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Book_^ H Cj / i J .




A. BARTON HEPBURN



'5-/rv













C^ CHASE

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE

(Published iti the interest of

the employees of

'Uhe CHASE NATIONAL BANK of the CITY of NEW YORK




1






II

=;===;==;;J



Volume IV FEBRL'ARV. 1922 Number II

A. BARTON HEPBURN

A BARTON linPBL RN was born at Colton, N. '>■., on Jul>- 24, 1S46.
1 le was the son of a farmer and one of a family of eight, who, as
• Mr. Hepburn himself used to say, were all called upon to be assets
in the famil>- economy. His education was secured at the St. Lawrence
Academy, in Potsdam, N. \.; Folley Seminary, Fulton. N. Y., and finally
jMiddlebur.N- College, from which institution he was graduated in the class
of 1871. A few years spent in teaching squared Mr. Hepburn with the
world in enabling him to pa\- back the funds with which he had financed
his college education.

At the same time he had been reading law: his early practice in this
profession in Canton, N. \.. gave him a knowledge of the lumbering in-
dustry, the main business of the communitx at that time. .-\n opportunity
to carry through a large undertaking in thi^ line j-iresented itself, and Mr.
Hepburn accepted it. The result ga\c him hi^ lir^l capital.

During this period in Canton he was flecled School Commissioner of the
District, and in 1875 was sent to the New York State Legislature as a mem-
ber of the Assembly, where he continued for five successive terms. In 1S70,
as chairman of a legislative committee to inquire into railway rate discrimi-
nation, his fearless conduct of the proceedings resulted in unquestioned
proof of discrimination and other abuses, and in the drafting of corrective
legislation now on the statute books and know 11 as the Hepburn laws.

Certain work done in banking legislation during this period led to his
appointment in 1880 as Superintendent of the Banking Department of the
State of New York. In this cajiacitv he instituted the practice, which later
took form in law, of regular bank examinations. .\s United States Bank
Examiner for the Port of New ^■ork (1888-92), an opportunity was af-
forded him to get behind the scenes in America's greatest banks to study
banking in the broadest and most efi'ective wa\-. In 1S02 his financial ex-



344 C^ CHASE [February

perience was continued as Comptroller of the Currency under President
Harrison. Cle\eland being elected soon after this appointment, Mr. Hep-
burn resigned to return to New York as President of the Third National
Bank, which position he occupied until 1807. liiis was followed bv two
vears as \'ice-Presi<.lcnl of the National Cit\' Bank Lipon the consolidation
of the Third with that bank. In iSoo he accepted the vice-presidency of
the Chase National Bank, becoming President in 1004, Chairman of the
Board of Directors in loi 1 an^l of the .\d\isory Board in 1918.

During his financial career in New \'ork .Mr. Hepburn engaged in \'ari-
ous outside activities. He v\as President of the Clearing House and of
the (diamber of Commerce. .As (diairman of the Committee on Internal
Trade and Improvement of the Cdiamber. .Mr. Hepburn made a \ery thor-
ough stud\- of the canal question, which he later amplified in his book
Artificial Watcruuivs of tin- W'urUl. one of the few volumes ever published
on this subject. He was the main e\ecuti\'e of the National Sound .Money
League, formed to educate the public against the fallacies of the Free SiU'er
doctrine, and his \er\ authoritative and thorough History of the Currency
ill the United SfcUei s|irang from this work.

In 1907. and again in 1013. .Mr. Hepburn was called upon to make use
of his banking knowledge as chairman of the committee to resise banking
laws in New \'ork State. In 1918 he acted as a chairman of a committee
appointed by the Governor of New York to recommend legislation for the
protection of the public in securit\- transactions. In 1919 and lojo he
represented the Second bederal Reser\e District on the Federal Advisory
Council.

.Mr. Flepburn was director of numerous corporations. He was a trustee
of the Rockefeller Foundation, of Columbia University, and iMiddlebury
College, and Go\'ernor of the Woman's Hospital.

