J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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Martha Sobel, and unto them were born two sons, Mitchell and Carl, aged re-
spectively eleven and nine years. On the 26th of November, 1908, Mr. DuFine
was again married, his second union being with Sophia Metz, a daughter of Boris
Metz, of this city. They, too, have two sons, Irving, two years of age, and Earle,
in his first year. The family reside at No. 1355 North Hoyne avenue, where Mr.
DuFine owns an attractive home. He belongs to the Chicago Association of Com-
merce, to the Chicago Rotary Club and is a Mason. In trade circles he is prom-
inent and widely known, being the vice president of the National Ladies Tailors
of America, and treasurer of the Chicago Women's Tailors Association. He de-
serves much credit for what he has accomplished, as he is self-educated as well as
a self-made man. Sound judgment has directed his efforts, laudable ambition has
prompted his activity and progress has characterized his entire career, winning him
not only a prominent place in business circles but also developing his latent intel-
lectual powers until he is today occupying a leading position in social as well as
business circles.


Robert Patterson Lamont is a prominent and leading representative of indus-
trial interests in Chicago as the president of the American Steel Foundries. His
birth occurred in Detroit. Michigan, on the 1st of December, 1867, his parents
being Robert and Isabella Lamont. After completing his preliminary education
he entered the University of Michigan, which institution conferred upon him the
degrees of Bachelor of Science and Civil Engineer in 1891. During the following
year he served as an engineer at the World's Columbian Exposition and from 1892
until 1897 was identified with the contracting firm of Shailer & Schinglau as secre-
tary and engineer. In 1 897 he became first vice president and director of the
Simplex Railway Appliance Company, remaining in those important capacities
until 1905, when he became connected with the American Steel Foundries as first
vice president, thus serving from 190;! until 1912. In the present year he assumed


the duties of president of the American Steel Foundries and is now ably managing
and directing the affairs of that extensive corporation.

On the 24th of October, 1894, in Chicago, Mr. Lamont was united in marriage
to Miss Helen Gertrude Trotter, by whom he has three children: Robert P.. Jr.,
Dorothy and Gertrude. He is a valued member of the Union League, University,
Mid-Day, Exmoor Country, Glen View and Chicago Golf Clubs. His office is in
the Commercial National Bank building and his residence at No. 1722 Judson
avenue, Evanston, Illinois.


John Lincoln Bolen, engaged in the practice of law in Chicago since his ad-
mission to the bar in 1894, was born in Knox county, Tennessee, September 1, 1863,
a son of Pleasant and Nancy (Trent) Bolen. The father was a native of Tennessee
and in 1865 removed to Indiana where he engaged in farming until about eight
years ago. He then retired and took up his residence in Los Angeles, California,
where he is now living at the age of seventy-nine while his wife has attained th?
age of seventy-seven years. She, too, was a native of Tennessee and a sister of the
Hon. S. D. Trent, one of the prominent factors in the public life of that state. For
thirty years he served on the bench and has long been eminent in political circles
as a member of the state senate.

The removal of the family from Tennessee to Irvington, Indiana, enabled John
Lincoln Bolen to pursue his education in the public schools of the latter place until
his graduation from the high school with the class of 1883. The following year
was spent as a student in a business college at Oberlin, Ohio, and in the fall of
1884 he went to Salina, Kansas, where he was engaged in the abstract business until
1887. In that year he became a resident of Kansas City, Missouri, where he was
engaged in the abstract business until 1890, and then came to Chicago where he
continued in the same line until 1899. During the last nine and a half years of that
period he was with the Security Title & Trust Company, predecessor of the pres-
ent Chicago Title & Trust Company. In the meantime he took up the study of law,
attended evening sessions of the Chicago College of Law for three years and was
graduated in 1894. He afterward pursued a post-graduate course in the same in-
stitution, receiving his LL. B. degree in 1895. Following his resignation of his
position with the Security Title & Trust Company in 1899 he entered at once upon
general practice but has specialized to a greater or less degree in real-estate law and
has become very proficient in that particular branch of .the profession, his wide
study enabling him to speak with authority upon all which pertains to real-estate
law. He is now a member of the Chicago Law Institute and also of the Illinois
State Bar Association.

