Northern Pacific Railroad Company signed by John MacKay - Stock CertificateInv# AG2019 Stock
Stock signed by John MacKay on back. Frederick Billings signs as president. Rare!
John William MacKay (1831-1902) JOHN WILLIAM MACKAY, miner and capitalist, born in Dublin, Ireland. He went to the USA as a boy, became an expert in timbering Nevada mines, and made a fortune by reworking the Comstock Lode with new equipment. After striking it rich again with the Big Bonanza’ mine, he became a banker and railroad director and broke the Jay Gould-Western Union communications monopoly in 1886. In 1851 he went to California and worked in placer gold-mines in Sierra County. In 1859 he went to Virginia City, Nevada, and there, after losing all he had made in California, he formed a business partnership with fellow Irishmen James Graham Fair, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien. The four dealt in mining stocks and operated silver mines on the Comstock Lode, and in 1873 discovered the great ore body known as the "big bonanza" in the Consolidated Virginia and California mine, which yielded in March of that year as much as $3,876 per ton, and in 1877 nearly $190,000,000 altogether. The four-way partnership, although formally called "Flood and O'Brien," was more commonly known as the Bonanza firm. Together they also established the Bank of Nevada in San Francisco. In 1884, with James Gordon Bennett, Jr., Mackay formed the Commercial Cable Company; laid two transatlantic cables, and forced the toll-rate for transatlantic messages down to 25˘ a word. In connection with the Commercial Cable Company, he formed in 1886 the Postal Telegraph Company as a domestic wire telegraph company so that Commercial would not need to rely on Western Union to collect and distribute telegraphic messages. Until Mackay and Bennett entered the field, all submarine cable traffic between the U.S. and Europe went over cables owned by the American financier Jay Gould. A rate war followed that took almost 2 years to conclude. Jay Gould finally quit trying to run John Mackay out of business. He was quoted as saying, "You can't beat Mackay, all he has to do when he needs money is go to Nevada and dig up some more". He subsequently formed the Commercial Pacific Cable Company in secret partnership with the Great Northern Telegraph Company and the Eastern Telegraph Company and although he died in 1902 before this part of his vision was completed, his son Clarence Mackay, saw the project through to completion between 1904 and 1906. Commercial Pacific operated a cable line from San Francisco to Manila, Philippines, via Hawaii and Guam, with a subsequent spur that went from Manila to Shanghai, China. The Mackay System expanded under Clarence H. Mackay's leadership, acquiring several other entities including the Federal Telegraph Company, its radio stations and research laboratories, in 1927. In 1928, the entire system was bought out by Sosthenes Behn's International Telephone and Telegraph. ITT organized the Postal Telegraph & Cable Corporation as a shell to acquire and control the Mackay System on May 18, 1928. Though plagued with financial troubles during the Great Depression, the Mackay System continued to be the chief rival of Western Union until 1943. In March of that year, Congress authorized an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934 permitting the merger of the domestic operations of telegraph companies (clearing the way for Western Union to acquire Postal Telegraph). By May 1943 a merger plan had been put together, which the FCC approved by September, and the merger was complete by October 1943. The international communications parts of the Mackay system remained with ITT. Mackay was famous for fair dealings with his employees, and gave generously, especially to the charities of the Roman Catholic Church, and endowed the Catholic orphan asylum in Virginia City, Nevada. In June 1908 the Mackay School of Mines was presented to the University of Nevada, as a memorial to him, by his widow and his son, Clarence H. Mackay. A statue of John Mackay by Gutzon Borglum stands in front of the mining building on the university campus in Reno, Nevada.
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.