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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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Aaron W. Fagin.

AARON W. FAGIN was born in Clairmont county, Ohio, March 11, 1812. His parents, Joseph and Rachel Fagin, were respectable and worthy people who emigrated early in life, from the state of New Jersey and came to Ohio, which at that time, was attracting a numerous population. Joseph Fagin commenced trading on the Ohio River, and pursued that occupation with much profit to himself and family. He was an honorable and industrious man, and carefully instilled into his children the same principles of honor and industry which formed the basis of his own conduct. He died at the advanced age of eighty years.

Aaron W. Fagin was the fifth child of the six which are now living. He was early taught by his father how to work on the farm; and during the busy season was always engaged in preparing, working, and saving the crops. He went to school in the winter, the season of comparative leisure, and this was the only basis of his education, which he was very assiduous in improving, by the liberal purchase of useful books and studying them during the moments of intermission from labor. He continued his connection with the farm until twenty years of age, and was then married to Miss Sarah Bradbury, who resided in the same county, December 10, 1830.

After his marriage, Mr. Fagin, not being partial to the monotonous life of a farmer, where small profits were earned by much labor, quitted that pursuit, and joined himself with his father in a general trading business on the river.

This new business much more assimilated with his natural disposition, and first called into action those business qualifications, for which he has since been so remarkable. His attention, judgment, and industry, soon produced their usual effects upon his pursuits, and the firm of Fagin & Sons gathered largo profits from their immense business; their trade extending to New Orleans. It had the confidence of all, and well deserved it; for, when the pecuniary crisis of 1837, caused banks and bankers, and individuals engaged in all classes of business to break or suspend, the firm of Fagin & Sons stood unmoved amid the general ruin, and was ready to liquidate any demand made upon them. In a little while after the panic, Mr. Fagin dissolved connection with his father, resolving to look about him for a little season, before commencing business on his own account. In 1839 having wound up his affairs he again recommenced the trading business, in which he continued for two years; and then acting on the suggestions and advice of his friend, Mr. George Carlysle, a respectable and wealthy citizen of Cincinnati, who stood high in the financial circles, he came to St. Louis in December, 1842, where he entered upon the commission and produce business.

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The same success which attended Mr. Fagin in other localities, attended him in St. Louis. He did an extensive commission and produce business, and was the first person in St. Louis who carried on business of any magnitude with the Ohio River. He frequently sought the fertile bottoms of that beautiful river for produce, often exchanging lead for corn, wheat, rye, &c.

He continued in this business until 1849, when he commenced the building of his large United States Mill, the fame of whose flour has since spread so widely over the Union. In the milling business he pursued the same course which had insured him success in other avocations. He entered upon it with a determination to succeed, and, strictly attending to his business, and making himself familiar with all of its details, his brands of flour soon became in demand; and his well known brand, in itself so characteristic of excellence, "a hand holding the four aces" stamped on the head of the barrel, is known throughout the Union.

For the purpose of facilitating trade, Mr. Fagin, by his efforts, first organized the Millers' Exchange, which, in its incipiency, was viewed by many with disfavor, but became eventually the basis of the present Merchants' Exchange, which regulates the great commercial interest of St. Louis. His milling business annually amounts to the enormous aggregate of a million and a half dollars.

In politics, Mr. Fagin, without taking any prominent part, has always been identified with the old Whig party. He is a director in the Union Insurance Company, and is looked upon as one of the leading business men in the great Metropolis of the West.

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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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