J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

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with the municipal law department. The records are proof of the large amount
of important business which he accomplished during that period. He was instru-
mental in incorporating under the laws of the state a measure providing for the
annexation of territory adjoining the city- a measure of vital importance to Chi-
cago. An act looking to that end was declared unconstitutional by the supreme
court, after which Mr. Knight was selected to prepare a new measure to cover the
case and did so, securing its passage in the legislature in 1889. This resulted in
the annexation of Hyde Park, Lake View, the town of Lake, Jefferson and por-
tions of Cicero to Chicago, in June of that year.

The marked ability which Mr. Knight displayed in his public professional
service won to him the attention of leading corporations and caused the direction
of his energies almost solely into the field of corporation law. In 1893 the Lake
Street Elevated Railroad Company appointed him its general counsel and, in 1897,
he was called to a similar position with the Union Elevated Railway Company,
the Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company and the surface electric lines con-
necting with the North and West Chicago Street Railway. In this professional
association Mr. Knight conducted litigation, establishing the right to build the
loop elevated railroad on Lake and Van Buren streets and Wabash and Fifth
avenues. In this connection it has been said: "He handled this matter with the
decision, good judgment and professional force which have marked his career as
a private practitioner, a representative of the city and an advocate of transporta-
tion improvements." Mr. Knight was president of the Chicago & Oak Park Ele-
vated Railroad and this office in connection with his legal identification with other
lines mentioned, made him one of the strongest factors in Chicago in the manage-


ment and development of the transportation systems of the municipality. In a
partnership relation with the Hon. George W. Brown he organized the firm of
Knight & Brown, which existed until the death of the junior partner, at which
time Mr. Knight was joined by James J. Barbour and William G. Adams, under
the firm name of Knight, Barbour & Adams. Throughout his life he remained a
close student of his profession, especially of that branch of the law which bears
upon corporations, and with a mind naturally analytical and inductive, he solved
some of the most complex and intricate problems which have called forth the pow-
ers of corporation lawyers in Chicago.

Mr. Knight was married in 1877 to Miss Adele Brown, a daughter of Dr. H.
T. Brown, of McHenry, Illinois, and their children are Bessie and James H.
Knight. Long connected with the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Knight took the degrees
of Chevalier Bayard Commandery, K. T., and he also belonged to the Loyal League,
the Union Club and the South Shore Country Club. Outside the strict path of
his profession he was a splendid figure on the stage of action. Because of the
innate refinement of his nature he rejected everything opposed to good taste; be-
cause of his loyal devotion to the public welfare he advocated in a quiet yet force-
ful way all measures looking to the progress and betterment of the city. The
death of Mr. Knight occurred in July, 1911, when he was yet in the prime of life,
his activity and his interests having brought him to a prominent position in finan-
cial and legal circles, where his work was a serviceable factor in the city's prog-
ress. His loss was keenly and widely felt but by none, except in his own household,
more than by the circle of friends that he had gathered about him by reason of
his personal worth and the possession of attractive social qualities and all manly


Joseph Oliver Morris, attorney at law, was born in Chicago, August 3, 1863,
a son of Edwin E. and Anna (Oliver) Morris, both of whom were of English birth
and parentage although the Morris family originated in Wales. For several genera-
tions, however, it had been represented in the south of England and Edwin E.
Morris was born near Brighton, in Sussex county. His wife was a native of
London and a daughter of William Oliver, of the firm of William Oliver & Sons,
of London Wall, the home of Milton. The family for several generations had been
the largest dealers in the world in mahogany and rosewood. Mrs. Morris also
traced her ancestry back to Oliver Cromwell and to the Marchant family, who
were royalists. In the year 1854 Edwin E. Morris first came to America and
made his way direct to Chicago but in 1857 returned to his native land and was
married. He then brought his bride to his newly established home in Chicago
and prior to the Civil war was the owner of the Phoenix Coffee and Spice Mills,
one of the first and largest enterprises of the kind in the city at that day. He was
afterward a member of the firm of Morris, Cloves & Company, proprietors of a
pioneer wholesale grocery house that furnished supplies to the government during
the war. Following the cessation of hostilities Edwin E. Morris removed to Cin-


cinnati where he engaged in the exportation of packing house products. He
was the originator of this industry in America, opening up trade relations with
Europe. He retired from active business twenty-five years ago and now resides
with his son, Joseph O. Morris, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife passed
away in 1 890.

