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|The Butler Law Firm
The Butler law firm and the Olcott banking dynasty were at the core of the Albany Regency of the early 1800s, and their political control continued throughout that century.
The Butlers also created the Union Theological Seminary of New York and the Church of the Covenant, of that cabal of eastern elitism, the Presbyterian Church; while an in-law headed the Baptist University of Chicago until John D. Rockefeller took over.
In 1873, with directors of the Guaranty Trust, the Butler law firm created the Central Trust. In addition to wealthy benefactors of the American Bible Society and other Christian missionary causes, it was also the repository of tobacco and utility magnate and Catholic Church benefactor Anthony N. Brady's fortune.
Benjamin Franklin Butler
In 1848, he opened the law firm of Butler & Butler with his son. "One of the more notable commercial transactions that involved the firm [Butler, Stillman & Hubbard, attorneys] was the founding of the Central Trust Company.
In 1873 the directors of the New York Guaranty and Indemnity Company, in the business of lending money against collateral security, wanted to expand into other lines of business, but were prohibited from doing so by their restrictive charter.
Until 1887, when New York finally passed a general incorporation law, every corporation had to come before the legislature and argue for the specific provisions they wanted in their charter, a time-consuming and expensive procedure that usually involved a great amount of political dealing with legislators.
To avoid this morass, [William Allen] Butler searched for an inactive company that had a broader charter than the New York Guaranty and Indemnity Company.
In 1875, Butler and ten other individuals purchased the charter of the inactive Central Trust Company for $10,000.
This new company was recapitalized at $1,000,000, with most of the money being advanced by the New York Guaranty and Indemnity Company, which acquired the charter of the old company.
The Central Trust Company was one of the largest clients of the Butler firm. In 1887, to facilitate daily contacts with the Central Trust Company, the firm moved to offices at 54 Wall Street, in the same building as the Company...." Railroad magnate Mark Hopkins was a boyhood friend of firm founder Hiram Barney.
In 1888, Stillman and Hubbard were hired to manage
the holdings of Hopkins's widow, which became their
full-time task, although they technically remained partners
until 1896. (History of Thacher Proffitt.) Thomas Edgar
Stillman, Esquire, Butler, Stillman & Hubbard, was a nephew
of Jacob Davis Babcock Stillman, a close friend of Leland
In 1849, has daughter, Harriet Allen Butler, married Edmund Dwight, Yale 1835. He was interested in the construction and board of management of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad; a founder and trustee of the Hahnemann Hospital; a member of the Board of Governors of the Woman's Hospital; and a trustee of the New York Homeopathic Hospital. (Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale, 1890-1900, p. 664.)
His father, Rev. Henry Dwight, Yale 1801, was a founder of the Bank of Geneva, N.Y., and a trustee of Hamilton College and Auburn Theological Seminary.
His uncle, Edmund Dwight, Yale 1799, married Mary Harrison Eliot, an aunt of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot.
The elder Dwights also were third cousins of President Timothy Dwight of Yale. (Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, Vol. V, September, 1792 - September, 1805, pp. 437 and 351.)
Benjamin F. Butler Jr. was born in Albany, N.Y. in 1830, where his father lived before going to Washington, D.C. as Attorney General under President Jackson.
He spent two years at the University of the City of New York, then went to sea for two years. He was a clerk for Edwin Hunter, then joined Maitland, Phelps & Co, with Royal Phelps and Robert Gordon, where he became a partner in 1860.
It dissolved in 1884 when Phelps died, and Gordon returned to England. He then formed the banking and mercantile firm of Butler, McDonald & Co. with Gordon McDonald.
In 1855, he married the eldest daughter of Dr. Willard Parker, and they had seven sons and one daughter. (Obituary. New York Times, Dec. 13, 1884.) He was one of the founders of the Church of the Covenant in New York City in 1862.
Its first Pastor, Rev. George L. Prentiss, resigned to
accept the Chair of Pastoral Theology, Church Polity, and
Missionary Work at Union Theological Seminary in 1873.
William E. Dodge was one of the Ruling Elders, and Charles
Butler and David McAlpin were Deacons in 1874. (Church of
the Covenant. New York Times, Sep. 21, 1874.)
He is said to be "a lineal descendant from Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England."
Benjamin F. Butler was in the cabinets of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. (William Allen Butler Dies Suddenly. New York Times, Sep. 10, 1902.)
Pallbearers at Butler's funeral were Judge John M. Dillon, John E. Parsons, Lewis B. Reed, Prof. Henry M. Baird, Thomas H. Hubbard, Thomas E. Stillman, Adrian H. Joline, Wilhelmus Mynderse, John Reid, and Walter W. Law. (William Allen Butler Buried. New York Times, Sep. 13, 1902.)
