Hilaire Belloc.

Biographical sketches of the leading men of Chicago online

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manufactured, the first year, two million feet of lumber — now, annually,
fifteen million feet. His mills have become the centres of considerable
settlements, and his stores in connection with them command a large
trade from persons who reside along the coast. He employs, in all, some
one hundred and fifty men, and owns, on the Pensaukee River, thirty
thousand acres of timber-land. The Pensaukee property is joined to
Chicago by telegraph.

Beside the three sail vessels which Mr. Gardner has built for his own
accommodation, he has been largely instrumental in furnishing steam
communication with the shores of Green Bay.

Mr. Gardner is a quiet, unobtrusive, kindly man. He is personally
popular, and is regarded, by all who know him, as the very soul of
honesty. He has never held ofiice, and has no desire for any political
preferment, or distinction in any such way. He is a consistent and useful
member of society, and is interested in benevolent and Christian work.
Happily, his generosity enlarges with his increased ability. His great
anxiety, during his financial struggles, seems to have been to maintain his
reputation for integrity; to pay all he, in any way, owed, rather than to
save anything for himself. But since, in the order of Providence, he
was enabled to do all that he wished, and better than he expected, he
hopes to express his gratitude in substantial deeds.

He was married, in 1841, to Miss Fanny Copeland. One son and
two daughters constitute their familv.

Mr. Gardner has recently completed one of the most stately and
attractive private edifices in Chicago. Those who know him well, and are


accjuainted with his family, can wish lor hint lutthinj; hctUT than that his
chihh-cn may fulfill their present promise, and that his noble wife mav
long be spared to share the prosperity which siie has done her part to


Professor Datus C. Brooks, erlitor of the "Chicago Evening Post,"
was born July 15, 1830, at Geneva, New York. He is descended from
New England stock, his parents having previously lived in Connecticut.

In 1833, his family removed to Sturges, St. Joseph County, Michigan,
at which place Mr. Brooks lived until nineteen years of age. During
this time, he attended district and village schools, and soon distanced all
his competitors in the pursuit of ordinary branches. At the age of
fourteen, he commenced the study of Latin, and became a proficient in
the higher English branches, exciting no small attention as an elocutionist
and a ready debater.

AVhcn oighteou years of age, he read medicine for a year, and then
removed to .Vnn Arbor, the seat of the JNIichigan University, for the
purpose of entering the medical department. For two years he obtained
the means to support himself at the college by teaching and manual
labor, at the end of which time he concluded to enter the AVesleyan
Seminary at Albion, then under charge of that excellent edueator,
Dr. C. T. Ilinman. He spent the first year of his regular collegiate
course at this institution, during which time he distinguished himself for
his proficiency as a linguist and as a writer and sj)eaker. He entered his
sophomore year at Michigan T^nivcrsity, soon after it was placed uuder
charge of President Heniv I'. 'r:i]ipan. Though without means, he
forced his way by hard labor and severe self-denial. In the departments
of language, literature ;uid ])hilosophy, he gained especial distinction;
he read everything, and wrote incessantly for ncwspapci"s aiul other
periodicals. ]Ie graduated in 185G, and there being then a vacancy in
the Department of Rhetorie ;ind English Literature, occasioned by tht*


retirement of Dr. Haven, now President of the University, Mr. Brooks
was placed in charge of that responsible professorship. In addition to
his duties in this department, was that of giving instruction in elementary

The organization of a scientific course of four years, in which modern
languages and English studies filled the principal part, rendered it
necessary for the new Professor to devote himself exclusively to the
English department; and it is Avell understood that in no other college
in the country did these indispensable, but usually neglected branches
receive so great and thorough attention as those under charge of Professor
Brooks. He early formed the opinion that the modern languages, and
especially the English language and literature, are entirely competent to
take the place of ancient studies, both as a means of graceful culture
and as an adequate mental discipline — an opinion to which he shaped
his course, and Avhose truth he amply demonstrated.

