Yerkes, Charles Tyson

Yerkes, Charles Tyson

Yerkes (pronounced like 'turkeys') was born in Philadelphia to a Quaker family in 1837. He was to be the powerhouse behind the electrification of the District line and construction of the Bakerloo, Piccadilly and Northern lines in London that formed the core of the modern Underground network.

He began his business career as a clerk in a grain commission house. He became a broker when he was 21 years old. A year later he married Susanna Guttridge Gamble. At first the confident young man made a fortune as a dealer in bonds. However his luck turned following the Great Chicago fire of 1871, and he lost his money when insurance companies all over America defaulted on the damage to the large commercial district. Following this, Yerkes was imprisoned for some months, reputedly for embezzlement.

In 1882 he moved to Chicago where hedeveloped the tramway andsuburban railway systems, through astute and convoluted business tactics. By this time he had divorced his first wife and married Mary Adelaide Moore, a Philadelphia beauty.

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