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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
PETER LINDELL was born March 24, 1776, in Worcester county, Maryland. He is of English origin; for his grandfather who bore the same name, having obtained a grant of land located in Maryland, imigrated to the United States, and, locating himself on his grant, was many years engaged in rendering the soil suitable for agricultural purposes. He lived to an advanced age; and one of his sons, John Lindell, came by descent in possession of this tract of land, and was looked upon as the most skilful farmer in that portion of the country. He was the father of the subject of this memoir, and raised a large family of children. He died at the advanced age of seventy-six.
Peter Lindell spent like most others who lived at that early time, and whose parents had good farms his early years in work upon the farm. He went to school, to be sure; but the regular schoolmaster was not abroad in that portion of the country, and the people would often induce some itinerant clock peddler from Yankeedom, to forego his usual vocation, and adopt that of the pedagogue. It is not to be wondered at when schoolmasters were thus chosen, that the pupils would remain ignorant of the fundamental principles of their language. Between going to schools of this cast and working upon the farm of his father, he reached the age of twenty-one, and possessing a large share of self-reliance, he immediately commenced business for himself. He kept a little store in the country, believing that a commercial life, and that too with less of servitude, led more directly to affluence than the slow profits which had then to satisfy the industrious farmer. He remained four years engaged with his store, and seeing that the vast tide of emigration was flowing westward, he determined to follow the current, although his first efforts had been attended with vast success. He was not satisfied, for he did not see his locality filling up with a vigorous growth of new settlers, which alone could bring wealth to the neighborhood, and insure a fortune to those engaged in commercial pursuits. Drawing these logical conclusions, he wound up his business in Maryland, and stalled for the West.
Some time in 1808, Peter Lindell stopped at Pittsburgh, the only town west of the Alleghany Mountains that offered, at that time, any inducements for commercial enterprise. There he commenced the life of an itinerant merchant, trading on a boat at the various localities between that place and Louisville. Laying in an assortment of goods suitable to the wants of the people at the different locations at which he traded, he was soon doing a most thriving business. He received no money for his goods, that article in the western wilds being seldom seen, but he received in exchange, furs, peltries, hemp, and tobacco, with which he could purchase a new supply of merchandise, or sell for money, at his option.
In two years, finding that his business throve, even beyond his most sanguine expectations, Peter Lindell sent for John Lindell, one of his brothers, that he might assist him in his labors, and whom he could instruct in a pursuit that had already proved so profitable. In due time, John arrived, and he was initiated in all the mysteries of a trader's life at that period, and the business soon reached a greater magnitude than ever, and yielded larger returns. The name of Lindell was well known on the Ohio River, and he was anxiously looked for by the pioneers who inhabited its rich banks for the purposes of trade.
After John had been with him some time and fortune still continuing to smile upon his efforts he sent for another brother by the name of Jesse, that he too might become a reaper in a field which yielded so plentiful a harvest. He extended his business with the assistance of his brothers, and in his trading voyages, hearing of the natural advantages of St. Louis, he determined to quit the life of a general trader on the river, and settle himself as a merchant in a town, whose brilliant prospects for the future, promised so much success to the early citizen who made judicious investments. In 1811 he came to St. Louis, and commenced keeping store on Main street.
The houses at that period, with but few exceptions, were little log cabins, the interstices being filled with lime and plastered within, making a warm but small and inconvenient dwelling; and Peter Lindell, a little while after his advent, astonished the inhabitants by building three brick houses, which, for a little while, were the wonder of the place, and the era of brick building in St. Louis. His business in the now and growing town, grew and increased yearly; and he was soon known as one of the most enterprising merchants of the place.
At that early day, not even a steamboat had floated on the "Father of Waters," and the merchant when he went East to purchase goods, had to perform the fatiguing journey of more than a thousand miles on horseback. In one of these expeditions, an event occurred which had nearly a tragical termination; and as it serves to illustrate the character of those early times, and gives an insight into the nature of the subject of this sketch, we will relate it. While journeying to one of the Eastern cities, Peter Lindell was accompanied by the late John Collier, and one night they stopped at a little cabin at Shawneetown, Illinois. There were several men who were in the house, and among them was a desperado, who pursued the vagabond life of hunting for a subsistence. When he was not employed in the chase, he was engaged in cursing, swearing, and fighting. Mr. Collier had had the misfortune to offend this fellow, and when he and Mr. Lindell entered the door, this man was seated in the cabin. Immediately that his eyes glanced upon Mr. Collier, they glared like those of a basilisk, and a dark scowl darkened his features, giving to them the expression of a demon. He told Mr. Collier with a horrid oath, that he would kill him, and sallied from the cabin to procure a gun, that he might put in execution his murderous purpose.
At that time, Peter Lindell was in the prime of a glorious manhood, with the strength of a buffalo, and the spirit to use it. He well knew the fiendish character of the ruffian, and he followed him from the cabin. When at a little distance, he upbraided him for his murderous purpose, and told him then and there to defend himself. He then commenced
pouring upon him blows with the force of a sledge-hammer, and in less than two minutes the fellow was hors de combat, and pounded into a jelly. This drubbing operation completely satisfied him, and he no more threatened vengeance against Mr. Collier.
After becoming a resident of St. Louis, Mr. Lindell, in conjunction with his commercial business, became extensively engaged in the purchase of landed estate, which at that time brought but a nominal price in comparison to its present value. He bought land and held it, and it was in consequence of not again selling it, that he is so extensive an owner in real estate at the present time. By that magical power with which some men appear to be invested, whatever he has touched has turned to money; and so fortunate has he been in his efforts to amass a fortune that in 1826 he threw up his commercial pursuits, which had been his leading business. Since that time he has been out of the pale of the busy, bustling world, and dedicated himself to preserving that fortune which by industry he had garnered, when his body and spirit rejoiced in the exuberance incident to youth. The present generation know but little of him; for nearly all who lived when he made a part of the active sphere of life, and helped to guide and direct its business currents, have paid the debt of nature, and cannot speak of the events with which Peter Lindell has been connected.
From great wealth, which receives almost the universal homage of mankind, the name of Peter Lindell is almost as well known in the city of St. Louis as that of the great river which sweeps by its levee; but of his habits, and the natural gush of feeling which form his character and influence his actions, they know but little. They see his property in every part of the broad circumference of the Mound City; but of the owner, they cannot speak. We will relate an anecdote told us by one whom time has blanched, but not overthrown; who knew him before his frame was weakened, and when his whole time was devoted to business. The narrative is thus:
"There was a gentleman," says this narrator, "who during a money pressure was driven to great straits, and applied to me for counsel in his exigence. He had abundance of good paper in his possession, more than ten times the sum that was causing his disquietude, which was a note of some thousands of dollars held by the Bank of the State of Missouri, which would be due in a few days. Should he not be able to take up the note, his credit would be gone forever, and all his bright prospects for the future would be a wreck. I knew but one man who could furnish the amount he required, and, moved by his distress, I volunteered my services, as I was intimate with the person that I knew had always money by him. I took from his papers a note for five thousand dollars, drawn and endorsed by unexceptionable parties, to Peter Lindell, and told him the circumstances that induced me to call upon him. Mr. Lindell replied that he had the money but it was designed for another purpose; but on my again mentioning that without his interposition an honorable man would be effectually ruined, he drew me a check for the full amount, and when I signified my surprise, he told me, under no circumstances could he take from any individual more than ten per cent. interest. This is but one out of many instances," continued the gentleman who related to me the anecdote, "which I could point out, in which Peter Lindell has acted in the same manner."
We have seen how well Peter Lindell has acted the part of a relative, when he sent for two of his brothers, that they might share with him the success which his judgment and industry had brought about; and when they were taken from their families by death, he at once assumed the duties of a father and protector. To him belongs the honor of starting the first packet to Pittsburgh; he was one of the corporators and directors of the old Missouri Insurance Company; and was one of the directors of the Branch Bank of the United States. He is the largest stockholder in the magnificent hotel known as the "Lindell Hotel," and his property is valued at many millions.
Brigadier-General Daniel Marsh Frost.
THE subject of this memoir was a native of Schenectady county, state of New York and was born August 9th, 1823. His ancestors came to this country, from England, during its early settlement, and during the Revolutionary War one of his grandfathers fought faithfully under the banner of his country.
The father of General Frost was a man of fine attainments; he was appointed surveyor and civil engineer in the state of New York, and made the first complete survey, soundings, and map of Hudson City. He also commanded a volunteer company in the last war against England.
General Frost, the subject of this sketch, had all the advantages of early education, until, at the age of sixteen, he entered the Military Academy at West Point, and graduated with high honors at that celebrated institution in 1844. He was attached to the 1st regiment of artillery, and, after some service at various forts, he was sent to Florida. Becoming tired of seaboard garrison life, he was transferred to the regiment of mounted riflemen in 1840, and in the same year went to Mexico, under General Scott, fighting in all the battles in which his illustrious commander was engaged, until the "star-spangled banner" floated over the battlements of Mexico.
General Frost, in the many battle-fields in which he was engaged, reaped plentifully of military laurels, and at the battle of Cerro Gordo was especially complimented by his commander-in-chief. At the declaration of peace, he returned to Missouri, and was soon after ordered across the Plains to Oregon City. The following year he returned to St. Louis, where he was married to the daughter of the late Major Graham, who was at one time one of the aids of General Harrison.
The judgment and military abilities of General Frost have always been held in the highest estimation by his superior officers, and he was selected by the secretary of war, as an efficient officer to send to Europe, to gather information concerning cavalry drill and discipline. After returning from, Europe, in 1852, he joined his regiment in Texas, and shortly after, was wounded in an engagement with the Indians. In 1853, he returned to St. Louis, and resigned his commission, but was chosen the commander of the Washington Guards, which he held for five years. In 1854, he was elected to the state Senate, and served in that body till 1858, at the expiration of which he was elected brigadier-general and commander of the first military district of Missouri.
General Frost is scarcely in the summer of manhood, and, with youth, fame, position, and character, can hope for all things that can gratify an honorable ambition.
Marinus Willett Warne.
MARINUS WILLETT WARNE was born at New Brunswick, New Jersey, December 7th, 1810. His father was a respectable merchant, engaged in the hardware trade, and died insolvent, owing to the financial crisis which took place after the war of 1812, when the subject of this memoir was only ten years of age. Young Warne, after the death of his father, received no further education, but was forced to do something for his own livelihood. At the age of twelve years, he engaged himself to the successor of his father's business, with whom he remained nine years, during that time acquiring a complete knowledge of the hardware and cedarware business.
Marinus Willett Warne, on arriving at the age of twenty-one, determined on removing to New York city, where, if the field of success was more difficult, it offered an ampler harvest to the votary of ambition. He accordingly removed to the great metropolis, and entered the large establishment kept by William Galloway & Company, with whom he remained two years. Then, feeling anxious to carry on business on his own account, untrammelled by any superior power, he commenced the manufacture of cedar-ware on a most extensive scale, with which he in a short time connected the house-furnishing business.
At this time Mr. Warne appeared to be one of the favorites of fortune. Wealth poured upon him from a thousand avenues, and he conducted the largest business of the kind in the great empire city; but clouds were lowering around him which he did not see, and he soon experienced how uncertain is the stability of sublunary things. His friendly feelings had led him to indorse notes to a considerable amount, and a little pressure taking place in the money market, the notes which he indorsed were thrown on his hands for liquidation, and for such an amount that his immense business received a sudden check, and he was forced to wind up his concern.
Thus suddenly stripped of the fortune which he had acquired during a long term of continued labor and economy, Mr. Warne, though he felt sorely his misfortune, did not yield to despondency and useless complaint. He felt that the same continued perseverance, the same business qualifications put in force, would again achieve an independence. He resolved, then, to commence his fortune in the far West, the land that was open to adventurous ambition, and started for St. Louis. When he arrived in the city of his destination, he had neither friends nor money. He had only that self-reliance which formed one of the chief elements of his character, and that energy which was ready to encounter and overcome every opposing obstacle. On arriving at St. Louis, he commenced to work at his trade, and, after some time, having amassed a little money, he engaged with Henry L. Joy in the manufacture of wooden-ware, at Quincy, Illinois, by machinery, at the same time carrying on a business in St. Louis. The factory at Quincy did a tremendous business, and the profits of the concern were considerable.
