Saturday, April 14, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: William L. Stow & Company

W. L. STOW & CO.
OCT    4    1900

David Thompson scan

Mr. Stow was apparently a gracious and well-liked gentleman among the members of the New York Stock Exchange.  See the New York Times story below.

The New York Times, July 4, 1886:



A company of Wall-street men were down at the pier to see one of the European steamers sail out of port yesterday.  Gallant Howell Osborn was one of the number.  His partner, William L. Stow, was saying goodbye to New York for a year or two to enjoy a trip around the world.  Mr. Stow is one of the really popular young men in Wall-street.  He was an office boy not so very many years ago; swept out an office and ran errands for something like a dollar and a half a week.  Now, after having been a member of the Stock Exchange for 8 or 10 years, he finds a fortune of over a quarter of a million dollars to his credit, and, with practical sense that does not often come to relieve the Wall-street fever, he quits buying and selling stocks and proceeds to map out a programme for enjoyment.

"Will" Stow had ambitions to be a doctor once, and disgusted with his chances of ever getting ahead in wall-street he went into an uptown physician's office, reveled in text books for a year or so, and then spent another in one of the city's hospitals, but just as he was ready to take a diploma and obtain a license to peddle quinine he dropped into Wall-street again.  Charles J. Osborn, shrewd in his estimates of manly qualities, took a sudden fancy to the young fellow.  Stow had good principles, he had no loud tastes, neither woman nor wine were temptations to him; he was just such a young man as the elder Osborn wanted as a friend for the budding Howell.  There was a good-bye then to drugs and patients; young Mr. Stow as soon making money as he had never expedited to make it.  He didn't need much coaching; opportunity was all he asked; his own intelligence, push, and enterprise did the rest.  He and Howell Osborn saw Europe together, spending a year abroad, after their return forming the stock brokerage firm of W. L. Stow & Co.  The result is that now, but a little over 30 years of age, Mr. Stow has a fortune big enough to retire upon and live in a handsome style.  He will take things easily in the tour of the world that he began yesterday, and will remain at every notable place that especially interests him long enough to see more of it than is to be had in the usual guidebook surface glance.

Mr. Stow used to be a clerk in the brokerage firm of E. D. Stedman & Co., and the poet-banker tells a story much the successful young man's credit.  He was not very hopeful of riches in the old days when he was keeping books for Mr. Stedman, and nobody would have been likely to mark him then as the prospective possessor of hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own.  There was no forwardness about him; favors shown him were always fruitful of thankfulness.  When he left Mr. Stedman's employ--to go to the doctor's office, I think it was--Mr. Stedman bade him not only a kindly goodbye, but expressed the hope that if ever it were possible to for him to lend the young man assistance he would be gland to do his utmost to help the young clerk along.

Time went on.  Stow was getting up in the world, back in Wall-street again; misfortune fell upon Mr. Stedman.  Everybody, of course, remembers the unexpected failure of the poet's brokerage firm a couple of years or so ago.  But one man who learned the news found more interest in it than the ordinary citizen, and a messenger within an hour of the announcement of the financial trouble handed a note to Mr. Stedman, which ran something like this:

Dear Mr. Stedman:  I have $30,000 more than I want.  Will you please take it?  W. L. Stow.

Mr. Stedman fortunately was better off than at first supposed, and he declined the big-hearted offer, though not without the expression of a gratitude that had no lack of earnestness in it.           RALSTON.


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