Historical records matching Daniel Willis James
About Daniel Willis James
Daniel Willis James (April 15, 1832 – September 13, 1907) was born in Liverpool, England, the son of a merchant, Daniel James. James's maternal grandfather was Anson Greene Phelps of Phelps, Dodge, and Company. James attended Amherst College and wed Ellen S. Curtiss, with whom he had a son, Arthur Curtiss James.
James eventually headed Phelps, Dodge and Company, and served on the board of other large U.S. corporations, including the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, the Arizona, El Paso and Southwestern Mining Company, and the Ansonia Clock Company. He also served as vice president and director of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company in Bisbee, Arizona.
Williston, North Dakota, was named for him by his friend, Northern Pacific Railway owner James J. Hill.
According to one historian, James was "a genuinely good man of impeccable character, a secret philanthropist, whom Charles Parkhurst said loved everything in the universe 'from God down to the newsboy.'" He donated the Union Square drinking fountain in New York. In 1885, his family built a summer home in Madison, New Jersey, and James there built a park and a free library, believing the latter would be "a means of public enjoyment and benefit."
James died at the Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in September 1907, one of the hundred wealthiest Americans, having left a large fortune estimated at $977,497 (more than $26 million in inflation-adjusted 2008 U.S. dollars). The library James built in Madison, New Jersey, is the home of the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts].