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have been adopted and patented by others.

June i, 1851, Mr. Case was married to Eliza
Jane Baldwin, daughter of William and Char-
lotte Baldwin, of Braufort, Connecticut. Of



C. T. NICHOLS.



429



their five children, one died in infancy, and Ever-
ett passed away at the age of twenty-five years.
The names of the survivors are John M. , Elmer G.
and Edna J., the latter the wife of P. M. Vermass,
all of Chicago. The family is connected with the
Western Avenue Baptist Church, in which soci-
ety Mr. Case has been a Deacon for twenty -five
years. He has voted for every presidential can-
didate nominated by the Republican party, and



though he refrains from political agitation he
always endeavors to fulfill his duty as a citizen.
In private and social circles as well as in business
affairs, he has maintained a reputation for stabil-
ity and integrity, which causes him to be among
the best known and most highly esteemed citi-
zens of this great city, the growth of which has
been almost identical with that of his business.



CLIFFORD L. NICHOLS.



CLIFFORD L. NICHOLS, of Blue Island,
I ( the efficient and well-known Superintendent
\J of the Illinois Division of the Chicago, Rock
Island & Pacific Railroad, was born in Wyanet,
111., on the 3oth of November, 1856, and is a son
of David T. and Hulda G. (Barry) Nichols. The
father came to this State in 1839, taking up his
residence in the then town of Chicago, where he
carried on a harness-shop for several years. In 1846
he removed to Kane County, 111., where he was
engaged in the same line of business for some
time. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California,
attracted by the discovery of gold on the Pacific
Slope, but returned to Illinois the following year,
as he did not find that wealth was as easily ob-
tained in the West as reports had indicated. In
1853 he removed to Wyanet, Bureau County,
where he opened a harness-shop, and in 1854 he
became agent for the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy Railroad at that place, continuing with
that company in the same capacity, with the ex-
ception of two years, up to the time of his death,
which occurred on the loth of December, 1893,
at the advanced age of eighty-one years. He was
born in Broadalbin, N. Y. His wife, who is a
native of Madison, N. Y., still resides in Wyanet.
The gentleman whose name heads this record
attended the public schools until fourteen years of



age, when he began to learn the art of telegraphy
in his father's office. In 1876, having mastered
the business, he left Wyanet and secured a posi-
tion as operator, train dispatcher and ticket agent
elsewhere. He was employed at various points
on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
until 1880, when he entered the employ of the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad as train
dispatcher. From time to time he won promo-
tion as the result of his faithful and meritorious
service, until he had become Superintendent of
the Eastern Division. Later he was made Super-
intendent of the Kansas City Division, and with
the exception of a short period remained with
that company until 1890, as Superintendent of
the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Road. He then be-
came connected with the Chesapeake & Ohio, and
the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroads. In
1892 he engaged with the Chicago, Rock Island
& Pacific Railroad Company as chief train dis-
patcher at Horton, Kan., and in August, 1893,
he came to Blue Island as Superintendent of the
Illinois Division of that road, which position he
now fills.

Mr. Nichols was married in 1878 to Miss Mabel
E. Frans, daughter of Harry B. Frans, of Gales-
burg, 111., and a native of California. They now
have four children, Earl, Jessie, Ethel and Allan.



AI,ONZO HUNTINGTON.



ALONZO HUNTINGTON.



aLONZO HUNTINGTON, who was born at
Shaftesbury, Vermont, September i, 1805,
and died in Chicago, November 17, 1881,
was a Vermonter of good old stock. Capt. Amos
Huntington, of the Revolutionary army, was his
grandfather, and, like Samuel Huntington, one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence,
was a great-grandson of the first of the name in
America. Samuel was also President of the Con-
tinental Congress, Chief Justice of Connecticut,
Governor of Connecticut, and (1789) recipient of
two electoral votes at the first Presidential elec-
tion. Alonzo was also grand-nephew of Gov-
ernor Galusha, of Vermont. His father owned
and operated a marble quarry, in which business
young Alonzo took his share of work and respon-
sibility, even while laying the foundation of his
education; his higher teaching being deferred to
that of an elder brother, whom his service at home
helped through Union College.

