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
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
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
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
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.