WALTER F. COPELAND - One of the most widely known and most highly respected men in financial circles of the
Second Federal Reserve District, comprising New York, New Jersey, and part of Connecticut, through his association
of seventeen years with the United States Sub Treasury and later with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mr.
Copeland is vice president and active in the management of the Melrose National Bank, No. 560 Melrose Avenue, The
Bronx. His extensive knowledge of all branches of banking, his wide acquaintance amongst bankers gained as a result
of his long connection with the financial institutions of the Federal Government in New York City, his untiring
energy and his pleasing personality have made him not only an important figure in financial circles of The Bronx,
but one of the most popular members of the banking business throughout Greater New York. He was born in that part
of New York City known as Greenwich Village, July 6, 1876, a son of Theron S. and Rosetta (Campbell) Copeland.
His father was for many years connected with the New York Police Department in which he rose to the rank of captain,
and had also served during the Civil War with the rank of captain and engaged in drilling troops. He was a descendant
of one of three brothers by the name of Copeland who had come to the United States during the Revolutionary War.
He died in 1905, being survived by his widow and eight sons, one of whom, Walter F., of further mention, and three
Walter F. Copeland was educated in the public schools of New York City, being a pupil in Public School No. 3, and
at the time of his graduation valedictorian of his class. Soon after having completed his schooling he became connected
with the United States Sub Treasury, New York City, in 1899. In 1905 he went for a short time to Mexico where he
was interested in a plantation, but returned to this country eight months later and for the next year engaged in
the real estate business in Westchester County. At the special request of Hamilton Fish, then assistant treasurer
in charge of the New York Sub Treasury, he returned to the latter in 1907 and remained until 1916. In February
of that year he was loaned to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where, however, his services were soon found
so valuable that he became permanently connected with this institution. He organized the government check department
and during the World War had charge of the Government deposit department, handling some six billions in connection
with the various government loans. He was at one time, for six months, acting assistant Federal Reserve Agent,
under a bond of $100,000, and latterly as special representative. It was also one of his functions to pass on national
bank charters in the district covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and he was also active in the publicity
work, making more than one hundred speeches during a period of some three years before Rotary and Kiwanis clubs
and similar organizations. Soon after the Melrose National Bank applied for a national bank charter, Mr. Copeland
became interested in the possibilities of banking in The Bronx and was made vice president of that institution.
He was at one time a member of the New York Athletic Club and was very active in athletics, having been, in 1903,
middleweight wrestling champion of the New York Athletic Club, in which organization he also gained fourth position
out of 1,100 members submitting to certain strength tests.
Mr. Copeland married, in New York City, December 22, 1910, Vaughn Sergeant, a daughter of Edmund and Emma Sergeant,
the former now deceased, the latter still a resident of New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Copeland are the parents of
one child, Vaughn, born November 23, 1916. The family residence is located at No. 149 West Tremont Avenue, The
The Bronx and its people
A History 1609-1927
Board of Editors: James L. Wells,
Louis F. Haffen
Josiah A. Briggs.
Historian: Benedict Fitspatrick
Publisher: The Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc.
New York 1927
Bronx County, NY
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