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Henry Strong

Prominent Attorney, Philanthropist,
President of Santa Fe Railroad

Henry Strong was a prominent Chicago attorney who worked hard for his education. This experience caused  him to establish the Henry Strong Educational Foundation with headquarters in Chicago. It is designed to make loans to deserving students in order to help them attain higher education. ■ Strong was born May 2, 1829, in Helensburgh, Scotland. He was the son of Harvey Strong and Helen Gillespie Strong. When he was a small boy his parents came to Massachusetts with Henry and six other children. ■ He realized early that if he were to have a college education, he would have to earn it himself. He worked his way through one year at the university of Michigan and three years at the University of Rochester, graduating in 1854. Two years later he earned his law degree. ■ He lived for a short time in Kentucky and Iowa before moving to Chicago. He became a leading railroad attorney with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad and in 1873-74 served as president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad with headquarters in Boston. ■ He returned to Chicago and practiced law for five more years before retiring in 1879. Strong gained a wide reputation as a public speaker and writer on the questions of the day. He was honored by the University of Rochester and the University of Iowa. ■ He died October 21, 1911, in Denver. His will provided for the setting up of the Henry Strong Educational Foundation to help deserving students in Midwest colleges. More than 11,000 students have benefited from the foundation since its inception in 1919. Money is loaned and the funds that are repaid by the borrowers are used over and over again.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546