Seeley W. Mudd

Col. Seeley Wintersmith Mudd (1861–1926) was a mining engineer. He was born in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri on August 16, 1861. He attended Washington University of St. Louis, where he graduated in 1883 with a degree in mining engineering. In December 1885, he moved to Leadville, Colorado, to work at the Small Hopes silver mine, then in bonanza. He became the mine’s manager in the summer of 1887. In 1901, he and his family (wife Della Mullock and sons Harvey S. Mudd and Seeley G. Mudd) moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked as a consulting engineer for the Guggenheim Exploration Company. He acquired his first capital by choosing to receive a percent of the findings instead of a fixed salary. In 1907 he started up the Ray Copper Mine in Arizona, which is still in production.

In early 1914, just before World War I, he partnered with Charles Godfrey Gunther for a drilling opportunity in the island of Cyprus, where evidence of Roman and Phoenician mining of Copper ore had been found. After obtaining permission from the British government, which was ruling Cyprus at the time, Cyprus Mines Corporation was formally launched and in March 1916 and shares of stock authorized. In the same year, he applied for a commission in the Engineer Officers Reserve Corps, and on February 12, 1917, he received his commission as a Major. In 1918 he became a Colonel in the U.S. Army.

The Engineering building at Columbia University was named in his honor, as was the School of Philosophy building at the University of Southern California.