best New Hampshire homesteads." 3
Descended, as is here evident, from men and women accustomed to govern, legislate, protect, guide and represent the people, it is not surprising to find the Lothrops of the present day of this branch standing in high places, shaping affairs, and devising fresh and far-reaching measures for the general good.
Daniel Lothrop was the youngest of the three sons of Daniel and Sophia Home Lothrop. The family residence was on Haven's Hill, in Rochester, and it was an ideal home in its laws, influences and pleasures. Under the guidance of the wise and gentle mother young Daniel developed in a sound body a mind intent on lofty aims, even in childhood, and a character early distinguished for sturdy uprightness. Here, too, on the farm was instilled into him the faith of his fathers, brought through many generations, and he openly acknowledged his allegiance to an Evangelical Church at the age of eleven.
As a boy Daniel is remembered as possessing a retentive and singularly accurate memory; as very studious, seeking eagerly for knowledge, and rapidly absorbing it. His intuitive mastery of the relations of numbers, his grasp of the values and mysteries of the higher mathematics, was early remarkable. It might be reasonably expected of the child of seven who was brought down from the primary benches and lifted up to the blackboard to demonstrate a difficult problem in cube root to the big boys and girls of the upper class that he should make rapid and masterful business combinations in later life.
At the age of fourteen he was sufficiently advanced in his studies to enter college, but judicious friends restrained him in order that his physique might be brought up to his intellectual growth, and presently circumstances diverted the boy from his immediate educational aspirations and thrust him into the arena of business:—the world may have lost a lawyer, a clergyman, a physician, or an engineer, but by this change in his youthful plans it certainly has gained a great publisher—a man whose influence in literature is extended, and who, by his powerful individuality, his executive force, and his originating brain has accomplished a literary revolution.
To understand the business career of Daniel Lothrop it will be necessary to trace the origin and progress of the firm of D. Lothrop and Company. On reaching his decision to remain out of college for a year he assumed charge of the drug store, then recently opened by his eldest brother, James E. Lothrop, who, desiring to attend medical lectures in Philadelphia, confidently invited his brother Daniel to carry on the business during his absence.
"He urged the young boy to take charge of the store, promising as an extra inducement an equal division as to profits, and that the firm should read 'D. Lothrop & Co.' This last was too much for our ambitious lad. When five years of age he had scratched on a piece of tin these magic words, opening to fame and honor, 'D. Lothrop & Co.,' nailing the embryo sign against the door of his play house. How then could he resist, now, at fourteen? And why not spend the vacation in this manner? And so the sign was made and put up, and thus began the house of 'D. Lothrop & Co.,' the name of which is spoken as a household word wherever the English language is used, and whose publications are loved in more than one of the royal families of Europe." 4
The drug store became very lucrative. The classical drill which had been received by the young druggist was of great advantage to him, his thorough knowledge of Latin was of immediate service, and his skill and care and knowledge was widely recognized and respected. The store became his college, where his affection for books soon led him to introduce them as an adjunct to his business.
Thus was he when a mere boy launched on a successful business career. His energy, since proved inexhaustible, soon began to open outward. When about seventeen his attention was attracted to the village of Newmarket as a desirable location for a drug store, and he seized an opportunity to hire a store and stock it. His executive and financial ability were strikingly honored in this venture. Having it in successful operation, he called the second brother, John C. Lothrop, who about this time was admitted to the firm, and left him in charge of the new establishment, while he started a similar store at Meredith Bridge, now called Laconia. The firm now consisted of the three brothers.
"These three brothers have presented a most remarkable spirit of family union. Remarkable in that there was none of the drifting away from each other into perilous friendships and moneyed ventures. They held firmly to each other with a trust beyond words. The simple word of each was as good as a bond. And as early as possible they entered into an agreement that all three should combine fortunes, and, though keeping distinct kinds of business, should share equal profits under the firm name of 'D. Lothrop & Co.' For thirty-six years, through all the stress and strain of business life in this rushing age, their loyalty has been preserved strong and pure. Without a question or a doubt, there has been an absolute unity of interests, although James E., President of the Cocheco Bank, and Mayor of the city of Dover, is in one city, John C. in another, and Daniel in still another, and each having the particular direction of the business which his enterprise and sagacity has made extensive and profitable." 5
In 1850 occurred a point of fresh and important departure. The stock of books held by Elijah Wadleigh, who had conducted a large and flourishing book store in Dover, N.H., was purchased. Mr. Lothrop enlarged the business, built up a good jobbing trade, and also quietly experimented in publishing. The bookstore under his management also became something more than a commercial success: it grew to be the centre for the bright and educated people of the town, a favorite meeting place of men and women alive to the questions of the day.
Now, arrived at the vigor of young manhood, Mr. Lothrop's aims and high reaches began their more open unfoldment. He rapidly extended the business into new and wide fields. He established branch stores at Berwick, Portsmouth, Amesbury, and other places. In each of these establishments books were prominently handled. While thus immediately busy, Mr. Lothrop began his "studies" for his ultimate work. He did not enter the publishing field without long surveys of investigation, comparison and reflection. In need of that kind of vacation we call "change of work and scene," Mr. Lothrop planned a western trip. The bookstores in the various large cities on the route were sedulously visited, and the tastes and the demands of the book trade were carefully studied from many standpoints.
The vast possibilities of the Great West caught his attention and he hastened to grasp his opportunities. At St. Peter, in Minnesota, he was welcomed and resolved to locate. They needed such men as Mr. Lothrop to help build the new town into a city. The opening of the St. Peter store was characteristic of its young proprietor.
The extreme cold of October and November, 1856, prevented, by the early freezing of the Upper Mississippi, the