Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer.

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

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boards and institutions with which he was associated. He stood as one of the
most conspicuously successful financiers of the country, as one of the most gen-


erous philanthropists, but above all was the spirit of worship and of helpfulness
which he manifested in his relations to the church. He was loved and honored
as few men are honored and loved, and that not merely because he was lavish
in his giving, but because he so unreservedly gave the rarest of all gifts — him-
self. His unswerving integrity, his singular abilities, his Christian example, his
generous and unostentatious benevolence commanded the respect of a host of
friends who recognized in him the highest type of manhood. His life was a
perpetual benediction to mankind at large and illustrated the spirit of the Master
he so faithfully served.


Joseph M. Gazzam, of the law firm of Gazzam, Wallace & Lukens, and
business man of many interests, was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, December
2. 1842. His father was State Senator Dr. Edward Despard Gazzam, physician,
lawyer and statesman, who was one of the organizers of the free soil party and
its first candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. His mother, Elizabeth Antoinette
de Beelen de Bertholff, was a daughter of Constantine Antoine de Beelen de
Bertholff and granddaughter of Baron Frederick Eugene Francois de Beelen de
Bertholfif, Austrian minister to the United States from 1783 until 1787.

Mr. Gazzam is a graduate of the University of Western Pennsylvania, and
following his careful preparation for the bar, he was admitted to practice at the
Allegheny county bar on the 6th of January, 1864; to the supreme court of Penn-
sylvania in November, 1867; to the circuit and district courts of the United
States in May, 1869; and to the supreme court of the Lmited States, March 19,
1870. In 1864 he entered upon active practice at Pittsburg, where he remained
until 1879 and in 1872 he formed a partnership with Alexander G. Cochran, an
ex-member of congress and vice president of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. This
association was maintained until 1879, under the firm style of Gazzam & Coch-
ran and in the latter year the senior partner removed to Philadelphia, where he
has since practiced with William S. Wallace and Edward Fell Lukens, under the
firm name of Gazzam, Wallace & Lukens.

To have attained to the position which Mr. Gazzam occupies as a prominent
lawyer of the Philadelphia bar would satisfy most men as to the employment of
both his time and his energies. Into various other fields Mr. Gazzam has ex-
tended his efforts, being more or less active as a directing force in the manage-
ment of many important corporate interests. He is now president of the Rees
Welsh Digest and Law Publishing Company ; was one of the organizers of the
Quaker City National Bank of Philadelphia, of which he served for fourteen
years as vice president ; is president of the Ames-Bonner Company of Toledo,
Ohio; vice president of the Dents Run (Pennsylvania) Coal Company: chairman
of the board of directors of Peale, Peacock & Kerr, Inc. ; a director of the Dela-
ware Company, and others. He was associated with United States Senator
William A. Wallace, S. R. Peale and the Vanderbilts in the projection of the
Beech Creek Railroad and the town of Gazzam was named in his honor.


Mr. Gazzam resides at No. 265 South Nineteenth street. He married Nellie
M. Andrews, a daughter of Benjamin Andrews, of New Orleans, Louisiana, and
they have two children, Joseph M. and Ohva M. de Beelen Gazzam. In the club
life of the city Mr. Gazzam is well known. He was at one time president of the
Pennsylvania Club, in which he still retains membership. He is a life member
of both the Union League and Lawyers Clubs of Philadelphia and also has mem-
bership relations with the Young Republicans of Philadelphia, the National Arts
and City Clubs of New York city and the Toledo Club, of Toledo, Ohio. Into
the broader realms that promote knowledge of the sciences and arts and of his-
tory, he has extended his interests and his activities, being now a life member of
the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Fairmount Park Association, the Frank-
lin Institute, the Horticultural Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine
Arts, the Zoological Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Sci-
ence, the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, the Archjeological and Pale-
ontological Society of the University of Pennsylvania.

