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Biography of Henry W. Corbett
Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Massachusetts,New York,Oregon | No Comments
The writer who seeks to portray the life and advancement of a people-no matter how far he may be under the control of theories pointing otherwise-must at last come to the individual and seek his best material in the lives and records of those by whom the works he would describe have been performed. Thus biography becomes not merely a side light to history, but the very essence and vitality of history itself. In the story of the man of affairs you tell that of his times as well. Viewed thus, it does not need be said that the true story of Portland cannot be told as we have tried to tell it in these pages without proper reference to the men whose varied lines of effort have touched almost every material interest of the city as well as many reaching far beyond its boundaries.
Conspicuous among the men who have influenced the current of public events, who have shaped the destiny and made the city of Portland the commercial and financial metropolis of Oregon, is Henry Winslow Corbett. During forty years he has been an important factor in the development which has been steadily going on in the Pacific Northwest, and it is but simple justice that a faithful record of the part he has borne in this great work should be preserved as an example for the guidance and emulation of coming generations.
He was born at Westborough, Massachusetts, February 18, 1827, and is the youngest son in a family of eight-six of whom reached maturity. His parents were Elijah and Melinda (Forbush) Corbett. His ancestors, who settled in Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, were Normans, and traced their descent from Roger Corbett, who was a military leader under William I, in the conquest of England, gaining distinction and lands for the part he bore in the struggle. William, the eldest son of Roger, was seated at Wattesborough, while his second son, Sir Robert Corbett, had for his inheritance the castle and estate of Caus, with a large part of his father’s domain. The latter’s son, also named Robert, accompanied Richard I to the siege of Acre, bearing on his coat of arms two ravens, which have since been the crest of his descendants.
It is not the purpose to trace in this sketch the genealogy of the family from its ancient source. Suffice it to say that many achieved distinction in politics, the church and in the learned professions, while one of the descendants on the maternal side is a member of Parliament at the present time. The Corbetts in America are lineal descendants of this ancient and honorable family, as the family record at Mendon, Massachusetts, clearly indicates.
The father of Henry Winslow Corbett was a mechanic, and at Westborough established the first edged-tool manufactory in that part of Massachusetts. He subsequently removed to Washington county, N. Y., where he continued his manufacturing business until forced to abandon it on account of failing health. He then settled in Cambridge, in the same county, and engaged in the hotel business and farming until his death in 1845. He was a man of progressive ideas and possessed much mechanical ingenuity. Both he and his wife were consistent Christians and by precept and example exerted a most wholesome influence upon the lives and characters of their children.
The boyhood of the subject of this sketch was passed in Washington county, N. Y., where, until he reached the age of thirteen years, he received an ordinary common school education. At the age named he commenced his business career in a store at Cambridge, where he remained two years and during that time attended the Cambridge Academy. He then returned home and after a short term at school, secured a clerkship in a store at Salem, the county seat. At the end of a year he went to New York city, and secured a clerkship in the dry goods store of Williams, Bradford & Co., serving. seven years in that business. During this period he became firmly established in the confidence of his employers, and in October, 1850, they furnished him the necessary capital to ship a general line of merchandise to Portland; Oregon, by way of Cape Horn on the bark Francis and Louise. He arrived in Portland, March 4, 1851. At this time the embryo city of Portland contained about 400 inhabitants and five small stores; stumps of trees were standing on Front street and back of First street stood the virgin forest. He secured the rental of a frame building then not fully completed, on the corner of Front and Oak streets, at the rate of $125 per month. He removed his goods to the second story of this building before it was completed, his customers being obliged to ascend a flight of stairs. “At night,” said Mr. Corbett to the writer, “I slept in the store and when I was ready to retire I pulled the stairs up after me.” It was amid these rude surroundings that Mr. Corbett began his business career on the Pacific Coast. He applied himself to his work with all the zeal and earnestness which have ever characterized him and within fourteen months disposed of his entire stock of goods, the net profit of his venture amounting to the sum of $20,000 with which he returned to New York, but before leaving he became associated with Robert and Finley McLaren, who were to continue the business in Portland. He remained in New York one year and during this time continued to ship goods to his partners in Portland. He then determined to make Portland his home, and some months after his return dissolved with his partners and established the business in his own name. He continued to do a general merchandise business until 1860, when he changed to a wholesale hardware business. In 1871 he consolidated with Henry Failing and established the firm of Corbett, Failing & Co., which has since occupied the first place among the mercantile houses of the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Corbett’s mercantile operations, great and successful as they have been, rep-resent but feebly his capabilities and achievements in the business world. As soon as he had gained a fair financial start in his adopted home, he began to take a prominent part in those enterprises which he saw were needed to develop the resources of the country. He first turned his attention towards the improvement of transportation facilities on the rivers, becoming interested in steamboating. He was also among the first to advocate the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and while in the Senate; labored zealously for the project, although he had no personal interest to subserve in so doing. After the failure of Jay Cooke, to carry the under-taking through, he assisted in the re-organization of the company by taking a pecuniary interest in the enterprise, and from that time until its completion, was one of its most active promoters. In the winter of 1865-6, Mr. Corbett secured the government contract to carry the mail between San Francisco and Oregon. The line, some 640 miles in length, he stocked with four-horse stages, and successfully continued the business until his election to the United States Senate, when he relinquished his contract, believing his relation to the business incompatible with his duties as a public servant.
