Francis G. Newlands Business Records

Identifier: 2011-25
The collection contains many legal documents directly related to the acquisition of mills along the Carson River, including the Ogden Mill, Eureka Mill, and the Morgan Mill.y. The legal work was done by Newlands who was William Sharon's attorney. It also documents the formation of the Union Mill and Mining Company by William Sharon, D. O. Mills, John D. Fry, John P. Jones, and Alvila Hayward. The Union Mill and Mining Company served as the holding company for the mills Sharon began acquiring in the 1860s.


  • 1862-1910


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


0.4 Linear Feet (20 folders)


Francis Griffith Newlands (1848-1917) was a businessman and served as a Nevada Representative from 1893-1902 and a Senator from 1902-1917. The collection contains records of legal work done by Newlands, attorney for William Sharon, in acquiring mills and mines in the Carson River Valley and the Comstock.

Biographical Note

Francis Griffith Newlands was born in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi on August 28, 1848, to Jessie and James Newlands, immigrants from Scotland. His family soon relocated to Missouri and later to Illinois, settling in Quincy, Illinois. Newlands was privately tutored as a child, and, as a young adult moved to Washington, D.C. with his widowed mother. He attended Yale College and the Columbian College Law School (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C. studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1869 and moved to San Francisco in 1870 where he practiced law.

After moving to San Francisco, Newlands began working with a number of prominent Nevada businessmen, including Nevada Senator William Sharon. In 1874, Sharon's daughter, Clara Adelaide Sharon, and Newlands were married in San Francisco. Clara died in 1882, leaving Newlands with three small children. Sharon followed his daughter, Clara, in death in 1885. Upon his passing, Newlands inherited a portion of Sharon's estate and served as co-executor with Sharon's son Fred. Before Sharon died, Newlands had promised to protect his estate from ongoing legal action by Sarah Althea Hill, whom Sharon had allegedly married. By 1886, Newlands had become the single executor of the estate. In 1888, Newlands married Edith McAllister and relocated to Nevada the same year.

Newlands was elected as a Democrat to the 53rd Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1903). He did not seek renomination to the House of Representatives in 1902 and instead ran as a candidate for the Senate. He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1902, reelected in 1908, and again in 1914, serving from March 4, 1903, until his death. During that time he served as chairman of the Committee on Corporations during the 62nd Congress, Committee on Revolutionary Claims during the 62nd Congress, and the Committee on Interstate Commerce during the 63rd-65th Congresses.

He died in Washington, D.C. on December 24, 1917.

[Parts of the biographical note adapted from Biographical Directory of the United States Congresses, accessed January 23, 2019]


Arranged alphabetically by company or individual.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Holabird-Kagin Americana at the 2011 Grand Finale Auction in December 2011.



Guide to the Francis G. Newlands Business Records
Newlands, Francis G. Business Records
Jessica Maddox
January 2019
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)