20th Century, African American, Black History, Food, Food Science, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Transportation, Uncategorized

Truck Refrigeration System Invented

Unknown

http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/63jones.php

1935

“Frederick McKinley Jones was a self-taught, African-American engineer who pioneered designs for mobile refrigeration. A former race car driver and mechanic, Jones created the first mechanical refrigeration system for trucks in 1935. Some of Jones’ other inventions were a portable x-ray machine, an air conditioning unit for military field hospitals, and a refrigerator for military field kitchens. A total of 61 patents were issued in Jones’ name.” *

F. M. Jones had a rough start in life. His mother left his father, John Jones, at age seven, who struggled to both stay employed as a miner, and care for a son. In that era, orphanages would not readily admit a child born to an Irish dad and African-American mom. A Catholic priest, Father Ryan, took Fred in, gave him an education, and encouraged his mechanical abilities.**

Fred eventually found refuge on a large farm in Hallock, Minnesota. He discovered that he was adept at machinery and fixing things, and worked  on handyman projects given him by the farm’s owner; Walter Hill. (A relative of rail tycoon James J. Hill) People in his town came to him with problems, and he would usually find a solution.

His concern for others was evident in the utility of his inventions. A doctor couldn’t move some patients for x-rays, and so he invented a portable one. The local movie theatre had issues with the poor audio quality of the new “talkies”, and he developed the Ultraphone Sound System. 

He partnered with Jospeh Numero of Cinema Supplies to market his new audio system. Numero, though initially biased against Mr. Jones, soon came to treasure him as an engineer. Playing golf together, Numero made a joke that their associate Harry Werner “needed a fridge on his trucks” to solve his spoilage problems. 

Frederick took the challenge seriously, and began work immediately gaining several more patents in the process. Mr Jones’ portable air-cooling units revolutionized the safe transport of produce and perishables for both the trucking and freight train industries. His invention enabled the modernization of the grocery store, and changed millions of lives through better access to fresh foods.***,**** F.M. Jones gave this advice to those seeking similar success; 

“First, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to work. 

Second, you have to read. All my life has been study and work.

Third, believe in yourself.” *****

We give You humble gratitude this day, Eternal Father, for being a G-d who generously shares and encourages the inventiveness of humanity! You only ask a few things of us in return: to remember that “I am the Lord your G-d…” (Exodus 20:2), that “You shall have no other gods before me…” (Exodus 20:3), and that “You shall not bow down to or worship…” (Exodus 20:4) the things that we (humans) have made. You have inspired us to create, but have mercifully given us guidelines in the use of our creations so that we do not arrogantly deify ourselves. Our lives are not long enough to express the thanks giving You deserve!

Ruach ha Kodesh, what part of the incredible life of Frederick McKinley Jones do You wish to underscore today, Jesus? Is he a type of Joseph; bringing service to those who oppose him? Is he a type of Daniel; seeing and calling to life that which doesn’t yet exist?

Like the Prince of Egypt, he found himself orphaned, yet under the tutelage of an exceptional teacher as if he was placed there for a purpose. He submitted to authority which honed and refined his character. Though both men experienced tragic betrayals and injustices, they looked to You for their vindication. For Joseph, it came through his incredible and miraculous talents for civic planning, administration, and economics. For Mr. Jones, it came through a heart bent to help others through his G-d given genius in mechanics, science, origination, and innovation.

Similarly, Fred’s life had commonalities with the prophet Daniel. Both of these exceptional men were displaced from their homes, and were valued for their ability to learn. They were groomed to serve those foreign to them and accepted the challenge, yet their abilities went far beyond their stewards’ expectations. Through his disciplined prayer life and connection with G-d, Daniel saw hundreds of years in the future; he was the consultant of all consultants! F.M. Jones saw solutions and worked backwards to achieve them!

This leads the author to ponder the connections between acts of invention and prophetic acts. What say You, Elohim? Prophecy is both a call to the knowledge and practice of the written Word of G-d, and to relational knowledge of the Holy Spirit of Christ which simultaneously exists before, in, and after our conceptions of time. The human being who creates needs both a rudimentary core knowledge of process, matter, and materials, yet inwardly “sees” a connection previously thought impossible. All this to express heartfelt awe of this paradoxical nature of information and the Informer of All!

We remember Fredrick McKinley Jones to You, and ask that You bless his literal and figurative children that find joy in machines, and happiness with dirty hands! We thank You that he chose the high path, and overcame the obstacles the enemy used to wound him: family rejection, loneliness, racial prejudice, and academic bias to name a few. Will You forgive the family of Minnesota our historic and present judgments against the Irishman, the African-American, those with ethnically mixed marriages, and their children? 

Next, we ask that You replace these curses against these specific people groups with specific and powerful blessings. Will You give honor where it was taken? Will You enable these peoples to offer their inventions and prophecies to our society? Will You give our people both gifts of knowledge and commitment to eternal, unbroken relationship?

It’s astounding that the alertness, awareness, and insights of Mr. Jones made him follow through on a real problem wrapped in a joke. This one invention, a portable truck cooler, led to a whole chain of inventions around food distribution that surely was in Your mind first as a means of blessing the whole human race. What if Fred had not taken the challenge seriously? What insights and blessings have we backed down from today? 

Prince of Peace, forgive our fears of doing an everyday task with greatness, or failing to see Your greatness in the nuts and blots of life! You have seen the end from the beginning! Let Your people be faithful each step of the way: in attaining knowledge, in imagination, and in knowing Your benevolent nature.  May we can cooperate in moving Your blessings down the road to a better future for Minnesota and the whole earth! Amen!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/science-and-technology/technology-biographies/frederick-mckinley-jones

*** https://www.shipabco.com/history-refrigerated-trucking/

**** https://trsservice.com.au/thermo-king-history/

***** Please watch this excellent synopsis of Frederick McKinley Jones’ life. InspirationalGoodNews!! I.G.N. (2014, December 13) citing Twin Cities Public Television ca 2004. (Making It Happen: Masters of Invention chapter “Hallock’s Handyman) Produced by Daniel Pierce Bergin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy4UkFN2njQ

Jones; photo credits 

http://www.mnhs.org/library/tips/history_topics/63jones.php

https://trsservice.com.au/thermo-king-history/

 

 

Standard
19th Century, 20th Century, Business, Environment, Great Lakes, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Lake Superior, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Shipping, Transportation

Split Rock Lighthouse Opens 1910

Unknown

July 31, 1910

“Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. The construction was an engineering feat in such a remote location. The lighthouse was completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910.” *

Why is it that pain elicits an active response that “normal” life doesn’t? Why is it that we do not neglect action after a certain level of loss? Why do we wait to become creative problem solvers?

Will You guide this writing to elucidate the reader to the level of shipwrecks in this era of iron ore, grain, lumber, and fish shipments across Lake Superior and the Great Lakes? In a single season of November 1905, there were 78 fatalities and 29 disabled or destroyed ships.** When one adds in the frigid water, rocky coastline, and tendency of these shippers to overload their vessels it is easy to empathize with the concerns of sailors.

In response, United States Steel Corporation lobbied Congress to build a lighthouse with a foghorn. This effort was executed by engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham of the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment. All building materials had to be hoisted up the 110 foot cliff from lakeside either by steam-powered derick, or railed up on a freight tram. Workers spent 13 months living and working on the cliff in tents with a brief respite during the coldest months of winter.

This day we remember the names of these lost vessels and their unnamed crews to You, Lord of All Seas: the A.C. Adams, Alice Vivian, Amboy, Bob Anderson, Lotta Bernard, A. Booth, E.T. Carrington, Charley, City of Winnipeg, Comet, Belle P. Cross, F.L. Danforth, Donna Marie, Duluth, Elgin, Samuel P. Ely, U.S.S. Essex, Fayling, E.P.Ferry, Fiorgyn, Thomas Friant, F.W. Gillet, R.F.Goodman, Criss Grover, Harriet B, George Herbert, Hesper, B.B. Inman, Isle Royale, John H. Jeffrey Jr., J.C. Keyes, Lafayette, Lewie, Liberty, Madeline, Madeira, Mary Martini, May Flower, Mentor, Niagara, Benjamin Noble, Oden, Onoko, Osprey, G. Pfister, Rebel, George Spencer, Ella G. Stone, Stillman Witt, Stranger, Robert Wallace, Thomas Wilson,  and the Six Dredge Scows. 

Will You forgive any judgments’ we made of these lost seamen, their wives, families and friends, and employers towards each other and towards You in their aeon? Will You cleanse Superior and the Great Lakes of its vast depths of unforgivenness? 

Will You especially release the pain caused by the urgency of the timber, iron mining, and taconite industries to expedite these shipments to world markets? Will You forgive us our industriousness that broke with Your Sabbath? We have missed Your wisdom when we work too much.

We remember also the efforts of Ralph Russell Tinkham and his construction workers. We thank You for their superhuman efforts to build Split Rock Lighthouse. Will You bless them, their progeny, and those who follow in their footsteps? Will You give us strength and acceptance when we face storms beyond our control? Will You make us  beacon and horn today to lead our peers away from the rocks and towards safe harbor?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**http://www.mnhs.org/splitrock/learn/shipwrecks

***http://www.mnhs.org/places/nationalregister/shipwrecks/list.php

 

 

Standard
20th Century, Architecture, Bridge, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Transportation

Duluth Aerial Bridge Completed 1905

aerialbridge1

March 24, 1905

“The Aerial Bridge is completed in Duluth. The bridge permits land traffic to cross the ship canal without interfering with the ships that pass in and out of the harbor. A lift bridge replaces the aerial system in 1930.” *

Aerial Bridge in Duluth began as a transporter bridge. Imagine an arch or high structure that spans a harbor that a segment of the bridge is suspended from on rails. Traffic boards on one side, and this segment of bridge rolls across to the other. When the segment reaches its destination, about 2/3rds of the channel is left open for harbor traffic. ** Quite ingenious!

Thank You for the mind of Thomas F. Mc Gilvray. How much pleasure You must take in the soul of an architect! A character that both delights in the disciplines of education, and in the revelation of beauty wherever it may be found or felt! A massive steel bulwark spanning a harbor may not immediately bring to mind the word ’beautiful’. Yet, to the residents needing to cross the harbor, it was tremendously useful. Is there a word for ‘useful beauty’? I’m sure there is in Your vocabulary, and that is what  I praise You for today!

Furthermore, thank You for the means to connect cultures! In this context, the physical barrier of the harbor could make it difficult for one to know and trade with neighbors just across the water. Thank You that this physical structure opened the doors of residents of Superior, WI. and Duluth, MN. to know each other, as well as the myriad of cultures of sailors from around the world. Will You bless this moment of March 24, 1905, and create a perpetual heritage of blessing in this Harbor? 

As You have promised…”the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:8 NIV

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_bridge

 

 

Standard
20th Century, cars, History, Intercession, law, Minnesota, omnipresent history, State Government, Transportation

First Automobile License Issued 1903

Unknown-1

May 2, 1903

“The automobile era kicks off in Minnesota as a Packard in St. Paul receives license number 1. St. Paul’s first automobile fatality occurs just weeks later when a child is hit on Selby Avenue between Dale and St. Albans streets.** The city’s first automatic traffic signal lights up 20 years later; it stands on a ten-foot-tall pedestal at the intersection of Fifth and St. Peter streets.” * 

Why is it that we take delight in travel, exploration, and pure speed, Lord? Let’s think about the progression a little. Human beings have used their legs for eons, then the legs of various animals, and next the vehicles of their own invention: boats, carts, sleds, etc. Soon, we figured out mechanical means to augment our human, wind, or animal-powered vehicles with the refinement of the steam engine. Eventually the limitations of that power pushed us to adopt the internal combustion engine. Now we are in the era of fuel cell engines, and the dawning of practical electrical-powered vehicles.

Again, moving around the wheel, full circle; why do we want or need to move faster, farther, on less fuel? Why is it that the human creature wants to explore its habitat, which is natural, but then push far past the limitations of its home? Are there examples in the animal kingdom of creatures that explore out of curiosity rather than as a means of survival?  A dog will happily sniff the scents of Lake Superior if it has never visited it, but will it long to cross it and see the other side?

Or do we long to see that other side because of discontent? We may not appreciate or flourish in our current environment, and we wonder “ Is there a greener pasture out there somewhere?” Perhaps it’s boredom? We adopt routines that shape how we use time, but break with them in varying degrees dependent on our personalities and discipline. We feel the impulse to stop the cycle of repetition.

