Henry Clay Frick

Henry Clay Frick was born in 1849 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

He was born poor and in ill health but had a drive to succeed. In the industrial era in Appalachia, he seized his chance. He organized a company that made coke which fired the steel mills of Andrew Carnegie.

During the Panic of 1873 he acquired the property of most of his rivals and enjoyed a virtual monopoly. For years he was known as Carnegie’s Right Hand Man and was Chairman of the Board at Carnegie Steel. He was largely responsible for the handling of the infamous Homestead Strike of 1892 which resulted in an assasination attempt.

Frick also had personal tragedy. He lost a beloved young daughter to a lenghthy infection. He had her picture on his checks. In later life he went to court against Carnegie, forcing a settlement that produced United States Steel, in which he held stock. He devoted a large part of his fortune to charity and bequests. He donated a park to Pittsburgh and his extensive art collection, part of which is in museums and the rest housed at his former home Clayton, now the Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh.

His great grandaughter, Martha Frick Symington Sanger has written a book about his life.