J. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) Currey.

Chicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) online

. (page 9 of 74)
Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) → online text (page 9 of 74)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in past ages. In a city like Chicago it is in the making and in various depart-
ments of activity are men who are active in shaping the policy and molding the
destiny of the city. Among this number is John R. Caverly, who is now serving
as judge of the municipal court, to which office he was elected in 1911.

The world's metropolis claims him as her native son, his birth having occurred
in London, England, on the 6th of December, 1861. His parents were James and
Mary (Boulter) Caverly, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Eng-
land. The father learned and followed the machinist's trade and about 1867
sailed for the new world with his family, establishing his home in Chicago. His
son John R. Caverly, then a lad of six years, pursued his education in the Annun-
ciation parish school and in St. Patrick's Academy and his preparation for a pro-
fessional career was made in the law department of the Lake Forest University,
from which he was graduated with the LL. B. degree in 1897.

He has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession and his
progress has been substantial and gratifying. In April, 1897, he received appoint-
ment to the position of assistant city attorney, which he filled for more than six
years, or until the 1st of May, 1903. He then left the office to become police mag-


istrate at the Harrison street police court, which has always been considered the
most trying and responsible position of the kind in Chicago. He presided over that
court for nearly five years, executing its business with dispatch, his opinions ex-
pressing absolute impartiality as well as comprehensive knowledge of the law. The
excellent record which he had made as assistant city attorney, however, again
suggested him for office and on the 1st of January, 1907, he was appointed city
attorney and reappointed by Corporation Counsel Brundage. In that connection
he made for himself a most creditable name, carefully safeguarding the interests
of the city, his work being based upon a thorough and conscientious knowledge of
the law and ability to accurately apply its principles. He is recognized as one of
the ablest lawyers of the Chicago bar, having that mental grasp which enables him
to discover the points in a case. A man of sound judgment, he manages his cases
with masterly skill and tact, is a logical reasoner and has a ready command of

On the 15th of September, 1898, Mr. Caverly was united in marriage to Miss
Charlotte J. Cochran. His political allegiance has always been given to the democ-
racy and his religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church. He belongs to
the Knights of Columbus and the Royal Arcanum and also holds membership in
the Illinois Athletic Club and the Iroquois Club. He is of a very social and genial
nature and is ever heartily welcomed in the meetings of the organizations with
which he is affiliated. The success of his life is due to no inherited fortune or to
any happy succession of advantageous circumstances but to his own sturdy will,
steady application, studious habits, tireless industry and sterling integrity.



It was while the country was involved in the throes of the Civil war that Wil-
liam Atwater Weed became a resident of Chicago and here he resided to the time
of his death, in prominent and useful connection with business interests. He was
born in New York city, on the 17th of May, 18-10, and his life record covered
scarcely more than a half century, his death occurring March 24, 1892. His fa-
ther was Dr. John W. Weed, a practicing physician of New York, and the mother,
Margaret Mix, who belonged to a family of Holland origin.

In the public schools of the eastern metropolis, William Atwater Weed pur-
sued his education and entered business circles as an employe in the house of W.
H. Schieffelin & Company. During the early part of the Civil war he responded
to the call for troops, becoming a volunteer in the Thirteenth New York Regiment.
He participated in the battles of Lookout Mountain and Gettysburg and afterward
retired from the service, removing to Chicago late in the year 1863. From that
time until his death he retained his residence in this city and was connected in
various capacities with the wholesale drug houses that were predecessors of the
business of the firm of Hurlbut & Edsall. He was a partner in the latter firm
when the disastrous fire of 1871 swept away a very large amount of his fortune.
He afterward organized the firm of W. A. Weed & Company, dealers in druggists
sundries, and ten years prior to his death became actively connected as advertising


manager with the medical publishing house of G. P. Engelhard & Company. Dur-
ing the last few years of his life he was the well known manager of the advertis-
ing department of the Chicago Graphic, published by the same concern. In that
connection he contributed not only to the success of the paper but also won sub-
stantial returns for himself and gained recognition as one of the representative
men in that field of business.

In Chicago, in 1869, Mr. Weed was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Morgan,
a daughter of Thomas Morgan, who came with his family to America from Eng-
land in 1844 and settled at Morgan Park, Illinois, which place was named in his
honor. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Weed were born four sons and two daughters: Wil-
liam F., who married Blanche Fowler and is a broker; Morgan, who is connected
with the Swift Packing Company ; Charles F., who married Dorothy Walsh ; George
L., who wedded Alice Thatcher and is engaged with his brother Charles in the
insurance business ; Harriett M., the wife of Dr. P. C. Barnes, of St. Louis ; and
Clara S., who died in 1902. Mr. Weed was a member of St. Mark's Episcopal
church and also of the Masonic fraternity. The teachings of both organizations
were exemplified in his life. Those who knew him found him a kind neighbor and
a faithful friend ; the church counted him a loyal member ; and to his family he
was all that could be implied in the term of husband and father. It was not his
success but the qualities which he displayed in every relation of life that gave him
firm hold upon the affectionate regard of those with whom he came in contact.


Dr. Solon C. Bronson, professor of theology at Garrett Biblical Institute in
Evanston, was born in West Union, Iowa, July 26, 1855. He represents an old
family of Scotch and Irish lineage that was founded in Connecticut in colonial
days. His father, Rev. Harvey S. Brunson, was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio,
May 10, 1814, and came to the middle west when twenty years of age, seeking to
benefit his health by a change of climate. He tarried at different times and for
different intervals in various states but about 1840 settled at Freeport, Illinois.
His mother was widowed in early life and settled in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where
she afterward passed away and was buried. Rev. H. S. Brunson was a pioneer
minister of this state, of Iowa and of Wisconsin, devoting fourteen years to preach-
ing the gospel. About 1842 he was for a short period pastor of the old Canal
Street Methodist church of Chicago, which was afterward removed to another site
and called the Centenary Methodist church.. After retiring from the pulpit he
became a prominent factor in political circles and some time after the war was
elected to the Iowa senate, wherein he represented his district for two terms. For
a time he was identified with agricultural pursuits in that state and afterward
became proprietor of a hotel in Fayette, Iowa. Through his well conducted busi-
ness affairs he amassed a small fortune which he invested in railroads and thereby
lost. For forty years he was a director of the Upper Iowa University at Fayette
and at all times was interested in educational and moral progress. He was a warm
personal friend of Senator Allison and was one of the first to propose his election


to the United States senate. When about sixty-five years of age Mr. Brunson
retired and spent the remainder of his life in Fayette. He was one of the best
known and most beloved residents of that community and his friends were found
throughout that state and in fact in every locality, where he had resided. He died
in Fayette, December 8, 1905, at the venerable age of ninety-one years. In early
manhood he had wedded Jane McCool, who was born and reared in Freeport,
Illinois, and there resided until her marriage, after which she traveled with her
husband. She died in Fayette, Iowa, in the latter part of November, 1904, at the
age of eighty-six years. She came of Pennsylvania Dutch parentage and had the
home instinct which is characteristic of that class. She was a direct descendant
of Joannes Nevius, secretary of New Amsterdam, now New York, and of William
Chamberlain and Christian Nevyus (such was the spelling at that time), both of
whom were active in the Revolutionary war as commissioned officers. On the Bron-
son family records appears the name of one who gained distinction Pinkney Bron-
son, who was one of the most famous American orators about the middle of the
nineteenth century.

In the family of Harvey S. Brunson and his wife there were five children, of
whom Dr. Bronson of this review is the fourth in order of birth, the others being:
Mrs. Henry E. Hurd, of Fayette, Iowa; Mrs. Anna E. Ferguson, of Los Angeles,
California; Mrs. Sylvanus B. Warner, of Grand Junction, Colorado; and Miss
Minnie H. Bronson, of Washington, D. C., who was one of those in charge of the
educational exposition at Paris and at Buffalo and was the head of that department
at the Belgium exposition at The Hague. More recently she has been active in
the anti-suffragette work of New York and is now on the Pacific coast on the same

