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Nevada Biographies ~ Davis to Nixon

Davis, James R.

James R. Davis was born in Columbus, Indiana, on the 16th day of December, 1872. His parents were of Scotch and English stock, and from them he inherits the characteristics of the race grim determination and perseverance. Mr. Davis was educated in the public schools of Indiana and Kansas. At the age of seventeen he left home and went to Denver and from that time up to the present time, he has been engaged in the mining business. The greater part of his time from 1890 to 1904 was spent in prospecting in Arizona, California, Oregon and Alaska, and while he was not successful in accumulating a fortune, he did succeed in getting experience in the mining industry which has been invaluable to him ever since.

He went to Goldfield, Nevada, in 1904 when the boom was on and has been generally successful in all his mining ventures at Goldfield, Fairview and Round Mountain, Nevada. He is at the present time president and manager of the Round Mountain Mining Company, vice-president and manager of the Great Bend Mining Company, vice-president of the Nevada Hills Mining Company, vice-president and manager of the Loftus-Davis Federated Mines Company, and vice-president of the Nevada Exploitation Company.

Dowlen, Walton E.

Perhaps no man is better known and has done more for the up-building of the city of Goldfield than Walton E. Dowlen, who came to this camp in the fall of 1905. His knowledge of mines and metallurgy stood him in hand when arriving there and it is to his credit that the mines of that camp can now ship $25-ore at a profit, when two years before nothing but $100-ore was looked at. A representative of people across the water, in Paris and in England, he utilized the moneys of his associates so judiciously that today his interests as well as those of his backers are some of the most important in the Goldfield District.

Mr. Dowlen was born in Denver, on the 14th of July, 1872, and received his education and technical training in mining and metallurgy in London, England, at the Polytechnical School of Mines in that city. When but eighteen years of age, he went to British Columbia and entered the service of the Mines Department. He remained there three years, and by his thorough knowledge of the mining industry, coupled with his persistence and perseverance, he was very successful. After remaining in this department three years, the young man went as assistant engineer with the Santa Fe Railroad, built from San Fran-cisco, of which Claus Spreckles was president. He stayed with this position for two years. He then was given charge of the "Villa Rica" gold- mines in Georgia, and remained with that concern until 1897. Seeing opportunities, and many of them, in London, England, he crossed the water, and from there was sent to British Columbia by an English syndicate. He remained here for about a year, and was very successful in the enterprise. He was recalled, however, to London, and a syndicate sent him to Eastern Siberia for a syndicate known as the East Siberian Syndicate of London and Paris. He remained in that country for a while, gaining all the while valuable experience, and then drifted over to Nome, Alaska, for the same company, and then returned to London.

About this time the name of Dowlen, the engineer, was becoming very prominent in the mining and metallurgical world, and the successes of the young engineer were universally known and recognized. When in London on this trip the African Founders Syndicate sent him to Central Africa, and it was here that he did some of his best work. He was unfortunate in contracting the African fever. He was compelled to return to London in 1901, and remained in a hospital for four weeks, suffering the ravages of the disease. The same syndicate were anxious to have him, and when he recovered from the illness he was sent to the California oil fields. He remained in that country for two years, and then returned to England, going by the way of Alberta, where he made very extensive and complete reports of the coal properties in that country, in which the famous Emil Arton was interested, who, it may be recalled, was the last of the three promoters of the Panama deal in Paris to commit suicide. His operations from this time on have been in and around Goldfield, and he has been uniformly successful in all of his undertakings.

He is vice-president of the Nevada Goldfield Reduction Company, one of the biggest propositions in the State, and this plant alone is a monument to the keenness and ability of this young man. He is a prominent club man, being a member of the Montezuma Club of Goldfield, the Sports Club of London, and an associate of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in London, as well as an associate of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers of London.

His domestic life is a happy one, he having married Miss Marie Boulfrois in January, 1906. His career to the present time has been a most remarkable one, and the fact that he is still a young man would indicate a brilliant future. He is a tireless worker and very straightforward in all dealings. His efforts in settling the trouble between the Mine Owners' Association and the miners while acting president, and settling everything amicably, will be a lasting monument to his fairness and honesty.

