Smith, Edwards & Company

City: Springfield

County: Sangamon

State: Illinois

Smith, Edwards & Company was a store based in Springfield, Illinois and owned by Ninian W. Edwards and various partners. The store sold dry goods, groceries, hardware, some home goods, and apparel such as hats and shoes on a cash, credit, and produce-for-trade basis. Edwards was involved in the business at least as early as 1838, in partnership with Nathaniel A. Rankin, and the firm operated under the name Rankin & Edwards. In 1840, Rankin sold his interest to Eliphalet B. Hawley, and the new firm, Hawley and Edwards, was created. Sometime before 1848, Hawley and Edwards partnered with John C. Cook to become Hawley, Edwards, and Cook, but, in January 1848, Cook sold his interest to Leigh R. Kimball and the company became known as N. W. Edwards and Company. In April 1849, John Taylor Smith joined the company, but, by January 5, 1856, Edwards was partnered with Dudley Wickersham. In February 1856, Edwards and Wickersham again partnered with John Taylor Smith to create the firm Smith, Edwards & Company, and together they established a new, larger store located on the west end of the downtown public square.

Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 17 November 1838, 3:5; 26 June 1840, 3:2; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 13 January 1848, 2:7; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 24 April 1849, 3:1; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 5 January 1856, 2:4; 26 February 1856, 2:5.