He was born on March 23, 1863. Other details of his early life are not known. However, according to one account, he was “one of the earliest employees of the Club, beginning shortly after its organization in 1881 as elevator boy.” Mechanical elevators were not unknown at this time, and it is possible that there was one leading to the second floor over Ross’ Grocery Store (present site of the Seelbach Hotel), which was the Club’s first home. It is also possible that he came to the Club shortly after it moved into its first clubhouse, the Belknap mansion, in 1883.
As business tycoon and Club member, Barry Bingham, Sr., remarked about Mr. Bain: