Mitchell Charles Harrison.

New York state's prominent and progressive men; (Volume 4) online

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order of Free Masons, and various other political and social or
ganizations. He is an enthusiastic believer in the present anc
future greatness of New York as the commercial capital of th(
nation, and directs earnest efforts toward keeping the city ir
that proud position.

te A.Wuaksi^a^.a^



^ DWIX ALLEN CRUIKSHAXK was boni in New York, on
August 11, 1843. His gi*andfather, "William Cruikshank,
born in Aberdeensliii'e. Scotland, in 1760, and the pioneer of
his family in this country, made his home for many years at
No. 40 Greenwich Street, New York, then a fine residence region.
Mr. James Cruikshank was born in 1804 in New York city, and
hved to be nearly ninety-two. He saw many changes in the city
as he looked back to the time before railroads and steamboats were
invented, and the only means of communication between New
York and Brooklyn were the periagua and horse boat, and
under his directions the first piers were built on the North River.
He made a study of real estate in New York city, as well as its
water-front, and was considered one of the best experts in that
line to be found. His son, the subject of this sketch, followed
in his footsteps, entering business at the early age of thirteen,
after receiving the educational advantages offered by the public
schools. Between his school life and his final settling dovni to
business, he was a member of the Thirteenth Regiment of the
New York National Guard, in Brooklyn, and as such went to
the front and served in the field during the Civil War ; he was
also a lieutenant in the Eighty-ninth Regiment, and also a mem-
ber of the old Volunteer Fire Department.

The real-estate office of his father, which he entered, was one
of the oldest and best known in the city. It had been started in
1794 by WiUiam Cruikshank, at No. 40 Green^vich Street, as an
adjunct to his business as a grocer, for the pucpose of renting
and collecting ground-rents and wharfage for such of his clients
as lived out of town. From 1794 to 1831 it was conducted at
No. 40 Greenwich Street, under the name of "WiUiam Cruik-



shank. From 1831 to 1865 it was conducted at Nos. 40-48
Greenwich Street, under the name of James Cruikshank. From
1865 to 1875 it was at Nos. 55 and 68 Broadway, under the style
of William & E. A. Cruikshank, with branch of&ces also at
Broadway and Thirty-third Street, and Broadway and Forty-
fourth Street. Since 1875 it has been known as E. A. Cruik-
shank & Co., with headquarters successively at Nos. 68, 163,
176, and now 141 Broadway.

This firm conducts a general real-estate business in all
branches. To this day it has charge of estates which were in
charge of Mr. Cruikshank's grandfather a century ago, and its
clients are to be found in all parts of the country and in Europe.
Mr. Cruikshank's knowledge of wharf and pier property is
second to none ; his long experience in real estate has ranked
him among the best experts, and he has been engaged in the
division of the largest estates in the city. He is also a director
of the Real Estate Trust Company, and of the New York Plate
Glass Insurance Company.

Mr. Cruikshank has held no political office. He was a member
of the qommittee on the centennial celebration of Washington's
inauguration ; he was one of the original founders of the Real
Estate Exchange, of which he was treasurer, vice-president, and
president, and has been associated with other public movements
of a non-pohtical character. He married Susie Hinchman, and
has one child, Susie, the wife of E. W. Snyder of Bayonne, New

He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the St.
Nicholas Society of New York, the New York Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the New York Board of Trade
and Transportation, the Wyandanch Club of Smithtowu, Long
Island, the Megautic Fish and Game Corporation of Maine, the
Accomac Club of Virginia, the Blooming Grove Park Association
of Pennsylvania, the Saranac Club of Saranac Lake, New York,
the Newark Bay Boat Club of Bayonne, New Jersey, the Adi-
rondack Guides' Association, the Forest Lake Association of
Pike County, Pennsylvania, and the Lawyers' Club, Reform
Club, Botanical Gardens, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and
American Numismatic and Archffiological Society, of New York.


IN the town of Audincourt, Department of Doubs, France,
situated in the midst of a beautiful and interesting region
close to the German and Swiss frontiers, was born, on October
20, 1842, the subject of this sketch, Charles Curie. His parents
were Frederick Curie and Dorethe Malvina Diemer, his wife.

