Backus, William Vernon; lawyer, lecturer and inventor; born, Cleveland, Aug. 24, 1860; son of William and Lena Strobel Backus; educated. public schools and private tutors in German and Spanish; studied in London and Mexico, pupil of Dr. William Windsor; one son, Richard C. Backus, lawyer in New York; one daughter, Edna Lois Backus Scott, E. Orange, N. J.; member and pres. of Cleveland Board of Education, 1880-95; vice pres. American School Ass’n, Mexico City, 1906-8; pres. American Colony in Mexico City, 1905-7; practised law in Ohio; editor of the following: The Spur, The Courier, The American Union, and at one time on the editorial staff of the Cleveland Press; in 1890 invented improved system of halftone engraving, also improvement in oil-burners; removed to Mexico in 1895, remaining there till 1911; while there practised law before the Supreme Court of Mexico, being engaged in many important cases; organized and promoted three Plantation companies which were merged into The Mexican Imperial Plantation Co., a $5,000,000 corporation; in 1906 invented synthetic marble, a substitute for natural marble, patents were issued in various countries; in 1906 reorganized The Jalisco & Michoacan R. R. Co., becoming vice pres. and gen. counsel; sold interests in the road several years later; left Mexico in 1911, during the revolution against Gen. Diaz; in 1912-13 introduced the manufacture of synthetic marble in the U. S.; during the same time made a lecture tour of the principal cities of the U.. S.; pres. The Mexican Imperial Plantation Co., Royal Danish Marble Co.; vice pres. The Santa-Teresa Banana Co., all of Mexico; pres. The Synthetic Marble Co. of the U. S., and The Talosophy Publishing Co., Cleveland; pres. of the Vitosophy Club of Cleveland, (Vitosophy means the wise way of living). I have offices in New York, Cleveland, and Mexico City; expert in the use of fire-arms but do not care for hunting.
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