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Highways of Progress
by:James J. Hill
From the time he was 18 in St. Paul, James J. Hill (1838-1916) dreamed of a ship and rail bridge to the riches of the mysterious Orient. Through a succession of jobs, he absorbed every detail of moving goods by land and by water, which contributed to the excellent management and low-cost operation of his railroad empire. He made financial history by...
From the time he was 18 in St. Paul, James J. Hill (1838-1916) dreamed of a ship and rail bridge to the riches of the mysterious Orient. Through a succession of jobs, he absorbed every detail of moving goods by land and by water, which contributed to the excellent management and low-cost operation of his railroad empire. He made financial history by shaping the Northern Securities Co., a holding device dissolved by the Supreme Court in 1904. As founder of the Great Northern Railway, Hill was an American railroad icon and one of Ayn Rand's industrialist heroes. After his retirement, he wrote "Highways of Progress," originally published in 1910, and toured the country speaking about the virtues of capitalism and a hard work ethic. Near the end of his life, James J. Hill was asked by a newspaper reporter to reveal the secret of his success. Hill responded with characteristic bluntness, "Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work." Hill became a pivotal force in the transformation of the Northwest as his railroad served as the backbone of American settlement, agricultural development and commercial expansion.
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