Thomas Walsh (miner)

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Thomas Francis Walsh
Thomas F Walsh.jpg
Thomas Walsh in 1904
Born(1850-04-02)April 2, 1850
DiedApril 8, 1910(1910-04-08) (aged 60)
Occupation Gold mine owner
Spouse(s)Carrie Bell Reed
Children Evalyn Walsh McLean
Vinson Walsh

Thomas Francis Walsh (April 2, 1850 – April 8, 1910) was an Irish-American miner who discovered one of the largest gold mines in America.

Miner person who works in mining

A miner is a person who extracts ore, coal, or other mineral from the earth through mining. There are two senses in which the term is used. In its narrowest sense, a miner is someone who works at the rock face; cutting, blasting, or otherwise working and removing the rock. In a broader sense, a "miner" is anyone working within a mine, not just a worker at the rock face.


Early life

Walsh was born April 2, 1850 to Michael Walsh, a farmer, and Bridget Scully. He was most likely born on his father's farm, Baptistgrange, in Lisronagh, Tipperary, Ireland. Walsh had the following siblings:

Lisronagh Village in Munster, Ireland

Lisronagh is a village in County Tipperary, in Ireland.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Leadville, Colorado Statutory City in Colorado, United States

Leadville is the statutory city that is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 2,759 at the 2010 United States Census. Situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m), Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States. Originally called Silver City, Leadville was the last place Doc Holliday was a law man and the first proposed capital of the state. A former silver mining town that lies amongst the headwaters of the Arkansas River in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Leadville Historic District contains many historic structures and sites in its dynamic mining era. In the late 19th century, Leadville was the second most populous city in Colorado, after Denver. Leadville is notable for having a large number of 14,000 foot peaks viewable from town.

Liver vital organ in vertebrates and some other animals

The liver is an organ only found in vertebrates which detoxifies various metabolites, synthesizes proteins and produces biochemicals necessary for digestion. In humans, it is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. Its other roles in metabolism include the regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells and the production of hormones.

According to his daughter's book, Father Struck It Rich, he became an apprentice to a millwright at the age of twelve and grew into a fine carpenter. [1]

In 1869, he emigrated to the United States with his sister, Maria, after the death of his father. For a time, he settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, with his aunts, Catherine and Bridget Walsh Power, who helped "shake the greenhorn off him".

Worcester, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Worcester is a city in, and the county seat of, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045, making it the second most populous city in New England after Boston. Worcester is approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, 50 miles (80 km) east of Springfield and 40 miles (64 km) north of Providence. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may also have its provenance in lore that the Valentine's Day card, although not invented in the city, was mass-produced and popularized by Worcester resident Esther Howland.

Massachusetts U.S. state in the United States

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts' population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.


In the early 1870s, he heeded the call to "go west, young man" and found himself in Colorado getting paid well for his carpentry skills. During the 1870s, the Black Hills of South Dakota saw a gold rush that attracted hordes of hopeful men afflicted with gold fever. It has been said that at first Walsh was attracted to the opportunities that came with the gold rush, including trading goods and services at inflated prices, as opposed to the gold rush itself.

Colorado U.S. state in the United States

Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.

Black Hills mountain range in South Dakota and Wyoming

The Black Hills are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk Peak, which rises to 7,244 feet (2,208 m), is the range's highest summit. The Black Hills encompass the Black Hills National Forest. The name "Black Hills" is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa. The hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from a distance, as they were covered in trees.

South Dakota U.S. state in the United States

South Dakota is a U.S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city.

Gradually, he became more and more immersed in the world of gold and was soon trading mining equipment to prospectors for mining claims as payment. He also studied mining technology at night. In 1877, he moved to Leadville, Colorado with a small fortune between $75,000 (equivalent to $1,765,000in 2018) and $100,000 (equivalent to $2,353,000in 2018). Along with his wife, he ran the Grand Central Hotel in Leadville. [2]

After becoming an expert in the subject in gold mining, Walsh was overcome by gold fever and took to the hills. Unlike other prospectors he took a far more methodical and careful approach to prospecting which soon paid off. In 1896, he came home and uttered the words which later became the title of his daughter's book, "Daughter, I've struck it rich!" The Camp Bird Gold Mine near Ouray, Colorado soon turned out $5,000/day (equivalent to $151,000in 2018) in ore and produced riches for the Walsh family "beyond the dreams of avarice". In a short period of time, Walsh extracted a fortune totaling $3,000,000 (equivalent to $90,348,000in 2018). [2]

Washington, DC

Walsh home in Washington, DC Embassy of Indonesia United States.JPG
Walsh home in Washington, DC

The wealth that Walsh discovered soon provided the family with a lavish lifestyle that included trips to Europe, fine clothes, and expensive motor cars. Around 1898, the family moved to Washington, D.C. where in 1900, [2] he was appointed by President William McKinley as a commissioner to the Paris Exposition of 1899. [3]

Personal life

Carrie Reed Walsh Carrie Reed Walsh cph.3b07375.jpg
Carrie Reed Walsh

On July 11, 1879 in Leadville, Colorado, he married Carrie Bell Reed. The couple had two children:

In 1903 the family moved into the ornate mansion at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue. Later, the house became the Indonesian Embassy. [4] On January 23, 1909, The Aero Club of Washington was founded, with Walsh as serving president, to promote the new technology of Aviation. [5] Due to his involvement with the Paris Exposition of 1899, Walsh became friends with King Leopold of Belgium, whom he created a suite in his home to host. Unfortunately, the King never made a trip to the United States. However, when King Albert, Leopold's nephew, and Queen Elizabeth traveled to the United States in 1919, Walsh's wife, then widowed, was decorated by the King for her service during World War I. [2]

In 1908, Walsh's daughter Evalyn, and only living child at the time, married Edward Beale McLean, the son of John Roll McLean, who became the publisher and owner of The Washington Post newspaper in 1916 until 1933. [6] [7]

Thomas Francis Walsh died on April 8, 1910, at his home in Washington, D.C. [2]

Extended family

Thomas Walsh is a cousin twice removed to W. Arthur Garrity, Jr., the federal judge who issued the famous 1974 order that Boston schools desegregate by means of busing.

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  1. Father Struck It Rich, by Evalyn Walsh Mclean, Little, Brown And Company, 1936, page 14. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Staff (February 26, 1932). "MRS. T. F. WALSH, SOCIAL LEADER, DIES Widow of Former Miner Who Won Fortune in Colorado Is Stricken in Washington. ONCE HOSTESS TO ROYALTY Honored by Albert, King of the Belgians, for Her Work for His People in the World War". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  3. "The Great French Show". The New York Times. 1889-05-19. pp. Front Page. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  4. Weeks, Christopher (1994). AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C. (3d ed.), pp. 179-80. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN   0-8018-4712-5.
  5. Tom D. Crouch. "Aero Club of Washington: Aviation in the Nation's Capital, 1909-1914": 39.
  6. New York Times - July 23, 1908
  7. Chicago Daily Tribune, November 15, 1931