Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway Co. signed by F.W. Matthiessen - Stock CertificateInv# AG2269 Stock
Frederick William Matthiessen (March 5, 1835 – February 11, 1918) was a philanthropist, industrialist, and former mayor of LaSalle, IL. He was instrumental in the creation of Matthiessen State Park. Matthiessen was the paternal grandfather of scholar and Harvard professor F.O. Matthiessen. Born March 5, 1835 in Altona, Hamburg, Matthiessen went on to attend university at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. It was here that he met Edward C. Hegeler, a fellow engineering student studying mining. They immigrated together to the United States of America in 1856. After investigating several sites in the Northeast and Midwest of the country, they decided to set up their smelter on the banks of the Little Vermilion River, in LaSalle, IL. Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Works broke ground on Christmas Eve of 1858. The early years of Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Works were difficult, with the Civil War breaking out 2 years after the company's inception. A lack of demand for zinc very nearly ended the company, but troubles proved to be short lived. By 1862, a burgeoning arms industry injected much-needed business, greatly driving up demand for zinc products. Matthiessen would later add rolling mills, coal mines, machine shops, and the forerunner of Westclox to his diverse portfolio. Matthiessen served as the Mayor of LaSalle, IL between 1887 and 1897, elected to five consecutive terms. Matthiessen donated approximately $500,000 to various causes, such as LaSalle-Peru High School and Illinois Valley Community Hospital. Perhaps his best known donation is his former estate and private park known as "Deer Park". It is today known as Matthiessen State Park.
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.