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Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) online

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$20, but this lack of means was abundantly com-
pensated for by brains, pluck and energy, and he



280



A. J. CUTLER.



immediately set about the task of bettering his
financial condition. With that end in view, he
vigorously applied himself to the first employment
which presented itself. This was the position of
driver of a wagon for the Singer Sewing-Machine
Company. A few weeks' experience in this ca-
pacity demonstrated his capability for employ-
ment demanding more skill and acumen, and
within a few months he was promoted to the po-
sition of head salesman of the Chicago agency.
It was not long before he was dealing in sewing-
machines at wholesale, and in a single year
cleared over $5,000 in this way. Such a prac-
tical demonstration of business ability and apti-
tude for trade could not fail to attract the atten-
tion of live business men, and in the spring of
1883 O. H. Roche, the well-known Board of
Trade operator, suggested to him that his trading
talents would find a more extended field in spec-
ulation. Other friends pointed out the dangers
and hazards, and advised him to persevere in his
previous line of business.

But Mr. Cutler had abundant confidence in his
own powers, and, after a brief consideration, re-
solved to enter the speculative field, as a more
congenial and speedy method of gaining a compe-
tence. He soon became an active trader in the
capacity of broker for Mr. Roche, for whom he
has ever entertained the highest respect, and
whom he regards as his preceptor in the specula-
tive field.

When Mr. Roche retired from business the fol-
lowing year, Mr. Cutler opened a brokerage office
for himself, and his rise has been steady and not
less remarkable than that of the renowned Ed
Pardridge, whom he has actively represented in
many great deals. But he has an outside busi-
ness of his own, and numbers customers by the
score, who have the utmost confidence in his
judgment, integrity and ability. One of the most
active traders on the Board, Mr. Cutler is always
in the thick of the crowd when there is any ex-
citement in the wheat pit. He is generally known
"on "change" as "the man behind Pardridge,"
and his natural instinct and adaptability as a
trader have made his success no less remarkable
than that of the great speculator, in whose service



and under whose tuition his peculiar talents have
been developed. That these two men, being
similarly endowed by nature, and having knowl-
edge of each other's abilities, should have made a
record unparalleled in successful speculative an-
nals is not surprising. Their immense daring
and successful operations have become a part of
the absorbing and wonderful history of the Chi-
cago Board of Trade. Some of their boldly and
cleverly executed plans have evoked the admira-
tion of the commercial world. The appellation
of "plunger" is a misnomer when applied to
either of this pair, for the reason that their move-
ments, upon analysis and investigation, appear
plainly to be the results of the most carefully laid
plans and calculations. None of their deals have
been reckless, although they have been pro-
nounced so by persons not familiar with the inner
details.

Alonzo J. Cutler was born at Montpelier, Ver-
mont, March 24, 1852. He is the youngest in
the family of four children born to David W.
Cutler and Maria Marshall. The father, who
was a farmer and ice dealer at Montpelier, died
of typhoid fever during the infancy of the subject
of this sketch, who was afterward placed under
the guardianship of Elon Hammond, of East
Montpelier.- Owing to the incompetence and mis-
management of this guardian, young Cutler was
removed to the charge of Hon. Clark King, a
prominent farmer, in whose home he remained
until about sixteen years of age. Most of his
education was obtained by attending a country
school in winter, and his first money was earned
by working as a farm hand at $7 per month. Be-
fore coming West he spent one year as clerk in
the Pavilion Hotel in Moutpelier, but becoming
dissatisfied with the irksomeness of this position,
which consumed nineteen hours per day of his
time, he resolved to seek a change by moving to
the West.

The Cutler family in America is of English de-
scent. The first progenitor of A. J. Cutler in
America was John Cutler, Senior, who is sup-
posed to have come from Sprauston, a sub-
urb of Norwich, England. About 1637 he set-
tled at Hingham, Massachw '.etts, where he soon



W. O. TYLER.



281



afterward died, leaving a widow and seven chil-
dren. He and his immediate posterity furnish
examples of the typical Puritan character. His
fifth son, Thomas Cutler, who was a farmer by
occupation, died at Charlestown, Massachusetts,
in 1683. The next in the line of descent herein
traced was Jonathan, a tailor by trade, and the
generations following him are successively repre-
sented by the following names: David, Jonathan,
David, and David W., the father of the subject of
this notice, who died in 1854, aged thirty -nine
years. His mother was Abigail, daughter of
Daniel Carroll, of Montpelier, Vermont, and a
niece of Charles Carroll, the noted statesman of
Carrollton, Maryland.

