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History of Nevada 










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We can hardly state that Nevada has had a large share in the raising 
of horticultural products on a commercial scale up to the present time. 
As a consumer, however, her nearest neighbor on the west has benefited 
very materially from the large quantities of fruits, and particularly small 
fruits, shipped in and well paid for by Nevada's generous purchasers and 
good livers. 

That she has not reached the limit of her possibilities for fruit-growing 
is very certain, and much progress is being made along horticultural lines. 
The early settlers with the gold fever excitement could not be expected 
to have the temperament necessary for the careful planting, pruning and 
cultivating of trees. Then again they found the native grass growing 
abundantly everywhere and with it made money easily, so why risk the 
unknown and untried. But as in all aggregations of people there were 
a few with the experimental or investigational type of mind and it is to 
these that we must look for the beginnings of things in a horticultural 

In the Truckee Valley the names of Walts, Snare, Plumb, Ferris, Sul- 
livan, Gault, Ross, Peckham, McCarran, Mullins, Ferris, Wheeler and 
Lonkey, have been associated with the growing of fruit to a greater or 
less extent for many years. In no case, however, does the amount of 
land devoted to fruit exceed ten acres, and in every instance the crop is 
raised as a subsidiary product of the farm. As would naturally be ex- 
pected the orchards located on the foothills have more success in escap- 
ing the numerous and severe spring frosts of the region. In the foothill 
country a full crop may be relied upon without "smudging" about once in 
three years while in the lower parts of the valley a good crop is secured 
about one out of every five years. Although smudging by means of old 
manure piles, wood and rubbish had been carried on for a number of 


years with more or less success, it was not until orchard-heating experi- 
ments were carried on by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station in 
1910 that much attention was given to the possibility of saving the crop 
of fruit annually by means of oil-heaters. The Walt Bros, took up the 
matter in a practical way and demonstrated that they could save their 
crop and still leave a fair profit after all expenses of heating the orchard 
had been deducted. The market has been a local one and little or no 
grading or wrapping or packing of apples has been done. Buyers have 
not been in the habit of coming to Nevada because of the uncertainty of 
the crop and the small acreage. In seasons of abundant crops the local 
market has been glutted from lack of storage facilities and it has been 
found necessary to turn everything into cider and vinegar or feed to 
stock. In a few favored localities in regard to soil, elevation and exposure 
strawberries have done well, but the high price for the labor of picking 
has prevented the raising of this crop commercially. Ten acres grown at 
one time by Mr. Mullins in the Wedekind District, is the largest area 
devoted to this crop. Raspberries are grown to a considerable extent 
and find a ready local market. Usually, however, the patches do not 
exceed an acre, though it can be relied upon as a sure and profitable crop. 
Peaches, plums, pears, blackberries and cherries are grown to some 
extent but not extensively enough to be considered commercially. It is 
of interest in this connection to mention the status of the nursery busi- 
ness. Some twenty years ago there were two well established nurseries. 
One was located at what is now one of the principal residence districts 
of Reno, and occupies the land lying between Sierra and Ralston Streets 
and Walnut and Maple Streets. The trees on the north side of Maple 
Street and the coniferous trees in the lots have grown up from the orig- 
inal specimens in the nursery rows. This nursery was owned by a man 
named Connor who, though, a good gardener, lacked business ability. 
The other, then known as the Arlington nursery was located on the out- 
skirts of the city on the south side of what is now the Patrick ranch. 

Owing to the great diversity of the climate, ranging from a few degrees 
of frost toward the southern boundary near the Colorado River to forty 
degrees below zero in the extreme north and on some of the central 
desert plains, the State must be divided into more or less distinct horti- 
cultural sections. These sections we will designate as: (i) the Sierra 
Nevada section; (2) the Humboldt River section; (3) the Southern or 


Semi-tropical section. In addition to these there will be found numerous 
ranches fifty or more miles from the railroad and scattered throughout the 
mountains in almost every part of the State. Many of these produce 
most excellent fruit in small quantities for local consumption. Indeed it 
could not be otherwise as even the apples would have to be of a cast iron 
variety to withstand the transit over the mountain roads, not to speak 
of the more perishable fruits like peaches. 

The Eastern Sierra Nevada Section. This section includes the country 
lying along the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and 
ranging from Verdi and Reno through the rich fertile Truckee 
Valley southwards to Pleasant, Washoe, Eagle and Carson Valleys. For 
convenience, although further inland, we will include the land under the 
government reclamation project at Fallen and Mason and Smith Valleys 
further south. The section receives its water supply from the Truckee, 
Carson and Walker Rivers and from numerous smaller local mountain 
streams. From that time until recently there were no nurseries in the 
State. The Reno nursery has several thousand young Carolina poplar 
trees, but aside from this, all orchard trees, small fruits and ornamental 
trees and shrubs are brought in from other States. We must here include 
the interesting career of the old hermit, Laurent Bennyton. He escaped 
from the French army with his uniform and muskets and landed in Phil- 
adelphia. It is also reported that he was an exiled priest. He was a man 
of considerable education and a member of a wealthy and well-known 
family, the Bennytons of Paris. Working his way west he landed in 
Virginia City in the early days. From there he became a man of the 
hills and a hermit evidently prospecting in the Virginia range of moun- 
tains but finally locating in a barren nook with no visible spring, two 
miles south over the ridge from Vista, the entrance of the Truckee River, 
through the mountains on its course to Pyramid Lake. Here he remained 
for forty-two years and produced a horticultural oasis, the like of which is 
perhaps unique in the world's history. Surrounding this man of solitude 
and few words, we find evidences of a successful battle with the soil and 
meagre water facilities of the desert. Living in a hovel, the entrance 
consisting of a hole to crawl through, a goat for milk, and a few chickens, 
he has surrounded himself with apple, pear, peach, apricot and almond 
trees as well as a few grapes. The striking horticultural feature is that 
the almond trees predominate, there being over a thousand trees, old and 


young, which bear well every year. When we consider that these are 
the only almond trees anywhere in the Truckee Valley or the northern or 
central parts of Nevada we must give great credit to the old hermit who 
has opened our eyes to the possibilities of similar locations. The water 
from the melting snow was conserved in miniature reservoirs which 
caused a gradual seepage to the groves of trees. Here we find little wells 
four feet deep and two feet wide from which he dipped the water into 
buckets and packed it on his shoulders on ingenious water carriers to 
each tree, naming it, and talking to it with such remarks as the following : 
"This is all I can give you today, perhaps I can spare you a little more 
tomorrow," or "You were very good to me last year, I will give you all 
I can." His trees undoubtedly received a very small amount of water and 
the secret of his success is a great object lesson in dry farming methods. 
The holes for the trees were dug five feet deep and nearly as wide, and in 
them he placed rotten sagebrush and grass and everything that would 
tend to hold moisture and give it up to the tree gradually. His surplus 
crop was taken on his back over a trail sixteen miles long to Virginia 
City. This long trail he constructed himself with only a pick and 
shovel. Other evidences of his mania for hard labor are to be seen in the 
building of a road over two miles long down a canyon to the Truckee 
River and a fence about four miles long built of sagebrush and rocks 
cleared from the enclosed territory. 

When we consider that all this and much more has been accomplished 
with the sole labor of a pair of hands we are obliged to marvel at the 
man's fortitude. 

His load to and from the city was often 100 pounds, consisting chiefly 
of flour on the return journey. He scorned a lift, preferring the inde- 
pendence and the solitude. The bulk of the fruit, however, was dried and 
this, with almonds and a sort of wine from his grapes, formed his chief 
sustenance. One morning in the spring of 1912 he was found lying out- 
side the hovel very sick, and was taken to the County Hospital in Reno, 
Nev., where he died a month later at the age of 87 years. 

In his effects were found his old soldier clothes still in good condition, 
for he is said only to have put them on on rare occasions. His old flint- 
lock muskets are in the hands of a neighboring farmer. We must give 
much credit to this noble and religious character for having demonstrated 
perhaps unconsciously, one of the best experiments on the conservation of 


moisture and the possibilities of Nevada for the growing of fruits, espe- 
cially almonds, under apparently almost desert conditions. 

The Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station has also played a part in 
the horticulture of the State. It was organized in 1887 and the first appro- 
priation, fifteen thousand ($15,000) dollars, was received from the Fed- 
eral Government in April, 1888. For a short time the experiments, chiefly 
in meteorology, were conducted on the University Campus, but soon a 
farm was secured near the present State Asylum and an orchard planted. 
The work consisted merely of growing the trees and identifying the varie- 
ties of apples and no records were kept. In 1900 the experiment station 
farm was removed to its present site adjoining the State Fair Grounds in 
Reno. The farm was given to the State by Washoe County and the old 
farm was turned over to the asylum for the growing of vegetables and 
fruit for the inmates. 

From 1900 to 1903 no horticultural work was carried on. In 1903 the, 
writer planted out an orchard and many trees and shrubs, the record 
of which can be found in the Reports and Bulletins, published by the 
station. Leaving the Truckee Valley and passing along the Eastern 
Sierra Nevada Mountains to the south we pass through Pleasant Valley 
to Washoe Valley which has upheld the reputation of Nevada as a pos- 
sible fruit growing State at all the expositions and fairs for many years. 
The names of Lewers, Winters, Howard, Cliff and Neidenriech are asso- 
ciated in this valley with the raising of fruit but we have only space 
enough to consider the ranch of Mr. Lewers. Mr. Ross Lewers, a well 
educated Irishman, after coming round Cape Horn, landed on the Coast 
in 1850, and engaged in mining and lumbering in California. In 1860 
he came down with his sawmill to Franktown from Honey Lake Valley. 
When sufficient high land was cleared he planted fruit trees in 1864. 
These trees are still bearing well. His first order of 300 trees given to a 
California nurseryman, landed in Virginia by mistake. No owner being 
found they were sold for the freight and planted in Six Mile Canyon, near 

The next order was given to the well known firm of Thomas Meehan, 
at Philadelphia and Paul's nursery at Washington, D. C. He also started 
a small nursery and raised his own trees from seedlings. After estab- 
lishing a picturesque home overlooking Lake Washoe and surrounded 
by pine trees, he returned to Ireland for a companion. His wife was an 


ardent lover of flowers and a keen observer and reader and surrounded 
herself with the largest assortment of perennial flowering plants grown 
in the State. 

There are about forty acres of orchard containing some seventy vari- 
eties of apples, a dozen of pears, a few peach, plum, cherry trees and 
strawberries, raspberries and loganberries among the small fruits. A 
unique feature of the place is a very large English walnut tree which 
bears some fruit every year and sometimes a fair crop. There are also 
two fine white oaks now twenty years old with trunks nine inches in 
diameter. All the fruit raised is of excellent quality and superb in color- 
ing. The soil is a rich black granitic loam abundantly supplied with 
potash. His market for many years was at Virginia City and Washoe, 
the highest price received being $2.50 to $3.00 per box of apples. After 
the Virginia and Truckee Railroad was built Mr. Lewers shipped to Cali- 
fornia and was able to compete successfully on the San Francisco market 
often receiving 25 cents a box more for his apples than the California 
product. It is the only orchard in the State known to the writer where 
fruit has been scientifically stored and packed before being placed on the 
market. Still further south in Eagle Valley in the vicinity of Carson and 
in the Carson Valley, near Gardnerville and Genoa, there are a number 
of old orchards which raise considerable fruit for home consumption or 
the local market. Mr. Dangberg at Minden has also set out a consider- 
able acreage to young trees. Fifty miles inland from the Truckee Valley 
in the Carson Sink Valley where the Truckee Carson Government recla- 
mation Project has been established there are a number of old ranches 
nearly all of which have more or less land planted out to fruit. The 
names of Thommey, Brown, Harriman, Douglas, Allen, Ferguson, are 
associated with small orchards. Large numbers of young trees have been 
planted out by the new settlers as the possibilities of profitable fruit grow- 
ing are excellent. Still further south, in Mason and Smith Valleys, we 
find a large number of ranches growing considerable fruit. 

The Humboldt River Section. This includes the ranches watered by 
the Humboldt River and her tributaries and extends for hundreds of 
miles from the Ruby or East Humboldt Mountains to Lovelock. 

In Star Valley we have the names of Cazier, Smiley, Riddell, Hardy, 
Wells, Lane and Gray, and in Clover Valley, those of Conway, Weeks, 
Johnson, Wiseman, Schoer and Gibbs. None of these orchards exceed 


four acres in extent. Some bear every year, but the majority are so situ- 
ated that the spring frosts have to be contended with. At Toynes in 
Mound Valley we find apples, pears, peaches, plums and small fruits, in 
abundance for home use. 

The Southern and Semi-tropical Section. In this section we in- 
clude the southern part of the State as represented in Nye, Lincoln 
and Clark Counties. The truly semi-tropical part of the section 
is situated in Clark County, which is the southern half of what was once 
Lincoln County. The chief horticultural districts are in the Muddy or 
Moapa Valley and the Las Vegas, Pahrump and Pahranagat Valleys. 

The lower part of the Moapa Valley at St. Thomas was settled as early 
as 1851 by Mormons, who came from Utah. Thinking they were still 
within the Utah boundary they paid their taxes to Utah officials. When 
the Nevada tax collector discovered them he demanded that they pay 
three years' back taxes. This they refused to do, burnt their houses, and 
abandoning their ripening crops, departed for Salt Lake City. In about 
1870 a new lot of settlers, both Gentile and Mormon, came into the 
valley and located at Logan (then called St. Joe), Overton and St. 
Thomas. To them must be attributed the discovery of the wonderful 
fertility of the soil of the region for the production of alfalfa, grains, 
vegetables and fruits. Associated with its early history are the names 
of Belding and Seabright, Bonelli, Syphus Mills, Church, Thomas, Jones, 
Cobb, Gibson, Gans, Willow, Lund and Judd and Major Holt For a long 
time the nearest railroad was over a hundred miles away, so that almost 
everything grown was disposed of in the valley or to the miners in south- 
ern Nevada and northern Arizona, Bonelli, the keeper of the ferry across 
the Colorado River, then at Rioville, was an all-round naturalist. Cotton 
was grown quite extensively in the early days and made into clothing. 
Apples, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, cherries, apricots, almonds, nectar- 
ines, pomegranates, figs, grapes and peanuts. Sugar cane was found to 
grow exceedingly well, but there was then no market for perishable 
crops. All kinds of vegetables grew profusely and in many cases were 
harvested even before the same crops were sown in the north. In 1905 
the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, extended a branch 
of the Oregon Short Line so as to pass through southern Nevada en route 
to Los Angeles. The prospect of a good market for their crops brought 
new hope to the old settlers and made the valley accessible to seekers 


after land who soon began to come in considerable numbers. Some of 
the old settlers seeing a good chance to sell out at a favorable price gave 
up the hard struggle and retired to spend the few remaining years of 
their life under easier and more sociable surroundings. 

On March 2, 1905, the Twenty-second Session of the Nevada State 
Legislature approved an act to select a site for the Establishment of a 
Branch Experiment Farm in the Tropical Regions of Nevada. The 
Commissioners appointed by the Governor to select the site were Col. 
H. B. Maxson, P. S. Triplett and Professor Gordon H. True. They se- 
lected eight acres of land at Logan in the Moapa Valley. A report cover- 
ing the details of the Commission's work was published by the 'State in 
1906. Experiments on the adaptability and the best methods of growing 
grain, hay, vegetable and fruit crops and with live stock have been car- 
ried on. The history of this work of the Experiment Farm is to be found 
in the Reports of the Board of Control for 1907-1908, and 1909-1910. 
These are also published by the State. At the Stewart ranch adjacent to 
the town of Las Vegas, in the Las Vegas Valley, we have one of the 
oldest ranches in the State of Nevada. There are old trees and vines, 
planted about fifty-five years ago, that are still bearing profusely. A 
single apricot tree sometimes bears a ton of fruit. The ranch is watered 
by means of an immense spring of tepid water coming directly out of the 
desert. Within the last few years artesian wells have been established 
and new land is being put under cultivation. In the Pahranagat Valley 
in Lincoln County, and the Pahrump Valley in Nye County, fruit has 
been grown on isolated ranches for many years, but little is known of 
the possibilities of the region. 

A few ranches near the foothills of the Charleston Mountains produce 
considerable fruit and vegetables, particularly the old White ranch at 
Manso, and the MacFarland ranch at Indian Springs. 

Horticultural Legislation. An act to encourage the growth of trees 
was approved March 7, 1873. Ten dollars a year for twenty years, was 
paid by the county for each acre or half mile of forest or ornamental 
trees planted a rod apart and kept alive in growing condition, willows and 
cottonwoods planted above ditches and canals were not included. The 
planting was to in no manner increase the taxable value of the land. This 
law is no longer in force. 


Horticulture is also included in the work of the State Agricultural 
Society by an act approved in the same year. 

On March 13, 1903, an act was approved to protect and promote the 
horticultural interests of the State and to destroy insect pests in orchards 
and elsewhere. Whenever a petition is presented to the Board of County 
Commissioners of any county, and signed by twenty or more persons who 
are resident freeholders and possessors of an orchard or both stating 
that certain or all orchards or nurseries or trees of any variety, are in- 
fested with scale insect of any kind injurious to fruit, fruit trees or vines, 
or are infested with codling moth or other insects or pests that are destruc- 
tive to trees or vines, and praying that a Commissioner be appointed by 
them whose duty it shall be to supervise the destruction of such insects 
or trees as herein provided, the Board of County Commissioners shall 
within twenty days after the presentation of such a petition, select and 
appoint a Commissioner for the county, who shall be known as the 
County Horticultural Commissioner, the said Commissioner shall serve 
for a period of two years from and after the date of his appointment and 
qualification or unless he shall be sooner removed by order of said Board 
of County Commissioners. There are eight sections to the act providing 
the duties, districts and compensation of the Commissioners. An act con- 
cerning the shipping of nursery stock into the State was approved March 
25, 1909. 

Section I. All nursery stock shipped from other States to points within 
the State of Nevada, whether fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, 
cuttings, or other nursery stock of any description whatever shall bear 
on the outside of each car, crate, bale, bundle or package a label giving 
the names of the consignor and consignee, together with a copy of an 
inspection certificate of recent date. Such certificate of inspection must 
certify that said stock has been inspected and found free from insect 
pests or plant diseases of any kind. It must bear the signature of the 
State Entomologist or Plant Pathologist or other duly qualified person 
in authority in the State in which said nursery stock was grown. 

Section 2. No corporation, company, or individual engaged in the trans- 
portation of freight or express shall make delivery of any nursery stock 
lacking such official certificate of inspection to the consignee or his agent 
within the State of Nevada ; and any agent of any such corporation, com- 
pany or individual who does make delivery of any uncertified nursery 


stock shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof 
shall be fined in any sum not less than twenty-five ($25) dollars nor 
more than one hundred ($100) dollars, or by imprisonment in the County 
Jail for not less than five nor more than thirty days, or by both such fine 
and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court, and any fines collected 
under the provisions of this act shall be paid to the State Treasurer. 



JUSTICE G. F. TALBOT, President Carson City 

DR. H. E. REID, Vice-President Reno 

DR. A. E. HERSHISER, Treasurer Reno 

JEANNE ELIZABETH WIER, Secretary and Curator Reno 

Senator H. H. CORYELL, Member at Large , Wells 

Senator A. 'W. HOLMES, Member at Large Reno 

The first attempt to preserve information concerning the early history 
of Nevada was made by the Society of Pacific Coast Pioneers in Virginia 
City in 1872. Much valuable work had been accomplished when, in 1875, 
the great fire on the Comstock destroyed the society building with all its 
contents. A new hall was soon erected and another collection made, but 
with the decline of the Comstock and the scattering of the pioneers, the 
society was after a time disbanded; its museum collection was donated 
to the State, and but little of this contribution remains intact at the present 
time. A similar organization obtained for a time at Austin and was 
known as the Reese River Pioneers. 

Creation of the Nevada Historical Society. Not until thirty-two years 
later was the interest in this historical work revived, and then on the 
basis of a State-wide organization. In 1904 the Nevada Historical So- 
ciety came into being as a private organization. It enrolled among its 
charter members many of the most prominent men and women of the 
State, some of whom have since crossed the Great Divide. General E. D. 
Kelley was its first vice-president and its second president. Orvis Ring, 
Chauncey N. Noteware and Hannah K. Clapp were among the first to 
give support to the undertaking. Mr. R. L. Fulton was the first president 
and Mr. Clarence H. Mackay its first honorary member. 

In 1907 by act of the legislature, signed by Governor Sparks, the so- 
ciety became a State institution with a small appropriation for maintenance 
of the work during the biennium. Since that time the society, as the 
trustee of the State, has labored diligently to collect and preserve 
the records and other historical materials pertaining to the 


early history of the commonwealth of Nevada, and at the same time has 
not neglected to gather in the current newspapers and broadside issues 
which in turn will soon become historic. 

General Character of the Collection. The library now contains over 
three thousand books and pamphlets besides many files of newspapers. 
In the museum are about one thousand exhibits, some of which are of 
rare value. Anthropological specimens tell of the Indian occupancy of 
the country before the days of the paleface ; souvenirs from the old mines 
and mills of the bonanza days recall the memories of the years when the 
state was in its formative period politically and industrially. The trophies 
of the Wheelmen's club belong to another and a later era, but when an- 
other half century shall have passed over our heads these modern things 
will also have become ancient history. 

A Mark Twain Pipe. Nevada failed to obtain a Mark Twain statue, 
but she possesses a genuine Clemens' pipe such a one as Mark loved, 
such a one as he pictures in "Roughing It." "Ham and eggs, and after 
these a pipe ham and eggs and scenery, a 'down grade,' a flying coach, 
a fragrant pipe and a contented heart these make happiness. It is what 
all the ages have struggled for." And with the pipe there is a letter from 
his daughter, the Countess Gabrilowitsch, in which she speaks of her 
father's regard for the work of the Nevada Historical Society, of which 
he was an honorary member. 

The Hawkins Collection. Of more than usual interest is the collection 
of souvenirs pertaining to the old Mormon station at Genoa, and to its 
founders. Through the courtesy of Mr. D. R. Hawkins, of Genoa, these 
things have found a place in the State Museum. 

Pictures of the old log cabin which was destroyed by fire two years 
since ; pieces of the old logs ; hand-made nails used in its construction ; 
the andirons and crane from its fire place; the pans in which the gold 
was separated from the refuse ere it was received in payment for goods 
at the trading station ; the old inkwell and cancelling stamp from the first 
postoffice in the State kept at this same Mormon station all serve to 
recall to the pioneers those days of the 'SQ'S when the life of western 
Utah centered around the little old log cabin on the banks of the Carson 
River. Then there is the old Swiss watch given by Stephen Kinsey to 
his wife when they were married in Washoe City in 1855 ; the old Kinsey 
bible with its family record; the Philopena book brought by Snowshoe 


Thompson on his snowshoes from Sacramento to Genoa in 1857 and pre- 
sented by him to Mrs. Kinsey with his autograph. But space fails to 
allow the whole record of this collection. 

Souvenirs of Governors and Legislatures. Of governors' souvenirs 
there is a nucleus ; Territorial Governor Nye's sword and "Broad-horn" ; 
Bradley's hard wood cane ; and some day in the not far distant future the 
Blaisdell piano will come to keep these company, while on the walls above 
will hang the pictures of the legislatures which since 1861 have recorded 
in statute the growth of the commonwealth of Nevada. 

Historic Weapons Reminiscent of another type of history-making is 
the collection of old weapons ranging from swords and guns which did 
service in the great American wars to flint-locks which protected the 
Mormons on their west bound trek to Great Salt Lake and beyond, and 
the tiny derringers which saw service on the Comstock in the days when 
justice was measured out by a vigilance committee. Of still older pedi- 
gree is the Spanish lance-head brought from southern Nevada and which, 
with other relics not yet gathered into the fold of the museum, points to 
the days of the occupancy of the Vegas Valley by the Franciscan Fathers. 
Slight reminder this of the place the now Nevada held in the "Mexican 
Cession," and the Spanish flag, blood-stained and bullet-scarred, which 
hangs in another corner, bears evidence that as Nevada was at one time 
rescued by the United States from the Spanish-American or Mexican 
influence, so a Nevada boy just fifty years later, wrested from the flagstaff 
in Cuba the flag which stands for the exertion of the same kind of influ- 
ence in another part of the American continent. 

The Fremont Pistol. Of somewhat doubtful authenticity is the so- 
called Fremont pistol, but if not the companion of the illustrious path- 
finder, it at least helped to mark the trail by which others followed in his 
footsteps from Nevada into the promised land of California. 

Broderick-Terry Duelling Pistol. This weapon recalls the memory of 
the influence exerted by the killing of Senator Broderick of California, 
in 1859, upon the Constitution of Nevada for the feeling of horror which 
swept over the Pacific Coast was only comparable to that occasioned by 
the Hamilton-Burr duel of the early part of the same century. Nevada, 
therefore, in framing her organic law inserted the famous and now obso- 
lete "duelling clause." 

Curious Maps and Manuscripts. In the collection of old maps and man- 


uscripts of especial interest to Renoites is the first map of Reno, when the 
city was only "the end of the track," and when the first town lots were 
carved out of the lake property. Then there are the first maps of Vir- 
ginia City, the Ely District, Humboldt and Reese River, while the most 
curious of all is the map of the Washoe Mining Region of 1860 showing, 
though sometimes erroneously, the relative distances of Washoe from 
the principal places in California and the stage routes connecting these 
places. As one traces the old trails on this map there arises in imagina- 
tion a picture of the long procession of emigrant wagons, of pack mules 
and nondescript caravans that covered these roads in the early days. Suf- 
fice it to say that the organization will not rest content until one of these 
old stage coaches is safely housed in the new building. Here also are 
mining certificates bearing the autograph signatures of the giant miners 
of the early days and of the bonanza period. Here are manuscripts written 
by the pioneers and of only slightly less importance are the stories dic- 
tated by them and recorded by the secretary of the society. 

Rare Newspapers and Magazines. Of old newspapers the society has 
some rare numbers, such as the Daily Morning Post of Carson City, 
draped in mourning for Lincoln and bearing on one page a copy of the 
new constitution of Nevada, truly a veritable birth certificate of the 
"Battle-born" State. From the standpoint of utility in the field of historical 
writing the magazine acquisitions form one of the best features of the 
work. The Overland and Sunset, nearly complete, as also the Pacific 
Monthly and Out West and a part of the Land of Sunshine, are supple- 
mented by at least a part of nearly every magazine which has been pub- 
lished on or about the Pacific Coast, even to the Pioneer in 1854 and 1855 
bound in the original wrappers, and California Magazine for 1857 and 

Pamphlets and Broadsides The ephemeral literature of a mining 
region always exceeds by far the output of the more stable forms of 
production ; and fortunately many of the posters, dodgers and invitation 
cards have been preserved. Nevada and California are alike represented 
in pamphlet literature. In the contemporary accounts of the Vigilance 
Committee of 1856 and in the many other descriptions of California life 
in the '505 we have the evidence of eye-witnesses to the stirring events 
which, from the standpoint of Nevada, were but introductory to the great 
drama of the 6o's. Supplementing Fitch's Manual of the City 'of San 


Francisco (1852) is the old picture of that city in 1857, while the several 
old-time drawings of the missions visualize the history of the Spanish 
period with its more indirect influence upon the Cis-Sierra Mexican 

Marshall and Burke. In the "Life and Adventures of James W. Mar- 
shall, the Discoverer of Gold in California, 1 ' which was published by 
Marshall and William Burke in Sacramento in 1870, we have a direct 
and forcible illustration of the intimate relationship between the two 
States of California and Nevada. For William Burke lived his life and 
died in eastern Nevada a valued charter member of the Nevada His- 
torical Society. He was prominent in the formative days of this State, not 
only in the mining camps, but in the political life of the commonwealth 
also, and was nominated at one time for Lieutenant-Governor. His 
brother, the late James Burke, of Steamboat Springs, was a mining part- 
ner of James W. Marshall in the early days of California and until 1868, 
and to him Mr. Marshall pointed out the spot where gold was discovered. 
James Burke was doubtless the last man who could have absolutely 
identified the place, and he failed to do it before his lamented death in 
1912. When Mr. Burke came to Reno in 1868 he brought Marshall with 
him and kept him here at his home for a year. Together they erected the 
first brick building in Reno, the one which stands at the northwest corner 
of Second and Virginia Streets. To Mr. Burke's wife Marshall gave as 
a wedding gift a piece of the first gold taken out in California. 

Mining Literature. In the field of more technical mining literature 
California and Nevada are again linked together, for side by side with 
the report on the Lower Comstock Mining Company's claims, 1873, and 
the rare collection known as "Views of the Gould and Curry Silver Min- 
ing Company, Virginia City, N. T." (ca. 1861), stands the Compilation 
of the Statutes of California, the Territory of Nevada, and Ordinances 
of Mexico, 1864, known as "Congdon's Mining Laws and Forms" ; also 
Justice Field's "Construction of the United States Mining Statutes of 
1866 and 1872 in the Case of Eureka Con. Mining Co. v. Richmond Min. 
Co., Aug. 22, 1877." 

Literary Products. Some few but rare items of native production 
have come to take their place beside the "Comstock Club" and "Sagebrush 
Leaves," of which Harte's "Sazerac Lying Club" (1878) is illustrative of 
the early period, and Judge Goodwin's "Pioneers" of this our own time. 


Of slightly different cast is the "Morning Report Book of the 8th Caval- 
ry at Camp McDermitt in 1868," recalling the days when the Government 
still retained its troops within Nevada. 

General Collection of Rare Antiquities. No historical society can afford 
to neglect to accumulate as opportunity offers mementoes of other 
historic areas than its own, for the present is the child of the past and 
the world is but small after all. The Nevada Historical Society has 
fared well in this respect during the last biennium. Of the Eighteenth 
Century is Rogers's "Cruising Voyage Around the World," published 
in 1712, Motley's "Life of Peter, Emperor of Russia," (1739), and 
Guthrie's Geography of 1794. Of the first item mentioned above, that 
of Capt. Woodes Rogers's Cruising Voyage, begun in 1708 and finished 
in 1711, it is interesting to note that the author landed on the coast of 
California and writes of the natives and of the discovery of a "bright 
metal." This is one of the earliest references to California in English 
and is a work of excessive rarity. 

Of the early Nineteenth Century, Clarkson's History of the Slave Trade 
bears the date of 1808, Murphy's Interesting Documents, 1819, Huish's 
Voyages, 1836, and Mitchell's Geography, 1852, while a little volume 
of 1828 portrays the work of Sir Francis Drake in the exploration of 
the Pacific Slope a pioneer Westerner, by the way, who has received 
recognition in California by the erection of the Prayer-Book Cross in 
Golden Gate Park overlooking the spot of his landfall in Alta, California. 
The volume has additional value because it was formerly the property of 
Sir Francis Drake, Bart., descended from the famous navigator. 

But rarest of all in this century is Greenleaf's Law of Evidence, 1854, 
which once formed a part of the library of President Andrew Johnson, 
and every volume of which now bears his autograph. For these three 
volumes Southern historical societies have offered a large sum of money, 
but they came to our organization "without money and without price." 

The Stewart Collection. But in the library the most notable addition is 
that of the Stewart collection, both as to books and manuscripts. When 
Senator Stewart, shortly before his death, gave to the Historical Society 
his scrap-books and private letter-books together with a mass of other 
highly valuable material, he not only contributed data which will some 
day be of immeasurable value for the writing of our history, but he set 
an example worthy of imitation by other of our statesmen. The Stewart 


collection but points the way in one of the most important fields of his- 
torical archiving. 

