Pueblo County, Colorado
MAHLON D. THATCHER
Contributed by Karen Mitchell.
Mr. Thatcher is well known, especially among the business men, in Southern Colorado as a large capitalist and banker of Pueblo. He was born in Perry County, Penn., December 6, 1839. When fourteen years old, he moved with his parents to Martinsburg, Penn., where he received an academical education. After finishing school, he kept store for a time with his father at Martinsburg. He came to Colorado in the spring of 1865, and located with his brother in the mercantile business at Pueblo. He and his brother, John A. Thatcher, have since been together in all their business transactions. The Thatcher Brothers have been and are connected with many of the most important enterprises of Pueblo, the most notable of which is the First National Bank They instituted the bank and now own and conduct it themselves exclusively, John A. Thatcher being the President, and M. D. Thatcher, Cashier. Mr. Thatcher has amassed a large fortune and is to-day one of the leading business men of Colorado. His residence at Pueblo, is said to be the finest at this time in the State. He was married at Pueblo, August 1,1876, to Miss Luna Jordan.
History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado
O L Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1881
MAHLON D. THATCHER.
There is always something inspiring in the struggle for ascendancy if the
effort is based upon honorable principles and laudable purpose. The story of the
life record of Mahlon D. Thatcher is one which is of intense interest to those
who are thrilled by masterful achievement in the utilization of natural
resources and opportunities. Conquering mountain and plain, he aided in planting
civilization upon the western frontier and in marked measure contributed to the
development and upbuilding of Colorado.
A native of Pennsylvania, Mr. Thatcher was born in Perry county on the 6th
of December, 1839, and his life record covered the intervening years to the 22d
of February, 1916, when he passed away at his home, "Hillcrest," in Pueblo. His
parents were Henry and Lydia Ann Thatcher, who after residing for a time near
Buffalo, Pennsylvania, removed to Martinsburg, that state, and there Mahlon D.
Thatcher acquired his early education. His elder brother, John A. Thatcher,
removing to the west, settled first in Missouri and in 1863 made his way to the
Rocky mountains, taking up his abode at Denver. After a brief period, however,
he journeyed from that city with ox team and wagon, taking with him a small
stock of merchandise, with which he established a pioneer store at Pueblo. In
1865 he was joined by Mahlon D. Thatcher, who entered into business relations
with his brother under the firm style of Thatcher Brothers. From that point
forward both continued prominent factors in the business development and
substantial upbuilding of the state. Though the capital of Mahlon D. Thatcher
backed scores of successful enterprises, his investments were never speculative.
He was primarily a merchant and banker. The commercial interests of the firm
were successfully conducted, the business steadily growing until it reached
gratifying proportions. With the growth of their trade in that direction they
turned their attention to the banking business and as the years passed became
most prominent factors in the promotion of financial interests throughout the
state. They made their initial step as bankers in 1869 and in January. 1871,
organized Thatcher Brothers' Bank, which in June of the same year was
reorganized as a national bank under the name of the First National Bank of
Pueblo with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, of which Mahlon D.
Thatcher became first cashier and later president; and he and his brother were
active in directing the interests of the institution for many years, making it
one of the strong financial concerns of the state. From time to time Mahlon D.
Thatcher, with his brother, extended his efforts and business connections and he
became chairman of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Denver,
president of the International Trust Company, vice president of the Pueblo
Savings & Trust Company, president of the First National Bank of Trinidad,
president of the Minnequa Bank and an officer and stockholder of the Bent County
Bank of Las Animas, the First National Bank of Lamar, the First National Bank of
Rocky Ford, the First National Bank of Florence, the First National Bank of
Silverton, the American National Bank of Alamosa, the Miners & Merchants Bank of
Ouray and the Montrose National Bank, all of Colorado. Forceful and resourceful,
he constantly broadened his activities and became secretary and treasurer as
well as one of the organizers of the Pueblo Union Depot & Railroad Company. He
was likewise a director of the American Smelting & Refining Company, treasurer
of the Great Western Sugar Company, vice president of the Standard Fire Brick
Company, a director of the Cement Securities Company and a director of the
Nevada-California Electric Corporation. His faith in the beet sugar industry was
great and he was a stockholder in several beet sugar companies. He also had
heavy holdings in hydro electric power projects in Nevada and California, also
in coal mines and metal mines, and was also president of The Bloom Cattle
Company and the Diamond A Cattle Company. He was a most active business man,
found early and late at his desk, concentrating his efforts and attention at all
times upon the development of his interests, which were ever of a character that
contributed to public progress and prosperity as well as to individual success.
Moreover, his efforts were always of a constructive nature and his path was
never strewn with the wreck of other men's failures. In fact, he was constantly
extending a helping hand to enable others to gain a start in life and many
successful business men received material assistance from him at the outset of
their careers. A contemporary historian said of him: "His influence among the
capitalized forces and productive interests of the commonwealth was coextensive
with the great financial triumph he achieved."
Mr. Thatcher was united in marriage in 1876 to Miss Luna A. Jordan and they
became the parents of six children, of whom four survive: a son, Mahlon D.
Thatcher. Jr., who is now president of the First National Bank of Pueblo; and
three daughters, namely, Mrs. Lydia T. Wheeler and Mrs. Lucia T. Waller, of
Chicago; and Mrs. Ada T. Huntzinger, of New York city.
In his political views Mr. Thatcher was ever a stalwart republican,
believing firmly in the principles of the party, but he never sought or desired
office. In matters of citizenship, however, he maintained a most progressive
position and cooperated heartily in all well defined plans and measures for the
general good. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church. When he
passed away the Pueblo Chieftain said of him: "With sincere sorrow Pueblo mourns
today beside the bier of one who was in many important respects her foremost
citizen. As a prominent figure in the group of pioneer state builders now
rapidly passing from the scene of activity, as a successful banker in this and
other cities of the state, as a man of success in large business enterprises, as
a loyal citizen of Pueblo for many years during which there was a constant call
to other fields of larger activity, as a man of high character, of spotless
reputation and of extraordinary ability Mr. Thatcher occupied a place in Pueblo
which no other man could have filled. The future historian of the state will
give him a place forever in the foremost ranks of the men who came from the east
in pioneer days, who laid in the wilderness the foundations of a great state and
who made the great fortune that came into his hands an instrument of service
according to his own judgment, and in the lines of his own activities, of
immeasurable benefit to his business associates, to the city and to the state."
With all his great success he remained a most modest and unassuming man, never
taking to himself especial credit for what he achieved. He judged his fellowmen
by worth and not by wealth and true worth on the part of any individual could
win his regard. The universality of his friendships was an indication of the
breadth of his character and of his thought.
History Of Colorado
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
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