No fiction story teems more with interest than the biography of Erik O. Lindblom, millionaire mine owner, capitalist and banker. From the time he left his home in Sweden at the tender age of seventeen until he uncovered untold riches in the frozen, gravel of Alaska, his life has been one of adventure with hardship and good fortune intermingling.
Mr. Lindblom’s father was a wealthy and highly respected land owner and school master in Sweden. Misfortune dealt him a severe blow when by going bondsman for a relative, a large dam which he signed the bond for was washed out, dissipating the fortune he had spent a lifetime accumulating.
Although Erik Lindblom was only seventeen, he set out into the world to recover the family’s lost wealth. Born and reared in the iron and copper region he had a fundamental knowledge of mining; and his quest for precious metals took him to Russia, Germany, France, England and finally back to his native land. He had met with fair success, but believing greater treasures lay hidden in the mountains of this continent he came to America in 1886 and engaged in mining in Colorado, Idaho and Montana.
In 1898 Mr. Lindblom went to Alaska and suffered hardships of the Frozen North for months. Sleeping bags were the only beds he knew, and twice he found himself on the verge of death from starvation when he ran out of provisions. At various times he fell through the ice which wind and tide keeps in almost constant motion in the Behring Sea and the Alaskan rivers. It was only his skill as a swimmer that saved him from being sucked down into the icy flow.
Late that winter coming as a reward to his toil and hardship Mr. Lindblom uncovered the first gold found in Nome, Alaska, and founded the extensive mining interests there which have produced more than fourteen million dollars worth of gold. Since then Mr. Lindblom has divided his time between San Francisco and Alaska, making annual trips north.
Besides his mine holdings Mr. Lindblom has extensive interests in Canada, Washington, California and Mexico. He is a large stockholder in some banks, water companies and steamships, and is the sole owner of the Parral Electric Light, Telephone and Water Co., at Parral, Mexico, as well as mines in California and Mexico.
Mr. Lindblom has many important fraternal affiliations. He holds a life membership in many orders. Among them are the Order of the Eastern Star, The Masons, the Elks, the Odd Fellows, the Woodman of the World, Knight Templars, Olympic Club, Artie Club of Seattle, the Swedish Club of San Francisco and Seattle, the San Francisco Press Club, the Artie Brothers and Pioneers of Alaska.
Last year he was appointed Commissioner to the Exposition by King Gustav of Sweden, and later was knighted by that monarch, being presented with the Royal Order of Vassa of the first degree.
Mr. Lindblom was horn in Dalarna, Sweden on June 27, 1857.