The life of I. J. 'Izzi' Wagner mirrors the development of Salt Lake City during the twentieth century—from poverty and obscurity to affluence and prominence. Wagner was born in poverty, but through hard work, wise management, and good luck, he built a fortune. He also changed the city for the better—leading the movement to eliminate overhead signs on Main Street, opening the southwest quadrant to controlled industrial development, ridding the city center of railroad tracks, funding the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts, and using his substantial influence to promote tolerance.
His sense of humor was legendary. His tenacity in pursuit of goals was unwavering. His grasp of past, present, and future opportunities was profound. Bags to Riches shows the personal side of an 'outsider' who became an 'insider' through congeniality, good humor, and integrity.
In 1847, young Dr. Abraham Van Norstrand left Vermont to seek his fortune in the West, but in Wisconsin his business ventures failed, and a medical practice among hard-up settlers added little to his pocketbook. During the Civil War he organized and ran one of the army’s biggest hospitals but resigned when dark rumors surfaced about him. Back home, he accepted with mixed feelings the one prestigious position available to him: superintendent of the state’s first hospital for the insane.
Van Norstrand was a newcomer to the so-called “Hospital Movement,” perhaps the boldest public policy innovation of its time, one whose leaders believed that they could achieve what had long been regarded as impossible, to cure the insane. He was a driven man with scant sympathy for those he considered misfits or malingerers. Even so, early observers were impressed with his energetic, take-charge manner at the hospital. Here at last was a man who stood firm where his predecessors had weakened and foundered. But others began to detect a different side to this tireless ruler and adroit politician. It was said that he assaulted patients and served them tainted food purchased with state money from his own grocery store. Was he exploiting the weak for personal gain or making the best of a thankless situation? Out of this fog of suspicion emerged a moral crusader and—to all appearances—pristine do-gooder named Samuel Hastings, a man whose righteous fury, once aroused, proved equal to Van Norstrand’s own.
The story of Abraham Van Norstrand’s rise and fall is also the story of the clash between the great expectations and hard choices that have bedeviled public mental hospitals from the beginning.
Sharp, resourceful, and with a style all her own, Althea Altemus embodied the spirit of the independent working woman of the Jazz Age. In her memoir, Big Bosses, she vividly recounts her life as a secretary for prominent (but thinly disguised) employers in Chicago, Miami, and New York during the late teens and 1920s. Alongside her we rub elbows with movie stars, artists, and high-profile businessmen, and experience lavish estate parties that routinely defied the laws of Prohibition.
Beginning with her employment as a private secretary to James Deering of International Harvester, whom she describes as “probably the world’s oldest and wealthiest bachelor playboy,” Altemus tells us much about high society during the time, taking us inside Deering’s glamorous Miami estate, Vizcaya, an Italianate mansion worthy of Gatsby himself. Later, we meet her other notable employers, including Samuel Insull, president of Chicago Edison; New York banker S. W. Straus; and real estate developer Fred F. French. We cinch up our trenchcoats and head out sleuthing in Chicago, hired by the wife of a big boss to find out how he spends his evenings (with, it turns out, a mistress hidden in an apartment within his office, no less). Altemus was also a struggling single mother, a fact she had to keep secret from her employers, and she reveals the difficulties of being a working woman at the time through glimpses into women’s apartments, their friendships, and the dangers—sexual and otherwise—that she and others faced. Throughout, Altemus entertains with a tart and self-aware voice that combines the knowledge of an insider with the wit and clarity of someone on the fringe.
Anchored by extensive annotation and an afterword from historian Robin F. Bachin, which contextualizes Altemus’s narrative, Big Bosses provides a one-of-a-kind peek inside the excitement, extravagances, and the challenges of being a working woman roaring through the ’20s.
"John Tishman is a true pioneer in the Construction Management industry. Through his CM leadership, some of America's most well-known buildings have been brought to successful completion."
---Bruce D'Agostino, president and chief executive, Construction Management Association of America
"Building Tall will provide readers with insights into John Tishman's career as a visionary engineer, landmark builder, and great businessman. Responsible for some of the construction world's most magnificent projects, John is one of the preeminent alumni in the history of Michigan Engineering. His perspectives have helped me throughout my time as dean, and his impact will influence generations of Construction Management professionals and students."
