Samuel Marshall & Charles Ilsley
When Samuel Marshall opened the doors of Samuel Marshall & Co. Exchange Brokers in Wisconsin in 1847, he was only 26 years old. Yet he succeeded where others had failed. Early settlers to the region had seen several banks fall due to unstable economic conditions and the questionable paper money they printed, and people were highly suspicious of such financial enterprises. But Samuel Marshall had done his homework on Wisconsin. He also had keen financial instincts and old-fashioned common sense. He recognized that the success of his enterprise would depend on his ability to seek good advice. A keen judge of character, Marshall chose his early business mentors wisely. One of them was Charles Ilsley. When the two men formed the team of Marshall & Ilsley in 1849, they established a banking partnership that would grow with the new city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin throughout 50 years together – and well beyond.