Arthur George Gaston (July 4, 1982 - January 19, 1996) was prominent businessman who established a number of businesses in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
After serving in World War I, Gaston went to work as a miner in a town just outside of Birmingham. It was there he began his entrepreneurial pursuits, selling lunches to his fellow miners (he was mining the miners!). He must have done quite well because soon he began loaning money to those same miners, charging them credit card type rates of 25 percent! Still working at the mine, he began offering burial insurance to co-workers and to the community, creating a small banking and insurance empire of sorts.