The Autobiography of William Henry Donner has disappointed me in some ways, the main one being that it is largely impersonal. It mostly tells the stories of W.H.D.'s business successes (and a few failures). Of course, if that is what I had wanted, it would be great. Anyway, here is a chapter that is more personal and amusing, if you don't mind what might be considered some mild anti-Semitism. (Color not added, i.e. color in the original.)
Chapter 23. See Yourself as Others See You. Year 1895. When living in Anderson I left a pair of shoes with a cobbler to be repaired, but forgot to pick them up on the way home from work. I needed them that evening & asked my brother Fred, who was stopping with us & working in the mill, if he would go down to the cobbler near the post office and get them for me. I explained that Mrs. Donner and I were going out for dinner, that I needed them and was crowded for time. Fred replied, 'Certainly.' He started off, located the cobbler's shop as directed and asked for Mr. Donner's shoes. He was told 'I have no shoes for Mr. Donner.' Fred then asked if there was another cobbler nearby and was told there wasn't, but there was one two squares away. My brother concluded that the shoes must be in this shop and looked around. He discovered a pair which he thought were probably mine. He offered to pay for the repairs, take them home, and return them in the morning if they were not his brother's, to which the man agreed. When Fred brought them home and I said they were mine, he immediately began to roar with laughter & said that when he asked to whom they belonged the cobbler stated, 'I don't know the man's name, but he passes here frequently before seven o'clock in the morning, is always in a hurry, and looks like a Jew.' Fred thought it was a good joke and circulated the story among my friends.