New York Wire and Wire Rope,
Columbia Iron Works, Columbia Engineering Works
Northeast Corner of Imlay Williams (now Pioneer Street)
There was a building on the northeast corner of Imlay and Williams (later Pioneer)
as early as 1869 when a map from that date
indicates a structure at that location. It may be labeled
"Wire Works" but the words are very hard to read.
There was a unlabeled brick building at this address on the 1880 map.
Another 1880 map shows a building with the same footprint and labeled "Wire Works".
A building is shown but not labeled on the 1886 map.
Listed as Columbia Iron Works* on the 1898-99 map.
There is still a building on this corner with a date of "1900" over the main door.
A map from 1907-08 lists "Engineering Works".
Undated, predates the 1900 map
c. 1900 map #1808984, NYPL
Columbia Engineering Works corner of Imlay and Pioneer
Pink indicates a brick building. Yellow indicates a wooden structure.
White indicates an open space.
The buildings on the right side of the image are three story brick buildings that
most likely contain apartments with possible store fronts on the first floor.
Number 308 is labeled "oil and paint in cans".
*There was another establishment in Brooklyn called the "Columbia Iron Works" located at "the foot of Adams street". It was a foundry run by
the Taylor family including William Taylor his son William J. Talyor (died 1898)
and his sons, including Edwin S. Taylor.
New York Wire and Wire Rope company
New York Wire and Rope company had property at the corner of
Imlay and Williams (later Pioneer) in 1888.
Columbian Iron Works AKA Columbia Engineering Works
New York Wire and Wire Rope company issued an annual report in 1882.
In their annual report of 1883 New York Wire and Wire Rope stated that the had debts of $101,002.16 of which $72,597 "is secured by mortgage upon real property owned by the company in the City of New York.
In 1884 New York Wire and Wire Rope Company had offices at 21 Aster, New York.
In April 1888 a suit was brought to;
"recover certain lands on Imlay street, between William and Verona street in the Twelfth Ward. The property formerly belonged to the
Eagleton Manufacturing Company. In 1880 the West Bradley & Carey Manufacturing Company obtained a judgement against the Eagleton Company which was approved by the
United States Supreme Court in 1884 and the lands in question were sold by the United States
Marshall to satisfy judgement. Before the sale by the United States Marshall by the
Eagleton Company co, Company
conveyed the lands to the New York
Wire and Wire Rope Company."
In May 1888 foreclosure proceedings were started by the City of New York
(who held the mortgage) against "the New York Wire and Wire Rope
company" on the property at William, Imlay, and Van Brunt, South Brooklyn". (BE)
Columbia Engineering Works was a company owned and operated by
brothers, Donald and John McNeil.
Ramberg Iron Works and Dry Docks
From at least 1888 the NcNeil brothers had a boiler making
concern called Columbia Iron Works and/or Columbia Engineering
Works at 15 Imlay Street between William and Verona. The 1898-99 map shows the "Columbia
Works" on the NE corner of Imlay and Williams (Pioneer).
The 1900 map shows "Columbia Engineering Works" at the same corner.
Donald was born in Scotland circa 1844. He married Lottie and they had one daughter, Mary
Elizabeth (Bessie) who married Frank W. Post.
John was born in Canada circa 1856. He married Katherine. They had:
John, Donald, Andrew, Irene, Harry and Janet.
Donald McNeil was in the boilermaker business from at least 1883 when he was listed in the city directory:
Mc Neil, Donald, boilermaker, 62 Seabring, h 132 3rd place.
1886: Donald Mc Neil was listed in Brooklyn as a boiler maker, address
Imlay and Summit, home 19 3rd Place. John McNeil was not listed in 1886.
1894: Edward Campell, 31, of 117 Dwight st had his face badly burned by acid he was using to clean
boilers while at work at McNeils boiler shop on Imlay and summit.
Donald McNeil a "wealthy boiler maker and iron founder" with a business
at the corner of "Summit"
and Imlay and a home at Clarkson street and Irving,
called the police to report the theft of a diamond stud worth $225
and a gold watch worth $200, while in Anthony Duffy's saloon at the corner of State and Court.
The investigating detective said that McNeil was intoxicated and "somewhat hazy"
in the details of the theft.
1897: Columbia Engineering
Works, Imlay and Williams was advertising "SHIP FITTERS and drillers wanted (100)"
In 1889 Donald McNeal was listed with the "South Brooklyn Boiler Works" which may have just been a generic reference as
he did run a boiler works in south Brooklyn.
In 1898 McNeill's D. & J. Columbia Engineering Works manufactures of machinery, employed 60 adult
males and 5 males under 18, hours of labor 55, 3 lodged complaints. (Annual report of the factory inspectors of the State of New York for the ...
By New York (State). Office of Factory Inspectors)
The 1899 Trow's Business Directory listed Columbia Iron Works, William and Imlay,
In November 1899 Columbia Engineering at William near Van Brunt was cited as violating the Smoke
1899: 150 men at the John & Donald McNeills yard at Imlay and Williams went out on strike
demanding "eight hours on old work, nine houses on new work and a eight hours on Saturday".
1900 to 1904: McNeil, Donald engineer, Imlay c Pioneer, h 71 Woodruff ave.
McNeil, John, engineer, Imlay and Pioneer.
1900: Donald McNeil the president of "Eagle Iron works" was given a dinner by friends
to encourage him to run for public office. McNeil said he did not aspire to public office but
would not decline if nominated and if his friends though he
"could render the slightest service to his fellow citizens"/
1900 - October: "Columbian Engine Works" at William and Imlay streets owned by
"D & G McNeil" accomplished a noteworthy feat by removing the entire bottom of a large ocean steamer
and replacing it with a new bottom without removing the engines, boilers, and other machinery.
