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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
ST. Louis contains a population of one hundred and ninety thousand inhabitants, and is gradually advancing to a most superb destiny. Her magnificent location the centre of the great Mississippi Valley and her present importance have become apparent to the world, and now, without a rival to dispute her pre-eminence, she is the acknowledged metropolis of the great western country.
Biographies of those who have become identified with the progress of the great city, who have guided and directed its business currents year by year, swelling with the elements of prosperity, and who have left the impress of their genius and judgment upon the legislative enactments of the state, must be sought after with avidity, and must be fraught with useful instruction. It will be a source of satisfaction to the reader to know that the engravings of individuals who adorn this work are not drawn by the flighty imagination from airy nothingness; but represent the lineaments of men, nearly all of whom are living and breathing at this time, who have achieved lofty positions, are still active an the busy, bustling world, and afford sterling examples of business excellence and moral and social virtues.
In writing the lives of these men, the author has not attempted to swell facts beyond their proper magnitude, for the incidents which make up the biographies are of sufficient importance in themselves to vest them with interest, without the adventitious aid of the imagination.Colonel John O'Fallon.
The subject of this memoir was born on the 23d of November, 1791, near Louisville, Jefferson county, Kentucky; and is consequently sixty-eight years of age. His father, Dr. James O'Fallon, was an Irish gentleman of education, and lived in Roscommon county, Ireland, and immigrated to this country in the year 1774. He settled in Wilmington, North Carolina, and when his young adopted country, conscious of the justness of her cause, threw down the gage of battle to the most powerful nation on the globe, Dr. O'Fallon took a prominent part in the contest, which, after seven years' struggle, so fortunately accomplished our independence. He raised a troop of a hundred Irishmen in the state of Georgia, and, being appointed the captain, served in that capacity from 1775 to the Battle of Brandy wine, in 1777. His professional services after that period were called into requisition, and so accomplished was he in the art of surgery, that he received the appointment of principal surgeon of the General Hospital of the United States, which important position he occupied until the close of the Revolution in 1783.
While the elements which brewed the tempest of the Revolution were
actively at work, Dr. O'Fallon, for having expressed his republican principles rather too freely in a little Journal called the Mosquito, was thrown into prison by an English governor, where he remained until rescued by General Ashe with eight hundred militia, and then he turned the tables upon his English excellency, forced him to take refuge in an English vessel in Cape Fear River, and so heartily was he frightened, that he never again ventured upon American soil.
After the close of the revolutionary war, Dr. O'Fallon married the youngest sister of General George Rogers Clark, and from that union sprung the subject of this biography. From his youth, the young O'Fallon was remarkable for his popularity among his companions for his judgment, generosity and a predisposition for military glory. At the age of nineteen, in the summer of 1811, he joined General Harrison's army at Vincennes, Indiana, and in the autumn of that year took a prominent part in the memorable battle of Tippecanoe, in which he was severely wounded.
After the battle of Tippecanoe, he received a subaltern's commission in the first regiment of United States infantry, and arrived in St. Louis in January, 1812. In the spring, he received from Governor Howard a captain's commission, and with his company of eighty proceeded with an expedition, commanded by Colonel Whiteside, of Illinois, against some bands of marauding Indians, who were invading with all the horrors of savage warfare the defenceless settlements in the northern part of the state of Illinois. He was then ordered to take charge of some government boats bound for Pittsburgh, which arrived at their place of destination July, 1812, and afterward he proceeded to Louisville for the purpose of equipping himself to join General Harrison, who was in Ohio. He joined General Harrison in October, at Franklinton, opposite Columbus, and was at once appointed to his staff. He had the entire confidence of his distinguished chief, and was with him at the siege of Fort Meigs, May, 1813, and afterward at the assault and capture of a British battery, on which occasion he was highly complimented for his chivalrous behavior by his commanding general. In the autumn of 1813 he was at the memorable battle of the river Thames, still serving as aide-de-camp, and performing the duties of deputy-adjutant general, and remained with General Harrison until that general's resignation in May, 1814. At the close of the war in 1815, Colonel O'Fallon was the commandant of Fort Maiden, in Canada, opposite the mouth of the Detroit River.
In August, 1818, Colonel John O'Fallon resigned his commission in the army, there being no field to invite his military aspirations, and since that time has turned his attention to the more solid business avocations of life, and always resided either in St. Louis or its vicinity. In 1821 he was engaged as contractor of the army, and traded extensively with the Indians. He was elected to the legislature in the same year, and served with honor and usefulness in that body for four years, the last two years being a member of the Senate. Whilst at Jefferson city, he took an active part in the passage of the celebrated Loan Bill.
In 1821, Colonel O'Fallon was married to Miss Stokes, sister of William Stokes, who owned nearly a million dollars of landed estate in St. Louis. He was again married March 15, 1827, to Miss Caroline Sheetz, who came with her parents from the state of Maryland in 1824. By this marriage
there are five children, at present living, Caroline (now Mrs. Dr. Pope). James J. O'Fallon, married to Miss Nannie Harris, of Kentucky, grand-daughter of the late General Taylor, Benjamin O'Fallon, married to Miss Sallie Carter, daughter of Walker R. Carter, Esq., of St. Louis, Henry A. O'Fallon, and John J. O'Fallon.
Perhaps there is no man living as much identified with St. Louis as is Colonel O'Fallon not on account of his immense wealth, but for the useful purposes which he has made it to subserve the city and adorn it. With a charity unparalleled in its munificence, he has already bestowed more than a million of dollars to advance the cause of education and science, and to relieve the wants of suffering humanity. He gave the ground where St. Louis University now stands, and also the site where the first Methodist church stood on Fourth Street, now occupied by Clarke's buildings. He gave the five acres of land on which the water-works of the city are erected, and endowed the O'Fallon Polytechnic Institute with property valued at $100,000. He gave most liberally to Washington University, and built the Dispensary and Medical College over which Dr. Pope so efficiently presides. He gave fifteen acres of land to the "Home of the Friendless," and his private charities are "legion."
Liberality, so rarely found in the possession of wealth, forms one of the dominant traits of Col. O'Fallon's character; and he once offered to make the city of St. Louis a present of a hundred acres of land, if Peter Lindell, Esq., would do the same; each one of the gifts to be laid out into two magnificent parks; but the condition of the offer was not acceded to.
Colonel O'Fallon was president of the Branch Bank of the United States Bank during its existence in St. Louis, and under his superior and honorable management it was wound up with the loss only of one hundred and twenty-five dollars, while tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands dollars were lost in the various places the branches were located, in consequence of the frauds committed by the unprincipled officers connected with them; and he was also agent for the United States Bank of Pennsylvania from 1836 to 1841.
The possession of unbounded wealth, the high and responsible positions which he has filled in the military, civic and business relations of life, have never generated pride and arrogance in his character, and made him forgetful of his duties to his Creator and his fellow beings. He was the first man who organized a Sabbath-school west of the Mississippi River, and is a regular attendant of the Episcopal church. Unostentatious in his bearing he can be approached by all, and his manner possesses much of that freedom and frankness which lend a charm to conversation, and is characteristic of the early settlement of the West.
When Colonel O'Fallon first saw St. Louis, it was but little more than village of log-houses, containing but a few thousand inhabitants. Its commerce consisted only of the furs and peltries which were brought by the hunter and trader from the Missouri, the Mississippi and the Illinois; and on their waters a few canoes and flatboats were sufficient to carry all of the required trade. Colonel O'Fallon has seen the Mound City through all of its progressive stages of advancement, from his first advent in 1812, to the present time, and has contributed more liberally to all public and private enterprise than any other man now living. He has won the
respect and love of every class of society, and in 1849, when the great fire threatened to reduce the whole city to ashes, such was his popularity and such his claim on public gratitude, that the firemen, knowing that some property must be destroyed, encircled his, and saved it on many occasions from the devouring element.
Colonel O'Fallon has been identified with the great railroad enterprises of Missouri, which like a network will soon thread every portion of the state, and develop its vast resources. At the first meeting of some of the prominent citizens to create a company to form the plan of the Pacific Railroad, Colonel O'Fallon was chosen president, and after a charter was obtained from the assembly of Missouri, he was nominated as a candidate for the presidency, but declined, and at the same time nominated Mr. Thomas Allen, who was duly elected.
Colonel O'Fallon was the first president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, and also of the North Missouri. He was a director of the State Bank of Missouri, and subscribed liberally to the building of the Planters' House, and more recently to the building of the Lindell Hotel, now in the course of erection. He is now in the autumn of his life, and the golden fruits of a clear head and good heart are around him. He has abundance beyond his most sanguine wish, the love and respect of zealous and admiring friends; and thousands of young hearts who are educated by his bounty breathe his name with gratitude.
Colonel O'Fallon has liberally dispensed his charities, and seen and enjoyed the fruits of them while living. His good works live around him, and he can enjoy them; and when the sands of his life are all spent and he will be gathered to his "narrow house," he will be mourned as a public benefactor, and his name will not be forgotten.
JOHN SAPPINGTON was born May 28, 1790, in Madison county, Ky. His parents were of a respectable family in the state of Maryland, and his father, after whom he was named, when he became a resident of Kentucky, served in its legislative halls as senator, at the same period that Henry Clay was serving as a member. Mr. Sappington had a large family of eighteen children, and moved to Missouri in 1806.
Young John Sappington was early put to work on the farm of his father, and was regularly brought up to the business of a farmer. When he came to St. Louis with his father, the now great city contained but a few hundred inhabitants, and were made up of such a low mixture of French, Indians, and negroes; of ruffians, robbers, swearers, and swindlers; that the forty families which had come together from Kentucky determined to purchase land some distance from the town, rather than mingle in such rascally society, although they could have purchased most of the land on which St. Louis now stands for one gallon of whiskey per acre. 
The place on which Mr. Sappington now resides, consisting of six hundred and forty acres, was purchased at that time for the usual current price, one gallon of whiskey per acre. This was the golden epoch in the history of whiskey. It represented the currency of the time, and was known and esteemed in every domicile.
Young John Sappington was delighted with his new abode. The rich soil had lain fallow probably for hundreds of centuries, and the yield in all kinds of grain was almost fabulous. In 1812 when the military enthusiasm spread abroad in the land, on account of the rupture between this country and Great Britain, he volunteered under Colonel Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, the Kentucky pioneer, and served under Governor Howard; and was the first one of the fifteen hundred horsemen, to plunge into the Mississippi and lead the way across to Illinois, where they were going to join Governor Edwards. John Sappington was held in high estimation by Governor Howard, and he was appointed one of the trusty scouts, who were sent in advance of the army to detect ambush, and apprise of danger.
Mr. Sappington was married January 8, 1815, to Miss Sarah Wells, daughter of John Wells, and has had eleven children. He has lived upon the farm where he now resides since 1806, to which he has added six hundred and forty acres, and so perfected is its condition, and so high its state of cultivation, that he was awarded a diploma, which was given as the premium at the last fair in St. Louis for "The Model Farm." He takes a great interest in all things pertaining to agriculture, and joined with the Hon. J. R. Barrett and others, in organizing the Agricultural and Mechanical Association, which is now so well-known throughout the Union. He has also served in the legislative council of Missouri for three periods, and was always popular with his constituents. He is still hale and vigorous, and early hardships appear not to have affected his iron constitution.