Lee, Frank More

Frank Moore Lee is a native of California and was born in Long Valley, January 10, 1867. His father was Levi W. Lee and his mother Julia De Ette Moore. When a small boy his parents moved to Reno. Nevada, where he was educated in the public schools. He was married to Ada Finlayson at Reno, on January 18, 1892, and they have one daughter, Margerie Lee.

Mr. Lee engaged in the livery and stock-shipping business during the years 1884-1886, when his father died. He then accepted a position in the First National Bank of Reno and he later became a director and assistant cashier of the Washoe County Bank, which was the successor of the First National. In 1901 he became the cashier of the First National Bank of Winnemucca which he and Senator Geo. S. Nixon had organized in 1886. In 1906 he was associated with Senator Nixon and others in organizing the Nixon National Bank of Reno, which is one of the largest capitalized institutions in the West. He is now serving the Nixon National as its cashier and has the reputation of being one of the best bankers in the inter-mountain country. Mr. Lee is now also vice-president of the First National Bank of Winnemucca and of the Tonopah Banking Corporation of Tonopah, and is secretary of the Lovelock Land and Development Company. He has held no political office.

Mr. Lee is a Mason, Knight Templar, Shriner and an Elk, and is vice-president of the Reno Commercial Club. He lives at Rio Vista Heights, Court Street, Reno, Nevada.

Lockhart, T. G.

Nevada and the States surrounding it have produced many millionaires and great mining magnates, some who were wealthy before they struck the new country, and others who caught the fever and, starting in with nothing, amassed fortunes. Thomas Gaskill Lockhart is known to all Nevada, and his meteoric rise and his keen insight, good judgment and fair dealings will always be remembered as a tribute to him. He was born in Burlington, Burlington County, New Jersey, on the 2nd of May, 1848. He attended the public schools in Burlington and Birmingham. To secure this education, he was by force of circumstances compelled to work all the spring and summer on the farm in order to get this schooling, his parents not having too much of this world's goods.

When twenty-one years of age Mr. Lockhart left Philadelphia with a capital of $95 and arrived in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 18, 1869. The only thing to do in that country at that time was to engage in the cattle business. He secured employment herding cattle near Fremont, Nebraska, and remained one year at this occupation. The mining industry was what he was looking at and leaving Fremont he went to Georgetown, Colorado. For thirty years he engaged in mining in this State and was considered one of the best prospectors and practical men in the State. Prospecting seemed to be very much to his liking, and in 1899 he started on a trip of this kind, going through Utah, Arizona and Nevada. In March, 1901, he landed in Tonopah. The Nevada country was still unopened, but the conditions in this place so pleased Lockhart that he decided to settle. He took up the Tonopah Extension claim and many others, including the Unlucky 13. He worked on these for two years, and, hearing of the country in and around Goldfield, he disposed of his interests and in 1903 arrived at Goldfield. Goldfield at that time consisted of four tents and a 12x12 blacksmith shop.

It was here that Mr. Lockhart "came into his own." He sized up the conditions in this wonderful camp, and the future looked so excellent and auspicious that he decided to stake his chances there. That he was successful almost beyond measure is obvious. Among some of the properties bought by him in that year was the famous Florence property, which was at that time a ten-foot hole. A sixty per cent, interest was what Mr. Lockhart secured, and the fact that this one property has produced over $6,000,000 since that time, and $60,000 a month, is proof positive of his excellent judgment and wonderful sagacity. Mr. Lockhart at the present time is the president and general manager of the Florence Goldfield Mining Company, and president and general manager of the Jumbo Extension Mining Company, both of which are in the category of big mines in the State.

The domestic life of Mr. Lockhart is an extremely happy one. He was married to Miss Minnie A. Haney in October, 1886. The union has been blessed by three children, George Jerome, Myra Belle and Harry Haney. His permanent address is Goldfield, and it is natural that he desires to live in the place where he was so successful. He is a prominent Elk and a member of the Montezuma Club.

