1-20 of 32 results  for:

  • Business and finance x
Clear all

Article

Batterson, James Goodwin (23 February 1823–18 September 1901), insurance executive, was born in Wintonbury (now Bloomfield), Connecticut, the son of Simeon Seely Batterson, a stonecutter, and Melissa Roberts. Batterson spent his early childhood around New Preston, Connecticut, where he attended the local country school and academy. Unable to afford the college education that he greatly desired, he moved around 1838 to Ithaca, New York, where he served a three-year apprenticeship in the print shop of Mack, Andrus & Woodruff and spent his evenings and free time in independent study. At his aging father’s request, he then returned to Connecticut and joined his father’s stonecutting business in Litchfield. Batterson read law in the office of Origen S. Seymour for a year, but family circumstances again resulted in his abandonment of formal education, and he concentrated on building up the family business. He married Eunice Elizabeth Goodwin of Hartford in 1851; they had two children....

Article

Bulkeley, Morgan Gardner (26 December 1837–06 November 1922), president of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, governor of Connecticut, and U.S. senator from Connecticut, was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, the son of Eliphalet Adams Bulkeley, a public official, Republican party leader, and founder of the Aetna Life Insurance Company, and Lydia S. Morgan Gardner....

Article

Bush, John Edward (15 November 1856–11 December 1916), businessman and politician, was born a slave in Moscow, Tennessee. In 1862 his master moved him and his mother to Arkansas to keep them from being freed when the Union army moved into western Tennessee. His mother died when Bush was only seven years old. He was educated in the freedmen’s and public schools of Little Rock and was considered a good student by his teachers. He paid his school tuition by molding bricks. In 1876 he graduated from high school with honors and was immediately appointed principal of Capital Hill School, a public institution for African Americans in Little Rock. In 1878 he moved to Hot Springs, where he was named to head that city’s African-American high school....

Article

Cohen, Walter L. (22 January 1860–29 December 1930), businessman and politician, was born a free person of color in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Bernard Cohen and Amelia Bingaman, a free woman of color. Although Cohen’s father was Jewish, he was raised as and remained throughout his life a Roman Catholic. His parents died when he was in the fourth grade, whereupon he had to quit school, though he later attended Straight University in New Orleans for several years. As a boy Cohen became a cigar maker and later worked in a saloon. His entrée into the world of politics came during the post–Civil War period of Reconstruction, when he worked as a page in the state legislature, then meeting in New Orleans. In the legislature, Cohen became acquainted with several influential black Republicans, among them, ...

Article

Delafield, John (16 March 1748–03 July 1824), merchant and underwriter, was born in Aylesbury, Bucks, England, the son of John Delafield, a cheese merchant, and Martha Dell. Most historians claim John Delafield accumulated considerable property in England as a young brewer from an ancient, distinguished family. Though obviously a man of means by American standards, Delafield may not have been as well off as supposed and could have moved to the newly independent United States at age thirty-five to better his business prospects. Delafield arrived in British-occupied New York City on 4 April 1783, bearing the first copy of the provisional treaty of peace to reach the new republic. He immediately joined the Chamber of Commerce and started a mercantile, insurance, financial brokerage, and real estate business. He was so successful that he was soon one of the richest men in New York and was able to retire from active mercantile pursuits in 1798, though he continued in marine insurance....

Article

Douglas, Lewis Williams (02 July 1894–07 March 1974), businessman and government official, was born in Bisbee, Arizona, the son of James Stuart Douglas, a mine owner and banker, and Josephine Leah Williams. In 1906 he was sent east to be educated and subsequently attended the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, the Montclair Military Academy in New Jersey, and Amherst College in Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1916. In addition, he spent a year (1916–1917) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying geology and metallurgy. During World War I, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the field artillery and was a participant in the Argonne offensive of 1918. After the war, he took temporary positions as a history instructor at Amherst and a teacher of chemistry at the Hackley School but in 1921 decided to return to Arizona, where he became engaged in copper mining and citrus fruit growing near the town of Jerome. In 1921 he married Margaret “Peggy” Zinsser; they had three children....

