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Hermann H Cammann

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From The University Magazine, volume X, number 1, January 1894


Hermann H. Cammann.

MR. CAMMANN has not been prominent in political life but, of late years, few philanthropic or reform movements have missed his countenance or openly active participation. The ability he has shown in them is due, not only to his natural and ingrained honesty, integrity of purpose and ceaseless activity, but also to his wide experience in the conduct of mercantile affairs and as director in large corporations. Mr. Cammann has long been prominently identified with the real-estate interests of this city, and on such subjects is probably one of the best informed men in the business. He first came to the front in 1877 as one of the originators, directors, and most active members of the West Side Association, an organization of wealthy owners and buyers of property west of Central Park between Fiftyninth and One Hundred a,nd Twenty-fifth Streets. Among the other active members were John Jacob Astor, IV., Joseph VV. Drexel, Roscoe Conkling, D. Willis James, Russell Sage, Edward Clark, Dwight H. Olmstead, Johnston Livingston, John D. Crimmins, Amos R. Eno, and many others, representing over $300,000,000 in wealth. Through Mr. Cammann's direct efforts, the whole region was cleared of over 750 "cliff dwellings" or shanties. The association caused miles and miles of streets to be opened, graded, sewered, paved, and made ready for the boom which began in 1882 and built it up.


He was one of the founders and the first Vice-President of the RealEstate Exchange of New York, and afterwards served as its President for three consecutive terms. He was largely instrumental in carrying through the negotiations which enabled Columbia to purchase its new Bloomingdale property. The Trustees of Columbia appointed him a member of its Finance Committee even before he had taken his seat in the board to which he has just been elected. In the organization of the Real Estate Loan and Trust Company, Mr. Cammann took active part, and was elected Vice-President and a Director. He has for years managed Yale's property interests in this city ; has been for years a Governor of the New York Hospital and Chairman of its Real Estate Committee; a Director of the Real Estate Exchange, of the St. Nicholas Society, House of Mercy, Home for Old Men and Aged Couples ; on the Advisory Committee of St. Mary's Free Hospital for Children ; a Trustee of the Trinity Association, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and, like his father and grandfather, a Vestryman of Old Trinity Church.


In politics he is a Republican. He is not an active club man, though a member of the Church, City, and Down-Town Clubs. He takes deep interest in his charming country-seat, " Lindenmere," a place of one hundred and eighty acres at Merrick, L I., overlooking the ocean.  Mr. Cammann was born January 30, 1845. His grandfather, Charles L. Cammann, a prominent New York merchant, married Mane M. Oswald. Their son, George Philip Cammann, eminent as a physician prior to his death in 1863, was A.B. of Columbia, 1825, and M.D. of Rutgers Medical C ollege 1828, and Fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1844. Columbia's alumni roll holds the names of Edward, 1855 ; Henry J., 1856 ; J., Lorillard, i860 ; and Donald M. (Oxon.), 1879, all his immediate relatives.  Mr. Cammann's mother, Catherine, was the daughter of Jacob Lorillard, and granddaughter of Dr. J. C. Kunze, formerly Professor of Oriental Languages in Columbia. He himself married, 1873, Ella C, daughter of Edward C. Crary and Cornelia Livingston, and granddaughter of Robert Fulton, of steam navigation fame. Of their three sons, one is a student at Trinity. He is loved by his friends, and honored and respected by every man.




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