[Footnote A: In July, 1870, Mr. Vanderbilt chanced to hear that the Rev. Dr. Deems, of New York, was in want of a church. Admiring the energy with which the reverend gentleman had built up his congregation in the short space of three years, Mr. Vanderbilt quietly made up his mind that he should not want in vain. Accordingly he bought the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, and made the Doctor a present of it, keeping him in ignorance of his intention until he placed the title deeds in his hand.]
The name of DANIEL DREW has so long been familiar in the financial circles of the country, that it is surprising that the history of his life is not more generally known.
He was born at Carmel, in Putnam County, New York, on the 29th of July, 1797. His father was a small farmer, with limited means, and had to work hard to provide his family with food and clothing. Young Daniel was brought up to work on the farm, and at such times as he could be spared from this work, was sent to the country school in the neighborhood, where he acquired but a meager stock of learning. When he was fifteen years old, his father died, leaving his family in an almost helpless condition. Young Daniel remained on the farm three years longer, and in 1815, being then eighteen years old, stared out to try and earn a living for himself.
He came to New York in search of employment, but the country, just then, was in too depressed a condition to afford him a chance in any regular business. After looking around for awhile, he at length became a cattle drover. He spent five years in driving cattle from Putnam County to New York for sale, but failed to make any money at the business.
In 1820, he removed to New York, and established his headquarters at the famous Bull’s Head Tavern, in the Bowery, which was the great resort of the butchers and drovers doing business in the city. He kept this tavern a part of the time, and found it quite a profitable investment. He soon formed a partnership with two other drovers, and commenced buying cattle in the adjoining counties and bringing them to New York for sale.
[Illustration: FOUNDING A GREAT FORTUNE]
These ventures were so successful that the operations of the firm were extended into Pennsylvania, and finally into Ohio and the other States of the great West. Mr. Drew and his partners brought over the mountains the first drove of cattle that ever came from the West into New York city. The cattle, two thousand in number, were collected into droves of one hundred each, and were driven by experienced and careful men. The journey occupied two months, and the total cost of the purchase and trip was twenty-four dollars per head. The profit on the venture was very large.
Mr. Drew continued in this business for fourteen years, slowly and carefully laying the foundations of that immense fortune which has made him so conspicuous, an example to others who have entered upon the life-struggle since then.