Angus A. Grant Bernalillo County, New Mexico

One of the founders of the modern town of Albuquerque and the greatest individual developer of the city during its first decade, was Angus A. Grant, who first came to the town in 1880 as bridge contractor for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company. In partnership with Joseph Hampson, under the firm name of Grant & Hampson, he made Albuquerque his headquarters for construction work until 1886, when Mr. Hampson removed to Mexico, and Mr. Grant's brothers, Lewis A., now deceased, and John R. now a resident of Los Angeles, both of whom had accompanied the firm here in 1880, entered the firm, which was then known as Grant Brothers. Soon after the organization of the latter firm Mr. Grant made San Francisco his family residence, though in no manner allowing his interest in Albuquerque affairs to abate.

From the founding of the town he made heavy investments in real estate, toward the improvement of which he devoted his energies. He also became interested immediately in public utilities. With Mariano Armijo and others, in 1882, he purchased the Albuquerque Water Company, which he at once began to improve and develop to meet the requirements of the rapidly growing town. Three different companies had been organized, the Albuquerque Water Company, chartered August 25, 1882; the Albuquerque Water Supply Company, chartered March 29, 1882; and the Albuquerque Water Works Company, chartered March 4, 1882. On September 18, 1882, the Albuquerque Consolidated Water Works Company was incorporated.

In 1882 he began the work of constructing an electric light system for the city, a charter having- been conferred upon the Albuquerque Electric Light Company March 10, 1881. In 1895 he purchased the property of the Albuquerque Gas Company, which had been incorporated December 31, 1880. All these interests he maintained until his death, devoting many thousands of dollars to their improvement as the town grew larger. In 1882 he erected the first theatre in town, a brick building known as the Grant Opera House, which occupied the site of the Grant building on the northwest corner of Third Street and Railroad Avenue. This was destroyed by fire in 1898 and the present budding erected upon its ruins and' completed within six months. He also owned and improved considerable property in town beside that mentioned. He was one of the early stockholders in the First National Bank, in which he was a director up to the time of his death. In 1890 he assisted in the organization of the Crystal Ice Company, which was incorporated September 24th of that year. He also had important stock interests. In 1895 he purchased the Albuquerque Democrat, which he leased to others. The company of which he was for so long a period the head ultimately became known as the Grant Brothers' Construction Company, with headquarters in Los Angeles, and is now one of the most important contracting concerns in the United States.

Mr. Grant was born in Ontario, Canada, October 4, 1843, of Highland Scotch ancestry. He began his career as a bridge builder in 1866 on the Kansas Pacific Railway, was afterward engaged in mining in Nevada, and still later built bridges for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. From 1870 to 1878 his time was diversified in mining and railroad contracting in California. His connection with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad began in 1870 and continued until his death, which occurred at Los Angeles, California, in 1901. As this brief outline of his operations shows, he was one of the most extensive practical up-builders of the greatest city in New Mexico, and is entitled to a permanent place in the history of the Territory.

The extensive interests of the A. A. Grant estate in Albuquerque are now and for several years have been administered by Daniel A. Macpherson, a nephew of Mr. Grant and, like him, a native of Canada. He was born in Glengarry County. Ontario, in 1869. In 1887 he went to California as head bookkeeper for the Grant Brothers' Construction Company of Los Angeles, remaining with that concern until 1899, when he came to Albuquerque at the request of A. A. Grant as the latter's personal representative in the various companies which he had organized and still controlled there. He was at once elected secretary and treasurer of the water company, the electric light company and the gas company, the affairs of which he administered until the death of Mr. Grant. At that time he was made one of the three executors of Mr. Grant's will, and continued the management of these properties until, between 1903 and 1905, all had been disposed of. In 1903 he assumed personal charge of the Albuquerque Morning Journal, having been president of the publishing company since 1901. In 1904 and 1905 he erected, for the estate, the building since occupied by the Economist dry goods house. February 28, 1905, he effected the sale of the water works system to M. W. Flournoy, W. R. Whitney, Frank A. Hubbell, W. H. Gillenwater and A. B. Mc-Millen, all of Albuquerque. He was one of the organizers of the State National Bank of Albuquerque, of which he was vice-president until January, 1906.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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