Francis Marion “Borax” Smith

Francis Marion “Borax” Smith

Richmond, Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 27 Aug 1931 (aged 85)
Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Burial Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Plot Section 35 ('Millionaire's Row')
Memorial ID 3258 · View Source
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Western Businessman. Born in Richmond, Wisconsin, at the age of 21 he went west to seek wealth and became known as the "Borax King". In 1872, he discovered a rich supply of ulexite at Teel's Marsh, Nevada. He staked a claim, started a company with his brother Julius and established a works at the edge of the marsh to convert the ulexite into borax. By 1877, the Smith Brothers shipped their product in a 30-ton load using two large wagons with a third wagon for food and water drawn by a 24-mule team over a 160-mile stretch of desert from Teel's Marsh to and Wadsworth, Nevada. He bought out his brother Julius in 1884, gained control of all major borax production in western Nevada and established the Pacific Coast Borax Company with the '20 Mule Team Borax' trade mark. Settling in Oakland, California, he built America's first reinforced concrete building, which was a borax refinery on an island in San Francisco Bay. Smith Mountain in Death Valley, California, is named after him.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 29 Jul 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3258
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Marion “Borax” Smith (2 Feb 1846–27 Aug 1931), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3258, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .