Big Four (Central Pacific Railroad)
The Big Four was the name popularly given to the businessmen and philanthropists who built the Central Pacific Railroad, the western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States. Composed of Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker, the four preferred to be known as "The Associates."
- Leland Stanford - CPRR President, Stanford University founder.
- Collis Potter Huntington - CPRR Vice President
- Mark Hopkins - CPRR Treasurer
- Charles Crocker - Construction Supervisor, President of Charles Crocker & Co., a CPRR subsidiary.
David Hewes, an enterprising businessman, was called the "maker of San Francisco" for his work in clearing land for development. He was invited to be a part of the Big Four but declined due to the financial risks. Over his lifetime he gained and lost several fortunes.
In popular culture
Ambrose Bierce included characters based on the Big Four in his work Black Beetles in Amber as Sootymug (Hopkins), Happy Hunty (Huntington), Cowboy Charley (Crocker) and Leland, The Kid (Stanford).
- Ambrose, Stephen E. (2000). Nothing Like It in the World; The men who built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84609-8.
- Yenne, Bill (1985). The History of the Southern Pacific. Bison Books. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-517-46084-X.
- Galloway, John Debo, C.E. The First Transcontinental Railroad New York: Simmons-Boardman Co. (1950) Ch. 4
- "ABOUT US". Sacramento Public Library. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association: David Hewes and family
- Bierce, Ambrose. "Black Beetles in Amber". Archived from the original on 29 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-17.
- The Story of the Central Pacific. The Rise of the Big Four: Huntington, Stanford, Crocker, and Hopkins. By WF Bailey The PACIFIC MONTHLY January, 1908.