John W. (John Woolf) Jordan.

Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) online

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resident of his native city, and was actively
associated with her leading business, benev-
olent and social interests.

Asa P. Childs, grandfather of Otis H.
Childs, was born December 13, 1803, at
Upton, Massachusetts, and in early man-
hood removed to Pittsburgh. He married
Frances Bradley, who was born March 16,
1808, at Mansfield, Connecticut. The de-
scendants of Asa P. Childs have been for
two-thirds of a century prominent in many
lines of endeavor in the Steel City.

Otis Bradley, son of Asa P. and Frances
(Bradley) Childs, was born January 23,
1829, in Pittsburgh, and attended the school
of Professor Joseph Travelli, at Sewickley.
On entering upon a business career he be-
came connected with the shoe house of H.
Childs & Company, which had been founded
by his brother, and is now conducting busi-
ness on Penn avenue. During the latter
years of his life he was engaged in the com-
mission business in partnership with Wil-
liam Lowe, the firm name being William
Lowe & Company, with offices on Liberty
street. In politics Mr. Childs was a staunch
Republican, but never consented to become
a candidate for office. He affiliated with
the Masonic fraternity, and was a member
of the Third Presbyterian Church, of which
his father had been one of the founders.

Mr. Childs married, January 8, 1856,
Frances McCook, whose family record is
appended to this sketch, and they became
the parents of a son and a daughter — Otis
H., mentioned below ; and Elizabeth W.,
now living in Pittsburgh. Mrs. Childs, a
most estimable and lovely woman, passed
away May 11, 1913; and the death of Mr.
Childs, which occurred February 17, 1877,
was mourned as that of an honorable busi-
ness man and conscientious citizen.


#1, Jt'^'lu


Otis H. Childs, son of Otis Bradley and
Frances (McCook) Childs, was bom June
25, 1859, in Pittsburgh, and received his
education in his native city. His entrance
upon the active life in which he was des-
tined to achieve distinction v^'as made as a
messenger of the Citizens' National Bank,
but it was impossible that one of his ability
should remain long in this humble position.
His merit early attracted the attention of
his superiors and he was advanced to the
place of teller. Feeling, however, that in
the manufacturing world he should find the
opportunities best adapted to give full scope
to his talents and energies, he left the bank
and associated himself with the Moorhead-
McCleane Company, iron manufacturers,
and here his remarkable sagacity, clear judg-
ment and unwearied energy speedily brought
him into prominence. It was not long be-
fore he was offered a position with the
Apollo Iron and Steel Company, and began
to be pointed out and spoken of by older
men as one marked for distinction in the
world of affairs. The next business con-
nection formed by Mr. Childs was with the
Carnegie Steel Company, of which he be-
came secretary, and here he distinguished
himself not only by the ability with which
he discharged the duties incident to this
responsible position, but also by the val-
uable aid which he rendered to the com-
pany at the time of the Homestead riots,
facing the crisis with the courage of youth
and the wisdom of riper years. Mr. Carne-
gie, with his quick discernment and appre-
ciation of merit, saw in Mr. Childs one of
the young men for whom he delighted to
stand sponsor in the business world, and
had the latter remained in the company he
would have become one of the youthful
partners of his great chief. In the middle
nineties, however, Mr. Childs withdrew and,
in association with his friend, William L.
Abbott, of Pittsburgh, organized the Lin-
coln Foundry Company, which was later
merged in the L^nited Engineering Com-
pany, and with this concern Mr. Childs was

officially connected to the close of his life,
imparting to its operations a portion of his
own vitalizing energy and largely aiding in
making of it a complete success.

As a citizen no less than as a business
man, Mr. Childs was animated by enthusi-
asm for the loftiest ideals. While stead-
fastly upholding the principles of the Re-
publican party, he was without political
ambition, but ever gave loyal support to all
measures which he deemed calculated to
advance the public welfare. He was a
director of the Institution for the Blind,
and his charities were numerous but unos-
tentatious. His clubs were the Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh Golf, Country and Duquesne,
and he was a member of the board of the
last-named. He attended the Shady Side
Presbyterian Church.

