C.E. Sweet, one of the old residents and best known business men of Concordia, is a native of Hornellsville, New York, born in 1848. His father, E.D. Sweet, came from New York, his native state, to Kansas in 1872, and located in Greenleaf, Washington county, Kansas, where he lived until his death in 1895. His mother died in 1872. Both his paternal and maternal antecedents were of New York.
Mr. Sweet's early education was limited to a few months' schooling. When a youth of seven years he drove a team on the canal, where his father owned two boats and from this occupation he went on to a farm. When he came to Kansas in 1872, he carried the mail from Waterville to Washington, and later bought the stage line that operated between those two points, which he drove for several years. He then employed the services of a driver but retained the line until the railroad was built through in 1878, when he came to Concordia and formed a partnership with Mr. Burtis, under the name of Burtis & Sweet, and established a general stock of hardware and implements. Two years later Mr. Burtis sold his interests to J.A. Wyer and the firm became Sweet & Wyer, and continued under this management for a period of ten years, and were succeeded by Robinson & McCrary. Mr. Sweet was then on the retired list for about nine years, but retained his residence in Concordia. In connection with Mr. Bloom he opened a hardware store in his present quarters on the corner of Sixth and Broadway in 1884, under the firm name of Sweet & Bloom. Mr. Sweet bought Mr. Bloom's interests in 1888, assuming control and has conducted the business continuously and very successfully ever since.
When the firm of Wyer & Sweet retired from the hardware business they organized a bank at Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, and also purchased a flour and grist mill as a sort of speculation, and retained their principal interests there for about five years. He was also interested for a number of years in a foundry, the firm of Sweet & Crider. These enterprises were not a financial success, owing to the approaching hard times and inability of men in their employ. Mr. Sweet erected the building occupied by his present business in 1880. It is a large, two-story brick structure, one hundred and thirty-two by forty-four feet. He carries an extensive stock of shelf and heavy hardware, implements, harness department, paints and oils, tin shop and plumbing. He is interested largely in real estate and owns several business blocks and residences in the city of Concordia. Mr. Sweet is a self-made man but has not gained his wealth without his share of early struggles.
Mr. Sweet was married in 1873 to Emma Height, who was deceased in 1880. In 1893 he was married to Clarissa Coleman, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mr. Sweet is a believer in Republican principles and always votes that ticket. They are members and active workers of the Methodist Episcopal church. - [Shortly after the above article was prepared, the Sweet Hardware Company went under the control of Foote & Ossmann, Mr. Sweet withdrawing from the firm.]
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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