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Colyar, Arthur St. Clair (23 June 1818–13 December 1907), industrialist and politician, was born in Washington County, Tennessee, the son of Alexander Colyar and Katherine Sevier Sherrill, farmers. As a boy Colyar moved with his parents to Middle Tennessee, where he received a country-school education in Coffee and Franklin counties. He later read law while teaching school and was admitted to the bar in Winchester in 1846. Colyar married Agnes Erskine Estill in 1847; they had eleven children before she died in 1886. In 1888 he married Mary McGuire....

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Elkins, Stephen Benton (26 September 1841–04 January 1911), statesman and industrialist, was born in Perry County, Ohio, the son of Philip Duncan Elkins and Sarah Pickett Withers, farmers. His paternal grandfather was a Virginia slaveholder who emancipated his slaves and moved to Ohio in 1821. Stephen grew up on a farm at Westport, Missouri, after his parents resettled there in the 1840s. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1860 and taught school for one year before enlisting in the pro-Union Westport Home Guard in 1861. Elkins, whose father and brother joined Confederate units, found border warfare too vicious for his taste, and after a few months of service he quit the home guard and maintained the status of noncombatant....

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Kohler, Walter Jodok (03 March 1875–21 April 1940), manufacturer and politician, was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the son of John Michael Kohler, Jr., a manufacturer and businessman, and Lillie Vollrath. His father came to the United States from his native Austria at the age of ten in 1854. In 1871 his father moved to Sheboygan and two years later started a foundry and machine shop to make agricultural implements. He added the manufacture of enamelware and after a few years dropped the production of implements. In 1888 the original company was incorporated as Kohler, Hayssen and Stehn Manufacturing Company and was devoted to the manufacture of enamel bathroom fixtures and kitchenware. In 1898 the old Sheboygan plant was sold and new production facilities built on open farmland west of Sheboygan. In 1912 the firm became the Kohler Company....

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Romney, George (08 July 1907–26 July 1995), industrialist and politician, was born George Wilcken Romney in Chihuahua, Mexico, the son of Gaskell Romney, a construction contractor, and Anna Pratt. From the beginning, Romney’s Mormon faith strongly influenced his life. His parents had moved to Mexico to escape American laws discriminating against Latter-day Saints. After Mexican revolutionary leader ...

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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....