Hiram Bond

Hiram Bond

Judge Hiram Bond was born in 1838 in Farmersville, Cattaraugus County, New York in 1838 and died in Seattle in 1906. He was a corporate lawyer, investment banker and an investor in various businesses including gold mining. He was the son of Hiram Bond M.D. and Almeda Slusser and was married to Laura Ann Higgins. His offspring were Louis Whitford Bond born in New York City, New York in 1865 and Marshall Latham Bond born in Orange, Virginia in 1867. His Academic history was Rushford Academy, a bachelors from Hamilton College. He earned much of the money for his own education as a distributor of maps and atlases. He matriculated at Harvard Law Shool but before graduation he was hired as a law clerk by Chauncey Depew a friend and neighbor of his father in law Michael Dunning Higgins of Peekskill.

Investment career

Through Depew he was introduced to and became a broker for John Tobin & Co. part of the powerful Vanderbilt Organization. At Tobin & Co. he was the floor broker for Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and for his son William Henry Vanderbilt on the New York Gold Exchange executing their trading in "greenbacks" and in gold during the Civil War. The value of greenbacks against gold varied widely as investors altered their perception the progress of the war. Greenbacks United States Notes sold at a discount against gold generally but if chances of victory rose they seemed an opportunity. If the war were dragging out they wanted the security of gold. Vanderbilt employed a private intelligence network on the front line reporting early news. Hiram Bond's position led to his prominent contacts on Wall Street, in the military and in politics.


Hiram Bond was appointed to a federal judgeship in Orange County, Virginia in 1866 under Reconstruction. He was of importance in assisting a shift from an Accomodationist to a Radical Republican Governor. In 1868 he was appointed to the position of Master of Bankruptcy for the state of Virginia by President Ulysses S. Grant. This position was based at the state capital, Richmond, Va. While living there he hosted a visit by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. His family remained living at Mayhurst Plantation House in Orange. Judge Hiram Bond's subsequent honorific use of the title Judge was based on this post.

Business dealings


In 1870 Judge Bond started visiting Denver and the other parts of Colorado on business. On the evening of January 14th 1872 he was among local notables invited by the Governor to be attendants at a ball held for Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. On the 15th the group hunted Buffalo with Buffalo Bill. Later in the year Hiram Bond purchased a small ranch on the outskirts of the town named Villa Park, Denver, Colorado where he acted as a cattle broker. The same year he organized the Denver Smelting and Refining Works with Joseph Miner and Joseph Kates producing gold ore into ingots for the Denver Mint. The Villa Park property was sold to Helen Barnum Hurd Buchtel daughter of P. T. Barnum founder of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1889. Hiram Bond's Denver homesite and yard are now called Paco Sanchez Park. Judge Hiram Bond practiced law specializing in mining and ranching, he also dealt in real estate.

The Grape Sugar Trust

In 1881 Judge Hiram Bond became involved with the Des Moines, Iowa corn starch and glucose producer the New York Grape Sugar Corporation. The other founding officers were Theodore Havemeyer of the Havemeyer Brothers led by Henry O. Havemeyer the largest suger refiners in the United States. the New York State Republican Thomas C. Platt, patent lawyer Edward N. Dickerson, an Iowa businessman William I. Frazier and bankers Alfred C. Harrison and William C. Sheldon. Judge Bond helped distribute the stock exchanging some with Charles D. Arms of Youngstown, Ohio for shares in Grand Central Mining. There was a resulting court case as to whether Judge Hiram Bond had exchanged those shares with Charles Arms as an individual or as a member of the partnership of Kimberly & Arms. This case eventually went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Alabama, Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co.

As a result of the ethical performance of his position being Master of Bankruptcy for Virginia he was respected there and in the South even by many former Confederates despite being a Radical Republican. This lead to Judge Hiram Bonds involvement with the northern Alabama coal mining industry purchasing a house at Decatur and helping form a coal company there in 1887. He then became involved with Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company.

Judge Hiram Bond was the Chief Operating Officer of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company from 1889 to 1891. The TCI resulted from a combine of interests between a number of coal, coke and iron operations in Tennessee and Northern Alabama. Judge Bond was made an officer at the same time as John C. Brown a former General and Governor of Tennessee. The largest holders of the company stock were in two groups. One being lead by a Southerner John H. Inman the other group by New York State Republican Boss Thomas C. Platt. On Gov. Brown's death he was replaced as President by Platt. The Southerners won out in time though due to discomfort the Northerners felt over convict leasing and the poor initial performance of the stock. The Inman's removed Bond from his office but by then he was already doing projects in other places.

