John Campbell & Co.

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On the lintel above the doorways: John Campbell & Co. They were manufacturers of dyestuffs, and they were located in this building on Hudson St. near Harrison St. with its back end on Staple St. from 1900 to 1958.

The website described their early history as "In 1876 John Campbell came from England and established a dyestuffs importing business in New York City that was known as John Campbell & Co. The offices were located at 75 Hudson Street. Campbell imported dyes up to the time of his death in 1905. In 1907 the company was incorporated and continued to import dye until 1914."

In 1876 Trow's New York City Directory located John Campbell & Co. "importers" at 5 Lispenard St. This company moved to 164 William St. and then to 42 Duane St. and later 25 New Chambers St. before they ended up at 118 Warren St. in the 1890s. In 1898 the New York Times, 19 Nov. 1898, pg. 10, reported, "Frederick Southack & Co. have sold to John Campbell & Co. the five-story brick building 75 Hudson Street, running through to Staple Street, 24.9 by 91 by 25.2 by 90.6. The price is reported at $80,000."

The founder was John Campbell (1855-1905). He was born January, 1855, in Liverpool, England, and died 11 April 1905 in New York City. His obituary in the New York Times, 12 April 1905, pg. 9, read, "John Campbell, one of the best-known men in the dyestuff business in the country, died at his residence, 24 West Eighty-eighth Street, last night of typhoid fever, after an illness of more than two months. He was born in Liverpool, England, in 1855, and was actively engaged in business in this city for twenty-seven years, latterly at 75 Hudson Street. Mr. Campbell was a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the New York Athletic Club, the Wool Club and the Merchants' Club. The funeral will be held from his late residence on Friday at 2 P. M."

The following recounts the later history of John Campbell & Co. up to 1922: "John Campbell was the dominant personality of John Campbell & Company throughout its early history. He came to America from England in 1876 to represent the English house of Levenstein. He founded a flourishing business in dyestuffs and upon his death in 1905, left a name and organization that were the foundation of his successors' fruitful accomplishments. Formerly the firm imported all of its dyes from abroad. The first departure from this policy was made in 1915 and was due directly to conditions following the outbreak of the war in Europe. A small plant was built in Newark, N. J. for the manufacture of naphthol green. Situated on the Newark Meadows, and so unhampered by urban space restrictions ample room was left available for expansion. Four years sufficed to see realized the most surprising accretion of productive strength. Thirty-two separate and distinct buildings now form the properties of the Newark plant. The production consists of a comprehensive variety of colors in the direct, developed, acid, chrome and sulphur series. An additional asset of great value among the company's productive agencies was acquired July, 1918, with the purchase of the Republic Color & Chemical Works of Reading, Pa., where are now made various intermediates for the supply of the Newark plant. John Campbell & Company has been a corporation since 1907. After its successful performance in manufacturing, its products gained a ready market and the recognition given only to articles of merit and dependable quality. The Campbell products may all be identified by the trade-mark name 'Camel Dyes,' a reproduction of which is shown on this page. The main offices are at 75 Hudson street, New York City, and branches are maintained at Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, Chicago, Ill., and Toronto, Canada." (History of American Textiles: With Kindred and Auxiliary Industries. Edited and Published by the Staff of the American Wool and Cotton Reporter. Boston New York Philadelphia. 1922). This is available on the internet as a google book.

This 1922 John Campbell ad has the New York address as 75 Hudson St.

Following the death of John Campbell, the president of the company became George H. Whaley (1876-1936). Whaley was born Victory Mills, Saratoga County, N. Y., 20 December 1876, and died there 19 January 1936. His obituary in the New York Times, 21 Jan. 1936, pg. 23, read, "Whaley - George H., on Jan. 19, 1936, at Victory Mills, Saratoga County, N. Y., in his sixtieth year, beloved brother of Emma Whaley, John Whaley and Carrie W. Jones; president of John Campbell & Co., 75 Hudson St., New York City, and Amalgamated Dyestuff & Chemical Works, Newark, N. J. Funeral from his late residence, Victory Mills, N. Y., on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1936, at 2 P. M. Interment Prospect Hill Cemetery, Schuylerville, N. Y."