Hon. Edward Bates.
THIS distinguished Jurist was born, September 4th, 1793, in Goochland county, Virginia. His ancestors were of English origin, and can be traced back even previously to their arrival in this country, in 1625, at the colony of Jamestown. They were of the denomination called the Quakers, and strictly lived up to the tenets of their church. In common with the early settlers of that clay, they doubtless had to endure the hardships incident to that early period, when the ambition of the pioneer extended no farther than to rear a little log cabin, to feed his family on the products of the chase, raise the maize of the country, and protect them from the scalp-knife of the Indian. It belongs not to the province of this work to follow the ancestors of Edward Bates through the trying and romantic variety of their chequered existence, when the state of Virginia was a wild, and the white men were so inferior in number to the sons of the forest.
T. F. Bates, the father of Edward Bates, though reared in the strict creed of the society of Friends, when the war-cry of the Revolution rung through the infant colonies, joined in the cry of resistance, and with all the ardor of the patriot seized his gun to defend his country's rights. It was then that he was excommunicated by the society of Friends, whose peace doctrines he had violated, and from that day he was no more a Quaker, and his family was reared out of the pale of that church.
Edward Bates, the subject of this memoir, was the seventh son of his parents, who had a large family of twelve children. He was sent early to school, but was often suffered to leave at interims, and from this irregularity, his attendance was almost wholly profitless. Fortunately for him, his father possessed a considerable amount of useful knowledge; and Edward Bates garnered much from the frequent conversations he had with his father, who always directed his mind to useful subjects. He had also the advantage of instruction for two years, from his kinsman, Benjamin Bates, of Hanover, Va., who was an able instructor, an accomplished scholar, and a pure and exemplary Christian. After leaving the instruction of his relation he was sent to the Charlotte Hall Academy, where he went through a regular academic course, and then his education was completed.
On leaving school Edward Bates, in selecting a pursuit to follow for a livelihood, was strongly predisposed to join the navy, but yielding to the entreaties of his mother, declined a midshipman's warrant, which had been procured in accordance with his wishes. However, to gratify a spirit for military glory, during the last war with Great Britain, he served six months in the army, at Norfolk, Va., as a volunteer in a militia regiment.
On reaching the age of twenty, Edward Bates removed to St. Louis under the auspices of his elder brother, who was then secretary of the territory, and who afterward became Governor of Missouri. He studied law under Rufus Easton, then eminent at the bar, and who afterward
represented a portion of the state in the national Congress. After being admitted to the bar in 1816, he used all his industry, for which he is now remarkable, to qualify himself thoroughly in his profession. In 1819 he was appointed Circuit Attorney, which he held until 1820, when the state of Missouri was formed.
Edward Bates, by his talents, business abilities, and integrity of character, early won the confidence of the people of Missouri, and was elected a representative to the State Convention, which formed the Constitution in 1820, and the same year was appointed Attorney-General of the state.
From the popularity of Edward Bates he was, contrary to his wishes, nominated as a candidate for the legislature, and was elected several times as member to that honorable body, serving in both houses as a leader of the old whig party, to which he belonged. He was never a virulent factionist, and was popular even in the opposite faction, whose opinions he respected; and if he could not win them as proselytes, he conciliated their regard by his gentleness and respectful conduct.
In 1823 he was joined in wedlock to Miss Julia D. Carlton, and has had a large family of seventeen children, eight of whom still survive.
In 1824 he was appointed by President Monroe as United States Attorney for the Missouri district, which office he held until he was elected member of the Twentieth Congress in 1826.
In 1828 he was again a candidate for Congress, but the auspicious star of General Jackson had risen upon the political horizon, and all the great lights of the whig party grew "beautifully less." Edward Bates was defeated, and from that day to the present has never meddled in the turbulent current of politics; since that time he has earnestly been engaged in the arduous duties of his profession, excepting the three years he served as Judge in the St. Louis Land Court. As a member of the St. Louis bar, by the consent even of his professional brethren, he "stands proudly eminent," and the emolument arising from his practice is most considerable. He is profound as a lawyer, and as a speaker before court and jury, tries to convince the judgment, and never attempts sophistry to delude, nor adorns his argument with the weak and transient beauties of a prolific imagination.
At the time that the convention for internal improvement was held at Chicago, Judge Bates was called to the chair. In 1850 he was solicited by President Fillmore, to become a member of his cabinet, and was offered the honorable appointment of Secretary of War, but he declined acceptance.
Judge Bates is sixty-five years of age, and now with his mind matured by experience, with an influence second to no one in the Union, and with a character that is spotless, he is looked upon as a fitting candidate of the American people for the next presidency. We have only to say, that his name would add lustre to any party, and the highest gift in the power of the people in this great republic, would be nothing more than a fitting tribute to his excellence
Henry Von Phul.
HENRY VON PHUL, the senior partner of the well-known firm Von Phul, Waters and Co., is the oldest merchant now living in the city of St. Louis. He is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was born in that city August 14th, 1784. His father was a plain and respectable man, and his mother, whose maiden name was Graff, was the daughter of a well known merchant in the city of Lancaster, a town in Pennsylvania, composed at that time almost entirely of a German population.
All the advantages of education which Henry Von Phul enjoyed, he received from the common schools in the city of his nativity. At the early age of seventeen, he emigrated to Lexington, Kentucky, at that time a small village, and engaged as a clerk in a store (J. Jordon's), which in a country place always embraces in itself the different branches of grocery, drug shop, and dry goods business, and is not devoted to any particular subdivision.
During his residence in Lexington, Mr. Von Phul, by his business habits and integrity, won completely the confidence of his employer (Mr. Thomas Hart, jr., who was brother-in-law to Henry Clay, and after whose father the late Thomas H. Benton was named), and was sent South on a general trading tour. He visited the city of Natchez, and went a considerable distance up the Red River, bartering with the planters and Indians who dwelt upon its margin. There was no steam at this time, and Mr. Von Phul navigated the rivers in a keelboat, pushing it up the swift current with a long pole.
In this place he remained for ten years, and finding that Lexington was not advancing in population and business as rapidly as he wished, he started for St. Louis in 1811, having heard it favorably spoken of as a place of trade, and feeling confident, from the natural position which it occupied, that it must in time become a place of importance.
On the advent of Henry Von Phul in the city of St. Louis, it was a small town made up of log-houses and other inferior buildings, and containing some fifteen hundred inhabitants; almost all of whom were French, and principally devoted themselves to the trade of lead and peltries. All of the country west of St. Louis, and over the Illinois side of the Mississippi was in its primitive wild state and unreclaimed by the settler. Marauding Indians roamed over every part of the country, and murdered and mangled many a bold pioneer who had rashly advanced too far into the wilds from the assistance of his countrymen.
Less than a year after the arrival of Mr. Von Phul in St. Louis, there was a rumor that the settlers on the Missouri were attacked by the Indians, and immediately a large body of volunteers, commanded by Nat. Boone, son of the Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone, hastened to their relief; among the number who enlisted was Henry Von Phul, then in the prime of his life, being twenty-eight years of age. He was always of a fearless disposition, and during the war of 1812, he made several trips on horseback between St. Louis and Louisville, and what was most remarkable, though the Indians were very troublesome at that time, and shuddering
details of tragical scenes in which they were actors, were daily bruited through the country, he never saw a single Indian in his solitary pilgrimage.
In 1816, Henry Von Phul married Miss Saugrain, the daughter of Dr. Antoine F. Saugrain, and of this marriage have been born fifteen children; of which ten still survive, six sons and four daughters. He commenced his business career in a little store situated in Main-street, north block No. 8, and kept for sale dry goods in all their varieties, and also all the numerous other articles required in domestic life, and which country stores usually supply.
In 1831, Mr. Von Phul removed to the corner of Olive and Front streets, where he was largely engaged in the general commission business and steamboat agency. In some of the fine steamboats which float upon the Mississippi he has owned a large portion, and was one of the few now living who saw the arrival of the General Pike, the first steamboat that landed in St. Louis; this was in 1817. Steamboats at an early day were the speediest channels of communication, and were the making of the Western country and Western commerce; and soon Mr. Von Phul invested largely in those natural vehicles of commerce on the Western waters.
Always directing his conduct by principles based upon the soundest morality, Mr. Von Phul has deserved and gained the confidence of all classes of citizens, and has filled several important positions connected with the municipal government and welfare of St. Louis. He acted as one of the Board of City Commissioners for several years; he was an efficient officer of the School Board; he was connected with the Chamber of Commerce; was president of the Union Insurance Company; is a director in the Iron Mountain Railroad, and has in some manner been connected with most of our public and private institutions, both civil and charitable. He has already passed the age usually allotted to man, and in the course of an active life has been brought in connection with many men and many transactions. There is not a word of reproach against his character, nothing to sully his fair fame nothing to dim the lustre of his life, now so near its setting. Among the merchants he is looked upon as a patriarch, being the oldest one now living in St. Louis, and his name has become a household word in the Great Metropolis, and invested with the attraction of all the moral attributes. In his sear of life hosts of friends are around him, and when his spirit will calmly and hopefully glide from earth, his honored name will not be forgotten.
Hon. John Fletcher Darby.
JOHN FLETCHER DARBY was born December 10th, 1803, in Person county, North Carolina. His father, John Darby, was a respectable planter, who removed to Missouri in 1818, and settled in the western part of St. Louis county, then inhabited only by the pioneers of the country, and requiring much labor to bring the land into a proper state of cultivation.
Young John F. Darby was early sent to school by his father, and had at first all the advantages that the log school-house could give him, and being ambitious of mental culture, he devoted all of his leisure moments to the improvement of his mind. His father reared him in the habits of industry, and he was accustomed, in busy seasons, to assist in the farming operations, but so anxious was her to store his mind with knowledge, that he first commenced to study the Latin grammar while he was engaged in ploughing; using the time in turning his horse to catch a hasty glance at his book. At Colonel Post's there was a young tutor, who, seeing the untiring devotion of the young man to the improvement of his mind, though surrounded with difficulties, took much pleasure in assisting him to master the Latin language, and in a little time young Darby was conversant with many of the Latin authors, and highly relished the beauties of Horace, Virgil, and other Latin poets.
In 1823, when young Darby had attained the age of twenty, he lost both of his parents; but he did not relax his efforts, and continued his habits of industry. He then paid a visit to his grand-parents in North Carolina, and receiving some pecuniary assistance, he determined to complete his education, and placed himself under William Bingham, of Orange county, one of the most accomplished scholars in the South. He then, in 1825, applied for an appointment in the military academy at West Point, but for the want of influential friends, he was not successful. This disappointment served to incline his mind toward the law, and disposing of his small patrimony, he commenced the study of the legal profession at Frankfort, Kentucky. His money, however, becoming exhausted before his profession was mastered, he applied to Mr. Swigert, clerk of the Supreme Court of Kentucky, who, taking an interest in his welfare, gave him some copying to do, from the proceeds of which he could live, and also prosecute his studies. He, in a short time, received license to practise from the Supreme Court of Kentucky.
