that there seemed to me to be a greater opportunity in New York where I had already obtained a little foothold.
Here let me say that my Father, back in the days of the farm, as well as later, had instilled in the minds of his two boys that all he could do for us would be to give us a good common school education, and that we would have to make our own way. This did not seem any hardship to us, and we accepted it as a matter of fact and without even a thought of regret or that it was any deprivation; however, it became evident to me in later years that this decision of my Father's had made an impression upon me and had been the impelling force, not only in my starting out, but in my earnest desire to do good work and get ahead; and so when the opportunity I have spoken of came, by which I might enjoy my home life again, I did now allow my personal feelings to enter into my decision -- the only question in my mind was as to which would be the most advantageous in a business way. I have learned that if a young man cannot do the work he would like to do, it is wise to learn to like the thing he has to do.
I have since observed that I was fortunate in my position in being with men of high character, who were good business men and required that everything should be done in a businesslike way. I also consider I was fortunate that it was not a large business where advancement might come more slowly. In the office there were the two members of the firm, Mr. Houghton, of whom I have spoken, and myself. Mr. Houghton and I occupied opposite chairs of a high top desk.
Mr. Houghton was a member of an old, aristocratic family that had become somewhat reduced in circumstances. He was a bright, quick, active man, a thorough gentleman, and I looked up to him and naturally fell to taking him as a model; so, this man, all unconsciously, greatly influence the early years of my business life. He was the correspondent, and in those days it was all done at the point of the pen, for there were no typewriting machines. The letters were copied in a press-copy book, and from the first I made it a point each day to read carefully the letters written the previous day. In this way I acquired quite an education in good business correspondence, and it also gave me the run of the business and an understanding of it which was to become valuable to me.
Mr. Houghton was occasionally required to make trips of a few days at a time, and I took that opportunity to step around to his desk and take up the correspondence, writing the letters
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