Charles Marsh

Yankee courage, integrity, and judgment have won no more substantial or more splendid triumphs in the business world than are reflected from the dry-goods palace of Jordan, Marsh, & Co., a house whose grand successes have made it famous throughout the mercantile world. The foundations of this magnificent establishment were laid in 1851 and 1852, by three young men, two of whom were natives of New Hampshire. The head of the firm, Eben D. Jordan, when fourteen years old had gone up to Boston from his home in Maine, and began his business career as an errand boy, and in a short time had been promoted to a clerkship, in which position he made himself master of the dry-goods business, and while doing it became acquainted with two other young men, Benjamin L. and Charles Marsh, who had left their father's house in Chesterfield, N. H., and sought in Boston an opening in which pluck, push, and perseverance, unaided by influential friends or unearned capital, could carry them on to success.

In 1852, Messrs. Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh established the firm of Jordan, Marsh, & Co., and the next year Charles Marsh, then a clerk in the store of Pearl, Smith, & Co., was admitted as a partner. The house began in a small way; it had behind it little but the splendid courage and the remarkable abilities of the three young partners; but these were sufficient to win a fair share of business, and a reputation which was better than money, and in a short time it was firmly established in the confidence of the mercantile world and the good will of the public. In eight years the business had grown to two million dollars per annum, and since that time it has steadily and rapidly increased, until the firm controls the dry-goods market of New England, and, in many lines, of the entire country.

The elder Marsh died in 1856, leaving his partners to carry on and complete the grand enterprises he had helped project and begin. His brother still remains to share with Mr. Jordan the triumphs of the firm. In the early days of the business, Charles Marsh was an active salesman, and was accounted one of the best ever known in Boston. Afterwards, he took charge of the wholesale department, which has since been and still is under his personal supervision.

In commercial circles and in the store he has a clearly defined and high rank as a manager, with rare combination of talents. His coolness, his thorough knowledge of the business, his level-headed judgment, and organizing and executive capacity are abundantly attested in the great and rapid growth of the wholesale business. He is a balanced man; and how necessary this quality is to success in an enterprise of this magnitude, only those who have seen houses go to wreck for lack of it can tell. The elements of personal popularity in his character, and his extensive acquaintance throughout the country, help to explain his success. For nearly thirty years his steady hand has been felt at the helm, and yet he seems to-day only in the prime of his powers.