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Seven Iron Men

The Merritts and the Discovery of the Mesabi Range

2007
Author:

Paul de Kruif

Seven Iron Men

The true and tragic story of discovery and swindling on Minnesota’s Iron Range

In the tradition of great American rags to riches stories, Seven Iron Men weaves together the history of how the seven Merritt brothers discovered iron ore on the Mesabi Range. In 1890 they were poised to become one of the wealthiest families in America—but then they lost it all to industrialist John D. Rockefeller.

The tale of their long and furious quest makes for one of the most melodramatic stories in American history. The Merritts leap from the chronicle in all the colors of life-especially Lon, the king of them all, with his maudlin poetizing, his childlike faith in mankind, and his incredible tropical hat. It is a tale full of thrills, shot with sardonic humors.

H. L. Mencken, The Nation

In the tradition of great American rags to riches stories, Seven Iron Men weaves together the history of how the seven Merritt brothers discovered iron ore on the Mesabi Range. In 1890 they were poised to become one of the wealthiest families in America—but then they lost it all to industrialist John D. Rockefeller.

Seven Iron Men

Paul de Kruif (1890–1971) was a microbiologist, served as a contributing editor to Reader’s Digest, and was the best-selling author of Microbe Hunters.

Seven Iron Men

The tale of their long and furious quest makes for one of the most melodramatic stories in American history. The Merritts leap from the chronicle in all the colors of life-especially Lon, the king of them all, with his maudlin poetizing, his childlike faith in mankind, and his incredible tropical hat. It is a tale full of thrills, shot with sardonic humors.

H. L. Mencken, The Nation

Certainly it is no small contribution to the history of the American people to unfold the tale of the discovery and development of those huge iron deposits of the Mesabi Range flanking much of Lake Superior. To these perhaps quite as much as to any other one factor the country owes its industrial supremacy in the age of steel.

New York Herald Tribune

Seven Iron Men

CONTENTS

Part One: Andante
Part Two: Allegro
Part Three: Più Presto
Part Four: Fugato

Explanatory Notes
Sources of Information

Index