A new partnership was formed with a brother-in-law, under the name of Castle & Field, for carrying on the hardware, in connection with jewelry and watch making, business, on the west side of the river, then known as Ohio City. In 1843, he left the business and entered the Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company, with which he has ever since been connected. So thoroughly identified has Mr. Castle been with the history of that establishment during the past quarter of a century, that this is a fitting place for a brief sketch of the nature and history of the pioneer iron company of Cleveland.
In 1830, Mr. Charles Hoyt projected the works which were erected and put in operation under the firm name of Hoyt, Railey & Co. In 1834, the firm was changed to an incorporated company under the name of the Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, of which three-fourths were paid in. The principal stockholders at the time of the incorporation were Josiah Barber, Richard Lord, John W. Allen, and Charles Hoyt. The managing officer was Charles Hoyt. Soon after the incorporation the works were burned to the ground, but the company were energetic, and soon a substantial brick structure, two hundred and thirty-five feet front, with a wing of ninety feet deep, was erected on the site of the destroyed building. The pig metal for the use of the works was obtained at the company's blast furnace at Dover, twelve miles west, and was considered equal in quality to the best Scotch pig. In 1840, Mr. Hoyt was succeeded in the management by D. Cushing, who had been secretary of the company. In 1843, Mr. Cushing gave place to Elisha T. Sterling, who remained the head of the concern until his untimely death, in 1859.
From the advent of Mr. Sterling and the consequent re-organization of the staff of officers of the works, dates the connection of Mr. Castle with the establishment. Mr. Castle took the position of secretary, and held that post until the death of Mr. Sterling, when he was appointed to fill the position of manager. At the time when the sole charge of the works devolved upon him the company was in a deplorable financial condition. The prospect was sufficient to daunt a less resolute and hopeful spirit, but Mr. Castle at once set about the Herculean task of bringing the concern through its difficulties and establishing it on a firm financial basis. The struggle was long continued, and more than once the advance gained seemed suddenly to be again lost, but eventually it was pulled through without having compromised a single debt, and without having but a single case of litigation under his management. This case was not properly chargable to the administration of the works, as it arose from the supplying of a defective beam strap, which, there being then no forges in Cleveland, had been ordered from Pittsburgh. This unusual exemption from litigation was, doubtless, owing to the invariable rule adopted by Mr. Castle, to reduce all contracts to careful writing and to live strictly up to the letter as well as spirit of the contract.
The heavy work of the establishment in its early years was the supplying of most of the mills in Ohio and the new States of the West with mill gearing, and the manufacture of agricultural implements. In 1840, was commenced the manufacture of stationary and land steam engines. In 1843, the manufacture of marine engines was commenced by building the engine for the first propeller on Lake Erie, the "Emigrant." About the same time work was commenced on engines for the large side-wheel steamers, the largest of their day being fitted out with machinery from these works. Among the steamers thus equipped, and which were in their successive days the wonders of the lakes, was the Europe, Saratoga, Hendrick Hudson, Pacific, Avon, and Ohio. Among the propellers receiving their engines from the Cuyahoga Works were the Winslow, Idaho, Dean Richmond, Ironsides, S. D. Caldwell, Meteor, and a very large number of others, besides a great many first-class steam tugs plying on Detroit river.
In 1853, the introduction of the manufacture of locomotives added a new feature to the manufacturing industry of Cleveland. The Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad was supplied from these works, and locomotives were also made for the Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Lake Shore, Cleveland and Toledo, and Bellefontaine and Indianapolis Railroads, besides several other railroads in the west. In 1857, this branch of the business was sold out to the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad Company, who now use the locomotive works for the manufacture and repair of their own engines.
In addition to the marine engines, for which the establishment has become famous, the company have lately entered upon the manufacture of first class engines and blowing machines for blast furnaces. These have been supplied to the furnaces in the Mahoning Valley and Wisconsin, and to furnaces elsewhere, even supplying Pittsburgh, the home of the iron manufacture. A very large engine has been constructed for the Atlantic Docks, in Brooklyn, New York. Rolling mill engines and machinery have been made for mills at Alliance, in the Tuscarawas Valley, at Harmony, Indiana, and at Escanaba, in the Lake Superior iron district. Various engines have been supplied to the Newburgh works, including the blowing engines and hydraulic cranes for the Bessemer steel works, among the most perfect of their kind in America. Railway tools manufactured by the company's works have been ordered from so far east as New Jersey.
The Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company have employed at times two hundred and fifty men, and will probably average one hundred and fifty. Year after year the company have been compelled to enlarge their facilities, until now their property occupies the two corners of Detroit and Centre streets, and one corner of Centre and West River streets. The buildings extend three hundred and fifty feet on the river, and to a greater length on Detroit street. The capital employed amounts to about a quarter of a million dollars. The importance of these works in attracting attention and capital to Cleveland, in giving employment to the people, and in assisting to build up the business of the city, can hardly be overestimated. Taking its nature, extent and history together it may probably be said with safety that nothing in the city has had a more important influence in shaping the future of Cleveland and contributing to its present prosperity, and much of this influence is due to the labor and wisdom of Mr. Castle. At present the works are organized under the presidency of Mr. Castle, with Josephus Holloway as superintendant and designing engineer; S. J. Lewis, secretary; W. W. Castle, book-keeper. From 1843 to 1857, the superintendent and designing engineer, was Mr. Ethan Rogers, who by his knowledge and skill added very much to the celebrity of the works.
In 1853, Mr. Castle was elected mayor of Ohio City, and during his term of office the consolidation of the two cities was effected. To bring about this desirable end he labored diligently, and was one of the commissioners for settling the terms of annexation. In 1855, he was elected mayor of the Consolidated city, and his rule was marked by vigor, justice, and a strict regard for the rights and interests of the citizens. For six years subsequent to his mayoralty he held the office of commissioner of water works.
Mr. Castle was married in December, 1836, to Miss Mary Derby, who died in Canada in the following year. In 1840, he was married to Miss Mary H. Newell, of Vermont, by whom he has had one son and three daughters. The son, W. W. Castle, now twenty-six, is book-keeper of the Cuyahoga Steam Furnace Company. The oldest daughter is wife of Mr. Robert R. Rhodes, of Cleveland. The youngest daughters are still at school.
The success of Mr. Castle has been achieved by a persistent struggle against adverse circumstances and with but little to aid him but a resolute will and good constitution. At an early age he was left with the care of his father's family on his hands, and has had to fight, not only his own battles, but to struggle with the difficulties into which circumstances had thrown the company with which he became connected. Out of the struggle he has come with a spotless reputation, the esteem of his friends and the respect of his fellow-citizens, financial prosperity, and the blessing of good health and undiminished vigor.
Charles Jarvis Woolson.
On the sixth of August, 1869, the citizens of Cleveland were surprised and pained at the announcement of the death, on the morning of that day, of Charles Jarvis Woolson, one of the most active and respected business men of the city. Few were aware of his illness, and even by those acquainted with the facts his death, up to within a very short time of the event, was wholly unexpected.
Mr. Woolson was born in Chester, Vermont, and received careful educational training, the family being in good circumstances. His father was engaged in various manufacturing enterprises, including cotton and wool fabrics, and the making of machine and hand cards. He was one of the very earliest manufacturers of cooking stoves in the country.
At the age of nineteen, Mr. Woolson went into business on his own account, choosing the newspaper profession instead of manufactures for his debut. His first venture was as editor and publisher of a newspaper in Grafton county, New Hampshire. Two years later, he sold out and removed to Virginia, where he assumed charge of the Charlotteville Advocate. But the political and social atmosphere of the South was uncongenial to one born and bred in the free air of Vermont. He could neither feel nor affect to feel anything but abhorrence of the "institution," and so he soon terminated his connection with the press of Virginia, and returned to the land of churches, free schools and free speech. In 1830, he married Miss Pomeroy, of Cooperstown, New York, and removing to Keene, New Hampshire, engaged in mercantile business; but he who has once dabbled in journalism imbibes a taste which it is difficult afterwards to eradicate. Mr. Woolson was not at home in a mercantile store, and before long he purchased the New England Palladium, a Boston daily newspaper, and conducted it for two years, when he bade a final adieu to journalism as a profession, disposing of his property in the Palladium and removing to Claremont, New Hampshire, where he engaged with his father in the manufacture of stoves. Here he remained until 1840, when he removed to Cleveland, taking with him the patterns and materials connected with the stove business, and commenced on his own account in a small way, his capital having been seriously crippled by the financial convulsion of 1837.
