April 25, 1864: Birth of Archibald M. Chisholm

On this day in 1864, future Duluthian Archibald M. Chisholm was born in Alexandria, Ontario. He was educated in St. Paul and worked for Weyerhouser Lumber before heading to Michigan’s Gogebic Range to work in mining; by 1888 he was on the Vermilion Range, employed as paymaster for the Chandler and Ely Mines. He soon invested in banking, mining, and real estate, establishing some of the range’s richest mines and building a fortune. The key to his success, according to historian Walter Van Brunt, was to “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.” The town of Chisholm grew in the shadow of his Chisholm mine. He also invested in Arizona copper mines. He moved to Duluth in 1900 and built a stately home at 1832 East Second Street for his wife Eulalie (called “Lillian”) and their three children. Chisholm was a generous man. He gave to charities in his home town in Canada, building a home for the Sister of the Precious Blood and contributing money to the Home for the Aged and the Alexander Catholic College. In 1910 he visited his ancestral home in Scotland near Beauly, and from then until his death provided annual donations for that community’s school and poor.

This sketch of Archie Chisholm was made ca. 1910. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

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