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Capt. Frederick Laidley/Biographical notes.

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Old 11-13-2006, 08:49 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584
Default Capt. Frederick Laidley/Biographical notes.

Dear Steamboating colleagues:
The 'file' on 'Commodore' Capt. Frederick Alexander Laidley surfaced here with much digging and rooting.[*] = my comments.
* * * * * * * *

Born at Maple Grove, January 28, 1841, where the town of Huntington, W. Va., now stands. He was a son of James M. Laidley, prominent attorney and member of the Virginia Legislature [*His family was prominent socially, politically, financially]. In 1858 he entered in the salt business on the river above Charleston which required him frequently to visit Cincinnati as salt was much in need for meat packing and various other enterprises. In August, 1864, he was clerk on the Str. ANNIE LAURIE [*WAY'S PACKET DIRECTORY Entry No. 0292 Pg. 25], advancing rapidly to captain in a year and remained on the LAURIE for three years. In July, 1866, as captain of the LAURIE a virulent strain of Cholera broke out with the engineer and a number of passengers. Panic ensued and Laidley was compelled to remain on duty to keep the boat in operation and prevent mass panic and desertion. Arriving in Charleston he suffered a complete physical collapse and later read of his own death notice in Cincinnati papers.

In 1867 Laidley settled in Cincinnati as agent for the Kanawha Salt Company and entered the commission business. In 1873 he entered the pork packing business and took over until the company was disbanded in 1896. In 1886 he became a prime stockholder of the LOUISVILLE & CINCINNATI PACKET CO. and since 1891 the general manager/treasurer. At this time the company operates the CITY OF LOUISVILLE, CITY OF CINCINNATI, INDIANA. Other interests and companies under his interest and investment are:
Common Carrier Co.
Louisville and Evansville Transportation Co.
President, Consolidated Boat Store, Cincinnati
President, Licking Coal & Towboat Co.
Partner, Dawson & Blackmore, commission business.

In 1881 Laidley loaded the first train of freight to leave Cincinnati over the 'Cincinnati Southern Railroad' with twenty-six cars loaded with meat for the south. He pioneered new advertising techniques and each car was emblazoned with large signs the contents being shipped. In time he dominated the meat business in Indianapolis and surrounding region. He is a staunch member of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce holding certificate No. 2 as a member since 1867.

In 1866 Capt. Laidley married Julia A. Rooke, of Maden, W. Va. Four children have been born of this union: Frederick Rooke, Elsie Louise, who married A. S. Moore; Mary B. and Marguerite. He is also a member of the Queen City Club, Pelee Fishing Club and the Kentucky Shooting and Fishing Club, Ryland Station, Ky. He and his family reside in a beautiful home in Covington Ky., which is a center of hospitality, where friends and acquaintances find a cordial welcome. He is recognized as a man of unimpeachable integrity, generous, kind-hearted, and competent to make a success of anthing he undrtakes. He represents the best type of American citizenship and his name ever be honorably associated with the history of his adopted city. END

*The above from CINCINNATI THE QUEEN CITY, 1788-1912 Vol III, S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., Chicago and Cincinnati. In time I'll post Laidley's own memories of his career. Above slightly edited for basic facts.

R. Dale Flick
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