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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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Hammer, Armand (21 May 1898–10 December 1990), entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born on the Lower East Side of New York City, the son of Russian-born Julius Hammer, a pharmacist and physician, and Rose Robinson. Hammer’s childhood economic circumstances were better than those of many of his immigrant contemporaries. When he was still a child, his family moved to the Bronx, where his father balanced a quest for a medical degree with the demands of his drugstores. Hammer attended Morris High School and in 1917 registered at Columbia Heights Premedical School. Two years later he enrolled at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he graduated in June 1921....

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Niebaum, Gustave Ferdinand (30 August 1842–05 August 1908), fur trader and wine maker, was born Gustav or Gustave Nybom in Helsingfors (now Helsinki), the son of a police official of Swedish and Baltic-German stock; his parents' names do not appear in currently accessible records. Finland at the time was a semiautonomous grand duchy of Russia. Niebaum became a sailor, but not just an ordinary seaman. Intelligent and a graduate of a gymnasium, Europe's equivalent of an American high school, he enrolled in Helsinki's Nautical Institute. Graduating at nineteen, he soon secured his master's papers and was in command of his own ship by 1864, in the service of the Russian American Company, sailing to Alaska....