During his engagement at the University, he responded to frequent
calls to address the public, both from the ])ulpit and platform; and like-
wise was an occasional contributor to the "Xortli American Review" and
other periodicals. During the last year of his stay in the University, he
took charge of the lil)rary, with a view to its enlargement and better

In 1864, he closed his career at the University, and accepted the
responsible position of literary editor, and art, dramatic and musical
critic of the "Chicago Times" — positions for which he was admirably
fitted by his extensive and thorough culture and his versatility as a
writer. He at once gave the departments controlled by him a vigor, a
dignity, a scholarly and ajipreciative tone, that raised them to the front
rank in the journalism of the United States.

In 1866, he took the position of associate editor of the "Evening
Post," which position he at present occupies. His main duties are
confined to political writing; but he occasionally varies the discussion of
the issues of the day by critiques upon art, music and ancient literature.

Professor Brooks promises to succeed as well in the difficult duties
ol journalism as he did as an educat(jr. In the character of the latter
he was bold and original in his designs. He struck out from the old,
beaten paths, and conducted his followers by shorter, better, and more
invigorating routes. The independence which he developed at the
University he carries with him into journalism. He writes clearly,


elegantly, and "witli an camestness that pervades his arguments, and adds
vastly to their strength. He has already attained a position second to
few, if any, in the Northwest; that he will achieve higher distinction
is guaranteed by his untiring industry, his scholarly attainments, his
superiority as a journalist, and his pervading ambition to attain the head
of his profession.


To Hahnemann belongs the proud distinction of having created a new
world of knowledge out of the crude facts, inconsistent observations and
contradictory experiences of the past. His was the mentality which
threw light on the unmeasured depths of ignorance existing on human
physiopathic affinities with tlic Materia Medica. But to others belongs
the honor of having set in motion the mighty enginery which has since
evolved the perfect system and clothed it with practical beauty and living
efficiency. The effulgent beams originated by Hahnemann became vital-
izing activities only as they operated by gradual assimilation with the
popular mind. To turn the world round to meet and receive those rays
was a subsequent work — a greater labor. One of the most fruitful
sections of the earth's surface which have been thus successively brought
under these influences, is the broad and fertile valley of the Mississippi.
The enlightenment of that vast section is largely asorihable to the eiforts
of one man — one of Chicago's oldest citizens — David Sheppard Smith,
M. D. What Hahnemann was to the world at largi-, that, in some
degree, Dr. Smith has been to the West. As the first to introduce the
practice and expound the theory of the similies west of the Lakes, and
the man to whose efforts the establishment of tiie Hahnemann ^ledical
College was most largely due, he is justly entitled to the ajipellation of
"Father of Western Homoeopathy." As such, he is tiic subject of the
highest and most appreciative esteem by the tens of thousands among us
wlio regard his chosen sphere of labor as a world of itself, and scarcely
less so by that still more numerous class who look on it simply as a note-
worthy reform — excellent jjer sc, but more valuable as the M'cdge which
has riven asunder the block of dogmatizing intolerance on which so many


medical reformers had previously been sacrificed. Dr. Smith is entitled
to still further respect as the ranking pliysician of Chicago, being the
longest on duty of any now practicing in tlie city. He came here in
1836, at the age of twenty, and attained liis majority within a few days
of the time Avhen, by act of incorporation, the city of Chicago sprung
into existence, like a buttertly, emerging from the chrysalis-like state of
village life. Thirty years have ekipsed since then, and the adult life
of the municipality has been actualized. Of those who came here before
that date, and have been since that continuously identified with the site,
very few remain ; among the physicians still fewer, Avhile the liaudful of
survivors have, with the one exception, retired from j^ractice, leaving
Dr. D. S. Smith as the sole connecting link between the village of then,
and the city of now.

