History of the Nickerson Mansion: 1914

Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1914, page 7

S. M. Nickerson Expires in East
Pioneer Banker of Chicago Dies in East Brewster, Mass, at Age of 84

Retired 15 Years Ago

Samuel M. Nickerson, 84 years old, a founder, and for twenty-five years the president of the First National bank, died yesterday evening at 6 o’ clock at the summer home of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Roland C. Nickerson, at East Brewster, Mass. Mr. Nickerson retired from active business more than fifteen years ago.

Before he sold the greater part of his holdings in the First National bank, he was said to be the owner of more national bank stock than any other man in the United States. He was one of the founders and the first president of the Union Stockyards National bank, which later received the name of the Live Stock Exchange National, and was at one time president of the Chicago City Railway company.
Known Widely in Musical Circles

Mr. Nickerson is known in art circles as the donor of a room in the Art Institute, where a picture of his wife hung. He was prominent in the Chicago Historical society, and was a leading figure in the musical activities of the city twenty years ago.

Mr. Nickerson is survived by two grandchildren of his only son Roland C. Nickerson, who died in 1906, after serving as a member of the council of Gov. Guild of Massachusetts.
Suffers Heavy Losses

Mr. Nickerson came to Chicago in 1858 after suffering severe business reverses in Appalachicola, Fla., where his entire stock of merchandise was destroyed by fire. He succeeded in borrowing a few hundred dollars and started a distilling business in Chicago, which proved unexpectedly profitable. Within six years after coming west he was enabled to retire from business to enter upon his career as a capitalist.

In 1865 he was elected president of the Chicago City Horse Railway company, which later became the Chicago City Railway company, and in 1867 was chosen president of the First National bank of which he had been vice president since 1865.
Retired in Favor of L. J. Gage

He retained his position as president of the bank until 1891, when he retired in favor of Lyman J. Gage, but resumed the leadership of the institution when Mr. Gage entered the McKinley cabinet. In 1899 more that 7,000 shares of the Nickerson holdings in the First National were disposed of for a consideration of more than $2,000,000 and Mr. Nickerson moved to the east. He had been living with his daughter-in-law since the death of his wife two years.

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