In the public schools of College Hill, Ohio, Joseph O. Morris acquired his
early education and afterward pursued a preparatory course at Belmont College.
On the removal of the family to Chicago he completed his education .in the Lake
View high school, from which he was graduated in 1882. He afterward spent a
year in travel and in 1883 entered upon the study of law in the office of Flower,
Remy & Gregory, the predecessors of the present firm of Musgrave & Lee, with
whom he spent four years. He also for a short time attended the Union College
of Law, a department of the Northwestern University, where he qualified himself
to pass the state examination that secured him admission to the bar in 1884. He
engaged in practice as a member of the firm of Morris, Ganse & Craig until 1895,
since which time he has practiced alone. Specializing largely in corporation law
he has represented many of the important brokerage firms in the country, all
members of the New York Stock Exchange, in litigation involving legal technical-
ities peculiar to the brokerage business. He is considered an authority on that
unique branch of the profession. In association with Mr. Ganse, Mr. Morris has
also become largely interested in realty. In 1890 they purchased a tract of one
thousand acres at South Waukegan and to control this incorporated under the
name of the South Waukegan Land Company, their holdings being valued at one
million dollars. They laid out and founded the town of South Waukegan and
in 1894 changed its name to North Chicago. Mr. Morris guided this mammoth
enterprise through the panic of 1893 and in 1895 disposed of the last of their
holdings, realizing a handsome profit on the whole. In 1906 he purchased two
large tracts of land at Hammond and guided this venture successfully through the
financial difficulties of 1907. He now owns all of the stock of the company and
the property at the present time consists of a tract of land one-half mile in
length along the Calumet river, valued at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Part of this has been platted and is now on the market. He has passed through
two financial panics but has so carefully managed and guided his interests that
he is still the owner of large real-estate holdings in Chicago and vicinity in addi-
tion to California land properties. He is also an officer and director in various
corporations which own and control important business undertakings and his sound
judgment and keen discrimination also constitute valuable elements in the success-
ful direction of business affairs. He has given his leisure time, aside from busi-
ness, to church and Sunday school work and his labors in that direction have been
equally effective and far-reaching. In former years he was very active in the
Young Men's Christian Association, was one of the board of managers and a
prime mover in the erection of the splendid association building on La Salle street
in 1893. His church membership is in the First Presbyterian church of Evanston
and for twenty years he has been teacher of the Bible class composed of high-
school girls.

On the 3d of May, 1892, in Cincinnati, Mr. Morris was married to Miss Edith
Beatrice Green, a daughter of Joseph Green, of that city, and they have four chil-


dren, Joseph G., Edith Marjorie, Melissa DeGalyer and Constance Olive,, aged
respectively seventeen, fourteen, eleven and eight years. They have also lost two-
children. For the past eleven years the family has resided at No. 1138 Sheridan
road, Evanston, and are prominent socially in that section of the city. Mrs.
Morris is very active in literary and other clubs of Evanston and Mr. Morris
holds membership in the Hamilton and Automobile Clubs of Chicago, the Univer-
sity Club of Evanston and the Skokie Country Club. In leisure hours he may
be frequently seen on the links for golf with him is a pleasant source of recreation.
If one were to attempt to characterize his life work in a single word it perhaps
might be done in the term "progress," for from the outset of his career he has
steadily advanced not only in business and professional circles, although he has
won success in both, but also in those connections which arise from the duty of
the individual toward the community. His life has reached out in a constantly
broadening field of activity and usefulness and figures strongly as one of service-
ableness in many directions.


