About Melvin Ezra Ingalls
Melville Ezra Ingalls (1842–1914), commonly abbreviated M.E. Ingalls, was a Massachusetts state legislator who went on to become president of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (the Big Four Railroad).
Ingalls was born on September 6, 1842 in Harrison, ME where he worked on the family farm until he began teaching at the age of 16. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1863, Ingalls began practicing law in Gray, ME before moving to Boston, MA where he became an expert in corporate law, specializing in transportation lines. In 1871, he was retained as counsel to the Cincinnati and Lafayette Railroad and would eventually become its president. After multiple consolidations under his watch, the company became known as the Big Four Railroad.
President of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad until 1900
President of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis until 1905, Chairman of the Board until 1910
President of the Kentucky Central Railroad (January, 1881 - October, 1883)
President of the Cincinnati Northern
President of the Merchants' National Bank in Cincinnati, OH
Co-founder and President of the Cincinnati Art Museum
President of the National Civic Federation in 1905
President of the Queen City Club in Cincinnati, OH
On July 11, 1914, Ingalls died at his summer home in Hot Springs, VA from heart disease after undergoing treatment for an ulcerated tooth. He was buried in Cincinnati, OH.
Ingalls also organized the Joint Traffic Association, which shut down by the United States Supreme Court and co-founded the Cincinnati Technical School. He is the grandfather of David Sinton Ingalls.
Melville financed the construction of the Ingalls Building in Cincinnati, which was the world's first reinforced concrete skyscraper in 1903. The town of Ingalls, Indiana is named in his honor.