Wilbur Fisk Herbert
The following data is extracted from Herbert Family Papers.
Wilbur Fisk Herbert (86), my Father, had to start working on the death of his lather at the age of nine. However, when he was seventeen years old he was in business for himself as a money broker. At that time the various states of the union had each its own state currency or bills, issued under varying conditions, and selling at discounts which varied from day to day. This required alertness and intimate touch with many markets. He established connections in many states and did a large business. It was at that time he met the late Walter S. Carter, Atty at Law, at Milwaukee, Wis. As you know, Mr. and Mrs. Carter came later to our home, 164 Lefferts Place, while Mr. Carter arranged the transfer of his business to New York. His firm became the well-known Carter, Hughes and Dwight, after some changes.
My recollection is that Father and Mother lived on Ryerson Street, Brooklyn, for a few years (where I was born) then moved to 164 Lefferts Place*, where I began to get some impressions of the family, among the first of which is Father’s frequent trips to Chicago. Following the money brokerage business, he organized the firm of W. F. Herbert & Co., members (I believe) of the New York Stock Exchange. He opened the first New York Stock Exchange office in Chicago, did a good business at 94 La Salle Street, but was burned out “lock, stock and barrel” by the Great Fire of 1871. There were no safe deposit vaults. I everything was put in the safe which they couldn’t find after the fire. (I am not clear as to what happened for a few years after that and the rest I believe you know.)
I remember distinctly that W.F. Herbert and Co., in addition to their N.Y. Office, opened a branch in Paris and planned to have one in Berlin, in anticipation of which a German teacher came each week to our home (Lefferts Place) for many months and taught us the language, so that we were able to read end write German. At that time all conversation at the table, was carried on in German. So far as I can recall this project was abandoned. This must have been in about 1871; perhaps earlier by a year or two.
*(This home number was later changed to 170)
Source: Herbert Family Papers