J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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William Brine went to New York and there opened a branch house, leaving George
J. Brine in charge of the main business of the firm in Chicago. Later this partner-
ship was dissolved, George J. Brine entering the commission field independently and
operating therein for three years. He afterward formed a partnership with John
B. Lyon & Company, but this connection was dissolved in the fall of 1872. Mr.
Brine was then alone in business until 1879, when he became an employe of Armour
& Company, with whom he remained for five years. On the 1st of January, 1884,
he formed a partnership with Charles D. Hamill under the firm name of Hamill &
Brine, which occupied a deservedly prominent position on the Board of Trade and
in commercial circles. Later, however, the firm of Hamill & Brine was dissolved
and the latter became manager for the Crane Elevator Company, in New York,
where he remained for two years, during which period he secured many large con-
tracts in eastern territory. He was also secretary for the company for several
years. Upon his return to Chicago he again became associated with Armour & Com-
pany, attending to many business and legal affairs for that corporation. He was
recognized as one of the most valuable men in the company and remained therewith
until his death, which occurred January 4, 1906.

Mr. Brine was twice married. In 1866 he wedded Ida R. Dewey, who died in
1872, leaving a daughter, Ida Winter Brine, who is now the wife of John C. Scovel,
a mechanical engineer, by whom she has one daughter, Margaret Brine Scovel.
On the 17th of April, 1879, Mr. Brine was united in marriage to Miss Anna M.
Payne, who died November 7, 1911. She was a daughter of William and Ann M.
(Palmer) Payne, who came from Milwaukee to Chicago in 1856. Mr. Payne was a
leading factor in the coal and wood trade in early life, conducting business just
north of the Rush street bridge. He died in 1868 but the business was continued
until 1871, when heavy losses were sustained on account of the fire. The firm was
known as Woodruff & Payne in 1856 and employed vessels for transportation.
Later the name was changed to Payne, Dyer & Payne.

Mr. Brine was always an interested and helpful supporter of many projects
for the public good and at the time of the Civil war his loyalty to his adopted
country was shown in the fact that although he had not yet become a naturalized
American citizen, he sent a substitute to the ranks, to whom he paid six hundred
dollars. In his later years he figured prominently in connection with public af-
fairs. He was president of the Chicago Harbor and River Improvement Associa-
tion and was a member of the Chicago library board from 1885 until May, 1887,
during which period he served as its president for nine months. He belonged to
Oriental Lodge, No. 33, A. F. & A. M., and for a considerable period was con-
nected with the church over which Rev. Arthur Swazey presided. Later he became
a supporter of David Swing, then pastor of Central church. He was a home man


and was fond of music and the opera. He possessed a keen wit and enjoyed social
gatherings. He read broadly and delighted in all that is most artistic and elevat-
ing in literature. He was a remarkably well informed man and his knowledge
seemed all the greater from the fact that he was practically self-educated. Prog-
ress seemed the keynote to his character whether in literary, commercial, political
or municipal connections. He believed that it lay within the power of every human
being to advance and in his own life he regarded the accomplishment of any task
as a stimulus for renewed and further effort.


Actuated by a practical idealism in all of his professional services, Dr. Augus-
tus Frederick Nightingale stands today among the most prominent of those whose
labors have been effective in promoting the interests and raising the standard of
the public schools of Chicago and of Cook county. Nor are his labors bounded by
this district, for the influence of his thought and efforts has gone out into those
communities where earnest and intelligent men with a passion for the thorough
and practical education of the young are continuously seeking out new methods
and new ideas to advance the work of the public schools. Since 1874 he has con-
centrated his efforts upon the work in Cook county and since 1902 has occupied
the position of superintendent of the county schools.

Born at Quincy, Massachusetts, on the llth of November, 1843, Dr. Night-
ingale is a son of Thomas J. and Alice Nightingale, and a representative of one
of the old New England families. In the acquirement of his education he attended
successively the public schools of Quincy, the Newbury Academy of Vermont and
the Wesleyan University of Connecticut, being graduated from the last named with
valedictorian honors as a member of the class of 1866. His ripe scholarship of
later years has received recognition in the honorary degrees of Master of Arts in
1869, Doctor of Philosophy in 1891 and Doctor of Laws in 1901.

