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Every community has its upbuilders and progressive men who are always pushing and striving for the general betterment of all conditions by which the greatest number will be benefited. A community without such an element would be in a bad way.
In the Cripple Creek district there are a number of upbuilding enterprises, but one of the leading ones is the Woods Investment company, composed of Mr. Warren Woods and his two sons, Harry E. and Frank M.
While luck and opportunity play an important part in the success of every man's life and his rise on the ladder of wealth, it must be said that shrewd business ability, backed by a cool and calculating courage born of a discernment that seems to penetrate the very future, has formed the stock in trade of the Woods Investment company.
The Woods people have the distinction of never having promoted a company that lost money for the investors, a record that few promoters can boast of.
The company has made much money in the Cripple Creek district and they are entitled to great credit for the fact that as fast as they took it out of the ground they put it back in other localities and were thus always developing new territory, which, of course, meant more for the district generally and everybody residing there.
The great majority of people who acquire wealth in a mining camp take it away and usually haven't the nerve to put it back in an endeavor to extend the producing area, but not so with the Woods people.
They did not confine their operations to one part of the great gold camp. Every part was sought, and in each case systematic and thorough development work was done, which increased the production of the camp as mines were developed.
The Woods Investment company was organized in 1893 and the first office was opened in Denver in July of that year. A few months prior to that time the Black Diamond company was floated.
That was the first Cripple Creek venture of the Woods people and was a very successful one, large dividends being paid to the stockholders.
In September of 1893 the company inaugurated the promotion of the town of Victor, located on the Mt. Rosa placer. At first it was a white city, composed of tents. Log houses followed and then residences of a more substantial character came.
In March of 1894 the Woods people started the work of building a hotel, which was greatly needed. While excavating for the foundation of the hotel a vein, which leads to the now famous Gold Coin vein, was opened.
A small pocket of ore was found. Frank M. Woods then took charge of the active mining operations of the company. The Gold Coin vein proper was not cut until April of 1896.
A shaft was sunk to the depth of 106 feet. At that depth a cross cut was driven and the ore encountered. Gold Coin stock was sold at seven cents a share and has since paid in dividends for itself close to twenty times over, while the value of the stock increased so that many of the holders made independent fortunes.
With the Gold Coin shipping ore and paying regular dividends the investing public realized that the Woods Investment company would handle only meritorious propositions and were willing to take anything they promoted.
Their motto was legitimate mining, where the stocks were based on actual conditions warranting the price asked. With more money at their command the Woods people commenced to branch out and demonstrate their belief in the district.
The promotion of a large number of successful mining corporations followed, and industrials as well, including the Economic Gold Extraction company, organized for the treatment of ore from the different mines controlled by the company, and the Pike's Peak Power company, for furnishing electric power.
The various industrials were organized with the object of reducing the cost of production of gold and brought about economies of great value to the various mining corporations of the Woods Investment company.
Below Victor is the town of Lawrence. Some very good indications being visible they bought and commenced developing an old incline shaft.
Ore has been found, but recently the company has started a big compartment shaft, between two known and proven veins containing ore. It is now 325 feet deep. It is the intention to continue sinking to the depth of 500 feet before cross cutting for the ore.
The Lawrence section would be quiet today were it not for the Woods people. They believe there is a big mine in that locality and expect to prove it.
The north end attracted their attention. They bought up the Damon, which was recently put into their great merger. The Damon has produced considerable very rich ore and will yet yield considerable of the money that will pay dividends to the United Gold Mines stockholders.
On Tenderfoot hill there were good indications and there they spent money freely in development.
The very best test of the courage and faith of the men forming the great company was when the Wild Horse was offered to them. The claim is 1,480 feet long. At one end it is fifty-three feet wide, while at the other it is seventy-three feet.
With but a limited amount of shallow development and only low grade ore in sight, the vein formation and indications were sufficiently encouraging to warrant the belief that further development would bring substantial results.
The purchase was therefore made at a total cost of about $14,000.00 and has added to the list of dividend payers of what is now the United Gold Mines, one of the greatest gold producers in the Cripple Creek district.
The company's principal promotions have been as follows:
The Economic Extraction company.
The Pike's Peak Power company.