Mr. Woolson had, in 1845, succeeded in getting his business into a flourishing condition, when, through the defalcation of a trusted partner, he was very nearly ruined. But he did not stop his works one day on account of this disaster. Collecting together his scattered resources, he set to work all the harder, and as the Fall of the year approached, had succeeded in accumulating a fine stock of wares for the Fall trade, which he had stored in a warehouse at the rear of his factory, but which he neglected to insure. A fire broke out, and the building, with its contents, was completely destroyed, resolving the valuable stoves into a heap of old iron. Even this did not stop the works. With his characteristic energy, Mr. Woolson had the ground cleared and set to work with redoubled zeal, making new stoves out of the old iron, and succeeded in doing a tolerable business that winter, in spite of his accumulation of disasters.
When Mr. Woolson commenced business in Cleveland, it was but a lively village. His stove foundry, the first of importance in northern Ohio, when running to its full capacity, employed but ten hands, and its trade was limited to the immediate vicinity, and a few towns on the canal. But few of the farmers then used cooking stoves, the fire on the hearth serving for all purposes of cooking and warming. The works now employ about one hundred hands when running full, and the customers are found in Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. The firm was changed several years since to Woolson & Hitchcock, and subsequently to Woolson, Hitchcock & Carter. Death removed the senior and junior partners of the firm within a few months of each other.
Mr. Woolson's death was caused by erysipelas, brought on by debility; after an illness of two weeks the disease yielded to medical treatment, and he seemed to gain strength rapidly. On Saturday, the 31st of July, he joined a party of friends and drove in his buggy twenty miles into the country, believing that the fresh air would invigorate him as it had done many times before when his health gave way. But the old remedy failed, and, leaving his horse behind, Mr. Woolson took the cars and reached home in the evening very much exhausted. After lingering five days, typhoid symptoms appeared, and at eight o'clock Friday morning he died, unconscious, and without suffering, after a life of 63 years and one month.
Mr. Woolson possessed a very genial and sociable disposition, was highly intelligent and well informed, and in spite of an infirmity of deafness was a charming companion. His business qualifications are proven by the success of the establishment he founded, in spite of the succession of unforeseen and unavoidable disasters with which it had to contend. He was a man of very domestic habits, and these habits were mellowed and refined by many family losses that might have crushed one less hopeful, and less patient and uncomplaining. To his family he was entirely devoted, and all the affection of a loving household clustered around him with an intensity that made the blow of his sudden loss one peculiarly hard to be borne.
Mr. Woolson had long been connected with Grace Church (Episcopal), of which he was senior warden, and very tender domestic ties, sundered by death some years since, made that church peculiarly dear to him.
William Hart, son of Judah Hart, of English descent, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in the year 1811. About the year 1821, Judah Hart removed to the West with his family, settling in Brownhelm, Lorain county, where he died two years after, and one year from this time, William changed his residence to Cleveland. Soon after the arrival of the Harts in Cleveland, Governor Clinton, of New York, came to Ohio to formally commence the work of constructing the Ohio Canal, which was begun on the fourth of July, 1825. Governor Clinton landed in Cleveland in June, and one of the principal incidents of Mr. Hart's recollection of his early days in Cleveland, was the general turning out of the people to receive and welcome the father of internal improvements. Cleveland was then but an insignificant village, a place "six miles from Newburg, where steamboats stopped to wood and water," but great, and well-founded hopes were entertained of the benefits to flow from the opening of the canal, and the people were therefore much elated at the arrival of Governor Clinton, who was to commence the important work, and whose influence had done so much to aid the enterprise.
About this time young Hart went to live with Asabel Abel, to whom he was apprenticed for the purpose of learning the business of cabinet making. When the term of his apprenticeship had expired, he set up in business on his own account, at first opening his modest store and workshop on the site of the present Birch House, and subsequently, after five or six years of business, removing his location to the opposite side of the street, on the spot now occupied by his present warehouse.
In 1852, a fire swept away his entire establishment, destroying ware-rooms, factory, and all the appurtenances, and throwing out of employment the twenty hands of which his force of workmen then consisted. In the succeeding year, he rebuilt the warehouse and factory on a greatly enlarged scale, and has since still further enlarged and improved the buildings, until, in size and commodiousness, they are not excelled in the city. At present, seventy-five hands are employed in the establishment, aided by the most improved descriptions of labor-saving machinery adapted to the business, and the annual sales reach nearly two hundred thousand dollars.
Mr. Hart believed in always putting his shoulder to the wheel, though on one occasion a too literal adherence to this principle came near costing him his life. In attempting to give some aid in the factory, he came in contact with a circular saw, and his right arm was nearly severed from the shoulder. This was in the year 1850. On his partial recovery, the citizens, to show their sympathy with him in his misfortune, elected him City Treasurer, an office then of but little value, requiring only a small portion of his time and paying him two hundred dollars a year. For nineteen years he held this office uninterruptedly, being elected by both parties term after term, and witnessing the growth of the city, under his financial administration, from an annual revenue of forty-eight thousand dollars to nearly two millions. The emoluments of the office have risen from a salary of two hundred dollars to a salary of fifteen hundred dollars, and a percentage on special taxes collected. During his nineteen years of service, Mr. Hart has negotiated all the loans, sold the school bonds, and collected the special taxes, occupying nearly the whole of his time, and employing the services of a clerk in transacting the business of his office.
When William Hart became City Treasurer, the credit of the city stood rather low, city warrants being hawked about at seventy-five cents on the dollar. This unsatisfactory state of things was put an end to, mainly through the exertions of the Hon. H. B. Payne, then in the City Council, who procured the funding of the outstanding debt, and brought the credit of the city up to the high standard at which it now stands.
When Judah Hart reached Cleveland, the then far West, a part of the family slept in the Mansion House, occupying the site on which now stands Cooper's hardware store, but young William and some other members of the family slept in the covered traveling wagon, under a shed standing on the site of the present Atwater Block. With the revolution of years the then poor boy has now become part owner of the splendid block standing where a part of the Harts slept, homeless wayfarers, forty-five years ago.
In 1834, Mr. Hart was married in Cleveland, to Miss Elizabeth Kirk, daughter of John Kirk, who had left England about a dozen years previously. No children were born of this marriage, but the pair have adopted four, giving them all the advantages and rights of children born to themselves, and three of these are now married.
Still in vigorous life, Mr. Hart has, to a great extent, retired from active business, his establishment being carried on mainly by his sons through adoption or marriage. This partial rest he has earned by a life of labor and enterprise, in which he has watched narrowly his opportunities, and availed himself of every chance of improving his facilities for manufacture, and enlarging his field of business, has faithfully performed his official duties, and has secured the respect alike of his business acquaintances, his political constituents, and the public at large.
The wooden ware manufacture of Cleveland is an important part of its industry, the manufacturing establishments being the largest within the United States and doing a business that covers the entire west. Large as the industry now is, it is of but very recent growth, and Cleveland is chiefly indebted for its permanent establishment, in spite of a series of discouraging disasters, to the enterprise and determination of John Bousfield.
Mr. Bousfield was born at Stockport, in the county of Cheshire, England, July 22, 1819. After serving an apprenticeship to the saddle and harness business for seven years, he engaged in that business on his own account, adding to it the manufacture of whips. Four years were thus spent, when he decided on removing to America, leaving his native land in December, 1843. Having brought two of his workmen with him, he established himself in the same business in a small way in the city of New York, but his health failing after a few months, he determined on leaving for the west, hoping that a change of atmosphere, and possibly of business, would be of benefit.
His first stay was at Kirtland, Lake county, Ohio, where he purchased a farm and at the same time carried on the harness business. At this he continued until about the year 1850, when he purchased a factory and water power, put in a pail-making machine, and commenced, in a small way, the manufacture of pails. In 1854, he removed to Fairport, in the same county, where he purchased a larger building and carried on pail manufacturing upon a larger scale. In March, 1855, he sold out the establishment, taking in pay for it a note which he still holds.
In May of that year he came to Cleveland and organized the Cleveland Wooden Ware Manufacturing Company, built a factory on the ground now occupied by the present firm of Bousfield & Poole, and commenced manufacturing in the following September. The first operations of the company were on a small scale, making tubs, pails, washboards, and similar articles in a limited way, but gradually increasing the business until it reached what was then considered respectable proportions. In July, 1857, the company sold out to Greenman & Co., of Massachusetts, and Mr. Bousfield was retained by the new owners as superintendent of the works, until January 12, 1859, when the factory was destroyed by fire.