Dr. Nightingale has devoted his entire life to educational work, his constantly
increasing fame winning him national recognition. Following the completion of
his college course he accepted the professorship of Latin and Greek in the Upper
Iowa University, with which he was connected for two years. In 1868 he was
called to the presidency of the Northwestern Female College at Evanston, Illinois,
where he continued until 1871. The following year was spent as professor of
Latin and Greek in Simpson College at Indianapolis, Iowa and from 1872 until
1874 he was superintendent of the public schools of Omaha, Nebraska, whence he
came to Chicago and for sixteen years remained as principal of the Lake View
high school. He was then elected assistant superintendent of the Chicago public
schools and for nine years, from 1892 until 1901, was superintendent of the high
schools of this city. In 1902 he was elected superintendent of the Cook county
schools in which position reelection has continued him to the present time. More-
over he has been a trustee of the University of Illinois since 1898 and was presi-
dent of the board in 1902-1903. He was president of the Nebraska State Teachers
Association in 1873 and of the Illinois State Teachers Association in 1877, while


in 1888 he served as president of the secondary department of the National Edu-
cational Association. He has long ranked with the conspicuous educators of the
country by reason of his efforts in systematizing and coordinating the work of
secondary schools. From 1895 until 1899 he was chairman of the committee of
the National Educational Association on college entrance requirements, and in
1898 was president of the North Central Association of colleges and secondary
schools. He was the author of Requirements for Admission to American Colleges,
and is even more widely known because of his work as editor of one hundred vol-
umes published under the title of the Twentieth Century Text-Books. Governor
Deneen appointed him a member of the educational commission to revise and per-
fect the school laws of Illinois. The honors which have been conferred upon him
in connection with the system of public education have been well merited and
modestly worn. One of the leading Chicago papers said of him editorially in
November, 1906: "Dr. Nightingale has made education and the organization and
direction of educational activities his life work. He has been remarkably success-
ful. In almost every field of the work from the primary to teaching the classics
in a university, from grade teacher to superintendent of high schools, from in-
structor in Greek and Latin to college president, he has left the mark of an earnest
student and apt instructor, an intelligent organizer and a judicious director."

On the 24th of August, 1866, Dr. Nightingale was united in marriage to Miss
Fanny Orena, a daughter of Rev. C. H. Chase, of New Hampshire. Their family
numbers one son and four daughters: Mrs. W. Ruffin Abbott, of Chicago; Harry
Thomas Nightingale, a resident of Urbana, Illinois; Mrs. Harrison M. Angle, of
Brooklyn, New York; Mrs. Vaughn Lee Alward; and Mrs. Winter D. Hess, of
Evanston, Illinois. Welcomed into the social circles, where the most intelligent
men of the city gather, Dr. Nightingale belongs to that class of men, whose deep
consideration of vital public questions makes their opinions a potent force in shap-
ing public thought and action.


The growth of Chicago has been one of the miracles of the age and yet it has
been but the legitimate outcome of the labors, plans and purposes of its founders
and later-day promoters. Among those who came west in pioneer times and cast in
their lot with its early residents was Francis Cornwall Sherman, who lived here
for three years before the city was incorporated, its population numbering only a
few hundred inhabitants and they were located in homes that clustered around the
mouth of the river, while business houses largely bordered the water front. A na-
tive of Connecticut, Mr. Sherman was born in Newtown, on the 18th of September,
1805. In early manhood he went to Buffalo, New York, where he was engaged for
a short time in the manufacture of shell combs, but thinking to find a more advan-
tageous field of business in the little town of Chicago, which had sprung up on the
western shore of Lake Michigan, oc the site of old Fort Dearborn, he started for
what was to become the metropolis of the west. He had journeyed with team and
spring wagon to Buffalo and from there he shipped the wagon and team to Detroit,



from which point he rode across the state of Michigan on horseback with his oldest
son, Francis T., reaching Chicago, April 7, 1834. His family left about the same
'time by boat and the voyage by vessel required six long weeks, Mr. Sherman and
son arriving at their destination several weeks before the boat put in sight, but at
length lie met his wife and children, after anxiously waiting and watching on the
shore of the lake for many days. Chicago of 1834 gave no promise of the Chicago
of today. The most far-sighted could not have dreamed that the tiny village would
be converted into the second city of the Union and one of the most populous of the
world. There was a little cluster of buildings near the mouth of the river and this
was still in a measure a trading post for the Indians. Soon after his arrival Mr.
Sherman began the erection of a frame dwelling on Randolph, between La Salle and
Wells streets. He was aided by a fellow workman in building this little structure,
which was eighteen by thirty-four feet and twelve feet in height. It remained
one of the early landmarks of the city until 1871, when it was destroyed by fire.
The year following his arrival Mr. Sherman purchased a wagon and team of horses
and conveyed passengers from Chicago to Joliet, Galena, Ottawa, Peoria and other
places, for at that time there was no established stage line. It was also in 1835
that Mr. Sherman began the manufacture of brick, finding a site for his plant on.
the open prairie, at what is now Adams street near Market, his kilns being situated
between Market street and the river, near the present abutments of the Madison
street bridge. From the time of his arrival in Chicago Mr. Sherman manifested
great faith in the city and its upbuilding and was one of the most progressive fac-
tors in the early development of the young metropolis. In 1835-6 he -erected for
himself the first four-story brick building of Chicago, its site being on Lake, near
Clark street. He continued in business as a brickmaker and contractor for over
fourteen years and during that period erected a large number of houses. Success
attended him from the outset and his well earned profits in time brought to him a
substantial competence, so that in 1850 he was able to retire from active business
life, after which he devoted his attention to the management of his large interests.
He had made judicious investments in property and the land which he purchased at
a low figure soon after his arrival increased steadily in value with the growth of
the city. In 1 836 he built a block of stores where the present Hotel Sherman stands.
A little later the structure was somewhat remodeled and blossomed out as the City
Hotel, the corner being used as a city hall, where the meetings of the common council
were held, with Hon. Thomas Hoyne officiating as city clerk. About the year 1848
additions were made and the hotel then became known as the Sherman House. In
18(50 this structure was torn down and in the spring of 1861 the Sherman House, a
six-story structure consumed in the great fire of 1871, was opened. This was re-
built after the fire and was a seven-story structure, which stood until torn down
to make room for the present Hotel Sherman, completed in 1910.

But while Mr. Sherman retired from participation in industrial interests, his life
was one of more than ordinary activity. His identification with public affairs was
prompted by a patriotic citizenship that recognized the needs of the city and sought
to meet them. He was the champion of many progressive measures of the early
day and his fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth and service, at various times
honored him with public office. He was chosen a member of the first board of trus
tees of Chicago and served until the incorporation of the city in 1 837. He was

