- Per death certificate, he lived in Chicago for 54 years, died at 2710 Prairie Ave., death information provided by Albert Sprague, same address,
SPRAGUE, Albert Arnold, merchant: b. Randolph, Vt., May 19, 1835; s. Ziba and Caroline M. (Arnold) Sprague; grad. Kimball Union Acad., 1854: Yale. 1859; m. Royalton. Vt.. Sept. 29, 1862, Nancy A., daughter of Ebenezer Atwood: 1 daughter: Mrs. Elizabeth S. Coolidge. Came to Chicago, 1862, and engaged in grocery trade; founder and senior mem. of Sprague. Warner & Co.; dir. Chicago Telephone Co.. Edison Electric Light Co.. one of the organizers and a dir. Northern Trust Co.: dir. since 1873, Relief and Aid Soc. (pres. 1887-90): trustee Chicago Orphan Asylum, Presbyterian Hosp., and Rush Med. College: mem. Chicago Literary Soc; dir. Art Institute; mem. Yale Assn. Republican. Clubs: Commercial (charter mem. and pres., 1882), Chicago. University. Onwentsia, Homewood; also Pelee (Canada). Office: Randolph St. and Michigan Av. Residence: 2710 Prairie Av.
["The Book of Chicagoans," 1905, p. 542].
SPRAGUE, Albert Arnold, merchant; born Randolph, Vt., May 19, 1835; son Ziba and Caroline M. (Arnold) Sprague; grad. Kimball Union Acad., 1854; Yale, 1859; married Royalton, Vt, Sept. 29, 1862, Nancy A., daughter of Ebenezer Atwood: 1 daughter: Mrs. Elizabeth S. Coolidge. Came to Chicago, 1862, and engaged in grocery trade; founder and senior mem. of Sprague, Warner & Co.; dir. Chicago Telephone Co., Edison Electric Light Co.; one of the organizers and dir. Northern Trust Co. Dir. since 1873, Relief and Aid Soc. (pres.. 1887-90); trustee Presbyterian Hosp., and Rush Med. Coll.; dir. Art Inst.; mem. Yale Assn. Republican. Clubs: Commercial (charter mem., pres., 1882), Chicago. University, Onwentsia; also Country Club (Pittsfield, Mass.), Annandale Golf (Pasadena, Cal.). Recreation: golf. Residence: 2710 Prairie Av. Office: 600 W. Erie St.
["The Book of Chicagoans," 1911, p. 636].
When Albert Arnold Sprague came to Chicago and established the wholesale grocery house which soon became Sprague, Warner & Co., the wholesale grocery business was in its infancy. Nine years later, in 1871, according to an historical statement appearing in a former history of Chicago, "the city had achieved such importance as a distributing center that the wholesale grocery business had proved a somewhat alluring field for capital seeking investment." It is interesting to know that the great house of Sprague, Warner & Co. is really a pioneer in one of the most extensive departments of Chicago's great mercantile enterprises.
The founder of the business and the president of the company is a New Englander by birth and training. It is a noteworthy fact that, among so many successful business men who are described as beginning life in humble circumstances and working from early boyhood to get their start, Mr. Sprague had the advantages of such environment and scholastic influences as are associated with the best New England homes. Born at Randolph, Vermont, May 19, 1835, son of Ziba and Caroline M. (Arnold) Sprague, he passed his boyhood on a farm and had excellent educational advantages. From the common schools he entered Kimball Union Academy, where he graduated in 1854, and in the following year became a Yale freshman, where he took the regular classical course and graduated in 1859.
A tendency to pulmonary weakness caused Mr. Sprague to abandon his ambitions for a legal career, and after spending three years in gaining ruggedness and health on the home farm in Vermont he aspired to engage in the business life of the west and came to Chicago in the spring of 1862. Without well defined intentions as to his future he was not long in deciding that Chicago was a good field for the wholesale grocery business. He and Z. B. Stetson formed the firm of Sprague & Stetson, so that from the first Mr. Sprague has been the senior member of the company. They did a successful business, though on limited capital, and on Mr. Stetson's retirement the next year a new partnership was formed with Ezra J. Warner, a native of Vermont, younger than Mr. Sprague, and who had also recently come to Chicago to begin his business career. In 1864 they were joined by O. S. A. Sprague, a younger brother of the president of the company, who returned from the war and likewise identified his lot with Chicago mercantile affairs. With the addition of this partner the firm of Sprague, Warner & Co. came into existence, and its name and success have continued without change for more than forty years. It is rather remarkable that the men who founded the business are still identified with its active direction, and it is a fact that the character of the men has permeated the entire establishment, which is a solid monument to their business methods. It is no exaggeration to state that Sprague, Warner & Co. are the largest wholesale grocers in Chicago, and perhaps in the world. Its particular territory extends from the extreme northern part of the middle states to Georgia and the Carolinas on the south, and also throughout the belt of middle west from north to south, while in the northwest the goods of this house are on sale in every hamlet.
