JOURNALISM IN CALIFORNIA
by John P. Young
Pacific Coast and Exposition
CHRONICLE PUBLISHING COMPANY
San Francisco, California, 1915
Thank you to Beth Humphrey for
transcribing and submitting this material.
Alfred C. Rulofson (page 319)
Few San Franciscans have given so much time,
attention and money to the upbuilding of their city, or have worked so
consistently for the general advancement of the community, as has Alfred
C. Rulofson, head of the A. C. Rulofson Company, general Western stales
agent for the Pittsburgh Steel Company and for other industrial concerns
of high repute. In his many years inn business in San Francisco,
Mr. Rulofson has stood in the foreground, as a layman, in the conduct of
Mr. Rulofson was born October, 26, 1853, at
Sonora, Tuolumne County, Cal., son of William H. Rulofson and Amelia V.
(Currie) Rulofson, and was educated in the public schools of Sonora and
San Francisco and at Brayton’s College in Oakland. In 1868 he went
directly from school to the San Francisco offices of the Russell &
Hamilton. So indefatigably did he work with his new employers that
they made him business manager, a position he held until 1904. And
not a little of the firm’s present standing is due to his tireless energy
while he was guiding its affairs.
Leaving Baker & Hamilton, Mr. Rulofson
organized the A. C. Rulofson Company and become Western sale agent for
a number of manufacturers, among them the Harrisburg Pipe & Pipe Bending
Company, Illinois Malleable Iron Company. Thomas Steel Company, McKeesport
Tin Plate Company, Standard Chain Company, Bettccher Manufacturing Company,
Osgood Scale Company, Edwards Manufacturing Company, Charles Morrill Company,
Success Manufacturing Company and Savage Tire Company. At present
he confines himself to the Pacific Coast branch of the Pittsburgh Steel
Company, one of the largest concerns of its kind in America, the Briar
Hill Steel Company, Illinois Malleable Iron Company and Standard Chain
Mr. Rulofson was a pioneer in the metal window
frame industry, which has grown to huge proportions, and also was one of
the first to deal in fireproof metal doors. His Rulofson Underwriter
Fireproof Metal Windows, manufactured along with steel office furniture
and other non-inflammable materials by the Rulofson Metal Window Works,
are recognized everywhere as standard.
Going beyond his immediate interests, Mr.
Rulofson has made for himself a reputation as a businessman and as a developer
of business interests. For several years he occupied with credit
thee presidency of the Home Industry League of California, aiding in making
gospel of the idea of “aid me and I will aid you.” Early in March
1914, as part of a commission representing the California manufacturers
and exporters, he sacrificed time and money to make a trade investigation
trip to the Orient, although his own business was benefited in now way
by the fund of valuable trade information he brought back. In line
with his “booster” work Mr. Rulofson also was president of the former Manufacturers’
Association, and was a member of the traffic bureau of the old a Merchants’
Mr. Rulofson is the second of his name to
gain wide recognition for ability in San Francisco. His father, William
H. Rulofson, during the sixties and early seventies was prominent here.
He came around the Horn from St. John’s Newfoundland, in 1851, and after
a year or so of mining in Sonora returned across the plains to Missouri
to meet his wife, who had journeyed alone from Newfoundland. Retuning
to California, Mr. Rulofson established in Sonora the first permanent photograph
gallery in the State. He came to San Francisco in 1861 and resumed
photography under the firm name of Bradley & Rulofson. On one
occasion, when taking official photographs of fortifications for the Secretary
of War, he was arrested as a Confederate spy but was released. Photos
taken by him are still extant; bearing the statement that in his gallery
was the only passenger elevator in the world connected with a similar institution.
The present Mr. Rulofson, fraternally, is
a member of California Lodge No. 1, F. & A.M.; California Chapter No.
5, R.A. M.; Golden Gate Commandery No. 16, K. T., and Islam Temple of Shiners.
He also belongs to the Rotary Club and, with his wife, is prominent socially.
He is the father of five Children: Alfred C., Jr.; Mrs. Joseph El.
Cutten and Mrs. Carl Platte of San Francisco; Mrs. Henry Platte of Portland
and Mrs. Zadie Riggs of Salem, Oregon.
