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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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Biographies. Nathaniel Paschall, Editor of "The Republican."

IN writing the biography of Nathaniel Paschall it is but proper to premise that he is the oldest editor west of the Mississippi River, and from his long connection with the most influential journal in the west, is more extensively known than any citizen in Missouri.

He was born April 4th, 1804, at Knoxville, Tennessee. When he was but a child his father removed to St. Genevieve, where he remained but a limited time; for, having lost his wife in his new abode, he came to St. Louis. While in St. Genevieve, the little advantages afforded by the village school were enjoyed by the subject of this memoir, and when he came to St. Louis, though but twelve years of age, his business life commenced, and he became a worker in the busy hive of population.

At the time of his advent in St. Louis, the Republican, under another name, had been in existence some eight years, and being agreeable to his inclinations, which even at that early age tended to a love of knowledge, he was apprenticed to Mr. Joseph Charless, its proprietor, and commenced learning a pursuit for which a predisposition appears to have fitted him, and which he has pursued with so much success. His ambition, his tact, and natural talents quickly passed him through the various gradations of his art. He was not only ambitious to excel in the mechanical execution of his business, but having a thirst for literature, he read with avidity the standard authors of his language, and, studying their style, learned the art of composition, and long before he was free from his indenture, he could, and did write spicy editorials.

Two years after the retirement of Mr. Joseph Charless from the printing business, his son, Edward Charless, assumed the proprietorship, and under his charge the paper took the name which it now bears. The paper then underwent some changes in its proprietorship, all of which time Mr. Paschall remained connected with it, until, in 1827, the firm became Charless & Paschall, and while in this connection the little weekly sheet was increased several times in size, as the wants of the community required, and first came to have a tri-weekly and then a daily existence. From his first advent as a writer he became devoted to the interests of his adopted state and city, and the almost omnipotent influence of the Republican, from his first connection with it, was lent to advance and advocate all measures that were likely to forward the progress of St. Louis and subserve the interest of Missouri. He became one of the proprietors of the Republican in 1827, and in 1837 he and Mr. Charless disposed of the Republican to Messrs. Chambers, Harris, and Knapp.

When Mr. Paschall retired from the Republican he had amassed an ample competency, but, meeting with some pecuniary reverses, which rendered it necessary for him again to take up the pen, which before had been the means that raised him to wealth and position, he then commenced,

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in connection with Charles G. Ramsay, the publication of a journal styled the New Era, which was received with great favor by the people, and for some time exercised an important influence over the current events of the day. Being elected clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, he gave up, to some extent, the editorial chair, to fulfil the duties of his new appointment. About this time he was invited to become associate editor of the Republican, then under the charge of Colonel Chambers and George Knapp, and again became connected with the journal, which he had raised to importance and influence during his proprietorship. As associate-editor he continued in connection with the Republican until the death of Colonel Chambers; and when the family of the lamented deceased disposed of his interest, Mr. Paschall again became one of the proprietors of the journal, and the firm of George Knapp & Co. came into existence.

In politics Mr. Paschall has ever been allied with the old Whig party, and during its existence was its most efficient champion in advocating and defending its principles, and the Republican was the organ of the party. When the Whig party died, Mr. Paschall, being identified with no other, in the presidential contest of 1856 advocated the election of Buchanan, as being the least objectionable of the candidates, without committing himself to the support of the party to which he belonged. Since the old Whig party, with which he was so long identified, is no more in existence, he has become pledged to no other, and reserves to himself the independence and privilege of supporting what men and measures will be most subservient to the interests of the state and country.

There are few men now living more intimately acquainted with the political history of the western country than Mr. Paschall, and, becoming a resident of Missouri while it was a territory, he has efficiently aided her in her colossal progress.

In his friendship Mr. Paschall is warm and constant, and those who possess it regard it as an invaluable boon. His name adds weight with whatever it is associated, and is familiar to almost every hearthstone in Missouri.

In 1832, Mr. Paschall was married to Mrs. Martha E. Edgar, and has a large family of children. He may be said to have spent a long life amid the wearing labors and mental excitement incident to editorial life. As a writer he is remarkable for his perspicuity, and his language possesses a massiveness which is overwhelming in argument. Though possessing sufficient acrimony as a politician to make him dreaded by his opponents, he never forgets the pride of self-respect, which prevents him from indulging in the low, brawling slang of Billingsgate abuse. He has exercised the duties of an editor for nearly forty years in St. Louis, and has ever been an advocate of every measure, and gave them the powerful support of his columns, which had for their aim the benefit of the city or state.

"Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword —
The arch-enchanter's wand" —

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A. P. Ladew.

A. P. LADEW was born in Albany, New York, September 13th, 1811. His father, Stephen Ladew, was a man of fine abilities, following merchandising as a vocation, and served at one time in the confidential relation of secretary to Governor De Witt Clinton.

Young Ladew was sent to school until he was thirteen years of age, when he was put to learn the trade of type-making and stereotyping. He finished his trade in the well-known establishment of James Conner, now James Conner & Sons, whose establishment is one of the institutions of New York, and the most extensive in the city. After finishing his trade he was fortunate in forming the acquaintance and winning the confidence of Mr. L. Johnson of Philadelphia, whose magnificent type-foundry is well known throughout the Union, and under his patronage and that of George Charles, he came to St. Louis in 1838, and commenced the type-foundry business, the firm being styled George Charles & Co. This connection remained for four years, when Mr. Ladew bought out his associates, and to this day continues in the business. The St. Louis Type-Foundry is widely known in the West, and the firm of Ladew, Peers, & Co. is extensively and honorably known in the business world of St. Louis.

From the circumstance of keeping a type-foundry, Mr. Ladew has had more or less acquaintance with the different newspaper enterprises that have started in St. Louis since he has been established in business. The establishing of a journal is precarious in any city, but in St. Louis it is particularly unfortunate. The warm rays of hope always flood the hearts of those who are making preparations to issue a new sheet. They purchase their type with bright anticipations of the future, and soon the new creation is before the public. The rare combination of tact, talent, and capital is wanting to render it successful, and after a few days or a few months it dies and is heard of no more. It is the experience of Mr. Ladew, and all who own type-foundries, that newspaper enterprises are the most precarious of all ventures, and so rarely do they succeed, that any one who engages in them is almost certain of failure.

Mr. Ladew has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Catherine Leets of New Jersey; and his present estimable lady was Mrs. Lizzie E. Clark, whom he married, September 3d, 1856. He has been and is connected with some of the most important of our public institutions, which is evidence of the confidence he enjoys in the community. He has been a director of the St. Louis Building and Saving Association, was a member of the city council, was vice-president of the Commercial Insurance Company, and is a director in the Bank of St. Louis.

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Colonel George Knapp.

GEORGE KNAPP was born September 25th, 1814, in Montgomery, Orange county, New York, and when but a child, his parents immigrated to St. Louis in December, 1819. At the early age of twelve he entered as an apprentice in the Republican office, then owned by Messrs. Charless & Paschall. In 1834 he reached the age of manhood proficient in his business, and, by his uprightness of character possessed of the esteem of a large circle of acquaintances. He still continued in the Republican, and two years afterward, August of 1836, he received from the proprietors of the journal an expressive mark of their esteem, by being presented with an interest in the book and jobbing department; and when Messrs. Charless & Paschall sold out in 1837, he became one of the proprietors with Messrs. Chambers & Harris.

It is natural for all men to feel a commendable pride when they see that their merit has become acknowledged, and their efforts have become rewarded by a well-deserved success, and George Knapp must have felt to the utmost the whispering praise of self-respect, when he found that at the early age of twenty-three he had become one of the proprietors of the most widely circulated and most influential journals in Missouri. When a small boy he entered the office in an humble capacity, and by the possession of sterling merit, and with a will that was determined upon success, he carved his way to fortune and position. He has been one of the proprietors of the Republican through all of its changes, from 1837 to the present.

George Knapp, in 1835, took a part in the volunteer military service; and when the news flew through the Union like wild-fire that the troops of the United States and those of Mexico were in conflict, he was among the first to volunteer his services in 1846, and served in Mexico as lieutenant in the St. Louis Grays of the St. Louis Legion. He afterward became captain and then colonel of the first battalion of the St. Louis Legion. As an officer he has always been most popular and respected.

Colonel Knapp, by his virtues and his connection with the Republican is well known in St. Louis, and there is none whose fair fame is more pure. He is zealous in advocating and assisting all public-spirited enterprises; and many of the public buildings which now ornament the city owe their erection much to the zealous part he took in personally soliciting subscriptions. He has also been a stanch friend to railroads, and has subscribed liberally to their stock. He has, by his industry and business qualifications, amassed a large fortune, but it has not chilled or destroyed the warm sympathies which make him so sensibly alive to the misfortunes of others. He is social, charitable, and public-spirited — alive to misfortune, and ready to relieve it; and quick to advocate any measure that will advance the interest of St. Louis or his adopted state.