It is popularl)' said that .Mr. Hepburn was second onl\- to Theodore
Roosevelt in his prowess as a big-game hunter. From his earlv bovhood
Mr. Hepburn's main recreation was taken in the open, hunting and fishing.
He hunted in every State in the Union and in .\laska. in ever\- province
of Canada, in England, Scotland, and Ireland. He also made a big-game
hunt in .Africa. ,Man\' trophies resulted, not a few of which went to his
alma mater.

In 1 92 1 he visited Japan and China. His interest in Japan and in the
promotion of mutual understanding between that kingdom and the United
States had been lifelong. This interest found material expression some
years ago in the endowment b\- .Mr. Hepburn of a chair of American
Constitution, History and Diplomac\' in the Imperial LIniversity of Tokyo.

Mr. Hepburn's death occurred on Januar\- 2s. 1022. as a result of
injuries sustained in a motor bus accident on Fifth ,\venue.



-a^B CHASE 345



M



THE TRIBUTE OF FRIENDS

^■ acquaintance with .Mr. Hepburn dates back to i8pS: my close
association with him be^an in IU114. Since then our desks iiave
al\\a\s been side h\ side;our cit\ anti our cnuntr\- iiomes have been
close to.t;ether. The prixile.^e of this close rehition brings, b\- its ending.
a loss which is irreparable.

.Mr. Hepburn was a ver\- rare man. He had the strongest of char-
acters; he was afraid of milhing in the world; \et his nature was gentle,
svmpathelic. and kindl\, and his personality most attractive.

On the intellectual side Mr. Ilepbm-n was a man iif great resource.
Not onlv was he a shrewd business man. with a mathematical miuLJ which
brought him an international reputation as a linancier, but he was also a
man of letters. His writings, while showing him It) be a thorough master
of his subject, were alwavs expressed in such a clear and simple manner
as to be readilv understood and appreciated bv readers imfamiliar with
the sub|ecl. .Mr. Hepburn was an economist of repute, and his studies,
and the conclusions which he has given to the world, have proved of rare
value. I-siuviallv has this work been appreciated since the World \\ ar.

His public spirit and the devntmn he has shown m work for both state
and nali(}n cover the whole span of his manhood. ,\s a voung man he
served in the .\sscmblv of New York State; later he became State Super-
intendent of Ikmking. letleral Ikink l:\aminer. and linallv (;omptroller of
the C.urrencv. His work tor sound monev , and Liter his part in helping
form the lederal Reserve .\ct, have made the nation his debtor.

■JO these varied attributes and attainments .Mr. Hepburn added the
love of oiitdocjr lile and the proliciencv of ;i noted sportsman. Not onlv
in this p.irt of the world did he win a distinguished reputation as hunter
and lishi-rman. but he hunted big game with notable success in the Cana-
dian Northwest and in At lie. i.

With all his interests .md v.iried activities .Mr. Hepburn had time to
make friends ihat are legion. His persiiu.il charm, delightful interest, and
svnipathv with all his friends m.ike his death 1 severe loss to them all.
While he had not been active m the alTairs of the Bank in the last few
vears. in his capacitv of (diairman of the .\lIv isorv Tioarcl his serv ices were
alwavs available, aiul his good connscl was never sought in vain, llecause
of his rare abilities and patriotic work his death is a loss not onlv to his
communitv but to the nation; .ind bec.iuse of the services he rendered in
world alfairs and international Imance his death is a loss to our sister
countries, bngland, Irance, aiiil Japan.

— ,\lBERT I I. WlGGtN.



346 2v^ CHASE [February

My intimate acquaintance and friendship with Mr. Hepburn began more
than l\\ent\'-five _\ear.s a.uo. It was at my personal solicitation that he
became \'ice-President of the Chase National Bank. 1 had watched his
progress with interest and had warmly favored his appointment as bank
examiner for New ^'ork Cit\- and also as Comptroller of the Currency.

When Mr. Hepburn became \ice-President of the Chase, it was in
about the same relatively strong position in respect to business and de-
posits, so far as the Clearing House banks were concerned, as now. This
situation ga\e him opportunity for the use of his talents as a banker —
talents with which he was generously endowed. Owing to failing health
I was anxious to ha\e a sound, competent banker to take my place, and
felt that .Mr. Hepburn was the man for the job. He comparati\el\- soon
became head of the Bank, and the most agreeable and satisfactory- rela-
tions alwa\s existed during his connection with the Chase. His leadership
of the Bank added greatl\' to his fame and prestige.

Personalis', during more than a t^uarter of a century we ha\e been
intimate friends, without a break of an\' kind. 1 liaxe alwa\ s a(.lmired his
knowledge, and appreciated his generosity in educational matters and his
devotion to public betterment.

.Mr. Hepburn will be greatl\ missed in all walks of life, and particu-
larly by h'\^ warm friends connected with our Bank.

— H. \V. Cannon.



My acquaintance with .Mr. Hephuin extended o\er a period of about
twenty-fi\e \ears. He was a man of many and \aried attainments and of
unusual versatility. He was successful as a practical banker and was a
profound student of history, economics, and finance, being recognized as
an authority on those subjects. .\s an author he made valuable contribu-
tions to the financial history of the countr\-. He was a great lo\er of
natLue and was a hunter of big game on three continents. .As a philan-
thropist he was liberal yet unostentatious in his benefactions, and he dem-
onstrated his interest in the cause of education by princely endowments
during his lifetime to institutions of learning. He was a man of large
vision, in intimate touch with great affairs, and enjoyed an international
prestige. Withal, he was a man of modest demeanor, was readily approach-
able, and always found time to advise his friends and banking clients
throughout the country on the smaller matters which concerned them. He
was a worthy and dignified exponent of .\merican banking, upon which
he has left his impress and which has sustained a severe loss in his passing
awav.

— W. P. G. Harding.



1922) C;?; CHASE 347

Mr. Hepburn's habitual gentleness of manner often concealed from those
who did not know him well the strength of his character and the vigor of
his mind. Mr. Hepburn obtained his commanding position amon.ii men
of affairs because he had a strong character and a tine mind, and schooled
himself to use them both constructively and sagaciouslw lie was a pro-
found student of banking and of public finance, l-ew men m this (ir an\'
(Jther land knew those subjects more thoroughl\- than did .Mr. Hepburn.
He was a rare combination of practical experience and skill, with theo-
retical and historical knowledge of the subjects of his life inteiesl.

He was a prophet in that he looked upon the man of alTairs as the
member of a profession which >huuld be a learned one. He believed in
training for business, in the stud\- of history, of economics, of geography,
of international relations, and of those modern languages which are the
necessar\- key to unlock the treasure-houses of peoples other than our own.
His generosity was as magnificent as it was inconspicuous. Strong ties of
sentiment and affection bound him to the region where he was born and
to the small college where he laid the foundation for his future career.
Til hnth these he gave in unstinted measure, and that region and that college
will iu\er forget the rich and fine personalit\- that went out from among
them and that ever bore their interests in mind.

In later life the Chamber of Commerce and Columbia L ni\ersit\- were
the interests to which, outside of the range of his immediate affairs. Mr.
I lepburn chiefly devoted himself. To the oversight of these two great
metropolitan institutions he gave unremitting attention. With princely
munificence he aided them in their work, and b\- his influence he increased
the regard in which the\' are held b\' the cil\' of New ^'ork and b\- the
nation. In the passing of .Mr. Hepburn there ,!4<)es out from among us a
notable leader in our world of affairs. We can pay his memory no liner
tribute than to urge those who are at the beginning of their careers to fol-
low as far and as last as ma\ be in the footsteps that were his.

— NicHoi AS .Murray Butli£R.

Prcitdent. Columbia L nivcntty.

Ht;p[!L KN 1 1 \i L at .Middlebur\- College is located at the highest point of the
campus, and from its windows one looks out west upon the Adirondack
Mountains and east upon the Green. This building is but a syrnbol of
the way .Mr. Hepburn's character dominated the college and his influence
blessed it, and the \iews to the distant hills from the windows of Hepburn
Hall t\pif\- the broad outlook upon life that our great friend had.

\\ hen we are upon the athletic field his influence is felt, for he es-
tablished a fund lor the promotion of sports. The students of French are
benefited b\' his keen interest in that nation which honored him. The



348 C;5e CHASE I February

Students housed in our finest dormitory and living at Hepburn Commons
have reason to be tiiankful for hinv The hrcatlth of his intt-rcst in life is
testified to by tlie trophies of sport w hich came from all parts of the world
and which adorn the walls of llephLirn llall.

The death of Mr. iiepburn is a .i^reat blow to the collu,<;e. It is not
onh' a blow, it is one of those things most hard to realize. We at
iMiddlelnny feel as the cottager at the base of a mountain might feel if
he awdke one moining to linil that the mountain which had sheltered him
from storms and i;i\en birth to the stix-anis which watered his meadows
had, silenllx', during the ni.nht, disappeared.

\'et iMr. Iiepburn built so well that his inlluence will alwaxs be felt
and his memory loved and honored. Mis gifts were great. No other
benefactor ever ga\'e so generously to Middlebury, But .Mr. Hepburn's
best gift was hiinself. \\ hen he was approached for ad\ice and counsel, no
judgment was better, no understanding clearer, no stui.l\' of problems and
needs more patient and painstaking. It was this whole-hearted giving
of himself which most impressed .Middleluuw the uiisi-llish. unstinted de-
votion of his mind and time, as well as his gifts of nnjiiex' and the great
weight of his name.

His was one of the great figures of this .neiieration, and he illustrates by
his modest\' the words of Martineau, that "power is ne\er felt as power
except by those who abuse it," Like l.incolii, he never knew himself how
great and good he was. But we know, and we know that we have lost our
best friend,

—Pall D, .Moodv,

Prcsidi'iil. Miihllebiiry College.



Mr, Hepburn's death is a grave loss not onl\- to the financial community
of New York, but to the entire United Stales, I le was not onl\- one of our
ablest financiers whose sane views were a soiuce of strength to all who
sought his advice, but the influence of his personality extended far beyond
the city limits and bexdnd the scope of banking. He was always to be
found in the ranks of those w ho tried to promote the interests of the United
States. Indeei.1, I do not know that he e\er failed to respond to an appeal
for aid or coiiperalion in an\' mo\e i.iirected to further the progress of
mankind, or to lend a helping hand to those in distress. His memory will
live amongst his friends as that of one who possessed the rare combination
of a strong mind and a big heart, which is the characteristic of trul\' great
men,

P.\LL .M. \\'.\KBURG.



1922 1



-a£& CHASE 349



.Mr. Ihi'BLRN was a rare personage. He helped others by helping; them
to help themselves. Though compelled in business tn utter man\' nega-
tives, 1 doubt if he e\er lost a Inend nr made m\ enem\'. Nn man could
talk to him about his troubles without coming a\sa\- either wiser or com-
forted, lie had a ,^enlle humor, mild and pleasing to the mind as the
firelh's lamp is to the e\e. 1 le loved nature, art, and letters, wrote clearly
and well, lived without ostentation, gave where he could do the most good,
was loval to the memories of his \outh, and though long of the citw kept
the countr\- ever in his heart. So it was that he never became old, and 1
shall al\\a\'s think of him as one of the immortals who

, , Kifw nut .yra\' within ihc \,ilk-\' f.iir
r)f hdllow I aceJitnion, but witu hrnu,ght
To KhaJ.im.inthus uf iht- khIcIlmi hair
Be\..iul the wklf workls end.

— Don C, Seitz.



