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Huntington, Collis P. (Potter)
1821 -- 1900
Railway builder; born in Harwinton, Conn. Starting as a peddler, he became a store owner in Oneonta, N.Y. (1842--49). With the Gold Rush, he moved to Sacramento, Calif., where he opened a store; taking on Mark Hopkins, it soon prospered as a mercantile business, Huntington Huntington went to Washington, D.C., and New York City to arrange for financing and by 1869 their Central Pacific Railroad was linking with the Union Pacific in Utah. Known as "Huntington's group," the men launched more enterprises including the Southern Pacific Railway (1884), of which Huntington succeeded Stanford as president in 1890. Huntington remained largely in the East where he ruthlessly lobbied for his railroad's interests, with little regard for his competitors, the government, or the public. He extended his own interest to eastern transportation projects including the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and the steamship business, becoming ever more wealthy if disreputable.