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History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York
Biographies: John Sloane

Thirty-fourth President

The family of the Thirty-fourth President of Saint Andrew’s Society was from Kilmarnock, and his ancestors were for many years identified with the weaving- industries of that district of Scotland.

Mr. John Sloane was a son of William Sloane, of Kilmarnock, and Euphemia Douglas, of Dunfermline, and was horn on the 14th March, 1834, at Edinburgh, Scotland. He died on the 9th December, 1905, at his residence, Xo. 883 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

Realizing the scope and opportunity afforded in the United States, Mr. Sloane's father came to New York in 1832, and there commenced business, being soon joined by his wife and his infant son, John, the future President, who made the voyage to this country in a sailing vessel.

Meanwhile, the increasing success of their business led William .Sloane and his brother, John, to create and establish the firm of W. & J. Sloane, for the sale of floor coverings, at No. 245 Broadway, just opposite the City Hall.

Mr. John Sloane, the President, was a student at Dr. Anthon’s School in this city, and entered the employ of his father’s firm on the 15th February, 1849, the age of fifteen years.

He became a member of the firm in 1856, and after the death of his father, William Sloane, in May, 1879, actively directed all the enterprise and business policy of the house until it became one of the greatest commercial houses of its character in this country, removing in 1882 to the present location at Broadway and 19th Street, where an extensive wholesale and retail business is carried on.

Upon the incorporation of the business in January, 1891, Mr. John Sloane became its first President, and continued to hold that office until the time of his death. In due course he succeeded his father as Director in the Bigelow Carpet Company and in Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company. He was also a director of the Manhattan Co. Bank, the Second National Bank, the Morton Trust Company, the Hudson Trust Company, the New Amsterdam & East River Gas Companies, and the Northern Pacific Railway, the Equitable Life Assurance Company, the American Surety Company, and the Nairn Linoleum Co., and was largely interested in many other business organizations, to the management of which he brought sound commercial sense, keen appreciation of opportunity, and great tact in dealing with men and affairs.

From his early youth Mr. Sloane was interested and identified with church and charitable matters. Joining the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1849, then located in Duane Street, he eventually became an Elder and long and faithfully guarded the interests of this congregation, being of notable service in advancing both home and foreign missions. In 1899 he united with the Brick Presbyterian Church, of which he remained an active member until his death.

In spite of the constant demand upon his time and talent made by his numerous business enterprises, Mr. Sloane was able to devote his sterling executive ability to many social and charitable organizations, and was active in the management of the Five Points Home of Industry, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the Provident Loan Society, of which he was a trustee. He was also a member of the Century, the Metropolitan and the Union League Clubs, of which latter association he had been Vice-President; was a member and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce; a patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a member of the American Fine Arts Society and the Manufacturers’ Society of Philadelphia.

Though never prominent in political matters, Mr. Sloane served as a member of the Committee of Seventy, and was an intimate friend of the late President McKinley, as well as many other notable men of his time.

In the later years of his life Mr. Sloane spent much of his time at his beautiful country residence in Lenox, Massachusetts, and it was here, among the Berkshire Hills, that he welcomed so many of his old friends and associates with that whole-souled kindly hospitality so characteristic of the sons of Scotland.

To Saint Andrew’s Society both Mr. John Sloane and his father, Mr. William Sloane, proved generous benefactors, each leaving the Society at his death the munificent sum of five thousand dollars to be placed in the Permanent Fund and the income applied in charitable relief.

He joined the Saint Andrew’s Society on the 30th November, 1858; became a life member in 1873; was a Manager, 1864-1867; 1869-1870; 1872-1879; 1885-1887; Second Vice-President, 1887-1889, and President, 1889-1893. He also served as a member of the Committee of Accounts, 1868-1869; the Committee of Installation. 1871-1872; and the Standing Committee from 1893 to the date of his death.

Mr. Sloane married on the 20th November, 1867, at New York City, Adela Berry, daughter of A. J. Berry, M.D., of Brooklyn, and Mary Caroline Egbert, and had issue, all born in New York City, as follows: (1) William Sloane, born 18th February, 1873; (2) Evelyn Sloane, born 14th November, 1877; (3) John Sloane, Jr., born 20th April, 1883.

The portrait of Mr. Sloane has been reproduced from a photograph now in the possession of his son, Mr. William Sloane.

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