John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) online

. (page 30 of 55)
Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) → online text (page 30 of 55)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Barre, the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of
Commerce, and the Luzerne County
Farm Bureau.


Man of Enterprise.

Among old and well-known families of
the western part of the State of Pennsyl-
vania is the Graham family, who have
been located in Allegheny county since
1828. The ancestry of the family is Irish,
and the first one of this line to seek a
home in America was Thomas Graham,
who in 1817 came from Ireland to Phila-
delphia, where he engaged in the manu-
facture of snuiif, and where his death oc-
curred ; he married, and was the father
of three sons and four daughters, among
them being: Thomas, Sally, and John, of
whom below.

John Graham, son of Thomas Graham,
the immigrant, was born in Ireland, in
1806. He received his early education
there, and at the age of eleven years
crossed the ocean with his father, passing
his early life in Philadelphia. He mar-
ried, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mary
Bishop, born in Germantown, Pennsyl-
vania, in 1809, died in Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania, in 1881, daughter of George
Bishop, a native of England, who after
coming to America settled in German-
town, where he died ; George Bishop's
wife was a native of France. After his
marriage, John Graham left Philadelphia,



and with his wife came to Allegheny
county in 1828. He was a blacksmith and
farmer, and first resided on Chartiers
creek, Robinson township. In 1856 John
Graham moved to Temperanceville, Alle-
gheny county, where he resided until his
death. A man of much public spirit, he
aided all movements that tended to im-
prove his section. In politics he was a
Republican, but would never accept office.
He and his wife were members of the
Presbyterian church, and active in all
charitable and religious work. John and
Mary (Bishop) Graham were the parents
of children : Paul, deceased ; Thomas, de-
ceased ; James, deceased ; Eves Ann, mar-
ried Samuel AI. Grace, deceased; lives in
Pittsburgh ; William, deceased ; Mary,
married James R. Bly, now deceased;
John M., resident of Allegheny county;
Albert, whose biography and portrait,
together with biographies and portraits of
his sons, H. C. and Charles J., follow this
biography; Samuel B., of Belle Vernon;
Frank M., of Crafton, Pennsylvania.

The death of John Graham, which oc-
curred in Temperanceville, Allegheny
county, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1879, de-
prived the county of one of her most
respected men. He was a man of broad
human sympathy, kindly and affable, and
those who knew him personally accorded
him the hisrhest esteem.

GRAHAM, Albert,

Founder of Important Manufacturing; Busi-

The supremacy of Pittsburgh among
the industrial cities of the world is the
supremacy of superior brain-power, and
describing a man as a leading Pittsburgh
manufacturer is equivalent to saying that
he possesses intelligence of a high order
and touches life at many points. A man
of this type is Albert Graham, chairman
of the board of directors of the Graham

Nut Company, and identified for many
years with the vital interests of the Iron

Albert Graham, son of the late John
and Mary (Bishop) Graham, was born in
Robinson township, Allegheny county,
Pennsylvania, March 17, 1848. He re-
ceived his education in the public schools
of Temperanceville and Pittsburgh, and
later worked in a rolling mill. He began
the business of life as clerk in a general
store in Bayard, Ohio, and later became
bookkeeper in the employ of a saw-mill
proprietor at Temperanceville, remaining
five years. The following three years he
passed as paymaster of the Eagle RoU-
mg Mills, and was then for seven years
bookkeeper for a contractor. In 1881 Mr.
Graham became bookkeeper and traveling
salesman for William Charles & Com-
pany, manufacturers of nuts, his territory
being all the district east of the Missis-
sippi river. Twelve years after forming
a connection with this firm he obtained an
interest in the business. In 1895 he be-
came owner, continuing the manufacture
of nuts under the old name until 1902,
when the firm name was changed to the
Graham Nut Company, which was incor-
porated the following year with Mr. Gra-
ham president. In May, 1914, Mr. Gra-
ham retired from the presidency of the
company, and was made chairman of the
board of directors, his son, Harry C.
Graham, becoming president ; his son,
Charles J., vice-president ; and Charles W.
Gray, secretary and treasurer.

Since 1889 the factory of the concern
had been in Allegheny, but in 1904 was
moved to Neville Island, the offices of the
company being at 1317-19 West Carson
street, Pittsburgh. Enormous forward
strides have been taken by the Graham
Nut Company in its new location, its
growth being shown by an enumeration
of the buildings containing it. In 1904 the

-f^ 7


enterprise was housed in a building
sixty by one hundred and seventy-five
feet, its later expansion demanding ac-
commodations that made necessary the
erection of three others — one eighty-
five feet square ; another four hundred
and sixty by four hundred and sixteen
feet ; a third, forty by one hundred and
twelve feet ; and another smaller ; and in
these five buildings is employed a force
numbering over three hundred. Agents
for the company cover the entire coun-
try, and to the original line has been
added the manufacture of bolts, the entire
product of the company being favorably
known. In no small measure has the
rapid growth of this firm been due to Mr.
Graham's tireless industry and energy.
His training qualified him for carrying on
a large business enterprise, and his close
application to the business of his firm has
given him remarkable success. The in-
dustry which he has built up is of great
value in itself and of relative importance
in the industrial development and per-
manent prosperity of Pittsburgh. A man
of singularly strong personality, he has
exerted a wonderful influence on his asso-
ciates and subordinates, and toward the
latter in particular his conduct has ever
been marked by a degree of kindness and
consideration which has won for him their
loyal support and hearty cooperation.
Force and resolution, combined with a
genial disposition, are depicted in his
countenance, and his simple, dignified and
afifable manners attract all who are
brought into contact with him. He is
one of the men who number friends in all
classes of society.

The thorough bi^iness qualifications of
Mr. Graham have always been in good
demand on boards of directors of different
organizations, and his public spirit has
led him to accept many such trusts. He
is a stockholder and director of the Amer-

ican Bolt Company, of Birmingham,
Alabama ; director since 1899 in the West
End Savings Bank and Trust Company ;
and president and director of the Crafton-
Ingram Building and Loan Association.
He is also a stockholder and director of
the Loucks Iron & Steel Company, of
Roanoke, Virginia.

Seldom is it that a man as active and
successful in business as Mr. Graham
takes the keen and helpful interest in civic
affairs to which his record bears testi-
mony. He is a member of the Pittsburgh
Chamber of Commerce, the West End
Board of Trade, and the Crafton Board
of Trade. In politics he is affiliated with
the Republican party. A man of action
rather than words, he demonstrates his
public spirit by actual achievements
which advance the prosperity and wealth
of the community. A member of the
Masonic fraternity, he has attained to the
thirty-second degree, belonging to Craf-
ton Lodge, No. 653, Free and Accepted
Masons ; Cyrus Chapter, Royal Arch
Masons ; Chartiers Commandery, Knights
Templar ; and Pittsburgh Consistory. He
is also a member of Syria Temple, An-
cient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine. He is also numbered among the
members of the Royal Arcanum. As a
clubman he holds membership in the
Union Club of Pittsburgh and the Thorn-
burg Country Club. He is also vice-
president of the Crafton Athletic Asso-
ciation. He is a member and president of
the board of trustees of the First Metho-
dist Episcopal Church, of Crafton, Penn-
sylvania (the suburb of Pittsburgh in
which he lives).

Mr. Graham married (first) Anna Belle,
born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, daugh-
ter of the late William and Ann Colling,
and they were the parents of the follow-
ing children: i. Harry C. 2. Charles J.
3. Anna Belle, wife of James C. Redman,



of Dormont, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Graham
died in 1884, and Mr. Graham married
(second) Annie L. Hooker, of Maryland.
Children of Albert and Annie L.
(Hooker) Graham: 4. Elizabeth P., mar-
ried F. C. Zercher, of Greensburg, Penn-
sylvania. 5. John C. 6. Albert M. 7.
Ruth Lee. 8. Kenneth, deceased.

Albert Graham's career may be sum-
med up in one word — success — the result
of his own unaided efforts. In common
with his city he seems to possess that
secret of perpetual energy which science
cannot explain. Throughout his career,
Mr. Graham has been animated by the
spirit of progress, ever pressing forward
and seeking to make the good better
and the better best. He has furnished a
true picture of the ideal manufacturer,
one who creates and adds to the wealth of
nations while advancing his own inter-
ests. The great industrial organization
which he has developed is a monument to
his far-sighted business ability, but no
less is it a monument to his philanthropy.
He has given to hundreds employment
and opportunities for self-culture and
self-development, and the wealth which
has come to him he has held in trust for
the less fortunate of his fellows. His
record is one that will endure.