Theodore Z. Blakeman (page 239)
“A man advanced in years,” wrote Richard Steele,
the famous essayist, “that thinks fit to look back upon his former life
and calls that only life which was passed with satisfaction and enjoyment,
will find himself very your, if not in his infancy.”
Bearing in mind this truth of “The Spectator,”
Theodore Z. Blakeman, pioneer San Francisco attorney at law, has indeed
had a well-rounded career. Roses were not strewn in his pathway.
Indeed, he has gone through a great deal of unpleasantness. But it
has all been life, real life, and his spirit of optimism has ever prevailed.
Born September 29, 1842, in Green County,
Kentucky, Mr. Blakeman is the son of Moses Blakeman, at one time a prominent
slave-owner, and of Narcissa (Rhea) Blakeman. He is a descendant
of Adam Blakeman, who landed in America in the 17th century and established
the first English Episcopal Church, at Stamford, Connecticut. Following
his early education in private schools in Greensburg, near his birthplace,
Mr. Blakeman entered Georgetown College, and was in his junior year there
when the Civil War broke out.
One day in 1863, when Bragg had forced back
the Federals and had swept close to Cincinnati, Mr. Blakeman mounted his
horse, rode into the Confederate lines and enlisted as a private in the
regiment of Colonel Gano. Subsequently he was with Morgan in the
famous raid through Ohio. The Confederates found themselves hemmed
in and surrender was decided upon. Before this took place, however,
Mr. Blakeman and a comrade slipped away in the darkness, procured civilian
clothes, and walking boldly into Dayton bought ticket for Detroit.
Mr. Blakeman made his way clear to Windsor, Canada, without being once
At Windsor Mr. Blakeman stopped with the family
of John Rodman, a Kentucky lawyer whom the war had forced into temporary
exile. The youth took up the study of law under Rodman, and when
the latter returned home Mr. Blakeman apprenticed himself to Matthew R.
Vonkoughnet, a brother of the Chancellor of the Province of Ontario..
A few months later, when General Lee surrendered, Mr. Blackman went to
New York and read law in the office of John W. Ashmead, U. S. Attorney
General in President Taylor’s administration. He was admitted to
practice in New York in 1866. In 1867 he went to St. Louis and began
practicing after admittance to the State and Federal courts. In 1875
he was admitted to the U. S. Supreme Court and 1880 he came to San Francisco.
Since that time Mr. Blakeman has enjoyed a
wide and successful law practice. From 1890 until 1896 he appeared
in a notable suit against the Bank of California of San Francisco and the
Rideout-Smith Bank of Oroville, in which he represented bondholders of
the Spring Valley Gold Company, owners of the big Cherokee mines.
The action was very complicated and had for its basis the recovery of the
mining property. After taking the case to the Supreme Court Mr. Blakeman
won for his clients and the mines were sold some years later for $160,000.
Mr. Blakeman is perhaps best known to
the present generation of attorneys by his really remarkable work on behalf
of the widow of the late Thomas Bell. When he died in 1892 Bell left
an estate valued at $1,200,000. By 1898, for one reason and another,
it had dwindled to almost nothing and had $250,000 outstanding debts.
At this juncture Mr. Blakeman was retained by the widow.
To begun with, Mr. Blakeman had the executors
turned out and in 1902 had Mrs. Bell appointed general administratrix.
By suits in equity he then recovered for the estate 14,000 acres of land,
on part of which oil had been discovered. By selling part of this
the estate has realized $1,780,000, and it still has left 8,000 acres for
which it has been offered $2,500,000.
Mr. Blakeman has built up this magnificent
estate from next to nothing. In fact his efforts drew from Judge
Henshaw of the Supreme Court the statement in open session that:
“I and the members of this court appreciate and have some knowledge
of the great volume of evidence that has been required and the vast labor
cast upon you, and can bear testimony to the great value of your services
to that (Bell) estate.”
Such a eulogy as that is so unusual as to
be almost unique. It leaves nothing to be added.
