Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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were his two brothers, Edward A. and Frederick W., the firm style being then
changed to C. Schmidt & Sons. In 1902 the business was incorporated under
the name of C. Schmidt & Sons Brewing Company and Henry C. Schmidt was
elected treasurer. He has contributed in no small degree to the success of the
undertaking, and the company has today one of the most modern and up-to-
date breweries in this city, employing one hundred and twenty-five men in the
manufacture of beer. They have fifty-four head of horses and utilize twenty-
five wagons and fifteen automobiles in the delivery of their products and in
handling materials. The output of this plant is two hundred thousand barrels
annually and their well known brands are Pilsener Light and Puritan Dark.

In 1908 the Robert Smith Ale Brewing Company purchased the Peter
Schemm & Son brewery and it is now known as the Peter Schemm & Son
branch of the Robert Smith Ale Brewing Company. At this branch and the
main plant are employed one hundred and twenty-five more men, and the com-
bined output of the C. Schmidt & Sons Brewery and the Robert Smith Ale Brew-
ing Company and the Peter Schemm & Son branch of the Robert Smith Ale




Brewing Company is three hundred thousand barrels annually. The product of
the Robert Smith Ale Brewing Company, of which Mr. Schmidt is treasurer,
is noted throughout the country for its purity and excellence, and under the
name of Smith's Philadelphia ale and stout it is shipped to all parts of the
United States.

On the i8th of May, 1882, Henry C. Schmidt was married in Philadelphia
to Miss Louisa M. Luig, and of the five children born unto this union three are yet
living: Edward C, twenty-eight years of age, who is general utility man at the
C. Schmidt & Sons Brewery; Frederick W., nineteen years old, attending
Penn Charter school; and Anna M., at home.

In his fraternal relations Mr. Schmidt is a Mason, belonging to Oriental
Lodge, No. 385. He is also connected with the Elks, the Schuetzen Verein, the
Penrose Club, and all of the prominent Gemian societies of Philadelphia. His
political indorsement is given to the republican party. He finds his chief recrea-
tion in motoring and in travel, going abroad to Europe each year. He has long
since proven his worth in the business world as a manager and in keeping with the
progressive spirit of the age is continuously seeking out new methods whereby
the standard of the product may be improved and the extent of the sales thereby


Dr. D. Braden Kyle, whose contributions to medical literature have estab-
lished his position as an eminent scientist and member of the profession and
who has won renown as a medical educator as well as practitioner, was born in
Cadiz, Ohio, October 11, 1863. After mastering the elementary branches of
learning through private instruction, he attended Muskingum College in his na-
tive state and came to Philadelphia in 1888. Through the three succeeding
years he was a student in Jefferson Medical College, pursuing what was then
known as the graded course. During his junior and senior years he was a
private student under Professor W. M. L. Coplin in his private laboratory of
bacteriology and pathology and a private student of nervous diseases, anatomy
and surgery under Professor J. Chalmers DaCosta. In his senior year he was
an office student of Professor W. Joseph Hearn in surgery and at his graduation
was awarded the gold medal by Professor W. W. Keen for the best original essay
pertaining to surgery, choosing as his subject The Pathology and Treatment of

Almost continuously since his graduation, Dr. Kyle has been engaged in edu-
cational work in the line of his profession and at the same time has attended to
the demands of a constantly growing practice, with the diseases of the ear, nose,
throat and chest as his specialty. In the fall following his graduation he received
appointment to the position of assistant demonstrator in the pathological de-
partment of Jefferson Medical College under Professor Morris Longstreth and
so continued until 1895, when he was elected for a year to fill a vacancy in the
chair of pathology, lecturing to the junior and senior classes.

