Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/McMillan, James

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McMILLAN, James, senator, b. in Hamilton, Ontario, 12 May, 1838. He went to Detroit when he was sixteen years of age, and was clerk in a hardware-store for two years, until he was appointed purchasing-agent for the Detroit and Milwaukee railroad company. In 1864, with John S. Newberry and others, he organized the Michigan car company, for the manufacture of freight-cars. This business grew very rapidly, and in ten years it was one of the largest in the United States. Its success led to the formation of the Detroit car-wheel company, the Baugh steam-forge company, the Detroit iron-furnace company, and the Vulcan furnace company. In 1881, with his associates in business, he organized the Detroit, Mackinaw, and Marquette railroad company, of which he became president. Mr. McMillan is one of the largest owners of the Detroit and Cleveland steam navigation company, and the Detroit transportation company, has been a director of several banks in Detroit, and is interested in other large business enterprises. He has been chairman of the Michigan state Republican committee, contributing largely to its funds. His business enterprises have uniformly proved successful, and he has acquired a large fortune. In 1886 he joined with John S. Newberry in contributing $100,000 each for the establishment and maintenance of a hospital in Detroit. In 1889 he became U. S. senator, and was re-elected in 1895 for a second term.