James J. Storrow

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James Jackson Storrow II (1864–1926) was a Boston-area investment banker instrumental in forming General Motors and its third president (for just two months, 1910–11). He was a business partner of Henry Lee Higginson, founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He served on the Boston City Council, 1915-1918.[1]

In 1901,[2] he began the campaign to dam the Charles River and create the Charles River Basin, and to preserve and improve the riverbanks as a public park. The dam was approved by the legislature in 1903, and completed in 1910.[3] The basin also eliminated tidal harbor pollution and the basin's low-tide odors. Storrow Drive, a highway that now runs along the river, is named for him, despite his never having advocated such a highway and his wife's vocal opposition to it.

In 1919, Boston faced a possible strike by its police officers who were seeking the right to form a union under a charter from the American Federation of Labor. With police Commissioner Edwin U. Curtis at odds with the rank and file police, Boston Mayor Andrew J. Peters appointed Storrow to chair an ad hoc Citizen's Committee to review the matter. Storrow's group recommended that the police be allowed to form their own union but that it should be independent and not affiliated with any other organization like the AFL. Commissioner Curtis rejected the recommendation and Boston experienced a dramatic police strike.[4]

He was the second national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1925 until his death in 1926. He posthumously received the fifth Silver Buffalo Award presented in 1926.

His wife, Helen Osborne Storrow, was a prominent international Girl Scout leader. His grandfather, Charles Storer Storrow, was the chief engineer of the company that built the Great Stone Dam and textile mill complex in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Boston Globe, Dec 1, 1993. pg. 86.
  2. ^ http://www.esplanadeassociation.org/pdfs/ea_history.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.esplanadeassociation.org/pdfs/ea_history.pdf
  4. ^ Robert K. Murray, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955),122-34
Boy Scouts of America
Preceded by
Colin H. Livingstone
National president
1925-1926
Succeeded by
Milton A. McRae

References[edit]

  • "James J. Storrow, Noted Banker, Dies". New York Times. March 14, 1926. page E11