NIU Libraries Digitization Projects
Lincoln/Net Prairie Fire Illinois During the Civil War Illinois During the Gilded Age Mark Twain's Mississippi Back to Digitization Projects Contact Us
BACK

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


Previous section

Joseph Charless.

[EXTRACT FROM "THE GREAT WEST."]

"JOSEPH CHARLESS was born January 17th, 1804, at Lexington, Kentucky. He is of a most reputable family, who were forced to flee from Ireland, and arrived in this country, at the city of New York, in 1795. All will remember the sad circumstances connected with the Irish rebellion, at the head of which figured the young and noble Emmet, who fell a sacrifice for loving too well his enslaved country. Joseph Charless, the father of the subject of this memoir, was actively engaged in the spirit of resistance, but when the plan for resistance was discovered in its incipiency, he precipitately fled to avoid the halter or transportation; and, after a sojourn of some time in France, sailed for the United States.

"He was a printer by trade, and established himself in the city of Philadelphia. He worked for Matthew Carey, who, at that time, did the largest publishing business in the Quaker City, and Mr. Charless often boasted that he printed the first quarto edition of the Bible that was ever issued in the United States. Marrying Miss Sarah Gouch in 1798, in two years after he started for Kentucky, and settled in Lexington, where he pursued his business, and in 1807 came to St. Louis. He can boast of having started the first paper in the city of St. Louis and west of the Mississippi river, having, in July, 1808, started the Missouri Gazette, which is still in existence, and is known now as the Missouri Republican, which has the largest circulation of any journal west of the Alleghany mountains. He died in 1834.

"The first years of the young Joseph Charless were partially employed in receiving the limited instructions which the village schoolmaster at that time could impart, and directly he had attained a working size, he was put to work as a printer in his father's office, and while in that employment gleaned a great deal of useful knowledge; he then commenced the study of the law, and read for some time in the office of Francis Spaulding, and afterward, went to complete his legal education at the Transylvania University, Kentucky.

"In 1828, Mr. Charless entered into partnership with his father, who had sold out the Missouri Gazette, and gone into the drug business. He still continues in that pursuit, and is the senior partner of the large and respectable firm now known as Charless, Blow & Co.

"In politics, Mr. Charless has always been identified with the Old Whig party; but has never been a politician, nor has he sought the loaves and fishes of office. His sphere in life has been in a business circle, and he is well known in St. Louis, and his name carries with it respect and influence. He has been in St. Louis since a few years after his birth, and has witnessed and helped to make the great change from poverty to

-- 587 --

wealth, from log-houses to palatial residences, which has taken place in the last two-score years in the Mound City.

"Mrs. Sarah Charless, his mother, was a most exemplary Christian, and was the first to set in agitation an organization for the building of the first Presbyterian church in St. Louis, and from her hospitable doors no unhappy stranger or suffering mendicant was ever turned away unrelieved. She died loved and regretted; for she had lived in the service of her Creator, and in loving and assisting her fellow-creatures.

"In nearly all works of general and municipal importance, Mr. Charless was connected. He has been a member of the Board of Aldermen, director in the Public Schools, has been president of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and is now president of the Mechanics' Bank of this city, and one of the directors of the Pacific Railroad. He is likewise a Christian, being a member of the Presbyterian church, and was one of the most active to carry into execution the building of the City University, which is an ornament of the city, and is under the control of the Presbyterian church.

"November 8th, 1831, Mr. Charless married Miss Charlotte Blow, daughter of Captain Blow, of Virginia. He is of domestic habits, and his sterling business qualities, integrity, social disposition and enterprise, have created a large number of friends, and given him deserving influence in the city which few possess."

Since writing the above, Mr. Charless was shot in the streets of St. Louis, in June, 1859, by a man named Thornton, for having a year previously given some testimony operating against him at a public trial. The indignation of the citizens was aroused, and the murderer narrowly escaped being hung on the spot.

-- 589 --

Previous section


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
Powered by PhiloLogic