Few men enjoyed to a greater degree
than Mr. Childs the affection and esteem of
their fellow-citizens, possessing as he did
those traits of character, that warmth of
heart and those social qualities which attract
and hold friends. His personal appearance
was striking. Tall and patrician looking,
erect and graceful, he had the air of one
born to command, but unvaryingly cour-
teous and considerate of others. His dark
hair and moustache slightly touched with
gray accentuated a countenance strong yet
sensitive, and his dark eyes were at once
keen and thoughtful, the eyes of the ob-
server and also of the thinker. His mental
endowments were of a superior order and
he was, as his business career shows, espe-
cially gifted as an organizer. His very pres-
ence conveyed the impression of a man
whose sense of honor was chivalrous and
whose fidelity was absolute. He was a true
gentleman and a noble, courageous man.

Mr. Childs married, November IQ, 1891,
Louise, daughter of the late George and
Mary (Berry) Dilworth, and they became
the parents of one child, George Dilworth,
who died at the age of twenty months. It
was but a few years longer that Mr. Childs
was permitted to enjoy the companionship



of his loving and beloved wife, who passed
away January 19, 1901. The fact that her
death was due to consumption caused Mr.
Childs to take a special interest in the
Tuberculosis Hospital, of which he was one
of the organizers, and he also placed a
memorial to her on the shore of Saranac
Lake, New York. After this bereavement
Mr. Childs resided with his mother and sis-
ter, between whom and himself there ex-
isted a peculiarly strong and tender bond of
affection. His happiest hours were passed
in the home consecrated by the love of these
three — mother, daughter, and the ideal son
and brother. The sister. Miss Elizabeth W.
Childs, a woman of winning personality and
the centre of a large circle of warmly
attached friends, is now the sole survivor
and is actively engaged in charitable work
and philanthropic enterprises.

The death of Mr. Childs, which occurred
August 22, 1910, in Cleveland, Ohio, was
the cause of deep, sincere and widespread
sorrow in the city which was his birthplace
and had been his lifelong home. His daily
example had been one of high-minded en-
deavor and noble living and many, in all
classes of the community, had a sense of
personal bereavement. "A brilliant life cut
short !" So would many exclaim in the con-
templation of this wonderfully fruitful
career. But the exclamation would be only
partially true. Curtailed as to years, that
life indeed, was ; but who shall say that it
had not attained the fullest measure of
accomplishment, that the career of this
high-minded business man and the public-
spirited citizen was not perfectly rounded
and complete, rich in results of great and
lasting benefit to his beloved city? Would
that Pittsburgh had many more like Otis H.
Childs !

(The McCook Family).

Dr. George McCook, father of Mrs.
Frances (McCook) Childs, was born in
June, 1795, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania,
and was a son of George and Mary (Mc-
Cormick) McCook and brother of Daniel

McCook, who married Martha Latimer and
served, with his nine sons, in the Union
army, in the annals of which they are im-
mortalized as the "Fighting McCooks."

Dr. George McCook went in 1818 to New
Lisbon, Ohio, and was soon ranked among
the best physicians of the State. In 1828
he was nominated for Congress by the Dem-
ocrats, being defeated by a few votes. In
1836 he was nominated again, but was
defeated by fourteen votes, and in 1837 he
was once more placed in nomination, sus-
taining a third defeat. At the outbreak of
the Civil War he enrolled himself under the
banner of Republicanism, and although con-
siderably advanced in years offered his serv-
ices to the government. During the four
years' conflict he filled different positions of
trust and usefulness, and in 1868 and 1872
was an ardent supporter of General Grant.
In his profession Dr. McCook achieved emi-
nent success and acquired a national repu-
tation. In 1844 he was appointed Professor
of Surgery in the medical school connected
with Willoughby University, then the best
institution of its kind in Ohio, and after
leaving Willoughby received a similar ap-
pointment in Baltimore Medical College,
where he remained two years. About 1850
he moved to Pittsburgh, where he built up
an extensive practice, commanding an envi-
able position among the medical fraternity
of the city.

Dr. McCook married Margaret, daugh-
ter of Robert Latimer, and among their
children was a daughter, Frances, who be-
came the wife of Otis Bradley Childs, as
stated above. Dr. McCook died June 25,
1873, ^t Steubenville, Ohio, leaving the rec-
ord of a life consecrated to the relief of
suffering and the service of his country.

GRING, David,

Financier, Man of Iiarge Affairs.

