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Adams, Thomas, Jr. (11 April 1846–04 August 1926), manufacturer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Thomas Adams, a photographer and entrepreneur, and Martha Dunbar. His father, a commercial photographer who served in that capacity with the Union army during the Civil War, engaged in several small businesses after hostilities ended. When in 1866 a friend sent young Thomas a sample of chicle, a reddish-brown gum that coagulated from the sap of the Central American sapodilla tree ( ...

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Bell, James Ford (16 August 1879–07 May 1961), corporate executive, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of James Stroud Bell, a miller, and Sallie Montgomery Ford. His family relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1888, and Bell received his early education in the public schools there. After preparing for college at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, he entered the University of Minnesota. Bell graduated with a B.S. in chemistry in 1901 and immediately joined his father’s firm, the Washburn Crosby Company. Initially employed as a salesman in Michigan, he soon became fully acquainted with all facets of the firm’s operations. He married Louise Heffelfinger of Minneapolis in 1902; the couple had four children....

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Bell, James Stroud (30 June 1847–05 April 1915), businessman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Bell, a miller, and Elizabeth Faust. He received his early education in the public schools of his native city and after graduating from Central High School joined his father’s milling and flour brokerage business. Only sixteen years old when he became a part of the firm, Bell joined a line of family millers that extended back for five generations. He received a thorough training in all aspects of the business and became a partner in the newly renamed firm of Samuel Bell & Sons in 1868....

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Dunwoody, William Hood (14 March 1841–08 February 1914), milling industry executive and financier, was born in Westtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of James Dunwoody and Hannah Hood, farmers. He attended local country schools until the age of fourteen and then attended an academy in Philadelphia for four years. Upon completing the prescribed course, Dunwoody remained in Philadelphia and joined his uncle’s grain and feed business. He remained with Ezekiel Dunwoody for the next five years, after which he began his own flour merchandising business. While serving as the senior partner in the new firm of Dunwoody & Robertson, he married Katie L. Patten of Philadelphia in 1868; they had no children....

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Harney, William Selby (22 August 1800–09 May 1889), soldier, was born in Haysborough, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Harney, a merchant and surveyor, and Margaret Hudson. Harney was first home educated and later received advanced schooling at Cumberland College. He began his U.S. Army career in 1818 when he was commissioned second lieutenant. Harney was an ambitious, daring, and impulsive officer, traits that would both help and hinder his military career....

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Pillsbury, Charles Alfred (03 October 1842–17 September 1899), manufacturer of flour and grain products, was born in Warner, New Hampshire, the son of George Alfred Pillsbury and Margaret Sprague Carleton. His family moved in 1851 to Concord, where he completed his secondary education at age fifteen. He then spent a year at New London preparatory academy and was accepted to Dartmouth College. During the succeeding four years Pillsbury studied ancient and modern languages, physics, chemistry, and civil engineering, and taught school intermittently to earn money for his tuition. Upon graduation in 1863, he moved to Montreal, Canada, for six years, rising from clerk to partner in a produce commission company. During that period he hired a substitute when the Civil War draft was enacted and remained in Montreal. In 1866 he wed Mary A. Stinson of Goffstown, New Hampshire; they had four children. At the end of the decade Pillsbury experienced financial reverses and difficulties with his partners that nearly destroyed the business. He paid off his debts and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his uncle ...

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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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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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Wrigley, Philip Knight (05 December 1894–12 April 1977), chewing gum magnate and baseball team owner, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Wrigley, Jr., the creator of Wrigley chewing gum, and Ada Foote. As the son of a millionaire, Philip had a prosperous and comfortable childhood. He received his early education at the Chicago Latin School, a private boys school, and attended high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Because his father had taken him out of school so often for vacations and travel, he graduated from high school in 1914, about two years behind other boys his age. Admitted to Yale and Stanford, Wrigley decided to forego college in favor of entering the family business, and he persuaded his father to allow him to supervise the establishment of a new Wrigley chewing gum factory in Australia. Wrigley and two other men established the entire Australia factory themselves, buying a garage, painting it, and installing machinery. When World War I began at the end of his first year in Australia, Wrigley returned to the United States with plans to enlist. Back in Chicago, he attended chemistry classes at the University of Chicago, set up a lab in his father's house, and waited for the opportunity to join the war....

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Wrigley, William, Jr. (30 September 1861–26 January 1932), businessman, was born in Philadelphia, one of nine children of William Wrigley, a soap maker, and Mary A. Ladley Wrigley. He had little formal education, having run away at age eleven in hopes of making his way in New York, but he returned to work for Wrigley's Scouring Soap, eventually as a salesman with horse and wagon. In a precursor of his later life, he set off westward, only to return to the factory, having lost his railroad ticket in Kansas City. In 1885 he married Ada E. Foote; they had two children and remained married until Wrigley's death....