He was a director of the newly-formed Security Fire Insurance Company in 1856, along with Edmund W. Corlies of the Central Trust. (Insurance. New York Daily Times, Jul. 18, 1856 p. 6); and of the newly-formed Commercial Union Fire Insurance Company in 1890, along with George S. Bowdoin, who joined the Guaranty Trust in 1896. (Display Ad 8. New York Times, Nov. 19, 1890 p. 7.)
He was the referee for the Continental Life Insurance
Company in 1877. (Insurance Disclosures. New York Times,
Feb. 15, 1877.) He was a member of the University
Corporation, the governing body of New York University, at
the merger of New York Medical College and Bellevue Hospital
Medical College into New York University Medical College.
(Medical Colleges Unite. New York Times, May 15, 1897.)
Most of his fortune had been in bank stocks, and around 1914, J.S. Saltus was one of the major stockholders of the National Bank of Commerce, the American Exchange Bank, the Park National Bank, and the Bank of America. (Fix Saltus Estate At About $2,000,000. New York Times, Aug. 8, 1922; John S. Saltus left estate of $3,543,253. New York Times, May 19, 1923; Banks Stock List Full of Surprises. New York Times, Sep. 23, 1914.)
William Allen Butler was executor of the will of Cassie
Mason Meyers Julian-James, net New York assets $195,590. She
left $40,000 to Butler. (Estates Appraised. New York Times,
Feb. 28, 1926.)
Wyllys Rosseter Betts, Wolf's Head 1898, was a partner from 1899 to 1904. He was a son of Frederic H. Betts. (Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University, 1932-1933, p. 92.)
George Prentiss Butler died in 1911. He graduated from Princeton in 1884. Their mother was the former Mary R. Marshall. (Geo. P. Butler Dies Suddenly in London. New York Times, Apr. 9, 1911.) It became Butler, Herrick & Kip until 1919, when Kip left and Charles H. Marshall joined. (Stock Exchange News. New York Times, May 4, 1919.)
"He was a grandson of Benjamin F. Butler, Attorney General of the United States in the Cabinets of Presidents Jackson and Van Buren, and a grandson of Capt. Charles H. Marshall of the famous Black Ball line of Liverpool packets." He graduated from Princeton in 1892. (Arthur W. Butler, Retired Banker, 79. New York Times, Nov. 22, 1949.)
George Prentiss Butler's daughter, Harriet, married
Ellsworth Bunker (Bunker-Butler. New York Times, Apr. 26,
1920.) Ellsworth Bunker joined the firm in 1953. (5
Securities Firms Dissolving Dec. 31. New York Times, Dec.
Frederick C. Hicks and Everett Colby were also partners of the firm. (Limited Copartnership Notices. New York Tribune, Dec. 16, 1905.) Mrs. Herrick's father was William H. Helme Moore, director and former president of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company. (William H.H. Moore Dead. New York Times, Jan. 5, 1910.)
His brother was Gerardus Post Herrick, an inventor, whom he financially supported. (Thinks He Has Found the Rotary Engine. New York Times, May 22, 1910.)
Henry Spies Kip, Yale 1896, was the son of William Bergh Kip and Sarah Ann Spies. He graduated from the New York Law School in 1901. He left the law and became a member of Herrick, Hicks & Colby in 1906, which was consolidated with George P. Butler & Bros. in 1911. (Obituary Record of the Graduates, Yale University 1915-20, p. 1464.)
His grandfather was Henry James Kip, whose widow died in 1873. (Died. New York Times, May 29, 1873.)
His son, William Bergh Kip, was a member of Wolf's Head 1926. (Senior Societies Elect at Yale. New York Times, May. 15, 1925.)
He married Margaretta Stockton Delafield, daughter of Edward C. Delafield, president of the Bank of America.
His best man was George Grant Mason [Jr., Wolf's Head 1926].
His ushers were Edward C. Delafield Jr., Gifford C.
Ewing, Louis Reynal, Archibald Douglas Jr., Arthur Milliken
[Wolf's Head 1926], James Cooper, Charles Poor [Skull &
Bones 1926], and Richard W. Bond of Santa Barbara, Cal.
