[MacIvor Crest] Crest of Clan MacIvor

Chapter VIII


Now I will take up Angus's trail. I told you a little while ago that he left Malcolm in charge of the grocery business in New York when he started for Ohio where he started a line of business which was new at the time and eventually developed into a large and prosperous business. I am not sure whether he went directly to New Lexington, or not, but at any rate this was his headquarters for a few years.

He bought a couple of horses and a wagon and went around the country stores, taking from them all kinds of produce, principally butter, eggs, etc., and shipped it East to New York and sold it, and in return supplied those country merchants with goods. The business took fine, and increased as such a rate that he enlarged his facilities. He sent home for his cousin, Duncan McDonald, bought another outfit of horses and wagon and took in more country. The business still growing, he sent home for Malcolm McDonald, Duncan's brother, fitted him out with horses and wagon and took in still more territory.

He sent to New York and, closing the business there, brought Malcolm, his brother, out. I am not sure, but I think he sent for Malcolm before sending for the McDonald boys. Anyway he came and opened another place in Anderson, Indiana. The business grew so big and fast that Angus decided to open a produce commission house in the city of Cincinnati, which he did, with his brother Malcolm. They located on the South-west corner of Front and Walnut streets under the firm name of MacIvor and Bro.

Malcolm, in the meantime, married Margaret Gordon in New Lexington. Angus, needing more men, sent home for D. J. McLeod, a school teacher. He went west, my father going with him to visit his sons. D. J. or Dan, as he was called, stayed with them for two years as bookkeeper. My brother Dan was sent for and he went out as bookkeeper. They had not been in the commission business long when they closed out the business in New Lexington. They then took Dan in partnership and operated under the firm name of A. MacIvor & Bros. They had not been there long until theirs was the leading produce commission house in the city and did an immense business.

The Civil War coming on, they prospered greatly but when the end came, it meant disaster to many a prosperous business. Houses began to fall and the big ones, in falling, pulled down others with them. At last they found themselves in troubled waters. They called a meeting of their principal creditors who advised them to take the benefit of the Act and make an assignment, paying so many cents on the dollar. Angus, who was the soul of honour, refused to consider their suggestion for a moment. He said if they would give him time, he would pay 100 cents on the dollar. They told him to go ahead, that he could have all the time he wanted. The business had to be re-organized. Malcolm went out, engaging in other lines of business. For some time he travelled for a Chicago firm selling goods throughout the middle states.

To make matters worse, Dan took sick with some kind of fever which left him weak and he developed tuberculosis. He came home and stayed all summer, his health improving so much that he went back in the fall, but the close confinement and lack of out-door treatment caused the disease to take a turn for the worse, so in the spring he had to return home again. In spite of every care, he lived only until the following February when he passed away at the youthful age of 28 years.

Regarding Malcolm, I remember him relating some of his experiences among the country people. He said the Germans were very timid of strangers at first, but once the ice was broken, they were good friends. One clear, cold night while in Illinois with two horses, a cutter and his samples of goods, after trying several houses to get a place to stay for the night, he at last decided on a bold stroke. Coming to a farm house with large, comfortable looking buildings where everything had an air of prosperity, he drove up to the front door and knocked. A big German came and opened the door. He walked in, threw down his robes and said, "I am going to stay here all night and I want you to send the boys to put my horses in and I want your wife to get me some supper."

"Well, my friend, you should stay all night; my boys shall put in your horses and my frau shall get you some supper." He then told them that he was prepared to pay for everything. They told him fine, and ever after he was always welcome.

On another occasion, as night was approaching, he drove up to a house and when he knocked, a woman opened the door about three inches and refused his request for a night's lodging, saying her husband was away and she was alone with the children. Just for sport, he tried to persuade her to keep him, but no. It appeared that the Chicago drummers had not a very good reputation. As a parting thought, he said: "I am from Chicago, won't you keep me now?" "You can go to _____," she said, and slammed the door in his face. I don't know as I blame her.

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