The horizon of the future again became bright, and the hopes of Mr. Warne again became flowering, but only again to be blighted. The factory at Quincy took fire by some accident, and was reduced to ashes. There was no insurance, and the loss was total. This was a heavy blow upon his prospects and business, but he bestowed still closer attention on is concern in St. Louis, which was by this time in a flourishing condition; but, as if misfortune was bent on testing, to the utmost his powers of mental, moral, and physical endurance, the great fire of 1849 swept his remaining property in the universal conflagration, and left him almost stripped of every thing. With the pittance he received from the insurance companies, who were nearly all rendered insolvent by this wide destruction of property by fire, he commenced partnership with William H. Merritt, and, during the seven years of the continuance of the partnership, the firm were very successful. Mr. Merritt then sold out his interest to E. L. Cheever, who, February 5th, 1857, lost his life in the ill-fated steamer, Colonel Crossman. Captain Joshua Cheever then took his brother's interest, and the name of the firm remained unchanged. The firm of Warne, Cheever & Company are composed of the subject of this sketch, the senior partner, Captain Joshua Cheever, and Mortimer N. Burchard; the last named gentleman Mr. Warne brought up from a boy.
Mr. Warne has a large family. He was married in June, 1833, to Miss Mary S. Tenbroeck, of New Jersey, and eleven children have been the fruit of the union, ten of whom survive. In his domestic relations, he has ever been most happy; and if clouds lowered around him during a large portion of his eventful life, there were always smiles and peace at his fireside.
Mr. Warne has always been a devotee to business, and has had neither leisure nor inclination to busy himself with any outside matters. However, when the subject of the horse railroad came up for consideration on the part of our leading citizens, he at once took a prominent part in what he considered would be of so much benefit to St. Louis. He is also one of the efficient directors of the Exchange Bank of St. Louis; is president of the civic organization of the Missouri Guards, and life-member of the National Guards, both of which organizations are composed of our most respectable citizens. He was also the first president of the Citizens' Savings Loan Association. Mr. Warne may be proud of the part which he has played upon the drama of life. He has had to contend with vicissitudes that were sufficient to make the bravest falter, and make the stoutest heart yield to despondency; but though the shafts of misfortune flew thick around him, he neither faltered nor yielded; and now he can reap his reward, and is the senior partner of one of the most substantial and extensive firms in the great metropolis of the West. He has a large number of assistants in his business, and sedulously inculcates those principles of attention, rectitude, and industry which are so interwoven with his own character. The pages of his life are instructive to the young, and teach them that opulence and social position are in the reach of all who, like him, can hope, work, and persevere with an untiring spirit, and are determined to achieve independence and a sterling business reputation.
THE subject of this memoir was born in the city of New York, on the 5th of October, 1815. His father, who is still living, is a native of England, who emigrated early to this country, and, being a well-informed man, gave to his children all the advantages which the liberal range of studies pursued in the common schools in the city of New York afforded.
Washington King, from a boy, was fond of his book, and soon becoming an accomplished scholar, turned his attention to teaching, and, in a little time could boast of having the largest classical and English school in New York city.
On December 2d, 1836, he married Miss Cynthia M. Kelsey, of Connecticut, by whom he has two children. Believing that the great Mississippi Valley offered a wider field for the exertion of individual enterprise, he emigrated to St. Louis in 1844, and commenced mercantile and manufacturing pursuits, in which he became very successful; but in 1849 St. Louis was visited with a terrible calamity, which for a time stopped all the currents of business, and blighted the pecuniary prospects of hundreds of the thriving citizens. The event of the terrible fire, which desolated the whole of the business portion of St. Louis, is still fresh in the remembrance of many, and will ever be a marked epoch in its history.
A little while after this dreadful visitation, Mr. King determined on gratifying a long-existing desire, and started on a tour to Europe, where he remained several years, visiting the various countries of that enlightened portion of the globe, carefully noting the habits and customs of the people, and studying the languages and examining the policy of the different governments he visited. After spending two years and six months in instructive travel, he returned to St. Louis in the spring of 1852, and in 1855 he consented, at the repeated and earnest instigation of his many friends, to become a candidate for the mayoralty, and was elected to that important office.
When in office, Mr. King, who always looked upon the law as obligatory upon all, and created for the general benefit, rigidly compelled the observance of legislative enactments, and was the first mayor who put in effectual force the Prohibitory Sunday Liquor Law, and restrained the pot-house dissipation and indecorum which had so long desecrated the Sabbath; and so satisfactory was his term of office, that he has been repeatedly solicited again to become the people's candidate, but has always declined the honor. He is now at the head of the well-known Adams Express Company in this city, and his valuable time is employed in controlling the important and extensive operations connected with the duties of the company.
THOMAS ALLEN was born August 29th, 1813, in Pittsfield, Berkshire county Massachusetts. His grandfather, Thomas Allen after whom he was named, was a minister of the gospel, and during the Revolution was a Chaplin, and connected with the array at White Plains commanded by General Washington, and at Bennington, where General Stark commanded. He was cousin of Ethan Allen, of Vermont, whose name is so associated with the heroic defence of his country.
Jonathan Allen, the father of the subject of this memoir, was a gentleman of line information and enterprise, being both a farmer and merchant at Pittsfield, where he held important positions of trust. He was postmaster of the town, was a justice of the peace, a state senator, a commissary-general during the war of 1812, and died at the advanced age of seventy-one, regretted by all who knew him. Being a man of fine mental culture, it was natural that he should exercise a careful control over the education of his children, and Thomas Allen was first sent to the district schools, and when sufficiently advanced was sent to an academy, in which Mr. Mark Hopkins, now the president of Williams College, was teacher. It was there, at the age of fifteen, when his mind was developing its natural faculties, that he first evinced a passion for letters, by compositions on numerous literary subjects, and getting up a little journal termed the Miscellany, of which he became editor. After leaving the academy he entered the freshman class of Union College at Schenectady, under the charge of the Rev. Doctor Nott, where he remained until he graduated in 1832. During the four years of his collegiate life, he stood high as a scholar, and had no superior in the acquirements of general literature.
After finishing his collegiate course, Thomas Allen chose the law as his profession, and studied a few months in the office of James King of Albany, and then removed to New York with a capital of twenty-five dollars. His father had given him mental wealth at a great cost had given him knowledge, which a great philosopher had declared was "power," and he thought if he had within him the elements of success, that, armed with that talisman, he could soon win his way to fame and fortune.
While studying law in New York, Thomas Allen supported himself by his pen, and edited the Illustrated Family Magazine, which attained a circulation of 20,000. So highly were his legal acquirements appreciated, that he assisted Mr. Clerke, now of the Supreme Court, in the preparation of a digest of the New York decisions, and, from the proceeds of this labor, purchased a law library. He was admitted by the Supreme Court to practice in 1835, and the same year received, from his alma mater, the degree of A. M., and was also elected an honorary member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of New York. He was now looked upon as a promising young man, and received numerous invitations to deliver lecture and addresses, which soon gave him an enviable reputation. After
practising law with success in New York for two years, at the invitation of his uncle, the Hon. E. W. Ripley, member of Congress from Louisiana, he started to take charge of his practice in that state, but stopping at Washington, he was captivated by the buoyant influences of the political atmosphere, and, at the solicitation of some of the leading statesmen of the Union, he determined to establish a newspaper in that place. A few weeks of preparation, and every thing being ready, the Madisonian appeared in August, 1837.
The journals at Washington at that time were conducted by gentlemen of rare talents and ability, but the Madisonian was received with favor, and the independent spirit of its lucid editorials won "golden opinions." So popular did Mr. Allen become in a short period, that at the extra session of Congress, he became a candidate for the public printing and was elected. His competitors were veterans of journalism, and had long basked in the favor of the national council of the country. Messrs. Blair & Rives of the Globe, and Messrs. Gales & Seaton of the Intelligencer were the opponents of Mr. Allen.
It is impossible for us in this sketch to follow Mr. Allen through all the mazes of his editorial progress, and we will only repeat the words uttered on the floor of Congress by the Hon. James Buchanan: "that paper," said he, referring to the Madisonian, "is worthy of the days of Madison." After five years in the political arena, where the young editor had shown himself capable of coping with the first intellects of the country, he sold out the Madisonian in 1842 and came to Missouri. A few months after his arrival, he married Miss Anne C. Russell, daughter of William Russell, a distinguished and wealthy citizen of St. Louis. The marriage took place July 12th, 1842.
After Mr. Allen's advent in St. Louis, he did not long continue the practice of the law, which he had at first determined to pursue, but finding that his private affairs had attained a considerable magnitude, he abandoned altogether his profession. His mind, however, accustomed to create, could not remain inactive, and he published several pamphlets on interesting subjects, which had the effect at the time of controlling, to a considerable degree, the currents of popular opinion. Among these publications was a Commentary on the Treaty of Paris, 1803, and another called "Letter Smuggling." The last was reprinted by the order of the post-office department of the United States. He was also elected president of the St. Louis Horticultural Society, and prepared for the St. Louis delegation to the Chicago convention, an elaborate pamphlet on the commerce and navigation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. He also, in 1848, used his efficient influence to get a municipal subscription of $700,000 to the St. Louis and Cincinnati Railroad.
Mr. Allen has always been a great advocate of internal improvements, looking upon them as the proper arteries of a country, furnishing vitality and strength to the body corporate. In 1849, when a meeting was called to take action on the subject of a Pacific railroad, he ably discussed the importance of a "national central highway to the Pacific," and became one of the corporators of the Pacific Railroad, which, when it will receive the patriotic aid to which it is entitled, will soon reach the great ocean which flows by our western borders. A pamphlet from the pen of Thomas Allen, containing "The Address of the People of St. Louis to the
People of the United States," which was widely scattered through the Union, met with much favor; and at the national convention called on the subject of the Pacific Railroad, fourteen of the United States were represented, and Mr. Allen was selected by the convention to prepare the memorial to Congress.
When the charter was granted to the Pacific Railroad of the state of Missouri, there was prejudice on the subject, for Missouri was far behind the times, and to remove this prejudice Mr. Allen was determined. He had been elected the first president of the company after its organization, and to arouse the slumbering energy of the people, and to awaken in them the proper feelings in regard to the importance of the Pacific Railroad, he travelled on horseback through the different counties of its projected route in the state, haranguing the people at the most prominent stations; and having been elected to the state Senate, he succeeded in interesting the members of the assembly on the subject, and a loan of state credit was granted for $2,000,000. On the subject of railroads, it is not too much to say that Mr. Allen has done more to originate and bring them to their present state of prosperity than any man in Missouri. His talents and time have been long given to foster their growth, and he well deserves the gratitude of the country for his continual exertions. It was he who proposed the whole system of railroads through the localities which they now take in their course.
When he was in the Senate, he gave effectual support to the creation of a geological survey, which has made known the different sections of the state, attracted immigration, and, pari passu with the railroads, has served to develop its resources. He was agent for the World's Fair, both in London and New York, by appointment, and the journals both abroad and in the East glowed with contributions from his pen on the state of Missouri, and he placed her before the world with all her mammoth resources made manifest. He selected the land donated by the general government for the Pacific Railroad; and when, in 1854, he resigned his position as director and president, resolutions the most complimentary were passed by the board. He was again nominated at this time for state senator, but declined. In 1857, he was elected president of the Terre Haute, Alton, and St. Louis Railroad, which he held for one year. In September, 1858, he established the well-known banking-house of Allen, Copp, & Nisbet, he furnishing the capital. In 1859 he was entrusted by the state of Missouri with $900,000 of her guaranteed bonds, to be disposed of by him for the benefit of the South-west Branch of the Pacific Railroad, and he discharged the trust with fidelity and success.
Mr. Allen has won himself laurels that can never fade. He is the father of the railroad system of the state, and with paternal devotion has done all that man could do to advance its interest. As a benefactor of Missouri he has advocated her internal improvements, and with his graphic pen revealed to the world her agricultural and mineral wealth; and as a citizen of St. Louis he has ever solicitous of her interest, by making her the great reservoir whence all her channels of internal improvements must flow. His life has been on of the utility and constant action; and his literary and political contributions and unceasing efforts for the good of the state are well known to the living and will receive the appreciation of posterity.
Isaac Rosenfeld, Jr.
ISAAC ROSENFELD, Jr., was born near Nuremberg, in Bavaria, March 27th, 1827. His father, Kallman Rosenfeld, who was a miller and grain dealer in Germany, is still living, and has eight children.
From the circumstance of his father being placed in a comfortable sphere in life, Isaac Rosenfeld, Jr., had all care given to his education in youth, and did not want for teachers to fit him suitably for the vocation in life it was determined that he should pursue. When this was acquired, he was placed as a clerk in a large dry-goods house, where he remained for three years. He then made an engagement in another house, in the same capacity, where he remained for four years. He had by this time acquired a complete knowledge of his business, and, having reached the age of manhood, he determined to make the United States of America his future residence. He had studied the theory of free institutions, and had become a convert to the doctrine that man can govern himself. He accordingly left Bavaria at the age of twenty-two, and embarked for New York. On arriving in this country, he traveled for some time, that he might see the different cities, and select a location. On seeing St. Louis, he gave it the preference.
Isaac Rosenfeld arrived in St. Louis March 7th, 1849. He commenced the wholesale fancy dry-goods business, in partnership with other gentlemen, and the firm was styled Ottenheimer & Company. The firm was soon after changed to Silberman & Rosenfeld, which continued until 1853, when he gave up commercial pursuits. He was then elected treasurer and secretary of the Germans' Saving Association, an office of great trust and responsibility, which he held for three years. He always had a predisposition for the business of finance, and, with some few others, originated the present State Savings Institution, and started it on that firm basis which has insured so effectually its subsequent success. He was elected cashier of the institution, which does the largest money transactions of any bank in the western country; frequently its daily business exceeding a million of dollars.
Mr. Rosenfeld is just in the flower of manhood, and in all matters of finance, there is no one in the city whose opinion is more valued. In the season of youth he has achieved what is usually the work of a lifetime and his future is redolent with brightness.
Richard H. Cole.
RICHARD H. COLE was born in Stafford county, Virginia, March 22d, 1816. His father, Daniel Cole, was an honest blacksmith, who early taught his son the trade that he followed, and gave him a good common business education.
At the age of sixteen, Richard H. Cole thought himself proficient enough in his business to take charge of a blacksmith-shop and coach-factory, in London county, Virginia. So expert was he in horse-shoeing that he won the friendship of a man by the name of Henry Sacket, by the skill that he evinced in this particular branch of his trade, who proposed to him to go and see the West, and settle in that growing country that he would pay, at all events, the expenses of a journey of observation. He followed the suggestion of his friend, and came to Missouri in the autumn of 1835. He went to Marion City, where he married Miss Amanda Eversle, daughter of Jacob B. Eversle, and, in 1837, moved to St. Charles, where he became engineer in a steam flour-mill, which employment he pursued for some years, and then resumed his trade. He remained working at his trade for four years, and in 1844, came to St. Louis.
When Mr. Cole came to St. Louis, he was but an humble blacksmith, and engaged himself to Messrs. Gaty & McCune at eight dollars per week, and at that time he could obtain no higher wages, which were scarcely sufficient for supporting his family. After pursuing journey-work for some little time, he determined, if possible, to commence business himself, and rented a place in the vacant lot adjoining the Park Mills, from Mr. Francis Watkins, where he built a rough shop, from some boards which were kindly furnished him by Mr. Watkins. He remained eighteen months in this spot, when, having saved a little money, he built a large shop on Main street, and rapidly extended his business.
While engaged in business on Main street, he became acquainted with the firm of Chouteau, Harrison & Vallé. In their friendly intercourse, this firm told him that they had made a contract with the Illinois Central Railroad Company, to furnish them a large quantity of nuts and bolts, for the purpose of bridging. From the want of a careful examination, they had contracted to furnish them with nuts at a price so low, that, on calculating the expense after the contract was closed, they found it would be most unprofitable. Mr. Cole saw the dilemma in which they were placed, and it struck him that he could furnish nuts at much less cost than usually attended their manufacture, by inventing a machine that would cut them at once from the iron, without subjecting them to the tedious process to which they were heretofore subjected. He put his brain on the rack of invention, and, after much thinking and some experiments, he succeeded in producing a machine that would answer the desired purpose.
Feeling confident in the efficacy of his machine, he proposed to Messrs.
Chouteau, Harrison & Vallé, to take the contract off their hands. His proposition they gladly assented to, and, on Mr. Chouteau becoming acquainted with the new invention, he purchased a half interest for twenty-five hundred dollars. However, in a little while, he expressing a desire of selling out for the same price, Mr. Cole repurchased his interest.
Mr. Cole had heard that there was a celebrated nut machine invented by some one in Pittsburgh, and he started for that city with the intention of purchasing the machine if it proved superior to his own, so that he could employ it in the manufacture of nuts. On seeing the machine, he found that his own was incomparably superior; and it soon became widely known, and he became the great nut-maker in St. Louis. He made several inventions, which covered all the different varieties of nuts, and, having patented machinery to subserve his purpose, there was no one who could compete with him in their manufacture.
So sensible did Mr. Chouteau become of the immense capital contained in the inventions, that he gave him $37,500 for the half which he had before resold for $2,500, and a firm was established which went under the title of R. H. Cole & Company, and then was built the St. Louis Nut and Washer Factory. The fame of the new inventions spread far and wide, and one-third of the business done west of the Mountains was purchased by Mr. J. J. O'Fallon for $25,000, and one-third of the business done east of the Mountains for the further sum of $40,000, and the firm became known as J. J. O'Fallon & Company.
So useful are the inventions of Mr. Cole that their fame has passed the Atlantic, and there are branch houses established in various portions of Europe, that are employed in the particular manufactures to which they are suited. Mr. Watkins, from whom he rented the ground on which he reared his little shop, owns a small interest in the inventions, and is an agent in Europe. In Birmingham, the well-known Victoria Works, which are one of the branches of the concern in St. Louis, are carried on by him, the firm being called Watkins & Keen.
When Mr. Cole came to St. Louis in 1844 he was in humble circumstances indeed, and he had to labor hard, under the ten-hour system, for six days, before he became entitled to his weekly salary of eight dollars. For many years he pursued his laborious task with a contented mind, yet hoping and bent upon producing some improvements in mechanics to which would be attached emolument and honor. What once were golden dreams have assumed a practical shape, and the humble mechanic, from the loom of his active brain, has produced an invention which has startled the world and brought fame and fortune to himself. Mr. Cole is richly deserving of all that he has gained, and all that may await him; for, even before the golden change came upon his fortunes, he was entitled to all that could be conveyed by the poet, when he wrote: "An honest man is the noblest work of God."
William G. Clark.
THE parents of William Clark belonged to the state of Maryland, and he was born in Baltimore county, November 4th, 1818 His grandmother still lives at the venerable age of ninety-five years. His father, Matthew Clark kept a hotel and store combined, and raised in a respectable manner a family of six children, giving them all a fair education, and training them to habits of early industry.
William G. Clark was kept at school until he reached the age of seventeen, and then he became clerk to Mr. John Taylor, a dry-goods merchant, with whom he did not long remain; for, being invited by Mr. Trowbridge, the brother-in-law of Mr. Taylor, who was preparing to locate in the west, to accompany him to his new home, he accepted the offer, and, on reaching St. Louis in 1836, he commenced business with him in the capacity of clerk. He remained three years in that situation, and, understanding by this time perfectly the routine of commercial pursuits, in 1839 he commenced business on his own account, in conjunction with two others, and a firm was established under the title of Jones, Clark and Gill, who carried on the clothing business. He continued as clothing merchant until 1842, and then, believing that the lumber business offered greater inducements, he entered upon his new pursuit, and soon became one of the most extensive and successful lumber merchants in the city.
Mr. Clark, by his own efforts, has reached affluence and a commercial portion, which has given his name weight and respect in the community. He is extensively associated with all enterprises which serve to strengthen and increase the business elements of St. Louis. He is a director in the Southern Bank, and essentially promoted the building of the City University, which promises to elevate so much the standard of education in our city, and is a trustee of the institution. He has been for many years a member of the church, and is a director in the Lindell Hotel, now in the course of erection.
Mr. Clark has been twice married; first to Miss Julia Miller, of Baltimore, in 1840, and had a large family of ten children. His present estimable lady was Miss Mary Bede Parks, daughter of Joseph Parks, of St. Charles county, Missouri. Mr. Clark has been a resident of St. Louis for twenty-three years, and is well known in the community as a man of sterling worth, who is well worthy of the fair fame, which a life of integrity has established, and of the affluence he has amassed by his industry. He is the owner of that fine block of buildings known as Clark's Buildings, which are an ornament to the locality in which they are erected.
Hon. John Richard Barret.
JOHN RICHARD BARRET was born August 21st, 1825, in the town of Greensburgh, on Green River, Kentucky. William Barret, his grandfather, was a respectable planter in the Old Dominion, and, though but a youth at the commencement of the Revolutionary war, soon became one of his country's defenders, and, when almost a boy in years, was made a captain in a Virginia regiment. Dorothy Winston, whom he afterward married, was of one of the ancient families of Virginia, and first cousin of Patrick Henry, the illustrious orator and patriot. His son, William D. Barret, the father of the subject of this memoir, was a man of sterling worth, remarkable industry, and unimpeachable integrity. He held the highest positions of trust in the state of Kentucky, and on his removal from Kentucky to St. Louis, in 1839, he associated himself, in the grocery and commission business, with Messrs. Blaine & Tompkins, and died in 1844. His wife, who is the daughter of General James Allen, of Kentucky, still survives.
John Richard Barret, the subject of this sketch, had all the advantages of an early education which the country schools of Kentucky at that time afforded. His father, though a self-made man, was always anxious for the mental culture of his children, and endeavored to instil into their minds a passion for learning. Directly the petticoat was shifted for the "round jacket," John Richard was sent to the little log school-house, and there became familiar with the rudiments of the English branches. When not at school, he frequently assisted in work upon the farm, and went regularly to mill in the old primitive manner, sitting on a well-filled sack of corn balanced on a horse's back. If the rider's attention is withdrawn for a moment to other things, down goes the sack; and to this day Colonel Barret is fond of relating to his friends his little mishaps when he went to mill.
After reaching the age of thirteen, John Richard was sent to Centre College, where he remained until he passed through the freshman course, and was then called to St. Louis by his father, who had but shortly removed to that city, and had experienced such a considerable loss by fire, that he thought it a part of prudence to remove for a time his children from school, to curtail expenses. However, the president of St. Louis University, understanding his motives, insisted that he should send his children to that eminent institution, and remain a debtor for their education until his pecuniary circumstances were in a prosperous condition. This generous offer was accepted, and John Richard graduated at the university with the highest honors of his class, in 1843, and delivered the valedictory.
He then commenced the study of the law, but his father dying, he was compelled to take out a license to practise before he had completed the time which he had set apart to thoroughly qualify himself for his profession. From the very first he was successful; nature had done much, and his own efforts were not wanting. He was moulded into a form which a knight of the middle ages might have been proud to possess, and had an energy, combined with his natural and intellectual attainments, which injured success. Upon him devolved chiefly the care of his brothers and sisters, younger than himself, and five in number.
In 1852, he entered upon the political arena, and since that time has been one of the favorite champions of the Democratic party, and has never been defeated. He was elected in 1852 to the Missouri legislature, which position he held for four terms, and was a most efficient representative. In 1858, while absent from the state, he was nominated for Congress, and party excitement running very high, the election was a most exciting one in the coming August. Colonel Barret was elected by a considerable majority; he was the Democratic candidate.
In November, 1847, Colonel Barret married Miss Eliza P. Simpson, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of the Hon. James Simpson, now chief-justice of the state of Kentucky. In 1852, he lost this amiable woman, who had blessed his home for five years, and been the chief source of his happiness.
Colonel Barret has that magnetism of character, so rarely possessed by the human family, which attracts toward him his fellow man without any apparent effort. He appears to have been formed by nature for public life; and his frankness of manner not only conciliates regard, but successfully woos the most friendly feelings. In politics he is known by the appellation of "Missouri Dick;" and as a champion of the Democratic party he has been most successful, and never been defeated upon the political arena.