While he regards his profession as the chief interest in his business career Mr.
Bolen has extended his efforts to other fields and since the 1st of April, 1902, has
been treasurer, director and one of the principal stockholders of the Northwestern
Mortgage & Trust Company and is also a director of the Howard Copper and the
Hamilton Mercantile Agency. He is interested to a considerable extent in Chicago



and suburban realty and also in colonization projects in Michigan and Florida. He
seems to recognize with readiness the possibilities of any business situation of that
character and his practical insight and intelligently directed efforts are productive
of substantial results.

On the 3d of April, 1908, Mr. Bolen was married in Wheaton, Illinois, to Mrs.
Albertie E. Braund, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Lampman, of Smithville,
Ontario. Mr. and Mrs. Bolen have a pleasant home in Berwyn and hold member-
ship there in the Methodist church. Mr. Bolen gives his political allegiance to the
republican party and has several fraternal and social connections, being a member
of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, the Royal Arcanum and the Berwyn Club.
Laudable ambition has at all times stimulated his efforts, leading him beyond the
less pretentious business connections to rank with those whose ability has gained for
them prominent place in professional circles and in the management of important
business projects.


James J. Barbour who occupies a foremost position at the Chicago bar, was
born in Hartford, Connecticut, December 28, 1869, and comes from not only one of
the oldest families in New England, but one that has been prominently identified
with the history of Connecticut from its first settlement. Thomas Barbour, the
American progenitor of this family, was a member of the Saltonstal party that
settled at Windsor, that state, in 1635. Judge Heman H. Barbour, the grandfather,
was one of the well known men of his time in Connecticut. Joseph L. Barbour, of
Hartford, Connecticut, an uncle, is one of the most prominent members of the
legal profession in New England. The parents of James J. Barbour were Rev.
H. H. and Frances E. (Luther) Barbour, and the preference of the son for a pro-
fessional career was something of a family trait. In pursuance of his father's
pastoral duties the family removed to Newark, New Jersey, where, until 1886, James
J. received his education through the public and high schools. The combination of
practical with literary and oratorical talents inclined him, at quite an early age,
to the province of the law as the field of his life work. His educational training
for the practice of his profession was received at the Chicago College of Law in

Upon his admission to the bar in 1891 at the age of twenty-one years and prior
to the completion of his full collegiate course, Mr. Barbour had become attorney
for the Commercial National Bank of Chicago and continued as such until the
death of its president, Henry F. Eames, in 1897. In 1894 he formed a partner-
ship with Joseph A. Sleeper, which was dissolved upon the retirement of the latter
from practice. Mr. Barbour's talents and success as a trial lawyer were recognized
by his republican associates when, in 1904, he was appointed assistant state's at-
torney by Charles S. Deneen, and later under the administration of John J. Healy,
became first assistant.

Within the past few years Mr. Barbour has been the attorney of a number of
the most noted cases which have engaged the attention of the public. He prosecuted