First Steps in a Great Movement. So also in all departments of the 
work, only the veriest beginning has been made in the different fields. 
The treasures now at hand are but the nuclei which will attract to them- 
selves other things of equal or greater importance as the years go by 
until there shall be gathered under one roof an abundance of historical 
materials concerning this western State. For the present, the possibilities 
of profitable activity are limited only by the financial situation. Hitherto 
the society has been greatly handicapped by lack of funds and even at 
present necessity presses hard upon the treasury and compels the elimin- 
ation of much endeavor which in the future would bring rich reward in 
the way of historical data. For it must be remembered that as the area 
of our State is larger and our population more scattered than in the 
Eastern States, so the work is more expensive and more difficult. As to 
the location of historical materials, the east has passed into the era of 
domestication; its historical food is close at hand; its task is merely to 
absorb. The west, including Nevada, is still in the hunting stage ; it must 
run down its game before it can feast. In the east are States, several of 
which could be set down side by side within the boundaries of one of our 
great western counties. In those States there is always at least one nu- 
cleus where for long ages historical materials have been collected; many 
times there are several such places in one State, each locality having a 
collection of its own, and the student has no very difficult task before 
him when he seeks to utilize such records. But in States like Nevada the 
materials are still scattered far afield and until they are gathered up 
through infinite effort no real history of the state can ever be written, no 
critical work can be accomplished. 

Historic Consciousness Is Evolving. By acts of three legislatures the 
people of this commonwealth have signified their definite intention of 
preserving this history of the State, and there is now needed but a period 
of renewed financial prosperity to enable the representatives of our gov- 
ernment to appropriate in such goodly measure as will make possible the 
saving of the historic materials while yet there is opportunity. 

Private Benefactors. And while State sentiment has been forming, 
and historic consciousness evolving, there have come to the aid 
of the work individually men who not only helped to make history, but 

66 4 


have realized more keenly than others the need for quick action in its 
preservation and who have contributed generously to the support of the 
work when State aid was lacking. A trio of such loyal Nevadans are Mr. 
Clarence H. Mackay, Mr. F. M. Smith, and the late Senator Geo. S. 
Nixon, who for years was the vice-president of the organization. In 
lesser measure many other citizens have aided in a financial way and to 
the publishers of the newspapers especially is the society indebted for 
their uniform kindness in furnishing current numbers and even older 
files. To one such editor, Mr. W. W. Booher, the society is doubly 
indebted because of his long and efficient service upon the executive 

In the matter of safely housing its collection, the society has faced un- 
usual obstacles now happily overcome, at least for a few years, through 
the erection by the State of a temporary brick structure near the uni- 
versity gates in Reno. With the opening of the building in the not dis- 
tant future the collection will be made available to the public and through 
the deeper, more intelligent interest awakened, let us hope, may be made 
possible a greater era of achievement in publication, in public archiving, 
in the preservation of historic buildings and marking of historic sites as 
well as in the collection of historical data. 


In the foreground is the figure of the Muse of History, "Clio," with the 
laurel wreath on her head. In one hand she holds the book of history, in 
the other a pen. Behind her loom the snow white peaks of the Sierras. 


The mountains and the deep canyons carrying streams to the broad valley 
below are suggestive of the natural resources awaiting exploration and 
development, which are the basis of mining and agriculture, the para- 
mount industries upon which depend the growth and welfare of the State. 
On her right are the immigrant wagons indicative of our pioneer life. 
The tepee to the side and to the rear of these vehicles advancing with the 
argonauts reminds us of the progress of civilization and the passing of the 
Indian, whose history should be chronicled as well as that of the white 
man. All around her is the desert with clumps of sagebrush and the ox 
head skeleton typical of the waste of animal life and of the hardships and 
perils on the early overland trail. Beneath the Muse's feet is the Society 
motto: Servare et Conservare, pointing on the* one hand to the labors of 
the Society as the servant of the people, on the other hand to its equally 
great work of preserving and conserving the records of the past and the 
present. On the margin is the name and date of organization. 




Mount Rose Observatory, although the youngest of the meteorological 
observatories in America, has an environment so unique that its staff has 
not only acquired a series of problems of prime importance to pure science 
and to agriculture but has also found such abundant material that rapid 
progress has been possible in their solution. A brief statement of plans 
and progress at this observatory may, therefore, not be without interest to 
workers in the meteorological field. Mount Rose is a peak of the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains at the western edge of the Great Plateau. The observ- 
atory on the summit, which is 3,292 meters (10,800 feet) above sea 
level, at present is the highest meteorological station in the United States, 
and was established privately for the purpose of ascertaining the winter 
minimum temperatures at the summit of the Sierra. Later it was made a 
department of the University of Nevada and the Agricultural Experiment 
Station and through these institutions has received financial aid from the 
State and from the Adams Fund of the Office of Experiment Stations. 
The observatory is very favorably situated for the study of mountain and 
desert meteorology, the relation of topography to the occurrence of frost, 
and the influence of mountains and forests upon the conservation of snow. 
Most of the instruments and methods employed in the work of the observa- 
tory have been devised by its staff. 

In the study of mountain meteorology, the observatory has the advantage 
of occupying a virgin field, and thus being placed in a position to supple- 
ment the work done at Mount Royal by McGill Observatory, in the Ap- 
palachians by the Mount Washington, Blue Hill and Mount Weather 
Observatories, in the Rocky Mountains at Pike's Peak, and in the Coast 
Range at Mount Tamalpais. Mount Rose Observatory is unlike its pre- 


decessors in that no observer is maintained continuously on the summit, 
and most of the instruments in use have been constructed to work without 
attention for long periods of time. After much experimenting there has 
been devised a meteorograph that is impervious to the wild storms that 
rage in winter on mountain summits, and a shelter has been constructed 
for it that clears itself of accumulated snow. Six elements are recorded, 
viz.: pressure, temperature, direction and velocity of the wind, humidity 
and sunshine. The records are made upon a band of metric cross-section 
paper 270 mm. wide, which moves 2.5 mm. an hour or 1.8 metres a month. 
The recording mechanisms are adjusted to the ruling of the paper so that 
one millimetre equals one degree of temperature, 2 per cent, relative hu- 
midity, and one millimetre of atmospheric pressure. The meteorograph is 
actuated by springs placed within a motor drum. Two auxiliary drums 
serve to hold and receive the paper as it passes over the motor-drum 
against which the recording pens rest. This instrument will run for at 
least two months with one winding of the clock. The resetting of the 
meteorograph is readily accomplished by disconnecting it from the shelter 
and removing it to the observatory building. Some defects that occasion- 
ally cause failure to obtain satisfactory records have been partially cor- 
rected in the following manner: To prevent slipping of the record sheet, 
a double series of tiny needle points has been fitted into the motor drum 
with V-edged pressure-wheels running astride of them to force the sheet 
close to the drum. To detect possible inaccuracy in the motor-clock, a 
standard pendulum clock actuated by weights has been installed in the 
observatory building and connected by electric cable with a pen in the 
meteorograph to record the twelve o'clock hours each day. Excessive 
vibration has been eliminated in the shelter by the use of heavy braces and 
rock on the sills. Mechanical registration is employed in all elements ex- 
cept sunshine, and the performance of electrical devices tried thus far has 
been so unsatisfactory that probably a mechanical sunshine-recorder will 
eventually replace the electrical one. Dry batteries have been made worth- 
less by freezing and the efficiency of wet batteries is so reduced in cold 
weather that it seems improbable that any system depending on electricity 
will be successful. The great problem is the prevention of the formation 
of fins of ice and frost upon the instruments. The sunshine-recorder has 
been safeguarded by a heavy bell-jar. The tail of the anemograph vane 
has been made of wood and the arrow so shortened that the vane will 


swing into the eye of the wind irrespective of ice accumulations on the 
arrow. The masts have been enlarged in size and made self-sustaining 
without guy-rods, which invite the formation of festoons of heavy ice 
with consequent wrecking of the masts. The only serious problem of 
equipment still unsolved is the protection of the cups of the anemometer 
from ice. This can be accomplished in part by removing the portion of the 
supporting arms that pass through the cups and thus expedite the dropping 
of the accumulated slugs when the cups are warmed by the returning sun. 
However, there may be some material such as vulcanized rubber of papier 
mache, of which cups can be made, which will be less attractive to frost 
and ice than the metals used at present. The wind record has usually been 
complete between the months of May and October. This meteorograph on 
the summit (elevation 3,292 metres, or 10,800 feet) is flanked by two 
similar instruments, one on the west at Truckee (elevation 1,798 metres, 
or 5,900 feet), thirty miles distant, and the other on the east at Fallen 
(elevation 1,208 metres, or 3,965 feet), fifty miles distant, thus affording 
a base line eighty miles long and an apex approximately one mile high. 
Kite flights have been inaugurated to determine the meteorological error 
of the summit station. By means of this vertical triangle of stations, data 
are now being actively gathered on the changing phases of passing storms, 
and their possible relation to the weather of the valleys beneath. A station 
with instruments of great precision is being established on the University 
Campus. The study of the movements of air currents will be made by 
pilot balloons, for the plateau is too sparsely settled to permit the use of 
ballons-sondes. A share will also be taken in the international kite-flights. 

In the realm of applied science, the forecasting of frost from mountain 
tops is one of the two main problems through which it is desired to make 
the observatory of practical service. This problem is still in the stage of 
data-gathering ; however, some relationship is evident between the passing 
of storms and the occurrence of frost. 

This problem has given rise to two others : The Relation of Topography 
to the Occurrence of Frost, and a Temperature Survey of the Agricultural 
Lands of the State of Nevada. For the study of the first problem, two 
stations with delicate apparatus for detecting minute changes of humidity, 
temperature and air movement are under preparation to be placed near the 
surface on typical slopes in conjunction with a free air station at the 


The Temperature Survey has now been in progress for two seasons. 
The purpose of the survey is the delimiting of large areas suitable for 
fruit-raising under all forms of economic frost prevention, and the fur- 
ther division of these areas into thermal belts according to the following 
classification : 

(a) Belts where the minimum temperature never falls below 28 F. and 
fruit-raising would be highly profitable; (b) Belts where the minimum 
temperature is between 24 and 27 and frost can be combated at reason- 
able expense; (c) Belts where the temperature falls between 18 and 23 
and fruit-raising as an industry would not be profitable. In belts where 
temperatures of 17 or lower are encountered fruit-raising is not advisable. 

Twenty stations equipped with thermographs and standard thermome- 
ters are now being employed in the work. The number may finally be 
increased to twenty-five. These stations are distributed at strategic points 
from the highest land under irrigation canals to the lowest parts of the 
valley. It is planned to obtain continuous records at each station for 
three years before removing the station to a new point. The survey at 
present covers the basin of the Truckee River on which is situated the 
metropolis of the State. Owing to the hearty co-operation of ranchers, 
who act as voluntary observers, the expense of the maintenance of the 
survey is slight. 

In the spring of 1911, when frosts were heavy and frequent, the observa- 
tory staff, in conjunction with others, demonstrated the feasibility of 
orchard-heating even under strenuous conditions, with the result that 
where only one farm corporation was heating its orchard that season, 
the present year between fifteen and twenty owners of fruit trees were en- 
gaged in the work. To give the orchardists assurance of support in their 
effort, a night telephone service was maintained for emergency frost-warn- 
ing and two automatic frost alarms installed. To further aid the isolated 
orchardists in making their own forecasts of frost, an analysis of the 
fluctuation of temperature under semi-arid conditions is now being made. 
To this will soon be added the determination of the quantitative effect of 
cloudiness and wind on the retardation of falling temperatures. 

The second problem to which special attention is being devoted is the 
influence of Mountains and Forests on the Conservation of Snow. This 
problem is of vital importance to irrigationists and power companies 
wherever streams are fed by snow. The data for the study of this prob- 


lem are very abundant. Mount Rose is situated between the heavily 
forested main chain of the Sierra Nevada and the scantily forested ranges 
of the semi-arid Great Basin, and forms the natural headquarters for the 
study of both. On the flanks of Mount Rose and its subjacent range are 
also wide areas long since deforested and now in various stages of re- 
forestation, while the apex of the mountain furnishes abundant oppor- 
tunity for studying the snow where it falls deepest and longest. The 
observatory building on the summit has now been supplemented by a 
headquarters camp, made of sandbags, at Contact Pass (elevation 2,900 
metres, or 9,000 feet), and another camp at the base of the mountain. By 
means of this chain of stations, measurements of snow depth and density, 
the evaporation of snow, and temperatures within the snow have been 
conducted on the mountain for limited periods. Adjacent to Mount Rose 
is the Basin of Lake Tahoe, where a coast line seventy miles long has 
furnished ready access throughout the winter, by means of motor boat 
and explorer's camp, to forests of various types and densities, and to all 
the typical slopes and elevations found in the Sierra Nevada. 

The study of the conservation of snow was begun with camera in the 
winter of 1906, and in the spring of 1908 there was designed a snow 
sampler by means of which cores can be obtained from snow-fields of all 
depths and densities, the water content of the sample being determined 
by weight. Soon after a spring balance was devised that would indicate 
without any computation the equivalent water in the sample irrespective 
of variation in the length or weight of sampler used. By means of these 
instruments thousands of measurements have been made, and the quan- 
titative value of forested areas over open spaces was early established. 
The minute investigation of the various phases of the problem has pro- 
ceeded more slowly, but considerable progress has now been made toward 
their solution. The general principle underlying the conservation of 
snow is that of protection against evaporation and melting by wind and 
sun. Snow lies longest where it falls deepest. Cliffs and ice slopes are 
large gatherers of snow. Yet, wherever forests crown such slopes the 
capacity of these slopes to gather and conserve snow is increased. In 
wind-swept regions, timber screens have a snow gathering capacity vary- 
ing according to their height and imperviousness to the wind. They also, 
by checking the wind, reduce the evaporation of snow, which under the 
influence of a wind movement of thirty-three miles per hour, despite the 


fact that the snow was frozen, has reached in a single night the total of 
.10 in. moisture content, or one-one-hundred-twentieth of the total snow 
on the ground. The action of unbroken forests upon the snow is some- 
what unlike that of timber screens, particularly so on the lower slopes 
where the wind is less violent. These forests catch the falling snow 
directly in proportion to their openness, but conserve it, after it has 
fallen directly in proportion to their density. This phenomenon is due to 
the crowns of the trees, which catch the falling snow and expose it to 
rapid evaporation in the open air but likewise shut out the sun and wind 
form the snow that has succeeded in passing through the forest crowns 
to the ground. The most efficient forest, therefore, from the point of 
view of conservation is the one that conserves a maximum amount of 
snow to the latest possible time in the spring. This has been found by 
measurements to be the forest with a maximum number of glades, which 
serve as storage pits into which the snow can readily fall but the wind and 
the sun cannot easily follow. One such forest was found to have con- 
served at the close of the season of melting three and one-half times as 
much snow as a very dense forest adjacent to it. 

The most efficient type of forest found at levels below 8,000 feet is 
the fir, whose foliage is much more impervious to the rays of the sun 
than that of the cedar or pine. At 8,000 feet or higher, the mountain 
hemlock is most efficient, for not only is its foliage dense but its tapering 
spire-like crown offers but little resistance to falling snow. 

In the light of the above facts forests may be too dense as well as too 
thin for the maximum conservation of snow. The ideal forest seems to 
be one filled with glades whose width bears such proportion to the height 
of the trees that the wind and the sun cannot reach the bottom. These 
glades can be produced by the forester by judicious pruning and cutting 
as well as by proper planting. In the field of hydrology, surveys of snow 
on the Mount Rose and Lake Tahoe water-sheds have been made since 
the beginning of 1910 to indicate to ranchers and power companies in the 
basin below the amount of water to be expected during the season, and 
the better control of the reservoirs. This work will be extended to in- 
clude a study of the behavior of snow on typical slopes during rising 
temperature and wind with the view of forecasting the probability and 
extent of floods. For the purpose of offering foresters in the National 
Forests and others the advantage of the investigations in snow a course 


is now planned at the University of Nevada on the Relation of Mountains 
and Forests to the Conservation of Snow : a Study in the Improvement of 
the Storage of Snow by the Planting and Pruning of Forests with a 
View to Stream Control and the Improvement of Irrigation and Power 
Resources. Other courses in General Meteorology have already been pro- 
vided. The staff of the observatory consists of Professor S. P. Fergusson, 
formerly First Assistant at Blue Hill Observatory, who is Associate 
Meteorologist, Mr. Arthur L. Smith, Observer in Lake Tahoe Basin, 
and the writer, who is in charge. 

Besides annual reports and news bulletins, the more important recent 
publications are Experiment Station Bulletin No. 79 The Avoidance 
and Prevention of Frost in the Fruit Belts of Nevada and an article on 
the Conservation of Snow; Its Dependence on Forests and Mountains in 
Scientific American Supplement, Vol. LXXIV., No. 1914, September 7, 
1912. A bulletin containing an elaborate presentation of the Relation of 
Mountains and Forests to the Conservation of Snow is now being 




Carson Lodge No. i. The first Masonic Lodge in Nevada was organ- 
ized in Carson City, Nevada, under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge 
of Free and Accepted Masons of California. February 3, 1863, by the 
following residents of that city, viz. : Philip Stoner, R. B. Ellis, F. A. 
Tritle, F. W. Peters, J. W. Wayman, W. C. Phillips, Seymour Pixley, 
D. L. Britton, Herman Armer, Wellington Stewart, W. B. King, H. F. 
Rice, Abraham Curry and Henry Grice. On the I5th of May a. charter 
was granted and it was given the number 154 on the California roster, 
and in the charter the following officers appear : M. D. Larrowe, W. M. ; 
Edward J. Smith, S. W. ; Henry Rice, J. W. In January, 1865, it was 
granted a charter by the newly organized Grand Lodge of Nevada, with 
John S. Van Dyke as Master, and Jacob Tobriner, Secretary. The mem- 
bership at that time was 54. But two of these names appear on the roll 
now E. D. L. Cutts and D. W. Cutts. Carson Lodge has never had a 
hall of tis own, but has always been financially able to take care of its 
share of the charitable work that falls to the lot of the order. It has 
been honored by having many of its members in the Grand East, viz: 
Horatio S. Mason, R. W. Bollem, P. A. Doyle, Tremmor Coffin, George 
Gillson and Charles L. Fulstone. Its maximum membership was 138 in 
1876 and its present roster shows 101 names. The 1913 officers are: Alex- 
ander MacDonald, W. M. ; Edgar H. Walker, S. W. ; Thomas A. Lotz, 
J. W. ; Charles H. Peters, Treasurer and E. D. Vanderlieth, Secretary 
(i8th term.) 

Washoe Lodge No. 2. This lodge was organized in July, 1862, at 
Washoe City, under dispensation from California, as No. 157, with Geo. 
W. Brown, W. M.; R. R. Johnson, S. W.; Thomas B. Prince, J. W. 


January 16, 1865, it was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Nevada as 
Washoe No. 2, with Henry W. Brady, W. M. ; Ezekiel Morton, S. W. ; 
George C. Cabot, J. W., and Orvis Ring, Secretary. Its maximum mem- 
bership was in 1868 when it had fifty-eight members. The membership 
dwindled until it reached twenty-three in 1888, when it surrendered its 

Virginia No. j. Virginia Lodge was organized January 15, 1863, as 
Virginia Lodge No. 162, on the roll of the Grand Lodge of California 
with William H. Howard, P. G. M., California, as W. M. ; Joseph De- 
Bell, S. W., and James S. Kelly, J. W. In 1865 it was chartered by the 
Grand Lodge of Nevada, as Virginia No. 3, with Charles H. Fish, W. M. 
Its maximum membership was attained in 1878 with 213 members and its 
present membership is 52. In 1875 fire destroyed the hall of the lodge 
and its members met on top of Mount Davidson and opened a regular 
lodge with 351 Masons present. Albert Hires, W. M., presided and in 
addition to the regular officers many sentinels were stationed around the 
mountain. The altar was of rough ashlar and the stations of the officers 
were formed of granite blocks. The Masonic flag floated at the top of 
the famous flagpole on Mt. Davidson, and the jewels were the ones be- 
longing to the lodge, reclaimed from the ashes of the building, and show- 
ing by their half-melted condition, the fiery ordeal through which they 
had passed. The lodge was opened without form, a petition was received 
and referred to a committee, and some routine business was transacted. 
Addresses were made by Hon. Charles E. DeLong, -Maj. E. A. Sherman, 
Gen. Thos. H. Williams, Hon. Rollin M. Daggett, J. C. Currie, Geo. W 
Hopkins, and Col. Robert H. Taylor, Melville E. Lamb, W. M. ; John C. 
Harry, Secretary. 

Amity Lodge No. 4. Amity Lodge was organized under the Grand 
Lodge of California, as Silver City Lodge No. 163, March 20, 1863, with 
J. C. Currie, W. M. ; M. J. Henley, S. W., and W. B. Hickok, J. W. In 
1865 it took the name it now bears and the following officers were in 
charge: Richard T. Mullard, W. M.; James M. Kennedy, S. W., and 
M. J. Burke, J. W. This lodge attained its maximum membership in 
1877 with 76 on the roll, and its present membership is 21. The present 
officers, 1913, are: Thomas Mayne, W. M. ; Adolph Indermuhl, S. W. ; 
S. J. Pedroli, J. W. ; Chas. Hamilton, Treasurer; Amos K. Pollard, Sec- 



Silver Star No. 5. This lodge was organized at Gold Hill, Nevada, by 
the Grand Lodge of California as Silver Star Lodge No. 165, with Charles 
E. Olney, W. M. ; L. W. Lee, S. W., and Duane L. Bliss, J. W. It reached 
its maximum membership in 1877, when the mining activity was at its 
height, with 194 members; and its present roll shows 21. The 1913 offi- 
cers are : George F. Harris, W. M. ; Alfred S. Harris, S. W. ; John A. 
McKenzie, J. W. ; Edward Symons. Treasurer and Fred L. Clark, 

Esmeralda No. 6. Located at Aurora, Nevada. Organized September 
28, 1863, under the Grand Lodge of California as Esmeralda Lodge No. 
170, with the following officers: J. H. Richardson, W. M. ; John L. 
Carter, S. W. ; Alfred A. Green, J. W. In 1865 when it passed under 
the charter of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, the officers were: J. H. 
Richardson, W. M. ; Charles H. Dodd, S. W. Its maximum membership 
shows as 57 in 1867. This dwindled to 13 in 1901, when its charter was 
surrendered to the Grand Lodge. 

Escurial Lodge No. 7. Escurial Lodge was organized in Virginia City, 
in January, 1864, as No. 171, under the Grand Lodge of California. The 
first officers, were: Geo. W. Hopkins, W. M. ; W. A. M. Van Bokkelen, 
S. W. ; Columbus Walker, J. W., and it passed under the control cf the 
Grand Lodge of Nevada in 1865, with the same officers. Its maximum 
membership was 154, in 1869, and its present roll shows 87 members. 
The 1913 officers are as follows: James W. Black, W. M. ; Wm. J. Mc- 
Quarrie, S. W. ; John W. Mahood, J. W. ; R. A. Bulmer, Treasurer and 
Geo. A. Morgan, Secretary. 

Lander Lodge No. 8. Lander Lodge No. 8 was chartered by the Grand 
Lodge of California, October 14, 1864, and given the number 172. The 
Grand Lodge of Nevada, chartered it as known at present, and its first 
officers were: William W. Wixom, father of Emma Nevada, the great 
opera singer, W. M. ; George J. Love, S. W. ; Jeff. J. Work, J. W. The 
lodge attained its maximum membership in 1869, with 106 on the roll ; and 
its present list shows 32 names. The 1913 officers are: A. J. Maestretti, 
W. M. ; L. J. J. Judd, S. W. ; W. J. Williams, J. W., and Jacob H. Trol- 
son, Secretary. 

Valley Lodge No. 9. This lodge was started at Dayton, Nevada, Feb- 
ruary 20, 1865, and was the first organized under the Grand Lodge of 
Nevada. Its first officers are: Charles F. Brant, W. M,; Henry Sweet- 


apple, S. W., and Albert Gallatin, J. W. Its maximum membership, 39, 
was attained in 1874, and its present roll shows 26 members. The 1913 
officers are : M. J. King, W. M. ; T. P. Mack, S. W. ; Jos. Greiler, J. W. ; 
W. H. Scott, Secretary. 

Austin Lodge No^ 10. This lodge was organized at Austin, Nevada, 
April 12, 1865, with Thomas Wren, W. M.; William S. Thomas, S. W., 
and Marcus A. Sawtelle, J. W. It attained its maximum membership in 
1868, 57, and surrendered its charter in 1871, being the first lodge to pass 
out of existence in Nevada. 

Oasis Lodge No. n. Organized at Belmont, Nevada, December 18, 
1867, by J. G. Riddle, A. W. Stowe, G. R. Alexander, M. D. Fairchild, 
D. C. Turner, Geo. W. Merrill, Jas. M. Kennedy, Daniel W. Cutts, S. 
Goldstein, E. A. Pullen, E. Pettit, John Sharp, J. A. Ball, Peter Conroy 
and Jas. O'Brien. The first officers under the charter granted September 
17, 1868, were: Jas. M. Kennedy, Master; Daniel W. Cutts, S. W. ; S. 
Goldstein, J. W., and John Sharp, Secretary. Oasis Lodge started with 
28 members; reached its highest number, 53, in 1877, and had 28 members 
when its charter was surrendered in 1885. 

Douglas Lodge No. 12. Organized February 22, 1868, at Genoa, 
Nevada, with the following officers : Robert W. Bollen, W. M. ; Silas E. 
Tuttle, S. W., and Hiram Doyle, J. W. It started with a membership of 
31, reached its maximum, 66, in 1876, and has averaged close to forty 
members ever since. It is located in a substantial country and will doubt- 
less show a material increase as the years go on. The members own 
their own hall and have it furnished in a fitting manner. Robert W. 
Bollen, the first Master, became Grand Master and D. W. Virgin, one 
of the mainstays of the lodge, was at one time Senior Grand Warden of 
the Grand Lodge. The 1913 officers are: Geo. F. Hussman, S. W. ; 
F. W. Cook, J. W. ; Frank Fettic, Treasurer and Fred Klotz, Secretary. 

Ren'o Lodge No. 13. Organized January 4, 1869 in Reno, with James 
Z. Kelley, W. M. ; M. Borowsky, S. W., and George Geisen, J. W. Its 
membership has grown from thirty-four to ten times that number. The 
first meetings were held in a frame building on Virginia street near the 
river, then it moved to Alhambra Hall, and finally in 1872, it built its own 
hall at the corner of Commercial Row and Sierra street. It occupied the 
hall until 1906 when it moved into the new Temple on Virginia street, 
opposite its first home. The Masonic Temple was built by a corporation 


at a cost of $120,000, and is well equipped for Masonic work. Reno 
Lodge owns a little over one-fourth of the capital stock, the remainder 
being in the hands of other Masonic bodies, and members. The oldest 
officer of Reno Lodge was Thomas K. Hymers, who served as Treasurer 
for thirty-three years. S. L. Jamison was Secretary for twenty-three 
years and Henry L. Fish served six years as Master. The present officers, 
^913, are: John W. Blum, Master; Sidney C. Foster, S. W. ; Robert H. 
Parker, J. W. ; John W. Wright, Treasurer and John H. Sutherland, 

White Pine Lodge No. 14. Organized in Hamilton, Nevada, April 5, 
1869, with S. D. Ferguson, W. M.; W. W. Hobart, S. W.; and M. J. 
Henley, J. W. Its greatest membership was 84 in 1872. The member- 
ship dwindled with the decline of mining activity and the charter was 
surrendered on May 29, 1901, when it had only eleven members. 

Elko Lodge No. 15. This lodge was organized in Elko, Nevada, Janu- 
ary 21, 1869, with John D. Treat, W. M. ; Herman Armer, S. W., and 
Elijah S. Yeates, J. W. The lodge has grown slowly but surely and its 
present membership, the largest so far, is 121. Its 1913 officers are: 
Elmer A. Frissell, W. M. ; John D. MacFarland, S. W. ; A. L. McGinty, 
J. W. ; John Henderson, Treasurer, and J. F. Triplett, Secretary. 

Eureka Lodge No. 16. This lodge was organized at Eureka, Nevada, 
April 5, 1872, with Daniel B. Immel, W. M. ; David E. Bailey, S. W. 
and James Riley, J. W. In 1883 its maximum membership was 116, and 
its present roll shows 53. It has been a very active lodge and its mem- 
bership roll shows the names of many distinguished Masons. The officers 
for 1913 are : Francis J. Brossmer, W. M. ; Daniel Morrison, S. W. ; 
Peter Loh, J. W., and M. J. Foster, Secretary. 

Humboldt Lodge No. 17. November 7, 1871, this lodge was organized 
at Unionville, Nevada, with William L. French, W. M. ; George F. Fuller, 
S. W., and O. K. Stampley, J. W. The greatest membership was 25, and 
it surrendered its charter in 1880 with eighteen members. 

St. John Lodge No. 18. This lodge was organized at Pioche, Nevada, 
August 10, 1872, with John F. Gray, W. M. ; Daniel E. Mitchell, S. W. 
and Daniel K. Dickinson, J. W. Its greatest membership was attained in 
1874 with 84 members. Then the membership declined until the lodge 
was moved to Delamar in 1896, where it held forth for eleven years. On 
the decline of Delamar, the lodge was moved back to Pioche, and now 


shows a healthy growth. The present officers are: Lewis H. Beason, 
W. M. ; Alton A. Carman, S. W. ; D. P. Sullivan, J. W., and John H. 
Deck, Secretary. 

Winnemucca, No. ip. Organized, November 18, 1874, at Winnemucca, 
Nevada, with P. W. Johnson, W. M. ; A. J. Shepard, S. W., and Thomas 
Shone, J. W. It has shown a steady growth and its present and maxi- 
mum membership is 74. The 1913 officers are Henry W. Duncan, W. M. ; 
Thos. H. Guyon, S. W. ; Chas. P. Hoskins, J. W., and Chris. Wolf, 

Palisade No. 20. This lodge was organized at Palisade, Nevada, June 
3, 1876, with T. F. Lawler, W. M. ; George Rogul, S. W., and James 
Marshall, J. W. Its charter was surrendered in 1885 and its greatest 
membership was twenty-one. 

Tuscarora Lodge No. 21 . Organized in Tuscarora, February 7, 1878, 
with James Z. Kelley, W. M. ; W. T. Smith, S. W., and W. J. Hamilton, 
J. W. Bro. James Z. Kelley was a veteran organizer as his name appears 
as the first Junior Warden, of Virginia No. 3, and the first Master of 
Reno No. 13. Tuscarora's greatest membership was 41 in 1894, and its 
present roll shows 23 members. The present officers are: Chester L. 
Wioodward, W. M. ; Rutledge M. Woodward, S. W., Philo S. White, 
J. W., and Charles E. Secor, Secretary. 

