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Julius H. Barnes. Right, with Thomas Lamont, left, and Silas Strawn. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92371).

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Barnes, Julius Howland (02 February 1873–17 April 1959), industrialist and government official, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of Lucien Jerome Barnes, a banker, and Julia Hill. Moving with his family, he attended public schools in Washington, D.C., and Duluth, Minnesota. Following his father’s death in 1886, Barnes left school to take a job as office boy with the Duluth grain brokerage firm of Wardell Ames. There he rose rapidly, becoming president of the company in 1910 and subsequently reorganizing it as the Barnes-Ames Company. By 1915 Barnes-Ames was the world’s largest grain exporter, and Barnes acquired other business interests, principally in shipbuilding and Great Lakes shipping. In 1896 he married Harriet Carey, with whom he had two children....

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Higgins, Andrew Jackson (28 August 1886–01 August 1952), industrialist and shipbuilder, was born in Columbus, Nebraska, the son of John Gonegal Higgins and Annie Long O’Conor. His father, a judge and newspaper editor, was a close friend of Grover Cleveland. Intense loyalty to the Democratic party inspired Judge Higgins to name his son after the seventh president. Andrew Jackson Higgins attended public schools in Columbus and Omaha and then Creighton Preparatory School from 1900 to 1903....

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Johnson, Philip Gustav (05 November 1894–14 September 1944), aviation industrialist, was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of recent Swedish immigrants Charles S. Johnson, a laundry owner, and Hanna Gustavson. In 1913, rebuffing pressure to join the family laundry business, Johnson began studying mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. He was recruited in 1917 while still a student to work in ...

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William Henry Vanderbilt. Engraving by A. H. Ritchie. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-38787).

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Vanderbilt, William Henry (08 May 1821–08 December 1885), railroad industrialist, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794–1877) and Sophia Johnson. The elder Vanderbilt operated a ferry between New Jersey and Manhattan, and the home atmosphere was one of frugality and hard work. The family moved to Manhattan when William was eight....