Charles Frederick Berwind (1846-1890)

Charles F. Berwind, Founding Partner of the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company

He was born in Philadelphia to German parents. At the age of fifteen in 1861, he started his career as an office boy in the firm of R.H. Powel & Co. He quickly rose within its ranks and having been selected as assistant to the President of the newly formed Powelton Coal & Iron Company, by the time he was 21 he was promoted to Vice-President. In 1869, he took over the Powelton Company and established Berwind & Bradley that joined White & Lingle in 1874. His business prowess was now well-known and he was appointed President of the Pennsylvania & Northwestern Railroad Company and a director of the Girard Life Insurance Company plus various other coal and lumber firms. In 1886, he was joined in business by his younger brother, Edward Julius Berwind, and they co-founded the Berwind-White Coal Mining Company, working closely with J.P. Morgan until the firm was considered the largest coal mining company in the world. But, Charles did not live long enough to see its success, dying prematurely in 1890. He was the father of four daughters who were all taken under the wing of their uncle Edward after Charles died and spent much time at his palatial residence in Newport, The Elms. Two of his daughters married into the German aristocracy, and Edith resided at the Villa de Saugy on Lake Geneva, once owned by another German-American, John Jacob Astor
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 03/06/2019 and last updated on 02/04/2020.