Dr. Bronson pursued his early education in the public schools of Fayette, Iowa,
and was graduated from the Upper Iowa University of that place in 1875. He
then came to Evanston and entered the Garrett Biblical Institute, from which he
was graduated in 1878. Having determined to devote his life to the ministry, he
was ordained in Hopkinton, Iowa, in 1880, and for seventeen years was actively
engaged in preaching the gospel in that state, being located at different times in
Hopkinton, Waterloo, Toledo, Clinton and Burlington. In the spring of 1896 he
was elected to the chair of practical theology in the Garrett Biblical Institute,
where he has since remained, covering a period of fifteen years, his ability placing
him prominent among the educators in this field in the country. The honorary
degree of Doctor of Divinity has been conferred upon him by this school and also
by Cornell College ofilowa, and from the Upper Iowa University at Fayette he
received the Master of Arts degree. In that school he was doctor of theology for
a time and some years later held a similar connection with the Cornell College.

In 1879, in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Bronson was married to Miss Frances Avann,
a daughter of William Avann, an Englishman. She was graduated from Boston
University, in 1879. Dr. and Mrs. Bronson have become parents of four children:
Mrs. Edna B. Campbell, a widow, who is now a high-school teacher in Seattle,
Washington; Elizabeth, the wife of Eugene W. Brownell, assistant cashier in the
National Bank of Commerce at Seattle, Washington; Earl A., who is married and
resides in Evanston ; and Reid R., a freshman of the Northwestern University.
Three of these children are Phi Beta Kappa members of Northwestern University.


Dr. Bronson is a republican with independent tendencies. He does not believe
in the blind following of party leadership and is recognized as an active supporter
of many of the wholesome, purifying reforms which have been growing up in the
political life of city and country. He is a member of the University Club of Evan-
ston, of the Upper Iowa University Club of Chicago and of the Methodist Social
Union of Chicago. The universality of his friendships interprets for us his intel-
lectual hospitality and the breadth of his sympathy, for nothing is foreign to him
that concerns his fellows.


.John William Allen has long been well known in business circles of Chicago as
the head of the firm conducting business under the name of J. W. Allen & Company,
at Nos. 110-118 North Peoria street, dealers in bakers' and confectioners' supplies.
His birth occurred near Ann Arbor, Washtenaw county, Michigan, on the ith of
September, 1848, his parents being Almond A. and Lucy (Powell) Allen, both of
whom were born near Rochester, New York. They passed away in Michigan. Al-
mond A. Allen participated in the Civil war. He was sent west to assist in quelling
the Indian disturbances and lost his health, which never was entirely restored.

John W. Allen began attending the country schools of Calhoun county, Michigan,
when a little lad of seven years and for five years his big Newfoundland dog drew
him to and from school on a sled, as he was a cripple and almost helpless for five
years. When a youth of seventeen he began learning the milling business at Battle
Creek and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and on attaining his majority came to Chicago,
here securing a clerkship with the firm of Lyman & Silliman, tea and coffee merch-
ants, in whose employ he remained for twelve years. On the expiration of that pe-
riod he had accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to embark in business on his
own account, but lost his earnings through the failure of the Fidelity Savings Bank.
Later he was offered and accepted five hundred dollars for his bank book and again
went to work to increase his financial resources. At the end of two years he began
business at No. 80 Van Buren street, remaining at that location for eighteen years.
He then removed to No. 208 Washington boulevard, where he occupied a five-story
building for nine years. At the expiration of that period he built a modern rein-
forced concrete and brick structure of four stories and basement at Nos. 110-118
North Peoria street, where he is now conducting business. He is now at the head
of an extensive and profitable corporation, dealing in bakers' and confectioners' sup-
plies under the name of J. W. Allen & Company. Some idea of the growth of the
concern may be gained from the fact that when he started out in business he did all
of the work himself and at present requires the assistance of a large force of em-
ployes. He is likewise the owner of the old Windiate farm in Calhoun county, Michi-
gan. His life record is one which merits both admiration and emulation. Though
in early life handicapped both physically and financially, he has worked his way
steadily upward to a position of prominence and influence in the community.