In 1869, with Henry Failing, Mr. Corbett purchased a controlling interest in the First National Bank, of Portland, which had been established four years previously. Its business, however, was then very limited, its deposits amounting to about $40,000. Under the new management, it has steadily grown in magnitude until at the present time it is at the very head of the financial institutions of the Northwest, with deposits aggregating over $3,000,000, and capital and surplus over $1,000,000. It is the oldest and strongest National Bank in the Pacific Northwest. Henry Failing has been president ever since they took control, and since his retirement from the Senate, Mr. Corbett has been vice-president.
Numerous are the other business enterprises which have and are still receiving substantial encouragement and pecuniary assistance from Mr. Corbett. He is a director of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, and has always cast his influence in behalf of liberal measures in its management, and to secure the lowest rates of transportation possible with good and quick service. He is also largely interested in the Portland Rope Works, Oregon Linseed Oil Works, Street Railway, Oregon Transfer Company and the Oregon Fire & Marine Insurance Company, being vice-president of the last named company. At present he is president of the company which has completed the erection of a magnificent hotel in Portland, only second in size to the Palace Hotel, of San Francisco. He was largely instrumental in the organization of the Portland Board of Trade, and for several years was its president. In all the important measures this body has materially assisted in bringing about pertaining to the commercial and transportation interests of the State, Mr. Corbett has been foremost by his counsel and hearty co-operation. He has also been prominently connected with the Board of Immigration, which has already done much for this section of the Union. He is a large owner of real estate in Portland and has erected some of the finest business blocks in the city.
In private enterprises, which have promised to advance the prosperity of the city or to promote the moral and intellectual good of his fellow citizens, Mr. Corbett has responded readily and wisely. His name heads every subscription list to worthy objects. He gave $20,000 towards the erection of the Presbyterian Church; made a liberal endowment for the Children’s Home, a most successful institution; contributes largely to the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Boys and Girls Aid Society and Sailors’ Home; in fact to everything he gives, and so quietly and so modestly that half of his benefactions are not suspected. He seeks opportunity to do good and to be helpful to his fellow citizens and his city. He was reared in the Presbyterian doctrine and for many years has been a consistent member of this denomination, but his sympathy and substantial encouragement go out to all agencies, irrespective of religion or creed, which tend to ameliorate suffering and to improve mankind. In politics Mr. Corbett was originally a whig and a devoted follower of Henry Clay. Upon the formation of the Republican party in Oregon he became one of its leaders and as chairman of the State Central Committee he did valiant service in securing the ascendency of his party in Oregon, and at the convention held in 1860 he and Leander Holmes were elected delegates to the Chicago convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. They were unable to reach the convention in time and Horace Greely represented Oregon by proxies from Mr. Corbett and Mr. Holmes and the two votes, Mr. Greely was thus enabled to cast for Lincoln, backed by his powerful influence, had a most potent effect, if it did not really determine the result in favor of the then comparatively little known statesman who was destined to play such a grand and heroic part in our national history.
