Born in Placerville in 1882, Ernest William Blair was the second son and fifth child to James and Amanda Blair. Ernest was a precocious teenager and excelled at anything he put his mind to. At a young age he took an interest in photography and even had a dark room/development space in his parents’ home on Cedar Ravine. As a young adult, Ernest chose not to follow in the family business like his brother, James Jr. – who would go on to manage the family lumber business – Ernest was more interested in finance. In his late teens and early 20s Ernest worked as an agent for Wells Fargo shipping. In 1908 he accepted an offer to work for the J. S. Cook Bank in Goldfield Nevada during a mining boom there. He also married Minnie Nichols, the daughter of a pioneer Folsom family in 1908. Together they had three children: Helen, Seward, and Ernest Jr. Aside from his lifetime career as a banker, Ernest and Minnie also ran a successful farm and restaurant. His wife, Minnie Nichols Blair, later went on to be awarded the Distinguished Nevadan award by the University of Nevada. In 1977, the Minnie P. Blair Middle School was named for and dedicated to her.