Buttonwood [´bAtnwud] Street, Philadelphia [fIlq´delfjq], where Frank Cowperwood [´kaVpqwud] spent the first ten years of his life, was a lovely place for a boy to live in. There were mainly red brick houses there with small marble steps leading up to the front doors. There were trees in the street - a lot of them. Behind each house there was a garden with trees and grass and sometimes flowers.
The Cowperwoods, father and mother, were happy with their children. Henry Cowperwood, the father of the family, started life as a bank clerk, but when Frank, his elder son, was ten, Henry Cowperwood became a teller at the bank. As his position grew more responsible, his business connections increased. He already knew a number of rich businessmen who dealt with the bank where he worked. The brokers knew him as representing a well-known firm and considered him to be a most reliable person.
Young Cowperwood took on interest in his father's progress. He was quite often allowed to come to the bank on Saturdays, when he would watch with great interest the quick exchange of bills. He wanted to know where all the different kinds of money came from, and what the men did with all the money they received. His father, pleased at his interest, was glad to explain, so that even at this early age - from ten to fifteen - the boy gained a wide knowledge of the condition of the country financially. He was also interested in stocks and bonds, and he learned that some stocks and bonds were not even worth the paper they were written on, and others were worth much more than their face value showed.