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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

William G. Mather


THE iron trade is the basic factor in Cleveland's distinctive prominence among the Lake cities. The pioneer enterprise to enter upon operations in the marketing of the ore from the iron ranges of the Lake Superior region by iake transportation to Cleveland was that organized and incorporated in 1850 as The Cleveland Iron Mining Company. The first directors were M. L. Hewitt, C. D. Brayton, John Outh- waite, B. Strickland, and Samuel L. Mather, all of Cleveland, and E. M. Clark, of Detroit. M. L. Hewitt was the first president and Samuel L. Mather was secretary.

In 1890 The Cleveland Iron Mining Company was succeeded in all its property, including the property of the Iron Cliffs Company, by The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. The mining of iron ore had been begun in the Lake Superior region by The Cleveland Iron Mining Company in 1851. That company shipped the first iron ore by the steamer "Baltimore" in 1852 to SaultSainte Marie, whence it was transshipped to Detroit; also the first cargo of ore through the Sault Sainte Marie Canal, on August 17, 1855, by the brig Columbia," 91 feet long, 24 feet beam. The cargo was 132 tons, and the rate of freight from Marquette to Cleveland was $2.75 per gross ton. The business of transporting iron ore from Lake Superior was carried on by means of boats owned by independent interests for several years. The available vessels for the business became inade-quate in number and insufficient in capacity to meet the growing demand.

This company was the first of the mining companies to own steel boats. The beginnings of its present fleet occurred in 1889, when it con-tracted with The Cleveland Shipbuilding Com-pany for two steel boats—the "Pontiac," gross tonnage 2,298, length 320 feet, beam 40 feet, iepth 25 feet, capacity 2,850 tons on 15-feet .fraught, speed 15 miles an hour; and the "Fron- tenac," gross tonnage 2,003, length 289 feet, bearn 39.5 feet, depth 24 feet, capacity on 15-feet iraught 2,700 tons, speed 12 miles per hour. These were the fourth and fifth steel bulk cargo boats built on the Lakes.

The company now owns fifteen steamers, with a total capacity of 123,000 gross tons. It has been continuously engaged in the mining of iron ore from its mines (which it owns partly in fee and partly by lease) since 1850, and in 19iS shipped 3,712,234 tons. Since its original formation the company has shipped 55,313,133 tons of iron ore and 1,739,126 tons of charcoal pig iron.

The part taken by this company has therefore been a creative one in connection with the great mining and transportation business in iron ore. Throughout its long connection with the business the management of its affairs has been in able hands and the men who have, pioneered its endeavors, and who have won its successes, have always been experienced, able and trustworthy, possessing a knowledge of the iron business and its potential importance, which has enabled them to keep their company in the foreground of success.

The present officers of the company are Y\7il- liam G. Mather, president; M. M. Duncan, vice- president; S. L. Mather, secretary; C. G. Heer, treasurer; and C. D. Mason, auditor.

The late Samuel Livingston Mather, who was the original secretary of the company in 1851, became president of the company in 1864, and held that office until his death in 1890. His son. William G. Mather, was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1877, and in the following year entered the employ of the company, in which his entire business life has been spent. He succeeded to the office of presi-dent upon the death of his father and has since continued in that office. He lives in Cleveland and is identified with other important interests and activities in that city.

J. H. Sheadle became secretary of the company in 1891 and its vice-president in 1914. He rep-resented the steadily growing shipping interests of the company, having also had charge of the operations of its fleet, thus becoming one of the prominent participants in the great development of Lake traffic. He was assisted by A. E. R. Schneider, who, after Mr. Sheadle's death in 1916, succeeded to his duties in connection with the company's shipping interests.

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