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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
A. Barton Hepburn


OF the many men of Scottish birth or descent who have figured conspicuously in the financial affairs of America from the time of Alexander Hamilton to the present, A. Barton Hepburn, Chairman of the Chase National Bank, New York, is of Scottish origin, and is recognized throughout the United States, and, in fact, in all the money centers of the world, as a leading authority on financial and economic questions. Mr. Hepburn was born in Colton, N. Y., July 24, 1846; son of Zina Earl and Beulah (Gray) Hepburn. The family has been resident in America since the latter part of the eighteenth century, when Peter Hepburn, a native of Abbeymilne, Scotland, came to this country and settled in Stratford, Conn. In 1867, Mr. Hepburn entered Middlebury College, Vermont, subsequently receiving the degree of A.B. and LL.D. (also LL.D., Columbia University, 1911, LL.D., Williams College, and LL.D., University of Vermont, 1915). He is a trustee of Middlebury College. He practised law in Colton, was Commissioner of Schools, St. Lawrence Co., and rnember of the New York Assembly, 1875-1880, during which period he served with distinction on important committees, devoting his attention to commercial and financial interests.

In 1880, Mr. Hepburn was appointed Superintendent of the State Banking Department of New York. In 1892, President Harrison appointed him Comptroller of the Currency. Upon his retirement as Comptroller, he became President of the Third National Bank, New York, and in 1899 took charge of the Chase National Bank, of which he was President until 1911, when he was elected to his present position as Chairman of the Board. Since his connection with the Chase Bank, the capital, surplus and undivided profits from earnings have grown from $2,500,000 to more than $15,000,000, and the deposits have increased more than $250,000,000. He is a director in many banking and business corporations.

He is a member of the following clubs: University, Union League, Metropolitan, African Big Game, Barnard, Bankers’, Boone & Crockett, Camp Fire, City, Economic, Long Island Country, McDowell, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, St. Andrew’s Golf, National Golf Links, St. John’s Salmon (Gaspe, P. Q.), and many others; also of the following societies: New England, St. Andrew ‘s, Burns, Pilgrims’, France-America, and various scientific and economic associations, of several of which he has been President. He has also been President of the New York Clearing House, President of the Chamber of Commerce and President of the National Currency Association; was Chairman of the Commission to revise Banking Laws, 1907; also Chairman of a similar commission, 1913; is Chairman of the Currency Commission, American Bankers’ Association; President of the Bankers’ Club of America; was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour by the President of France, 1912, and is a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and trustee of the Woman’s Hospital. He is author of History of Coinage and Currency, Artificial Waterways and Commercial Development, and Story of an Outing.

His sterling character, invincible will power, great mental acumen and thoroughly systematic business methods, make him one of the prominent men of the time. He is an ardent sportsman and particularly enjoys big game hunting. He has hunted all over the United States and Canada, and has brought back many prize trophies. He recently completed a very successful four months’ hunt in British East Africa, returning with excellent specimens of the game of that country.

In 1873, he married Harriet A. Fisher, of St. Albans, Vermont, who died in 1881, leaving two sons, Harold Barton, who died in 1892, and Charles Fisher. In 1887, he married Emily L. Eaton, of Montpelier, Vermont, and they have two daughters, Beulah Eaton, wife of Lieut. Robert R. M. Emmet, U. S. Navy, and Cordelia Susan. Mr. Hepburn’s city residence is 205 West 57th Street; his country residence, Ridgefield, Conn. and his business address, Chase National. Ba.nk, 57 Broadway, New York City.


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