Historical Note - Week of March 8th

Big Timber Pioneer, March 10, 1927

Cooke City Mining Man Dies in Germany

Absarokee Enterprise: Word has been received here that Dr. G.L. Tanzer, who for more than twenty years past had headed the mining activities of the Western Smelting and Refining company in Cooke City, is dead. Details concerning his death and its cause are not known, but confirmation of the story, which has been circulated with the information that the well-known Montana mining man died in Germany where he had been visiting. It is said that the body was cremated and the ashes carried back to the family home in Seattle, Wash, for interment.

Dr. Tanzer was held in high regard by the citizens of Cooke City and Park county, who recognized his ability as a mining promoter and realized that he had always in mind the welfare of the little Park county mining city.

Dr. G.L. Tanzer came to Cooke City in the summer of 1904 and organized the New World Mining and Development company. In 1905 he began the initial construction work on the plant.

It is thought the death of Dr. Tanzer occurred about January 27.

Dr. Tanzer was a genius in many, many ways. As a promoter of the Cooke City property or mining property in general he had few equals.

SEATTLE De Luxe Supplement to the History of Seattle, THE S.J. CLARK PUBLISHING CO. 1916

GOTTWERTH LEBRECHT TANZER is the central figure on the state of mining activity in the northwest, being now the president and general manager of the Western Smelting & Power Company, and the owner of a controlling interest in the Manhattan Edee Mining Company of Nevada. Individual ability has brought him to his present position of prominence, liberal education and scientific training qualifying him to assume the important responsibilities which devolve upon him. He was born at Troebnitz, Sachs, Altenburg, Germany, June 14, 1863. His father, Wilhelm Franz Tanzer, who died in 1887, was considered one of the greatest architects. He built several fine churches, schools, monuments and solid stone bridges over rivers and time has not been able to weaken or destroy these. He married Wilhehnine Koerner, a daughter of Grottfried Koerner, of Rausdorf, near Roda, Germany, who was a wealthy landowner.

In the schools of Altenburg and Breslau Gottwerth L. Tanzer pursued his education, liberal advantages being afforded him, and after coming to America in 1885 he passed the examination for pharmacist and chemist before the Illinois state board of pharmacy in 1898, Later he engaged in the drug business and analytical laboratory work until May, 1902, and in 1903 was appointed city chemist of Seattle and special state chemist for the state of Washington, the city laboratory of Seattle being established through his efforts. Comprehensive scientific knowledge has enabled him to assume heavy and important responsibilities along those lines and his recognized ability has led to his cooperation being sought in the conduct of various corporations. In 1908 he was elected president of the Northern Texada Mines, Ltd., which shipped over sixteen thousand tons of ore to the smelters during his management. He was also elected president and general manager of the Western Smelting & Power Company, which has very valuable holdings near Yellowstone National Park in Montana. In these he owns a controlling interest as he also does in the Manhattan Edee Mining Company of Nevada, and he likewise has valuable holdings of improved real estate in Seattle and a large acreage in adjoining counties. His investments have been wisely and judiciously made and both his property and business holdings return to him a most gratifying annual income. In the field of chemistry he has passed far beyond the point of mediocrity and stands among the able and eminent few and he is well known as the author of "The Analysis of the Electric Current, Heat, Light and Sound."

In 1886, in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Tanzer was married to Miss Lina Trenne, a daughter of August and Justine Trenne, Their living children are: William, twenty-one years of age, who was a twin; Alice, twenty years of age ; Freda, aged eighteen ; Ruth, who was also a twin and who is fourteen years of age; and Max, eleven. AU are still single and attending school. Seven children of the family died in Chicago.

Mr. Tanzer served in the German army in the Jaeger Batl., No. 4 (Sharpshooters), from 1881 until 1883, which covers his military experience. His political allegiance is given to the republican party where national issues are involved, but he casts a nonpartisan ballot in municipal, county and state elections. He is a prominent Mason, having attained the Knights Templar degree and the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, while the honorary thirty-third degree has also been conferred upon him. He is likewise a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He belongs to the Arctic Club of Seattle and is president of several German societies. He is a typical son of the fatherland with the love of scientific research and investigation characteristic of his fellow countrymen. At the same time he is thoroughly American in spirit and interests, manifesting unfaltering loyalty to his adopted country and being especially interested and active in support of well defined and practical measures for the upbuilding and development of Seattle.

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Cooke City Montana Museum

206 W. Main Street

P.O. Box 1134

Cooke City, MT 59020

Museum Director: Kelly Hartman

Telephone : 406-838-2203 

Email : cookecitymontanamuseum@gmail.com