Collis P. and Henry E. Huntington, Railroad Tycoons

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Collis P. and Henry E. Huntington, Railroad Tycoons

Post by Ian »

collis p. huntington, born into a poor family in 1821, became one of the chief entrepreneurs (known as the "big four," or "the associates") in building the central pacific railroad, which was the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad in the united states. collis went on to lead and develop other major interstate railroad lines, including the southern pacific railroad. he founded the cities of newport news, virginia, and huntington, west virginia. he became exceedingly wealthy, controlling a vast empire of rail lines and agricultural landholdings until his death. he was also considered one of the foremost art collectors in america. he left most of his collection to the metropolitan museum of art in new york.

after collis died in 1900, his nephew, henry edwards huntington, took control of many of his industrial endeavors. henry e. huntington founded the los angeles railway. he founded the famous huntington library in southern california, which houses a large collection of art and rare books. the cities of huntington beach and huntington park, california, are named for him.

in 1913, henry married his uncle's widow, arabella huntington, in paris, france. arabella ("belle") huntington was once known as the richest woman in america, and as the force behind the huntington's vast art collection. at her death, much of her art (including two rembrandts, a vermeer and several hundred other paintings) was donated to the new york metropolitan museum of art.

collis and henry huntington descended from simon huntington, whose father simon died at sea in 1633 while immigrating to america from england. simon "the immigrant" is my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather.

collis potter huntington:
henry edwards huntington:
arabella huntington:
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Re: Collis P. and Henry E. Huntington, Railroad Tycoons

Post by Edward »

Unbelievable! Simon "the immigrant" is my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather too!


Seriously though, I remember reading about Henry Huntington in 3rd grade. We were reading about the history of Orange County in these tall, orange hardcover books they used to have, and on one page there was a black and white illustration with a little trolley, and a short blurb about how he was a major creator of railway lines in California. I believe it was relating the source of the name "Huntington Beach"; anyway, I remember being impressed with it, partly because it was the first time I recognized a relative who did not descend from the line within the church. I'm glad to finally see exactly how we are related to all these people.

I think it would be nice to see some similar threads about our in-laws' families. I"ve always wanted to know about those lines!
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