Entered commercial career as clerk. Co-partner, 1855; visited Staffordshire (England) potteries, 1858, and designed and controlled own patterns, becoming largest importer and distributor of queensware in Mississippi Valley. Republican nominee for mayor of St. Louis, 1863 (declination refused), and elected for term of 2 years.
Proposed and secured an act providing for bonds and city ownership of St. Louis Gas Company. Proposed and secured an act for construction, bonds, and board of commissioner, eventuating in present water system of St. Louis. Member State Constitutional Convention which (1865) abolished slavery in Missouri, and revised state constitution.
Drafted bill, 1868, making St. Louis direct port of entry, act approved July 14, 1870. President Mississippi Valley Commercial and Deep Waterway Convention, New Orleans, 1869. Postmaster of St. Louis, 1873-1878.
Secured, 1874, div. of 16 states and tys., 4th div. Railway Mail Service, creation new 7th div. at St. Louis, resulting in local and gateway record dispatch of mail matter. Managed city, congressional and state campaign, 1894, resulting in election of the entire Republican state ticket, 12 out of 15 congressmen, and secured Filley Election Law for “honest elections.” Presidential elector, 1868, and thereafter delegate to every Republican nat. and state convention up to and including 1896.
One of the “306”; originated slogan “Stand up for Missouri”. Member Republican National Committee, 1876-1892. Twice declined Garfield’s tender of Berlin mission, 1881, and portfolio of postmaster-general in President McKinley’s cabinet.
Was member and promoter of Merchants’ Exchange reorganization, St. Louis, 1862. President St. Louis Board Trade, 1876-1879. Charter member Missouri History Society, 1864.
Was the originator, promoter and securer, 1897-1898, of the 50-year charter of the Good Government Republican League Club. Home: St. Louis, Mo.