Hope Lodge No. 22. Hope Lodge, located in Yerington, Nevada, was 
organized July 17, 1880, with Sylvester B. Hinds, W. M. ; John E. Hart, 
S. W., and Ben M. Hague, J. W. For many years the membership was 
small, but in late years the lodge has shown a vigorous growth and its 
present membership is 71. The present officers are: Geo. W. Plummer, 
W. M. ; Edward A. West, S. W. ; S. L. Netherton, J. W., and Wm. F. 
Powers, Secretary. 

Battle Mountain Lodge No. 23. Organized at Battle Mountain, March 
8, 1881, with O. B. Vincent, W. M.; F. W. Dunn, S. W., and A. B. Has- 
tings, J. W. It started with 13 members, declined to eight, and now shows 
renewed life with 26. E. T. George, P. M., is one of its vigorous workers. 
The present officers are : Edw. T. George, W. M. ; Wm. C. Hancock, 
S. W. ; L. E. Kendrick, J. W., and Louis A. Lemaire, Secretary. 

Steptoe Lodge No. 24. Steptoe Lodge was organized at Cherry Creek, 
Nevada, April n, 1882, with Evan Harris, W. M. ; Henry A. Comins, 
S. W., and Fred J. Griswold, J. W. Its maximum, 30, was attained in 


1890, and its present membership is 22. The 1913 officers are: Murdock 
McAulay, W. M. ; Wm. Clark, S. W. ; John A. Carlson, J. W., and Jos. 
H. Leishman, Secretary. 

Wadsivorth Lodge No. 25. This lodge was organized at Wadsworth, 
December 2, 1895, with Thomas L. Bellam, W. M. ; Martin Kline, S. W., 
and Frank C. Hampton, J. W. In 1904 the railroad shops were moved 
from Wadsworth to Sparks, and the lodge was transferred, but retained 
its former name. The lodge is located in a prosperous town and shows a 
steady growth. Its present membership is 103. Its present officers are: 
Herbert F. McDonald, W. M., and Thos. L. Bellam, Secretary. 

Churchill No. 26. Churchill Lodge was organized at Fallen, Nevada, 
March 8, 1901, with Wm. H. Sifford, W. M. ; Ira H. Kent, S. W. and 
A. S. Williams, J. W. This lodge promises to be one of the large lodges 
of Nevada as it is situated in a rich agricultural section. Its present and 
largest membership is 92. The 1912 officers are: Jas. L. Smith, W. M. ; 
Thos. Williamson, S. W. ; Jas. G. Gault, J. W. ; Frank G. Hough, 

Humboldt No. 27. This lodge, the name, but not the number of the 
lodge organized at Unionville in Humboldt County, and was organized 
in March, 1901, with J. A. Ascher, W. M. ; Robert Fulstone, S. W.. and 
Ben C. Maris, J. W. Its present and largest membership is 55. The 
present officers are: George Kennedy, W. M. ; A. Jahn, S. W. ; J. R. 
McCrodan, J. W. and B. E. Wyley, Secretary. 

Tonopah Lodge No. 28. This lodge was organized February 7, 1902, 
with Alfred L. Smith, W. M. ; Henry N. Stevens, S. W., and Joseph 
Lazarevich, J. W. This lodge has prospered from the beginning and its 
present membership is 132. The 1913 officers are: Sanford Galvin, 
W. M. ; Basil E. Elford, S. W. ; James A. Fraser, J. W., and Ralph H. 
Burdick, Secretary. 

Ely Lodge No. 29. Ely Lodge was organized August 15, 1905, at Ely, 
Nevada, with Wm. D. Campbell, W. M. ; James B. Orr, S. W.. and 
Geo. M. Campbell, J. W. Its growth has been steady and its present 
membership is 87. The 1912 officers are: Chas. D. Gallagher, W. M. ; 
Chas. W. Dickenson, S. W. ; Jos. H. Lewis, J. W.; Wm. B. Graham, 
Treasurer and Wm. C. Gallagher, Secretary. 

Montezuma Lodge No. 50. Montezuma Lodge, located at Goldfield, 
Nevada, was organized in 1906, with Chas. H. Beesley, W. M. ; Wm. P. 


Wood, S. Wl., and Milton C. Ish, J. W. It started with 50 members and 
attained a maximum of 139 in 1911. The present membership is 136. 
The present officers are: David Aspland, W. M. ; John H. Greenough, 
S. W. ; Chas. E. Magee, J. W. ; Jas. O. Walther, Treasurer, and Chas. H. 
Beesley, Secretary. 

Searchlight Lodge No. 51. Organized at Searchlight, in the extreme 
southern part of Nevada, May 6, 1907, with Ben W. Smith, W. M. ; 
Charles W. Lund, S. W., and Walter M. Brown, J. W. The present 
membership is 35. The 1912 officers are: Charles A. Jenson, W. M. ; 
Chas. W. Lund, S. W. ; Austin H. Smith, J. W., and Walter M. Brown, 

Vegas Lodge No. 32. This lodge was organized at Las Vegas, Nevada, 
in 1907, with John S. Park, W. M. ; E. W. Griffith, S. W., and W. R. 
Thomas, J. W. This lodge is destined to grow as it is located in an agri- 
cultural section and has important railroad interests. Its present and 
largest membership is 56. The 1913 officers are: E. W. Griffith, W. M. ; 
Henry W. Lillis, S. W. ; Chas. P. Squires, J. W., and Frank A. Buol, 


The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Nevada 
was organized in Virginia City, January 16, 1865, by the six 
Masonic lodges then existing in Nevada. Joseph DeBell was elected 
Grand Master and Charles H. Fish, Grand Secretary. The six lodges 
in Nevada were granted charters and given new members. 

During Grand Master DeBell's term a number of Masons residing in 
Salt Lake City, applied for a dispensation to organize a lodge in that city. 
The dispensation was granted and Mount Moriah Lodge was organized 
with J. W. Ellis, W. M. ; W. G. Higbee, S. W., and W. L. Halsey, J. W. 
The dispensation was granted on condition that no Mormons be admitted 
into the order. The Utah brethren tried in vain to have the condition 
removed, and upon refusal to accede to their request, the organization 
was abandoned. When the Grand Lodge of Utah was finally established, 
the edict against the admission of Mormons was enforced. 

The first' Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge was held in Vir- 
ginia, October 10, 1865. A uniform code of by-laws was adopted, and 
definite policy established requiring but one ballot for the three degrees. 


The following table shows the places, dates and Grand Masters elected at 
the various sessions held since that time : 

Date. Place. Grand Master. 

1 Oct. 10, 1865 Virginia Jos. DeBell. 

2 Sept. 18, 1866 Virginia Jos. DeBell. 

3 Sept., 1867 Virginia John C. Currie. 

4 Sept. 15, 1868 Virginia Geo. W. Hopkins. 

5 Sept. 21, 1869 Virginia Geo. W. Hopkins. 

6 Sept. 20, 1870 Virginia George Robinson. 

7 Sept. 19, 1871 Virginia George Robinson. 

8 Sept. 17. 1872 Virginia W. A. M. Van Bokkelen 

9 Nov. 18, 1873 Virginia Horatio S. Mason. 

10 Nov. 17, 1874 Virginia Robert W. Bollen. 

1 1 No session 

12 Nov. 21, 1876 Virginia George Robinson. 

13 June 12, 1877 Virginia Merrill P. Freeman. 

14 June 1 1, 1878 Virginia Henry L. Fish. 

15 June, 1879 Virginia DeWitt C. McKenney. 

16 June 8, 1880 Virginia DeWitt C. McKenney. 

17 June 14, 1881 Virginia Horatio S. Mason. 

18 June 13, 1882 Virginia Horatio S. Mason. 

19 June 12, 1883 Virginia Andrew Nichols. 

20 June 20, 1884 Virginia David E. Bailey. 

21 June 9, 1885 Reno Michael A. Murphy. 

22 June 8, 1886 .Reno Henry Rolfe. 

23 June 14, 1887 Reno A. L. Fitzgerald. 

24 June 12, 1888 Virginia William McMillan. 

25 June n, 1889 Virginia C. W. Hinchcliffe. 

26 June 10, 1890 Carson City John W. Eckley. 

27 June 9, 1891 Reno Frank Bell. 

28 June 14, 1892 Reno John H. Hubbs. 

29 June 13, 1893 Reno John E. Jones. 

30 June 12, 1894 Virginia Philip A. Doyle. 

31 June n, 1895 Reno John C. Hazlett. 

32 June 9, 1896 Winnemucca Enoch Strother. 

33 June 8, 1897 Elko Albert Lackey. 

34 June 14, 1898 Carson City Matthew Kyle 

35 June 13, 1899 Virginia John M. McCormack. 

36 June 12, 1900 Virginia Jos. A. Miller. 

37 June n, 1901 Carson City George A. Morgan. 

38 June 10, 1902 Carson City Alex. O. Percy. 

39 June 9, 1903 Virginia Trenmor Coffin. 

40 June 14, 1904 Virginia George Gill son. 

41 June 13, 1905 Carson City Chas. A. Beemer. 

42 June 12, 1906 Reno Walter J. Harris. 

43 June n, 1907 Reno Robert Lewers. 

44 June 9, 1908 Reno Chas. L. Fulstone. 

45 June, 1909 Carson City Frank H. Norcross. 

46 June, 1910 Reno James C. Doughty. 

47 June, 1911 Reno Herman Davis. 

48 June n, 1912 Reno Henry W. Miles. 


The present officers of the Grand Lodge are as follows : Grand Master, 
Henry W. Miles, of Montezuma Lodge No. 30, Goldfield ; Deputy Grand 
Master, William M. David, of Carson Lodge No. i ; Senior Grand War- 
den, Theo. J. Steinmetz, of Reno No. 13; Junior Grand Warden, Ben- 
jamin W, Coleman, of Ely No. 29 ; Treasurer, Walter J. Harris, of Reno 
No. 13; Grand Secretary, Edward D. Vanderlieth, of Carson No. i; 
Grand Chaplain, Rev. Thomas L. .Bellam, of Wadsworth No. 25 ; Grand 
Orator, Rev. Lloyd B. Thomas, of Carson No. i ; Grand Marshal, Thos. 
Lindsay, of Tonopah No. 28; Grand Standard Bearer, Walter M. Brown, 
of Searchlight No. 31 ; Grand Sword Bearer, Wm. B. S. Park, of Vegas 
No. 32 ; Grand Bible Bearer, Henry W. Duncan, of Winnemucca No. 19 ; 
Senior Grand Deacon, Alfred W. Holmes, of Reno No. 13; Junior 
Grand Deacon, Walter E. Pratt, of Montezuma No. 30; Grand Stewards, 
Philip Anker of Humboldt No. 27, and William F. Powers, of Hope No. 
22; Grand Pursuivant, Elmer A. Frissell, of Elko No. 15; Grand Organ- 
ist, Edward Hancock, of Silver Star No. 5 ; Grand Tiler, Adolph Jacobs, 
of Carson No. i. 

Charles H. Fish was the first Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge 
and served one term, 1865. W. A. M. Van Bokkelen was Grand Secre- 
tary in 1865, '67, '68, '69, and '70. Robert Taylor filled the office in 
1866 and 1872. John C. Currie served one year, 1871. Samuel W. Chub- 
buck was Grand Secretary from 1873 to 1876. . He was followed by 
John D. Hammond, who filled the office from 1876 to 1886. His suc- 
cessor was Chauncey N. Noteware, who filled the office with great credit 
for over twenty-three years. He was born in Owego, New York. Janu- 
ary 13, 1825 ; emigrated to Illinois in 1844, and to California in 1850. 
He moved to Nevada in 1857, and was elected the first Secretary of State 
of Nevada, after serving as a member of the Constitutional convention. 
He was made a Mason in Knoxville Lodge in Illinois June 7, 1849, and 
all his life long kept up an active interest in the work. At the time of 
his death, October 29, 1910, he was the second oldest Grand Secretary 
in the United States in point of service. Edward D. Vanderlieth suc- 
ceeded as Grand Secretary, and his long experience in writing the cor- 
respondence reports for the Grand Lodge, eminently qualified him for 
the position. 


Lewis Chapter No. i, R. A. M., was organized in May, 1863, and was 


named in honor of the General Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter 
of the United States, John L. Lewis. The first officers were George 
Wi. Hopkins, High Priest ; John H. Wayman, King, and Joseph Stewart, 

Virginia Chapter No. 2, was organized September 8, 1865, with Geo. 
W. Hopkins, High Priest; Samuel W. Chubbuck, King, and Samuel 
Owen, Scribe. 

Austin Chapter No. 3, was started in 1866 and the following officers 
appear on the roll: DeWitt C. McKenney, High Priest; William W. 
Wixom, King, and Henry Mayenbaum, Scribe. 

White Pine Chapter No. 4, was organized at Hamilton, January 10, 
1871, with Thomas P. Hawley, High Priest; William Timson, King, and 
Joseph Tyson, Scribe. It continued in existence until the decline of 
mining caused it to surrender its charter, June 10, 1884. 

St. John's Chapter No. 5, was organized at Eureka, April 26, 1873. 
with Samuel P. Kelley, High Priest; G. C. Robinson, King, and F. A. 
Belknap, Scribe. 

These five chapters united in forming the Grand Chapter of Royal 
Arch Masons in Nevada, on November 18, 1873, at Virginia City. George 
Robinson was appointed Grand High Priest. 

Keystone Chapter No. 6, was organized at Pioche, Nevada, June 12, 
1873, with Martin W. Kales, High Priest; A. A. Young, King, and G. 
R. Alexander, Scribe. 

March i, 1875, Reno Chapter No. 7 was granted a dispensation and 
the first officers were: Frank Bell, High Priest; Charles Knust, King, 
and Levi W. Lee, Scribe. 

Gold Hill Chapter No. 8, was organized November 23, 1876, with the 
following officers: Samuel W. Chubbuck, High Priest; George Robin- 
son, King, and Ben. H. Carrick, Scribe. This chapter was very active 
for many years, but in June, 1899, its membership had decreased in num- 
bers to such an extent that it surrendered its charter. 

Humboldt Chapter No. 9, was organized September 19, 1822, with the 
following officers: George R. Walker, High Priest; Thomas Shone, 
King, and Charles Duncan, Scribe. 

Goldfield Chapter No. 10 was organized February 16, 1907, with Wil- 
liam P. Woods, High Priest; Charles H. Beesley, King, and Henry W. 
Miles Scribe. 


Tonopah Chapter No. 10 was organized June 14, 1910, with Alfred 
L. Smith, High Priest; Pearl E. Keeler, King, and Wm. I. Bray, Scribe. 

Elko Chapter No. n was organized in June, 1910. with James C. 
Doughty, High Priest; F. S. Gedney, King, and Charles B. Henderson, 

The present Grand High Priest is Fred M. Schadler, of Reno ; Grand 
King, Walter E. Pratt, of Goldfield, and Grand Secretary, Edward D. 
Vanderlieth, of Carson. 

The following companions have filled the office of Grand High Priest 
of the Grand Chapter during its existence in Nevada : George Robin- 
son, 1873; Samuel C. Wright, 1874; John C. Currie, 1875; D. C. Mc- 
Kenney, 1876-77; Philip Seldner. 1878; George E. Bailey, 1879; Frank 
Bell, 1880; William Timson, 1881 ; Chauncey M. Noteware, 1882; Adol- 
phus L. Fitzgerald, 1883; Thomas A. Menary, 1884; George R. Walker, 
1885; Robert L. Fulton, 1886; Enoch Strother, 1887; Philip A. Doyle, 
1888; John H. Hubbs, 1889; C. W. Hinchcliffe, 1890; Albert Lackey, 
1892; John W. Eckley, 1893; Rufus H. Kinney, 1894; Trenmor Coffin, 
1895; J. S. Burlingame, 1896; Matthew Kyle, 1897; John M. McCor- 
mack, 1898; Alex O. Percy, 1899; Michael A. Murphy, 1900; William 
Sutherland, 1901 ; Frank D. King, 1902 ; Joseph A. Miller, 1903 ; Her- 
man Levy, 1904; George Gillson, 1905; Charles L. Fulstone, 1906; Wil- 
liam L. Cox, 1907 ; Pearis B. Ellis, 1908 ; James C. Doughty, 1909 ; Theo. 
J. Steinmetz, 1910; Henry W. Miles, 1911; Fred M. Schadler, 1912. 


Nevada Council No. i, of the Royal and Select Masters, was organ- 
ized in Goldfield, June I, 1907, with Adams F. Brown, Master; Charles 
H. Beesley, R. I. Master, and Joseph Hamilton, Principal Conductor. A 
charter was granted the council by the Grand Council, September 10, 
1912, and the council was duly constituted by Adams F. Brown, special 
deputy of Grand Master Graff M. Acklin. The present membership is 
about eighty. 

There have been several councils of Royal and Select Masters estab- 
lished in Nevada, but no records have been kept and it is almost impos- 
sible to get a definite history of their work. One was established in Vir- 
ginia City, another at Reno, and still another in Eureka. 


In September, 1866. a number of Knights Templar hailing from Cali- 


fornia Commanderies assisted in laying the cornerstone of the State 
Capitol, and immediately after determined to organize a Commandery in 
Virginia City. Jacob L. Van Bokkelen was appointed to take the neces- 
sary steps and in a short time Henry L. Palmer, Grand Master of 
Knights Templar in the United States, granted a dispensation to the 
following Sir Knights to form a commandery in Nevada, viz. : Jacob 
L. Van Bokkelen, John S. Kaneen, Nathaniel A. H. Ball, John P. Smith, 
John C. Hampton, Daniel S. Stevens, Charles Forman, Leonard N. Fer- 
ris, Jonah D. Treat, Horace M. Vesey, Henry G. Blasdel, John C. Rus- 
sell, George W. Hopkins, Charles N. Cook, Ansel S. Olin, and Milton 
Mygatt. The commandery was christened DeWitt Clinton Commandery, 
in honor of the first Grand Master of the order in the United States. 
The Eminent Commanders since its organization have been : Jacob L. 
Van Bokkelen, John P. Smith, Frederick A. Tritle, Frederick C. Lord, 
Charles Forman, John W. Eckley, John C. Hampton, Henry Rolfe, John 
H. Hubbs, George A. Morgan, Enoch Strother, Walter J. Harris, Wm. 
Sutherland, Henry Patey, Robert S. Meachem, James B. McCullough, 
Absalom Spencer, Matthew Kyle, and the present Commander is Edward 
D. Brown. All the records of the commandery were destroyed in the 
great fire of 1875. In April, 1905, it was resolved to move the com- 
mandery to Reno, inasmuch as a fine new Temple was in course of erec- 
tion there. This step was taken to avoid surrendering the charter, and 
thereby losing the right to wear the mounted uniform. The members 
did not desire to lose this distinction as there are now only a few com- 
manderies in the United States that have as fine a uniform. The uni- 
forms owned by the members of DeWitt Clinton Commandery are valued 
at $22,000, as there as no members, and each uniform is worth $200. The 
present officers are Edward D. Brown, Eminent Commander; Harry J. 
Gosse, Generalissimo ; Edward Barber, Captain General ; Hosea E. Reid, 
Senior Warden; Robert Lewers, Junior Warden; Samuel Unsworth, 
Prelate; Wm. Sutherland, Recorder; Wm. A. Fogg, Standard Bearer; 
B. J. Genesy, Sword Bearer; Arthur A. Codd, Warder. 

Eureka Commandery No. 2. This commandery was organized at Eu- 
reka, Nevada, under dispensation granted by Vincent L. Hurlbut, Grand 
Master of Knights Templar, in July, 1880. The charter members in part 
were: H. H. Conklin, first Eminent Commander: W. H. Remington. 
W. W. Hobart, Adolphus L. Fitzgerald, Matthew Kyle, Reinhold Sadler 


A. Boungard and F. E. Baker. This commandery was very active for 
many years, but with the decline in mining, many members moved away 
and it was difficult to get a quorum to transact business, and finally in 
September, 1912, the charter was taken up by W'm. B. Melish, Grand 
Master of Knights Templar in the United States. 

Malta Commandery No. 3, K. T. Was organized at Goldfield 
in the fall of 1908, with Adams F. Brown, Eminent Com- 
mander; Henry W. Miles, Generalissimo, and William W. Ashley, 
Captain General. At the Triennial Conclave of Knights Templar, in 
Chicago, August n, 1910, Sir William B. Melish, Grand Master, this 
commandery was granted a charter. It was constituted a regular com- 
mandery September 16, 1910, by Absalom Spencer, P. E. C, of DeWitt 
Clinton Commandery of Reno, acting as the special representative of the 
Grand Master. Adams F. Brown was the first Eminent Commander. 
Joseph P. Stampher was elected in 1911; Joseph Hamilton in 1912, and 
MjcKay B. Aston is the Eminent Commander for 1913. Its present 
membership numbers forty-two. 


The first Scottish Rite lodge to be instituted in Nevada was organized 
at Hamilton, White Pine County, and was known as Adoniram Lodge 
of Perfection. It was started September 9, 1871, by Edwin A. Sherman, 
Deputy Inspector General for the Territories under the Supreme Council 
of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction 
of the United States. The charter members were : Thomas N. Browne, 
Samuel P. Kelly, Edward Johnson, E. S. Gabbs, G. R. Alexander, Joseph 
Potts, Wm. B. Morse, Thos. M. Martin and Peter A. Wagner. Thos. 
N. Browne was elected Venerable Master; Samuel P. Kelly, S. W., and 
Edward Johnson, J. W. Several candidates were elected and advanced 
to the 14 during the two years the lodge was in existence, but so many 
of the members left Hamilton, that the lodge disbanded March 3, 1873. 

The second lodge was organized in Virginia City, April 23, 1874, and 
was known as Silver Lodge of Perfection. Its first officers were : George 
S. Hopkins, Ven. Master; Philip Seldner, S. W.; Stephen H. Goddard, 
J. W., and the rest of the charter members were John W. Van Zandt, 
M. J. Henley, J. C. Hampton, Charles E. Davis, J. B. Pichford, and 
James A. Maynard. It continued its work for about six years and had 
altogether about one hundred members. 


October 16, 1874, Edwin A. Sherman, who is still living and resides 
in Oakland, Cal., instituted Nevada Lodge of Perfection at Carson City, 
with the following officers: Edwin A. Sherman, Ven. Master; Eugene 
B. Rail, S. W.; Levi D. Butts, J. W.; Geo. B. Hill, Secretary; David 
H. Lentz, Treasurer. The meeting was held in the Senate Chamber in 
the Capitol, and the following members appear on the charter list: 
Charles E. Laughton, George Flemming, George B. Hill, David H. Lentz, 
J. M. Hetrick, John H. King, Alex M. Ardery, Thos. J. Hodgkinson, 
Henry F. Clouette, Eugene B. Rail and Levi D. Butts. The lodge was 
in existence from October 16, 1874, to December 7, 1879, and the com- 
plete membership list shows the following names, in addition to those 
named in the charter: Wm. H. Corbett, Edmund M. Howe, Morris D. 
Hatch, Fred D. Stadtmuller, Robert R. LaVallierre, Wm. M. Havener, 
Wm. E. Price, George Tufly, Chas. F. Bicknell, Robert W. Bollen, Daniel 
Haugh, A. D. Chamberlain, E. Benus, George Robinson, Charles Martin, 
Thomas Sheehan, Olin W. Ward, J. J. Beaman, B. F. Foster, A. C. Tevis, 
Trenmor Coffin, Hubbard G. Parker, Thomas Howe, Geo. H. Hayward, 
John S. Dixon, James H. McQuade, Wm. P. Mclntosh, M. B. Ames, 
M. C. Gardner, Wm. Klink, J. L. Beam, Fred H. Phelps, O. London, 
M. E. Spooner, Isaac Clouette, Elijah Walker, John A. Johnson and Jos. 
Robinson. The Grand Commander, Albert Pike, 33, of Washington, D. 
C., visited the Carson bodies July 12, 1876. For many years there was 
no attempt to organize another Scottish Rite body in Nevada, owing to 
the vast amount of work and expense necessary to keep up the organiza- 
tion, but in 1901, Adolphus L. Fitzgerald, 33, Inspector General for 
Nevada, and Matthew Kyle, now 33 Hon., succeeded in getting a scat- 
tered membership to unite in forming Nevada Lodge of Perfection at 
Reno, with the following officers: Thos. Wren, Ven. Master; Reinhold 
Sadler, S. W.; Richard Ryland, J. W.; E. D. Kelley, Secretary; Matthew 
Kyle, Treasurer. Forty-two members signed the call, and twenty-nine 
candidates were elected and received the degrees from the 4 to the 32 
in the next six months. The four bodies constituting the Scottish Rite 
in Nevada, Nevada Lodge of Perfection, Washoe Chapter of Rose Croix, 
Pyramid Council of Kadosh and Reno Consistory, have a membership 
otf 461, own a quarter of the Masonic Temple in Reno, and are in pos- 
session of about $8,000 worth of paraphernalia. The former lodges or- 
ganized in Nevada had a hard financial struggle to keep going, but the 


present organization has no such trouble. The present officers are as 
follows : 

Nevada Lodge of Perfection, 4 to 14 Geo. W. Robinson, Ven. Mas- 
ter; Sidney C. Foster, S. W.; Jesse M. Rhodes, J. W.; Henry W. Miles, 
Master Ceremonies. 

Washoe Chapter of Rose Croix Silas E. Ross, Wise Master ; Robert 
H. Parker, S. W.; John W. Blum, J. W. ; Wm. H. Goodwin, Master 

Pyramid Council of Kadosh Sanf ord C. Dinsmore, Preceptor ; James 
Fife, S. W. ; Charles F. Jackson, J. W. ; Charles H. Gorman, Master 

Reno Consistory Sidney C. Foster, Master ; Henry W. Miles, S. W. ; 
Jesse M. Rhodes, J. W. ; Fred B. Corle. Master Ceremonies. Matthew 
Kyle is Treasurer of all the bodies, and Robert Lewers, Secretary. The 
following members have been honored by the Supreme Council of the 
Southern Jurisdiction in Washington with the highest degree given, the 
33. Adolphus L. Fitzgerald, 33 Active; Matthew Kyle, John N. Hill, 
Frank H. Norcross, William F. Robinson, Alfred W. Holmes and 
Robert Lewers, 33 Hon. 


Nevada territory belonged at one time to the jurisdiction of Islam 
Temple of San Francisco, and that Temple initiated a great many can- 
didates from Nevada. In the fall of 1906, quite a number of Nevada 
Shriners interested themselves in the organization of a Shrine in Nevada. 
On December 10, 1906, Imperial Potentate Alvah P. Clayton granted a 
dispensation to organize Kerak Temple at Reno. All Shrine Temples 
are required to choose an Arabic name, and this one chose the name of 
a city and province in Asia Minor. The first officers of Kerak Temple 
were: Robert Lewers, Potentate; Walter J. Harris, Chief Rabban; 
Theodore J. Steinmetz, Assistant Rabban ; Samuel Unsworth, High 
Priest; Harry J. Gosse, Oriental Guide; M. C. McMillan, Treasurer, and 
Frank D. King, Recorder. Three ceremonials were held, two at Reno, 
and one at Tonopah, where a class of sixty-four was initiated. The Im- 
perial Council at Los Angeles in May, 1907. granted a charter to Kerak, 
and the Temple was regularly constituted with Walter J. Harris, Poten- 
tate. Robert Lewers was elected Potentate in 1908 and 1909; Absalom 
Spencer in 1910; Alfred Warren Holmes in 1911; Hosea E. Reid in 


1912, and the present Potentate is William F. Robinson. The other offi- 
cers for 1913 are: Sanford C. Dinsmore, Chief Rabban; Robert H. 
Parker, Assistant Rabban; Samuel Unsworth, High Priest; Arthur A. 
Codd, Oriental Guide ; Milo C. McMillan, Treasurer, and Frank D. King, 
Recorder. Kerak Temple has prospered and now has nearly four hun- 
dred members. 


The Order of Knights of Pythias was founded February 19, 1864, at 
Washington, D. C., by Justus H. Rathbone. At a time when "war was 
in the heart of man, and sorrow in the home," when from ocean to ocean, 
from lake to gulf, our glorious land was engaged in scenes of carnage 
and death, Mr. Rathbone saw in Grecian history the germ of an order 
that should prove a power in dispelling the warmth of sectional strife 
and restoring the hearts of men to a basis of universal brotherhood, and 
taking the story of Damon and Pythias as a foundation from which to 
work, evolved the first ritual of the Order of Knights of Pythias. This 
bright} spot upon the pages of the past was the cornerstone upon which 
Brother Rathbone builded wiser than he knew. For years the fires burned 
low upon the altars of the young and struggling brotherhood, but in its 
present high noon, when from every hilltop the shields of brave and 
gallant Knights make bright the day of promise, the founder of the 
order may rest assured that its ascendant star will never wane. The 
marvelous growth of the organization has been almost miraculous, going 
ahead by leaps and bounds until at the beginning of the year 1913 its 
membership numbered 716,000. On January i, 1913, there were 7,716 
subordinate lodges, with a total membership of 716,000, an average of 
more than 14,600 each year during its short existence. 


The first lodge instituted in the State of Nevada was Nevada Lodge 
No. i, located at Virginia City, and instituted March 23, 1873. On March 
31, 1874, the Grand Lodge was instituted at Carson City, when repre- 
sentatives from six lodges were in attendance. At this session the fol- 
lowing named were chosen as the first officers of the Grand Lodge of 


Nevada: E. L. Stern, Past Grand Chancellor; S. H. Goddard, Grand 
Chancellor; Geo. Gilson, Grand Vice Chancellor; Charles E. Laughton, 
Grand Keeper of Records and Seal; George Tufly, Grand Master of 
Exchequer ; A. Livingston, Grand Master-at-Arms ; Caesar Corris, Grand 
Inner Guard; Lyman A. Frisbie, Grand Outer Guard. Of these named 
all have passed to the great beyond with the one exception of the Grand 
Inner Guard, Caesar Corris, who still retains his membership in the 
Order, being an active and enthusiastic member of Amity Lodge of Reno. 
The Grand Lodge holds annual sessions at such places as is selected at 
each session, but when not otherwise designated, Reno is the place of 

A majority of those who have acted as Grand Chancellor in this Do- 
main have passed away. Of those who are entitled to the honor of Past 
Grand Chancellor, who are still active in their Pythian work, the fol- 
lowing is a list: J. E. Bray, W. S. Beard, W. W. Booth, Caesar Corris, 
H. H. Coryell, O. J. Clifford, T. R. Hofer, Sr., S. J. Hodgkinson, W. D. 
Jones, Geo. J. D. King, P. H. Mulcahy, C. D. Zeigler, G. A. Macpherson, 
W. U. M&ckey, M. C. McMillan, W. C. Pitt, Benj. Rosenthal, A. B. 
Stoddard, W. L. Samuels, W. R. Shaber, E. E. Winfrey, N. E. Wilson, 
F. P. Dann. 

Subordinate Lodges. The Grand Lodge controls twenty-four sub- 
ordinate lodges, with a total membership in the State of 1,672 January 
i, 1913, these subordinate lodges showed total assets of $76,496.61. 


Oddfellowship in the State of Nevada dates from 1861, and had its 
birth on what is familiarly called "the Comstock," at the base of 
Mount Davidson. In Gold Hill and Virginia City arose a call for 
organization and relief in 1861-62, and from this situation came assem- 
blages of Odd Fellows, operating in accordance with the teachings of 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, by "visiting the sick, reliev- 
ing the distressed, burying the dead, or caring for the orphan." 

