El Paso Chamber of Commerce

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The El Paso Chamber of Commerce endorsed the establishment of an institution of higher education in El Paso in 1903 when they submitted a resolution to the state legislature calling for the establishment of a school of mines in El Paso. Perhaps their greatest legacy was their decision to take charge of the efforts to purchase the El Paso Military Institute as required by the passage of S.B. 138, the bill that established the School of Mines. After both the city and county of El Paso demurred from purchasing the property due to legal issues, Chamber lead by Julius Krakauer organized a subscription drive to get eight individuals, groups, and businesses to pledge and personally guarantee to assume the EPMI’s $50,000 mortgage ($1.2 million in 2013 dollars). It took the organizers less than two months to raise the necessary pledges, as well as the $5000 cash down payment, after which they executed the purchase and deeded the property over to the state.

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