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Marshall Field

Photo credit: Chicago History Museum
Marshall Field: the man. Photo credit: Chicago History Museum
Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Marshall Field and Company: the department store Photo credit: Alan Brunettin

If you look at a satellite map view of the Marshall Field’s building on State Street (which now houses a Macy’s department store), you see not one large building, but several. This perspective helps tell the story not only of Field’s store, but also of his success — which grew in leaps and bounds (and buildings) as he fulfilled his mission to “give the lady what she wants.”

Field was an early employee of, and later a partner in, Potter Palmer’s dry goods store. Before long, he owned the store — and built it into an empire. By the time of Field's death in 1906, he was considered the leading merchant in America.