Born in Colton, New York. Received A. B. from Middlebury College in 1871. Married Hattie A. Fisher December 10, 1873. She died in 1881. Married Emily Louisa Eaton July 14, 1887.
He studied law and practiced law in Colton. He also served as school commissioner. He was elected to the New York legislature in 1875. He was appointed superintendent of the New York state banking department and served 1880 to 1883. Between 1883 and 1889 he made a fortune in real estate and lumber operations. In 1889 he was appointed United States bank examiner for New York City. He served as comptroller of the currency in Washington from 1892 to 1893.
He served as president of the Third National Bank of New York 1893 to 1897 and vice president of the National City Bank 1897 to 1899. He was with the Chase National Bank from 1899 until his death. He served as vice president 1899 to 1904, president 1904 to 1911, chairman of the board 1911 to 1918 and chairman of the advisory board 1918 to 1922. He was chairman of the currency commission of the American Bankers Association.
He originally opposed the Federal Reserve Banks until provisions were made to pool the gold reserves and for the banks to rediscount each other. He was a defender of the gold standard. Author of History of Coinage and Currency in the United States and the Perennial Contest for Sound Money in 1903 with several revised editions.
Author of A History of Currency in the United States with a Brief Description of the Currency Systems of All Commercial Nations in 1915.
As a philanthropist he made generous contributions to libraries, schools and universities. He died in New York City.
bio: ApCAB; DAB; NCAB 15, 23; WWWA-1
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"History of Coinage and Currency in the United States and the Perennial Contest for Sound Money" by A. Barton Hepburn, 1903.