Aaron Montgomery Ward

A. Montgomery WardMontgomery WardMrs. Aaron WardMrs. Montgomery Ward
Aaron Montgomery Ward (February 17, 1843 – December 7, 1913) was an American entrepreneur based in Chicago who made his fortune through the use of mail order for retail sales of general merchandise to rural customers.wikipedia
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Mail order

mail-ordercatalogmail-order catalog
Aaron Montgomery Ward (February 17, 1843 – December 7, 1913) was an American entrepreneur based in Chicago who made his fortune through the use of mail order for retail sales of general merchandise to rural customers.
In 1872, Aaron Montgomery Ward of Chicago produced a mail-order catalogue for his Montgomery Ward mail order business.

National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry

GrangeGrange hallGrangers
By heavy use of the railroads centered on Chicago, and by associating his business with the non-profit Patrons of Husbandry (the Grangers), Ward offered rural customers a far larger stock than generally available in small towns and at a lower price.
Rapid growth infused the national organization with money from dues, and many local granges established consumer cooperatives, initially supplied by the wholesaler Aaron Montgomery Ward.

Grant Park (Chicago)

Grant ParkGrant Park, ChicagoDaley Bicentennial Plaza
Ward continues to be honored as the protector of Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago businessman Aaron Montgomery Ward ultimately fought four court battles, opposed by nearly every civic leader, to keep the park free of buildings.

Chatham Borough, New Jersey

Chatham BoroughChathamChatham, New Jersey
Aaron Montgomery Ward was born on February 17, 1843 in Chatham, New Jersey.

Niles, Michigan

NilesNiles High SchoolNiles, MI
When he was about 9 years old, his father Sylvester Ward moved the family to Niles, Michigan, where Aaron attended public schools.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Pritzker Pavilion
However, Crown Fountain and the 139 ft Jay Pritzker Pavilion were exempt from the height restriction because they were classified as works of art and not buildings or structures.
In 1839, United States Secretary of War Joel Roberts Poinsett declared the land between Randolph Street and Madison Street east of Michigan Avenue "Public Ground forever to remain vacant of buildings. Aaron Montgomery Ward, who is known both as the inventor of mail order and the protector of Grant Park, twice sued the city of Chicago to force it to remove buildings and structures from Grant Park and to keep it from building new ones. As a result, the city has what are termed the Montgomery Ward height restrictions on buildings and structures in Grant Park. However, Crown Fountain and the 130 ft Pritzker Pavilion were exempt from the height restrictions because they were classified as works of art and not buildings or structures. According to The Economist, the pavilion is described as a work of art to dodge the protections established by Ward, who "rules over Grant Park from the grave".

Montgomery Ward

Montgomery WardsJefferson WardMontgomery Ward & Company
In 1872 he founded Montgomery Ward & Company, which became nationally known.
Montgomery Ward was founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward and Andrew Ward in 1872.

Richard Warren Sears

Richard SearsRichard W. Sears
Ward's catalog soon was copied by other enterprising merchants, most notably Richard Warren Sears, who mailed his first general catalog in 1896.
He was interred in the mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago near business rival Aaron Montgomery Ward.

Crown Fountain

However, Crown Fountain and the 139 ft Jay Pritzker Pavilion were exempt from the height restriction because they were classified as works of art and not buildings or structures.
Aaron Montgomery Ward twice sued the city of Chicago in the 1890s to force it to remove buildings and structures from Grant Park, and to keep it from building new ones.

Merchandise Mart

NeoConNeoCon World's Trade FairMerchandise Mart Properties
A bronze bust honoring Ward and seven other industry magnates stands between the Chicago River and the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Midwestern United States

MidwestMidwesternAmerican Midwest
Ward, a young traveling salesman of dry goods, was concerned over the plight of many rural Midwest Americans who were, he thought, being overcharged and under-served by many of the small town retailers on whom they had to rely for their general merchandise.

General line of merchandise

general merchandisegeneral grocerygeneral line
Ward, a young traveling salesman of dry goods, was concerned over the plight of many rural Midwest Americans who were, he thought, being overcharged and under-served by many of the small town retailers on whom they had to rely for their general merchandise.

Sears

Sears, Roebuck and CompanySears RoebuckSears, Roebuck & Co.
The early 20th century was the heyday of mail orders and Ward's had become an American tradition, along with its rival Sears Roebuck.

Stave (wood)

stavestavesbarrel stave
According to his brief memoirs, he first earned 25 cents per day at a cutting machine in a barrel stave factory and then stacking brick in a kiln at 30 cents a day.

St. Joseph, Michigan

St. JosephSaint JosephSaint Joseph, Michigan
Energy and ambition drove Ward to seek employment in the town of St. Joseph, Michigan, where he went to work in a shoe store.

Market town

market rightsmarketmarket charter
This was a market town for a farm area devoted to fruit orchards.

Marshall Field

Field familydepartment store magnateField Foundation of Illinois
Chicago was the center of the wholesale dry-goods trade, and in the 1860s Ward joined the leading dry-goods house, Field Palmer & Leiter, forerunner of Marshall Field & Co. He worked for Field for two years and then joined the wholesale dry-goods business of Wills, Greg & Co. In tedious rounds of train trips to southern communities, hiring rigs at the local stables, driving out to the crossroads stores and listening to the complaints of the back-country proprietors and their rural customers, he conceived a new merchandising technique: direct mail sales to country people.

Caveat emptor

caveat lectorcaveatCaveat Venditor
The quality of merchandise also was suspect and the hapless farmer had no recourse in a caveat emptor economy.

Great Chicago Fire

Chicago FireGreat Chicago Fire of 18711871 Great Chicago Fire
Although his idea was generally considered to border on lunacy and his first inventory was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire, Ward persevered.

Willis Tower

Sears TowerWillis (Sears) Tower101 N Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60606
Although today the Sears Tower in Chicago is the United States's tallest building, there was a time when Montgomery Ward's headquarters was similarly distinguished.

Michigan Avenue (Chicago)

Michigan AvenueNorth Michigan AvenueMichigan
The Montgomery Ward Tower, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street in Chicago, reigned as a major tourist attraction in the early-1900s.

Madison Street (Chicago)

Madison StreetMadisonMadison Streets
The Montgomery Ward Tower, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Madison Street in Chicago, reigned as a major tourist attraction in the early-1900s.

Supreme Court of Illinois

Illinois Supreme CourtSupreme CourtIll.
Grant Park has been protected since 1836 by "forever open, clear and free" legislation that has been affirmed by four Illinois Supreme Court rulings.

Work of art

artworkworks of artoeuvre
However, Crown Fountain and the 139 ft Jay Pritzker Pavilion were exempt from the height restriction because they were classified as works of art and not buildings or structures.

Daniel Burnham

Daniel H. BurnhamDaniel Hudson BurnhamBurnham
Daniel Burnham's famous 1909 Burnham Plan eventually preserved Grant Park and the entire Chicago lakefront.