- Rowland Hussey Macy
Macy was born on
Nantucket Island, Massachusettsto a Quakerfamily. At the age of fifteen, he worked on the whaling ship, the "Emily Morgan", and had a red star tattooed on his hand that became part of the store's logo.
He married Louisa Houghton (1820-1888) in 1844, and had two children: Rowland Hussey Macy, Jr. (1847-?); and Florence Macy (1853-?), who married James F. Sutton.
Between 1843 and 1855, Macy opened four retail
dry goodsstores, including the original Macy's store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts. They all failed but he learned from his mistakes. In 1858, he opened a new Macy's store at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street in New York City. This was the official start for his store chain. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The City Department Store: Evolution of 75 Years. The Macy Anniversary Directs Attention to the Development of The Great Institutions That Serve the American Shopper. |url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0912FB355E16738DDDAB0994DA405B838FF1D3 |quote=For long after Captain Rowland H. Macy opened a fancy-goods shop in Sixth Avenue just below Fourteenth Street in 1858, seventy-five years ago, there was no department store in all the world. There were already merchant princes in New York, but they were specialists. |publisher= New York Times|date= February 12 1933|accessdate=2008-06-14 ]
In 1875, Macy took on two partners,
Robert M. Valentine(?-1879); and Abiel T. La Forge(1842-1878) of Wisconsin.cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Abiel T. La Forge |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=950CE2DA113FE63BBC4B52DFB4668383669FDE |quote= |publisher= New York Times|date= February 13, 1878, Wednesday |accessdate=2008-06-14 ] cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Robert M. Valentine's Will |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9C07E0D9123EE73BBC4E51DFB4668382669FDE |quote=The will of Robert M. Valentine, late partner in the firm of R. H. Macy Co., was offered for probate yesterday in the Surrogate's office. |publisher= New York Times|date= February 26, 1879, Wednesday |accessdate=2008-06-14 ] Macy died on March 29 1877in Parisof Bright's disease. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Rowland H. Macy, Merchant |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9403EEDF123FE63BBC4950DFB566838C669FDE |quote= |publisher= New York Times|date= March 31, 1877, Wednesday |accessdate=2008-06-14 ] He was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York. His will was probated on May 1, 1877, and he left his wife, Louisa H. ""absolutely, all the paraphernalia, wearing apparel, watches, rings, trinkets, jewels, and personal ornaments reputed to belong to her, and during her life, the use of all the household furniture, books, clocks, bronzes, and works of art". At her death this was to pass to his daughter Florence. He left only a small annuity for his son.cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Rowland H. Macy's Will |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9506E4DA163EE73BBC4953DFB366838C669FDE |quote=The will of Rowland H. Macy, the well known Sixth-avenue merchant, has been filed in the Surrogate's Court. He leaves to his widow, Louisa H., "absolutely, all the paraphernalia, wearing apparel, watches, rings, trinkets, jewels, and personal ornaments reputed to belong to her, and during her life, the use of all the household furniture, books, clocks, bronzes, and works of art ... |publisher= New York Times|date= May 1, 1877, Wednesday |accessdate=2008-06-14 ] The following year, his partner, La Forge would die, and Valentine died the following year in 1879.
His character is portrayed in the
1947movie " Miracle on 34th Street" by character actor Harry Antrim.
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