A. J. Cutler was married, December 26, 1891,
to Jessie Estelle, daughter of O. B. Warner, of
Peoria, Illinois. This lady is endowed with mu-
sical and elocutionary powers of a superior order,



and is the mother of two charming children.
They are named, respectively, E. Warner and
Fanchon T. Mr. Cutler is essentially a family
man, and, when able to leave the haunts of trade,
finds his greatest pleasure in the attractions fur-
nished by the home fireside. He is not connect-
ed with any religious, social or political organi-
zations of importance, but always votes the Re-
publican ticket. He is well known and respected
in Vermont, where he has scores of warm friends,
who admire his liberal and genial disposition as
well as his gift for making a trade. Mr. Cutler
honors his Yankee ancestors by exhibiting the
proverbial New England thrift and shrewdness,
and is abundantly able to take care of himself.
In the course of his transactions it is no rare mat-
ter for him to handle checks representing a half-
million dollars.



WARREN O. TYLER.



(DGJARREN OLIVER TYLER. Among the
I A/ 1 ua life. c tKms which are essential to an hon-
Y V orable and successful business career may
be mentioned physical endurance, sound judg-
ment, ready decision, unswerving integrity, patient
application, keen foresight and prudent and reg-
ular habits. It may be safely asserted that the
man of noteworthy accomplishments will possess
most, if not all, of these qualities, and while some
of them may be acquired or developed by the im-
mediate surroundings and conditions to which
the individual has been subjected, many of the
most essential elements of his character may be
attributed to inheritance.

Hence, in contemplating the personal history
of the gentleman whose name heads this notice,



it is well to observe that his ancestors were
among the early and substantial colonists of New
England, to whose physical vigor, longevity
and integrity of character the present generation
is indebted for the founding of some of its most
cherished institutions. The Tyler family was
planted in America by several brothers of that
name who came from England in the seventeenth
century. One branch of this family settled in
Virginia, and among its descendants was John
Tyler, ninth President of the United States.
Another branch of the family was located in
Connecticut, and a third in Vermont, near the
Canadian border, where for several successive
generations it has furnished some of the most
useful and patriotic citizens. One of these was



282



W. O. TYLER.



David Tyler, a man of sterling virtues and noble
impulses. He was born at Cambridge, Vermont,
and for many years kept hotel at Essex Junction
and neighboring places. In 1864, he moved to
Chicago, where the balance of his days was spent,
his death occurring in 1886, in the ninetieth year
of his age. His wife, whose maiden name was
Clarissa Butler, died in 1890, in the seventy-
fourth year of her age. She was born on a farm
between Essex Center and Jericho, Vermont.
The Butler family was one of the oldest of that
commonwealth, and, like the Tyler family, of
English lineage. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler had six
children who attained mature years. Edwin T.,
of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is the eldest, and
the rest, in order, are: Warren O. ; Fred C. and
Henry W., dealers in paper mill supplies in
Chicago; Frank P., connected with the Ameri-
can Paper Company; Mattie A., unmarried, re-
siding in Chicago. Besides these, Mr. David Ty-
ler had a daughter by a previous marriage,
Amelia, now the wife of G. T. Woodworth, of
Chicago. The members of this family are con-
spicuous for their domestic harmony and marked
fraternal regard several of their number having
avoided all matrimonial or other relations likely
to interfere therewith.

Warren O. Tyler was born at Essex Junction,
Vermont, March 3, 1844. When he was but
seven years of age, the family received a visit
from an aunt of the lad, by whom he was easily in-
duced to return with her to Chicago. He was
charmed with her glowing descriptions of the
growing metropolis of the West and already
longed to be a participant in the activity and
development which were there going on. Upon
his arrival, he became an inmate of the home of
his uncle, Mr. O. N. Butler, by whom he was
placed at school in the village of St. Charles, Illi-
nois. He subsequently returned to Vermont and
spent three years in his father's hotel. He had
in the meantime imbibed too much of the spirit of
western freedom to be long contented in the nar-
row limits of Vermont semi-rural life, and at the
age of fifteen we again find him in Chicago. At
that time he entered the employ of Butler &
Hunt, manufacturers of and dealers in paper,



then located at No. 48 State Street. At the end
of five years, he was admitted to a partnership
in the concern and continued to be identified
therewith for a period of twenty-five years, al-
though the name of the firm underwent several
changes during that time and the business was
subjected to disasters and vicissitudes which
would have discouraged less determined men
than Mr. Tyler and his associates.

