John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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friends about him. His beautiful home is
presided over by one of the most gracious
and tactful of hostesses and the whole
family command the highest respect from
all who know them.

Albeit not born within the limits of the
Iron City, Captain Rodgers is a typical
Pittsburgher, having spent his life since
boyhood in the city or vicinity, a doer, seem-
ing like radium, to possess the secret of
perpetual energy which science cannot ex-
plain. Moreover — and this is another mark
of the true Pittsburgher — he is always too
busy to talk about what he is doing. This,
however, matters little. His deerls speak
for him with an eloquence surpassing that
of words.

GRISCOM, Clement A.,

Prominent in Ocean Transportation.

There have been comparatively few move-
ments of construction or of organization in
this or any other country that have not



brought conspicuously to the fore the intel-
lectual capacity, the directing genius, the
powerful personality of some one man who
may be publicly recognized as the pivotal
point upon which rested the weight of the
entire enterprise and to whom all looked
for success or for failure. This has been
the role of Carnegie in the development of
the steel industry of this country ; of
Goethals in the construction of the Panama
Canal ; and this was the part played by
Clement Acton Griscom in organizing trans-
Atlantic transportation and in perfecting
systems of general intercontinental com-
munication between America and Europe.
The recital follows of his life and a brief
incursion into the spheres in which he

One of the seventh generation of his
family in America he is a descendant of
Andrew Griscom, who in 1680 came to
America from England, purchasing land
across the river from Philadelphia, now the
site of South Camden. He married Sarah
Dole, and had one son and one daughter —
Tobias and Sarah. Tobias, the son, in-
herited extensive lands from his father at
Newton, Gloucester county, New Jersey,
now a part of the city of Camden, and there
died about 1720. He married Deborah
Gobitas, and was the father of five children,
one of them Andrew, of whom further.

Andrew, son of Tobias and Sarah
(Gobitas) Griscom, resided on lands near
Tuckahoe, New Jersey, purchased many
years previously by his grandfather, the
founder of the American line. He married
Susanna, daughter of John and Mary
(Chambless) Hancock, of Salem county.
New Jersey, her father of English birth,
having settled in New Jersey in 1679, his
descendants holders of important position
in the affairs of that State. Hancock's
Bridge, New Jersey, near the Hancock
family homestead, was the scene of one of
the most shameful incidents of the War for
Independence — that of the British troops,
commanded by Colonel Mawhood, shooting

down unarmed non-combatants in 1778.
Andrew Griscom's second wife was Mary,
his son William, of whom further, being a
child of his first marriage.

William, son of Andrew and Susanna
(Hancock) Griscom, was born in Salem
county. New Jersey, passing his entire life
in that locality. He married, in 1773,
Rachel, daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Bacon) Denn, granddaughter of John and
Elizabeth (Oakford) Denn, and great-
granddaughter of James and Elizabeth
(Maddox) Denn. There were six children
of the marriage of William and Rachel
(Denn) Griscom, one of the sons being
William, of whom further.

William, son of William and Rachel
(Denn) Griscom, was born in New Jersey,
there residing for a time, later in life
making his home with his sons, William
and Samuel, near Frankford, Philadelphia,
as did likewise his wife. He married Ann
Stewart, of Salem, New Jersey, and was
the father of six children, one of them John
Denn, of whom further.

John Denn, son of William and Ann
(Stewart) Griscom, was born in Salem,
New Jersey, March 25, 1809, died July 23,
1890. Completing in 1838 the medical
course in the University of Pennsylvania he
received his M. D. from that institution and
immediately assumed a position in his pro-
fession. This place he constantly bettered,
practicing continuously in Philadelphia, and
became prominent among the leading ex-
ponents of the medical profession of that
city, being compelled during the latter years
of his life to spend much time in European
climes in order to strengthen his declining
health. He married, November 6, 1839,
Margaret W., born in Salem, New Jersey,
November 23, 1819, died December 5, 1896,
daughter of Clement and Hannah (Wood-
nutt) Acton. Hannah Woodnutt was a
daughter of James Mason Woodnutt by his
wife Margaret, daughter of Preston and
Hannah (Smith) Carpenter, a descendant
of Governor Thomas Lloyd and of Samuel