The territory having been placed under the jurisdicton of California 
in April, 1862, four lodges were instituted under dispensations from 


that Grand Lodge during that year, viz.: Wildey No. i, at Gold Hill, 
April ist; Silver City No. 2, at Silver City, April I4th; Mount David- 
son No. 3, at Virginia City, April 23rd, and Carson No. 4, at Carson 
City, April 25th. Six other lodges were subsequently instituted under 
the same authority, to-wit: Dayton No. 5, at Dayton, June 2, 1863; 
Esmeralda No. 6, at Aurora, September 16, 1863; Nevada No. 7, at 
Virginia City, January 15, 1864; Washoe No. 8, at Washoe, January 
18, 1864; Austin No. 9, at Austin, January 23, 1864, and Virginia No. 
10, at Virginia City, May 18, 1865. 

In a little more than three years' time these ten lodges had been 
instituted, and they formed the nucleus from which the Grand Lodge 
of Nevada was organized. At the session of the Grand Lodge of the 
United States in 1866, a charter was granted for the Grand Lodge of 
Nevada, and on the 2ist of January, 1867, the past grands of the ten 
lodges before mentioned assembled in Odd Fellows' Hall, in Virginia 
City, and the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
of the State of Nevada, was duly instituted by District Deputy Grand 
Sire Daniel Norcross, of San Francisco, California. The Grand Lodge 
was organized by electing John S. Van Dyke, Past Grand of Carson 
Lodge No. 4, Grand Master; J. W. Tyler, P. G. of Esmeralda Lodge 
No. 6, Deputy Grand Master; P. J. H. Smith, P. G., of Silver City 
Lodge No. 2, Grand Warden ; R. H. Taylor, P. G., of Mount Davidson 
Lodge No. 3, Grand Secretary; R. M. Black, P. G., of Nevada Lodge 
No. 7, Grand Treasurer, and J. E. Sabine, P. G., of Dayton Lodge No. 
5, Grand Representative, and the promise of that day that through it 
would the principles of the Order be advanced and given a wider 
dissemination, the superstructure of Odd Fellowship strengthened and 
permanently established within the State, has been fulfilled, as shown 
by its present active and progressive membership. 

Since the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1867, thirty-one 
lodges have been instituted, making a total of forty-one, of which two 
have surrendered their charters and fourteen consolidated with other 
lodges, leaving at the present writing (1913) twenty-five working 
lodges, with a membership of over 1,700. The largest membership 
attained by the Order in this State was in the year 1876, when it 
numbered 2,045, which gradually declined to 1,255 in 1899, but again, 
with the improvement of times, progressed until the 1,700 mark has 


been passed. While this membership seems small, still, when you 
compare it with States of much larger population we outrank, as to 
percentage of membership of population, it being over two per cent, 
of the present population of this State. Since the year 1867 the Order 
in this State has expended in relief and charity the munificent sum of 
$478,746. Grand Lodge officers for 1912-13: David McLean, Grand 
Master; C. R. Carter, Deputy Grand Master; W. M. Christian, Grand 
Warden; Wm. Sutherland, Grand Secretary; C. Novacovich, Grand 
Treasurer; H. P. Gifford, Grand Representative; F. P. Langan, Grand 
Representative; Rev. H. B. Adams, Grand Chaplain; Chas. B. Kapp- 
ler, Grand Marshal; N. Curnow, Grand Conductor; W. H. Martin, 
Grand Guardian; W. C. Neasham, Grand Herald. 

Encampment Branch. The introduction of the Patriarchal branch 
of the Order into this State is also due to California. As early as 
September, 1862, Grand Representative H. H. Hayden, of California, 
introduced a resolution in the body that is now styled the Sovereign 
Grand Lodge, I. O. O. F., asking "that the jurisdiction of the Grand 
Encampment of California be extended over the territory of Nevada." 
The request was not granted until the session of 1863. On July 17, 
1864, Pioneer Encampment No. i was instituted at Virginia City by 
T. Rodgers Johnson, Grand Secretary of California. This encamp- 
ment is to-day the first on the roll of Patriarchal Oddfellowship in 

Carson Encampment No. 2, at Carson City, was instituted by John 
S. Kaneen, District Deputy Grand Patriarch, November 18, 1867; Piute 
No. 3 was instituted at Virginia City, February 20, 1868, but later on 
was moved to Gold Hill ; Reese River No. 4 was instituted November 
19, 1869, at Austin; Reno No. 5 was instituted at Reno^, January 8, 
1872; Garden Valley No. 6 was instituted December 13, 1873, at 
Dayton, and Silver State No. 7 was instituted at Virginia City, Feb- 
ruary 17, 1874. In 1876 this encampment was merged with Pioneer 
No. i. 

The Grand Encampment, I. O. O. F., of Nevada, was instituted at 
Carson City, March 2, 1875, by Special Deputy Grand Sire D. O. Ad- 
kinson, Past Grand Representative of Nevada, assisted by Patriarchs 
Jacob Young, A. Prescott, E. L. Stern, John S. Kaneen, A. Hires and 
J. C. Smith. The latter was elected Grand Patriarch. Since institution 


of Grand Encampment eight more subordinate encampments have 
been organized, making a total of fifteen subordinate encampments, of 
which nine are now in active operation three having surrendered 
their charters and three consolidating with other encampments. The 
membership in 1912 is 357. Following are the Grand officers for 1912- 
13: John Johnson, Grand Patriarch; W. M. Christian, Grand High 
Priest; M. G. Edwards, Grand Senior Warden; Wm. Sutherland, 
Grand Scribe; C. Novacovich, Grand Treasurer; John Dunbar, Grand 
Representative ; E. P. McLean, Grand Junior Warden ; Geo. R. Emery, 
Grand Marshal ; Spencer Reynolds, Grand Sentinel, and Alfred Tam- 
blyn, Deputy Grand Sentinel. 

Rebekah Degree Branch. The first Rebekah Lodge organized in 
Nevada was Colfax Degree of Rebekah Lodge No. i, instituted at 
Virginia City, March 4th, 1869, by John S. Kaneen, Grand Master on 
the same date that the author of the degree (Schuyler Colfax) was 
inaugurated Vice-president of the United States, and it is claimed it 
was the first lodge of the kind instituted under the jurisdiction of the 
Sovereign Grand Lodge. The title "Degree of Rebekah Lodge" was 
retained until session of Sovereign Grand Lodge in 1891, when it was 

changed to .... Rebekah Lodge, No I. O. O. F. Twenty 

nine Rebekah Lodges have been instituted in this State since Colfax 
No. i, twenty-two of which, including Colfax No. I, are in active 
operation to-day, the other eight having surrendered their charters. 

On June 16, 1896, representatives from seven Rebekah Lodges met 
in Reno and organized the Rebekah Assembly, I. O. O. F., of Nevada, 
Sister Emma B. Coffin, of Harmony, Rebekah Lodge No. 5, of Dayton, 
being elected its first President. On June 15, 1912, the Rebekah As- 
sembly had cash in hands of Treasurer, $881.84; in hands of Trustees, 
$1,650.97; bonds amounting to $2,000, and $3,000 invested in I. O. O. F. 
Building Association stock, making a total of $7,032.81. Assembly 
officers for 1912-13: Alys Johnson, President; Julia P. Smith, Vice- 
president; Lizzie R. Mudd, Secretary; Angeline Day, Treasurer; Adah 
Updike, Marshal ; Florence Swasey, Conductor ; Margaret Jack, Chap- 
lain; Emma King, Inside Guardian, and Mary J. Mack, Emma B. 
Holmes and Delia Spinney, Trustees. 



The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized in New 
York City, February 16, 1868, by Charles Vivian and his associates. The 
original ritual contained two degrees, but the present ritual has but one. 
It was composed at first of those engaged in the theatrical, musical or 
literary professions, and its object was defined as that of promoting 
and enhancing the welfare and happiness of each other. In 1871 the 
Grand Lodge of the Order was founded with a small membership. In 
1876, San Francisco founded No. 3 ; Chicago, No. 4, and Cincinnati, No. 
5. The growth for some years was slow, but along about. 1895 the Order 
commenced to grow by leaps and bounds. The list of Grand Exalted 
Rulers contains the names of many distinguished men, such as Judge 
Henry A. Melvin, of California, who held that office in 1906, and the 
present Governor of Pennsylvania, John K. Tener, who succeeded Judge 
Melvin. The present Grand Exalted Ruler is Thomas B. Mills, of Su- 
perior, Wisconsin. The membership of the Order April I, 1912, was 
384,742, and the number of lodges, 1,287. The largest lodge at that date 
was Brooklyn No. 22, with 3,693 members. The property held by all 
the lodges footed up $20,391,832, and the amount expended for charity 
was $467,698.53 for the year ending April i, 1912. 

Reno Lodge No. 597. Was organized June 30, 1900, with 
the following charter members, viz. : Harry J. Gosse, W. E. 
Sharon, William L. Cox, Henry C. Cutting, Henry P. Kraus, W. B. Lob- 
ner, Ed. F. Smith, John A. Lewis, Fred P. Dann, W. G. Doane, Jos. H. 
McCormack, Phil J. McGrath, Samuel H. Wheeler, Geo. H. Wilson, 
James F. Stewart, Chas. S. Hallifax. H. F. Dangberg, Frank M. Lee, 
Albert W. Cahlan, L. O. Henderson, Frank P. Langan, Nelson Coffin, 
David W. Rulison, Sidney P. Reaves, R. B. Hawcroft, F. D. Duncan, 
E. B. Yerington, George T. Mills, Thos. J. Birmingham, David M. Ryan, 
H. J. Darling, J. M. Benton, Jr., H. E. Epstine, Roy J. Reese, J. A. Yer- 
ington, J. F. Aitken, F. D. Torryson, T. R. Hofer, Wm. H. Kirk, J. K. 
Mayberry, Jay H. demons, Eugene Howell, W. A. Phillips, A. E. Che- 
ney, Harry M. Martin, Camille Lonkey, Herman A. Grant, Kyle Kinney, 
Samuel J. Hodgkinson and Wm. D. Jones. Harry J. Gosse was the first 


Exalted Ruler and his successors are as follows :, viz. : William L. Cox, 
J. F. Stewart, A. E. Cheney, Jos. H. McCormack, R. B. Hawcroft, Oscar 
J. Smith, Frank M. Lee, .Harry E. Stewart, Sidney P Reaves, S. M. 
Sample, Fred P. Dann, Wm. Woodburn, Jr., and the present Exalted 
Ruler is Frank J. Byington. 

In 1904, Reno Lodge commenced the erection of its present magnificent 
home, and finished it in 1905 at a cost of over $40,000. The present 
membership is 611. Since 1902 fifty-six members have died and the first 
death was that of Henry P. Kraus, 'Nasby' who was the postmaster of 
Reno and treasurer of the lodge at the time of his death. On the 
memorial tablet are found the names of John Sparks, Ex-Governor of 
Nevada; Orvis Ring, for many years State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction; James D. Torreyson, at one time Attorney General of 
Nevada; Joseph R. Ryan, a prominent Comstock mining man; George 
F. Turrittin, at one time Mayor of Reno; Nate W. Roff, State Senator; 
W. H. A. Pike, District Judge ; John N. Evans, James H. Kinkead, John 
B. Overton, William Way, pioneers of Nevada ; George S. Nixon, former 
United States Senator. 

Tonopah Lodge No. 1062. Was organized April 26, 1907, 
and has shown a healthy growth ever since. Its present member- 
ship is 305, and it has a pleasant home of its own. Its property is valued 
at $15,300. Its first Exalted Ruler was L. A. Gibbons, who was succeeded 
by George B. Thatcher, present Attorney General of Nevada; Henry C. 
Schmidt, Frank P. Mannix, P. E. Keeler, J. T. Garner, and the present 
chief officer is Ed. Malley. 

Goldfield Lodge No. 1072. Was organized in May, 1907, 
and became a very active lodge. Its first Exalted Ruler was Mil- 
ton M ; . Detch, and his successors were E. R. Collins, Delos A. Turner, 
Charles H. Beesley, W. H. Weishar, T. F. Dunn. The present Exalted 
Ruler is J. Emmett Walsh. Arthur E. Barnes has been Secretary of 
the lodge since its organization. The present membership of Goldfield 
Lodge is 357, and the lodge owns nearly $30,000 worth of property. 


was organized in the city of Seattle, on the 6th of Febru- 
ary, 1898, by John Cort, Thomas Considine, John Considine, 
H. L. Leavitt, and Mose Goldsmith, in the spirit of levity, 


and called the "Seattle Order of Goods Things," and on the I3th of May, 
1898, was duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington 
as the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which name was proposed by John 
Cort. The first Aerie organized in the State of Nevada was on the 2Oth 
of February, 1902, when Reno Aerie No. 207 of Reno, was organized by 
Alex S. Fowler, there being 63 charter members. The principal officers 
were: Joseph Brearley, Past Worthy President; Dr. P. Harold Foss, 
Worthy President ; F. G. Folsom, Secretary. The present membership of 
Reno Aerie No. 207 is 328, and the officers are: Pete Kinney, Worthy 
President ; Frank H. Hartung, Secretary. Carlin Aerie No. 229, was in- 
stituted on the nth of May, 1902, by A. S. Fowler, there being 53 charter 
members. The principal officers were: Dean Durham, Past Worthy 
President; J. C. Fuller, Worthy President; W. H. Nolan, Secretary. The 
present membership of Carlin Aerie, No. 229 is 73, and the officers are : 
C. B. Kuppler, Worthy President ; W. S. McKinsey, Secretary. Tonopah 
Aeria, No. 271, was instituted on the 9th of October, 1902, by D. Leish- 
man, there being 74 charter members. The principal officers were : Ken- 
neth M. Jackson, Past Worthy President; Thomas Fleming, Worthy 
President ; George A. Cole, Secretary. The present membership of Tono- 
pah Aerie NJo. 271 is 209, and the officers are: William Hawke, Worthy 
President ; L. H. Conley, Secretary. Winnemucca Aerie No. 487 was in- 
stituted on the 25th of August, 1903, by Joseph Brearley, there being 54 
charter members. The principal officers were : J. D. Vargas, Past Worthy 
President; R. E. L. Windle, Worthy President; C. E. Robins, Secretary. 
The present membership of Winnemucca Aerie No. 487 is 106, and the 
officers are: F. C. Krenkel, Worthy President; C. B. Smith, Secretary. 
Comstock Aerie No. 523, of Virginia City, was instituted on the 26th of 
September, 1903, by Joseph Brearley, there being 78 charter members. 
The principal officers' were : Con A. Ahern, Past Worthy President ; Joseph 
Farnsworth, Worthy President ; John C. Dewar, Secretary. The present 
membership of Comstock Aerie No. 523 is 162, and the officers are: 
M. W. Dandurand, Worthy President; James Ennis, Secretary. Es- 
meralda Aerie No. 946, of Goldfield, was instituted on the ist of Janu- 
ary, 1905, by Joseph Brearley, there being 160 charter members. The 
principal officers were : M. M. Detch, Past Worthy President ; D. A. 
Turner, Worthy President; F. H. Maxwell, Secretary. The present 
membership of Esmeralda Aerie No. 946 is 200, and the officers are: 


J. G. Thompson, Worthy President; Clyde P. Johnson, Secretary. Car- 
son City Aerie No. 1006, was instituted on the 5th of March, 1905, by 
Con A. Ahern, there being 92 charter members. The principal officers 
were: Will U. Mackey, Past Worthy President; Samuel Platt, Worthy 
President ; H. B. Van Etten, Secretary. The present membership of Car- 
son City Aerie No. 1006 is 134, and the officers are: John Sanger, Worthy 
President; F. A. Gushing, Secretary. Las Vegas Aerie No. 1213, was 
instituted on the I5th of September, 1905, by C. A. Ahern, there being 
62 charter members. The principal officers were: Dr. E. C. Keyes, 
Past Worthy President ; D. V. Noland, Worthy President ; I. W. Botkin, 
Secretary. The present membership of Las Vegas Aerie No. 1213, is 76, 
and the officers are : L. A. Wynaught, Worthy President ; I. W. Botkin, 
Secretary. Toquima Aerie No. 1422, of Manhattan, was instituted on 
the 27th of May, 1906, by Con A. Ahern, there being 64 charter mem- 
bers. The principal officers were : Charles Fancher, Past Worthy Pres- 
ident; W. G. Doane, Worthy President; William A. Boyle, Secretary. 
The present membership of Toquima Aerie No. 1422, is 90, and the 
officers are : Peter Bleede, Worthy President ; L. M. Richards, Secretary. 
Fallen Aerie No. 1447 was instituted on the 25th of June, 1906, by C. A. 
Ahern, there being 92 charter members. The principal officers were: 
E. W. Black, Past Worthy President; Frank W'oodliff, Worthy Presi- 
dent; Paul C. Groth, Secretary. The present membership of Fallon 
Aerie No. 1447 * s IO 3> an d tne officers are: William S. Wall, Worthy 
President; F. F. Franke, Secretary. Lovelock Aerie No. 1557, was 
instituted on the 3Oth of December, 1906, by C. A. Schartzer, there being 
100 charter members. The principal officers were : F. A. Preston. Past 
Worthy President; James M. Hunter, Worthy President; E. E. Cozzens, 
Secretary. The present membership of Lovelock Aerie No. 1557 is 87, 
and the officers are: E. T. Torrey, Worthy President; W. H. Davis, 
Secretary. Yerington Aerie No. 1696 was instituted on the nth of 
August, 1907, by C. A. Schartzer, there being 80 charter members. The 
principal officers were: Lawson King, Past Worthy President: C. B. 
Wiseman, Worthy President ; Harry F. Holland, Secretary. The present 
membership of Yerington Aerie No. 1696, is 102, and the officers are: 
W. J. McKenzie, Worthy President; J. F. Barton, Secretary. White 
Pine Aerie No. 1705, of Ely, was instituted on the 22nd of October, 1907, 
by M. J. Mahoney, there being 130 charter members. The principal 


officers were : W. E. Dean, Past Worthy President ; A. G. Cunningham, 
Worthy President; H. E. Stebbins, Secretary. The present membership 
of White Pine Aerie, No. 1705, is 195, and the officers are: J. E. Rob- 
bins, Worthy President; A. L. Haight, Secretary. Round Mountain 
Aerie, No. 1799, was instituted on the i6th of July, 1908, by Con A. 
Ahern, there being 54 charter members. The principal officers were: 
Andrew Atchison, Past Worthy President; Earl Clair, Worthy Presi- 
dent; Archie T. Cook, Secretary. The present membership of Round 
Mountain Aerie, No. 1799, is 83, and the officers are: John Leary, 
Worthy President; J. D. Harrington, Secretary. Steptoe Aerie, No. 
1876, of McGill, was instituted on the 9th of June, 1909, by A. J. Cun- 
ningham, there being 122 charter members. The principal officers were : 
Roy J. Tilton, Past Worthy President ; J. J. Decker, Worthy President ; 
Joseph S. Darke, Secretary. The present membership of Steptoe Aerie 
No. 1876, is 96, and the officers are: Floyd E. Walk, Worthy President; 
J. McD. Brown, Secretary. At the present time there are fifteen Sub- 
ordinate Aeries, with a total membership of 2,044 in the State of Nevada. 


On March 29, 1882, the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut 
passed an Act approving of the incorporation of the Knights of Colum- 
bus. Since that time it has grown to become one of the most powerful 
fraternal orders of the United States. 

There are four councils in the State of Nevada, located at Ely, Gold- 
field, Reno and Tonopah. Prior to April, 1911, the Nevada membership 
was under the jurisdiction of Utah, with P. A. McCarran as the Terri- 
torial Deputy, who was authorized to direct the affairs of the order in the 
State of Nevada. In 1911, the required membership having been at- 
tained, a State convention was called and a State Council was established, 
and P. A. McCarran was chosen State Deputy. At the convention of 
1912, Leonard B. Fowler was chosen to succeed Mr. McCarran as State 
Deputy. The order now has a membership in Nevada of five hundred. 
Mr. McCarran represented Nevada as a delegate to the Supreme Council 
at the conventions held at Mobile, Detroit and Quebec. In 1912 he was 
again a delegate but for business reasons was unable to attend, and C. J. 
Leonesio, of Reno, was chosen in his place. State Deputy Leonard B. 


Fowler, by virtue of his office, was also a delegate to this convention, 
which was held at Colorado Springs, in August, 1912. 

The first lodge to be organized in Nevada was Reno Lodge No. 569, 
which came into existence April 19, 1911. Its charter closed with a mem- 
bership of 569. 

Since that time lodges have been organized in Fallon, Virginia City, 
Goldfield and Tonopah, and further work of organizing is going rapidly 
on. A lodge has been also organized in the neighboring California City 
of Portola. 

Reno Lodge was represented at the Indianapolis Convention and 
through the efforts of the Reno delegation the Supreme Dictator of the 
Moose Lodge included Reno later, on his western itinerary, and his pres- 
ence and address did much for the Order in Nevada. 


The Druids were organized in Reno, May 4, 1901. Roma Grove No. i, 
Wm. Semenza, First Noble Arch ; L. Lagomarsino, First Past Noble 
Arch, working in the Italian language. Bayton Grove, No. 2, was or- 
ganized at Dayton, also Italian. Reno Grove, No. 3, was organized in 
Reno, February 15, 1903, English. Sparks Grove, No. 4, Italian, at 

Sparks. Then permission was granted to organize Grand Grove, 

organized July 2, 1905 ; C. E. Mooser, First Noble Grand Arch ; Wm. 
Semenza, First Past Noble Grand Arch. Amis-Reunis, No. 5, organized 
in Reno, French language. Galileo-Galilei, No. 6, at Sparks, Italian. Wm. 
Semenza, Noble Grand Arch ; L. Lagomarsino. Past Noble Grand Arch ; 
C. E. Mooser, Grand Secretary ; B. Duque, Grand Treasurer ; Present 
officers of the Grand Grove of Nevada. 


The Brotherhood of American Yeomen was organized in Iowa 
February 25, 1897, is now sixteen years old and has a membership of 
183,771. It has paid in death and accident claims $9,165,454.65. The 
first Homestead in Nevada was organized in Reno in June, 1910; in 
Goldfield, November, 1910; Tonopah, May, 1911; McGill, October, 
1911, and in Ely, June, 1912. In Nevada it now has a membership 
of nearly six hundred. David Reedy is State Manager. 





The Signal Corps of the United States Army took meteorological 
observations and made weather reports and weather forecasts from 1870 
to 1890. This work was transferred to the Department of Agriculture 
in 1891, and the Weather Bureau was organized to take charge of it. 

The first Signal Station for meteorological observations in Nevada 
was established by Corporal John Healey, of the Signal Service, at 
Winnemucca. He began the work of establishing a station June 12, 
1887, and was ready to begin taking observations by July i5th of the 
same year. A continuous record, with the exception of a few short 
intervals, has been kept at this station to the present time, a period of 
thirty-five years. 

This record covers the longest period of any government record in 
the State, although precipitation records were kept by the Central Pacific 
Railroad agents, and their successors, the Southern Pacific agents, at 
Battle Mountain, Beowawe, Browns, Elko, Humboldt and Reno, extend- 
ing back to 1870. The temperature records at Reno extend back to the 
same date, but at the other five stations the temperature record only 
extends back to 1878. Very careful and complete records, kept by Mr. 
Charles W. Friend, at Carson City, extend back to 1875. The above 
mentioned are the oldest meteorological records in the State. 

The Nevada State Weather Service was extended in February, 1887, 
and Mr. C. W. Friend was appointed director. He erected an observa- 
tory at Carson City and furnished all meteorological instruments at his 
own expense. 

The purposes of the State Weather Service, as set forth by Mr. 
Friend, were, "To collect a fund of knowledge, as complete as possible, 
of the climatic features of every portion of the State, from which reliable 
data can be furnished to actual and prospective settlers; to incite an 


interest in our people in the study of our climate and to aid in making 
possible a practical application of the knowledge thus acquired ; to assist 
in developing our agricultural interests by discussion of problems of 
irrigation, storage of water, economy of water supply and adaptation of 
soils and climate to specific crops, and, by cooperation with the Signal 
Service, to secure to our people the benefits of the indications (fore- 
casts) of that service." 

The above was written in 1888, and it is gratifying to note how fully 
these ends are being realized. Director Friend lived to see the attain- 
ment of nearly all of them, and the attainments of the past few years 
are exceeding his most sanguine hopes. He spent the greater portion of 
the year of 1887 in securing the instruments and making the necessary 
plans and preparations for the work. 

Sergeant Charles A. Read was detailed by the Signal Service to assist 
Director Friend, and arrived in Carson City, August 2, 1887. By Octo- 
ber i they had fourteen stations equipped and observations were begun. 

Great difficulty was experienced in obtaining observers in all portions 
of the State, and a law was passed making it one of the duties of the 
county auditors to take observations and render reports at the end of 
the month. Even with this assistance, Director Friend became greatly 
discouraged. He saw how great were the difficulties before him. The 
State was sparsely settled and the people were constantly moving. The 
apparently simple processes of reading thermometers, measuring rainfall, 
and keeping a record without any contradictory statements on the form, 
requires considerable care. The reports for the first month showed so 
many inaccuracies that no use could be made of them. As these reports 
were not used, interest lagged and some criticisms were offered. 

Director Friend and Sergeant Read continued the work of instructing 
the observers and establishing new stations, and by February, 1888, they 
received fairly accurate reports from thirty-seven stations. From these 
were prepared the data for the first report of the Nevada State Weather 

In the meantime Sergeant Read, in addition to his work with Director 
Friend, established a Signal Service Station in the State Printing Build- 
ing in Carson City, and began taking observations, December i, 1887. 

This office was maintained by the Signal Service until the Weather 
Bureau was established, and was continued by that bureau until Novem- 


ber n, 1905, when it was moved to Reno by Section Director H. F. 
Alps. The office has remained in Reno to the present time and now 
occupies rooms in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows' Building, at 
the corner of Center and Second streets. 

A third station was established in the State at Tonopah, in 1906, where 
a continuous record has been kept from that date to the present time. 

Sergeant Read, in addition to taking observations and making reports 
for the Signal Service, assisted Director Friend in the State Weather 
Service work, and some of the old reports show that Mr. Friend gave 
him a great deal of credit for his careful, conscientious work. The State 
Weather Service and the Signal Service, and later the State Weather 
Service and the Weather Bureau, seem to have worked together from 
the beginning to the time of Director Friend's death without the least 
discord. The correspondence of both offices, now on file at the local 
office of the Weather Bureau, in Reno, does not show any jealousy or 

By the year 1896 the work of preparing the forms and overseeing the 
observers at the sub-stations had nearly all been turned over to the 
Weather Bureau. The State continued to furnish the equipment for the 
sub-stations until 1899, when that also was turned over to the Weather 
Bureau, and it continued printing the monthly weather reports until the 
bureau discontinued them in all the States, in June, 1909. 

Director Friend received a salary from the State for his services, and 
his name was printed on the monthly weather reports until his death, 
January 10, 1997, a period of twenty years, showing in what high esteem 
his services were held by the State and by the Weather Bureau. He was 
the pioneer in State Weather Service work west of the Rockies, and 
was so recognized by the Weather Bureau, by the Association of Weather 
Services, and by such scientists as J. P. Findlay, of the Army, and C. H. 
Sinclair, of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the two latter being his 
warm personal friends. 

The work of recording and compiling data has gone on now for 
twenty-four years, and at a few stations for over forty-two years, without 
cessation. At a large number of the sub-stations the record is continuous, 
the railroads insisting that their agents take observations at certain sta- 
tions. Some of the sub-stations have been closed and others established, 
and in this way there are, at present, over one hundred and twenty places 


in the State where records have been kept, some for long periods, others 
for a short time only. Information concerning climatic conditions of any 
portion of the State may be obtained, free of charge, by applying to the 
Local Office, Weather Bureau, Reno, Nevada. If there has been a station 
in the exact locality for which information is desired, data may be obtained 
from a station near by. 

The Water Resources Service of the Weather Bureau was organized 
in 1908 for the purpose of making careful observations of snow and rain- 
fall at high altitudes. Snow surveys are made each year in order to 
obtain accurate information regarding the amount of snow in the moun- 
tains, and the water content of the same. These measurements are used 
in estimating the amount of water available for irrigation during the next 
summer, and the probably time of run-off. The Forest Service, the 
Water Resources Branch of the Geological Survey, the Indian Service, 
the Bureau of Plant Industry and the Reclamation Service are intimately 
associated with the Weather Bureau in this work. 

Professors J. E. Church and S. P. Ferguson, of the University of 
Nevada, are making quite extensive investigations on Mt. Rose and in 
the Truckee Meadows along meteorological lines, especially on frost 
temperatures. They are also investigating snowfall and water supply 
for irrigation in the Truckee Drainage Basin. 

The forecasts are used to quite an extent, especially by the railroads, 
stock men, handlers of perishable goods, and fruit and truck farmers. 

This article would not be quite complete without the following climat- 
ological tables, which were compiled by the Weather Bureau for the 
Nevada Section. These averages are from records of from ten to forty 


































Quinn River Ranch 










































Winnemucca .... 




































































































Lewers' Ranch . . 










. 1.46 





























































































, , 14 





















Quinn River Ranch 








. . 12 











, 10 












Winnemucca , 

, . 31 

































































. , 10 










. . 10 










Lewers' Ranch 

.. 17 
















































Las Vegas 


































U fcfl kfl aj 5? 3 -w- OC 

** a o ff o ja n s *-*-' u c 

rt.S-r- o)^ 3 C* 1 O*+H C 

as a ! ^ w 3 

Stations. & , M^.S J?.U 


Beowawe May 15 Oct. 1 Tune 18 Aug. 19 

Lovelock May 22 Sept. 22 June 13 Sept. 

Quinn River Ranch Tune 19 Sept. 6 All months. 

Tecoma May 28 Sept. 14 All months. 

Winnemucca May 15 Sept. 23 June 20 Aug. 22 






























J u ly 











Reno . .... 








1 4 


Geyser June 23 Sept. 3 July 16 Aug. 11 

Logan April 14 Nov. 6 May 17 Oct. 20 

Palmetto May 30 Sept. 21 All months. 


o >> ^ 

Stations. " .s . f 1 J 1 I "I 

J'-^foS -< S < en O Q < 


Beowawe 18 60 67 78 87 94 103 104 105 98 86 73 68 105 

Lovelock 15 75 75 90 92 100 100 108 108 100 92 81 69 108 

Qumn River Ranch 8 57 70 75 84 90 98 105 105 97 84 74 60 105 

Tecoma 19 58 60 72 85 92 107 110 111 98 84 72 60 111 

Wells 19 52 60 75 82 101 102 105 102 95 88 78 65 105 

Winnemucca 32 58 69 82 83 96 98 104 102 94 87 73 65 104 



. .. 19 















. . . 19 















. .. 12 















. .. 15 
















... 14 















... 19 














Lewers' Ranch 

... 19 















. .. 21 
















... 14 















... 16 














Las Vegas 































... 19 















. .. 10 















. .. 11 




















. . 18 

o January. 


a February 













a October. 
^ Novembe 

o Annual. 