A republican in politics, he served as a member of the city council when in
Pittsburg from 1869 until 1873, and in 1876 was elected state senator from the
forty-third senatorial district of Pennsylvania. While serving in the general as-
sembly he introduced a bill for a marriage license law which was almost identical
with the law now in force but which was defeated in the lower house. He was the
author of the law which did away with the calls for special elections for state offices
and thus effected a great saving to the state. He was likewise connected with many
other important acts and gave careful deliberation to all the questions which came
up for consideration. By appointment of Governor Stone he became commissioner
from Pennsylvania to the South Carolina Inter State and West Indian Exposition
of 1902, while Governor Pennypacker made him a member of the Pennsylvania
commission to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis. His investiga-
tion reaches out not only to the political problems and issues of the day but to
the great sociological and economic questions and to all those movements which
are to the men of affairs and the thinking men of the age of great import. His
investigation of any question is always thorough and never hurried and his
judgment is the summary of comprehensive knowledge upon the point under dis-
cussion. In the practice of law, in business life and in public affairs he thor-
oughly masters what he undertakes, and progress and success have followed as
the logical outcome. He is seemingly a tireless worker in that great field of labor
where intellectual activity plans and directs the forces that lead to substantial and
permanent results.


Robert Meyer, president of the German American Hosiery Company, exem-
plifies in his life record the possibilities for success that lie before the young man
of determination, energy and keen intellect. He was born in Hohenstein, Ger-
many, June 18, 1859, a son of August and Wilhelmine Meyer. The father, whose
birth occurred July 23, 1805, engaged in weaving throughout his entire life and
died in March, 1879.



At the usual age Robert Meyer began his education in tlie public schools of
Germany, which he attended until lie reached the age of fourteen, after which he
spent three years as a pupil in a ])rivate school. As a youth of seventeen he made
his initial step in the business world, going to Chemnitz, Germany, where he en-
tered upon an apprenticeship in a large glove factory. The capability, fidelity
and energy which he displayed won him promotion until at the age of twenty-
three years he was appointed manager, which position he filled for four years.
Careful consideration of business conditions in America led him to the belief that
broader opportunities were to be had on this side of the Atlantic, and accordingly
he made arrangements to leave his native country.

Coming to the new world Mr. Meyer settled at Gloversville, New York, where
he engaged with the Krauss Glove Company, by whom he was employed as glove
maker for a short time. He next went to West Roxbury, Massachusetts, and
for three and a half years represented F. B. Robinson as superintendent. In
May, 1890, he came to Philadelphia, where he entered into partnership with John
Blood and John Diegel, hosiery manufacturers, with whom he continued until
between 1899 and 1900. In 1891 he organized the Franklinville Dye Works.
Mr. Meyer was elected president of the new company and later became sole pro-
prietor. He now furnishes employment to seventy-five people in manufacturing
and dyeing, making a specialty of full-fashioned hosiery. He handles bleach
colors, aniline and sulphur black. The business is growing continuously along
substantial lines and in addition to its successful conduct Mr. Meyer is the presi-
dent of the German American Hosiery Company, furnishing employment to
four hundred operatives in their factory, which is located at Luzerne and Law-
rence streets. They also maintain a branch office in New York. The other officers
of the company are: Henry Lehmuth, Jr., vice president; Michael Rummel,
treasurer ; and Reinhard Huettig, secretary and manager. The plant is splendidly
equipped with the most modern machinery for the manufacture of hosiery and
the large product finds a ready sale on the market, being extensively shipped to
various parts of the country. Mr. Meyer carefully formulates his plans and is
determined in their execution. His judgment is seldom, if ever, at fault in a
matter of business policy, and the house has ever maintained the highest stand-
ards in its personnel, in the quality of its output and in its relations to the public.

Before leaving Germany Mr. Meyer was married in Chemnitz to Miss Lena
Heller, and unto them have been born five children : Emil, thirty years of age,
who is engaged in traveling; William, twenty-one years, who has recently been
appointed assistant manager of German American Hosiery Company; Lena,
Elsie and Imia, aged respectively twenty-seven years, seventeen years and ten
years, all of whom are at home.