In spite of this sacrifice, he managed to secure
a fair degree of good practical culture, and, so
grounded, he studied law in Buffalo under the
Hon. I. T. Hatch, and was there admitted to the
Bar. He came to Chicago in 1835, became State's
Attorney in 1837, and administered his office so
well as to be re-elected in 1839, serving until
1841. His most noteworthy case in this connec-
tion was the prosecution of John Stone for
the murder of Lucretia Thompson, which ex-
cited great interest, and elicited from the Ameri-
can remarks which the presiding judge (Pearson)
thought demanded prosecution for contempt of
court. A suit was accordingly instituted by the
State's Attorney under the orders of the court.
It had no result, except the usual one of calling
down the united voice of the press on the head



of the prosecutor, who had simply done his of-
ficial duty and obeyed orders.

His term of office ended, Mr. Huntington re-
sumed practice, wherein (as in his official life) his
qualities and attainments assured success. His
manners were dignified, yet cordial; his standing
as a man and citizen flawless; his relations in
private and family life kind, generous and de-
voted. Many know that by his energy, ability,
foresight and self-denial he gained a handsome
fortune; few have any idea of the burden of duty
he was taking so voluntarily on his strong shoul-
ders. During much of his later life he was the
stay and support of his father, mother, two broth-
ers and a widowed sister, besides his own con-
siderable family; the whole load sustained with
an heroic cheerfulness that either felt no weari-
ness, or concealed what it felt. Three genera-
tions carried wholly by one inflexible conscience
and faithful heart!

Mrs. Huntington was also of distinguished
descent, being granddaughter of Gideon Olin,
one of the founders of Vermont and a member of
Congress (1803-7); a niece of the late Abraham
Olin, a member of the Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth
and Thirty-seventh United States Congresses, and
Judge of the Supreme Court of the District of
Columbia, and a lineal descendant of the Quaker-
ess, Mary Dyer, who suffered religious martyr-
dom on Boston Common in 1660. She was a sis-
tor of Dr. Charles V. Dyer, the celebrated wit
and humorist of the early days of Chicago, whose
engaging qualities she shared and transmitted to
her children, of whom two survive their parents:
Frances, Mrs. Benjamin M. Wilson, and Henry
Alonzo, late Brevet Major in the United States
army, a brave soldier in the Union War, and still
distinguished in literary and social life.



EDWIN PARDRIDGE.



431



EDWIN PARDRIDGE.



IT DWIN PARDRIDGE, one of the most re-
Iv) markable characters ever connected with
the Chicago Board of Trade, passed away
at his residence on Prairie Avenue on the morn-
ing of April 17, 1896, in the sixty-first year of
his age. The Chicago Tribune said: "The his-
tory of Mr. Pardridge's sixty years has few paral-
lels. He was a man of the clearest perceptions,
and his strong convictions and the nerve with
which he backed them made him a marked man.
Since 1 869 he has been a familiar figure in local
commercial circles, and for the last ten years,
during which time he had devoted himself almost
exclusively to speculation, his name and fame
were world-wide. Probably no man as merchant
and operator has been called upon in the West
to meet such odds and face such opposition; and
those who knew him are agreed as to his busi-
ness acumen, courage, common sense and kind-
liness of heart. ' '

Mr. Pardridge exemplified in a marked degree
the sturdiness of character handed down by a
long line of New England ancestry. The pro-
genitor of this family came from England, and
first settled in Massachusetts early in the history
of that colony. Thence the line extending to
this subject was transferred to Grafton, near
Troy, New York, where his grandfather was a
thrifty farmer. He was a man of large stature,
and reached a green old age. He was twice
married. His first wife, Miss Smith, of an old
New York family, was the mother of eleven chil-
dren, and died at the age of fifty years. She
was a woman of great thrift and economy, and a
devoted mother. Six of her children reached



maturity, namely: Asa, Ambrose, Abiah, Anson,
Julia and Lydia. All were born at Grafton,
were interested in farming, and were highly re-
spected and prospered in life.

