Van Horne, Sir William Cornelius
VAN HORNE, SIR WILLIAM CORNELIUS (1843- ), Canadian financier, was b'orn in Will county, Illinois, U.S.A., on the 3rd of February 1843, of Dutch descent. He was educated in the common schools of the state, and in 1857 began work as office boy in a railway station. His ability and force brought him to the front, and he rose till in 1881 he was appointed general manager of the Canadian Pacific railway. For the successful completion of this great road his strong will and mental grasp were largely responsible, and he it was who not only controlled but steadily extended its operations during the lean years which followed. In 1884 he became vice-president of the line, in 1888 president, and in 1899 chairman of the board of directors. From 1885 onward he was more and more associated with every branch of Canadian mercantile and financial life, and as a publicist gave shrewd expression to his views on political and economic questions. After the SpanishAmerican War (1898) he became one of the chief promoters of railway and industrial enterprise in Cuba. In May 1894 he was knighted by Queen Victoria in acknowledgment of his distinguished public services. He was also known as a patroa of art and literature and an amateur painter of no little merit.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)