David Sheppard Smith was born in Camden, New Jersey, on the 28th
of Ajjril, 1816. His father, Isaac, Mas born in Salem County, Xew
Jersey, being one of its earliest settlers. The maternal name was Wheaton,
and traceable to Wales through but two generations. The parents of the
youth were noted as possessed of great force of character, and their influ-
ence for good was powerful in forming his young mind. The son enjoyed
the ordinary school advantages of the town in his boyhood, but he often
refers to the instruction of his mother as of much the greatest value. Her
teachings led him to aspire to moral worth and strive for a high order of
mental culture. His ambition at an early age was to associate with those
who knew more than himself. He early discovered a decided leaning to
the study of the healing art, and at the proper age was sent to study
medicine Mith Dr. Isaac S. Mulford. He attended three full courses of
lectures at the Jefierson Medical College in Philadelphia, and graduated
with honor in 1836. That institution was then, as now, foremost among
the medical schools of the continent, and its diploma, which he still
retains, is an evidence of high attainment on the j^art of its possessor,
without which it would not have been granted him. He has been the
recipient of many honors since then, but of none that he prizes more
highly than that, the first fruits of his studious toil.

Armed Mith his diploma, the young physician cast about for a field in
which to practice. He had heard glowing accounts of the AVest, and soon
his determination was formed to come to Chicago. He came out, and was
so well pleased with the prospect, that he decided to settle here, and in a
few months consummated the act bv marrvino; and makino- a home. In


the autumn of 1837, he returned East to six-nd the winter with his parents
at Camden, and dnrinjr the visit his att<'ntiun was taUeil t<> tlie then novel
doctrines of honuoopathy. He read a littk', and w;i.s interested s<> deeply
that he determined to give the subject a thorough investigation, and to
that end bought all the books he could find in the English language
cxpoundinii" the principles and practiee of the Hahnemann theory. He
brought them back with him to the West, moving then to Joliet, and in
his leisure hours made them the subjects of exhaustive stndy, though
continuing to practice strictly in accordance with the j)rlnciples of the
allopathic school. Soon after this, however, his first-born child was taken
sick, and, the case not responding to allopathic treatment, this led to a
successful resort to homoeopathic prescriptions, from which dates Dr.
Smith's growing confidence in the new practice. In 1842, he returned to
Chic.ago, and here coutinued the old school practice for some months
longer, becoming more and more dissatisfied with it, though meeting with
an average success in his treatment. In the spring of 1843, he went East
on business, and while there, procured more ^vorks on homcEopathy. On
his return to Chicago, he fully adopted the system in his practice, bc.'ing
the first to introduce it west of the Lakes; it rapidly grew in the public
lavor, and soon Dr. Smith had more calls for his services than he cnld
attend to. Then other honujeopathic practitioners came, and, ere long, the
new school advocates in Chicago, though in the minority, were sufficiently
numerous to command attention to, and respect for, its system of treatment.
Dr. Smith continued in active practice till 1856, passing through the
cholera seasons wdth marked success. During the visitation in 1849, he
was kept so busy, that he frequently prescribed without taking the names
of patients. In 1852, he was on a trip East when he heard that the
cholera had again broken out in Chicago; he hurried back, and worked at
his post night and day, till he fell sick with it himself. He recovered and
again went to work. During all these periods, he never turned away a
case on account of poverty, or no pay. He cheerfully gave his services
wherever required. As an instance of how his heart was in his work, it
may be mentioned that once he was called upon at the same time by two
parties to make a visit, both eases being urgent. Seeing him hesitate, one
said, "my representative is worth half a million, an.l will pay yon any-
thing vou charge if you will only come now." At this the other fell back
with the remark : " Then I may as well go, for I am not worth a dollar."
The doctor replied: "Then I go with yon," and made the vi^it to the


hovel in preference to that demanded by the semi-millionaire. Thus he
worked, and was rewarded, if not always ^^•ith money, at least with the
approving reflection that what was done Avas Avell done.

In the winter of 1854-5, Dr. Smith attended the Illinois Legislative
session in Springfield, and a charter was procured incorporating the Hahne-
mann Medical College of Chicago, since located on South State street.
There was not a vast amount of opposition to the passage of the bill, as
the opinion was freely expressed that the Institution would never amount
to anything. How largely that prediction has been falsified, we need
not say. Dr. Smith was elected President of the Board of Trustees from
the commencement, and his best energies have ever since then been given
to helping forward the cause he loved so well. In recognition of his
eminent services and acquirements, an honorary degree was conferred
on him, February 23, 1856, by the Homoeopathic jNIedical College of
Cleveland. In 1857, he was elected General Secretary of the American
Institute of Homoeopathy, an association national in its membership,
character and influence. In June, 1858, he was chosen President, and
in 1865, Treasurer of the same institution.

