Character Insider: James Colter, Railroad Magnate
Updated: Jan 7
“James, the oldest, wants to conquer the world. He’s far too ambitious to be tied down at the ranch.” –Sam Colter, The Reluctant Cattleman
In The Railroad Magnate (Colter Sons Book 3), I introduce James Colter, the firstborn Colter Son. His entrepreneurial aspirations took him away from the ranch at the age of 18. He pursues his dreams to work for a railroad. By the time 1893 rolls around, at the age of 28, he becomes a Vice President and partner in his own railroad.
“James, was involved with that railroad. His touch was better than Midas’s.” –Preston Colter, The Restless Wrangler
His entire family saw him as a successful businessman. Even though James’s plans for his railroad route through part of Colter land, his family respects his business sense.
“James might be a bachelor for life.” –Boone Colter, The Roaming Adventurer
To the rest of his family, it appears like James has no intention of marrying. His ambition and career mean more to him than settling down. He focuses all of his energy and drive towards building the Santa Fe, Prescott, & Phoenix Railway with his mentor, Frank Murphy.
“My job keeps me too busy for a wife and family. But I wouldn’t mind falling love. You [Boone] and Sam make it seem so easy.” –James Colter, The Roaming Adventurer
Despite his intelligence and drive, there is a soft side to James, one he keeps hidden from others. He’s very pious but hides this from his family by arriving at church after service starts and leaving right before it ends. It’s not until he finds the right woman where his soft side becomes visible.
“My job satisfied me. I loved being in the middle of everything, from planning and logistics to construction, fundraising, and operations.” –James Colter, The Railroad Magnate
Somewhere along the way, James sees the importance of family. He wants his relationships with his brothers and his baby sister to grow stronger and see rifts reconciled. When Violet’s life turns upside-down, it’s James that offers his home and financial assistance, despite a thirteen-year age difference.
“I thought about my strange relationship with my oldest brother James. Sometimes he sounded more like Papa than my big brother.” –Violet Colter, The Resilient Bride
If you haven’t read his story yet, check out James Colter in The Railroad Magnate (Colter Sons Book 3). Enjoy!