The Golden Crescent Water and Light company.
The Teller County Mining Supply company.
The United Mines Transportation company.
The Intermountain Improvement company.
The Gold Coin Mining and Leasing company.
The Consolidated Gold Mines company.
The Bull Hill Consolidated Mining company.
The Battle Mountain Consolidated G. M. company.
The Cameron Mines Land and Tunnel company.
The Robinson-Victor Mines company.
The Morning Glory Mining and Leasing company.
The Columbine-Victor Deep M. and T. company.
The Magnolia Gold Mining company.
The Beacon Hill Mining and Townsite company.
The Victor Mines and Land company.
The Columbine Gold Mining company.
The Gold Coin Extension Mining company.
The Montrose Gold Mining company.
ACQUISITIONS BY PURCHASE.
The Mt. Rosa Mining, Milling and Land company.
The Jack Pot Mining company.
The Damon Gold Mining company.
The Cripple Creek Gold Exploration company.
The New Zealand Mining company.
The Trachyte Gold Mining and Milling company.
The Gold Dollar Consolidated Mining company.
The Gold Deposit Mining company.
The Requa Gold and Silver M. and M. company.
The Uintah Tunnel, Mining and Transportation company.
Early last year the company merged a number of these corporations and several others into a great consolidation with a capitalization of $5,000,000.00, divided into 5,000,000 shares of $1.00 each. The companies taken into the consolidation were:
the United Mines Transportation
the Columbine Gold Mining
the Columbine-Victor Deep M. and T.
the Battle Mountain Consolidated G. M.
the Consolidated Gold Mines
the Bull Hill Consolidated Mining
the Damon Gold Mining
the New Zealand Mining
the Trachyte Gold Mining and Milling
the Bonanza Queen Gold Mining
Since the formation of the consolidated company seven months ago, dividends amounting to $280,233.83 have been paid to the stockholders, while the grand total of the dividends paid by the companies in the merger and to date will amount very close to $400,000.00.
With the companies consolidated the expense of handling them has been reduced greatly and the stockholders benefited.
During the year just closed the;
Wild Horse and Deadwood mines produced $1.100,000.00
Gold Coin produced $750.000.00. The latter amount would have been greatly exceeded had it not been for the great flow of water that was encountered.
The Gold Dollar Consolidated yielded $75,000.00. Water kept the production down there.
From the Doctor-Jack Pot there was shipped $225,000.00 worth of gold bearing ore.
The Morning Glory Mining and Leasing company shipped $40,000.00 worth of ore.
While from the Robinson-Victor, Trail and miscellaneous properties there was produced all of $10,000.00 worth of ore.
The Economic mill, another of their promotions, is to be enlarged. The mill has proven to be a great success and in enlarging the capacity the Woods Investment company is demonstrating their belief in the future of the great gold camp.
Their properties are showing better than ever before and they believe that as yet little is known of the greatness of the ore bearing bodies that are yet to be opened, as depth is gained by the hundreds of shafts that are steadily being sunk.
Certain it is that the Woods Investment company believes in the future, for they are constantly acquiring more property and are preparing for a greater tonnage of ore in the Economic mill.
They have hardly commenced their great work in the camp and will continue to demonstrate their belief long after many have moved away, satisfied with what they have.
Lately they have commenced to branch out from the district in increasing their holdings and furthering the general condition of the Cripple Creek district.
In Pueblo they have purchased extensively in a way to directly benefit the great gold camp. One of the reasons of extending to Pueblo is to use the surplus power made by the Pike's Peak Power company. The latter company has been consolidated with the Pueblo Traction and Lighting company, controlling the street railways of Pueblo and the lighting of that city.
The franchise extends for a period of thirty-eight years.
The new consolidated company is known as the Pueblo and Suburban Traction and Lighting company.
In addition they have secured the control of the Pueblo National bank and out of it formed the Pueblo Title and Trust company.
They already own a large interest in the Colorado Springs Trust company and own the First National Bank of Victor.
In generating power for the street railways and for lighting purposes in Pueblo they are bringing that city and the district closer together.
While the company is branching out in other places it is making a corresponding increase in its holdings in the Cripple Creek district and preparing for a future that is beyond the dreams of the most sanguine.