|Birth: ||Nov. 12, 1810|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 12, 1894|
Mr. Sawyer came to Chicago in 1839 from Albany, N.Y., and according to an advertisement in the Daily American of May 20, 1839, he opened a drug store on Dearborn street on March 20th of that year. In this advertisement he announced that he had just opened up an addition to his stock, consisting of a choice assortment of drugs, medicines, paints, oils, perfumery, groceries, etc., having made arrangements with large manufacturing houses in New York city for a constant supply of their goods.
The store was on Dearborn street at the north end of the alley between South Water and Lake streets at No. 14. It was near the Tremont house and was called the New York Cheap Cash Drug and Medicine store. It was afterward moved to 124 Lake street. Before Mr. Sawyer took in a partner and the house became that of a firm the tendency of the stock was toward fancy groceries, fruits and liquors. In 1855 the firm name was changed to Sawyer, Paige & Company. In 1856 the business was moved to 70 Lake street. In April, 1861, the stock was sold at public auction.
Mr. Sawyer was a constant advertiser in both the Daily American and the Democrat. Under date of May 24, 1839, we find an advertisement saying that soda water is constantly on draught at Sawyer's New York Cheap Cash Drug Store, Sawyer's extract of bark was also advertised, this medicine obtaining more than a local reputation as a remedy for fever and ague and is still on the market today. Another advertisement of a later date announces the receipt of large quantities of quinine, Peruvian bark and Rowland's Tonic Mixture. Still later he announces that he has just received six barrels of corn oil.
The first big fire of Chicago, to which we have referred in the introductory part, took place Oct, 29, 1839. It was stopped on Dearborn street at the south side of the alley next to Sawyer's store, Sawyer losing only by the removal of goods and by smoke and water. In a card soon after published in the press of that time, he thanked the citizens for their prompt assistance in saving his stock from possible loss in the fire. He thanked the insurance company also, for its prompt payment of his loss which amounted to about $800.
After he removed to 124 Lake street he advertised in the Daily Democrat (successor to the American) of 1842 that he is the agent for Hewes' Nerve and Bone Liniment and that he has just received a stock of fresh lemons, prunes, raisins, currants and pears. In a later advertisement he announces that he is agent for Bradley's Ointment and Taylor's Balsam of Liverwort. The advertisement of Sawyer's Extract of Bark runs through the '40s.
In 1849 we find a public notice in the Journal that Mr, Sawyer has been elected health officer.
The members of the firm of Sawyer, Paige & Co. were Nathaniel Sawyer, Nathaniel Paige and Dr. Sidney Sawyer, who was announced as special partner.
The store of Doctor Sawyer and of Sawyer, Paige & Co. while on Lake street in the '50s, had developed into a wholesale and retail drug store similar to those of the time. The retail department was in front and the wholesale in the rear, occupying the whole of the building exclusive of the retail department. The building was a three story and basement structure and occupied a lot 20 feet wide. The old fixtures of Sawyer's Dearborn street store were used in the retail department, but had been somewhat modified and improved, giving the store a neater appearance. The store was on the north side of Lake street, one door east of Clark, and was then in the heart of the business district of Chicago.
The firm was not known as doing a large prescription business, because they gave more attention to pushing proprietary goods, of which the Extract of Bark was a leader yet the retail store had a considerable patronage, especially with the north side residents among whom Doctor Sawyer lived and was an old settler.
The retail department was presided over by Nathaniel Sawyer, a younger brother of the doctor. Nathaniel Paige looked after the wholesale and financial part of the business. Their trade was principally confined to country stores in the northern part of Illinois and parts of Wisconsin and the lumber districts of Michigan.
The arrangement of the wholesale department was similar to that of Boyce's drug store already described by Mr. Bowman. The paints, oils and other crude goods, such as putty, window glass, etc, were stored in the basement; drugs, chemicals and proprietary medicines on the first floor; dye woods, roots, barks and herbs on the second floor, and the third floor was used as a receptacle for druggists' glassware, packing boxes, etc.
After the removal of the business to 70 Lake street in 1856 the retail part of the business was discontinued and with the hard times that set in in 1857 during the financial crisis of that year, the firm found it unprofitable to continue business, hence the stock, on April 11, 1861, was sold at auction. It was sold at a great sacrifice consequent on the depression in all branches of business just before the beginning of the Civil War, The firm had occasion to regret its precipitancy, however, as three or four months later everything ad-
vanced in price greatly.
On retiring from business. Doctor Sawyer gave his attention to his private affairs. He died in Chicago July 12, 1894.
Nathaniel Sawyer moved to Lake Forest, where he died on Nov. 13, 1890, at the age of 67 years,
Mr. Paige moved to Washington, D, C, where he still lives. He studied law and has acquired a national reputation as a constitutional lawyer.
We will now mention the clerks of the store from its beginning. Nathaniel Sawyer was associated with the store from the first. In 1848 W. J. Hamilton became a clerk in the store; J. Doming Hanks came in 1844; Henry Burgess in 1846; George M. Tourtelot in 1851; Nathaniel Paige in 1851 (he was a relative of the Sawyers); in 1855 we have H, P. Dusinberry, who clerked for Sawyer, Paige & Co., also George McPherson, who came in about this time and is still living in Chicago, and James D, Smith, who became a minister and moved to Loda, Wis.
Taken from pages 271- 273 of "Papers in Illinois history and transactions for the year ... (Volume 8 (1903)." Illinois State Historical Society.
Elizabeth Butterfield Sawyer (1828 - 1904)*
Ada Sawyer Garrett (1856 - 1938)*
Plot: Section M, Lot 72
Created by: robertwaustin
Record added: Oct 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99842530