Carpenter and Samuel Preston, provincial
councillors of Pennsylvania. Margaret
Acton was a descendant in the fifth genera-
tion from Benjamin Acton, first recorder
of the town of Salem, New Jersey, one of
the passengers of the "Kent," which landed
in 1677, a member of the Society of Friends
of high standing. Dr. John Denn and Mar-
garet W. (Acton) Griscom were the parents
of: Clement Acton, of whom further ; Han-
nah Woodnutt, married Frank Lesley Neall,
of Philadelphia, who succeeded his brother-
in-law, Clement A. Griscom, as head of the
mercantile house of Peter Wright & Sons ;
William Woodnutt, born July 6, 1851, died
Sejitember 24, 1897,3 scientist and electrical
engineer of prominence, president of the
Electro-Dynamic Company of Philadelphia,
married Dora Ingham, daughter of Rev.
George Hale, D. D.

Clement Acton, eldest son of Dr. John
Denn and Margaret Woodnutt (Acton)
Griscom, was born in Philadelphia, Penn-
sylvania, March 15, 1841, died November
10, 1912. Beginning his studies in the
public grammar schools of his native city
he continued them in the Central High
School, finishing his education in the
Friends' Academy. He took his place
among wage-earners when sixteen years of
age, obtaining a position as clerk in the long
established shipping house of Peter Wright
& Sons. Commissions of increasingly great
importance were entrusted to him, and his
devoted service led to his being admitted as
a member of the firm at the youthful age of
twenty-two years. Although but six years
had elapsed since his entry into the service
of the firm of which he was now a member
they had been well and profitably spent by
him in familiarizing himself beyond con-
fusion with all of the firm's interests and
connections. Consequently his advice for
a policy of expansion was firmly founded
on knowledge, and the gratifying increase
in revenue from the purchase of sailing
vessels for the company's trade, a step taken
under his recommendation, showed the

value of his counsel. The dimensions of
the business steadily widened, Peter Wright
& Sons becoming agents of the old Amer-
ican Line, a .steamship line well known at
that time. The organization of the Inter-
national Navigation Company followed soon
afterward, operating the Red Star Line of
steamships, its formation the result of
negotiations conducted with King Leopold
of Belgium by Mr. Griscom, the American
Line being absorbed by the new company.
On May 13, 1871, Mr. Griscom became
vice-president of the International Naviga-
tion Company, succeeding to the presidency
January 4, 1888. During his incumbency
of the former office, in 1886, the old Inman
Line became the property of the company.
The "New York" and the "Paris" — the first
passenger steamers using twin screws in the
North Atlantic trade, at that time fine speci-
mens of the ship builder's art as regarded
comfort, convenience and safety — entered
the company's fleet at this time, Mr. Griscom
securing Congressional legislation permit-
ting them to come under American registry.
The next contract awarded by the Inter-
national Navigation Company was given to
William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine
Building Company, the "St. Louis" and the
"St. Paul" being in every way the equal of
foreign made vessels, while their building
in American yards was a needed aid to that
industry in this country. The "St. Louis,"
the "St. Paul," the "New York" and the
"Philadelphia" were vessels of the Inter-
national Navigation Company that were
placed at the disposal of the United States
Government during the war with Spain, the
two last entering the naval service of the
United States, rechristened as the "Har-
vard" and the "Yale," respectively. In 1902
the International Navigation Company be-
came the International Mercantile Marine
Company, and under its enlarged scope and
capital absorbed the White Star Line, the
Atlantic Transport Line, the Dominion Line
and the Leyland Line, Mr. Griscom being
placed at the head of the newly organized



company on October i, 1902, resigning the
presidency in February, two years later, in
order to accept the chairmanship of the
board of directors.

Mr. Griscom, during his busy lifetime,
was not only interested in the finances of
the great company of which he was so long
a leading member. He required no legal
advisor upon marine law and was as familiar
with the rules of sea conduct as any master
that ever took a vessel from harbor, in 1889
being a delegate to the International Marine
Conference, in which representatives from
twenty-eight nations met, their object being
the revision of the "Rules of the Road at
Sea." From 1893 until 1903 he filled the
president's chair of the Society of Naval
Architects and Marine Engineers, upon his
resignation in the latter year being made an
honorary member of the society, and, with
the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia,
Lord Kelvin of England and DeLome of
France, was given honorary membership in
the British Institute of Naval Architects,
both the highest honors within the bestowal
of the societies. Mr. Griscom received
public recognition from the Queen of Hol-
land, who conferred upon him, as the man
responsible for the perfect order and dis-
cipline prevailing upon the ships of the
International Navigation Company, the
decoration signifying membership in the
"Knights of the Order of Orange-Nassau."
The incident prompting the awarding of
this decoration was the rescue of the crew
and passengers of a disabled Dutch trans-
Atlantic liner by the crew of the American
Line steamship "St. Louis," two hundred
and twelve being saved, the abandoned
vessel sinking as the last boatload left her
side. From the French Government Mr.
Griscom received the decoration of the
Legion of Honor, and until his death prized
these testimonials of foreign esteem.

The foregoing narrative has shown how
important his part has been in the upbuild-
ing of the present ample system of trans-
Atlantic transportation; how vital his

services to the International Navigation and
the International Mercantile Marine Com-
pany ; let the following list of his affiliations
convey the correct impression of his en-
grossing duties. He was a director of the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and a
member of the road committee ; a director
of the Bank of North America, the Fourth
Street National Bank, the Fidelity Trust
Company, the United Gas Improvement
Company, the United States Steel Corpora-
tion, the Mercantile Trust Company of New
York; a trustee of the Atlantic Mutual In-
surance Company, and a manager of the
Western Savings Fund Society.

Social life held many charms for his
genial, cordial nature, his Philadelphia asso-
ciations of that nature being with the Union
League, the Philadelphia, the Rittenhouse,
Merion Cricket, the Rabbit, Philadelphia
Country, Corinthian Yacht and the Farmers'
clubs ; in New York — the Union, Metropoli-
tan, City Midday and the New York Yacht
clubs ; in Washington — the Metropolitan ;
in London, England — the Marlborough and
the St. James' clubs.

Ranking with the decorations of societies
and monarchs is the tribute that is made to
Clement A. Griscom by the enduring quality
of his work and the permanence of the re-
forms that he instituted. Strongly and well
did he build, great the honors that came to
him living, honorable the homage paid to
him dead as a man noble in mind, lofty in
conception, successful in execution, lasting
in influence.

He married, June 18, 1862, Frances
Canby, born August 11, 1840, eldest daugh-
ter of William Canby and Rachel (Miller)
Biddle, a descendant of the famous patriot-
scientist, Owen Biddle, a member of the
English family founded by William Biddle,
a Quaker who suffered persecution in Eng-
land, who settled in New Jersey in 1681, the
family home having been "Mount Hope,"
on the Delaware river. Clement Acton and
Frances Canby (Biddle) Griscom had:
John Acton, born March 31, 1863, died in


1865 ; Helen Biddle, born October 9, 1866,
married Samuel Bettle, and has issue;
Clement Acton Jr., merchant and financier,
born June 20, 1868, married Genevieve,
daughter of General William Ludlow,
United States Army, and is the father of
children; Rodman Ellison, born October 21,
1870, banker, married Anna Starr, and has
children ; Lloyd Carpenter, born November
4, 1872, retired diplomat, married Elizabeth
Duer Bronson, and has children ; Frances
Canby, born April 19, 1879.

At Mr. Griscom's death the family home
was a beautiful estate on the main line of
the Pennsylvania railroad, named "Dolo-
bran," whither they moved after residence
for several years in the city of Philadelphia
and a short period in Riverton, New Jersey.
Mr. Griscom's pleasure in his magnificent
home and unexcelled surroundings was un-
bounded, his stable of finely groomed thor-
oughbred horses being for him one of its
greatest attractions. "Dolobran," where his
widow now resides, is one of the most at-
tractive estates in that region of palatial
homes and fastidiously kept parks, and there
the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Griscom have
met with hospitality as sincere as it is charm-

WALTER, Robert, M. D.,

Foander of Walter Sanatorinm.

There is no department of human en-
deavor that has attracted to it such a vast
army of investigators as the curing of dis-
ease. These investigators are not always
doctors, far from it, but in laboratory and
study, in forest and dell, from one extremity
of the earth to the other are earnest men
seeking from plant, root or mineral to ex-
tract that which gives "healing to the
nations." Notwithstanding all the knowl-
edge and skill possessed by man to-day he
is baffled often in the treatment of disease;
hence his constant and ever increasing de-
mand for more knowledge. Along with the
progress of medical knowledge has grown

up another school based upon prevention as
well as cure by purely sanatory methods.
To this school belongs Dr. Robert Walter,
who in 1877 opened for the benefit of suffer-
ing humanity the Walter Sanatorium on
South mountain, near Wernersville, Berks
county, Pennsylvania, the most perfectly
appointed and successful sanatorium in the
State, and believed to have been the first
institution in any country, certainly in this
country, devoted to the treatment of in-
valids and the preservation of health by
purely sanatory and hygenic methods.

