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Godfrey, Gilman & Co.

City: Alton

County: Madison

State: Illinois

In 1831, Benjamin Godfrey and Winthrop S. Gilman established Godfrey, Gilman & Co. as a commercial house in Alton, Illinois. In 1832, Godfrey, Gilman, & Co. erected the first warehouse in Alton. The firm exercised considerable control over the State Bank of Illinois, getting large loans from the institution for its initiatives. The firm was heavily involved in the lead business, using $800,000 from the Alton branch of the State Bank of Illinois in hopes of making Alton the center of the lead industry in Illinois. In 1837, the Godfrey & Gilman warehouse in Alton was the site of the murder of abolitionist newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy.

Arthur Gilman, The Gilman Family Traced in the Line of Hon. John Gilman, of Exeter, N.H. (Albany, NY: John Munsell, 1869), 166; W. T. Norton, ed., Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois (Chicago: Lewis, 1912), 1:70, 307, 443, 449.