The Cyclopædia of American Biography/Eddy, Frank Woodman

The Cyclopædia of American Biography  (1918) 
James E. Homans, editor
Eddy, Frank Woodman

EDDY, Frank Woodman, merchant and manufacturer, b. Warsaw, N. Y., 29 July, 1851; d. Detroit, Mich., 12 June, 1914, son of the Rev. Zackary and Malvina R. (Cochran) Eddy. His earliest American paternal ancestor was Samuel Eddy, or Eddye, who came to this country from England, in 1630, and settled among the “Pilgrims,” at Plymouth. As a boy, Mr. Eddy attended the public schools of Northampton, Mass., after which his father, deciding on a professional career for his son, sent him to the Polytechnic Institute at Brookline, Mass., and, later, to Williams College. But already before he had concluded his collegiate training Mr. Eddy had decided for himself that he would prefer the life of a business man. Having concluded his studies at college, he took a position with a mercantile firm in New York City, Whitford and Sprague, wholesale hardware dealers. In 1873 he went out to Sacramento, Cal., where he took a position in the same line of business, remaining there for two years. Then, in 1875, he went to Detroit, Mich., to join his father, who had located there. His first business connection there, made in the following year, was with the firm of H. D. Edwards and Company, dealers in rubber goods, mill supplies, and marine hardware. He quickly became a leading figure in the business world of Detroit: he was president of the National Can Company, director of the Detroit Oak Belting Company, treasurer of the H. V. Hartz Company of Cleveland, Ohio, a director of the Morgan and Wright Rubber Goods Manufacturing Company of New York, a director of the Wayne County and Home Savings Bank, and vice-president of the Detroit Trust Company. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Detroit Fire and Marine Insurance Company. This body, on the occasion of his death, passed a set of resolutions which summed up Mr. Eddy's qualities as being, “a man to be noted, who had the faculty of giving attention to details, which made large corporations desirous of obtaining his services, and with him acceptance of a directorship meant that he would give his thought and services . . . Soon after his election as a director he was unanimously chosen on the finance committee and from that time took an active part in the management of the affairs of the company.” Mr. Eddy's public services, which were numerous, included his consistent efforts as president of the Breitmeyer Committee of Fifty to solve the streetcar problem in Detroit, which had previously been in sad need of adjustment. It was not long after he had first settled in Detroit that Mr. Eddy sought out other young men who, like himself, were interested in outdoor sports. He was one of those who organized the old Detroit Athletic Club. He was made its first president and through his efficient management and untiring energies he made the club of that day a pattern of gentlemanly sportsmanship. He continued as president until he absolutely refused to serve as such any longer. When the new Detroit Athletic Club was organized to supplant the older organization, Mr. Eddy became one of its directors and continued as such until the time of his death. Hunting, fishing, and boating were also among his favorite forms of recreation and no game of baseball of any significance was ever played in the city without his attendance. Later in life, as his means became ample, he was one of the foremost contributors to charity, being a trustee of the Detroit General Hospital. In politics he was a Republican and in religion he was a Congregationalist. In 1879 Mr. Eddy married Florence Taylor, daughter of Edward Wyllys Taylor, a prominent lawyer of San Francisco, Cal. They had six daughters: Kathleen (Mrs. William O. Mundy), Marian (Mrs. W. Colburne Standish), Florence (Mrs. Frederic S. Munger, of Utica, N. Y.), Grace Fletcher (Mrs. Aikman Armstrong), Dorothy (Mrs. McPherson Browning), and Frances Woodman Eddy.

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