The family settled at Paterson, New Jersey, in 1843, and there
the boy was educated in the public schools. Afterward he
attended the Bryant and Stratton Business College at Cleveland,
Ohio. Then he studied law, first in the office of Thomas F.
Hoxsey, at Paterson, then in the office of Hawkins, Barnet &
Pannes, in New York, and finally at the Law School of New York
University, from which he was graduated in 1882. He was
admitted to the bar at Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1882, and at
once began the practice of the profession in this city, where he
is still actively engaged in it. He has made a specialty of cases
arising under the tariff laws, and in that important department
of legal practice has attained authoritative rank and a wide and
high reputation. '

Between his school-days at Paterson and his entiy into the
legal profession, however, there was a gap of many years. Sev-
eral of these were spent in the service of the nation, as a soldier.
He was a young man when the Civil War broke out in 1861, and
he promptly volunteered as a private in the Ninth Regiment,
New York Volunteers, which was better known as " Hawkins's
Zouaves." With that organization he went to the front, and
was in the engagements at Hatteras Inlet forts, in August, 1861 ;
at Roanoke Island, on February 8, 1862 ; and at Camden, North
Carolina, on April 19, 1862. Then the regiment came north-
ward, and fought at South Mountain, on September 14, 1862 ;



at Antietam, on September 17, 1862, where he was severely
wounded ; and in the great campaigns around Washington and
in Virginia and Maryland, in the summer of 1863. The fall of
1863 saw him in the campaign after Forrest in Kentucky, Ten-
nessee, and Mississippi, and the following winter in Sherman's
raid to Meridian. In the spring of 1864 he took part in the Red
River expedition under General A. J. Smith, in the Arkansas
campaign (Lake Chicot) against Marmaduke, in the Tupelo cam-
paign against Forrest in July and August, and in the fall of that
year was in the Missouri campaign against Price's army from the
Mississippi River to Kansas. He was in numerous battles, and
never failed to acquit himself like a soldier and a patriot.
Toward the close of the war his health was greatly impaired
through exposure and arduous services, and he was honorably
discharged, with the rank of captain in the One Hundred and
Seventy-eighth New York Volunteers, from Jefferson Barracks
Hospital, Missouri, in December, 1864.

It was after this heroic service to his country that Mr. Curie
turned his attention to the law, became a student thereof, and
finally entered upon the practice of it as his life-work. His
office is in the borough of Manhattan. His home is in Brook-
lyn, and his summer residence is at Idlewild, Comwall-on-Hud-
son, New York.

He is passed president of the Hawkins's Zouaves Association,
of the Roanoke Associates, and of the Society of the Burnside
Expedition and the Ninth Army Corps, and is chancellor of the
Commandery of the State of New York, Military Order of the
Loyal Legion, and one of the governors of the Army and Navy
Club. He is a member of the Union League Club of New York,
and of the Union League and Hamilton clubs of Brooklyn, and
of the Hamilton Club of Paterson, New Jersey.



IN the history of education in the State of New York there
are several names iudissohibly identified with the instruction
of the deaf вАФ men whose professional careers have been centered
in this special hne of education. Among these, a name very
prominent is that of Enoch Henry Ciu'rier. He is a son of
Enoch Gerrish and Jane Hill Currier, and was born on August
22, 1849, in the city of Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is a
descendant of Richard Currier, who came from England in the
early part of the seventeenth century, and settled in Massachu-
setts, of whose town of Salisbury he was the founder. His
maternal grandfather served throughout the War of the Revolu-
tion. His paternal grandfather was an officer on the privateer
Decatur, and afterward welcomed General Lafayette to the city
of Newbm-jTDort. Mr. Enoch Gerrish Currier was a member of
the Veteran Ai-tillery Association of Newburyport, the first libra-
rian of the pubhc hbrary of that city, and, as Collector of the
Port, made the fii'st seizure of Southern vessels in Northern
harbors under the Confiscation Act in the War of the Rebellion.
The circumstances of his parents afforded Mr. Currier all the
advantages of education. He had the benefit of home society
of an old-fashioned and excellent type. His early education was
planned with a view to his entering the church. He received a
classical preparation for college under private tutors, and was
ready for matriculation when an accident to one of his eyes com-
pelled the discontinuance of all study for several years. The pre-
carious condition of his health which followed this accident did
not permit him to take his college course, but his studies were
resumed under private instruction. He holds an honorary degree



of A. M. from the National College of the Deaf, Washington
D. C, confeiTed in 1892.

