Charles W. Nash died in 1948 in the tony city of Beverly Hills, California, leaving an estate of approximately $50 million. Not bad considering his roots: a dirt-poor farm boy whose parents split up when he was six years old and essentially abandoned him. Unimaginable today, a court indentured the six-year-old to a Michigan farmer to work for room and board until he was 21. Nash ran away from that farm when he was 12 and continued running until he had become one of America’s most successful and accomplished automobile pioneers. But he didn’t run too far away from his roots, describing himself as “the most common cuss that lived,? and noting that he was proud of belonging to the “common people.? His indentured servitude was ironic since he was born on Jan. 28, 1864 on a farm in DeKalb County, Ill, while the nation was embroiled in the Civil War, fighting, in part, to end slavery. His emancipation didn’t take place until 1876, when he escaped from the Michigan farm and walked 15 miles to begin new employment on a farm near Grand Blanc, Mich., where his compensation was a $8 a month. After three months he sought a better paying job and landed on a Mount Morris, Mich, farm about 75 miles northwest of Detroit, where he received $12 a month.