Biography of David Keith
Utah Biographies





DAVID KEITH
Few men, if any, have had more to do with the upbnilding of Salt Lake City than David Keith. His successful work in making of a mere prospect the great mining property known as the Silver King has had so great a bearing, in all its ramifications, on the material growth of Salt Lake City and Utah, that, if this work were presented in its many interesting details, it would read like a fanciful dream.

Almost the whole of the tremendous wealth which the Silver King poured into the laps of its owners has been used by them in making of Salt Lake City "a City Beautiful" in every sense of the term. The Silver King Mine has done more for Utah than any half dozen other successful properties. The money wrested from the mountains has been kept at home. And the most public spirited of all those associated in this great property, is the subject of this sketch.

David Keith is a native of Nova Scotia. He was born at Mabou, Cape Breton Island, May 27, 1847. He had no advantages in birth, and at a tender age was employed in the Nova Scotia mines. When yet a boy he left home and went to sea.

Tiring of a seafaring life, he attempted to enter the Federal Army, but his sea captain, who had become attached to him, disclosed his youth and he missed an opportunity to serve in the war of the Rebellion.

In 1867, after a brief time spent in California, he went to Nevada and was employed for a time as a construction "boss" in the building of the Southern Pacific near Reno. Later he found employment in the great Comstock mines and succeeded to positions of trust and responsibility. On the decline of this great mining camp, David Keith went to Park City, Utah, in 1883, accepted a situation as foreman of Ontario No. 3 and succeeded to the superintendency of that great property. After several years in the employ of the Ontario he associated with Thomas Kearns, John Judge and Al Emery, in taking a lease on mining claims, from which enterprise sprang the great Silver King, which has made fortunes for its promoters and their families and added immensely to the wealth of the State.

David Keith has valuable and numerous investments in Salt Lake and elsewhere. He has been immensely generous in upbuilding the State. He is in the forefront as a philanthropist, and is one of the best liked men in Salt Lake. He organized the Keith-O'Brien Company and recently disposed of his holdings in that great mercantile house to David F. Walker, but the original name is not changed.

Mr. Keith was a member of the legislature which adopted the Utah Constitution, but beyond this he has neither sought nor held political office. He has a family composed of a wife and five children, four daughters and a son, and occupies one of the most beautiful homes in Salt Lake City.

From:
Sketches of the Inter-Mountain States
1847 - 1909
Utah Idaho Nevada
Published by: The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City, Utah 1909


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