The 3,000 ton Norwegian steamer Songa had run aground on rocks in "Southern" waters, severely damaging her bottom.
The value of the ship was sufficient to warrant an attempt at repair.
Wreckers managed to patch the bottom and float the ship, enabling them to get her to the
works at the Erie Basin where she was placed in dry dock.
The ship was shored up with wooden
scaffolding and pneumatic jacks while a new base was built for the 320 feet by 40 feet bottom.
The 1901 Year Book
By Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (U.S.) listed Kemble, Parker H at
the Columbia Engineering Works,
William and Imlay Streets, Brooklyn
1901: May 19, The Bremen liner Hohenzollern sailed for Naples and Genoe with 250 cabin and 100 steerage
Among the passengers were: Mr. and Mrs Thomas McNeill and Mr and Mrs James
McNeill of the McNeill Bros on Imlay and Williams street*. John McNeill was
on hand to "bid them bon voyage". *Although it says the McNeill brothers were at Imlay and William,
the names of the brothers at Imlay and Williams were Donald and
John and the name was spelled "McNeil" (with one "l").
In June 1901 the Tugboat John S Heath owned by the Knickerbocker Ice Company sank
in the Buttermilk Channel. James Clyde 54 of 131 Dykman Street, a boiler maker, who was at
work on the boiler of the tug drowned. At the time of the accident the tug was being towed to the
Columbia Engineering Works at the Atlantic Basin.
In March of 1902 Columbia Engineering Works of Brooklyn incorporated under
the directorship of Donald McNeil, John R. McNeil and Jonathan Moore of Brooklyn.
In April 1902 Columbia Engineering Works of Imaly and Williams Street
was building a new engine and
boiler shop on "Beard's farm" just south of Crane's shipyard.
"Heretofore the firm has been badly handicapped by the distance
the Imlay street shops are from the dry dock."
The Columbia Engineering Works' building measuring
127 feet by 50 feet
was of wood frame
covered with corrugated iron.
Note: Theodore A Crane and Sons built a new dry dock at the Erie Basin in 1902.
The dry dock could accommodate vessels of 6,000 to 7,000 tons.
1902: Williams st east cor Imlay st runs s e 99 x n e 50 x s e 20 s n e 125 x n w 110 to
Imlay st x s w 175 Donald and John McNeil to Columbia
Engineering works mort $20,000.
April 3, The Real Estate Market, "Columbia Engineering Works to G Throns, trustee, William st
corner Imlay secures bonds
In 1902 the Columbia Iron Works at Imlay and Williams street
"retubed" the boilers and engines of the
British Steamship Queensland. (BE).
In 1902 the Columbian Engineering Company
at Williams and Imlay made repairs and alterations on the Steamship Venus. (BE)
In 1902 there was a strike of blacksmiths:
"So far the strike of blacksmiths in the Red Hook section where there is a
number of large ships,
has had little effect. The Columbia Iron works which has one shop at
William and Imlay streets and
a newly established one on the breakwater at
once conceded the terms asked by the men. They were told to keep right on
at their work and they would ge the 10 per cent advance asked for."
Their employees were given a 10 per cent wage hike during a strike of other iron workers in August 1902.
(BE August 21, 1902)
The Columbia Engineering Works, Inc., have
taken up the manufacture of the Arthur Herschmann patent steam wagons,
and are building three-ton and six-ton capacity trucks. In order to give
special attion to this industry on automobile department has been established, and
the shops equipped with additional tools especially adapted for this work; and upon
application to the Columbia Engineering Works, Inc., William and Imlay streets,
Brooklyn, N. Y., catalogues and particulars can be secured.
(Factory and industrial management, Volume 25
edited by John Robertson Dunlap, Arthur Van Vlissingen, John Michael Carmody 1903)
1902: John and Donald McNeil were awarded the contract to repair the
steamship Catalone which had struck some obstruction in the East River
"in the vicinity of the new bridge". Fifty plates were damaged
and two blades of the propeller were broken. The work was to be
done at the dry dock in the Erie Basin.
Columbia Engineering Works of Brooklyn was manufacturing the Arthur Herschmann Patent
Steam Wagon and was building trucks of three and
six ton capacity for "municipal purposed trucking, etc".
(Municipal Journal & Public Works, Vol 15)
In May 1903 A Columbia Engineering Company steam truck with a load of 3,805 pounds was the first truck
to finish in the heavy
vehicles category after a run of thirty miles with 25 stops - time 4 hours and 57 minutes.
1903: Columbia Engineering
announced it would manufacture the Arthur Herschman patent
steam wagon of both 3 ton and 6 ton capacity.
An automobile department was established and
shops equipped with additional tools
specially adapted for the this work.
Engineering Magazine, Vol. 25, 1903
AUTOMOBILE TRUCK TEST; Business Vehicles Compete in Run Over City Streets.
Two of the Eleven Wagons Completed the Run Held Under Auspices of Automobile Club.
1903: A 32 foot gasoline catboat valued at $1,200
and belonging to Donald McNeil of
the Columbia Engineering Works
was stolen from the Long Dock at Erie Basin. It was retrieved
in Peth Amboy, N. J.
Eleven business automobiles of various makes and types,
ranging from light, delivery wagons to five-ton trucks,
started in the first day's run of the commercial motor vehicle test promoted
by the Automobile Club of America yesterday, and all but two
completed the long run with success. One delivery wagon and one
truck became disabled and withdrew.
NYT May 22, 1903
1904 Thomas A. Casey, a minor, was employed as an office boy by Columbia Engineering Works
when he was told to go onboard the tug "Mercedes" which belonged
the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company to get a piece of machinery.
