(1835–1900), Bavarian-born journalist and financier, emigrated to the U.S. (1853) and studied law in Illinois, where in 1858 began his friendship with Lincoln. Lincoln on the Eve of '61 (1941) is a collection of his newspaper dispatches between Lincoln's election and his inauguration. He participated in the Pike's Peak gold rush (1859) and wrote a guidebook, The Past and Present of the Pike's Peak Gold Regions (1860). His later career was mainly concerned with railroad building and finance in the Northwest, where besides controlling Oregon and California railways he was president of the Northern Pacific (1881–84). Villard helped found the Edison General Electric Company (1889) and bought the New York Evening Post (1881). He married the daughter of W.L. Garrison.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.