James Laughlin (industrialist)

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James Laughlin
Born March 1, 1806
County Down, Ireland
Died December 18, 1882(1882-12-18) (aged 76)
Occupation financier
Known for Jones and Laughlin Steel
Spouse Ann Irwin
Children Eliza Irwin Laughlin, James Laughlin
Parents James and Eliza Laughlin
Relatives James Laughlin IV, Irwin B. Laughlin, Duncan Phillips

James Laughlin (March 1, 1806 – December 18, 1882) was an Irish-American banker and capitalist, a pioneer of the iron and steel industry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He was born near Portaferry in County Down, Ireland, the son of James Laughlin, Sr.[1] He was educated at Belfast, and after leaving school he assisted his father in taking care of his estate until age twenty, when his mother died and the family came to America. Upon his arrival he entered into partnership with his brother Alexander.[2]

Involvement in Pittsburgh

In 1854, Laughlin bought the retiring Bernard Lauth's interest in the steel partnership with Benjamin Franklin Jones.[3] The company was renamed Jones and Laughlin in 1861, later reorganized as J&L Steel.[4][5]

In 1844, Laughlin was appointed as a corporator to the board responsible for establishing the Allegheny Cemetery.[6] In 1852, Laughlin and his associates, including B.F. Jones, founded a banking organization that, when chartered, was the First National Bank of Pittsburgh,[3][7] later Pittsburgh National Bank.[8]

Laughlin was the first president of the Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.

He was a founder of the Pennsylvania Female College,[3] which later became Chatham University. Laughlin died on December 18, 1882.[3]


  1. Boucher, John Newton (1908). A century and a half of Pittsburg and her people. Lewis Pub. Co.. pp. 213. https://archive.org/details/acenturyandahal02jordgoog. "James Laughlin County Down."  |OCLC=13928977
  2. Boucher, John Newton; Jordan, John W. (1908). A Century and a Half of Pittsburg and Her People. New York: The Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 214–215. https://archive.org/details/centuryandhalfof04bouc/page/214/mode/2up. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Thurston, George H. (1888). Allegheny county's hundred years. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Digital Research Library. pp. 258–260. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?idno=00adg8023m;view=toc;c=pitttext. 
  4. "Family's Fourth". Time (April 13). April 13, 1936. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,756010-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  5. "Jones-Laughlin Steel to be Reorganized" (PDF). The New York Times (Aug. 6). 1922. https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1922/12/06/98793913.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  6. Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pa (1910). The Allegheny cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pa: its origin and early history, also a report of its condition, progress and business during the last ten years, June 1, 1900-May 31, 1910. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Digital Research Library. p. 13. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=pitttext;cc=pitttext;xc=1;g=pitttextall;type=simple;q1=James%20Laughlin;sort=occur;didno=00aa57263m;rgn=full%20text;idno=00aa57263m;view=image;seq=0013. 
  7. White, Edward (1903). A century of banking in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh, Digital Research Library. p. 19. http://digital.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/t/text/text-idx?idno=00afw8219m;view=toc;c=pitttext. 
  8. "Corporate History". PNC Legacy Project. PNC Financial Services. http://www.pnclegacyproject.com/corporate.html. 

External links

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