GRAHAM, Harry C,

Head of Important Manufactory.

Prominent among the younger gener-
ation of manufacturers who are infusing
into the Pittsburgh district the element of
youthful vigor and enthusiasm is Harry
C. Graham, president and director of the
Graham Nut Company. Mr. Graham has
thoroughly identified himself with a num-
ber of Pittsburgh's leading interests,
entering into their promotion with the
same aggressiveness which characterizes
him in all that he undertakes.

Harry C. Graham was born in Pitts-
burgh, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania,
April I, 1874, son of Albert and Anna
Belle (Colling) Graham. He received his
education in the schools of Pittsburgh,
and at nineteen entered the employ of Wil-
liam Charles & Company, manufacturers
of nuts, serving in various capacities
until he became a salesman for the com-
pany, with a territory that comprised the
States east of the Mississippi river. This
position he held for five years. During
this time Mr. Graham, and his father had
become heavily interested in this concern,
and when it was incorporated, in 1903, as
the Graham Nut Company, Harry C.
Graham was made vice-president and
treasurer of the new company. The plant
on Neville Island was erected in 1904,
and a great deal of his time has been spent
in the active management of the produc-
ing department of the business.

In May, 1914, Albert Graham, the
father of Harry C. Graham retired from
the presidency of the concern, and Harry
C. Graham was elevated to the presi-
dency, which office, with that of director,
he holds at the present time. Mr. Graham
is a director of the Coraopolis Savings &
Trust Company, and interested in various
other enterprises. He is a Republican in
politics, but has never allowed his name
to be put forward for office, preferring to
concentrate his energy on his business.
A man of philanthropic nature, he has
been active in the work of the Young
Men's Christian Association, and at the
present time is chairman of its board of
directors, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania (a
suburb of Pittsburgh), where he resides.
A member of the Masonic order, he be-
longs to Coraopolis Lodge, No. 674, Free
and Accepted Masons ; Zerubabel Chapter,
Royal Arch Masons ; Commandery No.
I, Knights Templar; and Syria Temple,
Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the





-■^-X-^-^^^^ c^. y1/-l,^c^


Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the
Americus, Union and Sunset Country
clubs. Mr. Graham is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Graham married, September 19,
1899, Miss Jessie G., daughter of Harry
W. and Amanda H. (Hill) Holmes, of
Pittsburgh, and they are the parents of
a son, Charles Holmes, born March 15,

Mr. Graham is the son of a man emi-
nent in his line, and inherits traditions of
honorable achievement and disinterested
devotion. To these traditions he has been
faithful, and the present gives assurance
that the future holds much in store for

GRAHAM, Charles J.,

Corporation OfBcial.

Among the aggressive young business
men of Pittsburgh is Charles J. Graham.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
]\Iarch 13, 1878, son of Albert and Anna
Belle (Colling) Graham, and received his
education in the schools of his native
city, and at the Pittsburgh Academy. Mr.
Graham's first employment was with the
Tide Coal Company in 1894, then with Wil-
liam Charles & Company, which later be-
came the Graham Nut Company, in 1896,
and in 1903 he was made secretary and
director; still later, in 1914, he became
vice-president and director, which offices
he holds at the present time. He is
also officially connected with other con-
cerns, among them being secretary, treas-
urer and director of the Atlas Automatic
Jack Corporation, of New York City ;
vice-president and director of the Davis
Brake Beam Company, of Johnstown,
Pennsylvania ; director of the Illinois Car
& Manufacturing Company, of Chicago,
Illinois ; president of the American Hard-
ware Manufacturers' Association ; mem-
ber executive committee of the American

Supply & Machinery Manufacturers' As-
sociation. He is a trustee and member of
the executive committee of the Pittsburgh
Homoeopathic Hospital ; a trustee of the
Pittsburgh Newsboys Home ; a director
of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce ;
member and director of the Pittsburgh
Country Club ; member and director of
the Pittsburgh Athletic Association ;
member of the Duquesne, Pittsburgh
Field, Pittsburgh Traffic, Pittsburgh
Railway, Automobile and Fellows clubs,
of Pittsburgh ; member of the Oakmont
Country Club, Chicago Athletic Associ-
ation, Missouri Athletic Association,
Lambs Club of New York, and Hermit
Club of Cleveland. He is a Republican
in politics, and affiliates with the Masonic

Mr. Graham married, June 12, 1900,
Miss Josephine Harlin, daughter of James
and Annie J. (Kennedy) Gray, of Pitts-
burgh, and they are the parents of chil-
dren: William Kennedy, born July 31,
1902 ; Frances Kilbourne ; Albert Hooker,
born October 24, 1908; and Thomas Har-
lin, born March 5, 1915.

