There is a second hero in this story. James Emerson Branch, III. “Branch” makes millions every year running a thriving lumber mill in all the western states. For four generations the Branch family has toiled relentlessly to achieve great success. His company employees are loyal to him; his household staff all adore him. But his grandfather and great grandfather were more course in their dealings with employees. It stems directly from Branch’s great-great grandfather, a Virginia man who ran his textile mill with an iron fist, and was a harsh taskmaster at home. The following is an excerpt of how the our hero’s great grandfather broke away and came to settle in the Pacific northwest:
The day Emerson announced he wanted to leave the textile mill, his father was outraged, and a heated argument ensued. Naturally, being the eldest of six children and the only male, his father expected him to stay on and run the family business. However, Emerson tired of textiles and his father’s sharp tongue.
Following Emerson’s announcement, when his father returned from his daily trek to the bank, he handed his son a bank note stamped, ‘Account Closed,’ in big, red letters. The look he gave his father must have appeared ignorant.
“Father, I don’t understand. What is this?”
His father replayed rather curtly, “Figure it out, boy. You want to leave, then leave. But don’t think you’ll be taking my blessing with you, or my money!”
“Your money? I’ve worked night and day for nearly 20 years hardly spending a cent. How am I and Lily going to make a new life with empty pockets?”
“By staying here like a son should, that’s how,” his father bellowed with a pound of his huge fist on the desk! “Money was placed in that account for you to build your life here, as a reward for taking over the family business, not to go traipsing off on some Wild West adventure. I won’t have my money spent on such foolish things. But if you’re determined to run off to who-knows-where, then you’ll do it the hard way, just like I did. Now get out, I have work to do!”
I hope you enjoyed this little teaser! Stay tuned for more from THE MONEY.