George Mortimer Pullman

George Mortimer Pullman was born in Brockton, New York in 1831.

He was originally trained as a cabinet maker but is famous for inventing the Pullman Railway car. This was used to transport Lincoln’s body across the country.

He owned a company near Chicago that manufactured railway cars in the late 1800s. He built the town of Pullman near Lake Calumet. It was the ultimate company town, the first planned industrial city, with everything owned by Pullman and rented by his workers. In 1894, he cut his workers wages several times without reducing his rents and they struck. This was the famous Pullman Strike, pivotal in labor history. The railway workers joined the strike and federal troops were sent in. After some days of rioting and looting, the strike was crushed. Pullman received an award in 1896 for building his model town and he died in 1897.

A few years later the company was forced to sell the town and it was annexed by Chicago. The town still stands and is today Historic Pullman, a preservation district.