In March of that year, Mr. Bousfield rented a building on the West Side and commenced manufacturing again on his own account. Five months afterwards he was burned out. Nothing daunted, he immediately purchased the ruins of the Greenman & Co. factory, rebuilt it, and in January, 1860, associated with him Mr. J. B. Hervey, of Cleveland, and in the following month resumed work.
The new partnership was very successful. The business increased rapidly, the area of their trade enlarged until it comprised all the principal cities and towns in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. A planing mill was added to the factory, and this, too, was highly profitable. In 1864, the works were greatly enlarged to meet the rapidly increasing demand for their wares. In 1865, Mr. John Poole, of Harmer, Ohio, was admitted to the partnership, thus bringing in additional capital and experience gained in the management of a similar factory at Harmer. Mr. Poole has devoted himself principally to the financial and sales departments of the business, and has proved himself a man of more than ordinary business ability.
Thus far everything had been going on prosperously, but the old enemy, fire, was as relentless as ever. On the 23d of March, 1866, the whole of the extensive establishment was reduced to ashes, and the unfortunate proprietors sorrowfully contemplated the ruins of years of labor and enterprise, whilst a host of workmen stood still more sorrowfully by, and saw their daily bread swept from them by the pitiless flames. Seventy-five thousand dollars of capital were converted into valueless ashes in a few hours.
The owners of the factory wasted no time in fruitless sorrow. An old wooden building had partially escaped the flames. This was hastily patched up, and within thirty days they were making pails and tubs as earnestly as if they had never known a fire. Mr. Hervey sold out his interest to the other partners, Messrs. Bousfield & Poole, who went to work with almost unparalleled enterprise and energy, built one of the largest and most substantial factories in the country, and entered upon the work of manufacturing wooden ware upon a larger scale than had ever before been attempted. The factory has two hundred feet front on Leonard and Voltaire streets, with a depth of sixty feet, and five stories high; attached to the main building are the engine and boiler rooms. The cost of the building was forty-five thousand dollars. The present capacity of the works is twenty-five hundred pails per day, six hundred tubs, a hundred and twenty-five churns and other small ware, and a hundred dozen zinc washboards.
In May, 1867, the firm commenced the erection of a match factory which was ready for operation in September of that year. A superintendent was engaged who, unfortunately, was unqualified for his position and did much harm to the enterprise, but on his removal, Mr. Bousfield took personal charge of the match factory, and has succeeded in building up an extensive trade. The daily capacity of the factory is two hundred and ninety gross, which, if run to the full capacity throughout the year, would yield to the United States government a revenue of over a hundred and twenty thousand dollars.
The trade of Messrs. Bousfield & Poole extends from Buffalo through the principal cities of the central, southern and western States, to New Orleans on the south, and Salt Lake City on the west, two bills having been sold to the son-in-law of Brigham Young in that city. A branch warehouse has been established in Chicago as an entrepot for the supply of the vast territory of which Chicago is the source of supply.
The manufactory of Messrs. Bousfield & Poole is the largest in the country, and for the past three years has turned out about fifty per cent. more work than any other in the United States. It consumes ten millions of feet of lumber and logs annually, besides other material, and gives employment to from three hundred to three hundred and fifty persons, men women and children. Its influence on the population and prosperity of the city can therefore be judged. The money for the support of these people, and for the purchase of the materials employed, is almost wholly brought from abroad, the amount of the wares used in Cleveland being, of course, a very small fraction of the amount produced and sold. The same is true to a greater or less extent, of all the manufactories of Cleveland, and serves to account for the rapid growth of the city in population and wealth within the few years past, in which Cleveland has entered in good earnest on its career as a manufacturing centre.
Mr. Bousfield was married January 1, 1855, to Miss Sarah Featherstone, of Kirtland, by whom he has had ten children, six of whom are yet living. The oldest son, Edward Franklin Bousfield, is engaged with his father in the factory.
The secret of Mr. Bousfield's successful career can be found in his indomitable perseverance. He has been wholly burned out three times, and had, in all, about twenty fires, more or less disastrous, to contend with, but each time he seemed to have gained new strength and vigor in business as his works rose phoenix like from the ashes. Coupled with his perseverance is a remarkable mechanical ingenuity which has served him to good purpose in the construction and management of his factories. Whilst in England, he invented a machine for braiding whips that would do the work of fifteen women working by hand, as was the usual practice.
J. G. Hussey.
Among the elements that have contributed to the prosperity of Cleveland, copper and oil hold no inconsiderable place. Not only has the cupriferous wealth of Lake Superior directly enriched many Cleveland citizens who interested themselves in its production, but it has led to the establishment of a large and steadily increasing commerce between Cleveland and Lake Superior. In the other direction, the enterprise of Clevelanders in the petroleum region of Western Pennsylvania has built up large fortunes for themselves and has established in Cleveland one of the most extensive and remunerative of its industries. One of the earliest to be identified, first with the copper and afterwards with the oil interest, was J. G. Hussey.
Christopher Hussey, the father of the subject of the present sketch, emigrated from Baltimore and settled in Cincinnati, in 1804, subsequently removing to Jefferson county, Ohio, where J. G. Hussey was born in 1819. Young Hussey received such an education as the facilities of a rural neighborhood at that early day afforded, and added to his school knowledge the practical details of business by becoming clerk in a village store. Here he acquired those correct business habits that stood him in good service in after life. In 1840, he opened a store on his own account in Hanover, Ohio, and was very successful. From Hanover he removed to Pittsburgh, where he operated in provisions until 1845. In that year there was much excitement over the mineral discoveries on the south shore of Lake Superior. The Indian titles to the mineral lands on that lake had been but a short time before completely extinguished, and the surveys of Dr. Houghton were bringing the cupriferous riches of the region into notice. Mining permits were issued under the authority of Congress, those permits giving the applicant a lease for three years, with a conditional re-issue for three years more. The lessees were to work the mines with due diligence and skill, and to pay a royalty to the United States of six per cent, of all the ores raised. Early in the Spring of 1845, Mr. Hussey formed a company of miners and explorers, with whom he went to Lake Superior and opened several copper veins, some of which proved highly productive and are still successfully worked. In some of these he has retained an interest to the present time.
In the Spring of 1847, he became a member of the private banking firm of Hussey, Hanna & Co., in Pittsburgh, which did a successful business for several years. At the same time he became interested in a banking establishment in Milwaukee under the firm name of Marshall, Hussey & Ilsley. In 1850, he removed to Milwaukee, to attend to the interest of that firm, but the climate proving injurions to his health, he sold out and removed to Cleveland, where he took up his residence in 1851. From that time he became thoroughly identified with the business interests of the city.
His first act was to establish the Forest City Bank, under the regulations of the Free Banking Law of Ohio, and during his connection with the institution it was eminently successful. During the same summer, he built and put in operation a copper smelting and refining works, under the firm name of J. G. Hussey & Co., engaging at the same time in the produce commission business, under the firm name of Hussey & Sinclair, which afterwards changed to Hussey & McBride. It is a matter of fact, on which Mr. Hussey justly prides himself, and to which in great measure he attributes his success, that he confined himself strictly to the legitimate conduct of his business as a commission dealer, never speculating in produce when selling it for others.
In 1859, Mr. Hussey became interested in the discoveries of petroleum in the creeks and valleys of Venango county, Pennsylvania. With his characteristic energy he went to the scene of the excitement just breaking out over the discoveries, and becoming satisfied of their importance, he immediately commenced the work of exploration, in company with others, who purchased the McElhenny Farm, on which was struck the noted Empire well, one of the most famous wells on Oil Creek, that by its extraordinary yield first added to the petroleum excitement, and then broke down the market by a supply far in excess of the then demand. The tools were no sooner extracted than the oil rushed up in a torrent, equal to three thousand barrels daily. The good fortune of the adventurers was disastrous. It was more than they had bargained for, and was altogether too much of a good thing. The demand at that time was very limited, the uses to which petroleum had been applied being few, and science had not yet enabled it to be converted into the cheap and useful illuminator it has now become. One day's flow of the Empire would supply all the demands of the United States for a week. Barrels, too, were scarce, and when those at hand were filled tanks were hastily improvised, but were speedily overflowed. Pits were dug and rapidly filled, until at length the well owners, cursed with too much good luck, were compelled to turn the oil into the river. Then it rapidly fell in price, owing to the superabundant supply. It fell, in the autumn of 1861, to ten cents a barrel, and the oil interest was, for the time, ruined.
At this juncture Mr. Hussey was induced to erect works for refining the oil and preparing it as an illuminator. The first establishment was a small one, but as the demand increased and the oil interest revived, the capacity was increased until it reached its present limit of from three hundred and fifty to four hundred barrels per day.
When the second oil excitement broke out in 1864, Mr. Hussey was again one of the leading explorers and adventurers in the oil regions of Pennsylvania. Successful wells were put down in Oil Creek and on the Allegheny river, and a large proportion of the product was brought to Cleveland to be refined. His interest in this department of industry became so great and important, that after fifteen years of active connection with the produce and copper smelting business of Cleveland, he sold out his interest in both the commission house and smelting works and devoted his entire attention to oil.
Mr. Hussey is a good example of the success attending faithful, intelligent and conscientious attention to business. A self-made man, he never lost sight of the fact that the same scrupulous honesty which gave him success was necessary to retain it. Debt he looked upon as the road to ruin, and he scrupulously shunned it. He never bought an article for himself or his family on credit. His business paper was always good and never was protested. His engagements were ever punctually kept. His two cardinal principles were "Time is money," and "Honesty is the best policy," and these rules of action he carefully impressed on the young men whom he brought up in business life. The value of his teachings and example is shown in the fact that those brought up under his business care during the past twenty years have come to hold a place in the front rank of business men, and have, by their energy and integrity, accumulated competence, and even affluence.
A. B. Stone
Andros B. Stone was born in the town of Charlton, Worcester county, Massachusetts, June 18, 1824. He is the youngest son of Mr. Amasa Stone, (now a hale, old man, ninety years of age, in possession of all his faculties,) and brother of A. Stone, Jr., whose biography has been sketched in an earlier portion of this work. Mr. Stone's boyhood was spent in the various occupations of country farm life, where he received in common with other boys the advantages of a public school education. In his sixteenth year he left home to try the world for himself, and for a year and a half worked industriously at the carpenter's trade with his elder brother, to whom he was apprenticed for four years, to receive thirty-five dollars the first year, forty the second, forty-five the third, and fifty the fourth. An unconquerable desire for a better education forced him to leave this occupation for a time, and enter an academy, the expenses of which he met in part by teaching a public school in the winter season, and which left him only five dollars with which to make another start in the world.
In the meantime, Mr. Stone's brother, to whom he was apprenticed, had been employed by Mr. Howe, the patentee of the "Howe Bridge," and to Andros was assigned the keeping of the time of the workmen, and other similar duties, instead of the more direct labors of the shop. In the autumn of 1842, Mr. Howe purchased Mr. Stone's unexpired time from his brother, advanced his pay, and kept him in the same employment as time-keeper, and adding to this duty that of making estimates, drawing bridge plans, etc., allowing him in the winter an opportunity of increasing his finances by teaching school. Subsequently, Mr. A. Boody and Mr. A. Stone, Jr., purchased the Howe Patent for building bridges in New England, and A. B. Stone, then about nineteen years of age, made an engagement with the new firm. At first he was given the charge of a few men in framing and raising small bridges, but an opportunity soon occurred which enabled him to exhibit his capabilities in a most advantageous light. Messrs. Boody and Stone were constructing a bridge over the rapids of the Connecticut river at Windsor Locks, about fifteen hundred feet in length, in spans of one hundred and eighty feet. One day the superintendent, who had the immediate charge of the work, went to Mr. Stone and complained of being so ill that he was obliged to go home, and desired him to take temporary charge of the men. Mr. Stone alleged his unfitness for the duty of taking charge of so many men at the commencement of so important a work, but as the superintendent said he could not stay longer, Mr. Stone was compelled to assume the responsibility, against his wishes.
On examining the condition of the work the cause of the superintendent's severe illness was made manifest. The lower chords or stringers, of about two hundred and sixty feet in length, had been packed without being placed opposite each other, one being placed several feet too far in one direction, and the other about the same distance in the opposite direction. Here was a dilemma and a difficulty, and an ability in the mind of the young mechanic to meet it, so that, in a very short time, the chords were properly adjusted. He then proceeded with the work, and in three days had nearly completed the first span, when his brother paid a visit of inspection to the bridge. Not finding the regular superintendent in charge, he naturally inquired the cause, and when the circumstances were explained, examined the work very minutely. Without any comments upon what had been done, Mr. Stone left the place, leaving his younger brother in charge, a tacit expression of confidence which was most gratifying, and gave him a self-confidence he had not previously possessed. About this time Mr. Stone was advanced to the general superintendence of construction, which position he retained between two and three years, when his brother admitted him as his partner in the construction of the bridges on the Atlantic & St. Lawrence railroad. A year was successfully spent in the prosecution of this work, when a partnership was formed with Mr. A. Boody for constructing the bridges on the Rutland & Burlington railroad in Vermont, which, although accompanied with grave difficulties, resulted in success.
In 1850, Mr. Stone extended the field of his operations by forming a new partnership with Mr. Maxwell, and purchasing the Howe Patent for building bridges in the three northern New England States. For two years this field was profitably and creditably filled, when, dazzled by the ample resources of the West, New England was abandoned for Illinois. Here another partnership was formed, with his brother-in-law, Mr. Boomer, and under the stimulating effect of an undeveloped country, the new firm of Stone & Boomer soon took a high and honorable rank throughout the entire Western States. The total amount of bridging built by this firm from 1852 to 1858 was not less than thirty thousand feet. They constructed the first bridge across the Mississippi river, the longest span of a wooden truss that had up to that time ever been built. This was done under the most trying circumstances, the thermometer at times marking 30 degrees below zero. The longest draw-bridge of its period was also erected by this firm across the Illinois river, it having a length of two hundred and ninety-two feet, the whole structure revolving on its centre, and capable of being opened by one man in one and one-half minutes. During this time they built the roof of the Union Passenger House, in Chicago, which was of longer span than had hitherto been built. The organization for the carrying on of their work was so complete, that it was a common remark among the engineers of western railroads, "If we want any bridges put up on short notice, we can get them of Stone & Boomer; they have them laid up on shelves, ready for erection!" In connection with their bridge business the firm carried on the manufacture of railroad cars.
In the Spring of 1858, Mr. Stone gave up his home and business in Chicago for his present residence in Cleveland and his present business as an iron manufacturer. After carefully investigating the advantages which Cleveland afforded for such a purpose, and realizing the present and prospective demands for an increased development for the manufacture of iron, Mr. Stone availed himself of the opportunity of identifying his interests with that of the firm of Chisholm & Jones, who at that time had just put in operation a small mill in Newburg. Here at once opened a new and delightful opportunity for Mr. Stone to develope his natural love for the mechanical arts. To manufacture iron required knowledge—was a science, and to be master of his business was both his duty and his pride, and claimed all his unflagging energy, his undaunted courage and determination. Thus the small mill at Newburg grew from the capacity of turning out thirty tons of re-rolled rails to its present capacity of sixty tons, beside the addition of a puddling mill, a merchant bar mill, a wire rod mill, two blast furnaces, spike, nut and bolt works. In the meantime the small beginning had grown into such large proportions, and so many railroad corporations had centered here, that it was thought best to form the same into a stock company, embracing another rolling mill on the lake shore, within the city limits. This was done, Mr. Stone filling the office of President of the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company. In 1868, the Company put into successful operation extensive steel works which they had been engaged in erecting with great care and expense for nearly two years. During that time Mr. Stone had made two visits to Europe for more thorough investigation into the process of making Bessemer steel, and the success of this undertaking so far has been admitted by all who have visited the works to be without parallel in the American manufacture of steel. In addition to this heavy and extended business, Mr. Stone is president of another rolling mill company in Chicago, in which he is largely interested, also of a large coal mining company in Indiana, and vice President of a large iron manufacturing company at Harmony, Indiana, also president of the American Sheet and Boiler Plate Company.
Mr. Stone is eminently known, and justly so, as a mechanic, and is widely known as a man who crowns his thoughts with his acts. Still in the prime of manhood, he stands connected with manufacturing interests, furnishing employment to thousands of men, all of which has been the outgrowth of scarcely more than ten years. This eminent success has not been the result of speculation, or of luck, but the legitimate end of his own hands and brain. Neither can it be said he has had no reverses. At one time the failure of railroad companies left him, not only penniless, but fifty thousand dollars in debt. With an indomitable will he determined to liquidate that debt, and how well he succeeded need not be told. Mr. Stone at present stands at the head of iron manufacturing companies, second to none in the country, possessing almost unlimited credit. This extraordinary success has by no means affected Mr. Stone's modest nature for which he is so noted. Gentlemanly and affable in his intercourse with all ranks and conditions of men, he has won universal respect, and an enviable position in the business interests of our country.
Mr. Stone was married in 1846 to Miss M. Amelia Boomer, daughter of Rev. J. B. Boomer, of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Henry Chisholm is of Scotch origin, having been born in Lochgelly in Fifeshire, April 27, 1822. There, as in New England, children, if they are heirs to nothing else, inherit the privilege of some early education. When he was at the age of ten his father died. At the age of twelve, Henry's education was finished and he was apprenticed to a carpenter, serving in an adjoining city five years, at the expiration of which time he went to Glasgow, as a journeyman. Whilst in Glasgow, he married Miss Jane Allen, of Dunfermline.
In 1842, he resolved to quit his native land and seek his fortune in the West. Landing in Montreal, in April, he found employment as a journeyman carpenter, working at his trade for two years. He then undertook contracts on his own account, relying wholly on his own resources for their execution, and all his undertakings proved successful. In 1850, he entered into partnership with a friend to build the breakwater for the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad, at Cleveland, the work occupying three years. This, and other similar contracts, such as building piers and depots at Cleveland, employed his time and energies until his commencement of the iron business at Newburg, as one of the firm of Chisholm, Jones & Co. This company, and its business, have developed into the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company of Cleveland, with two rail mills, making a hundred tons of rails and twenty-five tons of merchant iron per day; two blast furnaces, turning out forty tons of pig iron daily, and a Bessemer steel works, manufacturing thirty tons of steel per day. Besides these, have been established the Union Rolling Mills of Chicago, making seventy tons of rails per day; of this extensive establishment Mr. Chisholm's son, William, is manager. There are also two blast furnaces and a rolling mill in Indiana, making forty tons of iron per day. Fifteen hundred acres of coal land are owned in connection with these works. Of all these enterprises Mr. Chisholm has been one of the leading managers, and remains largely interested, his perseverence and energy aiding materially to crown the undertakings, up to the present time, with the greatest success.
In the midst of a business so large, the social and religions duties of Mr. Chisholm have not been neglected. He is a zealous and liberal member of the Second Baptist church. For more than twenty-three years himself and wife have been professors of religion, and their five surviving children, the oldest of whom is now twenty-six years old, have become members of the same church.
The history of the Scotch boy and his success in America should be read by the youth of England and Scotland, as an example for them to follow. In these and other European countries such a career would be almost, if not quite, impossible. Mr. Chisholm has not been made proud by success, but retains the affability and simplicity of his early days. He has still a hearty physical constitution, with the prospect of a long life in which to enjoy, in the retired and quiet manner most agreeable to his tastes, the good fortune of this world, and the respect of his employees, and neighbors and friends, which he values more highly than money.
R. P. Myers.
R. P. Myers was born in Schodack, Rensselaer county, New York, January 1, 1820. When between two and three years of age, his parents moved to Sand Lake, in the same county. His father died May 14, 1823, leaving but very limited means for the support of the widowed mother and three young children; and it is to the prayers, counsels and Christian influence of his mother Mr. Myers is largely indebted for the direction of his life. At the age of fifteen he left school and became clerk in a village store, but after one year, being dissatisfied with the business prospects of the village, he obtained a situation in a dry goods store in Albany.
In 1842, he commenced business in Albany in the same line, with but two hundred and twenty-five dollars and a good character, for his capital, under the firm name of Allen & Myers, continuing thus about two years. At the end of that time, believing the West offered greater inducements to young men of small means, he removed to Ohio. His partner had previously made a tour of observation through the West and become favorably impressed with the business prospects of Akron, Ohio, which was at that time attracting considerable attention. Mr. Myers, in company with his wife, passed through Cleveland May 3d, 1844, (being the first anniversary of their wedding,) on their way to Akron. There he conducted his old business under the same name as at Albany, for about one year, and then formed a company for the manufacture of stoves, under the style of Myers, Cobb & Co., his former partner being the "Co." To this business he gave his personal attention. The dry goods business was discontinued about a year after engaging in the manufacture of stoves. In addition to this Mr. Myers became interested in the manufacture of woolen and cotton machinery, machine cards, &c., the name of the firm being Allen, Hale & Co. This was developed into a flourishing business.
In 1849, he was instrumental in the formation of the Akron Stove Company, into which the firm of Myers, Cobb & Co. merged. At the first meeting of the stockholders Mr. Myers was chosen general agent, in which position he remained with signal profit to the stockholders, until February 1st, 1859. This, though a small company, was one of the most successful stock companies ever formed in this part of the country. Business continued to expand, causing the company to enlarge its facilities for manufacturing from time to time, and their products were sold through Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other Western States. The fact that the stock at the time he retired from the company sold for from four hundred to five hundred per cent, above par value, after declaring liberal dividends from time to time, speaks more plainly of its unparalleled success than anything we can say, and is the best compliment that could be paid to the energy, enterprise and business capacity of its retiring manager.
After a time, the stove business required his whole attention, and the machine branch was sold out to one of the other partners; he then bent all his energies to the invention and perfection of the stoves, and the vigorous prosecution of the business of the company. After conducting the business of the company ten years, he felt the want of a larger field for enterprise, cast around for the most eligible situation, and finally concluded that Cleveland was destined to be a great stove centre. Resigning the management of the company February 1st, 1859, but retaining most of his interest, he came to Cleveland and started an individual manufactory, at the same time connecting with the stove business the wholesaling of tin plate, sheet iron, &c., which was conducted with such energy that a large trade was attracted to Cleveland that had previously been given to other markets.
The rapid development of business, the demand upon his time in the manufacturing department, and the need of extended facilities induced Mr. Myers to associate with him Messrs. B. F. Rouse and James M. Osborn, who now form the firm of Myers, Rouse & Co. Since the present firm has existed they have built a new foundry, of large capacity, with all the modern improvements, on West River street, which is now taxed to its full capacity to meet the wants of their trade.
The increase of the stove manufacturing of the city is estimated to have been full four hundred per cent. in ten years, and has fully justified Mr. Myers' estimate of the natural advantages of Cleveland as a manufacturing point.
This firm has patented a variety of new stoves that have become very popular, and hence remunerative, among which are the Eclipse, in 1850, soon followed by the Golden Rule and Benefactor, the last named having obtained a most remarkable sale, and the name itself become a household word throughout the country, and, in 1868, the celebrated Princess stove.
Of course, close attention to the wants of the country in this direction for about one quarter of a century, has given Mr. Myers a very valuable experience, which he is continually turning to account to the benefit of the public and his own enrichment. The shipments of this firm are to nearly all the markets in the northwest, reaching Council Bluffs and Omaha.
Mr. Myers is now numbered among the most successful business men of the city, and his success has been achieved in a department that has added very materially to the progress of the city. The large number of men employed, and the still larger number put into requisition in the production of the material required for the uses of the manufactory, and to supply the needs of the men, have added to the population and wealth of Cleveland.
Although so much engrossed in business since coming to Cleveland, Mr. Myers has found time to be active in many benevolent movements. For thirty years he has been a useful member of the Baptist church. His Christian labors have been generously given to the Sunday schools and mission work, and he is at this time superintendent of the First Baptist church Sunday school of this city.
Mr. Myers is now forty-nine years old, with a vigorous physical constitution and strong mind, that give promise of very many years of usefulness still to come.
M. C. Younglove
From 1837 to 1842, when specie payments were resumed, Cleveland saw her greatest financial embarrassments; but from the latter year, a new and more promising era dawned upon her. The land speculator gave place to the business man, and for many years immediately following, her progress, though slow, was sure and steady. During these years of depression many young and enterprising men settled here, who were, of course, untrammeled by old speculating debts, and their business habits were untainted by the loose recklessness of the land speculator. Many of these young men are now to be found among our most substantial, successful and enterprising citizens, and the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this article is one of that number.
Mr. Younglove was born in Cambridge, Washington county, New York. His immediate ancestors on both sides having been officers in the Revolutionary army, gives him a good title to native citizenship. His father died before his birth, leaving him sufficient property for all educational purposes, but none to commence business with. He first essayed a professional life, and with that view began the study of law, but soon discovered that a sedentary occupation was uncongenial to him, and abandoned the profession.
His first business connection, which was formed before his majority, was with an uncle in his native county. But finding the country village of his nativity too slow for a sanguine and active temperament, he determined to try his fortune in the then comparatively unknown West, and in August, 1836, came to Cleveland. After a clerkship of eight months in a dry goods store, he bought an interest in a book store, and in a few months thereafter bought out his partner and added job and news printing, and book publishing, to his other business. At this time he introduced the first power press into Cleveland—and it is believed the second that was run west of the Alleghenies—on which he printed for a long time the daily papers of the city.
In 1848, in connection with Mr. John Hoyt, he built the Cleveland Paper Mill; the first having steam power west of the mountains, and the first of any importance in the United States. This innovation on the old mode of obtaining power for such machinery, called out many prophecies of failure. But these gentlemen not only made their business a success, but demonstrated to Cleveland, that she had, in her proximity to the coal fields, and in the steam engine, facilities for manufacturing unsurpassed by the best water power in the country—a hint which she has not been slow to improve upon.
Messrs. Younglove & Hoyt finally united their business with that of the Lake Erie Paper Company, under the name of the Cleveland Paper Company, of which latter company Mr. Younglove was elected president, and continued in the chief management of its business until the Spring of 1867, when he sold his entire interest, leaving the company with a capital of three hundred thousand dollars, and one of the most prosperous paper manufacturing companies in the country.
Mr. Younglove was one of the first of our citizens to perceive the importance and necessity of a gas company for Cleveland. Learning that a charter had been obtained by some of our wealthy men, and was laying dormant in their hands, he, with some associates, bought it up and proceeded to the erection of the works—himself being one of the directors. Few, however, know the struggles and discouragements which these directors encountered in their efforts to furnish the citizens of Cleveland with one of the greatest conveniences and luxuries of civilized life. The stock could not be sold here. Aside from that taken by Mr. Younglove, only five hundred dollars were subscribed by the citizens, and distributed as follows: James Kellogg, four hundred dollars, and J. W. Allen, one hundred dollars; and this was subsequently all taken off the hands of the subscribers by Mr. Younglove before it was paid up. But the directors, well persuaded of the value and importance of the work they had in hand, were in no way discouraged, but pushed on the work till all present funds were exhausted and not a dollar was left in the treasury to meet the demands of the next Saturday's pay roll. At this juncture, the Board had a consultation, which may be fitly termed an "anxious meeting." The question arose, "What is to be done?" and in answer, each member determined to take such an amount of stock as he could either pay for or sell. Mr. Younglove took five thousand dollars, and determined to make another attempt to sell to the wealthy men of the city, but after four days of industrious effort he had not one dollar of subscription to reward his labor. Mr. P. M. Weddell was the only one who gave any encouragement—"He might take a few hundred dollars at seventy-five per cent."
After this failure, Mr. Younglove mortgaged his lot on Euclid avenue, where he now lives, and paid up his subscription, thus fulfilling his promise to his associates, and placing himself on record as the only citizen who would help to supply the city with gas.
In 1850, Mr. Younglove, associated with Mr. Dudley Baldwin, bought of Howell & Dewitt their machinery for manufacturing agricultural implements. This establishment was immediately enlarged to do an extensive business. Mr. Baldwin subsequently sold his interest to his partner, who still retains his interest in the business, it being at present one of the largest and most reputable manufactories in the city.
The writer of this has authority for saying, that Mr. Younglove looks upon his connection with the Society for Savings in this city, from its organization, as one of the most honorable and reputable of his business life. It is an association purely benevolent in its objects and action, managed by men who have no hope or desire of pecuniary benefit, with matured judgment and an abnegation of self that may well secure for it the utmost confidence—as it most happily has—of the laboring poor and the helpless, for whose benefit it is maintained.
Mr. Younglove is one of the most enterprising and intelligent business men. Having a natural talent for mechanics, he has done much to inaugurate and encourage the manufactures of our city.
John D. Rockefeller.
Although yet quite a young man, John D. Rockefeller occupies in our business circles a position second to but few. He began life with few advantages, save that of honesty of purpose and unflinching morality, and a determination to succeed, if unremitting effort would secure that end. He, in connection with M. B. Clark, commenced the produce and commission business on the dock, with a small capital saved from earnings. For a time their profits were exceedingly small, but the firm soon gained the confidence of our citizens and bankers, and at the end of the first year they had done business to the amount of $450,000. Each successive year added to their business, and in the fourth, it amounted to something like $1,200,000, the average being, perhaps, about $700,000.
In the Spring of 1863, Mr. Rockefeller engaged in the oil refining business, commencing with a capacity of forty-five barrels of crude oil per day, and gradually increased it until 1865, when the capacity of his works was a hundred and fifty barrels per day. At this time he sold his interest in the commission business, and devoted his whole attention to the oil refining. Every year witnessed an enlargement of his works, and for the last three years it is believed that his has been the largest of its kind in the world, the present capacity being twenty-five hundred barrels of crude oil per day. The growth of the business, dating back to 1865, was such that it became necessary to establish a house in New York for the disposition of their oil, where they now have warehouses of their own, and sell and take care of their property.
The effect of such works as those of Mr. Rockefeller in the city may be imagined when we say that there are about one hundred men regularly employed in them, besides a force of some fifteen or twenty teams and teamsters. To these must be added from seven hundred to eight hundred men around the city employed in making barrels for the oil, and from $20,000 to $25,000 per year expended among plumbers and various other mechanics for repairs. The enlargements of their works this year will cost near $40,000.
Mr. Rockefeller never retrogrades; he has always advanced from the commencement. Close application to one kind of business, an avoidance of all positions of an honorary character that cost time, and strict business habits, have resulted in the success, the fruits of which he now enjoys. He has worked himself, and kept everything pertaining to his business in so methodical a manner that he knows every night how he stands with the world. He was drilled to strict economy as an accountant during hard times, before his own business history, and he has rigidly adhered to the principles then learnt.
He has frequently been so situated as to choose between his own judgment and that of older heads, and where he has followed his own opinions in opposition to others of more experience he has seen no reason to regret his choice. The result of his course has been, that, though still young, he stands at the head of one of the most extensive business establishments in the city, and is possessed of wealth sufficient to secure a comfortable maintainance, and a provision against the ordinary mishaps of business.
Mr. Rockefeller is a valued member of the Second Baptist church having long been a sincere believer in the faith and practice of the Baptist church.
Peter Thatcher derives his descent in a direct line from the Reverend Thomas Thatcher, the first minister of the Old South Church, in Boston, who at the age of twelve years left England with his uncle Anthony, and arrived in New England in 1635.
Peter Thatcher was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, July 20, 1812. At the age of nineteen, not liking his father's business of farming, he announced his intention of seeking other means of livelihood, and, sorely against his father's wish, he set out in search of fortune. Two days after leaving his father's roof, he found employment with a house-carpenter, in Taunton, Massachusetts, to whom he engaged himself to work one year for forty dollars and board. After two years service in this employ he, in November, 1834, commenced work on the Boston and Providence Railroad, laying track, in the employ of Messrs. Otis & Co. His industry and ability attracted the attention of his employers, and he was retained and promoted by them, remaining in the employ of the firm and their successors, railroad building, until 1850, with the exception of three years spent on Fort Warren and Fort Independence, in Boston Harbor, where he superintended the work of construction under the supervision of Colonel Sylvanus Thayer. During his career as a railroad builder he was engaged on the principal railroads on the sea-coast from Maine to Georgia.
In 1850, the firm of Thatcher, Stone & Co. was formed, for the purpose of building bridges, both in the eastern and western States, an office being opened in Springfield for the former, and another in Cleveland for the latter. In 1851, this firm was dissolved and that of Thatcher, Burt & Co. formed. The patent for building the Howe Truss Bridge in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan was purchased, and nearly all the original railroad bridges in Ohio, with the depots and engine houses, together with many in other States, were built by this firm.
After having for thirteen years carried on the bridge building business, and added to it a trade in lumber, the firm built the Union Elevator, in Cleveland, and the new firm of Thatcher, Gardner, Burt & Co., commission merchants and produce dealers, was formed. This firm was dissolved in 1865, by the withdrawal of Mr. Thatcher.
About this time a company was formed for the purchase of a patent obtained for the manufacture of a durable paint and fire-proof mastic from prepared iron ore. Mr. Thatcher was chosen president of the company which at once entered on a vigorous prosecution of its business and has succeeded beyond the anticipation of its projectors. The paint is made of Lake Superior iron ore, ground fine and mixed with linseed oil, with which it forms a perfect union. It is then used in a thin state as a paint for surfaces, whether of wood stone or metal, exposed to the weather, and in a thicker state for a fire-proof mastic. The ore is crushed with machinery of great strength, and about three tons of the paint are produced daily, besides the mastic, and find ready market.
In connection with the above Mr. Thatcher has recently purchased a patent, obtained by Mr. Ward, for the manufacture of "Metallic Shingle Roofing," which is now being perfected and introduced to the public, and which, its inventor claims, will supercede all methods of roofing now in use for cheapness, durability, weight and effectiveness.
Mr. Thatcher has long been identified with the Masonic order, and has filled high positions in that body. He is Past M. of Iris Lodge of Cleveland, Past H. P. of Webb Chapter, has been Treasurer of Iris Lodge for ten years, Past D. G. H. P. of the Grand Chapter of Ohio, and is now Grand Treasurer of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio, which position he has held six years.
Mr. Thatcher is a genial, whole-souled man, having a host of warm friends, and has enjoyed the respect and confidence of all with whom he has been connected.
W. C. Scofield,
W. C. Scofield was born near Wakefield, England, October 25, 1821, and spent the earlier years of his life in Leeds, where he was employed on machine work until his twenty-first year, when he determined to emigrate to the Western continent to seek his fortune. On reaching America he found his way westward until he arrived at Chagrin river in Cuyahoga county, where he found employment with a Mr. Waite, at eight dollars a month, working one year at this rate. The next two years were spent in the brick yard of A. W. Duty. Following this, he was for two years turnkey under sheriff Beebe, and then established himself in a brick yard of his own on the west side of the river. One Summer's work in this experiment gave him a start in business life, and laid the foundation, small though it was, of his after prosperity.
After his experiment in the brick making business, he undertook the charge of the lard oil and saleratus works owned by Mr. C. A. Dean. After three years, Messrs. Stanley, Wick & Camp bought the establishment; and shortly after this change, Mr. Scofield purchased the interest of Mr. Wick, and after a few months Mr. Camp sold his interest to the remaining partners, who carried on the business until 1857. At that time Mr. Scofield purchased the interest of his partners and became sole owner of the whole concern and carried on business in this way for the next five years.
In 1861, he added to his lard oil and saleratus business that of refining oil, associating himself in this enterprise with Messrs. Halle and Fawcett. Their refinery was built on the site of the City Forge works, and the capacity of the works was limited to two eight barrel stills. Subsequently this land was sold for other purposes and the refinery was closed, after a very successful career. Previous to that event the firm built an oil refinery on Oil Creek, with a capacity of about forty barrels. This is still in operation under the firm name of Lowry, Fawcett & Co., turning out about sixty barrels of refined oil daily, and proving from its start a continual success. In 1865, Mr. Scofield became interested in the oil refining firm of Critchley, Fawcett & Co., in which he still retains his interest, and which is in successful operation, with a yield of about one hundred barrels per day. About the same time he became a partner in an oil commission business in New York, established under the name of Hewitt & Scofield, which has also proved a success. He is also interested in the Cleveland Chemical Works, being vice president of the company, which is doing a heavy business. The extent and importance of the works may be inferred from the fact, that the buildings necessitated an outlay of a hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
In 1863, the firm of Alexander, Scofield & Co., was formed, and commenced operation on the site of the present works, at the junction of the Atlantic & Great Western Railway with Liberty street. The works were commenced with a capacity of fifty barrels daily, and gradually enlarged, until the capacity now reaches six hundred barrels daily.
During the whole of Mr. Scofield's business career, with the extensive operations of the firms in which he is interested, there has been but one case of litigation. This is noteworthy, and speaks well for the integrity and strict business habits of Mr. Scofield. He is not given to jumping hastily at conclusions or embarking wildly in business schemes. Before entering on an undertaking, he carefully, though rapidly, studies the natural effect of the step and having satisfied himself of its probable success, he prosecutes it with unflagging energy. The course of events within the past few years offered unusual opportunities for a clear headed and active business man to advance himself, and Mr. Scofield had the forethought and energy to take advantage of those opportunities. From first to last he had to depend on his own energies, having been left an orphan at sixteen years of age, and from the time of his reaching his majority, being compelled to push his way unaided, a stranger in a strange land. The efforts of just such men have made Cleveland what it is to-day.
Levi Haldeman is a representative of another class of our citizens than refiners, who have taken advantage of the petroleum enterprise, and are spending their money in building up the prosperity of the city, turning its energies into channels that cannot fail to give an impetus to all branches of trade, and aid in establishing our financial institutions on a basis of unrivalled strength, and who, at the same time, reap their reward by putting money into their own pockets.
The subject of this sketch was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, Dec. 14, 1809, received a good common school education, and removed with his father to Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1819. Until he was about twenty-five years of age he spent his time with his father on his farm, and in teaching school. He then commenced reading medicine with Drs. Robertson and Cary of that place; after which he attended lectures at Cincinnati, and was a private student of Drs. Gross and Parker—the former being now Professer in Jefferson College, Philadelphia, and the latter Professor in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Mr. Haldeman commenced practice alone in 1839, at Minerva, Ohio, although he had practiced from 1837 with his old preceptor. He soon obtained an excellent practice in medicine, and was noted for his skill in surgery, performing nearly all the operations in that part of the country, among them tractreotomy, or opening the windpipe and extracting foreign matter from it, and difficult cases of lithotomy.
In 1860, Mr. Haldeman, in connection with Messrs. Hussey and McBride, of Cleveland, bought the McElhenny Farm, in the Pennsylvania oil regions, which proved to be very valuable. For the whole farm of two hundred acres the sum of twenty thousand dollars was paid, subject to some leases, which were renewed to the lessees. Mr. Funk leased a hundred and thirty acres of the farm, subdivided it in into acre lots, and sub-lot them to a number of oil companies, representing an aggregate capital of millions of dollars. Messrs. Bennet and Hatch, the sub-lessees of one sub-lot, struck the largest producing well yet found in the oil region the Empire, a three thousand barrel well, which is estimated to have produced no less than six hundred thousand barrels of oil and the whole farm is estimated to have produced two millions of barrels. At the present time the sub-leases have nearly all been forfeited, through breach of covenant, and the farm has reverted to the owners, Messrs. Hussey and Haldeman. It is not now worked, the wells having been flooded by the unexpected influx of water, against which there had been no provision made by the owners of the wells. It is expected to remedy this misfortune by plugging the wells below the water veins, and pumping, with the hope of thus restoring the value of the farm.
The next enterprise was the purchase of the A. Buchanan farm, of three hundred acres, in connection with others, subject, also, to a lease, but giving the owners of the farm a royalty of one sixth of the oil produced, free of cost, and retaining the use of the land for other purposes. On this farm the town of Rouseville has been built since the purchase. This has proved a very lucrative investment. The first well struck on it in 1860 is still producing. In company with others, Mr. Haldeman also bought the royalty of the John McClintock farm for ten thousand dollars in gold, the Irishman owning it thinking nothing but gold worth having. Mr. Haldeman sold his thirty-second part of the same for a hundred thousand dollars; another partner sold his for forty-thousand dollars, the purchaser subsequently re-selling it for one hundred thousand dollars. Besides this, Mr. Haldeman became half owner of two hundred acres not yet developed, and he and his sons own about four hundred acres, supposed to be excellent oil land. He has also invested about forty thousand dollars in iron tanking, in the oil region, and has now tankage for four hundred thousand barrels, in connection with others.
Mr. Haldeman was married in 1840 to Miss Mary Ann Gaves, of Columbiana county. The oldest and second sons, L. P. and W. P. Haldeman, are engaged in business with their father, and by their energy, foresight, and close attention to business, have aided materially in the later successes of the firm. Mr. Haldeman has, as is evident from the record here given, won for himself considerable wealth, but it has been secured only by the exercise of sound judgment and intelligent enterprise, which deserves, though it does not always achieve, success.
