THE FINANCIER 
boy of his neighborhood, Jimmy Sheehan, to be his 
assistant, superintendent, stableman, bookkeeper, and 
what not. Since he began to make between four and 
five thousand a year, where before he made two thousand, 
he moved into a nice brick house in an outlying section 
of the south side, and sent his children school. Mrs. 
Butler gave up making soap and feeding pigs for house- 
work. And since then times had been exceedingly good 
with Edward Butler. 
He could neither read nor write at first; but now he 
knew how, of course. He had learned from association 
with Mr. Comiskey that there were other forms of con- 
tracting. The slop-contracting business could not en- 
dure; it had to give way to sewers, water-mains, gas- 
mains, street-paving, and the like. Who better than 
Edward Butler to do it ? He knew the councilmen, 
many of them. He had met them in the back rooms of 
saloons, on Sundays and Saturdays at political picnics, at 
election councils and conferences, for as a beneficiary 
of the city's largess he was expected to contribute not 
only money, but advice. Curiously he had developed a 
strange political wisdom. He knew a successful man or 
a coming man when he saw one. So many of his book- 
keepers, superintendents, time-keepers, and so on gradu- 
ated into councilmen and State legislators. His nominees 
—suggested to political conferences—were so often known 
to make good. They were never silly or light-headed, 
but cautious and conservative; and he could, on occasion, 
talk to them like a Dutch uncle. If a man went wrong 
(against the local political wisdom of the hour) or proved 
ungrateful, it was usually thought that Butler's men 
had nothing to do with it, and they had not. First he 
came to have influence in his councilman's ward, then in 
his legislative district, then in the city councils of his 
party—Whig, of course—and then he was supposed to 
have an organization. 
Mysterious forces worked for him in council. He was 
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