Inga Hanson, who was convicted of perjury in her suit for damages against the
City Railway Company. He was also in charge of the proceedings against George
S. McReynolds for fraudulent transfer and sale of grain covered by warehouse
receipts held by Chicago banks to the amount of five hundred thousand dollars,
and of the suit against William Eugene Brown, the Chicago lawyer, convicted of
subornation of perjury and disbarred from practice, for fraudulently obtaining three
thousand dollars from the American Trust & Savings Bank. The prosecution
of William J. Davis for manslaughter, in connection with the Iroquois theater
fire, the suit being finally tried at Danville, Illinois, and resulting in the discharge
of the defendant by the court on technical grounds, was in the hands of Mr. Bar-
bour. In the summer of 1906 he assisted Judge Harry Olson in the prosecution
of Paul O. Stensland and others, for embezzlements from the Milwaukee Avenue
State Bank. Mr. Barbour, while an assistant, prosecuted fully fifty murder cases
and, among them, that of Lucy Hagenow, who received a sentence of twenty years,
is regarded as of peculiar importance and the establishing of a precedent, in that
the proving, in that trial, of at least seven deaths by criminal operations at the
hands of this woman, was held by the Supreme Court to have been proper as
bearing on the question of intent. In the case of People versus Superior Court he
removed the Lipsey habeas corpus case to the Supreme Court by certiorari, and
there obtained a ruling that nisi prius courts were without jurisdiction to review
final judgment in criminal cases by writs of habeas corpus. On November 18,
1908, Mr. Barbour caused the arrest, indictment, trial and sentence of Peter Van
Vlissingen, who it was proven had forged real-estate mortgages to the extent of a
million dollars, the entire proceedings occupying but three hours. On December
1, 1908, Mr. Barbour resumed private practice, becoming a member of the firm
of Knight, Barbour & Adams, and at once became the counsel of Mrs. Charles
T. Yerkes in court proceedings in Chicago and New York, wherein he was suc-
cessful in establishing his client's claim to a million dollars of property claimed by
the executors of her husband's will. Mr. Barbour is also of counsel in suits insti-
tuted in Mrs. Yerkes' behalf in seeking to enforce liability against the Chicago Rail-
ways Company upon five million dollars of bonds of the Consolidated Traction
Company, owned by the late Charles T. Yerkes. In June 1911, Mr. Barbour
suffered the loss, by death, of his partners, Clarence A. Knight and William G.
Adams, and is now practicing alone.

On September 1, 1891, Mr. Barbour was united in marriage to Miss Lillian
Clayton, their children being Justin F., Heman H. and Elizabeth.


Alfred J. Cross, one of the well known of the younger men connected with the
lumber trade in Chicago and the head of the C. L. Cross Lumber Company, was born
in Riverside, Illinois, December 24, 1882, being the only son of Clarence L. and
Grace (Sherman) Cross. A sketch of the father will be found elsewhere in this


Alfred J. Cross was educated at Armour Academy and Armour Institute of
Technology. He was for a number of years associated with his father in the lumber
trade, and on the death of the latter, December 31, 1911, assumed the management
of the business and organized the C. L. Cross Lumber Company in 1912.

On the llth of December, 1906, Mr. Cross married Miss Gertrude Conpropst, of
Riverside, and they have two children: Thomas Clarence, born January 3, 1908;
and Virginia, born January 16, 1912. The family residence is in Riverside, Illi-
nois. Mr. Cross is a member of the Lumbermen's Association of Chicago, the Lum-
bermen's Club of that city and the Concatenated Order of Hoo Hoos.


During the era of Chicago's pioneer development the Otis family was here
established and its members have since been conspicuous in connection with the
promotion and development of the city's best interests. The record of Joseph
Edward Otis has at all times been in harmony with the personal integrity and
lofty business principles of his ancestors, who were not only prominent in the
early upbuilding of Chicago but in its later rebuilding following the great con-
flagration of 1871. Into the field of banking he has directed his activities and the
Western Trust & Savings Bank stood largely as a monument to his ability and his
devotion to high ideals in financial circles. In 1903 he became its president and
remained its head until December 23, 1911, when it was consolidated with the Cen-
tral Trust Company of Illinois, of which he became first vice president. His
interests have permanently centered in the city of his nativity, for it was here that
Mr. Otis was born on the 5th of March, 1867, his parents being Joseph Edward
and Marie (Taylor) Otis. After acquiring his .preliminary education in the Har-
vard school he went east to enter the Phillips Academy of Andover, Massachusetts,
and later continued his studies in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University.

