|Daniel Gray Reid (1858-1925)|
Gray Reid was a financier, industrialist and benefactor, sometimes known
as the “Tin Plate King” because that’s where he made his first fortune.
Born in 1858 near Earlham College, he began his working life at age
seventeen as a messenger boy at the Second National Bank, eventually
working his way up to Vice-President of the bank.
In 1892, he and his partner, William B. Leeds, another Richmond native, built a new factory at Elwood, Indiana, that would manufacture tin plate. This venture was successful enough that by 1898, he and several associates organized many other tin plate companies into a tin plate trust. The American Tin Plate Company was headquartered in Chicago, and Reid became its president. In 1901, J. P. Morgan included the tinplate trust in the giant steel trust, United States Steel, and reportedly paid the fabulous sum of $18 million for the company. Reid continued his financial career on Wall Street and later served as Chairman of the Board of the Rock Island Railway Company, and on the boards of several banking institutions.
After the formation of US Steel, he moved to New York City and started living the life of “conspicuous consumption.” He had a mansion on 5th Avenue complete with three-story stable for his horses, a country estate in Irvington, New York, and a 200-foot yacht. But he never forgot his hometown and lavished a great deal of money on Richmond institutions including the YMCA, the Art Association of Richmond, and Earlham College. Most notable was the $100,000 he gave for Reid Memorial Hospital in 1905 in honor of his wife and son, and the $295,000 he donated to construct Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church in honor of his parents.
For information on Reid's home in Irvington, New York see this page from Rob Yasinsac of Hudson Valley Ruins.
|For more information see:
Mikesell, Joanna Hill. Daniel Gray Reid. Unpublished paper presented to Heritage Club, 1989. [Genealogy Collection R 929.2 R354m]
Wayne County Pamphlet File at Morrisson-Reeves.
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