Kings County Elevated Railway

Between 1887 and 1891 Judge Hiram Bond was also chief officer of a firm financed by investors from Boston led by Willard T. Sears who had acquired rights to construct an urban transit system under the name Kings County Elevated Railway. Their package of rights and initial construction was eventually sold off to New York City investors led by August Belmont Jr. due to the lack of support for the Bostonians by the local political leaders. His association with the KCER was so well known that it was commonly referred to as "Judge Bond's Road" according to the New York Times. During this period of time he was inducted into the Players Club at Gramercy Park founded by actor Edwin Booth for actors and lovers of the theater. He was also a member of the Union League Club of New York and Lawyers Club of New York.

Seattle, Monte Cristo Mine

Among his promotions were two companies based on mining near Monte Cristo Peak in the Cascades, Monte Cristo Mining & Milling Co. and the Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad. This package of corporations, real estate and mining patents was sold off to John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller had his representatives develop the mine, a railroad extension to the mine and a town. Among those who participated in the period of opportunity at Monte Cristo was Frederick "Fritz" Trump father of Frederick Fred Trump and grandfather of Donald Trump who opened the first Trump Real Estate Office and Trump Hotel there. The lumber for the construction of that first Trump Hotel was purchased from Monte Cristo Mining & Milling while it was owned by Rockefeller. The mine there turned out to be marginal and Bond's sale showed good foresight.

Santa Clara Prune Industry

Beginning in 1891 Judge Hiram Bond and a younger brother Elmer Monroe Bond a New York City wholesale produce dealer were involved in a fruit packing business in Santa Clara, California. There had been wide price swings in the price of prunes depending on the time since last harvest. Judge Bond constructed warehouses, set up a bank Citizens Bank of Santa Clara and he bought New Park Estate formerly the property of James Pieronnet Pierce. A fruit industry association he helped found and headed California Cured Fruit Association negotiated prices which increased due to storage and slow sale. The business succeeded until a bumper crop in 1903 proved too much to store. While in Santa Clara Hiram Bond was a cofounder of the Garden City Athletic Club (a gym) and Saint Claire Club of San Jose, the Burlingame Country Club of Burlingame and the Pacific-Union Club in nearby San Francisco. At this time the Bonds also maintained a string of polo ponies among the Judge and his two sons playing at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo.

New York Again, American Mechanical Cashier

Among his last positions was President of the American Mechanical Cashier Corporation which had a plant in Jersey City, New Jersey an office at 40 Wall Street and a flagship store on Broadway. AMCC provided a suite for him at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Among the others involved in the company were former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Charles S. Fairchild and investment banker Henry L. Horton father in law of Edward F. Hutton. The company was developing a proprietary cash register and had acquired the Isaac S. Dement machine stenography patents. Among those friends of the family who considered investing in AMCC was John Jacob Astor IV. The main near term business however was refurbishing some used registers made by the NCR Corporation that users obtained title to at the end of their leases. NCR wanted clients to upgrade with new machines under a new lease from NCR. Col. John H. Patterson financed Thomas Watson to set up a front company Watsons which would compete in that market with predatory practices. So AMCC was driven into bankruptcy and acquired by Watson's. The matter generated an anti-trust action after which Watson left to set up IBM. Among the injured investors in AMCC was Mark Twain.

Judge Hiram Bond Obituaries

eattle Times March 30th 1906

ubject: Hiram Bond, President of the Monte Cristo and Everett Railroad


Well Known Resident of Seattle and former candidate for U.S. Senator Succombs From Fall From Horse. From the results of a fall from his horse last Sunday morning Judge Hiram G. Bond one of the best know citizens of Seattle, died last evening at 7 o'clock at his home on Boylston Avenue. The immediate cause of his death was apoplexy, superinduced his physicians believe, by his exertions in aiding Miss Ada Hanford his riding companion, who fell from her horse during the ride.

The pair were near the end of Lake Washington Boulevard when Miss Hanford's mount stumbled and threw her to the ground. Judge Bond quickly dismounted and ran to the assistance of Miss Hanford, who is a daughter of Federal Judge Cornelius H. Hanford. Miss Hanford was not hurt in the least and was quickly on her feet. As he started to remount his steed Judge Bond became a trifle dizzy and fell to the ground, bruising his head, but not sustaining any serious injuries. Miss Hanford went immediately to his assistance and summoned a carriage, Judge Bond then was in a semi-conscious condition but when he reached home he was entirely unconscious.

