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Douglas Pike and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Bunker, Ellsworth (11 May 1894–27 September 1984), businessman and diplomat, was born in Yonkers, New York, the son of George R. Bunker, a founder of the National Sugar Refining Company, and Jean Polhemus Cobb. Bunker was educated in private schools in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and attended Yale University, where he majored in history and economics. After graduating in 1916, he entered the family business as a dockworker. In 1920 he married Harriet Allen Butler, with whom he was to have three children. Bunker advanced quickly in the National Sugar Refining Company and was named a director of the company in 1927. He went on to become secretary, treasurer, president, and chairman of the board, retiring in 1950. He remained a member of the board of directors until 1966....

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Candler, Asa Griggs (30 December 1851–12 March 1929), businessman and civic leader, was born near Villa Rica, Carroll County, Georgia, the son of Samuel Charles Candler, a farmer and merchant, and Martha Beall. Three of Asa Candler’s brothers also rose to prominence: one became a Methodist Episcopal bishop; one a justice on the Georgia Supreme Court; and the third a U.S. congressman. Candler married Lucy Elizabeth Howard in 1878, and they had five children. Lucy Candler died in Atlanta in 1919. Candler married Mary Little Reagan in 1923....

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Charles Frederick Gunther. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society (IChi-10584).

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Gunther, Charles Frederick (06 March 1837–10 February 1920), Chicago confectioner, politician, and antiquarian collector, was born Carl Friedrich Guenther in Wildberg, Wurttemberg, Germany, the son of Marie and Johann Martin Guenther, a candle and soap maker. The family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1842, and at age ten Gunther began work as a government mail carrier, traveling forty miles daily by horseback. In 1850 they resettled in Peru, Illinois, an important ice harvesting center on the canal linking Chicago with the Mississippi watershed. Gunther found work as a cashier in a bank, where he came in contact with many of the merchants who shipped 100,000 tons of ice down the southern rivers during prosperous years....

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Harnett, Cornelius, Jr. (20 April 1723?–28 April 1781), politician and Revolutionary leader, was born in eastern North Carolina, probably in Chowan County, the son of Cornelius Harnett, a merchant, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). As a provincial leader of resistance against British policies from 1765 to 1776, Cornelius Harnett, Jr., had few equals. He also did yeoman service for the American cause as a dependable delegate to the Continental Congress. This merchant and distiller of rum has been called the “Pride of the Cape Fear” and the “Samuel Adams of North Carolina.”...

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Hinkle, Samuel Forry (09 June 1900–19 April 1984), manufacturer, was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Wisler Hinkle, a pharmacist, and Elizabeth Forry. He graduated from Pennsylvania State College (later Pennsylvania State University) in 1922 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He immediately took a job as chemist with the Norton Company in Chippewa, Ontario, Canada, a manufacturer of electric furnaces. In 1923 he moved to a position as chief chemist at another Canadian firm, National Abrasive Company of Niagara Falls, Ontario. One year later he returned to the United States to work for Hershey Foods Corporation in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where he spent the rest of his career. In 1935 he married Margaret Joseph in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They had two sons....

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Kenner, Duncan Farrar (11 February 1813–03 July 1887), businessman and Confederate legislator and diplomat, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest son of William Kenner and Mary Minor Kenner. He was educated by private tutors and in private schools in New Orleans, where his father was a prosperous merchant, planter, and public official. Duncan's mother died at age twenty-seven when he was twenty months old, and his father died when he was eleven. Raised by relatives, Duncan attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he completed his studies in 1831. From the spring of 1832 to the fall of 1834 he traveled and studied in Europe; letters of introduction and social contacts brought him twice to the Austrian court, including a private meeting with Prince Klemens von Metternich, and to a ball for European royalty given by Baron Rothschild....