Mr. Darby then returned to Missouri, and to familiarize himself with the office routine of his profession, remained for some months as a student under Judge Gamble, until he was admitted to the bar in St. Louis, in 1827. Filled with an honorable emulation, with a fair field before him, it was not long before he became known as a rising man in his profession, and crowds of clients soon began to throng his office. He became a favorite with the people, was a popular stump orator, and in 1835, a year replete for him with honor and happiness, he was elected mayor of the city, and was married to a daughter of Captain Wilkinson.
Mr. Darby, when he became mayor, took no sinecure. It was almost equal to clearing out the Augean stables, to get the city under a proper police system, and under the healthful jurisdiction of municipal authority. He established the Mayor's Court, where his summary manner of dealing out justice soon cleared the city of the gamblers, vagabonds, and other worthless characters which infested it, and in a few months after he commenced his official duties, an efficient police was established, salutary laws were enforced, and every thing bore the aspect which indicated that an efficient officer was at the head of the municipal government.
Whilst mayor, Mr. Darby got an act passed for the sale of the Commons, with the consent of the inhabitants who had a right to vote on that occasion; and finding that the city was paying ten per cent, interest on its liabilities, he borrowed one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, at six per cent., which much relieved its financial embarrassments. He was untiring during his administration, in advocating all measures that would redound to the advantage and beauty of the city. In his message he advocated the purchase of public squares, as parks and parade-grounds; and through his influence Washington Square was purchased from Mr. T. H. Smith for thirty-five thousand dollars. This beautiful square was for a long time called Darby's Big Gulley, because the short-sighted could not see how a piece of land consisting of a multitude of gutters could be converted into a handsome park. He also in his proclamation, in 1830, urged the necessity of sending memorials to Congress, to induce that body to authorize, as quickly as possible, the completion of the great national road, and that its route should be through St. Louis. This was the time when a national road was the hobby of Congress.
In 1838 and '39, Mr. Darby, whilst a member of the Senate of Missouri, introduced a bill for the charter of the Iron Mountain Railroad. This failed, in despite of all his efforts to the contrary, owing to the fact that the state of Illinois, at that time, stood on the verge of bankruptcy, owing to her railroad mania. In 1850, he was elected to Congress, and whilst there had many measures carried, of great importance to the city. By diplomatic tactics he secured for the custom-house and post-office an appropriation of $115,000; was mainly instrumental in getting the grant of land to the Pacific Railroad Company, and the Hannibal and St. Joseph's Railroad; and also the consent of the general government to the right of way for the Iron Mountain Railroad through the grounds of the Marine Hospital, the arsenal, etc. Unfortunately, while he was serving so well his constituents, he received an injury on a boat, from the effects of which he will never wholly recover.
The incidents of Mr. Darby's life would be sufficient to fill a volume, but the limits of this work forbid us dwelling any longer upon them.
Mr. Darby is now in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and the senior partner of the well-known banking-house of Darby & Poulterer. He has been a stirring, practical man, both in his public and private life, and his good constitution being still vigorous and unenfeebled, and his fine intellect ripened by experience, he would do honor to any official function in the gift of his country. He has done much, and all honorably; and now, dwelling in the affluence and honor gained by his industry and talents, he can look upon the past unsullied career of his chequered life with conscious pride and satisfaction.
ALEXANDER and ISABELLA MACKENZIE, the parents of Kenneth MacKenzie, resided in Rossshire, Scotland, where their son, the subject of this memoir, was born, April 15, 1797. He enjoyed good educational advantages in his early youth, being for some time under the instruction of a parson who was a friend of the family, an exemplary Christian, and a profound scholar.
Being desirous of seeing the world beyond the sea-girt isle of Britain, in 1818 Kenneth MacKenzie was about to start for the West Indies, but being opposed by the counsel of his friends, abandoned the project. He then received a cordial invitation from a wealthy uncle, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, who owned immense tracts of land in Canada, to emigrate to North America, and there to commence business, as the field to wealth and position was less occupied than in the country of his nativity.
This invitation of his uncle was hailed with rapture by Kenneth MacKenzie, and operated like electricity upon his sanguine temperament. America was the subject of his day thoughts, and he dreamed at night of the distant regions. He determined upon visiting the land which a prophetic feeling told him was to be his future home; and determined to gain the consent of his parents, whom he tenderly loved. He was then placed in one of those dilemmas so frequently experienced by youth, a sense of duty or a gratification of a controlling desire. Affection, duty, instinct, all prompted him to gain the consent of his parents and ask their parting blessing; but he dreaded their refusal, and the hopes of the future had been so long connected with the transatlantic country, that he clandestinely started from home, with a heart almost bursting for his filial disobedience, and took shipping from Glasgow to Quebec.
A little while after his arrival in Canada, Mr. MacKenzie connected himself with the British North-West Company, and in their service gained the first lessons in the fur trade, which he carried on so extensively a few years afterward. He remained in the employment of the company for four years, and after well becoming initiated in all the mysteries of that lucrative business, he determined on removing to St. Louis, and engaging in the same pursuit, where he could extend his trading operations with the Indians from the Mississippi to the Pacific.
In 1822, Mr. Mackenzie having wound up his business in Canada, started for St. Louis, where he established a company, known as the Columbia Fur Company. This company did a very lucrative trade, and Mr. MacKenzie became known to all the different tribes of Indians who inhabited the banks of the Missouri, from its mouth to the Rocky Mountains. He possessed singular control over those savage tribes, and often soothed their discontent, and prevented them from assailing government agents for the wrongs and the frauds they often committed. They looked upon him as their friend and readily submitted to his counsel.
In 1827, the Columbia Fur Company was merged into the American Fur Company, of which the late well known John Jacob Astor was at the head, and much of that princely wealth, which has made his name famous
over the globe, was garnered at that time in the trade with the Indians. Pierre Chouteau, whose name is so intimately blended with St. Louis, was also connected with the company.
At this period the labors of Mr. MacKenzie were Herculean. He travelled more than twenty-five times across the plains, and one summer alone performed the distance of more than three thousand miles on horseback, through a country where the Indian roamed, and where the axe of the pioneer had not then been heard. The open prairies were his bed and resting place, and a piece of dried buffalo meat satisfied his appetite. With this company he remained connected until its dissolution in 1834. He then joined the western branch of the company, of which there are living besides himself Mr. Pierre Chouteau, and Mr. Ramsay Crooke of New York. 
In June 26, 1842, Mr. MacKenzie became united in wedlock to Miss Mary Marshall, the accomplished daughter of Colonel Marshall, of Tennessee. In 1826 and 1836 he visited Europe, for the purpose of gathering information relative to the process of manufacturing wine, and visited the most celebrated vintages of that country. He is now the efficient agent for the Missouri Wine Company, and his experience renders him most suitable to that position.
The life of Mr. MacKenzie has been an eventful one, and most of the large fortune ho possesses has been gathered amid toil, fatigue and danger. His mind is stored with interesting anecdotes, which lend a still greater interest to his natural social qualities. He probably knows better than any man living the early history of the settlements on the Missouri.
A MAN, who, from an humble position and by his own efforts, has risen to affluence and social position, and through all the events of a chequered life, has preserved his integrity unimpeached, well deserves the pen of the historian, and to be held up a model to posterity.
Samuel Gaty was the youngest of nine children, and born of poor parents, August 10th, 1811, in Jefferson county, Kentucky. In his youth, at a very early age, he received eight months of schooling, and directly he reached the age of ten years he was put to earn his bread, by serving an apprenticeship to a machinist in Louisville; his father, who was a cooper, being anxious that he should be put in the way of doing for himself. Some time after entering upon his duties as machinist, the employer of young Gaty died, and he was thrown upon the world to shift for himself; but he resolved, as young as he was, to adhere to the golden maxim of "sticking to one thing," and, finding another competent machinist in the person of Mr. Keffer, he completed his time, and fully learned all of the details of his avocation.
He then commenced business in New Albany, where he worked a short time, and in the autumn of 1828, he came to St. Louis with two companions, Morton and Richards. Their capital was too small to remain long idle, and they commenced the foundry business together on the little sum of two hundred and fifty dollars, which Samuel Gaty had saved in New Albany. This firm soon dissolved, and Mr. Gaty went to daily work with Mr. Newell at the low figure of one dollar and twenty-five cents. For many long days, he worked for this small sum, and in 1829, he again visited Louisville, but, not seeing any brighter prospects, after a short sojourn, he returned to St. Louis, and went into business with Mr. Newell, but the concern did not prosper, and they were compelled to wind up their affairs.
Samuel Gaty, always self-reliant and confident of success, purchased the stock of tools for twenty-five hundred dollars, for which he gave his notes, which were punctually paid at maturity, with the exception of one, which lay over one day before it was taken up. Mr. Gaty is now a wealthy citizen, and through all the extensive transactions through which he has amassed his fortune, he has never had another note that was protested. The very place that Mr. Gaty commenced business, he does his business now; but the aspect of the concern is quite different. The little, small shop is replaced by a building of extensive dimensions, and the amount of the business reaches many hundred thousands of dollars annually. Many changes have been made in the name of the firm; but Samuel Gaty has always continued a member, and was the originator of the concern, which is now being conducted on the most gigantic scale.
In March, 1843, Mr. Gaty was joined in wedlock to Miss Eliza Jane Burbridge, daughter of Benjamin Burbridge, Esq., of Louisiana, Pike county, Missouri, and they have a large family of children, six of whom are now living. It is a boast of Mr. Gaty's that the large fortune which
he has amassed, has been made legitimately in the business which he chose at his setting out in life, and he has never strayed into other channels. He has never speculated in real estate or any other property; never played broker by shaving notes and taking advantage of the pecuniary distress of others; but has attended exclusively to one pursuit, and to it alone is indebted for the handsome fortune he has amassed. His motto in life was, "to excel in all he undertook," and his success in life shows how well he has lived up to the maxim which he set before him as a guide.
Mr. Gaty has been ever averse to the turbulent currents incident to political life, and has ever kept from being drawn into the disturbing excitement; but feeling an interest in all that affected the welfare of St. Louis, he consented to become a candidate for the City Council, and was elected a member of that body in 1839, and served four years with much advantage to the city and credit to his constituents. He has always been a stanch friend of railroads and all other internal improvements that would develop the resources of the country, and add to its wealth and grandeur. He has been liberal in subscription of stock, and is at present a director both in the Pacific and the Ohio and Mississippi railroads. When in the city council he was active in every measure that would contribute to the growth and welfare of St. Louis. He took a prominent part in locating the avenues; advocated the necessity of a work-house; and used all of his influence and exertion in causing the erection of the water-works, which now supply the city so plentifully with the healthful element.
A history of Mr. Gaty's life is useful for its practical instruction. He has amassed a fortune that would content the extravagant requirements of royalty; yet he has never risked a dollar in the precarious investment of speculation, but day by day added to his little commencement, and, attending wholly to the one business, has become honored for his integrity and known as one of the princely manufacturers of St. Louis.
