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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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Johnson Newlon Camden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101787).

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Camden, Johnson Newlon (06 March 1828–25 April 1908), oil company executive, pioneer industrialist, and U.S. senator, was born in Collins Settlement, Lewis County, Virginia (now Jacksonville, W.Va.), the son of John Scrivener Camden, a justice of the peace, and Nancy Newlon. Camden’s father bought a house and tavern in Sutton, Braxton County, and moved the family there in 1837....

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Crane, Winthrop Murray (23 April 1853–02 October 1920), industrialist, governor of Massachusetts, and U.S. senator, was born in Dalton, Massachusetts, the son of Zenas Marshall Crane, a paper manufacturer, and Louise Fanny Laflin. A member of a wealthy and politically prominent western Massachusetts family, Crane attended Wesleyan Academy (later Wilbraham Academy) in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and Williston Seminary in Easthampton. He left school in 1870 to work in his family’s paper mills. After trying every job from floor sweeper to mill superintendent, he found his niche in sales....

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Davis, Henry Gassaway (16 November 1823–11 March 1916), industrialist and U.S. senator, was born in Woodlawn, Baltimore County, Maryland, the son of Caleb Davis and Louise Warfield Brown. Davis’s father, a construction contractor who worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, suffered debilitating financial reverses when Davis was young, and his mother supported the family by operating a girls’ school....

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du Pont, T. Coleman (11 December 1863–11 November 1930), industrialist and senator, was born Thomas Coleman du Pont in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Ellen Susan Coleman and Antoine Bidermann du Pont, a businessman. He was a great-grandson of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont...

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Flanders, Ralph Edward (28 September 1880–19 February 1970), industrialist and U.S. senator, was born in Barnet, Vermont, the son of Albert Wellington Flanders, a farmer and woodworker, and Mary Lizzie Gilfillan, a schoolteacher. At the age of six his family moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and two years later to a farm near Lincoln, Rhode Island. Graduating from a country school at fifteen, the eldest of nine children in a poor family that needed his wages, he became an apprentice machinist....

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Truman H. Newberry Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98130).

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Newberry, Truman Handy (05 November 1864–03 October 1945), businessman and senator, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of John Stoughton Newberry, a lawyer, congressman, and manufacturer who founded the Michigan Car Company, and Helen Parmelee Handy. Newberry attended Michigan Military Academy in Orchard Lake, Charlier Institute in New York City, and Reed’s School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He graduated with a Ph.B. from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale College in 1885. Newberry began his business career as a staff member of the Detroit, Bay City, and Alpena Railroad, of which he became superintendent of construction. After his father’s death in 1887, Newberry assumed total control of the family’s business enterprises, including the presidency of the Detroit Steel and Spring Company. He also engaged in various other manufacturing activities. In 1888 he married Harriet Josephine Barnes, with whom he had a daughter and twin sons....

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Stettinius, Edward Reilly (15 February 1865–03 September 1925), businessman and second assistant secretary of war, was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Joseph Stettinius, a wholesale grocer, and Isabel Reilly Gorman. Edward was an excellent student who had to drop out of St. Louis University in 1881 at age sixteen to take care of his mother and chronically ill brother, his father having died years earlier. He held a number of clerical jobs over the next seven years. In the late 1880s he became involved in stock brokering with several firms. He speculated heavily and lost a great deal of money. After his mother’s death in 1891, Stettinius left for Chicago where he lost even more money on the stock market....

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Stuart Symington Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100465).

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Symington, Stuart (26 June 1901–14 December 1988), industrialist and U.S. senator, was born William Stuart Symington in Amherst, Massachusetts, the son of William Stuart Symington, a college professor and attorney, and Emily Haxall Harrison. He interrupted his education in 1918 to enlist in the army; though commissioned as a second lieutenant, he saw no battlefield action and was mustered out in 1919. That year he entered Yale University but left without a degree in 1923. In 1924, in a wedding attended by President ...

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Talbott, Harold Elstner (31 March 1888–02 March 1957), industrialist and government official, was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Harry Elstner Talbott, a civil engineer, and Katharine Houk. Talbott attended Yale University from 1907 to 1909 and then joined his father’s construction firm in Dayton. In 1916 he and his father joined with a group of investors to found the Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Company. After American entry into World War I, Dayton-Wright—with Talbott as president—became the main supplier of aircraft for the American war effort. A later investigation by ...

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Wilson, Charles Edward (18 November 1886–03 January 1972), industrialist and government official, was born in New York City, the son of George H. Wilson, a bookbinder, and Hannah Rebecca Stiles, a cleaning lady. Wilson’s father died when the boy was just three years old, leaving him and his mother in poverty. Growing up and attending public school in the notorious Hell’s Kitchen quarter, Wilson sold newspapers and gathered clams from the East River to earn whatever he could....