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Sons Of Powerful Financial Men Win Success For Themselves

It is not necessarily the man who writes "junior" after great name who is the actual heir to the power of the name. Yet it is more frequently the case than some of the moralists of the "three-generations-from-shirt-sleeves-to-shirt-sleeves" brand would have it appear. Take for example half a dozen of this new generation, some of them sons by birth, others by business training and adoption, men who have just begun to make good notably the coming rulers in banking, steel, railroads, oil, and sugar.

J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr.

J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr., heads the list by precedence and entrenched position in the world of finance. He bears a charmed name, one that is a commercial branding iron, and he comes into power at the full maturity of experience. To the public the big man who sits in the glass-enclosed room at 23 Wall Street is a name. To his associates he is a solid, conservative force, readily accepting responsibility, broadly grasping the dollar end of any enterprise, laughing heartily at a joke bearing upon the issue under consideration.

"Young J."P." is not fond of publicity, both naturally and by virtue of his English training, gained in the last seven or eight years in the London house of Morgan, Drexel & Co. Today, his education completed, he has entered fully into his great responsibilities, and has engineered some important and delicate tasks. The fact that only a few days ago he began to build a $1,500,000 mansion near Glen Cove, L.I., indicates that the younger Morgan is at last going to take up his real life work here in America. He will be the Morgan name and hand associated with Perkins and Steel and Davison and the rest of the great firm at 23 Wall Street.

No boy in being forced through the hard mill of apprenticeship ever underwent more severe training than J.P. Morgan, Jr., received at the hands of his father and his father's friends. When "Jack" Morgan, as he was then known, was graduated from Harvard in 1889 at the age of 22, his father was a little doubtful about his commercial ability. To try him out he was first placed in the banking house of Peabody & Co. in Boston. The next year, in 1890, he married Miss Jane Norton Grew. His was a perfectly normal life, such as many a young man would lead just out of college.

At the end of a couple of years the reports of his work were so favorable that his father took him into his own office. But it wasn't a case of favoritism. If he made a mistake he was lectured for it just a bit more harshly than any one else. He had to work harder than any one else in the place. There wasn't a moment's let-up in drumming into him that if he ever expected to stand even in one of his father's shoes he would have to hustle some other applicant out of the line for them. Then he was shifted to the London branch of the firm.When the elder Morgan had been graduated from Harvard and went abroad to study finance and foreign exchange at the University of Goettingen, he amazed the professors by his ready grasp of figures and principles. To a certain extent this manner of training was duplicated with the son. But, of course, as the elder Morgan was a pioneer it was impossible to make the son follow exactly the same trail.

Moreover, the greatest of Morgan's triumphs had been scored since the son was graduated from college, and in almost every one of them it was possible to give him some subordinate part to play. Thus, in many respects, his education has been quite different from his father's. It is true that the younger man did not gain the unusual reputation as a master of foreign exchange that his father had at such an age, perhaps it wasn't necessary that he should, for in all essentials and fundamentals he was competent to do all that was required of him.

At any rate, this was the period of the first great underwriting of an industrial corporation, that of the Sugar Trust. So, at the very outset it was a different school of finance that the younger man was going through than that of his father forty years before. One after another big deals were put through, including the Steel Trust, and in each successive one he got a clearer insight and more responsible duties.

When the Government was to pay $40,000,000 in gold to France on account of the Panama Canal purchase, the Morgan firm was principally involved, and the thing had to be done without disturbing the money market. It was a transaction that few people outside banking circles could grasp, but it stands today as one of the world's great exploits in the movement of gold on paper from nation to nation. The younger Morgan has a good deal of it to his credit, too-his first experience on a grand scale with foreign exchange. It became necessary on a certain day to pay to the British stockholders of various steamship companies of the Mercantile Marine $25,000,000 in gold. Again, in all the intricacies and technicalities of such a transaction, Morgan, Jr., made good.

At an early period in his career he had been put to work to learn the inside of railway finance under James J. Hill, who, it is said, came at the close of the course to refer to his pupil as "a chip off the old block." No doubt this comparison suggested itself to the minds of many prominent New York bankers in 1907, during the panic days, when they were openly following the older Morgan to safety and furtively watching the younger Morgan to see how he carried himself.