Mr. Lockhart is very modest and is reticent about telling of his wonderful success or of the hardships endured before he succeeded in surmounting the barriers and reaching that goal for which we are all striving.

Loftus, J. P.

Recognized as foremost among successful mine operators, J. P. Loftus is one of the best-known men in Goldfield. His work dates from the sage-brush days of that camp, and to him and his associates much that has gone to the making of Goldfield stands as a credit.

Of Irish descent, he was born in 1856 in the village of Clinton, New York. His education is the result of his own unaided effort. Through the high school of Waterville, New York, he worked his way, and later through Amherst College, graduating with honors in the class of '84, degree of A. B., later A.M.

Though said to be a lawyer, a newspaper man and a college professor, the fact is that he has never, except incidentally in the beginning of his career, been any of those things. For twenty years he has been in the business of mining, knows every phase of it, from prospecting and hitting a drill to those departments of the work requiring the highest skill and experience. Outside of mining he professes to know nothing, and cares less; and yet his capacity for doing things is so generally recognized, that there is scarcely a matter of importance in camp or State with which his name is not connected. With a willingness to serve, he has never sought honors or recognition of any kind. In politics a Democrat, in a State overwhelmingly Democratic, with the governorship, Congress, or even the United States Senate, within his easy reach, he has never permitted his name to be used. He has no ambitions, and professes no interest in public affairs, only to the extent that he can be of service. His sole ambition is to do his own work in his own way, out in the open, to continue the career of builder empire builder, if you please a work for which by temperament, capacity, courage and experience he is amply fitted.

In his marriage Mr. Loftus was most fortunate. His wife, Gertrude Portia Hopkins Loftus, is herself from a long line of builders and educators, Mark Hopkins, who built the Union Pacific, and those who have founded and directed universities in the East. They have three children, James Hopkins, Margaret Edna and Gertrude Portia. Though traveling extensively, having spent the last season in Europe, the home of the family is Goldfield.

As president of the Montezuma Club Mr. Loftus served two years, the period of its greatest social and community prestige. Under his administration the splendid stone-and-steel building now the home of the club was built. He built the News building, the finest stone structure in camp. He is an owner in the "News" itself, the leading newspaper in the State. He is the principal owner and president of the Nevada Exploitation Company, a close corporation that for four years has paid a five per cent, monthly dividend, a record unparalleled in the mining business of the State. He is president of the Great Bend Mining Company, president of the Loftus-Davis Federated Mines Company; president of the News Publishing Company; vice-president of the Round Mountain Mining Company, another dividend-payer; an Elk; a member of the University Club of Denver; in fact, a man all around, that touches life on all its sides, and has touched it fortunately and happily.

MacKenzie, T. M.

The friends of John Mackenzie declare that if there is a man in the Western country that knows more about the mining game, or if there is anyone who has had a wider or more varied experience, they have never heard of him. Every State in the inter-mountain region west to the Coast knows of him and of his success in this big industry.

Mr. Mackenzie first saw the light of day in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the 24th day of May, 1858. His father, William Mackenzie, was a blacksmith of the old type we see very little of at the present time. He believed in educating his children and sent John to the public schools in Ontario. He finished the public schools, but the wandering fever seized him and for two years he went before the mast and visited the .lands across the water. After two years of the rough life at sea, Mr. Mackenzie decided to take up a course of mechanical engineering in Ontario. This training proved of invaluable service to him through the many years of hard and arduous labor that followed. After finishing his course in the engineering school, he was employed by Cook Bros., Gordon & Co., of Ontario, as inspector and purchaser of lumber and timber. After having mastered the lumber business, the call of the West began to ring in his ears, and he came to Eureka, Nevada, in 1887. Having an unlimited amount of ambition, and being of the courageous Scotch blood, he worked in the mines at this camp for two years, assimilating all the time the knowledge of this business from a practical standpoint. Leaving Eureka for new fields in which he could gain more experience, he went to Colorado in the interests of John Porter, in the capacity of expert timber man.