---David C. Munson, Jr., Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, University of Michigan
In this memoir, University of Michigan graduate John L. Tishman recounts the experiences and rationale that led him to create the entirely new profession now recognized and practiced as Construction Management. It evolved from his work as the construction lead of the "owner/builder" firm Tishman Realty and Construction, and his personal role as hands-on Construction Manager in the building of an astonishing array of what were at the time the world's tallest and most complex projects. These include
The world's first three 100-story towers---the original "twin towers" of the World Trade Center in Manhattan and the Hancock Tower in Chicago. The Epcot Center at Disney World. The Renaissance Center in Detroit. New York's Madison Square Garden.
Tishman interweaves the stories behind the construction of these and many other important buildings and projects with personal reminiscences of his dealings with Henry Ford, Jr., Disney's Michael Eisner, casino magnate Steve Wynn, and many others into a practical history of the field of Construction Management, which he pioneered.
This book will be of interest not only to a general public interested in the stories and personalities behind many of the most iconic construction projects of the post–World War II period in the United States but to students of engineering and architecture and members of the new field of Construction Management.
Businessman, politician, broadcasting personality, and newspaper publisher, Cas Walker (1902–1998) was, by his own estimation, a “living legend” in Knoxville for much of the twentieth century. Renowned for his gravelly voice and country-boy persona, he rose from blue-collar beginnings to make a fortune as a grocer whose chain of supermarkets extended from East Tennessee into Virginia and Kentucky. To promote his stores, he hosted a local variety show, first on radio and then TV, that advanced the careers of many famed country music artists from a young Dolly Parton to Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, and Bill Monroe. As a member of the Knoxville city council, he championed the “little man” while ceaselessly irritating the people he called the “silk-stocking crowd.”
This wonderfully entertaining book brings together selections from interviews with a score of Knoxvillians, various newspaper accounts, Walker’s own autobiography, and other sources to present a colorful mosaic of Walker’s life. The stories range from his flamboyant advertising schemes—as when he buried a man alive outside one of his stores—to memories of his inimitable managerial style—as when he infamously canned the Everly Brothers because he didn’t like it when they began performing rock ’n’ roll. Further recollections call to mind Walker’s peculiar brand of bare-knuckle politics, his generosity to people in need, his stance on civil rights, and his lifelong love of coon hunting (and coon dogs). The book also traces his decline, hastened in part by a successful libel suit brought against his muckraking weekly newspaper, the Watchdog.
It’s said that any Knoxvillian born before 1980 has a Cas Walker story. In relating many of those stories in the voices of those who still remember him, this book not only offers an engaging portrait of the man himself and his checkered legacy, but also opens a new window into the history and culture of the city in which he lived and thrived.
Carl A. Gerstacker was born in 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio. At an early age his father, Rollin, instilled in him an interest in finance and the stock market. In 1930, when Carl turned fourteen, Rollin advised his son to withdraw his paper-route and odd-job money from a local bank and invest it all in The Dow Chemical Company. It was the beginning of a relationship that would last a lifetime. After high school, Carl landed an hourly position with Dow Chemical as a lab assistant and, at the same time, pursued an engineering degree at the University of Michigan as part of the company’s student training course. After graduating in 1938, Gerstacker continued to work for Dow Chemical until the outbreak of World War II when he joined the U.S. Army. Returning to civilian life in 1946, he was rehired by Dow and quickly moved up the corporate ladder, becoming Treasurer in 1949, Vice-President in 1955, and Chairman of the Board in 1960, a position he retained until 1976. He retired five years later in 1981.
Carl Gerstacker was a business leader who believed that every company had a special personality and that the Dow personality was largely shaped by its employees. “For Dow Chemical, people are the most important asset, not the patents, the plants, nor the products.” Gerstacker’s personal financial acumen was rivaled only by his own contributions to the sound corporate growth of Dow Chemical, a business he loved and to which he devoted his life. Gerstacker died in 1995, leaving a legacy that lives on in the form of numerous philanthropic endeavors he began during his lifetime and on whose boards he once served. Carl A. Gerstacker was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century American industry.
Recent biographies of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, have portrayed him as anything from a schizophrenic wandering ascetic to a hedonistic pleasure-seeker. But who was the real man behind the misconceptions?
In this spiritual biography, Ray Silverman explores the stories and the popular misconceptions about Johnny Appleseed as well as the truths behind the legends. As a businessman, Chapman owned nineteen nurseries and twenty other land holdings throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, brokering deals that belie the popular image of him as a wandering nomad with a tin pot on his head. But it is only once we talk about Chapman’s spiritual convictions that we come to the core of who he was: a thoughtful and also joyful Christian who was deeply moved by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.
