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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Alexander Bruce Adam


Men of Scottish birth have figured conspicuously in the mercantile affairs of America, and the career of the subject of this sketch demonstrates clearly and emphatically how a young man can come to this country alone, without friends, influence or backing, and by industry, perseverance and ability to grasp and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves from time to time, and by honourable business methods, make himself an honoured and influential citizen in his adopted country. Alexander Bruce Adam, President of Edson Keith & Company, Chicago, Ill., was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, July 2, 1839, and was the son of Alexander and Bruce Wilson Adam. He received his education in the grammar and high schools of his native town.

In 1859 he came to America and began his business career, entering the employ of Hogg, Brown and Taylor, of Boston, Mass., with whom he remained until 1864, when he went to Chicago and be came connected with the wholesale millinery house of Keith, Faxon & Company, one of the leading firms in this line in America. Mr. Adam

started as a salesman, in which position he showed such ability, that in 1866 he was sent by his firm to Europe as their buyer. He was so successful in this venture that for many years he made regular European trips and built up for his firm not only an enormous business but a national reputation as importers of millinery, making this the first house in the West to bring out this line of merchandise direct from Europe.

In 1879, Mr. Adam was admitted as a partner in the firm and in 1901 was elected President. He has been connected with this house and its successors for half a century. In 1868, Mr. Adam married Miss Alice Nash, of Boston, Mass., and they have one daughter, Mrs. H. W. Shearson. His residence is at 2249 Calumet Avenue, where he has lived for more than thirty years. He is a member of the Chicago, Calurnet and South Shore Country Clubs, and the Illinois St. Andrew Society. He was one of the organizers of the Millinery Jobbers’ Association, a national institution and its first President. His leisure time and social life is spent in reading and travelling.


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