EDWIN HAWLEY 1850-1912


WORTH $60,000,000

Edwin Hawley, one of  the leading rail­road men and financiers of  this country, died at his home at 19 East 60th Street at 4 o’clock yesterday morning.  Mr Hawley had not been in good health for more than two months.  Early in December he was attacked by a severe cold that developed into grip and kept him at home.  His friends were not alarmed because he kept up and went about his home, transacting urgent business in his usual careful and methodical way. Then his complete recovery was announced, but a few days later he was again confined to his home by an attack of indigestion.

During the last three weeks various reports of his condition have reached Wall Street, but none of them indicated that he was in danger of death. As late as Wednesday night it was said that he was better, and that his complete recovery was probably a matter of only a few days.  At 2:00 yesterday morning he had a severe heart attack, and two hours later he was dead. With him when died was W. S. Crandell, a nephew.

Mr. Hawley was an interesting figure because his habits of life and manners were directly opposed to those he deemed interesting. He was always a slow moving, careful, and somewhat ponderous figure in the life of Wall Street. It was said of him yesterday that when he got started in any direction any person patient enough to keep on his trail would finally discover what goal he was bound for, because, once started, he never turned out of his path until he reached it. His advance was fixed and certainm and on those occasions when rivals sought to stop him they usually emerged from the conflict badly beaten and clawed. In 1909, after one of his spectacular moves in the railroad world, it was said he had amassed a fortune of more than $20 million.  Yesterday it was said that he was worth anywhere from $40 to $60 million.

Work His Chief Pleasure

Mr. Hawley was a bachelor.  All his business life he was looked after by servants.  Whatever service he had was that brought by dollars. He had friendships but no affections. His work was his chief pleasure, and the victory was greater to him than any other thing in the world. His only enjoyment away from business was fishing. About once a year, he journeyed to Florida, where he lived in a hotel like any guest, and occasionally in the summer, he went to the Great South Bay, and climbed on board a little yacht he kept there, and fished and sailed until the absence of business surroundings made him restless and sent him back again to his office.

Whatever success Mr Hawley had be beat out of adverse circumstances and without help.  He was born in Chatham, NY, sixty three years ago, and got his first job in the local freight department of the Rock Island Railroad.  He was only the office boy, but he soon became popular because he never talked more than he had to, and he never told anybody anything about himself or about anybody else.  He got the reputation of being trustworthy and so was trusted. This habit of not talking clung to him through life and grew.  He once told a newspaper man who wanted to interview him that talking was distasteful to him and that he hated any attempt to make him talk.

He began to rise, and after a time came into contact with the late Collis P. Huntington, who took a fancy to him and helped him until he became a factor in the Southern Pacific, before that property fell into the hands of E. H. Harriman.  The Chesapeake & Oho, one of the Huntington lines, is known today as a Hawley road.   Other lines in the Hawley system, that aggregates 10,500 miles of railroad, are the Chicago & Alton, the Iowa Central, the Minneapolis & St Louis, the Toledo, St. Louis & Western, the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Mempphis, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, and the Hocking Valley.  Besides being the practical dictator of these lines, Mr. Hawley was a Director in forty one companies, including these: American Exchange Bank, British Columbia Copper Company, California Electric Generating Company, Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, Colorado & Southern Railway, Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, Colorado & Midland Railway, Des Moines & Fort Dodge, Evansville & Terre Haute, Garden City Estates, Great Western Power, Guaranty Trust Company, Interborough Metropolitan, Interborough Rapid Transit Company, Internationnal Banking Corporation, Mercantile Trust Company, Newport News & Shipbuilding & Dry Dock, Pittsburgh & Shawmut Railroad, Standard Coupler Company, United States Light & Heating Company, United States Realty & Improvement Company, Western Pacific, and Western Power Company.

Map of the Hawley Lines

His Methods & Harriman’s

It was customary to say that Mr. Haw­ley was enough like Mr. Harriman to make him the latter’s successor.  But the methods of the two men were widely different. Mr. Harriman had but little patience.  He jumped quickly and while be generally brought down his game, he sometimes missed it. He did not relish long drawn out campaigns, no matter how big the stake was. But Mr. Hawley was wonderfully patient and tenacious. He would rather wait than run the risk of losing and he lurked in his office while other men played his game.  But Mr. Harriman was always in the centre of the game himself, and the issue was never long delayed.  Another point of difference was that while Mr. Harriman never believed in paying a dividend until the reconstructed property was making money and a surplus had been accumulated, Mr. Hawley began providing for dividends with the first dollar that was not absolutely needed for expenses.

It was only of late years that Mr. Hawley began devoting most of his time to his railroad interests. Before that he was interested in the general stock market and was always ready to take a hand in anything that promised big returns.  Through his stock market operations the Rock Island interests were able to take from Mr. Harriman the control of the Chicago & Alton, that was followed shortly afterward by the retirement of Mr Hawley from the Union Pacific and put an end to the friendship between him and Mr. Harriman.  It was known that one of the men who had joined Mr. Hawley in the attack on Mr. Harriman was John W. Gates, whom Mr. Hawley and Mr. Harriman had bitterly fought a few years before for control of Colorado Fuel & Iron. Mr. Gates had held his own in this battle, and proved himself so strong that Mr. Hawley considered his cooperation well worth having.

After his break with Mr. Harriman, Mr. Hawley joined with the Goulds in the building of the Western Pacific, that pierced the heart of the Southern Pacific territory.  In the suit brought by the Government to dissolve the Union Pacific/Southern Pacific system, Mr. Hawley was called in an effort to discover how Mr. Harriman got control of the Southern Pacific from Mr. Huntington.   Mr. Hawley said that he had negotiated the sale of 475,000 shares of the stock, which included his own.  This transaction took place at Mr. Harriman’s house.

