Mark Hopkins: ‘The stubbornest man alive’
The Argonauts who descended on California after gold was discovered were young men, mostly under 30 years of age. They regarded older people with a measure of suspicion, if of particulars, and so was called "Uncle Mark." Tall and thin, bent like a weathered fence post, gangly Uncle Mark had a brilliant and analytical mind mixed with exceedingly good judgment. Besides being soft-spoken, he was regarded by his peers as "the stubbornest man alive." In a territory where spirits flowed freely, tea was his libation. He was a simple man with simple tastes, a vegetarian a century before it became culturally and environmentally chic to be one! Born in New York but raised in Michigan, he began his commercial training as a clerk for a mercantile firm at age 16. He also studied law, but business attracted his interest and he devoted all his energy to his work, from sales to finance.