The picture that emerges is of a lighthearted person whose convictions led him to seek harmony not only in nature but in the spiritual realms also—and to share his bounty with as many people as he could.
This carefully researched and illuminating biography recounts a pivotal period in Utah’s history as revealed by the life of businessman, community activist, and statesman Joe Rosenblatt. After successfully building Eimco Corporation, his manufacturing and construction business, into an industry leader—and, by the 1950s, Utah’s largest privately owned company—Rosenblatt spent the better part of his time following his retirement in 1963 as a devoted public servant. He served as chairman of the “Little Hoover Commission,” charged by Utah governor Calvin Rampton in 1965 to investigate the operation of the executive branch of the state’s government. He would go on to serve on more than fifty boards and commissions.
The “Little Hoover Commission” was modeled after the 1947 initiative of President Harry Truman, who created the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government to recommend administrative changes and appointed former president Herbert Hoover to chair it. Rosenblatt, a perceptive and outspoken figure, brought a much-needed dose of urgency and pragmatism to the Utah process and formulated a number of far-reaching suggestions to the legislature—many of which were adopted and still exist to this day. His work with the commission coupled with his later role on the San Francisco Federal Reserve Board did much to modernize Utah. Rosenblatt’s legacy as a perpetual champion of the community is further exemplified by his role as cultural conduit between Salt Lake’s Jewish community and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This readable work will serve as an integral addition to Utah business and political history, enriching the library of anyone looking for an engaging story of a remarkable and transformative figure.
Detroit's Cold War locates the roots of American conservatism in a city that was a nexus of labor and industry in postwar America. Drawing on meticulous archival research focusing on Detroit, Colleen Doody shows how conflict over business values and opposition to labor, anticommunism, racial animosity, and religion led to the development of a conservative ethos in the aftermath of World War II.
Using Detroit--with its large population of African-American and Catholic immigrant workers, strong union presence, and starkly segregated urban landscape--as a case study, Doody articulates a nuanced understanding of anticommunism during the Red Scare. Looking beyond national politics, she focuses on key debates occurring at the local level among a wide variety of common citizens. In examining this city's social and political fabric, Doody illustrates that domestic anticommunism was a cohesive, multifaceted ideology that arose less from Soviet ideological incursion than from tensions within the American public.
Diamonds in the Rough reconstructs the historical moment that defined the Cahaba Coal Field, a mineral-rich area that stretches across sixty-seven miles and four counties of central Alabama.
Combining existing written sources with oral accounts and personal recollections, James Sanders Day’s Diamonds in the Rough describes the numerous coal operations in this region—later overshadowed by the rise of the Birmingham district and the larger Warrior Field to the north.
Many of the capitalists are the same: Truman H. Aldrich, Henry F. DeBardeleben, and James W. Sloss, among others; however, the plethora of small independent enterprises, properties of the coal itself, and technological considerations distinguish the Cahaba from other Alabama coal fields. Relatively short-lived, the Cahaba coal-mining operation spanned from discovery in the 1840s through development, boom, and finally bust in the mid-1950s.
Day considers the chronological discovery, mapping, mining, and marketing of the field’s coal as well as the issues of convict leasing, town development, welfare capitalism, and unionism, weaving it all into a rich tapestry. At the heart of the story are the diverse people who lived and worked in the district—whether operator or miner, management or labor, union or nonunion, white or black, immigrant or native—who left a legacy for posterity now captured in Diamonds in the Rough. Largely obscured today by pine trees and kudzu, the mining districts of the Cahaba Coal Field forever influenced the lives of countless individuals and families, and ultimately contributed to the whole fabric of the state of Alabama.
Winner of the 2014 Clinton Jackson Coley Award for Best Work on Alabama Local History from the Alabama Historical Association
Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.
Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.
In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.
Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.
Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.
The Gambler King of Clark Street tells the story of a larger-than-life figure who fused Chicago’s criminal underworld with the city’s political and commercial spheres to create an urban machine built on graft, bribery, and intimidation. Lindberg vividly paints the life of the Democratic kingmaker against the wider backdrop of nineteenth-century Chicago crime and politics.
