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Claflin, Horace Brigham

CLAFLIN, HORACE BRIGHAM (1811-1885), American merchant, was born in Milford, Massachusetts, on the 18th of December 1811. He was educated at Milford Academy, became a clerk in his father's store in Milford, and in 1831, with his brother Aaron and his brother-in-law Samuel Daniels, succeeded to his father's business. In 1832 the firm opened a branch store in Worcester, Mass., and in 1833 Horace B. Claflin and Daniels secured the sole control of this establishment and restricted their dealing to dry goods. In 1843 Claflin removed to New York City and became a member of the firm of Bulkley & Claflin, wholesale dry goods merchants. In 1851 and in 1864 the firm was reorganized, being designated in these respective years as Claflin, Mellin & Company and H.B. Claflin & Company. Under Claflin's management the business increased so rapidly that the sales for a time after 1865 probably exceeded those of any other mercantile house in the world. Though the firm was temporarily embarrassed at the beginning of the Civil War, on account of its large business interests in the South, and during the financial panic of 1873, the promptness with which Mr Claflin met these crises and paid every dollar of his liabilities greatly increased his reputation for business ability and integrity. He died at Fordham, New York, on the 14th of November 1885.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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