Regardless of our motives, I thank You for the gift of the automobile. I thank you for the day of May 2, 1903 and the willingness of the owner of the first car in Minnesota to explore a new mode of transportation. Thank you for the gift of the freedom to travel, and how that travel has benefitted generations of our state. Thank you for all the goods and services we access because the automobile led to the truck. Thank you for the imaginations of individuals like Etienne Lenoir, Niklaus Otto, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Karl Benz, James Atkinson, Edward Butler, and Rudolf Diesel!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**See how far we’ve come in terms of safety over the past 115 years? http://amhistory.si.edu/onthemove/exhibition/exhibition_8_2.html

 

 

Standard
19th Century, History, horses, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Streetcars, Technology, Transportation, trolley

Electricity Replaces Horses 1890

unknown

1890

“Electricity replaces horse power on the Grand Avenue trolley in St. Paul. In four years, an intercity electric line will whisk passengers between the downtowns of the Twin Cities in only 45 minutes.” *

Again Lord, thank You for inspiring improvements in our means of transport in Minnesota! What is it about movement that so appeals to us? Or is free movement something that appeals to You first, and us secondly? Transport my thoughts, God, in Your direction.

First let us not forget to thank You for the gift of the horse! How these creatures have served us so mightily! As a Minnesotan, I want to say thanks for all horses that have, are, or will exist here. Will You bless our horses, those who work with them, and trade them? Will You bless their health and lives in perpetuity?

In this era, the 1890’s, will You forgive any root thoughts or actions between those who used horses and those who wanted to replace them with electrical trolleys?

Will You forgive the judgments of those who pit technology vs. animal, or extant technology vs. new technology rooted in this era, and continuing into the present?

Why did the horse fall into disfavor for use with trolley car companies such as the Twin Cities Rapid Transit or TCRT? 

“Despite the advantage of steel wheel on rail, the cars were still horse powered, and horses were a problem. Up to seven were required to keep a single car in service all day. They produced epic quantities of manure. They were slow, couldn’t handle steep hills and were subject to disease.”**

These problems are serious in an urban setting. It’s understandable that Minnesotans of this era would look to a new means of propulsion. 

So, I want to say thank You for the gift of the electric-powered trolley. Will You bless it’s inventors, and their heritage? Will You bless those leaders who experimented and took a chance on a new technology? Will You cleanse the land where these rails ran, where man and beast were cursed by one or the other of these factions?

Beyond these prayers, more thoughts arise without answer…yet. Why do we long to “get there” faster? Do we really “save time” by increasing the speed at which we travel? Is the increase of leisure time a net blessing or curse on Minnesota? How does “more speed help an attitude that is given over to impatience? For these questions, and the millions of others that are unspoken and unwritten, give us wisdom and insight! Lord, hear our prayer!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** http://www.trolleyride.org/History/Narrative/TC_Transit.html

 

 

Standard
19th Century, Bicycle, Culture, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Technology, Transportation

Bicycling Craze 1890

images

January 1, 1890

“Twin Citians’ hop on bicycles in a fit of pedal-mania. Women shorten their skirts, and men clip their trouser legs for easier pedaling. Streetcar revenues decline, and there are complaints of a parking problem in downtown areas. 

An outbreak of “scorchers”–bicyclists going over the speed limit of 6 miles per hour on sidewalks and 8 mph on streets–prompts the St. Paul Police Department to establish a bicycle squad in 1899.” *

Thank You Father for inspiring the invention of the bicycle. More exactly, the Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan, b. 1812 – d. 1878 who is generally credited for creating the rear-wheel driven bicycle!**  What a useful means of transportation, and what a wonderful act of worship on his part!

Thank You for the heritage of bicycling in Minnesota. Thank You for the willingness of citizens, as well as the cities and enforcement agencies, in their embrace of this ‘new’ technology. What a gift to put reliable transportation within the economic grasp of nearly every person! Will You bless the heritage of bicycling in all aspects in Minnesota? Will You inspire us again to increase its’ usefulness, and keep inspiring inventors of human powered vehicles?

Lord, I also want to acknowledge our separateness from Your authority and order. Forgive us our propensity to defy established laws! It seems humorous to us in the present to hear those going 8mph labelled as “scorchers”. However, it still is telling of our character that once a standard is established, we often seek to ride the line or exceed it. Will You have mercy on our acts of rebellion no matter what size? 

We have failed You by our failing to respect the safety of our fellow man. We have failed You by failing to recognize civil laws as being standards that You have established. We have rejected Your leadership in part by rejecting our human leaders and laws. In Your mercy, hear our prayer!