Charles Albert Comiskey, sole owner of the White Sox Baseball Club as well
as their home, Comiskey Park, Chicago, stands at the top among the financial kings
of baseball and is one of the foremost and most successful men connected with the
national pastime in its entire history. A native of Chicago, born August 15, 1859,
son of John and Mary Ann (Kearns) Comiskey, he was reared in his native city,
where he received his education, graduating from Ignatius College. His identi-
fication with baseball as a player, and like all who attain prominence, began when
but a youngster. He was a natural-born ball player. His first knowledge of the
game was secured on the lots of Chicago while his professional identification began
in 1876. In that year, and before he was seventeen years old, he played third
base position for Milwaukee. The following year he played at Elgin, Illinois, as
a pitcher, in which capacity he displayed great promise. From the latter club he
went to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1878, and remained there during that season and those
of 1879, 1880 and 1881. Young Comiskey's work with the Dubuque team brought
him to the attention of the owners of the St. 'Louis Browns, then in the American
Association. Joining this club in 1882 he became captain and played first base.
In 1883 he became manager of the St. Louis Browns, a capacity in which he con-
tinued to act until 1892. It was while a member of this club that he achieved his
great reputation not only as a player but as a captain and manager. Under his
direction the St. Louis Browns became one of the greatest teams in the history of
the game. With them during this period originated many new styles of play, not
a few of which yet remain distinct features of up-to-date inside baseball. It was
Mr. Comiskey who originated and successfully demonstrated the advantage of deep
first base play, depending on the pitcher to cover the base. With a personality
and force of character that naturally made him a leader he combined a superior
practical knowledge of the game, an equipment that no doubt had much to do with
the success of the team he directed. While their head, the St. Louis Browns won


the championship of the American Association in 1885, 1886, 1887 and the world's
championship in 1885 and 1886. The four successive pennants won by this club
in the American Association is a record in the major leagues that has never been
equaled. In 1892 Mr. Comiskey became captain and manager of the Cincinnati
National League team and remained there in a managerial capacity during 1892,
1893 and 1894. In 1895 he became the owner of the St. Paul Club in the Western
League, retaining that connection during 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898 and 1899. As
an owner at St. Paul Mr. Comiskey had been successful and at the organization of
the American League in 1900 he became the owner of the Chicago franchise in
that organization.

Up to this time Chicago had never been a member of any major league but the
National and while one of the best ball cities in the country, it seemed a foolhardy
move to attempt to successfully operate a club in opposition to the old organiza-
tion. Mr. Comiskey thought differently, an opinion, which, if wrong, meant his
financial ruin. The American League was attempting to do what a number of
times previously had proven a failure establish a second major organization. Its
franchise did not carry the absolute protection given by the National League, with
its wealth and prestige. Consequently an American League franchise at that time
did not represent much, if any value, except to men like Charles A. Comiskey, who
had implicit confidence in the success of the plan of the new organization. At that
time a franchise was a long ways from a ball club meriting patronage and a home
for its exhibitions, but Mr. Comiskey backed his judgment with every dollar at his
command and subsequent results have shown the wisdom of his course. Grounds
were secured at Thirty-ninth and Wentworth and his club became known as the
White Sox. The great popularity of the team and its owner was in evidence from
the first and a patronage surpassing the most sanguine expectations soon came to
them. In 1910 Mr. Comiskey transferred his club to Comiskey Park, Thirty-fifth
and Shields avenue, where he erected one of the finest baseball plants in the country
at an outlay of probably more than the combined cost of all the American League
plants at the inception of the organization. The White Sox were pennant-winners
in 1900, 1906; world's championship winners in 1906; and winners of the city cham-
pionship in 1911. Mr. Comiskey 's success is but that of a business man who
studies closely the requirements of his patrons and never breaks faith with them.
He has made baseball his business. When a player he took his vocation seriously
and made it his business, not a pastime, tried to do his best and never forgot that
he owed his employer his best efforts. No greater advocate of clean sport can be
found in any walk of life. He has played the part of a clean, high-class sports-
man, and has staunchly stood for the betterment of the game through the elimina-
tion of pool selling, liquor and the bad element generally. When a few years ago
a majority of the officials contended that it was impossible to make the game pay
without these accessories, he stoutly maintained that the game would become greater
and more successful financially without them. Results have proved the wisdom of
his contention. When the ticket speculators tried to profit by the popularity of
his team, he hired his own detectives and landed them in jail. In the management
of his ball park and team he has always kept faith with his patrons and looked for
his profits at the gate. Mr. Comiskey pays strict attention to business and is al-
ways in touch with his team whether at home or on the road. He is popular with


