James Cash Penney
James Cash Penney was born on a farm outside of Hamilton, Caldwell County, Missouri. Growing up Penney wanted to become a lawyer after graduating from the school of Hamilton. Coming from a family of 12, his father did not have money for that. He pushed James to join the family business after high school as a store clerk. James was married three times throughout his life. However, he did not get a divorce. His first two wives died of illness. Penney died of a heart attack on February 12, 1971. He was the father of two girls, Mary and Carol. James Cash Penney is still remembered today, and will be remembered for many years to come. He is arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs from Missouri. That is a pretty big title for someone who wanted to become a lawyer. James is a prime example that hard work, long hours, and high stress can pay off. If I ever decide to become an entrepreneur, I will strive to create a legacy as big as James Cash Penney has done.
In 1898, James started working for Golden Rules Stores. The owners were so inspired by his work that they offered him a partnership on their new store. Penney invested a lot of his money into this partnership. In 1907, Penney bought out the other two partners. James opened up 34 stores by the year of 1912 and had changed the store name to J.C. Penney. The stores were so popular that they grew and grew. Eventually expanding towards the Mississippi. There were 1,400 stores by the year 1929. Today there are 1,108 stores nationwide. Including around 25 just in Missouri. J.C. Penney helps sell conventional merchandise, clothes, furniture, window, home décor, fashion, beauty supplies, makeup, shoes, baby clothing, jewelry, and many more. This selection helps the store become so popular. Most of the stores are located in shopping malls of in high populated areas.
Penney Farms was started in 1921 by James. The farm was on 120,000 acres in Clay County Florida. This was the start of Foremost Dairy Products Inc. James left Paul E. Reinhold in charge of the dairy and cattle. This business was however halted when the crash of the stock market came.
J.C. Penney Contributions
James founded the new high school in his home town of Hamilton. This school is now called Penney Hamilton and is still in existence today. The school excels in basketball and football. His home was transported into town and is now a museum in Hamilton, Missouri. James also helped find IBM with Author Godfrey. The family now has a Penney Family Fund to give some of their wealth to the needy today. It is used to advance human rights, community social, political, economic, and many more. James also helped find and donate the J.C. Penney Conference Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.