a public reservation, so that certain mountains and water sheds shall never
be encroached upon for habitation, thus retaining the natural picturesqueness of
the landscape forever.

Dr. Harte married Maria H. Ames, the daughter of the late Oakes A. Ames,
of Massachusetts. They have three children, Richard, Katharine and Helen.


James Harwood Closson, a physician and surgeon of Germantown, was born
November 27, 1861, a son of Captain James Harwood and Josephine (Banes)
Closson. In the paternal line the ancestry is traced back to Thomas and Jane
(Atkins) French, who were married at Whitton, Northamptonshire, England,
June 13, 1660. They had nine children and with them came to the new world,
landing at Burlington, New Jersey, on the 23d of July, 1680. The ancestry
is also traced back to Abraham Opden Graeff, who came to America in 1683.
On the nth of June of that year he became part owner of five thousand acres
of land in Pennsylvania, purchased in Amsterdam, and on the 24th of October,
1683, with twelve others, settled in Germantown. In 1688 he signed a protest
against slavery ; in 1692 signed a protest of George Keith ; was named town
president by William Penn, June 12, 1688; was chosen a member of the pro-
vincial assembly in 1689, 1690 arid 1692; in 1709 he removed to Perkiomen
and was buried at Old Skippack Mennonite graveyard. His son, Jacob Opden
Graeff, according to old records, was a petitioner, among other "people of
Skippack and adjacent plantations," June 2, 1713. In 1727 he was a signer of
a petition for a township. The will of Jacob Opden Graeff, of Perkiomen,
county of Philadelphia, dated September 21, 1750, was proved October i, 1750.
Edward Opden Graefif, son of Jacob Opden Updegrave, married Sarah Mitchell,
daughter of William and Elizabeth Mitchell, of Buckingham. Minutes of the
Bucks county committee of safety show that in 1776 Edward Updegrave of
Plumstead township was charged with using or uttering expressions disrespect-
ful to congress but the associators exonerated and discharged him. He had
four children, including Elizabeth, who became the wife of John Closson, Jr.,
of Plumstead, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and was buried at Buckingham.
John Closson, Jr., first appeared on the tax list of Plumstead as a single man
in 1787. He died in 1815 and his wife died in 1837 at the residence of her
daughter, Mrs. Sydonia Emerick, in Solebury and was buried at Buckingham.
It will thus be seen that from the earliest period in the colonization of this sec-


tioii of the state the ancestors of Dr. Closson were mostly identilied with events
which marked its progress and upbuilding. His father, Captain Closson, bom
in Philadelphia, died at City Point, November 22, 1864. He enlisted for service
as a member of Company H, Ninety-first Regiment of Pennsylvania Infantry
at the outbreak of the Civil war and served until wounded at Hatchers Run, his
death resulting therefrom. His wife was born at Melansai, Cuba, and died in
Philadelphia, July 31, 1862. They were married September 23, 1851, in the
Logan Square Presbyterian church at Philadelphia. Mrs. Closson was a daugh-
ter of Joseph Banes and Hannah Foster. Her father was born in Burlington,
New Jersey, and died at Santa Lucia, Cuba, in 1842. He was the owner of a
large plantation there, devoted to the raising of coffee, sugar and tobacco. None
of the ancestors of Dr. Closson came to the United States later than 1784, so
that the family in every branch has been a distinctively American one through
many generations.

Dr. Closson was educated in private and public schools. He also attended
the Lafayette College of Easton, in which he did special work, and then entered
Hahnemann Medical College, from which he was graduated with the M. D. de-
gree in 1886. He served for one year in the Children's Homeopathic Hospital
and in 1887 opened an office in Germantown, where he began practice in part-
nership with Dr. John Malin, the leading physician of that day. Dr. Malin
died two years later and Dr. Closson took up his extensive practice. Since that
day he has figured as one of the most eminent physicians of Germantown with
a practice of large and constantly growing proportions. He has been honored by,
the profession with the presidency of the Philadelphia County Homeopathic
Society, has been secretary of the Pennsylvania State Homeopathic Medical
Society and president of the Germantown Homeopathic Medical Society. He
is also a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy. He has acted as
visiting physician to St. Luke's Hospital and has been a contributor to various
periodicals, writing upon some modern phases of the work of the profession.

On the 22d of October, 1891, Dr. Closson was married in the Second Pres-
byterian church to Miss Mary E. Bell, a daughter of Samuel Wilson and Mary
E. (Bancroft) Bell, the former the president of the Farmers & Mechanics Na-
tional Bank of Philadelphia. The wedding ceremony was performed by the
Rev. Dr. C. H. P. Nason, now United States consul at Grunnoble, France. Dr.
and Mrs. Closson have three children : Josephine Banes, who was born Sep-
tember 12, 1893, and is now attending Stephen's private school; James Har-
wood, 3d, who was born June 18, 1896, and is a student in the Gennantown
Academy; and Mary Bancroft, who was born December 29, 1898, and is at-
tending the Stephen's school.