Louis P. Boardman (page 240)
After all, there is nothing like being prepared
when one sets out to accomplish some certain thing. If a man establishes
a grocery business, he succeeds if he has trained himself in this field
and knows its pitfalls beforehand; he probably fails if he does not know
them. It is much the same in any line of work. The professions
– the doctor, the lawyer – are particularly required to prepare themselves
well if they are to attain anything other than a mediocre success.
Louis P. Boardman owes his achievements as
a lawyer largely to the fact that when he had the opportunity to study
and learn the rudiments of law he took advantage of it. The result
was that Mr. Boardman began doing things immediately after he was admitted
to the bar. And he has been doing things – big, important things
– ever since.
Born in 1874 at Reno, Nevada, Mr. Boardman
is the son of Judge W. M. Boardman is the son of Judge W. M. Boardman and
Mariah (Harris) Boardman. His father was prominent in legal circles,
both at the bar and on the bench, and three of his four sons, Louis P.,
Philip C. and Joseph Boardman, have followed in his footsteps by entering
the profession also. The elder Boardman was at one time district
attorney for Washoe and Story counties, Nevada, and later on was elected
judge for the same district.
When it came time for Louis P. Boardman to seek
an education he was placed in the hands of private tutors in Reno.
Later on he went for a time to the State University of Nevada at Reno,
and when about 16 years old came to California with his parents.
Soon afterward he entered the University of the Pacific at Santa Clara,
but when Stand University was opened at Pal Alto he enrolled at the new
institution of learning as a member of its first class. He was graduated
from Stanford with the degree of A. B.
Judge Boardman was at this time practicing
law in San Francisco and the son took up his legal studies in his father’s
offices. Judge Boardman was called away oftentimes to various points
in Northern California in the course of his practice, and his son on such
occasions carried on the routine work here. This gave him valuable
experience along practical lines, experience which he soon was to turn
Louis P. Boardman was admitted to the bar
in California and almost immediately afterward represented Theodore Durrant,
convicted of murder, in Durrant’s appeal to the United States Supreme Court
on a question of constitutional law. The lower court’s ruling was
affirmed by the higher tribunal, but affirmed by the higher tribunal, but
Mr. Boardman was nevertheless complimented on the able manner in which
he had prepared the plea.
Mr. Boardman’s law practice is of a general
nature, through largely confined to civil law. He has appeared a
great deal in probate matters and at present represents the widow in the
million-dollar estate of the late George K. Porter. This takes him
to Los Angeles a great part of the time, although he maintains his permanent
offices in the Crocker building, San Francisco.
In politics Mr. Boardman is a Republican.
He has not sought political preferment, however, contenting himself merely
with working on behalf of his friends.
Philip C. Boardman (page 241)
There is such a thing as failing in a business
or profession career because one does not realize that, to attain anything
worth while, one must “stick close to the job.” Pleasures allure
and the enticement is to strong: or, perhaps, the mind and heart are not
in the work and what seems pleasure in itself to one man appears as dull,
grinding labor to another. Once a man lets his interest wander he
is almost foredoomed to failure. He might as well quite it all right
All of which is but a prelude to the
statement that one of the main reasons Philip C. Boardman has succeeded
in the practice of law is that he realized all this at the outset.
Then he entered upon the study of his profession he knew that it would
require work—and plenty of it. He was cognizant of the fact that
years of close application were before him, and that if he were to make
a name for himself among his co-practitioners he must “stick close to the
He has done so, and the results have
been most gratifying.
Mr. Boardman is a native of Nevada.
He was born at Reno, January 14, 1883. His father was Judge W. M.
Boardman, at one time district attorney for Washoe and Story Counties,
Nevada, and afterward district judge for the same judicial division. He
was eminently successful in the law, both as a practitioner and on the
bench, and his sons came naturally by their inclination for a similar career.
Mr. Boardman’ mother was Mariah (Harris) Boardman.
When it came time for Mr. Boardman to
seek an education he was sent to the public schools of his home city.
When he was but 7 years old his parents moved to California, living for
a time at Monterey and Pacific Grove.