Vol. IV— 3


Following his graduation in 1891, Dr. Kyle began practice in Philadelphia,
and his deep interest in the scientific phase of his work led him in the same year
to establish a private laboratory for work and instruction in clinical microscopy,
bacteriology and pathology, giving a regular graded course extending over a
period of three years. In 1894 Professor J. Chalmers DaCosta became asso-
ciated with him in the laboratory, and surgery was added to the course. The
laboratory soon grew to such an extent as to demand more time than could be
devoted to it, so in 1896 the course was discontinued and Dr. Kyle has concen-
trated his energies and attention upon the treatment of diseases of the ear, nose,
throat and chest, at the same time carrying on investigations in connection with
his specialty in his own private laboratory. His contributions to science have
been valuable, for experiment and research have enabled him to bring to light
many valuable facts and truths bearing upon his work. In 1896 he was elected
to the professorship of laryngology in the Jefferson Medical College, which po-
sition he still holds. He has done much important hospital work, serving as
chief laryngologist and otologist to St. Mary's Hospital from 1891 until 1893,
when he was elected to a similar position in St. Agnes Hospital, serving four
years and since that time acting as consulting laryngologist, rhinologist and otolo-
gist to the same hospital. He is now consulting laryngologist to the Philadelphia
Home for Incurables and for six years was visiting physician to that institution.
He served for ten years as bacteriologist to the Philadelphia Orthopedic Hos-
pital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases and pathologist to the Charity Hos-
pital of Philadelphia for four years.

His opinions are largely accepted as authority in the field of his specialty
by members of the profession, his eminent standing being indicated in the fact
that in 1900 he was president of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and
Otological Society, which met in Philadelphia. Two years later he was chosen
vice president of the American Laryngological Association, which met in Bos-
ton, and in 1910 he was elected to its presidency. He is an honorary member of
the West Virginia State Medical Society, a member of the Pennsylvania State
Medical Society, member American Medical Association, fellow American Acad-
emy of Medicine, fellow of the American Laryngological Association, fellow
American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, fellow of the
College of Physicians of Philadelphia, member of the Philadelphia County
Medical Society, member of the Philadelphia Pathological Society and member
of the Medical Club of Philadelphia.

If Dr. Kyle had done nothing for the profession outside the range of private
practitioner and hospital physician, he would be entitled to the gratitude of the
public and of the medical fraternity. Aside from this, however, he has done
much writing that has disseminated knowledge and promoted the proficiency of
specialists and general practitioners. There have been brought forth four edi-
tions of his Text Book on Diseases of the Nose and Throat, first published in
1899, and he is editor of the chapters on diseases of the nose and throat in Pro-
gressive Medicine, published yearly. A few of his original articles which have
been published are the following: The Import of the Salivary and Nasal Secre-
tions in Hay Fever (1903) ; The Relation of the Chemistry of the Saliva (Sialo-
Semeiology) and Nasal Secretions to Diseases of the Mucous Membrane of the


Mouth and L^pper Respiratory Tract (1904); Tlie Chemic Pathology of the
Saliva and Pharyngeal Secretions as a Means of Diagnosis (1902) ; The Etiology
of Hay Fever (1904); Acoustics of the Mouth and Relation of the Voice to
Hearing (1907); Subjective and Objective Sense of Sound Perception (1909);
and Nasal and Naso-pharyngeal Conditions as Causative Factors in Aural Dis-
ease (1909). This indicates to some extent the scope of his researches and the
breadth of his knowledge. He is regarded as the peer of the ablest representa-
tives of his specialty in America and his writings have also been received with
favor abroad.


There has been perhaps no man in public life whose record has awakened
keener interest in Philadelphia than that of John H. Fow, inasmuch as he was
the only democrat in 1895 elected to the state legislature from the territory east
of the Susquehanna river and south of the Lehigh river. Personally popular,
he has an understanding of the political problems that enables him to give a clear
explanation of his views and has come to be recognized as a strong political
factor in Pennsylvania. A native son of Philadelphia, he was born June 23,
1851, of the marriage of Jacob and Margaret Fow. The father died in 1867,
but the mother, a native of Philadelphia, lived to an advanced age. She was a
granddaughter of Michael Guerburger, of the regiment of the Due DeLauzun
of the French allies at Yorktown. Our subject's great-grandfather, Matthew
Fow, was a member of Captain Harmar's Company of the First Pennsylvania
Battalion, which was raised by order of the Continental congress on the 12th
of October, 1775, commanded by Colonel De Haas. The ancestral history in
America can be traced back to 1728, when the family was first established in

