LELAND STANFORD (1824-1893). Known as a great railroad builder, Leland Stanford began his professional career as a lawyer. However, losing his law office and library in Wisconsin to fire, young Leland followed his five brothers west to California, where he set up business with a stock of mining supplies. Settling in Sacramento with his wife, he became involved in California politics, eventually elected Governor in 1861, when the outbreak of the Civil War split the opposing Democratic Party. Holding office for only one term, Stanford's political accomplishments include holding California safely within the Union, relieving the 1861 Sacramento flood and approving several public grants to the Transcontinental Railroad via Truckee. This latter was the enterprise which brought him both wealth, and the bulk of his reputation. Providing seed money for initial feasibility studies of the Central Pacific Railroad, Stanford would be intimately involved with this venture from its inception until his death in 1893 and, in fact, felt no remorse about taking official action as Governor when his private interests as railroad president were engaged. The Central Pacific brought together Stanford, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and C. P. Huntington into one of the most ambitious and important railroad projects in American history, the Transcontinental Railroad. Stanford was president and director of the Central Pacific from its beginning until his death and also served in the Southern Pacific Company. Though elected to the United States Senate late in his career, Stanford lacked political savvy and was largely ineffective. He is remembered today as the founder of Stanford University, a memorial to his beloved son.