While a member of the legislature, he obtained the charter of the Agricultural and Mechanical Association. He has been its president since its incorporation, and the fame of its lovely "Fair Grounds," and its widespread salutary influence over agricultural and mechanical pursuits, is known and felt throughout the Union. In politics, he has always been for the union of his party, and stood for the union of the states. He is in the prime of manhood, and will gather fresh laurels in the legislative halls of his country, in which he will soon commence his useful duties.
Gerard B. Allen.
THE subject of this memoir was a native of Ireland, being born in the city of Cork, November 6th, 1813. His father, Thomas Allen, was a respectable silk weaver of that city, and young Allen, believing that in America labor would be better rewarded than in his native country, resolved to emigrate, and started for the city of New York in 1836.
Previous to leaving Ireland, young Gerard B. Allen had learned the carpenter and turner business, and on his arrival in New York, followed those pursuits for more than a year, and then came to St. Louis in 1837. Here he worked journeywork until 1841, when he entered upon business himself, and, in turning and manufacturing bedsteads, he added considerably to his worldly wealth, and extended his business relations. In 1845, he had widely extended his operations, and owned two saw-mills, one in St. Louis and the other on Gasconade River.
Believing that the working of iron afforded a vast field of enterprise and wealth in St. Louis, in 1847 he connected himself in the foundry business, and became a member of the well-known firm of Gaty, McCune & Co., with whom he remained until 1855. Two years after he had lost his amiable wife, who was Miss Frances Adams, of New York, he commenced, on his own account, his business at the Fulton Iron Works.
Mr. Allen is well known to the citizens of St. Louis as a sterling business man, and the uprightness of his character has won the confidence of the community. He is widely connected with positions of trust, and is president of the Covenant Life Insurance Company, is a director in the Hope Fire Marine Insurance Company, and also in the Bank of the State of Missouri; he is also vice-president of the O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute, and of the North Missouri Railroad.
Every position of life which Mr. Allen fills and has filled, he has done it with satisfaction, and the eagerness with which he is sought after to hold important trusts, and to control important functions, shows the sterling value of his character in the community.
William L. Ewing.
WILLIAM L. EWING was born January 31st, 1809, near the town of Vincennes, Indiana. When the whole of that portion of country where Vincennes is situated was called the Illinois Territory, Nathaniel C. Ewing, the father of William L. Ewing, received the appointment from the government as receiver of public money, and removed at an early day to the old French settlement to enter upon the duties of his office. He was likewise a member of the territorial legislature, where he was known as a hard worker in every measure that concerned the advancement of the Illinois Territory. He left his influence upon the times in which he lived, and was well known for his strong advocacy in making the state of his adoption a non-slaveholding state. He died at the advanced age of seventy-five, in the year 1848.
The very circumstance of William L. Ewing being born in the neighborhood of Vincennes as early as 1809, shows at once that he did not enjoy very excellent advantages of education in his youth. He had the instruction in the limited degree which the country schools at that period imparted; but his thirst for knowledge overcame the barrier of adventitious circumstances and by continual self-culture he garnered much useful information.
Believing that Vincennes, like most of the old towns settled by the French, would never be a place of great magnitude, William L. Ewing determined on removing to St. Louis, and landed on August 17th, 1821. His first business effort was with Dr. William Carr Lane, his brother-in-law, with whom he came to St. Louis, and engaged with him in the capacity of clerk, and remained in that position for more than three years. (His employer was the first mayor of the city of St. Louis, and was afterward governor of New Mexico.) After leaving the employment of Dr. William Carr Lane, Mr. Ewing went some time to the St. Louis University to complete his education, and then engaged as clerk in the Missouri Republican office, and served in that capacity in sundry other places until 1833, when he returned to his native town in Indiana, and started a store, which he successfully conducted for three years and a half. Having thus achieved a start in Vincennes, Mr. Ewing again came to St. Louis, determining to build up a fortune and commercial reputation in a city which he knew would soon occupy a position of primary importance in the commercial world.
The second advent of William L. Ewing in the Mound City was attended with the most auspicious circumstances. He opened a grocery and commission house, and at once commenced a most prosperous career. The firm was known as Berthhold & Ewing.
The year 1849 will ever be remembered as a marked year in the annals of St. Louis. A destructive fire broke out in the lower part of the city, and, despite the exertions of the citizens and firemen, raged with a fury that threatened to wrap the whole town in the conflagration. Amid
the thousands of sufferers was the firm of Berthhold & Ewing, after a prosperous existence of ten years the loss was $18,000.
Nothing daunted by the unexpected calamity, Mr. Ewing, with the confidence and energy for which he is remarkable, again commenced business under the firm of William L. Ewing & Company, which is still in existence, and it has the confidence and respect of the whole business community. He was married February 8th, 1838, to Miss Clara Berthhold, who was the granddaughter of Pierre Chouteau, senior, who was the companion of Pierre Laclede Ligueste, the founder of St. Louis.
William L. Ewing has accomplished all that he wished for. It was his aim to excel in the avocation he chose, and he has succeeded. He is known as one of the leading merchants of St. Louis, and his integrity and cordial deportment have won the respect and love of its citizens. He is liberal in his views, and a great advocate of internal improvements. Public spirit and enterprise are elements of his character, and he is liberal in his assistance to any public measure that tends to advance the interest of the city or the state. He has acquired his wealth not by practising a miser parsimony, but by the expansive views which he took of business relations, accompanied by energy, perseverance, and industry. In his charities there are few more liberal, and what he gives is to relieve suffering, and not from any spirit of ostentation. He is a director of the Agricultural and Mechanical Association, is a director in the Merchants' Bank and Union Insurance Company; and to the various public institutions, eleemosynary and literary, he has subscribed munificently. He was a great encourager of the steamboat interest, and owned largely in many of the finest that land on the levee. One of the handsomest boats on the Mississippi bears his name.
Louis A. Lebaume.
THE biography of Louis A. Lebaume commences in St. Louis; for he was born in this city on March 13th, 1807. His father, Louis Lebaume, was a native of France, a gentleman of fine education, which made him take a prominent part in the country he early adopted as his own. Under Zenon Zrudeau, the Spanish commander, he filled the important and responsible position of secretary, and after the transfer of the province of Louisiana to the United States, in due time he was elected one of the judges of Common Pleas, and likewise colonel of the militia. His wife, who was the mother of the subject of this memoir, and whose maiden name was Susan Dubruil, was connected with one of the oldest families in St. Louis, and was born within its precincts. The house in which the Dubruil family lived was an old-fashioned stone building with extended portico situated on the block in Second street, west side, between Chesnut and Pine. The whole square was owned by Mr. Dubruil, and a part of it was devoted to the cultivation of vegetables, and on one extremity was located a barn. On that square now stands a marble building built by Mr. Gay, in which will be held the Mechanics' and Southern Banks, and it is in the very heart of the business of St. Louis, and its value most enormous. One of the family who resided in that square is still alive. It is Mrs. Celeste Delaurier, sister of Mrs. Lebaume, now seventy-five years of age.
At the age of seven years, Louis A. Lebaume was taken from St. Louis to the Richwoods mines, where his father went to reside, and continued there three years, and then the family removed to a spot near the Belle Fontaine Cemetery, and a portion of the place is now comprised in a part of the beautiful grounds; it was there that the elder Mr. Lebaume died. He was fortunate in having his early education properly cared for, and was sent to the then only college of the town, situated near the south-west corner of Third and Market streets, on the old Alvarez lot, and presided over by Bishop Dubourg, an accomplished scholar and an exemplary divine. He remained at the college until sixteen years of age, and after sojourning with his mother a short period, he commenced his business career by clerking upon a steamboat, in which capacity he continued until 1827, and then went to France to settle an estate belonging to his father. He remained several years in la belle France, and whilst beneath its sunny skies, he formed the acquaintance of Mademoiselle Melane De Lapierre, whose father was high in authority, being president of the civil tribunal of Vigan, département du Garde. He was married to her on the 20th of December, 1832, and returned to St Louis in the spring of 1833.
He then formed a partnership in commercial pursuits with Theodore Lebaume, his brother, and Jonas Newman, the firm going under the name of Lebaume & Co. This partnership continued until 1841, when Mr. Lebaume entered into partnership with Peter E. Blow, his brother-in-law, the firm being Peter E. Blow & Co.
Some years after, Mr. Lebaume resolved to give up commercial pursuits altogether, and then engaged in the mining business with his brother-in-law, in Washington county, which continued until 1851. In this pursuit,
Mr. Thomas M. Taylor was engaged with them a short time. He then retired from the lead business, which he had carried on extensively for several years, though he still owns the mines. Mr. Lebaume, though strictly a business man, and turning all of his business connections to profitable account, without being a politician, or anxious to mingle in the political atmosphere, has been called upon by his fellow citizens to fill positions of trust and responsibility. In 1841, he was elected a member of the board of delegates, and in 1842, a member of the board of aldermen, and remained a member until he resigned, in 1853, for the purpose of going to Europe to recruit his health, which had much declined. Whilst a member of the board of aldermen, he strongly opposed the measure for the city assisting in building the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, contending that eastern capitalists for their own sakes, so as to facilitate more directly communication with St. Louis, would complete the road, and if the city had any funds to invest in that manner, it should be in caring for the railroads in the state, which were so much required to develop fully the immense resources of Missouri. He opposed, too, the depositing of the city funds, frequently amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, with private bankers, previous to the failure of many of them, and saved the city from an immense loss in the banking business.
As early as 1842, he introduced a bill for the widening of the levee, which was entirely too narrow for the business of St. Louis, but his enterprising resolution was not supported, and not until 1849, after the great fire, was the levee widened, under the municipal administration of Mr. Barry; Mr. Lebaume promptly urging the resolution, and, after it was passed, assisting in drawing the present line of the levee. In 1844, he was elected to the legislature, and during his term Thomas H. Benton was elected for the last time to the United States Senate.
During his public service, Mr. Lebaume was a hard-working member, and all of his efforts were directed, uninfluenced by the shallow motives of political prejudice, to the advancement of the city and state. When a member of the city council, an effort was made to double the salary of the members, but Mr. Lebaume, assisted by Mr. Palm, satisfied that the office should be one of honor, and not of emolument, which would make it too much of an object for the unprincipled and political harpies, strongly and effectually resisted the attempt.
He has two brothers residing at St. Louis. One of them, Louis G. Lebaume, was once the popular sheriff of the county, and Theodore Lebaume for many years served as deputy-sheriff.
In 1851, Mr. Lebaume was elected a director of the Gas Company of St. Louis, and soon after the president, which responsible office he still holds. In 1851, he was elected a director in the Pacific Railroad, and in 1855, a director in the Boatmen's Saving Institution. When it became evident in 1859, that corruption had crept into the county court, he took a very active part in abolishing it. He is well known in the place of his birth, and has witnessed year by year the unparalleled growth of his native city, and his efforts and influence have done much for its prosperity. His name gives strength, with whatever it is associated, and any enterprise with which he is connected, almost at once guarantees the sanction and the confidence of the public.
Rev. S. B. McPheeters.
REV. S. B. MCPHEETERS was born at Raleigh, North Carolina, September 18th, 1819. Dr. William McPheeters, his father, was a learned and eminent divine of the Presbyterian church, who, for forty years, was attached to the ministry, and who was well known throughout the states of Virginia, and North Carolina as a popular and able minister, and exemplary in the practical duties of Christian life. He died at the age of sixty-four, and has seven children living, three of whom reside in St. Louis. One is the subject of this sketch Dr. William McPheeters, who bears the name of his father, occupies a professor's chair in the St. Louis Medical College, and has been a resident of the city for eighteen years; and James G. McPheeters, proprietor of the well-known Excelsior foundry.
In his youth, the Rev. S. B. McPheeters was a constant pupil of the schools in his neighborhood, and directly he became sufficiently advanced, was sent to the University of North Carolina, where he graduated in 1841. After leaving college, he determined to study law, and read for eighteen months under the instruction of Mr. Manly, an eminent attorney; but his feelings flowing into religious channels, he felt called upon to follow an apostolic mission, and, uniting with the church, went to Princeton, New Jersey, and, amid the classic associations of Nassau Hall, he assiduously devoted himself to preparation for the ministry. He remained three years at college, and, on returning to North Carolina, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Orange, and in Nottaway and Amelia counties of Virginia, with all the ardor of enthusiastic feeling, he promulgated the salutary precepts of the gospel.
In the spring of 1848 Mr. McPheeters was ordained by the Presbytery of East Hanover, Virginia. In the year 1851 he received an invitation to the Westminster church in St. Louis. He accepted the call, and returning to St. Louis, became the pastor of the church. He continued thus for two years, when it was thought advisable that a union should be effected between the Westminster church and the Pine street church, and he was invited by the congregations of the two churches to become their minister. He acted in obedience to their wishes, and still continues his duties as their pastor.
The Rev. S. B. McPheeters was married to Miss Eliza C. Shanks, daughter of Colonel Shanks, of Virginia. In the pulpit he is popular; his discourse being impressive and attractive, from its literary finish and the conviction it enforces. His eloquence is mild and convincing, free from all unhealthful excitement, yet earnest in its appeal. He is well beloved by his congregation, and performs, to the utmost, the duties appertaining to his station.
Isaac H. Sturgeon.
ISAAC H. STURGEON was born September 10th, 1821, in Jefferson county, Kentucky. His ancestry is of an old Pennsylvania stock, who emigrated at an early day, and settled in Kentucky, when it was a part of Virginia. His parents, Thomas Sturgeon and Eliza Tyler, were both born in Jefferson county, Kentucky, and after marriage lived upon a farm, in comfortable but not affluent circumstances. Thomas Sturgeon died September 5th, 1822, and eleven years afterward his wife followed him to the grave.
Both parents gone, the three orphan children, Edward T., Isaac H., and Thomas L. Sturgeon, received more than the usual sympathy of relations; and their maternal uncle, Robert Tyler, took them to his house, and charged himself with their future welfare. Isaac was the second in age, and had good advantages of early mental training. He went to a school kept by Mr. Robert N. Smith, who was a good teacher, and possessed a cultivated intellect, and in 1837, having left this school, young Sturgeon engaged as a clerk to Mr. Willis Stewart, a grocer and commission merchant, at a salary of one hundred and seventy-five dollars per annum. He afterward became a clerk in the Chancery court at Louisville, where he remained for three years, when his health became impaired, and he was compelled to seek out-door employment, and obtained the situation of deputy-marshal of said court.
While Mr. Sturgeon was attending to his duties as clerk and deputy-marshal, he devoted all of his leisure moments to the study of law, which he pursued in the office of Messrs. Guthrie & Taylor. In 1842, business called Mr. Sturgeon to St. Louis, and so well satisfied was he of its prospective advantages, that he determined, as soon as he could make circumstances suit, he would permanently locate himself in it. In 1845, he carried this design into execution, in connection with his brother Thomas. He also obtained license to practice law.
Mr. Sturgeon had not been long in St. Louis before he became known through his enterprise and business talents, and his suavity of manner made him popular with all classes of citizens. He and his brother, in connection with their own business, were agents of his aunt, Mrs. Tyler, who owned a large portion of landed estate, outside of the populous portion of the city, in the new city limits, and he went to Jefferson City to induce the legislature to grant a portion of the tax-money for the purpose of paving the streets. He employed all of his efforts to effect this purpose, but when it came before the house, his prayer was rejected. Not to be foiled in what he believed a just request, he again renewed his efforts, and, despite the most strenuous opposition, he succeeded in carrying his measure.
When a boy, he joined the democratic party, when the state of Kentucky
was under whig control, and has never for a moment swerved from the political tenets he advocated in his youth. In 1849 he was appointed director of the Bank of the state of Missouri by Governor King, and was one of the committee appointed to pray the legislature to grant one-half of the taxes of the new city limits during ten years, for paving the streets, and the prayer was granted at the close of the session, and all who hold real estate within the new limits are indebted to Mr. Sturgeon for the peculiar privileges which appertain to their property.
In 1850, Mr. Sturgeon was again elected to the city council, and at this time, when the excitement between the Benton and anti-Benton party was at its height, he was the bitter opponent of the former party, and was most effective in exposing its inconsistencies, and defeating its favorite measures. He went to Washington City on business, and while there, contrary to his wishes and instructions, he was nominated by the anti-Benton party for the state senate, but the whole ticket was defeated. Mr. Sturgeon did not see any of his constituents until after the election, being detained at the seat of government. However, in 1852 he was again nominated by the same party, and at the ensuing election was elected by a large majority.
On going to Jefferson City the ensuing November, he met with one of those pleasant surprises which seldom occur in a lifetime, and which cause the heart to overflow with emotions of gladness. Mr. Smith, his old tutor in Kentucky, had also arrived at the capital of the state, to take his seat as a member of the legislature, and being brought together under these circumstances afforded each more true joy than any success of party or public ovation. Both of them had immigrated to Missouri, and both had been called to honorable positions.
Whilst a member of the senate, Mr. Sturgeon took a conspicuous part in all of the great measures of the day. He was made chairman of the committee on banks and corporations, also of ways and means, and was a great friend of the north Missouri and south-west branch of the Pacific railroad. He took strong grounds against banks of issue, believing that paper issue has only the tendency to make times easier in the season of general confidence, and where confidence is shaken to make them harder. He received his present appointment as assistant treasurer of the United States at St. Louis from Mr. Pierce, and subsequently was appointed by Mr. Buchanan. He has filled many high positions of trust. He has been five times president of the North Missouri Railroad, member of the state senate and city council, director of the Southern Bank, and his present appointment shows the confidence reposed in him by the general government.
Mr. Sturgeon was married December 16th, 1858, to Miss Nannie Celeste Allen, second daughter of the late Beverly Allen. As a politician, his course has always been noble, frank and consistent, and as a man his life has been made up with acts of kindness to others, and in neglecting no duty incumbent upon him to perform.
John D. Daggett.
JOHN D. DAGGETT was born at Attleborough, Massachusetts, October 4th, 1793. His father, Benjamin Daggett, was a respectable merchant, and his ancestors are all of English origin. When very young, John became an inmate of the little village school of Attleborough, where he was kept according to the practical customs of the times, until he became strong enough to do something for his own livelihood. At the age of thirteen, his father died, and he was taken from school and put to learn the trade of a machinist, and during the time he was thus engaged, his ingenuity was such, that he undertook, while yet a youth, the manufacture of musket locks for the army at Pautucket in 1812, which he accomplished with entire satisfaction.
In 1814, John D. Daggett determined, after the fashion of most of the young ambitious Yankees, to quit his home and seek his fortunes abroad. He first went to Philadelphia, where he pursued for a little while his trade, and after remaining there for a year he went to Pittsburg and engaged as salesman in a tin and copper store. He soon again changed his place of business, and then commenced as clerk in a silver-plating establishment. While engaged in that capacity, his employer, struck with his ingenuity and general ability, made him superintendent of the whole establishment. His time was then profitably and pleasantly employed, but he was solicited by Reuben Neal, who first employed him when he came to Pittsburg, to accompany him to St. Louis. Having wished for some time to go to St. Louis, he agreed to the offer of Mr. Neal, and started for St. Louis with a boat well laden with tin and copper-ware, and a variety of goods of this kind. He went down the Ohio and then up the Wabash to Vincennes, where he disposed of his merchandise in a most profitable manner, and came across on horseback to St. Louis.
The St. Louis of 1817 bore but little resemblance to the St. Louis of the present time. There was no town west of Third street, and though most persons thought it a growing town, the most sanguine could not have hoped that it would, in so short a time, reach the magnitude and appearance it now presents. Mr. Daggett, however, liked the appearance of the town, and resolved to accept the offer which Mr. Neal made to him of taking general charge in superintending his business, which he established in the tin and copper line on quite an extensive scale. He remained with Mr. Neal three years and a half, when, having gathered some capital, he resolved to go into business for himself, and forming a partnership, he commenced the commission business, the firm being Daggett & Haldman. This continued until 1822, when the firm dissolved, and Mr. Daggett went into the general merchandising, and remained in that connection for eight years.
All of the varieties of business that he pursued he made lucrative by giving them his undivided attention, and conducting them in legitimate channels, never having ventured in the uncertain depths of hazardous speculation. He was always contented with his profits, though slow, and day by day there was a gradual but healthful growth to his fortune.
On quitting the general merchandising business, as it was affecting his health, Mr. Daggett was in possession of considerable capital, and he went into the steamboat business, purchasing an interest in a steamboat, and then serving upon her, either in the capacity of captain or clerk. He ran principally between St. Louis and New Orleans, and was at one time in the command of the steamer Oceana, which, when first built, was then most beautiful boat that floated upon the Mississippi. He remained six years in steamboating, which, like every thing he undertook, yielded him certain profit and enlarged his fortune.
On releasing himself from this pursuit, Mr. Daggett purchased an interest in the Sectional Floating Dock Company, and became the general agent and superintendent of the business of the corporation. While engaged in this business, it occurred to him there should be another company in existence, and when the time was ripe for such a corporation, through his instrumentality the Floating Dock Insurance Company was established, which may be said to be the natural production of the other; of this company he was for a long time director and president. This corporation has thriven since it has come into existence, wields a large capital, and exercises considerable influence.
Though domestic in his habits, and giving all of his time to his business pursuits, in 1841 the whig party nominated him against his will for mayor, and he may be said to have been dragged into the political contest. He was elected; for the people had all confidence in his integrity and knew him to be a working man, so different from those who pursue politics as a profession and who seek office with no other intention but to make what spoil they can out of it. After his term as mayor expired, Mr. Daggett never again ventured into the political field, for the turbulent confusion of which his inclination and habits of life were so unsuitable.
Mr. Daggett was married February 10th, 1821, to Miss Sarah Sparks, daughter of Samuel Sparks, Esq., of Maine. He has been identified with a variety of different pursuits and been successful in all. He is friendly in his relations with everyone, discriminating in his judgment, and possesses that quality so rare in these days of vanity, a diffidence as to his own worth. He has held other positions of trust than those we have mentioned, for his connection with any business gives it additional weight and importance before the community. He has been a director in the Citizens' Insurance Company, and president of the Gas Company; also one of its corporators, and served some time as secretary and treasurer. He resigned his office in favor of Mr. Edward Stagg, the efficient secretary of the company. He was also a member of the Board of Aldermen for two years, and was also street commissioner.
Mr. Daggett has for forty years been connected with the Masonic fragility, and has held every office conferred by the order in the state of Missouri, and is now the treasurer of five distinct Masonic lodges.
In the decline of his life, Mr. Daggett possesses an ample fortune, which he deserves to enjoy, for he has made it in legitimate channels. He commenced life a poor boy, and what friends he has since made, what worldly goods he has since gathered, have been the natural consequence of probity of character and an untiring devotion to business pursuits. He has truly been the architect of his own fortune, and his success teaches an instructive and useful lesson to posterity.
Rev. Truman Marcellus Post.
THIS well-known author and divine was born June 3d, 1810, at Middlebury, Vermont. Roswell Post, his grandfather, was a native of Connecticut, and was one of the brave band commanded by Ethan Allen, in his attack upon Ticonderoga, and took an active part afterward in the Revolutionary War, being present at the battle of Bennington, and rendering other important services to his country at this critical period. The father of the subject of this sketch was a member of the legal profession, at Middlebury, and at one time was a clerk of the legislature of Vermont. He died early in life, in 1811, leaving three children, the youngest of whom was the subject of this biography, then an infant.
T. M. Post received a good education, and early evinced a predisposition to study, and a love of literature. He was happy when surrounded by his books; but when he was fourteen years of age, his sensitive nature received a check, which stopped the flow of the genial feelings incident to youth, and filled his heart with sadness. He had to exile himself from his mother's roof, on account of a disagreement with his step-father, and, at that early age had to become an actor in the drama of life. He, however, continued to prosecute his studies, and in 1829 graduated, with the highest honors of his class, at Middlebury College, Vermont; and then, afterward, became tutor, which still more thoroughly accomplished him in his studies. He then commenced the study of law, and, having qualified himself in his profession, came West in 1833.
