Few persons in the world's commercial history have attained more marked success than has Thomas Cornish, the general manager of the famous Stratton's Independence, Limited.
While Mr. Cornish's success is confined principally within the broad fields of mining, it emphasizes a career which abounds in more experience and greater success than has been the common heritage of any other man whose instinct has persuaded him to enter the great mining arena.
Thomas Cornish laid the foundation for his career at the tender age of sixteen years, in the big lead mines of southern Wisconsin.
After devoting a few years in that locality he removed to the copper regions of Michigan, where he acquired a practical education, as well as a theoretical one along the line of mineralogy.
After acquiring all of the knowledge that abounded in the copper country the young miner began to yearn for a broader field of action. Filled with his ambition he started across the great plains during the early part of 1868 for the virgin pastures of Colorado, which so soon afterwards revealed its great wealth of silver.
Upon reaching Colorado he immediately went to Gilpin county, where he became as familiar with the sulphide and tellurium formation as readily as he did the galena and copper deposits of the East.
He next operated in Clear Creek county, until the fall of 1869. Afterwards he went to Denver.
But it was during the year of 1895 that he was first associated with the Smith and Moffat interests, which continued for several years. Among the private papers of Mr. Cornish he retains as one of the most valuable and complimentary a letter from Messrs. Smith and Moffat, placing with him the entire and absolute control of all their properties in the state of Colorado, which, at the time this letter was written, was a responsibility of gigantic proportions, and it is with great pride that he yet preserves this expression of confidence from his old friends and employers.
During this period Mr. Cornish had charge of the entire mining interests of that well known firm, which was easily the greatest that ever was, before or since, placed under the sole management of any one man. A few of the properties which Mr. Cornish managed at one and the same time are:
The Bon Air Mining Company
The Maid of Erin
The Gray Eagle and the Pocahontas
The Hazelle Mining Company
The Big Penrose
In Creede he had charge of:
The United Leasing Company
The Park Regent
and a number of other well known properties in that locality.
In the county of Clear Creek he had the management of the following properties:
The Lebanon Gold Mining Company, which included a number of important properties
The Emma Mining Company
The Pelican-Dives properties were also under his management.
In the great Cripple Creek gold district Mr. Cornish has had charge of the following well established mines:
The Victor Gold Mining Company, and its mine
During the sojourn of Mr. Cornish in Colorado he has examined and acted as an expert for scores of big mining properties in the Occident, and also in Old Mexico. He has also testified in numerous cases as expert witness in the higher courts.
Early last fall the owners of the great Stratton's Independence, Limited, placed Mr. Cornish in charge of that famous property, and during the brief period he has been in charge he has expended more than $10.000 in timbering and in other improvements, until the property to-day is one of the most perfectly equipped in the world.
Mr. Cornish has never taken an active part in politics, but his friends in northern Colorado chose him as their representative in the upper branch of the state legislature, and he served in that capacity for two terms.