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Thomas C. Blair Biography


This biography appears on pages 1716-1717 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) 

THOMAS C. BLAIR, of Keystone, is a native of Nova Scotia, born on June 5, 1854, and the son of Duncan B. and Mary (McLean) Blair, who were born and reared in Scotland. The father was a Presbyterian clergyman at Pictou, Nova Scotia, and there the son grew to manhood and received his education. When he was sixteen years of age he went into a mercantile house as a salesman and bookkeeper, continuing so employed until the spring of 1879, when he started for the Black Hills. After a long drawn out and tedious journey he reached Deadwood in July of that year and soon afterward removed to Terry, where he worked in the mines until the spring of 1880. He then located at Rockerville and engaged in placer mining for a year, after which he took up his residence at Keystone as it is now, and helped to construct the Harney hydraulic flume, which was then building. Since then he has been continuously occupied in prospecting and mining in this section, and has discovered several famous mines. He was one of the locators of the old Keystone mine, his partners in this being William B. Franklin and Jacob S. Reed. They located the mine in 1890 and sold it to the Keystone Mining Company in 189~. That same year the town of Keystone was started, Mr. Blair being one of its founders, owning a considerable portion of the land on which it is built. He is also one of the original locators of the Holy Terror mine, William Franklin, J. A. Fayel and A. L. Ausbury being associated with him in this. They located this property in 1894 and before the end of the year they built a five-stamp mill on it, which they operated until May, 1895, when they sold the whole property to eastern capitalists who formed and incorporated the Holy Terror Mining Company, which has since then absorbed all the Keystone properties. From that time to the present Mr. Blair has been prospecting most of the time and has located several good claims. He is a zealous Freemason, being one of the founders and a charter member of the lodge at Keystone. 

On January 30, 1884, at Rapid City, Mr. Blair was united in marriage with Miss Anna L. Reed, a native of Pennsylvania, who died on May 17, 1896, leaving four children, Etta B., Alice, Grace and Mary S.


 

 


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