Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898

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Mining engineer and mayor of San Francisco.

From the description of Papers, 1863-1942. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122645046

From the guide to the Adolph Sutro papers, 1863-1942, (L. Tom Perry Special Collections)

Adolph Heinrich Sutro, born in Prussia in 1830, was a mining engineer who planned the Sutro Tunnel, which was constructed through Mount Davidson to reach the Comstock Lode. In 1878 sold his interest in the tunnel and invested in San Francisco real estate. He served one term as mayor of San Francisco and died in 1898.

From the description of Adolph Sutro papers, 1869-1899. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122387579

Mining engineer. Soon after the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Nevada, Sutro conceived the idea of a tunnel through Mount Davidson to improve miners' access to the lode. In 1866 his Sutro Tunnel Company received from Congress the right of way to public lands crossed by the tunnel. Construction lasted from 1869 to 1878. The tunnel revolutionized western mining, and Sutro sold his interest and retired to San Francisco, where he served a term as Mayor.

From the description of LS : London, England, to Ulysses S. Grant, 1873 Nov. 4. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122610753

Adolph Sutro (1830-1898), mining engineer, mayor of San Francisco, 1894-98.

From the description of Adolph Sutro papers, 1865-1939. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702132144

Adolph Sutro came to San Francisco in 1851. He ran a tobacco store until 1860 when he went to Nevada, attracted by silver mining. He constructed a tunnel under the Comstock Lode to drain the mines. He amassed a library of over 250,000 books, built the Cliff House and Sutro Baths in San Francisco. Elected mayor of San Francisco on the Populist ticket in 1894.

From the description of Adolph Sutro Collection, 1865-1899. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 58745793

Mining engineer and businessman, Sutro came to California in 1851. He worked as both merchant and engineer, making a fortune constructing the Sutro Tunnel in the Comstock Lode. He then became one of the most powerful landowners in San Francisco and served as mayor of city from 1894 to 1896.

From the description of Adolph Sutro correspondence, 1869 Oct. 30-1890 Jan. 17. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 58945455

Mining engineer.

From the description of Letter, 1892 May 17, to Mary Sheldon Barnes. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122500182

Sutro was a San Francisco businessman and mining engineer who made his fortune constructing the Sutro Tunnel at the Comstock Lode in Nev. He served as mayor of San Francisco from 1894-1896.

From the description of Adolph Sutro papers and scrapbooks, 1853-1900. (California Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 122569637

Adolph H.J. Sutro (1830-1898) emigrated in 1850 to the eastern United States from Prussia and very soon thereafter went to San Francisco to sell supplies to miners during the Gold Rush. The discovery of silver on the Comstock Lode in Nevada prompted him to establish the Sutro Metallurgical Works in 1861, and in 1862 he had constructed a ten-stamp mill. He conceived the idea of a tunnel to relieve the problems of floods, high temperatures, and noxious gases in the mines of the Comstock Lode, and the Sutro Tunnel was completed in 1868. He sold his interest in the tunnel and returned to San Francisco in 1880, where he increased his land holdings, took part in city affairs, and served as mayor from 1894-96. His book collection became the foundation of the Sutro Branch of the California State Library in San Francisco.

From the description of Papers of Adolph Sutro, 1853-1931. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122551711

Biographical Information

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro, originator of the Sutro Tunnel in Nevada and well-known figure in San Francisco, born of Jewish parents in 1830 at Aix-la-Chapelle in Germany, left school at sixteen, but continued his education by reading voraciously. From his father, a cloth manufacturer, Sutro learned factory management. After his father's death in 1847, with business ruined by the Prussian war, his mother, having to raise seven sons and four daughters, decided to emigrate to the United States in 1850.

Adolph Sutro soon left for California via Panama, the rest of the family remaining in Baltimore. Sutro became a merchant in San Francisco and Stockton from 1851 to 1859. In 1855 he married Leah Harris, and from this marriage were born six children, four girls and two boys. As early as 1860, Sutro visited Nevada, learned to amalgamate tailings and created stamp mills in Carson and Virginia City. Here he planned his famous Tunnel, to drain and ventilate mines in the Comstock Lode, hoping to reach lucrative financial agreements with mining companies who would thus be benefited, hoping also to strike a rich vein himself while digging the tunnel. He eventually succeeded in obtaining financial backing in this country and in Europe, got a charter from Nevada in 1865 and an authorization from Congress in 1866. A company, known as the Sutro Tunnel Company, was formed, stock sold, and work started in October 1869.

