Morris Ketchum

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Morris Ketchum (February 5, 1796 January 1, 1880) [1] was a prominent American banker and financier of the 19th century.

Contents

Early life

Ketchum was born on February 5, 1796 at Waterford in Saratoga County, New York. He was the fourth child of Amos Ketchum (1765–1835) and Arabella (née Landon) Ketchum. [2] Among his siblings were Mary Ketchum (wife of Dr. Samuel Akerly who founded the New York Institute for Special Education in 1831) and Hiram Ketchum. [3]

Career

In 1832 he partnered with Thomas Rogers and Jasper Grosvenor to form the manufacturing firm of Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor; this firm eventually grew into Rogers Locomotive Works, the second most popular steam locomotive manufacturing company in North America. [4]

Ketchum was also a director of the Illinois Central Railroad. During his time on the board, he was able to funnel many of that railroad's locomotive orders to Rogers. [5]

In the 1860s, he partnered with Peter Cooper, John Jacob Astor Jr., Hamilton Fish and others to form a new committee, the Special Council of Hygiene and Public Health. Joseph Smith served as president and Dr. Willard Parker was vice-president. [6]

Morris Ketchum, with his son Edward B. Ketchum, led the financial firm of Ketchum, Son and Company in New York City. His son Edward was later found to have embezzled nearly $2.5 million to cover his losses in the 1860s; [7] [8] it was Morris's good reputation that kept the public from suspecting Edward of embezzlement for a time. [9] Morris had to resign as president of the Fourth National Bank of New York. [10]

Later career

After giving up his fortune to make good on his sons forgeries in 1865, Ketchum moved south and became interested in the Savannah Banking and Trust Company of Savannah, Georgia and the Central Railroad. [3]

Personal life

Ketchum was married three times. His later marriage was to Margaret Miller (1807–1893), [11] a daughter of Judge Sylvanus Miller of Long Island. [12] He was the father of three sons and two daughters that survived him, including: [3]

Ketchum died at his home, 19 Washington Square in New York City, on January 1, 1880. [3] He was buried at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport, Connecticut. [14]

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References

  1. Reitwiesner, William Addams. "The Ancestors of Julia Stimson Thorne" . Retrieved October 11, 2005.
  2. Selleck, Charles Melbourne (1896). Norwalk. The author. p.  73 . Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "MORRIS KETCHUM BANKER The Death of One of New York's Oldest and Best-Known Financial Men". The Atlanta Constitution . 7 January 1880. p. 4. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  4. Moshein, Peter & Rothfus, Robert R. (1992). "Rogers locomotives: A brief history and construction list". Railroad History (167): 13–147.
  5. White, John H. Jr. (1968). A history of the American locomotive; its development: 1830–1880. New York, NY: Dover Publications. ISBN   0-486-23818-0. p. 24.
  6. Goldman, Joanne Abel (1997). Building New York's Sewers: Developing Mechanisms of Urban Management. Purdue University Press. p. 136. ISBN   978-1-55753-095-0 . Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  7. "KETCHUM; Story of His Last Fortnight". The New York Times . 28 August 1865. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  8. "WALL STREET PANIC.; Tremendous Forgeries on Well-Known Firms" (PDF). The New York Times . 16 August 1865. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  9. Kalinke, Tom (2004). "Financial History". Museum of American Financial History. Archived from the original on October 16, 2005. Retrieved October 7, 2005.
  10. Williams, Henry Clay (1893). American Encyclopaedia of Biography. Hightstown, N.J.: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Co. pp.  123-124. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  11. "Obituary Notes". The New York Times . 12 September 1893. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  12. 1 2 Yale University Class of 1868 (1914). History of the Class of 1868: Yale College, 1864-1914. Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Press. p.  340 . Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  13. "Died" (PDF). The New York Times . 12 September 1910. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  14. Connecticut Reports: Containing Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Errors. Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors. Press of Case, Tiffany and Company. 1895. p. 86. Retrieved 16 January 2020.