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The Merchant Prince of Black ChicagoAnthony Overton and the Building of a Financial Empire$
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Robert E. Weems

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043062

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043062.001.0001

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A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

Initial Years in Chicago

(p.45) 2. A Star Is Born
The Merchant Prince of Black Chicago

Robert E. Weems Jr.

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses how Anthony Overton’s relocation to Chicago in 1911 proved to be one of the wisest moves of his life. Within a short period of time, the once frustrated entrepreneur established an important business niche in one of America’s leading cities. Yet Anthony Overton’s first years in Chicago were not without challenges. Within a year after his arrival, the sudden death of his wife, Clara, forced Overton to reorient both his personal and business affairs. He subsequently began to more fully incorporate his daughters and other attractive young females as the “public face” of his personal care products company. This maneuver helped increase the Overton-Hygienic Manufacturing Company’s prominence in an industry then dominated by his primary competitors, Annie Turnbo-Malone and Madam C. J. Walker.

Keywords:   Anthony Overton, relocation, Chicago, Clara Overton, Overton-Hygienic Manufacturing Company, Annie Turnbo Malone, Madam C. J. Walker, women-owned business, women workers

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