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkpatrick_Macmillan

 

 

Standard
19th Century, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, railroad, Technology, Transportation

Monorail Plans 1888

he4 2 P61

 

1888

“Over 200 dignitaries ride a new electric monorail up the Bryant Avenue hill in South St. Paul. Investors’ hopes of building an elevated system connecting the Twin Cites are abandoned when the St. Paul city council fails to approve their plans. 

A vibrant trolley system will connect the Twin Cities until replaced by busses. But it will be another 113 years before voters approve the construction of a (partially) elevated public transportation system.” 

Lord, thank You for the inspirations of learned men, and the dreams of scientific women! Thank You that You have put ideas into the brains of people that eventually take shape and become reality! Thank You for the mind of Charles Clark! ** (The dreamer behind this monorail.)

A man like him sees the concept so clearly: a single rail, a simple car gliding on  wheels that create so little friction, an opportunity to move the public while being able to ‘fly’ around and over existing structures, etc. He even made a working monorail, but met the obstacle of the city council. Have mercy on his resentments! Have mercy on all who have had their dreams and aspirations dashed by this committee or any committee! 

Lord, we have argued bitterly over transportation in this city and state for over 100 years. Will You hear this prayer? I acknowledge to you our separateness on this issue. Will you forgive our clashes over monorails, trains, planes, roads, and other forms of transportation yet to be discovered? 

It is good to test a new idea. Debate is healthy, and often necessary when it involves investing of time and resources. Will You show us a new way to debate this issue? Will You keep our wheels rolling?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** Read more about Mr. Clark and his dream? Excerpt from “South St. Paul:: A Brief History” By Lois A. Glewwe

 

Standard
19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Mississippi River, omnipresent history, railroad, Transportation

Stone Arch Bridge Opens 1883

images

November 23, 1883

“The Stone Arch Bridge spans the Mississippi below St. Anthony Falls. Once called “Jim Hill’s Folly,” the bridge provides a crossing for trains and becomes a Minneapolis landmark.”

First, I need to confess my bias against the railroad barons based on my reading in college to You. Will You forgive my assumption that Hill was a “Robber Baron” like many of his peers; captains of industry synonymous with trains? The rails in this era often made choices that yielded pain for the Midwestern farmer, manufacturer, or anyone who wasn’t in partnership with them. (They gained sweetheart deals for themselves and their allies, and charged exorbitant prices to the farmer whose harvest would spoil if they waited for better. I do not abhor competition, but bristle when I sense oligarchic or monopolistic control.) 

Digging into my assumptions, I found that I had wrongly placed all capitalists of this epoch in the same camp, but this is inaccurate. May I elaborate? Market capitalism is based on building a better product, and selling it at a voluntarily determined price. State capitalism twists the arm of government to sell an inferior product at an involuntary price. 

Clearly, Hill belonged more to the former camp than the latter according to Loyola economics professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Here lies evidence of Hill’s opposition to the state capitalism of the “Robber Barons”.

“Hill’s rates fell steadily, and when farmers began complaining about the lack of grain storage space, he instructed his company managers to build larger storage facilities near his rail depots. He refused to join in attempts at cartel price fixing and in fact “gloried in the role of rate-slasher and disrupter of [price-fixing] pooling agreements,” writes historian Burton Folsom. After all, he knew that monopolistic pricing would have been an act of killing the goose that lays the golden egg.” **

Additionally, the following quote of Professor DiLorenzo hints at why Hill’s competitors mocked the Stone Arch Bridge as “folly”, and his own internal motives.

 “In building his transcontinental railroad, from 1886 to 1893, Hill applied the same strategy that he had in building the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba: careful building of the road combined with the economic cultivation of the nearby communities. He always built for durability and efficiency, not scenery, as was sometimes the case with the government-subsidized railroads. He did not skimp on building materials, having witnessed what harsh Midwest winters could do to his facilities and how foolish it was for the NP (Northern Pacific Railroad – his competitor) to have ignored this lesson. The solid granite arch bridge that Hill built across the Mississippi River was a Minneapolis landmark for many years.” ***

G-d, did I have it all wrong! I find myself humbled to discover that Hill is a good man, who built a better railroad. Will You honor those like him, who love their work, and offer it back to You and society as an act of worship?!

