"The Magnate" is currently OUT OF PRINT

Reprinted in 1977, supplies have dwindled in recent years. Even rare book shops were hard-pressed to provide more than an occasional copy of Herman Hagedorn's biography of Arboretum founder Col. William Boyce Thompson: "The Magnate."

"This is a very good book: both highly readable and highly relevant," said Arboretum Director Dr. William R. Feldman.

"I personally found that it was fascinating in three particular areas. First, by describing the Wild West atmosphere of Western Montana during the post Civil War era, the reader is taken to a long-gone time and place of great interest. Alder Gulch, the birthplace of

Picketpost House
Picketpost House

William Boyce Thompson and 19th century Helena were rip-snortin', Gilded Era mining towns in the proud tradition of "the Devil take the hindmost" 19th century Americana.

"Second, is of course, the story of the "The Colonel" himself, what a tremendous blend of pirate and visionary he was! Not until he was forty did he strike it rich, then he was dead at age 61. During his forties and fifties he was one of the wealthiest men in America.

"His relationship with Arizona began when we were just a Territory of the United States, and continued through our "roaring 20s". A Westerner by birth and upbringing, he truly loved the Sonoran Desert, in particular this region around Superior.

"The founding and early development of the Arboretum is prominently featured in this fascinating biography. And, finally, there is the Colonel's one appearance on the World Stage with the 1917 relief mission to Russia...what an incredible time to be in St. Petersburg!

The Magnate

The summer of 1917, when Russia was ruled briefly by the non-Czarist and non-Communist Provisional Government under Kerensky was a pivotal time in the history of that great and troubled land. This episode is also closely and well-covered by Hagedorn.