Business: Empire for Sale

As U. S. businessmen go, the Van Sweringen brothers are relatively young. Brother Oris Paxton is 56, Brother Mantis James is 54. Less than 20 years ago they were merely two notably successful Cleveland realtors—farm boys who had gone to the city, worked hard, saved their money and by shrewd investment piled up about $500,000 between them. Then they got into railroads, purchasing the decrepit Nickel Plate. By 1929, not long before they took their first & only vacation, they estimated their mutual fortune at $100,000,000. From...