Bethlehem Area Public Library

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CHARLES MICHAEL SCHWAB

One of the country’s foremost citizens and chairman of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, was born February 18, 1862, at Williamsburg, Blair County, Pa., a son of John A. and Pauline Farabaugh Schwab. He was educated in St. Francis’ College at Loretto, Pa.

In 1881 he obtained employment at the Edgar Thomson Works of the Carnegie Steel Company, and in less than a year was Captain Jones’ chief assistant. Upon the death of Captain Jones, he became Superintendent of the Edgar Thomson Works and in 1892, of the Homestead Works also; in 1897 was made President of the Carnegie Steel Company, and in 1901 became President of the United States Steel Corporation, continuing in that office until 1904, when he resigned to become President of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, in which he holds a large interest. He became Chairman of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1916, and it is under his skillful leadership that the Bethlehem Steel Corporation and its subsidiaries have developed their phenomenal growth and astonishing success.

He is a director in a large number of steel, coal, coke, and banking corporations, and a Trustee of both Lehigh and Cornell Universities. From Lehigh University in 1914, he received the degree of Doctor of Engineering; also holds a degree from Cornell University and in 1917 was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Lincoln Memorial University. He is a member of many clubs.

Public gifts bestowed by Mr. Schwab include a magnificent Roman Catholic Church at Loretto, Pa.; a church at Braddock, Pa.; a convent house at Cresson, Pa.; an Industrial School at Homestead, Pa.; a School at Weatherly, Pa.; an Auditorium to Pennsylvania State College; a Summer Sanatorium for Children, Staten Island; numerous gifts to Lehigh University, and the largest individual contribution to the new million dollar hill-to-hill bridge connecting Bethlehem, West Bethlehem, and South Bethlehem. He was chiefly instrumental in causing the consolidation of the Bethlehems under a city form of government.

He is a member of the City Planning Commission and chief guarantor of the famous Bach Choir which annually holds festivals at Lehigh University. Citizens of the community point with pride to the accomplishments of Mr. Schwab. He has given the city a band second to none in the state, and is one of the guarantors of the famous symphony orchestra. He was married in1883 to E. Eurana Dinkey and has a beautiful mansion at No. 111 Broadway, New York, besides his home in this city.

On April 16, 1918, Mr. Schwab, following a conference with President Woodrow Wilson, was appointed Director General of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, and he immediately turned his abilities solely to the vital work of building of ships. He has complete supervision and direction of the work of shipbuilding in all of the plants of the United States. Mr. Schwab’s name had been mentioned before for more than one government post, but he felt his position as head of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation one of the most essential of the war industries, was of vital importance. Mr. Schwab’s services were virtually commandeered by the government, meaning that his experience as a steel maker and builder of ships has been drafted for the nation to aid in the war against Germany. There can be no question that Charles M. Schwab will measure up to the tremendous task that has been assigned him, because he has never failed in anything to which he has set his hand.

 


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Charles Michael Schwab

 

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