EARLY ISSUES OF CAPITAL STOCK (continued)
May 25, 1927
The Commissioners for Organization
On reference to the attached supplement of nineteen pages, listing
all the stock issued by the original company, it is interesting
to note that not all the gentlemen named in the charter as commissioners
to effect organization of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway
Company evidenced their faith in the project sufficiently to subscribe
to its capital stock. They may all have subscribed to the stock,
of course, but, if so, not all of them completed payments on their
subscriptions. There is no record in the stock book, for instance
or any certificate of stock having been issued to the following
gentlemen, all of whom were named as commissioners in the Company's
charter: J. P. Palmer, W. H. Ledbetter, A. C. McKeen, W. X. Little,
E. Sterling, Frank W. Latham, Thomas Allen, B. O'Connor, W. E. Scott,
E. Pelot, I. S. Catlin, M. A. Bryan, Wm. Wagner, B. H. Bassett,
J. W. Carroll, J. L. D. Morrison, George Lawrence, and John S. Sellers.
Nor is there any record of the issuance of! stock certificates to
the following gentlemen, who were subsequently named as associate
commissioners: H. Miller, John Adriance, J. T. Harcourt, and Guy
M. Bryan. It may be that they were instrumental in securing subscriptions
from firms with which they were connected, but there is no record
of subscriptions from them individually.
Mr. Wm. R. Smith, one of the commissioners named in the charter,
died before the company organized. And Mr. I. C. Higgins (or J.
C. Higgins?), also named in the charter, resigned at the meeting
of June 19, 1873.
Of the other commissioners named in the charter, and of those
afterwards appointed associate commissioners, the following notes
may be of interest:
Albert Somerville, elected first president of the Gulf, Colorado
and Santa Fe Railway Company on Nov. 26, 1873, had been Mayor of
the City of Galveston in 1871 and 1872. He was senior member of
the firm of Somerville & Davis, to whom Certificate No. 26 was issued
on Nov. 3, 1875, for 15 shares of stock. The other member of the
firm was Waters S. Davis; and they did a large shipping business
and were commission merchants for cotton ties, domestic jute, bagging,
etc. Both were almost continuously directors of the railway company;
and the firm of Somerville & Davis joined with George Sealy in lending
money to the railway company just before its final collapse. Somerville
& Davis were among the organizers of the new company in 1879.
P. J. Willis was a member of the firm of P. J. Willis & Bro.,
to whom certificate No. 116, for 100 shares was issued on Nov. 30,
1875. They were large cotton merchants, and wholesalers in dry goods,
groceries and liquors. Mr. R. S. Willis was almost continuously
a director of the original company. He was among those joining with
George Sealy to lend money to the company, and was also among the
organizers of the new company of 1879. Mr. George Sealy, who was
chiefly instrumental in organizing the company of 1879, married
Miss Magnolia Willis. The firm of P. J. Willis & Bro. went out of
existence long ago, but the children and grandchildren of its members
are interested in many concerns both in Galveston and in other parts
of the country.
J. L. Darragh, to whom certificate No. 126, for 10 shares, was
issued Dec. 11, 1875, was invited to the meeting of Galveston corporations
held on Dec. 23, 1874, as a representative of the Galveston City
Company. The family was wealthy and prominent in those days, but
is scattered now. John L. Darragh had been an alderman of the City
of Galveston in 1848 and 1849.
Leon Blum was a member of the firm of Leon & H. Blum, to whom
certificate No. 93, for 50 shares, was issued Nov. 9, 1875. They
were cotton merchants, with large land holdings. They afterwards
gave to the Railway Company the site of the present station of Algoa,
constructing the station buildings and putting in a fifteen hundred
foot side track free of charge. Leon Blum was among those to whom
the City of Galveston granted the right to construct and operate
a street railway, on July 10, 1873, to be known as the People's
Railway Company ---- afterwards known as the Galveston City Railroad
N. B. Yard, to whom certificate No. 219, for one share, was issued
August 24, 1878, had been an alderman of the City of Galveston in
1839, having come to Galveston shortly before that time from Trenton,
New Jersey, where the family had been settled since colonial days.
Mr. Yard served at various times afterwards as alderman of the City
of Galveston and as a member of the Commissioners Court of the County
of Galveston. In the latter capacity, he voted the County's stock
at some of the stormy meetings before the demise of the original
company. He was at one time Treasurer of the Galveston, Houston
and Henderson Railroad Company. He had been a colonel in the Confederate
Army during the war between the states, and was in charge of the
military district of Galveston. It was while he was maintaining
headquarters at Harrisburg that his youngest son was born -- now
Mr. Geo. N. Yard, Secretary and Treasurer of the present Gulf, Colorado
and Santa Fe Railway Company.
Mr. C. E. Broussard was a member of the firm of C. E. Broussard
& Co., to whom certificate No. 66, for 2 shares, was issued Nov.
