From the time of my coming to New York I had gone home to Middletown about once a month for the week-end. I could not afford to make more frequent visits, for the expense was about $3.50. I finally became very much interested in a young lady in Middletown who had been one of my schoolmates, but I could not see my way clear, financially, to say to her what was in my mind. My salary at the time about which I am writing was $1,000.00 per year. The business of the firm was not as profitable as it should have been, and that disturbed me, because I felt that my future depended upon their success. I was not more anxious to make more money, and for a year or so I had looked up advertisements of business opportunities and thought over all sorts of plans in order to get ahead.
In the midst of this, and about May, 1875, Mr. Rodman mentioned to me that they had concluded it would be well for them to give up their saw mill business if they could find a buyer for it, as they wanted to give their entire attention to importing and exporting logs. The idea at once flitted across my mind that there was an opportunity for me if I only had the capital, and I set about to think of some practical way of securing financial help.
An Uncle and Aunt of my Mother's, Mr. And Mrs. William H. Gedney lived at 67 Horatio Street, New York, with their family, which consisted of two sons and two daughters, and of course, that was the one family in New York with whom I was on intimate footing. Uncle William, as I called him, was a successful builder and was more or less in public life. He had been Alderman of his Ward and a member of Assembly at Albany. The older son was in business with him. The younger son, about four years my senior, had never had any business experience; he was a professional baseball player, playing at that time with the Atlantics, and I knew he had saved a good part of his earnings. In those days in baseball the winning team received the receipts for admission, and it was divided among the team. So I called at my Uncle's house, interviewed this young man, my cousin Alfred, asking him how much money he had. He informed me he had $3,000.00 in three savings banks, whereupon I unfolded my plan, which was that I thought I could raise $3,000.00, and then if his father would loan us $6,000.00 it would give us a capital of $12,000.00 and enable us to take over the lease of the Saw Mill of my firm and start in business for ourselves.
My cousin thought very favorably of this plan and asked me to talk to his father who was seated in the next room reading his evening paper. I did not hesitate, for I was very much in
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