Mr. Corbett early foresaw, with the drift of events which preceded and followed the election of Mr. Lincoln, that war between the North and South was inevitable, and from the first intimation of the approaching struggle he became an uncompromising Union man. As soon as the South decided to withdraw from the Union he realized the danger of delay, and shortly after Mr. Lincoln’s inauguration, while in New York City and conversing with Horace Greely, whose idea originally was to “let our erring sisters depart in peace;” he boldly said: “It is my conviction that the war should be prosecuted with the utmost vigor to coerce the States that have placed themselves in open hostility to the government.” This will serve to show the breadth of his views and the keenness of his insight into the requirements of the emergency of the times. Upon his return to Oregon he put forth every effort to induce all loyal men to combine against the heresy of secession, and as chairman of the Republican State Central Committee strongly advocated the union of the Republican and Douglas or war Democrats. This was, in great measure, successful, and at a union convention held in Eugene City, April 9, 1862, he was strongly solicited to become the candidate for governor, but having no personal ambition in this direction he declined the honor and A. C. Gibbs was selected. So well managed was the campaign that followed that Mr. Gibbs was elected by a majority of 5,000 votes whereas the usual Democratic majority had been 2,500.
While Mr. Corbett continued to take a most active and influential part in maintaining the ascendency of his party during the war period, he was actuated by no personal ambition. He believed the maintenance of the principles and purposes of the party was essential to the preservation of the Union, and his labors were prompted by purely patriotic motives. He never sought or had any special desire for official position, but in 1866, when some of the Republican members of the legislature, who recognized his unselfish labors in behalf of the organization of the party, asked the privilege of using his name as a candidate for United States Senator, in case they were unable to agree upon any of the candidates who had already entered the field, he consented, but under the provision that his name was not to be brought forward if it should create discord in the party. After several unsuccessful ballots, when it seemed impossible to secure harmonious action on any candidate, a majority of the Republicans signed an agreement to support. Mr. Corbett; informed him of their intention and asked permission to present his name. He then went to Salem, but ascertaining that some of the other candidates were dissatisfied with the proposed settlement of the election, he notified his friends he would not enter the race unless perfect harmony could be secured. But while on his return to Portland he was notified of his election as successor to Hon. J. W. Nesmith.
He entered upon the discharge of the responsible duties of his position in March, 1867. It was at a period when all of the financial heresies which followed the conclusion of the war confronted the nation, and when the vexed questions which arose from the restoration to the Union of the seceding States were still unsettled. On the floor of the Senate he had to contend with some of the most experienced and wisest legislators, several of whom are still conspicuous in national affairs. Equally a stranger to the Senate and to the laws and usages of deliberate bodies, he applied himself to his senatorial labors with characteristic fidelity and by his votes and speeches made a record which in the light of subsequent events fully demonstrated the wisdom of his course. His thorough practical knowledge of financial affairs permitted him to clearly understand and expose the financial heresies of the period, and to this important branch of national legislation he addressed himself with all the force and power of his nature. His arguments on the resumption of specie payment, funding of the national debt at a lower rate of interest and longer time, and his determined opposition to all plans that savored in the least of bad faith or repudiations, have proven his judgment correct in every particular, not only according to the logic of morals but on the ground of expediency as well.
Mr. Corbett’s first speech on national finances was delivered December 13, 1867, in support of his bill to substitute gold notes for legal tender notes, and to facilitate the resumption of specie payments. He strongly condemned the continuance of a system of irredeemable paper money and showed that the productive industry and commerce of the country were crippled by the artificial, delusive and fickle valuation which such a system occasioned. He declared that a well regulated business basis could not be reached until a return was made as soon and as prudently as possible to a specie basis. He proposed to reach this result by a gradual substitution of gold notes for the then existing legal tenders. In the course of his speech Mr. Corbett said:
“If we would build our foundation strong and permanent we must commence to clear away the rubbish, remove the shifting sands, and dig until we strike the bed rock of specie. Build upon that rock, issue your paper currency upon that, let it be little or much, so that the people can see that there is a paper currency that will draw gold whenever presented. This will be something; it will be a commencement. Putting off the day only makes our destruction the more sure. How easy it is to quiet the clamor of drunken men if you will only listen to their entreaties for more poison! Is that any reason why we should give it them, when we know it is slowly but the more surely leading them on to destruction? Sir, the nation is intoxicated! Shall we continue to give them financial poison or say stop until they return to reason?