Mr. M. Kopperl, to whom certificate No. 161, for 20 shares, was
issued August 28, 1876, was president of the National Bank of Texas,
to whom certificate No. 125, for 25 shares, was issued Dec. 10,
1875. He had been an alderman of the City of Galveston in 1871 and
1872, and was always prominent in financial circles. He was a member
of the Board of Directors of the original company, and was elected
president on Dec. 17, 1877, serving in that capacity until the dissolution
of the company after the Trustee's sale in 1879. He was one of those
who joined with George Sealy in the loan of $250,000.00 to the Company,
and was one of the incorporators of the new company in 1879. Both
his sons are now dead, but some of his grandchildren still reside
in Galveston. His residence, on the southwest corner of 24th St.
and Broadway, was purchased several years ago by the late Brewer
W. Key, and after some alterations and enlargements, was given to
the Y.W.C.A. as a residence for girls, as! a memorial to his wife,
under the name of the Julia Key Memorial Home.
Mr. J. M. Brown, to whom certificate No. 40, for 10 shares, was
issued Nov. 4, 1875, was president of the First National Bank of
Galveston, to whom certificate No. 41 was issued the same day for
50 shares. Mr. Brown was not among the organizers of the new company
in 1879. The First National Bank of Galveston -- the oldest national
bank in Texas -- is still flourishing, one of the strong financial
institutions of the city, on the corner of 22d St. and the Strand.
Mr. Brown died many years ago, and his children are also dead. One
grandson, Mr. J. S. Sweeney, still lives in Galveston. The family
mansion, known as Ashton Villa, on the northeast corner of 24th
St. and Broadway, is now unoccupied, having descended by inheritance
to a granddaughter, Mrs. Henry J. Jumonville of New Orleans.
Henry Rosenberg, to whom certificate No. 1, for 50 shares, was
issued Nov. 1, 1875, was the owner of the Rosenberg Bank. This institution,
sold by his estate after his death, became the South Texas State
Bank, and is now the South Texas National Bank, one of the financial
institutions of the Sealy family. It is still located in the same
bank building on the south side of Market St., in the middle of
the block, between 22d and Tremont Sts. Mr. Rosenberg was elected
president of the railway company on Dec. 21, 1874, serving until
the election of Mr. Kopperl in 1877. It was Mr. Rosenberg, as president,
who turned the first shovelful of dirt at 37th and Mechanic Sts.
on May 1, 1875, when the first construction work on the road was
begun. It was the occasion of great rejoicing and much "eagle oratory",
with refreshments of crackers and cheese and champagne, furnished
by the contractors, Messrs. Burnett & Kilpatrick. Mr. Rosenberg
joined with George Sealy in the loan of $250,0! 00.00 to the financially
embarrassed company in December 1878, and was one of the organizers
of the new company in 1879. Born a Swiss, Mr. Rosenberg amassed
a large fortune in Galveston. Though twice married, no children
survived him, and the bulk of his fortune was left for charitable
and philanthropic purposes, some to his native town, but mostly
in Galveston. Some of these monuments to his generosity are the
Y.M.C.A. Building, the Laetitia Rosenberg Home for Aged Women, the
Galveston Orphans' Home, Grace Episcopal Church, the monument to
the Heroes of the Texas Revolution of 1836, at the intersection
of 25th St. and Broadway, and a series of drinking fountains for
man and beast, some of which have since been removed from their
former commanding position at street intersections, in these days
of traffic congestion when the horses they were mainly designed
to serve have almost disappeared from the streets. A bronze seated
statue of Mr. Rosenberg is at the entrance to the ! Rosenberg Library,
another one of his benefactions. It is interesting to note that
the library, on the corner of Tremont St. and Avenue I, occupies
the site of the former home of a member of the Willis family, also
among the builders of the Santa Fe.
John D. Rogers, to whom certificate No. 37, for 10 shares, was
issued Nov. 3, 1875, was a cotton planter and a merchant of the
City of Galveston. His son, Mr. William R. Allen Rogers, resides
in the family home on the southwest corner of Tremont St. and Avenue
I, directly across the street from the residence of the late Mr.
John Sealy. Col. John D. Rogers was one of those associated with
George Sealy in the loan to the railway company in December, 1878,
and was one of the organizers of the new company in 1879.
Mr. W. L. Moody, was at the time of the organization of the Santa
Fe, a member of the firm of Moody & Jemison, cotton merchants and
bankers, to whom certificate No. 42, for 50 shares, was issued Nov.
4, 1875. Col. Moody was a member of the first Board of Directors
and served the old company in that capacity almost continuously.
The firm of Moody & Jemison joined with George Sealy in the loan
of December, 1878, and was one of the organizers of the new company
in 1879. Although Col. Moody has been dead for several years, his
son ---- of the same name ---- the present head of the family, still
carries on its various interests. The firm name, for many years
has been W. L. Moody & Co., under which name they conduct a private
bank on the northeast corner of Market and 21st Sts., in the building
of the American National Insurance Company, which they also control.
In addition, they own the City National Bank, on the south side
of Market St., near Tremont.
The names of some of the organizers and early stockholders of
the Santa Fe are perpetuated in the stations named for them along
the line, as Rosenberg, Wallis, Dyer, Sealy, Landes, Somerville,
Rogers, Heidenheimer, Moody, Kopperl, Blum and Kempner.