In 1900 Philip was graduated from the
Monterey County High School. He had long planned to follow in his
father’s footsteps as a lawyer, as well as in those of his elder brother,
Louis P. Boardman, who was at that time associated in practice with Samuel
M. Shortridge. He began his law studies in this office, where he
remained for a little more than two years. In the early part of 1909,
having taken the necessary examinations and passed them, he was admitted
to practice in the State Courts of California by motion before the District
Court of Appellate District. In 1911 he was admitted also to the
United States District Court.
Immediately following his admittance
Mr. Boardman began practicing alone, and he has continued so until now..
His business is of a general nature, although the bulk of his work is in
civil law. He has practiced in every court in San Francisco and has
appeared in a professional capacity also in nearly every county of California.
One of Mr. Boardman’s coups was his
rejuvenation of the Combined Oil Company, for which he is general counsel.
The concern’s property in the North Midway field was, three years or so
ago, in debt to the extent of $100,000. Mr. Boardman was retained
to take charge of the situation, and he not only put the corporation entirely
out of debt but he accumulated for it assets which today are in excess
of a quarter of a million dollars. This was another result of close
application, coupled with the ability to see through and unravel a complex
problem, keeping in touch with all the details as the matter worked itself
Although his political leanings are
toward the Republican part, Mr. Boardman is a politician in no sense other
than that he is naturally interested in anything that affects the city
or the nation in which he lives and works. He has never sought office,,
nor has he been active politically except on behalf of a friend whom he
felt worthy of the preferment sought.
His flourishing practice has also kept
Mr. Boardman to busy to take part in matters of a social or fraternal nature
and he has done little along wither line. He is unmarried.
Herbert F. Briggs (page 243)
If diversified experience has anything to
do with a man’s success – and almost anyone will aver that I does have
a lot to do with it – then Herbert F. Briggs should accomplish as much
in the practice of law as he accomplished in the ministry or in the world
of business. For he has really seen life from a great many angles
– seen it at its best and at its worst, with plenty of the mediocre in
Ever since he was a youth Mr. Briggs had been
attracted to the law as a profession. But his desire to become a
lawyer was outweighed by another desire, that to help men who needed help.
He would have gone into social service had such a thing been as well defined
then as it is today. But at that time the church seemed to him to
be the only medium through which he could work – so he entered the church.
Mr. Briggs was born March 16,1866, at Sacramento,
California, and his father, Martin Clock Briggs, was a clergyman of the
Methodist Episcopal Church. His mother was Ellen (Green) Briggs,
a native of New York State. The elder Briggs came to San Francisco
on the vessel that brought Francisco on the vessel that brought the news
of California’s admittance into the Union.
The present Mr. Briggs was educated in the
Lincoln School of San Francisco, having moved to this city with his parents
when he was about 12 years old. He was graduated from the Alameda
High School in 1884, and after attending for a time Evanston Academy at
Evanston, Ill., entered Northwestern University of Evanston. He received
the degree of A. B. from this institution in 1889, and after three years
in the Boston University School of Theology was given the degree of S.
T. B. in 1892. The same year, by virtue of independent study, he
gained the degree of A. M. from Northwestern.
By this time Mr. Briggs’ plans for entering
the ministry had crystallized. In 1890 he had entered the California
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1892 he formally entered
the ministry, although his final ordination did not come until 1894.
His first pastorate was at Loss Gatos, California. Three years he
remained there, but in 1895 was transferred to Santa Cruz, where he served
two years more.
At this juncture Mr. Briggs, desiring to further
his erudition the better to equip himself for the work that was to follow,
spent a year and half at the University of Berlin, specializing in New
Testament Greek and theology. Then he spent an unusually productive
period of six months reading theology in the library of the British Museum
in London. He returned home in 1899 to accept the chair of New Testament
Greek in the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, but the next year returned
to the California Conference.
Placed in charge of the work of the
City Missionary Society of San Francisco 1900, Mr. Briggs occupied the
position for one year, or until 1901, when he and his brother, A. H. Briggs
were made joint pastors of Central M. E. Church, San Francisco. In
1903, however, under the firm and honest conviction that he could not accomplish
in the ministry what he desired to accomplish he – resigned in good standing
For the succeeding five years Mr. Briggs gained
exceedingly valuable experience in the business world, along various lines.