Dr. Walter is the son of George Walter,
a farmer of Devonshire, England, who emi-
grated to Canada in 1837, settling in the
Province of Ontario in 1839. He died in
1S92, aged eighty-four years. He married
Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Vodden, of
England. She died in 1884, aged sixty-
eight years.

Dr. Robert Walter was born in the town-
ship of Esquesing, Halton county, Ontario,
Canada, February 14, 1841. He obtained
his early training in the township schools,
and to this he added largely through his
own efforts. At the age of fourteen years
he was clerk in a store, and at fifteen cashier
and bookkeeper in a large tannery, continu-
ing one year, until the death of the owner.
Notwithstanding his youth the heirs of his
late employer's estate retained him to settle
up the estate, this responsible duty being
performed faithfully and satisfactorily in
due time. He next was called upon to settle
his grandfather's estate, and so well was
that duty performed that other estates were
placed in his hands for settlement. He also
served one year as assistant division court
clerk, and taught in the public schools for
several years. He became an expert stenog-
rapher, and for a time was employed in
New York City in the land office of the
Northern Pacific Railroad Company.

From youth he was a semi-invalid with
the outlook very dark for a long and healths
ful life. He originated a course of treat-
ment that he rigidly followed, and finally


recovered. He believed he had accomplished
his own cure and he felt so encouraged by
the success of the treatment in his own case
that he resigned his position in the land
office and began a systematic study of medi-
cine. In 1872 he married and located in
New Jersey, where he lectured on medical
science, a subject that had been a constant
study for several years. His wife was a
graduate of the Hygeio Therapeutic Col-
lege of New York, 1865, and in 1873 Dr.
Walter, after a course of activities, was
graduated from the same institution. After
graduation he became manager in charge of
a sanatorium and mountain home in Frank-
lin county, Pennsylvania, later leased and
conducted a health resort on South moun-
tain, Berks county, continuing the same
successfully. During this period he aban-
doned the water cure theory and treatment
and during the latter part of his term sub-
stituted the modern sanatorium treatment.
The success of this treatment was so pro-
nounced that ere his lease expired Dr. Wal-
ter began the erection of his present large
collection of buildings, now known as Wal-
ter Sanatorium, and in 1877 he opened it
to the public. The institution, now known
all over the county comprises a number of
substantial stone buildings adjacent, five
stories high and three hundred and fifty
feet in length, with a farm and woodland
covering five hundred acres. The buildings
are thoroughly furnished with all modern
conveniences and appliances; the healthful
air, perfect sanitary conditions and hygenic
precaution being the remedies used to pre-
serve and rebuild the body. The location
on South mountain is ideal. From the front
of the buildings the mountains, hills and
valleys to Reading, thirty miles westward,
are visible, and from South mountain the
rolling fields and hills of the Tulpehocken,
Schuylkill and Ontelaunee valleys extend
to the Blue mountains, twenty to forty miles
away, and form a scene of indescribable
beauty. From its first inception Walter
Sanatorium has been thronged with guests

from all over the United States, not by in-
valids alone but by those who under the
healthful conditions there prevailing store
up energy for coming compaigns in business
or profession. No more complete, success-
ful or valuable a sanatorium exists in the

Dr. Walter, founder and manager, is also
a graduate of Hahnemann Medical College,
Philadelphia, receiving the degree of Doctor
of Medicine from that institution in 1888.
He is a thoughtful, active man, and in addi-
tion to the development of his sanatory
methods and management of his great insti-
tution publishes a monthly journal of health,
numerous pamphlets relating to sanitation,
and is the author and publisher of "Vita!
Science," an octavo volume of three hun-
dred and twenty pages, and of "The Exact
Science of Health," a large royal octavo
volume of three hundred pages, his deduc-
tions being based upon the same principles
that have caused chemistry and astronomy
to be regarded as exact sciences. His
methods of treatment and prevention are
purely sanatory, no dogmas, schools or wild
theories being followed. The patronage
that for forty years has sought his health-
ful home is the best testimonial that could
be written, and judged by the public verdict
the Walter Sanatorium is entitled to its high
reputation and the good doctor to his un-
blemished fame.

