BILLINGS, FREDERICK
While Frederick Billings may not be a household name today, his name was most assuredly on the tip of the tongue of nearly every important American businessman from the mid to late 19th century. From humble country beginnings in Vermont he attended law school and was admitted to the bar in 1848. During that year, while waiting on a steamship bound for California, Billings heard of the discovery of Gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento. Thereafter, he quickly succeeded as a lawyer in San Francisco, in fact was the very first to hang an attorney’s sign in the bustling yet embryotic gold rush town. He was also a successful Real Estate developer and soon became of one of the wealthiest and most prominent man in California, at one time even being urged to run for President. Just after the Civil War ended, he sold most of his property in California and returned East. This was a tremendous time in America for a capitalist with great fortune, experience and visionary ideas. Billings had already proved himself handily. He saw the potential in great western expansion and was convinced the overland railroad would be the route to riches. In 1869, he bought his first share of Northern Pacific railroad. Ten years later he would be its president. During this time, his interest in conservation had peaked and thus began his work with George Perkins Marsh, the seminal environmentalist. His lifelong dedication to preservation of natural resources would follow him long after he made his mark with the iron rails that left their footprint across this nation. With the tremendous financial failure of Jay Cooke and the Northern Pacific, the ensuing panic of 1873 his mighty visions began to take shape. Bear in mind the Northern Pacific was the single greatest corporate undertaking of the 19th century. With General George Cass as president and he as Managing Director from 1872 to 1875, he began his leadership with the Northern Pacific. His grand reorganization plan for the troubled railroad bloomed in 1875 and saw it’s fruition four years later. The stockholders made him president of the company and the first 100 miles of Missouri was contracted. In one of the boldest financial strokes of the era, he rescued the mighty Northern Pacific Railroad from almost certain failure, enabling it to span the continent and open up the Northwest. His foresight and keen business mind resulted in the establishment of Billings Montana. As a believer in material progress, social engineering, experimentation, and education, his interest in conservation and commerce were not antithetical. This alliance was best expressed by his commitment to the success and careful preservation of Yellowstone National Park. Billings felt that God would not look kindly on those who destroyed His greatest wonders. Because of his tireless efforts this Vermont farm boy, forty-niner, entrepreneur, and philanthropist influenced many of the greatest enterprises of the 19th century at the same time preserving and protecting and sharing the wealth of this country’s natural beauty as well as its economic. His involvement in a vast number of Western businesses left a fortune estimated by some to be $30,000,000 at the time of his death.

Products

Frederick Billings Requests New Road Completion SharesOf The Northern Pacific Railroad

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
Frederick Billings (1823 – 1890). Financier, lawyer. Reorganized the Northern Pacific Railroad. Partly-printed DS. 1 page. 5 ½” x 7 ¼”. New York City, January 1881. To the treasure of the Northern Pacific Railroad, “Please deliver to me so many shares common stock on account of my proprietary interest as I am entitled to by reason of the completion of new road since last issue on account of said interest….” Boldly signed by Billings.
Catalog: # AM-1679
State: New York
Topic: Railroad
Price: $145.00

Helena And Red Mountain Railroad Company Issued To Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1887, Montana. Stock Certificate for 392 Shares issued to Frederick Billings but not signed by him. Black/White. Litho. Uncancelled and Excellent.
Catalog: # SB-3310
Cancellation: Uncancelled
Condition: Excellent
State: Montana
Topic: Famous People on Stocks and Bonds
Price: $245.00

Jamestown And Northern RR Co. Issued To And Signed By Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1884. Stock certificate for 1 share. Black. Issued to and signed on the verso by FREDERICK BILLINGS President of the NPRW. Billings became a lawyer and in 1849, the year gold was found in California, he went west to make his fortune. He made it quickly, soon becoming a successful lawyer and real estate developer in San Francisco and one of the richest men in California. Cancellations not affecting Billings signature on verso. Also signed by ROBERT HARRIS as President. The presidency of the Northern Pacific was handed to a professional railroader, ROBERT HARRIS, former head of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. For the next four years, until the return of the Villard clique, Harris worked at improving the property and breaking away from its tangled relationship with the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company.
Catalog: # NP-1628
State: Minnesota
Topic: Famous People on Stocks and Bonds
Price: $450.00

Northern Pacific Railroad Stock Issued To And Signed On Verso By Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1878, New York. Stock certificate for 100 shares. Orange/Black. Engraved vignette of a steam locomotive at top center and portrait vignette of Frederick Billings at bottom center. Issued to and signed on verso FREDERICK BILLINGS (1823 – 1890). President of the NPRW. Billings Montana was named after him. Billings became a lawyer and in 1849, the year gold was found in California, he went west to make his fortune. He made it quickly, soon becoming a successful lawyer and real estate developer in San Francisco and one of the richest men in California. . Diamond cut cancellation at left and punch cancellations at officers' signatures. Billings' signature is unaffected. Extremely fine.
Catalog: # NP-1011
Condition: Extremely Fine
State: New York
Topic: Railroad
Price: $200.00

Northern Pacific, Fergus And Black Hills Railroad Stock Issued To And Signed On Verso By Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1885. Minnesota and Dakota. Stock certificate for 1 share. Black. Issued to and signed on the verso by FREDERICK BILLINGS (1823 – 1890). President of the NPRW. Billings Montana was named after him. Billings became a lawyer and in 1849, the year gold was found in California, he went west to make his fortune. He made it quickly, soon becoming a successful lawyer and real estate developer in San Francisco and one of the richest men in California. Cancellations not affecting Billings signature on verso. Originally named the Minnesota Northern Railroad, the company ran 117 miles from Wadena, Minnesota to Milnor, Dakota and was completed in 1883. Only 30 certificates of this company turned up in issued state and this is the only one issued to and signed by Billings. Thus Unique on this company.
Catalog: # NP-1621
Country: Canada
Topic: Famous People on Stocks and Bonds
Price: $450.00

Puget Sound And Alaska Steamship Co. Issued To Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1890, Washington and Alaska. Stock certificate of the Puget Sound and Alaska Steamship Company. Brown/Black. Lovely engraved vignette of a steamship in rough seas at top center. Printed by Franklin Bank Note Company. Issued to and signed on verso by Frederick Billings
Catalog: # NP-1677
State: Alaska
Topic: Famous People on Stocks and Bonds
Price: $350.00

The Little Falls & Dakota RR Co. Issued To And Signed By Frederick Billings

 BILLINGS, FREDERICK
1884. Minnesota. Stock certificate for one shares. Black. State seal vignette at top center. Litho. Signed as president of the company by ROBERT HARRIS A professional railroader. Issued to and signed on verso by FREDREICK BILLINGS Work on the Little Falls & Dakota branch started in the summer of 1881, the company being known as the Little Falls & Dakota Railroad Company. Track laying began in June, 1882, and was completed to Morris, on October 27, 1882. Operation of trains began on November 1, 1882. The Little Falls & Dakota Railroad Company was organized by local men and was capitalized by county bond issues of the immediate counties. Ortonville is said to have been the objective of this line but the road was never extended west of Morris Plans for the present Little Falls depot were drafted in 1899 and the building of the station began shortly thereafter. (Poors Manual). Couple of small hole cancellations slightly affect Harris’s signature. Cancellations not affecting Billings signature on verso.
Catalog: # NP-1622
State: Minnesota
Topic: Famous People on Stocks and Bonds
Price: $450.00