2015 Inductees from Mining's Past
Adolph Lewisohn (1849-1938) &Leonard Lewisohn (1847-1902)
Pioneer Mining Developers and FinanciersLeonard and Adolph Lewisohn were successful merchants dealing in numerous commodities and were quick to perceive the developing demand for copper in the late 19th century. To meet this demand, they made numerous investments to avail themselves of this commodity.
The Lewisohns invested in Butte, Montana with interests in the Butte & Boston and the Boston & Montana mining companies and purchased the promising Old Dominion mine in Globe, Arizona in 1895. They soon realized improved transportation would afford better productivity and efficiency at the Globe mine and direct railroad access would be the solution. Unfortunately, after building a connecting rail line to the Southern Pacific at Bowie, Arizona, they discovered the mine had water problems. Choosing not to confront the water problems, they sold this mine to Phelps Dodge in 1903.
Following Leonard’s death in 1906, Adolph reorganized Lewisohn Brothers into General Development Company with J. Parke Channing as its vice president and consulting engineer. General Development successfully developed copper production from pyritic deposits in Tennessee (Tennessee Copper), but the most spectacular source of copper came into production in 1911 from the Miami Copper Company in Miami, Arizona. General Development also evaluated other copper properties including the Bagdad and the Helvetia/Rosemont area of Arizona. The latter had small inactive mining operations for years, but the insightful Lewisohn family retained interests in the Helvetia/Rosemont area despite the condition. Today, aided by advance technology, this area has one of the best copper reserves in the country.
The Lewisohns were generous philanthropists, supporting causes ranging from prison reform to art and music as well as their legendary contribution to Columbia University.
James Furman Kemp (1859-1926)
2015 Inductee from Mining's Past
Geology Professor, Author, Co-Founder of GSA and SEG
James Furman Kemp served for 34 years as a professor of geology at Columbia University and is remembered for his life-long contributions to American geology. He was regarded with high esteem by his colleagues, and he was a trusted and revered mentor to his students who were the beneficiaries of his passion to teach and his rare talent for communicating the subjects and theories in human terms.
Born in New York on August 14, 1859, he graduated from Brooklyn’s Adelphi Academy and earned an A.B. degree in 1881 from Amherst College. Kemp then attended graduate school at the Columbia School of Mines, where he received a degree in mining engineering in 1884, followed by geologic studies in Germany. Kemp worked as a member of the Cornell University geology faculty from 1886 to 1891, when he moved to Columbia University to become adjunct professor of geology. He quickly rose to the position of department head in 1892, and he remained a professor of geology for the rest of his career. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1906.
His scientific reputation was well recognized throughout the field of geology, and his fruitful contributions endure to this day and to the benefit of all in the fields of geology and mining. He was one of the committee of 13 geologists who founded the Geological Society of America in 1888, and Kemp remained involved for the rest of his career, serving as Councilor from 1905-1907, First Vice-President in 1913, and President in 1921.
Kemp, part of the “Committee of Fifty” that founded the Society of Economic Geologists in 1920, served as SEG President in 1924. He helped to establish Economic Geology and served as an associate editor. He also served as a President of the New York Academy of Sciences and as Vice-President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as being a member of other scientific organizations including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, National Academy of Sciences, and National Research Council.
James Furman Kemp authored Ore Deposits of the United States and Canada and A Handbook of Rocks for use without the Microscope, as well as numerous scientific papers for the U.S. Geological Survey and the New York State Survey.
As a sign of the appreciation held by the academic community for Kemp’s long service and notable contributions, his funeral was held in St. Paul’s Chapel on the campus of Columbia University, on November 19, 1926. Among the attendees were nearly the entire faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences in academic robes.
Roscoe Channing (1868-1961)
2015 Inductee from Mining's Past
President, Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Company
Roscoe Channing, class of 1890 of The College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton), was a member of the first All American football team.
He began his career on the Iron and Mesabi Ranges in Minnesota, and by 1897, was the youngest mine manager on the Masabi Range. When the Spanish American War broke out in 1898, he resigned and joined Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
After the war, he worked for Pickens, Mather & Co., then was hired to become the manager of Utah Consolidated’s Highland Boy mine at Bingham Canyon. He guided the mine into its most profitable years.
After the war, Channing was hired as manager of Utah Consolidated's Highland Boy mine in Utah and let the operation in its most profitable years. In 1907, he was hired by industrialist Henry Frick as General Manager of the Cerro de Pasco mine in Peru,restoring the enterprise to profitability within 3 years. He returned to the U.S. in 1910, not wishing to raise his family in Peru.
He rejoined Utah Consolidated as president, but resigned when the US entered World War I, attaining the rank of major. Upon his discharge in 1918, he rejoined Utah Consolidated. The company went out of business in 1923 owing to legal decisions that awarded the extension of their ore body to others.
He then took charge of businessman Harry Payne Whitney’s mining properties, disposing of many of them. In the process, he met Harry's son Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. From mid-1924, Channing became involved with a large base and precious metals property at Flin Flon, Manitoba. He directed the metallurgical research that made this great ore deposit commercially viable. With the financial backing of the Whitneys and Channing’s experience, the Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. became a resounding success. Channing served as its president until his retirement in 1957. He then moved to Tucson where he resided until his death in 1961.
Alberto Benavides (1920-2014)
2015 Inductee from Mining's Past
Founding President, Cia de Minas Buenaventura
Alberto Benavides de la Quintana was born in Lima, Peru and earned a master’s degree in geology from Harvard University following undergraduate work in mining engineering. He was the first Peruvian graduate of the Harvard School of Arts and Sciences. On return to Peru, Benavides was hired by Cerro de Pasco and at age 30 was promoted to oversee Peru’s Explorations Department.
On learning that Julcani Mine planned to terminate operation at Cerro de Pasco, Benavides boldly negotiated a lease and founded Cia de Minas Buenaventura in 1953. Buenaventura quickly expanded its operation becoming the first Latin American mining company to list on the New York Stock Exchange. For over half a century, Cerro de Pasco was the dominant Peruvian producer of copper, lead, silver, zinc and bismuth.
Benavides’ vision elevated Peruvian living standards. He was instrumental in the privatization of the Cerro Verde mining property and helped found the mining faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Benavides was honored by the French Government, the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Geology, the Society of Economic Geologists, the International Mining Hall of Fame (2014, Outstanding Innovator), and in 2011 by the Board of Directors of the Harvard Club of Peru with a Harvard Life Time Achievement award.