Vol. V 8


elected a member of the first board of aldermen under the city government and
repeated elections continued him in that office for a long period, during which he
exercised his official prerogatives in support of many movements and projects which
had important bearing upon the welfare, upbuilding and municipal honor of Chi-
cago. He became a member of the board of county commissioners and filled other
county offices and likewise served on the board of appraisers of the canal lands.
. He took an active part in preserving the courthouse square for public purposes.
At that time he was a supervisor from one of the city wards and enjoyed the full
confidence of the country members of the board. He was made president of the
board at the time when the sale of the public square was ordered, the plan being to
use the proceeds to build public offices on less expensive sites. Mr. Sherman's per-
sonal influence probably defeated this scheme. His efforts induced the city to con-
tribute largely to the erection of the courthouse building which stood until a few
years ago and thus secured the square for all time for public purposes. Even higher
official honors were accorded him. In 1841 he was elected mayor of Chicago on
the democratic ticket, other city officials being Thomas Hoyne, clerk; N. H. Bolles,
treasurer; and George Manierre, attorney. In 1843 he was elected to the state
legislature and four years later was again chosen to represent his district in the
general assembly. In 1847 he was chosen a member of the constitutional convention
which framed the organic law of the state. He always gave stanch support to the
democracy save at a single election, and in 1856 he was his party's candidate for
the mayoralty but was defeated by Thomas Dyer. In 1862, however, he was again
made a candidate and won the election over C. N. Holden. That he proved capable
and faithful in office is indicated in the fact that in 1863 he was reelected for a
two-years' term over T. B. Bryan after one of the fiercest local contests known in
the history of the city. In 1862 he was a democratic candidate for congress and
again in 1865 and 1867 was his party's nominee for mayor. His course in office
always proved of signal service and benefit to the city. We had not reached that
advanced stage of political activity when party rule is made a vehicle for the attain-
ment of the spoils for the individual. Mr. Sherman held to high ideals in his official
service and discharged his duties with the same fidelity and ability that characterized
him in the conduct of his private business interests.

Before coming to Chicago Mr. Sherman was married to Miss Electra Trow-
bridge, of Danbury, Connecticut, a daughter of Reuben and Susan Trowbridge and
a representative of a family that has figured prominently in the early history of
New England. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sherman were born six children: General
Francis T. Sherman, Edwin, George, Charles and Elizabeth, all of whom are now
deceased; and Mrs. Martha E. Sherman, the wife of William G. Sherman, of Barre,
Vermont, who came to Chicago about 1848 and passed away in 1867. Mrs. Martha
E. Sherman, who died January 28, 1911, had two children. The daughter, Ida E.,
is the wife of J. J. Charles, of Chicago, and has four children; Sherman, Francis,
Martha and J. J. Charles, Jr. Edwin Sherman, the son, wedded Alida White, and
they have one child, Robert Trowbridge Sherman.

The death of Francis C. Sherman occurred November 7, 1870, and his wife,
surviving him for nine years, passed away November 18, 1879. Mr. Sherman had
been a resident of Chicago for more than thirty-six years, living here throughout
the formative period of the city, to the development and growth of which he gave


impetus by his public spirit and active cooperation. His labors were attended with
substantial results and his name is inscribed high upon the roll of those who were
early builders of the western metropolis.


The recurrence of Thanksgiving Day recalls to the mind of an "old settler" the
first day set aside in Chicago for the formal giving of thanks.

It was November 25, 1841, just forty years ago, when the. population was five
thousand, seven hundred and fifty-two. Why the inhabitants of this city had not
previously expressed their gratitude to God for blessings bestowed, the old settler
was unable to tell; but he knew that in the fore part of November, 1841, some of
the religious people circulated a petition. asking Mayor Sherman to set aside a day
for thanksgiving.

The document was submitted to the city council and November 22, on motion
of Alderman Ira Miltamore, who represented the first ward, his honor was directed
to grant the prayer. Accordingly, he issued the following proclamation (published
in the American of November 23, 1841), which is chiefly interesting on account of
the change that lapse of time has brought about with reference to the notice of
observance :


Whereas, in accordance with the petition of several good citizens, it hath been
unanimously resolved, by the common council of the city of Chicago, that the mayor
appoint Thursday, the 25th day of November inst., as a day of public thanksgiving
and prayer.

And whereas it has pleased Almighty God to crown the outgoing year with the
abundance of His Providence, and to have continued to the people of our city, as
well as of our state and nation, those dispensations of His Goodness, whereby the
anticipations of seedtime and the golden promises of an unusually prosperous harvest
have been realized and gathered in; and as the Pilgrim fathers, in the wilderness,
set apart days of fasting and prayer, in honor of the Divine Goodness in supplying
them with the means of subsistence, but more particularly for the freedom they
enjoyed in the exercise of every social and religious privilege, so the hearts of their
descendants must feel a deeper gratitude that the blessings secured by the toil of
their ancestors have descended to them, and that every returning year brings with it
additional assurances that the fabric, founded in their wisdom and example, is now
adequate to perpetuate similar blessings to their children.