Mr. Post was an accomplished scholar, and was appointed Professor of Ancient Languages in Illinois College, which position, in connection with the Chair of History, he held till 1847. During that time two important events occurred. In 1836, he was married to Miss Frances A. Henshaw, of Middlebury, Vermont, whose ancestors came early to this country, a portion under the Protectorate, in 1653, and another portion in 1620, in the "Mayflower." In 1840, he was appointed to take the pastoral charge of the Congregational Church at Jacksonville, Illinois, where he remained until 1847; and then, from repeated solicitations, consented to take charge of the Third Presbyterian Church at St. Louis, for four years. Since that time has expired, he has ministered to the Congregational Church.
The talents of Mr. Post, as a pastor, are of a very high order. He is engaging in his manner, earnest in the delivery of his sermons, and his language flows with that grace and polish so significant of profound scholarship. He is also an author, and his productions have justly an extensive reputation.
William T. Christy.
WM. T. CHRISTY was born June 20, 1803, in Clarke county, Kentucky. Both of his grandfathers were natives of Virginia, and, animated by the wild spirit of independence so characteristic of the first settlers, started for Kentucky, and located near Georgetown and Boonesborough, of that state, when the savages, with all of their murderous instincts in full action, were waging war upon that soil, which, to this day, is known as "the Bloody Ground." Though risking all things themselves, they did not remove their families to the state until 1785, when the Indians had been driven from the hunting-ground, which, for years, they had fought with the fury of demons to maintain. It was on the "Bloody Ground" that the subject of this memoir was born, and, in his childhood, he has often heard some of the old pioneers relate scraps of the fearful history connected with that period.
The education of young Christy was confined to the country school-house, which any boy of quick parts could soon exhaust of its mental supply; and, at the age of thirteen, he entered the store of his elder brother, at Winchester, Ky., and there remained, until 1817, when his brother gave up his business from declining health. After the death of his brother, he sought employment in Richmond of the same state, and was taken into the service of J. A. Grimes, with whom he remained a year; and then repaired to Glasgow, Barren county, where he entered the store of his namesake and kinsman, Wm. T. Bush, and sojourned with him for three years. Leaving Glasgow, he went to Louisville, and was engaged as book-keeper for Messrs. Duncan, Dobbin & Co. He did not remain long in his new situation, but, having formed the acquaintance of Mr. James Falls, a warm friendship sprung up between them, and this was followed by a business alliance; and the two, with a capital of $3,500, entered business in Russelville.
Mr. Christy went on to Philadelphia, to purchase goods, and, in these times such a journey was to be dreaded, as, from Kentucky to Baltimore, it had to be performed on horseback. On this journey, he met with an accident, which compelled him to make his debut as a merchant, in the streets of Philadelphia, on crutches.
The career of the new firm, Falls & Christy, established in Russelville the autumn of 1822, was a prosperous one, although a deranged and fictitious currency kept the young men in a continual alarm, as the paper money, even in the season of comparative confidence, was fifty per cent. when exchanged for specie. Believing, however, that Tennessee offered greater inducements for business, the firm removed their stock to Murfreesboro', where they entered upon a lucrative trade, which continued for
four years; and, at the expiration of that time, Mr. Falls having married in Nashville, and wishing to reside in that city, he offered to sell out his interest to Mr. Christy, which was accepted. The partnership had subsisted for six years, and Mr. Christy frequently alludes to the rare business qualities and sterling worth of the partner of his early years, who is now deceased.
After the withdrawal of Mr. Falls, Mr. Christy determined, if possible, to induce Mr. James Woods to enter with him in business relations, as he had known him for several years, and thought him a proper substitute for the partner who had retired. Mr. Woods accepted the invitation, and the firm of Wm. T. Christy & Co. was well known for years in the vicinity, by the extent of their business, and enjoyed the unlimited confidence of the people. In 1836, the firm had amassed so considerable a fortune, that their capital became unwieldy in so small a place, and they determined on removing to St. Louis, where they could extend, ad libitum, their business. At this time a younger brother of Mr. Christy's was admitted into the concern, and then the name which the firm now bears, Woods, Christy & Co., was adopted. The new firm was started in St. Louis in the spring of 1837, and had but fairly entered upon the new theatre of action, before the muttering indications, which had been heard for some time, in the financial world, grew louder and more threatening, and at last the storm burst with a fury unknown before in the business annals of the country, and many of the old established houses tottered and fell, never to rise again. The house of Woods, Christy & Co. survived amid the almost general ruin, and from that period to the present time, has done a most extensive and lucrative business, and is well known to the commercial community. In 1857, it again had to sustain the financial earthquake, which shook, with ruinous effect, both this country and Europe; but it stood the shock unscathed.
In 1832, Mr. Christy married Ellen P., daughter of Calvin and Sarah Morgan, of Knoxville, Tenn., and has had seven children, five of whom are now living. Amid the absorbing pursuits of business life, Mr. Christy has been attentive to his religious duties, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has been connected with several insurance companies, and, for sixteen years, has been a director of the Bank of Missouri. He has established a reputation of which any one may be proud; and, for his moral and business worth, there is no man better known in St. Louis, or more highly estimated as a citizen.
Thomas A. Buckland.
HE who has reaped a plenteous harvest in the field where he has labored, and has won an honorable name in the community where he has lived, well deserves a biography; and the events of his life furnish a useful lesson to posterity.
The subject of this memoir was born in the county of Sussex, England. His parents belonged to the honest yeomanry of that country, who brought up their children to habits of industry, and early instilled into them the love and practice of the moral attributes. They gave their children a practical education, and then set them to work in some suitable business. Thomas, after receiving his share of schooling, was sent to learn the milling business, and his father, for this privilege, had to pay his instructor the sum of five hundred dollars. He remained under instruction for three years and a half, and taking the fever of emigration, which everywhere spread around him, he started for the city of New York, where he arrived in 1836. From there he went to Rochester on a tour of observation, and, after a short sojourn, seeing nothing attractive in the way of business pursuits, which he thought would quickly remunerate his efforts, he started for St. Louis, which had commenced making some noise in the commercial world. While on his way, he formed the acquaintance of Mr. Charles Todd, on board of a steamboat, and a friendship was cemented between the two, which exists to the present time, and has extended to other portions of the family.
At that time, there were but two mills in St. Louis, and Mr. Buckland determined on visiting the flourishing cities on the Mississippi, before permanently locating himself. He was at Quincy, Naples, and other places, and, at the former place, while he was waiting for the materials to be brought, to repair a mill, the work which he had engaged to do, he went to mauling rails, so as not to lose, in idleness, time which could be profitable, devoted to other pursuits.
Leaving all of these towns, with the conviction that St. Louis furnished the best opening for the thorough business man, he returned, and engaged as miller with Daniel D. Page, the most extensive milling merchant in the place. His salary was $600 per annum, and found in board. Leaving this situation, Mr. Buckland went to La Grange, where he built a mill, and carried it on for the six ensuing years. Then, quitting La Grange, he came again to St. Louis, and there purchased the Park Mills, then a diminutive concern, and no more like the present Park Mills, than a pigmy is like a giant. It was burnt, and then built in its present improved style, in 1849. Mr. Buckland, even in his early days, when his battle with the world was the strongest, supported his mother and his sister, and has since educated three of his brother's children, sending them to the first institutions and colleges.
Mr. Buckland has been very active in the fire department, and has passed through all the different grades of office, from a runner with the engine to being president of the Firemen's Association. He took a very
active part in the adoption of the steam-engine in the department, and, also, in giving pay to the firemen. He was the first who advocated the necessity of a Millers' Exchange, now known as the Merchants' Exchange, and is connected with some of the most important corporations of the city. He was one of the corporators of the Millers and Manufacturers' Insurance Company, also a director; director in the Mechanics' Bank; in the Western River Wrecking Company; in the Masonic Hall Association, also treasurer; and, also, vice-president of the St. Louis Mutual Building Association. His name is a tower of strength in every enterprise with which he is connected.
THE subject of this memoir was born in the county of Tipperary, Ireland, December 27th, 1798. His father was an industrious farmer having a large family of children, eleven in number, all of whom he raised in the habits of industry and economy. He sent his children to school until they were large enough to fill a situation, and they were then put to some employment.
Young Edward Walsh was suffered to remain at school until twelve years of age, and was then put into the store of a cousin, where he remained for four years. After the expiration of that period, he went into business with his brother, who kept a mill and brewing establishment, where he staid until 1818, when he received a letter from his cousin in Louisville, which determined him to exile himself from the green fields of Erin and seek a home in the United States of America, where the institutions were not under royal control, and where the prospects of success in the business walks of life were so much more flattering. He made hasty preparations for his journey, and departing from his native land, reached New York June 7th, 1818.
In those early days the iron horse was not known, and all long journeys had to be performed on horseback; and it was on horseback that Edward Walsh performed his journey from Baltimore to Pittsburg, at which place he got a flat-boat and took passage to Louisville, and arrived there, after a tedious passage on the Ohio, of forty days. At that time Louisville did not have the hygienic celebrity it now enjoys, and was known, on the contrary, as being the seat of malignant maladies, which circumstance influenced Edward Walsh to leave the town and start for Missouri. He came to St. Louis in October 1818, and after understanding well the neighboring localities, he determined to settle at St. Genevieve county, where he put up a mill. In this pursuit he remained engaged at St. Genevieve very profitably until 1824, when he sold out his business, and after a little time spent in St. Louis in determining upon another suitable location, he went to Madison county, where he again engaged in the mill business, but remaining but a short time, he again sold out and returned to St. Louis.
At that time Edward Walsh determined upon changing his pursuit, and, in partnership with his brother, entered upon the general merchandising business, the firm being known as J. & E. Walsh. Not being partial to his new vocation, in 1831 he sold out his interest and commenced milling on a large scale in St. Louis, having three mills, one of which is still funning, and having been in constant operation since 1827, has manufactured more flour than any other mill in St. Louis.
As a miller, as in every thing else, Edward Walsh was successful, and he then became connected with the steamboat business, and so largely at
one time, that he had invested more than $100,000. He possessed an interest in some of the finest boats that landed on the levee of St. Louis. He has also dealt largely in lead, which, by the alchemical virtues of industry and judgment, he transmuted into golden profits for himself.
In writing the biography of Edward Walsh, we feel it a bounden duty to pay a passing tribute to the worth and merits of his brother, John Walsh, now deceased, with whom he was identified so many years in business pursuits.
John Walsh, during his life, was esteemed for his business capacity, and those pure principles of character which go to make up the truly honorable man. He was not only successful in his business calling, but he was emphatically a lover of the human family known for his benevolence and his charities, and endeared to a large circle of friends. He has shuffled off his "mortal coil," but his virtues live after him; and when the name of John Walsh is now mentioned, it is with that respect which a character so pure as his so well deserves from posterity.
Mr. Walsh has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Maria Tucker, whom he married in 1822, and his present wife, whom he married February 11th, 1840, was Miss Julia Denum. He has been connected with many of our public institutions, for his name has good weight and strength in the business world, and is an important auxiliary to any thing to which it is attached. Since the first establishment of the Bank of the State of Missouri, he has been one of its directors. He was also a director in the old Missouri Insurance Company, and is a director of the Union Insurance Company.
Mr. Walsh's business capacities are second to no one in St. Louis. He has a judgment that never errs in its calculation, and an industry that is untiring in its pursuit of business. He commenced the world without the gifts of fortune or the aid of auspicious patronage, but made his way to wealth and influence by his own efforts, and is indebted to no extraneous aid for their possession. When a boy he came to a new continent, and without any adventitious aid has become one of the leading business men in the state of his adoption.
JONATHAN JONES was born near Oxford, state of Ohio, August 5th, 1813. His parents, David and Maria Jones, were of Welsh descent, and came from Pennsylvania to Ohio at an early day, and in 1815 removed to Cincinnati. In that city Mr. Jones followed the carpenter business for thirty years, and died in 1846. Jonathan Jones is one of the four children now surviving out of the eighteen children which blessed the union of his parents. His industrious father early inculcated in him a spirit of industry, and up to the age of fifteen he spent much of his time in assisting him in his shop. The advantages he had for education were limited, though in a short time he knew all that the country school could teach him.