While walking along the deck of the tug Casey fell through a defective
cover of a coal hole. He suffered external and internal injuries and
was permanently disabled. Frank J. Casey, his father, sued
Columbia Engineering and Lehigh Valley RR on Thomas' behalf.
The court awarded $7,500 agains Lehigh Valley. Columbia Engineering
was exonerated. The case was settled in 1907. Appealed in 1908.
Judgment affirmed October 9, 1908.
The Mechanical Index of 1904 and 1905 listed Columbia Engineering Works,
William and Imlay Sts., Brooklyn, N. Y.
1905: An ad listed the Company
DONALD MCNEIL, PRES. JOHN MCNEIL, TREAS.
1905: An ad listed COLUMBIA ENGINEERING WORKS, ENGINS, BOILERS, FORGINGS, CASTINGS ETC.,
SHIPYARD, DRY DOCK, AND REPAIR SHOPS ON BREAKWATER, ERIE BASIN -
Steamship work a speciality
COLUMBIA ENGINEERING WORKS, Inc.
ENGINES, BOILERS, FORGINGS, CASTINGS, ETC,
IMLAY AND PIONEER STREETS ATLANTIC BASIN
Shipyard, Dry Docks, and Repair Shops
on breakwater, Erie Basin.
1906: An ad listed: COLUMBIA ENGINEERING WORKDS, Donald McNeil, President,
John McNeil Treas and Gen'l Manager, Imlay and Pioneer, Street, Brooklyn,
PLATE IORN WORK IN ALL ITS BRANCHES, LIGHT AND HEAVY FORGINGS, GENERAL MACHINE WORK,
SPECIAL MACHINERY BUILT TO PLANS, TELEPHONE 61 HAMILTON
1907 Blue book of American shipping ...: Marine and naval directory of the United ..
listed the Columbia Engineering Works, Imlay and Pioneer Streets Brooklyn.
1910: The McNeill Bros of Imlay and Williams street were awarded the
contract for the repair of the British steamer Campertown.
John McNeil died in 1907 and his son, John R., joined the business.
In the wake of John senior's death there appears to have been
a level of animosity
between the two family factions.
The family infighting went as far as the New York Supreme Court.
Donald McNeil died in 1912 and the family continued to litigate.
1912: A suit was brought in the Supreme Court of the
District of Columbia between Columbia Engineering Works of New York, plaintiff, and Charles Nagel, Secretary of Commerce
defendant. Columbia Iron Works claimed it was due $4,638.50 for repairs on the Immigration Cutter "Immigrant".
(The Washington Law Reporter, vol.14)
1912: Columbia Engineering Works boiler makers at
Pioneer and Imlay were involved in proceeding for
bankruptcy in November 1912. The creditors wer
Munkenbeck Brothers 88 Hamilton ave,
Thomas Grogan's son, 403 Van Brunt and
the sharp Brothers at 68 Summit street. The creditors claimed that the company's liability was
$80,000 and thier assets only $25,000.
1913: March 3, SUPREME COURT, KINGS COUNTY:
"Thomas" McNeil plaintiff against
Post, executrix of the estate of Donald McNeil - "in pursuance of a judgement of
foreclosure and sale" in February 1912 of a plot of land and buildings,
situated in Brooklyn, to be sold at public auction
and described as follows:
Beginning at the corner
(word) by the intersection of the southeasterly
side of Imlay street with the northeasterly
side of William street: running
along the southeasterly side on Imlay Street one hundred and
southeasterly parallel with William street one hundred and ten feet;
thence southwesterly parallel with
Imlay street one hundred and twenty five feet:
thence northwesterly again parallel
with William street twenty feet;
thence again southwesterly parallel to
Imlay street fifty feet to the northeasterly side of Williams Street, and thence northwesterly
along the northeasterly side of William street ninety feet to the corner of the point
or place beginning."
Who was "Thomas McNeil"?
1916: A spectacular three alarm fire in the two story building
of the McNeil Iron Works at Imlay and Pioneer drove 250 tenants out of their
houses on Van Brunt street and into
"the storm and sleet of the night in their night clothes".
The fire threatened other factories in the area. It was believed the fire started n the pattern room.
estimated damage $15,000.
The building was siad to have a 200 feet front on Imlay and a 75 feet fron on Pioneer.
John McNeil said about 500 men would be out of work.
Ramberg Dry Dock and Repair Company incorporated in July 1918, $3,000,000 H. W. Ramberg, F. Schmidt, C.
Sendixen, 51 75th street, Brooklyn.
RAMBERG IRON WORKS
Hakon W Ramberg was a native of Christiana, Norway.
Ramberg Iron Works, Pioneer and Imlay, operating a
ship construction and repair works
acquired 3 and three quarters acres on the Buttermilk Channel
East River to be used as an extension of their works.
(Iron Age, Vol 101 Part 2)
Ramberg Dry Dock and Repair Co. Light and Heavy Forging - Engineer and
General Machine Work RECLASSING SHIPS
AND REPAIRS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION, CYLINDERS AND
VALVE CHESTS BORED IN PALCE, MANUFACTURERS OF AUTOMATIC DISTRIBUTOR OF
BOILER COMPOUND, HYDRAULIC FORCE FEED LUBRICATOR AND ENGLISH STYLE WINCHES, Office Imlay and Pioneer, Yard Foot of Dikeman Brooklyn
("Nauticus": A Journal of Shipping, Insurance, Investments and .... Vol 9)
An enterprise of importance among those devoted voted
to the repair of steamships is that of the Ramberg Iron Works, having
plant and yards at Pioneer and Imlay Streets in Brooklyn.
1918: Shipyard on Brooklyn Shore: Three and a half acres of land on the
at the foot of Coffey, Dikeman, Sullivan and Wolcott streets fronting 900 feet on
the Buttermilk channel with about 350 [?] feet of private slip was sold.
"It adjoins the New york
Dock Company's property in the Atlantic Basin." It was one of the few
large water front properties in New York Harbor.
The buyer was Ramberg Iron Works who operated a large ship
repair at Imlay and Pioneer. Dry dock and other ship building necessities were planned.
The president of that company, Hakon W. Ramberg, brings to the business
the benefit of lifelong experience in the ship business. He is a native of Christiania,
Norway, and after he left school he became an apprentice in one of the large
shipyards of that place, gaining a thorough and practical knowledge of the
shipbuilder's art. In no country has the marine interest been more
developed than in Norway, whose people have been seafarers from their earliest history.
Mr. Ramberg, after having learned the shipbuilding art in the yards,
entered upon a career of about fifteen years of seafaring, as engineer of
steamships sailing out of Christiania to all parts of the world.
In 1902 he came to the United States, and has since been actively identified
with the shipbuilding industry here, being with A. Olsen n Union Street,
Brooklyn, for about twelve years, then in business for himself in
Sullivan Street until May, 1917, when he with associates organized the
Ramberg Iron Works, buying the machinery and renting the buildings of the
plant at Pioneer and Imlay Streets, Brooklyn, where the company has since
been engaged very busily in the business of repairing steamers. The equipment
now in use includes a yard with a capacity for handling fourteen to
eighteen ships at a time, and the include equipment and facilities
for every kind of repair work to ships, including iron and steel work,
tinsmith and coppersmith work, boiler work, machine work, carpentry,
painting, rigging, and every description of work for the complete of the
hull, equipment, machinery, and appointment of all kinds of vessels. The
reputation of the company is excellent, not only for the quality of its
work, but also for exceptional promptness and dispatch in the execution of
The yards are being kept busy up to capacity and more, and the need
for expansion of facilities has long been apparent. For this reason Mr.
Ramberg and his associates have incorporated the Ramberg Dry Dock and Repair Company,
to take over the business of the Ramberg Iron Works.
In this connection the company has secured additional ground adjoining
their present premise, upon which it is building and equipping a dry dock and
additional yard and machinery.
The drydock the company is building is a structure of modern design and equipment.
It being built of steel and will accommodate vessels of large tonnage.
In design, construction, and finish it will combine all the best features
of the finest and most improved shipyards in this and European works.
Its equipment will include a complete outfit of pneumatic tubes, electric lights,
electric cranes, and every device calculated to improve and expedite the
work of handling, docking, repairing and relaunching steamships,
in accordance with the best modern methods.
Much of the work done by the company is for the Government of the United States
and its Allies, and the satisfaction given by the work that the company
is doing is attested by the fact that it continues to receive Government
orders in increasing quantity.
The officers of the Ramberg Iron Works and of its successor, the Ramberg Dry Dock
and Repair Company, are Hakon W. Ramberg, president; John Christoffersen,
vice-president; and Rodney Hartinson, secretary.
Mr. Christoffersen, the vice-president, is a native of Norway, born
in Ivedestrand. He has been identified with business in the line of
ships from boyhood, his father having been a manufacturer of ship
equipment in Norway. Mr. Christoffersen began his business career
with his father and continued in Norway until 1906, when he came to
the United States. Here he continued his connections with shipping,
being with Lamport & Holt for five years and after that with the Olsen
Iron Works for about three years, until he joined Mr. Ramberg in the
organization of the Ramberg Iron Works in 1917. The secretary, Rodney
Martinson, is a member of the New York bar in active practice.
With the increased facilities to be afforded by the substantial additions to the plant and yard and the building of the new shipways the capacity of the company will be multiplied eight or ten times.
(Marine News - America's Maritime Progress
By George Weiss
1925: REAL ESTATE DOWNTOWN
Erie Basin section Brooklyn northeast corner Imlay and Pioneer;
brick and steel building 175x110 containing 22,000 square feet, suitable for garage, manufacturing, shipping or other business.
Maggie Land Blanck, Sept 2012
Date over door says "1900". However, this building is studded with star shaped
anchor plates that were used to structurally reinforce masonry buildings in the 18th and 19th century.
See the image of the side of the building facing Pioneer street (below).
Maggie Land Blanck, Sept 2012
Detail from image above.
Maggie Land Blanck, December 2013
This is the wall facing Pioneer street.
This building is much altered. However, the pilasters, the brickwork at the cornice, and the
star capped metal reinforcement bars on this wall
are in keeping with other industrial buildings in the area which were built
in Red Hook in the mid to late 1800s.
See Lidgerwood and Worthington Hydraulic Pump
The McNeil Brothers
Donald McNeil (1844-1912) and Lottie E. Lewis (-1913)
Born: Circa 1844 Scotland
John McNeil (1856-)
Marriage: Lottie E. Lewis daughter of Charles and Mary Jane Lewis
Child: Mary Elizabeth (AKA Bessie) circa 1883
Married Frank Webster Post, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Webster Post of Brooklyn, June 1908
1871: December 25, marriage of Donald McNeil and Lottie
1910: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York, salesman automobiles,
Frank W Post 29,
Bessie M Post 27, father born Scotland
1920 Census: Brooklyn Assembly District 15, Kings, New York,
Frank W Post 39, salesman tire,
Bessie M Post 37, father born Scotland
1925 State census Babylon
1930: Babylon, Suffolk, New York, own $10,000,
Frank W Post 49, salesman, automobile,
George Gingell 30, roomer,
Albert Lenane 24, roomer,
Edward Byrne 23, roomer
1884: Third place n. s 237 feet w Clinton st 18x1--.5, h&l, JOhn and Mary Devin to
Donald McNiel and Lottie, his wife, jont tenants morg $-,000
1888: Lena Konrad, age 18, filed an assault case against
Donald McNeil of 19  Third Place. She sued for $5,000 but was awarded $450.
