Dr. James Douglas

* on the Old Bisbee Tour and Copper City Territory Tour

  • Canadian born mining engineer and businessman who introduced a number of metallurgical innovations in copper mining.

  • Father was a Scottish immigrant and important surgeon who was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

  • Persuaded Phelps, Dodge & Co. to purchase the Atlanta Mine in Bisbee in 1881.

  • It took Dr. Douglas two years to find productive ore and Bisbee nearly disappeared until then.

  • In consequence, Phelps, Dodge & Co. bought many more mines in the Bisbee Area including the Copper Queen Mine.

  • "These claims had huge deposits of high-grade ores that produced a virtual torrent of copper upon which the fortunes and growth of Phelps, Dodge Co. was based."

  • Developed the method to separate copper from sulfide.

  • Known for caring about the employees as much as the mining results.

  • Moved the Smelter Out of Bisbee to Eliminate Poisoning People and the Environment.

  • Noted for enhancing hospital care and religious services for the miners.

  • Stopped Merchant Price Gouging by Opening The Copper Queen Store, Later to Become the Phelps Dodge Mercantile.

  • The border city of Douglas, Arizona is named after him.

  • Dr. Douglas was president and general manager of multiple mining companies across the U.S. and in Mexico.

  • He helped develop over 400 miles of railroad in the southwest.

  • Constructed First Bisbee Railway Connecting to Tombstone.

  • Douglas was also president of the American Institute of Mining Engineers and president of the Quebec Literary and Historical Society.

  • Dr. Douglas is largely known as "The Father of Bisbee Mining".

  • Son, Walter Douglas took over executive duties upon Dr. Douglas' retirement.

  • Had once managed an insane asylum.

James Douglas - James Douglas(Life time: 1918), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Douglas Smelters - National Archives at College Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons