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Glidden, Joseph Farwell (18 January 1813–09 October 1906), farmer, inventor, and capitalist, was born in Charlestown, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, the son of David Glidden and Polly Hurd, farmers. His family moved west to Orleans County, New York, when he was an infant. After attending local district schools, he studied at Middlebury Academy in Genesee County and at the seminary in Lima, New York. He taught school in the area for several years, but farming was always his first love. In 1837 he married Clarissa Foster in Clarendon, New York. Lacking funds to buy land in New York, he headed west in about 1840 with two crude threshing machines, doing custom threshing and general farm work. In 1842 he settled in De Kalb County, Illinois, where he purchased 600 acres of prairie land on the edge of De Kalb village. The death of the Gliddens’ three young children, followed by the death of his wife in 1843, left Glidden alone until 1851, when he married Lucinda Warne of De Kalb. They had one daughter....

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Weyerhaeuser, Frederick (21 November 1843–04 April 1914), lumberman and capitalist, was born in Niedersaulheim, Hessen, Germany, the son of John Weyerhaeuser and Katherine Gabel, prosperous farmers. He completed his education at a local Lutheran parochial school by age fourteen. His father died in 1846, forcing Weyerhaeuser to work on his family’s farm to help support his siblings and widowed mother. Weyerhaeuser came to the United States in 1852 at the age of eighteen. He had decided to leave Germany in order to escape that country’s strict military requirements. Accompanied by his mother and sister, Weyerhaeuser settled in Erie County in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he first worked in a brewery, then for a local farmer. He remained in Pennsylvania until 1856, at which time he moved to Coal Valley, Illinois, becoming involved in the lumber, grain, and coal businesses. He married Elizabeth Sarah Bloedel, also from Niedersaulheim, in 1857; the couple has seven children....