She alleged that wild a servant in the McNeil employ donald McNeil assaulted her.
Mrs. Lottie Elizabeth McNiel of flatbush sued
Donald McNeil for divorce and custody of there nine year old daughter.
She asked for $75 a week in alimony and $1,500 in lawyers fees.
She made some "severe" charges against her husband
who was a senior member of donal McNiel & Brother engineer and boiler makers at Imlay and summit streets, South Brooklyn.
"He responded in kind."
She claimed he locked her out of the house in March 1891 and the following April he deserted her.
She aslo charged that in January 1891 he assaulted Agnes Kirk, a domestic, who slept with
their daughter, Bessie, while the latter was in the room.
Lottie claimed donald Mcneil was worth about $75,00o in property with an income of about $25,000 per year.
A witness said she frequently visited the house and saw Mr. McNeil intoxicated.
On his part he claimed that his wife had been intimate with their coachman, August Cammeyer.
He discharged the coachman. He claimed his wife often stayed out all night.
He siad he was innocent and claimed the domestic situation got so bad that he moved into a hotel.
The daughter Bessie collaborated the mother's charges.
1900 Census: 71 Woodruff ave. McNeil, Donald, head age 56, born 1844,
married 28 years, born Scotland, immigrated
1854, naturalized, iron,
Lotta wife, age 46,
Mary E daughter 17
and two servants.
1905: 71 Woodruff ave,
Donald Mcneil M 62y Scotland, engineer,
Wife Lottie Mcneil F 53y United States,
Daughter Bessie M Mcneil F 22y United States,
Domestic Yetta Jeansun F 21y Sweden servant, cook,
Domestic Patrick Donagan M 33y Ireland, gardener
1910: Brooklyn 71 Woodruff,
Donald Mcneil 67, machine manufacturing, president, born Scotland,
"Lollie" Mcniel 59, married 38 years, one child, one living,
Dora Olson maid, Norway
1912 Death of Donald McNeil:
Donald McNeil, president of Columbia Engineering Works, residence Woodruff Ave, Brooklyn,
died "suddenly" in his 69th year on May 21, 1912. He was buried in
Greenwood Cemetery. Not listed by Greenwood.
1912 NYC death index cert #10585
Probate: Real property $75,000, personal property $15,000, widow Lottie E McNeil,
Mary E. Post daughter, 312 West 109st New York, Joan Watson, sister
177 Leonard Brooklyn, and Mary McLachlan sister,
250 Madison, Brooklyn
June 1, Brooklyn Standard Union (Fulton Postcards)
"Donald McNeil of 71 Woodruff ave who died May 21, left an estate valued at $90,000, according
to his will, filed for probate........
The estate consistes fo $75,000 in real property and $15,000 in personal property and is
distributed among his relatives.
His widow, Lottie McNeil, is left an annuity. The bonds and stock owned by him revert to his daughter,
Mary E Post of 132 West 109th street, Manhattan"
Lottie E McNeil,
Birth Year: abt 1851,
Death Date: 10 Nov 1913,
Death Place: Kings, New York, USA,
Certificate Number: 20764
Lotte E. McNeil age 53, widow of Donald McNeil and daughter of Charles and Mary Jane Lewis,
born in NYC lived in Brooklyn for 50 years died at her home at 71 Woodruff.
Member of the M. E. Church of St Mark buried Greenwood.
"Her husband, who died about eighteen months ago, as the result of a accident, was the president of
the columbia Iro works." Survived by a daughter, Mary E wife of Frank E. Post.
Birth: Circa 1856 Dunda Conn. naturalized through his father (per passport application of his son John)
Joan McNeil Watson
1892 Census: 2nd or 3rd place (both written on top of page), McNeil, John age 34 born Canada, boilermaker,
Kate 32 born Canada,
John Jr. 10, Donald, 7,
Andrew 3, Irene,
- John Robert McNeil(1881 Connecticut)
1905: "A social event of prominence in Catholic circle" in 1905 was the marriage of
Mary Inez, daughter of Mr. and Mr.s
Francis McQueeney, of 375 Union to
John Robert McNeil, son of John McNeil of Columbia Iron Works. The ceremony was performed at the hom e of the bride
by the paster of St. Agens R. D. church. A reception for 200 followed the ceremony.
John R Mcneil 29, born Connecticut, father born Canada, engineer,
Mary I Mcneil 28,
John R Mcneil Jr. 2,
Francis K Mcneil 0,
Francis M Vausworth 18, boarder,
Francis M Mcqueeney 55, father-in-law,
Selma Harman 23, servant
1933: John R. McNeil formerly of the McNeil
Iron Works died suddenly of a heart attack in Miami, Fla. Buried greenwood.
- Donald (1885)
- Andrew L. (1886)
WWIDR 1918: Andrew Lindlaw [?]
McNeil, 147 Prospect Park, born April 7,1886, boiler maker, Theo Crane & Sons, Erie Basin,
contact, Mary McNeil, medium height and build, brown eyes and hair.
1930: Brooklyn, Prospect Park SW, Rent $55, Andrew Mcneil 43, married at age 31, Iron worker,
father born Ontario, Canada,
Mary Mcneil 40
- Irene (1889)
- Harry B. (1893)
WWIDR 1918: Harry B McNeil, 677 10th street Brooklyn,
born July 21, 1893, asst to treasurer of country club,
Siawnoy [?} Country Club, Mt Vernon N Y, sole support of mother and sister,
Medium height and build, blue eyers dark brown hair.