"When quite a young man, during a visit at the residence o
Dr. Harvey P. Peet of New York, he became interested in thi
education of the deaf. This visit changed the vrhole current o
his life. Instead of entering the ministry, he became a profes
sor in the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Dea
and Dumb, with which he has been connected during the whol
of his professional life. Beginning with the lowest grade, h^
studied the principles of deaf-mute instruction through a class
room experience covering twenty years, passing through al
grades from the primary to the academic.

He became especially interested in teaching articulation and hp
reading, and in 1878 was appointed professor in charge of the de
partment of articulation, hp-reading, and aural development. Hi
experiments in connection with the training of hearing of the par
tially deaf brought forward important results, among which wa
the invention, in 1881, of a duplex conical hearing-tube which ha
proved of great value. On the subject of defective hearing an(
its improvement he is considered an authority, and at the presen
time he fills the position of chairman of the Aural Section in thi
Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf.

In January, 1893, he was elected to succeed the late Dr. Isaai
Lewis Peet as principal of the institution, and the manner ii
which he has conducted the affairs of the school has fulfilled thi
expectations of his supporters. The number of students has in
creased, and the reputation of the school has risen, and now ma]
challenge comparison with any school of its kind in the world
Under Mr. Currier's broad policy the institution offers to th(
intelhgent deaf child, of whatever condition, aU jjossible facilitie;
for acquiring an education, both mental and manual, that wil
prepare him for the duties of hfe, and make him a useful and ;
productive citizen.

In his course of instruction the kindergarten, introduced u
1893, is the first step, and is followed by primaiy, intermediate
grammar, and academic grades, in the latter of which the stan
dard meets that of the high school for normal yoiith. A finely
equipped gj^mnasium, under the direction of a thoroughly com
petent instructor, offers the means of physical culture, with th(


result of iuiproviuti' health and increasing the strength of pupils
of both sexes, and strengthening the lungs for articulation work.
In 1894 a system of special gymnastic training was introduced
as a foundation for speech-training to the deaf.

Perhaps tlie most important innovation, one which renders
Mr. Cm-rier's school unique in its class, is the military drill which
is a regular part of the daily routine for the boys, who are
formed uito a battalion of four companies, uniformed in cadet
gray, and fully equi|)ped for all the requirements of military drill.
The department of manual training is very complete, and includes
a thorough course in floriculture.

A careful student of all subjects relating to his profession, Mr.
Currier has \\Titten several books, among them being "Aural
Development," " New Aids to Hearing," and " The Manual
Alphabet in the Pubhc Schools," as well as exhaustive discus-
sions in the annual reports of the New York Institution on
themes relating to the education of the deaf.

Mr. Currier is a man in the prime of life, cheerful, genial, and
active. Deeply interested in his work, nothing which pertains
to its usefid practice is, in his estimation, too small to deserve
attention. Consequently his system is broadly eclectic. A
scholar and a gentleman, he exhibits the strong, clear intellec-
tual powers which are necessary to the position he so ably fills.

He is a member of the Manhattan and the Heights clubs, the
National Educational Association, the American Association to
Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, and the Convention
of American Instructors of the Deaf, being chairman of the Aural
Section. He belongs to the Royal Arcanum, is a tnistee of the
Church Mission to Deaf-mutes, and is a member of the standing
committee of the Gallaudet Home for Aged and Infirm Deaf-

Mr. Currier was married, on July 2, 1878, to Miss Charlotte
Ameha Lewis of Oxford, New York. They have no children.

He is also a member of Benevolent Lodge No. 28, Free and
Accepted Masons, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Consistory
of New York, thirty-second degree, Mecca Temple of the Mystic
Shrine, and first vice-president of the Howard Investment Com-
pany, of Duluth, Minnesota.


THE name of George Milton Curtis inevitably suggests Nev
England origin, and before that at least some measure o:
British ancestry. The name of his father, Beriah Curtis, is char
acteristically that of a New-Englander. The forebears of th(
elder Curtis came, however, from Ireland, being doubtless o
Irish-British blood. Turning to the maternal side, the maidei
name of his mother is found to have been Lydia Massena Deny(
Hunter, a name savoring of various nationahties. In fact, Mrs
Curtis was of mixed Scotch and Itahan ancestry. But the hom(
of the Curtises was in New England, and in the typically Yanke(
city of Worcester, Massachusetts.

