The Best Coal Company in All Chicago, and How It Got That Way
David P. BridgesISBN: 1932301119;
Book DescriptionHere is history from the bottom up. Jacob Best emigrated from Prussia in 1869 to settle in Chicago. He carved out a life for himself and his family as a saloonkeeper in the Lake View neighborhood. By 1887 he had a well-established business, only to die and leave his four children destitute, thanks to a conniving stepmother. His two youngest children--a son, the second Jacob in this story, and a daughter--were even sent to an orphanage. Though he had little formal education, Jacob in 1909 founded what would become one of the largest wholesale/retail coal businesses in the United States. Along the way, he established himself as a civic leader and philanthropist; Jacob also found true love that began with a chance encounter one day at Marshall Field & Company. This rags-to-riches story is must reading for anyone interested in some fascinating Chicago history.
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