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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....

Article

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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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 ...

Article

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....