After attending the public schools of this city, John H. Fow read law in the
office of the Hon. F. Carroll Brewster and was admitted to the bar May 4, 1878.
He soon won a prominent place in the legal fraternity of Philadelphia. More-
over, early in his career he became identified with politics. Fearless in defense
of his opinions, he presents his views in clear and cogent manner, thus becoming
a strong political force for his party. He was a member of the democratic state
committee in 1882-83, was afterward the first president of the democratic state
league and for three years was its vice president. He has been a member of the
Philadelphia councils and on various occasions has had to do with public agents,
which have constituted important features in the city's history. In 1882 he was
a member of the Bi-Centennial committee and in 1887 was chairman of the
sub-committee of the Bi-Centennial celebration of the adoption of the Consti-
tution. In 1889 he was elected to the lower house of the state legislature and
performed his duties so acceptably that he was reelected and remained a member
of the assembly for six terms, during which period he served on some of its
most important committees. Unbiased by a strong personal feeling, yet stand-
ing unequivocally for principles in which he believes, the sincerity of his mo-


tives has never been questioned, and his rational and practical views have at
times won a large following. In 1898 he was again elected to the legislature and
was afterward reelected to the extraordinary session of 1906. In 1899 he was
made chairman of the celebrated Quay senatorial investigating committee and
was chairman of the democratic caucus in 1893 and again in 1895. In 1897 he
was a member of the committee having in charge the unveiling of the Washing-
ton monument in Fairmount Park, and in 1895 he was a commissioner to the
Cotton States Exposition at Atlanta as a representative from Pennsylvania.

Mr. Fow is regarded as an excellent lawyer and a statesman of ability.
Added to this he has gained noteworthy praise in the field of journalism, his
connection with the Philadelphia Evening Star, as special correspondent from
Harrisburg to the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, bringing him into
prominence in that regard. He has attended, as a delegate, the sessions of the
International League of Press Clubs, represented the Pen and Pencil Club of
Philadelphia, at Atlanta in 1894, at Philadelphia in 1895, and at Bufifalo in 1896.
He is considered one of the best speakers on the political rostrum in this country
and as a lawyer has a reputation of having many legislative acts declared uncon-
stitutional. He has displayed ability in business circles as the president of the
Willow Grove Trolley Railway Company. His writings have brought him more
than local fame. His article on "Washington Crossing the Delaware" had a
potent influence in the adoption of the bronze tablet representing Pennsylvania
which was placed on the monument at Trenton. He is the author of a complete
and convincing history of the origin of the American flag, wherein he puts forth
the claim that the honor of making the first national emblem in use today does
not belong to Betsy Ross — that that story is purely legendary. This is supported
by the Pennsylvania Historical Society Magazine. His investigation of any sub-
ject is always thorough and extensive and with the analytical mind of the lawyer
he thoroughly sifts the evidence.

Mr. Fow is married and has three children: F. Carroll, John Gordon and
Franklin. He is a member of the State Bar Association, the Lawyers Club,
Sons of the American Revolution, National Geographical Society, Pennsylvania
Historical Society, and Genealogical Society; and is a past master of the Ma-
sonic lodge. He is also identified with various social clubs, has an extensive
acquaintance throughout the state, and is a great favorite in a wide circle of


The Ascension Catholic church was organized in 1898 by Dennis Broughal,
its present pastor. The chapel was dedicated on the 27th of May, 1899, and
Father Broughal was appointed rector on the 21st of June, 1898. The chapel
was used both for school and church purposes, the first story being utilized for
worship while the second floor was divided into class rooms. In 1900 a rectory
was built. Port Deposit granite being used in the construction of both buildings.
The first services of the parish were held in a store room on Kensington avenue.


