The Columbus Area Business Hall of Fame will this year induct its 11th class of honorees on Nov. 22nd. The Columbus Area Chamber is proud to announce the 2016 class of inductees: Chauncey Hall “C.H.” Sheldon, and Alfred “Dick” & Frank Tooley.
Chauncey Hall “C.H.” Sheldon
C.H. Sheldon was a visionary in the early days of Columbus. He was born in Jefferson, Ohio. At age 15, C.H. left school and made a contract with his father so that he could go to work for himself, rather than remaining at home until age 21 as children were expected to do at that time. He paid $60 for this privilege and worked on a neighbor’s farm for $10 per month. He completed his payment in eight months.
In 1882, he bought a section of ground in Bismark Township. C.H. moved his family to Columbus and bought a herd of shorthorn cattle. C.H. bought more land than he could personally farm, so he introduced the concept in which he would furnish the ground and necessary capital with which to operate. He allowed the operators of the farms to apply their savings to purchasing an interest in the livestock and equipment. This proved to be very successful, and a number of farmers owe their start to this plan.
He was one of the incorporators of the Commercial National Bank in 1884 and served as its president for about 20 years. He was Vice-President of the German National Bank until his death in 1917. He was a director of the Columbus Real Estate and Improvement Company, which built the Thurston Hotel, and the company also organized the Columbus Sewer and Drainage Company which constructed the first sanitary sewer in Columbus. He helped organize the local YMCA and built their first building.
C.H. had extensive land holdings throughout Nebraska and made arrangements to give a farm to each of his five grandchildren.