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Homer St. Clair Pace was born in Rehoboth, Ohio on April 13, 1879. After attending local public schools, he enrolled in the Reed City, Michigan Commercial School to study stenography. Upon completing the course of study, which lasted several months, he spent two years working with his father, the publisher of the Pere Marquette Journal, a weekly newspaper in Chase, Michigan. Inscribed in one of the newspaper's account books, preserved in the archives of Pace University, is a wonderful motto which Homer surely lived by: "Treat all with respect, confide in few, wrong no man."

Like today's Pace University students, Homer was an ambitious person who was eager to do something constructive in life. Thus, following his father's death and the demise of the newspaper, he enrolled in Ferris Institute in Big Rapids, Michigan, to study business. After completing one term, Homer obtained a position as a stenographer with a law firm. Two years later, he was working as a stenographer for the War Department in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1898, his stenographic skills landed him a position with Wm. Cameron & Co. at its lumber mills in Angelina, Texas. After a few narrow escapes, including a train wreck and exposure to malaria and gunfire, Homer headed north to work for his old law firm and then, once again, for the War Department, this time at an annual salary of $1,000, which was enough to support a wife. Married in the summer of 1899, Homer Pace and Mabel Evelyn Vanderhoof Pace rented "a fine little house" with six rooms at a cost of $12 a month. In 1900 after rejecting a War Department offer to transfer to the Philippines, Homer became Private Secretary to the President of the Chicago Great Western Railroad at a salary of $1,200 a year, plus expenses.

In 1901, following the birth of his first child, a daughter named Helen, Homer headed to New York to manage the Chicago Great Western Railroad's office at 31 Nassau Street. Before long, he was Assistant Secretary of the Chicago Great Western and Secretary of its affiliated lines. By 1903 his salary was $3,600 a year. With the new titles came additional responsibilities which required knowledge of accounting. Studying on his own, Homer acquired the expertise he needed to pass the New York State C.P.A. examination in 1904, the year Robert, his first son, was born. He then resigned as Corporate Secretary of the railroad and using deferred compensation from this position, established a C.P.A. practice in 1906. Having tutored other young men preparing for the C.P.A. exam, he decided to augment his income from the accounting practice by creating a formal test preparation program. The rest, as they say, is history!

 

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