Now, therefore, in view of our many blessings, and in pursuance of the resolu-
tion aforesaid, I do hereby appoint and set apart Thursday, the 25th inst., as a day
of public thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God.

Given under my hand and the seal of the city, this 23d day of November, Anno
Domini, One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty-one.


(Attest) Mayor.



There is a tradition that a Thanksgiving Day had been previously observed
pretty generally throughout Illinois. During Governor Duncan's administration
(18S4-38) a proclamation signed by him was circulated, calling upon the people to


was attending read it from the pulpit. Nearly everybody kept the day, however, only
a few being aware that the document was bogus. Peter Borin, who preached in a
Methodist church, was the only minister in Chicago who did not fall into the trap
which was set, according to the story, by "Long" John Wentworth. As stated, how-
ever, November 25, 1841, was the first Thanksgiving Day generally observed in
Chicago. Since that time the day has been regarded as a holiday by the ungodly
and kept religiously by the Christians.


To say that Dr. Abram Winegardner Harris is president of the Northwestern
University is at once to establish his position as one of the foremost American
educators. Born in Philadelphia on the 7th of November, 1858, he is a son of
James Russell and Susanna (Reed) Harris, whose family included James Russell
Harris, Jr., Mrs. Walter P. McClure and Mrs. Henry A. Lewis, all of Philadel-

In his native city Dr. Harris, of this review, acquired his early education and
prepared for college at the Friends Central School. In 1876 he entered Wesleyan
University, Connecticut, from which he was graduated A. B. in 1880. Immedi-
ately afterward he entered upon the profession of teaching, being employed as
instructor of mathematics in Dickinson Seminary of Williamsport, Pennsylvania,
during the collegiate year of 1880-81. He was subsequently tutor in mathematics
and registrar of Wesleyan University from 1881 until 1884, after which he went
abroad, spending a year in study in the Universities of Munich and of Berlin
and returning to the Wesleyan University as instructor in history for the period
from 1885 until 1888. In the succeeding eighteen years he was associated with the
organization or reorganization of three institutions. His administrative ability
was called into play in this connection and he demonstrated to the satisfaction
of his associates that he possessed marked executive ability. He helped to organ-
ize the office of experiment stations of the United States Department of Agricul-
ture and served as assistant director of that office from 1888 until 1891 and as
director from 1891 until 1893. In that connection he came into close touch with
the work of the experiment stations in every state of the Union and his success in
that great field of labor, which annually requires the investment of more than a
million dollars, led in 1892 to his selection for the presidency of the Maine State
College at Orono, which office he filled from 1893 until 1901. During the eight
years that he remained at the head of that institution the college widened its
scope and made substantial advance in the number of its students and of its fac-
ulty and in its income as well; leading to the reorganization of the school in 1896
under the name of the University of Maine. Thus Dr. Harris had successfully
transplanted for the first time the western state university idea into the soil of
conservative New England. After bringing this college to the highest rank among
Maine's institutions of learning, he resigned the presidency in 1901 to become
director of the Jacob Tome Institute at Port Deposit, Maryland. When he as-


sumed charge its affairs were in confusion. The school had been furnished by
its founder with an endowment and equipment of buildings unequalled in second-
ary educational institutions, but the plans for their use were as yet undefined.
The situation demanded no ordinary leadership. In the five years of his admin-
istration Dr. Harris clearly defined the objects of the institution, coordinated its
departments and directed the founder's gift into channels where it would be most
useful. When he resigned in 1906 he left that school upon a firm foundation with
the assurance of a bright future.

On the 1st of February, 1906, Dr. Harris was elected president of North-
western University by its board of trustees, and at the opening of the school year

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) → online text (page 16 of 74)