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Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company (Signed by Stuyvesant Fish)

$35.00

SKU: 3484
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by Stuyvesant Fish as the company President as well as the company Secretary, was a printed by the Goes Litho Co. of Chicago, and measures approximately 10 1/2" (w) by 7 1/2" (h).

 

This certificate's beautiful vignette features moored barges and steel bridge.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

The Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company was originally founded in 1868. The company operated the original Dubuque Rail Bridge, a swing bridge constructed by Andrew Carnegie. The bridge opened in December of 1868, and was primarily used by the Illinois Central Railroad.

The Dubuque Rail Bridge was rebuilt in the 1890s and has 5 spans and a swing-span. Because of a 150-foot bluff very close to the Mississippi riverbank on the Illinois side, the railroad tracks enter a 1/4-mile tunnel that curves 90-degrees to the south to allow trains to proceed along the tracks adjacent to the river south of the bridge.

At least two famous men at one time worked for this important railroad bridge company – James A. Roosevelt (FDR’s father) and General Caleb Hoskins Booth (who help found the company). Booth was one of Iowa’s most successful businessmen, and was the first mayor of Dubuque.

Stuyvesant Fish

Stuyvesant Fish's Signature

Stuyvesant Fish's Signature

 

A descendant of Petrus Stuyvesant, a grandson of Colonel Nicholas Fish of Revolutionary War fame, the youngest son of Hamilton Fish (Secretary of State under President Grant)—Stuyvesant Fish came from the stock of pioneers and joined the generation of great railroaders. Born in New York in 1851, and graduated from Columbia 20 years later he became successively a clerk in the Illinois Central Railroad, secretary to its President, and a clerk in the banking house of Morton, Bliss & Co. Subsequently he bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and became a Director in the Illinois Central. After several years of railroad experience with that and other roads, he was elected its President in 1887.


The subsequent clash between Mr. Fish and the late E. H. Harriman for the control of the Illinois Central proved to be one of the epochal conflicts in the history of Wall Street. Mr. Harriman, who sought the Central as an outlet to the Union Pacific, broke with Mr. Fish in 1906, and after initially getting the worst of the bitter struggle which ensued, finally succeeded in securing enough shareholders' proxies to eliminate him from the affairs of the road, as well as from the Mutual Life Insurance Company. Feeling ran high on both sides throughout this financial feud, and in one Directors' meeting Mr. Fish struck and floored J. T. Harahan, who had succeeded him as President of the Illinois Central. Mr. Fish was a railroad executive of the old order, rough and ready in speech, cautious in administration, scrupulously honorable in his engagements, and completely impatient of fallacious economics. Even in his youth he played his part against greenback inflation, and for the risky and speculative methods of Wall Street railroad amalgamation, whose excesses were justified only by their aggregate brilliant results, he had an inherent mistrust. He was a stubborn fighter but invariably a good loser. His resentment of the prohibition amendment, and his efforts for its repeal, were characteristic of his sturdy individualism.

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