Sunday, October 11, 2015

Evan Williams (1845-1901); Mining/Banking magnate & Nevada politician

Senator Evan Williams (Univ. of Nevada-Reno archives)

 PLOT 6 Family Mausoleum

Evan Williams was a Nevada political leader and prominent figure in Nevada mining and milling for 35 years.

Born in Wales and came to Nevada as a young man where he opened a butcher shop. He married Dora Foster in Virginia City, Nevada in 1868 and they had three children, Mabel, Enid and Evan Jr.

He worked as an accountant at the Crown Point Gold & Silver Mining Company. Superintendent of the Mexican Mill, Superintendent of the Nevada Mill & Mining Company and President of the Bullion Exchange Bank in Carson, Nevada.

The Bullion & Exchange Bank acted as a clearing house for other banks in Nevada for bullion, coin, scrip, drafts, checks, bills of exchange and other valuables. Williams was embroiled in a major investigation when a shortage of $60,000 in mining money was discovered. The Bullion Bank was accused of secretly depositing bars of bullion stolen from the shareholders of mines in the Comstock Lode.

Williams Family Mausoleum at Plot 6
He was  business partners with United States Senator John Percival "J.P." Jones (Republican- NV) in the Comstock Mill & Mining Company. Williams later sued Jones over a series of business transactions. 

He was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 1885 and in 1889 became the body's President pro Tempore. He served until 1891. His name was bandied about in 1889 to be a candidate for Governor, but he declined to run.

He died in San Francisco while being treated for cancer.

Make sure to read my posts on Nevada Governors C.C. Stevenson and Henry Blasdel, both of whom are buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

His daughter Enid was an accomplished pianist, who was killed in a stage coach accident at age 31. She was vacationing in Blairsden, Nevada with her mother when the horses of her coach were frightened, hurling her from the coach onto the rocky roadway where she fractured her skull. She is also buried in the family mausoleum. 

SOURCES: University of Nevada-Reno archives; Reno Evening Gazette; Journal of Nevada Senate; Engineering and Mining Journal; The San Francisco Call;

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