By Joel P. Rhodes
Lawyer and journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Louis Houck is usually referred to as the “Father of Southeast Missouri” simply because he introduced the railroad to the zone and opened this backwater quarter to industrialization and modernization. even supposing Houck’s identify is little identified this day outdoor Missouri, Joel Rhodes exhibits how his tale has relevance for either the country and the nation.
Rhodes provides a extra entire photo of Houck than has ever been on hand: reviewing his lifestyles from his German immigrant roots, contemplating his occupation from either social and political views, and grounding the tale in either country and nationwide historical past. He particularly tells how, from 1880 to the Twenties, this self-taught railroader developed a community of 5 hundred miles of tune throughout the desolate tract of wetlands referred to as “Swampeast Missouri”—and how those “Houck Roads” supplied a lift for inhabitants, agriculture, lumbering, and trade that remodeled Cape Girardeau and the encompassing area.
Rhodes discusses how Houck suits into the period of monetary individualism—a time while males with little formal education formed smooth industry—and additionally offers voice to Houck’s critics and indicates that he used to be no longer consistently a simple guy to paintings with. In telling the tale of his railroading firm, Rhodes chronicles Houck’s conflict with the Jay Gould railroad empire and provides key perception into the improvement of America’s railway procedure, from the cutthroat practices of ruthless marketers to the often-comic ineptness of start-up rail lines.
More than just a biography of a enterprise entrepreneur, the booklet tells how Houck not just built the zone economically but in addition the lead of Andrew Carnegie by way of making paintings, tradition, and formal schooling to be had to all social sessions. Houck additionally served for thirty-six years as president of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri country Teacher’s collage, and as a self-taught historian he wrote the 1st complete bills of Missouri’s territorial period.
A Missouri Railroad Pioneer chronicles a multifaceted occupation that reworked a zone. Solidly researched, this vigorous narrative additionally deals an wonderful learn for an individual drawn to Missouri history.
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Additional info for A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck (Missouri Biography Series)
A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck (Missouri Biography Series) by Joel P. Rhodes