The youngest son, Anson, was reared on the
old homestead, where he remained until he had
attained his majority. He then went to Durham-
ville, Oneida County, New York, where, after
four years of patient labor, he was enabled to set-
tle down upon a farm. He married Miss Amanda
Field, a native of Leyden, Massachusetts, a
daughter of John Field, a Revolutionary soldier,
who reached the age of eighty-two years. His
father and two brothers immigrated from Wales
before the French and Indian War, and settled
in Massachusetts. His wife, Silence Lincoln,
was a native of that State, and was, no doubt, a
scion of the same family as the late martyred
President, whose family was of English descent
and located in Massachusetts. Anson Pardridge
was born June 10, 1804, passed his entire life
upon a farm, and died April 28, 1877. His wife
was born in the same year as himself, November
23, and died January 26, 1890. She was a de-
voted member of the Baptist Church, and was the
mother of five children, Anson, Marion, Edwin,
Charles W. and Ellen. The eldest daughter is
the wife of Charles J. Stokes, and the other of
Charles Oscar Gleason, all residing in Evanston.
The elder son remained on the home farm until
1877, when he removed to Chicago, where he
now resides. The younger son has been inter-
ested all his life in the dry-goods trade, and is
now in Chicago.

Edwin Pardridge was born at Durhamville,



432



EDWIN PARDRIDGE.



New York, October 24, 1835. His life was an
independent one, and his success was achieved en-
tirely through his own unaided efforts. His educa-
tion was supplied by the district schools, and he
very early began his mercantile career, in which he
laid the foundation of his fortune, in a village
store near his home. After working five years
in a general store at Lyons, New York, he en-
gaged in the dry-goods business at Buffalo, in
partnership with his youngest brother. This con-
tinued until 1869, when he came to Chicago. He
was ambitious and desired a larger field of opera-
tions. His first store was located at Lake and
State Streets, and in its conduct he showed the
same discriminating judgment and mastery of de-
tail which later characterized his operations on
the Board of Trade. In 1870 he formed a part-
nership with his brother, Charles W. Pardridge,
to continue the business.

The great fire of 1871 destroyed this store,
which was then on Wabash Avenue. After that
disaster they built the Boston Store, and pur-
chased the adjoining one at Nos. 112-116 State
Street, which was known as Pardridge' s Main
Store. He finally reverted the Boston Store to
his partner, Charles W. Pardridge, and retained
the main store. He also had a dry-goods store
in Detroit at the time of his demise. He had
started and operated numerous other stores, but
had largely abandoned trade to gratify his pas-
sion for speculation. He made careful invest-
ments of his profits, and soon after the fire he
was the owner of one hundred rented houses.
His faith in local real estate continued, and when
he died he had more than seven hundred tenants
in flats, houses and store property. Beside this,
he conveyed much property to members of his
family to provide against the possible disasters of
speculation.

Mr. Pardridge operated upon the Board of
Trade for about twenty years, and for the first
five years, as is the case with most beginners, he
was a buyer, and was much of the time a loser.
He was attracted to speculation by the success of
a few very wealthy men who had acquired their
property in this manner. He was not an im-
pulsive, but a systematic and persistent, operator.



He formulated a plan which he ever afterwards fol-
lowed. He became a seller, and though he often
took great risks, and even approached seeming
recklessness, and on a few occasions narrowly
escaped bankruptcy, his gains far exceeded his
losses and justified the soundness of his plan.
The fortunes Mr. Pardridge won and lost through
his boldness in plunging became the gossip of
the world. He used to say that it did not require
much education to make a speculator, but it
needed plenty of cool common sense. Mr. Pard-
ridge's clear foresight was emphatically shown
in August, 1892, when May wheat was selling at
$1.06 per bushel, and the majority of traders
were predicting that it would reach $1.50. Mr.
Pardridge said that it would sell for eighty cents
per bushel, and it became the case of one man
against the world, for all the speculative trade
at home and abroad believed in higher prices.
Though he lost nearly three-quarters of a million
dollars during that summer, he stuck to his pre-
diction, which was verified before the following
March, and the speculative world, which had
laughed at him, was forced to pay him tribute to
the extent of millions of dollars.

He was never exacting in times of stringency,
and it is well known that he could have closed
out many houses by exacting the margins due
him. He never attempted to corner the market,
but contented himself with putting in prac-
tice his theory of short selling. His fame be-
came world- wide, and between 1890 and 1894
his movements meant a great deal more than
the crop reports or the amount of exports.
As seen on the floor of the board, Mr. Pardridge
was a modest, unassuming man, and while he
could play like a wizard with millions of dollars
as if they were so many pennies, he was one of
the most plainly dressed men on the board. His
most pronounced characteristic was dogged de-
termination, though it was never expressed in
his face.