It was there that George Milton Curtis was born, on June 20
1840. Worcester is a center of education and culture, as well ai
of industry, and its advantages were well improved by the boy
He studied at the excellent local schools, at the Worcester Higl
School, and then at the Baptist Academy in the same city. Ii
the last-named institution he was preparing himself to enter col
lege when the Civil War broke out. The patriotic spirit tha
animated Massachusetts quickly seized upon him, and he lai(
down his books to take up a rifle. He enhsted as a private ii
the Third Battalion of Rifles, under the command of Majo:
D evens.

Mr. Curtis had a creditable but brief career in the army, an(
then returned to his studies. He did not, however, resume hii
college preparatory work. On the contrary, he began the stud]
of law under the Hon. John W. Ashmead, and made so rapic
progress that he was able to pass his examination and be admit
ted to practice at the bar of New York at the General Tenn o:
the Supreme Court in November, 1862. It may be added tha




while studying law he maintained himself and paid all his ex-
penses by doing newspaper work as a reporter, and by contrib-
uting articles to legal, medical, and literary periodicals. In this
way he developed a good literary style, which has been charac-
teristic of all his writings since.

Soon after his admission to the bar Mr. Ciu"tis made his entry
into political hfe. It is indeed a notable record that the youth
who was a student in 1860 became a soldier in 1861, a lawyer in
1862, and a lawmaker in 1863 ; for he was elected a member of
the New York State Assembly in 1863, one of the youngest men
ever seated in that body. Despite his youth, he quickly made
his mark there. He delivered an impassioned defense of Gov-
ernor Seymour, which has become almost a classic of pohtical
eloquence. He was reelected for a second term, and in that term
dehvered a speech upon tlie subject of a health bill which at-
tracted the attention of the enth-e State, and, indeed, of many in
other parts of the nation.

In 1865 Mr. Curtis retired from what bade fair to be a notable
legislative career to become assistant corporation counsel of this
city, in which office he showed himself to be a lawyer of more
than ordinary attainments and acumen. So conspicuous did he
become, in fact, that he was quickly marked as sure to receive
promotion. Such promotion came to him in 1867, wlien he was
elected to the bench of the marine court, since known as the
city court. He was probably the youngest judge ever seated in
New York, but his youth was found to be no bar to his useful-
ness, and his judicial career was distinguished by learning, dig-
nity, and impartial fairness.

At the end of his term upon the bench Mr. Curtis declined
a renomination, prefemng to resume his legal practice as an
attorney and counselor. To that work he has devoted himself
ever since with earnestness and more than average success. As
a lawyer he has had a wide practice in more than one sense of
the term. He has conducted cases in all parts of the Union and
in all branches of the law. He is, however, especially well known
as a trial lawyer and as a practitioner m will cases.

A few of the more important cases in which Mr. Curtis has
acted may appropriately be recalled. Among them were the
vnh cases of John Anderson and Maltby G. Lane, in which he


was successful in getting the wills set aside. He was called into
the famous Stewart will case, as counsel for the plaintiff, several
days after the trial had begim. He was counsel in the Pair case,
also, which was tried in California in 1897, and in it succeeded
in winning the case for his cUent before the jury, though the
court afterward interfered and gave a contrary decision. The
case was promptly appealed by Mr. Curtis, oa the ground that
the court shordd not have given such a decision, but should have
ordered another trial before another jury. His action in the
Stetson dower case, his success in the Bouden Bander and Sister
Carmehta and other will cases, and his famiharity with all mat-
ters pertaining to the laws of succession, have given him a unique
reputation in that important branch of practice, and have won
for him the sobriquet of " will-smasher."

Mr. Curtis is also remembered as the successful defender of
Mr. Riddle, formerly president of the Penn Bank of Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania, who was charged with wrecking that bank. He
hkewise succeeded m saving the hfe of Colonel Buford, who was
tried for the murder of Chief Justice Elliot of Kentucky. He
has, indeed, saved from the scaffold no less than thirty-eight per-
sons in various parts of the country. He has tried cases in nine
different States, and is said to be the only lawyer who ever got a
jury to break a will in New York.

