Biography of Alexander McNie
Winona County, MN Biographies

McNIE & Co., booksellers, corner of Center and Second streets. Salesroom fronts forty five feet on Second street, sixty feet on Center, and opens on both. This book house is the legitimate successor of that established in this city in 1857 by Messrs. Bingharn & Benson, and which a few months prior to the war of 1861-5 became Benson & Tipham. This firm continued to do business until Mr. Upham sold out to his partner in 1861 and entered the United States service. At this time the business of bookselling was combined with that of drugs, the two branches of trade, however, being conducted in separate salesrooms. In the tall of 1862 the booksellers department was sold out to Andrews & Son, who conducted business until 1867, when they sold out to Alexander McNie. In the meantime the war had closed, and Mr. Upham returning home, opened trade as a bookseller and stationer, conducting business one year, when he sold out to Sherman & McNie, who dissolved partnership about one year thereafter, Mr. Sherman purchasing McNie's share of the stock. It was at this time, as before stated, that Mr. McNie purchased the stock of Andrews & Son, and thus became lineal successor to the old house of Bingham & Benson. This business, which at the time Mr. McNie purchased was quite moderate in its extent, soon improved under his management, until from 1871 to 1874 it took rank as the second book-house in the state. The hard times of 1873 and later on crippled the business of the concern, the firm name of which had always been Alex. McNie & Co., and in 1877 G. W. Hoyt was taken in as a partner, this business connection lasting one year. In 1879 another change was made, the firm became McNie & Co., with Alexander McNie as manager, and SO continues. The musical department of the business was added in 1875, and the stock now includes books, stationery, fancy goods and musical instruments, and merchandise of all descriptions. The book transactions of the house have always been in works of a standard character, and it has always been the boast of the house that no literature of the least tendency to immorality has been allowed a place upon their shelves. This fact we believe is equally true of the book trade of the city at large.

ALEXANDER McNIE is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, from which country he came to New York at ten years of age, an orphan boy, seeking his fortune, a stranger in a strange land. After one year, spent as a newsboy in New York. young McNie came to Racine, Wisconsin, and from there in 1861 to Winona. Soon after his arrival here he entered the book house of Mr. Benson. and when the stock was purchased by Andrews & Son transferred his services to that house, from whom he subsequently purchased their stock and engaged in business for himself. Mr. McNie is a prominent member of the Baptist church of Winona. and for several years one of the trustees of that society. He was deeply interested in forming the Winona Library Association, assisted at its organization and was one of its charter members.

The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.


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