Dr. Closson is a member of the Society for Physical Research, the Zeta Psi
fraternity, the alumni society of Lafayette College, the Union League of Phila-
phia, the Netherland Society, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Pennsyl-
vania Genealogical Society, the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, the Sons of
Delaware, the New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania, the Loyal Legion, the Sons
of the Revolution, the Society of Andrew and Philip, the Friendly Sons of
St. Patrick, the Republican Club of New York City, the Germantown Cricket
Club, the Pennsylvania German Society, the New England Society of Pennsyl-


vania, Swedish Colonial Society, and is president of the Krefeld Society, com-
posed of the sons of the original settlers of Germantown. He is also well
known in Masonry, belonging to Union Lodge No. 121, A. F. & A. M., and the
chapter and commandery at Germantown. A descendant of an honorable an-
cestry his lines of life have been cast in harmony therewith, and he stands as a
splendid representation of a high type of manhood, citizenship and professional


Horace Pettit, for three years lecturer of patent law in the University of
Pennsylvania and recognized as a forceful and growing member of the bar since
his admission in 1883, was born in Philadelphia on the 27th of June, i860. There
is back of him an ancestry honorable and distinguished and he is fortunate in
that his lines of life have been cast in harmony therewith. The Journal of Com-
merce said of him: "Inheriting a birthright of moral, intellectual and enter-
prising qualities, supplemented by the foundation traits of firmness, thrift and
industry, it is not surprising that he should occupy the position of eminence
which he does in the promotion of all that stands for the good of society." In
the early part of the eighteenth century the Pettit family was founded in the
new world and soon after the close of the Revolutionary war his grandfather,
John Pettit, usually called the "Big Colonel," took up his abode in Pennsylvania.
The family was well represented in the war for independence for representa-
tives of the name then living on Long Island espoused the cause of liberty and
went to the front to protect American interests.

Horace Pettit, reared in Philadelphia, became a student in the private school
conducted by Dr. Faries and later entered the Cheltenham Military Academy,
one of the leading educational institutions of that day. Consideration of the
broad field of business, using the term in its widest sense, led Mr. Pettit to de-
termine upon the practice of law as a life work, which he believed would prove
congenial and which he hoped would prove profitable. He began reading under
the direction of his brother, Silas W. Pettit, at that time a member of the firm
of Read & Pettit, and later he pursued a regular course in the University of
Pennsylvania, becoming a member of the Philadelphia bar in 1883. Through
the intervening period of twenty-eight years he has pursued his profession with
growing success. A contemporary biographer said : "By the exercise of native
ability and studious application he has acquired what may be regarded as an im-
portant and influential clientele. For a number of years he has devoted himself
with untiring industry to the mastery of the complicated questions which tax
the energies of the modern patent lawyer and he has frequently been retained
as confidential counsel to many large corporate and financial interests. * * *
A profound knowledge of the law in its various phases, astuteness in legal tech-
nicalities, mental quickness and unerring soundness of judgment have been prime
factors in his able and successful career."

Mr. Pettit is the legal representative of the Victor Talking Machine Com-
pany, which he organized in 1901, and has served continuously as its general

IIOliAtl-: PETllT



counsel since that day. He has been most successful in sustaining its patents
anil in defending it against attacks of other concerns. His ability has placed
him in a [irominent position among the patent and corporation lawyers of Phila-
delphia and he is at all times a hard worker, knowing that careful preparation
of his cases as well as comprehensive understanding of the principles of juris-
prudence is one of the indispensable elements of success.

In 1897, in Philadelphia, Mr. Pettit was married to Miss Katharine Howell,
a daughter of the late George R. and Mary (Robinson) Howell, of Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania. One son has been born of this marriage, Horace Pettit, Jr. Both
Mr. and Mrs. Pettit are prominent in. social circles and their own home is the
center of many delightful social events," _

Mr. Pettit holds membership with the' 'Racquet Club, the Union League and
University Clubs, the Lawyers Club, the Pennsylvania State Bar Association
and the National Bar Association, but §crda.r and professional interests by no
means indicate the breadth of his act^ivities. He has labored earnestly and ef-
fectively along other lines and for the support and promotion of other projects.
He is a member of the board of managers of the Franklin Institute and for many
years has been deeply and helpfully interested in the work of the central branch

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 44 of 62)