James Cash “JC” Penny
Profession: Founder JC Penney Stores
Bro James Cash “JC” Penney climbed his way from humble beginnings to the top of the international retail market by an abiding practice of the name of his first store, The Golden Rule.
In 1889 Penney took a small position in a dry goods store of the name The Golden Rule. Penney worked ambitiously and by 1902 he had impressed the owners into granting him a partnership. That year in Kemmerer, Wyoming, Penney opened his first Golden Rule Store.
Penney envisioned a chain of stores across the Rockies based on his business philosophies, and such astounding ideas as charging a flat price to all customers regardless of social status and class. In 1907 the other partners dissolved their interest in the chain, and Penney was quick to seize on the opportunity. With control of the assests of all three Golden Rule stores, Penney began making plans for aggressive openings across the Intermountain West.
By 1913 Penney had headquartered his operation in Utah, and under Utah law he was required to change the name of his stores. Thus J.C. Penney Company was born. That same year Penney formulated and put forth the Penney Idea outlining the company’s motto as Honor, Confidence, Service and Cooperation. This motto was practiced at all levels in the company, and was to be found in their mission statement and corporate vision.
Brother Penny was always an ardent philanthropist. He built a 120,000-acre farm in northern Florida where destitute farmers could go, work, and rebuild their lives. He created Memorial Home Community for retired Ministers, lay workers, and widows all this he did out his own pocket.
The James C. Penney foundation, which focuses on community renewal and the environment, is active to this day.
A member of both the Scottish and York Rites Penney was coroneted a 33rd Degree on October 16, 1945, and received the Gold Distinguished Service Award by the General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, in Kansas City, Missouri in 1958.