I i-iKsr came to know .\lr. I lejiburn some ten or twehe \ears a,i;o. lla\ing
served six months as loreman of a Special Cirand Jurv appointed to inves-
tigate the while sla\e trallic in New ^■ork Citw 1 was subsci|uentlv asked
•by Masor Gasnor to siru^est how the lmdin,i;s of the (uand .|ur\- could
be made etTecti\e. It was in ihis conneclion ihat 1 called personallx' upon
perhaps a hundred men and women in New ^■ork CitN who were leaders in
various phases of the cil\'s Hie, anionj; ihem .Mr. Hepburn. 1 or about
twenl\ minules .Mr. Hepburn allowed me to talk miinterruplediv to him
in his ollice on ihe sub|ecl which was the occasion of m\- \isit, listening
quiellv, but apparentl\ wilhoul an\ inleresi in what I was saxing. 1 lelt
that 1 was talking to no pinpose, ,md mi.i;hl as well ha\'e saved .Mr. Hep-
burn's lime and m\ ow n b\ noi h.ix m.n come. So much the greater was my
surprise when. ha\in,i; hnislud m\ presentation of the subject, .Mr. Hep-
burn asked inosi pertmenl. se.irchin,i;. and thoiiuhlful questions, and evinced
the keenest inleresi m the matter. There was no one with whom 1 dis-
cussetl this problem who was more helpful with constructive suggestions
and atKice than .Mr. Hepburn. He was one of the hrst persons 1 asked to
come onto the commiltee which was subset|Uenll\' formed to deal with the
problem, Iroin thai lime m\ friendship for .Mr. Hepburn grew steadilv
stronger wiih the passint^ xcars. as well as mv appreciation of his splendid
powers of mind and heatl, his well-balanced judgment, and his broad and
construcli\e outlook on life. It was m\ pleasure later to suggest his elec-



350 C^Te CHASE



February



tion as a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, in which position he served

conscientiously and helpfully until tlie time of his death.

Mr. Hepburn alwavs impressed me as one of the relativeh' few bus\'
men in New \'ork who took lime for quiet studw thought, and reflection,
anil it is undoubtedl\' to that habit of his that the soundness of his judg-
ment and the wisdom of his ad\ ice nia\- be attribtited. This cit\' and land
can ill afford to lose such a citi/en as .Mr. 1 lepburn. lie leaves a place
both in the hearts of his friends and in this workaday world which no
one can fill. 1 count it a pri\ ilege to pa\- this tribute of respect to one for
whom 1 have- king cherished sentiments of deep admiration and affection-
ate regard.

— j. D. RoCKEFELt TlR, Jr.



MR. HEPBURN'S PUBLIC
BENEFACTIONS

A LIST of the larger public benef.ictions of .Mr. Hepburn Lkuang his
lifetime, which appeared Nhortl\ before his death \n the /oitnici!
■ of the Ai)icnCiUi Bankers Assocuitiou. shows something of the scope
of his interest and generosity. The gift to the University of Tokyo was
for the foundation of a chair of .American History, Mr. Hepburn's idea
being to increase, through eilucation. the international understanding
between japan and the L nited States.
This list includes:

.\. B.utiiii llephuin I Inspit.il. OsJenslnnn. N. ^ J^dOO.DOO

Imperial L'niversilx oi ToRxo. lokyu, J.ipaii ( 12t.0II(I \en I ' (idjKIO

Libraries at Canton. Colton, Lisbon. .Mailrid. W'addinKton,

Hermon. Edwards, and Norfolk, St. Lawrence Co.. N. N tOO.ikni

Tuskegee Institute. .Alabama t.OOU

Princeton University Princeton, .\. j 15o!o00

.Middlebury College. .Middlehurv, \'t (iiOioOO

\Vellesle.\' College, Wellesley, Mass 1 30X1(10

Williams College. Williamstown. Mass 1.30^000

New Vork LIniversitv, School of Commerce, New ^■ork Cit\- 5o!(JOO

St. Lawrence University Canton, N. V 75.000

Chamber of Commerce of the State of New \ork, New ^'ork City 225!000

Columbia Universitx- School of Business. New ^■ork City 35o!o00



^^e CHASE 351



HON. A. BARTON HEPBURN

AN APPRECIATION
By RICHARD E. SYKES



, ?t La



THE news of the death of Hon. A. Barton llLphurn brought sorrow
to the North Country in which he was born and where he spent the
\ears of his early life. Tiie people on the farms, in the villages and
hamlets of St. Lawrence County, feel that they have lost a kind-hearted
personal friend, a wise counselor, and a generous benetactor.

Though he rose to fame in the world of banking and finance and was
regarded as an authority in our own and foreign countries. \et he always
retained an affection for the people among whom he was bcirn and who
ga\ e him his first start in life.

The farm on which 1 was born and the ilislrict school in which ms' edu-
catidP began were within twelve miles of the farm on which .Mr. Hepburn
first saw the light. My earliest recollection of him goes back to the time
when, as school commissioner, he \ isited the school in which 1 was a pupil.
In his ollicial visits he was modest, ciuiet. dignified, and s\mpathelic. both
with the teacher and pupils. He had a keen sense of humor and at once
gained the confidence of all. There was something about him which gave
the impression that he hail great reserve power. While he had a certain
charm that drew young people to him, yet even in those first years ot his
public life no one ever thought of taking liberties with him. His char-
acter and sense of lo\ alt\ to what he believed to be right were above sus-
picion. Beneath a quiet exterior there was a discriminating, well-trained
mind and a resolute will. Whatever he undertook he mastered, was never
sensational, but always thorough and efficient, demanding these same high
standards of those with whom he associated in private or public afTairs.

These impressions of m\- earl>- life were conlirmed by the acquaintance
of subsequent \ears. While he became eminentlv successful in his chosen
field of endeavor, and also amassed wealth, \et in his tastes and feelings
he led the simple life, cherishing and promoting the high moral and edu-
cational ideals which governed him in the morning of his career.

About two months ago 1 spent an afternoon with Mr. Hepburn in his
New York home. .\ few weeks presious I had gi\en an address at the
dedication of a beautiful librarw his gift to the \illage of Edwards, St.
Lawrence County. It was the seventh library which he had erected and
endowed in the smaller villages of the county. On that occasion I asked
him to tell me the stor\- of the building of the libraries. In substance he



352 C^ CHASE [February

ixpHllI that in his boyhood and subsequently when he taught and became
school commissioner, few books were available even to those eagerly seek-
in.L^, tlicm. 1 le himself had been unable to get books of reference to aid him
in his wcirk. It was the knowledge of that need persisting in a lesser degree
e\en lo the p^resent time which mo\ed him to pro\ide for the rising gen-
eration and their successors those educational pri\ileges which formerls'
he cra\ed in \ain.

To-day, largel\' thriainh Mr. llcphiiiii's \\i^e benefactions, the \'outh
residing in the section in which he formerly serxed as school commissioner
have available the best in literature.

lie w^as the largest single benefactor of St. Lawrence Lnisersitw near
which he was born and uneler whose shadow he now sleeps. In the neigh-
boring cit\- of Ogdenshurg he erected, etiuippei.i. and munificently endowed
a hospital to which hundreds from all sections of the North Countrv are
taken e\er\' \ear for relief.

We who dwell in that \ast region of the Empire State lying between Lake
(')ntaii(i and Lake (Ihamplain, hon.lerei.1 on the south bv the .-Xdirondacks
and on the north b\- the majestic St. Lawrence Ri\er, will never cease to
be thankful for what .\. Barton Hepburn has done for us and our descend-
ants. His memory among us will e\er awaken thoughts of kindness and
gratilutle and his example be an inspiration to noble endeavor.

Estimated by the contribution which he made to enrich human life
and the spirit in which he made it, Mr. Hepburn's name should be written


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