. .. 15 

-10 -10 








10 0-8 


Quinn River Ranch 

. . . 19 

-23 - 9 
-14 -15 

- 3 










. . . 19 

-28 -37 








6 -23 -26 



-28 -22 

_ 3 







10-9 -20 




. . . 19 

-18 -12 








15 0-7 



. .. 19 

-27 -23 










-26 -23 








11 _ 6 _ 8 



. .. 15 

-32 -25 

- 8 






5 -17 -21 




. .. 14 










- 7 

. . . 19 

-24 -15 








12 7 -17 


. . . 19 

-14 - 7 








17 4 


. . . 21 

-19 -12 

- 3 







16 5-7 



. .. 14 

-12 -11 







14 3 11 


. . . 16 

-6 2 








21 15 

- 6 


11 11 








29 14 12 



11 10 








29 19 10 



. . 19 

-17 -17 

- 6 







4 15 12 


Pioche . 

. . . 10 

-25 - 7 

- 5 









Tvbo . 


-10 - 5 













Mark Twain, Joseph T. Goodman, C. C. Goodwin, Rollen Daggett, 

Harry R. Mighels, Dan De Quille, Thomas Fitch, Dr. Galley, 

Sam Davis, Adah Meechem Strobridge, Meriam Michelson, 

Sam Dunham, Fred Hart, Philip Verill Mighels, The 

Princess Winnemucca, Charles McClure Gottwaldt. 

In discussing the impress which Nevada has made upon the world's 
literature the name of Mark Twain naturally heads the list. He began 
his literary career on the Comstock, and after blazing his name upon 
the scroll of the world's great authors, died in New York City covered 
with honors, and venerated by the literati of both continents. 

To produce any of his writings here would be a waste of printers' 
ink. They are found in every library where the English language is 
spoken, and they have been translated into the tongues of many countries. 
They are the most universally read of any modern writer, are found in 
the cottage of the poor, by the side of the artizan in his workshop, in 
the palaces of kings. They are appreciated in the Flowery Kingdom, 
they are standard in the fastness of the Himalayas and quoted from the 
desert sands of the tropics to the ice-bound regions of the Arctic where 
the midnight sun hugs the horizon for half the year. 

Joseph T. Goodman, who was a sort of literary foster-father to Twain, 
and who gave him his first employment and sustained him when his heart 
was heavy and his courage flagged, contributes this close-range view of 
his characteristics. : 

"I recall Mark Twain in so many different personal aspects at various 
periods of our long acquaintance that it is difficult to say in which par- 
ticular one I remember him best. Of course, there were always the same 
slight figure, the same noble head, the same keen gray eyes, the same 
delicate hands and feet, and the same half-skipping, half-shambling gait ; 


but I saw all these unchangeable traits undergo by slow gradation the 
inevitable change from the boyish look of the curled darling of 27 to 
the venerable appearance of the white-haired sage of 69. I think, how- 
ever, I recall his personality most distinctly and like it best at that last 
stage possibly because I am old myself. He had then taken on flesh, 
and his complexion, which formerly was sallow, had become ruddy, 
while age sat on him with a peculiar grace, as though it had only de- 
scended to rest sportively, lovingly and becomingly, without impairing 
him by a single blemishing touch. He made use of the purest 
English of any modern writer. The simplicity and beauty of his style 
is almost without parallel except in the common version of the Bible. 
He had an abhorrence of the use of foreign words, obscure terms and 
affected phrases in both writing and speech." 

Joseph Thompson Gooaman. Had Joseph T. Goodman done nothing 
more than to discover Mark Twain, encourage and sustain him 
when he wanted to abandon the calling of a writer to try something 
else, the world would have owed him an everlasting debt of gratitude. 
But Goodman did not pause at this achievement. He wrote the immortal 
book known through the world as the "Biology of Central America." In 
this stupendous work he succeeded, where so many had failed, in deciph- 
ering the mysterious inscriptions on the ruined temples of Yucatan, 
which had for centuries baffled the archeologists of the world. 

He, after years of patient research, translated the archaic calendars 
left in the temples by the ancient Mayas, inscriptions carved in im- 
perishable stone before the pyramids were planned or the songs of the 
worshipers rose in the pillared temples of Karnak. He demonstrated 
that the inscriptions were the calendars of the extinct race whose 
chronological records went back over two hundred and forty thousand 
years. He showed beyond any dispute that these people kept records of 
years which were marked by the journey of the earth around the sun, 
that they allowed for the leap year and knew the science of optics. 

This book is now recognized as standard throughout the world and 
regarded as one of the monumental works of the century. 

Rollin M. Daggett. The State never sheltered a more unique and 
original human being than Rollin Daggett. In personal appearance he 


was rough, uncouth and at times seemed almost brutal. There was a 
scar over one eye as if a knife had slashed it, and his face was forbidding 
and coarse- featured to a stranger; but after he had conversed two 
minutes, his sunny smile and his witty conversation won every one with 
whom he came in contact. 

There is a story current in Placerville, Cal., of his first appearance on 
the Coast. One day a man drifted into town with a child in his arms 
driving a white bull. He was nearly dead with fatigue and hunger, and 
the emaciated waif he held in his arms was nearly unconscious. Those 
who saw the man's long hair and beard, ragged garments and incoherent 
talk pronunced him a lunatic. They turned the white bull where there 
was good grass, washed the man up and cared for the child. The man 
was Rollin Daggett. He had been with a train of emigrants crossing 
the plains. They had been attacked by Indians and wiped out. Daggett 
with the little child in his arms, got away and he carried the child hun- 
dreds of miles to civilization. The scar over his eye was a souvenir of 
that battle with the savages. He said that after he had traveled about 
a week and was in despair the white bull appeared on the scene and he 
felt that it was a guide sent by Providence to show him the way to 

As an editorial writer Daggett was for years a power in Nevada and 
he was also elected to Congress on the Republican ticket. He was a 
poet of the first rank, and wrote many splendid pieces of forceful and 
delightful verse and had his fugitive poems been collected and pub- 
lished in book form, it would have earned for him a lasting name in 

He was also the author of "Braxton's Bar," a novel founded in his ex- 
periences in crossing the plains, but as a novelist his work was not on 
a level with the high standard of his poetry. 

Henry R. Mighels. Was born November 3rd at Norway, Maine, and 
died in Carson City, May 28th, 1879. He was commissioned by Presi- 
dent Lincoln in 1862* as an Assistant Adjutant General and assigned to 
the staff of General Sturgis. He participated in many battles of the 
Civil War and in the battle of Petersburg was shot through both 
thighs. After being mustered out of service because of his wounds, he 
engaged in journalism in California, being connected with the Marys- 


mile Appeal, Butte Record, and Sacramento Bee. He started the Carson 
Appeal and edited it until his death. As an editorial writer he com- 
manded the highest salary ever paid for such a service on the coast. 
During one of the great political campaigns in California he was called 
away from the Appeal tripod to receive a salary of $500 a week as 
political editor of a San Francisco newspaper. After his death a col- 
lection was made of his poems and sketches and published under the 
title of "Sagebrush Leaves," a book replete with quaint humor and odd 
fancies of an educated man of letters. 

Dan De Quille. Dan De Quille, whose real name was George Wright, 
was the earliest of the sagebrush writers to attract attention. He spent 
more than a quarter of a century on the Enterprise. He was a gentle, 
lovable man and one of the few men ever heard of who had no enemies 
and yet was a man who amounted to a great deal. He had a boundless 
imagination and was a many-sided writer. He was a humorist, philo- 
sopher and the keenest of observers. His pen alone gave the public the 
true vernacular of the mining-camp together with the dialect of the 
Indian and the Chinese. He painted street scenes and the ways of the 
sports and promoters, and for years kept the Comstock laughing with 
his odd fancies. 

Few men understood the "lanes and alleys" of the great ledge as he 
knew them. He could sketch a map of almost any mine-level at a 
moment's notice and his reports of mining developments were never 
questioned. He had the full confidence of the public. No amount of 
money could induce him to color a mining article or leave out a line 
that was true. A big operator once said of him : "I could make an ever- 
lasting fortune if I could only buy up Dan De Quille." 

He wrote the "Big Bonanza," a remarkable book on the Comstock. 
He died poor, as he seemed to lack the ability of commercializing his 

Philip Verrill Mighels. Was one of the native Nevadans who es- 
tablished himself in the literary world. 

On the 1 2th of October, he met his death at Winnemucca from the 
accidental discharge of a shot-gun at the Bliss ranch in Humboldt 
County. He was the second son of Harry R. Mighels, for years the 


editor of the Carson Appeal. He was born at Carson City, April 19, 1869. 
When twenty-one he was admitted to the bar, but not finding the law con- 
genial drifted into literature. He began writing on the San Francisco 
Chronicle as a reporter, but two years later made his home in New York. 
His first venture was a book of poems, "Out of a Silver Flute." His 
published books were as follows : "Nella, the Heart of the Army," "When 
a Witch Was Young," "Dunny," "Chatwitch, the Man-Talk Bird," 
"Bruvver Jim's Baby," "Sunnyside Tad," "The Inevitable," "The Ulti- 
mate Passion," "The Crystal Scepter," "A Husband by Proxy," "The Fur- 
nace of Gold," "The Pillars of Eden," "Thurley Paxton." 

"The House of Iron Men" was published under the name of "Jack 
Steel." The book which met with the largest sale was "The Furnace 
of Gold," with the plot laid in Goldfield. 

Several of his works were re-published in England and met with heavy 
sales. He was also a steady contributor of short stories and descriptive 
articles for Harper's and other magazines. 

At the time of his death he had established a firm foothold with the book- 
loving public and his stories were regarded as true portrayals of Western 
life. His second wife, who was with him at the time of his death, now 
resides in New York City. 

His death was a shock to the community where he had made his home in 
boyhood, and removed a notable figure in Western literature. He was 
of sterling integrity and gentle breeding, and was cut down on the thres- 
hold of a splendid career. 

Sam Dunham. This writer made his first mark in the Klondike, and 
after coming to Nevada he published the Tonopah Miner which soon be- 
came a mining authority in the State. He was known as "The Goldsmith of 
Nome," because the many stirring poems he wrote of the North. Recently 
he published a delightful book of verses entitled. "The Men who Blazed 
the Trail" which is a true portrayal of the characteristics of the pioneers 
who lived in the frozen North above that parallel of latitude above which 
there is "no law of God or man." The preface of the book was penned 
by Dunham's friend Joaquin Miller to whom the publication was affection- 
ately dedicated. 

Ada Meacham Strobridge. No pen ever painted the beauties, 


mysteries and grandeur of the Nevada desert with such deft 
touch and fidelity to nature as Ada Meacham Strobridge. She 
wrote "The Miners' Mirage Land," describing scenes in which 
she had spent her childhood. It is a fascinating work to those who have 
breathed the same and slept under the same sky in the land which she 
describes so faithfully and with the touch of a true artist. She is 
now living in California, but her Nevada sketches are universally recog- 
nized as reproductions of sagebrush life which have the realism of a 

Meriam Michelson. A girl born and raised in Virginia City and sister 
of Albert Michelson, who received first prize from the French Academy 
of Sciences for the discovery of a method for measuring the velocity 
of light, wrote "The Bishop's Carriage" a book that was the best seller 
for the year and afterwards dramatized into a play that still holds the 

There are many other writers of note who became famous in Nevada, 
but whose published works the compiler of this History has been unable 
to secure. Among these are Thomas Fitch, author of "The Wedge of 
Gold" and his talented wife, Anna Fitch, who wrote a great deal of good 
poetry in the early seventies. 

Dr. Gaily was the author of many very original short stories and sketch- 
es. His most notable effort was "Big Jack Small." The amusing 
situation in the narrative was where a clergyman rode over the country 
with Jack Small on his freight-wagon and remonstrated with him for his 
lavish use of profanity, when addressing his mule-team. Presently the wag- 
on turned over on a steep grade pinning Small under it, and throwing the 
parson some yards into the sagebrush unhurt. Small, pinned under the 
wagon, gave directions to the parson how to utilize the mules in pulling 
the wagon to an upright position. When they were turned at right angles 
with the wagon and everything was in readiness, the parson attempted 
to move the string of mules, but not one would budge, from the simple 
fact that they were waiting for the profanity of the driver before settling 
down to the pull. Small finally persuaded the preacher that his life de- 
pended on his using profanity when dealing with mules and taught him 
some picturesque blasphemy from under the wagon. The preacher proved 
an apt scholar and when he turned loose Jack Small's lesson on the ani- 


mals, they pulled the wagon off the prostrate man and a life was saved. 
It is related that the hero of the story resigned from the ministry and 
went into the freighting business. 

Fred Hart gained considerable fame with his book "The Sazarac Ly- 
ing Club" published at Austin. It was in this little town that Emma 
Nevada, who became a world famous opera singer, took her first lessons 
in vocal music. 

R. E. L. Gibson, a brother of Dr. Gibson of Reno, published a very 
commendable volume of Sonnets and Lyric, in 1901. 

Mrs. Lou Spencer, of Carson City, issued a small book of very readable 
poems which was not put on sale but merely published for private dis- 
tribution among friends. 

Mrs. Emmett Boyle, the wife of the late Senator Boyle published a num- 
ber of poems in the magazines, but no published collection of them can 
be found to-day. 

T. De Witt Turner, of Reno, has given to the press many striking poems 
as has also William McClure Gottwaldt who still writes verse for the 

Princess Sarah Winnemucca, daughter of the Piute Chief, went east 
to a seminary where she was highly educated and published a book 
which had a wide circulation. 

The most enjoyable book to old Nevadans that was ever published was 
"The Comstock Club" from the pen of Judge C. C. Goodwin. It simply 
overflowed with quaint scenes, fine writing, and clever stories which made 
the old characters of the Ledge live again. 

The most pretentious book in the shape of a Nevada novel was published 
in the early days entitled "Robert Greathouse" from the pen of Congress- 
man Swift. It laid the lash of satire on the backs of many well known 
men. It was a masterly story but it made a crop of enemies for Swift 
that he never lost while life lasted. 

Sam Davis, the editor of this history, has found time occasionally to 
turn from his calling as a journalist and write for the eastern magazines. 
He contributes poetry and prose to these publications. 

His only published book is entitled "Short Stories and Poems" of which 
there was but a limited edition. 



Have you ever scented the sage-bush 
That mantles Nevada's plain? 

If not, you have lived but half your life, 
And that half lived in vain. 

No matter where the place or clime 
That your wandering footsteps stray, 

You will sigh as you think of her velvet fields 
And their fragrance of leveled hay. 

You will loiter a while in other lands, 

When something seems to call, 
And the lure of the sage-bush brings you back 

And holds you within its thrall. 

You may tread the halls of pleasure, 

Where the lamps of folly shine, 
'Mid the sobbing of sensuous music 

And the flow of forbidden wine. 

But when the revel is over, 

And the dancers turn to go, 
You will long for a draught of her crystal streams 

That spring from her peaks of snow. 

You will sigh for a sight of the beetling crags, 
Where the Storm King holds his sway, 

Where the sinking sun with its brush of gold 
Tells the tale of the dying day. 

And when you die you will want a grave 

Where the Washoe zephyr blows, 
With the green of the sage-bush above your head, 

What need to plant the rose ! 


From the earliest times Nevada had a strange attraction for members 
of the theatrical profession. There was not only a charm in the free 
style of life and the cordiality with which they were welcomed that 
made them anxious to visit Washoe, as it was then called, but there was 
also a lure in the wonderful country itself which induced a number of 
players to forsake their profession and cast their lot with it. No com- 
munity ever kept a warmer place in its heart for the poor strollers, and 
none ever received so affectionate a return. To be "booked for Washoe" 
was a piece of good fortune that thrilled all with pride and delight. 

Nevada was a good theatrical field when its principal towns were 
scarcely more than camps. Virginia City had a theater in 1860 the old 
Howard while its population was little, if any, over 1,000, Topliffe 
built the big theater on North C Street early in 1862, and Maguire's 
Opera House, on D Street, was opened in the summer of 1863. But these 
theaters represented only a part and at one time a very small part of 
the amusement business of the town. Large halls were temporarily con- 
verted into show-places, with as many as five legitimate companies and six 
or seven variety troupes all playing to crowded houses at the same time. 
And they were not barn-storming companies or inferior plays, either. For. 
years every star and dramatic attraction that came to the Pacific Coast 
was billed as regularly in Virginia City as in San Francisco, and not 
infrequently the engagement in the former place was the more profitable 
one. , 

Some of these disciples of the drama liked Nevada so well that they 
deserted the theatrical field to cast their lot with the sage-brush. The 
first of these was James Stark, who in his palmy days ranked with Mur- 
doch and Davenport as a tragedian. He played an engagement at Top- 
liffe's theater in 1862, and was so impressed by the wonders and the 
enticing prospects he saw on every hand that he resolved to look the 
Territory over; and being particularly pleased with the promises of 


Esmeralda County, he put aside his profession, invested in mines there 
and built a quartz mill at Aurora. Stark was a member of our first con- 
stitutional convention. If everything had gone prosperously with him, 
his name might have been a prominent one in the history of the State, 
for he was able and ambitious ; but his investments and enterprises failed 
and left him nearly penniless, and worse than that, he was stricken with 
paralysis, which rendered him helpless for a number of years. 

Charles Pope, one of the best all-around actors of his time, was another 
actor who yielded to the allurements of Nevada. At the expiration of 
an engagement at Virginia City, in 1864, he quit the stage, with the 
intention of becoming a resident of the State. After remaining on the 
Comstock for a while, the glowing reports from the Reese River country 
drew him to that region. But fortune, as if offended by his recreancy to 
his profession, seemed to have no favors in store for him anywhere 
within our borders; and the upshot was that after a year or more of 
strenuous trial he was forced to don the sock and buskin again and 
returned East to manage a theater in St. Louis. 

Pope's wife, a charming actress, remained in Nevada longer than he 
did. Through an unfortunate misunderstanding, they had separated in 
Virginia City, she resuming her maiden name Virginia Howard. She 
resided for some time in the State, highly respected and esteemed. 

Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Robinson dropped out of the theatrical procession 
in very early days to become permanent residents of Virginia City, though 
they continued to make their appearance from time to time upon the 
local boards. Maggie Daly also left the stage there, married and lived 
for many years in the shadow of Mt. Davidson. 

But of all the deserters from the ranks, the one best known to later 
Nevadans was Bob Lindsay. He came to Virginia City with the Zavi- 
towsky troupe. He had a dash and heartiness that carried him farther 
than a great deal more ability might have done. Our free and reckless 
style of life just suited his nature, and he unhesitatingly cut loose from 
his calling to take part in it ; and, as the most exciting part, he sought the 
position of gun-fighter in a mining dispute. Luckily he was seriously 
wounded in the very first engagement. To beguile the tedium of a sick- 
bed he took up the study of law, and became wedded to it. But for that 
wound, Bob Lindsay might have turned out a desperate character instead 
of a peaceable lawyer and a good citizen. 


It is but fair to say that Nevada has compensated the stage for the 
lights withdrawn from it by contributing more than an equal number in 
return. The list would be creditable to any community, but it is especially 
so to a sparsely settled frontier one. 

The most promising one of all Emma Wixom, the Austin girl, who, 
as "Emma Nevada," flashed on the world as a prima donna in the early 
'8os unfortunate for the public, prized affection more than fame, and 
suddenly turned from the triumphs of a shining operatic career to the 
seclusion of domestic life. Her appearance was meteoric in its briefness 
as well as its brilliancy, but those who listened to the crystalline purity of 
her notes will always believe the world lost one of its divinest voices by 
her retirement. 

The Pixley sisters, of Carson City, appeared on the stage while quite 
young, and Annie developed into a very fine actress. She married Robert 
Fulford, the actor, and shortly afterward went East. 

Lottie and Nellie Gibson, of Gold Hill, were also two pleasing little 
actresses who made their debut on the local boards. The latter, for some 
reason one could never understand, became known as the "California Dia- 
mond," and was billed under that sobriquet for many years as a popular 
star, both on this coast and in the East. 

Carrie Clark, a Virginia City girl, was another of Nevada's contribu- 
tions to the stage. She married James Ward, the comedian. 

In the latter '705 came George Osborn, who, while running a car at 
the Ophir mine, made so pronounced a hit in an amateur performance 
that he bacame a professional, and was a great favorite in San Francisco 
during the '8os, playing generally in combination with Lew Stockwell. 
Richard Jose graduated from the forge of a Reno smithy in the latter 
V)os to become a singer of international reputation. Flora Finlayson, who 
alternated with Jessie Bartlett Davis in the halcyon days of "The Bos- 
tonians," and Madeline Bouton, who met with a tragic death a few years 
ago in San Francisco, also left their homes in Reno to enter the theatrical 
profession. Mabel Bouton, her sister, became a raging favorite in New 
York when she created the part of "Little Christopher." At the time of 
her death the New York papers published full-page pictures of her face, 
which was mentioned as the most beautiful that had graced the American 
stage for a decade. 

Nina Varian, the sister of Charles Varian. the Reno attorney, who was 


Speaker of the Nevada Legislature in 1883, made a memorable hit in 
"The Danachiffs" at the Baldwin Theater, San Francisco. Mrs. Cora 
Hall, of Reno, is now singing operatic roles in Italy. 

Mollie Raynor was a Virginia City girl who became a popular favorite 
and Georgie Woodthorp earned her first recognition and Madam Murtha 
Portius first sang on the Comstock. 

In the flush bonanza days, Piper's Opera House played the best stars 
that could be obtained. John Mackay was a partner in the enterprise. 
If there was a surplus after the engagement Piper took it, and if there 
was a deficit Mackay paid it. Under this arrangement Mackay only asked 
that he be allowed to go on the free list. The public was exceedingly 
liberal in its patronage. Once on the occasion of a benefit given to John 
McCullough there was over $22,000 in the box office. 

The Opera House was opened in July, 1863. It had the prestige ol 
Tom Maguire's name, and was affiliated with his San Francisco theater 
in respect of an interchange of stock companies and stars, but Johnny 
Burns was the principal owner and local manager. From the time of 
the opening the Enterprise devoted considerable space to it, and the 
ability and discrimination of its criticisms soon attracted the attention of 
the public and the theatrical profession alike. If ever a paper tried to be 
just and do its best in the line of dramatic criticism, it was the Enterprise. 
Goodman, Mark Twain and Dan de Quille, or, later on, Daggett, Good- 
man and Dan de Quille, would all attend a first night together, then write 
their separate impression of the performance and hold a symposium as 
to which article, or what blend of two or more of them should go into 
the paper. With such painstaking on the part of four able writers, and 
the fact that the articles were widely copied by dramatic and other journals 
abroad, it was no wonder it should come to be believed that the Enterprise 
could make or unmake anyone's professional reputation, and there was 
always great anxiety among the members of every newly arrived company 
to learn what was to be their fate. 

In recognition of its influence, the management of the Opera House 
had given all of its poster and bill printing to the Enterprise and set apart 
the whole front row of orchestra seats to the right of the aisle a dozen 
or more for the attaches of that paper; and to make sure that no one 
should occupy them by mistake, a big sign with an immense spread eagle 


and the words, "Reserved for the Enterprise," was stretched clear across 
their backs. 

Everything went on harmoniously between the Opera House and the 
Enterprise until the engagement of Adah Isaachs Menken, in March, 1864. 
It would be difficult to convey an exact idea of Menken's position in the 
theatrical world at that time. She was classed only as a "shape" actress, 
but she created a furore wherever she appeared. The truth is that, except 
for her grace, she was no actress at all ; but she possessed the most winning 
face, the divinest form and the greatest soul of any woman that ever trod 
the stage. The Enterprise critics met and as. a result of their conference 
decided to vivisect the Menken, but after seeing her, returned to their 
office and wrote rapturous things about her. Joseph Goodman wrote most 
of the commendatory notices of her which so excited the jealousy of the 
rest of the company that they introduced several "gags" at the editor's 
expense. The Menken at once demanded that the manager make a public 
apology to Goodman, which he declined to do and as a result The Menken 
refused to play "Mazeppa" that night and the large audience had to be 
dismissed. She relented on the following night and Mark Twain's notice 
of the play was copied all over the United States. At the conclusion of 
her engagement the Opera House turned on the Enterprise to punish it. 
It withdrew its printing and advertising and suspended the free list for 
everybody connected with the paper. It was just what the critics were 
always aching for, the chance for a good open fight. And they engineered 
it well and made it very hot and uncomfortable for the Opera House. If a 
good show came, they wouldn't mention it, and no one would ever have 
known from the Enterprise that there was such a place of amusement in 
town ; but if a vulnerable one made its appearance, Goodman or Mark or 
Dan would pay his dollar for admission and then take a hundred dollars' 
worth of fun or satisfaction out of the hides of the poor actors and 

Mark Twain went away a little while afterward, but Daggett came on 
the paper about the same time. Above all other pleasures in the world, 
I think Daggett reveled most in keen and bitter writing, and he threw 
himself with zest into the Opera House fight. Some of his onslaughts 
were classic in the purity of their abuse. 

The situation soon grew to be a terror to the theatrical profession, and 
instead of the eagerness with which they had formerly sought engagements 


in Virginia City, companies came with reluctance or refused to come at 
all. Pauncefort, an excellent but very eccentric actor, was ridiculed so 
that he threw up his engagement. Walter Montgomery, an English trage- 
dian of high repute, who was booked for two weeks, after reading the 
Enterprise's criticism of his Hamlet, the second day, boarded the stage 
and left in disgust, saying he had enough of Virginia City. Emily Thorne, 
a very beautiful actress, opened an engagement in "Mazeppa," and re- 
ceived such a notice from the Enterprise that she refused to appear again, 
and the theater was finally closed. 

Johnny Burns, who was the worst sufferer, had meanwhile been making 
overtures for a reconciliation, but he was informed that in loyalty to the 
memory of the loyal Menken there could be none without an apology, a 
restitution of the former patronage and the dismissal of Stage Manager 
Graves. They were harsh terms, but under the stress to which the Opera 
House had been driven by its foolish action, they were complied with. 

Some of the greatest stars of the profession visited the Comstock after 
this: Helena Modjeska, Edwin Booth, Lawrence Barrett, Amiee with her 
French Opera Company, Sheridan, Ada Cavendish, Rose Etynge, Mrs. 
Drew, McKee Rankin, Caroline Richings Barnard with her English 
Opera Company, Richard Mansfield, Nance O'Neil, Nellie Holbiook, 
Jennie Lee, Barton Hill, The Majoronies, Winetta Montague, The Worrell 
Sisters, Robsen and Crane, James McNeil, Frank Mayo, Tom Keen and 
scores of others. 

Goodman and Daggett wrote "The Psychoscope," a piece of imaginative 
work that foreshadowed the book by Stevenson, "Jekyll and Hyde." It 
had a tremendous run on the Comstock, but the prudish San Francisco 
managers refused to give it recognition unless a certain scene was elim- 
inated. The authors declined to change their work and it was never again 

Piper lost his Opera House twice by fire but he rebuilt it and per- 
formances are still given there. 

The finest theatrical structure in the State is the "Majestic," erected in 
Reno by the late George Nixon. Not long ago Sarah Bernhardt played 
there to a packed house, completing the list of notable lights of the drama 
that have appeared in Nevada. 

There is a commodious place of amusement in every leading town in 
Nevada, and even some of the smaller towns have up to date halls with 
suitable stages for dramatic production. 



From the earliest time horse-racing was a popular sport in Nevada. 
The first man to breed thoroughbred horses for the turf was Theo. 
Winters on his extensive stock-ranch in Washoe County. He had his 
horses for the .purses, always holding that the pool box was the bane of a 
noble sport. Only on one occasion did he break his rule. Thinking 
his own horse was out of condition, he wagered $1,500 on another. 
His colored jockey, seeing him Buying the pools on another horse, 
asked his master if he wanted him to pull his mount. Winters told him 
that he would kill him if he did, and the darkey, remarking that it was a 
shame to burn up the stable money, proceeded to win with the Winters 
horse, for which excellent riding he was remembered with a tip of 

For a long time Winters was regarded as the King of the Turf, 
when an attorney of Virginia City, Charles Bryan, announced that he 
would spend $100,000 to dethrone Winters. 

Bryan's earnings were enormous. 

In the Chollar-Potosi case alone his fee was $100,000. But he squan- 
dered his princely income as fast as it came, and even in his most pros- 
perous days seldom had money enough to meet his bills. His tactics in 
the trial of a case were calculated to mislead and confuse methodical 
lawyers, and in his address to the jury he always held a force in reserve 
as dreaded as the Imperial Guard of Napoleon. "Sandy" Baldwin once 
said to "Bill" Stewart, after the testimony in one of the big suits was 
all in : "I should consider the case won if Charley Bryan were not in it, 
but no man living can predict what effect he may induce upon the jury." 

He had a bantering, quizzing manner, which a peculiar cast in one of 
his eyes rendered doubly perplexing. His puzzled opponents were liable 
to run an earnest tilt against a windmill or to treat as farcical some 
skillfully arranged plan for their discomfiture. They were practically 
left in the dark as to his intentions. This faculty for bewildering, to- 


gather with his power of retrieving the fortunes of the day by his elec- 
tric eloquence at the last moment, made him the terror of the systematic 
members of the profession. The members of the legal fraternity in 
Virginia were rather pleased to learn that he had decided to abandon 
the court for the race-track. He purchased a good many pedigreed 
horses, but they always went down to defeat before the Winters' en- 
trances. The monotony of defeat became wearisome to Bryan, and he 
resolved to put an end to it. He went quietly to California, and bought 
"Emigrant Maid," a mare of considerable note in her day, and the superior 
of any racer in Nevada at that time. With a view to secrecy and to 
prevent any foul play, he led the mare all the way over the mountains, 
walking himself. If he had sought to give publicity to his doings he 
couldn't have hit upon a better way. Winters learned of Bryan's pur- 
chase and speedily secured a flyer to pit against "Emigrant Maid." The 
contest soon came off, only to add another count to the monotonous score 
of the lawyer's defeats. 

Shortly afterward it was announced that Bryan had bought the great 
"Lodi" and that the matchless racer would soon arrive from the East. 
The news created a sensation. People believed that the luckless attorney 
had at last outflanked his rival, and that henceforth no one could hope 
to dispute successfully his supremacy on the turf. Bryan 'himself was so 
confident that he became elated to the pitch of exultation. 

But both the people and he had failed to take into account a very de- 
termined and energetic man, and a thorough turfman withal. Winters 
did not propose to surrender his laurels without a struggle. Upon the 
first inkling of the purchase of "Lodi," he proceeded to act with charac- 
teristic promptness and good judgment. Within a few weeks it was 
known he had bought "Norfolk" for $15,001, a great price for a horse 
then, and that the peerless Kentucky stallion would be on hand to dispute 
the field with "Lodi." The extra dollar was paid because the owner 
of Norfolk's sire had bet a round sum that it would produce a colt which 
would sell for more than fifteen thousand. 

That famous race at San Jose was a notable event in that State, but 
it finished the career of Charley Bryan as a turfman. He went down 
once more before Theodore Winters, never to try again. So excited had 
he been over the approaching contest and so suspicious of trickery that 
he slept in the stall beside his horse, and on the eventful day was guard- 


ing "Lodi" with a shotgun in so threatening a manner that he had to be 
kept in custody during the race. 

It is impossible to say how much these racing events contributed 
to the overthrow of Bryan's mind, as no one can tell the relative effects 
of innumerable and complicated influences. The only thing that can be 
stated positively is that by this time his unbalanced condition had 
become so marked and generally known as to destroy confidence in 
his ability to conduct an important case, and in consequence there was 
an end alike to his extensive practice and to his princely income. 

