Mortimer N. Buckner


Mortimer Norton Buckner (March 10, 1873 – February 25, 1942)[1] was an American banker who served as president and chairman of the board of New York Trust Company, the New York Clearing House, and the National Credit Corporation.

Mortimer N. Buckner
President of the New York Clearing House
In office
October 1931  October 1933
Preceded byJackson E. Reynolds
Succeeded byGeorge W. Davison
President of the New York Trust Company
In office
January 1916  1921
Preceded byOtto T. Bannard
Succeeded byHarvey Dow Gibson
Personal details
Born
Mortimer Norton Buckner

(1873-03-10)March 10, 1873
New Orleans, Louisiana
DiedFebruary 25, 1942(1942-02-25) (aged 68)
Manhattan, New York
Spouse(s)
Paula Kellerman
(m. 1908; his death 1942)
Children2
ParentsNewton Buckner
Permelia Grant Norton Buckner
EducationSt. Paul School
Alma materYale University

Early life


The Buckner Mansion in New Orleans

Buckner was born on March 10, 1873 in New Orleans, Louisiana,[2] and named after his maternal grandfather, who had died six months earlier.[3] He was the only son of Newton Buckner (1841–1899) and Permelia Grant (née Norton) Buckner (1846–1933).[4] Among his sisters were Katherine (née Buckner) Avery,[5] Clara Norton Buckner (who died young), Minnie Norton (née Buckner) Barkley,[5] Edith Fearn (née Buckner) Howard,[6] and Frances Hewitt (née Buckner) Kemper.[7]

His paternal grandparents were Henry Sullivan Buckner, a cotton broker who built a mansion at 1410 Jackson Avenue in New Orleans in 1856,[8] and Catharine (née Allan) Buckner.[9] His aunt, Ellen Buckner,[10] was the wife of U.S. Senator from Louisiana and Ambassador to France James B. Eustis.[11] His maternal grandparents were Mortimer Oliver Hubbard Norton, a prominent New Orleans merchant,[3] and Anna Richardson (née Grant) Norton, a first cousin of President Ulysses S. Grant (through his father, Jesse Root Grant, Anna's half-uncle).[12]

After attending the Cathedral School of St. Paul in Garden City,[4] Buckner graduated from Yale University with the class of 1895.[13] He later served as president of the Yale Club of New York until 1922 when he was succeeded by George Townsend Adee.[14] In 1928, he was elected a Fellow of the Yale Corporation,[15] the same year he received an honorary M.A. degree from Yale. He retired from the Yale Corporation in 1940.[16] In 1932, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Colgate University.[4]

Career


After graduating from Yale, Buckner worked as a traveling salesman and insurance salesman before coming to New York City in 1901 to join the Continental Trust Company as a clerk working out of the Blair & Co. Building on Broad Street.[17] In 1903, he was made vice president of the company and the following year, Continental Trust merged with the New York Security and Trust Company.[18] New York Security and Trust's president, Charles S. Fairchild, became chairman of the board of trustees, and Continental's president, Otto T. Bannard,[19] became president of the new entity, which was renamed the New York Trust Company the following year in 1905.[20] In January 1916, Buckner succeeded Bannard as president of the New York Trust Company and Bannard became Chairman of the Board and of the Executive Committee.[21]

In 1921, New York Trust merged with Liberty National Bank of New York. Harvey Dow Gibson, the former president of Liberty, became president while Buckner succeeded Bannard as chairman of the board.[22] The merged company had capital of $10,000,000 and "undivided profits and surplus of nearly $20,000,000" and occupied offices that had been prepared for Liberty in the American Surety Company Building at 100 Broadway.[23]

In 1919, he was named a director of Interborough Rapid Transit Company, replacing Daniel G. Reid.[24]

New York Clearing House

In October 1931, Buckner was elected to succeed Jackson E. Reynolds (president of the First National Bank) as president of the New York Clearing House.[25] He was reelected in 1932,[26] and served in the role until October 1933 when Buckner retired (in accordance with custom), and was succeeded by George W. Davison (chairman of Central Hanover Bank and Trust Company).[27]

