Frank H. Goodyear - Table of Contents

Frank H. Goodyear Family in Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

Frank Henry Goodyear

Josephine Looney

Grace

Josephine

Florence

Frank Henry, Jr.

Edward T. Dunn, The Goodyear Family

Robert Holder, The Enterprising Goodyear


Frank Henry Goodyear  (PHOTO)
(1849-1907)

1871  - Married Josephine Looney, daughter of Robert Looney. As young man, Frank had worked for  Robert Looney, who ran a farm, sawmill, general store, and feed and grain business and also owned vast timberlands in Pennsylvania. Frank had arranged that Josephine's share in her father's estate should be timberlands.

1872  - To Buffalo

1887  - Formed lumber company with his brother, Charles

1901 -- Acquired large tract of white pine in Louisiana. The town was christened Bogalusa and built with shops, offices, a bank, and separate black and white residential sections, all centered on a sawmill - the largest sawmill in the world.

1902  -  The two brothers formed the Buffalo & Susquehanna Iron Company to operate blast furnaces south of Buffalo on Lake Erie. Two freighters, the Frank H. Goodyear and the S. M. Clement, were built to carry ore from the company's mines in Minnesota and Michigan down to Buffalo.

1906  - Built Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad to transport their lumber.
1906  - #672 Delaware Avenue, NW corner at Summer St., finished.  House cost $500, 000 ($8,715,000 in 1997 dollars) to build.

1907  - Frank died of Bright's disease shortly after moving into his new home at #672 Delaware.

Director of Marine National Bank

Frank Henry Goodyear (1849-1907) was the son of a country doctor, Bradley Goodyear, and passed his boyhood in Holland and other small towns in the vicinity of East Aurora, New York. He came to Buffalo in 1872 at the age of 23.

In 1887, Goodyear and his brother, Charles Waterhouse, formed the lumber company and kindred organizations that became quite prominent in the business world.

The firm name became F. H. & C. W. Goodyear, and almost immediately their operations became so extensive that it was necessary for both to give their undivided attention to them. They were pioneers in the construction of standard built and equipped railroads for logging operations, penetrating the timber tracts of Pennsylvania, which had, up until that time, been considered well-nigh inaccessible to railroads.

From this beginning grew the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad, a line that has opened up, and given complete transportation facilities to, a section that heretofore had suffered keenly from the lack of them. Now the line became a permanent freight and passenger line, with three hundred and fifty miles of first-class standard-gauge track and roadbed, and would increase the mileage one hundred miles. The annual output of their holdings amounted to 200,000,000 feet of hemlock and nearly as much in hardwood, which was shipped over their own railroad, the Buffalo & Susquehanna.

See The Lackawanna Steel Company and the Buffalo and Susquehanna Iron Company for Goodyear's involvement with the Buffalo and Susquehanna Iron Company.

Goodyear was president of

  • the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad,
  • the steamship company and iron company of the same name, and
  • the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad,

He was a partner in the Goodyear Lumber Company, and a director of the U.S. Leather Co. and the Marine National Bank.

He made valuable donations to parks of Buffalo and a project dear to his heart was a zoo for this city, the start of which he wished to finance His offer was declined by our city fathers of the 1890s.

The name of Mrs. Goodyear (the former Josephine Looney) is perpetuated by the Josephine Goodyear Convalescent Home, Williamsville, the buildings of which were her gift to convalescent children of Western New York.

Mr. Goodyear died in 1907, his wife, eight years later. They were the parents of three daughters and a son.

Goodyear lived at a mansion (see photo above) on Delaware and Summer which was
demolished in 1938 and is now the site of the Red Cross parking lot. The house cost $500, 000 ($8,715,000 in 1997 dollars) to build.

A former residence was at 237 North St., which was also later (1901-1912) owned by John D. Larkin before he moved to "Larkland" in 1912.

Josephine Looney - wife of Frank Henry Goodyear
1851(?)-1915

Addresses:
Children:
  •  Grace.  Born 1872.

  •  Josephine. 1874-1904. 

  •  Florence.  Died 1958.

  •  Frank Henry Goodyear, Jr.  1891-
Grace
Born 1872.

Married Ganson Depew,  a vice president of the Buffalo & Susquehanna Iron Company, and the personal assistant of his father-in-law Frank Henry "F.H." Goodyear.
Josephine
1874-1904. 

Married George M. Sicard (born 1872) whose uncle, George J. Sicard, was a partner of Frank's brother Charles in Bissell, Sicard & Goodyear. After marriage he went to work for Frank's lumber and railroad companies, but quit after 1904 when his wife died.
Florence
Died  1958
1902   - Married George Olds Wagner
Frank Henry, Jr.
1891-

1907  - #672 Delaware (PHOTO) built, when Frank Jr was 16 years old.

