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County accessible; and in 1860 the great Massillon district, with which Mr. Hanna's firm became closely identified, was opened for production. By 1867 the railroad, steamboat and manufacturing industries in and about Cleveland were already justifying the shipment of some 600,000 or 700,000 tons of coal a year to that market. While the mining and sale of their own coal constituted a considerable part of the initial business of Rhodes & Co. in 1867, it by no means constituted the whole of it. The firm also owned a furnace and some iron properties at Canal Dover in the Tuscawaras district; and it sold its own pig-iron and its own ore. Furthermore it carried on a considerable commission business in all these products, and it was on the whole more interested in the selling than it was in the operating aspect of its several-sided business. Under the management of Mr. Hanna and his new partners it did not change in that respect. Indeed little by little it became more than ever a commission business. Whenever either the firm or its individual members became interested in the production of coal, of iron ore or of pig-iron it was chiefly for the purpose of securing material which could be sold by Rhodes & Co. The kind of business described above was admirably adapted to the peculiar business abilities of Mark Hanna. He was not the man to work patiently and persistently in building up stone by stone the structure of a particular industry. He liked diversity of occupation and work, constant movement and the excitement of new undertakings. The business of Rhodes & Co. developed, consequently, not along any one line, but along many lines. It became fundamentally a selling agency for a variety of products; and as a selling agency it could transact a much larger business on a certain amount of capital than it could if it were handling only the output of its iron furnaces or mines. At the same time every possible precaution was taken to provide against the dangers to which a mere commission business was exposed — the danger of losing control of the product sold. In order to become certain of being able to handle as agent large quantities of coal, iron ore and pig-iron, Rhodes & Co., either as a firm or by the action of its individual members, extended widely its interests in mines, furnaces and later in means of transportation. It did not always own a mine or a furnace outright, but an interest in many such enterprises was purchased — always with the understanding that the product should be sold through Rhodes & Co. This method of creating business for Rhodes & Co. as a selling agency became more and more an essential part of the policy of the firm. During the days of Robert Hanna & Co., Mark Hanna had, as we have seen, been much interested in the Lake Superior ore country. After the dissolution of the firm his brother, Howard Melville Hanna, continued to conduct a forwarding and commission business in the products and supplies of that district. It was natural, consequently, for Mark Hanna to extend the business of Rhodes & Co. into such a familiar region. He added to the connections of the firm a number of iron mines in the Northwest; and little by little he obtained control of the sale of most of the charcoal iron produced in the district. This innovation made an essential change in the scope and the balance of the firm's business. Its interests, instead of being confined almost exclusively to Ohio, were established in a strong position on the great highway of American domestic commerce. The extension into the Lake Superior district was immediately followed by another development in the firm's business, which also naturally followed from Mark Hanna's early experience. The connection built up with the Lake Superior district soon involved the firm in the transportation as well as the sale of iron ore and coal. Rhodes & Co., or its partners individually, acquired interests in every aspect of the handling and the transport of the products, which they sold on commisSIOIl. No other extension of the business of the firm did so much as did its early interest in lake transportation to fortify its position and enable it to reap the full advantage of its opportunities. The place of Cleveland in the economic system of the Middle West was, as I have said, primarily commercial. It was excellently situated for the handling, the collection and the distribution of the basic materials of industrial production, but its situation placed it at a disadvantage in shipping finished products to the markets either in the East or the West. Its manufactures have, indeed, always been diversified and thrifty; and the Cleveland Rolling Mills Company was early one of the most progressive and prosperous manufacturers of finished steel products in the United States. But as a producer of steel the Cleveland district has never competed except in a small way with Chicago or the Pittsburgh district. Consequently in obtaining an interest so early in the sale, the transport and the handling of the basic materials necessary to the iron and steel industries, Rhodes & Co. established themselves under Mark Hanna's direction near the heart of Cleveland's growth and prosperity. The extension of the business of Rhodes & Co. mentioned above was effected soon after Mark Hanna's entrance into the firm. Before 1870 a regular iron ore transport service was established, in which were interested, not only Rhodes & Co., but the three partners individually and Howard Melville Hanna. For many years Melville Hanna was associated with his brother in many ship-operating and ship-building enterprises, although this association did not include the other branches of Mark Hanna's business. Melville Hanna was an expert in both the technical and the commercial aspects of lake transportation and his coöperation was invaluable. Another