(Miss Delafield Wed to W.B. Kip. New York Times, Jun. 20,
1926.) William Bergh Kip was with the research and analysis
bureau of the Office of Strategic Services during World War
II. (William Bergh Kip. New York Times, Feb. 25, 1973.)
Henry S. Kip's brother was Garret Bergh Kip, Wolf's Head 1901. (Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale Umiversity 1929-1930, p. 175.) He was best man for M. Robert Guggenheim, son of Daniel Gugenheim, Chairman of the American Smelters Exploration Company, when he married Grace Bernheimer. (A Day's Weddings. New York Times, Dec. 1, 1905.)
Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University 1929-1930
/ Yale University Library (pdf, 398 pp.)
He called Hitler 'unintelligent but not mentally deranged." He was the son of Charles L. Colby of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, and was born in Milwaukee. (Everett Colby, 68, A Lawyer, Is Dead. New York Times, Jun. 20, 1943.)
He was best man at fellow Brown alumnus John D. Rockefeller Jr.'s marriage to Abby Green Aldrich. (J.D. Rockefeller, Jr., Weds Miss Aldrich. New York Times, Oct. 10, 1901.) At Everett Colby's marriage to Edith Hyde, daughter of Mrs. Charles Hyde, ushers were John D. Rockefeller Jr., Robert G. Mead Jr., John Tenney, Sherman Day, Dr. Parker Syms, and Giraud P. Herrick of New York, Stanley McCormick of Chicago, and Francis DeL. Hyde of Plainfield, N.J. His brother, Howard A. Colby, was best man. (Weddings of a Day. New York Times, Jul. 1, 1903.) He was a member of the Campaign Committee of the American Society for the Control of Cancer (Rockefeller Aids Cancer Study Fund. New York Times, May 3, 1926), and Mrs. Colby patronized its benefit (To Aid Cancer Society. New York Times, Nov. 29, 1926.)
Charles L. Colby was born in Boston Highlands in 1839. He graduated from Brown University in 1859. He joined Page Richardson & Co. of Boston, tea importers, who sent him to Europe in for three years. He and his brother, Joseph L. Colby, were in charge of the government's bonded warehouses in New York City from 1865 to 1870. He came to Milwaukee in 1874 after his father, Gardner Colby, began investing in Wisconsin railroads. He was vice president of the Wisconsin Central company from 1874, and president from 1877 to 1890. "Mr. Colby was a strict constructionist Baptist, like J.D. Rockefeller, his partner in the American Steel Barge works, the Everett Land company and in Lake Superior iron mines. He gave large sums to church and other purposes in Milwaukee and was the chief donor to the costly Y.M.C.A. building in this city." He died shortly after finishing an address to the Women's Foreign Missionary Society in the First Baptist Church of Newton, Mass., in which he said he hoped to meet his mother soon in heaven. (Died in Church. Milwaukee Journal, Feb. 28, 1896; Charles L. Colby Dead. Milwaukee Sentinel, Feb. 28, 1896.)
Gardner Colby was born in Waterville, Maine, in 1809. His father died when he was young, and his mother moved to Charlestown, Mass. (Colby, Gardner. Scott J. Winslow Associates.) He married Mary L. Roberts of Gloucester, Mass. in 1836. (Married. Boston Courier, Jun. 6, 1836.) Gardner Colby & Co. handled silk. (A Heavy Theft of Silk Velvet. Boston Daily Atlas, Aug. 26, 1845.) He was elected a trustee of Brown University in 1855. (Commencement at Brown University. Boston Daily Advertiser, Sep. 8, 1855.) He gave $50,000 to Waterville College in his home town. (Waterville College Commencement. Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, Aug. 11, 1865.) He was a director of the Bayfield and St. Croix Railway Company in 1869. (Milwaukee Sentinel, Sep. 10, 1869.)
His brother-in-law, Oliver Everett Roberts of Gloucester, Mass., graduated from Columbia, "and then entered the Chinese trade, with headquarters in Honkong. He was also Consul for the United States at that port. At the close of the civil war Mr. Roberts returned to this country and entered the Assay Office," where he was a cashier for twenty-five years.
He was never married. (Obituary Notes. New York Times, Aug. 11, 1903.) He was a classmate of Robert M. Olyphant. (Annual Commencement of Columbia College. New York Daily Tribune, Oct. 4, 1842.) He was a partner of Wetmore & Co. with William Shepard Wetmore, from at least 1854 to 1857. (Notices of Firms. Shanghai, North China Herald, May 6, 1854; and Sep. 8, 1857.)
Colby, Gardner / Scott J. Winslow Associates
He owned much property in Plainfield [N.J.], where he was President of the City National Bank." Three sons were engaged in banking or the oil industry. (Death List of a Day. New York Times, Jun. 13, 1901.) He left an estate valued at $3 million, which was held by the family's Union County Investment Company. (Heirs Organize a Company. New York Times, Jul. 11, 1901.)
