Skip to comments.James J. Hill's iron ore legacy has last day on NYSE
Posted on 04/08/2015 6:13:39 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
After 109 years in business, the Great Northern Iron Ore Properties Trust officially terminated Monday and its stock stopped trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The moment provided a reminder of a distant era in Minnesota history, shaped by railroad barons and trust-busting reformers, by the great riches of the Mesabi Range and the hard realities of the industrial age.
"So many of Hill's decisions cast such a long shadow," said Craig Johnson, manager of the James J. Hill House historic site in St. Paul. "It reminds us that he's still that big looming presence in the business and corporate life here in the Twin Cities."
The iron ore trust isn't the best-known venture of a business titan who was nicknamed "the Empire Builder" for his railroad network to the Pacific.
(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...
But yet, Hill’s influence in building the railroads through the northern states of the continental USA is why we could get oil from the Bakken oil fields. Not to mention turning eastern Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota into major wheat producers.
I wonder if a guy could get a hold of one of Great Northern’s stock certificates.
--Haywire Mac, 1928
At their peak they mined magnetite, which is a higher grade ore, but the northern deposits were depleted long ago, leaving mostly taconite, which is only 25-30% iron, the rest being mostly silica. After a lot of processing, the taconite is turned into pea sized nodules that are then sent to steel plants.
But of course...wanna buy one?
I have two, for a total of 100 shares.
They were cancelled 7/17/29, but they are gen-you-wine certificates.
They were issued with a par value of one dollar and twenty-five cents each, which, when they were purchased by my grandfather, were severely undervalued.
Just kidding about selling them, they are family heirlooms, but they do represent what our family is about, as far as our life's fortunes are concerned.
I also have West Canadian Oil & Gas Limited and the Cuba Company...fairly common items, but still collector items, for some folks.
They were until very recently. The Chinese have shut down most iron ore and steel production in the US.
At some point soon, every American manufacturing job will have been free traded to China.
I actually would be very interested in buying one of the Great Northerns. My wife is from Duluth and her father worked on the railroad and in the steel plant there.
I would be disowned, were I to get rid of one!
But, I believe they can be found on Ebay and I know a large lot was sold at a Julia auction a while back.
Actually, I think they're fairly common, since a huge amount was cancelled (or something, I'm not real sure of the history of it) in 1929 and most of the holders were either bought out or had certificates re-issued after GN did a bunch of buyouts in 1927-30.
As I said, my G-fathers life's fortunes were made with the GN and even today, we continue to receive dividends from BNSF, based upon his investments back then.
He was a smart man, even if he was French-Canadian by birth and US by his mother.
(Hey, that sounds kinda like Ted Cruz.)
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