William Thompson, of Washoe County, was the next turfman to try 
conclusions with Winters, but he shared the same fate as Bryan, and 
never went into a race with his neighbor that he did not have the dis- 
appointment of seeing the Winters colors leading at the finish. 

Winters, after his success in Nevada, branched out into other fields. 
He went into competition with the California turfmen at the Bay Dis- 
trict track at San Francisco, and generally scored upon his rivals. 

He was an advocate of clean sport and never was involved in any 
trickery or turf scandal. He crowned his career as a successful turfman 
by winning the American Derby at Chicago with his peerless racer "Del 
Rio Rey," bred on his Washoe County ranch. 

Of late years horse-racing has fallen into disrepute in Nevada. 
"Red Oak," a Carson Valley horse, still holds the world's half-mile 
record. "Todhunter," also a Carson Valley horse, clipped a second from 
the record, but being in a five-furlong race the time, 46 3-4, was not 
recognized officially. 



No stranger tale of the sudden rise to affluence and the swift descent 
to poverty was ever told than this true story of Sandy Bowers and his 
accidental acquirement of a great fortune. He was a waiter in a Gold- 
Hill restaurant, and there he met Mrs. Gowan, a young woman serving in 
the same capacity. They were both simple-minded people with no 
thought in life except to work at their calling and get their slender 

The miners who patronized the place thought it might be rather good 
fun to induce the two to marry. With this end in view they promised 
them one million dollars as a wedding gift, that is a donation of stock 
certificates whose par value would total a million. These stocks repre- 
sented holdings in Gold-Hill mines and were considered of so little 
value that the miners papered their cabins with them, and some even 
kindled their fires with them. 

On the wedding night the miners gathered at the marriage-feast with 
mock solemnity and one of them presented the young couple with 
about a bushel of stock certificates "to begin house-keeping with," and 
everybody made merry, and the linking together of this odd couple was 
one of the jokes of the town. 

Not long after, however, ore was struck in the mines of Gold-Hill, 
and these stock certificates suddenly began to advance in value. Some 
of them went in leaps and bounds and Bowers took the friendly ad- 
vice of a broker and unloaded. The stocks, given him amid so much 
hilarity, netted something over one million in cold cash, and then the 
laugh was on the wags who had made Bowers a millionaire as a prac- 
tical joke. The day he got his money he made a short talk from the 
veranda of the International Hotel, and in closing announced that he 
"had money to throw at the birds" and that he wanted to treat every 
man on the ledge. He had made arrangements with the saloons to keep 
the conviviality up all night, and champagne was the favorite tipple on 


that occasion. No one ever knew what that great spree cost Bowers, 
but the accounts he settled the next day went into many thousands. 

The pair went to Europe and Mrs. Bowers was "presented to the 
Queen." This was probably the greatest day of her life and she gave 
orders to the dressmakers to have a gown that would be mentioned in 
the Court journal as the costliest of the season, which it was. 

Returning to Nevada, they purchased a piece of ground in Washoe 
County, where there was a forest of giant pines, and a natural hot- 
spring. "The Mansion" cost something like $600,000, but the middle- 
men got most of the money. The windows were all of French-plate and 
the door-knobs solid silver. Bowers had designing advisers in those days, 
and they led him into all manner of foolish extravagances. His con- 
vivial disposition induced him to keep open house at the Mansion, and 
with a cellar full of wine, an orchestra of musicians, and a well-stocked 
larder, he managed to have plenty of company. There was a dance 
nearly every night in the year, and he was never happier than when 
his place was jammed with guests. The throb of the music, the mid- 
night wassail, the light, laughter, and bubbling wine, all made their in- 
roads into Sandy's bank account, and the end came at last. 

He and his wife tried to stem the tide of poverty by taking what 
little they had left and building additions to the house that they might 
entertain summer boarders. They remodeled the place, and issued 
printed circulars to their old friends, inviting them to come and spend 
the season at twenty-five dollars per week. It is claimed that of all 
their old-time friends they had entertained so lavishly, not quite a half- 
dozen responded. The ominous figures "$25 per" seemed to be the 
main stumbling block to a renewal of past acquaintance. So the place fell 
into other hands, being sold under the Sheriff's hammer to satisfy debts. 

Sandy Bowers died and lies alongside of his wife in the rear of his 
old home. After his demise Mrs. Bowers earned a precarious living 
telling fortunes, being known as "The Washoe Seeress." A few years 
after she had been presented at the English Court in a gown that daz- 
zled the British aristocracy, she was out at night on the bleak hillside 
gathering fagots to keep her fire alive. 

Some twenty years ago a Reno newspaper-man visited the spot and 
gave the following graphic pen picture of the scene. His name cannot 
be ascertained. 


"The gate was tied up, and the unbroken road showed that no carriages 
had passed through it for many a day. A stroll over the grounds showed 
that they were really deserted by everything except the birds and jack- 
rabbits. The dancing hall was empty and the old bath-house supplied 
with water from the hot springs had been turned into a sort of hostelrie 
for the wayfaring tramps, who, at the approach of footsteps, crawled out 
and betook themselves to the hills. The trees, no longer pruned or 
cared for, had begun to assume the form and look of the natural pro- 
duction. The fountain, which in better days had sent its jet of silver 
high in the air and showered its spray upon the grass when the wind 
was high, had evidently not been in a state of activity for years. The 
upper basin was as dry as a limekiln, and the lower one was in but little 
better condition. At the approach of the scribe a number of frogs 
croaked a lugubrious acknowledgement, which, if the language of rep- 
tiles means anything, was a palpable hint to take a walk. A black 
snake lay coiled on the edge of the masonry. Unabashed by human 
presence, he continued basking in the sun, and wore the air of a party 
who knew his rights. Lizards darted in and out of the crevices of the 
stones; and mottled toads, with bellies of aldermanic pattern, sweated 
and sweltered in the grass, the growth of which no lawn-mower had ever 

"The house had kept pace with the premises in the matter of decay. The 
doors were all nailed up, and any one stepping on the porch would 
wager any amount that the building was empty. Each tread was mul- 
tiplied into a score of echoes which only empty houses respond to. A 
peep through the windows showed nothing but uncarpeted floors, 
bare walls and ghastly white ceilings. 

"In one corner, however, the reporter discovered a ragged plaid 
apron whose stains of yellow soap, etc., told of its brave service in the 
interest of cleanliness and its many desperate encounters with the wash- 

"At the north end of the house, evergreens, boxwood and laurel grew 
each after their own fashion as if in their native forest, and the tall 
j^rass and weeds reared themselves so rankly that if they could only 
hold out through the long winter and tackle the proposition afresh in the 
spring, they would soon outstrip the trees. Masses of coarse ivy with 
leaves as broad as one's hand hung from the walls. The presence of 


this plant, which seems to gloat over decay and foster dilapidation, 
completed the picture for a ruins; without ivy it is only a fraud of a 
ruin anyhow and will not pass muster as a genuine antiquity." 

It afterwards fell into the possession of Theodore Winters, who in 
turn gave it to General Clarke, the attorney, for a fee. It is said that 
Winters avoided General Clarke after that, fearing that Clarke might 
take a notion to give it back to him. It was later purchased by Philip 
Mighels, the novelist, but a single summer convinced him that it was 
not exactly the place for a human habitation. He sold it to Henry 
Ritter of Reno, and it is now utilized as a summer resort. It has been 
restored to something of its old beauty by the expenditure of large 
amounts of money, and to some extent the old scenes of gaiety are 
being re-enacted in the summer season, when gay picnic and moonlight 
excursion parties come down from Reno. 




The Second United States Volunteer Cavalry, more commonly known 
to the people of the country as "Torrey's Rough Riders," has passed 
into history. Its career began in May, 1898, and ended on the 25th day 
of October of the same year. Prior to mustering the regiment into 
service much work was done in the several States which furnished the 
twelve troops composing it. Seven troops came from Wyoming, from 
Colorado two, from Utah one, from Idaho one, and from Nevada, 
Troop M. 

The purpose of this article is not criticism, but a brief recital of the 
organization, history and character of the troop from Nevada. Neither 
time nor space will permit the mention of each member of the troop, 
although much might be written to the credit of the men furnished by 
this State. A more hardy lot of boys could not be found in the country. 
Loyalty and patriotism were written on every face, and it was the earnest 
desire of every man to be given an opportunity to fight for the flag 
but such was not our good fortune. 

It was known throughout the State some time before the Governor 
issued his call for volunteers that the State was to furnish one troop. 
What the future of that troop was no one knew. Not until its organ- 
ization was completed was it known to any of the men to what regiment 
the troop would be assigned. Willing to serve their country anywhere, 
the volunteers hastened to Carson City. There, at the race track, they 
found tents ready for their occupancy. As soon as the men were enrolled, 
blankets were issued to them and camp life and military routine began; 
officers were placed in command, guards instituted and passes issued. 


The Governor and Adjutant-General were in daily attendance to see to 
the wants and comforts of the boys. 

This sort of life was kept up about a week. Word then came from 
Washington directing the Governor to appoint three resident physicians 
to examine the men. This was done in order that the best men phys- 
ically might be selected and to avert the possibility of rejection at Fort 
D. A. Russell, where the men would be examined by an army surgeon 
just before mustering in. It was truly a day of excitement when the 
men were divided into three squads and marched to the places provided 
for the examination. A thorough test was made of every man's physical 
condition. So thorough was the examination that out of eighty-four men 
sent to Fort Russell, one only was rejected. As each man came from 
the dressing-room a chorus of voices greeted him with, "Did you pass?" 
"Was it severe?" but before an answer could be given it was known 
by the expression on the face if he was one of the accepted. 

The day after the examination came the selection of the men to com- 
pose the troop. All were anxious to go, for peace was feared at any 
moment and the thoughts of war tingled in every one's veins. W. L. 
Cox, of Gold Hill, was appointed by the Governor as captain, while 
R. C. Gracey, of Virginia, and C. B. Henderson, of Elko, were named 
first and second lieutenants, respectively. The boys who had passed in 
the examinations the day previous were formed in line. The Governor 
then announced that he would begin at the head of the line and count 
three, every third man being the one to compose the troop. If enough 
men were not secured by the first count, the remaining men were again 
formed in line and another count had until eighty-one men were picked. 
A second line was formed by the men called "lucky third." A dejected 
and crestfallen look came over the countenances of the "unlucky third." 
Many were the efforts made to exchange places with those in the first 
line. Had they but foreseen the events of the next few months the boys 
then called "unlucky" would have considered themselves the lucky ones, 
for those composing the second line went out as the First Nevada Cav- 
alry, and are now fighting in the far-away Philippines. They are the 
ones that are experiencing the excitement, the peril and the hardships of 
of actual warfare. 

As soon as the troop had been selected it was sworn into the State 
service. It was the eighth day of its encampment at Carson City when 


the troop was sworn in, and on the tenth day, which was the 14th of 
May, 1898, it left for Cheyenne, Wyoming. The hurry and excitement 
caused by the news to leave reminded one more of some big picnic or 
pleasure trip instead of going to war. Nor did we realize where we 
were going until the time came for our train to pull out of the little 
depot at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, in Carson. A company of 
the National Guard escorted the troop to the Capitol, where a few brief 
remarks were made by the Governor wishing us God-speed and a safe 
return, and then we marched to the train. We could not leave Carson 
without a feeling of sadness. During our ten days there the citizens of 
that town endeared themselves to every member of the troop. The kind 
and courteous treatment accorded each and every one of us was not 
to be forgotten. During the days that followed many remarked, "Oh, 
if we were only in Carson how different it would be." And as the train 
slowly pulled up the grade on the V. & T. road out of Carson, Dick 
Hoskins played "You'll remember me," and many an eye was dimmed 
with tears. 

At Reno the people held a big demonstration in honor of the troop 
until time for the east-bound overland train to leave. All along the line 
of the railroad we were greeted with cheers which showed the hearty 
good will and feeling of the Nevada people for her soldiers. At Elko 
the Depot Hotel Company gave the boys breakfast and the good women 
of the town had large baskets well filled with eatables. It was more like 
a triumphal return than a sad going and leave-taking of our relatives and 
friends. At Ogden we met the Utah troop under command of Captain 
Cannon, later Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment. From there the two 
troops proceeded to Cheyenne to join Colonel Torrey's command. It was 
the afternoon of the i6th day of May that we stepped from the cars 
onto the Government reservation at Fort D. A. Russell and marched to 
the barracks. Now began the actual army life. We were stationed in 
barracks on the extreme right of the grounds facing north. It was a 
large brick building just recently vacated by the outgoing troops for 
Cuba. Here it was that Troop M received its first impressions of army 
life. It was late in the afternoon of the i6th that the first call for mess 
was sounded. How vividly the picture presents itself now bread, pota- 
toes, bacon and coffee composing the menu. It changed but little during 
the remainder of the year, beans, oatmeal, rice, onions and hardtack being 


added. Blankets were issued to each man that evening and by 9:45 all 
were in the land of dreams. The following evening Colonel Torrey 
called and made a stirring speech. From that time on the Colonel was 
a favorite. His patriotic utterance, his care and attention for the men 
under him, placed him in complete control of his men, and won from 
them their esteem and confidence. He visited every barrack and held 
elections for the officers that should lead the men. His idea was that 
the men who looked through the sights and pulled the triggers were 
the ones to say who should lead them. The Colonel was right, for with- 
out confidence in your leader you might just as well quit. A captain 
without the confidence of his men had a dissatisfied command and invari- 
ably a poorly drilled and unorganized body of men. At their election 
the men from Nevada chose the same three officers that Governor Sadler 
had appointed. In picking the first two the men acted wisely. They were 
well qualified and thoroughly conversant with military ways. They 
understood the drill, the wants and needs of the men in camp. Both 
had long been members of well organized companies in the State, and 
Captain Cox, at the time of his appointment, held the rank of major on 
the Governor's staff. 

On the morning of the iQth day of May, 1898, the troop was mustered 
into the service of the United States Volunteer Army. From that time 
on rigid discipline and strict adherence to everything military was 
enforced. From reveille to retreat each man had his duty to perform, and 
it can be said of the members of Troop M that they performed their 
duties well. 'Tis true it was not done with the precision of the regular 
soldier, but it was done as nearly right as was known to the volunteer. 
It was not expected of him that he would drill, guard, salute and in all 
things military, do as well though before the close of the war the 
volunteer was well advanced in army ways. 

The month that was spent drilling at Fort D. A. Russell made a marked 
difference in every man. From the raw recruit could be seen the advance 
made toward a regular. The steady and manly bearing, the rhythmic 
tramp, tramp, tramp as the troops marched from one side of the drill 
ground to the other showed the improvement made daily in drill. The 
different evolutions were executed with precision and regularity, and the 
commands were obeyed without uneasiness. After two weeks' drill a 
visiting officer standing in front of Colonel Torrey's quarters was heard 


to remark, "Well, I didn't expect to see such drilling in so short a time." 
It was near the middle of June before horses enough had been pur- 
chased by the Government to make an issue to the troops. The officers 
had been receiving mounted drill under the excellent and efficient instruc- 
tion of Major Harboard. It was a new page in the life of the troop 
when it was mounted. A number of the men were fine riders, a number 
were not. Those who were not furnished the amusement for those who 
were. I have seen the drill stopped to watch some poor fellow grabbing 
blindly for the pommel of the saddle in order the more securely to estab- 
lish his seat on the horse, and at last land flat on his back in the dirt. 
But learn to ride they must. 

It was about the middle of June when a meeting of officers was called 
to get an idea as to where the majority of the men desired to go. We 
had our choice, we were informed, of going to the Philippines without 
our horses, or to Cuba and take them with us. There was a division 
on this proposition. Some wanted to go to the Philippines and leave 
the horses behind. Some wanted to go to Cuba in true cavalry fashion. 
Some said the pride of a cavalryman would not permit of his traveling 
as a "dough boy." Some sneered at this, for war is war, whether one 
is on horseback or on foot. It was at last decided to take Cuba, if we 
could, on horseback. Orders shortly afterward came directing the regi- 
ment to report to General Lee, at Jacksonville, Florida. The time seemed 
ripe now to reach the front. It was the opinion of many that we would 
be ordered direct to Cuba. How eagerly all looked forward to the day 
of departure, which was set for the 22d of June. The old fort was in 
a fever of excitement. The Rough Riders' war song was echoed from 
barrack to barrack. Tales of Indian fights and battles of the Civil War 
were repeated. The Spaniard was doomed. We were going to Cuba. 
Guns were cleaned, saddle-bags and outfits overhauled and everything 
put in readiness for actual campaigning. For all thought our stay in 
Florida would not be long. How visionary was our hope. How little 
did we dream of spending the remaining days of our service camped in 
Florida. It was surely a disappointed regiment that was mustered out 
in Jacksonville on the 25th day of October, 1898. 

In the evening of the 22d of June four trains pulled out of Cheyenne 
carrying the regiment on its way South. It was an eventful trip. At St. 
Joseph, Mo., the engine pulling our section turned over in the yards, 


killing both the engineer and fireman. At Tupelo, Miss., our train 
crashed into the rear of Colonel Torrey's train -while it was taking water. 
Fortunately, none of the Nevada boys were seriously hurt, but as a result 
of the wreck eight members of the regiment were buried and over fifty 
wounded. The personality and pre-eminent power of our Colonel was 
shown on this occasion. Lying in a little negro hut a short distance from 
the track, with both feet badly crushed, head cut and bleeding and body 
bruised and sore, he had men reporting to him at brief intervals the 
condition of affairs, and from his cot he issued the necessary orders. 
His thoughts were not of his own safety, but of the safety of his men. 
I remember I rushed up to where he lay and asked what I could do for 
him. Taking my hand in his, the blood running down his face from a cut 
over the right eye, he said, "Nothing, Lieutenant; but there is lots you 
can do for .the men." It was Colonel Torrey who succeeded in getting 
from the railroad company $5,000 for each family that had lost a son or 
relative, and from $100 upward for the boys who were wounded. From 
the very first day that the troops began to arrive at Fort Russell to 
the date of muster out, Colonel Torrey bent every energy toward the 
betterment and comfort of his regiment. It was his earnest desire to 
win for the Western cowboys a name worthy their metal, and to show 
to the world the quality of the man who throws his leg over a bronco 
and hunts the western plains for cattle. 

Panama Park, where the regiment went into camp on the 28th of 
June, is just seven miles from Jacksonville. At the time of our arrival 
there were about fourteen regiments camped around Jacksonville, but 
before two weeks had passed the number increased to twenty-seven. 
We were the only regiment of cavalry in the Seventh Army Corps. Ex- 
tended order in drill was immediately taken up to prepare the troops for 
Cuba. From six to eight hours a day was spent in drill. As soon as the 
troops understood the different movements in extended order, squadron 
drill was begun. Troop M occupied the right of the second squadron, 
under command of Major Wheeler, of Denver, an old Indian fighter, 
and at one time captain in the regular army. The constant drilling under 
the semi-tropical sun of Florida was telling on the men. The month of 
August saw twenty to thirty men in line for drill, when forty to fifty 
were out during the month of July. September saw a still less number. 
The drill hours were cut down, until finally one drill a day was had, 


and that in the early morning, occupying about two hours and a half. 
Our drill ground was any open spot large enough for four troops to 
maneuver in. Every Saturday morning inspection of troops and camp 
was held. But of all the days in the army, the most enjoyable is the 
pay day, and those were the days few and far between. 

A decided improvement was made in drilling by all the troops until it 
was learned that we were expected to do garrison duty in Havana. When 
war ceased and the fighting had stopped the interest in the work that 
had been progressing so nicely dropped off. Most of the men had given 
up good positions to enlist. Now that they were not needed to fight 
they wished to return to their positions. Strong protests were raised 
in opposition to the garrison duty which it was said we were expected 
to do. Petitions were circulated, small groups of men could be seen 
discussing the situation. A committee was appointed to wait on Colonel 
Torrey. The matter drifted along, but the protests had their effect. 

During all this time the hospitals were steadily filling up with the 
sick. The troops were becoming weaker and weaker in numbers. At 
one time only twenty-two men out of eighty in Troop M were able for 
duty. Every day saw men leaving on sick furlough. Every day saw 
some one taken to the depot wrapped in the Stars and Stripes. The 
Colonel was doing all in his power to check the sickness. He cut down 
the number of guards. The police detail was lightened and work done 
only in the morning and evening. It was apparent that something must 
be done. The camp was becoming foul. A number of attempts were 
made to move the camp, but all fell through. At last Colonel Torrey made 
a trip to Washington, the result of which was the mustering out of the 
regiment on the 25th day of October. 

What happened between the middle of September and the day the 
regiment was mustered out is left for others to tell. On the 22d of 
September I was taken down with typhoid fever, and it was the roth of 
November before the doctor would allow me to be taken from the bed. 

During our four months in Florida it was the good fortune of Troop M 
not to lose a man by sickness. While a great many were taken down 
with the fever, and some were near death's door, still all lived to return 
home. Some still suffer from the effects of the southern climate, and 
one has died since his return. Sergeant Hill, from Winnemucca, was 
the only one of Troop M to give up his life for his country. He died 


from the effects of sickness contracted while in the army a few months 
ago. By his faithfulness to men and officers, his courteous treatment of 
those under him and the ready performance of any duty assigned him, 
he soon rose in the esteem of his fellow-soldiers and the officers of the 
troop. It was with sorrow and regret that we read of his untimely 
death. Of the little band of patriots that went forth to represent the 
State at the first call for troops, Sergeant Hill's name is the only one 
that receives no response at roll call. 


The Nevada National Guard was organized as follows: Chas. R. 
Reeves, being a member of the Governor's staff and a Colonel, resigned 
that office and position to organize the Nevada National Guards, as the 
State had no military officers except the State Police. Co. A was or- 
ganized on June 24, 1912, at Reno, Nevada, with Chas. R. Reeves as 
Captain, L. G. B. McDowell as First Lieutenant and Macon Elder as 
Second Lieutenant. Co. B was organized under the direction of Captain 
Reeves on July 27, 1912, at Fallon, Nevada, with C. M. Way as Captain 
and Wm. H. Reeves as First Lieutenant and Chas. M. Wainscott as 
Second Lieutenant. Co. C. was organized in February, 1913, at Reno, 
Nevada, with Macon Elder as Captain, John Pohland as First Lieutenant 
and Fred Arnold as Second Lieutenant. Co. D was organized September 
7, 1912, at Lovelock, Nevada, with Edward L. Connell as Captain, Caisto 
S. Park as First Lieutenant and Howard Riddle as Second Lieutenant. 

The Nevada National Guard consists of one battalion of infantry 304 
strong. In the annual report of the Adjutant-General of 1912, on page 
17, he states: "After being without organized militia for a period of 
six years and two months the State has a body of citizen soldiers as 
above enrolled." 



The Grand Army of the Republic of the Department of California 
and Nevada met at Reno, June 10 to 14, 1913. For a number of years 
the State has been trying to secure the encampment. On April 3, 1912, 
Governor Tasker L. Oddie, upon the request of O. M. Mitchell Post, G. 
A. R., and Relief Corps, of Reno, appointed Col. C. R. Reeves, a member 
of his staff, a representative of the State to present Nevada's claims to 
the encampment at Stockton, California. The Stockton Record com- 
mented on the contest for the encampment at Stockton, 1912, and declared 
it was the most spectacular contest ever waged in California. It was stir- 
ring and exciting. Col. Reeves was ably supported by George Fick, of 
Sacramento, and J. M. Walling, of Nevada City, Miss Lenore Sollender, 
of Tonopah, and Cora Merritt, formerly of Reno. On the evening of 
the 1 2th of April, 1912, at Stockton, California, in response to the invita- 
tion and the address of Col. Reeves, the members of the G. A. R. voted 
by an overwhelming vote to hold the encampment at Reno. It was the 
first time that the State had won a meeting or a gathering larger than a 
State gathering since its admission into the Union. 

After the encampment at Stockton, Col. Reeves returned to Nevada 
and reported to the Governor the success of his mission, on the i8th 
of April, 1912. On March 6, 1913, the executive board fixed the en- 
campment at June 10 to 14, 1913, inclusive. On the 2Oth of March, 
1913, at Reno, an executive committee was formed with A. G. Fletcher 
as chairman and Col. C. R. Reeves as secretary. For weeks before the 
encampment every detail was carefully arranged for the comforts of 
the old soldier. On the 9th and loth of June, 1913, thousands of visitors 
arrived in Reno for the week. The Los Angeles Fife and Drum Corps, 
composed of veterans of the Civil War, the Boys' Choir, of Oakland, 
that sang patriotic songs during the Civil War, were among the noted 
visitors who attended. Captain Rolland, of Wells, Nevada, brought the 
original Old Glory flag and placed it on exhibition at the Nevada His- 
torical Society. It was a week of festivities and pleasures, the whole 
State of Nevada joining in doing honor to the visiting veterans. Senator 
Miller, of Lander County, introduced a bill in the Legislature appropriat- 
ing 2,500 to assist in meeting the expenses. Large sums of money were 
raised by the citizens of Reno, and on Friday, the I3th of June, 1913, the 


veterans of the Civil War boarded a train at the Virginia & Truckee Rail- 
way and visited Virginia City and the State Capitol, where they were 
royally entertained. All of the rolling-stock available for transportation 
on the Virginia & Truckee Railway was put into use to handle the excur^ 
sion to Virginia and Carson, so great was the demand for transportation 
to Virginia City and Carson that the railroad company could not handle 
them and hundreds remained in Reno. It was the first time in the history 
of the State that the miners of Nevada, who took from the earth millions 
of dollars during the Civil War, that was used to purchase clothing and 
food for the soldiers in the Federal army, met the soldier on common 
ground. It was a saddened surroundings to see a miner old and gray 
clasp the hand of a feeble veteran in memory of the trying days that both 
had gone through. 

The Governor issued a proclamation declaring the week a holiday and 
attended the encampment personally, accompanied by his personal staff. 
On June n, 1913, hundreds of old soldiers of the Civil War formed into 
a parade and marched through the streets of Reno, accompanied by the 
famous Fife and Drum Corps of Los Angeles, an Indian band from the 
Stewart Institute at Carson City and the brass bands of Reno. Under 
the management of Mrs. Georgia Hodgman, of Oakland, California, the 
women of the Pacific Coast formed in long lines and columns facing the 
line of march of the soldiers with large flags waving as the soldiers of 
the Civil War marched through the streets of Reno. It was the grandest 
view of the heroes of the Civil War that was ever afforded the citizens 
of Nevada. 

Phil Kearney Post No. 10, G. A. R., Department of California and 
Nevada, was first organized in Virginia City in 1868. All records of this 
Post were lost in the fire of 1875. The above Post was reorganized and 
granted a new charter on October 2, 1879, with twenty-one charter mem- 
bers. John A. Robertson, the present adjutant, is the only member living 
in Virginia City that was a member of the original Post of sixty-eight 
members, and has held the office of adjutant for twenty-seven years. 
Phil. Kearney Women's Relief Corps No. 85, auxiliary to the above Post, 
was organized at Virginia City, Nevada, December 20, 1894, with eighteen 
charter members. 

Custer Post No. 5, Department of California and Nevada, was organ- 
ized at Carson City July 17, 1878, with twelve charter members: J. A. 


Burlingame, C. A. Witherell, Marshall Robinson, C. Kitzmeyer, C. H. 
Maish, D. H. Lentz, C. N. Harris, T. J. Edwards, Geo. W. White, Jos. 
W. Carpenter and J. E. Cheney. D. H. Lentz was first commander of 
this Post. 

Custer Women's Relief Corps No. 15 was organized at Carson City, 
auxiliary to Custer Post, February 6, 1884, with twenty charter members, 
Hannah Clapp being the first president of said corps. Mrs. D. Cobb is 
the only one of the charter members living at present. 

In Reno, September 27, 1884, Colonel Zabriskie, in obedience to orders 
from Headquarters G. A. R., Department of California and Nevada, mus- 
tered into the Grand Army of the Republic, Comrades W. E. Lindsay, 
F. F. Laycock, A. A. Evans, H. H. Hogan, J. M. Thompson, N. P. Jaques, 
A. G. Fletcher, Wm. Lucas, E. P. Beemis, D. D. Butterfield, S. R. Kemp, 
A. Zimmer and organized Gen. O. M. Mitchell Post No. 69. The officers 
having been duly installed by Colonel Zabriskie, P. C. Lindsay took 
charge as Post Commander, A. G. Fletcher as quartermaster, which office 
he has held to the present time. The greater number of the above named 
comrades rest in the Hillside G. A. R. plot, which is given the best of 
care by Gen. O. M. Mitchell Post and Women's Relief Corps, and where 
services are held on our National Memorial Day every year for both the 
living and dead. 

Gen. O. M. Mitchell, Women's Relief Corps, auxiliary to above Post, 
was organized at Reno, Nevada, July i, 1886, with twenty-five charter 
members, Mrs. C. Jaques being the first president and Mrs. L. O. Fletcher 
treasurer. There are still three of the charter members holding member- 
ship in this corps at present. 

Gettysburg Post No. 122 was organized at Tonopah, Nevada, , August 
17, 1912, with a charter list of twenty members, Miss Sollanger being the 
first president. 



The unenviable reputation, throughout the length and breadth of the 
land, in regard to the divorce law, has heaped ignominy on the State of 
Nevada. A few unscrupulous members of the legal fraternity, little 
better than outcasts at home, have come to Reno and besmirched the 
good name of a great State by their activity in converting into pernic- 
ious channels a law originally intended to give relief to mismated couples 
who could not travel the matrimonial highway in peace and harmony. 

The divorce law of Nevada was enacted by the first territorial legisla- 
tive assembly in 1861. The law was good enough for Nevada and gave 
general satisfaction until its exploitation for purely mercenary motives 

Twenty-two States have practically the same divorce laws in force on 
their statute books, with the exception of the provision regarding resi- 
dence. Until this year, Nevada required only six months' residence, but 
that had to be clearly established before action for dissolution of 
marriage could have any standing in the courts of the state. The resi- 
dence had to be absolute, without the lapse of a single day except where 
good and sufficient reason could be shown, and to the entire satisfaction 
of the trial court. 

Six months' residence was also necessary for citizenship in Nevada 
and enabled a man to exercise all the rights of a citizen. Therefore, it 
naturally follows, that he could prosecute a divorce, or any other kind 
of a suit, in the State of which he was a citizen. 

In order that the reader may reach an intelligent understanding of 
this much mooted question, the statute on divorce is quoted in full : 

Divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be obtained * * * for the 
following causes: 

"First Impotency at the time of marriage, continuing to the time of 


"Second Adultery, since marriage, remaining unforgiven. 

"Third Wilful desertion at any time, of either party by the other, 
for a period of one year. 

"Fourth 'Conviction of a felony or infamous crime. 

"Fifth Habitual gross drunkenness since marriage, of either party, 
which shall incapacitate him from contributing his or her share to the 
support of the family. 

"Sixth Extreme cruelty in either of the parties. 

"Seventh Neglect of the husband for the period of one year, to 
provide the common necessaries of life, when such neglect is not the 
result of poverty on the part of the husband, which he could have avoid- 
ed by ordinary industry." 

As the law governing the term of residence, to acquire citizenship, 
which obtained in Nevada for half a century without causing even 
passing comment, has been taken advantage of for mere mercenary 
motives, the unanimous verdict of a righteously indignant people went 
forth that the law should be amended, in some way, to correct the evil. 
Thus at the last session of the Legislature the time required to obtain 
a residence before obtaining a divorce was changed from six months to 
one year. 

