Newhouse

Samuel Newhouse

Occupation: Mining Investor and Business Owner

Born: October 14, 1853

Birthplace: New York City

Death: September 22, 1930

 

Ida Stingley

Occupation: Waitress, Socialite

Born: 1867?

Birthplace: ?

Death: 1937?

 

 

Samuel Newhouse was a mining investor and business owner.  Stories like Newhouse’s characterized the American public memory of the old mining West.  Many individuals in Leadville toiled away for a better life. Miners hoped for the day when their sacrifice paid off and mining developers dreamed of getting lucky with their hard-earned investments.  Newhouse experienced his fair share of busts.  He achieved his dream of striking it rich and was deemed a millionaire later in his life.  Tragically, like his contemporary Horace Tabor, Newhouse died broke.

Newhouse was born in New York City on October 14, 1853.  Newhouse had 8 siblings and his parents were of European descent. [1] He attended public school in Pennsylvania and was preparing to enter law. [2] However, Newhouse became interested in mining and headed West. [3]  Known as “Sammy” during his earlier years, it was reported that he tried relentlessly to make a proper living.  Newhouse attempted life as an underground miner in Leadville, but he later testified that he was not fit enough for the work. [4]

 

Newhouse thereafter worked with a local Mining Exchange.  He made his living for a short time as a caller and a plunger. [5] The exchange fell through within a few months.  Following this incident, Newhouse worked as a clerk in a paint and wallpaper shop owned by Turner Whickersham on 114 East Fifth Street. [6]

Newhouse couldn’t stand the work. He shortly changed direction to partner with Sylvanus Ayres, who was a cashier for a local bank.  Both Newhouse and Ayres formed the Newhouse Transfer Company.  They also added a third member to the business, J. Ridgeway Wright.  The business was listed at 127 East Ninth Street, at the city’s train depot. [7] Newhouse offered shipping services between the train depot and all parts of the city, as a business advertisement of the period shows (see: Figure 1).  Newhouse anticipated that his business would give him the necessary capital to develop mining properties.

 

 

Names associated with this surname:

  • Samuel Newhouse
  • Ida Stingley

The enterprise was not an instant success as Newhouse had hoped.  The firm consisted of a team of thin, sickly old horses tasked with hauling loads around Leadville.  It was joked in a local paper that the horses’ “ribs could be easily counted, and if the firm could only have made as many dollars per diem to the ribs exposed they would have made money.” [8] Out of frustration, Newhouse shot the hind leg of a neighbor’s bulldog that would often chase and bark after him.  The dog’s owner insisted that Newhouse pay up for the dog’s wound.  A surgeon was called, and Newhouse paid the bill. [9]

 

Despite his failing endeavors in Leadville, Newhouse was keen on marrying a young woman by the name of Ida Stingley.  Stingley was a waitress at a house at 118 West Sixth Street. [10] The boarding house was owned by Ida’s mother, Mary Stingley. Newhouse would often eat at the boarding house while Stingley would beg her mother to not charge him for his bill. [11] Stingley had a reputation in Leadville and had many devotees.  The two married on January 1, 1883. [12] Stingley was only 16 at the time of their marriage. [12] Newhouse was 30 years of age.

 

 

Newhouse later recalled:

 

I was a miner with nothing but my dreams – I worked like a miner. I’ll never forget Ida Stingley as she looked to me that first time I saw her and decided to see her again. Our first home was in Leadville. It was small, yes, and built of logs. [14]

 

It appears that the couple stayed in the city for another year or so before Newhouse decided to cut his losses.  The couple may have gotten into the hotel business together for a short time and became close to Chauncey Nichols.  Both Newhouse and Stingley accompanied Nichols to Ouray, Colorado sometime between 1883 and 1885. [15] Nichols had connections to England, and Newhouse became congenial with a prominent Englishman while in Ouray.  The Englishman fell ill, and Stingley took part in nursing him back to health.  Newhouse’s new friend offered him the money, if he ever needed it, for mining investments. [16] It may have been around this time that Newhouse was championing Ouray mines with the help of his new business partner. [17] It was reported that Newhouse later sold these investments for millions of dollars. [18]

The Englishman that Newhouse later spoke about likely would have been Barney Bernato. Newhouse accompanied Bernato in Cripple Creek at the end of 1895.

 

In 1895 a local newspaper reported:

 

A letter recently received from Mr. Newhouse said he had interested several Londoners in Colorado mines, principally those of Cripple Creek, and at a dinner given by Baron Rothschild a company had been organized for investing over here. The next day the full capitalization, $2,500,000, was paid in and Mr. Newhouse was instructed to use his own judgement in placing it. [19]

 

In the end, Newhouse ended up not investing in any Cripple Creek properties. [20] Newhouse worked diligently to find possible mining developments elsewhere.  After another hit of initial failure in Idaho Springs, Newhouse set out to Utah where he met with former Leadville citizen, Tom Weir.  Weir was the former manager of the A.Y. and Minnie Mine in Leadville. Both Newhouse and Weir decided to collaborate on finding a worthy investment.

