William H. Miner: The Man and the Myth
William Miner's life, from 1862 to 1930, is what self-made American myths are made of. Orphaned at ten, he grew up on a humble homestead near Chazy, New York, went west to make his fortune on the railroad, climbing from bridge carpenter to creator of a leading railroad appliance company in Chicago. When he and his wife lost their only child, he returned to Chazy to make country life competitive with big city living. He transformed the old Miner homestead into a 15,000 acre fairyland farm and built a famous rural school, a state-of-the-art hospital and hydroelectric dams to bring the magic of electricity to the area. Though William Miner has gone, his legacy lives on. His foundation still funds the school, the hospital, and an agricultural research institute on the old Miner Farm. Joseph Burke's "William H. Miner: The Man and the Myth" sees him as a classic case of the American Mobility Myth, showing that “success could still depend, not on who you were, but on what you could do.”
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