Mr. Meyer is prominent in Masonry, holding membership in Hermann Lodge,
F. & A. M. ; Freeman Chapter, R. A. M. ; Pennsylvania Commandery, No. 70,
K. T., and Lu Lu Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the
Schiitzen Verein, and of the leading German societies of Philadelphia. He is
chairman of the Porters Lake Hunting & Fishing Club and in his political views
is a republican, while his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He has
never had occasion to regret his determination to seek his home in America, for
here he found the business opportunities he sought and in their utilization has


become a prominent and influential factor in manufacturing circles. He is hon-
ored and respected by all, not alone because of the success which he has achieved
but also owing to the straightforward, reliable business policy that he has ever


Richard Holt Rushton was for more than forty years a resident of Philadel-
phia, during which period he figured prominently in business circles as a repre-
sentative of financial interests and many corporate concerns. The path of busi-
ness activity which he trod was a constantly broadening one, giving him a wider
vision and larger opportunities, and with definite aim and determined purpose he
unfalteringly pursued his course until the goal of prosperity had been reached.

A native of Dalton, Georgia, born June 8, 1851, he was a son of Robert S.
and Mary M. (Adams) Rushton, who afforded him liberal educational advan-
tages, enabling him to attend the Dalton Academy at Dalton, Georgia. He
became a resident of this city in 1869 and from that time until his demise was a
prominent factor in financial circles. He was first employed at the Commercial
National Bank and in 1870 became its assistant cashier. He was later one of
the organizers and became the first cashier of the Tenth National Bank. The
ensuing years up to 1878 brought him wide knowledge and broad experience
in banking lines and in the year mentioned he became one of the organizers of
the Fourth Street National Bank, of which he has served as cashier from 1886
until 1896. At the close of that decade he was elected to the vice presidency
and so continued until 1902, when he was chosen president, remaining at the
head of the bank until his demise. He became a forceful factor in financial
circles and his cooperation was sought as a directing force in the affairs of a
number of the banking houses and financial enterprises of the city. He became
a director of the Columbia Avenue Trust Company, of the Bank of Commerce,
and was identified with the Philadelphia Clearing House. He was also a director
and at one time treasurer of the Standard Ice Company, a director of the Atlantic
Steel Pier Company, and vice president and director of the American Slate

On the 13th of June, 1883, Mr. Rushton was married to Mrs. Mary Castner,
of New York city, a daughter of Johnson and Ann (Moore) MacCourt. He
was a patron of art and president of the Art Club of Philadelphia. He also
enjoyed various phases of outdoor life as indicated by his membership in the
Corinthian Yacht Club, the Bachelors Barge Club, the Philadelphia Gun Club,
the Germantown Cricket Club and the Southern Philadelphia Country Club. He
also belonged to the Club of America, the New York Club and Manhattan Club
of New York city, and the Union League Club of Philadelphia, while of the
Down Town Club he was treasurer. He was popular and prominent in various
social organizations and that he enjoyed the confidence and honor of the leading
financiers of the state is indicated by the fact that he was chosen the first presi-
dent of the Pennsylvania Banker's Association. His early years were marked by



close application to business, bringing him in his later life tliat leisure which per-
mitted of social and intellectual enjoyments and gave him the means of following
out his taste in art for which he ever had the highest appreciation. He belonged
to that class of men who unconsciously draw to themselves a large following be-
cause of their qualities of leadership and the initiative spirit which enables them
to strike out independently in the business world, not bound by what others have
thought or done but recognizing only the fact that diligence, determination, in-
tegrity and definite aim are the basic principles of success.


In the latter part of the nineteenth century John K. Brown was a well known
representative of mercantile interests in Philadelphia, conducting a successful
business as a shoe dealer. His salient traits of character were such as to com-
mend him to the confidence and good-will of all and to win him classification
with those men whose lives have helped to uphold the political and legal status
of the community and advance its material and moral progress.

He was born at Hawick, Scotland, October 14, 1832, and died October 14,
1890. His parents, Walter and Hanna (Knox) Brown, were also natives of
Hawick, and the father was a leading shoe manufacturer and merchant of that
place. The maternal grandfather, John Knox, was prominent in the British
army, in which he held high rank. When their son John was a lad of seven
summers the father sold his interests in Scotland and with his family crossed
the Atlantic to America, settling in Philadelphia, where he spent his remaining
days in honorable retirement from business.