A list of the representative men of the
State of Pennsylvania would be decidedly
incomplete were the name of David Gring
— financier, promoter and railroad magnate



— omitted. Not only has he risen above the
standard in business Hfe, but he is possessed
in a high degree of those excellencies of
character which make men worthy of the
regard of their fellows. He is keenly alive
to all the varying requirements of trade, and
conducts operations of the most extended
and important character, but his high
minded and liberal business methods excite
the admiration of his compeers. He is de-
scended from a family which has been resi-
dent in Pennsylvania for a number of gen-
erations, and the various members have
always proved their worth.

David Gring, grandfather of the man
whose name heads this sketch, was born in
Berks county, Pennsylvania, where the pro-
genitor of this branch of the family is sup-
posed to have settled upon his arrival in
this country from Holland. David Gring
was a farmer and a miller, a man of promi-
nence in his locality, and died in 1886. He
married Catherine Hill, who died in 1882.

Samuel H. Gring, son of David and Cath-
erme (Hill) Gring, was born at Sinking
Springs, Berks county, Pennsylvania, in
1832, and died in Reading, Pennsylvania,
September 12, 1912. He was educated in
the district schools of his native town and,
under the supervision of his father, learned
the milling trade. In 1854 he located in the
vicinity of Denver, Lancaster county, Penn-
sylvania, where he owned and operated a
grist mill and tannery until 1869. and during
the two following years was engaged in
agricultural pursuits in association with his
father. In 1871 he removed to Newville,
Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, where
he engaged in the lumber business, with
which he was identified for five years, then
settled at Reading, where he spent the re-
mainder of his life. In 1890 he commenced
the construction of the Newport & Sher-
mans Valley railroad, completing this in
1892. He also constructed a portion of the
Path Valley railroad, an underlying line of
the preceding. During his earlier years he
was a Whig in political matters, but upon

the formation of the Republican party,
joined the ranks of that party. He was a
member of the Alsace Reformed Church of
Reading, Pennsylvania. Mr. Gring married
Catherine, a daughter of Simon Hoycr, a
bridge contractor of Alsace township, Berks
county, and they had children : David, Sam-
uel H. Jr., Charles, Catherine and Eliza-

David Gring, son of Samuel II, and Cath-
erine (Hoyer) Gring, was born in Denver,
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, June 10,
1857, and acquired a .substantial education
in the district schools in the vicinity of his
home. He was still a young lad when he
became associated with his father in the
lumber interests of the latter, an association
which was continued until 1876. David
Gring then engaged in the lumber business
independently in Huntingdon county, Penn-
sylvania, purchasing large tracts of virgin
forest land in Huntingdon, Blair, Mifflin,
Bedford and Juniata counties. In 1881 he
settled in Newport, Perry county, Pennsyl-
vania, and has resided there since that time.
In 1S86 he constructed the Diamond Val-
ley railroad, thereby opening up extensive
and valuable timber districts along its line.
In 1891 he became a promoter of railroads,
and was instrumental in constructing the
Newport and Shermans Valley railroad, of
which he was made president and general
manager, an office of which he is still the
incumbent. He is also president of the Path
Valley railroad ; the Susquehanna River
and Western railroad ; Paxtang Consoli-
dated Water Company, which embraces
nine water companies ; Lebanon Valley Con-
solidated Water Company, which embraces
eight water companies ; ^\'est End Water
Company, Clinton county, Pennsylvania,
embracing six water companies ; Hanover
and McSherrystown Water Company, cm-
bracing five water companies ; Newport
Home Water Company. Newport, Penn-
sylvania ; Mountain City \\'ater Company,
Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania ; Washing-
ton Water Supply Company, Slatington,



