Monday, March 24, 2014

James Cash Penney of J. C Penney Corporation

James Cash Penney was born on September 16, 1875, on a farm in Caldwell County near Hamilton, Missouri. He was the seventh of twelve children born to his parents.

His father was a poor farmer and a Baptist. When he was eight, he had to pay for his own clothing as money was scarce and his father wanted his to learn the value of money.

After his father died, Penney became a clerk at the J.M Hale and Brother store in Hamilton in 1895 in order to contribute more directly to the family’s income.

His health began to fail and he moved to Colorado where he believed the fresh air would help his condition. Penney went to work for Thomas Callahan and Guy Johnson in 1898, who owned dry goods stores called Golden Rule stores in Colorado and Wyoming.

By 1902 Penney had so impressed his employer that he sent him to open a store at another mining center Kemmerer, Wyoming. The employer also offered him the opportunity to join them as a partner.

In 1903 Penney, Callahan and another investor established a second store. Profits from their joint ventures allowed Penney to open his first wholly owned store in 1904.

In time, Penney bought into two other Golden Rule stores. After a few years, he bought out his two partners and became the owner of a small chain of three stores.

From this beginning, the small chain of stores grew into the world’s largest dry goods store chain. In 1912 the Golden Rule Stores became the J. C Penney Stores and the next year the business became a full corporation, J.C Penny Company.

He died February 12, 1971, at the age of ninety-five. At the time of his death, the department store chain he founded had 50,000 employees working throughout its 1660 stores.
James Cash Penney of J. C Penney Corporation
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