“In what do we pay the balance against us? It is paid in gold or United States stocks. What will be the result when the gold and United States stocks are all exhausted? Can we then resume specie payment? I think not. As a war measure the Government had a right to issue its notes, and make them temporarily legal tender for the pin-poses of carrying on the war; but it cannot be with truth assumed that it was the intention of the Government to substitute this species of currency so as to supercede entirely an international currency, a currency so long recognized by our own country, and the only kind of currency regarded as money by the other great commercial nations with whom we deal. If it had been so contemplated Congress would not have made a distinction in the currency by making the duties on imports payable in gold. It was only intended as a measure of temporary necessity, and it was undoubtedly the intention of the Government to return to specie at the earliest practicable moment. While the present state of depreciated currency exists, none but unsound, unwise, and venturesome traders will invest their money in the products of the country for the purpose of export, with the prospect of finding when they return to our market that what they have brought in return will not bring them as much in gold as the cargo with which they started, in consequence of the depreciation of our currency. Therefore it is a great hindrance and drawback to the increase of our commercial and shipping interests. This legal-tender currency acts, with the consequent cost of exchanging gold for legal tenders and legal tenders for gold, as a protective tariff to foreign countries. It enhances the price of every kind of product to such an extent as almost to preclude our competition with them.
“To expect a continued expansion until every private speculator disposes of his stock, and until every one disposes of his goods on hand that have cost him too high in consequence of a depreciated currency, would be simply ruinous. Each imagines he is losing money. The whole trouble lies in the fact that he has estimated legal-tender notes as money, whereas they are only a promise to pay at a convenient season, and when he sells those for real money, gold, he finds the legal-tender stock on hand, like his other notes and accounts, will not bring dollar for dollar, and that he must look to his large profits incidental to an inflated currency to supply the deficiency, as he does to his profits on goods to meet his losses on bad accounts.
“The stringency of the times compared with the time when there was a much larger amount of currency in circulation must be attributed to some extent to a transition from an inflated to a sound gold basis, and to a greater extent to the speculation and over-trading of the community incident to the plethoric currency that has existed for the few years past. Previous to the war we were not able to prevent this over-trading and the results that ensued; neither can we do it now unless we continue to blow up the bubble of our currency and expand it to suit popular clamor, and if we do so it is only a question of time how long it will float, or how soon it will burst and fall to the ground. Therefore, I appeal to your good judgment to
look beyond the present, look to the future, to the permanent and abiding prosperity of this great and powerful nation. Let not other nations sap the foundation from beneath our feet while we sleep in fancied security upon our beds of green-backs.”
Perhaps Mr. Corbett’s ablest speech was delivered on the Funding Bill, February 11, 1869, when in rising to give notice that he would offer an amendment to the bill making the bonds in question, redeemable in coin after twenty years instead of ten, he turned his attention to the statement of Senator Sherman, of Ohio, who said that for one, he would vote to pay off the five-twenty bonds in legal-tender, “providing the holders do not see fit to exchange their securities for bonds bearing one per cent. less interest than those now held by them.” On this point, Mr. Corbett said:
“With such a proposition I cannot agree. The solemn obligations resting upon me as a Senator and the solemn obligation resting upon the Government in this crisis of our financial struggle forbid. A struggle, I say, because it is a struggle with ourselves whether we will pay our bonds, as they mature, in dollars or with our irredeemable notes, made a legal tender under the pressure of war, and, as a war measure, to be redeemed with gold at the close of the war or funded into United States bonds bearing interest that should be equivalent to gold. Why did you pay seven and three tenths per cent interest if you considered the principal payable in currency? Why not have made your interest six per cent? For the very reason that you regarded the principal and intended making the principal payable in coin, and you paid the one and three tenths interest over and above the six per cent to make it equivalent to coin interest upon a debt, to be funded into a six per cent bond, redeemable after five years, providing you should have resumed specie payment; otherwise, to run until you could redeem them any time during the fifteen years next succeeding. It was doubtless thought that after the five years we could negotiate a loan upon more favorable terms, and we doubtless can negotiate such a loan, providing that we will make the loan payable in forty years and redeemable at the pleasure of the Government, after twenty years. The longer the loan the more popular, providing it is with a Government that has always observed its obligations without quibble or question.