Mr. Pardridge had few intimate friends on the
board, but this was principally because he did
not care about casual friends. His chief friend
and supporter was A. J. Cutler, whose biography
will be found in this volume. Scores of traders



H. D. BAKER.



433



remember with gratitude how Mr. Pardridge
saved them from bankruptcy by timely loans.
These kind acts he was accustomed to do without
ostentation, and he never desired to hear them
mentioned. He practiced silent charity, and
never permitted his left hand to know what his
right hand did. The poor and unfortunate were
special objects of his bounty, and many cases of
his liberality hitherto unknown have come to
light since his death.

The tension under which Mr. Pardridge lived
as an operator undermined his constitution, and
his death resulted from Bright' s Disease, after
three months of almost constant suffering. But
his vitality was something remarkable. A few
weeks before his death Mr. Cutler called at his
home, but learned that he was unable to talk
about anything pertaining to business. The
next day he was thunderstruck on receiving
orders from Mr Pardridge to sell wheat, and
within a day or two the latter was seen on the
floor of the exchange.



July 10, 1861, Mr. Pardridge was married,
near Durhamville, New York, to Miss Sarah
Swallow, a native of the town of Verona, Oneida
County, New York, and a daughter of William and
Mary (Hicks) Swallow, both natives of England.
The father was nineteen years old when he came
to this country, and was known as an energetic
business man of Durhamville. His wife came to
the United States when eleven years of age.
They were active members of the Methodist
Church, and were highly respected by the people
of Durhamville, at which place they ended their
days in peace and quiet contentment.

The five children of Mr. and Mrs. Pardridge
have all reached maturity. The eldest, Sarah
Blanche, wife of R. C. Price, resides at Wauke-
gan; Grace Emily, wife of C. W. L,eeming, Will-
ard Edwin and Frederick Charles Pardridge re-
side on Indiana Avenue; and Florence Eva re-
sides at home with her mother.



HENRY D. BAKER.






HENRY DAVIS BAKER is a native of Illi-
nois, whose patriotic impulses and thorough-
going business methods have gained for him
a reputation well worthy of perpetuation in this
record. He was born at Lockport, Will County,
April 7, 1845, and is the elder of two sons born
to James S. Baker and Adeline H. Eddy.

James S. Baker was born in Otsego County,
New York, and removed to Illinois in 1837, be-
coming one of the pioneer settlers of Lockport.
He was a carpenter by trade, and followed that
occupation there until his death, which occurred
in 1890, at the age of seventy-four years. He
was prominent in the Masonic fraternity and the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but interested
himself little in public affairs. His only official



service was in the capacity of Justice of the Peace.
He was a son of John Baker, an Englishman,
born near the city of Hull, who came to this
country about the beginning of the present cent-
ury. He settled in Otsego County, New York,
where he was married, and died there at the age
of sixty years. His wife survived to the age of
eighty-four.

Mrs. Adeline H. Baker was born near Nor-
wich, Chenango County, New York. She was
a daughter of Eli Eddy, a farmer of that locality,
whose ancestors were among the number ban-
ished from the Massachusetts Colony in company
with Roger Williams, and became pioneers of
Rhode Island. Mrs. Baker died of cholera in
1854. Her second son, Ernest, died in Engle-



434



H. D. BAKER.



wood, Chicago, in 1891, at the age of forty-two
years. After the death of his first wife, Mr.
James S. Baker was married to Mrs. Philinda B.
Moon, a native of Rochester, New York.

Henry D. Baker received a common-school
education, and at the age of nineteen years en-
listed in Cogswell's Independent Battery, Illinois
Light Artillery. He entered the service on the
23d of February, 1864, and served until June 23,
1865, being mustered out at Vicksburg, Missis-
sippi. He participated in the battle of Nash-
ville, under General Thomas, and was subse-
quently employed on detached service at that
place under General Rosseau. Still later, he
served under Captain Barr, Ordnance Officer at
Fort McPherson, Natchez, Mississippi. Though
the bullets sometimes whizzed in close proximity
to his body, he came unscathed from the conflict,
and returned to the pursuits of peace.

The next few years after the war he spent at
different places in the South and West, and in
1871, just previous to the Great Fire, he located
in Chicago. He was employed for a short time
by a commission house on the Board of Trade,
and for fifteen years thereafter was connected
with the Singer & Talcott Stone Company. After
severing his connection with that house, he spent
four years in the office of Fraser & Chalmers,
the well-known foundrymen. His clerical duties
were always dispatched in a thorough and com-
petent manner, and he gained a reputation for
being an expert accountant.

