Michigan State University

February 17, 1844 : Aaron Montgomery Ward of Montgomery Ward and Co. Fame Was Born

Jon Harrison
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Photo of Aaron Montgomery Ward,  courtesy of the Wikipedia Commons

Well Aaron Montgomery Ward was actually born in Chatham, New Jersey. However he moved to Niles, Michigan with his family in 1853. Though he only attended school through his 14th year, Monty learned much while working his first job in a barrel stave factory. He eventually decided to leave home in order to find more enjoyable work in St. Joseph, Michigan. He later wrote that, "Being a fair salesman, within nine months I was engaged as a salesman in a general country store at the princely salary of $6 per month and board." He rose to become head clerk and general manager and remained at this store for three years before accepting a better job in a competing store, where he worked two more years. In this period, Aaron Montgomery Ward learned a great deal about the processes and economics of retailing before moving to Chicago and establishing Montgomery Ward and Co., the world's first mail-order business.

Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

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