When John was just a teen aged kid, he had an experience that caused him to change the course of his life from poverty to obscene wealth.
He and his father and mother had been living in a small ramshackle bungalow adjacent to a farmer’s field in a small rural village in Central Ohio.
A flood had wiped out the home of John’s family’s landlord who owned the rental bungalow and the owner had retaken possession of the property and evicted John and his family.
The evicted family spent the next year in another rental property, a two-room shack owned by an elderly Christian lady who raised chickens, was a widow and went about all day long proclaiming to herself and to whoever would listen what a “Good” woman she was.
It was hard living. It grated hard on young John. He dreamed of the day when he would have a real home for himself and his family.
One day, the old man who was in charge of the local cemetery died and his house came on the market. This was a proper house, complete with indoor plumbing and a yard and everything.
John’s father entered a bid on it through the Building and Loan bank that was administering the estate.
Some local yokel with more social standing in the community than his dad got the deal and John and his family were forced into another hovel … but this time it was a hovel that his dad was buying for a total of $1,500 .. payable in monthly payments of $30 each.
John was happy to have a roof over his head even though there was no heat in his bedroom and the wind would come whistling through the bare clapboard siding on the house in the wintertime and John hated to walk the Hundred or so feet outside to the outside bathroom in all kinds of weather to go to the toilet.
By the time John was Twenty One years old, he had purchased another old house from the same bank and had also gotten a home improvement loan to bring the property up to standards.
He lived in this house for a year and sold it at a profit.
This ignited an idea in his brain. He would purchase old, dilapidated properties, spruce them up, live in them for awhile and then sell them.
At some point he had accumulated enough money to keep some of the properties he had bought and so he turned them into rentals.
In a few years, he had purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 such properties in and around his home town and adjacent communities.
The next step was to buy a farm and hire somebody to manage it. The farm produced huge amounts of soybeans and premium alfalfa hay. The soybeans went to market and the hay was sold to local horse farms.
John also rented about 500 additional acres from other farmers in the area and raised crops on those acres as well.
One day, John discovered with some happiness that from farming and flipping properties, he was well on his way to a million dollar credit rating.
After a while, he bought a small struggling kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. In a few years this venture sold for about Five Million dollars.
The profits from that sale went into the purchase of a steel fabrication plant.
The steel fabrication plant grew to the point where it could take on rather large contracts with local construction firms specializing in such things as highway construction, dam building and other large projects.
On his Thirtieth birthday, John contracted for the beginning of construction on his first real home– a 14-room mansion on a 500 acre plot of land, on a hill, above a river in another community a few miles distant from where it all began.
That was the year in which he began giving out $50 tips to waiters and waitresses in restaurants and at hotels and barber shops .. and night clubs.
That was the year that he began to dream of becoming a billionaire.