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Biography of Alford Jonathan Harwi

Alford Jonathan Harwi was one of the great merchants of Kansas. Beginning as an obscure hardware dealer in Atchison he built up a busines which now stands as a monument to his energy and foresight, the A. J. Harwi Hardware Company being one of the leading wholesale concerns of the Missouri Valley. Life extended to him only the opportunities which it extends to every one. It was his own personal character, his enterprise, and a vigorous and resourceful mind which enabled him to seize and develop possibilities into realities of a large and imposing character. While he would be mentioned prominently among any group of successful Kansas merchants, it was not alone for his material achievements that he is remembered and honored. He put character into his business, and it was the flowering of his character that earued him such wide esteem. His birth occurred at Ritterville, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, January 21, 1847, and he died at Atchison September 5, 1910, at the comparatively early age of sixty-three. His parents were Michael and Lucretia Harwi. Michael Harwi for many years followed the trade of carpanter. He was engaged in some of the heavy construction required in the building of canal locks when canals were still the principal means of transportation in the eastern states. He had a farm also, and for a few years before his death was engaged in the quarrying and contracting of slate materials, He and his wife were the parents of four sons, Alfred J. being the oldest, and one daughter who died in Pennsylvania in childhood. One of the sons, also died young. The...

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