Talk:Collis Potter Huntington

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Birth date discrepancy[edit]

Okay, time to take a breath and look at the references. Taking a quick Google search (yes, I know that this is not the most entirely reputable of reference searches, but it's what I've got easy access to at the moment)...

References stating April 16:

  • "Collis P. Huntington". FindAGrave. Retrieved 2007-04-05.  includes photos of the Huntington mausoleum, but no photos of any inscription beyond "HUNTINGTON".
  • Huntington Family Association (1915). "Collis Potter Huntington". Retrieved 2007-04-05. 

References stating October 22:

While I can believe that a mistake has been copied by everyone, I find it harder to believe based on the census records shown on the Diana's Genealogy page. However, since there are two dates that are referenced in various sources, I think it's best that we display both here with the references where each was found. I will do this shortly... Slambo (Speak) 15:02, 5 April 2007 (UTC) is a user posted site. It is very possible info was incorrectly transcribed there. The October dates are more probable and come from more reliable sourced sites. Ronbo76 15:10, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree, and I plan to look at my paper references later this week for further confirmation. Slambo (Speak) 15:12, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I see that the editor who first noted the discrepancy tried to remove the referenced update and was reverted. I left notes on his talk page discussing this issue when I added the references here. As an amateur genealogist myself, I've seen plenty of family histories published by immediate family members that contain inaccuracies. In other words, even family members can get the data wrong. Slambo (Speak) 15:26, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Over lunch today, I checked Ambrose, Stephen E. (2000). Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad. Touchstone. ISBN 0-7432-0317-8.  At the bottom of page 47, it lists C.P.'s birth date as October 21, 1821; at the top of the next page, the footnote cites the data to "Collis Huntington Memoir, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley." Is there someone in the Berkeley area that could check the memoir there and provide a full citation? Slambo (Speak) 17:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Out of curiosity, I took a quick look at the April 16 and October 22 articles to see where Huntington is listed. I wasn't too surprised to find him listed on the former and not the latter; I've left a note on Talk:April 16 referencing this discussion. Even less surprising was seeing this edit to the April page (but he doesn't appear to have been listed on the October page, so I've added it there). Slambo (Speak) 17:32, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
On a somewhat related note, I thought it might be helpful to find some online resources that discuss the difficulty in finding accurate information when doing genealogical research. In a quick check, I found this post to the RESEARCH-HOWTO mailing list hosted at RootsWeb. While I haven't run into cases as extreme as those mentioned there, I have seen multiple records for people in my research lines showing different dates; it gives an idea of how I view the references we're working on adding here. Slambo (Speak) 20:32, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem continues in 2011 where someone on an anonymous account continues to change the date back to April. Every published source I have, including the Evans (considered the definative biography) says his dates are (October 22, 1821 – August 13, 1900). Ellin Beltz (talk) 22:26, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I have been in correspondence with the Huntington association which has a biography page using the April birthdate. Here is the reply I received from their secretary. "Dear Ellin,Thanks for pointing out this error. I checked our initial memoir back to 1863 and it was published incorrectly there. So this mistake has been out there for quite some time and I believe you're the first to catch it. I'll see what can be done about correcting our web site. We don't have a web administrator anymore so it could be some time before we can make a change.Regards,Chuck Huntington - HFA Secretary-Treasurer." So there you have it from the source. April is an error. I offered to teach him how to make web changes or make the change for them if they so desired. Ellin Beltz (talk) 18:44, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


Anyone care to add a reference for the DOB? feydey 15:03, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I just did. See above. Slambo (Speak) 15:09, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Places named for him[edit]

In Oneonta, New York the public library is the "Huntington Memorial Library" (I have held a library card there in the past). This may have been named for Collis Potter Huntington, or for soem other member of his family, I can't yet say, but will try to find out, and get a citeable source. DES (talk) 23:40, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

If you find the library's homepage, they usually have a history section for whom they are named like Anthony Quinn's in Boyle Heights. Ronbo76 23:45, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Good though (I was goign to check in person since I am likely to vist that town in the next few weeks). According to, it was named for Henry E. Huntington who donated the house and gorunds, and a trust fund for its support. Ah well. 00:01, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Another April 16 pusher[edit]

I just reverted an edit by (talk · contribs). It seems that at least one editor still believes in removing referenced data rather than discussing the issue first. Slambo (Speak) 10:31, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Archer Huntington's Origins[edit]

I have read and been told that Archer Huntington was actually Collis' son born out of wedlock with his second wife before they were married. Collis did have a 15 year affair with Arabella before his first wife died. Archer, himself, maintained that Collis was his biological father. Also, after Collis died his second wife married his nephew. I think that both of these things should be discussed if not in this article than in the Archer Huntington article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:37, July 16, 2007.

As long as we can cite reliable sources, the information can be added with confidence. Slambo (Speak) 11:00, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 11:06, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Article reassessment and recommendations for improvements[edit]

This article is definitely beyond the Start scale. It is now rated B, Mid for multiple wikiprojects.

Suggested improvements
  • Copyedits - are needed to clean up text and prose to standard Mos and NPOV.
  • Citations - need to be checked and standardized.
  • Combine - Notes and References
  • Talkpage archival - iscussions should be looked at for improvement and then archived.
  • Eliminate - any trivial statements that do not materially improve the article.
I have downgraded it to C class. The main reason why was because there were very few references, and they were not properly cited. Some sections also need to be expanded, while the main section needs copy-editing and should be more brief. --Fiftytwo thirty (talk) 23:15, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Lavender biography and Central Pacific days[edit]

Our biography is notably short of details of Huntington's role in building the Central Pacific, which is what he is best known for. David Lavender's biography has lots of details re this, and I'll try to add a bit before it comes due. A good read, if anyone else is interested in pursuing this.

There's presently an uncited, POV last paragraph on the CP debts -- I'm going to remove this now, and rewrite later.

Here's the para I removed (emphasis added):

The Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies had received massive loans from the U.S. government to build the transcontinental railroad—on gentle terms, but Huntington persuaded a friendly member of Congress to introduce a bill excusing the companies from repaying the money, amounting to $130 million (nearly $3 billion in 2007 money).[citation needed] This plot was defeated in part due to the advocacy of Ambrose Bierce and the newspapers of William Randolph Hearst.[citation needed]

--Pete Tillman (talk) 20:17, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

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