Alvah Curtis Roebuck was a watch repairman from Indiana when he answered Sears' advertisement in the newspaper. Roebuck had always dreamed of heading west, but with the ad decided north was just as well. Not nearly as business savvy as his future partner, Roebuck offered Sears a complete knowledge of watches necessary for their business arrangements to work.
Curtis Roebuck
When Sears decided to retire at the age of twenty-five, he sold half of his company to Roebuck, who change the name to A. C. Roebuck. When Sears retired for the second time, he sold his stock to Roebuck. And when Sears decided to come out of retirement for the second time, he bought into Roebuck's business (which was originally his own) and helped build it to immense proportions. After one year as a silent partner, Sears and Roebuck changed the name of the business to the well-known Sears, Roebuck & Co.

The business continued to grow. Sears and Roebuck were putting in long hours. Where Sears thrived on the bustle of business, Roebuck grew ill. In 1895 he sold his share of the company, gaining $25,000 in return. In just a few more years, his share would have been worth millions. Roebuck maintained his ties with Sears, even returning to head the watch and jewelry department later. However, he also built another financial portfolio, buying real estate in Florida.

When the depression hit, Roebuck lost all of his income. He approached the company that still bore his name for some sort of work. Sears, Roebuck & Co. hired the co-founder to write the history of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and to represent the company at grand-openings and press events for wages. As the only remaining founder of Sears, Roebuck & Co. most people viewed Roebuck as a celebrity.

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