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Page 13 text:
isIS s u I ' I be through virgin ground. This was done and the " big bonanza " was struck. In 1867 Mr. Mackay married Marie Louise Bryant, who was a widow and the daughter of Colonel Daniel E. Hungerford, a Mexican war veteran. From Virginia City they moved to San Francisco, in 1874, but Mr. Mackay spent most of his time in Virginia City, looking after his interests. In 1867 Mr. Mackay took his family to live in Paris and London, but he him- self, was constantly returning to Virginia City and New York City, to at- tend to his many interests, those in New York being cable and telegraph interests. Mrs. Mackay ' s daughter by her first marriage became Princess di Stigliano Colonna. Mr. and Mrs. Mackay had two sons, John William and Clarence Hungerford. John William was thrown from a horse and killed on October 18th, 1895. Clarence Mackay is successfully carrying on the interests inherited from his father. John W. Mackay ' s vast accumulations did not make him forget his old friends. He remained the same true man, humble and charitable in spirit, giving great sums to the needy, but he did not give for notoriety and osten- tation. After the Virginia City fire Mr. Mackay gave $150,000 to the destitute. For years he met all the expenses of the Sisters ' Orphan Hos- pital at Virginia City, which amount to about $5,000 per month. His greatest thought was to spend money in such a way that it would give the most employment. The biggest pleasure he got in life was working out big things. In 1884 he found the Western Union Telegraph Company, a strongly entrenched monopoly, without any opposition. Here Mr. Mackay saw that there was a vast piece of work to be done and he undertook it. In 1864 he laid two submarine cables across the Atlantic ocean from America to Europe through the Commercial Cable Company which he had organ- ized in 1883. The " cable combine " made war on him immediately. Cable rates were reduced to a ruinous basis. This war lasted one year and a half, but at the close of it Mr. Mackay came out the dictator of peace. In 1886 he organized the Post-Telegraph-Cable Company and began building land telegraph lines throughout the United States. At the time of his sud- den death in London in 1902 he was contemplating finishing his big Postal- Telegraph-Commercial Cable plans by laying a cable from San Francisco to Honolulu, Manila, China and Japan. This plan has been carried out by his son, Clarence H. Mackay. In Sam P. Davis ' History of Nevada we find it written that Mr. Mac- kay was an intense American, though born in Ireland, an industrial king by ■iKP :jj ' i r
Page 12 text:
JOHN W. MACKAY JOHN W. MACKAY was born in Dublin, Ireland, November 28, 1831. He came to America with his parents when a small child and lived with them in Park Row, New York City. At an early age he began the ship- building trade as an apprentice. In the early part of 1852 he went to New Orleans, sailed from there to Chagris, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and from there went by steamer to San Francisco. In the summer of the same year he traveled up the Sacramento River to Marysville and from there commenced to walk to Nevada City. It was on that trip that the stage driver " Curley Bill " gave Mr. Mackay a lift. This kindness Mr. Mackay and his son, Clarence Hungerford, never forgot and later they took care of " Curley Bill " until the good man died. Between the years 1852 and 1859 Mr. Mackay mined at Downeyville, Forest City, Sierra City and on the American River. At these places he made a specialty of placer and drift mining. In December, 1859, he and " Jack " O ' Brien went to Virginia City where Mr. Mackay went to work in the Cook Tunnel for four dollars per day, but soon he became such an expert timberer that he could sustain a roof and because of his con- scientious and efficiency he received six dollars per day. Mr. Mackay was very economical, saving in order that he might under- take something for himself. In 1861 he and John Henning went to Aurora and bought the Esmeralda Claim. This venture proved to be a failure, so he went back to Virginia City, where he went into partnership with J. M. Walker and together they built the Petaluma Mill at Gold Hill. This was a profitable undertaking. Mr. Walker introduced Mr. Mackay to James C. Flood and William S. O ' Brien of San Francisco. The four became part- ners and later James G. Fair joined the group, thus giving each one-fifth interest in the firm. Shortly Mr. Walker sold out to Mr. Mackay giving him a two-fifths interest in the business. This group obtained control of the Gould and Curry, Best and Belcher, Consolidated Virginia and Califor- nia mines. Mackay and Fair studied the characteristic features of the lode and it was after six months ' exploration that they decided to go to the bottom of the Curry shaft, 1200 feet deep and drift north thinking that it would
Page 14 text:
133 fNl nature, a high-souled, royal-hearted gentleman, a man whom no disappoint- ment could cast down, a man who did not know dishonesty and a man who never speculated or borrowed a dollar. Keeping these words in mind and beholding the beautiful edifice erected to his memory on the University of Nevada Campus by his faithful wife and dutiful son we know that John W. Mackay has not " died in vain " and that the statute to his memory, whether it be interpreted as looking toward Virginia City or gazing heavenward, truly symbolizes wealth applied to nobler means. w j -» -
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