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Abraham Van Santvoord Curry Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Abraham Van Santvoord Curry passes away in 1873.

Abraham Van Santvoord Curry was an American politician and founder of Carson City, Nevada.

Curry was born in South Trenton, New York on February 19th, 1815. At the age of 20, Curry married and had one son and six daughters.

A year later, in 1836, the family moved to Ohio. Curry became a merchant and an agent of the Michigan Southern Railroad in 1852.

From 1854 to 1855, Curry, along with his son, traveled by steam ship around Cape Horn from New York to San Francisco. Once in California the two men settled in Red Dog, a mining town, and opened a bowling alley. Curry also established a chapter of the Improved Order of Red Men in California. The Improved Order of Red Men is an organization claiming direct descent from The Sons of Liberty. Their ritual is in many ways similar to Freemasonry, probably in part because of the strong tie of The Sons of Liberty to Freemasonry.

In 1858, Curry traveled by stage coach with business partners to Genoa in the western part of the Utah territory. There Curry and his partners tried to purchase land. Their offer was turned down so Curry moved on to Eagle Valley.

In Eagle Valley, Curry and his partners purchased the Eagle Ranch, a property consisting of 865 acres in Eagle Valley. Curry started promoting the newly founded Carson City and donated 10 acres of land for the Nevada State Capital.

By 1859, Curry's business partners had been busying themselves with carving out a separate territory from Utah. Curry became a delegate to the newly formed Nevada Territory from Eagle Valley.

In 1862, Nevada territory began leasing a hotel Curry built so they had a place to meet and house prisoners. In 1864 the legislature bought the hotel and 20 acres of land from Curry. They also named him the Warden of the prison until in October of the same year, Nevada became a state and the Lieutenant Governor was named ex-officio warden.

In 1865, the United States Congress voted to establish a mint in Carson City. Curry was brought in to help design the structure and was named the first superintendent when the mint became active in 1870. After the mint was active, Curry went to work building an engine house, to store locomotives, for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.

In 1873, three months after the engine house was complete, Curry passed away from a stroke on October 19th.

Curry was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 1 in Carson City, Nevada.