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H. Henry Baxter

H. Henry Baxter

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Excerpt from H. Henry Baxter: Born January 18th, 1818, Died February 17th, 1884

His birth and early surroundings were good. His father, a man of fine presence and bearing, was a lawyer and judge of distinction in the State of Ver mont. He intended to call his son to the bar, but, like Disraeli, young Baxter had no thought of re maining a clerk to an attorney, even though the lawyer was his own father. Like the great Hebrew statesman and orator, his motto was the world's mine oyster, and he wisely concluded that he could not open the bivalve with the quill of a barrister. When he really got at it a crowbar was the lightest instrument he ever used, and dynamite and steam were active agents in removing the shell of the mollusk.

His business education began in Boston, where he was employed as assistant book-keeper in a prominent dry-goods commission house.

He had held this position less than a year, and was but sixteen years of age, when the head accountant was taken ill. Young Baxter was asked whether he thought he could fill the vacant place. His an swer was yes, and from that time until over-work compelled him to resign his place and seek rest among his native hills, he had entire charge of the accounts of his employers. The knowledge gained at the desk in Boston was of the greatest value to him in after-life. It made him a master of detail, apoint in which most men who plan and conduct great enterprises are sadly deficient. He knew not only the importance of keeping correct accounts, but knew also the great value of closing up, clearing up, and tying up, business transactions. His motto was no loose ends - let us tie up and docket this operation, - and do it now. Half the failures in life come from a lack of this trait in business men. Back among the green hills he soon recovered health and strength and began to look about for a business in which he would be principal and not subordinate. He decided to open a store in Bel lows Falls with a stock of general merchandise. Here occurred the first and last failure of his life. The broad-gauge Open-hearted man knew not how to say 7zo - whoever wanted goods got them, and when the non-paying community had worn out his dry goods and eaten up his groceries the business was closed.

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