September 2, 1862
Commissioners Organize Union Pacific Railroad
At a meeting in Bryan Hall, the group elected William P. Ogden — who was the first mayor of Chicago — as Union Pacific’s first president and Henry V. Poor, editor of Railroad Journal, as its secretary. During the convention, the commissioners also published the company’s first stock offering, opening subscription books in several U.S. cities. However, only 20 shares of initial stock were sold. Investors simply had too many other attractive, less risky options to make easy money in the booming Civil War economy.