Thursday, September 8, 2011

EmigranThursday - Henry Chisholm

Welcome to this week’s EmigranThursday featuring Henry Chisholm of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Biographical information about him appeared on pages 337-8 in the History of Cuyahoga County published by D.W. Ensign & Co in 1879. No additional sources for Mr. Chisholm - they will come in a future post. For right now, just read his bio and see what you can glean about him and migration story.

Henry Chisholm, the president and chief manager of the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company, (the largest establishment of its kind in this or any other country) landed in America in 1842, an almost penniless youth; in fifteen years from that time he was the head of an important manufacturing firm and since then he has achieved the distinction of being one of the greatest manufacturers in the world.

Mr. Chisholm was born in Lochgelly, Fifeshire, Scotland, April 27, 1822, and at the age of ten lost his father by death. Forced by this unhappy circumstance to take upon his shoulders in his early youth a share of the support of his widowed mother's family, he left school when but twelve years old and apprenticed himself to a carpenter, with whom he remained until his seventeenth year. He then began work as a journeyman carpenter in the city of Glasgow, where, shortly afterwards, he married Miss Jane Allan, of Dunfermline. Impatient at the slow progress he made in his native land he resolved to go to America, and in 1842 — when only twenty years old—he landed at Montreal, Canada. He soon found employment at his trade, and so well did he prosper that at the end of two years he became a master carpenter. Succeeding from the outset in making profitable contracts, he saw himself ere long the most extensive contractor in Montreal. His reputation as a capable and energetic builder spread year by year, and in 1850 he undertook, with others, the construction of the railway breakwaters at Cleveland. After being engaged in this work three years—having become in the meantime a resident of Cleveland—he followed it with other important enterprises of a similar character in that city, until the year 1857. In that year Mr. Chisholm founded, at Newburg, the iron-manufacturing firm of Chisholm, Jones & Co., from which beginning arose the great establishment which is the pride of Cleveland and one of the marvels of modern times.

Besides being president and controller of the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company, Mr. Chisholm is a director in each of three of the most important banking institutions of Cleveland, and is also closely identified in many other ways with the remarkable growth and enterprise of the city of his adoption. Owing nothing to the assistance of others, depending entirely on his own inflexible will, indomitable perseverance, and rigorous integrity, Mr. Chisholm is, in every sense, the author of his own fortunes, and the story of his life furnishes a striking instance of the possibilities offered in this favored laud, to him who bravely and energetically seeks success.

Alike amid the struggles of his earlier years, and the multifarious cares of his later life, Mr. Chisholm has been an unswerving believer in the truths of religion, and for upwards of thirty-five years he and his estimable wife have been members of the Baptist Church. Endowed with a bountiful share of this world's goods, as the reward of a busy life, cherished as an upright and honored member of the community in which he lives, and surrounded by a worthy family of sons and daughters, Mr. Chisholm still retains, at the age of nearly three score, the vigorous and vigilant business habits which marked his younger manhood, and bids fair to hold for many years to come a prominent place among the active workers of the Forest City.

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