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John Sproston Papers: Finding Aid
mssSproston papers  
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Collection Overview
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This collection contains papers of Nevada and California mine stockholder and insurance agent John Sproston (1832-approximately 1881) and includes diaries and account books kept by Sproston and clients (1856-1879); business and personal letters (ca. 1875-1883); financial records, indentures, and stock certificates (1860-1885); and some photographs and ephemera.
John Sproston (1832-approximately 1881) was born in Gibraltar or Spain, in 1832. His background information is somewhat unclear but census records indicate that he lived in both San Francisco, California, and Virginia City, Nevada. He was married to Mary E. (1847-1911) who was born in New Jersey, but the year of their marriage is unknown. They had at least three children. Hannah, the eldest (1854-1891), was born in Nevada and later married to William H. McClave in 1876. May was born in 1870 and received a diploma from the State of California, Department of Public Instruction in 1895 to teach grammar school. Virginia Nevada was born in Virginia City, Nevada on June 10, 1864. She died from unknown causes on January 27, 1867. Sproston made his living in the life insurance industry. He also owned stock in various gold and mining companies like Allison, Bonny, Consolidated Cedar Hill, Dardanelle, Durgan, Harrison, MaryAnn, and Wells Fargo. He even served as a trustee for the Argonaut Gold and Mining Company of San Francisco and owned a substantial amount of the company's shares. Based on San Francisco city directories, which list John Sproston in 1880 and Mary Sproston as a widow in 1882, Sproston presumably died around 1881.
454 items in 3 boxes
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