“It is not for the present that I speak, but it is that great, grand, and glorious future that I see for my country looming up before me, powerful and mighty as she is to be, destined to withstand, as one day she will, all the governments of the crowned heads of Europe, if occasion requires. I would lay our credit deep and broad, not for one century, but for a hundred centuries. Let us not look too much to our puny selves. We need only look back a hundred years to the march of events, when an American drew the lightning from heaven to see if it could be made subservient to man. Another American takes it up and teaches it to speak, and it is heard a thousand miles distant over distant portions of our country. Another American takes it up and stretches his electric wires through the vast ocean for thousands of miles, and he makes it talk to all Europe. Need I recall to mind the revolution caused by Fulton, another American, in adapting steam to the propelling power upon the Hudson. Look at your floating palaces upon our rivers; your steamships on the Atlantic; and that magnificent line of ships upon the Pacific and China seas; and yet it is only three-score years. Look at your perfect network of railroads East and West, and all this has been accomplished in a little over thirty years. Therefore let us keep our armor bright and our credit untarnished and look to time, to the great future, as our remedy for this burden. To say that we cannot pay the interest on this debt is folly; there is no such sentiment in the American heart; but, on the contrary, they are determined to do and accomplish what no other nation has the internal wealth and vigor to do. Many croakers said that we could not put down this rebellion; the people said, “We will try.” All the people now ask is that you should try to pay the debt. As for myself, I never had a doubt that we could put down the rebellion. Neither have I a doubt but that we can pay this debt in dollars.
“Public credit should be, “like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion.” What shall we gain by paying off these bonds in legal-tender notes, and where are we to get these notes? From the sale of the five per cent. United States bonds, when you declare that you will pay these five-twenty bonds in legal-tender notes. What do you suppose you will get for your ten-forty five per cent loan? What you make by dishonoring your six per cent bonds, you will lose upon your five per cent bonds. Do you suppose capitalists will invest in a five per cent loan, that you can repudiate with as much reason as we can in honesty this six per cent loan? What amount shall we save in interest per annum if you determine to force people to take the five per cent in place of the six per cent? It is very easy to calculate it upon $1,610,272,900. The five-twenty bonds at one per cent., amounts to about sixteen millions. The question now arises, can we afford to sell our plighted faith for this sum? My proposition is to substitute a twenty-forty loan instead of a ten-forty loan. A long loan finds a much more ready sale than a short loan. I propose to give these five-twenty bondholders the privilege of exchanging their bonds for a long loan, bearing interest at five per cent, principal and interest payable in coin, and free from State, municipal, or local taxation. This is an equivalent to a tax upon their income of sixteen and two-thirds per cent. This is a large deduction.
“When we look to the future of this great Republic, embracing twenty-three degrees of longitude by fifty-seven degrees of latitude, with all variety of climate, producing the most delicate and delicious fruits of the South, with abundance of the more substantial productions of the temperate zone and the hardy productions of the North-when we contemplate this vast and varied country, its climate, its production for the sustenance, comfort and luxury of man, the vast resources of all its varied hidden riches of the earth, composing metals for all the most substantial and useful arts of life, with all the most precious metals to tempt the cupidity of man; test the bowels of the earth, it sends forth its fatness in living streams of oil like the perennial fountain; add to these our beds of coal, our forests of timber, our mountains of iron, where is its equal? Have we the capacity to make them useful-who doubts it? With all the thousands of inventors, combining the greatest inventive genius of the world, we can outstrip all other nations combined. A population from every land and nation under the sun, a land now happily free from the oppressor’s rod, to be rebuilt upon a firm and enduring foundation made sacred and cemented by the blood of a million of our noblest sons.
“Therefore, let us not crown this temple, hewn by the sweat of so many brows, reared by the blood of so many brave lads, with the capstone of repudiation. Let us do nothing as a great and noble and suffering people that shall detract from the honor of those that lie silent and cold in their blood-bought graves, with naught but their country’s banner over them. To me, Mr. President, my duty is plain; my duty to the men -that came forward to supply our suffering army, to succor our noble boys, in the days of the national darkness and despair, and to the capitalists of Germany, of Frankfort, who took our securities, and spewed out the rebel bonds, and gave to us money, the sinew of war, to assist us in maintaining the life of the nation. I need not the example of other nations to tell me what is right between man and man or between nation and nation; it needs not the shrewd argument of a lawyer to tell me what is due to my creditor-if there is any one thing that I regard more sacred in life, after my duty to my God, it is to fulfill all my engagements, both written and implied, and nothing shall drive me from this position.”
