“ He took him [Abraham] outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
~ Genesis 15:5 ~ ~ ~
“And so from this one man, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” ~ Hebrews 11:12
James Cash Penny (1875- 1971) = Farmer. Retail Entrepreneur. Author. Lecturer. Philanthropist. Best known for his retail department stores called J.C. Penny. Jim was born on September 16, 1875, the seventh child of twelve to Fannie and James Cash Penny. His father, a Baptist preacher and farmer in rural Caldwell County near Hamilton, MO., died during Jim's high school years and he helped his family financially by clerking at a small retail store nearby.
James moved when he was about twenty-two years from Missouri to Out West. He clerked for a frontier town dry-goods store called the "Golden Rule Store" which was run by Guy Johnson and T.M. Callahan. He, as a one-third partner, eventually bought the other's shares of the business to form what became known as the J.C. Penny Company, a cash and carry store. Due to the strict upbringing he had, Penny had high ethical standards, a strong work ethic, valued excellent service and rewarded his employees accordingly. His company motto was "HCSC"-- Honor, Confidence, Service, and Cooperation
James was married three times and had five children. His first wife, Berta Hess, died of pneumonia in 1910, his second, Mary Kimball, died suddenly in 1923, and his third marriage to Caroline Autenrieth lasted forty-five years until his death.
After a time of personal financial difficulty and during an illness, he heard people praying and softly singing hymns he recognized from his youth in the hospital chapel. A compassionate woman welcomed him, saying "Brother, come join us and know peace." Consequently, he prayed and an enormous weight lifted off his shoulders. He found peace and began to recover.
A t the age of ninety-five, James Cash Penny passed away on February 12, 1971. Rev. Norman Vincent Peale spoke during his funeral services at Manhattan, NY. St. James' Church.
More to Read:
1.) Celebration of Fools; An Inside Look at the Rise and Fall of JC Penney. By Bill Hare. 2004.
2.) Creating an American Institution: The Merchandising Genius of J.C. Penny. By Mary Elizabeth Curry, 1993.
3.) Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show-Me State. By John W. Brown. 4.) Papers of James Cash Penny (1941-1970) at the State Historical Society of Missouri. 5.) Findagrave # 803
Places to Visit in MO.:
1.) J.C. Penny Museum and Boyhood Home. 312 N. Davis St., Hamilton, MO.