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Alexander T. Primm, Jr., widely known as a substantial citizen of St. Louis, thoroughgoing, reliable and energetic, is now a vice president of the J. Kennard & Sons Carpet Company, having entered the employ of the company on October 2, 1882. He was born in Belleville, St. Clair county, Illinois, April 12, 1864, and is a representative of one of the pioneer families of that locality. His ancestral history is an interesting one. The Primm family are descended from Alexander De La Pryme, a gentleman of the town of Ypres, France, who was granted a patent of gentility by the Roman pontiff for meritorious services under Phillip of Alsace in the Second Crusade. The family, having embraced the faith of the reformed church, were forced to leave the continent under order of Cardinal Richelieu following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, at which time they settled in England. Abraham De La Pryme removed to the Isle of Man in 1725 and his second son, John De La Pryme, emigrated to America, settling in what is now Stafford county, Virginia, about 1750. In deference to the prejudice existing against French names, the prefix De La was dropped and the spelling changed to the present form.
The eldest son of John De La Pryme was John Primm (II) who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary army for seven years and took part in the siege of Yorktown where he saw Lord Cornwallis surrender his sword to General Washington, thereby terminating the war. John Primm removed westward with his family and settled on the bluffs opposite the site of old Carondelet, in what is now St. Clair county, Illinois, in the year 1803. In his family were thirteen sons and four daughters. Peter Primm, the fifth son of this family, removed to St. Louis in 1809 and married Marie Angelique LeRoux, a descendant of one of the first French settlers of this city. Their son, Wilson Primm, born January 10, 1810, became one of the leading jurists and citizens of St. Louis, where he passed away January 17, 1878. Joseph Primm, the eleventh son of John Primm, was born September 14, 1795, and died November 28, 1845, having devoted his life to agricultural pursuits in St. Clair county, Illinois.
Alexander Timon Primm, Sr., the son of Joseph Primm, was born in St. Clair county in 1830, moving to Belleville, Illinois, to engage in business after his marriage in 1855, and here passed away in 1903. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Jane E. Sharp, was born in St. Clair county near the Primm homestead in 1838 and was a daughter of Horatio Sharp, one of the earliest settlers of that county and a representative of one of the old families of Virginia, emigrating from Berkeley county to Illinois during the early colonization of the latter state. Mrs. Primm passed away in St. Louis in 1918, having for fifteen years survived her husband. To Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Timon Primm, Sr., were born the following named: L. J. Clawson, residing in St. Louis; Benjamin Joseph, who was professor of anatomy in the St. Louis Medical College at the time of his death in 1888; Alexander T., of this review; Samuel S., also living in St. Louis; and Minerva, who became the wife of Lilburn McNair and passed away in 1896, leaving two daughters who still reside in St. Louis.
Alexander T. Primm, Jr., obtained a public school education in Belleville, Illinois, and in 1882 was graduated from Smith Academy of St. Louis. He secured employment that fall with the J. Kennard & Sons Carpet Company in order to learn the business and soon became a salesman, while later he was made manager of the wholesale department and was afterward elected to the vice presidency of the company in which connection he continues. He is thoroughly familiar with every branch of the trade and his enterprise, determination and initiative are valuable assets to the business.
For many years Mr. Primm has found his principal recreation in pony polo and was for several years the western representative on the executive committee of the Polo Association of America. His keen business ability and love for this sport have been recognized for years and when this country found it necessary to send troops to the Mexican border in 1916 he was recommended as one whose experience and judgment in selecting animals suitable for the service would be desirable to the army and would at the same time permit the regular army. officers to devote their entire time to other important duties. For that reason the war department appointed him to the remount service to buy animals for the government during the summer of 1916. When this country was about to enter the World war he promptly offered his services again and on the 6th of April, 1917, he was commissioned a captain in the Officers Reserve Corps. He was assigned to duty in the remount service, buying animals for transportation and later became commanding officer at the remount station at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. After the work there was completed he resigned in January, 1918.
Mr. Primm in politics may be classed as an independent democrat, for while he usually supports the men and measures of the party he does not hesitate to cast an independent ballot if his judgment so dictates. He is well known as a member of the University Club and also holds membership in the Noonday Club, the Racquet Club and the St. Louis Country Club. His personal characteristics are such as make for popularity among his wide circle of friends and his position as a factor in the business life of St. Louis is an enviable one, owing to the progressive methods he has ever followed and his thorough reliability.
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