In 1870, the greatest conflagration which had
visited Chicago up to that time occurred on
Wabash Avenue. The loss of Laflin, Butler &
Company by this disaster was $88,000. In the
great fire of the following year, the firm, then
known as J. W. Butler & Company, suffered a
loss of $455,000. Only a small percentage of
this loss was recovered from the insurance com-
panies. After the Wabash Avenue fire, the firm
came near suffering a loss of its books by the
premature opening of its safe, and, warned by this
experience, in the second instance the safe was
placed upon a stoneboat and drawn out upon the
paririe and carefully cooled with ice before being
opened, and its contents were thus well preserved.
Nothing daunted by the catastrophies which had
overtaken it, the firm immediately re-engaged in
business, which continued prosperously for many
years. Under the management of Mr. Tyler, a
branch establishment was opened in Milwaukee,
known as the Butler Paper Company, afterwards
succeeded by the Standard Paper Company.

In 1885, Mr. Tyler retired from connection
with this establishment and organized the Tyler
Paper Company, of which he became the Presi-
dent. This was in turn succeeded by the Calu-
met Paper Company, and he disposed of his inter-
est therein a few years before its annihilation by
fire, in 1893. He subsequently, in 1889, organ-
ized the American Paper Company, of which he
is now the presiding executive omcer, and which
is conducting a successful and growing business.
At different times, he has been a stockholder in
several paper mills.

Mr. Tyler attends the Episcopal Church, with
which his parents were identified. He has been
a lifelong adherent of Republican principles, ful-
filling his duty as a voter, but never seeking any



W. H. ALSIP.



283



public position. He has always been a model of
industry, often devoting eighteen hours per day
to his business, and has been successful in the
face of obstacles which would appal men of less
resolution and perseverance. The history of his



life furnishes an additional example of the fact
that consistent and well-directed effort is certain
of an ultimate reward, a principle too often lost
sight of in the modern scramble for pelf.



WILLIAM H. ALSIP.



(DGjlLLIAM HENRY ALSIP, Secretary and
\ A I Treasurer of the Alsip Brick Company,
YY was born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,
January 23, 1858. He is a son of Frank and
Mary Jane Alsip. The former, who is well
known as one of the leading contractors and man-
ufacturers of the West, was born in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, and began to learn the trade of
brick-making at that place at the age of twelve
years. He subsequently spent two or three
years in California, and in 1857 located in Prairie
du Chien. He established extensive brick yards
at that place and in McGregor, Iowa, and en-
gaged in contracting and building. His opera-
tions extended throughout northern Wisconsin,
eastern Iowa and southern Minnesota. The
period immediately subsequent to the great Chi-
cago fire offered an immense demand for building
material in this city, and Mr. Alsip was one of
the first to respond to the demand. He removed
his entire plant to the vicinity of Chicago, where
he has ever since had his headquarters. He has
become identified with several large brick manu-
facturing concerns, and is recognized as one of
the leading brick makers of the world. The
product of the Alsip brick yards has been used in
the construction of many of the principal build-
ings of Chicago, including the Masonic Temple,
Great Northern Hotel and the Grand Central
Station.

The subject of this sketch spent most of his



boyhood in McGregor, Iowa, where the founda-
tion of his education was laid in the public schools.
He afterward attended the Chicago High School,
and in 1880 he graduated from the University of
Chicago, with the -degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Two years later he graduated from the Union
College of Law, and was admitted to the Bar.

He began his business career as foreman of the
Hayt & Alsip brick yards, at Thirty-ninth and
Robey Streets, filling that position for three years.
In 1885, in company with his father, he built the
Lincoln Street brick yards, and when the Alsip
Brick Company was incorporated two years
later he became its Secretary and Treasurer,
which position he still occupies, having almost
exclusive charge of the office work. The com-
pany, which is composed of Frank Alsip, William
H. Alsip and Frank B. Alsip, now operates four
extensive brick yards and furnishes employment
to about five hundred men. The business has
been constantly increasing, and is recognized as
one of the largest in that line. The output
ranges from one hundred to one hundred and
twenty-five millions per day.

