Myron M. Buck was born in Shortsville, Ontario county, New York, January 16, 1835. His ancestors settled in central New York, when the state was wild and uncultivated, his maternal grandfather, Theophilus Short, in whose honor Shortsville, New York, was named, having been a member of the “Old Holland Land Purchase Company,” and prominent in every way in the affairs of the community. Attracted by the fertility of the soil in this undeveloped district, the company purchased a large portion of central New York. They at once proceeded to establish homes for the pioneers who were the leading spirits. The venture was a daring one, but it proved so successful that not only did the settlers establish homes for themselves, but they were able to leave valuable legacies to their descendants.
It was there that Myron M. Buck, founder of one of the largest railroad supply houses in the country, was born and spent his earlier years. His education, which was a good one for the time, was received in the public schools of his district, and at the age of eighteen years he was in a position to make his way in the world. He traveled extensively through, western New York and Canada, locating finally in New York City, where he secured employment in a manufacturing establishment. He showed great natural aptitude for this line of work, but, as it had always been his ambition to build up a business of his own, it was but natural that he should look farther west as the field best adapted to this idea. He removed to Chicago, where he spent three years in the acquisition of much valuable knowledge. In 1858 he went to St. Louis, Missouri, and engaged in the manufacture of car trimmings, and, acting on the policy that what a man wants done well he must do himself, Mr. Buck gave his personal attention to the superintendence of every detail of his business and was soon the owner as well as manager of a depot for the sale of all kinds of railroad supplies. This was the first establishment of its kind in the Mississippi Valley and it has held its own during the past thirty-two years against all competitors. It attracted attention to St. Louis in a very practical manner during the railroad building period of the seventies, and the amount of business that this industry brought to the city was enormous. The house is one of the largest in the country, and St. Louis has just cause to be proud of it. Mr. Buck had control of a number of immense contracts, all of which were executed without the slightest inconvenience to those most interested. He went to the west with the fixed idea of growing up with the country, and he certainly achieved his object. Although his business interests occupied the greater portion of Mr. Buck’s time, he was too broad-minded and unselfish to neglect the welfare of the city in any particular, and was always an important promoter of any movement that would benefit it. Among the many institutions with which Mr. Buck was actively connected, and in which he was a director, may be mentioned: The Union Trust Company, Continental National Bank, and the Commercial Bank of St. Louis. He was also a member of the Mercantile, Noonday, St. Louis Commercial and Fair Grounds jockey clubs. Although naturally devoted to the interests of St. Louis, Mr. Buck did not forget the home of his youthful days. He was the owner of a very handsome villa in Clifton Springs, Ontario county, New York. where he annually spent several months with his family. He said : “A few weeks’ sojourn in this fragrant valley inspires me with new life and health to enter upon the duties of life once more.”
Few men succeeded as signally as Mr. Buck. To build up a business such as he owned was a task which not many venture to attempt, and in which even fewer would succeed. He mapped out his ambitious career in his early years, and never swerved from the path he had marked out for himself. His unflagging industry and unfailing integrity combined with his unusual executive ability enabled him to attain the reputation which was most justly his-that of being a self-made man in the best sense of the words-and one of whom St. Louis was justly proud. He died March 30, 1906.
Mr. Buck married Velma Sawyer, a native of Orleans, Ontario county, New York, August 12, 1875. She is a daughter of James Mosley and Anginette (Short) Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer was one of the well-todo-farmers of Ontario county, New York, and lived retired for many years. He died in Michigan, 1889.