MONEY & BANKING: Street's Streat

Men quipped, in 1870, that frock-coated John Insley Blair built railroads to use steel from his mills, towns to provide traffic for his railroads. One of the great railroad barons, he helped found the Chicago & North Western, the Lackawanna and the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri. In 1890, at 88, he capped his great career by founding the famed banking firm of Blair & Co.

Nine years later, when old John Blair was laid in his grave, a 15-year-old stripling named Hearn Waters Streat went to work for Blair & Co. as a runner. While Blair & Co. built...

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