Inman, John Hamilton
Inman, John Hamilton(1844–96) financier; born in Jefferson County, Tenn., and Inman, Samuel Martin (1843–1915) merchant; born in Jefferson County, Tenn. Their father's plantation business was ruined by the Civil War, in which each brother fought with the Confederate army. Samuel opened a cotton commission office with his father in Atlanta, Ga. (1867), which, named S. M. Inman and Company after his father returned to Tennessee in 1870, became one of the largest cotton dealers in the world. His brother John worked in a bank before going to a New York City cotton house at which he became partner. In 1870 he organized Inman, Swann and Company and was one of the organizers of the New York Cotton Exchange, soon so influential he was called the "Cotton King." With his fortune and influence, John began redeveloping the South, discovering mineral deposits and promoting railway building and further industrialization. He was one of the directors and organizer of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, later absorbed by U.S. Steel. He and his brother Samuel helped organize the Southern Railway System that incorporated many of the interterritorial railways in the south in the 1880s. In 1881 Samuel was treasurer of the International Cotton Exposition in Atlanta; in 1895 he was an organizer of the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. Samuel was a supporter of the Georgia Institution of Technology and Oglethorpe and Emory Universities. John was a director on several banks and insurance companies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.