Anson Stager

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Anson Stager
Anson Stager
Born(1825-04-22)April 22, 1825
Ontario County, New York
DiedMarch 26, 1885(1885-03-26) (aged 59)
Chicago, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service1861 - 1866
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held Military Telegraph Department
Battles/wars American Civil War
Other workPresident of Western Electric Manufacturing Company

Anson Stager (April 20, 1825 - March 26, 1885) was the co-founder of Western Union, the first president of Western Electric Manufacturing Company and a Union Army officer, where he was head of the Military Telegraph Department during the American Civil War. [1]

The Western Union Company is an American worldwide financial services and communications company. Its headquarters is in Meridian, Colorado, although the postal designation of nearby Englewood is used in its mailing address. Up until it discontinued the service in 2006, Western Union was globally the best-known American company in the business of exchanging telegrams.

Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company that served as the primary supplier to AT&T from 1881 to 1996, and to the local Bell Operating Companies until 1984. The company was responsible for many technological innovations and seminal developments in industrial management. It also served as the purchasing agent for the member companies of the Bell System.

Union Army Land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States as a working, viable republic.



He was born in Ontario County, New York. [2] At age sixteen, Stager began working as an apprentice on the Rochester Daily Advertiser [3] for a printer and telegraph builder named Henry O'Reilly of Rochester, New York. After the latter had a telegraph line constructed from Philadelphia to Harrisburg he placed Stager in operator positions in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and then at age 21 he was put in charge of the first Lancaster, Pennsylvania office in 1846. In the spring of 1848, he was made chief operator of the "National lines" at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he made several improvements in battery and wire arrangement. In 1852 Stager was promoted to superintendent, and also served as the first general superintendent of Western Union Company, newly consolidated in 1856. [4]

Ontario County, New York County in the United States

Ontario County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 107,931. The county seat is Canandaigua.

Electrical telegraph A telegraph is a form of communication in the 1830s

An electrical telegraph was a point-to-point text messaging system, used from the 1840s until better systems became widespread. It used coded pulses of electric current through dedicated wires to transmit information over long distances. It was the first electrical telecommunications system, the most widely used of a number of early messaging systems called telegraphs, devised to send text messages more rapidly than written messages could be sent.

Rochester, New York City in Western New York

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

After the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Stager was requested by Ohio governor William Dennison, Jr. to manage the telegraphs in southern Ohio and along the Virginia Line. Stager obliged and immediately prepared a cipher by which he could securely communicate with those who had the key (notably the governors of Illinois and Indiana). In October he was called to Washington and appointed head of the Military Telegraph Department, which oversaw government telegraphs in all departments. [5] He remained in service until 1866, continuing to lead the department as civilian until September 1868; and was made a brevet brigadier general of volunteers for his war service.

Virginia Line

The Virginia Line was a formation within the Continental Army. The term "Virginia Line" referred to the quota of numbered infantry regiments assigned to Virginia at various times by the Continental Congress. These, together with similar contingents from the other twelve states, formed the Continental Line. The concept was particularly important in relation to the promotion of commissioned officers. Officers of the Continental Army below the rank of brigadier general were ordinarily ineligible for promotion except in the line of their own state.

Cipher algorithm for encrypting and decrypting information

In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption—a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. To encipher or encode is to convert information into cipher or code. In common parlance, "cipher" is synonymous with "code", as they are both a set of steps that encrypt a message; however, the concepts are distinct in cryptography, especially classical cryptography.

Illinois American State

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

In 1869 Stager moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he served as president of Western Electric. He was also president of the Chicago Telephone Company and president of the Western Edison Company, and secured a consolidation of the two. [6]

Chicago city and county seat of Cook County, Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most-populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third-most-populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most-populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second-most-populous county in the US, and portions of the city extend westward into neighboring DuPage County. It is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third-most-populous in the nation.

Commonwealth Edison, commonly known as ComEd, is the largest electric utility in Illinois, and the sole electric provider in Chicago and much of Northern Illinois. Its service territory stretches roughly from Iroquois County to the south, the Wisconsin border to the north, the Iowa border to the west, and the Indiana border to the east. In September 2011, ComEd named the first woman to the CEO post, Anne Pramaggiore. When she was promoted within Exelon, ComEd's parent company, Joe Dominguez was named CEO and COO Terence Donnelly was named president while retaining the title COO.

Anson Stager died in Chicago, Illinois on March 26, 1885 and was survived by three daughters.

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  1. "Biography at". Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Stager, Anson"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
  3. Biography at
  4. Cleveland Past and Present at
  5. Biography Archived 2009-01-19 at the Wayback Machine at
  6. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York City, New York: J. T. White Co. 1910. p. 110.

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