Charles H. Marshall became the senior partner in the investment firm of Butler, Herrick & Marshall. He graduated from Yale in 1913, and was a member of Scroll & Key and the Whiffenpoof Society. He was a descendant of James Lenox, who donated the grounds for the Presbyterian Hospital.
His grandfather was Charles Henry Marshall, founder of the Black Ball steamship line.
In 1917, he married Alice Ford Huntington [whose uncle, Ford Huntington had been secretary-treasure of the Havana Tobacco Company], and they were divorced in 1932.
His second wife was Mrs. Brooke Russell Kuser [later Mrs.
Vincent Astor]. (C.H. Marshall, 61, Stockbroker, Dies. New
York Times, Nov. 30, 1952.) Her sister and Mrs. Marshall
Field 3d were matrons of honor, and Marshall Field 3d was
best man. Cole Porter was one of the ushers. (Alice
Huntington One of Many Brides. New York Times, Jun. 3,
1917.) Charles H. Marshall was an usher at Reginald L.
Auchincloss's wedding. R. La G. Auchincloss Weds Ruth
Cutting. New York Times, May 3, 1916.)
Mrs. Ogden's bequest to her niece's son was conditioned
on abstaining from alcohol and tobacco until he reached the
age of twenty-one. (Mrs. Ogden's Estate Valued At
$20,000,000. New York Times, Oct. 7, 1904.) Her sister was
the wife of Guaranty Trust director George G. Haven. (Mrs.
William B. Ogden. New York Times, Sep. 29, 1904, p.9).
William F. Whitehouse began his career at the Guaranty Trust from 1900 until 1904, when his father bought him a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
They were the parents of Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, Skull
& Bones 1905, and grandparents of Charles Sheldon
Whitehouse, S&B 1947. Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse (Mary Crocker
Alexander), whose grandfather, San Francisco banker Charles
Crocker, was associated with Leland Stanford, Collis P.
Huntington and Mark Hopkins, continued her mother's
interests on the board of Presbyterian Hospital. Her sister
was Mrs. Winthrop W. Aldrich, whose husband was on the board
of directors of the American Society for the Control of
Cancer; and their father was Charles B. Alexander, counsel,
a director, and a member of the Executive Committee of the
Equitable Life, and grandson of a founder of Princeton
Theological Seminary. (Miss Alexander to Wed S. Whitehouse.
New York Times, Jul. 30, 1920; C.B. Alexander, 77, Noted
Lawyer, Dies. New York Times, Feb. 8, 1927; W.F. Whitehouse,
Newport Leader. New York Times, May 28, 1955; Sheldon
Whitehouse Dies At 82; Career Diplomat for 26 Years. New
York Times, Aug. 7, 1965.)
Thomas Hamlin Hubbard
He was President of the Pacific Improvement Company, and President of the International Banking Corporation, which acted as agent of the U.S. in collecting the Boxer Indemnity from China; President of the Guatemala Central Railroad, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Light and Traction Company, and a director of the National Bank of Commerce, the Equitable Trust Company, Wabash Railroad Company, the Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad Co., the Western Union Telegraph Co., the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and other companies. (Gen. T.H. Hubbard, Financier, Dead. New York Times, May 20, 1915 p. 11; Hubbard Estate $2,579,422. New York Times, Apr. 7, 1917 p. 11.)
He was one of the attorneys in the litigation over the will of Francis Saltus of the Saltus Steel Co. of New Haven, Conn., and he was the executor of the will of Theodore Saltus, who left half his estate of $3,543,253 to be divided between the American Bible Society, the Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, and the New York Association for the Improvement of the Poor. (Mr. Saltus's Brief Will. New York Times, Jan. 4, 1901; Brigadier General Thomas Hamlin Hubbard. Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.) Hubbard was a director of the Shoe and Leather Bank, and his son, John was added to the board in 1904 (Annual Bank Elections. New York Times, Jan. 21, 1904.)
Hubbard was a director of the Chicago & Alton Railroad,
along with Joy Morton and Norman B. Ream. (Alton's control
complete. New York Times, Oct. 3, 1907.) Hubbard was
president of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. His
wife, Sibyl A. Fahnestock, was the sister of Harris C.
Fahnestock, a former partner of Jay Cooke & Co. and Vice
President of the First National Bank of New York. Harris
Fahnestock's daughter, Ruth, married A. Coster Schermerhorn,
S&B 1920 (Ruth Fahnestock Wed At St. Thomas. New York Times,
Dec. 1, 1926.)