his men but any man playing for him would rather tackle a sawmill than be called
into the office for a lecture by "the old Roman." He does not swear at nor upbraid
offenders, but says things based on his perfect knowledge of the game and the
men's weaknesses, that are more effective than any torrent of abuse could possibly
be. He may be said to be an optimist, never yielding to discouragement and always
confident of success. It has been said of him that he never went into a game he
did not expect to win and he felt it in his heart as truly as his spoken word indi-
cated. Take one illustration: In 1886 when the St. Louis Browns won the pen-
nant in the American Association and Chicago had won the National League pennant,
A. G. Spalding, who had the Chicago team in charge gave out, as the condition to
meeting the Browns for the world's championship, a winner take-all clause. Mr.
Comiskey replied "You're on," and if he could have thought of a shorter affirma-
tive, he would have used it. The Chicago National Club at that time was a formid-
able aggregation of ball players yet the club under Mr. Comiskey drew the big

The personal popularity of Mr. Comiskey is truly remarkable and has been
no small factor in his success. A true friend, whose manifestation of sympathy is
not confined to a mere protestation but invariably in a more helpful and substantial
manner he never forgets a favor or declines an opportunity to return one. He is
systematic and painstaking in whatever he undertakes and whatever he does, he
does in the best possible manner. Mr. Comiskey has not lived solely to accumulate.
He is able to consult his wishes and satisfy his desires for the luxuries and com-
forts of life as well as to give liberally to charity and benevolent projects. He
belongs to the South Shore, Chicago Yacht, Illinois Athletic and Chicago Automo-
bile Clubs.

Mr. Comiskey married Miss Nancy Kelly, of Dubuque, Iowa, and has one son,
John L.. who is closely identified with the business interests of his father.


As one follows down the line of the inventors whose labors have given Amer-
ica preeminence in the field of commerce as the result of devices for saving time
and labor, he reaches in the later period of invention the name of Milo Gifford
Kellogg a name largely synonymous with the telephonic history of the country.
He was of the ninth generation of Kelloggs born in the United States and was a
son of James Gregg and Sarah Jane (Gifford) Kellogg. This branch of the Kel-
logg family came from Great Leighs, England, and mention of them is found in
the records of Farmington, Connecticut, as early as 1651. The Giffords came
from Barnstable county, Massachusetts, and also date back to colonial days.

Milo Gifford Kellogg, born in Rodman, New York, April 14, 18-19, attended
the preparatory school at Fulton, and continued his studies in the Hungerford
Collegiate Institute at Adams, New York. In 1870 he was graduated from the
University of Rochester, New York, which institution conferred upon him the
degrees of A. B. and A. M. He was an Alpha Delta Phi of Rochester, and was



one of three chosen by the society to inaugurate the fraternity chapter at Cornell

Following his graduation Mr. Kellogg came to Chicago and entered into busi-
ness with the firm of Gray & Barton, manufacturers of electrical apparatus, and
saw the development of telephony and electrical illumination from their infancy.
The Chicago Engineer in this connection once wrote: "Fancy this energetic trio
of ambitious young men Gray and Barton and Kellogg all experimenting with
electricity and making salable apparatus. Elisha Gray Enos M. Barton Milo
Gifford Kellogg makers of telephone history!" The firm of Gray & Barton in
1872 became the Western Electric Manufacturing Company and prospered for
the ten following years, when, in 1882, the word manufacturing was dropped from
the title. During all of these years and until 1885 Mr. Kellogg remained with
the concern and from 1875 was superintendent of the manufacturing department
of the Western Electric Company.

