Pullman Proper History - Beginnings

Pullman Proper History - Beginnings

Welcome! Welcome!  It pleases me to be able to put to use the knowledge, wisdom, and resources that have crossed my path throughout my many years of connection to George M. Pullman, his family, his beginnings, his achievements and accomplishments, his personal failings, his successes, his town and most of all, his legacy.

As the writer, director, and performer of the one-man show: George Pullman: the man and his model town, I have logged many hours, through many presentations of the life of George Pullman.  I have shown his humble beginnings, his entrepreneurship, and his determination and perseverance, and his single-mindedness in accomplishing his personal goals.

My goal with this blog—take it as you will: “Pullman, Proper History” or “Pullman Proper, History” – is to clarify, recognize, and share any and all information on George M. Pullman’s lasting effect on his world and today’s world.  In addition, I will attempt  tby those continuing to spread oft repeated stories and misinformation they were originally given.

Additionally, since interest in the Town of Pullman has been piqued by it’s becoming The Pullman National Monument of the National Parks Service I intend to answer questions brought to my attention.  This blog is not intended to be an open forum for discussions, either pro or con, of ongoing developments in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood but to serve as a source for the dissemination of historical information regarding George Pullman, the Pullman family, the Pullman Companies, and the Town of Pullman.  I do not consider myself to be “the” Pullman expert, just knowledgeable and, therefore, when necessary, will be reaching out to others who share a passion, wisdom, and knowledge of all things Pullman.

Beginnings

George Pullman’s family, thanks to his father’s entrepreneurship, left farming before George’s birth on March 3, 1831, to take up carpentry.  In those days, carpentry was not solely involved in the craft of house building but, also in the building of fine furniture.  With the furniture business experiencing seasonal slowdowns, George’s father Lewis secured a contract with the State of New York. The state was widening the Erie Canal which required the moving of warehouses and other canal-side buildings.

At the age of 13, after having completed the 4th grade at Mr. Wordell’s Schoolhouse, George received his father’s permission to go to work at his Uncle’s General store in Westfield, New York. Thus began George’s career as an innovator and entrepreneur.

George began clerking at the Buck & Minton General Store for his Uncle James Minton and his partner Edwin Buck.  They were well-pleased with his efforts from the beginning due to his natural negotiating skills in dealing with people.  Early on George showed a skill in negotiating prices with customers, all the while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

His industriousness also extended to his personal life.  He made it a point to read inspiring authors and to improve his skills, even practicing his penmanship to the point that in future years his penmanship was commented upon for its beauty and clarity.  Amongst George’s chores were providing chopped wood for the two fireplaces at the house he boarded at and for the store.

After three years, George felt it was time to return to his family which had moved from Brockton to Albion, New York.

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