His education completed as far as the technical training of the schools is con-
cerned, Mr. Otis entered business life in 1889 and a year later started upon an in-
dependent venture, establishing a real-estate and renting agency as a partner of
the firm of Joseph R. Putnam & Company. Upon the failure of his father's health
in 1892 the son took charge of his affairs and while thus engaged joined Charles
H. Wilcox and Frederick S. Wheeler in organizing the Western Tin Plate Com-
pany. Watchful of opportunities pointing to success, Mr. Otis in 1897 believed
that he might enter a broader and more profitable field by turning his attention
to the stock brokerage business, and in partnership with Charles H. Wilcox and
H. W. Buckingham tormed the firm of Otis, \Vilcox & Company. The connection
was thus maintained for three years, when, in 1900, Walter H. Wilson bought out
the interest controlled by Mr. Wilcox and the firm name was changed to Otis,
Wilson & Company, at which time the character of the business was also changed
from stock brokerage to private banking. Ralph C. Otis, a brother of Joseph
E. Otis, also joined the firm as a partner and on the 1st of July, 1903, the
company consolidated their interests with those of the W T estern State Bank, under
the title of Western Trust & Savings Bank, of which Mr. Otis remained presi-


dent until December 23, 1911. He has been a motive force in making this
one of the strongest banking institutions of the western metropolis. The safe,
conservative policy instituted has always been maintained and yet the bank is
lacking none of that progressiveness which has resulted in the modern financial
system that largely constitutes the basis of all business activity and growth.
Looking beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities of the future,
Mr. Otis has further extended his efforts and in 1902, with the assistance of his
brother Ralph C. Otis, organized the Chicago Savings Bank and was formerly
vice president of that institution.

Mr. Otis was married in Chicago, October 3, 1891, to Miss Emily Porter Web-
ster, and their children are Joseph Edward, George Webster, Stuart Huntington,
Raymond and Emily Huntington. Mr. Otis votes with the republican party and
holds membership in the Episcopal church, while in social lines his membership is
with the Chicago, Calumet, Commercial and University Clubs. While he stands as
a representative of one of the old and prominent families of the city, it is his per-
sonal characteristics and worth that have gained him the position which he now oc-
cupies. His ability and steadfast adherence to strict business principles have
placed him in the front rank of Chicago's bankers, and close investigation brings to
light not a single esoteric phase in his career.


While the name of Chicago stands to the world as a synonym for great industrial
and commercial activity a dynamic force in the world of business there were
among its founders and builders men whose activities not only reached out along
business lines, but also sought the moral progress of the community and en-
deavored to establish principles of civic virtue, that should long count as influences
in the city's development. In this connection Philip F. W. Peck occupies a fore-
most position as one of the real pioneers of Chicago. He came to prominence in
commercial lines, but was none the less widely known and honored, because of what
he accomplished for the city's improvement in those lines, which work for a higher
and a broader civilization. His family is one of the very few that have had con-
tinuous identification with the growth and development of Chicago for over eighty
years. A native of Rhode Island, Mr. Peck was born in the city of Providence in
1809 and was a representative of the seventh generation of an old New England
family that had taken a prominent part in the colonial history of Massachusetts
and Rhode Island. The American progenitor of this branch of the Peck family was
Joseph Peck, a native of Suffolk county, England, who came to America with his
family on the ship Diligent in 1638, and settled at Hinghain, Massachusetts. The
line of descent from Joseph Peck to Philip F. W. Peck is through the former's son
Nicholas, who resided in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, whose son Jonathan settled in
Rhode Island between Warren and Bristol. The son of the latter, Deacon Thomas,
lived in Swansea, Massachusetts, and his son, Jonathan II, was a resident of Reho-
both, Massachusetts, whose son Philip, born October 3, 1771, in Rehoboth, married
Abagail Chace. They were the parents of Philip F. W. Peck.