- Jeanette [Janet]
1900: 10th street, John Mcneil 44, born Canada of Scottish parents,
immigrated 1861, manufacturing engineer,
Kate Mcneil 42, born Canada, married 23 years, 7 children 6 living,
John R Mcneil 19, Connecticut, engineer,
Donald Mcneil 16, NY, apprentice engineer,
Andrew L Mcneil 13, NY,
Irene Mcneil 11, NY,
Harry Mcneil 7, NY,
Jeanette Mcneil 3, NY
1905: John Mcneil M 48y Canada, engineer,
Wife Kate Mcneil F 42y Canada
Son John Mcneil M 24y United States, engineer,
Son Andrew Mcneil M 18y United States, engineer,
Son Donald Mcneil M 21y United States, engineer,
Daughter Irene Mcneil F 16y United States,
Son Harry Mcneil M 11y United States,
Daughter Janet Mcneil F 8y United States,
Servant Amelia Mecoaf F 20y Sweden, servant
1907 Death of John McNeil: John McNeil
Birth Year: abt 1855
DOD 14 Mar 1907
POD Kings, New York, USA
Certificate Number: 5769 (or)
Greenwood: John March 17, 1907, 32466 207
John McNeil died at the home of his son, John McNeil jr. at 616 Beverly road, Flatbush.
He had lived in brooklyn for 22 years but had been a recent resident
of Saddle brook, N. J. He was born iN Dundas, Canada circa 1855.
He was a steamship repairer and engineer.
He died suddenly of a heart failure. He was survived by his widow, Katherine, four sons, John Jr., Donald,
Andrew, and Harry, all of Brooklyn, and
two daughters Miss Irene and Mis Janet both of Saddle river, N. J. Buried Greenwood.
1910: Ward 22, 10th street, Kate Mc Neil 50, widow, 7 children 6 living,
Jeanet Mc Neil 12,
Irene Mc Neil 21,
Harry Mc Neil 17,
Andrew Mc Neil 23, engineer boiler maker,
Donald Mc Neil 26, engineer,
Marguret Cody 20, servant
1920: Ward 10, Katherine McNeil age, widow, born Canada, parents born Ireland, Janet age 22
1925: Ocean Ave., Kathryn McNeil 58
Harry B McNeil 29, real estate
1930: Brooklyn, 9th street, own $16,000,
Harry B Mcneil 35, father born Canada, widowed, salesman real estate,
Catherine Mcneil 67, mother, widowed
MCNEIL HARRY B. 1935-06-05 32466 207
MCNEIL KATHERINE 1955-06-01 32466 207
1912: At probate of John McNeil Joan Watson was listed as a sister,
address 117 Leonard Brooklyn -
Mary McNeil McLachlan (McLaughlan) circa 1850 Scotland, married Angus McLaughlin
1912: At the probate of John McNeil, Mary McLachlin was
listed as a sister, address 250 Madison.
Supreme Court Papers on
Appeal from order (a printed document) 1911
Brooklyn Ward 17, Kings, New York, Leonard Street, Angus Mclaughlan 67, salesman iron works, born Scotland, immigrated 1852,
Mary Mclaughlan 50, born Scotland, immigrated 1865,
Angus Mclaughlan 25, foreman ship yard,
William Mclaughlan 20, shipping clerk,
Robert Mclaughlan 17, at college,
James Mclaughlan 27, forman Iron works,
Mary Quinn 20, boarder, servant, children all born New York
"Some thirty years ago Mr. Donald McNeil commenced the business which has
now developed into that carried on at the present time by the Columbia Iron Works
(Iron crossed out and
"Engineering" entered in pen). Mr. Donald McNeil carried on this-
business for some time and finally he admitted into the business his brother, Mr. John McNeil,
as a partner.
There is more!!!!
Mr. Donald McNeil and his brother carried on the business together for some
considerable time and finally they incorporated the business under the title
Columbia Engineering Works, Inc. Stock in the company was equally divided between
the brothers, each receiving 400 shares, but there was a considerable amount
of stock authorized but left unissued.
Of these 400 shares John McNeil, one of the brothers, transferred 131 shares to his son,
John R. McNeil. Finally, John McNeil, the brother, died and thereupon his son,
John R. McNeil, was elected Secretary and Treasurer of the company.
The Brooklyn Trust Company is the executor of John McNeil and as such holds 267
shares of stock. For some purpose one share of stock has been transferred from the
former holdings of John McNeil to Kate McNeil, his widow, and one share has
been transferred to Max Arens, who is the lawyer for John R. McNeil, the nephew.
After the death of the brother, John McNeil, and the election of the nephew,
John R. McNeil, to be Secretary and Treasurer, matters went along smoothly
for some time. The successors and executor of the deceased brother,
John McNeil, holding 400 shares of stock and Donald McNeil and his
daughter and son-in-law holding 400 shares.
Matters went along smoothly and the company prospered, as it had always done, paying
large dividends from 10 per cent upwards, until a demand came from the nephew for
more salary. At this time the nephew's salary as Secretary and Treasurer had already
been increased until it equaled that of the President, Donald McNeil, but the nephew,
John R. McNeil, was not satisfied to draw the same salary as the founder of the business,
his uncle, Donald McNeil, but insisted on receiving more salary than he.
This situation produced a disagreement between the founder of the company, its President,
and the nephew, its Secretary and Treasurer, and the controversy now before the
court grew out of the difference thus arising.
The nephew being thus balked in his effort to obtain an increase of his salary,
set about to gain the control of the corporation and to that end he made a
combination with one John Watson, who was an employee of the company.
