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 David Douty Colton

David Douty Colton

Birth
Monson, Piscataquis County, Maine, USA
Death 9 Oct 1878 (aged 46)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA
Memorial ID 5985 · View Source
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Businessman. Born to Isaac Watts and Abigail Douty Colton in Monson, Maine. When he was five years old, the family moved to Galesburg, Illinois. By the time he was ready for college, Knox College had been formed and the young man attended the school. While teaching, he met Ellen White, the daughter of a Chicago doctor, and married her despite her family's objections over his lack of wealth. They would have two daughters, Helen and Carrie. Siskiyou County was incorporated in 1852, David would be elected the sheriff of this county in 1853. In 1855, David and Ferris, in partnership with three other men, purchased the first newspaper in Yreka, CA., renaming it the Yreka Union. At the expiration of his term as Sheriff in 1857, Colton entered the race for the state Senate as the Democratic candidate, he lost the election. Having lost his bid for state Senate, David gave his ambition a new direction. In early 1858 he and his family went to Albany, the capital of New York, where he studied law. Through many trades David ultimately became a wealthy man, his mining and real estate investments proved to be highly profitable. He was President and major owner of the Amador gold mine, which yielded half-million dollars annually and his San Francisco properties brought in rents totaling $3,000 monthly. David rose to his greatest prominence in 1874 when he became associated with the directors and principal stockholders of the Central Pacific R.R. that built the western most section of the nations first transcontinental railroad. During the next few years he worked on a variety of railroad projects in California. Through his association with Charles Crocker, who had built a house on Nob Hill across the street from David, he accompanied him on a trip to the Rocky Mountain Coal & Iron Co. Crockers intent was to get David to invest in the undeveloped company. David recognized the potential with trains needing coal for fuel, and he told Crocker he would invest in its development. Crocker offered him the Presidency and General Managership if he bought 1,000 shares of stock. David accepted and became President and General Manager in January, 1871. Over the next few years David developed the Company into an efficient and profitable source of coal for the railroads. The panic of 1873, and the depression that followed, hit California and the West especially hard, and an association was formed that included David. He signed a promissory note for $1,000,000 payable in gold coin. In exchange, he was made a co-director of the most powerful corporation in the American West and gained the opportunity to share in the financial profits. In August, 1875, he was elected a director of Central Pacific R.R. and the following day he was appointed the company's Financial Director. The town of Colton in Southern California was named for him at the time the railroad first went through the area. David sustained an injury while riding a young, unruly horse, the horse fell on him,.The injury involved ruptured blood vessels which eventually produced abscesses. Doctors opened three of the abscesses hoping they would heal, but the operation resulted in blood poisoning. During the next few hours his condition deteriorated. The official cause of death was listed as a fall from a horse on his ranch. David was 46 years old at the time of his death.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5985
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Douty Colton (17 Jul 1832–9 Oct 1878), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5985, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .