Pueblo County, Colorado

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 

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 Illustrated Volume III Chicago The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1918

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