Alfred Hinsdale Andrews
- Sex: M
- Born: 25 DEC 1836 in New Britain, Hartford Co., CT
- Died: AFT. 1905
- Baptized: 1 JUN 1837 in New Britain, Hartford Co., CT
ALFRED HINSDALE ANDREWS, son of Deacon Alfred Andrews and his second wife, Mary Lee Shipman, born December 25, 1836, at New Britain, Conn., was baptized there June 1, 1837.
He married, February 6, 1872, at Milwaukee, Wis., ELLA CORNELIA MATSON, daughter of Deacon Newell Matson of Simsbury, Conn., and Milwaukee, Wis., and Flora Melissa Case, his wife.
He received a common school education, and worked on his father's farm until he was about sixteen years old, when he worked in Meriden, Conn., at mechanical business, and attended one term at the Connecticut Literary Institution in Suffield. He went West as far as Chicago, Iowa, and Wisconsin, seeking a living, sometimes called seeking a fortune. After some time of wandering, and passing through various changes and vicissitudes, he brought up at the Holbrook Apparatus Company, engaged in making and selling school furniture in Chicago, where he spent some eight years in their employ as a clerk and book-keeper, but not receiving a proper compensation for his services, he set up for himself, and by dint of hard labor and favoring circumstances he established an extensive business, both in the manufacture and sale of school and office furniture in Chicago, Ill., St. Louis, Mo., and Leavenworth, Kan., with a branch at Mishawaka, Ind. It is seldom that a young man, with no capital but head and hands, is so successful, which shows that he had an extra tact and talent for business operations.
Mr. Andrews is president of the A. H. Andrews Company of Chicago, the largest manufacturers of school and bank furniture in the world. He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars and of the Congregational Club of Chicago. He is a Congregationalist, and a Republican in polities. He has never held a political office as his inclinations have been only towards business. Mrs. Andrews is prominent in literary and society work; is a member of the Amateur Musical Club and the Woman's Club of Chicago, and has been a member of several art and literary clubs.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews lived until 1891 in Chicago. Since that time they have resided at their country home at Ellynside, Lombard, Du Page County, Ill., where they have a large estate. Mr. Andrews is a trustee of the First Congregational Church of Lombard, and a member of several church organizations.
Copy of a Biography of Alfred Hinsdale Andrews, written about 1890, typewritten, and found among old papers:
A. H. Andrews, who has achieved high position as an enterprising Chicago business man, is the third son of Alfred and Mary L. (Shipman) Andrews, both of sterling integrity and highly esteemed. He was born in New Britain, Connecticut, December 25, 1836. His grandfather on his father's side was an officer in the war of 1812. His mother's father was a brass manufacturer, conducting that business for many years in New Britain. Deacon Alfred Andrews, the father of the subject of our sketch, was at one time an extensive manufacturer in wood, iron and leather. Later in life, as a diversion, he turned his attention to literary pursuits, and prepared and published three large works, two of them genealogical, and all of them showing much labor and careful research.
Mr. Andrews attended the common, high and normal schools of his native town, and when sixteen years of age entered the Suffield Institute (Conn.). When not in school, the youth spent his time on the farm at the old homestead, and devoted much attention to the study of mechanics. In 1854, he became a travelling agent for the New York Independent and in that capacity visited Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The West offered such advantages to young men of energy, that Mr. Andrews determined to settle at Beloit, in the last named state. After a year's residence here, however, ill health suggested the advisability of his returning to his native state, and he left Beloit for his old home in Connecticut. But his stay in the East was only temporary. The West, with its broad field of enterprise, presented a tempting invitation to the young man, and in a short time he again turned his face toward the setting sun. This time he located in Chicago and engaged in the school-furnishing business with the Holbrook School Apparatus Company. He remained with this company eight years, when he formed a partnership with S. Bigelow, under the firm name of Andrews & Bigelow. In a short time, however, the name of the firm was changed to A. H. Andrews & Co., which name it has borne ever since.
Since the spring of 1884, the firm has been a corporation, with Mr. A. H. Andrews as its president. From the beginning the business of the house has been very prosperous, showing a high degree of business ability and integrity in its management. The firm of Andrews & Bigelow had but four thousand dollars capital at its inception, and yet the first year it did a business of fifty thousand dollars. To-day the company represents one of the most flourishing and useful manufacturing industries in Chicago, involving a capital of one million dollars, employing twelve hundred men and turning out annually two million dollars worth of goods. It is very much the largest establishment of the kind in the country and perhaps in the world.
The company occupies elegant quarters in the Andrews building on Wabash Avenue, in which are the offices, the map-mounting rooms, sales rooms and shipping rooms for apparatus. The company operates factories in Chicago and Buffalo, N. Y., the plant at each place occupying an entire square. It also maintains branch houses in New York and San Francisco, and agencies in all the important cities in the world. While Mr. Andrews, as the head of the great house, has made his energy and personal abilities felt in every department of the business, and while much of the company's success has been the result of his own sterling qualities, his executive ability has been shown in no way more clearly than by his selection of men as business associates who are possessed of a diversity of talent, to which fact is to be attributed much of the prosperity of the house. Like a competent general Mr. Andrews places the right man in the right place, and the details of a large and complicated business are managed harmoniously and efficiently. Mr. Andrews is a gentleman of large sympathies and a fine sense of justice, which traits of character have also greatly aided his prosperity, for they have always assured the most friendly relations between him and his army of employes, as well as between him and the public at large.
Though Mr. Andrews has never held office or taken an active part in polities, he has always been a consistent Republican.
He is a regular attendant of the Plymouth Congregational Church, and has been almost continuously since he first came to Chicago, in 1857. He was in full accord with the bold anti-slavery stand maintained by this Church before and during the War.
Mr. Andrews is spoken of by his relatives as very loyal and kind to his kindred, and ready to aid those not so successful in life as himself. Speaking of "success," however, in his, as in most cases, it has not come as mere good luck, but only through the closest application and remitting zeal.
Father: Alfred Andrews, b. 16 OCT 1797
Mother: Mary Lee Shipman, b. 14 APR 1805
Family 1: Ella Cornelia Matson
- Married: 6 FEB 1872 in Milwaukee, ____, WI
- Bertha Matson Andrews, b. 6 JUN 1874 in Chicago, Cook Co., IL
- Herbert Cornelius Andrews, b. 19 MAR 1883 in Chicago, Cook Co., IL
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