RAILROADS: Link to Greatness

In his youth Frank James Gavin had as big a hero as a railroad man could wish. Hired on as a $15-a-month office boy for the Great Northern Railway, Gavin went to work for James Jerome Hill, the line's pioneering founder who flung the Great Northern across the western top of the U.S. with such impatience that he once left his snug private car to help a section crew dig the locomotive out of a snowbank.

Young Gavin often peeked around a boxcar for a glimpse of the old man ("nobody dared come into his presence uninvited"), rose through...

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