Because of his advanced years Judge Bond failed rapidly and Monday and Tuesday physicians worked over him in an effort to save his life. On Tuesday his condition grew worse and on Thursday all hope was given up.

Miss Hanford Grieved - Miss Hanford is almost prostrated with grief at the unhappy termination of the of the outing. Judge Bond and Judge Hanford were close personal friends and the deceased was held in he deepest regard by all the members of Judge Hanford's family. Judge Bond was 70 years old. Judge Bond was a rich man his fortune being estimated at US$ 750,000.

He made a large part of this as a part owner and manager of Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company and in investments in mining properties in various parts of the country and in California real property. One of Judge Bond's most intimate friends was former Gov. John H. McGraw, who knew the dead capitalist for many years.

said Mr. McGraw: While Judge Bond was not active of late he was informed on Seattle's public affairs. He was very much interested in this city and although he maintained another home in California he always considered Seattle his home town. He was a man of very strong character, a sound reasoner, well posted on national affairs and on all public questions and deeply concerned with all of these.

When he came here sixteen years ago, Judge Bond became interested in the mines in the Monte Cristo district with Colgate Hoyt, J. Sloat Fassett and other New York men. Leigh S. J. Hunt then owner of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was also interested in these properties. Judge Bond realized a handsome profit from his investment. He did not own much Seattle real estate at any time, if I remember correctly his largest holding being the lot on First Avenue South where the Olympus Cafe is situated.

Urged for Senator - Judge Bond for some years contemplated running for the office of United States Senator and his name was very strongly pressed during the Allen-Turner deadlock in the legislature of 1893. He made no effort himself to secure the office. Again in 1895 he was a receptive candidate but did not press his claims. About that time some of his friends myself and the late Frederic Grant among the number told Judge Bond that if he would establish a residence in Eastern Washington the chances were that he could easily be elected senator. I firmly believe and have always believed that Judge Bond was eminently fitted for the office and had he sought it and had been elected he would have taken rank with the great men of the Senate. He was a man beloved and esteemed by all who knew him, whose grasp of affairs was of the broadest and who had a natural capacity for dealing with public questions".

Deal for the PI - In 1897 Judge Bond offered to buy The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, at that time owned by John D. Hoge and James D. Hoge Jr. of this city but before the negotiations were concluded his son, Marshall Bond becoming infected with the gold fever determined to go to the Klondike mining country. Judge Bond's idea was to put his son in charge of the morning paper, but the young man's desire to go north changed all these plans and the deal for the paper fell through. Later Judge Bond renewed his offer to buy the property but it went into other hands. Marshall Bond and Louis Bond, sons of the deceased will arrive here tonight from California. The funeral arrangements have not yet been completed but the obsequies will probably be held Sunday at 2:00 o'clock with the internment at Lake View.

eattle Post-Intelligencer April 2nd 1906


Estate of Dead Pioneer Resident of Seattle Will be Probated Without a Will Under the Law of the State. Left No Written Instruction as to Distribution of Fortune Which Will Go to Widow and Two Sons. Mrs Bond Will Get Half of the Property and Marshall and Louis Will Divide Remainder. Holdings Are Scattered Judge Hiram G. Bond who died in his home in this city March 29th as a result of a stroke of apoplexy and a fall from his horse, left no will.

His estate it is estimated by well informed men, is worth not less than US$ 750,000. Under the law it will go to his widow and his two sons Marshall and Louis. Mrs Bond will get half the estate and the other half will be evenly divided between his two sons. This afternoon the legal firm of Bauman & Kelleher acting for the widow and his two sons filed a petition in he superior court asking that Marshall and Louis Bond, the two sons be named as administrators for the estate.

No inventory has yet been prepared of the property left by Judge Bond, who was one of the old time residents of Seattle and a man who worked for years for the upbuilding of the Queen City.

- Died From Accident - Judge Bond as the Times has told, died as a result of a stroke of apoplexy. This was caused by an accident while out riding one Sunday on the Lake Washington Boulevard with Miss Ada Hanford, daughter of United States District Court Judge Cornelius H. Hanford. Miss Hanford's horse stumbled and threw her to the ground. This his physicians believed was due to the exertion of jumping from his horse and of aiding his partner. The trouble was aggravated by the advanced age of Judge Bond. He grew rapidly worse and died after several days.

Daniel J. Kelleher who for years acted as Judge Bond's legal advisor, said today: I can not estimate the size of Judge Bond's estate, and therefore can give you no information. Judge Bond left no will.

- Left Much Property - From local friends of Judge Bond who knew him well it was learned he died possessed of property in New York, Nevada, Utah, California and in Seattle and the State of Washington.

His holdings in this city consisted entirely of the Olympus Cafe property on First Avenue which is valued at US$ 750,000. He owned timber land in Skagit County as well as a great deal of real estate in California, Utah and Nevada. The character of his holdings in New York are not known here. It is probable he held considerable interest in the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, one of the great industrial corporations of the country. The bulk of Judge Bond's estate lies outside of the State of Washington.

Jack London and the Bonds

Judge Bond is chiefly remembered as the basis for the character Judge Miller in Jack London's novel "The Call of the Wild". Judge Bond's sons were Louis Bond and Marshall Bond who were mining engineers educated at Yale and Stanford. The Bonds owned the cabin and tent pitch overlooking Dawson City, in the Northwest Territory where Jack London had lived on a work exchange during the Fall of 1897 and part of the Spring of 1898. The Bond brothers had also owned the sled dogs that London used in Dawson for the Bonds and other of his clients. One of their dogs was the basis for the character Buck.

London visited Marshall Bond at New Park Judge Bond's Ranch in 1901 at Santa Clara which included a plum orchard, vineyard and winery as well pasture for a string of polo ponies. "The Call of the Wild" begins with a description of the place.

"Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. Judge Miller's place, it was called. It stood back from the road, half-hidden among the trees, through which glimpses could be caught of the wide cool veranda that ran around its four sides. The house was approached by graveled driveways which wound about through wide-spreading lawns and under the interlacing boughs of tall poplars. At the rear things were on even a more spacious scale than at the front. There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages, an endless and orderly array of outhouses, long grape arbors, green pastures, orchards, and berry patches. Then there was the pumping plant for the artesian well, and the big cement tank where Judge Miller's boys took their morning plunge and kept cool in the hot afternoon"


*"MARSHALL BOND PAPERS" http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.bond.nav.html
*"Photo Judge Bond" http://highway55.library.yale.edu/PHOTONEGIMG/screen/S372/s3728976.jpg
*"Map; Bond & Holmes, 1861, Wall Map of United States" http://www.prices4antiques.com/itemsummary/2072.htm
*"Mayhurst, A Virginia Romantic Inn (c.1859) - Orange, Va http://www.mayhurstinn.com"
*"The N Y Times: Justice Salmon P. Chase in Richmond" http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B07EFDC1639E733A25750C0A9609C946991D7CF
*"The New York Times: A New Grape Sugar Company"http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9804E7D71730EE3ABC4F51DFBE66838A699FDE
*"Chapter 19. Rapid Transit in Brooklyn" http://www.nycsubway.org/articles/fifty_years_19.html
*"The N Y Times: Brooklyn Transit "Local Capital revives "Bond's Road" " http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E02EFDB133CEE3ABC4C53DFB366838A699FDE
*"Mining Claims in America's West: Leadville, Co."http://www.ewg.org/mining/owners/overview.php?cust_id=341195
*"Denver - News - Animal Crackers the Barnums" http://bestof.westword.com/2001-03-01/news/animal-crackers/2
*"Washington State HistoryLink: Monte Cristo" http://www.historylink.org/essays/printer_friendly/index.cfm?file_id=8404
*"Mining Claims in America's West: Monte Cristo, Wa." http://www.ewg.org/mining/owners/overview.php?cust_id=626178
*"American Mechanical Cashier Company 1902" http://www.scripophily.net/ammeccascom1.html
*"Seattle Dept of Neightborhoods: Olympus Cafe Building"http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/historicalsite/QueryResult.aspx?ID=1105258158
*"Google Book Search: Citizens Bank of Santa Clara"
*"Google Book Search: Denver Smelting and Refining Works"
*"London letter confirming Bonds as inspiration of novel" http://www.jack-london.org/05-mat-bond-jackletter_e.htm
*"American Heritage Center: Hiram Bond File" http://ahc.uwyo.edu/documents/use_archives/guides/transportation%20nocolumnshighres.pdf

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