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
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.
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
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.