During this period he made a business trip around the world, his journey
taking him to Africa, England, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China
and Hawaii. By this time the way was open for him to study law, and
he took advantage of it, pursuing his work privately for three years.
He passed the examinations before the District Court of Appeal and was
admitted to the bar May 4, 1911.
Ever since then Mr. Briggs has been
practicing law independently. He confines himself largely to civil
law, with very little criminal work, and most of his practice is along
probate and corporation law lines.
Mr. Briggs is a Republican but not active
in politics, although he served as a member of the Board of Library Trustees
of Berkeley and also as member of the Berkeley Board of Education.
He belongs to the Masonic order, San Francisco Commandery No. 42, Knights
Templar, to the Elks and to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was
marred August 6, 1892, in Evanston, Ill., to Miss Sara M. Foster.
The couple have had two sons, Arthur Foster Briggs, now dead, and Herbert
Mitchem Briggs, aged 13.
William H. Byington, Jr. (page 244)
The dealer in financial securities occupies
an important place in the business community. If he is capable, if
he builds up his clientele and gains the confidence of investors, he may
become one of the foremost figures in industrial progress.
Land does not develop itself; money is needed
to start colonization going. Industries do not spring into popular
favor without much preliminary labor and exploitation and the erection
of factories, and for all this there is needed capital. Everywhere
one turns, one sees industries of a hundred different natures, which, were
it not for proper financing, would not, could not, exist.
William H. Byington, Jr., dealer in first
mortgage bonds and consistent booster for his native State, has for the
last decade devoted this time to the financing of California industrial
projects. When call upon to provide money for a meritorious business
cause, he has gone forth and secured it, no matter how great a sum might
be required. His deals have run into the millions, and not only from
other sections of the United States but from Europe has the needed capital
Born August 29, 1882, at Downieville, Sierra
County, Mr. Byington is the son of William H. Byington and Nellie Frances
(McDonald) Byington. The family removed to San Francisco in 1889
and Mr. Byington attended the public schools of this city, being graduated
from Lowell High School in 1901.
In 1902 Mr. Byington entered the law
department of the United Railroads of San Francisco as an adjuster of damage
claims. He remained with this corporation until 1907 when he became
interested in the sale of bonds and entered this new field, where he has
since mapped out his career.
Alfred Austen Cohen (page 248)
The province of an attorney at law is just
as he himself defines it. He may restrict himself to the preparation
and trial of legal issues after the controversy has reached the point where
only a court can settle it; he may act, rather, in an advisory capacity,
with the idea of forestalling lawsuits or of comprising without going into
court at all – or he may make of himself a combination of lawyer and business
promoter, thereby assuming a double role.
Alfred Austen Cohen has extended his operations
as an attorney so as to include all of these. When he was but 21
years old he organized and financed the Jamaica Storage Warehouse Company
in New York City, with $100,000 capital stock, fully paid up. Within
the past year he has promoted successfully the $1,000,000 Independent Ice
& Cold Storage Company of San Francisco, which bids fair to become
one of the largest corporations of its kind on the Pacific Coast.
Born November 4, 1886, in New York City, Mr.
Cohen is the son of Koppel Cohen, a builder, and Ann (Rosenthal) Cohen.
He attended the public schools and the Jamaica High School of New York
City, and from there went to the law school of the University of Denver.
After about a year at this institution he continued his studies at the
Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University, Brooklyn, N. Y., and finished
the course in 1907.
It was just after he finished school that
Mr. Cohen, seeing the opportunity to launch a warehouse enterprise, organized
the Jamaica Storage Warehouse Company, of which he became president and
general manager. In the succeeding four years he became prominent
in this field of business, being a member of the executive committee of
the New York Furniture Warehouseman’s Association. He still represents,
in a legal way, a number of warehouse concerns, and occasionally writes
legal opinions on such matters for storage warehouses all over the country.
In 1911 Mr. Cohen came to Nevada and was admitted
to the bar in October of that year before the Supreme Court at Carson City.
A few days later he gained admittance also before the Supreme Court of
California at Sacramento. He practiced at Reno, however, until Jun
1, 1913, when he came to San Francisco and opened offices here. While
in Nevada he was attorney for a number of corporations, among them the
Union Oil Company and the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company.
He is at present general counsel for several corporations in this city,
and also is the legal representative of the San Francisco Property Owners’
After a year of preliminary work and negotiations,
Mr. Cohen caused to be incorporated June 4, 1915, the Independent Ice &
Cold Storage Company, by the aid of Eastern capital. The capitalization
of $1,000,000 is fully paid up and the concern will begin actual operations
as soon as its factory is completed. At the outset the company will
confine itself largely to a development of the local market, but later
on it will extend its business throughout the State. It expects to
offer strong competition in the manufacturing and sale of ice and in the
maintenance and operation of cold storage warehouses. Mr. Cohen is
a director of the new corporation and its general attorney.
Mr. Cohen is a member of the San Francisco
Bar Association, the San Francisco Commercial Club, the New York Society
of California and the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith. He was married
in San Francisco April 21, 1915, to Edna B. Sonnenfeld, daughter of Abraham
and Ida Meyer Brown, and resides at the Richelieu Hotel. His offices
are in the Insurance Exchange building.
Although he may be classed among the younger
generation of San Francisco attorneys, Mr. Cohen has already carved out
for himself a career that many older members of his profession might well
envy. He has found a happy combination of abilities. He was
long enough in business to learn its tenets as thoroughly as he has learned
those of the profession of the law. And with such a ‘stock in trade,’
many more big things–things that ultimately will prove a great benefit
to the community—may well be expected of him.
Francis Marion Colvin (page 249)
All the world admires a self-made man.
The one who fights his way alone against adversity in hewing out a career
has certain attributes not found in the individual places. And there
are attributes, which have much to do with our civilization.
Had Francis Marion Colvin, San Francisco attorney,
been over chary in his youth of soiling his hands with work or of burning
the midnight oil over some volume of learning—this story probably would
not be told. But he was not, so long as he gained the end he sought.
Francis M. Colvin was born March 21, 1870,
on a farm in Oswego County, New York, son of John C. Colvin and Susan B.
(Wallace) Colvin. The winter months found him at school and the summer
months he spent helping his father till the farm. Time that might
have been passed in play he employed in clearing land and plowing, and
hauling tan-back and railroad ties with an ox team. Thus he learned
when still a mere boy, what it meant to work for what he received.
At times he “hired out” as farm hand to neighbors. The job always
was tough, the pay always slight; but what pennies he could spare went
for books, which he read with avidity.
How hard earned was Mr. Colvin’s money may
be illustrated by a story. One winter there was an unusually heavy
snowfall and the snow banked up five or six feet deep on the schoolhouse
and outbuildings. Fearing it would cause damage the school trustees
employed young Colvin to shovel it off. The work was difficult, the
climbing dangerous; but the boy accomplished it satisfactorily, whereupon
he received—twenty-five cents. And to collect the money he had to
walk twelve miles through the snow for an order from the school clerk,
return it to the trustees for their signatures, take it back to the clerk
to be signed by him, and then present it to the school treasurer for payment!
Then thirteen years old Mr. Colvin left home
to make his own way. He continued attending school and working at
odd jobs, by which he managed to support himself. At fifteen-he began
a course at Leonardsville Academy, Leonardsville, New York, working his
way through in three years. He specialized pedagogy, and after passing
the examinations was, at the age of eighteen, a licensed schoolteacher.
His first school was at East Winfield, New York, where he taught a year,
then removed to Nebraska and taught there another year. The Far West attracted
him and he went to Western Washington, where he taought eight years more.
Mr. Colvin was essentially of that sturdy
type of schoolmaster who sets an example of the right as well as of conduct
before his pupils. During the vacation period he worked the harder.
One year he donned overalls and secured a place as laborer on the grading
of the C.B.&Q. Railroad in Nebraska. Another he labored in a
brickyard; again he lived the rough life of the logging camp; and still
again he pushed a wheelbarrow on the grade of the Seattle, Lake Shore &
Eastern Railroad. In Washington he successfully handled real estate
and insurance as a sideline and one year, between school seasons, pursued
the same work in San Francisco.
