Name: Edward "Rosebud and VR" Vose Babcock , Sr 1
Birth: 31 JAN 1864 in Fulton, Oswego County, NY 2
Note: farm near
Occupation: logging, lumber, coal, banking and farming businesses in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Elected or appointed 1911 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 3
Note: Attribute Value: city councilman
Elected or appointed BET 1918 AND 1922 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 3
Note: Attribute Value: Mayor
Elected or appointed 1920 Pennsylvania 4
Note: Attribute Value: delegate to the Republican National Convention
Elected or appointed BET 1925 AND 1927 Allegheny County, PA 5
Note: Attribute Value: State representative
Death: 2 SEP 1948 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 3 of heart attack
Burial: SEP 1948 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA 3
Note: Homewood Cemetery
Reference Number: 84296
1. The biggest industry around the turn of the century was timbering. Edward Vose Babcock and five associates chartered the Babcock Lumber Company in 1898 after purchasing 17 tracts with 6,415 acres in Somerset County (PA) for $100,000. A sa wmill was constructed along Shade Creek and equipped with a new Allis double-acting band saw, which enabled logs to be cut from both directions. A standard-gauge logging railroad was constructed through the Clear Shade area, and the town o f Ashtola grew. In 1901, Babcock Lumber Company grew by incorporating the James Curry & Son operation. The company became the fourth largest producer of lumber in the state, producing 64 million feet of lumber in 1905. In 1913, the last log w as cut at the Ashtola mill. In just 15 years, the Babcock Company had clear-cut the large virgin forest along the Allegheny Front, which today is known as the Babcock Division of Gallitzin State Forest.
2. From "The Book of Prominent Pennsylvanians", Leader Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, PA, 1913 online at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/aboutus.html:
Few business men of Pittsburgh possess a more notable record than Edward Vose Babcock, who was born near
Fulton, N. Y., January 31, 1864, the son of Leman B. Babcock, now living, and Harriet V. Babcock, deceased.
Babcock was born and raised on a farm in Oswego county, New York. He had the advantage of a common school
education only, but managed to teach school himself during the winters of his sixteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth
Mr. Babcock has been in the lumber business during his active career, entering the employment of the Michigan
Lumber Company when 20 years old. He came to Pittsburgh at the age of 25 and became busily engaged in the
lumber traffic. During all his stay in Pittsburgh he has followed this business.
Along with his other activities, Mr. Babcock is president of the Babcock Lumber Company, of Pennsylvania; the
Babcock Lumber and Boom Company, of West Virginia; the Babcock Brothers Lumber Company, of Georgia; the
Babcock Lumber and Land Company, of Tennessee: the Tellico River Lumber Company, of Tennessee, and of the
Babcock Coal & Coke Company, of West Virginia. He also is vice-president and director of the Columbia National
Bank of Pittsburgh, and director of the Colonial Trust Company of the same city. He was appointed a councilman for
the city of Pittsburgh by Governor John K. Tener in 1911, later being elected to the office by the people. Mr. Babcock
is a member of the following clubs: Duquesne, Union, Oakmont Country and the Country Club.
Although well-known among his business associates as a highly successful man in the lumber trade and equally
prominent among his social associates for his pleasing personality, Mr. Babcock attained the greatest amount of
public notice while serving as a member of council. His appointment to this body by the Governor and subsequent
election by the people emphasized the high esteem felt for the man as an honest citizen and an efficient public
officer. His service in council received warm commendation, as it was always apparent that Mr. Babcock earnestly
tried to acquaint himself with the needs of the city as they were presented to him, and to work out their solution in
the most practical and helpful manner. Always "on the job," Mr. Babcock as a councilman is ready to listen to
individuals or delegations with patience and willingness, and to consult with his confreres in office on small matters
as well as on bigger ones. He never gives judgment on any proposition placed before him without securing as much
illuminating information relative thereto as possible.
2. From "50 Years of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy", Dr. M. Graham Netting, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 1982:
Edward Vose Babcock was born on a farm near Fulton, Oswego Co., N.Y., on January 31, 1864 and was one of ten
original organizers of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1932.
In 1889, with $3,000 saved from various jobs, he joined his brother in forming the Babcock Lumber Company and
personally worked on extensive lumbering operations in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. He never did things in a
small way; when the young lady who later became his wife visited one of the camps, he pressed his courtship by
bringing an orchestra from Philadelphia to play on a flat car.
Considerably later, he served as World War I mayor of Pittsburgh following his election November 7, 1917. He was
appointed a county commissioner May 1, 1925, to replace Commissioner Gumbert, and was elected commissioner
in 1927. During his terms as mayor and county commissioner; the city and county experienced tremendous programs
of public improvements, including construction of the Liberty and Westinghouse Bridges; the Ohio River, Allegheny
River, Sawmill Run, and Babcock Boulevards; and the Municipal Airport-- all of these principally through his efforts--
and the establishment of North and South Parks through his personal initiative.