A short time ago Mr. Hawley made his will.  He was not well at the time, and, after his illness failed to respond to treatment, it was decided to take him to Palm Beach.  Arrangements for the trip had been completed.  A private car had been arranged for.  His companions were to have been H. E. Huntington, a nephew of the late C. P. Huntington; Frank Trumbull, and Baron Randolph Natili.

Mr. Hawley’s funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 in St Thomas Episcopal Church, 53rd St and Fifth Avenue.   The interment will be at Chatham, New York.

~The New York Times, 2 Feb 1912

Edwin Hawley Left Only $5,283,287.93

Railroad Man’s Estate Shrinks Under Appraisal from First Estimate of $60 Million

Hawley Owed Millions

It was estimated at the time of his death on 1 February, 1912, that the estate of Edwin Hawley, one of the leading railroad men of the country, would total $60 million.  According to the report of the appraisal of his property filed yesterday in the Transfer Office of the Surrogate’s Court by Deputy State Controller, Wallace S. Fraser, Mr. Hawley’s gross estate amounted to only $9,292,917.88 and from this was deducted $4,009,629.98 for debts, administration expenses, taxes in other States, and commissions.  This brought his net estate to $5,283,287.93, or about one twelfth of the value placed upon it by his acquaintances.  Of this amount only $433,100 was realty. Deputy Controller Fraser computed the amount due to the State as inheritance tax as $175,454.94.

Mr. Hawley’s real estate holdings included his residence at 19 East 60th Street, valued at $105,000, of which the land is worth $85,000 and the house $20,000, and four other pieces of property situated in this city and at Babylon, Long Island.   His personalty consisted of railroad stocks and bonds.  At the time of his death he was a member of the firm Hawley & Davis, stock brokers, doing business at 25 Broad Street.  His interest in this firm, however, is quoted as of no value.  The business was conducted almost exclusively for the purpose of attending to his stock transactions.  It is now in the process of liquidation, and will be wound up within the year.  For this reason the good will of the firm is considered of no value.  His other interests are stocks and bonds in railroad and traction companies, in many of which he was a Director.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad held Mr. Hawley’s largest investment. This railroad was known as the Hawley road.  His interest in it totaled $3,079,618, including an amount due to the estate of $747,515.  He held 38,449 shares of the common stock, worth $2,806,960, and 27 of the 4-1/3% convertible bonds, worth $25,143.  His largest interest in other companies where he was an officer include 300 bonds of the Great Western Power Company, $180,000; 150 shares Guaranty Trust Company; $120,600; 12,850 shares Interborough Metropolitan, $192,000; 12,600 shares Iowa Central common, $100,800, and 2,700 shares preferred, $54,000, 11,166 shares of Minneapolis & St Paul common, $111,666, and 6,436 shares of preferred, $225,260; 26,300 shares of Missouri, Kansas & Texas common, $526,000; 5,000 shares of Reading common, $750,000; 21,250 shares United States Lighting and Heating Company; 300 shares of the Toledo, St. Louis & Western preferred, $90,000, and 2,350 shares of common, $18,800; 12,500 shares of the Western Pacific, $75,000 and 100 bonds of the United States Realty and Improvement Company, $70,000.

The furniture, paintings, works of art, horses, automobiles, etc, belonging to the estate were appraised by Michael J. Garvin, who had charge of the report, at $107,755.  Among Mr. Hawley’s paintings is one of Lady Fullerton by Raeburn, valued at $10,000; one by Diaz, valued at $7,500; one of an Arab by Schreyer, valued at $7,500, and another by the same artist, valued at $5,000, and two by L’Heimitt, valued at $6,000 each.  His library is valued at $2,250.  On his property at Babylon, which is valued at $125,000, are four cows and two calves, appraised at $100, a cider press valued at $5 and donkey worth $150.

The following amounts comprise for the most part the deductions from the estate as debts:

  • Hayden, Stone & Co, $380,027
  • Crews, Lichtenstadt & Co, $826,384
  • National City Bank, $1,442,997
  • Kuhn, Loeb & Co, $131,125
  • William Solomon & Co, $202,304
  • United States Mortgage & Trust Co, $125,000

An affidavit accompanying the report showed that $50,000 had been paid to Miss Emma C. Cameron, who was known as Mr. Hawley’s niece and housekeeper, and the amount included in the list of Mr. Hawley’s debts. Miss Cameron, the affidavit discloses is really Miss Emma C Sturgess, of Babylon, Long Island.   After Mr. Hawley’s death she was in possession of his country home, and she refused to surrender it until the check was cashed, which Mr Hawley had given her some time before his death was cashed.  She had declared that this was not a legacy, and that she had not previously cashed the check for the reason that had been in no need of money.

Mr. Hawley was a bachelor and died intestate.  He had made a will before his death, but had not signed it, as he did not realize his uncertain condition of health.  His estate was divided among his sisters, brothers, nephews and niece.  Samuel Hawley, Charles Hawley, and William Hawley, his brothers, and Nellie H. Seymour and Annie Hawley Ogden, his sisters, who reside in Chatham, New York, received $1,056,657.59 each and Walter S Crandell and Fred H. Crandell, his nephews, who live in this city, and Mary Crandell Page, his niece of Chatham, received $352,219 each.  His nephews and niece are children of Mary H Crandell, a deceased sister.  Charles Hawley died shortly before his brother’s death, and his share reverts to his heirs.

Fred H Crandell was disinherited by his uncle in the unsigned will because of family litigation, but as Mr. hawley died intestate, Crandell became entitled to a share in the estate.

~The New York Times, 28 July 1912