John K. Brown was reared in this city and attended the public schools until
eighteen years of age, when he started in business life and was thereafter con-
nected with commercial interests of this city. He first entered a hat store to
learn the hatter's trade but remained there for only a brief period. He next
entered into the shoe business with his brother Thomas G. under the firm style
of Thomas G. & John K. Brown. They began business on Market street and
later opened two branch stores, for the growth of their trade justified the ex-
pansion of their commercial interests. In 1877 the senior partner died, but John
K. Brown continued the business until his death, and it was owned by his widow
for ten years after his demise, or until 1900, when she sold out.

It was on the 29th of July, 1872, that Mr. Brown wedded Miss Harriet B.
Markley, a daughter of John and Hettie Lucretia (Howard) Markley, of Lan-
caster county, Pennsylvania. The former was engaged in general merchandis-
ing. Mr. and Mrs. Brown became parents of a son and two daughters, but the
former, Walter T., is now deceased. The daughters, Jessie Grace and Jose-
phine K., are at home.

Mr. Brown was very devoted to his family and was fond of music, art and
travel. He possessed a social, genial disposition and delighted in the comrade-
ship of his friends. His political allegiance was given to the republican party,
his fraternal associations were with the Masons, and his religious faith was


evidenced in his membership in the Presbyterian church at the corner of Broad
and Sansom streets. His many good quahties and social nature made him popu-
lar, his business integrity gained him high regard and his enterprise won him a
substantial measure of success. He was progressive in business, loyal in citizen-
ship and faithful in friendship, but his best traits of character were reserved for
his own home and fireside.


Allen Evans, a member of a leading architectural firm of Philadelphia, was
born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1849. His father, Dr. Ed-
mond Cadwalader Evans, a practicing physician, was a descendant of the Evans
family that came from Wales in 1689 and settled in Gwyned township, Mont-
gomery county, Pennsylvania. Cadwalader Evans, the father of Dr. Evans, was
one of the originators of the Schuylkill canal and first president of the company.
He was a prominent Philadelphian and members of the family have since occu-
pied leading positions in connection with business, social and public affairs in
the city. It is of interest to note that at Dr. Evans' suggestion in 1869 the name
Bryn Mawr was applied to the town of that name (now a suburb of Philadel-
phia and location of the famous college of that name). The section had been
settled by several well known Welsh Quaker families who were originally from
the town of Bryn Mawr in Wales. Among that number was the stern old an-
cestor of Dr. Evans, Roland Ellis. The son of Cadwalader Evans, Dr. Edmond
C. Evans, won distinction in professional circles and died at Haverford in 1881,
at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife, Mary Louisa Allen, a native of New
York and a daughter of Dr. Benjamin Allen of Hyde Park, was a member of
an old New York and New England family, originally from Rhode Island. She
was born in 1816 and died in i860.

Allen Evans was the second in a family of six children but only he and
Rowland Evans, a well known member of the Philadelphia bar, reached years
of maturity. His education was acquired in the private schools of West Chester
and in the Polytechnic College of Philadelphia, where he pursued a preparatory
course in architecture. He then entered the office of Samuel Sloan, at that time
one of the leading architects of Philadelphia, and later, in the year 1870, be-
came pupil and assistant in the office of Furness & Hewitt, architects. Upon the
dissolution of this firm some years later, Mr. Evans continued with Mr. Furness
and soon afterward the present firm of Furness, Evans & Company was formed,
of which he has since been an active member. The consensus of public opinion
accords them rank among the first architects of the city. Among the buildings
of Philadelphia that stand as monuments to their skill are the Provident Trust
Company, the present Broad Street Station and many railway stations on the
Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad, for which corporations they
did much work for a number of years. They were also architects for the Arcade
building, the West End Trust building, the Morris building and the Girard
Trust Company building, in the construction of the latter being associated with


Messrs. McKim, Mead & White, the well known New York architects. The
firm of Furness, Evans & Company were also architects for the library of the
University of Pennsylvania and for the new buildings on the campus of Lehigh
University. This list indicates clearly the well established position of the firm
as among the leading architects of the city.

