Thomas F. Walsh tells the story of one of the West's wealthiest mining magnates - an Irish American prospector and lifelong philanthropist who struck it rich in Ouray County, Colorado.
In the first complete biography of Thomas Walsh, John Stewart recounts the tycoon's life from his birth in 1850 and his beginnings as a millwright and carpenter in Ireland to his tenacious, often fruitless mining work in the Black Hills and Colorado, which finally led to his discovery of an extremely rich vein of gold ore in the Imogene Basin. Walsh's Camp Bird Mine yielded more than $20 million worth of gold and other minerals in twenty years, and the mine's 1902 sale to British investors made Walsh very wealthy.
He achieved national prominence, living with his family in mansions in Colorado and Washington, D.C., and maintaining a rapport with Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft, as well as King Leopold II of Belgium.
Despite his fame and lavish lifestyle, Walsh is remembered as an unassuming and philanthropic man who treated his employees well. In addition to making many anonymous donations, he established the Walsh Library in Ouray and a library near his Irish birthplace, and helped establish a research fund for the study of radium and other rare western minerals at the Colorado School of Mines. Walsh gave his employees at the Camp Bird Mine top pay and lodged them in an alpine boardinghouse featuring porcelain basins, electric lighting, and excellent food.
Stewart's engaging account explores the exceptional path of this Colorado mogul in detail, bringing Walsh and his time to life.
About the Author
John Stewart is an attorney in Denver. He completed a master's degree in history at the University of Colorado at Denver.