Mr. Alsip was married on the 3oth of Septem-
ber, 1887, to Marcella Cusak, daughter of Mrs.
Joan Cusak, of Chicago. Mrs. Alsip was born in
St. Louis, Missouri, and has presented her hus-
band with two children William Henry and
Virginia. Mr. Alsip is a member of the Lincoln
Street Methodist Church, and is identified with



284



JOHN MORRIS.



the Illinois and Union League Clubs. He also
holds membership with the Royal League and
Royal Arcanum. For six years past he has been
a member of the National Brick Makers' Associa-
tion, and is now its President. He takes an
active interest in political affairs, and is a mem-
ber of the Republican Committee of the Eleventh



Ward. He positively and consistently declines
the use of his name as a candidate for office,
though he has been repeatedly requested to be-
come a candidate for Alderman from his ward.
He is a man of recognized business ability and
unquestioned integrity, and is filling a responsible
and useful position in the community.



JOHN MORRIS.



(JOHN MORRIS, assistant superintendent of
I the Piano Manufacturing Company at West
Q) Pullman, was born near Blue Mounds, Iowa
County, Wisconsin, on the I2th of April, 1858, and
is of Welsh descent. His parents, Rev. Owen R.
and Catherine (Jones) Morris, were both natives
of Wales. The father was born in Blaenan,
Festiniog, Merionethshire, July 18, 1828, and
came to America in 1849 from Merionethshire,
North Wales, with his parents, Robert and Ellen
Morris, the family locating on a farm in Iowa
County, Wisconsin. On October 17, 1851, he
married Mrs. Catherine Williams, widow of I. N.
Williams, and lived in Iowa County until March,
1868, when, with his wife and children, he removed
to Fillmore County, Minnesota, where he now re-
sides. For a number of years he was pastor of
the Welsh Presbyterian Church at Blue Mounds,
Wisconsin, and for twenty-four years had charge
of the Welsh Presbyterian Church at Bristol
Grove, Minnesota. He is an earnest and untir-
ing worker in behalf of the church, and his work
has been productive of much good. All who
know him hold him in high regard. Mrs. Morris
was born in Llanrug, Carnarvonshire, North
Wales, February 25, 1816, and came to America
in 1845. She first married I. N. Williams, by
whom she had one son, I. N., now a resident of
Fillmore County, Minnesota. After the death of
her first husband she returned to Wales, in 1848,



but in 1849 again came to America, with her
father, Thomas Jones, who died in Iowa County,
Wisconsin, a few years later.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris had a family of four sons,
three of whom are yet living. William and
Thomas both reside in Fillmore County; Evan is
now deceased; and John completes the family.

Mr. Morris of this sketch spent his boyhood
days upon his father's farm and was early inured
to arduous labor. He followed farming through
the summer months and in the winter season at-
tended the public schools, until eighteen years of
age, when he began teaching. He had early
evinced a taste and aptitude for carpentry and
machine work, and that instinct has been con-
stantly developing since; but it was some time
before he entered upon that line of work as a
business. After teaching for five seasons, he be-
came a student of the University of Minnesota,
and was graduated therefrom in 1888, with the
degree of Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.
During his four years' attendance he had received
some of the highest markings ever given in that
department. In 1888 he became connected with
the city schools of Minneapolis, and continued to
there serve until 1893, being for three years an
instructor in the Manual Training Department,
while for two years he was assistant superintend-
ent and had entire charge of the Manual Training
Department. His services were eminently satis-



HENRY ABRAHAMS.



285



factory, and the work of the department prepared
under his direction for the World's Fair exhibit
was deservedly worthy of the high commendation
it received. During this period he also engaged
in consulting work and mechanical engineering,
and developed new devices and secured a number
of patents for patrons.

Prof. Morris was married on October 8, 1889,
in Cambria, Wisconsin, to Miss Lizzie Williams,
daughter of Robert G. Williams. The lady was
born in Cambria, and died in Minneapolis on the
27th of February, 1892, at the age of thirty-three
years, leaving one child, a daughter, Lizzie.