Mr. Evans is also associated with a number of interests of a public and semi-
public character. He is one of the directors of the Drexel Institute and has
been a vestryman of St. Mary's church, Ardmore, since its establishment in
1886, while at the present time he is also accounting warden. In 1865 he became
one of the founders of the Merion Cricket Club, of which he has been president
since the death of Alexander J. Cassatt in 1906. His political allegiance is given
to the democracy but he is not active in political affairs.

Mr. Evans was married on the 25th of April, 1876, to Miss Rebecca Chalkley
Lewis, a daughter of the late John T. Lewis, Esq., of Philadelphia. They have
five children: Mary Allen, the wife of William Mason Smith, of Charleston,
South Carolina, and New York city; John Lewis an attorney of Philadelphia;
Margaret Elenor, residing at home ; and Rowland Evans, Jr., and Allen Evans,
Jr., who are students in Yale University. The family residence is at Penrhyn,
Lower Merion, Montgomery county, near Haverford, where Mr. and Mrs.
Evans have resided since their marriage.


Numbered among those who were prominent in business circles of Phila-
delphia in the latter part of the nineteenth century was Azro Darby Lamson,
who was born in Randolph, Vermont, November 13, 1820. Four brothers of
the name came from Denmark during the early period of the colonization of
the new world and all settled on farms in the Green Mountain state. Captain
Harvey Lamson, the father of Azro Darby Lamson, owned and operated the
overland merchandise routes before the railroads were built and spent his later
years in honorable retirement upon a farm. He married Betsy Jackson and
they gave to their son, Azro Darby Lamson, the opportunity of pursuing his
education in the academy at Randolph, which he attended until seventeen years
of age. He then went to Boston to learn the drug business, but was connected
therewith for only a short time, after which he turned his attention to the brok-
erage business and continued successfully therein for twenty-five years. In
1871 he came to Philadelphia and was thereafter until his death associated with
the lumber business of J. W. Gaskill & Sons, the senior partner being his father-
in-law. A self-made man, he possessed keen business ability and insight that
enabled him readily to discriminate between the essential and non-essential in
commercial transactions.

At the time of the Civil war, Mr. Lamson was drafted for service, but va-
rious considerations prevented his going to the front and he hired a substitute.
He was, however, a stanch supporter of President Lincoln's policy and was a


member of the Union League. He gave to the republican party his earnest and
unfaltering support and was equally loyal as a member of the Baptist church.

On the i6th of December, 1869, Mr. Lamson was married to Miss Anna V.
Gaskill, a daughter of Joseph W. and Mary (Skirm) Gaskill, the former a
prominent and widely known business man of Philadelphia, for more than a
half century engaged in the lumber trade here. He was a descendant of an
early Quaker family of New Jersey and sent three of his sons to the Civil war,
while throughout the period of hostilities between the north and the south he
generously aided many a soldier or his family with supplies of food, clothing,
and if needed, money. Unto Mr. and ]\Irs. Lamson were born three daughters
and a son: Mrs. Samuel Howell and Mrs. H. N. Story, both of Philadelphia;
Mrs. William Ross Updegraff, of Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Azro D., a salesman
of this city.

Mr. Lamson was ever fond of driving and owned a stable of fine horses. He
was a lover of good music and possessed a fine singing voice. His nature was
extremely social, and he delighted in the companionship of friends and family,
dispensing in his own home a generous and warm-hearted hospitality.


In financial circles of Philadelphia, John Beauclerck Newman was well known.
He was born in this city, March 27, 181 3, and was reared in the neighborhood of
Washington Square. His father, John Newman, was for many years a member
of the firm of Lyle & Newman of Philadelphia. He married Ann Clement, a
daughter of James and Mary Clement, of Haddonfield, New Jersey, the latter
a daughter of Colonel Thorn, who was with Washington at Trenton. The

Online LibraryEllis Paxson OberholtzerPhiladelphia; a history of the city and its people, a record of 225 years (Volume 4) → online text (page 8 of 62)