During the Black Range excitement of 1881 he went to that place, but soon left and located in the following year at Tombstone, Arizona. During all this time he was becoming an expert on matters pertaining to mining, and was successful. At that time there was very little doing at Tombstone, and, as he was being sought for at Eureka, he went back to his first love and was placed in charge of the construction crew of the Eureka Consolidated Company's plant. After the plant was completed and in operation, he assumed charge of the pumping operations then being conducted on a large scale by the latter company.

This work being completed, the wanderings commenced again, and in 1884 he went to Butte. Montana, taking charge of the North Star Salisbury Mines. He remained in this famous copper camp for two years, and his success at the mines mentioned is well known to every one acquainted with Butte history. At the end of two years, however, he began to look towards Eureka again, and began leasing and mining in the Nevada camp. He stayed this time in Eureka four years, and in 1891 he started for the Black Hills country and took charge of the Orifino Mine and mill, situated eight miles from Deadwood. As in all his other experiences, he was successful in his supervision of the mines, but his life seemed to turn towards new and verdant fields. Cripple Creek was at the height of its boom at that time, and here went our friend in 18!)3. The fact that he became manager of the famous Stratton Mines, and also of the Portland Mine, is the greatest monument to his ability and his thorough knowledge of mines and mining. He left here in 1897, when the Alaska boom was on, and went to Dawson City, where he worked some placer mines and also started the building of the Klondyke Mines Railway which was finished in 1905. In 1899 he was engaged by the firm of Wherner, Beit & Co., of London, as manager of the old John C. Fremont grant in Mariposa County, California. He opened up the mines of this old estate, built two stamp mills, constructed a dam across the Merced River, and erected a power plant for operating mines and mills. When this work was completed, he accepted the management of Le Roi Mine and Northport Smelter at Rossland, B. C., and remained until the company had recovered from the disastrous regime of Whittaker. Wright and associates.

In the fall of 1903 he retired from active management of this property and joined F. W. Bradley, M. E., of San Francisco. This firm entered actively into mine examination work and acted in consulting capacity for several large properties. In 1904, M. L. Requa, a mechanical engineer of San Francisco, joined this firm. The latter had acquired options on the greater portion of the holdings of what is now known as the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, at Ely, Nevada. The firm opened up these properties and were heavily interested, and directed operations of the same until the Guggenheims 'purchased control.

The career of Mr. Mackenzie for the past few years is too well known to be told of here; suffice it to say that he is looked upon and acknowledged as one of the foremost mining men of the West.

He is prominently identified with a great many organizations in Goldfield and San Francisco, living as he does between these two cities. He is a member of the Pacific Union, San Francisco; Montezuma Club, Goldfield; a thirty-second degree Mason, Scottish Rite and many others. As a director and general manager of the Goldfield Consolidated Mines he is a well-known figure in the State, and is loved and respected by all who know him.

Nixon, George S.

United States Senator Geo. S. Nixon is pre-eminently a self-made man. The record of his experience indicates how industry applied to Western opportunities enables one to be decidedly successful not with-standing the manifold obstacles one must overcome. He was born in Placer County, California, April 2, 1860, and worked on his father's farm until 19 years of age. He secured a very fair education in the schools of his native State and in 1878 he became an employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company at New Castle, California. After acquiring a knowledge of telegraphy in a railway station office, he was transferred in 1881 to Nevada points, serving as an operator on the Central Pacific Railroad and the Carson & Colorado Railroad. After three years of this service he was offered and he accepted a clerical situation with the First National Bank of Reno, an institution that afterwards became the Washoe County Bank. Doubtless this new vocation was Mr. Nixon's proper sphere, as he rapidly grew into prominence and public confidence and is now representing Nevada in the United States Senate.

Mr. Nixon succeeded the late Senator William M. Stewart, having been elected on January 25, 1905, for the term beginning March 4, 1905. Prior to his election to the United States Senate Senator Nixon was a member of the legislature of Nevada during the session of 1891.

Senator Nixon is one of the most prosperous business men of Nevada. For years he was the most active mine operator and is now largely interested in banking, stock raising and farming. He is the president of the Nixon National Bank of Reno, the First National Bank of Winnemucca and the Tonopah Banking Corporation of Tonopah.


Source: Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, Published by The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1909 



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