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Parks, Henry Green, Jr. (29 September 1916–24 April 1989), business executive, entrepreneur, and civic leader, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Henry Green Parks, Sr. His mother’s name is unknown, but both of his parents are known to have worked as domestic laborers. Seeking a better life, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, when Parks was six months old. There Parks’s father found work as a hotel bartender and later as a wine steward in a private club. Because both of Parks’s parents worked long hours, the family did not spend a lot of time together. Henry spent most of his time with his paternal grandmother, whom he described as “very religious.” The example that his father set for him was one of diligence, perseverance, risk-taking, and making hard choices. All of these attributes were evident in Parks’s life....

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Pillsbury, John Sargent (29 July 1827–18 October 1901), businessman, politician, and "father" of the University of Minnesota, businessman, politician, and “father” of the University of Minnesota, was born in Sutton, New Hampshire, the son of John Pillsbury and Susan Wadleigh. He grew up in Sutton, where his father had a small manufacturing business. There he attended primary school and became an apprentice printer. In 1853 he moved to Warner, New Hampshire, where he worked as a store clerk for his brother and later went into business as a tailor and cloth merchant. It was there he met Mahala Fisk, whom he married in 1856; they had three children and adopted a fourth. In 1853, like many from the East, he traveled to the West Coast in search of greater opportunity and passed through Minnesota. He returned in 1855 and settled in St. Anthony, later incorporated into Minneapolis, and opened a hardware store that he operated for the next two decades. His business was almost wiped out during the panic of 1857 and by a disastrous fire the same year that burned his store to the ground. By living in near poverty for the next several years he paid his debts, restored his business, and eventually prospered....

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Thomson, Charles ( November 1729–16 August 1824), Philadelphia revolutionary leader and secretary of the Continental Congress, was born in the townland of Gorteade, parish of Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland, the son of John Thomson, probably a flax grower (mother’s name unknown). Upon the death of his mother in 1739, Charles emigrated with his father and two or three brothers. John Thomson died at sea, and the sons were dispersed upon reaching New Castle, Delaware. Impoverished, Charles was placed in the care of a local blacksmith. About 1743 he entered the Reverend ...

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Washburn, Cadwallader Colden (22 April 1818–14 May 1882), industrialist, miller, and politician, was born in Livermore, Maine, the son of Israel Washburn and Martha Benjamin, farmers. After being educated in local schools, Washburn briefly taught school in Wiscasset, Maine. But with few other opportunities, the 21-year-old Washburn borrowed money and headed west. He initially settled in Davenport, Iowa, where he took a job with the U.S. Geological Survey. The following year he moved across the Mississippi to Rock Island, Illinois, studied law, and was elected county surveyor. Still restless, Washburn moved again in 1842, this time to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where he opened a law practice....

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Washburn, William Drew (14 January 1831–29 July 1912), U.S. congressman and businessman, was born in Androscoggin County, Maine, the son of Israel Washburn and Martha Benjamin, farmers. He worked on the family farm and attended public schools in Gorham, Paris, and Farmington before entering Bowdoin College at age nineteen. After graduation in 1854, he read law with his brother ...

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Welch, Robert (01 December 1899–06 January 1985), political extremist, publisher, and businessman, was born Robert Henry Winborne Welch, Jr., in Chowan County, North Carolina, the son of Robert H. W. Welch, a farmer, and Lina Verona James, a former schoolteacher. Welch graduated at seventeen in the top third of his class at the University of North Carolina. He dropped out of graduate school at UNC, moved from Chapel Hill to Durham, North Carolina, and in 1917 received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Unable to adjust to military life, he left Annapolis in 1919 to pursue a career as a writer. Several North Carolina newspapers carried his “Headline Jingles,” a weekly summary of the news in verse. He enrolled at Harvard Law School in the autumn of 1919 but quit in 1921 to form the Oxford Candy Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The following year he married Marian Lucile Probert, with whom he had two children....

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Whalen, Grover Michael Aloysius Augustine (02 June 1886–20 April 1962), promoter, official greeter, and businessman, was born in New York City, the son of Michael Henry Whalen, a hauling contractor, and Esther De Nee. After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, Whalen attended Packard Business College. In 1904 he entered New York Law School while working part-time as a clerk in the ...