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Frederick Weyerhaeuser and the American West

Frederick Weyerhaeuser and the American West


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The Weyerhaeuser name looms large in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, and Arkansas, attached to paper mills, cabinet factories, and vast tracts of land, both forested and cut over. Frederick Weyerhaeuser, the man who started the lumber empire, significantly shaped the American economy and landscape from Wisconsin westward in the nineteenth century.

A complex and private man, Weyerhaeuser emigrated from Germany in 1852 at the tender age of eighteen. In just a few years, he would be a prominent lumberman, organizing partnerships among competing companies, rationalizing the business, and then making the largest timberland purchase in the history of the United States.

Author Judith Koll Healey narrates the life of this extraordinary man through newly available resources: his extensive correspondence and journal entries as well as the letters and diaries of family members, friends, and business associates from around the country. She frames Weyerhaeuser's many commercial opportunities and business decisions within both the family's internal dynamics and world events: war and unrest, economic upswings and downturns, and western expansion and eastern urbanization. Throughout, Healey offers a thoughtful perspective on his achievements as well as the limitations of his vision for the expansion of the American West.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780873518918
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Edition description: 1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,075,103
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College, Claremont, California, and author of "Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism."

Table of Contents

Foreword Char Miller ix

Chronology xv

Genealogy of the First Two Generations of the Weyerhaeuser Family xvii

Introduction 3

Part 1 The Nineteenth Century-America Moves West 5

Westward Ho! 7

Part 2 Travels from a German Village to the American Midwest 19

Scene 1 Father and son, October 6, 1846

1 An Early Death Changes a Family 23

2 Coming to America and Moving West 27

Part 3 The Rock Island Years 33

Scene 2 A young man finds a frontier town, March 1856

3 Seize the Day 37

4 The Family Prospers in Coal Valley 42

5 An Entrepreneur's Adventures 47

6 The First Partnership Years during a Cruel War 51

Part 4 Forests, Rivers, and Rights 63

Scene 3 Frederick encounters the Wisconsin forests, October 1867

7 Frederick Likes the Forest Life 67

8 The Wisconsin Logging Feuds Breed Bitterness 80

9 Frederick Emerges as First Among Equals 90

10 Meanwhile, Sarah Keeps the Home Fires Burning 104

11 The Children Grow Up in the "House on the Hill" 113

Part 5 The St. Paul Years-Crowning Achievements 121

Scene 4 Frederick wonders if young Fred has learned to negotiate yet, 1900

12 Minnesota's Forests Call 125

13 The Family Moves to St. Paul, and Frederick Turns Westward 135

14 Family Matters 145

15 Frederick and Sarah Become World Travelers 151

Part 6 The Final Years-Joys of Family, Sorrow of Loss 159

Scene 5 Sarah and Frederick before the anniversary celebration, October 10, 1907

16 Frederick Withstands Personal Challenges, 1900-1906 163

17 "Unser Fritz" Takes Care of the Villagers 178

18 The Joys of Family, 1907-14 187

19 The Final Years-The Sorrows of Loss 195

Part 7 Frederick's Legacies 201

Scene 6 The Weyerhaeuser Timber Company board meeting, June 18, 1914

20 Frederick's Many Legacies 205

21 Remembering Frederick 219

How This Book Came to he Written, by F. T. (Ted) Weyerhaeuser 223

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 225

Notes 229

Notes by Chapter 230

Bibliography 245

Index 247

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