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Rowland Hussey Macy
Birth: Aug. 30, 1822
Nantucket
Nantucket County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Mar. 29, 1877
Paris
City of Paris
Īle-de-France, France

Businessman. He was the founder of the R.H. Macy and Company department store chain. Born into a Quaker family, his father worked as a shopkeeper. When he was 15 years old he worked on the whaling ship, the Emily Morgan, and had a red star tattooed on his forearm that would later become part of the Macy's logo. At age 19 he started working as a printer's apprentice in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1843, with the financial backing from one of his brothers, he opened his first retail dry goods store but it failed. He moved to California after the discovery of gold in 1849 and ventured in real estate. In 1851 he returned to Massachusetts and opened the first Macy's store in downtown Haverhill, Massachusetts, to serve the mill industry employees of the area. The business eventually failed but he learned from his mistakes and moved to New York City, New York in 1858 and established a new store named R.H. Macy Dry Goods at Sixth Avenue on the corner of 14th Street, significantly north of other dry goods stores of the time. The business began to grow and he expanded into 11 neighboring buildings, opening up more and more departments, and used publicity devices such as a store Santa Claus, themed exhibits, and illuminated window displays to draw in customers. His store became known for its then-innovative policy of clearly marking prices (instead of haggling with customers), and advertising those prices in lively newspaper ads. It offered a money back guarantee, although it only accepted cash into the 1950s. The store also produced its own made-to-measure clothing for both men and women, assembled in an on-site factory. In 1866 he became the first to hire a woman executive in retail sales, promoting saleswoman Margaret Getchell to store superintendent. He died from Bright's disease at the age of 54 while visiting France. He was portrayed by actor Harry Antrim in the 1947 movie "Miracle on 34th Street." In subsequent adaptations of the story, he was played by Don Beddoe in an episode of "The 20th Century-Fox Hour" in 1955, Hiram Sherman in a 1959 television movie, and David Doyle in a 1973 television movie. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Macy (1786 - 1849)
  Eliza Myrick Macy (1790 - 1877)
 
 Spouse:
  Louisa Houghton Macy (1820 - 1888)
 
 Siblings:
  Robert B. Macy (1820 - 1887)*
  Rowland Hussey Macy (1822 - 1877)
  Charlotte Macy Valentine (1827 - 1905)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Woodlawn Cemetery
Bronx
Bronx County
New York, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 03, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3010
Rowland Hussey Macy
Added by: The Historian
 
Rowland Hussey Macy
Added by: Matthew Fatale
 
Rowland Hussey Macy
Added by: Matthew Fatale
 
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Thank you for never giving up on your dream to own a successful business. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Nov. 22, 2014

- Old Coot
 Added: Oct. 24, 2014

- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Aug. 30, 2014
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