Northern Pacific Railroad Company issued to and signed by Jay Cooke in trust - Stock CertificateInv# AG2152 Stock
Stock issued to and signed at back by Jay Cooke in trust. Also signed by Frederick Billings as president. J. Horace Harding signs as witness. Important! Extremely Rare type!
Jay Cooke (1821-1905) Cooke received preliminary training in a trading house in St. Louis and in the booking office of a transportation company in Philadelphia at the age of 18. He entered the Philadelphia house of E.W. Clark & Co., one of the largest private banks in the country. Three years later he was admitted to membership in the firm, and before the age of 30 was also a partner in the New York City and St. Louis branches.
In 1858 he retired from the firm, and for the next three years he devoted himself to reorganizing abandoned Pennsylvania railways and canals and placing them again in operation. In 1861, he opened the private banking house of Jay Cooke & Company and quickly floated a war loan of $3,000,000 for the state of Pennsylvania.
In the early months of the American Civil War, Cooke collaborated with the secretary of the treasury Salmon P. Chase in securing loans from the leading bankers in the Northern cities. He influenced the establishment of national banks and organized a national bank at Washington and Philadelphia almost as quickly as Congress could authorize the institutions.
After the war, Cooke became interested in the development of the northwest, and in 1870 his firm financed the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway. Cooke fell in love with Duluth, Minnesota, and decided he must make it successful. He began purchasing railways with the dream of reaching the Pacific to bring goods through Duluth into the Great Lakes shipping system and on to the markets of Europe. In advancing the money for the work, the firm overestimated its capital, and at the approach of the Panic of 1873 it was forced to suspend. Cooke himself was forced into bankruptcy. By 1880 Cooke had met all his financial obligations, and through an investment in a silver mine in Utah, had again become wealthy.
Frederick Billings (1823-1890) Frederick Billings, lawyer, railroad executive, and philanthropist. He was the 4th of a family of 9 children. While he was quite young, the family removed to Woodstock, where his father, Oel Billings, served for many years as Register of Probate. Frederick graduated from the University of Vermont in 1844, was admitted to the bar in Windsor county in 1848, and 1846-48 served as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs under Governor Eaton. In 1840, while on his way to California and waiting in New York for a steamer, news reached him that gold had been discovered near Sacramento. In the great rush which followed, Mr. Billings had the advantage of an early start, and was, in fact, the first lawyer to display his sign in the embryo city of San Francisco. Archibald C. Peachy was his first partner, but Major General H. W. Halleck and Trenor W. Park were taken into partnership, and for many years Halleck, Peachy, Billings & Park were the leading law firm in San Francisco. Mr. Billings was one of the founders of the College of California, and was once urged to take the presidency. Selling most of his property in California in 1866, he returned East and settled in New York city living every summer upon a farm of 600 acres near Woodstock Vermont. Here Mr. Billings built a beautiful home. The project of an overland railroad awoke Mr. Billings's ardent interest, and the information he had acquired concerning the Pacific coast and the various proposed routes made his counsel of value to capitalist. In the development of The Northern Pacific Railroad enterprise, he was an active participant, and in the reorganization of the company after the failure of Jay Cooke in 1873, he rendered such useful service that the stockholders made him for several years president of the company. He was forced out by Henry Villard in 1881. The town of Billings, Mont., is named for him. He was one of the original promoters of a ship canal to the Pacific, and at the time of his death was chairman of the executive committee of The Maritime Canal Company of Nicaragua and a director of the construction company. He was also president of The Woodstock National Bank, and a director in The Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. The American Exchange Bank, The Delaware & Hudson Canal Co., The Manhattan Life Insurance Co, The Rutland, Vermont Valley Connecticut River and Passumpsic Railroads, and a trustee of the Presbyterian Hospital and the Brick Church in Fifth avenue, New York and many charitable and religious associations. Mr. Billings gifts to the University of Vermont amounted to $250,000, and among other donations for public purposes, he gave $50,000 to D. L. Moody's Mount Hermon School for Boys, and $50,000 to Amherst College. He was a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce, and of various clubs in New York city, including the Union League, Century and Lawyers', and Down Town Association. He was married in 1862 to Julia, a daughter of the late Dr. Eleazar Parmly, of New York. His wife and five children survive him.
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.