Pennsylvania; Palatine Bridge (New York)
Water Company; Fultonville (New York)
Water Company ; Hummelstown (Penn-
sylvania) Electric Light Company. He
also has extensive lumber interests in North
and South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee,
Eastern Kentucky, Virginia and West Vir-
ginia. In political matters he is a staunch
Republican, but he has no desire for public
office, holding the opinion that he is best
serving the interests of his country by de-
voting himself to business and thus increas-
ing her prosperity in this direction. Mr.
Gring married, July 21, 1880, Emma C, a
daughter of Anson V. Caldwell, of Perry
county, Pennsylvania, and they have chil-
dren: I. Elizabeth, born July 24, 1881. 2.
Robert B., born May 24, 1884. 3. Rodney
M., born February 17, 1887; former gen-
eral manager of Morris County Traction
Company, Morris county. New Jersey; re-
signed to become, and is now general man-
ager of Susquehanna River & Western
railroad of New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania,
and of the Mountain City Water Company,
of Frackville, Schuylkill county, Pennsylva-
nia, and of the Washington Water Supply
Company, of Slatington, Pennsylvania. 4.
Herbert C, born November 30, 1888; gen-
eral manager of Newport & Shermans
Valley railroad, of Newport, Pennsylvania,
and treasurer of Hanover & McSherrys-
town Water Company, of Hanover, Penn-
sylvania, and Mountain City Water Com-
pany, of Frackville, Schuylkill county,
Pennsylvania. 5. Wilbur D., born April 2,
1892; superintendent of motive power of
Newport & Shermans Valley railroad, and
Susquehanna & Western railroad. The
children of David Gring were all born at
Newport, Perry county, Pennsylvania.

No estimate can be made of Mr. Gring's
character and his standing in the business
world that does not embrace his strong
characteristics for courage and sincerity of
purpose. These, joined with his foresight
and sagacity, have led him to the success to
which he has attained. He seems to see

the value of an enterprise from the view-
point of profit when others hesitate and
when he has once seen it goes to the execu-
tion of it without a hesitation or a doubt.
His constant success has led the world of
capital to follow him with its millions. In
Central Pennsylvania he has been much of a
pioneer. In a dozen of counties his benefits
and influence have been felt for the general
good of the people. In these enterprises he
has built himself an enduring monument
which will hold his name in remembrance
for generations to come.

In his personal deportment he is modest,
generous and kindly to all men who have
business or social intercourse with him. His
life is pure and clean, devoted solely to his
business and his family. Take him all in
all he is a most fitting representative of the
German blood that has made Pennsylvania
the great empire State she is.

SMALL, Samuel,

Man of Affairs, Philanthropist.

Samuel Small, of York, president of the
P. A. & S. Small Company, and of the P.
A. & S. Small Milling Company, has been
for half a century prominently and insepara-
bly identified with the mercantile, educa-
tional and benevolent interests of his native

Samuel Small is a son of Philip Albright
and Sarah (Latimer) Small, and a grand-
son of George and Anna Maria Ursula
(Albright) Small. He received his educa-
tion at the York County Academy, and
chose, in accordance with family traditions,
a mercantile career. On July 22, 1866, he
became a member of the firm of P. A. & S.
Small, and since that time has devoted his
best energies and unquestioned ability to
the building up and extension of the inter-
ests of this famous house. In 1905 the
varied branches and elements of the firm of
P. A. & S. Small were incorporated, and
the large wholesale mercantile interests have
since been operated as the P. A. & S. Small


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Company. The P. A. & S. Small Milling
Company was also incorporated, as was the
P. A. & S. Small Land Company. In 1906
a spacious and commodious five-story busi-
ness block was erected on North George
street as the headquarters of this celebrated
concern. Mr. Small has proved his business
talents to be of the highest order, including
as they do great industry, a very clear sense
of values, the power of organization and
sound and accurate judgment. As presi-
dent of the three P. A. & S. Small com-
panies, his course has been marked by the
wisely balanced conservatism and pro-
gressiveness of the true business man.

In all concerns relative to the city's wel-
fare Mr. Small's interest is deep and sin-
cere, and wherever substantial aid will fur-
ther public progress it is freely given. He
is president of the York Benevolent Society
and Children's Home; was formerly vice-
president of the York County Agricultural
Society, and the Pennsylvania Bible Soci-
ety; president and trustee of the State Hos-
pital for the Insane at Harrisburg; and a
life member of the Historical Society of
York County and the Pennsylvania His-
torical Society. In 1888 Mr. Small gave
evidence of his interest in the cause of edu-
cation by erecting, in association with his
two elder brothers, the present York Col-
legiate Institute, and is now president of
the board of trustees. He is a man of
strong intellect, generosity of character and
largeness of heart, his manners simple and
dignified, beloved by his employees whom
he has ever treated with justice and kindli-
ness, honored by his associates and the ob-
ject of the warm personal regard of many
devoted friends.

