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Villard, Henry (10 April 1835–12 November 1900), railroad promoter and journalist, was born Heinrich Hilgard in Speyer, Rhenish Bavaria, the son of Gustaf Hilgard, a local judge, and Katharina Pfeiffer. His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but Villard was an indifferent student. When his father threatened to enlist him in the military, Villard immigrated to the United States in August 1853. He changed his name to Villard, after a schoolmate he admired, to make it difficult for his family to trace him and engaged in a number of jobs during his first years in the United States. Villard eventually found work as a journalist for German-language papers and later for English-language papers, covering the ...