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date: 03 March 2021

Flagler, Henry Morrisonlocked

(02 January 1830–20 May 1913)
  • John F. Stover


Flagler, Henry Morrison (02 January 1830–20 May 1913), businessman and railroad promoter, was born in Hopewell, just outside of Canadaigua, New York, the son of the Reverend Isaac Flagler, a Presbyterian minister, and Elizabeth Morrison. As a pioneer missionary preacher, Isaac Flagler earned no more than $300 to $400 a year. Henry attended the local district school until he was fourteen, when he decided to strike out on his own. He walked to the Erie Canal and worked his way west on a canal boat until he reached Buffalo, New York, where he took a lake boat to Sandusky, Ohio. South of Sandusky in the small town of Republic, Flagler joined a half brother, Daniel M. Harkness, who helped him get a clerkship in a country store at five dollars a month plus board. He saved his money both at Republic and at another store in Fostoria, Ohio. Having gained both experience and capital, Flagler in about 1850 moved to Bellevue, south of Sandusky, where he became a grain commission merchant. Some of the other Harknesses, relatives of his mother, lived in Bellevue. In 1853 Flagler married Mary Harkness, niece of Stephen V. Harkness, a leading citizen of Bellevue. The couple had three children. Flagler shipped grain to ...

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