Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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RYERSON, Martin, benefactor, born in Paterson, New Jersey, 6 January, 1818; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 6 September, 1887. His early educational advantages were lira-ited. At sixteen years of age he left home alone, and in Detroit found employment with a fur-dealer. In 1836 he went to Muskegon, Michigan, and, while trrading with the Indians, learned to speak the or-tawa and Chippewa languages. In 1841 he embarked in the lumber business on a limited scale, and in 1851 lie established a yard at Chicago, by which his business was greatly increased, and he became wealthy. Mr. Ryerson gave freely to charitable institutions and public enterprises, and, as a token of his friendship and appreciation of Indian character, he erected in Lincoln park, Chicago, a bronze group in memory of the Ottawa nation, of which tribe his wife was a member. He expressed a wish to his son that the income from a large business block, valued at $225,000, should be forever set apart and distributed equally among eight charitable institutions of Chicago. The family have placed the property in trust for this purpose.
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