Until 1880 Sutro fought many legislative battles in Washington, D.C., against the Bank Ring and the Bonanza owners, traveled to New York and Europe incessantly to consult with engineers and capitalists, and at times stayed in his mansion in the town of Sutro to supervise the tunnel work. Although the tunnel reached the Comstock Lode in 1879, Sutro, weary of the constant hassles within the Company, sold his interests, investing the proceeds in real estate in San Francisco. He occupied the decade 1880 to 1890 with a trip around the world, a sojourn in Europe, one in Mexico, the organization of the Cliff House and Sutro Heights, tree planting, and the collection of rare books. In 1892 he constructed the Sutro Baths. In 1894 he was elected Mayor of San Francisco on the Populist Party ticket. The last year of his life his health declined greatly. He died in 1898.

From the guide to the Adolph Sutro papers, 1853-1915, (The Bancroft Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn [Ledger from the Adolph Sutro collection, San Francisco, May 1884 - August 1887]. California State Library - Sutro Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro miscellany, 1896-1952. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro autobiographical notes, biographical and character sketches, etc., for the use of Hubert Howe Bancroft, [1888 ca.] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn David Starr Jordan papers, 1861-1964 Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Frame, Walter Clay, 1905-1983. Walter Clay Frame essays, 1976-1979. University of the Pacific, William Knox Holt Memorial Library
referencedIn [Letters from November 16th 1897 : Sutro Library]. California State Library - Sutro Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Papers, 1863-1942. American Primers
referencedIn Sutro Tunnel Company. Sutro Tunnel Company records, 1867-1885. Nevada State Historical Society
referencedIn Early San Francisco : scrapbook, ca. 1885-1920. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro papers, 1869-1899. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Adamson, W. R. H. [Notebook dated 1899]. California State Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Receipts from the Virginia and Truckee Railroad Company, 1877. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Twain, Mark, 1835-1910. Letter to "Friend Sutro", 1872 June 11. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893. Letter, 1874 March 23 : to Adolph Sutro. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Shinn, Charles Howard, 1852-1924. Charles Howard Shinn papers, 1890-1923. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Adolph Sutro papers, 1863-1942 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Sutro Tunnel Company. Stock certificate, 1870 Feb 3. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Mathews, E. J. Quitclaim deed, 1860 Mar 28. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn [Index : Sutro Library]. California State Library - Sutro Library
referencedIn Thomas, C.C. Sutro Tunnel Company letterbook, 1882, March-November. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Sutro and Company. Deeds, 1861-1864. University of Nevada, Reno, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. James Henry Coffin Papers. Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Baldwin, A. S. Estate of Adolph Sutro, deceased / appraised by A.S. Baldwin, March-April-May, 1910. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro papers : additions, 1874-1892 (bulk 1888-1892). UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Sutro Tunnel Company. Sutro Tunnel Company collection, 1867-1892 , bulk 1867-1873. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn [Scrapbooks : Sutro Library]. California State Library - Sutro Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro papers, 1853-1915. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro Collection, 1865-1899. California State Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Selected documents concerning the Populist movement and the "Funding Bill." [microform]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Anonymous (Phoenix, S. C.). Scrapbook and ledger, 1875-189u. University of South Carolina, University Libraries
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. LS : London, England, to Ulysses S. Grant, 1873 Nov. 4. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Western Jewish History Center. 272. Magnes collection on Adolph Sutro, 1858-1993. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn [A classification of literature proposed for the use in cataloguing and shelving the books in the Sutro Library : based on Hartwig Schema for the Library of the University of Halle, 1888 and on the rational classification of F. B. Perkins, 1882]. California State Library - Sutro Library
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Papers of Adolph Sutro, 1853-1931. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931. David Starr Jordan papers, 1861-1964. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Moss, George. [Broadsides : Sutro Library] / [compiled by George Moss]. California State Library - Sutro Library
referencedIn University Of California At Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Sutro Collection.
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro correspondence, 1869 Oct. 30-1890 Jan. 17. California State Library
creatorOf Adolph Sutro papers, 1853-1915 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Lynch, Edward. Edward Lynch scrapbooks, circa 1894. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 305: U.S. National Museum Accession Records.
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro papers and scrapbooks, 1853-1900. California Historical Society
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Letter, 1892 May 17, to Mary Sheldon Barnes. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 26: Office Of The Secretary, Incoming Corres..
