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Arthur Redman Wilfley Collection

 Collection
Identifier: COU:1729

Scope and Contents

The A. R. Wilfley Papers contains Wilfley’s correspondence and legal/financial papers, as well as the ledgers of several of his mining ventures, including the Summit Mining & Smelting Co. of Kokomo, Colorado, and the Pride of the West Mining & Milling Co. of Washington, Arizona, between 1881 and 1927. The material is separated into 5 sections, which are categorized as such:

I. CORRESPONDENCE: Material concerning the correspondence held by Wilfley during the period of time in which he arrived in Colorado, up until his death.

II. SUMMIT MINING AND SMELTING COMPANY: Material concerning his duration with the Summit Mining and Smelting Company in Kokomo, Colorado, between 1892 and 1906

III. PRIDE OF THE WEST MINING AND MILLING COMPANY: Material concerning his duration with the Pride of the West Mining and Milling Company in Washington, Arizona, between 1898 and 1907.

IV. WASHINGTON TRADING COMPANY: Material concerning his duration with the Washington Trading Company in Washington, Arizona, between 1902 and 1907.

V. MISCELLANEOUS: Various documents spanning the timeline of this collection, concerning Wilfley’s other interests.

Dates

  • 1881 - 1929

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Historical Sketch

A. R. Wilfley came to Colorado in 1878 from Kansas City, Missouri, settling in Kokomo, near Leadville. Working as a miner and prospector for several years, he taught himself assaying and surveying. Through persistent hard work, Wilfley found ore remaining in abandoned mines. Leasing or purchasing them, he eventually acquired a number of these mines in the Silverton, Kokomo and San Juan areas.

In 1897, he patented the Wilfley Concentrating Table. The device revolutionized mining processes throughout the world and brought Wilfley fame and fortune. He also devised a series of other improvements in mining, ore milling and practical mechanics. Among his inventions were an ore-roasting furnace and a gravity slime table, which increased metal recovery in the milling of ores.

By 1922, Wilfley perfected the pump for sand and slimes, which replaced inefficiency and costly belt and bucket elevators then used to handle crushed ore in the mills. Prior to his death in 1927, he also perfected a porcelain acid pump. The firm he founded, A. R. Wilfley & Sons, inc. of Denver, still manufactures mining equipment, including industrial and acid pumps based on his original designs.

Because of poor health, he spent the last few years f his life in Whittier, California, where he built up one of the finest orange groves in the area. His wife, Addie Farnham Wilfley, died in 1959, leaving the elder Wilfley’s papers to his grandson, Bob Wilfley, who gave the papers to the Archives, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Extent

21 linear feet (10 boxes, Volumes, 1 Oversize)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Arthur Redman Wilfley (1860-1927) invented and patented 24 devices and processes of which two were commercially viable: the Wilfley ore concentrating table and the Wilfley packingless centrifugal pump, invented in 1897 and 1918 respectively, are still manufactured in Denver, attesting to Wilfley's mechanical genius. As a mining engineer in the late 1880s and 1890s, he developed the Wilfley Mine in Kokomo, Colorado, and amassed a fortune which enabled him to invest extensively in a variety of enterprises. The collection contains correspondence, legal and financial papers, as well as ledgers for several of Wilfley's mining ventures, including the Summit Mining and Smelting Co. of Kokomo, and the Pride of the West Co. of Washington, Arizona.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series: I. CORRESPONDENCE II. SUMMIT MINING AND SMELTING COMPANY III. PRIDE OF THE WEST MINING AND MILLING COMPANY IV. WASHINGTON TRADING COMPANY V. MISCELLANEOUS
Status
Completed
Author
Jon Horneber
Date
March 10, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Repository

Contact:
1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States