Henry Eudey, the honored president of the Amador County Bank, has passed the seventieth milestone on life’s journey, and his activity in connection with the industrial and commercial interests should put to shame many a younger man, who, grown weary of the struggle and trials of business life, would relegate to others the burdens which he should bear. Mr. Eudey is acknowledged to be a man of excellent business and executive ability, and belongs to that class of representative American citizens who, while promoting individual prosperity, also contribute to the public welfare and success.
A native of England, he was born in Cornwall on the 22nd of March, 1829, and is a representative of an old Cornish family that for many generations was connected with the mining interests of that section of the “Merrie Isle.” His father, Alexander Eudey, was born in Cornwall, in 1789, and through a long period was a mining superintendent. He married Miss M. A. Gribble, a native of his own town, and they became the parents of fourteen children, six of whom are still living, and a large number of their descendants are now scattered throughout the western states. They were originally Episcopalians in religious faith, but afterward became connected with the Methodist Church during the early history of that denomination. The father attained a ripe old age, and the mother lived to be eighty-two years of age, her death occurring in North Carolina, where some of her children resided for a number of years. The father spent his last days in California, whither he came in 1854, his demise occurring at Dutch Flat in the same year.
Mr. Eudey, of this review, spent his boyhood days in the town of his nativity and was educated under private instruction until his fourteenth year, when he began to earn his own living. For six years he was his father’s assistant in the office of the mine superintendent, and on the expiration of that period he went into the mines and gained a practical knowledge of their operation. The one in which he worked contained copper and tin ore. In 1852, when twenty-three years of age, he went to Australia, attracted thither by the discovery of gold which had been made only a short time before. He prospected and mined in that country for two and a half years, meeting with the usual success of a pioneer gold hunter, who makes money easily and spends it just as rapidly. In the summer of 1855 he came to California, locating in Grass Valley, Nevada County. He engaged in placer mining at Dutch Flat, and in connection with his brother Joseph began hydraulic mining at that place. Returning to Grass Valley, they built a five-stamp mill, which they operated successfully for a number of years, taking out considerable gold and furnishing employment to a number of workmen. They took out the gold in the summer and operated the mill during the winter seasons. In 1860 Mr. Eudey went to North Carolina to visit relatives, and was induced by them to remain, assuming the superintendency of one of the copper and gold mines of that state and for ten years was connected with their development; but his health failing him he went to New York, where he remained for nine months. On the expiration of that period he journeyed westward to Wisconsin, on a visit to relatives, after which he removed to Ogden, Utah, and conducted the Utah Hotel for three years. During all this time, however, his thoughts continually reverted to California, and at length he determined to again establish a home in the Golden state. Selling out his hotel interests he returned to Grass Valley and accepted the position of foreman and secretary of the Eclipse mine, in Inyo County, where he remained for three years, on the expiration of which period he went to Arizona on a prospecting and mining trip. He continued in that territory for three years, but found that his expenses were greater than his income and accordingly returned to Grass Valley, whence he came to Jackson, Amador County, in 1881 to accept the foremanship of the Zeila mine, which position he retained for seventeen years. He has since resided in this city, and his business interests have been attended with success. As he advanced upon life’s journey Mr. Eudey felt that his labors were too arduous as foreman of the Zeila mine and accordingly retired. He then purchased stock in the Bank of Amador County, now the only incorporated bank within its borders, and his son, Frederick, became its cashier. Later he bought more stock and was elected its president. He now owns four-fifths of the stock of the bank, and under his management he has made the institution a very popular and profitable one. In its control he is associated with his son Frederick, and their business is constantly increasing in volume and importance. He still retains large mining interests, being a stockholder, director and secretary of the Argonaut Mining Company, which owns the mine and mill adjoining the Kennedy mine in the suburbs of Jackson. He is also a stockholder in the Central Eureka mine in Amador County. He is one of the promoters of the Fremont Consolidated Mining Company, this property covering the old Gover, the Fremont, the north Gover and the Loyal lead mines, all of which are operated by the company, which has secured adequate means for the prosecution of the business in the best possible manner. Mr. Eudey, whose wide mining experiences have certainly made him an excellent judge, considers the property as very valuable. He is a man of resourceful ability and of sound judgment, and whatever he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion. Throughout his entire life Mr. Eudey gave his political support to the Democracy until free silver became the paramount issue, and has kept well informed on the issues and questions of the day, but has never sought political preferment.
He was married in 1873 to Miss Elizabeth Reese, a native of Wales, the wedding being celebrated in Sacramento. They now have seven children: Frederick, Alexander, John, Frank, Mark, Inez and Bertha; and the family circle still remains unbroken by the hand of death. The sons are now in business and the daughters are attending school. The family have a very pleasant home in Jackson, and Mr. Eudey also owns a ranch in the suburbs of the town. Like others of his name, he and his family attend services and contribute to the support of the Episcopal and Methodist churches, and they enjoy the esteem of all with whom they have been brought in contact. Mr. Eudey has a wide acquaintance among the prominent men of this section of the state, and his genuine worth has made him popular in all circles. He has watched the entire development of northern California since the days when its mountain regions and beautiful valleys were the haunts of the red men, and has borne no unimportant part in the development of the rich resources of the state, a work that has placed California among the foremost of the commonwealths of this great western district.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.