If some sister States are stricken with remorse or find themselves in 
a sudden paroxysm of virtuous indignation, let them pass a law and 
enforce it, correcting the evils complained of at home, which will keep 
their divorces from coming to Reno Nevada does not want them. If 
they persist in coming, let their home State enact a law which will make 
a divorce decree obtained in Nevada, void and of no effect whenever and 
wherever said divorcee sets foot within the borders of the home State. 
When other States enact and rigidly enforce some such drastic measure, 
the West will begin to have some regard for their particular brand of 
virtue. Until then, the West may be pardoned for believing that cant 
and hypocrisy often join hands with the lawless element and make a 
grandstand play for political effect. 

Economic conditions in the West are vastly different from those in the 
East. Nevada is a sparsely populated country, and it is not considered to 
the best interest of the State to hedge about too closely the road which 
leads to citizenship. Anything which may have a tendency to obstruct 
immigration or turn it in another direction, is conceded, in this neck of 


the woods, to be unwise statesmanship. The State has a vital interest 
in securing and holding as large a population as is consistent with her 
rapidly increasing resources; always keeping steadily in view the fact 
that none but desirable citizens are wanted. If, however, the other kind 
come, as they sometimes do, Nevada is ready to cope with the situa- 
tion, as many of that class can testify from personal experience. 

Nevada is a veteran of the Civil War, having been organized as a 
territory in 1861, and admitted as a State of this glorious Union in 
1864. No soldier on the field of battle ever made a more gallant de- 
fense of his country than did this "Battle Born" State during the trying 
times of the war. What she lacked in men was made up in money. 
Nevada was baptised in the blood of the nation and paid for her bap- 
tismal rite in a flood of gold and silver. With this flood of gold and 
silver, she saved the commercial honor of the country. This gold and 
silver paid the armies of the Civil War, averted national bankruptcy, 
and enabled the Government to resume specie payment in 1873. 

Those were dark days in the financial and political history of the 
United States, and Nevada, maligned and despised as she is to-day in 
some quarters, was the savior of her country in that most critical period 
of her history. The State that furnished the sinews of war should have 
some standing in the hearts and minds of the American people, even if 
Republics are ungrateful. 

From the best information at hand, it would appear that the mines 
of Nevada have yielded the enormous sum of two billion dollars during 
the past fifty years. Of this amount it is conceded that the Comstock 
alone produced fully one-half. The figures are given in round numbers, 
but are considered by mining men who are posted in such matters to be 
conservative. Thousands of discoveries, many of them marvelously rich, 
are still being made all over the state, in hitherto unknown and undevel- 
oped territory. Besides gold, silver and copper, immense deposits of 
salt, borax, lime, platinum, sulphur, soda, potash-salts, cinnabar, arsenical 
ores, zinc, coal, antimony, cobalt, nickel, nitre, isinglass, manganese, alum, 
kaolin, iron, gypsum, mica and graphite exist in large quantities. 

Proudly conscious of her strength and probity of character, great big- 
hearted Nevada looks down from her lofty pedestal and freely pardons 
all who may have misjudged her. This is Nevada's record. Match it, 
if you can. 




Counties Churchill, Storey and Lyon. 

Townships 17 and 18 N., Rs. 17 to 30 E. ; 19 N., Rs. 26 to 31 E. ; 20 
N., Rs. 22 to 31 E., Mount Diablo meridian. 
Railroad Southern Pacific. 
Railroad stations Fernly, Hazen and Fallon. 
Average elevation of irrigable area 4,000 feet above sea level. 
Average annual rainfall on irrigable area 4 inches. 
Range of temperature on irrigable area o F. to 105 F. 


Source of water supply Truckee and Carson rivers. 

Area of drainage basin 3,450 square miles. 

Annual run-off in acre- feet Truckee River at Tahoe (519 square 
miles), 1901 to 1908, maximum, 703,000; minimum, 112,000; mean, 
310,000. Truckee River at Vista (1,520 square miles), 1890 to 1892 and 
1899 to 1907, maximum, 2,220,000; minimum, 394,000; mean, 927,000. 
Carson River at Empire (988 square miles), 1890, 1895 and 1900 to 1908, 
maximum, 789,000; minimum, 178,000; mean, 434,000. 


Reservoirs Lake Tahoe Area, 125,000 acres; capacity, 750,000 acre- 
feet ; length of spillway, 85 feet ; elevation of spillway, 6 feet above stream 
bed. Alkali Flat Area, 8,500 acres; capacity, 228,000 acre-feet. Lower 
Carson Area, 11,000 acres; capacity, 290,000 acre-feet. 


Storage Dams Lake Tahoe Type, concrete sluiceway regulator ; maxi- 
mum height, 14 feet; length of crest, 109 feet; volume, 425 cubic yards. 
Lower Carson not designed. 

Diversion Dams Truckee River Type, concrete sluiceways ; maxi- 
mum height, 22 feet 4 inches; length of masonry, 171 feet; length of 
earth fill, 1,160 feet. Carson River Type, concrete sluiceways ; maximum 
height, 20 feet 9 inches ; length of masonry, 240 feet. Others not de- 

Length of canals (first unit) 104 miles with capacities greater than 
300 second- feet; 79 miles with capacities from 300 to 50 second-feet; 502 
miles with capacities less than 50 second-feet. 

Aggregate length of tunnels 2,830 feet. 

Aggregate length of dikes 50,000 feet. 

Water power Estimated total, 8,000 horsepower. 


Irrigable area Whole project, 206,000 acres ; first unit, 96,573 acres. 

Present status of irrigable lands (whole project) 21,979 acres, entered 
subject to the Reclamation Act, 21,859 acres open to entry, 96,613 acres 
withdrawn from entry, 102 acres of State lands, 65,447 acres in private 
ownership (including 10,031 acres of railroad lands). 

Area for which the service is prepared to supply water, season of 1910 
85,000 acres. 

Area irrigated, season of 1910 35,000 acres. 

Length of irrigation season 214 days. 

Character of soil of irrigable area Sand, sandy loam, adobe and clay. 

Principal products Alfalfa, grain, potatoes and onions. 

Principal markets Nevada mining camps, California cities. 


Dates of public notices and orders relating thereto May 6, 1907; 
November I, 1907; January 30, 1908; April 4, 1908; June 5, 1908; De- 
cember 26, 1908; March i, 1909; September 28, 1909; April 26, 1910. 

Location of lands opened Tps. 18, 19 and 20 N., Rs. 24 to 30 E., 
Mount Diablo meridian. 


Present status of irrigable lands 21,979 acres entered subject to the 
Reclamation Act, 102 acres of State lands, 46,117 acres in private owner- 
ship (including 10,031 acres of railroad lands). 

Limit of area of farm units Public, 80 acres ; private, 160 acres. 

Duty of water 3 acre-feet per acre per annum at the farm. 

Building charge per acre of irrigable land $22 and $30. 

Annual operation and maintenance charge $0.60 per acre of irrigable 


Reconnaissance made and preliminary surveys begun in 1902. 
Construction authorized by secretary, March 14, 1903. 
Carson River headworks and main distributing canals completed Sep- 
tember, 1905. 

Main lower Truckee canal completed June, 1905. 
First irrigation by Reclamation Service, season of 1906. 
First unit 90 per cent, completed June 30, 1910. 


The irrigation plan of the Truckee-Carson project provides for the 
storage of water in a number of small reservoirs on the head-waters of 
Truckee River, in Lake Tahoe, in the Alkali Flat reservoir, near Church- 
ill, Nevada, and in Lower Carson reservoir, on Carson River, near Hazen, 
Nevada; the diversion of water from Truckee River by a dam about 
twenty miles below Reno, Nevada, in the main lower Truckee canal, sup- 
plying water to lands in the Truckee and Carson River valleys and to the 
Lower Carson reservoir; the diversion of water from Carson River by 
a dam near Dayton, Nevada, into two canals, one watering lands south 
of the river and the other watering lands north of the river and supplying 
Alkali Flat reservoir ; the return to Carson River through an outlet tunnel 
and canal of water from Alkali Flat reservoir ; the diversion of water from 
Carson River by a dam about three miles below the outlet of Alkali Flat 
reservoir into two canal systems watering lands in Churchill Valley on 


both sides of the river; and the diversion of water from Carson River 
by a dam about five miles below the Lower Carson storage dam into two 
canal systems, one on either side of the river, watering lands in the Lower 
Carson River Valley. 


Irrigation has been practiced in a small way along the streams of 
Nevada for a good many years. In 1889 and 1890, under the direction of 
Maj. J. W. Powell, director of the United States Geological Survey, sys- 
tematic investigations were begun of the flow of the Truckee River and 
tributary streams, and reconnaissance and surveys of lakes considered 
feasible for storage reservoirs were made. Further surveys of the lakes 
were made in 1900, and additional data collected in reference to stream 
flow. On January n, 1902, the director of the Geological Survey, in 
response to a resolution by the United States Senate, submitted to the 
Secretary of the Interior a report upon the utilization of Lake Tahoe 
as a reservoir of water for irrigation purposes, in which report it was 
held that by providing for control of six feet in depth on the lake, or an 
actual storage capacity of 750,000 acre-feet, an annual storage supply 
of 200,000 acre-feet could be depended upon for irrigation. 

Immediately after the organization of the Reclamation Service in June, 
1902, Mr. L. H. Taylor, in charge of the investigations in Nevada, was 
instructed to prepare for utilizing the waters of Truckee and Carson 
Rivers in an irrigation project. Based upon the investigations that had 
already been made, and on further surveys begun immediately, general 
plans were prepared in the fall of 1902 and early part of 1903. These 
plans, as outlined in a letter by the Director of the Geological Survey to 
the Secretary of the Interior, dated March 7, 1903, included the storing of 
water in Lake Tahoe, the construction of a canal from Truckee River, 
near Wadsworth, to the Carson River, a storage reservoir on Carson 
River, the necessary systems of distribution canals, and eventually other 
storage reservoirs in the Truckee and Carson River basins. It was recom- 
mended that development of the general project as outlined be approved, 
that the examination of irrigable lands, reservoirs, etc., be continued, that 
steps be taken to procure title to the lands needed for reservoirs, and that 
work be continued in greater detail for the ascertainment of facts neces- 


sary for the preparation of specifications and the letting of contracts for 
the construction of irrigation works. On March 14, 1903, the Secretary of 
the Interior approved the general project as recommended and authorized 
the preparation of plans and specifications for construction to be submitted 
to him for approval. 


The first work undertaken on the Truckee-Carson project was the con- 
struction of a canal, known as the main lower Truckee Canal, to divert 
water from Truckee River and convey it in part to the Carson River, and 
in part for the irrigation of adjacent lands. 

This canal is thirty-one miles in length and has a capacity of 1,500 
second-feet at the intake, and of 1,200 second-feet at its end where it dis- 
charges into the Carson River. For about ten miles, the canal passes 
along the steep sides of the canyon of Truckee River, where concrete lin- 
ing was required in many places and where three tunnels were needed, 
aggregating about 2,700 feet in length. For the remaining distance, the 
canal is in earth section and in general offered little difficulty in construc- 

The diversion dam on Truckee River comprises a set of sixteen con- 
crete sluice-ways and an earth-fill dam 1,160 feet in length. The concrete 
structure rests on a foundation of compact gravel and bowlders. It has 
a floor 30 feet wide and 8.8 feet thick, and the length of the structure in- 
cluding the abutments is 171 feet. The foundation was reinforced with old 
steel rails and the upper part of the structure was reinforced with steel 
girders. Each sluiceway is 5 feet wide, and is closed by double cast-iron 
gates to a height of 10 feet, and, when desired, by 5 flashboards reaching 
40 inches higher. The intake to the canal is placed at right angles to and at 
the south end of the diversion dam. It contains nine gate-openings, closed 
by double cast-iron gates similar to those used in diversion sluiceways, and 
by flashboards, increasing the height by sixteen inches. The intake struc- 
ture is reinforced with a steel girder above the gates and steel columns in 
the piers. Immediately below the intake of the canal is a concrete spillway, 
loo feet in length, discharging through a concrete and rock-lined channel 
into the river below the diversion dam. 


In a distance of two miles, beginning about six and one-half miles from 
the head of the canal, are three tunnels having lengths of 901, 308.7, and 
1,515 feet, respectively. All of the tunnels are lined with concrete. In the 
canyon there are, besides the headworks, three important concrete struc- 
tures, two wasteways, 4.6 and 7.6 miles, respectively, from the head of the 
canal, and the headworks of the Pyramid branch canal six miles from the 
Truckee River diversion dam. Each of the wasteways has five openings 
placed in the side of a concrete-lined basin 45 feet long with its bottom 6 
feet below the bed of the canal. The basin in the first wasteway is 36 
feet wide, and in the second, 16 feet wide. The wasteway openings are 
each 5 feet square in the clear and are closed by Taintor gates operating 
on horizontal shafts at the level of the top of the gate-opening. The radius 
from the center of the shaft to the outside surface of the gate is 7 feet 5% 
inches. The gates are counterweighted with buckets filled with water ; and 
all of the gates can be opened in one operation by means of a crank turning 
a shaft to which the gates are attached by wire cables and suitable drums. 

The discharge from the first wasteway is into an open channel lined with 
concrete for a distance of about 80 feet, but the second wasteway dis- 
charges into a shaft about 47 feet deep, and thence through a tunnel 115 
feet in length under the Southern Pacific Railway to an open channel lined 
with concrete for a short distance. In both cases the waste water returns 
to Truckee River. In connection with the headworks of the Pyramid 
Branch Canal there is installed in the main canal a check-gate structure 
with six openings, each 5 feet wide by 13 feet high. Above the check 
gates and on the north side of the canal are located the headworks of the 
Pyramid Branch Canal, with two openings 5 feet wide by 10 feet high. 
Both the check gates and the canal head gates are double cast iron gates, 
similar to those used in the diversion dam and the Truckee Canal head- 
works. When desired, flashboards can be used over the check gates to 
close the full height of 13 feet. The abutments for the Pyramid branch 
headworks were stepped down to the foundations and left in this condition 
with the intention of extending the walls to include a fore-bay for a siphon 
across the canyon when the branch line shall be built. The gates were 
banked with earth on both sides for the present. 

About ten miles from the headworks of the canal the end of the Truckee 
Canyon is reached, and the remainder of the canal line lies on a gentle 
slope from the foothills along the edge of a wide valley. The canal ter- 


minates about seven miles, south and west of Hazen, and at this point the 
water is discharged into the Carson River through a temporary wooden 
flume or chute built on a steep side of a hill. No other structures were 
built on this division of the canal. 

Plans and specifications for the construction of the main Truckee Canal 
and headworks were approved by the department in May, 1903 (Specifica- 
tions No. i) and proposals were opened July 15. The work was divided 
into three divisions, the first embracing the diversion dam, the headworks 
of the canal, a portion of the canal excavation in the canyon, and the Pyra- 
mid branch headworks ; the second division including the remaining canal 
excavation in the canyon, with the tunnels and wasteways ; and the third 
division consisting of canal excavation only for about twenty miles through 
the valley. Contracts were executed for Divisions i and 2 on September 3, 
1903, and for Division 3 on August 28, 1903. The work on Division i was 
completed in June, 1905, that on Division 2 in April, 1905 ; and that on the 
Division 3 in September, 1904. The temporary chute at the end of the 
canal for discharging its waters into Carson River was built by force ac- 
count in the year 1905. In the spring of 1910 the construction of a per- 
manent concrete structure for this purpose was begun by force account. 


On Carson River, about four miles below the end of the Truckee Canal, 
are located the headworks of the main distributing canals of the project. 
Diversion is accomplished by means of concrete regulator sluice-ways 
across the river and concrete headworks with rising weir gates. The dam 
or regulating works contains twenty-three gate-openings, each 5 feet wide. 
The openings are closed by double cast-iron gates 10 feet in combined 
height and similar to those used in the Truckee dam, together with flash- 
boards for an additional height of 32 inches when desired. The concrete 
floor of the dam is about 32 feet wide in the direction of the stream and 
rests on a timber floor supported by round piles and having two rows of 
sheet-piling, one at the upper and the other at the lower edge. At the south 
end of the dam is the intake of a canal having an initial capacity of 1,500 
second-feet, and at the north end is located the intake of a canal having an 
initial capacity of 500 second-feet. The intake for the south side canal is 
controlled by three steel rising weirs each 15 feet long and 5 feet high, and 


the intake for the north side canal has one such rising weir. The south 
side canal constitutes the main canal system and extends for a distance of 
about twenty-two miles, and together with the necessary laterals and dis- 
tributing ditches will irrigate a large amount of land on the south side of 
the river. The canal in its course crosses both the south branch and New 
River, which are channels carrying parts of the natural flow of the Carson 
River. About seven miles from the head of the canal is located a drop in 
the canal of 6.74 feet, in connection with which there is a wasteway de- 
signed for returning any desired portion of the canal flow to the South 
Branch. The North side distributing canal serves lands north of Carson 
River and northwest of Old River Branch. Both of the distributing 
canals have concrete structures for diverting water into laterals at various 

Early in 1904 plans and specifications were prepared for the construction 
of the distributing canals and structures, including the headworks on 
Carson River (Specifications No. 13). These plans and specifications were 
approved by the department April 15, 1904, and proposals for the work 
were opened July 15, 1904. Four contracts were executed as follows: For 
bridges, on August 19, 1904; for the excavation work, on September 9, 
1904; for the head gates and other structures, except the Carson River 
headworks, on September 17, 1904; and for the Carson River headworks, 
on September 29, 1904. The work was begun promptly on all of the con- 
tracts and was carried on during the fall of 1904 and the early season of 
1905. The bridges were completed in March, the excavation in June, the 
Carson River headworks in July, and the other structures in September, 


The lateral system for the distribution of waters from the main dis- 
tributing canals to the lands to be irrigated is divided into seven divisions 
or districts, supplying from 20,000 to 50,000 acres of land each. In the 
larger laterals the principal structures are made of concrete in a substan- 
tial manner, but many of the farm turn-outs and other structures on small 
laterals are constructed of wood. On November 17, 1904, the department 
approved plans and specifications for the construction of about 150 miles 
of lateral irrigation canals, together with necessary structures (Specifica- 


tion No. 20). Proposals were received December 15, 1904, respectively, 
January 21, 24 and 30, 1905. The contracts were completed during the 
seasons of 1905 and 1906. In connection with the structures for these 
laterals there was included the construction of a large concrete drop on the 
main south side distributing canal about six miles below the head of the 
canal. The drop in water surface is 25.6 feet, and the capacity of the 
canal at this point is 1,400 second-feet. In connection with the structure 
there were built substantial concrete foundations for a proposed power- 
house for utilizing the fall of water in developing electric power, but no 
superstructure has yet been erected or planned. 

Other plans and specifications for extension of laterals and the building 
of structures were approved by the department on March 9, 1906 (Speci- 
fications No. 80), and July 27, 1906 (Specifications No. 112). No pro- 
posals were received under the advertisement for either of these sets of 
specifications and the work was authorized to be done by force account 
and was completed in the seasons of 1906 and 1907. Slight additional ex- 
tensions of the distributing laterals and the building of a few additional 
structures were carried on during the seasons of 1908 and 1909, when the 
distribution system for the irrigation of the first unit of the project, con- 
taining about 90,000 acres of irrigable lands, was practically completed. 


On April 29, 1905, the department approved plans and specifications for 
the construction of outlet controlling works for Lake Tahoe (Specifica- 
tion No. 37). Proposals were opened on June 15, 1905, and a contract 
was executed for the work on July 5. Shortly after the contractor began 
work he was stopped by an injunction secured by landowners in the vicin- 
ity of the outlet. Settlement was finally made with the contractor and the 
work abandoned for the time. In 1909, however, under a proposed con- 
tract with one of the power companies utilizing water from Lake Tahoe, 
the construction of regulating works was begun by the company and par- 
tially completed. It is hoped that the project will be able in the near future 
to control the outlet of the lake and gain the full advantage of its storage 



In 1906 the service began the delivery of water through the distributing 
system for irrigation purposes. For that season delivery of water was 
confined to lands in private ownership that had previously been irrigated 
and for which the service was bound by contract to supply water. About 
15,000 acres were irrigated during the season. In succeeding seasons 
the delivery of water for irrigation was gradually extended to larger areas, 
including both private lands previously irrigated and public lands entered 
under the homestead laws. The areas irrigated have been 27,450 acres 
in 1908, 33,000 acres in 1909 and 35,000 acres in 1910. 


The extension of the lateral system in district 5 to water a portion 
of the land allotted to the Piute Indians was surveyed in the fall of 1909, 
and proposals for excavation were received and contracts awarded in 
November. There were 21 miles of laterals and drains, and the exca- 
vation of 94,000 cubic yards of material was required. The necessary 
structures were built by force account, and the work was completed in 
April, 1910. An office building for project headquarters at Fallon was 
constructed by contract, and was completed in May, 1910. A topographic 
survey of the state of the Lower Carson storage dam was made, and the 
sub-surface foundation material was investigated by diamond drill and 
wash-drill borings, test-pits and tunnels. The construction of a concrete 
chute to discharge water from the main lower Truckee canal into the Car- 
son River had been commenced. During the year a complete review and 
revision of project estimates and general plans for development were 
made, new estimates of the cost of the parts of the project not yet con- 
structed being prepared. The character of ownership and irrigability of 
the lands in various parts of the project were given special attention, and 
reports of areas have been adjusted to conform to the conditions thus 
determined. The operation and maintenance of the completed portions of 
the project have been continued during the fiscal year without unusual 
incident. An adequate supply of water has been available to meet all 
demands for irrigation and no serious interruptions in delivery have 
occurred. In July, August and September, 1909, and in June, 1910, stored 


water from Lake Tahoe was used, through the courtesy of the power 
company in control of the outlet, to supplement the natural flow of Truckee 
and Carson rivers. This was done pending the conclusion of arrange- 
ments by means of which the United States would secure the control of 
storage rights on Lake Tahoe. On June 30, 1910, there were in effect on 
the project 261 homestead entries, containing 16,748 acres of irrigable 
land ; 373 water-right applications for lands in private ownership, contain- 
ing 30,317 acres of irrigable land, and contracts recognizing vested water- 
rights for 12,861 acres of land. The production of crops during the 
season of 1909 was generally good throughout the valley. The principal 
crops, acreages and yields were: Alfalfa, 8,124 acres, 21,265 tons; grass- 
hay, 2,083 acres, 2,777 tons 5 small grains, 4,873 acres, 2,972 tons ; potatoes, 
385 acres, 1,793 tons; 13,685 acres were used as pasture and 134 acres 
have been planted to orchards in which over 8,000 trees are growing. 


In accordance with the original plans for the project, the construction 
of a water storage reservoir in the Lower Carson River was commenced 
early in 1911. 

This large feature of construction was authorized by the Secretary of 
the Interior on December 31, 1910, and the approved method of work 
was by direct employment of government forces instead of contract work. 
A railroad station was established and a commodious camp built on the 
Goldfield Branch of the Southern Pacific Railway about seven miles south 
of Hazen, the station and camp being named "Lahontan," in commemo- 
ration of the early explorer and the primeval lake which was christened 
for him; and hence the name Lahontan dam and Lahontan reservoir 
which constitute the principal storage unit of the project. Actual con- 
struction work on the dam was begun in the spring of 1911, and good 
progress in all lines was made throughout the year. 

An important feature of this construction was a hydro-electric plant for 
developing electric power by means of the fall of the main Truckee Canal 
into Carson River below Lahontan dam. This power plant was designed 
not only for furnishing energy to construction motors in the work of 
building the dam, but was also made of sufficient capacity for supplying 
electric current for power and lights at Fallen and elsewhere on the pro- 


ject. By contract with the City of Fallen, the Government built a trans- 
mission line from Lahontan to Fallen and undertook to furnish 200 
kilowatts of power for distribution by the city to the consumers. 

The feature of work on the dam during 1911 was the excavation by 
steam shovel of the two large spillways appurtenant to the dam. 

Early in 1912 excavation had proceeded far enough so that the con- 
struction of the concrete cut-off wall across the bed of the river and up 
the sides of the valley underneath the dam could be made. This was 
followed by the building of the double nine foot diameter concrete con- 
duits which form the outlet of the reservoir and furnish the means of 
delivering water from storage in the reservoir and discharging it into 
the stream below the dam, whence it flows to Carson dam for diversion 
into the main canals. 

During the summer of 1912 excavation and concrete work was in active 
progress, and the work was being carried out according to programme by a 
force of from 250 to 300 men together with a large number of teams and 
the employment of a large amount of electric and other machinery. 

The construction plant was of the most modern type of labor saving 
machinery, and work was being carried on very smoothly by a competent 

According to the programme of operations the reservoir was to be com- 
pleted in the spring of 1914 so that the flood waters of that season could 
be retained for irrigation purposes on the project in the late summer of 
that year. 


Pending the completion of the storage reservoir, no attempt was made 
to enlarge the settlement of the project or the opening of additional lands 
during the years 1910, 1911 and 1912. There was, however, a distinct 
increase in acreage cultivated, in population resident, and in crop values 
during these years. 

In 1911 the agricultural population reached a total of about 1,600 upon 
469 farms. Horses, cattle and hogs numbered about 9,000 in addition to 
the large numbers of cattle and sheep driven in from the ranges during 
the fall of the year to be fed for the western markets. The poultry busi- 


ness also reached very large figures. The dairy business was a growing 
industry, and the creamery at Fallen was making considerable shipments 
of butter. 

During 1911 a very large sugar factory was completed and the first 
sugar made from beets grown on the project was turned out on January 

2, 1912. 

The late spring of 1911 somewhat reduced the yield of early crops of 
Alfalfa, but notwithstanding this, the total yield of the year showed a 
substantial increase over previous years and amounted to above 31,000 
tons. The yield of grain was above 2,000 tons, potatoes 2,600 tons and 
considerable quantities of other crops. 

The total value of crops produced on the project during 1911 aggregated 
nearly half a million dollars. 


In 1910 there was completed the new concrete chute which forms the 
lower terminus of Truckee Canal for discharging the Truckee River 
water into the Carson. The new concrete chute takes the place of the 
original timber chute which was built at the time of completing this main 
;anal and was intended for temporary use pending the construction of 
the reservoir in the Carson River into which the new concrete chute would 

Various extensions of the lateral and drainage systems were made 
during the three years under consideration, and considerable amounts 
of structure work, both in timber and in concrete, were carried on in con- 
nection with this water distribution system. 

Early in 1912 an improved form of spillway was made at Truckee dam 
near Derby whereby the driftwood coming down the river could be dis- 
charged over the dam without interference with the sluice-gates. 

An additional improvement on this Truckee dam was the rebuilding 
of the fish-ladder for the purpose of facilitating the migration of fish 
upstream from Pyramid Lake to the upper reaches of the river. The 
operation of this ladder was carefully watched, and it was found that the 
fish encountered but little difficulty in making the passage through the 
dam by this means. 


An improvement in the Truckee Canal below Fernley consisted in the 
erection of a concrete and timber-check structure by means of which water 
in the canal when at low stages could be retarded sufficiently for supplying 
the laterals in the vicinity of Fernley. 


At the date of compiling this history the prospects for the project 
were most encouraging ; the experimental stage had been passed ; the 
reclamation of desert lands had been successfully carried out, and abun- 
dant crops were being produced upon lands which formerly were desert 
wastes grown up in greasewood and inhabited by jack rabbits and coyotes. 

The farmers generally were attaining a measure of success some more 
than others, according to skill and capital invested. 

The Government on its part was continuing the large investment of 
money and the active work of enlarging the project to the scope which was 
originally designed. 




Since the greater part of agriculture in the State of Nevada is 
absolutely dependent upon irrigation for crop production, or the arti- 
ficial application of water to the soil, the question of water supply 
is of vital importance, not only to those engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits, but to the entire population of the State, and a knowledge of 
the extent, character and distribution of this supply, and means 
for the best distribution of the same, becomes a matter of interest 
to every citizen. 

To many the thought has never occurred as to why the State of 
Nevada is so arid, and the following description of the State will 
not be amiss at this time. The only source of Nevada's water supply 
is the snow that falls upon her own mountain ranges, together with 
some additional moisture from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas 
in California, the southeastern part of Oregon and the northeastern 
part of Utah. The precipitation that occurs in the form of rain is so 
light and so scattered that dependence upon it to make up what is 
lacking in atmospheric humidity is practically negligible. 

In topographic configuration Nevada is peculiar. All the main 
mountain ranges have a general northerly and southerly trend, so 
that in conformation Nevada can be likened to a wash-board. The 
following description of the topography of Nevada is taken from 
the Monograph on Lake Lahontan by Israel C. Russell: "In cross- 
ing from the Atlantic to the Pacific, between the Mexican boundary 
and the central portion of Oregon, one finds a region, a high plateau, 
bounded by the Sierra Nevada on the west and the Rocky Mountain 
system on the east, that stands apart in marked contrast to the re- 
maining portions of the United States. The traveler in this region 
is no longer surrounded by the open, grassy plains and heavily tim- 


bered mountains of the Pacific Slope, or by the well-rounded and 
flowing outlines of the Appalachians, and the scenery suggests naught 
of the boundless plains ea'st of the Rocky Mountains. He must 
rather compare it to the parched and desert areas of Arabia. To 
the geographer the most striking feature of the cou,ntry stretching 
eastward from the Sierra Nevada range to the Rocky Mountains is 
that it is an area of interior drainage. For this reason it is known 
as the Great Basin. No streams that arise within its borders carry 
their contributions to the sea. All the snow and rain that falls within 
its rim is returned to the atmosphere either by direct evaporation from 
the soil, or after finding its way into some of the lakes that occupy 
irregular depressions, to sink, or be lost by deep percolation. . . . 
The area thus isolated from oceanic water systems is 800 miles in 
length and about 500 miles in width at its widest part,, and contains 
close to 208,500 square miles of territory. The southern part of this 
region includes the Colorado Desert and Death Valley, and much 
of the arid country in California and Nevada. The central portion 
of eastern Oregon and northwestern Nevada are the northern limits 
of the Great Basin." The entire State of Nevada is not within the 
confines of the Great Basin. A considerable portion of southeastern 
and northern Nevada are out of the limits and have streams that 
drain into rivers discharging into the sea. The Muddy and Virgin 
Rivers in southeastern Nevada, and the Salmon, Bruneau and Owyhee 
in northern Nevada, drain into the sea through the Colorado and 
the Columbia systems. 

In very recent geological times, but now passed away, an ancient 
body of water known as Lake Lahontan covered a number of valleys 
of northwestern and central Nevada. Into this lake drained the 
rivers in Nevada that are in the Great Basin the Humboldt, Truckee, 
Carson and Walker. The confluence of these waters made a large 
and very irregular shaped lake, having an approximate area of 8,422 
square miles, and in the deepest part, the present site of Pyramid 
Lake, it had a depth of 886 feet. The extreme southern limit of this 
lake was but a few miles from Hawthorne, Nevada, the extreme north- 
ern limit was the Honey Lake Valley in California. The western 
edge reached into the Truckee Canyon a few miles west of Wads- 
worth and the most eastern point was at Golconda, Nevada. This 


lake had two flood stages and did not overflow. After the second flood 
stage the waters evaporated to complete desiccation, and left a num- 
ber of existing lakes which we now know as Humboldt Lake or 
Sink, North Carson Sink, Pyramid, Winnemucca and Walker Lakes, 
in Nevada, and the Honey Lake in California. This is sufficient his- 
tory of Lake Lahontan for use in connection with the description of 
the Great Basin and the topography of Nevada. 