Steadily the parish has been growing, and they expect to erect a house of wor-
ship in the near future. The parish school has as teachers twelve Sisters of
St. Joseph and five lay teachers, and there are one thousand pupils. There are
sixteen school rooms now in use and they will have twenty-four when the new
church is built with accommodations for fifteen hundred children. The seating
capacity of the chapel is one thousand. The parish property is worth two hun-
dred thousand dollars and includes five hundred feet on Westmoreland street
extending back to a depth of two hundred feet, including the block between F
and G streets. There are fifteen hundred families in the parish and in addition
to Father Dennis Broughal they are under the spiritual instruction of two as-
sistants. Rev. Arthur McManus and Rev. William J. Maguire.

Father Broughal was born in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, February 22,
i860. He entered the public schools there and was graduated from the high
school in 1876. He afterward attended the preparatory department of Lehigh
University and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary of Philadelphia, continuing his
studies for nine years, after which he was ordained to the priesthood on the
nth of January, 1885, by Archbishop Ryan. His was the first ordination in the
diocese at the Cathedral in Philadelphia. He celebrated his first mass in the
Church of the Holy Infancy in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, January 18,
1885, and was appointed assistant rector of St. John the Evangelist's church,
where he remained three years. He was also assistant rector of St. Patrick's
church for ten years, then assistant at the Cathedral for one year, after which
he was appointed to organize a new parish on the east side of Philadelphia with
the result that the parish of the Ascension sprang into existence. He has done
a wonderful work among the Catholic people and is widely known for his zeal
and industry.


Elijah Hollingsworth Siter, a general medical practitioner, whose standing
in the profession is indicated in the liberal patronage accorded him, was born
February 11, 1868, at No. 1528 Chestnut street, Philadelphia. His parents were
Edward and Susan (Hollingsworth) Siter, the former a son of Adam Siter and
the latter a daughter of Elijah Hollingsworth. Dr. Siter pursued his early
education in St. Paul's School of Concord, New Hampshire, and afterward
entered Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was
graduated with the class of 1888. He completed his preparation for the practice
of medicine by his graduation from the medical department of the University
of Pennsylvania with the class of 1897, at which time his degree was conferred
upon him. He has since given his attention entirely to his professional duties,
and as the years have gone by has built up an extensive practice as his worth
has been proven in the excellent results which have attended his labors.

Dr. Siter was married in the Holy Trinity Protestant Episcopal church of
Philadelphia, on the 2d of February, 1892, to Miss Annie Elizabeth Barry, a
daughter of Llewellyn F. and Annie (Harrison) Barry, the latter a daughter of


Joseph Harrison, who was the builder of the first railroad in Russia. Dr. and
Mrs. Siter have become parents of three daughters : Annie Hollingsworth ; Mary
Crawford; and Elizabeth Barry.

The parents hold membership in St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal church and
Dr. Siter is also a member of the Philadelphia Club. He was for ten years an
active member of the First Troop of Philadelphia City Cavalry and in politics is
a republican in national matters, but casts an independent local ballot. His in-
terests are varied, but nothing is allowed to interfere with the efficient perform-
ance of professional duties, in which he manifests both zeal and skill.


The life record of Theodore Armstrong is a notable example of brilliant
achievement through individual effort, and such a history makes the American
title of "a self-made man" more to be envied than the inherited but often empty
honors of royalty. There have come to him prominence and high respect, paid
to him instinctively by those who know aught of his history, recognizing in
him a man whose inherent force of character and well developed talents have
given him prestige beyond that of the majority of his fellows. He stands today
at the head of one of the important productive industries of the state, being
president of the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, in which connec-
tion he has displayed marvelous aptitude for business management and at the
same time has instituted methods which indicate comprehensive knowledge of
chemistry and the kindred sciences that are employed as factors in manufactur-
ing enterprises of this character.

