At 12:45 p.m. on the last day of last year an agent of Manhattan underwriters Blyth & Co. strode into Chicago's First National Bank, nipped a check for $4,555,909 at the wide-eyed receiving teller. Thus did Milwaukee's widowed, 75-year-old Ella M. Kearney and her two daughters get hard cash for their 50% stock interest in Kearney & Trecker Corp., maker of 30-35% of all U.S. milling machines.

No fear for the company's future prodded the Kearney family into selling their half of K. & T. Instead it was the fear of much stiffer...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!