When the crash came and the Knickerbocker closed its doors, the senior Morgan tried a bold experiment as a crucial test of his son. No one had a hint of his purpose, but he thrust one responsibility after another on the shoulders of the young man. True, he was there to take the helm at a moment's notice, but there was no need for him to take back any responsibility he had granted. Heredity, and the long training stood the test.

Morgan, Jr., was master of himself and the situation. He was never excited, he never made false moves. He aided his father in directing the quick and aggressive movements that brought order out of the chaos. From that day "young J.P." has been a recognized power in "the Street." Only recently he was chosen to succeed H.H. Rogers as a Director of the Steel Corporation.

He is nearly 6 feet in height and weighs almost 200 pounds. He has big shoulders and is very muscular. His whole appearance is eloquent of his love of outdoor life, hard exercise, and temperate living. His head is massive, like his father's, with a high forehead, gray eyes, a big, well-shaped nose, and a full, firm mouth and heavy fighting chin beneath a bushy brown mustache.

He has many of his father's mannerisms, chief of them being his deliberate movements, never hurried or excited, but always with precision and directness. He is a man of few words, despising the limelight. His tastes are very quiet and his appreciation of art is said by Sir Purdon Clarke to be of even finer quality than his father's.

In one respect he is very different, quite a noticeable difference in most of the men of the second generation. Instead of his father's brusqueness, he has more savoir faire. He works by conciliation rather than by hard-hitting. But he is no less tenacious and direct. His town house is alongside his father's in Madison Avenue, and he has a fine London home in Grosvenor Square. He is a Director of a score of companies and member of a dozen exclusive clubs, both in New York and London.

John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Now that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., has decided to devote himself to the distribution of his father's fortune, the only representatives of the name in Standard Oil among the younger generation will be William G. Rockefeller and Percy A. Rockefeller. William G., a son of William and nephew of John D., was born in 1870 and was graduated from Yale in the class of '92. Lawson paid him the tribute of designating him, as far back as 1905, the "future head of Standard Oil", when it was evident that John D., Jr.'s, "rapid education into the secrets of the system" did not offset the fact that his health was not rugged enough for him ever to take his father's place.

Immediately after William G. Rockefeller left Yale he entered business under the direction of his father. He made a very apt pupil and showed that he inherited much of the ability which gave his father and uncle their reputations "the able and excellent business son of William Rockefeller," as Lawson called him in this period.

When Amalgamated Copper was organized he was elected Secretary and Treasurer. But in 1903 he resigned, giving ill-health as the reason. It has usually been believed that he has been more than willing to live down and forget this part of his career. He made his headquarters at the famous 26 Broadway, and is at his desk there with great regularity. He has a keen perception of his duties and responsibilities. He has several times been a foreman of the Grand Jury, almost every year since 1898. He never neglects to cast his vote.

He has already begun to qualify by shedding his hair, and at least a part of his head rivals in shininess his uncle's before the advent of the famous wig. He is a good-looking man, being large and of muscular build. Life has brought few furrows into his face. His expression is almost boyish, and there is often a beam of good fellowship in his features.

People who study faces have said his nose and mouth are not those of a man whom you would regard as dangerous as his forebears; he is more human. Still, there is that in the chin and nose and general carriage of the head that shows the courage and persistency of the family.

He is fond of dogs and has extensive kennels at his country place at Greenwich,Conn. Several of his dogs have taken prizes at Bench shows. He is a popular clubman in New York and the country, quiet in dress like most of the Rockefellers.

Louis W. Hill

A new name was added to the list of leaders of American railroaders a couple of years ago when James J. Hill, the most conspicuous single figure in the railroad world, resigned the Presidency of the Great Northern in favor of his son, Louis W. Hill. "The richest heritage," said James J., "that a young man can have is stern necessity." That heritage he was not able to give to his son, but he did what he could to make up for it. He gave him quite as valuable an asset-stern responsibility.

If ever a young man had heaped upon his shoulders a tremendous burden it was Louis Hill, for the Hill roads were not so firmly established as not to have greedy competitors, and if the name of Hill was to survive it needed a strong man to conserve them. The father determined that the son should be such a man. And Louis Hill is indeed a level-headed, conservative, unostentatious young man for whom nothing was omitted in his education that would fit him for the task now allotted him.