useful associate in his early venture in the transportation of iron ore was the Cleveland Iron Mining Company. This corporation was one of the largest shippers of ore in the Lake Superior district. A contract was made with the company for the transportation of its ore for three years, and on the strength of this contract four steamers and four tows were built and operated. Each of the several partners of Rhodes & Co., except, perhaps, Mr. Warmington, also owned and operated vessels for his individual benefit. One ship, owned by Mark Hanna and his brother, was named Leonard Hanna after their father. Eventually the Cleveland Transportation Company was organized to conduct this branch of the business, and later still the early association was dissolved and the Orient Transportation Company was formed, which assumed ownership, not only of all the original fleet, but of a number of new vessels. In the meantime the other aspects of the business were not being neglected. Under modern conditions water transpor
tation is only to a very small extent independent of transportation by rail. It was just as essential for a firm like Rhodes & Co. to have advantageous connections with railroads as it was to control mines and vessels, for almost all of the materials it produced, manufactured, sold on commission or carried by water was handled by a railroad at some point of its transfer from the mines or furnaces to the consumer. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company was inevitably the corporation with which Rhodes & Co. had most reason to be closely associated. It was the company which owns the roadway leading from the firm's mines to Lake Erie. It was the only company which at that time could convey the ore brought by boat from Lake Superior to the furnaces of western Pennsylvania. Close relations were consequently established with this railroad early in the seventies, and they have continued until the present day. The firms of Rhodes' & Co." and M. A. Hanna & Co. have always been known as Pennsylvania Railroad shippers. Of course, their business was not exclusively transacted with that company, but it was their first choice. The firm in which Mr. Hanna was a partner has always stood for the Pennsylvania interest on the south shore of Lake Erie. Mark Hanna himself became a director both of the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad, (one of the Pennsylvania's leased lines) and later of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago. His firm profited very much from this connection. It leased the docks of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at Ashtabula on the south shore of Lake Erie about sixty miles east of Cleveland, and much of the ore shipped from the Lake Superior district to western Pennsylvania was handled by these docks and carried to Pittsburgh by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The docks were equipped with ore-handling machinery by Rhodes & Co., and they transacted a very large business. In accordance with its usual policy of participating in the ownership as well as in the handling of the products it sold, a furnace was bought in 1879 at Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. At a later date M. A. Hanna & Co. also leased and equipped the Pennsylvania docks both at Cleveland and at Erie. The vessels owned and operated by the Cleveland Transportation Company were, of course, built of wood, and their tonnage was comparatively small. Vessels carrying twelve or eighteen hundred tons were considered to be good-sized ships. It was Melville rather than Mark Hanna who first reached the conclusion that larger vessels should be built, and steel substituted for wood. Before acting on the conclusion he investigated the matter for two years, and employed experts to help him in testing the practicability of steel vessels from every essential point of view. When he was wholly convinced, Melville and Mark Hanna and J. F. Pankhurst bought the Globe Ship Building Company, and the keel of the first steel vessel to be navigated on the Great Lakes was soon laid. Her name was the Cambria, and she carried twenty-six or twenty-seven hundred gross tons. The Corsica, Coronia and Coralia, which were slightly larger, and which together with the Cambria were furnished for the first time with triple expansion engines, soon followed. These vessels were specially equipped for the economical transportation and handling of iron ore, and they were a success from the very start. They were, however, so much of a success that they immediately provoked extensive imitation and improvement. The Globe Company obtained orders for twelve steel vessels in one year, and the transportation methods on the Great Lakes were revolutionized. Thus a very complicated and diversified business was gradually built up; but diversified as it was, its several parts were carefully adjusted and tied together. Its core was the copartnership of Rhodes & Co., and later of M. A. Hanna & Co., and the essential purpose of all the separate enterprises was to create an abundant business for the firm as commission mer
* The firm continued to conduct its business under the name of Rhodes & Co. until 1885, but in the meantime Mr. Hanna's interest in it was constantly being increased. In 1875 Leonard Colton Hanna, Mark's youngest brother, entered the firm; and at about the same time it was joined by James Ford Rhodes, another son of Daniel P. Rhodes, and subsequently the historian of the United States from the Compromise of 1850. In the meantime Mr. Robert R. Rhodes and Mr. Warmington retired, and in 1885 Mr. James Ford Rhodes also withdrew. Thereafter the Rhodes interest was eliminated, and the firm name became M. A. Hanna & Co. Mr. A. C. Saunders was at one time admitted to partnership, and at a considerably later date, but during his father's life Mr. Daniel Rhodes Hanna entered the firm.