McDonald has long been cited in the published work of city historians, members of academia, and the press as the principal architect of a unified criminal enterprise that reached into the corridors of power in Chicago, Cook County, the state of Illinois, and ultimately the Oval Office. The Gambler King of Clark Street is both a major addition to Chicago’s historical literature and a revealing biography of a powerful and troubled man.
Illinois State Historical Society Scholarly Award, Certificate of Excellence, 2009
Society of Midland Authors Biography Award, 2009
The headline, “Where Glass is King,” emblazoned Toledo newspapers in early 1888, before factories in the Ohio city had even produced their first piece of glass. After years of struggling to find an industrial base, Toledo had attracted Edward Drummond Libbey and his struggling New England Glass Company to the shores of the Maumee River, and many felt Toledo’s potential as “The Future Great City of the World” would at last be realized.
The move was successful—though not on the level some boosters envisioned—and since 1888, Toledo glass factories have employed thousands of workers who created the city’s middle class and developed technical innovations that impacted the glass industry worldwide. But as has occurred in other cities dominated by single industries—from Detroit to Pittsburgh to Youngstown—changes to the industry it built have had a devastating impact on Toledo. Today, 45 percent of all glass is manufactured in China.
Well-researched yet accessible, this new book explores how the economic, cultural, and social development of the Glass City intertwined with its namesake industry and examines Toledo’s efforts to reinvent itself amidst the Midwest’s declining manufacturing sector.
The first biography of Henry Bradley Plant, the entrepreneur and business magnate considered the father of modern Florida
In this landmark biography, Canter Brown Jr. makes evident the extent of Henry Bradley Plant’s influences throughout North, Central, and South America as well as his role in the emergence of integrated transportation and a national tourism system. One of the preeminent historians of Florida, Brown brings this important but understudied figure in American history to the foreground.
Henry Bradley Plant: Gilded Age Dreams for Florida and a New South carefully examines the complicated years of adventure and activity that marked Plant’s existence, from his birth in Connecticut in 1819 to his somewhat mysterious death in New York City in 1899. Brown illuminates Plant’s vision and perspectives for the state of Florida and the country as a whole and traces many of his influences back to events from his childhood and early adulthood. The book also elaborates on Plant’s controversial Civil War relationships and his utilization of wartime earnings in the postwar era to invest in the bankrupt Southern rail lines. With the success of his businesses such as the Southern Express Company and the Tampa Bay Hotel, Plant transformed Florida into a hub for trade and tourism—traits we still recognize in the Florida of today.
This thoroughly researched biography fills important gaps in Florida’s social and economic history and sheds light on a historical figure to an extent never previously undertaken or sufficiently appreciated. Both informative and innovative, Brown’s volume will be a valuable resource for scholars and general readers interested in Southern history, business history, Civil War–era history, and transportation history.
Anthony Di Renzo makes available for the first time since their original publication some eighty years ago a collection of fifteen of Sinclair Lewis’ s early business stories.
Among Lewis’ s funniest satires, these stories introduce the characters, themes, and techniques that would evolve into Babbitt. Each selection reflects the commercial culture of Lewis’ s day, particularly Reason Why advertising, self-help manuals, and the business fiction of the Saturday Evening Post. The stories were published between October 1915 and May 1921 (nine in the Saturday Evening Post, four in Metropolitan Magazine, one in Harper’ s Magazine, and one in American Magazine).
Because some things have not changed in the American workplace since Lewis’ s day, these highly entertaining and unflinchingly accurate office satires will appeal to the fans of Dilbert and The Drew Carey Show. In a sense, they provide lay readers with an archaeology of white-collar angst and regimentation. The horror and absurdities of contemporary corporate downsizing already existed in the office of the Progressive Era. For an audience contemplating the death of the American middle class, Lewis’ s stories provide an important retrospective on earlier times and a preliminary autopsy on the American dream.
Appearing just in time to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the publication of Babbitt, this collection rescues Lewis’ s best early short fiction from obscurity, provides extensive information about his formative years in advertising and public relations, and analyzes both his genius for marketing and his carefully cultivated persona as the Great Salesman of American letters.
Driven by grit and determination during the Depression, John Ruan parlayed a one-truck business into Ruan Transportation Management Systems, one of the nation’s leading trucking, leasing, and logistics companies. The trucking business made John Ruan one of the wealthiest and most influential people in Iowa and was the foundation for his vast fortune which included interests in insurance, banking, financial services, international trade, and real estate.
