Samuel Newhouse was born 14 October 1853 in New York City, the son of Jewish immigrant parents from Europe. He grew up in Pennsylvania, where he studied law before going to Colorado in 1879. At Leadville, Colorado, he was involved in the freighting business, and in 1883 he married Ida Stingley, a sixteen-year-old girl whose mother ran a boarding house in the town. The Newhouses operated a hotel in Leadville, and then Samuel acquired mining property at Ouray, Colorado, which he eventually sold for several million dollars. He then moved to Denver and operated as a speculator and promoter, cultivating contacts in the eastern United States, England and France.
In 1896 Newhouse moved to Utah, where he joined with Thomas Weir to acquire the Highland Boy mine and other properties at Bingham Canyon. Newhouse secured English investments in the enterprise, which was organized as the Utah Consolidated Gold Mines, Ltd. The properties were purchased for their gold potential; however, when high-grade copper ore was discovered, Newhouse pushed for construction of a copper smelter in September 1898 which was built at Murray and put in operation on 23 May 1899. The Utah Consolidated Gold Mines was acquired by Standard Oil Company in 1899 in a twelve-million-dollar transaction. Newhouse and Wier also developed the Boston Consolidated Copper and Gold Mining Company, Ltd., in 1898 and maintained control of that company until it merged with Utah Copper Company in 1910.