Mr. Small married, in 1859, Frances Ann
Richardson, and the following children have
been born to them: Sarah Latimer, wife of
Walter M. Franklin, of the Lancaster
county bar; Mary Richardson, married to
George S. Schmidt, of the York county bar;
Isabel Cassatt, unmarried ; George, de-
ceased; Frank Morris ; Samuel ; and Helena

Bartow, wife of Robert G. Goldsborough,
of Harrisburg. Mrs. Small is one of those
rare women who combine with perfect
womanliness and domesticity an unerring
judgment, traits of great value to her hus-
band, to whom she is not alone a diarming
companion, but also a confidante and ad-
viser. Mr. Small is devoted to his family,
spending his happiest hours at his own fire-
side, and delights to entertain his friends,
both at his city residence and his charming
country home a few miles east of York.

Mr. Small is heir to the traditions of six
generations of honorable merchants and
patriotic citizens, each of whom served with
merited distinction his city, county and
State. The highest possible appreciation of
his own record is conveyed in the simple
statement that it worthily supplements that
of his ancestors, and adds new prestige to
an old and honored name.

STEWART, David Glenn,

Financier, Man of Affairs.

Business men who are at the same time
able administrators are the men who count
most in the material advancement of the
community, and Pittsburgh has the good
fortune to number among her citizens not a
few of this influential type. Conspicuous
among those who for a third of a century
have been recognized leaders in the busi-
ness world, is David Glenn Stewart, founder
and head of the widely known grain firm of
D. G. Stewart & Geidel. With the financial
interests of his home city Mr. Stewart is
prominently identified in addition to being
the custodian of many important trusts and

David Glenn Stewart was born Novem-
ber 3, 1839, in Pittsburgh, and is a son of
William and Eliza (Glenn) Stewart. A
sketch of William Stewart, including a his-
tory of the Stewart family, appears else-
where in this work. David Glenn Stewart
was educated in the private school presided
over by the Rev. Joseph Travelli, at Sewick-



ley, and began his business career as second
clerk on the boat owned by his brother,
James Stewart, plying between Mobile and
Montgomery, Alabama. He filled this posi-
tion three years and then went to Washing-
ton, D. C, as clerk in the War Department.
Remaining there during the Civil War, he
enlisted in a company of government clerks
organized to guard the city in the event of
its being threatened by the enemy. At the
close of the war Mr. Stewart, as clerk of the
United States paymaster, accompanied that
official to New Orleans and also travelled
with him through the South, paying off regi-
ments as they disbanded. About a year
was required for the accomplishment of
this work, and on its completion Mr. Stew-
art spent another year in Europe, finding
relaxation from long continued strain in
visiting places of historic interest in the Old

On his return he settled in Pittsburgh,
where, in 1873, he founded the grain busi-
ness which has since under his able manage-
ment grown to such huge proportions. For
twenty-three years he conducted it alone,
its development during that period being
the result of his strong brain and will power
and his keen business sense. Progressive
in his ideas and tolerant of every suggestion
offered him, he is yet wisely conservative
and unfailingly self-reliant. A just and
kind employer, his insight enables him to
put the right man in the right place and he
has the faculty of inspiring his associates
and subordinates with something of his own
energy and enthusiasm. In 1906 he re-
ceived into partnership J. A. A. Geidel, the
style of the firm becoming Stewart & Geidel.

In 1888 Mr. Stewart caused to be con-
structed, on the South Side, the first Iron
City elevator with a capacity of about
300,000 bushels of grain. In 191 1 this was
totally destroyed by fire and the firm has
recently built a new concrete one, holding
about 150,000 bushels, and novel in design
and construction. The first story, supported
on reinforced concrete columns at an alti-

tude of thirteen feet above the working
floor, extends under the entire storage and
affords the working space for the cleaning,
grinding, shelling, sacking and local ship-
ping operations of the plant. All of the
machinery and equipment is installed with
a view to absolute security from fire, being
made of steel and arranged with a special
view to the elimination of dust and the
maintenance of a high degree of cleanliness
and efficiency throughout the plant. The
machinery is all motor driven, each part
having independent control by means of
friction clutches. Despite the fact that this
elevator is only one-third the size of its pre-
decessor, so far as storage capacity is con-
cerned, the general arrangement of machin-
ery and the splendid handling facilities
which it now has place it in the front rank
of elevators of the same size. There is also

Online LibraryJohn W. (John Woolf) JordanEncyclopedia of Pennsylvania biography : illustrated (Volume 3) → online text (page 38 of 58)