The educational and industrial training of Mr. Peck had been of that practical
kind, which the men who became pioneers in building up western trade and com-
merce had generally received. He had grown to manhood with correct habits, a
capacity for close application to business and a comprehensive knowledge of the
principles which govern the building up of centers of commercial activity. He was
ambitious, enterprising and self-reliant, and as his subsequent career demonstrated,
had a genius for finance and was possessed of unusual business foresight. He
learned to regard life as something of wider scope than that of mere money-making
and came to the west not only with the desire to attain success, but also with the
well defined recognition of his duty and obligations to his fellowmen. Leaving New
England with the hope of securing better opportunities on the western frontier,
which district then included Illinois, he arrived at last at Fort Dearborn, after hav-
ing made a trip around the lakes on a sailing vessel from Buffalo, bringing with him
a stock of general merchandise. This was in 1830. It was his intention to pro-
ceed toward the south with the idea of probably going to New Orleans. He real-
ized the natural advantages of the geographic location of Fort Dearborn but was
somewhat doubtful as to the expediency of throwing himself into the development of
a new settlement. However, the cordiality and confidence which the settlers at
this point extended influenced him to remain. On the journey westward he had been a
fellow passenger with Captain Joseph Naper, who also brought a stock of goods with
him and proceeded further into the interior of the state, founding the town of Nap-
erville. With notable prescience Mr. Peck realized that the larger town would con-
centrate at the foot of the lake and the mouth of the river, at a natural port for
lake traffic and central point of overland travel. He entered actively into the bus-
iness life of the community in 1831 when he built a small log building near Fort
Dearborn and therein placed his stock of goods on sale. Soon, however, he began
the erection of what was the first frame building in Chicago. It was a two-story
structure at the southeast corner of South Water and La Salle streets and it had been
sufficiently completed to permit of its occupancy in the fall of 1831. This building
was erected on the first piece of Chicago real estate that Mr. Peck bought. It has
ever since remained in the possession of his family, is now owned by his son Clar-
ence T. and has recently been leased for three hundred and twenty-five thousand
dollars, while the original- cost was less than twenty-five dollars. Not only did it
shelter one of the pioneer mercantile enterprises of the embryo city but also be-
came the home of the first Sunday school ever organized in Chicago, the unfinished
second story being used for that purpose, while Chicago's first minister, the Rev.
Jeremiah Porter, also used the same room as a study and lodging place. It was
in this, for that time superior structure, too, that Mr. Peck laid the foundation of a
fortune which developed into a rich estate. Here he carried on the business of
merchandising until such time as it became necessary for him to give his whole at-
tention to his reality interests and the care of his growing fortune.

The year 1832 chronicled the Indian uprising followed by a military expedition
that brought the red men into subjection. In this movement the Black Hawk war
Mr. Peck participated and became a member of the first military company or-
ganized in this city. A resident of Chicago when its population was less than one
hundred, and two years before it had a recognized corporate or municipal existence,
Mr. Peck was a pioneer of the pioneers. His name, moreover, is associated with

Vol. V IT


many of the "first founders." He helped to organize the settlement into a town in
1833; he had the first postofBce box assigned on the establishment of the first post-
olfice of Chicago.

When the boxes were alloted there was a demand for the smaller numbers, and
in fact some contention over the assignment of them, but Mr. Peck in order to
facilitate the allotment agreed to take box number forty-eight, which was the high-
est number.

This box was retained for several years after the carrier system had been in-

Mr. Peck was a member of the first fire company organized in the city; was
a voter at the first city election; he built in 1836 the first brick dwelling in the
city, at the corner of Washington and La Salle streets, the site being still owned
by the family. He was in at the birth of the town, witnessed the transition from
town to village, from village to city, and from a provincial city to the western
metropolis, and two weeks before his death, on the 23d of October, 1871, which oc-
curred as the result of an accident, he saw the city which had sprung up under
his observation, practically swept out of existence by the great fire of that year.
Such are not the experiences of an ordinary lifetime. In the accumulation of a large
fortune Mr. Peck demonstrated that adherence to approved and conservative bus-
iness methods builds up more substantial estates than those resulting from specula-
tive enterprises. A sagacious and farseeing man, who had always great confidence
in the continued growth and prosperity of Chicago, he was never carried away by
speculative excitements which swept over the city from time to time, to be followed by
corresponding periods of business depression and financial distress. His own affairs
were kept so well in hand that he passed safely through the serious financial troubles
of 1837 and 1857, when many of his contemporaries met with reverses from which
they never recovered. In the year 1837 every payment on canal trustees' sales for
the previous year was in default except Philip F. W. Peck's. These periods of gen-
eral business depression did not weaken, even temporarily, his faith in the ultimate

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) → online text (page 36 of 74)