Article

Dryden, John Fairfield (07 August 1839–24 November 1911), life insurance pioneer, was born in Temple Mills near Farmington, Maine, the son of John Dryden and Elizabeth Butterfield, farmers. After attending grammar school and high school in Worcester, Massachusetts, he entered Yale College in 1861. Although he excelled in his studies, poor health forced him to withdraw during his senior year. In 1864 he married Cynthia Fairchild, with whom he had two children....

Article

Fackler, David Parks (04 April 1841–30 October 1924), actuary, was born in Kempsville, Virginia, the son of David Morris Fackler, a minister, and Susan Stith Satchell. His family moved in 1844 to New York City, where, after receiving his early education, he entered the College of the City of New York (now New York University). As an undergraduate Fackler received a gold medal for his achievements in mathematics and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1859. Immediately following graduation he took a position in the actuarial department of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. The quality of his work was such that he rose to the position of assistant actuary within six months of joining Mutual. He served in his new position under Sheppard Homans, who, along with ...

Article

Finley, Charles O. (22 February 1918–19 February 1996), baseball team owner, was born Charles Oscar Finley in Ensley, Alabama, the son of Oscar Finley, a steelworker, and Burmah Finley (maiden name unknown). A born salesman, he later recalled that as a child he devised a scheme by which he purchased discolored eggs for five cents a dozen and resold them for fifteen cents a dozen. One year he won a bicycle from a publishing company for selling 12,000 ...

Image

A. G. Gaston, 8 September 1963. Outside of his home in Birmingham, Ala., the same day it was torched in protest of his work in the Civil Rights Movement. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Article

Gaston, A. G. (04 July 1892–19 January 1996), entrepreneur, was born Arthur George Gaston in Demopolis, Alabama, the son of Tom Gaston, a railroad worker, and Rosa Gaston (maiden name unknown), a cook. He grew up in poverty in rural Alabama before he and his mother moved to Birmingham, Alabama, after his father's death. He attended, and for a good time resided at, Tuggle Institute, where he received a moral and industrial education. In 1910 he graduated from the school with a tenth grade certificate. Before and after graduation, he worked at a variety of part-time jobs, including selling subscriptions for the ...

Article

Hegeman, John Rogers (18 April 1844–06 April 1919), insurance executive, was born in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York, the son of John G. Hegeman and Charlotte Owen Rogers. After an early education at neighborhood public schools, he studied at a private school in Poughquag, New York, before entering Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. Leaving school after a year, Hegeman took a bookkeeping job at the Bank of the Republic of New York City. He then entered the industry in which he was to spend the rest of his career—insurance—becoming an accountant with the Manhattan Life Insurance Company. Hegeman rose to the position of secretary to the board of directors before leaving Manhattan to become company secretary for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in June 1870. On 26 October of the same year he married Evelyn Lyon of Brooklyn, with whom he would have one son. Elected as vice president of the company on the same day as his wedding (an event he ever afterward referred to as his “double anniversary”), Hegeman soon combined with company president Joseph F. Knapp to lead the Metropolitan during a period of solid growth....

Article

Herndon, Alonzo Franklin (26 June 1858–21 July 1927), barber and businessman, was born in Social Circle, Georgia, the son of a white father (name unknown) and a slave mother, Sophenia Herndon. Born on a farm in Walton County, forty miles east of Atlanta, he was a slave for the first seven and a half years of his life and, in his own words, “was very near it for twenty years more.” After emancipation, he worked as a laborer and peddler to help his family eke out a living in the hostile rural environment, where he was able to acquire only a few months of schooling. In 1878, with eleven dollars of savings, Herndon left his birthplace to seek opportunities elsewhere....

