See also: Leaders of the Pan-American Exposition Buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery - John Newton Scatcherd
John Newton Scatcherd
John Newton Scatcherd was born in Buffalo in 1857, the son of James Newton Scatcherd, who was one of the pioneers in the lumber business of Buffalo, and one of its foremost businessmen; and a grandson of John Scatcherd, who was the descendent of an old English family that settled in Canada in 1821. The grandfather was for many years prominent in the public life round about London, Ontario, he having held several high offices and having represented the District of Middlesex in the Canadian Parliament for a number of terms. James Newton Scatcherd, the father of the subject of this sketch, came to Buffalo in 1852, and five years later established the lumber business now carried on by his son. The elder Scatcherd was prominent in the financial and philanthropic affairs of his city, and for four years was chairman of the Board of Water Commissioners He died in 1885.
John Newton Scatcherd received his education the Buffalo public schools and at Professor Briggs's Classical School. In 1869 he entered Helmuth College, in London, Ontario, graduating from that institution in 1872 and becoming associated with his father in the lumber firm then known as Scatcherd & Belton. In 1879 he was taken into partnership with his father, the firm becoming Scatcherd & Son.
Upon the death of his father in 1885, the son continued the business as managing partner with Mrs. E. L. Cary, which association continues to the present day as one of the largest hardwood lumber concerns in the country. Mr. Scatcherd is also president of The Batavia and New York Woodworking Company, at Batavia, New York, engaged in the manufacture of inside finishing for buildings and high-class cabinet work. This plant is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
Mr. Scatcherd's associations with the financial institutions of Buffalo are numerous. From 1892 until 1896 he served as president of the Bank of Buffalo, and is at the present time a director in that institution. He was one of the projectors of The Ellicott Square Building, and acted as its president from 1894 to 1906, and is now the vice-president and a member of the board of directors.
During the years 1886, 1887, and 1888, Mr. Scatcherd was president of the Buffalo Lumber Exchange, and for two years president of the Buffalo Merchants' Exchange, he having been the first to fill this office for two successive years. His tenure of office as present of the exchange will best be remembered from the fact that it marked the beginning of a movement to abolish grade crossings. Mr. Scatcherd frequently insisted that the grade crossings were a great detriment to the city's trade, and to prove his assertion appointed a number of men to watch and take tally at the dangerous crossings. As a result of this a report was compiled and widely commented on, eventually resulting in the creation of the Grade Crossings Commission, which has resulted in the abolition of many dangerous crossings at grade, and will eventually free the city of these deadly perils.
Mr. Scatcherd's greatest service to his city was as chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. This committee was practically in charge of the enterprise and wholly responsible for it. Mr. Scatcherd was elected a member of the board of directors and subsequently was made chairman of the exposition committee of that board, and during its continuance gave up most of his time to its interests.
The benefit of this exposition to buffalo can never possibly be overestimated. The year it was held marked the transformation of Buffalo from an overgrown provincial community, to a great, teeming, pulsating city. The increase in values was almost unprecedented -- institution grew, and real estate rose in value as it never had risen before. No small part of this can be credited to the unselfish efforts of the subject of this sketch.
Republican Party Leadership
Mr. Scatcherd has ever been prominent in the Republican Party. For a number of years Mr. Scatcherd, with George Urban Junior, chairman of the Republican General Committee, was the leader of his party in this county. When they assumed direction of its affairs, there was but one Republican officeholder in the county. When they resigned there was but one Democrat. Mr. Scatcherd received the Republican nomination for mayor in 1897, but went down to defeat before the Democratic landslide of that year.
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On September 9, 1879, he was married to Mary Eunice Wood, granddaughter of O. G. Steele, of this city. They have two children, Madeline Steele Scatcherd and James Newton Scatcherd
Illustrations source: "A History of the City of Buffalo," published by the The Buffalo Evening News, 1908