When he was 12 years old a family conference was called at the big stone house on Summit Avenue, St. Paul Half a dozen careers were suggested for the boy, but after all had been talked over he sprang a surprise on his mother and gladdened his father by saying; "I'm going to be a railroad man."

The young President of the Great Northern knows railroads from the ballast up, for he began as a workman on a construction gang, then became a workman in the shops and operating department, and finally a clerk in the executive offices. On the way up he held the post of President of the Eastern Railroad of Minnesota, and because of his excellent conduct of this small road impressed his father as capable of handling the great system. The elder Hill went after things with a big stick; the younger man makes less noise, he is more patient, has a great fund of diplomacy. He looks for powerful friends and conciliates enemies. His method of attack is to mass facts and figures and resources, to make himself impregnable before he presents his demands, and then when the time is ripe to get what he wants by reason rather than by a fight. But he gets what he wants.

Not long ago a reporter was sent to interview him. "Mr. Hill, what do you regard as the prime function of a railway corporation?" he was asked. It was a period of railroad baiting in the West, and it was expected that the question would elicit some defense." Get revenues," replied Mr. Hill shortly. "And then?" "Get more."

The reporter waited patiently to have something added. Mr. Hill waved his hand. The interview was over. As a young student at Phillips Exeter Academy "Louie" Hill was not popular with his classmates. He was too solemn and sedate, and his manner had something of the hypercritical in it. He was not a brilliant student, and cared more for outdoor exercise, particularly bicycling, than he did for books. He was graduated as was his brother "Jim," and both boys went to Yale, Louis graduating in the class of '91.

"Jim," as he is called, traveled around the world. He was the older and his father naturally tried to push him forward, but he lacked the keener and more thoughtful brain of his younger brother. There was another brother still younger, and all three have been put through a rigid course.

Once when the father was away the youngest stayed away from work, and was suspended by the foreman for it he had a $6-a-week job at the time. When he got back his father congratulated the foreman on his nerve. Out of it all more and more responsibility was laid on the shoulders of Louis Hill, and thus he became the natural heir. For a time James N. was Vice President of the Great Northern, but he finally retired on the "sick list," and now is making quite a record in Wall Street as Director of a score or so of companies. But in railroading "L. W." it is who succeeds "J. J.," as they refer to father and son in their offices.

A year after he was graduated from Yale the present president of the Great Northern figured in a romance that had been running quietly for several years. He married a trained nurse, Miss Maude Van Courtlandt Taylor, directly after her recovery from typhoid. Her almost fatal illness decided Mr. Hill and in the convalescent ward of the Presbyterian Hospital of New York he asked the girl he had known in St. Paul to become his wife.

Miss Taylor's father, Courtlandt M. Taylor, was President of the Bankers' Life Association, and some years ago moved to St. Paul from New York. The romance began on the golf links at St. Paul, but Miss Taylor was eager to do something in life and returned to New York and took a course as trained nurse. it was while attending a typhoid patient that she was stricken with the illness that almost proved fatal but won for her a husband, the young master of 6,000 miles of railroad and hundreds of millions of dollars. They live in St. Paul in a $50,000 house alongside that of James J. Hill, a wedding gift to the son.

Horace Havemeyer

The fourth of the Havemeyer sugar kings at least he seems likely to become the fourth is young Horace Havemeyer. "Hod" Havemeyer, as his intimates call him, is a young man who threw over a college course and went in for overalls and cowhide boots over in the refineries in Williamsburg. That was not many years ago, but already young Horace is a Director of the American Sugar Refining Company, the American Coffee Company, Vice president and Director of the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminals, Vice president and Director of the Brooklyn Elevator and Milling Company, and Director of the Cuban-American Sugar Company. He is the son of Henry O. Havemeyer, for many years head of the Sugar Trust, who died in 1907.

That was the period when secrecy and silence where the unwritten laws of the business. Henry O. Havemeyer admitted that he could and did regulate prices of sugar and asked, "How about it?" If he had lived a few years longer he would have found out a good deal about it. During the past year or two, while young Horace has been absorbing his education, he has learned many things that the Havemeyer family before him did not know. For one thing he is having it carefully impressed on his youthful mind that there is such a thing as the United States courts.

