Horace Spence Barker Treadwell

(July 24, 1863 - 1953)

Secretary & 2nd Vice President
Union Ice Company


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Horace Treadwell was born in New Brunswick, Canada on July 24, 1863. He was the youngest child of William Charles Treadwell and Jane Elizabeth Barker. He had five brothers and one sister. The latter, Mary Louisa was born on January 13, 1858, but died young, after 10 years, on March 22, 1868. Little is known of his brother Charles Herbert, born April 20, 1849, except that he’s buried in the Old Graveyard in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He died on December 8, 1850. His second brother George Frederic, who was born March 31, 1851, was also buried there after his death on September 2, 1856. There is a trace of information on the third child, Clarence William, born July 5, 1854. Newspaper articles indicate that he left New Brunswick and worked for the Canadian Department of Finance in Ottawa. The fifth child, Ernest Frederic, born April 8, 1862, died January 3, 1937 and little is known of him.

The youngest of the children, Arthur Upton, born May 4, 1870 and died June 19, 1948 led a colorful life and will be mentioned in another paragraph. He was a dentist and then worked overseas for much of his life.

Horace attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 1886 and 1887 and also in 1887 and 1888 where he majored in medicine but he did not graduate nor did he become a doctor. United States census reports show that he came to the U. S. in 1890 but it’s unknown where he entered. The censuses also show that he married Julienne Marie Bertha Lemal, born November 4, 1873. One of the many mysteries of the family is where these two met. Her namesakes came from Belgium. They were imported to teach the Americans how to smelt zinc and many worked in the mid-west for U. S. Steel Corporation. Unfortunately the Lemals are as elusive as some of the Treadwells. The census first shows them living in Philadelphia where they possibly married in 1892. They had three children, Helen Frances, who was born in March 1893, Marie Elizabeth, who was born in March 1895 and my father, William Charles Horace Treadwell who was born July 1896. All of the children were born in New Jersey according to the 1900 census.

The 1920 census shows the family living on Wayne Avenue in East Orange, New Jersey, but this counting indicates that my father was born in Philadelphia. There is probably some credence to that since his discharge papers from the U. S. Army show him entering the service from Pennsylvania.

These census show that Horace was a bookkeeper by trade, and this is later borne out by the fact that a city directory for Newark, New Jersey, lists him as an employee of Union Ice Company whose main office was at 196 Market Street in 1906. He apparently joined the company as an accountant and resided at 156 Peshine Street. The firm later branched out and the directory shows that they had fourteen locations throughout the Essex County, New Jersey, area. Horace was listed as an auditor in 1910 when he worked at the Market Street address and lived at 88 South 13th Street near 9th Avenue in the 11th Ward. 1911 shows him at 776 Broad Street and living at 285 Park Avenue between North 7th and Roseville Avenue in the 15th Ward.

Somehow, in 1904, he became involved with a company that incorporated in New Jersey. William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody founded the corporation and one of their holdings was a coalmine in Cody, Wyoming where Cody was from. A document from Paul Fees, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum in that city, attests to the fact that Horace, with 37 others, was a stockholder with one share of Common Stock. Apparently and according to Mr. Fees the “mine never amounted to much.” In spite of the fact that Horace was a minor holder he was obviously on social terms with Bill Cody. On April 5, 1907, Cody wrote him a note, which stated, “My Dear Treadwell, Here is a box to take the kids to the circus. I left some seats for tonight for Charlie and wife, I am busy getting the show opened. The next thing to open is our coalmine. I will be over tomorrow night. Yours truly, William F. Cody.” The envelope was sent to, “Mr. Treadwell, Secretary, Union Ice Company, of John S. Bell, 196 Market Street, Newark, New Jersey.” At that time Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was located at 27 East 22nd Street, New York City, in the Bailey Building. Incidentally, the postage was a two-cent stamp. This indicates that at that time the mine was not yet opened.

One interesting item is the fact that the letter was sent to Horace at the Union Ice Company “of John S. Bell.” He is shown in the city directory I referred to earlier as the Vice President and General Manager. This same Mr. Bell was “the former head of the United States Secret Service and he was a long time friend of Cody’s. Mr. Fees speculates that Cody was heading over to the Newark area on Saturday night to be with his friends – Horace included.

Papers handed down by one of Horace’s daughter, Marie Elizabeth, born May 1895, stated that during World War I, after Horace had been promoted to 2nd Vice President of Union Ice, the Federal Government seized the company under the Alien Property Act, since the principal bondholder and president was Gottfried Krueger. He was a wealthy brewer and not a U. S. citizen. I recall growing up in Newark and hearing about Krueger Bee. I find no other mention of the Union Ice Company.

Horace later became the superintendent of Overbrook Hospital in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. This was an Essex County facility for the insane and he remained in that capacity until he retired. There was a street at the hospital named in his honor. I visited there in 1985 but by the then hospital had become a jail facility for the criminally insane. It had deteriorated greatly from what I remembered as a child when my father would take me up to see my Grandmother and Grandfather. I recall one Sunday when he drove us to the hospital to see a newly acquired bull. The inmates also grew vegetables in garden plots so I assume that the hospital was fairly self-supporting.

Horace and Bertha lived in a small frame house, off of the hospital grounds, at 62 East Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. My father and I visited his parents there every Sunday. Horace died in 1953