John Watson held a contract with the two brothers, Donald McNeil and John McNeil
(now deceased) whereby he claimed to be entitled to
receive 50 shares of stock of the Columbia Engineering Works. This agreement,
dated April 1, 1905, contemplated and provided, however, that John Watson was
not actually to have complete deminion over the stock he was to purchase, but in case
after the said stock had been fully paid for, the employment of the said Watson by the
said company should cease from any cause, then that the said Watson would sell the said
stock to the parties of the first part, viz. : the said brothers, Donald and John McNeil,
for the sum of $5,000. In furtherance of the plan of the nephew and said Watson, to
gain control of the company, the said Watson paid to Donald McNeil and to the
representatives of his brother, John McNeil, the balance remaining unpaid upon
the purchase price of the said 50 shares of stock, but before the said 50 shares
of stock were delivered to the said Watson he was discharged by the President
of the company, Donald McNeil, and his discharge was ratified by the hold-over board
of directors of said company which, under the order appealed from, holds over by
reason (if said order is correct) of the setting aside of the election of the new board.
The next step taken by the nephew, John R. McNeil, and his co-worker, Watson, to secure
the control of the company, was to bring an action in equity to obtain an
injunction therein against Donald McNeil restraining him from voting any part
of the 50 shares which the said Watson was, by the said agreement, contemplated
to hold until he might be discharged or otherwise sever his connection with
the Columbia Engineering works. On February 16, 1911, the Columbia Engineering Works
having at that time its bank account overdrawn, the directors, at a meeting
duly called, resolved to issue and sell $5,000 par of the stock of the company
remaining authorized but unissued. John R. McNeil failed, contrary to his duty,
to attend that meeting of directors and at that meeting 50 shares of stock were
sold to Frank W. Post. Said Post thereupon paid for said stock and the
money was at once used to make good the overdraft of the company in the bank.
Subsequently, the said money paid in by Post on his subscription, was checked out
and used in the regular business of the company on the checks of John R. McNeil as
Treasurer. Although the said John R. McNeil paid out the money paid in by Post on his
subscription, he now complains of the subscription and says that he was given no
opportunity to subscribe for his proportionate part of the stock in proportion to
his 131 shares. He will probably pretend that he did not know that the money he was
paying out was the money which Post had paid on his subscription, but as he was
the Treasurer of the company it was his duty to "know and his pretense that he
did not know cannot now avail him, because whether he knew or not, he is charged
with knowledge. In the face of such acts by John R. McNeil, it is inconceivable
that he at least can have any tenable claim for any participation in the issue of $5,000 of stock,
which was subscribed for by Post.
At no time has Donald McNeil voted his stock to oust his nephew from any voice in
the management of the company. Even at the last election, which has been set aside,
when the controversy between the two factions had become acute, the board
elected by the votes of Donald McNeil includes John R. McNeil, and all the
votes of Donald McNeil were cast for John R. McNeil and he was elected
an officer of the company with the consent and co-operation of Donald McNeil,
so that Donald McNeil has shown every disposition to be more than fair with his nephew.
Since the last election the "hold-over board" has elected a Treasurer in John R. McNeil's place,
but as McNeil refused to recognize or co-operate with that board there was nothing else
for them to do if they proposed to conduct the affairs of the company pending
the new election. If the election of April 20, 1911, is as Donald McNeil claims
it was, legally had, and as he attempted to have it, and if
it be in accordance with his vote as stockholder and director on said April 20, 1911,
the officers and directors Of the company stand today as follows:
Donald McNeil, Director and President;
John R. McNeil, Director and Secretary;
Frank W. Post, Director and Treasurer.
Nothing could be more magnanimous and considerate than the conduct of Donald McNeil towards
his nephew, John R. McNeil.
No greater injustice could be done than for Donald McNeil, the founder of this company,
the man who has given his life to its advancement, to be removed from the management.
The prosperity of the Columbia Engineering Works and the business which it represents,
is the life work of Donald McNeil. He is comparatively an old man and no greater
injustice could be done than to forcibly eject him from his connection with
the management of the company. The willingness of his nephew to do this is an
illustration of the extent and bitterness to which members Of the same family
may be brought when a family quarrel is under way.
Whatever may be, the discretion Of the court should certainly be
exercised in favor of Donald McNeil, and the idea of pretending, as is pretended
on the motion to have this case preferred if an enumerated motion, that the company
will be wrecked by him if the management is not turned over to his nephew,
is perfectly absurd, unjustifiable and unreasonable.
Columbia Engineering Works
David Campbell (1838-1897)
David Campbell died suddenly from heart failure on March 18, 1897 in his office at E. W. Bliss & Co.
Adams street where he had been employed. He has worked as a ship repairer
for the government at Port Royal during the Civil War. Born in Rochester, N. Y., the son of James Campbell
(who was well known in Rochester)
David Campbell had been a master mechanic at the navy yard and for twenty years was the
superintendent at the Columbia Iron Works where he was a designer and inventer. He had been in Brooklyn for 35 years.
He lived at 47 South
Elliot Place, Brooklyn.
He died before a doctor could be called. Buried Greenwood. Survived by his widow the former Sarah Acheson and a daughter.
James Clyde (c 1851-1901), Ireland Boilermaker,
1873 Marriage: David Campbell to Sarah A Acheson, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
1875: Ward 20,
David Campbell 36, boarder, engineer,
1878: David Campbell,
Adams h 14 Gallatin pl,
Brooklyn, New York,
Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1878
1880: Fulton Street, David Campbell 44, machinist,
Sarah Campbell 40, and a servant
1892: Ward 11, Campbell, David 54, machinist,
Sarah 52, Louisa 13 and a servant.
NYC Death Index: Campbell, David age 59, Mar 18, 1897 Kings 4383
In June 1901 the Tugboat John S Heath, a small 20 ton craft, owned by the Knickerbocker Ice Company sank
in the Buttermilk Channel. James Clyde, age 54, of 131 Dykman Street, a boiler maker,
who was at work on the boiler of the tug was drowned. At the time of the accident the
tug was being towed from 12th street by the tug William Anderson to the Columbia Engineering Works at the Atlantic Basin.