Not mentioned in his obituary is the affair George H. Whaley had with one of his secretaries. As reported in the New York Daily News, 23 September 1920, "George H. Whaley, president of John Campbell & Co., manufacturers of dyestuffs and chemicals, of 75 Hudson street, is the 'aged admirer' of Miss May M. Croke, the Brooklyn girl who was named by Mrs. Effie Elizabeth Jacobs in her $100,000 alienation suit in the Supreme Court, it developed in affidavits filed yesterday. Whaley, according to Mrs. Jacobs, deeded to Miss Croke, who was formerly his stenographer, the $45,000 residence at 301 West Eighty-eighth street, bought her a $2,200 engagement ring and gave her thousands of dollars, which he discovered she used to entertain Monte F. Jacobs, racetrack tipping bureau proprietor. Mrs. Jacobs says Whaley told her that his affection for Miss Croke grew so strong that he agreed to divorce his wife. On March 1 last there was filed a suit for divorce by Mrs. Lucy Whaley in the Supreme Court of Rockland county and a final decree was entered in her favor June 26. Although he discovered that Miss Croke was using his money to entertain Jacobs, says Mrs. Jacobs's affidavit, Whaley still insisted his affection for his former stenographer had not waned and that he was willing to marry her. Justice Irving Lehman refused to vacate an attachment Mrs. Jacobs obtained against the Eighty-eighth street property." Miss Croke, it turns out, denied some of these charges: "That she is only an innocent onlooker and not the 'vamp' she has been pictured was the statement made to The News yesterday by Miss May M. Croke, of 127 Ashford street, Brooklyn, who is being sued by Mrs. Effie Elizabeth Jacobs for $100,000 for alleged alienation of the affections of Monte F. Jacobs, a racetrack man. Miss Croke's name was mentioned in connection with the application to the Supreme Court of George H. Whaley, head of the dye firm of John Campbell & Co., 75 Hudson street, for an order to regain possession of a house at 301 West Eighty-eighth street. Miss Croke said Whaley placed the house in her name and that she signed a blank transfer to the real owner, Mrs. Ina Campbell. Mrs. Jacobs secured an attachment on the house. Miss Croke said Whaley asked her to marry him, and she refused and left his employ. She denied she stole Jacobs's affections." (Daily News, 24 Sep. 1920, pg. 3)

Another figure at John Campbell & Co. in the 1910s was Charles Henry Jones (1878-1945). Like Campbell, Charles H. Jones was an immigrant from England. He registered for the World War I draft in 1918 when he was 39 years old, an alien, born 25 Sept. 1878, England. His occupation was "Factory Superintendent, Amalgamated Dyestuff & Chemical Works Inc., 75 Hudson St., New York, New York, NY." He was one of the original incorporators of Amalgamated Dyestuff & Chemical Works in 1915. As of the 1930 U. S. Census he had still not naturalized. Directories list him at John Campbell & Co. or Amalgamated Dyestuff from 1912 to 1922/23. In the 1940 U. S. Census he lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and was "Chemist, Private Rug Company."

In 1938 the New York Times announced, "American Cyanamid Company has acquired the assets of Amalgamated Dyestuff and Chemical Works, Inc., of Newark, N. J., and has turned over the plant formerly operated as one of its manufacturing divisions, according to announcement by Calco, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Cyanimid. It was also announced that American Cyanimid has acquired the assets and business of John Campbell & Co., New York. The business heretofore carried on by the latter company is the sale of dyestuffs and related products will be continued by a newly formed company under the name of John Campbell & Co., Inc." (Times, 12 April 1938, pg. 42). John Campbell & Co. continued in the New York telephone directory at 75 Hudson St. through 1958.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Grutchfield