Hale, Augustin W.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
5,256 items. 29 boxes.
Augustin Ward Hale, born January 13, 1814, grew up in New Jersey and New York. In his early life Augustin worked with his father Elisha Hale, a businessman and inventor. In January 1849 Augustin left his wife Jennette, and daughter Agness, to sail for California on the brig Pacific. He was a member of a joint venture called the New England Mining and Trading Company (Mark Hopkins was also a member of the company, which was disbanded shortly after its arrival in California). The ship reached San Francisco in August and Augustin immediately traveled to Sacramento City and then to the mining camp Mormon Island. Along with mining, Augustin spent the 1850s in various business ventures, most of which failed. In 1851, Augustin created the Saucelito Water Company, which was one of his more successful businesses. After a profitable year he sold the company and invested in other businesses including the San Joaquin Railroad Company, Magnetic Mining Company, San Joaquin Diving Bell Company, Sierra Nevada Flour Mills, and the Tuolumne Hydraulic Association. Most notable of these companies is the Stanislaus Central Bridge Company, which was established in 1852 to build an iron suspension bridge above the Stanislaus River. The company directors had not yet approved the completion of the bridge and insisted that additional cables were needed, when, on November 19, 1853, the bridge collapsed as a wagon and team of horses were crossing it. Augustin and his partners paid the company's debts with their own money.