Richard W. Sears and Sears, Roebuck & Company
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Richard Warren Sears was born on December 7, 1863, in Stewartville, Minnesota. He was the son of James Warren and
Eliza A. Sears, both of English ancestory. His father led anything but a happy life. He had failed in his quest for gold during the California Gold Rush of 1849 and was a bitter soldier in the Civil War, which he blamed on politicians. He had earned a sizable sum of money working as a blacksmith and a wagonmaker, but he lost it all in a stock-farm venture. Richard's father gave up soon afterwards, leaving Richard to be the family breadwinner at the age of 16.
Richard worked in the general offices of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway in Minneapolis to support his family. He then decided to move Redwood Falls, Minnesota, where he thought that he could earn more money because of the small town setting. There he worked as a station attendant, doing chores for his board and sleeping in the loft of the railroad station. In his spare time, he learned how the mail-order business worked.
Richard got his opportunity to get into the mail-order business in 1886 when a shipment of watches from a Chicago wholesaler was refused by a town jeweler. …
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