1915  - Married Dorothy Virginia Knox, daughter of Seymour H. and Grace Knox I.
 
1915  - Frank Jr.'s mother died and left her house at
#672 Delaware Avenue, NW corner at Summer St., to him.  When married, he and Dorothy lived there. 

Also in 1915, Dorothy's father died, and her mother decided to buy the house at #806 (now #800) which was four doors away from her newly married daughter's house.  Mrs. Knox demolished the house and built a new house which was finished in 1918.

(The Goodyear and Knox mausoleums in Forest Lawn Cemetery are next to each other.)



The text below is an excerpt from
Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families

By Edward T. Dunn
Pub. by
Canisius College Press, 2003, pp. 360-366

Frank and Charles Goodyear: Their progenitor was Dr. Jabez Bradley Goodyear, born in 1816, in Sempronius, New York. He dropped the Jabez at the time of his marriage. His first occupation was that of tailor. In his mid-twenties, he spent two years traveling through the South, supporting himself by his trade before returning to New York where he was induced by his uncle, Dr. Miles Goodyear, president of the Cortland County, Medical Society, to start practicing medicine as early as 1843. Jabez graduated from Geneva Medical College in 1845 and married Esther Permelia Kinne.

She had been born in Cortland in 1822 of New England stock, including an ancestor, who, in the best tradition of earnest Puritans, had come to America via Leyden, Holland, in 1635.

They lived in Virgil but moved to a farm near Cortland where there two sons were born, Charles Waterhouse in 1846 and Frank Henry in 1849.

Frank Goodyear

Frank was a standard nineteenth century tycoon. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Holland in Erie County. As a boy he worked at Root & Keating's tannery as did brother Charles. Frank attended the district school and East Aurora Academy when his father was practicing medicine there. Later Frank taught in the district school. He then went to Looneyville in Alden as a bookkeeper for Robert Looney, a native of the Island of Man, who ran a farm, sawmill, general store, and feed and grain business and also owned vast timberlands in Pennsylvania.

In 1871 Frank married the boss's daughter, twenty-year old Josephine. Next year her father died. Frank had already moved to Buffalo where he set up a coal and lumber business with help from the ubiquitous Elbridge Spaulding.

Frank had arranged that Josephine's share in her father's estate should be timberlands. He threw himself into the lumber business, setting up several mills in his timberlands along the Western New York & Pennsylvania to Buffalo.

In 1884 he bought more land in Potter County and built a sawmill at a town he renamed Austin, which became headquarters of his empire. He initiated temporary railroads, called tramways, to carry logs to his mills instead of floating them down on streams. His frantic pace brought on a nervous breakdown, during which he induced Charles to form E H. & C. W Goodyear and took a European rest cure. The story of their joint activities is that of two brothers who did not get along.

The Achilles heel of the Goodyear empire was Frank's decision to expand the railroads servicing his sawmills into an interstate road, the Buffalo & Susquehanna, to link his mills and the coal mines in western Pennsylvania with the Buffalo &Susquehanna Iron Company which the Goodyears had formed in 1902 to operate blast furnaces south of Buffalo on Lake Erie. Two freighters, the Frank H. Goodyear and the S. M. Clement, were built to carry ore from the company's mines in Minnesota and Michigan down to Buffalo. This was vertical integration, but it duplicated existing services with an inefficient railroad:

In 1906 the Goodyears built the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad from Wellsville to Buffalo, nearly 90 miles. A year later Frank Goodyear died; his brother Charles died in 1911, and the Goodyear empire began to fall apart. The expense of constructing the line to Buffalo began to cause financial difficulty, and the road laid aside plans to extend its line to Pittsburgh and relocate its line to eliminate the four switchbacks over the mountains between Galeton and Wharton. The Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway leased the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railroad, but that didn't forestall receivership. After a brief period of operation as the Wellsville & Buffalo, the Buffalo extension was scrapped in 1916.

More successful were Frank's ventures in Louisiana where in 1901 he acquired a large tract of white pine. Next year the Great Southern Lumber Company was formed with Frank as president and Charles vice-president. They had invested $9 million in 300,000 acres in Louisiana and Mississippi along the Pearl River. In 1905 a town site was selected along the Bogue Lusa Creek, a tributary of the Pearl, and a town christened Bogalusa was built with shops, offices, a bank, and separate black and white residential sections, all centered on a sawmill. The ninety mile New Orleans Great Northern Railroad was created to connect Bogalusa with the national network.