The captain of the tug and three other men who on board were saved.
The captain was Lawrence H Willet. A deck hand was William Hines. The two others
were boiler makers with the
Columbia Engineering works. They were not named.
The boat apparently sank suddenly and without warning. Willet and a boiler maker on
deck were thrown from the boat and rescued. Clyde was inside the boiler and
could not get out in time. There was no explanation for the sinking of the boat;
it was said to have been in good condition with the exception of the patch needed in the boiler.
(BE, June 9th)
In another article which mentioned that his body had been removed
from the engine room of the heath,
Clyde was listed as age 43 (BE, June 10th)
1901: James Clyde,
Birth Date: abt 1852,
Death Date: 10 Jun 1901,
Death Place: New York, New York,
Certificate Number: 10360
James Clyde was listed as a office of the Boiler makers Brotherhood in July
Brooklyn June 23, 1901 Bro. James Clyde, died June 9, 1901
age 54. At the time of his death he was on the board of the trustees of
Lodeg 171 and "a true union man in every sense of the word; one who had the respect
and confidence of employer and shop mates as well; a through mechanic and
capable workman. He was making
repairs on a boiler when drowned." (The Journal of the international Brotherhood of Boiler Makers)
His probate record listed his wife, Mary, and 10 children:
Anne and Maud. There was also a notation that he drown and "left
surviving him a cause of action at law through the negligence of the
Knickerbocker Lighterage Co.
1900: Ward 12, Brooklyn 131 Dykeman street,
James Clyde 48, born December 1851, Ireland,
immigrated 1892, boiler maker,
Mary Clyde 45, age 43 married 25 years 11 children 10 living,
born England, immigrated 1893,
William Clyde 20, born England, Imm 1893, pattern maker,
Edith Clyde 18, born England, Imm 1893, dipper confectionaries,
Isabella Clyde 16, born England, Imm 1893, roller confectionaries,
Elizabeth Clyde 13, born England, Imm 1893,
John Clyde 10, born England, Imm 1893,
James Clyde 8, born England, Imm 1893,
Annie Clyde 4, born NY,
Maud Clyde 3, born NY,
David Clyde 8/12, born NY
1901, May 23, James Clyde 131 Dykeman street born circa 1852 Ireland,
immigrated "October 3 1892" to New York occupation boiler maker
applied to become citizen in the Kings County Common Pleas.
The application was dismissed June 21, 1902.
1893: From Liverpool on the Majestic, 1 Nov 1893,
James Clyde, age 41, caulker,
Mrs. wife age 36,
Isabelle 9, Eliz, 7, Jno, 2, James 1, to Brooklyn, 8 pieces of luggage.
1910: Brooklyn Ward 8, 54th street,
Mary Clyde 53, widow, 11 children 10 living, immigrated 1894,
Elizabeth Clyde 23, typewriter, woolens,
John Clyde 20, electrician,
James Clyde 18, electrician,
Lillian Clyde 14,
Maud Clyde 13,
David Clyde 10
1925: Clyde, Mary W, age 68 born England,
Lillia A daughter 28, clerical,
Maud H daughter 26, clerical works,
Gilbride, Edith M daughter 1age 42, saleslady,
Gilbride, Edith granddaughter, 19 stenographer,
Clyde David son age 25 policeman,
clyde, Ethel M wife, age 24
In 1940 David Clyde was a patrolman.
William Clyde of 131 Dykeman street pattern maker became a citizen in
William Clyde 30, pattern maker, machine,
Mae Clyde 21, wife,
Edith Clyde 1, daughter,
Thomas H Sheridan 21, brother in law.
They were in Queens in 19195.
John G. Clyde married Gladys. They had two children John D and Dorothy.
He was an electrician listed in the 1920, 30 and 40 censuses.
James Clyde born Manchester England , electrician died July 10, 1911 at Ft. Slocum
New York, US Army.
Jeffery Jennings born in Brooklyn June 20, 1885 had a brief career with
Hanan & Sons, shoe manufacture, and then with the
Columbia Engineering Works, Erie Basin before being ordained in 1916.
He served during WWI as a chaplain. In 1928 he was the pastor of
Christ Chapel, Wolcott and Van Brunt streets.
Parker Henry Kemble
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim J. Jennings, also born in Brooklyn.
He went to work for Hanan shoes at age 16. Later he worked in the
office of Columbia Engineering Works.
In May 1918 he married Miss Bertha Howells.
1930: Schermerhorn street, Jeffrey Jennings 45, minister congregation,
Bertha E Jennings 45,
Jeffrey H Jennings 11
Parker H Kemble was born in Massachusetts circa 1872 the
son of Edmund and Addie (Smith) Kemble.
He married Celia C. Humphrey in
Brookline Mass on 11 October 1898.
Harvard Class of 1894: Kemble, Parker Henry, Columbia Engineering Works,
Brooklyn, N. Y., 1902 & 1904
Mr. Parker H. Kemble, formerly chief engineer of the drafting department of the motive
power and machinery bureau of the Boston Elevated Railway, of Boston. Mass., and recently engaged in engineering work
for utilities for New York, Toronto and Cincinnati, has entered the Sea Service Bureau of the
United States Shipping Board for the duration of the war. Mr. Kemple has been engaged lately in
aeroplane photography and special studies of navigation conditions for the Government and has taken special
interest in the naval side of the war, besides having taken the Plattsburg course in 1916
Died: Death: 24 May 1955 - Marblehead, Essex, MA (Massachusetts)
Metropolitan, Volume 13