Thomas Sturgis

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Thomas Sturgis
Thomas Sturgis, Financier, Fire Commissioner, Soldier.png
2nd Fire Commissioner of the City of New York
In office
Appointed by Seth Low
Preceded by John J. Scannell
Succeeded by Nicholas J. Hayes
Member of the Wyoming Terriorial Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1846-04-06)April 6, 1846
Manhattan, New York
DiedFebruary 25, 1914(1914-02-25) (aged 67)
Eastbourne, England
Political partyRepublican

Thomas Sturgis (April 6 or 30, 1846 - February 25, 1914) was a businessman, soldier and financier. He was appointed the second New York City Fire Commissioner by Mayor Seth Low on January 1, 1902 and served in that position until the end of the Low Administration on December 31, 1903. Prior to this he served as a fire commissioner under William Lafayette Strong, replacing Austin E. Ford. [1] Sturgis was also developer of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and financier. [2] In the Pacific Historical Review , Gene M. Gressley wrote that Sturgis was "one of the few young easterners who came west in search of a fortune and stayed long enough to become one of the most respected men in the cattle industry." [3]

The New York City Fire Commissioner is the civilian administrator of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York. There have been 32 commissioners excluding Acting Fire Commissioners, and 38 commissioners including Acting Fire Commissioners. This is since Manhattan and the Bronx consolidated with Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island to form The City of New York in 1898. The current Fire Commissioner is Daniel A. Nigro, who has held the office since June 7, 2014. The term of office is January 1 to December 31 unless the commissioner is removed from office by the mayor, dies in office, or resigns.

Seth Low American mayor

Seth Low was an American educator and political figure who served as mayor of Brooklyn, President of Columbia University, diplomatic representative of the United States, and was the 92nd Mayor of New York City. He was a leading municipal reformer fighting for efficiency during the Progressive Era.

William Lafayette Strong Mayor of New York City

William Lafayette Strong was the 90th Mayor of New York City from 1895 to 1897. He was the last mayor of New York City before the consolidation of the City of Greater New York on January 1, 1898.



Thomas Sturgis was born on April 6 or 30, 1846, to Wiliam and Elizabeth Sturgis, [4] [5] in New York City. He attended New York City public schools, [4] including Grammar School No. 40. When he was 16, Sturgis began working as a clerk at a wholesale dry goods house. [5]

Dry goods term referring to supplies and manufactured goods

Dry goods is a historic term describing the type of product line a store carries, which differs by region. The term comes from the textile trade, and the shops appear to have spread with the mercantile trade across the British colonial territories as a means of bringing supplies and manufactured goods to far-flung settlements and homesteads that were spreading globally. Starting in the mid-1700s, these stores began by selling supplies and textile goods to remote communities, and many customized the products they carried to the area's needs. This continued to be the trend well into the early 1900s. With the rise of department stores and catalog sales, the decline of dry goods stores began, and the term has largely fallen out of use.

Upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, Sturgis joined the twenty-second regiment of the New York State Militia. When he turned 18 in 1864, Sturgis enlisted in the Sixtieth Massachusetts Regiment, commissioned as a first lieutenant and adjutant of the Sixtieth regiment. Sturgis served as post-adjutant of a prisoner-of-war camp near Camp Morton in Indiana in the summer and fall of 1864. After the Sixtieth was mustered out, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Fifty-seventh, serving in various capacities as an aide-de-camp and an assistant adjutant general at the army camp, rising to be assistant adjutant general of the First Division of the Ninth Army Corps, attached to the Army of the Potomac. At the Battle of Fort Stedman (March 25, 1865), Sturgis was taken prisoner, held in Libby Prison, and exchanged, [5] :338 serving until the end of the war in 1865. [5]

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.

First lieutenant is a commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces and, in some forces, an appointment.

Prisoner-of-war camp Site for the containment of combatants captured by their enemy in time of war

A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of enemy combatants captured by a belligerent power in time of war.

After the conclusion of the war, Sturgis briefly studied law, [4] before moving to west to Neosho [3] in Southwest Missouri in spring 1868. [5] He managed several farms, [3] and worked as a general land agent for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and negotiated with Native Americans on behalf of then Governor of Missouri Thomas Clement Fletcher, gaining right of way to build a railroad on the 35th parallel. Sturgis moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1878 [5] and was involved in banking, railroads and stockraising, spending fifteen years in the city. [4] Sturgis became the leader of the Republican Party in Wyoming. [3] He married Helen Rutgers Weir, daughter of Robert Walter Weir, [2] on June 9, 1880. Sturgis organized and served as president of the Stockgrowers National Bank in Cheyenne. [5] He was involved in the founding of and served as president of the Cheyenne and Northern Railway. [6] He was secretary of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association for 14 years, and secretary of the National Cattle Growers Association. [5] He was elected to the Wyoming Territorial Senate and chairman of the Republican Central Committee of the Territory while in Cheyenne, [5] serving from 1882 to 1883. [4]

Neosho, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Neosho is the most populous city in Newton County, Missouri, United States, which it serves as the county seat. With a population of 11,835 as of the 2010 census, the city is a part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region with an estimated 176,849 (2011) residents. Neosho lies on the western edge of the Ozarks.

Atlantic and Pacific Railroad subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railway

The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad was a U.S. railroad that owned or operated two disjointed segments, one connecting St. Louis, Missouri with Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the other connecting Albuquerque, New Mexico with Southern California. It was incorporated by the U.S. Congress in 1866 as a transcontinental railroad connecting Springfield, Missouri and Van Buren, Arkansas with California. The central portion was never constructed, and the two halves later became parts of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway systems, now both merged into the BNSF Railway.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Sturgis returned to New York City in 1887 or 1888, [4] [5] opening a building company, Sturgis & Hill. [4] Sturgis soon became prominent in New York City business, owning stock or being a director of the Consolidated Ice Company, the Knickerbocker Ice Company, the American Ice Company, the Wyoming Development Company, and the Cheyenne Gas and Electric Light Company. [5] He became treasurer of the Union Stock Yards. He was appointed to the Civil Service Commission of New York in 1896 and was made a trustee of the Elmira Correctional Facility in 1899, [4] being elected president of the latter's board. [5] Sturgis served as New York City Fire Commissioner from January 1, 1902 to December 31, 1903. [4] He died February 25, 1914 in Eastbourne, England. [1] [4]

The Knickerbocker Ice Company was an ice company based in New York State during the 19th century.

American Ice Company United States historic place

The American Ice Company is a historic ice manufacturing plant located at 2100 West Franklin Street in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is a large industrial brick building constructed in 1911 for the American Ice Company, a business that manufactured and delivered ice throughout the mid-Atlantic states. The building is two stories, with the brick laid in American bond, and is 21 bays long. Three of those bays at one end of the building are slightly projected and topped by a stepped parapet, forming the entrance area of the building.

Union Stock Yards

The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or The Yards, was the meatpacking district in Chicago for more than a century, starting in 1865. The district was operated by a group of railroad companies that acquired marshland and turned it into a centralized processing area. By the 1890s, the railroad money behind the Union Stockyards was Vanderbilt money. The Union Stockyards operated in the New City community area for 106 years, helping Chicago become known as "hog butcher for the world" and the center of the American meatpacking industry for decades.

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  1. 1 2 "To Succeed Austin E. Ford. Thomas Sturgis Made a Fire Commissioner by the Mayor". New York Times . September 27, 1896. Retrieved 2008-10-05. Mayor Strong yesterday announced the appointment of Thomas Sturgis as a Commissioner of the Fire Department, in place of Austin E. Ford, who died Sept. 17. Mr. Sturgis, accompanied by his wife, went to the Mayor's office at 11 o'clock. After the usual preliminaries Mr. Sturgis took the oath of office and received his commission.
  2. 1 2 Gardner, Deborah S.; McKay, Christine G. (2009). "An Artist's Retreat: J. Alden Weir's Farm in Connecticut" (PDF). National Park Service. p. 30.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Gressley, Gene M. (1961). "The American Cattle Trust: A Study in Protest". Pacific Historical Review. 30 (1): 61–77. doi:10.2307/3636332. ISSN   0030-8684. JSTOR   3636332.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Thomas Sturgis" (PDF). New York Times . February 27, 1914.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Harrison, Mitchell Charles (1902). New York State's prominent and progressive men;an encyclopaedia of contemporaneous biography. New York. pp. 337–339. hdl:2027/njp.32101060043690.
  6. Athearn, Robert G. (1976). Union Pacific Country. University of Nebraska Press. p. 304. ISBN   978-0-8032-5829-7.
Fire appointments
Preceded by
John J. Scannell
FDNY Commissioner
Succeeded by
Nicholas J. Hayes