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McArthur, John (17 November 1826–15 May 1906), soldier, businessman, and public servant, was born in Erskine Parish, on the River Clyde, in Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of John McArthur and Isabella Neilson, who anticipated that he would become a Presbyterian divine. But he opted for employment in his father’s blacksmithery. In 1849—one year after he married a neighbor, Christine Cuthbertson—he emigrated to the United States, joining his brother-in-law, Carlile Mason, in Chicago. McArthur and Cuthbertson had seven children. After working for several years as a boilermaker and having accumulated some capital in 1854 McArthur entered into partnership with Mason as owner-manager of the Excelsior Ironworks, manufacturing “steam boilers, engines, and iron work of every description.” Buying out Mason, from 1858 to 1861 McArthur was sole operator of the business....

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Mifflin, Thomas (10 January 1744–20 January 1800), merchant, soldier, and politician, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Mifflin and Elizabeth Bagnell, Quakers. His father, a wealthy merchant, held numerous significant political posts including that of provincial councilor. Thomas graduated from the College of Philadelphia in 1760 and then spent four years learning the merchant trade with William Coleman. After visiting England and France during 1764 and 1765, Mifflin formed a mercantile partnership with his brother George and in March 1767 married Sarah Morris, a cousin. The couple quickly took a prominent place in Philadelphia’s elite social circle. Contemporaries described Mifflin as an affable gentleman and fine sportsman. Elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1768, he actively participated in that organization thereafter....