The following autobiography of William Edgar Uptegrove, and the Forward Addendum was contributed by John B. Horton, our cousin, (grandson of Gifford Mills Uptegrove, and great-grandson of William Edgar Uptegrove) who has possession of the original. John spent many years researching genealogy, and kept track of these document gems (thank goodness somebody did!) He has graciously re-distrubted this extraordinary piece of history to family members who have otherwise misplaced, or forgotten about it, and also contributed additional copies to select historical societies. Our sincere thanks goes to our cousin John B. Horton..
By Gifford Mills Uptegrove
It may be of interest to learn how my father, William E. Uptegrove, came to write the partial account of his life, which follows.-
As will appear, he acquired ownership in 1875 of a Saw Mill on East 10th Street near East River in New York City. At that time New York was the headquarters of the Mahogany and fancy woods business in this country, and remained so until approximately 1900. He and his firm became leading figures in that business, as well as in the Cigar Box Lumber business, and prosecuted them both until 1903, when he declared that mahogany in New York was "a busted proposition." His brother (my Uncle Jerome) who was the junior partner, thought differently. The business therefore was divided, my father taking the Cigar Box Lumber, and my uncle and the chief salesman taking the mahogany and fancy woods.
Many years later, several of the New York mahogany merchants urged my father, as dean of the group, to write the history of the mahogany business in which they had all been so closely, though competitively associated.
My own mother died in 1921. In 1923 my father married his business secretary, Margaret M. Bohen, and being then in semi-retirement he made a start on his history, dictating it to his erstwhile secretary somewhere between 1923 and 1926 when she, Margaret, became a mental invalid. This he was deprived of his companion, and of course his history came to an end. The mahogany merchants did not get their story, but fortunately our family has the part which is of most interest to us. What follows is exactly as he dictated it originally; in other words, it is the original draft as dictated to, and typed by, his wife Margaret, and since copied, as attached hereto.
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