The son of a wealthy rancher and silver mine owner returns to 1880 Utah after completing his studies at Harvard. He is the youngest of several sons and feels he grew up too pampered and needed to toughen himself. He takes a year off to herd cattle: hard, dirty work. He comes across an eleven year old "bound" boy who is badly treated. Knowing his childless brother would love the boy, with the local judge’s approval, his brother adopts the boy.
He learns that another of his brothers who manages one of their father's silver mines near Carson City, where he eventually works as a doctor, is sending children as young as eight to work in the mines. Because of his love for the boy, now his nephew, who he had watched badly treated, the elimination of child exploitation becomes a passion. He lived an interesting life: courting, fighting corruption in Carson City, dealing with patents who were suspicious of "book learn" doctors, raising a family and living in a... More > time of rapidly changing technology.< Less