Colonel Thornton Grimsley.
COLONEL THORNTON GRIMSLEY was born on the 20th of August, 1798, in Bourbon county, Kentucky. His father, Nimrod Grimsley, was a resident of Fauquier county, Virginia, and having a large family removed to Kentucky at an early day, and helped to make up the number of that enterprising population who immigrated to what was considered the richest soil in America. His father and mother did not long live in the new homes which they had chosen, but died during the years 1805 and 1806, leaving a helpless family of eight children.
The subject of this memoir, by the dissolution of his parents, was left an orphan at seven years of age, and three years after losing his parents he was apprenticed to the saddlery business. He served his master faithfully for eleven years, and the only compensation which he received was three months of schooling; yet, by his diligent application to business, and a mind naturally of a superior order, he soon won the respect and confidence of his master, and in 1816 he was sent to St. Louis in charge of a valuable assortment of goods, at which place he completed his term of indenture; and on reaching twenty-one years of age, the first act he performed in his independent manhood, was to return to Kentucky and attend school for six months, from the proceeds of extra work which he had performed during the term of his apprenticeship.
After having exhausted his slender resources, in obedience to the invitation of his old master, Thornton Grimsley returned to St. Louis, and took charge of his business for about fourteen months, and then, feeling that he could succeed better untrammelled by the dictates of a superior, in 1822 he placed his name upon a sign-board, and boldly commenced his fortune.
St. Louis at that time was young in years and weak in business resources; and the gross amount done by the three little saddle and harness shops it contained, did not exceed twelve or fifteen thousand dollars per annum.
Thornton Grimsley had to encounter all of the obstacles incident to the lot of an aspiring young man commencing business on a small capital, and, joined with his pecuniary difficulties, his health for five years was in a precarious condition.
On commencing business for himself he married Miss Susan Stark, of Bourbon county, Kentucky, who was sister of the wife of the master under whom he learned his trade. Not long after commencing his business, and just as he was beginning to gather the fruits to which his industry entitled him, a fire destroyed the property which he had accumulated during three years of toil, and left him "poor indeed." When this misfortune occurred he was in ill health, but did not waste a moment in idle regrets, and set about immediately in repairing what accident had deprived him of, and in a little time he was again advancing in a prosperous career.
From the frankness of his disposition and natural goodness of heart, Thornton Grimsley had always made himself hosts of friends, and in 1826 was elected an alderman, and introduced into that body the subject of grading the wharf in front of the city, and strongly advocated that the western edge should be raised three feet higher than its present grade. Had his proposition been acceded to, Front-street would not be inundated at every high flood of the river, and its property would be much more valuable.
In 1828 Colonel Grimsley was called to the legislature of the state, where he was a useful and efficient member. He used his efforts to have completed the national road to Jefferson City, and advocated other important measures. In 1835 he was again elected alderman, and did much for settling satisfactorily the important claim of the St. Louis Commons. From this tract was selected Lafayette Park, and the spacious avenues about it. From the liberal dimensions of this park, some of the shortsighted citizens, in derision, called it Grimsley's folly now it is one of the chief ornaments of our large and growing city.
So useful was Colonel Grimsley in his political life, that in 1838 he was sent to the State Senate, and lent all of his influence for the passage of the bill for the construction of the Iron Mountain Railroad, and also for the establishment of a workhouse.
Though Colonel Grimsley was so liberally rewarded with civic honors he was not unmindful of military glory. He has filled all of the stations, from an orderly to division inspector; in 1832 he raised a volunteer company and tendered their services to the Governor of Illinois during the Black Hawk war, and in 1836 received from General Jackson a captain's commission in the dragoons of the United States army. He declined this honor as it was in time of peace, and wisely stuck to his business pursuits. He has now been engaged thirty-seven years in his only pursuit, and does now a business of three hundred thousand dollars per annum.
In 1846, in less than twenty days he enrolled a regiment of eight hundred men for the Mexican war, but being politically opposed to the Governor of Missouri, he was refused a commission and another appointed in his stead.
Colonel Grimsley has been the father of ten children, four of whom are now living and happily and prosperously settled in life. He has now amassed a competent fortune, and in the autumn of life is enjoying the fruits with which industry ever rewards the managing and persevering.
Colonel Lewis V. Bogy.
COLONEL Louis V. BOGY is emphatically a Western man. His father, Joseph Bogy, who was of Scotch descent, was a native of Kaskaskia, Illinois; and his mother's family, of the name of Vital, were among the earliest settlers in Missouri; the mother, Mary Vital, is still living at an advanced age. Joseph Bogy filled the responsible position of private secretary to Governor Morales, while the states of Louisiana and Missouri were under the Spanish domination; when Missouri became a territory, he became a member of the territorial council; when she was received into the national confederacy, he was elected to the legislature; and for many years he was cashier of the old Bank of Missouri at St. Genevieve. He had a family of seven children, of whom Lewis V. Bogy, the subject of this memoir, was the fourth.
Lewis V. Bogy was born April 9th, 1813, in St. Genevieve county, Missouri, and learned the rudiments of the English language under a Swiss instructor, who kept the little school of the place. Much of his time was spent in working on the farm, until he was attacked by a malady which rendered him unfit to work for two years. While he was powerless and suffering from a "white swelling," he carefully cultivated his mind, and read all of the books he could obtain; by this means he garnered a variety of desultory information, and contracted a passion for information which probably influenced his after destiny. In 1830, he took the situation of clerk in a store at a salary of $200 per annum, half of which he had, according to contract, to take out in trade. However, by the frugality of his habits, he managed to purchase some books from his income, and read by snatches of time some of the elementary books of law, and also resolutely undertook the study of the Latin language under the guidance of Father Condamine, a Catholic priest and accomplished scholar. In January, 1832, he went from St. Genevieve to Kaskaskia, and read law in the office of Judge Pope, till May of that year. He volunteered for the Black Hawk war, was engaged in two desperate battles with the Indians, and was present at the taking of Black Hawk.
After the conclusion of the Indian campaign, Lewis V. Bogy returned to Kaskaskia, where he continued reading law till 1833, when he determined to go a short time to the distinguished University of Transylvania at Lexington, Kentucky, where the facility of getting books was so much greater than at Kaskaskia, He received a flattering letter of introduction from Judge Pope to Judge Mays at Lexington, and commenced reading under that eminent jurist. In the spring of 1834, he commenced teaching a country school, so as to liquidate the debt he contracted with Judge Mays, while studying in the winter, and also to gather resources to complete his course. With a will that never yields to opposing obstacles, he did complete his course, and returned to Missouri in the spring of 1835, settled in the city of St. Louis, and commenced the practice of his profession. From the very first Colonel Bogy was successful as a
lawyer, and the first offering which he received from his clients he sent to Judge Mays, to discharge a debt due for instruction, and also interest on the amount. The worthy judge, however, returned the interest with a complimentary letter.
Colonel Bogy, by the popularity of his manners, and by the rare success which crowned his efforts, soon acquired an extensive and lucrative practice, and was nominated for the legislature and elected, in 1840. He also served in that respectable body in 1854-5, and made an effective speech on the passage of the railroad law, which Governor Price vetoed, but which was passed by the house over the veto. In 1847, he purchased an interest in Pilot Knob, the most distinguished iron deposit in Missouri, but owing to its great distance, forty-seven miles from the Mississippi, many owning shares in the corporation became discouraged, and disposed of their interest, which Colonel Bogy immediately bought up, having faith in the ultimate value of the country. The Iron Mountain Railroad, in which the Pilot Knob Iron Company invested $50,000 in stock, has now reached Pilot Knob, and the works are now carried on in full operation, and the business is of a most profitable nature. Colonel Bogy now owns one half of the stock of the company, and was its president for nine years.
Pilot Knob, the present terminus of the Iron Mountain Railroad, is one of the most romantic spots in the world. The village is situated at the base of the mountain, and lands which a few years ago could scarcely be given away, now are in great demand, and day by day are increasing in value. The Pilot Knob Company, over which Colonel Bogy so long presided, have made the beautiful little village, which is now so rapidly growing into importance.
For many years Colonel Bogy has retired from the legal profession, and devoted himself to developing the resources of that portion of the iron country in which he is so largely interested. He married a daughter of General Bernard Pratt, and has filled with honor the most important positions. He was first President of the Exchange Bank of this city; has been a Commissioner of Public Schools, and taken an active part in promoting their welfare; and in 1852, was the chosen candidate of the democratic party, and took the field against the late Honorable Thomas H. Benton, and is now the President of the Iron Mountain Railroad.
Colonel Bogy is a child of Missouri, and has been nursed amidst her institutions. He has, through a long course of successful life, shown himself worthy of all honor, and, still in the meridian of his existence, the state in which he first drew his breath can hope all things from his talents, patriotism, and integrity.
JOHN SIMONDS was born March 13th, 1800, in Windsor county, Vermont. His parentage was respectable, and his father could boast of being descended from the Huguenots of France, and his mother could claim as a progenitor one of the self-exiled bands of Pilgrims who landed in 1620 on the rocky promontory of Plymouth. John Simonds, the father of the subject of this memoir, came to St. Louis in 1817, and the year following he wrote to his wife to join him, which she soon did with young John and his sister. Mr. Simonds filled the important post of "harbormaster" for several years, and died in 1839.
The only advantage which John Simonds, jr., enjoyed in the way of education he received from the common schools, which at that time were very limited in the degree of education they could impart. However, by his own efforts, he stored his mind with much valuable information, and qualified himself to fill with honor the important positions in life which he has since occupied. He was appointed deputy constable in 1819, which was the first office he held in the city of St. Louis. In 1821 he was deputy sheriff, which office he filled with credit and satisfaction. In 1825 he was appointed United States marshal, but being politically opposed to General Jackson, was removed in 1828. Mr. Simonds then determined, for the future, no longer to be a candidate for political office, which exists by so precarious a tenure, and applied himself to steamboating; and between the years 1828 to 1835, Captain Simonds was as favorably known as any officer who plied between the "Mound" and "Crescent City."
In 1835 Captain Simonds opened a large commission house, which he successfully pursued until the year 1852, when he commenced the banking business with James H. Lucas, with whom he continued as partner until January, 1857; and then, retiring from that firm, the same year again commenced the banking house known as Simonds and Taylor, in which responsible business he still remains.
Captain Simonds has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Theresa Geyer, sister of the late Hon. H. S. Geyer, whom he married March 4th, 1824, and there are still living by this marriage two daughters. After losing his first wife, he married Miss Susan M. Kennett, his present estimable lady, May 5th, 1852. He has filled many important offices. For many years he was president of the Citizens Insurance Company, and also for a considerable period president of the Board of Underwriters.
For some years Captain Simonds has been a ruling elder in the Second Presbyterian church, and to the character of the prompt and successful business man, he adds the adornment of Christian piety.
George R. Taylor, President of the Pacific Railroad Company.
GEORGE R. TAYLOR is a Virginian by birth, having been born in Alexandria, November 11, 1818. His father, Evan P. Taylor, was engaged in manufacturing and mercantile pursuits at that place, but dying when George was but six years old, his education devolved upon his mother, who, intending George for the law, gave to him the preparatory education suitable for his future vocation.
Immediately on completing his education, George R. Taylor commenced reading law under Thomas Semmes, Esq., of Alexandria, and for two years and a half remained under his instruction. Afterward he went to Staunton, Virginia, where there was a law school of high repute under the charge of Judge Thompson, an eminent jurist. After enjoying the benefit of that institution he returned to Alexandria in 1841, where he received license to practise his profession.
Being properly fitted to enter upon the current of life, young Taylor was, for a little while, in doubt in what waters he should launch himself with the greatest prospect of success; and every thing in Alexandria appearing too stagnant for his ambitions views, he started for the West, and arrived in St. Louis in June, 1841. Possessing in a high degree that frankness so characteristic of the Virginian, and animated by friendly and honorable motives, he quickly made a favorable impression, and could soon number, as his friends, some of the most prominent citizens of St. Louis. He formed a partnership with Wilson Primm, Esq., which continued until 1849.
The people of the ward in which George R. Taylor resided soon gave to him an evidence of their high esteem and confidence, by electing him a member of the Common Council, when his devotion to St. Louis was exemplified by the liberal measures he took to advance its interest, and to adorn it. After the destruction by the great fire of so much of the lower part of the city, he was the first to propose and advocate the widening of Main street, whose original dimensions were so unsuitable to the magnitude of its business. His resolution was adopted, and Main street was widened. He then proposed to widen the levee by purchasing Commercial street, and adding it to the narrow strip of land which is so uncomfortably loaded and jammed by the business which forms the immense commerce of St. Louis. Had his wishes been acceded to, we should have had a levee creditable to the city, and sufficient for the comfort and extent of the business which is transacted upon it. At his suggestion, a piece of land was purchased for the purpose of erecting a City Hall, but an opportunity of reselling it at a considerable advance, being offered, it
was sold and dedicated to other purposes.  In this measure, he was efficiently assisted by the late Colonel A. B. Chambers and Adolphus Meier.
George Taylor has always been friendly to the railroad policy, and acted as secretary to the first meeting that was held at the Planters' House. So popular was he with the people, and possessed in so high a degree, their confidence, that ho was again elected to the Common Council in 1856-'7; and still again in 1859. He always officiated as president of the board.
Until recently the buildings of St. Louis were sadly deficient in height, and to him belongs the credit of creating an era in building. He was the first to have erected a six-story house in St. Louis, and people finding the style to architecture which height necessarily gives, soon followed his example, and buildings commenced to go up, which widely contrasted with the pigmy architecture formerly in fashion. St. Louis for many years had been in want of a first-class hotel, and several attempts had been made to supply the necessity, by meetings, subscriptions of stock, &c., but all of the efforts made resulted in nothing. This public necessity was supplied by Mr. Taylor, who had the spirit and enterprise to build, unsupported, the large structure known as Barnum's St. Louis Hotel, which was two years in building, and reared at a cost of two hundred thousand dollars. He was also the leading spirit who brought into existence the Merchants' Exchange, which was reared on the site of the "Old Market;" and so satisfied were the stockholders of the active part that he took in this particular, that in appreciation of his services, they presented him with a beautiful set of silver as a testimonial, at a cost of $1,000. He was president of the board of trustees who had charge of the building, and still continues in office. When the city was suffering many years ago for a building suitable for a Post Office, he organized an association, of which he was elected president, and built on the place to which the Post Office was removed, on the corner of Second and Chesnut streets.
Mr. Taylor married Miss Theresa L. Paul, August 9, 1846, daughter of Gabriel Paul, and granddaughter of Colonel Auguste Chouteau, so well known in the annals of St. Louis. Since he has been a resident of St. Louis, he has been identified with measures that have been prolific of the greatest good. During the different terms he served in the Common Council, he has been liberal in his municipal policy, and anxious for the welfare of the city. In all public-spirited measures, he has taken a prominent part. Through his efforts and influence, the Merchants' Exchange came into being, and he had the nerve to build, unassisted, Barnum's St. Louis Hotel, when St. Louis greatly needed a public house of that description. He was one of the corporators of the St. Louis Railroad Company, and subscribed to its stock the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars. He is just in the prime of active manhood, eminent for his public enterprise; popular with all classes of citizens; and is now the efficient president of the Pacific Railroad Company.
ADOLPHUS MEIER was born in the city of Bremen, Germany, on May 8, 1810. His father, Dr. G. Meier, occupied a very honorable and influential position, being a lawyer of that city, and secretary of the Supreme Court. He gave his son, Adolphus, all the opportunities of an early education, which were ample in Bremen, and further to improve it, sent him for some time to Switzerland.
After completing his education Adolphus Meir spent three years in a large banking house, where he became instructed in the diplomacy of banking; but wishing for a more active field of pursuit engaged for some time in the shipping business. On May 9, 1831, he commenced business on his own account, and was successful from the very onset; and feeling comfortable in life, on April 21, 1835, was married to Miss Anna R. Rust, daughter of a respectable merchant of his native city. Mr. Meier having freighted many vessels with emigrants, at Bremen, had heard much of the United States, and particularly of the fertility of the great valley where flows the "Father of Waters." After satisfying himself beyond doubt that the representations were facts, he started from Bremen for New Orleans, on October 20, 1836, with his wife, child and "household gods." After landing at New Orleans, Mr. Meier took passage for St. Louis, and arrived there on March 2, 1837. He opened a hardware store in an old ricketty building on the corner of Main and Chesnut streets. He occupies that spot to the present day, but the old building has been torn down, and a splendid edifice erected in its stead, where the firm of Adolphus Meier & Co. conduct their extensive operations. The firm consists of Adolphus Meier, his eldest son, and Mr. John C. Rust.
In 1844, Adolphus Meier & Co. started a cotton factory, which was the first spinning-mill west of the Mississippi River. It had at first eight hundred spindles, which soon increased to double the number, and the firm soon erected a new and commodious building, where they could conduct their operations on a more extended scale, with new and improved machinery. The factory did a successful business until 1857, when it was totally destroyed by fire.
After the accident by fire the firm agreed to transfer the business to a company under a charter from the state, which was incorporated as the "St. Louis Cotton Factory," most of the stock being owned by Adolphus Meier & Co. Mr. Meier is president of the company, and the factory is doing a lucrative business. The name of Adolphus Meier carries with it a great weight and influence in the mercantile world, and the purity of his character, and frankness of disposition hare endeared him to a large circle of friends.
Hon. Trusten Polk.
TRUSTEN POLK was born May 29, 1811, in Sussex county, state of Delaware. His parents were placed in a respectable position in life, and, being designed from a boy to pursue a profession, his education, from the very commencement, was conducted in accordance with his future position in life. He was sent to the schools in his neighborhood, and then to an academy at Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland, that he might have every advantage of a proper preparatory education previous to entering college. He was then sent to Yale College at New Haven, and after graduating, he was still continued amid the classic associations of that celebrated institution, and in the Law School began the study of his future profession.
After going through a finished course at Yale, Mr. Polk returned home, and was for a short time engaged in learning the practical duties of his profession in the office of an eminent attorney, before he was admitted to practise. He soon found that the business of his little state was monopolized by a few old lawyers of long practice and extensive acquaintance; and that a young lawyer, no matter what were his abilities, would have to spend the first years of his life in comparative idleness, before he could hope for any thing like a proper remuneration for his services. These prospects were not favorable enough, for one of Mr. Polk's aspiring disposition; so he cast his eyes toward the West, where the states were new, and all entered the field on an equality. There talent would at once meet its reward, and the country being peopled with strangers, a young lawyer's merit would at once be tested, and he would not be doomed to spend the first golden days of youth in indolent obscurity, as he would be compelled to do in states that have been long settled, and where there is no immigration. Influenced by these considerations, Mr. Polk started in 1835 for the state of Missouri, and located himself in St. Louis.
It is often asserted, but without a shadow of reasonable support, that if a man have genius and talent he will become eminent in the sphere he moves in, even if he has not the advantages of proper previous training. Examples are often given of men, who, by the mere force of intellect, without its being strengthened by proper training and preparation, become lights in the various professions and avocations of life. These incidents are as rare as "angel visits;" and if youth were not prepared by fitting instruction for the different professions, the bar, the pulpit, and the laboratory would soon present a sorry figure, and would receive the ridicule of any intelligent order of citizens. Fortunately for Mr. Polk, he had received all the adventitious assistance of thorough training in mental exercise, previous to commencing the study of the law, and when he had mastered his profession, he possessed an untold advantage over those who had
been deprived of a suitable preparatory education. His polished eloquence, the fund of knowledge which he could draw from a thousand sources to strengthen and adorn it, and his suavity of manner, soon won him hosts of friends, and made him eminent as a lawyer.
Two years after his arrival in St. Louis, Mr. Polk united in marriage, December 26, 1837, with Miss Elizabeth W. Skinner, the second daughter of Curtis and Anne Skinner, who had been long residents in Missouri, and had emigrated from New Windsor, Connecticut. For several years afterward, he pursued an extensive and lucrative practice, until the labors incident to a successful career in the legal profession, began to tell upon his constitution, and threaten a premature decline. He was compelled to retire from his pursuits, that his health might be recruited. During this interval of relaxation, which was a portion of 1844 and '45, he spent one winter in Louisiana and the Isle of Cuba, and the ensuing summer, he travelled in the New England states and Canada. During his absence as a valetudinarian, he was selected by the citizens of St. Louis county as a member of the convention which met in 1845 for the purpose of remodelling the constitution of the state, and did good service in the honorable capacity in which he served.
It was not to be supposed that a man of Mr. Polk's ability and popularity should not receive from the public, some demonstration of its confidence, by an appointment to some high official position. In 1856 he was appointed by the Democratic party as candidate for governor. It was at a time of much political excitement; for the "Know Nothing" party and the "Free Soil" party had their strongest champions in the field, and each were exerting themselves to the utmost to obtain a supremacy. In this warm contest, Mr. Polk was elected to the chief magistracy of the state, and in due time was invested with all the honors of his new appointment. He had exercised his prerogatives but a few weeks before he received still further evidence of the estimation in which he was held by the public, by receiving from the legislature of the state the appointment of United States Senator. In possession, at one time, of the two highest political gifts which it was in the power of his state to bestow, it was incumbent that he should resign one of his official stations, and he gave up the gubernatorial chair, that he might represent his state in the Senate of the national Congress. This honorable position he still enjoys, and is an efficient member of the august body to which he belongs.
In his profession, Mr. Polk deservedly occupies a place in the first rank. He is characterized by his honorable bearing, his urbanity of manner, and perfect freedom from vituperation in debate. His eloquence is of the Chesterfield style, impressive, conciliatory, but always free from the gusty excitement of passion. In politics he belongs to the Democratic party, is firm in his political faith, and warmly attached to its principles. He was a warm advocate of the common-school system, when in its incipiency, and has been for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
THE Pratte family is one of the most ancient families in Missouri, and came to the state when it had nothing but pioneer attractions. Bernard Pratte was born in the city of St. Louis, December 17, 1803. His father, General Bernard Pratte, and his father's mother, were both born in St. Genevieve, and his grandmother and her mother were born in St. Louis. His father was a respectable merchant, and completed his education in Canada, as St. Louis at that time possessed none of the advantages of education. He filled positions of trust and responsibility, and was a leading man in the growing city. From his education, his integrity and the confidence of the people, General Pratte was an acquisition to Missouri, and was appointed one of its territorial judges, a post which he held with entire satisfaction, and filled with consummate ability. He was patriotic in his feelings, and when war was declared in 1812, he commanded an expedition to Fort Madison, and served his country until a permanent peace was established. His great weight of character and unimpeachable integrity had a wide reputation, and during the administration of Mr. Monroe, unsolicited on his part, he was appointed receiver of public moneys at St. Louis.
Young Bernard Pratte was raised under the most salutary influences. He had the presence and example of his father continually before him, to form his character, and incite him to honorable emulation. His father being highly educated, greatly appreciated mental cultivation, and he was sent early to the schools of the city, where he was kept until he was fifteen years of age, and then sent to Georgetown, Kentucky, where he remained until he graduated at that institution.
In 1821 Bernard Pratte returned to St. Louis, and it then being required that he should enter upon his business career, he commenced under the tutorship of his father, and spent many years of his life in trading between St. Louis and New Orleans, doing a very extensive and a very lucrative business. He was taken in partnership by his father, and the firm of Bernard Pratte & Co. had an enviable reputation in the commercial world. They were extensive dealers in fur, peltry, and Indian goods; and successful in all their operations.
Bernard Pratte was always of a venturesome and ambitious nature, and anxious to occupy a prominent position in his business. It was as late as 1832 when no steamboat had navigated the Missouri as far as the mouth of the Yellow Stone. The whole of the Missouri River had been explored, it is true, as far as its source, and adventurous spirits had many years traded with barbarous tribes of Indians living contiguous to the Rocky Mountains; but the river was so filled with snags and stumps, that it was deemed too perilous to risk a steamboat in a current so filled with dangerous
obstacles. Bernard Pratte, in connection with Pierre Chouteau, in 1832 resolved to attempt the passage of the Missouri as far as the Yellow Stone, and, contrary to the predictions of the oldest navigators, he successfully accomplished his undertaking. This feat established an era in the navigation of the Missouri River, and since that time, the whistle of the steam-engine has been heard in the wild regions occupied by the Crows and the Blackfeet.
In 1833, the copartnership existing between Bernard Pratte and his father was dissolved, and a new firm established, entitled Mulligan & Pratte. The new firm came into being under favorable auspices, and maintained a high reputation until it was dissolved by the withdrawal of Mr. Mulligan in 1840. Mr. Pratte still continued in business, until a new partner was taken in, and a firm was established, known as Pratte & Cabane, which had an honorable and successful existence for six years, when, Mr. Pratte having amassed independence, retired from the business arena, on which he had for many years been a prominent actor. Two years before he gave up his commercial pursuits, he was elected mayor of the city, which honorable office he held for two administrations, during the years of 1844 '5 and '6. He was a faithful public servant, and carried with him in office those working qualities which formed the basis of his success in business life. He was diligent in advancing the interest of the city, and during his term of office, the city was lighted with gas, and the levee, on which the commercial business of the city was conducted, was properly paved.
Bernard Pratte has filled many positions of trust; for he has always been found worthy, and his fellow-citizens on many occasions honored him with their confidence. In 1838 he was solicited to become a candidate for the General Assembly, and was elected to that body. He has been president and director of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and in all business of finance his opinions received attention and respect.
Mr. Pratte entered into matrimonial relations in 1824 with Miss Louisa Chenie, daughter of Mr. Anthony Chenie, of St. Louis, and has a family of six children. He has been successful in all of his business pursuits, from a rare combination of industry and judgment, and has gained the confidence and respect of the community, by at all times exhibiting a rectitude of character, which never wavered from the proper direction. His ago sits lightly on him, and his health gives promise of many years of usefulness in any position in which circumstances might place him.
Henry D. Bacon.
THERE are some men whose characters are so nobly planned by nature, and so plentifully adorned with those virtues which ennoble humanity, that it is a duty and a pleasure to write their biographies and hand them as memorials to posterity for its benefit and instruction.
Henry D. Bacon was born May 3, 1818, at East Granville, Massachusetts. His grandfather participated in the trying scenes of the Revolution, and made a part of that memorable expedition to Canada under Arnold and the lamented Montgomery; holding at that time the commission of captain in the army. His father was an intelligent farmer, and early inculcated among his children the love of integrity, industry, and charitable feeling, which always guided his conduct and marked his career. The subject of this memoir is one of eight children, who are now living, and all well known and respected in the localities where they reside. William, the eldest, lives at the old homestead; Sherman, the second son, is senior partner in the extensive drug business carried on by the firm of Bacon & Hyde, of New York, and which has a large branch in the city of St. Louis; and all of the sisters are most respectably married.
For some time Henry D. Bacon assisted his father in his agricultural pursuits, but feeling that the sphere of the farmer was too circumscribed, and also wishing to move to a place where he could have access to a good library, that he might improve his education, which had not been as liberal as he wished, he went to Hartford, Conn., and entered a commercial house, in which he remained but a short time, and emigrated to St. Louis in 1835; and bearing the highest testimonials of character and capacity, he was soon engaged as partner in one of the most respectable dry goods firms in the city. He then entered into the iron trade, which he pursued successfully for several years, until his marriage in 1844 with Miss Julia Page, daughter of Daniel D. Page, when he became associated with his father-in-law in the flour business!
In 1848 the banking house of Page & Bacon, afterward so extensively known, was organized, which in a few years so won the confidence of all classes of people, that it did the heaviest banking business in the whole of the western country. A branch was established in California in 1850, and in 1854, the exchanges reached the almost staggering amount of eighty millions. Mr. Bacon was the active partner, and so readily and cordially did he at all times respond to the wants of the commercial community, that to this day, many of our leading citizens feel under a debt of gratitude to him for his accommodating liberality at that period.
The house of Page & Bacon was remarkable for its enterprise, and in 1853, knowing how fraught with advantages to St. Louis would be a direct
communication to the East, through the rich American bottom of Illinois, they advanced the immense means necessary for the building of the greater part of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. This drew out an immense capital from their business, and a pressure shortly after taking place in the money market, the firm was compelled, in January, 1855, to suspend payment. The suspension caused for a short period almost a stagnation in business, as the house was the financial source from which a large portion of the business world drew the elements of their vitality.
In the crush, which he could not avoid, and which must have torn with anguish his sensitive organization, Mr. Bacon gave way to no despondency, to no selfish grief, but bent all of his powers to complete the railroad, which had ever been one of his darling schemes, and which had to stop its operations at his failure. He went to New York, where he was well known, and induced Eastern capitalists to advance sums requisite for its completion. This road, which now forms one of the main arteries of the prosperity of St. Louis, owes its existence to his efforts.
We have now to speak of Mr. Bacon in the retired walks of life, disconnected with business pursuits. When the Mercantile Library was in its infancy, and tottering for the want of pecuniary assistance to sustain it, he came forward and gave the required assistance, and stood its powerful friend, until his influence gathered other friends around, and to-day it is one of the most cherished ornaments and institutions of our city. The members have not been guilty of ingratitude; for they have graced the walls with a splendid portrait of their early benefactor. The splendid building known as the Union Presbyterian Church, in which the Rev. William Holmes officiated, he built and furnished, and donated to the church forty thousand dollars of the immense expense he had incurred.
The Webster College and the Home of the Friendless are beneficiaries of his bounty; and his daily charities in the humble walks of life have relieved a plenitude of suffering.
Perhaps the golden estimation with which Mr. Bacon is held by the citizens of St. Louis, would have never been so apparent, had he always been a favorite of auspicious fortune. There would have been nothing to call forth the spontaneous tribute of the heart in a disinterested moment; but when misfortune lowered upon him, and the community knew how much he suffered through his delicate sensibilities, there were expressions of sympathy from all classes of society, and no enemy's poisoned breath connected his name with dishonor, or rejoiced at his misfortune. He has ever been the friend of humanity, to science, and religion, and he is looked upon as the soul of honor and human uprightness.
Peter G. Camden.
THE parents of Peter G. Camden occupied a most respectable position in life, and were residents of Amherst county, Virginia, where the subject of this memoir was born, May 23d, 1801. His father, William Camden, and his mother both died in his infancy, and he was adopted by his uncle and aunt.
Peter G. Camden, after going through the usual routine of other schools, at the age of twenty was sent to Washington College, Virginia, to complete his course of study. After leaving college, he entered on the study of the law, and became a pupil under the instruction of Chancellor Taylor, an eminent jurist of Cumberland county, in the "Old Dominion." His legal education being completed, with all the ardor of the youthful aspirant, he came to the state of Missouri in 1827. At this time, the trade carried on between St. Louis and Santa Fé was becoming well established, and the fame of the beautiful country of New Mexico was luring many enterprising spirits within its borders.
So well taken was Mr. Camden with the reputation of the country, that he made every preparation for the journey, when a spell of sickness attacked him at Old Franklin, which made him forego the intended project. He then returned to Virginia, and, settling up his affairs, again started for the West, and became a resident of Lincoln county, Kentucky, where he had an uncle, who resided in that portion of the state. He married his cousin, Miss Anna B. Camden, February 16th, 1830, and for the seven ensuing years practised, with success, his profession in that state.
Mr. Camden had always been of the opinion that Missouri, when her great resources would commence to develop themselves, would become one of the most populous and wealthy states in the Union; and he had always determined, again to imigrate to her soil directly she had become a little older and more thickly settled. In 1837, he put his design in execution, and came to St. Louis, accompanied by two brothers of his wife. Abandoning the profession of the law, he established, with them, a dry-goods house, and the firm was titled J. B. and M. Camden & Co. This continued till 1840, when Mr. Camden became sole owner of the establishment, which he carried on for three years, and then commenced the provision business. In December, 1858, he again made a change in his business relations, and became a general commission merchant, and as such continues to this day. He is well known upon "'Change," and his house has the entire confidence of the public.
In politics, Mr. Camden was identified with the old American party and, as its candidate, became mayor of the city in 1846. It was during his administration that the city issued their bonds for $25,000, and it was used in purchasing stones to raise a portion of the eastern bank of the Mississippi, which threatened to forsake its old bed, and make for itself a
new channel through the American bottom. The mayor strongly advocated the measure, for he did not wish to see the "Father of Waters" forsake the city which had so long been nurtured by the commerce which floated on its bosom. The harbor of St. Louis was also considerably improved during his term of office; it was owing to his efforts, while chief municipal officer, that gas was introduced as an agent for lighting up the streets. His administration was popular, and order was maintained in the most efficient manner.
Mr. Camden was one of the first directors in the Marine Insurance Company after its reorganization, and for many years has been a member of the Baptist Church.
Peter G. Camden possesses all the frankness of manner, cordiality of feeling, and hospitable disposition so characteristic of the true Virginian. He necessarily has become popular in St. Louis, and can number as his friends many of the most influential citizens. He has passed through many phases of private and public life without reproach, and in the evening of his life, a retrospect of the past must be associated with the most pleasing reminiscences.
Robert M. Funkhouser.
THE biography of such a man as Robert M. Funkhouser is fraught not only with a readable interest, but has a useful moral effect upon the present time and posterity. It teaches youth, what industry and moral worth can achieve; and that they can hope for all things if they make honor their guide, and are prompted by honorable emulation.
The subject of this memoir was born at Equality, Gallatin county, Illinois, March 31, 1819. His father, Robert R. Funkhouser, was a native of Greenbrier county, Virginia, and his mother was the daughter of Z. Cross, who served during the Revolution, and was a relation of Colonel Cross, of Revolutionary memory. The father removed from Virginia to Kentucky at an early day, and believing that Illinois offered greater inducements he emigrated to that country, and soon after was elected to the legislature, where his sterling good sense made him an efficient member. He had a large family of children, nine in number, of whom five are now living.
The early days of the subject of this biography were partially spent at school, but directly he became of size sufficient to make his labor available on the farm, he assisted his father in his agricultural pursuits, and on his demise in 1833, rented the farm, and by strenuous efforts made money sufficient to spend some time profitably at school, and then engaged with his uncle, until he was offered the situation of supercargo, in a trip to New Orleans, and did his business most satisfactorily to his employer, who was his brother-in-law. For some time he pursued a rambling, irregular life, and was unsettled as to what was the best vocation for him to pursue. On his return home, he was invited by an uncle, who resided on the National Road, at a place called Ervington, and there for some four months he kept school, and saved from the proceeds seventy-five dollars. He then went to Alton, where he had a friend in the banking business, who told him that the little town was thronged with enterprising young men anxious for situations. Acting with that decision which is one of the chief elements of his character, he leaped on a boat that was about leaving the wharf for St. Louis.
Mr. Funkhouser, while on the boat, made the acquaintance of Mr. Sparr, of the Virginia Hotel, and stopped at his house. This was in April, 1840, and his entire capital did not exceed fifty dollars. The second night after his arrival, in wandering through the streets, he was attracted by an auction sale, and seeing looking-glasses selling at what he considered dirt-cheap, he purchased four dozen, which he commenced to retail through the city. Whilst crying out his looking-glasses, he attracted the attention of Mr. T. R. Selmes, with whom he engaged as clerk, at two hundred and fifty dollars a year and board. He continued two years as clerk before commencing business for himself. Some time afterward,
he commenced a dry-goods business with Mr. Mattox, on a small scale, which he subsequently carried on himself, and made it lucrative. He continued this for four or five years, and this may be said to be the commencement of the large fortune he has since amassed.
Amid the political agitation to which Missouri has been subjected, and drawn so many into its wild and unhealthful excitement, Mr. Funkhouser was never allured from his business, to take part in the factional disputes. His business engrossed all of his time, and its extensive operations required all of his watchfulness.
In April, 1848, Mr. Funkhouser married Miss Selmes, daughter of the Mr. Selmes who first took him in his employ, when he was a young vender of looking-glasses. It may be proper here to observe, that Mr. Selmes is still living, and is a wealthy and influential citizen of Hannibal, Missouri.
As a business man Mr. Funkhouser has but few equals, and the success which he has met with, is the best criterion of his business excellence; as a man of integrity the following responsible positions which he holds are testimonials of the regard of the community. He is a director in the Southern Bank; in the Millers' and Manufacturers' Insurance Company; in the Western Wrecking Company; of the Real Estate Saving Association; and is President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Vice-President of the Building and Saving Association. He has been for years connected with the Fire Department, and has done much to bring it to its present state of efficient usefulness. He is still young, and is in the very prime of physical vigor and matured experience. He can enjoy the fruit of the seed he has sown, whilst his nature is susceptible of enjoyment, and the stamina of life have not weakened and decayed. He has all the elements of happiness within his reach, and they are of his own creation.
Dr. M. L. Linton.
THIS eminent physician was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, April 12th, 1808. His father was a respectable fanner, who had immigrated to Kentucky from Loudon county, Virginia. Young Linton was raised as the sons of industrious farmers are usually raised in Virginia and Kentucky, by going to school and occasionally working upon the farm; but the schools in which it was his fortune to become the inmate were of a very inferior quality. However, there was a grammar-school established in his neighborhood, to which he went for a few weeks, and learned effectually the principles of the English language.
A little circumstance will often give a direction to the life of an individual, and turn the thoughts into channels for which they have a natural affinity, and from which they never after depart. A physician dwelt in the house of young Linton's father, and the young boy, anxious to glean knowledge from every source, would read the medical books thus accidentally thrown in his way, and at once evinced a strong inclination to become master of their contents. This influenced him in the choice of his profession, and, on arriving at the age of manhood, he went to Springfield, and studied medicine under the instruction of Dr. J. H. Polin. With him he remained two years, with great benefit, and possessing rare advantages; for Dr. Polin was at once biased in his favor, and not only carefully gave him the instruction necessary for his profession, but, being an accomplished scholar, instructed him in the Latin and Greek languages, and other branches which had before been neglected, and which are so essential to the education of the physician and the gentleman. After leaving Dr. Polin, he graduated at Transylvania College, Lexington, and commenced practice in Hancock county, where he remained for two years, and then went to Springfield, where he entered into partnership with his former friend and instructor, Dr. Polin. In 1839 Dr. Linton went to Europe for the purpose of accomplishing himself still more in his profession, by visiting the various hospitals and institutions with which that country abounds. He passed one year abroad; a portion of the time was agreeably spent in the company of Dr. Charles A. Pope, whom he fortunately encountered in Paris.
On Dr. Linton's return to the United States, he was invited to take a professor's chair in the medical department of the St. Louis University, which he still occupies.
Dr. Linton married Miss Anna Rachel Booker, daughter of Judge Booker of Kentucky. He has never strayed from the orbit of his profession, and has been untiring in his devotion to the pursuit he has chosen. He established the St. Louis Medical Journal in 1843, which has always been edited with great ability, and has the entire confidence of the profession. Dr. McPheeters is associated with him in the editorial charge of the journal. Dr. Linton has contributed many ably-written treatises on medical subjects, and is the author of a volume called the "Outlines of Pathology," which, by its simple and lucid arrangement, was not only suitable as a text-book for the student, but for general instruction. He has the confidence of the public, a most extensive practice, and is the president of the Medical Society of St. Louis.
Hon. James S. Green.
VIRGINIA has ever been prolific in giving birth to eminent men, and the subject of this memoir was born near Rectortown, Fauquier county, in the year 1817. From a boy he sedulously devoted himself to the cultivation of his intellect, and the few advantages which he possessed he embraced to the utmost. He did not receive the collegiate finish of an education; but his own application to the advancement of his mind supplied every deficiency, and when he grew to manhood, there were few who possessed his fund of information.
James S. Green was of an aspiring disposition, and, at the age of nineteen he determined to leave the precincts of the "Old Dominion," and seek his fortune in a clime where the business current was not so stagnant, and his efforts for future distinction more certain of accomplishment. He went first to Alabama, and after a short sojourn, he ascended the Mississippi, on a visit of observation to Missouri. This was in 1847. The visit was perfectly satisfactory, for that state has ever since been his home. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, and, being qualified in his profession, and possessing that suavity of manner so natural to the Virginian, he soon obtained a lucrative practice.
Feeling conscious of superior abilities, and anxious for distinction, he entered the political arena as champion of the Democratic party, and in 1844, was a Democratic presidential elector for Missouri. It was at this time that his star commenced to rise in the political firmament, and the people of Missouri became convinced, by the talents which he displayed in the campaign, that he would at a future time become one of the guiding lights of the Democratic party. He was appointed in 1845 one of the framers of the present constitution of Missouri, an appointment significant of the highest trust, and which was shared by the most talented citizens of the state.
In 1846, Mr. Green was elected to Congress. His advent in the White House was at a time it was rife with excitement and agitated by a storm of political debate. It was when the troops of the United States were reaping their laurels at Resaca de la Palma, at Buena Vista, and other battle-fields in Mexico. The party opposed to the administration tried to bring it into disfavor, because it took measures to chastise a country that had been insultingly encroaching on our national rights since the Texas annexation. Mr. Green defended the policy of Mr. Polk with that lucidness and strength of argument which are characteristic of his oratory, and from that time he was looked upon as one of the leading spirits of the Democratic party, and was regarded with respect by his opponents.
In 1848, he was elected to serve another term in the national Congress, and, the great boundary question between Missouri and Iowa coming
up at that time for argument, the governor of Missouri paid the young representative a high compliment by appointing him to defend the rights of the state. His effort before the Supreme Court of the United States was worthy of the subject and the expectation of admiring friends. His constituents were so well satisfied with him during his representative capacity, that they nominated him for a third term, as possessing the greatest weight of political influence that could be brought to bear against the powerful odds that were arrayed against that part of the Democratic party which had remained true to the creed of its political faith; many having apostatized through the influence of Colonel Benton, thereby cutting up and weakening the party. He was defeated in the election of 1850, but, in 1853, was appointed minister to New Grenada. In 1854, he resigned this appointment, and returned to Missouri, and practised his profession till 1856, when he was again elected to Congress, but, prior to taking his seat, the legislature of Missouri, knowing his ability and confident in his honor, elected him to the United States Senate, and he resigned his claim to a seat in the House of Representatives.
Immediately on taking his seat in the august body to which he had been elected, Mr. Green entered warmly into the debate at that time taking place on the Lecompton Constitution. He supported the position of Mr. Buchanan in a speech so effective in argument and perspicuous in its style, that it called forth the commendations of the whole Union, and perplexed the designs of the talented but factious spirits who had arrayed themselves against the acts of the administration.
As a speaker, Mr. Green has not that fault so characteristic of politicians, of speaking for sensation effect. He never rises to his feet on any occasion until he is master of his subject. His eloquence is of the argumentative order, displaying facts in their natural attire, without trying to array them in rhetorical beauties that might make them please the imagination, but weaken their effect. One of the effective attributes of his popularity is the purity of his character. It is this which has given him the esteem of all men and the unbounded confidence of his constituents. He will leave as a heritage to his children, wealth, honor, and position and all has been his own work.
Hon. Luther M. Kennett.
LUTHER M. KENNETT was born at Falmouth, Pendleton county, Kentucky, March 15th, 1807. His father, Press Graves Kennett, was a respectable and influential citizen of Falmouth, holding for many years the office of clerk of Pendleton county and Circuit Court, and was likewise president of the Falmouth Branch of Commonwealth Bank. He was a man of fine information, and consequently was anxious that all of the avenues of education should be opened to his children.
Luther M. Kennett, after receiving a good English education and some knowledge of Latin, from the most respectable seminaries of learning, was sent to Georgetown, Kentucky, where he remained for two years, under the instruction of the Rev. Barton W. Stone, a distinguished Baptist divine, who was a profound scholar, and faithful in his duties of instructor, both in a pastoral and secular capacity. He boarded in the family of that gentleman, and became a good Latin scholar, and was making a fair progress in the Greek and French, when his father, meeting with reverses, he was taken from school, at fifteen years of age, and, at once, had to seek a situation, that he might do something toward his livelihood. He obtained a situation as deputy-clerk of the county court of his native place, where he remained for eighteen months, with his uncle, Wm. C. Kennett, who then had charge of the clerk's office, and, at the invitation of General James Taylor, of Newport, who was clerk of Campbell county, he removed to that county, and performed the duties of deputy-clerk, and devoted his leisure hours to the reading of law. In 1825, when he was eighteen years of age, animated by that feverish desire of change of place, so often an attendant upon young ambition, he came to St. Louis, then insignificant in size, resolving to prosecute the study of the law, which he had pursued during some interims of leisure, and for which he had formed a predilection. To carry out this design, it was necessary that he should make some business arrangement by which he could live while completing his studies; and, not being able to effect this double object, he engaged in a store, as clerk, and after a short time he went to Farmington, St. Francis county, and served in the same capacity. From Farmington he went to Selma, Jefferson county, now the residence of his brother, Colonel F. Kennett, where he became acquainted with Captain James M. White, a merchant of St. Louis, and nephew of Hon. Hugh Lawson White, of Tennessee, with whom he formed a copartnership, and with whom he continued fifteen years. This connection in business pursuits proved very fortunate to Mr. Kennett, and he amassed an ample fortune. His success was not accidental; it was the fruit of his energy, integrity and business capacity. His connection with Mr. White continued for many years, and resulted in a mutual and permanent friendship which subsisted until the death of Mr. White.
In 1832, Mr. Kennett was married to Miss Boyce, who survived her Carriage but three years, leaving a daughter, who is now the wife of Benjamin O'Farrar, of St. Louis county; and in 1842, having returned
to St. Louis from the mining region, he was elected alderman of the fourth ward, and served three years. He was again elected, in 1846 but shortly afterward resigned, to make a tour to Europe to benefit his health, and to witness the luxuriant growth of science and art in that nursery of civilization.
Mr. Kennett had returned but a short time from his continental tour, when St. Louis was visited by that dangerous malady, the Asiatic cholera, which has proved such a scourge to many of the cities and towns of the Union. At this visitation the ever-remembered year of 1849 St. Louis presented the spectacle of a charnel-house, so awful wore the ravages of that dreadful disease. In vain skilful physicians, for a time, would stem its progress; some boat from the south, freighted with the pestilence, would arrive at the wharf, and again it would spread over the city. The citizens were determined on establishing a quarantine, and Mr. Kennett was on the committee of twelve appointed to select the location, and carry out the wishes of the people. The very day of his appointment, in conjunction with his colleagues, he took boat to put the design in execution. That year he served as chairman of the committee who got up the Pacific Railroad Convention at St. Louis, and was vice-president of the company which was organized to commence the work. In the next year, 1850, being elected mayor of the city, he removed the first shovelful of earth, as a commencement of the great railroad, which, in time, will become one of the main arteries of the Union.
When mayor, Mr. Kennett was indefatigable in his exertions for the welfare of the city. He looked upon the health of the city as a blessing that could not be measured by dollars and cents. He was an advocate of, and efficiently adopted the practice of extensive sewerage, that St. Louis might be drained of its impurities; and his efforts in that particular will long be remembered gratefully by the well-thinking portion of our citizens. Ho served two terms as mayor.
In 1853, he was elected president of the Iron Mountain Railroad, and, as vice-president of the Pacific Railroad, delivered the address, on opening the first division of thirty-seven miles for travel. He was candidate for the Thirty-Fourth Congress, in 1854, and, on being elected to the national council of his country, proved himself an exemplary and efficient member.
Whilst a member of Congress, Mr. Kennett, being a member of the Committee on Commerce, contributed much to secure the appropriations made for the Mississippi Rapids, and also to procure the right of way from the general government through the grounds of the arsenal and Jefferson Barracks, for the Iron Mountain Railroad.
Mr. Kennett now resides at his fine country residence, appropriately called Fair View, in St. Louis county, happy in the pure enjoyment of the domestic circle. He has six children by his last marriage. He married Miss Agnes A. Kennett, daughter of the late Dixon H. Kennett, in the spring of 1842, who was his cousin, and now occupies a more dearing relation.
He was friendless and almost penniless when he came to St. Louis, and now he is in possession of friends, affluence, and position, and owes this possession to his honorable exertions and high moral attributes.
Samuel B. Wiggins.
SAMUEL B. WIGGINS was born December 11th, 1814, in Charleston, S. C. His uncle, Samuel Wiggins, now of Cincinnati, in the year 1817, established a horse ferry across the Mississippi River, which proved to be very lucrative. In 1823, this uncle was joined by William C. Wiggins, the father of the subject of this memoir, who came to St. Louis in 1818. In 1828, there was an improvement made in the ferry arrangement. The proprietors were men of judgment and enterprise, and could see in the future the magnitude of the infant city. The horse of flesh and blood was thrown aside, and the iron horse, with his unyielding sinews, was substituted, to force the ferry-boat across the swift current of the "Father of Waters." The ferry became incorporated in 1832, and is known as Wiggins's Ferry Company.
Samuel B. Wiggins, who heads this article, first commenced business in the state of Illinois, where he was clerk for Mr. S. C. Christy, but finding little to encourage a residence in that state, he, as well as Mr. Christy, came to St. Louis, and commenced business as Christy & Wiggins, which was carried on for some time, and Mr. Christy retiring, Mr. Wiggins remained alone until he took his brother into partnership, and the new firm was known as S. B. Wiggins & Co. After a continuance of some time, the firm was again changed to Wiggins & Anderson, a well-known grocery and dry goods firm, which dissolved in 1859.
Mr. Wiggins was married to Miss Wilson, of Philadelphia, May 31st, 1838. He has been the architect of his own fortune. He has always followed the golden maxim, "Attend to your business and it will attend to you." As far as worldly wealth is concerned, he has accomplished a sufficiency, and is now retired. In review of his life, he does not have to mourn over an ill-spent youth, but can look upon the past and derive pleasure from the retrospect. He is extensively known in St. Louis, and has won golden opinions from all men. He has filled many important positions in business life, and is now a director in the Southern Bank, also in the Pacific Insurance Company, and was for fifteen years a director in the Citizens' Insurance Company. His life is a bright example to the living and to posterity.
Rev. John Hogan, Postmaster of St. Louis.
JOHN HOGAN was born January 2d, 1805, in Mallow, county of Cork, Ireland. His parents, Thomas and Mary Hogan, without being wealthy, were in comfortable circumstances by their own industry, the father pursuing the avocation of a baker, and doing an extensive business. He had some relatives residing in the United States, and, from the favorable statements he received from them, and at their earnest solicitation, he sailed, in 1817, for America, and, on landing at Norfolk, immediately proceeded from thence to Baltimore, where his friends resided. The hopes of Mr. Hogan, from continual communications, had been highly elevated. He had formed extravagant expectations of the country across the Atlantic. He gave up his home, abandoned business, parted with friends, and sundered a thousand ties which naturally cluster around a person during years of residence in a place. Thus, when he looked upon the country which was to be the future home of his family, he was sadly disappointed in his expectations; and then a deep melancholy seized upon him, and he died from grief.
The situation of the family at this juncture was a distressing one they were deprived of their natural protector and left in destitute circumstances. It was necessary to make some provision for the children, and John, who was the eldest, was apprenticed to a shoemaker, by the name of James Hance, father of the present Seth C. Hance, a well-known and extensive druggist in the city of Baltimore.
The elements which form the leading principles in the character of an individual, will make an effort to develop themselves under all circumstances; and John Hogan's anxiety for knowledge was evinced by the means to which he resorted to attain it. With some little assistance from his fellow workmen, he learned his letters, and then to read, from copies of the Federal Gazette, a popular journal at that time, and printed in large type. He also attended regularly the Sunday-schools, where he garnered both mental and moral instruction, and feeling the force of religious influences, became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at sixteen years of age.
After completing his term of indenture, he commenced preaching the gospel, and was sent by the Conference of his church, as an itinerant preacher, to the West. He joined the Illinois Conference, and traveled much through that state and Indiana. After spending some time in this preaching pilgrimage, he applied to the Conference for a location, and subsequently united himself in wedlock to Miss Mary M. West, of St. Clair county, Illinois. His application was finally granted, and Mr.
Hogan opened a store at Edwardsville, Illinois. He remained in Edwardsville until 1833, and then located himself at Alton, and, whilst there, was elected to the Illinois legislature. In 1837, he succumbed, as most others did, to the financial revulsion of that period, having endorsed largely.
Whilst a citizen of Illinois Mr. Hogan largely enjoyed the confidence of the community, and filled, very efficiently, several important offices. He was commissioner of public works for two years, and was appointed, in 1841, by General Harrison, register of the land office in Dixon, of that state. These appointments were very satisfactory to the people, and he filled them in the most creditable manner.
In 1845, Mr. Hogan lost his wife, and he determined to remove from the scenes which would continually remind him of his domestic affliction, and went to St. Louis the same year, and became salesman in the large grocery establishment of Edward J. Gay & Co. He continued in this house for several years, first as salesman, and then as partner. He then retired from commercial pursuits, and, in 1850, became agent for the Missouri State Mutual Insurance Company, where he continued five years; and it was during that period a series of articles appeared in the Missouri Republican, styled, "Thoughts on St. Louis," which were read with avidity by the community, and excited a general interest. The author who had displayed in such an attractive manner the commercial and manufacturing business of the city, could not remain incognito, and the merchants of the city presented Mr. Hogan with a beautiful service of silver, as a testimonial of their appreciation of his literary efforts, which had given the public an insight into the manufacturing and commercial world of St. Louis. In 1858, he was appointed postmaster of St. Louis, under the administration of Mr. Buchanan, which office he still holds.
Mr. Hogan has filled many positions of trust in St. Louis. He was president of the Dollar Saving Institution, now Exchange Bank, and was then a director; and, from the high order of his business capacities, he could have been connected with many corporations, but his time, absorbed by other pursuits, forbade too many connections of this kind. As a politician, he is well known as an able champion of the Democratic party, firm and fearless in the expression of his principles, but never indulging in the wholesale vituperation which ever marks the character of the blustering demagogue. As an author, he is well and favorably known, and has won "golden opinions," not only from the, work which we have before mentioned "Thoughts on the City of St. Louis" but also from being the author of the "History of Methodism in the West," and of a little pamphlet, titled "The Resources of Missouri." His style is terse, clear, and spirited, and characterized with an originality that is refreshing, in these days of literary productions "Nothing new under the sun."
Mr. Hogan was married the second time, in 1847, to Miss Harriett Gamier, daughter of Joseph V. Gamier, of St. Louis. He has always been connected with the Methodist persuasion, and is now a trustee and member of the Methodist Episcopal Centenary Church of this city.
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