In Pittsburgh, he lived at 5135 Ellsworth Avenue, but he also had 600-acre Vosemary Farms in Pine Twp. Allegheny
County, where he had a fine herd of Holsteins and developed a herd of albino deer that numbered 17 when I saw it,
and the 15,000-acre Babcock Lodge, near Ogletown, Somerset County, where a herd of bison roamed. His hobbies
were hunting and fishing, and he enjoyed the out-of-doors so greatly that his dream was the establishment of public
parks for the enjoyment of all the people. He gave land for such purpose in many if not all of the states where Babcock
companies had lumbered. I have little doubt that he was the driving force that brought other community stalwarts
together to found the Greater Pittsburgh Parks Association.
His wife, Mary, active in many civic organizations -and so devoted to the Girl Scouts that Mary Lodge at Camp
Redwing perpetuates her memory-- had a nickname for her big, tough husband that I am certain no one else dared
Babcock lumbered thousands of acres of magnificent virgin forest, but he was a great civic developer; and he was
ahead of his time in creating parks for people long before this became politically popular. He succumbed to a heart
attack September 2,1948, at age 84, leaving one-third of his estate to charities, friends, and employees.
3. From Wikipedia:
Early life -
Edward Vose Babcock entered the lumber business from an early age. He ran successfully for City Council in 1911
and began making a political name for himself.
Pittsburgh politics -
Unlike his predecessor "Joe the builder", Babcock's administration had little time to implement much policy, they were
too busy dealing with the triple threat of a massive steel strike that created much social dissension and unrest, the 1918-
1919 flu pandemic that hit Pittsburgh especially hard, all this while at the family dinner tables and company lunch rooms
around the city the women's suffrage movement tested the strength of families and employers.
Despite all of those challenges to Babcock's focus on his agenda, he did make some lasting accomplishments including
expansion and ground breaking of new parks and playgrounds, along with the modernization of some key traffic arteries
within the city. In response to the suffrage movement, Babcock became the first mayor to appoint a woman to a cabinet
level position within the city.
Later life -
After leaving the mayor's office Babcock continued his political career at the county level, becoming a commissioner in
1927. During his rule of Allegheny County he was successful in pushing through the opening of the Allegheny County
Airport in West Mifflin, he also was instrumental in providing county help to the city for the opening of the triplet bridges
(Clemente, Warhol and 9th).
He was also extremely generous, purchasing at personal expense 4,000 acres (16 kmē) of land for the expansive "North
Park" and "South Park" in the county. He retired in 1931 and died in 1948, being buried in Homewood Cemetery, an
historic, nonsectarian burial ground in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is located in Squirrel Hill and is bordered by both
Frick Park and the neighborhood of Point Breeze. It was established in 1878 from William Wilkins? 650-acre estate,
Babcock Boulevard in the North Hills of Pittsburgh is named for him.
4. From the "Township of Pine, 1796-1996", Pine Township Historical Committee, page 87:
Edward Voss (sic) Babcock (1864-1948)
Edward V. Babcock, one of the nation's foremost lumbermen, was a city councilman & mayor of Pittsburgh from 1918 until
1921. Babcock was born in 1864 on a farm near Fulton, NY. He worked on his father's farm & became a school teacher at
the age of 16. Later, he continued his schooling at Bridgeton, NJ, & then went to work in a Michigan lumberyard. In 1890,
he came to Pittsburgh because he considered it "the most hustling city in the U.S."
With his two brothers, Babcock developed a tract in Somerset County & removed timber from some 65,000 acres. They later
launched into a new field & organized the Babcock Coal & Coke Company, with mines & coke ovens in West Virginia.
One of the accomplishments of which he was proudest & of which all residents of Pine Township have been benefactors, was
the development of the Allegheny County Park systems....
Mr. Babcock married Mary D. Arnold of Reading, Pa., on June 2, 1903, & they had three children-Dorothy, Edward V. Jr. &
Fred C. The 600-acre Vosemary farm in Pine Township where they lived was a showplace in Western Pa. for many years.
Here they entertained many heads-of-state, including the King & Queen of Belgium, Marshal Foch, Charles Lindberg & other.
The Babcocks also had a home in Pittsburgh on Ellsworth Ave. In addition, many of the most pleasurable hours were spent
by E.V. (as he liked most to be called) with his favorite hobbies, hunting & fishing, at his Babcock Lodge near Ogletown in
Somerset County. This was the site of his first lumbering operation.
5. There are many online articles about Edward's Florida land holdings and what his 40 some odd descendants needed to do with the land to prevent an enormous tax liability, e.g. http://www.bigbuilderonline.com/industry-news.asp?sectionID=382 &articl eID=385415. A more historical article follows from http://www.babcockranchflorida.com/tabid/60/Default.aspx:
Babcock Ranch History -
Originally lured to the area for hunting, Pittsburgh lumber magnate Edward Vose Babcock purchased the 91,000-acre
tract of land known as Crescent Ranch B in 1914. At the time, the Babcock Ranch property stretched across a
significant portion of Southwest Florida and was used for logging and agriculture. Despite the phenomenal growth in
Florida since then, Babcock Ranch has continued to exist much as it did when E.V. Babcock first purchased it,
thanks to the tremendous stewardship of the Babcock Family.
