Scatcherd Place is a short road off of Peabody Street. The street has never been more than just a short road leading to a driveway. Historically, this road led into Scatcherd and Son lumberyard, which later became Atlantic Lumber Company and is now owned by Battaglia Demolition. While the street might not be on many people’s radars, it is legal city-owned right-of-way, and was named after a prominent father-son team who may have been forgotten.
James Newton Scatcherd was born in Wyton, Ontario in 1824. He grew up on his father’s farm in London, Ontario. James’ father, John, was a prominent Canadian citizen and a member of the Canadian Parliament for many years. James’ brothers Thomas and Robert both also served as members of the Canadian House of Commons.
James Scatcherd was taught about lumbering from an early age, as it was an important industry in his neighborhood. Mr. Scatcherd moved to Buffalo in 1852 as an agent of Famer, de Blaquiere & Deeds, lumber manufacturers, dealers and shippers. James took over the lumber firm in 1857 and became one of the principal lumber dealers in the United States. In 1879, James’ son, John Scatcherd, joined the firm and the firm was renamed Scatcherd & Son. The firm’s specialty was expensive hard woods.
James Scatcherd made two important contributions to the welfare of Buffalonians: First, when he became chairman of the Buffalo Water Commission, he found the water supply was controlled by favoritism and political influence. Politicians and friends obtained water for a small fee, while other consumers were charged more. He served for 4 years as chairman of the Water Commission and established equal rates for all consumers, and established efficient management of the water system. Secondly, Mr. Scatcherd served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo General Hospital. At the time, the institution was burdened with large amounts of debt, and was cutting services due to budget constraints. Within ten years of James’ leadership, the hospital was completely out of debt.
Mr Scatcherd married Annie Belton of Fairfield, Canada. Mr. Scatcherd was a founder and trustee of the Delaware Avenue M.E. Church (built by Selkirk, now known as Babeville). James and Annie had one son, John, and a daughter, Mrs. Seward Cary. James died in 1885 and is buried in Forest Lawn.
John Scatcherd was also a prominent member of Buffalo society. He was a leader in the lumber industry and served as president of The National Wholesale Lumber Association and the Buffalo Lumber Exchange. John had a part in business interests including the Batavia and New York Wood Working Company, the Bank of Buffalo, and the Ellicott Square Corporation, all of which he was President. He was a director in the Buffalo Railway Company (which became the I.R.C), the Market Bank, the Third National Bank, and the Buffalo Loan, Trust and Safety Deposit Company.
From 1900-1901, Mr. Scatcherd spent most of his time working as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Pan-American exposition. When President McKinley was shot at the Exposition, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was summoned to Buffalo. Due to President McKinley’s seemingly improving health, Mr. Roosevelt left Buffalo. When the President died, the scramble to get Mr. Roosevelt to Buffalo for the Oath of Office left him without a suitable hat. John Scatcherd loaned Theodore his hat and Mr. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 26th President. (You can learn more about Roosevelt’s inauguration by visiting the TR Inaugural Site on Delaware Avenue)
John Scatcherd married Mary Eunice Wood in 1879. They had two children, a daughter Madeline Steele Scatcherd and a son, James Newton Scatcherd. John Scatcherd died in 1917 and is buried near his father in Forest Lawn.
Be sure to check out the Street Index to learn about other streets.
- Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York. The Genealogical Publishing Company: New York-Buffalo, 1906.
- “Scatcherd Street Honors Memory of Civic Leaders, Father and Son”. Courier Express, April 9, 1939, sec. 5, p.10.