Biographical Sketch of J. H. Ardinger
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The dry goods merchant prince of Bonham, is a native of Berkely County, Virginia, and has been a merchant all his life. He left Virginia at the age of fourteen, for Elizabethtown, Ky., from this place a little later, he moved to Greensboro of the same state, and from there to Missouri. In 1869-70, he was in the wholesale dry goods business at Chicago, but was fortunate enough to sell out his interest there, just before that city was burned in 1871. In 1875, he removed to Bonham, and opened a dry goods business, with a $1 0.000 stock of goods. His coming to Bonham was a new era in the dry goods business of this city. While he did not expect to remain here long, the trade so far exceeded his expectations, that he was induced to increase his stock of goods and hold his business.
In January 1877, just after his month’s cash sales for December had footed up $16,000.00, he lost his entire stock of goods $25.000.00 by fire, and not a dime insurance on anything. At another stand, where the First National Bank now stands-he had an old stock of goods worth about $5.000.00, fully covered by insurance left from the wreck of his handsome fortune ; on this he started again, and now he does an annual gross business of about $50.000.00, a year.
Mr. Ardinger, as a businessman, has no superior in North Texas. He is honest, reliable and accommodating. In his address and personal appearance, he is pleasant and affable, and his modest, yet dignified bearing, at once stamps him as a gentleman of the Virginia School. He unquestionably keeps the finest assortment and display of dry goods of any merchant in the county, and his “Emporium” is deservedly popular.