James H. Hoskins, dealer in high grade investment securities, is also well known in the business circles of St. Louis as the president of the Al Fresco Advertising Company. He belongs to that class of enterprising, energetic and farsighted business men upon whose activity the development and prosperity of the city has been built through the past quarter of a century or more. Mr. Hoskins was born in Auburn, New York, December 21, 1859, a son of James H. Hoskins, who was a native of New York and a descendant of John Hoskins, who came from England to the new world in 1632, settling in Connecticut. James H. Hoskins, Sr., was a successful business man who resided in Auburn to the time of his death, which occurred in 1902, when he had reached the age of seventy-two years. In early manhood he had wedded Esther C. Stoner, a daughter of John and Jane (Cuddebach) Stoner. The Cuddebachs are of Holland descent and the family was founded in America by Abram Cuddebach, the great-great-grandfather of James H. Hoskins of this review. Coming to the new world, he settled in the Mohawk valley prior to the Revolutionary war. The ancestry in the Stoner line includes Nicholas Stoner, the great-great-grandfather, who was widely known as a Revolutionary war veteran, trapper and hunter, as was his father, John Stoner. In fact the Stoner family was one of prominence in the state of New York. It was another John Stoner, the grandfather of Air. Hoskins, who settled in Cayuga county, New York, becoming a prosperous farmer there, having come into central New York when it was a wild and undeveloped region. The great-greatgrandfather in the Stoner line had come from Germany in 1746 and resided near Johnstown, New York. It will be seen that Air. Hoskins in both the paternal and maternal lines is a representative of some of the oldest American families. His mother died on Decoration day of 1910 in Auburn, New York, when eighty-one years of age.
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James H. Hoskins, who was an only child, was educated in the public schools of his native city, being graduated from the Auburn high school with the class of 1876. He started out in the business world as a bookkeeper and later was employed in the First National Bank of Auburn, New York. In January, 1883, he came to St. Louis as representative of the D. M. Osborne Harvesting Machinery Company and was associated with that house for four years, at the expiration of which period he entered the banking business at Flagstaff, Arizona. There he established the Arizona Central Bank in 1887 and conducted it for eight years but at the end of that time returned to St. Louis, where he became connected with manufacturing interests. In 1903 he established his present business as an investment security broker and has been since actively engaged in this line. He handles all kinds of high grade securities but specializes in municipal bonds and has a well appointed office in the Merchants Laclede building. In 1916 he organized and incorporated the Al Fresco Advertising Company, specialists in outdoor advertising. This business has expanded along most progressive lines and has achieved splendid results.
On the 5th of June, 1888, Mr. Hoskins was married in St. Louis to Miss Sallie Morrison Corbitt, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of James M. and Maria (Jenkins) Corbitt. The father, now deceased, was the president of the Beck & Corbitt Iron Company. Mr. and Mrs. Hoskins have one son, Arthur Corbitt, who was born at Flagstaff, Arizona, May 28, 1891, is a Yale graduate and was a naval aviator, belonging to the Balloon Corps. During the World war Mr. Hoskins acted as one of the Four-Minute speakers and was otherwise active in supporting war measures.
Politically Mr. Hoskins is a republican and has ever been actuated by a most patriotic spirit. His family in its various ancestral lines has through many generations been distinctively one hundred per cent American and Mr. Hoskins has followed the traditions and principles of the family in this respect, is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and stands unequivocally for upholding the ideals of republican government. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, is a loyal supporter of the Grace Methodist Episcopal church, serving on its official board as trustee, and has for many years been treasurer of the St. Louis City Evangelization Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church