Biography of James N. Stacy

One of the most straightforward, energetic and successful business men of Lewiston is James N. Stacy, who has also attained distinction in political circles and is now the honored state senator from his district. He is president of the Gold Bar Mining Company, a director in the Golden Gate Company and is also extensively engaged in real estate dealings. In studying the lives and characters of prominent men we are naturally I inquire into the secret of their success and motives that prompted their action. Success is not the result of genius, as held by many, but is the outcome of experience and sound judgment, for when we trace the career of those who stand highest in public esteem, we find that in nearly every case they are those who have risen gradually, fighting their way in the face of all opposition. Selfreliance, conscientiousness, energy, honesty, these are the traits of character that insure the highest emoluments and greatest success. To these may we attribute the success that has crowned the efforts of Senator Stacy.

He was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, March 10, 1839, and is of English and Scotch lineage. His ancestors were early settlers of the east, and the family gradually spread through New York, Vermont and Massachusetts. His parents were Ezra and Sophia (Gleason) Stacy, both of whom were natives of Vermont. The father was a Methodist in religious faith, and the mother belonged to the Presbyterian Church until late in life, when she became a Methodist. Both reached a very ripe old age, and the Stacy family is one noted for longevity, many of its representatives reaching ages between ninety and one hundred years.

James N. Stacy was the eighth in order of birth in a family of nine children, and when a little lad of six summers accompanied his parents on their removal to West Virginia, where he received a common-school education. In December 1856, they went to the territory of Minnesota, locating in Wright county, where for some years our subject engaged in land surveying.

In 1862, when the Sioux war broke out in Minnesota, he enlisted in the First Regiment of Mounted Rangers, for one year, and served for thirteen months in the Indian war, holding a commission as second lieutenant. He then received an honorable discharge, and in August 1863, he enlisted in Company F, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He was again made second lieutenant, and with his command was in active service in the army of the Cumberland until the close of the war, when he returned to his home in Wright County. In 1867 he began business as a general merchant in Monticello, Minnesota, conducting his store until 1877, after which he engaged in iron and manganese mining until 1894. In this enterprise he was very successful and also extended his operations into other fields, being a man of resourceful business ability and carrying forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. He was the organizer and served as president of the Minnesota Mining Company. He engaged in the manufacture of dry pressed brick and was instrumental in forming the company which conducted the Minneapolis and the Monticello brick works. He was also its president, and in addition to his connection with these interests he dealt quite extensively in real estate.

His splendid executive ability and his knowledge of the public needs also led to his selection for political honors. He was elected and served for six years as auditor of Wright county, was for two years a member of the house of representatives and for a similar period represented his district in the state senate. He declined the nomination for congress in the convention of the fifth congressional district, because of his having been instructed for another aspirant. He was a member of the national convention, held in Chicago, which nominated James G. Blaine for the presidency, and also of the Republican convention which made Benjamin Harrison its nominee. He was also offered the position of United States marshal of the district of Minnesota, but declined in favor of another applicant, and signified his willingness to accept an appointment as chief of the secret service bureau instead, from the secretary of the United States treasury, William Windom. That appointment was to be made at the expiration of the term of the then incumbent, but before the term expired Secretary Windom died, and his successor did not redeem the pledge which had been made Mr. Stacy.

In 1894 Mr. Stacy came to Lewiston. He spent two years in gold mining and then organized two companies, the Golden Gate and the Golden Bar Companies. From one of the placer mines ten thousand eight hundred dollars were taken, and a number of nuggets were valued from twenty-three to fifty-two dollars, while five nuggets were worth one hundred and one dollars and fifty cents. He is still devoting his attention to mining and to the real estate business, and his capable management is bringing him excellent financial returns. He is president of the Gold Bar Mining Company, and one of the directors in the Golden Gate, which have a capitalization of one million dollars and a treasury stock of four hundred thousand. He has always taken a deep interest in politics, as every true American citizen should do, has made a careful study of political matters, and no citizen of Idaho is better informed on the issues of the day. He has always been a stanch Republican and on that ticket he was elected to the state senate from Nez Perces county in 1898. He soon took a prominent place among the leaders of his party and was largely instrumental in securing much needed legislation. He served with ability as chairman of the committees on rules and public lands, and was a member of the committees on appropriations, judiciary and mines and mining. He introduced and secured the passage of a number of important bills, made an important record, and though strongly partisan, won the warm friendship of many of the Democratic members.

In 1869 Mr. Stacy was united in marriage to Miss Augusta E. Granger, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of Joseph Granger, of that state. Their union has been blessed with three children, but only one is now living, Emma A. Mr. and Mrs. Stacy and daughter are valued members of the Methodist church, contribute liberally to its support and take an active part in its work. Mr. Stacy is also a valued representative of the Masonic fraternity, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a genial, cordial gentleman, and his ready wit and fun make him a most entertaining companion. He is also a most interesting and fluent speaker, and, well informed, progressive and enterprising, he stands today one of the leading representative men of the state, a man who is a power in his community.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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