Some natures ripen into manhood early, and Jonathan was anxious to get into a business where he could commence a beginning on the future. With the consent of his father, he engaged in the store of Timothy D. Rose, and in a short time, by his business capacities, succeeded to the possession of the store of his employer, in conjunction with Thomas B. Anderson.
Many years of habitual attention to a lucrative business did not satisfy Mr. Jones. All of his leisure time he had devoted to mental culture, and, having stored his mind with useful knowledge, he determined to put into execution what had always been the darling wish of his soul the cravings of his nature he determined on becoming a teacher. Having well matured his plan, he quickly brought it to completion, and established the first commercial college on the new system that was known in the West.
In 1841, Mr. Jones came to St. Louis, and "Jones's well-known Commercial College" soon became incorporated by an act of the legislature of Missouri, and is one of the most popular institutions of the state. Mr. Jones has left his mark upon the times in which he has lived. His motto has been "Excelsior," and his conduct in life has corresponded to his maxim. He is of untiring industry. He attends to his college and his farm, preaches every Sunday in a Christian church, and sometimes during the week; and is a member of the St. Louis bar all of his duties he properly fulfils.
Mr. Jones was wedded in early life to Rebecca, daughter of Isaac Wallace, of Cincinnati, and resides on his handsome farm, a few miles from St. Louis. He is one of the few men who live to some purpose, and whose works will live after them. There are in the city of St. Louis more than a thousand of its business men who have been educated under his improved system of book-keeping, and are living testimonials of his usefulness.
John H. Gay.
JOHN H. GAY was born October 7th, 1787, in Staunton, Augusta county, Virginia. His parents were in moderate circumstances, owning the farm on which they resided, and were devoted to the welfare of their children. They sold out their property, and went into the state of South Carolina, where they lived but a short time; for they lost both health and property, and left their family in destitute circumstances. However, Henry Gay and his wife were well-beloved by their friends, and, immediately on their demise, they sent for the children, took them to their homes in Virginia, and properly cared for them.
John Gay was the eldest of this family of children, and, after receiving schooling sufficient to qualify him for business pursuits, commenced, at the age of twenty, to learn the tanning and currier business. From the very outset, he evinced that judgment and activity in business, which have always marked his career, and insured him success in every thing he undertook. It was but a short period before he purchased the concern of his employer, and carried on the business in a profitable manner on his own account. It was during this time that he united himself in wedlock to Miss Sophia Mitchell, daughter of the Rev. Edward Mitchell, their marriage bearing date August 7th, 1813.
After the expiration of two years, during which he carried on the tanning and currier business, Mr. Gay sold out, and went to Liberty, where he commenced trading in cattle. He was not engaged very long in this new vocation, which he carried on with great profit, before he resolved to leave Liberty, and enter upon a new pursuit. In 1819, he went to St. Clair county, Illinois, where he purchased a farm, and pursued the vocation of an agriculturist, for several years. The farm on which he then resided he still owns. In 1824, he gave up farming pursuits, and put into execution a design which he had formed some time previously, and came to St. Louis, where he commenced the life of a merchant; and, having associated with Mr. Estis, a firm called Gay and Estis sprung into existence, and they were soon known as growing men, and worthy of the confidence and support of the community.
Each year gave to the new firm increased strength and resources, and year by year the business extended, and soon became extensive in its magnitude. While on the full tide to fortune, the firm became extinct by the death of Mr. Estis, and then Mr. Gay took entire charge of the concern. This was in 1833, and so assiduously did he devote himself to his business, which, from its extent, required continual watchfulness, to keep all of its parts in a healthful condition, that his constitution failed, from its mass of care and labor, and, finding no remedy by which his health could be recruited, but a total abandonment of his business, he sold out to Messrs. Ridgely and Billon.
Mr. Gay has three children, two sons and a daughter. The eldest son, Edward J. Gay, was born February 3, 1816, and married Miss Maria Hines, daughter of Colonel Hines, of Nashville, Tennessee. The other
son, William T. Gay, was born in St. Louis, October 15th, 1828, and married Miss Sallie Bass, daughter of Mr. Eli Bass, of Boone county. The daughter, Miss Eliza M. Gay, is the wife of Dr. Meredith of St. Louis. The two sons of John H. Gay, whose names we have just given, are members of the firm of Gay & Co., who carry on so successfully the wholesale grocery business in the city. There is no house in St. Louis whose character and credit are higher established, and who enjoy more fully the confidence of the public.
John H. Gay has been a citizen of St. Louis, and in all of the manifold operations connected with an extensive business, for thirty-five years, and there is no one who can say that he has done an action derogatory to the merchant, and unworthy of a man. For a score of years, he has been connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a member of the Centenary Church, and is also one of its trustees. He has been most fortunate in the utmost sense. He has won for himself an honored name, has gathered worldly goods sufficient to satisfy his utmost wishes, and the greatest feat he has accomplished, is raising his children to tread in his own footsteps, and who have not diverged from the track he instructed them to pursue, nor forsaken the precepts he early inculcated on them to practice.
When a branch of the old United States Bank was established in St. Louis, Mr. Gay was one of its directors, and, with his honorable compeers, so managed the institution, that, in the general rupture of the parent bank and all of its branches, the one in Missouri wound up with but the insignificant loss of one hundred and twenty-five dollars, whilst the failure of most of the other branches revealed a terrible deficit, and a system of fraud practised by their officers, which caused the wreck of many a fortune, and the distraction of many an intellect. He is director of the old Missouri Insurance Company, and is one of the pioneer merchants who so efficiently assisted in giving to St. Louis its brilliant business position.
ALONZO CHILD was born July 21st, 1807, in Rutland county, state of Vermont. He is a scion of an old and most respectable English family of Worcestershire, and the first member emigrated to this country in 1630, and landed at Boston. His name was Benjamin Child, and from him there are numerous descendants, and it may be said that some of them are eminent, and all of them occupy most respectable spheres of life. The family are remarkable for their health, vigor, enterprise, and longevity, and Ebenezer Child, the father of the subject of this memoir, is now living in Castleton, Vermont, at the advanced age of ninety-one.
Alonzo Child received an excellent education in his youth, having been first sent to the country schools, and then for several years to the Brandon Academy.
At the age of eighteen, his eyes became diseased, and he became entirely blind for the space of two years; but having visited some of the eminent physicians of Boston, he received benefit from their remedies, and gradually recovered his sight, which he and his friends had feared was lost forever. This infirmity necessarily doomed him to inaction for several years, and checked his exertions in the very May-day of life, when the spirits are most genial in their flow, and most ardent for the trials and success of business pursuits. It was two years that he suffered from his affliction, and having partially recovered, commenced business in 1820, in Lowell, Massachusetts, by introducing the anthracite coal stoves, invented by the Rev. Dr. Nott one of the most erudite scholars of the day, and so long the president of Union College, which he so richly endowed at his death who furnished him with a large consignment for the purpose of starting him in business.
Alonzo Child was careful at first to keep his business in a contracted sphere, but when he understood properly its tendencies and his bearing, he extended it as his patronage increased, and soon carried on a hardware store, in connection with other manufactures, of considerable extent. So as still more to extend his business, he entered into copartnership with Stephen Mausur, with whom he continued in an agreeable business connection for several years. Stephen Mausur, his former partner, is now the efficient and popular mayor of Lowell.
From its contiguity to Boston, Mr. Child felt convinced that Lowell would never be a city of very great commercial importance, and he determined to remove to some point where he could enlarge his business to a greater extent than he could in that town, and, winding up his concern, started on a visit of examination through the principal cities of the Union. He visited in his tour St. Louis, and his practical knowledge at once led him to believe that a splendid future awaited it, from the peculiar advantages of its location. He had found what he wished for, a city with all the elements of business vitality, and which promised in time to be scarcely second in magnitude to any city in the Union. He commenced in 1835, the hardware business, in which he continues to this time.
The business career of Mr. Child in St. Louis, has been a most prosperous one. His business talents, his industry, and his energy, would have made him partially successful in any place; but in St. Louis, where there was such an ample field for their development, Mr. Child has reached a position in the business world which must satisfy all of his business aspirations. He is the senior partner of the well-known house of Child, Pratt & Co., and his name has an influence both in business and social circles, the result of successful enterprise and exalted merit. Though he has amassed a fortune sufficient to supply all the luxuries which even a devotee of pleasure might require, he still pursues his usual routine of business habits, with nearly the same ardor which characterized him in his early years; and his remarkable diligence furnishes a salutary example to the young members of his establishment.
In 1843-4, Mr. Child visited Europe, and spent several months in that country, in completing arrangements for direct importations of his goods, and his house has a fame second to none in the Western country. Since 1850, he resides principally near Tarrytown, on the Hudson River, but spends the winter season in St. Louis.
August 28th, 1838, he married Miss Mary Goodrich, daughter of James Goodrich, formerly of Massachusetts. They are a Scotch family, and the wife of Mr. Goodrich was a Wallace, and a lineal descendant of the martyr to Scottish liberty. Mr. Child has seven children, and in his domestic relations is an exemplary husband and father.
Dr. Charles A. Pope.
THIS distinguished surgeon, who now occupies the chair of surgery in St. Louis Medical College, was born March 15th, 1818, at Huntsville, Alabama. His father, Benjamin S. Pope, was a respectable planter, in liberal circumstances of life, and gave his son all the advantages of an early education. When he arrived at the proper age, he was sent to the Greene Academy at Huntsville, and was then transferred to the University of Alabama, where he passed through the prescribed course of collegiate study. Returning to his native town, he commenced the study of his profession with Drs. Fearn and Erskine, physicians of extensive practice, and accomplished in their profession. He then went to the Cincinnati Medical College, and attended a course of lectures, and believing he would have still greater advantages by going to the University of Pennsylvania, he became one of the students of that justly-celebrated institution, where he remained until he graduated.
From a boy, Dr. Pope was of a sanguine temperament, and ambitious of success; and after graduating at Philadelphia, he determined to put the last finish on an education which had been carefully conducted from the commencement, by a visit to Europe. He travelled extensively in France and Germany, and resided two years in Paris, that he might learn all that appertained to his profession, and more particularly in the branch of surgery, which had been brought to such perfection in France. In 1841 Dr. Pope returned from Europe, and, satisfied that he had sought every source that could avail him, he came to St. Louis, and confidently opened his office for practice. He was highly accomplished in his profession, which, together with his urbanity of manner and high moral attributes, soon brought him before the public, and scarcely a year had elapsed since his advent in St. Louis, before he was elected professor of anatomy in the medical department of the St. Louis University. After filling that chair for some years, he received the appointment of professor of surgery, which chair he still occupies.
On April 14th, 1846, Dr. Pope was united in marriage to Miss Caroline O'Fallon, daughter of Colonel John O'Fallon, of St. Louis. In the particular branch of his profession, to which he has devoted his closest attention, there are few who do not acknowledge his supremacy. He had rare advantages, from a youth, and he embraced them to the utmost, so that now his fame as a surgeon has extended throughout the Union. The St. Louis Medical College, with which Dr. Pope is connected, stands in the first rank of medical institutions, and is richly provided with every essential for a complete medical education.
As a citizen, Dr. Pope has proved his devotion to the welfare of St. Louis, by the active part he has taken with regard to the common schools, and has assisted to bring about the present efficient system, under which they so healthfully exist. He is chairman of the committee of High Normal Schools; is a trustee of the Washington University; and one of the managers of the O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute.
Dr. Pope is in the very meridian of life, and has already gathered laurels of which any man may be proud. He has fame, position, and affluence, and when scarcely thirty-five years of age was elected the eighth president of the American Medical Association.
ROBERT BARTH was born March 16th, 1815, at Torgan, in the country of Prussia. His parents were in respectable circumstances in life, and Robert received a good business education, having been sent first to the ordinary schools of the country, and then, at the age of fourteen, was sent to a commercial college at Magdeburg, where he remained four years. His education then being completed, he entered as clerk in the grocery and produce business, where he remained seven years, and leaving that place, went to Hamburg, still in the capacity of clerk, and got ready employment.
