Cover

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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

All of his adult life John Frank Stevens, in his words, embraced an irresistible urge to engineer. In the beginning it took the form of land surveying, which led to locating railroads in the heroic days of that world-changing transportation mode. In his senior years he contributed to engineering in a wide range of major projects, from railways ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

To the late Donald Henry Stevens, great-grandson of the subject of this book, and his aunt, the late Virginia Lee Stevens Hawks, John Frank Stevens’s favored granddaughter, I owe an immense debt of gratitude. Their joint efforts preserved for posterity the largest cache of Stevens’s materials. They had the wisdom to turn them over to ...

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1 A Boy of West Gardiner

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pp. 1-10

J. Franklin Stevens was born on April 25, 1853, in a small white clapboard house located on the road between French’s Corner and Hallowell, Maine. He and his brother were the third generation in the family homestead. It gave all appearances of being in the country, but it was listed in the crossroads town of West Gardiner. Situated on the ...

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2 Beginnings

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pp. 11-38

By the end of his first summer in Minneapolis Frank had learned enough of surveying to be promoted from ax man to rodman and levelman at the grand salary (to him) of $65 a month, double that of an ax man. His confidence grew equally with his skills. Although he kept busy during warm months, there was too little work to go around as...

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3 The Great Northern

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pp. 39-66

James Jerome Hill, at fifty years of age in 1889, was well on his way to insuring that no one other than he merited the appellation Empire Builder, at least in the matter of North American railroads. The late 1870s and the 1880s witnessed the spasmodic pushing forward of railroad penetration of the lands beyond St. Paul across North Dakota...

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4 The Panama Canal: In

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pp. 67-110

John Frank Stevens did not go back to Texas; Hill was misinformed or deliberately misleading. Nor was John Frank long without offers of employment. Days before the fistfight surfaced in St. Paul newspapers, one of them carried the rumor that he was to succeed George B. Harris as president of the Burlington, but that turned out...

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5 The Panama Canal: Out

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pp. 111-157

With the swirl of activity on the Isthmus and now in Washington, things were quickly coming to a head. John Frank arrived back in the capital two days after Christmas 1905 with no realistic expectation he would enjoy much of an already foreshortened holiday season. The very next day the New York Times briefly but unreservedly reported...

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6 Interlude

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pp. 158-196

John Frank and his second son landed in New York from the steamship Panama on April 13, 1907, a Saturday. John Jr. had been in the Isthmus with his father since dropping out of Yale in February; it is more than likely he was still in the family doghouse. A day earlier, Harriet with Eugene trained up from Washington to meet them,...

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7 Railroading in Russia

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pp. 197-259

Except for a brief revival in 1916 of talk of the Spanish railway project – a flurry that never went beyond the talking stage – John Frank seems to have paid little serious attention to European affairs and the onset of war. Other than his Canadian and Panama experiences and his tourist trips to Mexico and Cuba, his career was entirely mainland...

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8 The Final Decades

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pp. 260-294

At the end of April 1923, John Frank formally and finally ended his Russian adventure. What had begun as a brief wartime service to his country stretched to nearly six full years. Seventy years of age when he was released, he felt still vigorous, although wisely he gave himself the long summer to contemplate his future. He had neither...

Notes

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pp. 295-314

Bibliography

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pp. 315-324

Index

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pp. 325-343