THE Anchor Line of steamships is a great institution
wholly due to Scottish enterprise. It was founded by the Henderson
Brothers, Glasgow, in 1852, and had its beginning in one small vessel,
from which time it has grown rapidly and successfully until now it
represents world-wide interests and owns many fine ships. Since 1865, when
it established its regular New York-Glasgow service, the New York office
has been one of the most important in the system. This prominence is due
to its presiding genius, Mr.
William Coverly, who has been its head practically since its
Mr. Coverly was born in Glasgow,
Scotland, July 4, 1840, and was the son of William Coverly and Christina
(Henderson) Coverly. He received his education in the normal and high
schools and in private schools in his native city, and subsequently was
engaged for about five years as an accountant. In 1864, Mr. Coverly came
to New York, and entered the employ of Messrs. Francis MacDonald &
Company, who were at that time the agents in New York for the Anchor Line.
The founders and owners of this line, Thomas, John, David and William
Henderson, were younger brothers of Mr. Coverly ‘s mother, a relationship
which doubtless favourably influenced the young man’s fortune in his new
line of business. In 1872, when Henderson Brothers decided to open their
own office in New York, Mr. Coverly was made a partner in the firm and the
head of the house in the United States, where he continued until his
retirement from active business, December 31, 1914. As a manager, Mr.
Coverly displayed marked efficiency and great executive ability, and
consequently the great success attained by the Anchor Line at New York may
be, in a large measure, attributed to his capable management. He is the
oldest and most respected of the prominent steamship men of New York.
With business capacity of the
highest order, he is gifted with a charm of manner and a personality so
engaging as to make him immensely popular among his business associates
and the public generally. Together with qualities of mind of a high order,
nature and habit have given him a perfection of face and form which fully
warrants the sobriquet of the "Handsome Scotsman," applied to him by his
fellow members of the Produce Exchange.
Besides his connection with the
Anchor Line, Mr. Coverly is President of the Conquest Consolidated Mining
Company, a trustee of the East River Savings Institution, and a director
of the Oregon Smelting & Refining Company. He has been a member of the St.
Andrew’s Society of the State of New York since 1870; is a member of New
York Burns Society and New York Yacht Club (New York), Oxford, Crescent
Athletic and Atlantic Yacht Clubs (Brooklyn), and is prominent in Masonic
circles and in the order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Mr. Coverly ‘s residence is 247
Washington Ave., Brooklyn. He was Senior Warden of St. James’ Protestant
Episcopal Church, in that borough for over 30 years. He married, January
17, 1866, Margaret Amelia Slamm. His daughters by this marriage are Mrs.
Lillias D. Cooke, wife of Alexander B. Cooke, of the firm of Libaire &
Cooke, stock brokers, and Margaret C. Fischer, wife of Frederick G.
Fischer, of William R. Grace & Company. August 25, 1909, he married
Rebecca Frances Chapman. At home and in business Mr. Coverly is a genial,
gentle, lovable man; one who has successfully combined great ability and
financial reward with all the finer graces of life.