While a resident of Hamburg, Mr. Barth heard of the West Indies, and thought of settling in some one of that famous cluster of islands; but during his voyage he changed his mind, determining to visit first the United States, and arrived in New York in 1839. He thought it first advisable to see the country before fixing his residence, and, travelling through the west, came to the city of St. Louis. He arrived in December 1839, and the city pleasing him, he determined to commence business in it. He was a perfect stranger, with but little means; but having a great deal of self-reliance in his composition, he made up his mind to commence and succeed. Chance threw him in the way of Mr. Angelrodt, one of the first German settlers in Missouri, and a most influential citizen, who took him into his establishment, the firm being Carstens, Angelrodt & Co., engaged in the commission and grocery business.
Young Barth was always ambitious of success, and soon, by application, diligence, and economy, gained the entire confidence of his employers, and became a member of the firm, which changed to Angelrodt, Eggers & Barth; and in 1850 was changed to Angelrodt & Barth, which still continues.
It is natural for any one with a cultivated mind to take an interest in every measure connected with mental cultivation; and Mr, Barth used all of his efforts in promoting the establishment of the Mercantile Library, which is now one of the boasted institutions of St. Louis. He was married to Miss Sophia Angelrodt, March 15th, 1847, the daughter of his first friend and employer in St. Louis; and so effectually has he won the public confidence of the citizens, that he was appointed as agent by the city authorities to negotiate city bonds in Europe. He has been a director of the Pacific Railroad, and consul and vice-consul of several German states, director of the Perpetual Insurance Company since 1843, is a director of the Phoenix Floating-Dock Company, and is the efficient president of the German Saving Institution, so high in the confidence of the community.
WHOEVER achieves fortune and social position by his own efforts, and preserves at the same time an unblemished reputation, is a credit to humanity, and is a safe example and guide to succeeding generations. The subject of this memoir belongs to this class of persons, who, by their own untiring energy and business talent, have risen by degrees to prominence among their fellow-men; and whose purity of character the foul breath of calumny has never aspersed.
John Withnell was born March 19th, 1806, at Chorley, Lancashire, England. His father, John Withnell, after whom he was named, was an honorable and practical business man, and his mother, Elizabeth Spencer, was of an old Catholic family, and a woman remarkable for her Christian and domestic virtues.
John Withnell, the elder, was a lumber merchant and builder, who early instilled into the minds of his children the principles of integrity and self-reliance as the great secrets of life. He gave them all a sound English education, sufficient to fit them for any vocation; and then, this done, he felt confident, from the precepts and example he had given them, that they would steer safely and successfully their course; nor has he been mistaken. He had three sons and three daughters. Two of the latter died before forming any alliance in life, and the youngest, Elizabeth, is still living, having married Mr. William Smith, of her native town. All of the sons have been busy reapers in the harvest-field of life, and have garnered amply of its riches. One of them, William, went to the West Indies, where he soon, by his talents, assumed a most prominent position, and became most fortunate in all of his business connections, and now lives in Liverpool, in the quiet enjoyment of the independence he has acquired. Another son, Thomas, is successfully following the occupation of an architect in Spain; and the father still lives, at an advanced age, and sees with pride, that the example he set in life, and the principles he inculcated, have been followed by his children.
At the age of fourteen, John Withnell was taken from school, and, after spending some time at home in employment, was apprenticed to the stone-cutting business, and remained in that capacity, in Liverpool, for five years. He was always attentive to his work, and perfected himself in all of its details; for he had determined to be in the first rank of his vocation, and win his way to fortune.
After leaving Liverpool, he returned home for a short time, and made Preparations to sail for America. He had, for years, yearned for that favored land which offered such inducements to the young votary of aspiring ambition. He landed in the United States in 1829, with one sovereign in his pocket, and, after sojourning in the East a short time, departed for Pittsburgh, on foot; for it was the commencement of the winter of 1829, and he could not well work at his trade during the inclement season.
Mr. Withnell's advent in Pittsburgh was propitious. It was there he
formed the acquaintance of his present estimable lady, whose maiden name was Martha Graves Wainwright, whom he married in January, 1833, when he had become a resident of St. Louis. She was the daughter of Mr. Joseph Wainwright, of Lawrenceville, who is still living.
After a trial of Pittsburgh for nearly two years, he departed for St. Louis, where he arrived in August, 1831, and in a little while afterward assisted in building the penitentiary at Alton. He soon became known in St. Louis for his skill and attention to business, and many of the large contracts for stone-work fell into his hands. He had the contract for the stone-cutting of the cathedral, and many others of much importance.
He had formed a business connection in St. Louis with Mr. Coates, a gentleman of fine abilities and social worth, which existed until 1838 when Mr. Withnell went to Jefferson City, having obtained the stone-contract of the capitol. He was engaged in this contract for three years, and the capitol of our state, which is built of a kind of marble susceptible of the highest finish, owes much of its beauty to his skill and tasteful execution. He was also for many years a partner in the brewery business conducted by Wainwright, Coates & Co.
Shortly after leaving Jefferson City, he took the contract for the county jail, which was the last work he performed in the stone-contract business, and in 1843 bought the place where he now resides, in the suburbs of St. Louis, which was then a wild. Years before, in his rambles through the country, he had been delighted with the beautiful location, and had determined, when sufficiently able, to purchase it. He has adorned it with the most exquisite taste and elegance, and the grounds are among the most tasteful and lovely in the Western country.
Mr. Withnell has avoided politics as uncongenial with that quietude in which he delights; but in 1843, he was persuaded by his friends to become a member of the Board of Aldermen, in which he served two terms. He was one of the corporators of the St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association, and was one of its efficient directors for three years. He is also a director in the Gas Company, and his name adds weight and respect to every thing with which it is connected. He is retiring in his disposition, domestic in his habits, warm in his friendship, and passes his life chiefly in superintending the cultivation and adornment of his farm, and in the serene enjoyments which nestle around the family hearthstone.
The Fillet Family.
In America there is but little pride taken in genealogy, and it is a rare occurrence to meet a family who can trace their ancestral lineage farther back than two or three generations. Business is the great absorbing interest of all classes of society, and keeps them intent upon the present and the future; what is past cannot materially affect their business, and the indulgence of family reminiscences would only occupy their mind to the exclusion of other thoughts more available perhaps in a financial view. This is the substance of their reasoning, and hence the ignorance displayed by most families in ancestral knowledge. There are some whom this business philosophy does not influence, who take a worthy pride in tracing their families from some certain renowned epoch, through all the mazes of lineal and collateral descent for a long series of years, and in keeping a record of the names and pursuits of each member, which is handed down to the succeeding generations as a valuable relic. The family who head this article can trace their different members through all of their various connections, with all the accuracy of a fee simple estate, as far back as 1620, the year on which the Pilgrims dated their advent on the continent of America.
Before proceeding farther in this place, the author would say that it was his original intention of giving a biography of only one member of the Filley family, and the one selected was the Hon. Oliver D. Filley, the present mayor of the city; but there were others of the same name and same family, who were well worthy of a place in this book; so he determined upon giving a succinct historical sketch of a family who have taken a singular pride in preserving their genealogical records, and whose members, residing in the city of St. Louis, have been among our most thrifty and enterprising citizens.
The Filley family are of Welsh origin, and the first of that name that ever trod upon American soil, was a passenger in the "Mayflower," which, in November, 1620, landed the Pilgrims on the bleak promontory where Plymouth now stands. Thirteen years afterward, when two-thirds of their number had been destroyed by disease, famine, and the tomahawk, a small colony, under the direction of William Holmes, sailed from Plymouth to Windsor, Connecticut, to form a settlement; and for the purpose of defence, was built the log fort which was afterward attacked by the Dutch governor, who presided over the few houses which were the first commencement of the present city of New York. They were, however, repulsed, and the new colony at Windsor soon commenced to grow as some coral isle in the sea of wilderness.
There is an old record at Windsor still in existence which shows undeniably that William Filley was one of those who founded the place in 1633. From this William Filley have sprung the numerous
branches of the Filley family which are now so widely spread over the Union. Were we so disposed, we could now, from documents in our possession, trace all the descendants of William Filley down to the present generation, giving their names, and dates, and places of birth. This would be dealing too much with the past, and foreign to the purpose of this work, which is designed to comprise in the most limited space the most useful and interesting information. We will only say that some of the family during the Revolutionary war did good service for their country at that precarious period of her existence.
Oliver D. Filley, the present mayor of St. Louis, was born May 23d, 1806, in Simsbury, now Bloomfield, Connecticut. His parents, Oliver Filley and Annis Humphrey, were married May 8th, 1805, and had eight children, of whom Oliver D. Filley was the eldest. He was sent early to school, and directly he learned the branches of a business education, he commenced to learn the tin-ware business in the shop of his father. Some time afterward he was sent to complete his education at an academy. His father, purchasing a farm, carried on at the same time the tin-ware business, and Oliver frequently assisted him in his mechanical and agricultural labors.
Previous to the autumn of 1829, the fame of the western country had become bruited along the Atlantic settlements, and crowds of emigrants daily forsook their homes, to locate themselves on a soil whose fertility so widely contrasted with the barrenness of the eastern regions. Oliver D. Filley joined the general exodus. He was anxious to locate himself in a place that possessed in itself all the elements of prosperity; and then the self-reliance which from a youth made a part of his character, assured him that he would be successful in all of his undertakings; so, in the season and year we have mentioned, he came to St. Louis, and at once commenced working journey-work in the tin establishment of a Mr. Mansfield. After pursuing his vocation in this manner for about a year, he purchased the establishment from its owner, and this was the commencement of the large fortune that he has since amassed, and the starting-point of that business capacity which has so developed its rare powers in every thing he has undertaken.
The little shop which Mr. Filley first purchased, under his management soon commenced to enlarge and make a figure in the locality in which it stood. Year after year it gave significant evidence of its vitality, and the owner gradually became introduced to the commercial world by his business operations, which had ever been conducted in accordance with the highest principles of honor. He soon became well known and respected, and at last became a leading man in the business world of the Western Metropolis, by his own efforts, unassisted by adventitious circumstances.
The possession of wealth, which so often petrifies the heart and renders it insensible to sympathizing emotions, has had no injurious effect on Mr. Filley. His charitable feelings can readily be called into action, if any worthy object be presented for relief. His liberality does not proceed from a vain ostentation. He seeks no display, and gives from a sense of duty and to gratify the promptings of a heart naturally generous. The fortune that he now possesses has been made from the profits accruing from the business he pursued, and he has always been opposed to the
dangerous system of uncertain speculation. How cautious he is in business, the following circumstance will show. He was once a director in the Bank of the State of Missouri, and when the majority of the directors were in favor of receiving Illinois money on deposit, he resigned his position.
Mr. Filley has ever been a strong advocate of abolishing slavery in the state of Missouri, and in 1848, when a call was made upon the public for an expression of its opinion, his name first appeared upon the roll. If Missouri were free, the quicker, he thought, she would develop her resources. Acting in accordance with the wishes of the people, he became a candidate for mayor in 1848, and was elected; and so popular was his administration that, contrary to his wishes, he was again brought forward in 1859, and was again elected to his high position. Mr. Filley married Chloe Velina Brown, and they have a family of six children; the eldest son, Oliver Brown Filley, being one of the proprietors of the well known Fulton Iron Works.
The brothers of Oliver D. Filley are all well known in the localities in which they reside, and have been successful in the avocations they have pursued. Marcus L. Filley, now of Troy, New York, was once a resident of St. Louis, having come to the city as early as 1827, and was for two years a student of law in the office of Judge Peck. Giles F. Filley, another brother, came to St. Louis in 1833, and entered into business with his eldest brother, Oliver, learning his trade, and with whom he continued until 1841, when he went into the crockery business, which he continued until 1849, and then connected himself with the foundry business. He has been largely engaged in the manufacture of stoves, and has become numbered among our wealthy citizens. J. H. Filley, also a brother, resides in Bloomfield, Connecticut, where their only sister also lives. E. A. & S. R. Filley, the extensive china merchants, and Chauncey J. Filley, their brother, who has likewise a large china establishment, belong to this remarkable family, and possess their leading characteristics. The whole family have been remarkably successful in the vocations they have pursued. They have inherited the virtues of the Puritan, stripped of his bigotry, and their business talent, their unerring judgment, and honorable bearing, have won the confidence and well-wishes of the community where they reside.
Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html