Biography of Horace B. Claflin
Famous American Biographies





HORACE BRIGHAM CLAFLIN, one of the greatest merchants America has! produced, was born in Milford, Massachusetts, a son of John Claflin, also a merchant. Young Claflin started his active life as a clerk in his father's store, after having been offered the opportunity of a college education, but with the characteristic promptness that was one of his virtues he exclaimed, "No law or medicine for me." He had set his heart on being a merchant, and when his father retired he and his brother Aaron, and his brother in law, Samuel Daniels, conducted the business!. Mr. Claflin was not content, however, to run a store in a town like Milford, and accordingly opened a dry goods store at Worcester, with his brother as a partner, but the partnership was dissolved a year later and H. B. Claflin assumed complete control. The bnsiness in Worcester had been conducted on orthodox principles, and when Mr. Claflin came there and introduced advertising as a means of drawing trade, he created considerable animosity among the older merchants. Ten years later he was one of the most prosperous merchants. He disposed of his business in Worcester for $30,000, and went to New York to search for a wider field than that of a shopkeeper. Mr. Claflin and William M. Bulkley started in the dry goods business there under the firm name of Bulkley & Claflin, in 1843, and Mr. Bulkley was connected with the firm until 1851, when he retired. A new firm was then formed under the name of Claim, Mellin & Co. This firm succeeded in founding the largest dry goods house in the world, and after weather ing the dangers of the civil war, during which the house came very near going Under, and was saved only by the superior business abilities of Mr. Claim, continued to grow. The sales of the firm amounted to over $72,000,000 a year after the close of the war. Mr. Claim died November 14, 1885.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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