Collis P. Huntington

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Collis P. Huntington, around 1900
Mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery

Collis Potter Huntington (* 22. October 1821 in Harwinton , Connecticut ; † 13. August 1900 in New York ) was one of the railway - tycoons the United States .

He is one of the Big Four , along with Leland Stanford , Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker , who built the western section of the first transcontinental rail link in the USA with the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad .


Collis Potter Huntington was born in Connecticut in 1821. He went to California during the gold rush in 1848 and became a successful businessman in Sacramento . He was heavily involved in the financing and execution of the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad . This was connected to the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869 for the first transcontinental rail link in North America. Huntington was later involved in the establishment of the Southern Pacific Railroad . Due to the railroad companies he controlled, he had a great influence in the western part of the United States, especially in California.

From 1871 he oversaw the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway through Virginia and West Virginia to the Ohio River . Huntington founded the city of Huntington in West Virginia, named and planned after him, and the Coal Pier in Warwick County in Virginia. This is where Newport News was founded in 1896 . He also founded the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company , the largest private shipyard in the United States.

He died in 1900 and was in the cemetery Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx ( New York buried).


Collis Huntington married Arabella Huntington and was the father or stepfather of the patron and Hispanic Archer Milton Huntington , who came into his inheritance and with his fortune u. a. founded the Hispanic Society of America .

Collis was also related to another California railroad tycoon: Henry E. Huntington , whom his wife Arabella married after his death, the most important person behind the Pacific Electric Railway , which was mainly responsible for local transport in Los Angeles , and founder of the Huntington Library in San Marino in California.

He was also related to Clarence Huntington , chairman of the Virginian Railway .


  • Michael Klepper, Robert Gunther: The wealthy 100: from Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates - a ranking of the richest Americans, past and present . Carol Publishing Group, Secaucus, NY 1996, ISBN 0-8065-1800-6 , pp. 110-116.
  • Shelley Bennett: The art of wealth. The Huntingtons in the Gilded Age . Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino 2013, ISBN 978-0-87328-253-6 .

Web links

Commons : Collis Potter Huntington  - Collection of images, videos and audio files