Frank died of Bright's disease in 1907, shortly after moving into his new home at #672 Delaware. He had not gotten much physical exercise and though only five feet eight, he weighed 220 pounds, a victim of overeating. His absorbing interest was business and he had a keen business sense. His estate was worth $10,000,000. The family chronicler wrote:

He had a quick, eager, incisive mind and was irascibly impatient with the plodder ... He was forever making notes and even at a formal dinner there was a pad and pencil beside his place. Often he could not read the notes he had made ... He was never really happy. The only thing he enjoyed was success that needed constant increase and he died looking failure in the face, the failure of his pet project, the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railway. He was the head of every enterprise with which he was connected, all of them, but the one, greatly successful. He told me that if a man was successful in six out of ten enterprises he was himself a success and seven out of ten made him an extraordinary success, but when it came to his own case he needed ten out of ten.

Shortly after his death the panic of 1907 struck. Town and railroad building stopped. The sawmill had been completed, but did not go into operation until late 1908. But though the effects panic lingered, the decision to start up proved sound. It was the largest sawmill in the world.

Frank's money-making left him little time for other activities. President Cleveland appointed him in 1886 to examine federal land granted to the Northern Pacific Railroad. He was Park Commissioner of Buffalo, president of the Buffalo Club in 1903, and director of three local concerns: Marine Bank, Rogers Brown Iron Company, and United States Leather, a customer for the bark from his sawmills. His clubs were the Lawyers' and Manhattan clubs of New York, the Buffalo, Country, Ellicott, Falconwood, and Liberal clubs of Buffalo, and the Jekyll Club of Jekyll Island, Georgia.

762 Delaware

Frank's mansion at 762 Delaware, modeled on a house on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, was completed in 1906. By then his three daughters, Grace who married Ganson Depew, Josephine who married George M. Sicard, and Florence who married George 0. Wagner, had left home.

Frank had resided briefly at #443 Delaware when he came to Buffalo in 1872. Thereafter he lived in succession at #652 Main [across the street from the Pierce Building], #671 Main [across the street from the Greyhound Bus Terminal], and #267 North, the Bemis House.

Family

His wife Josephine, a retiring soul, died at sixty-four in October 1915 of the effects of a heart attack at the Exchange Street Station. She was remembered as the benefactress of the convalescent home for children named after her in Williamsville.

Grace, the eldest of Frank and Josephine's children, had been born in 1872. In 1894 she married Ganson Depew who had been born in 1862 and was everybody's choice for Mr. Nice Guy. He was the nephew of Chauncey Depew, president of the New York Central and Senator from New York 1900-1911. Admitted to the bar in 1887, Ganson deserted the law to work for his father-in-law and became manager of Goodyear Lumber, vice-president of Buffalo & Susquehanna Coal, and assistant to the president of the Buffalo & Susquehanna Railway.

Frank Goodyear's second daughter, Josephine, born in 1874, married George Montgomery Sicard in 1900. The Sicards came from Utica where George was born in 1872. His uncle, George J. Sicard, was a partner of Cleveland, Bissell & Sicard, and later of Frank's brother Charles in Bissell, Sicard & Goodyear. George Sicard attended Utica Academy, graduated from Yale in 1894, received his law degree from N.Y.U. in 1895, and came to Buffalo where he began practice with Moot, Sprague & Brownell. After marriage he went to work for Frank's lumber and railroad companies. Josephine, his wife, died 1904. Soon afterwards Sicard, who had not gotten along with his father-in-law, resigned from his companies and moved to Pelham Manor where he lived the last thirty years of his life.

Florence, Frank Goodyear's third daughter, attended Saint Margaret's School in Buffalo and finishing school in New York. Back in Buffalo she married in 1902 George Olds Wagner ....



The text below is an excerpt (page 4) from

The Enterprising Goodyears
By Robert Holder
(online August 2013)

The name of Goodyear looms large in the history of lumber on the Niagara Frontier. The enterprises of Frank H. and Charles W. Good-year brought them personal profit and benefitted the community in many ways.

While other lumber dealers passed by good forests that were far from water transportation, Frank H. Goodyear invested heavily in isolated forest holdings. He built his own sawmills. Then he promptly connected them with shipping centers, by laying out his own railroads to reach the busy mills. In 1885 he bought 13,000 acres of woodland in Potter County, Pennsylvania. The railroad he built for this venture later became part of the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad which gave Buffalo easy access to coal as well as to timber .

In 1887 Frank entered into partnership with his brother, Charles, and by 1902 the Goodyear Lumber Company was incorporated. Typical of the advanced thinking of the Goodyears was the building of a sawmill of steel - the first of its kind. The output of this mill was expected to exceedthat of any other sawmill in the world at that time.

The Goodyear brothers' interests included the Buffalo and Susquehanna Coal and Coke Company, the Buffalo and Susquehanna steam-ship Company, the Great Southern Lumber Company, and the Marine National Bank of Buffalo, of which both brothers were directors.



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