This entertaining and well-illustrated book tells the fascinating but true tale of Herschel Jones, a poor boy from an obscure backwood village in upstate New York who, at a very early age, and with little education, starting building a publishing empire. What's especially interesting is that while he was the teenage proprietor of a small Easter paper, he evaluated his choices for where would be the most promising place to continue empire-building and settled on Minneapolis. Within a few years, he had made a name for himself in his new hometown, befriended the right people and raised financing to buy the JOURNAL, the State's most influential paper. From his publisher's chair he leveraged increasingly large though altruistic political and economic power--ultimately befriending a young politician named Theodore Roosevelt to whom he became a close advisor. At the same time, this uneducated self-made man built up one of the greatest rare book libraries and art collections in this country--with an unerring eye and with hand firmly on wallet. I very much enjoyed this tale of a man who, until now, was only known for the extraordinary art, book and manuscript collections he bequeathed various notable institutions. His is an unexpectedly epic tale that coincides with the assimilation of the Midwest in American power, economics and culture at the turn of the last century.
To have know this dynamic man would have been a dream. So alike in so many ways, as writer's, collector's, and philanthropists~ What a blessing to have my great grandfather's life in the palm my hand~
And in honor of the author John Koblas~ Koblas, John J. "Jack" age 70, of Mpls, passed away on Friday, March 8, 2013. Survived by children, Stacy, Stephanie, John, and Sarah; six grandchildren; one great- grandchild; and friend, Janet. Private interment Hillside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred. Memorial service Saturday, March 16, 3 PM with visitation 1 hour before at: www.Washburn-McReavy.com Hillside Chapel 612-781-1999 2610 19th Ave. N.E., Mpls - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/startribune/obituary.aspx?pid=163577224#sthash.XhSp6e8A.dpuf