We’re reading Burton Folsom’s The Myth of the Robber Barons for my Business and Economic Ethics course. In the chapter on the Scrantons who built a formidable iron manufacture in the then-wilderness of northeastern Pennsylvania, there is a description of:
“Another immigrant, John Jermyn, who came to Scranton in 1847 from England and began working for the Scrantons for 75 cents a day. Soon he was managing coal mines and was putting what little money he earned into coal land and real estate with a knack that amazed everyone. The critical risk in his career came in 1862, when he leased some abandoned mines northeast of Scranton. Defying the skeptics, Jermyn bought new machines and fulfilled a contract for one million tons of coal. He then tripled his contract and was on his way to becoming the largest independent coal operator in the Lackawanna Valley. A local credit agent said that Jermyn was ‘believed to be unaffected by the times, holding his own versus all contingencies.’ When he died in 1902, Jermyn left an estate of $7,000,000” (p. 54).
Question: With a biography like that, was Jermyn a contributor to the creation of the character Ken Danagger in Atlas Shrugged?
Here’s more on Jermyn at the Texas Transportation Archive.
The image is from Ancestry.com.