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Binga, Jesse (10 April 1865–13 June 1950), Chicago businessman, banker, and real estate investor, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Robert Binga, Jr., a barber, and Adelphia Powers, a builder and real estate owner. (Nearly all sources cite William W. Binga as Jesse Binga’s father, but all are based on a Dec. 1927 article by Inez V. Cantley in ...

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Corbin, Austin (11 July 1827–04 June 1896), financier, real estate developer, and railroad executive, was born in Newport, New Hampshire, the son of Austin Corbin, a farmer and politician, and Mary Chase. Corbin had little formal education. He attended the common schools in Newport and taught there briefly as a young man. He read law under two New England attorneys and then enrolled in Harvard Law School, graduating in 1849. Corbin was not an active member of the bar for very long. For two years he practiced law in Newport with Ralph Metcalf. In 1851 he moved to Davenport, Iowa, and continued as an attorney for three more years. In 1853 he married Hannah Maria Wheeler of Newport; they had four children....

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Haggin, James Ben Ali (09 December 1822–12 September 1914), mine owner, land developer, and horseman, was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, the son of Terah Temple Haggin, a lawyer and farmer, and Adeline Ben Ali, a schoolteacher. Haggin’s mother was said to have been the daughter of Ibrahim Ben Ali, an exiled Turkish army officer who settled in England and then moved to Philadelphia in the mid-1790s. Ben Ali’s residence in England is well attested, but there is no record that he ever lived in Philadelphia, where he supposedly settled and practiced medicine. Haggin may not have descended from a Turk, but he gloried in the name Ben Ali....

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Hascall, Milo Smith (05 August 1829–30 August 1904), soldier and businessman, was born in Le Roy, New York, the son of Amasa Hascall and Phoebe Ann Smith, farmers. Milo Smith Hascall spent most of his youth on his parents’ farm in New York but eventually moved while still a boy to Goshen, Indiana, where his three brothers lived. In Goshen he taught school and worked in his brother’s store before receiving an appoinment to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Hascall attended West Point from 1848 until he graduated in 1852, ranking fourteenth out of forty-three cadets. He found his first assignment to the peacetime U.S. Army at Fort Adams, Rhode Island, distasteful and boring, resigned his commission in September 1853, and returned to civilian life in Indiana....

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Ho, Chinn (26 February 1904–12 May 1987), financier, developer, and newspaper owner, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Ho Ti Yuen, a clerk at the segregated British Pacific Club, and Kam Lan. In the “Chinn Ho Oral History Project” Ho said a sickly childhood delayed his elementary schooling and made him a “runt” who was “pushed around” when he did begin regular classes. In the meantime, having become an avid reader of the Pacific Club’s discarded business periodicals brought home by his father, Ho realized that he had to extend his boundaries and perform better than expected to gain recognition. Through sports he improved physically. He sold soft drinks, newspapers, school supplies, and advertising gimmicks. He was a 20-year-old senior at McKinley High School (class of 1924) when he motivated a small group of classmates to stage school events, including a carnival that paid off the $38 class debt for breaking windows. After graduating, they organized a social and business ...

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Imlay, Gilbert (09 February 1754–20 November 1828), speculator and author, was born probably in Monmouth County, New Jersey, the son of Peter Imlay, a landowner. His mother’s name is not known, and only segments of his life appear in the historical record. He served as a lieutenant and paymaster in a Continental regiment in 1777–1778, subsequently assuming the title of captain. In 1783 he began acquiring paper claims to tens of thousands of acres in Kentucky. In those dealings Imlay, who also became a deputy county surveyor, associated with notable inhabitants of the western country such as ...