Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Workday Wednesday ~ Tobacco Manufacturer

David Hunter McAlpin
taken at the Sarony studio, 37 Union Square, Manhattan
circa 1878
My great great grandfather, David Hunter McAlpin (1816 - 1901) was an extremely successful businessman. His only daughter, Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860 - 1937) married James Tolman Pyle on February 12, 1884. He owned land in New York City as well as in Morris County, New Jersey.

I previously posted his New York Times obituary.

He is my most recent ancestor who has a page at Wikipedia. In addition, he and his family have several pages (pp. 602-619) devoted to them in Doris McAlpin Russell's McAlpin(e) Genealogies 1730-1990, published in 1990. In a nutshell, he moved from Dutchess County, New York, to New York City at a young age and over his lifetime, built a substantial business in tobacco, becoming a leader among American tobacco manufacturers by the 1890's.

In the 1850 Census, he is listed as a 32-year-old "Segar Manufacturer," born in New York owning real estate valued at $2,000. He was married to 21-year-old Frances and had a 2-year old son, Edwin.

1850 U.S. Federal Census, New York, New York, New York; Roll: 536; Page: 264B;
Record for David H. McAlpin.

In the 1857 New York City Directory, he is in business with someone else, as the address for David H. McAlpin, segars, is the same as McAlpin & Ray, segars, at 305 1/2 Broadway.

1857 New York City Directory

In the 1860 Census, David McAlpine is a 43-year-old "Tobacconist." with 32-year-old Adelaide (this is the same person as Frances in 1850) and five children. The youngest child, my great-grandmother, Frances, was born in February 1860 and is listed with the age 5/12. The value of David's real estate is $9,000 and value of personal estate is $10,000. The family was financially comfortable enough to have two live-in servants.

1860 U.S. Federal Census, New York, New York, New York; Roll: 819; Page 1019;
Record for David McAlpine.

By 1870, David McAlpine had become wealthy enough (as Tobacco Manufacturer) to purchase property in Morris County, New Jersey. (The value of his real estate is $230,000 and value of personal property is $225,000 - Wow!) Records indicate that he purchased the property at Glen Alpin (Harding Township) in 1885, so when the family was enumerated in Hanover Township, it was before moving to the Glen Alpin property. There are eight servants enumerated with the family.

1870 U.S. Federal Census, Hanover, Morris, New Jersey; Roll: 877; Page 129B;
Record for David McAlpine.

As I explain in My McAlpin Ancestors in 1870, he is also enumerated in the 1870 U.S. Census in New York two additional times, both times with his occupation listed as Tobacco Manufacturer.

I love the handwriting used on the 1880 Census page for the McAlpin family. Again, David H. McAlpin's occupation is Tobacco Manufacturer and one of his children (Joseph R.) is in the business. His first wife, Frances Adelaide Rose, died in November 1870 and Adelia, his second wife, is enumerated with him in 1880.

1880 U.S. Federal Census, Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 895; Page 322.1;
Record for David H. McAlpin.

In the 1898 New York City Directory, in addition to having his occupation listed as "pres.," and having his company listed, (D. H. & Co. tobacco, 150 Av. D), there is also an advertisement for McAlpin's Virgin Leaf tobacco on the page.

1898 New York City Directory
Most of his children are in the D.H. & Co. tobacco business with him:

Edwin A. is vice president; George L. is treasurer; and Charles W. is secretary.

The other McAlpins on this page include:

Son, David H. Jr. became a very successful physician.
Son, William W. did work in the tobacco business, but is not listed with the company in this directory.
Anna, widow of William, is a sister-in-law of D.H. McAlpin, and Benj. B., lawyer, is a grandson (son of Edwin A.)

The McAlpin tobacco business was sold to the Duke family's American Tobacco Co. in the 1890's.

My descent from David Hunter McAlpin > Frances Adelaide McAlpin > Charles McAlpin Pyle > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.

Workday Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

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