Colonel George Knapp was married December 22d, 1840, to Miss Eleanor McCartan, daughter of Thomas McCartan, late of St. Louis. He is of a retiring disposition, more ready at all times to advance the merits of others than display his own; and among the one hundred and ninety thousand citizens of St. Louis, there is no one more popular and respected.

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Colonel Charles Keemle.

IN October, 1800, in the good old city of Philadelphia, Charles Keemle was born. His grandfather was a respectable physician, who emigrated from Amsterdam and settled in the land of Penn. His father was a skilful mechanic, yet devoted but a little of his life to that pursuit, but as a commander of trading vessels, spent most of his time upon the rivers and the ocean. His mother died in the city of Norfolk, Virginia, when he was but six years of age, and he was placed in charge of an uncle until he was nine years of age, and then was put to learn the printing business in the office of the Norfolk Herald, where he remained until 1816. He is, consequently, the oldest printer west of the Mississippi.

The love of adventure was always a dominant trait in the character of Charles Keemle, and on leaving the office of the Norfolk Herald, at the suggestion of Dr. Jennings of Norfolk, who had a brother resident in Indiana, and looking forward to the chief magistracy of the state, he determined to go to Vincennes, Indiana, and there establish a paper. Accompanied by a fellow-printer of much more mature years, he started for his future destination, where he arrived March, 1817, having performed that portion of the journey on foot between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. On March 14th, the first number of the Indiana Sentinel was issued, published by Dillworth & Keemle.

Believing, from the location of Vincennes, that it would never become a great city, young Keemle accepted the invitation given to him by many influential citizens of St. Louis, and arrived there August 2d, 1817. He took charge of a paper called the Emigrant, which was the second journal west of the Mississippi, which was afterward merged into the St. Louis Enquirer, with which Thomas H. Benton was connected in the capacity of editor. The continued confinement beginning to tell on his constitution he gave up the printing business in August, 1820, and engaged as clerk to the American Fur-Company; and now commences a portion of his history which is filled with romantic incident.

The company started from St. Louis September, 1820, and spent the winter in trading successfully with the Kansas tribe of Indians.

In 1821, Mr. Keemle was selected by Major Joshua Pilcher to make one of a company of fifty-four, carefully picked for the occasion, to penetrate to the Rocky Mountains, to trade with the savage hordes of Indians who inhabited those far off wilds. The party started from Fort Lisa, in the vicinity of Council Bluff, and, after some perilous adventures, arrived at the mouth of the Yellowstone and commenced trading with the Crows, who inhabited that country, and sending out in all directions the experienced hunters and trappers that they might obtain as large a quantity of beaver-skins as possible, which kind of fur was most desired by the company. Mr. Keemle acted as agent and clerk of the expedition, and for three years suffered all the hardships incident to living and trading in the remote wilderness, far from the pale of civilization.

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While in these remote regions, he narrowly escaped with his life from a murderous attack by an overwhelming number of Indians upon the few daring spirits who had ventured into their country. It was the closing of the Spring of 1823, that the company, which had become reduced to forty-one men, were trading on the head-waters of the Missouri, and from significant signs discovered that the Blackfeet Indians, who roamed over those regions, evinced a hostile intention. They saw large companies of that warlike tribe roaming in their vicinity, and evidently watching their movements. The company immediately retraced their steps, and endeavored to regain the Crow country, where the natives were friendly and the feudal enemies of the Blackfeet. The last-named Indians, on discovering their intention, gathered themselves into a formidable body of more than a thousand warriors, and early one morning attacked the party amid deafening yells, as they were passing along the base of a small mountain skirting the Yellowstone. To have yielded to their enemies would have subjected them to captivity, then torture, and finally death. Resistance, though against such fearful odds, was the only alternative, and the party had previously made up their minds to defend themselves to the last extremity to save their scalp-locks from the clutch of the savage. In the murderous attack the two leaders of the expedition, Immell and Jones, fell early in the engagement, and then the command devolved upon Mr. Keemle, who ordered the men to fight while retreating from ravine to ravine, and after a conflict of eight hours succeeded in driving off their enemies, who had hung upon their path howling and yelling like so many demons — with considerable loss. The little party suffered severely, having had ten killed, nine wounded, and one was missing. They afterward reached a Crow village, and manufacturing some boats, arrived safely at the mouth of the Yellowstone.

