Monday, December 14, 2015

Naughty Charles C. Adsit - 52 Ancestors #50

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Naughty: we all have an ancestor who probably received coal in his stocking.

The following isn't really that "naughty," but was rather negative news to be published in newspapers across the country.

First a summary: my great-grandfather, Charles Chapin Adsit, lived in Chicago, Illinois.  I have written about him a few times:
He was born on July 14, 1853, to James Monroe Adsit and Susan Arville Chapin. His father, James, is considered the first banker in Chicago. Both Charles and his brother, James, Jr. followed in their father's footsteps and became active in Chicago's financial industry.

He married, first, Hattie L. Webster, on November 22, 1881, in Evanston, Illinois. She died less than a year later, in childbirth, and is buried with their unnamed child in Chicago's beautiful Graceland Cemetery.

It took Charles a few years before he was ready to marry again: he married Mary Bowman Ashby (known as "Bowmie") on October 30, 1890, in Louisville, Kentucky. See a lovely description of their wedding here.

Charles and Bowmie had two children, Charles Chapin Adsit, Jr. (b. 1892) and Elizabeth Adsit, my grandmother (b. 1897), known as Libby, who had quite a society wedding in 1919.

After Libby had been married for just a few months, it appears that her father had a bit of financial trouble.

A search at either GenealogyBank or for Last Name: Adsit, First Name: Charles, and date of December 1919 produces several results from across the United States with news that he was suspended from the Chicago Stock Exchange on Thursday, December 11, 1919, and that family members would assist in paying his debts.

One example is from the Lebanon (PA) Evening Report of December 12, 1919:

"Windy City Broker Loses Exchange Seat When He Fails to Pay." Evening Report (Lebanon, PA), 12 December 1919.
Page 7, column 2. Online archives,

However, a year and a half later, it appears he was still having trouble with his creditors:

"New Receiver Names for Adsit Brokerage Firm." Chicago Daily Tribune, 23 April 1921.
Page 8, column 2. Online archives,

   More than 100 creditors of the Charles C. Adsit brokerage firm, declared to be insolvent, met in Judge Kickham Scanlan's court yesterday and voted unanimously to appoint the Central Trust company as receiver of the firm's assets. Andrew Sheriff, member of the former receivership committee, had presented a bill of $5,000 to the creditors, after agreeing to serve for nothing, it was stated. Sheriff, R. Floyd Clinch, and John R. Fowler Jr., were elected as a liquidating committee eighteen months ago.
   Adsit had been suspended by the Chicago Stock exchange for failure to meet his obligations. The suspension revealed his company had $650,000 in outstanding claims which he could not meet.
   Judge Scanlan will determine what fees are to be paid to Sheriff and the new receiver.
   It was announced 20 per cent of the brokerage company's outstanding claims have been paid through assistance rendered to Adsit by his family. Adsit attended the conference.


There is not much more to be found about Charles C. Adsit after mention of his debts in a news story about his sister's death in May 1922. See the full story at Thriller Thursday ~ Hit By Auto. The part of the article that pertains to Charles is below:

"Carrie Adsit, Hit by Auto in Park, Dies." Chicago Sunday Tribune, 7 May 1922.
Page 1,

Dies in Hospital 
  Miss [Carrie] Adsit was walking with her sister, Miss Jeanie Adsit, when the car bore down upon them, and she walked directly in front of it. She was thrown several feet and injured so badly that she died while being carried into the operating room at the hospital.
  The Adsit family live at the Ambassador hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adsit and another brother, J. M. Adsit, lived with the two sisters. When Charles Adsit was suspended from the stock exchange for failure to meet his obligations, which were estimated at about $650,000, Miss Carrie Adsit was one of the members of the family who came to his assistance and aided him in the partial liquidation that has taken place. About 20 per cent of the debts have been paid.

He died on July 3, 1931, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is buried in the Adsit family plot in Graceland Cemetery.

I descend from him as follows:

Charles Chapin Adsit
Elizabeth Adsit
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.

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