Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railway Company issued to and signed by M.E. IngallsInv# AG2194A Stock
Melville Ezra Ingalls (1842–1914), commonly abbreviated M. E. Ingalls, was a Massachusetts state legislator who went on to become president of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (the Big Four Railroad). Ingalls was born on September 6, 1842 in Harrison, Maine, where he worked on the family farm until he began teaching at the age of 16. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1863, Ingalls began practicing law in Gray, ME before moving to Boston, Massachusetts, where he became an expert in corporate law, specializing in transportation lines. In 1871, he was retained as counsel to the Cincinnati and Lafayette Railroad and would eventually become its president. After multiple consolidations under his watch, the company became known as the Big Four Railroad.
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.