The above will give a fair idea of Mr. Corbett’s power of reasoning. Space forbids our following in detail the determined stand he took against all measures which seemed to savor of bad faith or repudiation of any of the financial obligations the government had incurred to carry on the war. In his many speeches in behalf of sustaining the national credit he displayed unusual powers of statement and of close logical argument, and no mere extracts can do them justice. They are recorded in the archives of the national government and history has already proved the soundness and wisdom of the views they contain. Most of the great financial ideas he advocated have been adopted, and today our four per cent. government bonds have sold for higher prices than the British three per cent consols, and are considered the best security in the world.
While Mr. Corbett gave much of his time and attention to grave national questions he was by no means unmindful of the needs of the State he represented. When he took his seat, the ocean mail service between Portland and San Francisco had been discontinued. Through his efforts this was speedily restored. Among other local measures which especially received his attention and were carried out, were the removal of obstruction to navigation in the Willamette River, the erection of light houses along the coast and the location of fog whistles and buoys to mark the channel of the navigable streams; an additional customs district with port of entry and bonded warehouse was established; large addition was made to the appropriations to survey the public lands in Oregon; the headquarters of the Military Department of the Columbia were removed from Washington Territory to Oregon, and an appropriation was secured to erect the Post Office building at Portland. The opening up of new lines of communication and securing greater facilities in the use of old ones were matters of constant thought and care and received all the advantages which his personal influence and extensive commercial experience commanded.
Near the close of his senatorial term an ovation was tendered to Mr. Corbett at his home in Portland by his fellow citizens and in the address of welcome his political career was reviewed as follows by the speaker of the occasion: “As citizens of Oregon and perhaps just now better situated than yourself to judge correctly of the sentiment prevailing throughout the State, we congratulate you upon having so prudently and effectually served the public that there are few, if any, whether members of the party that elected you, or of the opposition, who express dissatisfaction with your course. The Republicans say you have been true to the principles of the party and faithful to the pledges implied in receiving the office at their hands; the Democrats admit that you have been no ungenerous opponent; while both agree that your conduct on all occasions has been governed by considerations affecting the welfare of our common country, and not by those of party expediency or personal advantage. Such indorsement and approbation by an intelligent people is high praise in these times of corruption in high places -in these times when it is almost expected that wealth, and social position, and commercial enterprise, and local power, and official patronage, will join in any unholy alliance and adopt any means, howsoever corrupt, that may appear necessary to bribe the weak and bruise the strong into lending their aid and countenance to the schemes of ambitious and selfish men for personal aggrandizement and private plunder.” This was strong praise but richly deserved, and the historian who records the political period in which he so conspicuously figured will give him a high place among the statesman who left the impress of their work upon the destiny of the nation.
Mr. Corbett was married in February, 1853 to Miss Caroline E. Jagger, who died in 1865, leaving him two sons, both born in Portland, the younger of whom, Hamilton F. Corbett, died a few years ago. The elder son, Henry J. Corbett, about thirty years of age, is assistant cashier of the First National Bank, and has inherited his father’s tastes and aptitude for business. In 1867, Mr. Corbett was again married, to Miss Emma L. Ruggles, of Worcester, Massachusetts, a lady of rare character and mind, whose graces and social accomplishments are the best adornment of his home, and make it the center of a charmed and charming circle. Their Portland residence is one of the most attractive in a city noted for its elegant dwellings, while their summer home on the Columbia River, called the “Highlands,” is a delightful retreat.
In person, Mr. Corbett is six feet high, straight and spare in figure, but symmetrically formed. Cautious, cool-headed and decided, he is not an inviting mark for the wiles of the schemer or imposter, but he is thoroughly approachable, respectful and considerate toward those whom he meets, and utterly lacking either in the arrogance of small greatness, or in the still more objectionable truckling and assumed bonhomie of the small politician. He is thoroughly dignified, and yet his manners are so unassumingly easy that one hardly notices them. Indeed he is a fine type of that well approved manhood in which courtesy, kindness, dignity, culture, honor and charity are most happily blended. To these excellences can be added unswerving integrity, honesty of purpose, purity of thought and act, and those crowning virtues born of an ever present and controlling moral sentiment. His career shows what can be accomplished by steady and quiet energy, directed by sound judgment and high purpose. His name has been associated with numberless successful enterprises, but not one failure, and he is justly entitled to a foremost place among those who have created, established and maintained the commercial and industrial supremacy of Portland.
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