In the 1970s and 80s, Ruan led Des Moines’s renaissance with the construction of the 36-story original Ruan Center, the Marriott Hotel tower, and the Two Ruan Center office complex. But his contributions reached far beyond the confines of Iowa. As a philanthropist, Ruan was a long-time sponsor of the World Food Prize, which recognizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people.
Based on extensive interviews with Ruan, family members, business associates, friends, and colleagues, as well as privately held papers and archives, In for the Long Haul presents a discerning portrait of this hard-charging yet compassionate businessman.
Brett Sheehan Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress HC427.8.S45 2015 | Dewey Decimal 338.092251
This study of the evolution of Chinese capitalism chronicles the Song family of North China under five successive authoritarian governments. Brett Sheehan shows both foreign and Chinese influences on private business, which, although closely linked to the state, was neither a handmaiden to authoritarianism nor a natural ally of democracy.
He made a name for himself in the Missouri territory as a land speculator, entrepreneur, lawyer, militia officer, politician, and newspaper editor. He went on to take part in many of the events that shaped the young republic, and his name became a household word. But Duff Green has not found his rightful place in history—until now. W. Stephen Belko has written the first full-scale political investigation of this important figure, examining Green’s fundamental role in the politics, society, and economy of Jacksonian America.
Duff Green emerged on the national stage when he became editor of the United States Telegraph, an organizer of the fledgling Democratic Party, and one of Andrew Jackson’s chief advisers. He broke bitterly with Jackson over his feud with Vice President John C. Calhoun, then later found a place as a diplomat in John Tyler’s administration and emerged as a key figure in the popularization of Manifest Destiny and the annexation of Texas. Green also played a major role in the transportation revolution as a developer of canal and railroad projects.
Belko presents a balanced appraisal of Green’s career, particularly from 1815 to 1850, delving into his personality to tease out the motivations for his pursuit of such wide-ranging ventures. Drawing on a wealth of previously unexploited primary sources, he not only chronicles Green’s labyrinthine career but also illuminates Green’s rise in the Democratic Party; his role in the creation and development of the Whig Party; and his considerable influence on national debates regarding slavery, nullification, the National Bank, territorial expansion, and foreign relations.
For all his influence, Green has until now been either ignored or portrayed as a Calhoun minion and proslavery sectionalist in the Fireater mold. Belko revises these assessments of Green’s role in the making of Jacksonian America, showing him to be an independent westerner who was politically moderate—even less fanatical on the slavery issue than many have supposed. Belko’s research uncovers a Duff Green who was an aggressive and buoyant person, to be sure, but a democratic man of principle who is rightly called a quintessential Jacksonian.
The story of Jacksonian America cannot be fully told without Duff Green. This long-awaited study is a compelling narrative for scholars and aficionados of political or Missouri history, offering a fresh view of his crucial contributions to the antebellum era and shedding new light on the true nature of Jacksonian democracy.
Lawyer and journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Louis Houck is often called the “Father of Southeast Missouri” because he brought the railroad to the region and opened this backwater area to industrialization and modernization. Although Houck’s name is little known today outside Missouri, Joel Rhodes shows how his story has relevance for both the state and the nation.
Rhodes presents a more complete picture of Houck than has ever been available: reviewing his life from his German immigrant roots, considering his career from both social and political perspectives, and grounding the story in both state and national history. He especially tells how, from 1880 to the 1920s, this self-taught railroader constructed a network of five hundred miles of track through the wilderness of wetlands known as “Swampeast Missouri”—and how these “Houck Roads” provided a boost for population, agriculture, lumbering, and commerce that transformed Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area.
Rhodes discusses how Houck fits into the era of economic individualism—a time when men with little formal training shaped modern industry—and also gives voice to Houck’s critics and shows that he was not always an easy man to work with. In telling the story of his railroading enterprise, Rhodes chronicles Houck’s battle with the Jay Gould railroad empire and offers key insight into the development of America’s railway system, from the cutthroat practices of ruthless entrepreneurs to the often-comic ineptness of start-up rail lines.
More than simply a biography of a business entrepreneur, the book tells how Houck not only developed the region economically but also followed the lead of Andrew Carnegie by making art, culture, and formal education available to all social classes. Houck also served for thirty-six years as president of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, and as a self-taught historian he wrote the first comprehensive accounts of Missouri’s territorial period.
