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Marcus Daly

1841 — 1900

Marcus Daly (December 5, 1841 – November 12, 1900) was an Irish-born American businessman known as one of the three "Copper Kings" of Butte, Montana, United States. Prior to his copper career, Daly gained experience in the silver mines of the Comstock mines under the direction of John William Mackay and James G. Fair. While working there he met and befriended George Hearst and Lloyd Tevis, co-owners of the Ophir Mining Company. (Hearst's son was William Randolph Hearst). In 1872, Daly recommended to the Hearst group to purchase the Ontario silver mine, near Park City, Utah. With Daly operating, the Ontario carried Hearst through the Panic of 1873 and produced seventeen million dollars in ten years and paid $6,250,000 in dividends.

Marcus Daly moved on to Butte, Montana in August 1876 to look at a mine, the Alice, as an agent for the Walker Bros. of Salt Lake City. The Walkers purchased the mine, installed Daly as superintendent and awarded him a fractional share of the mine. Always an energetic engineer and geologist with a keen eye for paying ore, Daly noticed while working underground in the Alice, that there were significant deposits of copper ore. He gained access into several other mines in the area and concluded that the hill was full of copper ore. He envisioned an ore body several thousand feet deep, some veins of almost pure copper and hundreds of millions of dollars. He urged his employers, the Walker Bros. to purchase the Anaconda and when they refrained, Daly bought it. With Hearst's backing, Daly founded his fortune on the Anaconda Copper Mine in Butte, after selling his small share of the Alice Mine, for $30,000

Last Updated on: 2024-02-28