About twelve years ago Mr. Baker began in-
vestigating building and loan associations, and
demonstrated to his own satisfaction that this
form of investment, when properly managed, of-
fered one of the very best opportunities for people
of moderate incomes. He became identified with
the Bankers' and Merchants' Building and Loan
Association, one of the earliest and most reliable
concerns of that character organized in the city.
He has served as a Director of that institution
since 1884. In 1891 he became its Secretary,
filling that position with marked ability for the
next three years. Owing to ill-health, he re-
signed the office of Secretary at the end of that
period, and devoted the next year to rest and re-



cuperation. In 1 894 he became Secretary of the
Grand Army of the Republic Building and Loan
Association. This institution, which has been
established for about eleven years, is in a sound
and healthy condition, having matured its first
five series of stock, and is now recognized as one
of the most substantial and prosperous corpora-
tions of the kind.

Mr. Baker is a conservative, energetic and far-
seeing business man, and eminently adapted to
the management of involved and extensive finan-
cial accounts. He is known as one of the well-
informed men in the city on matters pertaining to
building and loan associations, and his services
and counsel are frequently sought by other in-
dividuals and corporations whose affairs have be-
come entangled through incompetent or unfaith-
ful management. In addition to his duties as
Secretary of the association with which he is now
identified, he transacts a general loan and fire in-
surance business.

In 1877 Mr. Baker was married to Miss Agnes
M. Milne, daughter of Robert Milne, of Lock-
port, Illinois. Mr. Milne, who was an early set-
tler at that place, became one of the leading farm-
ers and stock-breeders of Illinois, and served as
a member of the first Board of Canal Commis-
sioners appointed by the Governor of the State.
He lived to the age of eighty-seven years, passing
away in November, 1891. Mrs. Baker, who is
an accomplished and amiable lady, is the mother
of a son and two daughters. Horace S., the son,
is a student at the Evanston Township High
School. The daughters are named, respectively,
Adeline M. and Elsie M. The family is con-
nected with the Congregational Church of Evan-
ston, which city has been its home since the
spring of 1890. Mr. Baker is a member of
Unity Council of the National Union at Evanston,
and of John A. Logan Post, Grand Army of the
Republic. He has been connected with the Ma-
sonic order since he was twenty-one years old,
and in political sentiment is an independent Re-
publican. He entertains no aspirations for polit-
ical honors, but endeavors in a quiet way to fulfill
all the duties of an American citizen.



LIBRARY

OF THE

DIVERSITY OF ILL!*'






U. H. WHEELER.



435



URIAH H. WHEELER.



HRIAH HARMON WHEELER. The clos-
ing life work of Uriah H. Wheeler ended a
branch of one of the distinguished Bay State
families; which pathetic fact invites attention well
back towards primal Pilgrim days, an era of rug-
gedly severe but sterling deeds. Briefly told, the
story runs as follows: Traditionally from Wales,
in 1640 (only twenty years subsequent to the im-
mortal landing of the Pilgrims), Thomas Wheeler
is found at Concord, Massachusetts, historic scene
of the "Minute-men" fight in earliest Revolu-
tionary times. Here he founded a large family,
in evidence of which fact it is only necessary to
say that persons bearing this name have from
that day to this always exceeded the numbers of
those of any other family name in that town.

He rose to the rank of Captain, and as such
was in command of that intrepid score of com-
rades who made the march in 1675 to Brookfield,
to treat with King Philip, where, falling into an
ambush, about one- half of the band was slaugh-
tered. Captain Wheeler had his horse shot under
him while in the saddle, and, being himself badly
wounded, was from under the very tomahawks of
savage foes rescued by his son, Sergeant Thomas
Wheeler, who, although suffering from wounds,
placed his father upon another horse of a fallen
soldier, and from the bloody scene both found
safety in flight.

The following year, Captain Wheeler died,
never having recovered from the effects of his
wounds. Thomas Wheeler, junior, in the mean
time having married and had children, later re-
moved to the rapidly developing town of Marl-
boro, situated only a few miles west.



The scene now changes to New Marlboro, in
Berkshire County, western Massachusetts, whose
original grantors were principally from Marlboro,
whence the name. Benjamin Wheeler, a de-
scendant of the said Thomas Wheeler, junior,



Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 66 of 111)