In June, 1893, Prof. Morris severed his connec-
tion with the Minneapolis public schools and ac-
cepted the position of assistant superintendent and
mechanical engineer of the Piano Manufacturing
Company at West Pullman. He had previously
spent a number of vacations as an expert and
traveling representative of the firm. His man-



agement of the affairs of the factory has given
entire satisfaction to his employers and won him
high commendation. His natural inventive genius
is constantly active, and new mechanical devices
are being continually developed under his direc-
tion. Mr. Morris has invested in West Pullman
real estate, with the view of making this place
his home.

Mr. Morris is a member of the Welsh Presby-
terian Church of Minneapolis, and for six years
served on its board of deacons, taking an active
part in the work of the church and everything
pertaining to its advancement. In politics he has
been a life-long Republican, and its men and
measures receive his earnest support. He is a
warm advocate of temperance principles, is of
cordial and pleasant manner, and takes a deep
and abiding interest in public advancement and
progress.



HENRY ABRAHAMS.



HENRY ABRAHAMS, one of the self-made
men of Chicago, was born September 28,
1837, at Kornmarck, near Posen, Prussia,
and was one of the seventeen children of Louis
Lipman and Rosa (Moses) Abrahams. His ca-
reer furnishes a forcible illustration of what may be
achieved through force of natural ability, energy,
perseverance, industry and integrity. Born in
penury and reared in poverty, with no advanta-
ges and every obstacle, outside of his own person-
ality, to overcome, he won his way to affluence
and an influential position among the representa-
tive citizens of Chicago. Louis L. Abrahams
was a tailor, who supported his large family by
the earnings of his needle. Hoping to better hjs
condition, he went to Newcastle, England, in



1840, and remained there until 1849, when he
came to Chicago, where his widow still resides,
at the age of eighty-five years.

Henry Abrahams showed his force of character
and instinct for trade by starting out in life as a
peddler in Chicago, at the age of twelve years,
and was eminently successful. He continued in
this occupation for twelve years, at the end of
which period he felt able to take a wife and set-
tle down in business. He accordingly married
Elizabeth Gerber, a daughter of Joseph and Julia
(Levy) Gerber. Joseph Gerber was a dry-goods
merchant in Hoston, near Prague, Austria. Mr.
Abrahams established himself as a retail grocer
at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Adams Street,
on the site now occupied by the Phelps, Dodge &



286



HENRY ABRAHAMS.



Palmer Company, where he remained until his
buildings and entire stock, valued at $55,000,
were swept away by the great fire of 1871. At
this time he was the owner of the southeast quar-
ter of the block upon which he did business, be-
sides nine houses on Adams and Quincy Streets
and Fifth Avenue. It is said that he was before
the fire the leading retail grocer of the city. As
was the case with many others, his loss by the
fire was nearly total, on account of the failure of
the insurance companies.

Subsequent to the fire, Mr. Abrahams disposed
of all his South Side property and bought lots on
the corner of Van Buren and Halsted Streets,
covering all of the block fronting on Van Buren
Street, except two lots, which he owned at the
time of his death. At the same time he purchased
eight acres at Fifty-fifth Street and Garfield Boul-
evard. For the latter property he paid $8,000 in
1872, and sold the same in 1891 for $60,000. He
continued business on the West Side until his re-
tirement from commercial relations in 1880. He
subsequently engaged in the real-estate and loan
business, giving his attention largely to his own
investments. It was always a gratification to
him to reflect that he had never filled a subordin-
ate position, being always the proprietor of the
business in which he was engaged.

The success of this remarkable man is especial-
ly noteworthy from the fact that until his second
marriage, in 1867, he had not learned to read or
write. He never kept any books, and was able
to refer with as much reliance to his memory for
the details of every transaction as the ordinary
merchant does to his books. The date of a
note, its maturity and the interest accrued could
always be told by him at a moment's notice. His
memory with regard to other matters was equal-
ly retentive. He attributed this remarkable fac-
ulty to constant reliance upon his memory, unas-
sisted by the usual accessories.

In 1866 Mr. Abrahams was bereaved of his
wife by cholera, and her body was the first one
buried in Graceland Cemetery. She left three
children: Abraham Abrahams, late Health In-
spector of the Fourth Ward; Moses, a furniture
dealer in Clinton, Iowa; and Albert, who died at



seven years of age. In 1867 Mr. Abrahams
married Eleanora, sister of his first wife, who sur-



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 43 of 111)