After some time, Newhouse invested in the Highland Boy Mine in Utah.  The investment was prosperous.  He continued other successful developments in Idaho Springs and Central City in Colorado. He invested in the Newhouse Tunnel (now known as the Argo Tunnel in Idaho Springs, Colorado.) [21] Newhouse sustained his partnership with Weir and together they made the first copper smelter in Utah. [22] He invested in numerous properties and buildings in Utah, including the Newhouse Hotel in Salt Lake City and the city’s first skyscrapers.

 

Additionally, Newhouse established a townsite 230 miles south of Salt Lake City and named it after himself.  He gave also gave great deal of financial aid to the ill-fated socialistic Jewish farm colony in Clarion, Utah. [23] He was known for throwing lavish parties. In an interview for a Leadville newspaper during 1902, Stingley was praised for her husband’s newfound wealth:

 

And pearls! Well, you ought to see that one last string her husband gave her! It cost $150,000 – just a string to go once around her throat, mind you. [24]

Newhouse’s extravagant spending projected the end of an era.  Many of his mining properties did not yield enough capital to justify the work on his decadent projects and lifestyle.  When World War I broke out, this only complicated matters as it was much more difficult for Newhouse to obtain loans from Europe and Eastern states in the U.S. [25] In 1914, Newhouse and Stingley separated.  Stingley, at the time, preferred to remain in Europe.  Then, after further financial troubles, Newhouse moved to France in 1920 and lived with his sister.  Samuel Newhouse passed away on September 22, 1930 at the age of 76. [26] Ida Stingley spent the last years of her life in poverty. She passed away in a nursing home during 1937. [27]

Samuel Newhouse

Ida Stingley

Painted by Pierre Troubetzkoy

Advertisement for The Newhouse Transfer Company

Leadville Daily Herald, August 10, 1884.

1 Whittaker, Larry. “Samuel Newhouse, Mining Magnate and Entrepreneur of Salt Lake City, Utah.”

http://www.jmaw.org/newhouse-jewish-utah/ (accessed January 16, 2018).

2 Powell, Alan. “Newhouse, Samuel.” https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/n/NEWHOUSE_SAMUEL.shtml (accessed

January 16, 2018).

3 Ibid.

4 “Sammy Newhouse’s Dream.” Herald Democrat. Leadville, CO; USA. February 18, 1902.

5 Ibid.

6 Corbett, TB and Ballenger, JH “Corbet, and Ballenger’s Second Annual City Directory: Containing A Complete List Of The

Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City Of

Leadville For 1881”. Corbet and Ballenger Publishers. 1881.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Corbett, TB and Ballanger, JH. “Corbet, and Ballenger’s Third Annual City Directory: Containing A Complete List Of The

Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms Etc. In The City Of

Leadville For 1882”. Corbet and Ballenger Publishers. 1882.

11 “Sammy Newhouse’s Dream.” Herald Democrat. Leadville, CO; USA. February 18, 1902.

12 "Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006," database with images, FamilySearch

(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KNQN-HP5 : 10 December 2017), Samuel Newhouse and Ida H Stingley, 01 Jan 1883,

Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States; citing no. 1393, State Archives, Denver; FHL microfilm 1,690,114.

13 Powell, Alan. “Newhouse, Samuel.” https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/n/NEWHOUSE_SAMUEL.shtml (accessed

January 16, 2018).

14 “Sammy Newhouse’s Dream.” Herald Democrat. Leadville, CO; USA. February 18, 1902.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid.

17 Whittaker, Larry. “Samuel Newhouse, Mining Magnate and Entrepreneur of Salt Lake City, Utah.”

http://www.jmaw.org/newhouse-jewish-utah/ (accessed January 16, 2018).

18 Powell, Alan. “Newhouse, Samuel.” https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/n/NEWHOUSE_SAMUEL.shtml (accessed

January 16, 2018).

19 “Not Believed. The Report that Bernato is Coming to Colorado is Discredited.” Herald Democrat. Leadville, CO; USA. December

17, 1895.

20 Ibid.

21 Whittaker, Larry. “Samuel Newhouse, Mining Magnate and Entrepreneur of Salt Lake City, Utah.”

http://www.jmaw.org/newhouse-jewish-utah/ (accessed January 16, 2018).

22 Ibid.

23 Ibid.

24 “Mrs. Sam Newhouse Tells Story of Her Life.” Herald Democrat. Leadville, CO; USA. February 13, 1902.

25 Powell, Alan. “Newhouse, Samuel.” https://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/n/NEWHOUSE_SAMUEL.shtml (accessed

January 16, 2018).

26 Ibid.

27 Rochlin, Fred. Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West. Los Angeles, CA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984.

Temple Israel Foundation

208 West 8th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461

303.709.7050

Temple Israel Museum

201 West 4th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461

longled@longled.cnc.net

Hebrew Cemetery

Within Evergreen Cemetery

North end of James Street, Leadville

Contact Us