Young William G Hooker survived a wound at Antietam in 1862 and a term as a prisoner at Andersonville in 1864, and was mustered out of the 16th Connecticut Infantry at age 19 in June 1865. He was a printer in later civilian life, eventually owning his own shop in Meriden, CT.

By 1901 he was a Director of the Relief Gold Mining Company which developed claims near Phoenix in the Arizona Territory. Here’s a 1903 offer of shares:

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of such “investment” offers were made in the early 1900’s. Most were scams and very few were likely to ever make money.

The Relief Mine, however, seems to have raised enough money by mid-1904 to construct a processing mill of crushers and rollers, and actually produced some gold. In 1907 mine superintendent Hamlin reported they were running 12 hour shifts and had 14 men working, and in 1909 said they’d taken $60,000 in gold to date.

The Relief Gold Mining Company operated the mine until 1912 (others followed into the 1930s). We can only hope that Mr Hooker saw some benefits.

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