Where there is a determination to succeed,
there usually is a way. Mr. Colvin found it by taking up two Government
claims of 320 acres, one a homestead. The latter was in the midst
of a dense forest four miles from the nearest neighbor and in order to
perfect his title Mr. Colvin was obliged to build a cabin and live there.
He broke a trail through virtually primeval woods and spent upward of six
years in this sylvan retreat. There was where the plucky schoolmaster
really learned the value of good books as companions. Caring his
books into the woods on his back he delved into them, gaining a thorough
knowledge of general literature. St the same time he became an expert
woodsman and horseman.
Abandoning teaching in 1898, Mr. Colvin traveled
for a year selling furniture. His spare moments he had spent studying
law. In 1899 he became a student in the office of John W. James Anaconda,
Montana, working in the copper mills to pay his way. Subsequently
he attended Northern Indiana University,, graduated and entered the law
department of Yale, which awarded him his LL.B. in June, 1905. After
several months of special study he was admitted to the bar in California
in 1906 and has since practiced law in San Francisco with ever-increasing
Henry Lysander Corson (page 250)
If a man is to accomplish anything in his
struggle with the world, he must have the backing of capital, which may
be either money or a certain amount of “mother wit.” just how much capital,
and what sort, is required to attain success depends largely upon the man
himself. Some men have been enabled to get a start with as little
as a dollar; in the case of some others, ten thousand dollars would not
be half enough.
When Henry Lysander Corson, now a San Francisco
attorney at law, started out to secure a practical education in the Dirigo
Business College at Augusta, Maine, his father gave him $100. Thereafter
he made his own way, teaching school that he might attend school, and otherwise
bestirring himself for a livelihood.
Mr. Corson was born on a farm in Canaan, Maine,
July 26, 1870. His parents were Lysander Hartwell Corson and Susan
C. (Morrison) Corson and were the youngest of a family of seven, nearly
all of who came to California in the early days and still reside here.
Mr. Corson was naturally precocious in his
books.. He had not been enabled to attend school between the age
of 13 and 17, but when he did get the opportunity he took full advantage
of it. He attended East Corinth Academy at East Corinth, Maine, for
a time, and then taught for about a year in county schools, two terms at
Skowegan and one term at Clinton. Wishing to prepare himself for
college he entered Higgins’ Classical Institution at Charleston, largely
because a schoolteacher of his youth was then principal there. He
was graduated from Higgins’ in 1892 with the college preparatory degree,
being one of the Institution’s first alumni.
Finances—or, rather, the lack of them—still
stood between Mr. Corson and the coveted college course. To overcome
this he went back to teaching. For a year he was principal of the
high school at New Vineyard, Maine, there after accepting a better position
as principal of the Standish, Maine, high school, and after another year
going to a still better post as principal of the high school at York Harbor,
Maine. Then, being in a position to carry out his plans, he matriculated
at Colby College of Waterville, Maine, which graduated him in 1898 with
the degree of A. B. While in college Mr. Corson became a member
of the Chi Chapter of the Zeta Psi fraternity, and was particularly active
in student affairs. His class was the largest that had ever entered
Colby up to that time and it more championships of various kinds than any
preceding class. Although not an athlete himself, Mr. Corson was
elected general manager of the college athletics for a year. He managed
the football team of ’97, which, for the first time in Colby’s history,
overcame every eleven in sight, losing not a single game.
Leaving Colby, Mr. Corson began his study
of the law in the offices of Edmund F. Webb of Waterville, then one of
the best-known lawyers in Maine. Soon afterward Mr. Webb died, and
Senator Charles F. Johnson took over his offices. With him Mr. Corson
continued his studies until he was admitted to the bar before the Supreme
Court of Maine at Bath on August 28, 1900, after which he practiced his
profession in Waterville for about a year.
In 1901 Mr. Corson came west to California
and was married February 21, 1901, and a month or so later opened offices
in San Francisco, where he has continued in general law practice ever since,
with considerable corporation and probate work. Today he is president
and general counsel of the Gold Star Mining Co., general counsel for the
King Placer Mining Co., and has been counsel for the Knights of the Maccabees.
