Jay Morse - Partner of Pickands, Mather & Company

12725 Lake Shore Boulevard
Jay Morse
Jay Morse

In 1865, John Outhwaite and his associates, Samuel L. Mather and George Worthington persuaded Jay Morse to manage the Cleveland Iron Mining Company’s mines in Marquette, Michigan, a position he held for seventeen years. Mr. Morse equipped the mine with machinery and built one of the first great ore docks at Marquette. The company’s mines grew to be the most significant iron-ore producing district in the United States.

He also managed McComber Mine in Negaunee, Michigan, and was secretary and manager of the Bancroft Furnace.

In 1882, Morse returned to Northeast Ohio. He, along with Colonel James Pickands, joined Samuel Mather in 1883 for a partnership to engage in the sale of iron ore, pig iron, and coal, with initial interests in two small mines in upper Michigan and a wooden steamer. The company later became Pickands Mather & Co., a chief supplier of raw materials to the steel industry and one of four major ore companies in the United States who, at one time, had headquarters in Cleveland.

Mr. H. H. Porter, who had undertaken the reorganization of the Union Iron and Steel Company of Chicago in 1885, prevailed upon Morse to enter the field of manufacturing steel products. With the financial backing of Pickands Mather, he became the president of the new Union Steel Company with headquarters in Chicago. He was instrumental in the consolidation of Union Steel with the North Chicago Rolling Mills Company and the Joliet Steel Company, forming the Illinois Steel Company with him as the new president.

In 1901, J. P. Morgan engineered the creation of U.S. Steel, the world's largest business enterprise with Illinois Steel becoming part of this giant entity. Elbert H. Gary became president, and Morse returned to Cleveland.

Jay Collins Morse was born to Collins and Fannie Morse on March 24, 1838, in Painesville, Ohio. Fannie died six months after Jay was born. Jay received a good education in public schools but pushed by a restless spirit and the desire to begin his life induced him to leave home and school, and at age eighteen, he obtained a clerkship in the freight department of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad where he remained for seven years.

Jay married Mary Ann Outhwaite, daughter of John and Ann Outhwaite, in 1864. She was born in April 1838. Ann was the older sister of Caroline Martha Outhwaite, the wife of James Pickands. Jay and Mary Ann had one child: Gertrude Carolyn (Ely), born on September 22, 1868.

Mary Ann died on February 28, 1886, and was buried in Lake View Cemetery. Jay remarried on January 11, 1899, to his partner’s widowed second wife, Seville Samantha Hanna Pickands. She was born on March 30, 1846, to Leonard and Samantha Hanna.

Jay Morse died on August 22, 1906. Upon his death, Seville Morse became the first and only woman partner in Pickands Mather, a position she held until her death on June 26, 1927. Both Jay and Seville were buried in Lake View Cemetery.