In 1856, Dr. Smith's health began to fiiil, under the arduous pressure
of his duties, and he removed to Waukegan, where he remained three
vears, for the benefit of his health, being chosen, while there. President
of the Bank of Northern Illinois. He then returned to Chicago and
resumed practice, enjoying a large patronage, and attending to his duties
Avithout intermission until the spring of 1866, Avhen his health again
failed, and he decided to visit Europe, as a relaxation and for change of
scene. While there he visited many points of interest, going through the
hospitals and colleges, and enjoying the acquaintance of the learned men
there. He returned with his health very much improved, and was
received, on his arrival in May, 1867, with a heartiness of welcome that
showed how extensive and deep-felt was the respect entertained for him
by his former friends.

Dr. Smith was married in January, 1837, a few mouths after his first
arrival in Chicago, to Miss Rebecca Ann Dennis, daughter of Jose])h and
Mary J. Dennis, of Salem, New Jersey. He met her first at the residence
of her uncle. Major E. H. Mulford, now of Oakland, Cook County. The
marriasre has been blessed with four children. Of these, one daughter
married Dr. Slocum, and subsequently died in Southwestern Texas, and a
son died at Fort Earned. The other two, daughters, are still living, one


of wliom became the wife of Majm- .lohii Christopher, United States
Army, well known in this city (Inriu!;- tht' early part of the rebellion iis
mustering-in otlicer, and afterwards chosen nn:uiimously as Colonel of the
Railroad (Eighty-ninth) Regiment — a high compliment, seeing that it
was entirely uiisoughi for, and ((jualcd only by a similar compliment
from tiic Government, which refnseil to permit the transi'er, as his services
were too valuable in that de])artment to be dispensed with.

Dr. Smith occupies a residence. No. 341 ^^'abash avenue, standing on
a lot which lie remembers once to ha\-e ,-eeii .-iicli an impracticable slough,
in the early history of Chicago, that a livery-man cautioned liim not
to attempt to cross it, as the horse would ''get stuck.'' The lot has since
become a most desirable piece of j)roperty, and the bulk of the population
of South Chicago live even south of this.

Tlie Doctor is a regular attendant on the E])iseopal service, in Grace
Church — llev. Clinton Locke, D. D., Hector — but is not a member of the
society. He is a man of strong religious convictions, decided in his views,
iuflexiblc in determination, of uudeviating integrity, and is generous to a


It is a fact, which the personal histories of our most successful and
eminent men in all departments of life will amply show, that those who
start out in life under adverse circustances, but possessed of honor, virtue,
and energy of character, are the men who generally distinguish
themselves in their respective spheres of labor and usefulness. In no com-
munity is this fact more strikingly illustrated than in Chicago, where the
majority of those who are now leading men in business and public life
commenced the struggle for wealth and position, poor in worldly
possessions, but rich in the endowments of a manly courage, honorable
principles, and a worthy ambition.

Those who have a mere business acquaintance with the subject of this
sketch, William A. Giles, the senior member of the well known Lake
street jewelry firm of Giles Brothers & Co., would little suspect that he
started out in life a penniless orphan boy, or that he spent the yeare of
his boyhood on a farm. But such is the fact.

Mr. Giles Avas born in New Salem, Massachusetts, October 6, 1836.
He was the third of a family of seven children. His father was in com-
fortable circumstances until 1837, the year of the memorable financial
crisis, at which time his property Avas all wrested fn»m him, leaving the
family impoverished. In 1844, when William was but eight years of
age, the children — five sons and two daughters — were left almost
penniless, and nearly friendless. The elder brother, Frederick, was
apprenticed to a trade; William was taken to the home of his aged
grandfather, who occupied a large, rocky, wood-covered and unproductive
farm, for which he was heavily in debt, and from which he producc<l
barelv enough for a "livinnr;" and the rest of the children were kept