He is past-president of the State of Maine Society of California and a
member of the Iroquois Club, has held various offices in the fraternal
orders of the Masons, Druids and Maccabees, and is a Knights Templar.
Mr. Corson is a nephew of the late Dighton
Corson, a renowned lawyer, once Attorney General of Nevada and later Chief
Justice o the Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Charles H. Crocker (page 253)
The correct way thoroughly to learn a business
or profession is to start in at the bottom and work one’s way upward until
the highest pinnacle is attained. The man who does this is reasonable
certain that when he at length reaches the goal he will be able to maintain
himself there; the man who gets there by the money or influence route is,
on the other hand, as the insurance agent would say, a decidedly bad risk.
When H. S. Crocker, founder of the flourishing
publishing and stationery house of H. S. Crocker Company, introduced into
the business his son, Charles Henry Crocker, he encouraged the young man
to befit right at the beginning and work his way up. Charles H. Crocker
heeded the advice and followed it. Today he is at the head of the
Mr. Crocker was born August 29, 1865, at Sacramento,
in whose pubic schools he received his early training. When nine
years old he came to San Francisco with his parents and attended the public
schools of this city, matriculating in 1883 at the University of California.
He was graduated in 1887 with the degree of A. B. His business training
began at once.
The house of Crocker was established in 1856
at Sacramento. In 1872 the San Francesco branch was opened and gradually
the branch outgrew the parent establishment, although the latter is still
maintained. In 1890 the business was incorporated under the name
of H. S. Crocker Company. In 1912 the stationery and publishing concern
of Cunningham, Curtiss & Welch of San Francesco and Los Angeles was
purchased. This gives the Crocker company three houses, those at
San Francisco and Sacramento under its own name and that at Los Angeles
retaining the name of Cunningham, Curtiss & Welsh Company. (Note: Welsh
and Welch is correct as to the article.)
At the outset the present Mr. Crocker became
an apprentice in his father’s lithographing department. There was
no favoritism shown him, no lessening of his work because he was the proprietor’s
son. Successively, he passed through the printing, binding, engraving
and stationery branches, then gained experience as a clerk and at length,
proving his general capability, was elected one of the company directors.
Subsequently he became treasurer, then vice-president, and upon the death
in 1904 of his father, assumed the presidency.
A great deal of the satisfying growth of the
combined concern has been due to the unremitting work of Mr. Crocker.
Today the H. S. Crocker Company is the largest of its kind west of Chicago.
Its stationary, manufacturing and selling department is one of the largest
in the United States and it owns the biggest and most up-to-date printing
plant this side of St. Louis. Its book stock funds are into the millions
and it also does a large business in office furniture and fixtures.
What with the exceptional service the company
has given in the past, together with an even better service at present
made possible by an extension of its plant, “Crocker Quality” has come
to have a great deal of significance. Every contract accepted by
the H. S. Crocker Company in printing, binding and lithographing is manufactured
complete in its own factory, by skilled mechanics; and every bit of work
passes through hands of exacting inspectors to insure its faultlessness
and growth. This firm is the pioneer railroad ticket printer of the
west. Crocker lithographs and blank books, like Crocker stationery,
are recognized as standard. Its plant, housed in two immense Class
A buildings, contains more than 140,000 square feet of floor space, well
lighted, airy and scrupulously clean.
Mr. Crocker is resident of the H. S. Crocker
Realty Company in addition to being president of the H. S. Crocker Company
of San Francisco and Sacramento and of Cunningham, Curtiss & Welch
Company of Los Angeles; he is vice-president of the American National Bank
and the Italian-American Bank of San Francisco and the Giant Powder Company,
Consolidated; and a director of the Union Sugar Company, the Alameda Sugar
Company and the Agricultural Credit Corporation.
He is affiliated with no fraternities, but
is a life member of the Olympic Club, commodore of the Pacific Motor Boat
Club and holds active membership in the Bohemian Club, San Francisco Press
Club, San Francisco Commercial Club. He is chairman of the convention committee
of the National Association of Stationers, which met in San Francisco in
Mr. Crocker was married in 1905 at Del Monte
to Carlotta L. Steiner. His home is at Belvedere.
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