Happily gifted in manner, disposition
and taste, enterprising and original in
business ideas, personally liked most by
those who know him best, and as frank
in declaring his principles as he is sincere
in maintaining them, Charles J. Graham's
career has been rounded with success and
marked by the appreciation of men whose
good opinion is best worth having.



John C. Graham, son of Albert and
Annie L. (Hooker) Graham, was born in
Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now North-
side, Pittsburgh), May 14, 1890. He re-
ceived his education in the public schools
of Grafton, Pennsylvania, and then at-
tended Kiskiminetas Springs School,



from which he graduated in 191 1. Mr.
Graham then entered the employ of the
Graham Nut Company, of which his
father is the head, and is learning the
business from the ground up. In politics
he is a Republican, and is a member of
the First Methodist Episcopal Church of
Crafton. Mr. Graham is unmarried.

WOODS, George,

Distingniished Educator.

The late George Woods, LL. D., for
twenty-two years chancellor of the West-
ern University of Pennsylvania (now the
University of Pittsburgh), was a man to
whom might be truthfully applied the
memorable words : "He has done things
worthy to be written and has written
things worthy to be read and by his life
has contributed to the welfare of the
republic." The record of Dr. Woods as
an educator forms part of the scholastic
annals not of Pennsylvania alone but also
of New England and the Southwest, but
it is with the Keystone State and the city
of Pittsburgh that his name is most
largely and brilliantly associated.

Joseph Woods, father of George Woods,
was a representative of an American
branch of a family of English origin. The
progenitor of the New England clan
landed in 1630 at Dorchester, Massachu-
setts, and his numerous descendants have
for nearly three centuries been numbered
among the able, worthy and useful citi-
zens instrumental in the making of our
colonial, revolutionary and national his-
tory. Joseph Woods was an industrious
and pious carpenter, of Yarmouth, on
Casco Bay, eleven miles from Portland,
Maine. He was the possessor of a large
library, a lover of literature and warmly
interested in educational matters, being
one of the first contributors to the endow-
ment of the well-known North Yarmouth

Academy. He married Elizabeth Boston,
who was of English extraction, a woman
of great beauty and marked and inestim-
able characteristics, sharing his tastes and
sympathizing with his hopes and aspira-

George Woods, son of Joseph and Eliz-
abeth (Boston) Woods, was born January
24, 1813, at Yarmouth, the town being
then under the jurisdiction of Massachu-
setts by reason of the fact that Maine did
not become a State until about the year
1820. The boy was reared in an atmos-
phere favorable to mental development,
his father stimulating him to improve his
literary taste by well-directed studies and
reading, and his mother aiding and en-
couraging him in his eiiforts to obtain a
thorough education. The public schools
of that day, with their limited advantages,
were in session for but two months in the
year, the majority of the pupils being
occupied for the remainder of the period
in farm labor. At one time, while attend-
ing a private school, the lad was advised,
probably by some one who discerned his
unusual promise, to pursue a collegiate
course, and accordingly in his seventeenth
year he became a pupil at the academy
near his home, meanwhile applying him-
self to work in order to defray the
expenses of his tuition. In 1833 he enter-
ed Bowdoin College, with only twenty
dollars to call his own, but by labor and
teaching succeeded in paying all his
expenses with the single exception of one
hundred dollars, a debt with which he
was encumbered at the time of his gradu-
ation. A number of gentlemen whose
attention had been attracted by the young
man's extraordinary efforts, learning of
that debt, voluntarily offered him aid,
which he, with characteristic independ-
ence, uniformly and courteously declined.

