Alexander Mitchell was president of the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul Railroad. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. He immigrated to America when he was twenty-two years old. He lived in Wisconsin and started a bank. He had little schooling, but he worked hard and learned on the job. He invested in railroads. He saw that he could use them to ship goods from Wisconsin to customers far away. He could ship lumber to the treeless plains of Dakota Territory. He bought up many small railroads. He made them into one company. He built tracks into other states. Soon his company of "little railroads" had routes all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Alexander Mitchell
Photo courtesy of South Dakota State Historical Society