2014 Inductees from Mining's Past

Patrick E. Connor (1820-1892)

2014 Inductee from Mining's Past

Father of Utah Mining

Irish-born Patrick Edward Connor emigrated to the United States at age 12. At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving 5 years as a private in the First Dragoons in the Iowa Territory. Upon the outbreak of the Mexican War, he volunteered for duty, distinguishing himself for courage and military skill in battle. When the Civil War broke out, Connor again volunteered for duty and was appointed Colonel of the Third California Infantry with instructions to guard the overland mail route across the west. In October of 1862, he moved his command to Salt Lake City, where he immediately engaged in a “cold war” with the Mormons; relationships were acrimonious at best. During this time, he and his command also engaged in hostile interactions with the Shoshone Indians.

Connor encouraged his troops to go prospecting after realizing that the best way to dilute the strong influence of the Mormons in Utah was to make the area appealing to outside settlers. Mineral discoveries, with significant silver discoveries, were uncovered at areas now known as Bingham Canyon, Park City, and Alta.

In 1866, Connor, now a General, left the army and plowed his personal fortune into Utah mining. He wrote Utah’s mining laws and introduced navigation on the Great Salt Lake, shipping ores to smelters near the Rush Valley. Connor succeeded in bringing attention to Utah’s vast mineral wealth but failed to profit by it, dying relatively poor in 1892. He was posthumously given the title of the "Father of Utah Mining."


Earl T. Stannard (1882-1949)

2014 Inductee from Mining's Past

President, Kennecott Copper Co.

Earl Tappen Stannard became president of Kennecott Copper Co in 1940 and, under his leadership, Kennecott increased production at all its operations, becoming the world's largest copper producer.

Stannard graduated in 1905 with a degree in Mining Engineering from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University.  Following graduate work studying ore-crushing machinery, he was named Milling Superintendent for the Federal Mining Co. (a subsidiary of Guggenheim) at Flat Rock, Missouri.

In 1910, he was transferred from Federal to Chile to troubleshoot the new mill under construction and testing at Braden Copper Co. In 1913, the Guggenheims next transferred him to the Kennecott copper mine in Alaska to enlarge the mill and improve its dated recovery system.   

At Kennecott, Alaska, he invented an ammonia leaching process which increased the recovery of copper to over 95% through recovering the copper contained in the carbonate ores. He also improved the output from the concentrators so fluxing requirements of the smelters would be met and introduced flotation plants at the company’s Beatson mine. With the reorganization of Kennecott into a multi-national company, Stannard eventually replaced his mentor, CEO Stephen Birch.

On September 9, 1949, Stannard, now nearing retirement, boarded a flight along with his chosen successor and other Kennecott executives  to visit the newly acquired titanium property in Quebec when a bomb detonated killing all aboard. The bomb was intentionally planted by a female passenger’s husband to collect on her insurance claim. The sudden loss of Stannard and other Kennecott management caused a severe setback in Kennecott's foundation resulting with tough replacement challenges. 

Arthur Barrette Parsons (1887-1966)

2014 Inductee from Mining's Past

Mining Editor and Author

A.B. Parsons

Arthur Barrette Parsons was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 22, 1887.  At age 17 he was working as a farmer near Ely, Nevada when he noted while everyone else traveled by stage or on horseback, the mining engineers all traveled by automobile.  How much influence this may have had is uncertain, but he entered the Utah School of Mines and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1909.  In 1910 and 1911, he worked as an assayer, mill man, and surveyor in NV and UT.  From 1911-1915, he was mill superintendent for Candor Mines Co., North Carolina.  In 1917, he went to India for Burma Mines, Ltd. and in 1918 he joined the Butte and Superior Mining Co. in Butte, MT.

A.B. became Associate Editor for the Mining and Scientific Press, then Associate Editor Engineering and Mining Journal and was President, Mineral Research Corporation.  Parsons joined AIME in 1914 and served as its Secretary (modern equivalent of Executive Director) from 1931-1948.  He wrote the History of the Institute 1871-1947.  Parsons is perhaps best known as the author of the book published by AIME titled The Porphyry Coppers in 1933, revised in 1956.  This was a seminal work detailing the history and technical information available on the major porphyry copper deposits worldwide.  He was the author of more than 200 articles on the technical and political phases of the mineral industries.  Parsons died in 1966.

Ernest R. Dickie (1902-1955)

2014 Inductee from Mining's Past

General Manager, Bagdad Copper

Ernest Russell Dickie was the energetic general manager who overcame many obstacles to bring Bagdad Copper from a marginal underground mine to a successful open pit operation.

Dickie was born in Colorado near Cripple Creek but spent most of his life in Arizona, at Jerome, Oatman, Wickenburg, and Bagdad.  In Wickenburg, while serving as mayor and working at the Vulture Mine, he became associated with John C. Lincoln, who also had interests in the Vulture. When Lincoln acquired control of Bagdad Copper Co. in 1945, he appointed Dickie to run the operation.

Dickie quickly realized that the ore body was not suitable for underground mining and immediately implemented plans to convert it to open pit.  This conversion was accomplished despite shortages of materials, limited manpower as well as infrastructure challenges in a remote area.  Bagdad became the first converted mine when World War II ended, ahead of the better publicized Inspiration and Ray mines.

In 1950, comparative tests were conducted on four open pit haulage trucks, two from each of the two major manufacturers. Based on tests at Bagdad, he persuaded the truck manufacturers to adopt twin-disk torque converter transmission for heavy duty trucks. The Tournarocker, a 35-ton capacity earthmover, good for short hauls, was also proven at Bagdad.

Dickie is best remembered for field tests at the mine that resulted in improvements in earth-moving equipment. His life was sadly cut short by a heart attack in December of 1955.

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