Having graduated among the first of
the large class of 1837, Mr. Woods sought



to turn to account the reputation he had
already acquired as a teacher, and from
the many positions tendered him selected
one in the Gorham Seminary, at that time
the most flourishing institution of its
grade in the State. In 1839 he left Gor-
ham, bearing high testimonials from the
board, to accept the chair of Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy in Jackson Col-
lege, at Columbia, Tennessee, under the
president of which he had fitted himself
for college. Seventy-five years ago a
journey from Maine to Tennessee was
fraught with an interest which does not
now attach to it, part of the trip, in the
absence of railroads, being made by canal.
The entire time consumed was twenty-
three days, two weeks of which were re-
quired to traverse the distance between
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1841, in
consequence of the financial distress
under which Jackson College was then
laboring, Mr. Woods resigned his profes-
sorship and spent the following year at
Andover Seminary and in attendance on
lectures in Boston, at the same time seek-
ing to recuperate his health which had
suffered from too close application to
study. From the date of his graduation
he had received repeated invitations to
assume the principalship of the academy
in his native town, and in 1842 was in-
duced by liberal ofifers, being also
influenced by his interest in his birth-
place, to accept the position.

Though still suffering from impaired
health, Mr. Woods entered with great zeal
and earnestness upon the discharge of his
duties, and in consequence the academy
speedily rose to a high rank among its
kindred institutions. Students were at-
tracted from the various States and also
from Cuba and San Domingo, Garcia and
Gomez, the celebrated Cuban leaders and
President Dole of Hawaii being numbered
among those who were educated at the

institution while Mr. Woods was at its

Resigning in 1854, he received invita-
tions from various educational institu-
tions, including one under the control of
a sect differing widely from him in
religious belief, but offering him absolute
control for ten years of property, income
and a large endowment to be increased by
many thousands of dollars. He taught
for two years at Auburn, Maine, after
which one year was spent in business in
Portland. Becoming interested in ship-
ping, he purchased several ships and car-
ried on a large trading business with
China and the Asiatic seas, and it is
worthy of note that while he never per-
sonally followed the sea, he was success-
ful in the conduct of this enterprise.

In 1859, without his solicitation, Mr.
Woods was unanimously elected principal
of the Western University of Pennsyl-
vania, that being then the title of the chief
executive. The institution had suffered
from two disastrous fires and also from
mismanagement, having been suspended
from 1849 to 1856. When Mr. Woods
went to Pittsburgh and entered upon the
discharge of his duties, the sentiment of
the community was strongly antagonistic
to the work he had undertaken. The
university had but thirty-five pupils, two
full teachers, and two instructors in the
modern languages ; its whole property
was not worth over fifty thousand dollars,
and it had no classes in the collegiate
course. It was in the face of all these
discouragements that the new principal
most strikingly displayed his great organ-
izing and executive ability, showing him-
self to be a man of tremendous force
endowed with the faculty of communicat-
ing to others a portion of his own energy
and enthusiasm. Under his able adminis-
tration the university steadily expanded
in the preparatory, collegiate, engineering



and scientific departments and he laid the
foundation for the present system of its
work. Several new buildings were erect-
ed, a large endowment fund was raised,
and many new chairs added. He was the
institution's first chancellor. The endow-
ment fund, which amounted to two hun-
dred thousand dollars, was to the amount
of one hundred thousand the gift of the
late capitalist and philanthropist, William
Thaw, who was a warm personal friend
of Mr. Woods — Dr. Woods, as he became
early in the period of his connection with
the university, receiving in 1863 from
Jeflferson College the degree of Doctor of
Laws. A few years later Bowdoin, his
alma mater, conferred upon him the same

In combination with rare executive
ability. Dr. Woods possessed exceptional
qualifications as an instructor — originality
of thought, force of character, and clear-
ness of expression. Moreover, he was
endowed with that mysterious and potent
charm known as personal magnetism. By
his students he was both loved and vener-
ated, and his influence was felt in all their
after lives. The university of which he
was first chancellor is now the pride of
the city of Pittsburgh and of Western
Pennsylvania. A stranger seeking a
memorial of the man who very largely
made it what it is, might be told, "If you
seek his monument, look around."

In 1880 Dr. Woods resigned the chan-
cellorship and became connected with the
Equitable Life Assurance Society, organ-
izing the Pittsburgh branch, and, with the
assistance of his son, Edward A. Woods,
establishing a large and successful busi-
ness which has now, under the guidance
of his sons, grown to huge proportions.
In 1889, in consequence of advancing

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 7) → online text (page 30 of 55)