Dr. Walter married, in 1872, Eunice C.
Lippincott, of Dirigo, Maine, a daughter of
John and Sarah (Kitchen) Lippincott, of
Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and granddaugh-
ter of Jacob Lippincott, a Friend, who con-
scientiously opposed war with the mother
country and migrated to Nova Scotia during
the Revolution. This Lippincott family is
a prominent one in New Jersey and Penn-
sylvania. Mrs. Walter, herself a graduate
of the Hj'geio Therapeutic College of New
York, has worked hand in hand with her
husband in the development of his now
proved sanatory methods, and assisted in
the perfection of plans for the sanatorium


as well as its management. Children : Maua
M., Robert L., Mabel Helen (now wife of
John Bridges, of Carlisle), Estella M.,
Ernest A. The first two are graduate phy-
sicians and with their sister, Estella M.,
have from graduation actively cooperated
with Dr. Walter in the development and
success of the sanatorium.

COX, Walter,

Prominent Glass Manafactarer.

The origin and growth of the wire glass
industry is a most interesting chapter in the
history of American manufacture, and there
is no one who has played a more important
part in its development than Mr. Walter
Cox, of Philadelphia, president of the Penn-
sylvania Wire Glass Company. The biog-
raphy of Mr. Cox could not be written
without giving something of the details of
the wire glass industry any more than the
history of that industry could be written
without a mention of Mr. Cox, for he has
been identified with it from the beginning,
being associated with Mr. Frank Shuman,
the inventor of the process, and serving
first as secretary and treasurer of the Amer-
ican Wire Glass Manufacturing Company
and finally becoming the foremost man in
the industry.

Mr. Cox was born at "Solitude," in Ches-
ter county, Pennsylvania, September 17,
1857, son of Colonel Hewson and Mary
Ricketts (Camac) Cox. His grandfather,
William Cox, was a Philadelphian who
spent his later years in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Colonel Hewson Cox won his rank and
laurels in the Mexican War under General
Scott, to whom he acted as private aide-de-
camp and confidential interpreter. On the
maternal side Walter Cox is a direct de-
scendant of Thomas Lawrence, a provincial
councillor, and mayor of Philadelphia nine
times, and one of the twenty-four founders
and original trustees of the University of
Pennsylvania. Mary Lawrence, daughter
of Thomas Lawrence, married William
Masters, also a founder and original trustee

of tliis institution; they had two daughters,
Mary and Sarah, the former of whom be-
came the wife of Richard Penn, a sketch of
whose life is to be found in "Universities
and Their Sons," in the files of the His-
torical Society. A sketch of Thomas Law-
rence, mentioned above, is also to be found
in that work. Sarah Lav.rence married
Turner Camac, of Dublin, Ireland ; their
son, William Masters Camac, married EHz-
abeth Baynton Markoe, daughter of John
Markoe, the latter a son of Abraham
Markoe, captain of the First City Troop of
Philadelphia in the Revolutionary War.
William M. and Elizabeth B. Camac were
the parents of Mary Ricketts Camac, who
became the wife of Colonel Hewson Cox,
and the mother of Walter and the late
Major Herbert Cox.

Walter Cox received his early education
in the private schools of Rev. John W.
Faires and Reginald H. Chase. He was a
student in the Department of Arts of the
University of Pennsylvania, graduating in
1877 and receiving the degree of ]\Iaster of
Arts in the following year. During his col-
lege life he was closely identified with the
promotion of athletics, being one of a small
coterie which included the late John Neil!
and H. L. Geylin, who originated the col-
lege cheer and suggested the college colors
of the University Athletic Association.
After leaving college he applied himself for
a time to the study of law under the direc-
tion of William E. Littleton, Esq., but did
not complete his legal preparations, nor was
he actively engaged in business until called
to the service of the American Wire Glass
Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia in
1893 as secretary and treasurer. The fol-
lowing year he was chosen vice-president
of the parent organization, the Wire Glass
Company. At this time the future of the
wire glass business was pregnant with great
possibilities, and Mr. Cox, with his char-
acteristic foresight, was quick to take ad-

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 32 of 58)