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James T. Caradine, president of the Caradine Harvest Hat Company and one of the conspicuous factors in making St. Louis an important industrial and commercial center, was born in Sherman, Texas, September 22, 1876, a son of James N. and Virginia C. (McDougal) Caradine, both of whom were natives of Mississippi. The father, James N., as a youth enlisted in the Confederate army and served throughout the period of the Civil war. Following the close of hostilities he was united in marriage to Miss McDougal and soon thereafter removed to Sherman, Texas, where both he and his wife resided up to the time of their death.
James T. Caradine was reared and educated in the town of his birth. Later he became associated with the S. G. Davis Hat Company of Dallas, Texas, with which he was identified for several years. About 1909 he became connected with the harvest hat business and in 1910 transferred his activities to St. Louis and in the intervening ten years has made this city the largest harvest hat center in the world. In fact his activities have been a potent element in making St. Louis known as one of the great industrial and commercial centers of the United States. As an illustration of the magnitude to which the business has been developed by Mr. Caradine it may be stated that in 1917 he brought to St. Louis one shipment of a solid train load of hat bodies from Mexico and the development of this industry has made the St. Louis custom house the largest port of entry of harvest hats in the United States. There is not a crossroads country store nor city establishment in the entire country that is not visited by a St. Louis harvest hat salesman and through the progressive methods of those handling the line the business has grown to mammoth proportions. In addition to the hat business Mr. Caradine is interested in various business enterprises in St. Louis and elsewhere, including large holdings of mining properties in Nevada.
On the 25th of February, 1903, Mr. Caradine was married to Miss Florence Evans, of Greenville, Texas, a daughter of Mark L. Evans, now deceased, who was one of the leading merchants and foremost business men of northern Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Caradine are the parents of two daughters: Margaret E., who is attending Miss Porter’s School at Farmington, Connecticut; and Jane Kathrine, now attending the Mary Institute of St. Louis. The Caradine home is at No. 30 Portland place.
Mr. Caradine Is a member of the Bellerive Country Club, the Noonday Club andthe Missouri Athletic Club and is also a Consistory Mason, belonging to Tuscan Lodge, No. 360, A. F. & A. M.; to Missouri Consistory, No. 1, A. & A. S. R.; and Moolah Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S. His successful accomplishments In business have brought his name prominently before the public, for he has created one of the seven industries of St. Louis which lead the world in their particular line and which has made the name of Caradine synonymous with harvest hats in every part of the United States.