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Marshall Field, 1835 -1906
This giant of commerce is commemorated in a memorial created by the two men who later would be responsible for the Lincoln Memorial – architect Henry Bacon & sculptor Daniel Chester French. Field, who went from store clerk to Chicago’s richest man, developed his famous company into the world’s largest wholesale and retail dry goods enterprise. French’s statue, the sad-faced woman titled “Memory,” holds oak leaves, a symbol of calm courage. The caduceus on the base, the staff of Mercury, is used today mostly to represent medicine. But we are told that here, it stands for commerce. Mercury was the classical god of commerce – as well as of skill, eloquence, cleverness, travel and thievery.