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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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Alonzo Child.

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.

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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.

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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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