together and supported by the heroic efforts of an older sister, who, at that
time, was but thirteen years of age. When William was eleven years of
age his grandfather died, and, incredible as it may seem, he managed
the great, incumbered farm until he reached his fourteenth year — plowing
the land, gathering the harvests, and performing all tlie usual farm
drudgery. During the summer season he labored from fourteen to fifteen
hours a day, but employed the long evenings of autumn and winter in
reading and study. At the age of fourteen, the farm passed into other
hands, and he hired out, as a farm laborer, to a heartless hypocrite named
Frost, who required the services of a man, but paid only one-fifth of a
man's Avages. Being at this period of life ambitious for an education,
he devoted the autumn, winter, *and early spring months to study, and
attending a high school, where he made rapid progress, especially in the
mathematical and historical departments. To meet his expenses for
tuition and board he worked mornings and evenings on the farm.
When fifteen years of age, his elder brother obtained for him a situation
in the jewelry store of Mr. Cook, in Northampton, Mass., in which he
was to serve as apprentice and clerk until he reached the age of twenty-
one. He tried it for several months, when, becoming impressed that
such a long service, without much remuneration, and without any
opportunity for mental culture, would be a needless waste of time, he
became seriously discontented. His employer, being apprised of the young
man's feelings, kindly consented to release him from his apprenticeship,
upon which he entered the high school at Athol, INIass., as a student.
He earned money enough, mornings and evenings, to pay his board, and
worked on a farm during the haying season, for one dollar and twenty-five
cents per day. At the age of sixteen he entered New Salem Academy,
completed his study of the common branches, and commenced the study
of the languages and the higher departments of mathematics, and in the
winter of that year he accepted the position of teacher in a common school,
resuming his studies at the Academy in the ensuing spring. In 1854,
though still a boy, he took the initiatory steps to establish a high school
at South Royalton, Mass., of which he was the first Princij)al. This was
his first success in life. By considerable tact and perseverance he organ-
ized a first-class school — one of the most popular and successful in that
region — bringing together a congregation of one hundred and fifty
students, whom, with the aid of two assistants, he taught successfully.
Subsequently, he entered Thetford Academy, to complete his course of


studies, paying his tuition and board by taking charge of the chiss in

geology. His desire was to enter college, but his pecuniary means not

warranting it, he relinquislu'd his purpose, and deterininetl t«j devote a

year or two to teaching, and then embark in some commercial pursuit.

Accordingly, he took charge of the Blackwood Academy, near I'liiladel-

phia, Pa. His health failing, he resigned l\\\> charge, and abandoned


Having accumulated a few iinndrcd dollars, and obtaining some

credit, Mr. Giles came ^yest in 1857, and spent a liw nu)nths pros-
pecting, and visiting friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin. lie finally
located in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and opened a jewelry stcjri-. Being
convinced that it would be a paying i^ivestraent, he established a branch
store in McGregor, Iowa, on the opposite side of the Mississippi Kiver,
and took his younger brother, Charles, into partnership. Tiieir success
far surpassed his most sanguine expectations. Tiic business proving renm-
nerative, he soon became desirous of extending his sphere of operations.
To effect this, in 1862, he removed to Chicago, and, in partnership ^\ilh his
brother Charles and a silent partner, stocked and opened the store tliey
still occupy, at 142 Lake street. Messrs. Giles Brothers & Co. acted upon
the belief that, with suitable Eastern connections and a liberal treatment
of the trade, Cliicago could just as well supply all the Northwestern
demand in this department of mercantile commerce as New York or any
other Eastern city. They sold goods for what they were, and consequently
soon secured the patronage of merchants and othei-s who had been accus-
tomed to trading at the East. Thus was inaugurated a first-class trade for
Chicago in that department — a trade which now amounts to millions of
dollars yearly, and in the rajiid progress of which they have ever been the
leaders. It is needless to say that they have been well rewarded for their
enterprise, and are now among our most successful young merchants,
counting their friends in almost every town, village and city in the

AVithin a few years post, a private art gallery has been establishid in
connection with their elegant store, which has proved to be a pojinlar

Online LibraryHilaire BellocBiographical sketches of the leading men of Chicago → online text (page 45 of 61)