In the following year Mr. Kellog became president of the Great Southern
Telephone & Telegraph Company, so continuing until 1888. He was also one of
the organizers and principal stockholders of the Central Union Telephone Com-
pany of Chicago and was a director in that company from 1893 until 1898. In
the meantime he traveled extensively, spending two years of the period in Europe.
He studied the possibilities of telephone development, becoming identified with
the operation of telephone plants and concentrating his energy on inventions. Dur-
ing this period he became a fountain head of economical ideas, all pertaining to
telephone work. He brought out numerous inventions and about one hundred and
fifty of his patents formed part of the assets of the new company which he or-
ganized in 1897. It was in that year that he organized the Kellogg Switchboard
& Supply Company, of which he became president, a position he held at the time
of his death. This company was the first to supply independent operating com-
panies with multiple switchboards and was also the first to introduce the full-lamp-
signal switchboard to independent operators. It was in 1897 that the Kellogg Com-
pany built the first independent multiple switchboard for the Kinlock Company
of St. Louis which was the first large city in the United States to successfully
break away from the Bell monopoly. We quote again from the Engineer which
said: "Milo Gifford Kellogg blazed the way for the independent telephone manu-
facturer. It was through his personal efforts in 1892 that President Benjamin
Harrison considered the claims of independent manufacturers with reference to
the Berliner transmitter patents. The government's case to annul the validity of
Berliner's claim was not successful, but it established the weaknesses which made
the subsequent trials a success. The contribution of largeness to the cause of
competitive telephony lies at the door of M. G. Kellogg, the man. The Kellogg
manufacturing organization constitutes the best engineering and sales talent that
is to be had. Little could have been added in men, plans or execution to secure
greater success. Mr. Kellogg always addressed himself in earnest to the work
before him. He surrounded himself with workers of like kind. The integrity
and efficiency of the manufactured apparatus resulting from such organization has
never been assailed."

Mr. Kellogg devoted his time and energies to the advancement of telephone
and electrical apparatus and during the last five years of his life maintained a


separate organization for experimental work, largely concentrating his efforts and
energies upon automatic telephone operating and manufacturing.

On the llth of March, 1873, Mr. Kellogg was united in marriage to Mary
Frances, a daughter of Calvin and Frances (Kimball) De Wolf, both of whom
were early settlers of Chicago, her father arriving in 1837 and her mother in
1840. They were married in this city by the Rev. Hooper Crews, one of the early
pastors of the Clark street Methodist church, on the 9th of June, 1841. Extended
mention of them is made on another page of this volume. To Mr. and Mrs. Kel-
logg were born three children, Anna Pearl, Leroy De Wolf and James Gifford.
Both sons are connected with the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company and
the former was married in July, 1901, to Ellen Neel and they have three chil-
dren, namely: Frances De Wolf, Venie Louise and Leroy Gifford.

Milo G. Kellogg passed away September 26, 1909. His family and friends
were all the society he cared for and to them he was most loyal and devoted. He
attended the Kenwood Evangelical church and was always interested in its bene-
volent work. He had a firm belief in republican principles, although he at times
found occasion to vote independently of the party ticket. He was a liberal sup-
porter of the Municipal Voters' League, a life member of the Chicago Athletic
Association and also a member of the Union League and Kenwood Clubs. He re-
mains in the memory of his friends enshrined in a halo of a gracious presence 1
and kindly spirit, and to the world he will ever be known as one whose efforts
were foremost in the development of telephony, not only through invention and
manufacture but also in the establishment of an independent system that broke
the power of a monopoly.


History does not consist of the deed* of men who have figured most prominently

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) → online text (page 8 of 74)