Adolph Lewisohn (1849-1938) &
Leonard Lewisohn (1847-1902)
Pioneer Mining Developers and Financiers
2015 Inductees from Mining's Past
Leonard 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.