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Louis Davidson Rickets

(1859-1940)


Louis Ricketts’ mining career began in Leadville in 1881, after graduating from Princeton University. He returned to Princeton and earned a doctorate in 1883, then resumed work in Colorado.  He first worked as an underground surveyor in Leadville and then as the manager of a joint-stock company in Silverton.

Ricketts came to Arizona in 1890 and in 1898 became general manager in Nacozari for James Douglas. Concurrently and successively, he designed and built the first Rocky Mountain region conveyor belt plant at Morenci and managed the Old Dominion Mine at Globe. In 1907, he was general manager for the Greene Consolidated Copper Company at Cananea. At the same time, he built the Douglas smelter for Arizona Copper Company, supervised the Calumet and Arizona smelter construction for John C. Greenway, and designed International Smelting's reduction works at Miami. Success came again with Greenway at Ajo and subsequent consulting jobs for Anaconda, Chile Copper, and Andes Copper.

In 1921, he co-founded the Valley National Bank, together with Charles E. Mills, who was an associate he had previously chosen to head Inspiration's new low-grade development and first use of flotation in copper processing. Ricketts served as Board Chairman of Valley National Bank from 1930 to 1940. Ricketts was A.I.M.E. president in 1916 and board member thereafter. He was also a Regent or Trustee for the University of Arizona, Princeton University, and California Institute of Technology. He was named "First Citizen of Arizona" in 1929.


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