Copyright 2000-2020 John N. J. Lupia, III

Alexander Henry De Haven (1836-1912), was born on November 1, 1836 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of Hugh De Haven (1788-1860), and Zipporah Dill White De Haven (1807-1871).

Alexander Henry De Haven and his brother Hugh De Haven ran the banking house of De Haven & Brother at 20 South Third Street, Philadelphia after the death of their father in 1860. Later on renumbered to 40 Third Street.

In 1860, Alexander De Haven married Clara Robinson (1840-1861). She died in childbirth to a son who died in infancy.

In 1864, he married Mary Anne Townsend (1839-1872). Their son Walter Townsend De Haven (1867-1904) became a partner in the family firm.

In 1875, he married Henry Lister Townsend's sister Rebecca Virginia Townsend (1849-1927) at Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware. They had a son William Brown De Haven (1876-1949)

De Haven & Townsend were a silver money exchange brokerage at 40 South Third Street, Philadelphia when Henry Chapman, Sr., entered the business and may have worked with them. Seeing the profitability in silver exchange besides his tea import business he sent his sons Henry, Jr., and Samuel Hudson to work for John White Haseltine's coin shop to learn the trade. By the date of this circular postal card the Chapmans established their coin trading, antiques and curio firm the previous year and advertised their coin cabinet a modified type caddy for printers invented by an uncle. Whereas the De Haven & Townsend families went on to become major bankers, stock brokers and illustrious notables of finance.

Their circular of January 13, 1879 brings to life the sorry state of U.S. silver currency as bullion depreciated which coin dealers enjoyed getting that slight edge when buying large lots and would cherry pick rare coins having premium values.

Postal Card mailing circular advertising heavy dealers in American silver and paper money. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Alexander Henry De Haven (1836-1912) and Henry Lister Townsend (1847-1903) were the partners in their Philadelphia silver and commodities exchange firm. DeHaven had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Later on in 1895 their sons Walter Townsend De Haven and Robert Y. Townsend were also partners in the firm. The firm lasted nearly 100 years.

Walter T. De Haven and the Chapman Brothers were members of the Cricket Club.

De Haven & Townsend advertisement in the New York Tribune, January 1, 1903. Their firm was also located at 428 Chestnut Street, Drexel Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alexander De Haven also was on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Surety Company, an insurance firm at 1414 South Penn Square, Philadelphia.Though shortly afterwards he moved to New York City.

Alexander Henry De Haven died at his home in Manhattan on April 16, 1912. His funeral was held at St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church West End and his burial in Wilmington, Delaware.

Alexander Henry De Haven tomb, Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware.


Photograph of Henry Lister Townsend published in Moses King, Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians (1902) : 39 photo of Townsend.

Henry Lister Townsend (1847-1903), was born at Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware, the son of Zadock Townsend (1808-1876) and Virginia Rebecca Reynolds Townsend (1808-1878).

In 1871 he married Susan Springer Adams.

He died of Bright's disease on January 3, 1903, at Camden, South Carolina. He is buried at Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware.

The mansion of Henry Lister Townsend, 6013 Wayne Avenue, built in 1887, is one of Philadelphia's historic homes.

Bibliography :

Moses King, Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians (1902) : 39 photo of Townsend

Spectator, Thursday, May 11 (1905) : 244

The Sun [NY] Thursday, April 18, 1912 obit

John Langlois on his 1898 Revenue Stamp website