Other eases in which he was engaged were that of Dr. Helm-
bold, involving important trade-mark rights, that of the Abys-
sinian Baptist Church in this city, and that of Police Sergeant
William O'Toole, who was charged with bribery. In the last-
named case Mr. Curtis's demurrer was sustained by the court,
and he was thus the only counsel in that series of trials who
secured complete success for his client.

Mr. Curtis is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic,
and of various clubs and societies. He is fond of horses, and at
one time, in partnership with John O'Donnell, owned one of the
finest stables in America. The well-known race-horse " Judge
Curtis " was named for him. Mr. Curtis has a son, George M.
Curtis, Jr., who is a graduate of Yale University and a suc-
cessful lawyer, connected with the office of ex-Lieuteuant-
Governor Sheehan. Like his father, he ranks high as a trial


DR. JOHN DANE and his brother Francis came hither
from England in 1636, and settled at Agawam, now Ips-
wich, Massachusetts. John Dane was one of the foremost
physicians and surgeons of his time, and Francis Dane was the
second minister of Andover, Massachusetts, and was the leader
in the opposition to the witchcraft persecutions of those days,
which so disgraced the early history of the colony. A grandson
of John Dane was the Hon. Nathan Dane, LL. D., who founded
the Dane Law School of Harvard University, organized one of the
first temperance societies in this country, and was the author of
the famous ordinance for governing the Northwest Territory,
forever prohibiting slavery therein. Another grandson of John
Dane was the Hon, Joseph Dane of Maine. The Danes were, it
may be added, descended from an eminent family of France, of
which one member was Peter Dane, professor of Greek in the
Royal College, preceptor of the Dauphin, afterward Francis II,
a leading member of the Coimcil of Trent, and Bishop of Lavan.
A direct descendant and namesake of Dr. John Dane, the sub-
ject of this sketch, was bom at Westford, Massachusetts, on
September 22, 1835. After receiving an academic education he
entered the law office of A. A. Webster of Lowell, Massachusetts.
In 1859 he was admitted^ to pi-actice at the bar of the State of
Massachusetts, and thereafter to practice before the Supreme
Court of the United States, and other federal courts throughout
the Union. In order to serve his clients most successfully and
attain the highest standing in general commercial and patent liti-
gation, Mr. Dane, after his admission to the bar, continued his
studiesinthemost practical fashion in general commercial business,
engineering, constmction of machinery, apphed science, and prac-


tical mechaiiics, receiving no less than five medals as tokens of
his proficiency therein. Mr. Dane estabHshed offices in New
York city in 1871, and since that date has been continually in
the practice of his profession here, with patronage extending
throughout the whole Union and into foreign lands. For the last
quarter of a century he has been general counsel for a number of
corporations, industrial and otherwise, located in various of the
Eastern, Middle, and Western States, many of whom secure
his services year after year. The labor entailed in the conduct
of such a business is enormous. Mr. Dane is, however, a dihgent
and indefatigable worker, with an exceptional physical and intel-
lectual capacity for prolonged and effective effort. As a rule he
personally prepares and conducts every detail of the cases com-
mitted to him. He has among his clients the reputation of never
encouraging needless htigation, of exercising extreme care in giv-
ing opinions, and of conducting cases with great thoroughness
and skill when it is necessary to take them into court. He has
settled by arbitration many important cases out of court to the
entire satisfaction of all parties concerned. Of late years his
practice has been almost altogether confined to the United
States courts, in various parts of the country.

Mr. Dane was married, in 1860, to Miss Frances Whitney
of Augusta, Maine. They have five chOdren : Bertha Louisa,
Charles Francis, Frederic Willis, Herbert Evelyn, and Clifford
Franklin Dane. Charles Francis Dane is a practising member of
the New York bar, and Herbert Evelyn is in the graduating class
of the New York Law School. Mr. and Mrs. Dane occupy their
fine house on Park Avenue in the winter, and duiing summers
their home, " Hollywood," on Orange Mountain, New Jersey,
where they have a charming house within one of the most per-
fect private parks in America. Mr. Dane has a very large and
valuable Mbrary of standard and special literature, comprising

Online LibraryMitchell Charles HarrisonNew York state's prominent and progressive men; (Volume 4) → online text (page 7 of 29)