James Lanier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Lanier
Jameslanier.JPG
Born November 22, 1800
Beaufort County, North Carolina
Died August 27, 1881(1881-08-27) (aged 80)
New York, New York
Education Transylvania University
Occupation Businessman, banker
Employer Winslow, Lanier & Co.
Religion Presbyterian[1]
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Gardner
Margaret Mary McClure
Parent(s) Alexander Chalmers Sr.
Drusilla Cleaves Doughty

James Franklin Doughty Lanier (November 22, 1800 – August 27, 1881) was an entrepreneur who lived in Madison, Indiana prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War (1861–1865). Lanier became a wealthy banker with interests in pork packing, the railroads, and real estate.

Biography[edit]

James Lanier was born in 1800 in Beaufort County, North Carolina to Alexander Chalmers Sr. (1778-1820) and Drusilla Cleaves Doughty (died 1838). His home was in Kentucky from childhood until 1817, when his family moved to Madison, Indiana,[1] the year after it became a state and lived at Schofield House. He studied law at Transylvania University and began practicing in 1820.

Career[edit]

During the 1820s, he was assistant clerk for the Indiana Legislature and later Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives, where he was involved in assisting to move the capitol from Corydon to Indianapolis in 1825.

In the early 1830s, Lanier became involved in banking. He became president of the Bank of Indiana in 1833 and eventually became a large shareholder of its Madison branch and was also on the board of directors that oversaw all branches. In the later 1830s, Lanier was involved with construction of the state's first major rail line connecting Madison and Indianapolis. He became a major stockholder in the line, which was finally finished in 1847. The line turned out to be very profitable.

The same year, Lanier represented Indiana in a meeting with its European creditors. The state was on the verge of bankruptcy due to extreme overspending on internal improvement over the previous decade and was liquidating its assets. Lanier was able to negotiate the transfer of ownership of most of the Indiana canals to their bond holders in exchange for a 50% reduction in the value of the bonds.[2]

Lanier Mansion in Madison

His sudden wealth allowed him to build a large mansion in Madison; it was completed in 1844. His wife Elizabeth died in 1846 and he was remarried to Margaret Mary McClure in 1848.

In 1849, he began trading railroad shares in New York in a bank he started there in the same year with Richard Winslow called Winslow, Lanier & Co.. In 1851, he moved out of the state to New York, where he would manage his new business. He never moved back to Indiana.

At the request of Gov. Oliver P. Morton, Lanier loaned the Indiana government over one million dollars without security to help the state avoid bankruptcy during the American Civil War. The money was used to pay interest on the state debt and outfit troops. It was all repaid by 1870. The state, grateful for his help, has preserved his residence in Madison, the Lanier Mansion, as a state historic site.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1819, he married his first wife, Elizabeth G. Gardner (1798-1846). Following Elizabeths death, he married Margaret Mary McClure (1825-1903), on January 20, 1848 in Madison, Indiana.[4] Lanier's youngest son was Charles D. Lanier, a close friend of Pierpont Morgan, who carried on Winslow, Lanier & Co. after Laniers death.[5]

Lanier died in 1881 in New York and is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Garber, Blanche Goode (1 September 1926). "The Lanier Family and The Lanier Home". Indiana Magazine of History. ISSN 1942-9711. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Dunn, Jacob Piatt (1919). Indiana and Indianans. American Historical Society. 
  3. ^ Indiana Center for History
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Lanier, Terry. "James Franklin Doughty Lanier". findagrave.com. Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Vincent P. Carosso, Rose C. Carosso, "The Morgans" (Harvard University Press, 1987) p. 248
  6. ^ Lanier, Terry. "Alexander Chalmers Lanier, II". findagrave.com. Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Frances Lanier Dunn". findagrave.com. Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Woodfill, Kathryn. "John James Lanier". findagrave.com. Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  9. ^ Lanier-Bishop. New York Times, Nov. 25, 1885.
  10. ^ Staff (April 5, 1910). "MISS DIX TO BE A BRIDE. Daughter of Late Rector of Trinity to Wed Charles Lanier Lawrance.". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  11. ^ Staff (July 3, 1915). "MISS LAWRANCE TO WED W. A. HARRIMAN Romance in Match of Late Railroad Magnate's Son and C. Lanier's Granddaughter. FIANCEE A SPORTS DEVOTEE Just Recovered from Injury Received While Horseback Riding with the Young Financier.". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "Mrs. W. Averell Harriman Dies; Former Governor's Wife Was 67". New York Times. September 27, 1970. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]