On the 30th of December, 1872, Mr. Allen was united in marriage to Miss
Emma M. Windiate, a daughter of William and Almira (Mead) Windiate, of Cal-



houn count}', Michigan. Unto them was born one son, Harry W., who is now the
secretary and treasurer of the firm of J. W. Allen & Company. Harry W. Allen is
married and has a son, Frank W., who is now eleven years of age.

In politics Mr. Allen is a republican, loyally supporting the men and measures
of that party. He belongs to the Chicago Association of Commerce and the Illinois
Manufacturers' Association, also the National Master Bakers' Association and is a
worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity. Motoring and fishing afford him pleas-
ure and recreation. His record is an illustration of the fact that opportunity is
open to all. With a nature that could not be content with mediocrity, his laudable
ambition has prompted him to put forth untiring and practical effort until he has
long since left the ranks of the many and stands among the successful few.


In banking circles of Chicago the name of Henry M. Kingman is an honored
one and his memory is cherished by all who knew him. His high principles in
private and business life ever commanded the respect of his fellowmen and his
ability was evidenced in the fact that he steadily advanced in the business world
until he became second vice president of one of the world's strongest financial
institutions the First National Bank of Chicago. His birth occurred November
29, 1842, in Winchester, New Hampshire. When a lad of six years he accompan-
ied his parents, Marshall and Abby (Fairbanks) Kingman, to Boston, Massachu-
setts, where he resided for eight years, pursuing his education throughout that
period in the schools of Watertown, one of the city's suburbs. The family then
returned to his native city and he further pursued his education in the schools of
Winchester until he entered Power's Institute at Bernardston, Massachusetts. He
entered business circles in 1861 as an employe in the office of a lumber firm at
Albany, New York, but in 1862, when twenty years of age, he sought the oppor-
tunities of the rapidly developing middle west and left the Empire state for Du-
buque, Iowa. From that time forward his business career was in close identification
with banking and for a period he was identified with his cousins, R. E. and J. K.
Graves, in the Dubuque branch of the State Bank of Iowa. He was also con-
nected for a time with the First National Bank of that city and, in 1871, entered
the Commercial National Bank of Dubuque as its cashier. For ten years his
efforts were effectively given to the upbuilding of that institution but at length
he sought the broader opportunities of Chicago and in 1881, having resigned his
position in Dubuque, became assistant cashier of the Hide & Leather Bank of this
city. In August, 1882, he entered the First National Bank as assistant cashier,
displaying in that capacity marked ability, and labored indefatigably to promote
the interests of the institution. The year 1891 brought him advancement to the
position of second vice president and although he was already suffering from the
illness which finally terminated his life, he remained for sixteen months in that
position, receiving the salary of the office throughout the entire period.

It was on the 28th of September, 1871, that Mr. Kingman was united in mar-
riage to Miss Emerette Randall, a daughter of Job S. and Emerette (Foster)


Randall, residents of Dubuque, where her father was engaged in the lumber busi-
ness. Mr. and Mrs. Kingman became the parents of three children, but the only
one now living is Marie L., who makes her home with her mother. In August,
1890, ill health forced Mr. Kingman to seek relief and he made his way to the
sanitarium at Alma, Michigan, where he spent several months. His condition did
not improve, however, during that period and he rejoined the members of his
family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they were visiting relatives. Soon af-
ter he passed away, death coming to him on the 16th of December, 1891, when he
was less than fifty years of age. His health had been sacrificed to unremitting
toil. His close application and the earnest purpose which he displayed in his
business had undermined his constitution and death resulted. His life had been
one of much usefulness. During his residence in Chicago he held membership in
St. Paul's Universalist church, at Thirtieth street and Prairie avenue, and was
very active in church work, serving as superintendent of the Sunday school and
as president of its Literary Society. He also conformed his life to the high stand-
ards of Knight Templar Masonry and he likewise held membership with the
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was always very fond of music and possessed
considerable natural talent in that direction, singing in the church choir when a
resident of Dubuque. His political support was given to the republican party and
in duties of citizenship he was never amiss. His name was also on the member-
ship rolls of several of the leading clubs of the city and in every relation of life
he won numerous warm friends.. At all times and under every circumstance he
showed himself worthy of trust and this combined with his unfaltering diligence
and close application gained him substantial advancement in business circles. His
entire life was proof of the fact that there is no discord, as many contend, between
successful business methods and religious principles.


