Charles Butler - St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroad Company - Stock CertificateInv# AG1001 Stock
Charles Butler (1802-1897) was an American lawyer and philanthropist. He was born at Kinderhook Landing, Columbia Co., N.Y.; studied law in the office of Martin Van Buren at Albany, N. Y.; and was admitted to the bar in 1824. He became wealthy by accumulating land at the site of Chicago, Illinois and Toledo, Ohio. He also bought interest in the Michigan Southern, the Rock Island, and the Chicago & Northwestern railroads. It was his accumulation of Illinois land and railway building that helped turn Chicago into a city.
In 1835, he was one of the founders of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. In 1836, he was appointed to the council of NYU, (where he served as an instructor) and he was a long serving Council President. He was a relative of (both by blood and as an in-law), as well as a business associate of William Butler Ogden, the first mayor of Chicago.
A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.