As one of the nineteenth century’s most economically prosperous men, John I. Blair consequently serves as the one of the most celebrated aspects of Blairstown history. Due to an early interest in the acquisition of wealth, as proven by the immortal words, “I have seven brothers and three sisters. That’s enough in the family to be educated. I am going to get rich,” John I. Blair was simply destined for success since his youth. As proven through his status as a paragon of the early American entrepreneur, an achieved railroad magnate, and religion-based philanthropist, John I. Blair is a diversified historical figure that is often unfortunately overlooked when placed in the more general context of great American powerhouses. In commemoration of such a distinguished individual, the Blair Academy Society of Skeptics held an open lecture on the fifth of April in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts’ DuBois Theater.
For this past week’s Skeptics, both Blair students and the Blairstown community joined together to attend Dr. Elliot Trommald’s presentation on this prominent historical figure. As a leading authority on John I. Blair, Dr. Trommald, a graduate of Yale University (BA), reflected on the entrepreneur’s role in the 1848 establishment of Blair Academy, the history surrounding his familial relationships, and the multi-million dollar fortune that was achieved through his railroad empire. Dr. Trommald, the former Blair Academy History Department Chair, also delved into the entrepreneur’s past religious priorities and operations, such as his establishment of over 100 churches that were in close proximity to that of his railroads.
If for some reason you were unable to take part in this past Skeptics, the lecture was conveniently livestreamed in real-time and can easily be accessed on the Blair Academy webpage.
(Copyright 2016 Alecia Mund)