In 1933, the failure of the Harriman National Bank and Trust Company resulted in a government suit in equity seeking $9,375,000 against the twenty member banks of the Clearing House to compel them to keep assurances of the Clearing House to protect depositors of the Harriman bank under certain conditions.[28] During the trial before the New York Supreme Court in 1936, Brucker (whose bank was one of eleven which paid up their share before trial), testified that "the refusal of two of the banks caused all of the banks to repudiate the assurances given to the Federal Controller of Currency."[1]

Depression relief efforts

During the Great Depression, Brucker "was the originator, organizer and driving force behind virtually every cooperative effort by the Wall Street bankers to meet the tide of deflation." In 1931, he helped organize and served as president of the National Credit Corporation,[29] a "$500,000,000 bankers' pool which was a forerunner of the RFC, he helped to save hundreds of small banks throughout the county."[30]

In 1932, he was an organizer and president of the Commodities Finance Corporation, and in the same year he was "one of twelve bankers and industrialists serving on a committee formed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to aid the Federal Reserve System in a credit-expansion program."[1] Also in 1932, Brucker was being selected by the ten banks with deposits of more than $150,000,000 as their only nominee for membership on the new State Banking Board, Group 1, which acted as an advisory "cabinet" to the New York State Superintendent of Banks.[31] After his death in 1942, Governor Herbert H. Lehman nominated F. Abott Goodhue (president of the Bank of Manhattan Company) to take his place.[32]

The following year, Buckner was a leader in efforts to organize cooperation of Wall Street banks and trust companies to help title and mortgage companies meet maturities of $700,000,000.[1] He was president of the Realty Stabilization Corporation and in November 1933 when sixty-four committees of bankers and business men were appointed by the Reconstruction Corporation to speed liquidation of more than $3,000,000,000 of assets of closed national and state banks,[33] he was named district chairman for the Second Federal Reserve District, comprising New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.[1]

Later career

Buckner served as a director of the 1939 New York World's Fair held at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens.[34] He was also a member of the World's Fair finance committee and chairman of the World's Fair executive committee.[35][36]

At the time of his death, he was serving as a trustee of the estate of James A. Stillman and as chairman of the board of the New York Trust Company as well as a member of the trust committee. The company ended the post of chairman after his death.[37] He was also connected with the Sage Land and Investment Company.[38] His seat on the board of National Distillers Products Corporation was filled by then president of New York Trust, John E. Bierwith.[39]

Personal life


On April 25, 1908, Buckner was married to Paula Kellerman in Kingston, New York.[40] In Manhattan, the Buckners lived at 430 Park Avenue (and later at 142 East 71st Street). They were the parents of:

Between 1927 and 1929, Buckner hired the Olmsted Brothers to design the landscape architecture at his summer residence in Fishers Island, New York.[46]

Buckner died at Doctors Hospital in Manhattan on February 25, 1942 after suffering a heart attack the day before at his office.[1] After a service attended by former President Herbert Hoover at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, he was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.[47] At the time of his death, it was estimated that the entire value of his estate was $120,000, all of which was personal property.[48] Buckner left a gross estate of $387,086, while his debts, administration and funeral expense total $1,320,240, primarily state and federal taxes.[38] His widow died in Saratoga, California in 1971.[49]

Legacy

Shortly after his death, the New York Trust Company commissioned a portrait of Buckner from Raymond P. R. Neilson, N.A. for the New York Clearing House to hang alongside the twenty-seven past presidents of the House.[50]

