A Remembrance of John C. Lincoln
[Reprinted from the Henry George News, June,
1959, originally titled "John C. Lincoln -- He Was Our President".
Signed as authored by the Editorial Staff. It is assumed this was
written by Robert Clancy]
IN a tribute to John C. Lincoln on his last visit to the Henry George
School in New York, with Mrs. Lincoln, in July, 1957, on the occasion
of the 25th anniversary banquet, the vice president, Ezra Cohen,
saluted him "for a lifetime of keen understanding, of signal
accomplishment, and for a social conscience that expresses itself in
action." He became the school's third president upon the death of
Anna George de Mille, daughter of Henry George, in 1947.
Mr. Lincoln's remarks on that eve-ling were familiar to all who had
read his printed messages written in the forthright language of an
engineer. He was the author of Ground Rent, Not Taxes, and an
earlier book, Christ's Object in Life; also of a number of
booklets, the most recent of which are "Stop Legal Stealing"
and 'Should Land Have Selling Value?" Earlier treatises dealt
with "Scientific Taxation" and "The Natural Source of
Revenue for the Government."
As most readers are aware, John Lincoln founded the Lincoln Electric
Company in Cleveland in 1895. When he moved to Arizona for reasons of
health, his brother, James, became resident and remains now as
chairman of the board.
John C. was born at Painesville, Ohio. He studied electrical
engineering and soon became a construction superintendent. He worked
hard for s education, for he came from a modest family, but he soon
became an inventor and out of his inventive genius came the shielded
arc welding process which played an important role in the manufacture
of merchant ships in World War II. His was a many-faceted life. In
1924 he was the candidate for Vice President of the United States on
the Commonwealth Land party's ballot. He was an enthusiastic visitor
for summers at the meetings in Chautauqua, New York, and remained
until his death, a director of the Desert Mission of the Young Men's
Christian Association and the Good Samaritan Hospital in Arizona.
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln made home increasingly in Arizona, where in 1936
Mr. Lincoln built the Camelback Inn in Phoenix. He also kept busy as
president of the Bagdad Copper Corporation, as well as of the Lincoln
Foundation, which he founded in 1946. He is survived by Mrs. Lincoln,
two daughters and three sons. David, the youngest son, now living in
Cleveland with his wife and children, is a trustee of the Henry George
School in New York, holds an affectionate place in hearts of all who
The essential greatness and simplicity of the school's president were
described with characteristic brevity his son, David, also an
engineer, in 1957, when he wrote:
"Two cornerstones in my father's character are creativity and
belief in individual freedom. His creativity is illustrated by the
number of successful companies he has built into smooth-running
and by a large number of patents on electrical
"Dad has a keen sense about people, which enables him to get
along well in any situation. Underlying his relationship with others
is a basic respect for individuality and belief that one should be
free to determine his own life.
"These characteristics led him to study Henry George at an early
age. It took more than one reading of Progress and Poverty for
him to understand, all George's ideas, but once understood, he has
been vigorously advocating them ever since. His attraction to Henry
George is certainly understandable when one considers that George's
philosophy provides an environment in which men can create wealth at a
maximum rate and at the same time retain individual freedom. Dad's
social philosophy is expounded in his book, Ground Rent, Not Taxes."
John C. Lincoln believed in families - and his family believed in him
and honored him. We, Georgists all, would like to think of ourselves
as part of that loving family, for we too, felt about him a mute
affection and regard which will not diminish with the passing years.