DREXEL, ANTHONY J.
ANTHONY JOSEPH DREXEL, banker, Philadelphia, Pa., born in that city, in 1826, died in Carlsbad, Austria, June 30, 1893. Francis Martin Drexel, his father, founder of the bank which bears the family name, was a native of Dornbirn in the Austrian Tyrol, April 7, 1792, and having studied portrait painting in an institution near Turin and in Berne, came to Philadelphia, in 1817, to avoid conscription. After some practice of his art in Philadelphia, and in Mexico and South America, he settled in Philadelphia, and in 1837, founded the bank of Drexel & Co. This institution met with marvellous success in the negotiation of securities, and when the founder died, June 5, 1863, he left to his two sons, Anthony J. and Francis A. Drexel, an excellent business. Anthony entered the bank at thirteen, in the old fashion way, and received a sound business training, becoming in time a partner. Mr. Drexel exhibited from an early date enterprise, accuracy of judgement and conservatism of temperament, and rapidly rose to the highest rank among bankers in the United States. The Paris bank of Drexel, Harjes & Co. was founded in 1868, and the New York branch of Drexel, Morgan & Co., in 1871. The Drexels were at all times conspicuous as negotiators of railroad, government and corporation loan and made it a rule never to offer to the public an investment in securities without previous rigorous investigation of the merits of the loan. When investors, large and small, had learned that it was safe to buy securities offered by the Drexels and that no securities would be offered by them which were not safe, an immense business came to the bank unsought. They had banks of correspondence in every important financial center abroad, and the magnitude of their operations made the two brothers very rich men. Mr. Drexel was noted for leadership in every worthy movement in Philadelphia, and gifts of large sums for public objects. The Drexel Institute of Industrial Art, which he founded in 1890-91, at a cost of $1,550,000, not only illustrated his breadth of view and generous character, but has proved of distinct benefit to the city and an example to other men, who have since founded similar institutes in other cities. This Institute was his price, and he made to it additional gifts of more than $600,000 for specific purposes. Mr. Drexel joined his most intimate friend, the late George W. Childs, in founding The Childs-Drexel Home for Aged Printers, at Colorado Springs, and in the purchase of The Public Ledger. By the terms of the agreement between the partners, this newspaper, after the death of Mr. Childs, became the property of Mr. Drexel. Socially, not ostentatious, he loved all that was refined and continually collected fine paintings and works of art. To him and his, a daughter of John Rosel, merchant, were born Anthony J.Drexel, jr., George W. Childs Drexel, Emily, who became Mrs. Biddle, Frances, wife of James W. Paul, jr., and Mrs. John R. Fell. Mr. Drexel public bequest included $100,000 for The German Hospital and $1,000,000 for an Art Gallery or Museum near the Drexel Institute.