referencedIn Douglas Tilden Papers, 1860-1970 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910. Telegrams, 1871 August 24-August 25, to Adolph Sutro. New Hampshire Newsp Project
referencedIn Monterey Public Library. California History Room. Biography clippings : "S" [surname] folder 1896-2008. Monterey Public Library
referencedIn Agreement, 1863 February 16. University of Nevada, Reno, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 33: Office Of The Secretary, Outgoing Corres..
creatorOf Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Adolph Sutro papers, 1865-1939. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Cheney, John Vance, 1848-1922. Papers of John Vance Cheney, 1885-1895. Huber Heights City School
referencedIn Kane, Gerald John, 1901-1957,. Collection of Gerald John Kane, 1839-1952. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Edward D. person
associatedWith Adamson, W. R. H. person
associatedWith Ames, Pelham W. (Pelham Warren), b. 1839. person
associatedWith Anonymous (Phoenix, S. C.) person
associatedWith Badlam, Alexander, 1809-1894. person
associatedWith Baldwin, A. S. person
associatedWith Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 1832-1918. person
associatedWith Barnes, Mary Sheldon. person
correspondedWith Barney & Smith Manufacturing Company corporateBody
associatedWith Butterfield & Butterfield. corporateBody
associatedWith California Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Cheney, John Vance, 1848-1922. person
associatedWith Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910. person
associatedWith Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Clinton, Charles A., fl. 1896-1899. person
associatedWith Cooper, Sarah Brown Ingersoll, 1836-1896. person
associatedWith Cross, Ralph Herbert, 1874-1964. person
associatedWith Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893. person
associatedWith Frame, Walter Clay, 1905-1983. person
associatedWith Frink George W. person
associatedWith Glasscock, Carl B. (Carl Burgess), b. 1884. person
associatedWith Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885. person
correspondedWith Harrison, A. O. person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931. person
associatedWith Kane, Gerald John, 1901-1957, person
correspondedWith Kelton, W. A. person
associatedWith Krauss, Theodore. person
correspondedWith Leach, Frank Aleamon, 1846- person
associatedWith Leonard, A. T. person
associatedWith Lynch, Edward. person
associatedWith Mathews, E. J. person
associatedWith Mercer, Frank B. person
associatedWith Merritt, Emma. person
associatedWith Monterey Public Library. California History Room. corporateBody
associatedWith Moss, George. person
associatedWith Moss, George, fl. 1891-1895. person
associatedWith Norris, Thomas W. (Thomas Wayne). person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Phelan, James D. (James Duval), 1861-1930. person
associatedWith Raw, R. S. person
associatedWith Shinn, Charles Howard, 1852-1924. person
associatedWith Sutro and Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Baths (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro, Charles Walter. person
associatedWith Sutro, Emil S. person
associatedWith Sutro, Hugo. person
associatedWith Sutro, Leah Harris. person
associatedWith Sutro Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Railroad Company (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro Railroad Company (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro, Theodore, 1845-1927. person
correspondedWith Sutro Tunnel Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas, C.C. person
correspondedWith Tilden, Douglas, 1860-1935 person
associatedWith Twain, Mark, 1835-1910. person
associatedWith United States. Dept. of the Interior. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California (System). Regents. person
associatedWith Virginia and Truckee Railroad Company. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
California
California
San Francisco (Calif.)
Sutro Heights Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
California--San Francisco
Nevada
Sutro Tunnel (Nev.)
Sutro Heights (San Francisco, Calif.)
California--San Francisco
Sutro Heights Park (San Francisco, Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
California
Sutro Tunnel (Nev.)
California
Rancho San Miguel (San Francisco, Calif.)
Sutro Mill (Nev.)
California--San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
California--San Francisco
Comstock Lode (Nev.)
Comstock Lode (Nev.)
California
Comstock Lode (Nev.)
Nevada
San Francisco
Nevada--Comstock Lode
Sutro Heights (San Francisco, Calif.)
Nevada
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Sutro Tunnel (Nev.)
Sutro Tunnel (Nev.)
California--San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
United States
Rancho San Miguel (San Francisco, Calif.)
California--San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.)
Nevada
California
Virginia City (Nev.)
Sutro Tunnel (Nev.)
Subject
Mayor
National Museum
Mines and Mineral Resources
Book collectors--Archives
City planning--History--Sources
Architecture
Railroads
Mayors--Correspondence
Land tenure
Libraries--History--19th century--Sources
Streets
Real property
Natural history
San Francisco (Calif.)--Politics and government
Mayors--California--San Francisco--Correspondence
Windmills
Material Types
Pacific Railroad Funding Bill
Inventors
Geology
Engineers--Archives
Railroads--History
Libraries--California--San Francisco--History--19th century
Universities and colleges--California--History--Sources
City planning--California--San Francisco--History--Sources
Businessmen--Archives
Street-railroads
Silver mines and mining
Universities and colleges--History--Sources
Business enterprises
Correspondence
Occupation
Mining engineers
Presidents--United States
Mayors--California--San Francisco
Function

Person

Birth 1830-04-29

Death 1898-08-08

English,

German,

French

Information

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