Mandlebert Wendell Baker, president of the Baker Manufacturing Company,
manufacturers of road grading machinery, was born in Knob Lick, Missouri, Sep-
tember 6, 1875, a son of Andrew H. and Marietta (McGlasson) Baker. His grand-
father, Moses Wendell Baker, was born in St. Francois county, Missouri, in 1809,
and is said to have been the first white child born in that district. His parents had
emigrated from Kentucky and his grandfather was originally from Germany. The
second wife of Moses W. Baker bore the maiden name of Lydia Kinkead and was
a daughter of Samuel Kinkead, a Scotchman, who also removed from Kentucky to
Missouri. It was their son, Andrew H. Baker, who became the father of Mandle-
bert W. Baker. The last named, after attending the common schools in various
places, completed his education in the high school of Hutchinson, Kansas, and
started in business life there as a bank clerk after putting aside his text-books in
189(5. This gave him considerable experience and his growing efficiency led to
his selection for the office of assistant cashier in the White City State Bank at White
City, Kansas, in January, 1899. There his faithfulness won him promotion to the


position of cashier in that institution, which was later converted into a national
bank. While thus engaged Mr. Baker became interested in manufacturing and on
the 1st of January, 1908, resigned his position to remove to Chicago and extend
his manufacturing interests. He is now president of the Baker Manufacturing
Company, engaged extensively in the building of road grading machinery and tools,
scrapers, contractors' equipment, street cleaning supplies, etc. He still remains
financially interested, however, in the First National Bank of White City, Kansas,
and is one of its directors. Under his careful guidance the business in Chicago has
constantly grown and developed and has now reached extensive proportions. The
business is well organized, the plant splendidly equipped and the output finds a
readj' sale upon the market, for Mr. Baker seems to possess in large measure that
quality which for want of a better term has been called commercial sense, includ-
ing, as it does, excellent powers of organization, capable management and the ability
to surround himself with an able corps of assistants.

On the 2d of October, 1906, in White City, Kansas, Mr. Baker was married to
Miss Margaret Miller, a daughter of Frank B. Miller and a native of Alexis, Illinois,
born .July 24, 1880. She was graduated from Knox College at Galesburg with the
class of 1898 and unto this marriage has been born a daughter, Lucy Wendell.
The parents are members of the Christian church and Mr. Baker belongs to the
Odd Fellows society, having held the office of noble grand in White City, Kansas.
He also belongs to the Rotary Club of Chicago and the Association of Credit Men.
His political views accord with the principles of the republican party but he takes
no active part in politics beyond voting at the primaries. His influence, however,
can always be counted upon as a tangible factor for reform, progress and improve-
ment along various lines and his salient characteristics are those which everywhere
command confidence and respect.


Alvin Howard Culver, an attorney of the Chicago bar, was born in this city,
March 9, 1873, the son of Morton and Eugenia M. (Taylor) Culver. Among his
ancestors were those who served in the Revolutionary war, his great-great-grand-
father, John Breese, aiding the colonies in their struggle for independence. His
grandson, John B. Culver, was a native of Ithaca, and took up the profession of
surveying. He came to the middle west in 1834 and settled at Dutchman's Point in
the town of Niles, Cook county, Illinois, where he resided until he removed to Chi-
cago in 1849. He was the father of Morton Culver, who was born in Dutchman's
Point and came to Chicago when but eight years of age and, wishing to secure an
education, entered the Chicago high school, but on the call foi' troops by President

Online LibraryJ. Seymour (Josiah Seymour) CurreyChicago: its history and its builders, a century of marvelous growth (Volume v.5) → online text (page 9 of 74)