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Wilson B. Chisholm
THE world is upheld by the example of its leading men. It is they who are the pace-makers and who keep our course set ever in a given direction. Yet, however much a man's leadership be recognized in life, true it is that not until death takes him from the scene of daily
activities and sets him apart from ourselves, not until then can his service be fully estimated. It is death that lends perspective to life. The leadership of the late Wilson B. Chisholm was substantially recognized in the industrial and financial world during his lifetime, and his name honored throughout his useful citizenship, but it is fitting now that he is removed a pace, to view his life as a whole and survey the record he has left to us.
Wilson B. Chisholm, or as he was christened, Wilson Black Allan Chisholm, may almost be considered a lifelong resident of Cleveland, for he came here in 1850, when but a child of two years, having been born in Montreal, Canada, in 1848. Cleveland was the scene of his boyhood, where he was educated and made his permanent home. For many years he was head of the Cleveland Rolling Mill Company of Newburgh, the original plant having been founded by his father, Henry Chisholm. Both father and son were iron and steel makers, known throughout the country. The elder Chisholm was born in Scotland, April 22, 1822, the son of a mining engineer, Stewart Chisholm of Lochgelly, Fifeshire. Henry Chisholm came to this country in 1842, being attracted first to Montreal, Canada. He was originally a carpenter by trade, but became interested in the then new iron industry, and thenceforward devoted his life to it. He became a pioneer in the industry in Ohio, and was recognized as a leading iron man in the country. It was largely to the labors of the elder Chisholm that early Cleveland was indebted for the wonderful development of iron interests in the fifties, and it is well known that it was this iron business which furnished the very foundation for the city's marvelous manufacturing growth in the sixties and seventies, leading to her present splendid development and prestige.
Henry Chisholm had married in his own bonny Scotland a bride from Dumfermline, in his native Fifeshire. Five children blessed this union and contributed their careers to the new country. Of their five children, three were sons, of whom the third was Wilson Black Allan, later known as Wilson B. Chisholm.
Bred and born in the Scot is the love of learning, and Henry Chisholm gave his sons every opportunity the times afforded. His son Wilson received a very good foundation in the Cleveland schools of the day, and was then sent East to profit by the best of technical training available at the Philadelphia Polytechnic Institute. The young man exhibited a decided bent toward the iron industry, in which his father was so prominently engaged, and was early associated with his father in the plant at Newburg, which later became the great Cleveland Rolling Mills.
In the year 1876, on June 6, Mr. Wilson B. Chisholm was married to Miss Nellie Brainard. Miss Brainard was a daughter of
Joseph M. Brainard, of Cleveland, her mother, before marriage,. having been Miss Helen Hills. Mr. Chisholm's firstborn was a son fittingly named Henry in honor of his revered grandfather,
the elder ironmaster. Three daughters were also born to Mr. Chisholm, these now being Mrs. Edmund S. Burke, Jr., Mrs. John H. Hord, and Mrs. Frank C. Newcomer. The youngest born was a son, Bruce, now at college.
Like many busy men, Mr. Chisholm found his greatest pleasure and recreation in his family and beautiful home, "Thistle Hall," situated in East Cleveland. Mr. Chisholm was fond of outdoor life. He was an ardent lover of horses and took pride in not a few thoroughbreds which he kept at Thistle Doune Farm, where he spent considerable time.
He was a member of the leading clubs of Cleveland a few years before his death, and was instrumental in forming the Forest City Live Stock and Fair Company, in which he was a director.
Although but sixty-six years of age when death overtook him, Mr. Chisholm had suffered considerable impairment in health for six or seven years previous. In the spring of 1914 it was realized that no real improvement could be hoped for, and the end came on May tenth of that year. The sympathy of the whole city went out to the family in their affliction, for the rank and file of Cleveland citizens, who knew not Mr. Chisholm personally, knew of his place in the upbuilding of industrial Cleveland.
All honored the strong man whose labors in life had been for the good of all. His body was tenderly laid away in Lake View Cemetery, the beautiful city of Cleveland's illustrious dead.
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