Colonel Keemle remained connected with the company until 1825, when he returned to St. Louis and associated himself again with the printing business, and although he had several lucrative offers made to him nothing could tempt him again to the Yellowstone. He was associated with five or six newspaper enterprises, none of which had a permanent existence; but during their time were the organs of the Democratic party.

In 1839, Colonel Keemle was married to the only daughter of Thomas P. Oliver, now of Illinois, and has a family of three children. He possesses, in a high degree, the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and has been offered several honorable positions. In 1839 he was nominated for mayor, but declined running, and when General Harrison became president, he received the first appointment made by him in this state, that of superintendent of Indian affairs for Missouri. In 1840 he received the appointment of secretary of the interior, and under General Taylor's administration, that of Indian agent for the entire Platte River district, both of which he declined. In 1853 he was elected recorder of deeds for St. Louis county, which office he still holds.

Colonel Keemle is one of the most popular men in the city of St. Louis. He is in the sixtieth year of his age, but possesses health and vigor sufficient to have another bout with the Indians at the mouth of the Yellowstone.

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Abram S. Mitchell, Editor of the St. Louis Evening News.

THE subject of this sketch was born December 1st, 1820, near the city of Nashville, Davidson county, Tennessee. His parents were both natives of Virginia. His grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, was a merchant in Lynchburgh, Virginia, during the Revolution, and was a man of education and fine literary attainments. But his store was plundered by the British, and he was reduced to poverty. He next resorted to teaching; but died before his own children had derived much benefit from his instruction. The family being now quite destitute and helpless, were driven to emigrate to the wilds of Tennessee. There were two sons, Thomas and Robert J., and two or three daughters. After struggling in various ways to support himself as he grew up, among others, working at the shoe business, Robert J. Mitchell, the father of the subject of this sketch, joined the standard of General Jackson, who was raising volunteers for the Indian wars, and served under that leader in a campaign against the Creeks, and also in one against the Seminoles. Returning to Tennessee, he married, commenced farming, and in 1827 removed to the Hatchess River, in West Tennessee, and there, in Tipton county, the family still resides.

Abram S. Mitchell was sent by his father to the schools of the neighborhood, but he soon exhausted the little that the schools in that new country could impart, but was fortunate enough to meet at that time with an excellent teacher in the person of the Rev. James Holmes, who had formerly been a missionary among the Indians, and who earnestly advised him, when he could make circumstances suit, to complete his education at college. During intermissions of school, he sought work to aid in his own support. He applied for work unsuccessfully in a brickyard, where he was rejected for want of strength, and was afterward employed in tending a bark-mill in a tannery. In 1837, just as he was preparing to finish his education by a collegiate course, his father became bankrupt by having become security for a sheriff, and all of his property was sold to meet his bond. However, a few years later, Mr. Robert W. Sandford, a friend of the family, feeling an interest in young Mitchell, and appreciating his desire for an education, aided him in going to college at Danville, Kentucky, where he remained only eighteen months, and graduated with full honors, having, by dint of application, accomplished in that time what usually required a much longer time to perform. He taught school until he relieved himself of the debt he incurred in his education (about $700), and then studied law in Danville, and established a newspaper called the Weekly Kentucky Tribune, in connection with Mr. James S. Hall. That year he supported the whig candidate for governor, who, after election, before making any other appointment, bestowed upon him the office of assistant-secretary of state.

About this time Mr. Mitchell married Miss Bodley, of Lexington, Kentucky. After serving the term of his appointment, he and his father-in-law,

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law, Mr. H. I. Bodley, determined on removing to St. Louis, which they did in 1849, the season of the dreadful visitation by the cholera, by which he lost his wife and child. This domestic desolation induced him to return to Kentucky, where, in a short time, he received an invitation to become assistant-editor of the St. Louis Intelligencer, then about to come into existence. He accepted the invitation, but did not long remain connected with the paper. He received an invitation to become editor of the Republican Banner at Nashville, Tennessee, which he declined. He became land-agent, and then secretary of the Pacific Railroad Company, and some time after leaving this appointment, at the instigation of some of the most prominent citizens of Missouri, Mr. Mitchell, in connection with Charles G. Ramsey, established the Evening News. He is half-owner and chief editor of the journal.

Mr. Mitchell is a vigorous and graceful writer, and his journal has an extensive circulation. He was married the second time, in September, 1851, to Miss Mary Brent Talbot, granddaughter of Governor William Owsley, Kentucky, whom he politically supported when he first wielded the editorial pen.

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William McKee, Senior Proprietor of the Missouri Democrat.

WILLIAM McKEE was born in New York city, September 24th, 1815. He is of Irish descent, and his father, after emigrating to this country, was successfully engaged for many years in the lumber business. He was captain of a vessel, and plied between Maine and the West Indies, carrying lumber from Bangor to Jamaica.

Captain McKee enjoyed the good-will of all who knew him, and had the confidence which years of integrity in business relations always establish.

William McKee had fair opportunities of education; for, after finishing the programme of common-school education, he was sent to the Lafayette Academy, where he remained for some time prosecuting his studies; and, at the age of fifteen, entered as clerk in the office of Major Noah, who was at that time the editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer. Some time afterward, when Major Noah sold out to J. Watson Webb, Mr. McKee still retained his place under the new proprietor, and remained altogether in the office for five years. At the expiration of that time, Major Noah, having a high opinion of his business ability, offered him a desirable situation in the office of the Evening Star, which he accepted, and remained in that connection till 1841, when, wishing to he a sharer in the advantages which the Western country offered to aspiring spirits, he emigrated to St. Louis.

William McKee enjoyed rare advantages of accomplishing himself in the art of newspaper publication, being so long in the office of Major Noah, one of the oldest editors, and one of the most finished scholars of the day; and on his advent in St. Louis, he determined to turn his knowledge, gained under such auspices, to some account, and purchased an interest in the Evening Gazette, in connection with Mr. Ruth. He remained part proprietor of that paper for two years, and then, disposing of his interest, commenced the job-printing business.

At that time, the political doctrines of the Hunker and Barnburner factions, originating in the empire state, commenced to spread over the whole Union, each party having its advocates. Mr. McKee was a supporter of the Free-soil doctrine, and started a campaign sheet called "The Barnburner" — the first Free-soil paper that commenced its career in the slaveholding state of Missouri. He then, in conjunction with William Hill, commenced the publication of the Signal in 1850, advocating the same political principles; and then, having purchased the Union, the proprietors merged the two papers into a new existence — and the present Missouri Democrat came into being.

It required all the enterprise, the hopeful faith, and energy for which Mr. McKee is so remarkable, to make a paper advocating Free-soil doctrines successful in Missouri; yet he accomplished the difficult feat. He

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purchased afterward the interest of his partner, and, after being some time sole proprietor of the paper, he took into partnership Mr. George W. Fishback, son of Judge Fishback, of Ohio, a gentleman of good attainments, and a fluent and graceful writer. Mr. McKee is still the senior proprietor of the Democrat.

July 18th, 1855, Mr. McKee was married to Miss Eliza Hill, daughter of Samuel Hill, of New York. That he exerts a remarkable influence over the current events of his time, is evinced from the fact that the journal under his control is the organ of the Free-soil party in St. Louis, and, it may be said, of the whole state. He has hosts of warm friends, and the business relations of nearly twenty years' residence in St. Louis have given him the entire and deserved confidence of the community.

George W. Fishback, Joint Proprietor of the Missouri Democrat, and Its Commercial Editor.

THE subject of this memoir is a native of the old Buckeye state, and was born in the little town of Batavia, Clermont county, Ohio, in December 3d, 1828. His father was a Virginian, who emigrated at an early day to the southern portion of Ohio, when it was almost a wild, and commenced the practice of the law, which he pursued very successfully for thirty-five years, at one time being one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas.

George W. Fishback, being intended by his father for the law, had all the preparatory education so essential for the proper qualification of that profession. He was educated at College Hill, Ohio, and graduated at that institution. Being anxious to seek his fortunes in another sphere, go emigrated to St. Louis, and, disliking the monotony of a lawyer's life, he commenced the still more laborious life of a journalist, and connected himself with the Missouri Democrat as commercial editor, and soon after became joint-proprietor.

Mr. Fishback is devoted to his profession, and writes readily on the current events of the day, and his contributions can readily be known by the rich humorous vein in which he frequently indulges. He is still youthful, but exercises a wide and deserving influence in the home of his adoption.

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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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