Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FAIR, James Graham, capitalist, born near Belfast, Ireland, 3 December 1831. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1843, and settled in Illinois, where he attended the public schools. He completed his education in Chicago, received a business training there, and paid much attention to scientific studies. He went to California in 1849, and after engaging in mining till 1860, he removed to Nevada, where he amassed a fortune of $50< 000,000. He was especially successful in the construction of quartz mills, waterworks, and chlorinizing furnaces. In 1865 he became superintendent of the Ophir mine and in 1867 of the Hale and Norcross. In the latter year he also formed a partnership with John W. Mackay, James C. Flood, and William T. O'Brien, and purchased the control of several well-known mines. The yield of gold and silver in these mines during Mr. Fair's service as superintendent is estimated to have reached $200,000,000. Mr. Fair was elected to the U. S. Senate from Nevada, as a Democrat, to succeed William Sharon, Republican, and served from 1881 till 1887. He is largely interested in manufactories on the Pacific coast.
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