References


  1. "M. N. BUCKNER, 68, DIES; Board Chairman of N. Y. Trust Since 1921. Headed Clearing House Association Here LEADER OF CREDIT GROUP Assisted Red Cross Campaign -- Fellow of Yale Corporation Once State Banking Aide". The New York Times. 26 February 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  2. World Who's who in Commerce and Industry. Marquis-Who's Who. 1936. p. 132. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  3. "Mortimer Oliver Hubbard Norton". The Times-Picayune. 1 September 1872. p. 4. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  4. of 1895, Yale College (1887-) Class (1946). "Golden Anniversary of the Class of Ninety-five, Yale College". Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company: 69. Retrieved 25 August 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. Atkins, Jennifer (2017). New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920. LSU Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8071-6758-8. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  6. "LAWRENCE BUCKNER". The Intelligencer. February 28, 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  7. Kramer, Thomas Frère (2002). A Family Montage: Being the Families Kramer, Frère, Foster, Marsh, Gates and Allied Families. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-887366-46-5. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  8. "Henry Sullivan Buckner House, 1410 Jackson Avenue, New Orleans". www.loc.gov. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. 30 June 1945. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  9. "Soule Business College". old-new-orleans.com. Old New Orleans. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  10. "Remains of Mrs. James B. Eustis". The New York Times. 1 November 1895. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  11. Times, Special to The New York (10 September 1899). "DEATH OF JAMES B. EUSTIS; Ex-Ambassador to France Expired Last Night at Newport. HIS DISTINGUISHED CAREER Served in the Confederate Army on Gen. Magruder's Staff and Was Fourteen Years in the Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  12. Richardson, Rosell Lewellyn (1906). Amos Richardson of Boston and Stonington: With a Contribution to the History of His Descendants and the Allied Families of Gilbert, Edwards, Yarrington, and Rust. Author. p. 47. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  13. of 1895, Yale College (1887-) Class (1911). Yale Record. Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company. p. 40. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  14. "Alumni Notes". Yale Alumni Weekly: 1229. 1922. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  15. TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (23 March 1934). "Buckner Renamed at Yale". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  16. TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (22 March 1940). "Five Nominated for Yale Post". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  17. "TRUSTEES APPROVE MERGER.; Plans to Combine Continental and New York Security and Trust Companies". The New York Times. 20 February 1904. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  18. "TRUST COMPANIES TO MERGE.; Charles S. Fairchild to be Board Chairman of the Combined Institution". The New York Times. 18 February 1904. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  19. "CONTINENTAL TRUST COMPANY'S MOVE.; Announces Withdrawal from the Clearing House Association". The New York Times. 25 April 1903. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  20. "Security and Trust's New Name". The New York Times. 19 February 1905. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  21. "BUCKNER N.Y. TRUST HEAD.; O.T. Bannard Chairman of the Board of the New Institution". The New York Times. 20 January 1916. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  22. "N.Y. TRUST BOARD NAMED.; Thirty Prominent Men Selected as Directors in Consolidation". The New York Times. 10 March 1921. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  23. "N.Y.TRUST TO MERGE WITH LIBERTY BANK; Will Have Capital of $10,000,000; Undivided Profits and Surplus $20,000,000.BUCKNER BOARD CHAIRMAN Otto T. Bannard to Head Advisory Committee--Gibson Will Be President". The New York Times. December 23, 1920. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  24. "ELECT TWO I.R.T. DIRECTORS.; G.M.P. Murphy and M. N. Buckner on Interborough Board". The New York Times. 25 September 1919. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  25. "M.N. BUCKNER HEADS THE CLEARING HOUSE; Elected Successor to Reynolds at Association's 78th Annual Meeting. HIGH POST FOR C.S. McCAIN Chase Official New Chairman of Clearing House Committee-- Year's Exchanges Drop". The New York Times. 7 October 1931. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  26. "BUCKNER RENAMED BY CLEARING HOUSE; Again President of Association -- Davison Succeeds McCain as Committee Chairman. BUSINESS DECLINED IN YEAR Association Now Composed of Six National Banks, One State Bank and 14 Trust Companies". The New York Times. 