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James Douglas

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James Douglas ( -1919)


1919 Obituary [1]

JAMES DOUGLAS died at his home at Spuyten Duyvil on June 25, 1918. He was born at Quebec, Canada, and was the son of Dr. James Douglas, a prominent surgeon. At the age of eighteen he studied for two years at the University of Edinburgh. Returning to Canada he entered Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, where he was graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1858. Subsequently he studied medicine at Laval University, Quebec. He then became associated with Thomas Sterry Hunt, and together they worked out the famous Hunt and Douglas process of copper extraction. After a brief experience at the Harvey Hill copper mines in Quebec, he went to the United States in 1875 as Superintendent of the Chemical Copper Company of Phoenixville, Pa.

In 1880 he paid a visit to Arizona and was attracted by the possibilities of the Copper Queen Mine at Bisbee, and succeeded in interesting some of the partners of Phelps, Dodge & Co. of New York. Four years later the first ore-body at this mine became exhausted, and the abandonment of the mine was in prospect. It was wholly due to the geological studies of the late James Douglas, and his persistence and persuasive influence upon his principals, that further prospecting was carried out. This was justified by the striking of rich ore-bodies, and from that time onward the history of the Copper Queen Mine has been a record of unchequered success. He promoted many new enterprises which became consolidated in Phelps, Dodge & Co., Incorporated, and he became its President.

He was a member of a number of scientific bodies, and served for many years as a director of the American Institute of Mining Engineers. He was the author of many important papers and contributed several to the proceedings of the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he was elected a member in 1899. During the visit of the Institute to America in 1904, he served on the Reception Committee and rendered valuable service.


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