In the 1930?s, Fred C. Babcock, the son of Edward, assumed day-to-day responsibility of managing the Ranch. A
great advocate for preserving natural spaces, Fred Babcock is credited with establishing the tradition of cattle ranching
and stewardship that has become synonymous with Babcock Ranch.
In keeping with this commitment to the land, Fred began the process of replenishing the depleted forests on the
Babcock property. He oversaw the management of the property to ensure its continued beauty. He arranged for the
elimination of exotic plant species and also established some of the property?s more creative endeavors, such as
alligator, ostrich, and Buffalo farming.
In the 1940?s, Fred entered into a deal with Florida?s Commission of Game and Fresh Water Fish (the predecessor
to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) to sell 19,200 acres and donate substantial additional acreage
that would become the Fred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area. During the course of Fred?s tenure
at the Ranch, he also donated large amounts of land to the State on the condition that it be set aside for preservation.
Fred managed the property with this attention to sustainability and stewardship until his death in 1997 at the age of 83.
After Fred?s death, the Babcock Florida Company created a plan to divide the Ranch into parcels. The plan included a
20,000-acre planned city of up to 50,000 residents. The remaining property would continue to be used as a cattle ranch
with a portion of the land being donated to the State. The state of Florida entered into discussions to purchase the
entire Babcock property, but the negotiations eventually dissolved when the family was unable to reach an agreement
with the State.
The climate of conservation that surrounds Babcock today is due in great part to the philosophies and management
principals established by the Babcock Family. As Florida?s ranch lands began to disappear, the Babcock property
prospered. Babcock Ranch is one-of-a-kind in Florida and its preservation is important to the surrounding communities
as well as the State.
Babcock Ranch Overview 2007 -
Straddling the border between Charlotte and Lee counties, the 91,000- acre Babcock Ranch was one of the largest
remaining undeveloped tracts of privately-owned land in Florida. Decades of responsible land management and
environmental stewardship by the Babcock family had maintained this diverse stretch of cypress domes, swamps,
mesic flat woods and open pastures as a true environmental treasure.
Babcock Ranch was long considered a priority acquisition of the Florida Forever land acquisition program, but the
dream of preserving the Ranch appeared to have reached an end when the State and the Babcock family ended all
negotiations in the spring of 2005.
Many would-be purchasers courted the family with significant offers, eager to buy the land, divide it into ranchettes
under existing zoning rules and then sell the Ranch piece by piece. This scenario, however, was not the Babcock
family?s vision for the property that they had so carefully managed for generations.
Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, approached the Babcock family with a proposal that would not
only solve the family?s tax liability problem, but would maintain stewardship of Babcock Ranch. Syd had two goals: 1)
develop a plan that ensured the preservation of the environmentally sensitive land on the property, and 2) create a
community that exemplifies how preservation and responsible growth can complement one another.
In July 2005, Babcock Florida Company contracted to sell the Company to Kitson & Partners. As part of the
agreement, Kitson & Partners worked with the State to develop a contract that would permanently preserve more than
80% of Babcock Ranch (a tract of land the size of Philadelphia). Just over one year later, Kitson & Partners and the
State of Florida closed on the largest land acquisition in State history.
The significance of this environmental achievement cannot be overstated. The purchase ensures that a wildlife corridor
stretching from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico will remain untouched.
The existing business operations ? cattle ranching, sod farming, ecotours, rock mining and timber cultivation - will
continue. Kitson & Partners will retain management of the ranching operations for ten years. By then, the State will
have an established management plan and there can be a seamless transition. Our goal is to make sure the
conscientious care that has been the hallmark of this environmental treasure continues for generations to come.
Kitson & Partners believes that the development plan for Babcock Ranch could be a cure for the urban sprawl that is
currently overtaking Florida. The creation of a sustainable community comprised of homes, schools, businesses and
retail centers clustered on one portion of the Ranch is the economic driver that made the preservation of more than
80% of Babcock Ranch possible.
Father: Leaman B Babcock b: 30 OCT 1833 in Fulton County, NY
Mother: Harriet Amanda Vose b: 23 FEB 1837 in Westerly, Washington County, RI
Mary D Arnold b: ABT 4 FEB 1889 in Reading, Berks County, PA
2 JUN 1903
in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA probably 6
- Dorothy Babcock b: AFT 1903 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA probably
- Edward Vose Babcock Jr b: AFT 1903 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA probably
- Fred C Babcock b: 11 AUG 1913 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA probably
- Author: Various
Title: Newspaper, periodical, or other publication
Publication: Name: Various; Location: Subject Surname Source File;
Source Medium: Other
Page: See articles in person's notes
- Title: ? Place Rec: Fulton, Oswego County, NY
Author: Place Rec Id [P1597]
Source Type: Place Details
- Title: ? Place Rec: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA
Author: Place Rec Id [P1341]
Source Type: Place Details
- Title: ? Place Rec: Pennsylvania
Author: Place Rec Id [P61]
Source Type: Place Details
- Title: ? Place Rec: Allegheny County, PA
Author: Place Rec Id [P2965]
Source Type: Place Details
- Title: ? Place Rec: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PA probably
Author: Place Rec Id [P843]
Source Type: Place Details