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Amador County








            William A. Prichard is a mining man of marked enterprise and executive ability.  His residence is Amador City, where he is superintending the Keystone gold mine.  The Keystone is famous for having produced gold continuously since the first quartz mining was done in California in 1850.

            Mr. Prichard was born February 1, 1873, at Ironton, Ohio, in the heart of the iron and coal mining district of southern Ohio.  He is a descendant of one of the two Prichard brothers who came to America from Wales in 1700.  The family was early residents of New York and participated in the Revolutionary War.  The grandfather, Anthony P. Prichard, was a native of the Empire state, who became one of the pioneer settlers and prominent merchants of Granville, Ohio, where he conducted business for many years.  William W. Prichard, the father, was born in Granville, Ohio, in 1845.  He was married to Olive Channel, a native of Newark, that state.  For many years he was engaged in the gas and electric light business at Portsmouth, where he was residing at the time of his death in October, 1899.  His wife and six children survive him.

            William A. Prichard, the oldest son, acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of Ironton, Ohio, which was supplemented by an engineering course in the Leland Stanford University, in California, at which institution he graduated in 1898.  While pursuing his college course, Mr. Prichard acted as the editor of an engineering journal.  He took an interest in athletics at the University and was a football manager during his senior year.  Prior to entering the University, he had been associated with his father in the gas and electric business and had also been engaged in the railroad tie business in Kentucky and West Virginia.  He was later employed as a cashier in a wholesale house. This business training, as well as a natural mechanical ability, stood him in good stead.  While at college he more than earned his entire support by repairing and selling bicycles.  With the extra advantage of a technical education, he has been able to fill, with unusual credit, his present position in mining.  Before graduation Mr. Prichard was appointed assistant United States geologist.  He assisted Waldmar Lindgren in making geological maps and reports of the Wood River mining district, Idaho, as described and illustrated in Part III of the Twentieth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey.

He entered the service of the Keystone Consolidated Mining Company, as assayer, in December, 1898, and was appointed superintendent in August, 1899.  His management of the Keystone has been very successful indeed.  The methods of mining and milling have been changed and systemized, with a resultant large reduction of working costs and an increase in output and dividends.  Furthermore, he has made a bright future for the mine, by opening up new ore reserves.  Even the old ore bodies have been made valuable by more economical working.  The Keystone has a forty-stamp mill, which will soon be enlarged. It has produced over thirteen million dollars worth of the precious metal.

            Mr. Prichard was married on the 21st of January, 1899, to Jean De Forest, a fellow student of Stanford University.  She is a native of San Francisco and the daughter of Joseph De Forest, a gold miner of ’49.  Mr. De Forest, who is a native of New York, is a businessman of San Francisco and is a member of the Society of California Pioneers.  Mr. Prichard is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to Aurora Lodge, No. 48, F & A. M., at Portsmouth, Ohio, and to Sutter Chapter, No. 11, of Sutter Creek, California.  His son, William De Forest Prichard, was born in San Francisco on June 6, 1900.

            Mr. Prichard’s ambition and ability will undoubtedly insure his continued success.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 197-198. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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