Article

Hyde, Henry Baldwin (15 February 1834–02 May 1899), insurance company founder and father of modern life insurance, was born in Catskill, New York, the son of Henry Hazen Hyde, a storekeeper, and Lucy Baldwin Beach. The boy quickly demonstrated unusual intellectual powers but, because his mother was sickly, often was lonely. In 1849 or 1850 his widowed father read a recruiting brochure for life insurance agents, moved his family to Pennsylvania, and became an agent for the Mutual Life Insurance Company, the most successful life insurer in the country. Hyde, only sixteen, soon traveled alone to New York City, where after a spell as a store clerk, he worked at Mutual Life as an office assistant and cashier (treasurer). He became intimately familiar with the actuarial, sales, and financial advances in the nascent and rapidly expanding American life insurance industry....

Article

Kemper, James Scott (18 November 1886–17 September 1981), insurance executive and ambassador, was born in Van Wert, Ohio, the son of Hathaway Kemper, a prominent attorney, and Mary Jane Scott. After receiving his early education in the public schools of his hometown, he abandoned plans to attend Harvard and instead in 1905 became an office boy for a local insurance firm, the Central Manufacturers Insurance Company. Within two years he was named a special agent for Indiana and western Ohio, and in 1911 he moved to Chicago, Illinois, as the manager of the western department of the company. Leaving Central Manufacturers that same year, he joined Lumbermans & Manufacturers Insurance Company, where he also served as a manager....

Article

Kingsley, Darwin Pearl (05 May 1857–06 October 1932), insurance executive, was born near Alburg, Vermont, the son of Hiram Pearl Kingsley, a farmer and state legislator, and Celia LaDue. After attending local common schools and the Barre (Vt.) Academy, Kingsley entered the University of Vermont at Burlington in the fall of 1877. Forced by modest finances to walk to the campus, he worked his way through the university by doing a variety of jobs, including a stint as the college bell ringer, and graduated with an A.B. in 1881....

Article

Knapp, Joseph Fairchild (01 July 1832–14 September 1891), insurance company executive, was born in New York City, the son of William E. Knapp, occupation unknown, and Antoinette Chichester Knapp. His father died when Knapp was young, and with the financial assistance of an uncle, Knapp attended a boarding school in North Adams, Massachusetts. He entered the business world in 1848 with Sarony & Majors, a lithography firm in New York City. Knapp became a partner in the firm in 1854, and on 26 May 1855 he married Phoebe Palmer in Brooklyn, New York. They had three children. When Napoleon Sarony withdrew from the business to concentrate on the emerging field of photography in 1863, the firm was reorganized as Major & Knapp; it eventually became one of the most successful lithographic firms in the country. In 1888 Knapp became sole owner of the firm and took his son Joseph P. Knapp into partnership with him in the newly restyled Knapp & Company....

Article

Lawson, James (09 November 1799–24 March 1880), editor, author, and insurance broker, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of James Lawson, a merchant. His mother’s identity is not known. Lawson entered the University of Glasgow at the age of thirteen but presumably did not graduate because he left Scotland in 1815. Settling in New York, he worked as an accountant in the firm of Alexander Thomson & Co., which was owned by and named for his maternal uncle. Lawson became a member of the firm in 1822 and remained there until 1826, when the company failed. This turned out to be a rather opportune event; Lawson had been sending submissions of his writing to his long-time friend James G. Brooks, one of the founders of the weekly ...

Article

MacArthur, John D. (06 March 1897–06 January 1978), insurance executive and billionaire, was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania, the son of William Telfer MacArthur, a farmer and Presbyterian minister, and Georgiana Welstead. Dropping out of public school after the eighth grade, MacArthur worked for a time with his brother ...

Article

McCall, John Augustine (02 March 1849–18 February 1906), insurance executive, was born in Albany, New York, the son of John A. McCall, a politician, and Katherine MacCormack. After receiving his early education in the Albany public schools, he entered the Commercial College (a business school), from which he graduated in 1865. His father, a local ward leader for the Democratic party, then obtained a bookkeeping position for his son at the Albany assorting house for state currency. McCall left this position in 1867 for a similar one with the local office of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1870 he married Mary I. Horan of Albany, with whom he was to have seven children, and in the same year took the job of clerk in the actuarial branch of the New York State Department of Insurance. In 1872 McCall assumed control of the statistical work within the department and in November was appointed examiner of companies....