High-End Civil War; Clark, Gruber & Co.

        Austin Clark and his brother, Milton owned a successful wholesale dry goods business in Leavenworth, Kansas selling commodities such as sugar, tobacco, tea, fish and corn to the local population and to nearby Fort Leavenworth.

In January 1858 the Colorado gold rush brought great demand for goods such as were sold by the Clarks.  That March, the brothers decided to form a banking business partnership with Emanuel Gruber, also of Leavenworth.

Clark, Gruber & Co. prospered from the start.  Heavy trade in gold dust at both the bank and their wholesale operations created a need for a branch bank and mint in Colorado near the source of the gold.  It was not cost effective for the firm to ship gold dust to Philadelphia and wait sometimes up to three months for their funds.

The Clark, Gruber & Co. Bank and Mint opened in Denver, Colorado on July 20, 1860.  By October, the gold coins of Clark, Gruber & Co. had become the principal currency of Colorado.  The coins were well made and of proper weight and fineness.

During 1860 & 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co.  minting Colorado gold into coin. A $2.50, $5.00, $10.00 & $20.00 bearing either the name or image of Pikes Peak Were minted. The coins of 1861have turned out to be the rarest Civil War specimines minted.

In 1862, the firm started to assay the gold into small bars perhaps due to fiscal problems from the Civil War.  This ended minting operations in Colorado until 1906 when the Denver Mint opened for business.

Obverse of 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $2-1/2Reverse of 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $2-1/2

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