Archibald Mark Chisholm

Archibald Chisholm caricatured by the Duluth News Tribune. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

Archibald Mark Chisholm, widely known in mining circles as a far-sighted and successful operator, was born at Alexandria, Ontario, April 25, 1864, to Donald A. and Catherine Chisholm, both of whom were natives of Scotland and good, substantial people. They settled in Ontario in the early sixties and the father was engaged in the grocery trade at Alexandria until his decease, in 1879.

Archibald M. attended the common and high schools in his native town, and later pursued a course of study in the Commercial College, at St. Paul, Minn. For a short time, after leaving school, he was in the employ of the Weyerheousers, in the lumber trade, but left that and took a clerical position in the mining district of the Gogebic Range, where he acquired his first practical knowledge of mining and mines. Thence, in 1888, he went to the Vermillion Range, and for six years was paymaster at the Chandler and Ely mines, then managed by Capt. Joseph Sellwood, and these years proved a most valuable schooling in preparing him for the successful career that has followed.

Going thence to Hibbing, he there helped to organize the Lumbermen’s and Miners’ Bank, of which he became cashier, but he employed his time not required in the bank in real estate and mining investigations, and these interests gradually coming to occupy his chief attention, his rise in financial circles began, and his standing in mining interests became established. He 790 succeeded where others had failed, and in sections overlooked or abandoned by them, he persisted in his explorations and discovered some of the richest mines in the entire district. Persistence in the face of difficulties has always characterized him, and to this and an apparently intuitive knowledge of mining formations may, in great measure, be attributed his achievements.

Mr. Chisholm discovered his first mine, the Susquehanna, in 1896, and that was followed by explorations that have added millions of tons to the wealth of the Mesaba Range. Among the other mines he discovered, or assisted in discovering, are the Philbin, the Elizabeth (known also as the Scranton), the Mathew, which was a part of the great Longyear mine, and the Chisholm, near the Monroe-Tener mine, and from which a township and flourishing village derived their name. Through his explorations, also, rich properties, now owned by the Cleveland Cliffs Company, were discovered, as well as the Larrabee, the Robson, the Barge and others. But his achievements, while they might have satisfied the ambition of men of a different temperament, only heightened his far greater conquests. With his experiences, the horizon of his outlook broadened and he was led into other fields promising rich returns on investments. Moneyed men were turning their eyes to the West and Southwest, whence came rumors of wonderful opportunities and possibilities, needing only the investment of money to realize their full fruition.

With others Mr. Chisholm visited the copper regions of Arizona, and as a result became prominent in the group of far-sighted, nervy men who organized and operated the Shattuck-Arizona copper mine with a capital of three and a half million dollars, and whose output has been a marvel to even those who had most faith in its possibilities. Mr. Chisholm was made secretary and treasurer of this company. He also had a leading part in organizing the Denn-Arizona Development Company, and besides is largely interested in other copper properties in Arizona and New Mexico. The town of Chisholm, named in his honor and herein above referred to, is beautifully located on Longyear lake in the midst of a rich mining district; has a population of some six thousand souls; is supplied with splendid schools and numerous churches; has some of the finest buildings of any town on the Range; supports two weekly newspapers and two flourishing banks-the First National, of which Mr. Chisholm is president, and the Miners’ State Bank. Mr. Chisholm is also largely interested in the Merchants’ and Miners’ State Bank of Hibbing, and is its vice president. He has been a leading spirit in the development of the young city which bears his name, especially in platting and putting on the market new subdivisions to be used for residence purposes for the miners.

In the year 1900 Mr. Chisholm took up his residence in Duluth, having built a spacious and beautiful home there, one of the handsomest in the East End, and here he enjoys with his family and friends the well-earned fruits of his successes.

On June 10, 1891, Mr. Chisholm married Miss Eulalie Cummings and they have three children, named respectively Dorothy, Eulalie and Archibald Mark, Jr.


  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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