It has often been made a matter of favorable comment that boys reared on
farms become strong forces in the management and control of important com-
mercial interests. The record of Mr. Armstrong is a notable example of a city-
bred youth, whose adaptability, energy and laudable ambition have enabled him
to surmount all the difficulties and obstacles imposed by keen competition in
the business world and reach the heights of success. He was born in New
York city in October, 1844, and was one of a family of seven children. His
parents were of French and Scotch descent, although both were native born
Americans. From Manhattan his parents crossed the river to Brooklyn, where
they resided for many years, the father there carrying on business as a contractor
and builder and winning enviable reputation as a man of unquestioned business
honor. The ancestral records of the family give account of active service of
representatives of both paternal and maternal lines in the Revolutionary war
and the war of 181 2. When dissension concerning the slavery question and the
right to divide the Union involved the country in civil war, Theodore Arm-
strong and his two brothers espoused the cause of the Union and served until
1864, when they were honorably discharged. Theodore Armstrong was yet in
his teens at the time of his enlistment, but the war is a school of rapid develop-
ment and the boy soon became a man in all of the experiences that bring forth
resolution, determination, loyalty and faithfulness. His intellectual training


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had hitherto been received in the public schools and in an academy, where he
gave particular attention to niatheinatics, his skill in that tielil enabling him to
secure a position at auditing the accounts of collectors in the internal revenue
department at Philadelphia following the close of the war. With that excep-
tion throughout his entire business career he has been connected with the Penn-
sylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, entering its service in 1865. Promotion
rapidly followed and in the early part of 1866 he was appointed a chief ac-
countant at the company's factory at Natrona, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania.
During the succeeding seven years he thoroughly acquainted himself with the
details of the many mechanical processes and his experience afterward proved
invaluable in conducting the company's general affairs. The year 1873 brought
him appointment to the position of auditor of the company with a transference to
the main office at Philadelphia. From the outset the value of his service was
recognized by the company and he continually sought to heighten his usefulness
by mastering every detail of the business and broadening his knowledge upon
questions bearing upon the trade. He had been in Philadelphia for but a brief
period when elected to the office of secretary and subsequently he was chosen
treasurer. A later election of officers brought him to the position of vice presi-
dent and in 1887 he was chosen president. Owing to his able administration,
the business of the company has progressed harmoniously and successfully in
all branches, and notable improvements have been made in processes of manu-
facture and in the extension of the trade. Prominent among the improvements
is the introduction of the electro-chemical process at their Michigan plant, where
caustic soda, chloride of lime or bleaching powder and liquid chlorine are made
in large quantities. A current publication has said :

"In consequence of the multiplicity of duties connected with the Pennsyl-
vania Salt Manufacturing Company's large interests, all his time has been ab-
sorbed in his office of president. One of Mr. Armstrong's most notable im-
provements in the company's affairs and one unequalled in its particular sphere
was the system of accounts by which the chemical process involved in the Penn-
sylvania Salt Manufacturing Company's work is followed. So exact is the
system that the cost of every article produced is known to the thousandth part
of a cent per pound. The operations of the chemical and metal works, em-
bracing at least sixty acres of the buildings, are necessarily complicated but,
with the system introduced by Mr. Armstrong, the technical and commercial
branches move along with a marvelous ease. Although the discovery of new
chemicals and improvements in the making of alkali both by LeBlanc and Am-
monia processes have proven threatening innovations to the kryolith industry,
Mr. Armstrong as president of the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company
has met the competition triumphantly. The introduction into the United States
of the cupreous sulphur ore from the Rio Tinto mines, Spain, whereby the cost
of sulphuric acid has been extraordinarily reduced, is due to the efforts of the
present administration of the company. The wet extraction process for treat-
ing the cinders resulting from Spanish ore carried on in the company's w-orks in
Natrona is the only one of the kind in the United States. Copper, iron and the
precious metals, the latter at present in limited quantities, are obtained from the
cinders. A large number of other improvements have been inaugurated by this


compan}, many of which have been the work of Mr. Armstrong." He is the
president of the Wedge Mechanical Furnace Company and is on the directorate

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 5 of 62)