POLYAKOV, family of railroad builders and bankers in Russia, headed by the brothers Jacob, Samuel, and Eliezer. They originated in Dubrovno, Belorussia. JACOB (1832–1909) began his economic career as a liquor excise farmer and later went on to railroad construction. He participated in the founding of the Don-Azov and other Russian banks and also acted as the vice chairman of the *Jewish Colonization Association in Russia. He received a Russian title of nobility. SAMUEL (1837–1888) was one of the most important railroad builders in Russia. He was responsible for laying over 1,600 mi. (2,500 kms.) of railroads, including the Kozlov (Michurinsk)-Rostov and the Kursk-Kharkov-Azov lines, and strategic railroads in Romania during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. He also founded the South Russian Coal Mining Society and several important banks (Moscow Estate Bank, Don Estate Bank, etc.). He contributed generously to Russian educational and cultural institutions and showed a special concern for technical education (he founded the first technical school for railroad construction in Yelets in 1867 and the first school for mining in Korsun). He was unpopular among Jews because of his refusal to employ Jewish workers in his enterprises, but
Y. Mazeh, Zikhronot, 2 (1936), 10–20.