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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
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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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

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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.

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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
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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