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JOSEPH MEYER, manager and president of the Billings Mercantile Company at Billings, has been a resident of this city since 1886, and his reputation stands high in commercial circles for sound integrity and honorable business methods. He is a native of south Indiana, born March 6, 1852, and is a son of Joseph and Barbara (Boehm) Meyer, both natives of Germany.
The father emigrated from that country to America in 1845, and made a location in Troy, Indiana, but resided one year in New Orleans, La., previous to that. He is still living and is engaged in the manufacture of harness and saddles. He has been an unusually successful business man. His wife died when our subject was only about a year old. They were married after coming to this country. One child besides our subject was born to this union, George, who was killed in an accident on the Frisco Railroad in 1888. He was married, and his family is living in Indiana at the present time.
The boyhood and youth of our subject was passed in the Hoosier State, where he received but a limited amount of schooling on account of the Civil War. Realizing that a good education was one of the things to be desired, by studious habits and perseverance he became a well-posted man, particularly in business matters. During the war, and when quite young, he learned the harness makers’ trade and followed this until twenty-six years of age, at first for his father and then for himself. For some time he was in business in Tennessee, and then came to Jamestown, this State, where he became manager of the Jamestown Mercantile Company, being very successful in that position. Thence he moved to Billings and embarked in the hardware business with P. E. Sweeney, but later sold out and started a general store, which he carried on alone for a year and then took in as partner J. S. Carmare, the company being known as Meyer & Carmare for four years. In February, 1893, the company was incorporated with a paid-up capital of $25,000. Mr. Meyer is the president and manager; L. M. Wolfe, vice-president; J. B. McHenry, secretary; and C. B. Swift treasurer. These men are all residents of Billings, and stand among the first in trade and society. The concern they carry on has seven distinct departments-dry goods, groceries, clothing, furnishing goods, furniture, hardware, and boots and shoes. This is the largest concern in the county and one of the largest in southwest Missouri. They carry a stock of goods valued at from $25,000 to $30,000, and own the large building in which the business is transacted. This is a large, double, two-story, brick structure, and is used entirely for this business. The gentlemen conducting it are rapidly increasing their trade, and aim to conduct all operations upon the ground of strict loyalty to honor, a policy by which they are reaping a most desirable profit. Aside from the mercantile interests, Mr. Meyer and Mr. Carmare are carrying on a grain and live stock business. They have an elevator, and are doing an extensive trade in shipping stock and grain, and also own the stock yards.
Mr. Meyer is one of the leading business men of the city, and what he has accumulated in the way of this world’s goods is the result of his own industry, perseverance and good business management. He was married while residing at Jamestown, to Miss Lizzie Nickles, daughter of Peter Nickles, and four children have been born to this union: Lizzie, Alma, Olive A. and Joseph. In politics Mr. Meyer is with the Democratic party, and he is public spirited and interested in all worthy movements. He is a member of the Catholic Church, and one of its most liberal contributors. He has held a number of the city offices, and discharged the duties incumbent on the same in a very efficient manner.