Biography of Robert J. Anderson

A glance at the history of past centuries will indicate at once what would be the condition of the world if the mining interests no longer had a part in the industrial and commercial life. Only a few centuries ago agriculture was almost the only occupation of man. A landed proprietor surrounded himself with his tenants and his serfs who tilled his broad fields, while he reaped the reward of their labors; but when the rich mineral resources of the world were placed upon the market industry found its way into new and broader fields, minerals were used in the production of thousands of new articles of trade and in the production of hundreds of inventions, and the business of nations was revolutionized when considering these facts we can in a measure determine the value to mankind of the mining interests. One who is now prominently connected with the development of the rich mineral resources of the northwest is Mr. Anderson, whose name heads this sketch, the promoter and the organizer of the Twin Springs Placer Mining Company.

A native of Minnesota, Mr. Anderson was born in the town of Eden Prairie, February 19, 1856 and in 1894 came to Idaho, since which time he has been engaged in developing the great mining enterprise, of which he has since been the manager, and which he has brought to successful completion, attracting to it a capital of a half a million dollars, furnished principally by wealthy men of Philadelphia. The plant of the company is located forty miles northeast of Boise, where they have a flume six feet and two inches in the clear, and having a decline of ten and eight-tenths feet to the mile. It carries ten thousand miners’ inches of water, which, it is believed, is the largest water supply in the world used in connection with placer mining. The siphon, made of steel pipe, is four feet in diameter and seventeen hundred and eighty feet in length. It crosses the Boise river on a single-span bridge, ninety feet above the stream, and the depression in the siphon is three hundred and seventy feet in depth, there being thirty-two feet difference in elevation between the intake and its discharge. This is the largest siphon ever constructed, in diameter, in length and in head. The water was turned through it on the 15th of August 1898 and it worked perfectly, fully meeting the highest expectation of the company. The siphon and flume are considered marvels of engineering skill, and were planned by the celebrated engineer John O. Bouse, of San Francisco. The company owns four thousand acres of very rich placer ground, has thirty-two miles of the river bars, thirteen hydraulic giants and has constructed twenty-eight miles of good wagon road. The water is supplied in vast quantities and every modern and improved appliance for successfully carrying on the work is found in connection with the plant.

This is a vast enterprise, which will undoubtedly produce ore to the value of many millions of dollars and will furnish employment to many men, thus greatly contributing to the wealth and prosperity of Idaho. When the siphon was completed the governor of the state drove the last rivet, which was four inches in length and made of gold. Many prominent citizens were invited to attend the ceremony and the occasion was made a very important one in the history of mining interests in the northwest. The Twin Springs Placer Mining Company has also purchased a large number of placer claims in the Boise Basin and is now engaged in working and developing the vast property. The great works have been completed in less than two years and Mr. Anderson and the company are to be congratulated on what has been so successfully accomplished.

Mr. Anderson has moved his family to Boise, and in social circles they occupy a very prominent position. He was married in 1887 to Miss Mary Douglas, of Chicago, and their children are Edna C. and Ruth E. In politics he is a Republican, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is a gentleman of marked business and executive ability, of keen foresight and discrimination, forms his plans readily, is determined in their execution, and is rarely mistaken in a matter of business policy. He is a valued accession to mining circles in Idaho, and with pleasure we present this brief record of his career to our readers.



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

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