Much is expected of the new generation. The original Havemeyer emigrated from Germany in 1802. He started a sugar bakery in New York, and his wife assisted him in the "bake." She was Miss Catherine Billiger of Little Britain, Orange Country, N.Y. This sturdy couple had two sons. William Frederick, who was for several terms Mayor of New York and Frederick Christian, father of Theodore A., richest of the Havemeyers, and of Henry O., the father of the present Horace, who by preference has gone back to take the "bake" just like the ancestors who founded the sugar dynasty.

Clarence H. Mackay

In the telegraph field the late John William Mackay has been succeeded by his son, Clarence H. Mackay, one of the young leaders of finance. He is 36 years old. He hadn't reached his thirties before making a solid place for himself.

Even at that early age, his rule for success was to devote himself strictly to his work and to tread as closely as possible in the footsteps of his father. The son had had a careful training in order to take the place that he would inherit. Even as a young man he had been placed where he could absorb knowledge about the wire nerves of the world's trade.

His father's dearest dream was the Pacific cable. When it was landed at San Francisco the son was on the spot and was so active that when an accident happened it caught him just as it did the men who were doing the work. Today he is President of the Commercial Cable and Postal Telegraph Companies and a number of others.

Mr. Mackay's Summer home is at Roslyn, L.I., and from it he makes the journey to the city every day in the Summer on a fast yacht. In 1898 he married Catharine Duer, the writer, who has recently attracted much attention by her advocacy of women suffrage. At Roslyn she is one of the School Commissioners, while Mr. Mackay is President of the local Republican Club.

He is an all-around athlete and an enthusiastic racquet player and sportsman, that is, when he can get out of the rut of business and turn to sport. He still maintains a polo stable, but rarely indulges in the game. The fact of the matter is that when he took his father's place he consciously dropped sport for work, and the same qualities that made him a good sportsman are now making him a good workman.

William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.

Such, too, is the case of William K. Vanderbilt, jr. While his father is in France retiring from many of his business activities and devoting his attention to racing, the son is in America taking up the burdens he is laying down. Several years ago the young man went to work like a ten-dollar-a-week clerk, with this difference, that he didn't have to do it, and didn't get a cent for it. Of course, he wasn't worrying much about the rent and coal, but he kept the same hours as a clerk and gradually familiarized himself with every detail of the New York Central's affairs.

He has combined both financial and practical training. He has studied the modern methods of finance in Wall Street, has been taught the details of syndicate building, knows how securities are underwritten, and can transfer bonds with all the legal formalities. He knows quite as well what an electric locomotive should be how to ballast a roadbed, how curves and bridges are built, and the difference between a standard and a "cull" railroad tie. Railroad officials have testified to a great change of heart toward young Mr. Vanderbilt at their board meetings, from toleration to serious deference and respect.

Mr. Vanderbilt, too, is a commuter in the Summer, coming in on his fast steam yacht from Great Neck, L.I. Some years ago he married Miss Virginia Fair, youngest daughter of James Fair. The Vanderbilt Summer home, Deepdale, is a large tract including the famous Lake Success, stables, many motor cars, and yet, withal, the simple life.

It wasn't many years ago when "Willie" Vanderbilt was known only as a "speed maniac." In 1900 he came home from Paris with a racing machine known as the "White Ghost," much to the discomfort of Newport's dogs and chickens. That was followed by an even faster machine, the "Red Devil."

His spectacular arrest in Europe some years ago for an accident added to his reputation. The Vanderbilt Cup races have been the means of still further attaching his name to speed. Then his yachts Virginia, Tarantula and Hard Boiled Egg, the last because it couldn't be beaten brought more fame. But when every one had made up his mind about him he surprised them by becoming a toiler. At Harvard he made great headway as business manager of The Advocate, and he knew it was in him to make good.

Young William K., Jr., is 32 years old, rather slight of build, and of medium height. His black curling hair and heavy eyebrows shadow two sharp sincere eyes. He moves quickly and erectly with his slight shoulders squarely set. "Mike" Donovan, Roosevelt's old sparring trainer, says the young man has one big quality, confidence in himself, and that no amount of jolting can drive it out of him.

In the Vanderbilt family there is also Cornelius, the third of the name, grandson of "the old Commodore." He has himself been Commodore of the New York Yacht-Club, and also Lieutenant of Company D of the Twelfth Regiment of the New York National Guard. But he has made a real reputation for himself by buckling down to hard work.