The firm of Westlake, Hutchins & Co., composed of G. Westlake, H. A. Hutchins, C. H. Andrews and W. C. Andrews, stands high among the oil refining establishments of Cleveland, not only for the extent of their operations but for their fair dealing in business matters. The firm commenced the erection of their works in October, 1866, and in June of the succeeding year began operations with a capacity of two hundred barrels of crude oil per day. The business improved, and the works had to be enlarged to keep pace with it, until the present capacity of the works is seven hundred and fifty barrels per day. In the enlargements, the latest improvements in the appliances for the refining of oil have been put in. One still now employed has a capacity of eleven hundred barrels, which is charged twice a week, and was the first of the kind in the State. Besides this are ten stills of thirty barrels each, one of two hundred and fifty barrels, and one, recently completed, forty feet in diameter, of the same pattern as the monster still just mentioned, and which is calculated for two thousand barrels. The total capacity of the works, including this still, is fourteen hundred and sixteen barrels of crude per day, which will yield, if running to full capacity, two hundred and eighty-eight thousand barrels of refined oil in a year, or between three and four millions of dollars in value at the stills. Connected with the works are a twenty thousand barrel tank, a fifteen thousand barrel tank, two of ten thousand barrels each, one of six thousand barrels, and several from two thousand barrels down. When all its improvements in progress are completed it will be one of the largest refineries in Cleveland and in the United States, and with enterprise corresponding to the size and importance of its works. A large number of men are employed, either at the works or in direct connection with it by providing cooperage and other necessaries for the business.
Mr. Westlake, the senior member of the firm, was born in Chemung county, New York, January 11, 1822, received a good education and when a young man was employed as a clerk in a lumber business for a couple of years. In 1847, he went into the lumber trade on his own account, remaining in that business until 1866, when he removed to Cleveland, and finding that the oil refining business held out reasonable prospects of profit, he embarked in it, and by his energy of character and enterprise has achieved flattering success, although the time in which he has been engaged in the business is short. He is still in the prime of life.
Mr. Westlake was married in 1848 to Miss Hatch, of Elmira, Chemung county, and has three children.
Stephen Buhrer, the subject of this sketch, is of immediate German descent. His father, a native of Baden, and his mother of Wirtemburg, emigrated to this country in the year 1817. Their acquaintance was first formed on board of the emigrant ship on their passage hither, and they were married soon after their arrival in this country. After remaining in the State of Pennsylvania about two years, they came to make their home in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where, on the 26th day of December, 1825, their son, Stephen Buhrer, was born. That region at that time (fifty years ago) was remarkably wild and rough, and inhospitable, but since, by the thrifty German population, by whom it was mainly inhabited, it has become scarcely inferior to any other part of the State in agricultural wealth. But the father of Stephen Buhrer was not destined to live to see this prosperity. He died in the year 1829, leaving his widow and two young children, Stephen and Catharine, dependent on themselves to make their way in the world.
From the severe discipline to which Mr. Buhrer was subjected in early life, and from the difficulties which he had to overcome, he acquired that energy and force of character which have given him success and by which he has attained to a high rank as a self-made man.
Mr. Buhrer does not remember that he was privileged to attend any school after he was ten years of age. All the education which he subsequently acquired he obtained on Sundays and in evenings, after his day's labor was over. He has been a citizen of Cleveland since the year 1844. His first business in this city was at his trade, as cooper, and afterwards he became extensively engaged, and with success, in the business of purifying and refining spirits.
In the Spring of the year 1853, he was elected a member of the City Council, and was twice thereafter re-elected to the same office, the last time almost without opposition.
By the manner in which he discharged his duty as a member of the City Council, public attention was directed toward him as a suitable person for the responsible office of Mayor of the city, to which he was elected, at the April election, in the year 1867, by a very large majority, although he did not belong to the dominant political party. It is conceded by all that he has discharged the duties of Mayor, with a zeal and a devotion to the interests of the city which have had few examples. Turning aside, on his election, from the business in which he was engaged, he has allowed the affairs of the city to monopolize his attention. Placed by his office at the head of the Board of City Improvements, and having in charge public works of great magnitude, involving the expenditure of vast sums of money, invested with the sole control and management of the large police force of the city, and therefore made responsible for its fidelity and efficiency, and exercising a supervision over all the departments of the city government, to promote economy and to lessen taxation, Mayor Buhrer has found his office to be no sinecure. Among the distinguishing traits of his official conduct has been his impartiality, his exemption from favoritism and partizanship, when in conflict with the public interests, and especially his well-known hostility to "cliques" and "rings," such as resort to a city government as a rich placer, where they may work to enrich themselves at the expense of the people. The rigid discharge of duty which he has required of the police under his charge, and the avoidance, at the same time, of everything like oppression, or the exercise of undue severity in office, have received the public approbation.
One of the most prominent institutions of Cleveland will be the House of Correction, now in progress of construction, and which is humanely intended to reform and reclaim, as well as to punish, the vicious and the criminal. To Mr. Buhrer much credit will be awarded for the active and leading part he has taken in the establishment of such an institution.
At the expiration of his term of office, it was his wish to be relieved from public care and to devote all of his time to his private pursuits, and which, the more he expected to do, as no one of his predecessors had ever been re-elected, or had entered again upon a second term. But yielding to the solicitations of friends, he again became a candidate, and at the April election, in 1869, was again elected Mayor of the city of Cleveland, by nearly three thousand majority. Such a demonstration by the people is a sufficient commentary upon his character as a citizen, and upon the public estimation of his official services.
M. B. Clark.
M. B. Clark was born in Malmsbury, England, September 6, 1827. From early boyhood until he was nearly of age he was employed in all the various occupations of an agricultural district. About this time the United States, as a promising country for the working man, was attracting considerable notice in his native village, and young Clark, being favorably impressed with reports from America, secretly resolved to husband his means and follow the example of those who had recently gone.
In the Spring of 1847, he left home with but barely sufficient means for the expenses of the journey. On the 17th of June in that year he landed at Boston, amidst martial music and parade of military, celebrating the battle of Bunker's Hill. This, however, was but poor consolation to the English lad, who found himself penniless and friendless. He used every effort to find employment without success, and in the meantime was obliged to sleep wherever night overtook him. At last he obtained work on a farm, in the little town of Dover, Massachusetts, at ten dollars per month. He remained in this situation until October, when, with the regrets of his employer, he left for the West.
On arriving in Ohio, he first obtained employment at chopping wood and teaming, in Lorain county. In the following Spring he returned to Cleveland and obtained a situation as helper in a hardware store. Here it became apparent to him that he was sadly deficient in an educational point of view, and that it offered an almost insuperable barrier to his advancement in life. To remedy this, so far as possible, he devoted all his leisure hours to study, and on the establishment of the evening schools the following winter, he availed himself of them, and the advantage soon became apparent.
With a view to the improvement of his circumstances, in 1851, he engaged himself to Hussey & Sinclair, with whom he remained six years, when he returned to his former employers, Otis & Co., and remained with them three years longer.
In 1859, he established himself in the commission business, associating with him John D. Rockefeller, the firm name being Clark & Rockefeller; both young men of limited means. By strict attention and honorable conduct they soon built up a lucrative business. In 1860, G. W. Gardner became a member of the firm, and continued as such for two years, when he retired.
In 1863, Mr. Clark's attention was attracted to the manufacture of petroleum oils, a business then in its infancy. In connection with his partners, he erected a factory on the Newburg road, the capacity of which was about fifty-six barrels of crude oil per day. They soon discovered that there was money in the enterprise, and before the end of the year they had increased the capacity of their works four-fold; and the enterprise of this firm has aided materially in making Cleveland what it is to-day, the successful rival of Pittsburgh in the manufacture of petroleum oils. In 1865, the manufacturing branch was purchased by his partner, and the general commission business was continued by Mr. Clark until 1866, when he sold out his interest, remaining nominally out of the business until June of that year, when he wearied of idleness and sought active business once more. Purchasing the controlling interest in another refinery, he set to work, vigorously, enlarging the capacity of the works and bringing capital and energy to bear with such effect upon the business of the firm, that it now ranks among the leading oil refining establishments of the country.
Mr. Clark has been no niggard with the wealth that has accrued to him from his business. During the war he contributed liberally and was active in aiding the cause of the government by giving every practical measure his cordial and generous support. In other matters he has manifested a like liberal spirit. In politics he has acted with the Republicans, and has been active in furthering the success of that party. In 1866, he was elected member of the city council from the fourth ward, and was re-elected in 1868. In religions matters he has always connected himself with the Wesleyan Methodists, and has been a leading supporter of that congregation in Cleveland.