Will You free those of us harboring bitterness towards the state capitalists, and towards this spirit in man that is willing to use the law in self service? Will You free us from the admonition “Good enough for government work”? Will You lift this spirit of the slacker: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Lord, quite honestly, I hate the heritage of price fixing and theft! I abhor the curse that these judgment’s have put on our state, its’ people, our freedom of travel, and all lands that were granted, bought or stolen by the railroad lines. I  despise how the rails withheld the good that they could have chosen to perform for their fellow man, and still yielded a generous profit!

Yet, I am a man of mixed motives just like them. I withhold from doing the good I know I can do, and sin against my brother in my heart. I judge them. I think evil of them in my thoughts. I harbor resentment. Lord Jesus, King of the Universe, have mercy on me a sinner for my judgments!

Will You bring blessing to every rail, every piece of land, every train, every rail employee, and all the cargo that enters or exits this state of Minnesota? Will You profoundly bless the Stone Arch bridge, and esteem its’ symbolism? Will You be the bridge and span this rift between free-market entrepreneurs and fixed-market magnates? Amen!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

** DiLorenzo, Thomas J. “The Truth About the “Robber Barons”” excerpt of Chapter 7 “How Capitalism Saved America”. Internet. MIses Institute. 11/01/2017. https://mises.org/library/truth-about-robber-barons

*** DiLorenzo citing Burton W. Folsom Jr., “Entrepreneurs vs. the State: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America”, 1840 — 1920 (Herndon, VA: Young America’s Foundation, 1987

**** Read more about these lovely arches? https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/historical_sites/stone_arch_bridge/#group_2_150339

Standard
19th Century, Business, Canada, Civics, Exploration, History, Industry, Intercession, Leadership, Minnesota, railroad, Transportation

Hill’s First Railroad 1879

00902018

1879

“James J. Hill and his Canadian partners buy the near-bankrupt St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and rename it the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba. This is the beginning of the railroad career that will earn Hill the title “Empire Builder” and cement the importance of the Twin Cities as a commercial center. 

Hill’s career didn’t begin with railroads. He came to Minnesota at age 18, convincing a steamboat man to hire him as a clerk. From making sure freight reached the right people, he expanded into handling freight by boat, stagecoach, and wagon. By the time his empire was built, he was one of the nation’s leading industrialists. 

In 1891 James J. Hill will crown his success by building a house at 240 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. As massive and well-built as its owner’s railroad empire, the mansion will take three years to build and cost $931,275.01, furnished.” * 

Lord, thanks that You deal with us so patiently. You allow us to learn from our errors and seek You for mercy and truth. Thank You for the blessings of James J. Hill and his railroads.

However, we still feel the weight of the blessing and curses in the wake of his empire building! He was alleged to be duplicitous in his business dealings. He allegedly manipulated land grants or sales from cities, tribes, states, and the nations of Canada and the United States. He may have wreaked havoc on the stock market in his battle with Harriman of the Union Pacific line. **

Hill proved to be cut from a different cloth than the Robber Barons of his age whose modus operandi included manipulation of the stock market, public institutions and opinions, or Federal or State governments. In many ways, he retained the common-sense lessons of his Scots-Irish upbringing in Manitoba, Canada and the Midwestern states. A few examples of his forthright tongue and blue-collar wisdom below.

“Give me snuff, whiskey, and Swedes, and I will build a railway to hell.”

“Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.”

“The wealth of the country, its capital, its credit, must be saved from the predatory poor as well as the predatory rich, but above all from the predatory politician.” ***

Lord, You are the righteous ruler and justice of North America. Will You remove the curses we have laid on James J. Hill and the lines he laid? Will You forgive his debts to the people of North America and the Midwest? Will You forgive us our injustices and betrayals of Your trust?

Like Mr. Hill, we kill our competitors and covet and build empires in our hearts. We plunder our enemies in our thoughts, and do not see our brothers and sisters as precious lives that You died and rose for! Have mercy on us: the ambitious, the coward, the sluggard, and the average! Remove the curses brought on us, our generations, the land, the property, and our homes both now and until Your return! May the pathway of this railway become a track of blessing to both Manitoba and the Twin Cities! Amen!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

** https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/harriman-vs-hill

*** https://www.azquotes.com/author/6703-James_J_Hill

Standard