Among other things it might be mentioned that he has made some railroad inventions himself, not dilettante ones, but some of them of the kind that the Harriman lines adopt as well as the New York Central.

Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt was Miss Grace Wilson. If she made some social triumphs before her marriage she has made even greater since, for the Vanderbilts are on friendly terms with Emperor William, the Empress, and the Crown Prince. Recently Cornelius Vanderbilt was appointed by Mayor Gaynor as Chairman of the committee to welcome Col. Roosevelt on his return to New York, and he was active during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration.

Returning again to the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, Percy A. Rockefeller, brother of William G., is another who is making good in the great corporation at 26 Broadway. He is already Director of six corporations. Percy Rockefeller married Miss Isabelle G. Stillman; in fact, it would seem that intermarriage is playing an extremely important part in the amalgamation of the wealth of our American multi-millionaires.

H. H. Rogers, Jr.

H.H. Rogers, Jr., son of the late executive head of Standard Oil, holds a Captaincy in the same regiment as Cornelius Vanderbilt, being Captain of Company L. It is not a regiment or company of "kid gloves" either, but according to a recent showing by Mr. Rogers himself his own company contains men from all, walks of life. He attends to his duties strictly, never missing an annual encampment, roll call, or drill.

But that isn't the only or greatest thing he attends to strictly. He has made quite a reputation for himself for sticking to business since he was graduated from Columbia ten years ago. Shortly after his graduation he married Miss Mary Benjamin, daughter of G. H. Benjamin, whose brother's wife was a sister of the late Henry H. Rogers. The young heir to the Rogers name is a hearty devotee of tennis and other outdoor sports.

Robert Walton Goelet

Among others of the younger generation who may be mentioned as making good is young Robert Walton Goelet. One of his most recent ventures was erecting a new hotel to be known as the Ritz-Carlton on the block between Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Streets in Madison Avenue. Recently while abroad he attracted much attention by the purchase of the famous Chateau de Sandricourt for $300,000, with its famous furniture of Louis XV., Louis XVI., and the Empire. He is perhaps a little more devoted to sport than many of the younger generation of millionaires.

Allan A. Ryan and Claudius J. Ryan

It is said that Thomas F. Ryan in retirement has placed his hope in the firm of Allan A. Ryan & Brothers. These two young men, Allan A. and Claudius J. Ryan, have inherited the remains of the business that put their father on the road to success. Before the panic, when Mr. Ryan saw it coming, the brokerage firm of his sons enabled him to get rid quietly of much of his superfluous holdings. After it was over he quietly began to buy stocks in again, through his sons at the cheap market that prevailed. But that isn't the only or main part of their business. They have hustled on their own account and have built up a large clientele.

These two brothers are quiet, industrious, earnest young fellows and by this process are therefore fast piling up their fortunes. Mr. Ryan has always made it a hobby to make them self-reliant, and they are. From the start he threw all the responsibility on them that he dared, and now he feels great pride in their achievements. Comparatively little is known of these young men outside of business.

.George F. Baker Jr.

In the banking world George F. Baker, Jr., is now Vice president of the First National Bank, of which his father is head. He is also connected with several trust and securities companies and three or four railroads.

James A. Stillman

People need not speculate on who will succeed James Stillman, former head of the National City Bank, as Director of eight railroads, officer of trust companies and industrial concerns. It will be James A Stillman, his son.

The younger Mr. Stillman has been trained in business since he was graduated from Harvard in the class of 1896. First he served as clerk, then as assistant cashier, and a couple of years ago was elected a Director and Vice President of the bank. He has already taken his place as a man of business and society. He and his wife, who was Miss Anne N. Potter, have their town house in Seventy-second Street, near Fifth Avenue and have built a country home on the Hudson not far from the elder Mr. Sillman's, near West Point. The younger Mr. Stillman is a member of many clubs, a golf enthusiast, and a lover of the open air, with somewhat of a record as a hunter of big game in the Rockies and Canada.

 


Article Information:
Article Name: Sons Of Powerful Financial Men Win Success For Themselves
Website: http:www.thehistorybox.com |Researcher/Transcriber:    Miriam Medina
Source:   New York Times Apr 10, 1910. p. SM6 (1 page)
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