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THE SOUTH BEND NEWS-TIMES.
1 is a i ! i t South bend-in-1913 edition. i H - Av iK f rH Un Joeing a ozory oj a i rue captain of indus try Who, Willi His 'Four Brothers Built Up a Business of 'World Wide Reputation By THOMAS DREIER A CCQRDING to the evi-tker, Jr., two brawny men !of the Red Gods. To him came h dence submitted bv a '.who joyously, as good work- the wanderlust. The West was natural history person; men must, served their com- calling and he couldn't hear with a bulging forehead, the lowly coral modesy oners it self as a model after which business men may build insti tutions of the stern and rock bound variety, against which the waves of Failure may bat ter and break in vain. Obeying the same law that governs folks, one coral deep down in the sea gives birth to another and dies. The second, being but an outgrowth of the parent and inseparable from it, gives birth to a third. The third follows the example of its progenitors. After count less millions have riven birth and died, the coral reef juts its head above the surface of the sea to become the foundation of some rich, palm-blessed is land upon which human folks will serve their time as toys in the hands of Destiny. Like a palm-blessed coral is land in the sea of commerce is that great institution of human service which we shall here' call The House of Studebaker. Our task, it is true, is to dwell at length upon the achievements of these Stude bakers who have made person al impress upon our own times. More particularly do we wish to record here the lvstory of the Grand Old Man of the dy nasty, John Mohler Studebak er not forgetting to give glimpses here and there of the monster vehicle manufactory at South Bend, Indiana, whose products, as was boasted of the English Hag, follow thif morn- V 1 V - 4 y. 1 . 1 ing, drumbeats over the world. But before sitting down to chat in the sunshine of the present, we must skitter in the aeronef of our imagination into the past, to discover and study somewhat hurriedly the nature of that original coral upon which this 'rich, palm blessed, commercial island ot today has its foundation. And we find, if we but pen etrate as far back as 1736, that the good ship Marie, after showimr its stern at Rotter dam, Holland, brought to Philadelphia three hundred and eighty-eight passengers, among whom we m;i; find five whose names appeared as "Studebecker." Our desire bein-- to come back into the present bv the most direct rout e, we. content a glance at ourselves with X those live Mudelvcker names 'in 1736 and shoot forward to1 . . . 1798 to peep for a moment at! the tax list of York Count v, in Pennsylvania. We find there on the names of Peter Stude baker, Sr., and Peter Stude- 77 i XST itsY y v S ,t 1 V 4 '-- John Studebaker the father of the five boys munity by making wagons. With these steady and stur: dy men we must not linger. Moving along just a wee bit we find John Studebaker, the son of Peter Studebaker, Jr., plying his father's trade just a few miles east of Gettysburg. Here we stop our mad flight because we have discovered what may be called The Master Coral the real founder of the world-known business that has proven itself one of the great est civilizing influences of all times. For this John Studebaker was a man. Well might he have served as a model for an other Longfellow bent on touching into English another "Village Blacksmith." Order ing his life by the golden rule laid down by Paul "Owe no man anything, but love one an- I other" he pursued the even : tenor of his way. To him there ! was nothing greater than the command of common sense: I t4This above all, be a good j neighbor." He was a wagon- I maker and a blacksmith. But ; he was the best' wagon-maker :md blacksmith in his commun - ity. Havmir mastered the art , .- . 1.' .11 I or serving n leuow men m ajijfe rr0Verning the uprearing masterly manner, his business !a commercial coral island des- grew until he became one of i the wealthiest ot them. But even this stolid, appar ntlv unimaginative citizen was" riven ears to hear the call 1r .V any thing else. Why he left a certainty for an uncertainty he could not tell. All he knew was that the command had come to' him and he had to obey. So we find him, in 1835, leaving his old home with his wife and six children, anion? which we find three, sons, named Clement, Henry and John Mohler, the first of which was destined to win in ternational fame. He purchas ed a tract of one hundred and sixty acres five miles east of Ashland, Ohio. Here another shop was erected, and here, as in Gettysburg, the village blacksmith won his way for ward by the excellence of his service. His name became a synonym for honest, conscien tious work. Here also appear ed two other sons, Peter E. and Jacob F. thus giving us the five sons whose names to day are immortalized in The House of Studebaker. Here we shall abandon our ciimWnir js slmv luit steadv. all in keeping with the law Of tined to withstand the storms of time. We are to deal with business men servants who are just coming into their own. A time there Was, and that not so manv years ago, when those engaged in trade were crucified on the cross by a toonsn society in wnose lace- bedecked hands rested the mace of social ostracism. Todav we know that business men are the priests and minis ters of a civilization that is speeding its way toward per fection. They are the world movers and world-shakers. Back of every enterprise from the discovery of Amer- ica by that pioneering sates - C7U71 f u.uJ man, Christopher Columbus, down to the development of China stand keen-eyed, alert, imaginative, broad-vis-ioned, courageous business men. The inventors of the tele graph, the telephone, the sub marine cable, the various ma chines that minister to the needs of men, are missionaries as brave as those that live in history for their share in car rying a brighter gospel to na tions filled with people with minds darkened by ignorance. The inventors, the manufac turers, the distributors of the commodities of the world are instruments directed by some divinity to bring mankind closer together. In the old days, when Alexander slipped from his teacher, Aris totle, and, like the scourge of Satan, conquered the world, when Caesar swept through Gaul and England, when Na poleon, like a scarlet flower, raised his head above the blood of Europe in those old days men went forth to con quer by carrying death in their hands. Today men are learn ing that the greatest con quests are those made in ser vice that the business man is greater than the soldier. Away back in 1843, Rich ard Cobden wrote: "When government giyes to the arts of peace the same thought and attention that it gives to the arts of war, we shall have peace on earth and good will among men But so long as the soldier takes precedence of the business man in the polit ical courts of the world, fam ine, death, disease 'and want will crouch at our doors. Com merce is production, war is de struction. The laws of pro duction and distribution must and will be made a science; and then and not until then will happiness come to man- y t. v.. te v .'. re 1 tl !KMft- kind and this earth serve as a pattern for the paradise of an other life, instead of being made a pandemonium." But why, you may ask, all this introduced here bef is before entering into the details of the life story of The House of Stu debaker? Because, if an answer you must have, the training given his children by that good old Gettysburg blacksmith fitted them to take their place in the world as builders of wagons, trucks, buggies, vehicles of all kinds, as well as automobiles aiLiluxness that havi exercised a civilizing influence upon all the nations of the earth, even those to whom the glories of the Stars and Stripes are less than sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. "The temptations in busi ness," said Richard Cobden, "are so great that it demands the highest type of con- , - . .... . - ... ... ' L L A ) I science, the clearest brain, and the, most generous manhood that can be enlisted." And that is what John Stu debaker gave to his sons a high conscience, clear minds and generous manhood. Because he endorsed a note for a neighbor which the lat ter was unable to pay during the panic of 1837, John Stu debaker lost all his posses sions. Once .again he had to do battle with poverty. Brave ly he set himself to the task. Selling his big farm, he rented four acres, calling the place with applause-compelling op timism "Pleasant Ridge." Here, with the help of his sons, he worked until every dollar of his indebtedness was liquidated. This poverty brought the members of the family closer together as poverty, and sorrow always do fit and together they began blacksmithing and wagon making, the. boys here gaining their first real knowledge of the business. Following the 4 ;.n: ,,4 , .- V.- f s ? 'it-'- : v V' ' v X' it 5i 4 - . - i ' I - , " ' ..'"'..'Kv v .4 4? t til ; K f - ' - n - - dictates of the father who worshiped before the shrine of Truth, the sons learned in dustry, economy, persever ence, patience, and, above all, conscientiousness and hon esty. I here submit that just as a man's work is but an expres sion of the character of the man, so is a man made in the image of the work he does. I Our manual training schools are as great moulders o: char acter as our Sunday schools. The man who uses "tools that make for truth and accuracy speedily forgets that which was lauded bv Oscar Wilde in his "Essay on Lying." Studebaker, pere, although he may have been unconscious of it, worked in harmony with that first great law of business success which is expressed in "Confidence is the basis of trade." He was a man of ster ling character and rugged health. His word flung into the air in a fleeting moment was worth more than many another's written on parch ment and sworn to before a man of the law. In this way did he form the charac ters of his sons, not knowing that upon this very foundation would they build a business that would conquer the world. His Assets Were Character and Health. Maeterlinck somewhere points out the independence of all things by telling us of the old man sitting quietly in his study whose winking eyelids affect the movements of a dis tant star. The sons of Stude baker early learned this lesson. They first learned the joy of service in their own home, and then they practiced the lesson in the greater world. In their boyhood days they once drove fifty miles to an adjoining county to work as farm hands. The eldest received eighty cents per day, the next oldest fifty cents, while the young est received twenty-five ccnis. With savings reaching sixty dollars they returned home and turned their sweat-earned wealth over to 'their father. With this impressionistic it t - . .J t. f MM picture of the early life of the Studebakers we pass on to the next period which discovers to us the commercial coral reef just about to jut above the surface of the commercial sea. With an independence that characterized these rugged workers, as soon as they were old enough to sustain their own weight in flight from the parental nest if 1 may be per mitted recklessly to mix meta phors and allow feathered creatures to jostle coral the two eldest left home and trav- eled overland to South. Bend, in Northern Indiana, within a stone's throw of the Michigan line. South Bend was then a straggling village perched on the sand dunes. Little had it to offer to Clement and Henry Studebaker. Even they did not know that here Fate would mate them with Oppor tunity and that the child of the marriage would people the village with thousands of hon est workers. They came seeking work, and, in accord ance with the scriptural prom ise, they found it. Clem taught school for a time, ex changing the birch on Satur days and holidays for a place at an anvil in a local shop for which service he was reward ed with fifty cents a day. Denying themselves the imitation pleasures offered by the 'straggling village loafing places, the boys saved their money and, in 1852, the firm of H. & C. Studebaker, wag-on-makersnndblacksmiths, be gan business in a little frame building, with a capital of sixty-eight dollars. Two wag ons were sent out bearing the Studebaker name that first year, one of which remained in daily service for thirtv-three years. In those days their iron was purchased a bar at a time, and one horse could haul what iv lumber they needed. Like one Benjamin Franklin, Printer, they could carry their posses sions in a wheelbarrow. Fol lowing in the footsteps of the immortal Ben, they won the confidence of their neighbors by their industry, their sobri ety, and the quality of their work. With prophetic vision they saw that the time would coiiie when the wagon-mak-ing would leap into the lead, but, like wise business men bent on placing a solid found ation under their institution, they were patient with slow growth, earning reaxly money o Q I