« PreviousContinue »
The first case of importance in which he was engaged was connected with the failure of the commercial agency of McKillop & Sprague. The directors of this corporation had neglected to file certain statements required by law, and were therefore held to be personally liable for its debts. This responsibility they disputed in court, but were beaten—or all but one of them. That one had retained Mr. Dill as counsel, and he won the case on a novel point of law. That was the beginning of Mr. Dill's career as a corporation lawyer.
The opening of the era of industrial consolidation, two or three years ago, found the corporation laws of New Jersey at once the most flexible and the most equitable to be discovered on the statute-books of any State, and the projectors of the giant industrial combinations of to-day turned to New Jersey as the State in which to incorporate their new companies. The beginning of this period also found one lawyer preëminently well versed in the intricacies of New Jersey corporation law and corporation practice—Mr. Dill.
As a natural result Mr. Dill was concerned in the incorporation of a large number of the more important consolidations, either drawing up the charters himself, or, as consulting counsel, passing upon the work of other attorneys. Among the host of companies the incorporation of which he has effected, and of which he is a director as well as counsel, are the National Steel Company, the American Tin Plate Company, and, latest and greatest, the Carnegie Company, with its unwatered stock and bond issue of three hundred and twenty million dollars. The incorporation of the Carnegie Company represented probably the most pronounced success of Mr. Dill's professional life, for it became possible only as the result of the adjustment of the differences between Andrew Carnegie and Henry C. Frick, the suspension of the litigation begun by the latter, and the ascertainment of a basis on which the two men and their respective associates in the old Carnegie Steel Company should enter the new Carnegie Company, in the negotiations on all of which matters Mr. Dill took an active part, receiving for his services a fee said to have been the largest ever paid to an American lawyer.
Mr. Dill was chairman, a year or two ago, of a State commission which revised the laws of New Jersey relating to banks,
;rust companies, and safe-deposit companies; he is a director of ;he North American Trust Company of New York, and of the People's Bank of Orange, New Jersey, vice-president of the Savings Investment and Trust Company of East Orange, New Jersey, and chairman of the executive committee of the Corporation Trust Company of New Jersey. He is also a director in more than thirty additional companies. He has been counsel for the Merchants' Association of New York since the organization of that active and influential body, and for twenty years has been counsel to the Loan Relief Association of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church of New York city.
Despite the drafts made upon his time and his strength by his corporation practice, Mr. Dill contrives to find opportunity for ■work on collateral lines also. "Dill on New Jersey Corporations," of which book he is the author, is the standard authority upon the subject.
The Financial Laws of New Jersey are in part his handiwork, and he has also annotated and compiled for the State its banking laws and general corporation laws. Mr. Dill was one of the framers of the Corporation Act, prepared for New York upon the suggestion of Governor Roosevelt, the New York Business Companies Act of 1900, and early in 1900 was called upon by the government of Quebec to assist in framing a similar act for that Canadian province. He has also delivered addresses before economic and scientific bodies and at colleges on the subject of the so-called " trusts," pointing out in these addresses the distinctions between the honest and dishonest "trusts," and urging compulsory publicity as to methods of operation as the most efficacious remedy for "trust evils."
Mr. Dill married, in October, 1880, Miss Mary W. Hansell of Philadelphia, and has three daughters. Their home is at East Orange, New Jersey, and they also have a summer cottage at Huntington, Long Island, and a camp in the Rangeley region in Maine. Mr. Dill is a member of the Lawyers' Club and the Merchants' Club of New York, president of the Orange Riding Club of Orange, New Jersey, and a member of the Essex County Country Club. The style of his law firm is Dill, Bomeisler & Baldwin, with offices at No. 27 Pine Street, New York.
THE Dutcher family in New York is descended from RuloffJ Dutcher and his wife Jannettie Brassy, who came to this country from Holland early in the seventeenth century. Theii son Gabriel married Ehzabeth Knickerbocker, a granddaughter of Harman Janse van Wye Knickerbocker of Dutchess County, New York: They were the great-grandparents of Silas B. Dutcher. Mr. Dutcher's parents were Parcefor Carr Dutcher and Johanna Low Frinck. The latter was a daughter of Stephen and Ann Low Frinck. She was descended from Cornelius Janse Vanderveer, who came from Alkmaan, Holland, in the ship Otter, in 1659, and settled in Flatbush, Long Island, and also from Conrad Ten Eyck, who came from Amsterdam in 1650, and was the owner of what is now known as Coenties Slip, New Yort city. Her grandfather, Captain Peter Low, was an officer in the Continental Army.
Silas Beiden Dutcher was born in Springfield, Otsego County, New York, on July 12,1829. He attended the public schools of his native town, and for a short time the Cazenovia Academy. From sixteen to twenty-two he taught school during the winter months, working on his father's farm in the summers. From 1851 to 1855 he was employed in the building and operation of the railroad running between Elmira and Niagara Falls.
In 1855 he came to New York and for some years was engaged in a mercantile business. In 1859 he became a charter trustee! of the Union Dime Savings Institution, of which he was president from 1886 until 1891, and with which he is still connected He is president of the Hamilton Trust Company and of the Ramapo Water Company, treasurer of the Columbia Mutual Building and Loan Association, a director of the Garfield Safe