Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 68



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 68

clerk of the Western Union Telegraph Company. The two occupations were hardly compatible, but each meant a source of revenue to the boy, and he felt he must hold on to both.

After his father passed away, the position of the boy’s desk—next to the empty desk of his father—was a cause of constant depression to him. This was understood by the attorney for the company, Mr. Clarence Cary, who sought the head of Edward’s department, with the result that Edward was transferred to Mr. Cary’s department as the attorney’s private stenographer.

Edward had been much attracted to Mr. Cary, and the attorney believed in the boy, and decided to show his interest by pushing him along. He had heard of the dual rôle which Edward was playing; he bought a copy of the magazine, and was interested. Edward now worked with new zest for his employer and friend; while in every free moment he read law, feeling that, as almost all his forbears had been lawyers, he might perhaps be destined for the bar. This acquaintance with the fundamental basis of law, cursory as it was, became like a gospel to Edward Bok. In later years, he was taught its value by repeated experience in his contact with corporate laws, contracts, property leases, and other matters; and he determined that, whatever the direction of activity taken by his sons, each should spend at least a year in the study of law.

The control of the Western Union Telegraph Company had now passed into the hands of Jay Gould and his companions, and in the many legal matters arising



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