Businessman. He was the founder of Sears, Roebuck and Company, one of the the world's most successful department store chains. While working as a train station agent in Minnesota, he accepted delivery of a shipment of watches that had been refused by the intended recipient. He was able to sell the watches quickly at a very good price, and soon established the R. W. Sears Watch Company in Minneapolis. Taking his business to Chicago in 1887, he soon hired Alvah Roebuck as a watchmaker. By the next year, he had issued a mail-order catalog. After leaving the business for a short time, Sears returned in 1892, changed the company name to "Sears, Roebuck and Company", and began to sell merchandise other than watches, mainly via mail order. He wrote the catalog himself, and it quickly expanded in size. He offered excellent prices and a "send no money" policy. By 1894 the catalog had grown to five hundred pages. He resigned from his company in 1908, leaving it in the hands of Julius Rosenwald, who had replaced Roebuck in 1895. He retired to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he died.
Anna Lydia Meckstroth Sears
1868–1946 (m. 1895)