R U DARBY, The man who stopped digging 3 FEET from GOLD


Looking all around you, you find successful people everywhere and one important trait they share is their persistence. They all know how to keep on grinding and working hard even when everything seems to be against them. They keep on pushing with their mentality set and know that anything good doesn’t come easy.

Having read one of the most influential books of modern business; Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill, I came across this incredible story of R U Darby and his uncle who literally stopped just three feet from finding the gold they were digging.

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.

An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the “gold fever” in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.

After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again–all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT.

They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some “junk” men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!

The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

Mr Darby learnt from his mistake and started his business selling life insurance. Knowing the fortune he had lost because he gave up, he developed a work ethic which was based on a statement he said to himself. “I stopped there feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I asked them to buy insurance.” He turned out to be very successful and sells more than a million dollars of life insurance annually.

Well it doesn’t matter what you wish to become or what your ambitions are. We all face different obstacles on our way which may seem to be even bigger than our dreams. But if you want something keep on fighting for it. Don’t give because you have reached an obstacle or you are tired, keep pushing on. Be persistent! Endure the moments when there seem to be darkness everywhere because those are the defining moments. Those are the thin lines between failure and success. Keep in mind the darkest part of the night is right before dawn.

Sherwood Nkwenti




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