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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Samuel Gaty.

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

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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.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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