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Samuel Nickerson - A History of the City of Chicago - Its Men and Institutions

Samuel Nickerson - A History of the City of Chicago - Its Men and Institutions

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Samuel Nickerson pages from 'A History of the city of Chicago - Its Men and Institutions'.
Samuel Nickerson pages from 'A History of the city of Chicago - Its Men and Institutions'.

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THE CITY OF CHICAGO.

145
Samuel M. Nickerson was born of Puritan stock at
Chatham, ~ l a s s . , in I 830. Both of his parents, Ensign
and Rebecca, were of Puritan ancestry. His mother
little more than a hoy l\1r. Nickerson went to Florida,
which was a very long way from Boston in that time,
when railroads were few, and, from the present point of
THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK.
was a Miss Mayo and his father was a lineal descendant
of that \Villiam 1\ickcrson who left his home in England
and settled at Chatham, 1\Iass., in 1660. ::'vir. Nicker-
son received his education in the public schools of Bos-
ton, to which city his parents had removed. \\'hile still
10
judgment, exceedingly slow. He stayed there for ten
years, acting as clerk in his brother's store. He \Vent
into business on his own account as soon as he attained
legal age, and carried on a large country business until
I8Si· when the store \vas destroyed and himself appar-
Digitized by Coogle
) ..lf)
THE CITY OF CHICAGO.
ently ruined. But with a few hundred borrowed dollars
he made his way to Chicago and established himself
in I858 in what proved to be a very profitable business.
\Vithin six years he had acquired the basis of a magnifi-
cent fortune. In I863 Mr. Nickerson began to devote
his time, capital and energy to the promotion of those
great enterprises with which his name has become inti-
mately connected. In this year he assisted in the organ-
I\L NICKERSON.
ization of the First National Bank of Chicago and was
elected its first vice-president. He served in this capac-
ity until I 867, when he was elected president. He
voluntarily resigned his place in I89I in favor of Lyman
J. Gage, hut again resumed it in I 897 after the appoint-
ment of l\1 r. Gage to the office of secretary of the
treasury, and in October, I 899. again resigned, being
succeeded by James B. Forgan. :\lr. also
was a promoter in I 8(q. of the Chicago City Street Rail-
way and acted as president of that corporation from I864
to I 871. In I 867 l\1 r. associated himself
with other capitalists in the formation of the Union
Stock Yards N a tiona) Bank and was the first president
of that institution.
:\!r. Nickerson has manifested great interest in art
and music antl was a promoter of and liberal contributor
to those ''l\lay festivals"' that were among the earliest
de\·elopments of musical culture in Chicago. He has
acted as member of the Lincoln Park Doanl of Com-
missioners. and was very active in the transformation
nf what. dttring his time of office. was little more than
a stretch of waste sand into an artistic pleasnre place.
:\I r. has traveled in Enrope and
once has circumnavigated the globe. He was married
in 1858 to Matilda P. Crosby of Brewster, Massa-
chusetts, and has one son, Roland Crosby Nickerson,
who is engaged in banking pursuits.
George D' Arcy Boulton. born in Cobourg, in
the Canadian province of Ontario, June I J, I 844, aml
educated in Cpper Canada College, Toronto, is a son
of a family that has been identified with Canadian history
for a century and a quarter. The Boultons were well
known in Toronto when the present commercial metrop-
olis of the western half of the Dominion was known as
"Little York." The late Sir John Robinson, Bart.,
whose eminent services as chief justice are well remem-
bered in Canada, was an uncle of the subject of this
memoir. His grandfather and great-grandfather also
were judges; his brother, C. A. Boulton, sits in the Par-
liament of the Dominion of Canada as senator from
.Manitoba; his father was D'Arcy E. Boulton, and his
mother, nee Emily Heath, was a daughter of Colonel
Heath of the Honorable East India Company's services.
At the age of sixteen l\·1 r. Boulton entered the serv-
ice of the then famous firm of \Villiam Cavan & Co.,
sugar planters and manufacturers of British Guiana,
GEORGE D'ARCY BOULTON.
South America; Mr. Boulton's cousin, the late Sir
\Villiam Rennie. being a member of the firm of Ca,·an
& Co., and also of Overend, Gurnie & Co., regarded at
that time as the largest private banking company in
London. and therefore prohably in the world. The
well-remembered failure of Overend, Gurnie & Co.
im·oh·ed the failure of Cavan & Co .. and upon the termi-
nation of their affairs :\1 r. Boulton returned to Canada.
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