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Peter Marshall Hitchcock
FEW can draw rules for their own guidance from the pages of Plutarch and Epictetus, but all are benefited
by the delineation of those traits of character which
find scope and exercise in the common walks of life.
The unostentatious routine of private life, although in the aggregate more important to the welfare of the community than any meteoric public career, cannot, from its very nature. figure in the public annals, though each locality's history should contain the names of those individuals who contribute to the success of the material affairs of a community and to its public stability; men who lead useful and honorable lives which might be profitably studied by the oncoming generation. In such a class must consistently appear the name of the late Peter Marshall Hitchcock, for many years a leading business man of Cleveland, a man who led a plain, industrious life, endeavoring to deal fairly with those with whom he was associated and contribute to the general public good in an unobtrusive manner.
Mr. Hitchcock was born in Painesville, Ohio, April 27, 1839. He was the oldest son of Reuben and Sarah (Marshall) Hitchcock. His father was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, and his mother was born in Winsted, that State. There they grew up, were educated, and married, but finally removed from the old Nutmeg State to Ohio, where they established the permanent home of the family, and where Mr. Hitchcock became a successful and prominent jurist, very distinguished, in fact, in northern Ohio. To these parents six children were born. Peter Hitchcock, grandfather of the subject of this memoir, was also a noted man in this State in his day and generation, having been chief justice of Ohio for a quarter of a century, and was a prominent legal authority. He also served his State in Congress, for some time, with honor and distinction. He was also the first prosecuting attorney of the city of Cleveland.
Peter M. Hitchcock grew to manhood at the parental homestead in Painesville and there attended school, later taking the prescribed literary course at Hudson College, Hudson, Ohio, of which institution his uncle, Dr. Henry Lawrence Hitchcock, was president.
After leaving college, Mr. Hitchcock began his industrial career by engaging in the iron manufacturing business, having been identified with the old Buckhorn Furnace at Ironton, Ohio, for some time. His next venture was in the Mahoning Valley Mills at Youngstown, this State, where he remained until the commencement of the war between the States, when he enlisted in the Twentieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, of which regiment Charles Whittelsey was colonel. He served his country faithfully for three and one-half years, first, as quartermaster for his regiment, then as quartermaster for his brigade, and finally as quartermaster of a division in the Army of the Tennessee. At the conclusion of his military career he was honorably discharged and returned to the Mahoning Valley Mills at Youngstown, and a
short time thereafter when that concern opened a branch in Cleve land, known as the Cleveland-Brown Company, Mr. Hitchcock came to this city and assumed charge, continuing successfully in the iron business for many years, in fact, he always retained his interests in that industry. However the last years of his life were devoted principally to the coal business, he having been president of the Moon Run Coal Company, with large holdings in Ohio. He continued thus actively engaged until the Moon Run Coal Company was merged with the Pittsburgh Coal Company. He became widely known in both the iron and coal arenas of the Middle West and East.
The domestic life of Mr. Hitchcock began on September 24, 1864, when he was united in marriage to Sarah J. Wilcox, a daughter of Judge Aaron and Eliza J. (Morley) Wilcox, a prominent family of Painesville, Ohio, where Mrs. Hitchcock grew to womanhood and received her early education. The union of our subject and wife resulted in the birth of six sons. Two died in childhood. Those living are, Charles W., who married May Sterling, of Redlands, California; Reuben, who married Edith Meacham, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Morley, who married Elizabeth Newberry, of Cleveland; and Lawrence, who has remained unmarried and makes his home with his mother in Cleveland. These children were given excellent educational advantages, and they are all successful young business men.
Peter M. Hitchcock was a trustee of Lake Erie College at Painesville, his native city, his father having been one of the founders of this institution. Our subject was very active in church work, contributing freely to general religious and moral causes. He was a member and trustee of the Old Stone Church in Cleveland. Although he was very philanthropic, being by nature charitably inclined, he gave from a sense of duty, and never for show, his gifts being quietly made. Many worthy people of this and other places were helped in times of need by him, who, in many instances, never knew who their benefactor was. Although very busy, he was essentially a domestic man, loved his home and gave it as much attention as possible, leaving nothing neglected in its maintenance along ideal lines. He was also very fond of the Loyal Legion, of which he was an enthusiastic member. This was, in fact, his hobby, and he cared more for the order than any other association. He was very successful in a business way throughout his career, and, being a man of unquestioned integrity, his standing was very high in business, civic, church, and social circles in Cleveland; in fact, he was highly esteemed wherever he was known, and when he was summoned to his eternal rest, on June 9, 1908, his loss was keenly felt by all.
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