Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Disstons in:
 • Laurel Hill Cemetery
 • Philadelphia
 • Philadelphia County
 • Pennsylvania
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Henry Disston
Birth: May 23, 1819
Death: Mar. 16, 1878

Business Magnate. Social Reformer. Orphaned at fourteen, with a sixteen year old sister to support, he got a job as an apprentice saw maker. He learned to make saws and the machines that produced them. He developed a tempered steel that guaranteed that his saws were both flexible and strong. Operating out of a basement, Disston started his own business in 1840. Despite obstacles, he had real success when he chose to build his factory in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. He not only saw himself building a factory, but a working class community in which workers would live in homes with open space and have a chance to own their own houses. Disston saw a responsibility to meet his workers' economic, social, and cultural needs. In 1872, construction began on the saw factory. By 1876 the workers' homes were built. Money to buy homes was available through a building and loan association established by Disston; he even gave cash advances to guarantee that his employees could buy their homes. Disston even piped fresh water from the Delaware River to Tacony. He built a school, the Tacony Music Hall, and a library containing two thousand books. A newspaper was established. A firehouse was built; Disston's eldest son Hamilton , was an integral part of it. Tacony even had its own scientific society. All of these projects were supported by Henry Disston's money. His wife, Mary, built Disston Memorial Presbyterian Church in honor of her husband, a devout Presbyterian. A community park was laid out by Disston to provide a visual barrier between the houses and the factories. (bio by: rjschatz) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Amanda Mulvina Bickley Disston (1823 - 1842)*
  Mary Steelman Disston (1821 - 1895)*
 
 Children:
  Mary Ann Disston (1842 - 1842)*
  Martha Disston (1842 - 1842)*
  Hamilton Disston (1844 - 1896)*
  Amanda M. Disston (1846 - 1851)*
  Franklin Disston (1847 - 1848)*
  Albert Horace Disston (1849 - 1883)*
  Amanda I. Disston (1851 - 1851)*
  Mary Disston Gandy (1852 - 1878)*
  Horace C. Disston (1855 - 1900)*
  William Disston (1859 - 1915)*
  Jacob S. Disston (1862 - 1938)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Bridge Section, Lot 1-2-3-4
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: rjschatz
Record added: Jul 18, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11377562
Henry Disston
Added by: Anthony S
 
Henry Disston
Added by: Russ Dodge
 
Henry Disston
Added by: Russ Dodge
 
There are 6 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

I light a candle for Henry Disston ...
- Candles
 Added: Jan. 21, 2012
Happy Birthday!
- Jackie Howard
 Added: May. 23, 2011

- grave hunter
 Added: Dec. 31, 2010
There are 34 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 29 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service