A Missouri Railroad Pioneer chronicles a multifaceted career that transformed a region. Solidly researched, this lively narrative also offers an entertaining read for anyone interested in Missouri history.
Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast tells the story of oilman Ralph Bramel Lloyd, a small business owner who drove the development of one of America’s largest oil fields. Lloyd invested his petroleum earnings in commercial real estate—much of it centered around automobiles and the fuel they require—in several western cities, notably Portland, Oregon. Putting the history of extractive industry in dialogue with the history of urban development, Michael R. Adamson shows how energy is woven into the fabric of modern life, and how the “energy capital” of Los Angeles exerted far-flung influence in the US West.
A contribution to the relatively understudied history of small businesses in the United States, Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast explores issues of interest to multiple audiences, such as the competition for influence over urban development waged among local growth machines and outside corporate interests; the urban rivalries of a region; the importance of public capital in mobilizing the commercial real estate sector during the Great Depression and World War II; and the relationships among owners, architects, and contractors in the execution of commercial building projects.
Wisconsin entrepreneur Ole Evinrude will inspire children in this addition to the Badger Biographies series for young readers, where the story of Ole's invention, from drawing board to factory floor, is told in a reader-friendly format that includes historic images, a glossary of terms, and sidebars explaining how an outboard motor works.
Ole Evinrude was born in Norway in 1877 and immigrated to the United States when he was five years old. The Evinrude family settled in Wisconsin and began farming, but it was clear from a very young age that Ole would not follow the family tradition. Ole Evinrude was meant to work with boats.
Building an outboard motor was not easy, though - Ole suffered numerous mechanical and financial setbacks along the way. After years of hard work and persistence, the Evinrude motor company was founded and Ole's outboard motors were an instant hit around the world. Ole continued to improve the design of his motor and attracted other entrepreneurs to the area, making Wisconsin the center of the outboard motor industry for decades.
While Gertrude Stein hosted the literati of the Left Bank, Mrs. Bates-Batcheller, an American socialite and concert singer in Paris, held sumptuous receptions for the Daughters of the American Revolution in her suburban villa. History may remember the American artists, writers, and musicians of the Left Bank best, but the reality is that there were many more American businessmen, socialites, manufacturers’ representatives, and lawyers living on the other side of the River Seine. Be they newly minted American countesses married to foreigners with impressive titles or American soldiers who had settled in France after World War I with their French wives, they provide a new view of the notion of expatriates.
Nancy L. Green thus introduces us for the first time to a long-forgotten part of the American overseas population—predecessors to today’s expats—while exploring the politics of citizenship and the business relationships, love lives, and wealth (and poverty for some) of Americans who staked their claim to the City of Light. The Other Americans in Paris shows that elite migration is a part of migration tout court and that debates over “Americanization” have deep roots in the twentieth century.
Clay County, Arkansas, was a flatland with little improvements at the outset of the twentieth century. Into this primitive society came a St. Louis entrepreneur with a liking for agriculture. Paul Pfeiffer bought large tracts of land, set up tenant farmers, and reigned for nearly fifty years as a beneficent landlord. Laymon records the gratitude of many a family who remember with appreciation loans made to acquire equipment. When farming was interrupted by the coming of the railroad, both Pfeiffer and his tenants adapted to a lumbering economy—so long as the hardwood forest lasted. Interestingly, Laymon’s account includes the fate of tenants following the break-up of “Pfeiffer Country.”
An Ohio family with roots in the South, the Ewings influenced the course of the Midwest for more than fifty years. Patriarch Thomas Ewing, a former Whig senator and cabinet member who made his fortune as a real estate lawyer, raised four major players in the nation’s history—including William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman, taken into the family as a nine-year-old, who went on to marry his foster sister Ellen. Ronald D. Smith now tells of this extraordinary clan that played a role on the national stage through the illustrious career of one of its sons.
In Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General, Smith introduces us to the Ewing family, little known except among scholars of Sherman, to show that Tom Jr. had a remarkable career of his own: first as a real estate lawyer, judge, soldier, and speculator in Kansas, then as a key figure in national politics. Smith takes readers back to Bleeding Kansas, with its border ruffians and land speculators, reconstructing the rough-and-tumble of its courtrooms to demonstrate that its turmoil was as much about claim-jumping as about slavery. He describes the seat-of-the-pants law practice in which Ewing worked with his brothers Hugh and Charlie and foster brother Cump. He then tells how Tom came to national prominence in the fight over the proslavery Lecompton Constitution, was instrumental in starting up the Union Pacific Railroad, and became the first chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Ewing obtained a commission in the Union Army—as did his brothers—and raised a regiment that saw significant action in Arkansas and Missouri. After William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, he issued the dramatic General Order No. 11 that expelled residents from sections of western Missouri. Then this confidant of Abraham Lincoln’s went on to courageously defend three of the assassination conspirators—including the disingenuous Samuel Mudd—and lobbied the key vote to block the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
Smith examines Ewing’s life in meticulous detail, mining family correspondence for informative quotes and digging deep into legal records to portray lawmaking on the frontier. And while Sherman has been the focus of most previous work on the Ewings, this book fills the gaps in an interlocking family of remarkable people—one that helped shape a nation’s development in its courtrooms and business suites. Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General retells a chapter of Kansas history and opens up a panoramic view of antebellum America, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age.
Thomas F. Walsh tells the story of one of the West's wealthiest mining magnates - an Irish American prospector and lifelong philanthropist who struck it rich in Ouray County, Colorado.
In the first complete biography of Thomas Walsh, John Stewart recounts the tycoon's life from his birth in 1850 and his beginnings as a millwright and carpenter in Ireland to his tenacious, often fruitless mining work in the Black Hills and Colorado, which finally led to his discovery of an extremely rich vein of gold ore in the Imogene Basin. Walsh's Camp Bird Mine yielded more than $20 million worth of gold and other minerals in twenty years, and the mine's 1902 sale to British investors made Walsh very wealthy.
He achieved national prominence, living with his family in mansions in Colorado and Washington, D.C., and maintaining a rapport with Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft, as well as King Leopold II of Belgium.
Despite his fame and lavish lifestyle, Walsh is remembered as an unassuming and philanthropic man who treated his employees well. In addition to making many anonymous donations, he established the Walsh Library in Ouray and a library near his Irish birthplace, and helped establish a research fund for the study of radium and other rare western minerals at the Colorado School of Mines. Walsh gave his employees at the Camp Bird Mine top pay and lodged them in an alpine boardinghouse featuring porcelain basins, electric lighting, and excellent food.
Stewart's engaging account explores the exceptional path of this Colorado mogul in detail, bringing Walsh and his time to life.
Rocco C. Siciliano broke new ground as the first Italian-American to serve in the White House as an assistant to the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. At 31, "Ike’s Youngest" attained a prominence not suggested in his humble beginnings in Salt Lake City, Utah. But his upbringing in the Mormon-dominated community, where he balanced the heritage of his striving immigrant parents with his own aspirations for success, prepared him for a wide variety of service. This service includes leading a special weapons platoon in the 10th Mountain Division in World War II, bringing Martin Luther King Jr. to meet with President Eisenhower, and becoming a recognized business leader in California.
Siciliano used his expertise in labor, personnel management, and business to contribute substantively to the J. Paul Getty Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Committee for Economic Development, and the "Volcker" Commission on Public Service, among others.
The variety of Siciliano’s experiences reinvigorates our understanding of the forgotten art of public service. Walking on Sand emphasizes the role that public service can play for corporations, communities, states, and the nation. This story is a gift from the Greatest Generation to the many people who serve America today and will serve her tomorrow.
Strange as it may seem today, William Clark—best known as the American explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis in leading an overland expedition to the Pacific—has many more claims to fame than his legendary Voyage of Discovery, dramatic and daring though that venture may have been. Although studies have been published on virtually every aspect of the Lewis and Clark journey, Wilderness Journey is the first comprehensive account of Clark’s lengthy and multifaceted life.
Following Lewis and Clark’s great odyssey, Clark’s service as a soldier, Indian diplomat, and government official placed him at center stage in the national quest to possess and occupy North America’s vast western hinterland and prefigured U.S. policies in the region. In his personal life, Clark had to overcome challenges no less daunting than those he faced in the public arena. Foley pays careful attention to the family and business dimensions of Clark’s private world, adding richness to this well-rounded and revealing portrait of the man and his courageous life.
Coinciding with the bicentennial in 2004 of the departure of Lewis and Clark’s famed Corps of Discovery, Wilderness Journey fills a major gap in scholarship. Intended for the general reader, as well as for specialists in the field, this fascinating book provides a well-balanced and thorough account of one of America’s most significant frontiersmen.