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Scarce Chicago Coin Silver Spoon by Lewis Nowlin, Ca. 1840-60

Scarce Chicago Coin Silver Spoon by Lewis Nowlin, Ca. 1840-60
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Offered is a good mid-19th Century Chicago coin silver teaspoon marked by Lewis Nowlin, whose biographical information appears below. This piece has a legible maker's mark and a period engraved script monogram. It measures about 6 1/8 inches in length, and weighs about 18 grams. Condition is very good overall, with minor signs of normal use but no major dents and no splits or repairs. All in all a nice Chicago coin silver spoon!

April 30, 1899, Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, IL): (excerpt) Illinoisan Born in 1808 Lewis Nowlin, Who Has Resided in Chicago Since 1845, Is Probably the Oldest Living Son of the State. Another "oldest Illinoisan" has been discovered in the person of Lewis Nowlin, who lives with his granddaughter, Mrs. Gordon Valentine, at 4342 Ellis avenue. Mr. Nowlin was born in Illinois in 1808, or eleven years before it became a State, and one year before the birth of Lincoln, Darwin, Gladstone, Tennyson, and Holmes. His parents came from North Carolina and settled on a farm near Belleville in Monroe County. When 15 years old he was apprenticed to a watchmaker in St. Louis, and in 1829 opened a shop in Jacksonville, this State. In a few years he returned to Belleville and removed to Chicago in 1845 and has lived in this city every since. In 1843 he married Lucinda Robinson of Waterloo. Mr. Nowlin opened his forst store in Chicago in Clark street, opposite the Sherman House. Two years later he removed to Lake street, west of Wells. Then he took a partner and opened a more pretentious jewelry store at the corner of Clark and Randolph streets, under the firm name of Nowlin & McIlwain [sic]. The firm prospered until the great fire of 1871 wiped out the establishment and also Mr. Nowlin's home on the North Side. He lost everything and was obliged to return to his trade. In a few years, however, he was able to establish himself in business again in La Salle street, near Madison. In 1890, at the age of 82, he retired and has since lived with his granddaughter. Mr. Nowlin visited the scenes of his youth in southern Illinois and St. Louis in 1894, when he was 86 years old. He was one of the first members of the old Clark Street Methodist Church and is still actively interested in church work. His health is good and his memory only slightly impaired.

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