George PullmanGeorge Pullman
(Mar. 3, 1831–Oct. 19, 1897)

Renowned for luxury rail cars, Pullman made his original fortune by raising buildings. His system of using groups of men with jacks elevated buildings so smoothly that businesses could continue to operate during the procedure. Pullman then invested in his Pullman rail car empire, culminating in the creation of the town bearing the Pullman name. At his death he was known for refusing to negotiate with unions, and his family feared desecration of his grave. Therefore, his Graceland tomb was built of steel-reinforced concrete. The grave was then sodded and fitted with the Corinthian column and exedra present today.

photo and text by Joe Collier