Ancient farmers used draft animals for plowing but the heavy work of harvesting fell to the humans, using sickle and scythe. Change came in the mid-19th century when Cyrus Hall McCormick built the mechanical harvester. Though the McCormicks used their wealth to establish art collections and universities, battle disease, and develop birth control, members of the family faced constant scrutiny and scandal. This book recounts their story as well as the history of the International Harvester Company (IHC)—a merger of the McCormick and Deering companies and the world’s leader in agricultural machinery in the 1900s.
Acknowledgments viPreface 1One. Cyrus Hall McCormick Comes to Chicago 5Two. Cyrus and Nettie McCormick and Family 26Three. The Brothers: William and Leander 41Four. The Rivals: William Deering and Sons 51Five. The Heir: Cyrus Hall McCormick, Jr. 62Six. The Formation of the International Harvester Company 72Seven. International Harvester Expands Abroad 90Eight. The Middle Son: Harold Fowler McCormick, Sr. 105Nine. The Grandsons: Cyrus McCormick III and Harold Fowler McCormick, Jr. 132Ten. Brooks McCormick: The Last McCormick as Chief Executive Officer 148Eleven. The Collectors 160Twelve. Madness 168Thirteen. Ambassadors and Politicians 181Fourteen. Robert Rutherford McCormick and His Chicago Tribune 187Fifteen. Edifices 204Sixteen. Successors to International Harvester; Case IH and Navistar 222Chapter Notes 227Bibliography 239Index 243