5 October 1932. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  27. "OFFICERS ELECTED BY CLEARING HOUSE; P.H. Johnston, Chairman of Committee; G.W. Davison, New President". The New York Times. 4 October 1933. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  28. "20 BANKS ARE NAMED; $9,375,000 Is Sought on Guarantee Signed by the Committee. BANKERS REPUDIATE IT Hold Agreement Was Made 'in Crisis' and Is Not Now a Legal Obligation. FIVE INSTITUTIONS BALKED Arbitration Plan Urged by Woodin Finally Abandoned for Test Case in Court. U.S. SUES 20 BANKS IN HARRIMAN CASE". The New York Times. 28 December 1933. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  29. "BUCKNER PRAISES NEW DISCOUNT PLAN; National Credit Corporation Has Granted All Loans Asked by Banks, He Says. WIRE TRANSFERS ARE MADE Funds Are Remitted on the Day of Application in the Twelve Reserve Districts. Statement Issued by Buckner. Machinery Works Smoothly". The New York Times. 5 December 1931. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  30. "Mortimer N. Buckner". The New York Times. 27 February 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  31. "Big Banks Here Name Buckner For Place in State 'Cabinet'". The New York Times. 30 March 1932. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  32. TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (23 April 1942). "NAMED BANKING BOARD; F.A. Goodhue Nominated by Governor for State Post". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  33. "Group Named Here to Speed Bankers' Code; McLaughlin to Aid in Freeing Deposits". The New York Times. 25 October 1933. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  34. "INVESTMENT TOTAL TO BE $125,000,000; Federal, State and City Aid $35,000,000 for Buildings and Other Improvements". The New York Times. 9 October 1936. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  35. "Prominent Citizens on the Dais at Dinner Opening Sales Campaign for World Fair". The New York Times. 24 November 1936. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  36. Porter, Russell B. (5 August 1939). "FAIR HOPES TO SET SATURDAY RECORD; 50c Week-End Rate and First of 'Popular' Entertainments Promise Big Crowd Today PLEAS FOR NEW CUT FADE Maxine Sullivan, Lombardo, Gehrig and Rockwell Kent on 'Big Name' Program". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  37. "Bank Ends Post of Chairman". The New York Times. 18 March 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  38. TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (25 February 1945). "BANKER'S ESTATE LISTED; $387,086 Gross and $1,320,240 Debts Left by M.N. Buckner". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  39. "National Distillers Elects Bank President to Board". The New York Times. 11 March 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  40. "CITY MARRIAGES". Kingston Daily Freeman (Volume XXXVIII, Number 63). 1 January 1909. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  41. "CAROLINE BUCKNER ENGAGED TO MARRY; Her Betrothal to Owen Lloyd Winston Announced by Parents, the Mortimer N. Buckners. MEMBER OF JUNIOR LEAGUE Fiance Is Graduate of St. Mark's School and Harvard--His Brother to Wed Miss Louise Victor". The New York Times. August 18, 1931. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  42. "Owen Winston". The New York Times. 23 December 1950. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  43. "TROTH ANNOUNCED OF JOAN STERLING; Daughter of Greenwich Couple Engaged to Newton Buckner, Student at Yale". The New York Times. 19 December 1936. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  44. "GREENWICH BRIDAL FOR JOAN STERLING; Episcopal Church Is Setting for Her Marriage to Newton Buckner of New York". The New York Times. 26 September 1937. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  45. "BUCKNER, NEWTON". Hartford Courant. May 1, 2005. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  46. "Olmsted Associates Records: Job Files, 1863-1971; Files; 7890; Buckner, Mortimer N.; Fishers Island, N.Y., 1927-1929". www.loc.gov. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  47. "1, O00 AT FUNERAL OF M. BUCKNER; President and Ex-President of Yale. Drs. Seymour and Angell at Rites for Banker HERBERT HOOVER THERE Service, at St. Bartholomew's, Conducted by the Rector, Rev. George P. T. Sargent". The New York Times. 27 February 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  48. TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (13 March 1942). "M.N. BUCKNER ESTATE VALUED AT $120,000; Late Banker Left It to Family -- G.B. Cortelyou Left $230,314". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  49. "Mrs. M. N. Buckner". The New York Times. 30 December 1971. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  50. "Portrait for Clearing House". The New York Times. 8 June 1942. Retrieved 25 August 2020.