["Historical Review of Chicago and Cook County and Selected Biographies," 1908, vol. 3, pp. 956-957]
"John Atwood of Plymouth, Mass...," pg. 52. Married in Royalton, VT.
"Ye Atte Wode Annals," good info
She gives his death place as Chicago. Says that his daughters, Carrie Arnold and Susy, died of influenza.
[Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1921/----), May 1992.]
"Albert Arnold Sprague, b. May 19, 1835, of Sprague, Warner & Co. Res., 2710. Prairie av., Chicago. Albert A. Sprague, the founder and senior member of the great wholesale house of Sprague, Warner & Co., was born in Randolph, Vt., May 19, 1835. His father, Ziba Sprague, was a well-to-do farmer and trader in his native town, and gave his children good educational advantages. Obtaining his preliminary education in the public schools, he fitted for college at the Meriden, N. H., seminary. Entering Yale, he was graduated in 1859. It was his intention to qualify for the legal profession, but on account of pulmonary troubles, he was obliged to forego a professional life. Returning to Vermont, he remained for three years and regained his health. In 1862, he came to Chicago, intending to engage in business, but with no settled plans as to what particular line he would engage in. Finding an excellent opportunity to embark in the wholesale grocery trade, he formed a partnership and began under the firm name of Sprague & Stetson. The business gradually increased and was soon one of the recognized leading commercial houses of Chicago, the firm name being changed to Sprague. Warner & Co., and under which name the business is still conducted. Under Mr: Sprague's personal management, ably aided by hundreds of employees, the house has had a wonderful and substantial growth, until to-day it is recognized as the largest exclusively wholesale grocery house in America, with one exception in New York. 'He is unselfish and retiring; never sought political office, though often importuned, and prefers a quiet place in the background rather than the glamour of publicity. He is one of the most successful merchants in America to-day, and is the soul of honor and integrity. He is an important factor in many commercial movements and. is actively interested in a number of well known corporations; is a member of several of the leading clubs, and no man in Chicago in better known more earnestly sought or justly esteemed.
["Foster Genealogy," p. 543]
SPRAGUE, Albert Arnold, merchant; b. Randolph, Vt., May 19, 1835; s. Ziba and Caroline M. (Arnold) S.; grad. Kimball Union Acad., 1854; A.B., Yale, 1859; m. Nancy A. d. of Ebenezer Atwood, Sept. 29, 1862. Went to Chicago, 1862, engaging in wholesale grocery trade; founder and pres. Sprague, Warner & Co., dir. Chicago Telephone Co., Commonwealth Edison Co., Elgin Nat. Watch Co., Liverpool & London & Globe Ins. Co.; organizer and dir. Northern Trust Co., 1873-1912, Relief and Ald. Soc (pres. 1887-90); dir. Art Inst. of Chicago; trustee Presbyn. Hosp., and Rush Med. Coll. Republican. Home: Chicago, Ill. Died Jan. 10, 1915.
["Who's Who In American History", page 1165:]
1174 Albert A.8 (s. Ziba7, Edward6, Jonathan5, William4, Edward', John2, Ralph1, Edward), b. Randolph, Vt.. May 19, 1835; graduated from Kimball Union Academy in 1854; took the degree of A. B. at Yale in 1859; m. at Royalton, Vt., Sep. 29, 1862 Nancy A., dau. of Ebenezer Atwood. On account of unsatisfactory state of his health he abandoned his intention to qualify for the legal profession, and the mercantile was chosen; Chicago was the place and wholesale grocery the trade selected. With borrowed capital he formed a partnership with Mr. Z. B. Stetson under the firm name of Sprague & Stetson in 1862. At the expiration of one year Mr. Stetson retired and a new partnership was formed with E. J. Warner, under the name of Sprague & Warner. In 1864 0. S. A. Sprague, a brother of the senior partner, was admitted to the firm and the firm was reorganized under the style of Sprague, Warner & Co., which style has remained ever since. It is now and has been for many years the leading wholesale grocery house in the United States. Is a director in the Chicago Telephone Co., Edison Electric Light Co.; one of the organizers and directors of The Northern Trust Co., director since 1873 of the Relief and Aid Soc. (pres. 1887-90) ; trustee Chicago Orphan Asylum, Presbyterian Hospital and Rush Med. College, director of the Art Institute, member of the Yale Ass'n, Republican. Clubs: Commercial (charter mem. and pres., 1882), Chicago, University, Onwentsia, Chicago Literary, Caxton and Cliff Dwellers. Address 2710 Prairie Ave., Chicago.
1701 Elizabeth Penn, b. Oct. 30, 1864.
1702 Carrie Arnold, b. Oct. 16, 1866; d. Sep. 9, 1874.
1703 Susy, b. Jun. 7, 1869; d. Nov. 29,1873.
["The Ralph Sprague Genealogy," E.G. Sprague, 1913, pages 190-191] [7, 19, 20]