Owing to Nevada's location to the east of the lofty Sierra Nevada 
mountains, which lie between it and the ocean, whence come the rain- 
bearing clouds, and which intercept the clouds, robbing them of most 
of their moisture, the precipitation over the greatest part of the State 
is small. In the agricultural valleys the precipitation varies from 
three to twelve inches. The average precipitation of thje State as 
ascertained from the U. S. Weather Bureau gives 9.81 inches as 
the average annual, while during the year 1912 Spooners Station, on 
the eastern edge of the Lake Tahoe drainage, received 32.49 inches 
precipitation as the maximum and Mina received the minimum of 2.49 
inches. Thus to the natural barrier of mountain ranges on the west- 
ern edge of the State is due the fact that Nevada is arid. The rain- 
fall that a region receives is a silent though potent factor, controlling 
an almost infinite series of results in its physical history and to- 
pography. In a humid region the hills have a flowing outline, erosion 
is rapid, and the whole scene has the beauty and softness of a garden. 
In an arid land like the Great Basin all this is changed. The moun- 
tains are rugged and angular, and for the most part unclothed, ex- 
cept for a scant covering of brush, though some small, favored sec- 
tions carry a little timber. The drifting of the snow into the deep 
canyons of these lofty ranges, and the later melting and run-off, is 
the source of the irrigating water for the Nevada farmer. 

Physical conditions, the light rainfall, the rapid evaporation of 
moisture, the aridity of the soil, pushed the pioneer farmer into the 
valleys. He would have gone there anyhow. Here the soil was 
moistened by the annual overflow of the streams, or was moist by 
sub-irrigation. Here were the natural meadows, and here grew up, 
and simply the stock farm. Farm life in the early days of the Over- 
land Trail had to take the lines of least resistance. This was the first 
stage of Anglo-Saxon irrigation in Nevada and occurred from 1847 on. 


"Irrigation on the American continent is older than historical 
records. Even modern irrigation is comparatively old. It began 
seventy years before the English colony landed at Jamestown, when 
the Spanish explorers gained a foothold in the valley of the Rio 
Grande. They built churches which still stand and planted gardens 
which still flourish; but in watering their gardens they taught noth- 
ing new to the inhabitants. The Spanish explorers as they rode up 
in the valley of this river in the first half of the sixteenth century 
found Pueblo Indians irrigating the thirsty soil as their forefathers 
had done for centuries before them, and as their descendants are still 
doing." Mead Irrigation Institutions. Little is known of early irri- 
gation in Nevada. It is stated that the Spanish missionaries in 1795 
crossed the San Bernardino desert and practised irrigation in the ex- 
treme southern portion of the State, to which region they gave the 
name of Las Vegas, meaning "the meadows." In this section were 
flowing springs, but the agriculture established in this region was 
not a very permanent one. On the east side of the range of moun- 
tains from Las Vegas a Mormon community was established about 
1870 which practised irrigation from the Muddy River. From 1847, 
the date of first Anglo-Saxon irrigation in the arid west, in Utah, till 
about 1860, there was but very little irrigation carried on in Nevada, 
except on the well-defined Overland Trail. From 1860 to about 1900 
marked the era of the small stock and wild hay farmer. The second 
step in Nevada's irrigated agricultural progress was the trend 
towards the general farm. This necessitated the enlarging of the 
canals and the securing of a greater quantity of water and a more 
stable supply than the pulsating rivers gave. This era commenced 
when the United States Government commenced the Truckee Car- 
son project about 1901-02. 

Water Supply and Stream Systems. The melted snows from the 
mountain ranges, finding their way down the canyons, form several 
large rivers, and numerous small streams, which, tho' inconsiderable 
in themselves, in the aggregate form no mean water supply. Most 
of the streams have their source high among the slopes of the moun- 
tains and descend rapidly towards the valleys. Their downward 
course is seldom an entirely uninterrupted one, however, except in 
the case of the small streams issuing from the abrupt slopes of the 


mountains to the southward of the upper Humboldt River. Usually 
at one point or another they traverse upper valleys, sometimes the 
beds of ancient lakes of greater or less extent, where frequently a por- 
tion of the water is used for irrigation of forage and other crops. Leav- 
ing these the streams enter rocky defiles or canyons to emerge upon 
lower valleys, and, receiving tributaries on the way, they finally pass 
through the foothill region and out upon the fertile plains. At about 
this point a change usually takes place in the character of the channel, 
which, from a rocky torrential or gravelly stream bed with rapid 
fall, becomes a more or less shifting channel, in which the stream 
often divides and sub-divides in low water, and finally loses itself 
on the plain, or, if it is a larger volume, forces itself far out to join 
some lake, or sink. Practically every river in the Great Basin in 
Nevada follows out this general description. 

The sub-surface waters of the State have their source of supply 
in the same initial source as the surface waters. A portion of the 
melting snow must pass into the ground or soil of the mountain top. 
The structure of the mountains is such that the waters that enter 
beneath the strata at various points are carried beneath the surface 
under an impervious strata to appear at the surface of the plain many 
miles away. The water obtainable from beneath the surface of the 
ground within the State of Nevada, although relatively small in 
amount when compared with that of the surface streams, is important 
from the fact that dependence must necessarily be placed on this 
where running waters cannot be had. In many portions of the State 
water in considerable quantity can be found near enough the surface 
to warrant its being pumped by means of horse, gasoline or el_ectric 
power for irrigation of considerable tracts of land. In some localities 
the formation of the earth's surface is such that water rises to the 
surface and overflows as a natural spring, or is obtained as an artesian 
flow by drilling. Artesian water occurs very frequently in the State, 
but the most defined channels are located in the vicinity of Las 
Vegas, Clark County. Smith, Carson, Eagle and the Truckee Valleys 
have quite a number of flowing wells. 

Prior to 1894 the measurement and investigation of the water sup- 
ply of the principal drainage areas in the Great Basin was only car- 
ried on at intermittent times. Since that time, HVwever, the measure- 


ments have been carried on with a good deal of vigor and we are in 
the possession of much valuable data of the four principal rivers of 
Nevada. The longest record by the U. S. Geological Survey is upon 
the Humboldt River, then the Truckee, Carson and Walker. These 
four streams comprising the principal rivers of the State furnish 
water for more than three-fourths of the present irrigation, and the 
drainage basin, physical characteristics and utilization of each are de- 
scribed in the following paragraphs, in rather general detail, together 
with the crops grown and other information. 

Humboldt River Dramage. The Humboldt River is one of the 
longest and most important streams in the west, both on account of 
the volume of its water and of the area of agricultural land along 
its course. It differs from many of the streams of the west in that its 
drainage basin of 13,800 square miles lies wholly within a single State. 
There are eight of the United States that have a smaller area than 
the drainage basin of the Humboldt. Delaware and Maryland have 
a combined area of 14,260 square miles, and Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island and Connecticut have a combined area of 14,555 square miles. 
The area of the watershed of the Humboldt comprises about one- 
eighth of the area of the entire State of Nevada. The length of the 
Humboldt as one would drive from its mouth to source is about 350 
miles. Its length, if measured by following the water in its flow, 
would not be far from 1,100 miles, due to the tortuous course of the 
river on the floor of the various valleys. 

The Humboldt River has its source in Elko County, in the north- 
eastern part of the State, and flows in a generally southwesterly direc- 
tion through the southwest part of Elko County, the northern parts 
of Lander and Eureka Counties, and through the southeastern part 
of Humboldt County, and thence empties into the Humboldt Lake, or 
Sink, at the lower end of the Lovelock Valley. 

The course of the Humboldt lies through a succession of valleys 
and canyons separating the valleys. The valleys vary from a few 
hundred feet to several miles in width. The soil in these valleys is 
largely alluvial and quite subject to erosion during the floods of early 
spring and summer, the soil being so light that considerable quantities 
of it are carried down the stream and deposited on the lands of the 
lower valleys during the irrigating season. From Golconda to the 


Sink the Humboldt flows on the floor of the ancient Lake Lahontan 
in a very tortuous course. 

The Humboldt Valley is divided into several distinct divisions or 
districts. The eastern, or upper division, lies within the counties of 
Elko and Eureka and consists of a number of small basins, each 
drained by a creek, except the two larger divisions, which are called 
the North and South Fork Valleys. The drainage from this division 
has cut what is known as the Palisade Canyon through the range of 
mountains that separate the upper from the central valley, or as the 
latter is termed, the Battle Mountain Valley. To the western end 
of this central valley is the Emigrant Canyon, through which the 
Humboldt emerges onto the Golconda Valley. Passing through the 
Golconda Valley the Humboldt passes through a narrow canyon 
opposite the old railroad station of Oreana and emerges for the final 
18 miles of its length upon the Lovelock Valley before passing into 
the Humboldt Lake. 

The Humboldt Wells, which are sometimes spoken of as the source 
of the Humboldt River, are located in a natural meadow a short dis- 
tance below the town of Wells, Nevada. They number about 150, 
and new ones are reported from time to time. They vary in size from 
a few feet to several rods across. During a portion of the year no 
water flows from these wells, the water standing a few inches from 
the surface. In the latter part of the year the water level commences 
to rise and a stream flows from the meadow. The main sources of 
supply of the Humboldt is the snow on the lofty East Humboldt, 
Ruby, Independence and Diamond Ranges, together with the lower 
ranges that have an earlier run-off. 

The availability of the Humboldt for power purposes is small, ow- 
ing to the very slight fall of the main river. However, a few places 
present fall enough to turn the wheels operating small electric gen- 
erators and one flour mill. On the streams tributary to the Hum- 
boldt in the upper section, however, several excellent opportunities 
exist. Possibly the best stream for future development is the South 

The possibilities of storage of flood waters on the Humboldt are 
many. The basin of the Humboldt offers several ideal reservoir 
sites. At present the Pacific Reclamation Company at Wells 


has a reservoir at Metropolis, to store the flood waters of 
Bishop Creek. The Humboldt Irrigation Company have just com- 
pleted two reservoirs opposite Humboldt House which when com- 
pleted to the maximum elevation will store about 40,000 acre feet of 
flood water, for use in the Lovelock Valley in seasons of shortage. 

The crops grown under irrigated agriculture in the valley of the 
Humboldt are extremely varied. The upper valley, in the vicinity 
of Elko and to the east, produces as its largest crop, natural wild 
grass hay, and a smaller amount of timothy and alfalfa. Some of 
the grains are also grown. The valley of the North Fork has native 
grass hay and pasture as its largest crop. The bottom lands from 
Cluro to Golconda, which comprise the central section or the Battle 
Mountain Valley, and on which is located some of the largest ranches 
on the river system, produces wild hay and pasture as its Largest 
crop. Some grain, the usual quota of garden truck and some alfalfa, 
are also produced. The valley from Golconda past Winnemucca pro- 
duces native grass, hay and pasturage, alfalfa, some grain and con- 
siderable garden truck. The Lovelock Valley is one of the largest 
and most important valleys of the Humboldt, and of the State as well. 
The Humboldt in this section has cut a channel on the floor of the 
valley 15 to 35 feet deep, necessitating the use of canals several miles 
in length to get water onto the lands. Due to this natural obstacle 
the Lovelock Valley has had to develop the most comprehensive irri- 
gation system on the Humboldt, the balance of the valleys irrigating 
to a very large extent by wild flooding, secured by tight dams across 
the river, backing the same up for several miles in several instances. 
The principal crop on the Lovelock Valley is alfalfa hay. Thousands 
of cattle and sheep are shipped into these valleys during the winter 
and fed for market. Honey is an important by-product here, several 
carloads being shipped every season. Wheat, barley and oats have a 
considerable area devoted to them and are very heavy producers. 
Sugar beets grown for the first time in 1912 made excellent yields 
and contained an extremely high percentage of sugar. 

Although opportunities for reclamation and betterment of existing 
irrigation practice are many, the most of the necessary work would 
be very great, due to the engineering features to be overcome. 

Truckee River Drainage. The Truckee River is the most northerly 


river on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas emptying into the 
Great Basin, and the ancient bed of Lake Lahontan. The Truckee 
River comprises the main river and several tributaries, all having 
their chief supply in mountain lakes. The Truckee River itself is 
the natural outlet of Lake Tahoe, a beautiful mountain lake lying 
at 6,225 feet above sea level, with an area of 124,000 acres or 193 
square miles. The total length of the Truckee is about no miles 
and its total fall from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, where it empties, 
is about 2,350 feet. The area of the drainage basin of the Truckee 
River at a point 18 miles north of the town of Wadsworth, where a 
gaging station of the U. S. Geological Survey used to be maintained, 
is 2,310 square miles. 

Issuing from the northwest side of Lake Tahoe, the Truckee flows 
almost due north to the town of Truckee, California, where it turns 
east and enters Nevada. At Wadsworth, Nevada, the Truckee turns 
north again and discharges into Pyramid and Winnemucca Lakes, 
brackish bodies of water without outlets. From Lake Tahoe to 
Verdi, Nev., a distance of about 35 miles, the country is heavily tim- 
bered with fir and pine; below Verdi, a few barren stretches alter- 
nate with the three fertile valleys the Verdi Valley, the Reno or 
Truckee Valley, and the Wadsworth Valley. The Truckee River 
emerging from the Wadsworth Valley enters the Pyramid Lake and 
is then lost to the beneficial use of agriculture. 

The Truckee and the Humboldt Rivers were along the line of 
the Overland Trail to California in the days of '49 and irrigated 
agriculture in Nevada dates back to that time. From what can be 
learned, active irrigation of any considerable area did not take place 
till about 1855 to 1860. Small farms sprang up where conditions 
were favorable and the farmer disposed of his produce to the people 
who were traveling to California. 

In its descent of 2,350 feet in no miles the Truckee affords many 
opportunities for the development of electrical power. Within 28 
miles west of Reno, are located five power stations, generating 
as follows: Farad, 1,500 kilowatts; Fleish, 2,000 kilowatts; Verdi, 
2,400 kilowatts; Washoe, 1,500 kilowatts, and the sub-station on the 
outskirts of Reno, 750 kilowatts, a total maximum output of 8,150 
kilowatts, or 10,920 horse-power. These plants are under one man- 


agement and is at present the largest power development in Nevada. 
Several opportunities exist below the town of Reno in the Truckee 
Canyon, one plant of which is projected to be built during the com- 
ing year. 

The trend towards the general farm and the improvement of irri- 
gation conditions throughout the State commenced about 1901 with 
the commencing of the Truckee-Carson Reclamation Project. At a 
point about five miles above Derby, Nev., is located the diverting 
dam of the before-mentioned project. By means of a canal over 30 
miles long the waters of the Truckee are delivered into the Carson 
River at a point above Lahonton Dam. From here the waters are 
taken down the Carson River, and then applied to the fer- 
tile plains of the Carson Sink Valley in the vicinity of Fallon. The 
first unit of lands embraced to be irrigated under the Truckee-Car- 
son project numbered 100,000 acres, but this area exhausts the natural 
flow of the two rivers during the irrigating season, and the lands 
subject to entry have been withdrawn till the Lahontan storage reser- 
voir can be completed. The Lahontan Dam is located about seven 
miles south of Hazen, Nev. This dam across the canyon of the Car- 
son River will create a lake about twenty-three miles long and from 
a quarter to five miles wide, and a storage capacity of 300,000 acre 
feet of water. The Lahonton Dam is to be an earth-fill dam with con- 
crete cut-off wall, to have a width on the foot of 625 feet, maximum 
elevation of 125 feet and a length of 1,700+ feet, and is said to be the 
second largest dam of its type in the world. The flood waters of 
the Truckee will be stored in this reservoir as well as the flood of 
,the Carson. 

The products of irrigated agriculture under the Truckee River sys- 
tem are extremely varied. The Verdi Valley produces alfalfa, pota- 
toes, grains, apples, pears, small fruits and garden supplies. The 
Reno Valley produced alfalfa, timothy, onions, celery, sugar beets, 
native grass hay, small fruits and garden truck. The Truckee-Car- 
son project in the Carson Sink Valley produces everything that the 
Reno Valley does, with the addition of cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, 
beans and a larger sugar beet area. Hon. Lem Allen, one of the 
pioneers of Nevada and a resident of the Carson Sink Valley has 


manufactured syrup from cane grown on his ranch. The Wadsworth 
Valley produced everything that the Reno Valley does. 

The furrow method of irrigation is the largest practised method of 
irrigation under the Truckee River system. The land has such slope 
that irrigation by flooding, except in favorable instances, cannot be 

Carson River Drainage. The Carson River basin includes that 
area which lies south of Lake Tahoe and between the Walker and 
the Truckee Rivers. Carson River is formed by its East and West 
Forks, which rise in the extreme eastern part of California, in a 
rugged and mountainous country, heavily timbered with fir and pine, 
on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The general 
course of the two forks is northeastward to the point of their union 
near Gardnerville, Nev. From this point the river flows in a generally 
northerly direction to about three miles east of Carson City, thence 
eastward through a barren and rugged chain of hills, onto the Day- 
ton Valley and the Carson Sink Valley. The Carson River is about 
120 miles long, falling about 1,900 feet in this distance. The drain- 
age area of the Carson River at Empire, Nev., is 988 square miles. 

In contradistinction to the Truckee drainage, the Carson basin con- 
tains no lakes, but is derived entirely from snowfall and run-off from 
the high mountains. Though there are no lakes, many ideal reser- 
voir sites are available near the headwaters and along the main 
river. During the early spring and summer months the Carson is a 
swollen stream, but in the later summer months there is barely 
enough water to supply the irrigating demand. By building reser- 
voirs in the mountains this condition could be greatly improved, and 
the waters of the two forks so controlled that the daily average flow 
would be greatly increased. The distribution of the water during 
the irrigating season is in the hands of a water commissioner, who 
distributes the water in accordance with adjudicated rights to its 
use, and even though the supply gets short at times, everyone gets along 
fairly well. 

Good power sites are available along the banks of both Forks, but 
at present are wholly undeveloped. Several farms, however, have 


their own individual hydro-electric power units for lighting and for 

Irrigated agriculture under the Carson River occurred in the vicin- 
ity of Genoa about 1850, and consisted of grass pasture, some orchard 
small fruits and garden truck. 

The products of irrigated agriculture under the Carson River sys- 
tem are as varied as those under the Truckee. Several fertile valleys 
lie along the course of the Carson, but much land is unutilized on 
account of the scarcity of water late in the growing season. The 
Carson Valley is one of the best farmed and most prosperous valleys 
in the State, for in addition to the irrigated products of alfalfa, tim- 
othy, grains, orchard, small fruit and vegetables, dairying is carried 
on to a very large extent. The Dayton Valley is famous for its 
production of potatoes, which is its largest crop, in addition to onions, 
alfalfa and orchard. 

Walker Rvuer Drainage. Walker River rises on the east slope 
of the Sierre Nevada range in two main branches, whose basins are 
separated by a group of mountains known as the Sweetwater Range. 
The East Fork of the Walker River receives the drainage from 
the eastern slope of the Sweetwater Range and from the western 
slope of the Walker River Range. The West Fork flows at the base 
of the main Sierra Nevada Range. From the union of the two 
forks near Yerington, Nev., the river flows sluggishly northward, 
passing through the fertile Mason Valley to a point east of Wabuska, 
where it turns to the east and the southeast, and sixty miles beyond 
enters the Walker Lake. The Length of the Walker is about 120 
miles, in which distance it falls about 1,600 feet. The drainage basin 
of the Walker contains 2,420 square miles. 

The basin of the Walker contains three important valleys, in addi- 
tion to other small open areas; Antelope Valley on the West Fork, 
Smith Valley, a fertile table land presenting ample opportunities for 
reclamation, also under the West Fork, and the Yerington or Mason 
Valley, which takes its irrigation water from both Forks. Only re- 
cently the water rights of the Mason Valley have been adjudicated. 
The minimum flow of the Walker is not sufficient to supply the de- 


mand during summer months, although excellent reservoir sites near 
the headwaters of both Forks are available to store the flood waters 
that go into the Walker Lake, only to be lost to agricultural use. 
The snowfall in the winter is ample to assure a supply of water for 
the reservoirs. 

The irrigated agriculture of the Walker River valleys is very 
diverse. Mason Valley, containing about 250 square miles, has not all 
of its fertile land under cultivation, due to the low flow of the river 
at the latter part of the irrigating season. As a general rule the land 
holdings are large, alfalfa the principal crop and stockraising the 
chief industry. Potatoes are a special crop and of fine quality. Wheat, 
barley, oats, apples, peaches, small fruits and garden truck comprise 
the crops grown. The crops raised in the Smith Valley are the same 
as those in the Mason. The Carey Act project of the Walker River 
Power Company proposes to impound the flood waters of the East 
Fork and to carry the stream by a high line canal to reclaim a large 
area of fine sage brush land and to develop as an ultimate load 30,000 
electrical horse-power. 

Small Stream Systems, Northern Nevada. In addition to the large 
river systems above described, in the State, innumerable cultivated 
areas of land occur wherever the flow from a spring or small stream 
occurs. The total irrigated area of lands falling under this classi- 
fication in the State is close to 100,000 acres or about one-seventh of 
the irrigated area of the State. The Steptoe Valley is traversed by 
Duck Creek from the north and Steptoe Creek from the south. Native 
grass hay, alfalfa, fruit and grain are the products of irrigated agri- 
culture. In the W'hite River Valley in east central Nevada the White 
River has a length of about 75 miles and has a run-off of about 28,000 
acre-feet per annum. The Salmon, Bruneau and Owyhee empty their 
contents into the drainage basin of the Columbia, though a con- 
siderable area is irrigated by them in Nevada. 

Southern Nevada; the Muddy River. The Muddy River system 
is located in the extreme southern point of Nevada and belongs to the 
drainage system of the Colorado, which in turn empties into the 
Gulf of California. Contrary to popular opinion, this section of 
Nevada is not in the Great Basin, though the divide passes very 


close to this region. The Muddy River has its source in constantly 
flowing springs in the Arrow Canyon. From the source of supply 
the Muddy River flows southerly through the Meadow Valley Wash 
and thence through the Muddy River Valley, past the town of St. 
Thomas, and thence empties into the Rio Virgin, about twenty-five 
miles above the confluence with the Colorado. The normal annual 
flow of the river is about 28,000 acre-feet. The very constant daily 
discharge of the Muddy is at times augmented by storms, when the 
river attains considerable size. The Muddy Valley is in the sub- 
tropical section of Nevada. The products of irrigated agriculture are 
grapes, figs, cotton, cantaloupe, asparagus, vegetables, grains and 
alfalfa. The scarcity of the water supply has limited the occupancy 
of all the fertile land in the valley to about 5,000 acres. 

Las Vegas Valley, Artesian. Across the range from the Muddy 
Valley is located the broad stretch of country known as the Vegas 
Valley. Aside from the Vegas spring and the other spots made fer- 
tile by small mountain streams, this region was once believed to be 
an unconquerable desert. It is in this valley that the early Spanish 
missionaries are said to have established a limited irrigation when 
they were building their chain of missions on the Pacific Coast. 

In 1906 the first artesian well was drilled, developing an artesian 
flow at a depth of .300 feet. Since that time, and particularly since two 
years ago, a number of well drilling outfits have been at work and 
the number of flowing wells have been increased to over 50. The 
range of crops grown under artesian irrigation in the Las Vegas 
Valley is practically the same as the Muddy Valley, and on the best 
lands enormous yields of grapes, cantaloupe, lettuce and early garden 
stuff in January, and fruits both large and small. Cotton is grown 
on a small scale in this vicinity every year. 

The great problem in Nevada is not one of land, but one of 
water. There is good land enough to sustain many times the popula- 
tion, but the use of it is limited by arid conditions. With the proper 
conservation of the flood waters, and a better knowledge of the cor- 
rect application to crops, the irrigated area of Nevada could be 

Irrigation Census in Nevada. The following figures for the State 


of Nevada are taken from the thirteenth census of the United States 
during 1909 and show the total approximate land area of the State 
as 70,285,440 acres. Of this area 701,833 acres were irrigated dur- 
ing 1909, or approximately one per cent, of the land area of the State. 
In the data collected, showing the relation to works supplying water 
for irrigating purposes, the figures show a total length of canals of 
3,151 miles, having 1,939 miles as main canals, with a combined 
discharge of 17,579 cubic second feet. The number of independent 
irrigation enterprises are 1,347. In the acreage irrigated classified as 
to source of supply, 661,762 acres are irrigated by streams; 906 acres 
supplied by small lakes; 187 acres from wells; 38,840 acres from 
springs, and 138 acres from reservoirs. The only reservoirs that are 
treated as independent sources of supply are those which are filled 
by collecting storm water from water courses that are ordinarily dry. 



In the fall of 1908, the Twentieth Century Club of Reno issued a 
call for a convention of all the women's clubs of the State for the purpose 
of forming a State Federation. Four clubs responded, and the organ- 
ization was perfected with Mrs. Sam Davis, a pioneer club-woman, as 
president. Under Mrs. Davis' regime the federation joined the General 
Federation of Womens' Clubs. The growth of the Nevada Federation 
was slow, as the clubs were few, and each fighting a brave local fight had 
little time or money for outside work. 

In October, 1911, the federation met in Reno and it seemed that the 
organization must be abandoned, but the delegates from the Woman's 
Book Club begged that it be continued, and presented the 
name of Mrs. George West for president, promising that though young, 
she would be able to pull the organization through and make it worthy of 
this great State. Mrs. West has proven all that they promised and more. 
During her term of office the past two years, the Nevada Federation 
has become recognized as a live organization. It has increased from five 
to nine clubs, has active departments on education, civics, art, library 
extension, legislation and conservation. 

At the last session of the Legislature the women secured the passage 
of a bill giving equal rights to the mother as well as the father in the 
care and custody of the child, and another bill establishing a home for 
delinquent children at Elko, thus saving many useful citizens to the 
State. The federation raised $100 toward the General Federation En- 
dowment, and expect to raise $1,000 for a loan-fund to assist girls with 
their education. One girl has been graduated and there is still a large 
surplus to the credit of the fund. 

The officers for 1913 are: Mrs. George F. West, president, Yerington; 
Mrs. F. B. Patrick, first vice-president, Reno; Miss Bird M. Wilson, 
second vice-president, Goldfield ; Mrs. C. A. Bovett, recording secretary, 
Mason; Mrs. D. D. Crowinshield, corresponding secretary, Yerington; 


Mrs. Omer Maris, treasurer, Manhattan ; Mrs. Chas. P. Squires, auditor, 
Las Vegas. 

Leisure Hour Club, Carson City. The Leisure Hour Club is unique, 
as it is composed of both men and women. Its members comprise the 
progressive citizens of Carson, and though their work has mainly been 
along lines of personal development, in the last two years they have taken 
an interest in civic improvements and town and school affairs. The club 
is one of the oldest in the State, having been organized in 1897. At 
present they are erecting a modern club-house and are to be the hostess 
of the annual meeting of the State Federation in the fall of 1913. 

Parents-Teachers Association, Elko. This, the newest dub in the State 
Federation, is composed of mothers banded together for the interest of 
education. They study the problems of the school and help solve them. 
At the same time they are becoming better mothers through their study. 

Goldfield Woman's Club, Goldfield. The Woman's Club was organ- 
ized by Mrs. Chas. P. Sprague, a woman of considerable force of charac- 
ter, for literary advancement and philanthropy. The club has done much 
good as a dispenser of clothes and food, and has held interesting meet- 
ings. They own one of the prettiest club-houses in the State, and have 
it nicely furnished. Last fall they were hostess to the State Federation, 
entertaining the delegates most royally. 

Toiyabe Club, Manhattan. Sixty miles from a railroad, in a little min- 
ing setlement, is one of the liveliest clubs in the State. This club started 
with the purpose of social pleasure and literary study, but has long since 
outgrown its swaddling clothes, and is in reality a woman's club, doing 
excellent civic work. They have a charming club-house, a good circulat- 
ing library, have equipped a playground at the new schoolhouse, and still 
have time and energy for the social and study side of their natures. Mrs. 
Omer Maris was the first president. 

Woman's Club, Mason. The town of Mason is only a few years old 
and among its first efforts was the organization of the women of the 
new town for the purpose of civic improvement. The club has conducted 
clean-up days, assisted in the building of an amusement hall, a church, a 
school, furnished a playground, etc. It has joined the State Federation. 

Wadsworth Club, Sparks. One of the most interesting clubs in the 
State Federation is the Wadsworth Club of Sparks. This club was 
organized in 1909 by the wives of the railroad men of Sparks, who had 


formerly lived at Wads worth. As the object of its organization was to 
renew "auld acquaintance," is was mainly a social club, but as its mem- 
bers were experienced women, they grew tired of mere social pleasures 
and began to study and read the poets of the United States. Mrs. J. H. 
Whited has been president since its organization, but has resigned to go 
to California. She has been succeeded by Mrs. Chas. George. 

The Woman's Book Club, Yerington. The Woman's Book Club was 
organized by Mrs. Delia Willis Hoppin in the fall of 1907 for the pur- 
pose of study and self-culture. Mrs. Hoppin was president for two years 
and saw the club well launched. It has remained largely a cultural 
organization, having done much for the development of its members, but is 
not devoted to civic or philanthropic work. The membership has reached 
fifty, and the club is pleasantly housed in the old Grammar School build- 
ing, which the school board kindly gives them for their use. This is 
the only club in the State individually federated in the General Federation 
of Women's Clubs. 

Mesquite Club, Las Vegas. This was organized in 1911. The 
first call for a woman's club was made by Mrs. O. J. Enking, Mrs. David 
Farnsworth and Mrs. William Penn Bates. The call was general and the 
response was a large number of ladies meeting at the home of Mrs. O. J. 
Enking on February n, 1911. Organization was affected at once, with 
a membership of twenty ladies as a beginning. The first election gave 
the following officers as the first executive members of the Mesquite Club : 
Mrs. James G. Givens, president; Mrs. William Penn Bates, vice-presi- 
dent; Mrs. W. U. Beckley, recording secretary; Mrs. O. D. Hicks, cor- 
responding secretary ; Mrs. O. J. Enking, treasurer. The Mesquite Club 
soon had a membership of forty. It now belongs to the federation. Its 
first work as a real helper in the community was the planting of the streets 
of Las Vegas with shade trees. More than two thousand trees were planted 
in one day through its action and help, its object "A Town Beautiful." 

The Twentieth Century Club, was organized June 4, 1894, its object 
being the association of the women of Reno for purposes of broader culti- 
vation and the promotion of public welfare. 

The first officers were: President, Mrs. Walter Me N. Miller; Vice- 
President, Mrs. J. N. Evans; Treasurer, Mrs. H. Elizabeth Webster; 
Secretary, Mrs. John Michael. 

There were about forty charter members but the number of names of 


those now belonging to the club is 147. November 24, 1897, the Twen- 
tieth Century Club was admitted to the General Federation of Women's 
Clubs. During the eighteen years of its existence not only the number of 
members but of its activities have increased. Not only does the Reno 
Kindergarten, one of the finest on the Pacific Coast, owe its existence to 
club members, but the well equipped department of Domestic Science and 
Manual Training, of which the Reno Schools are so proud, owes its origin 
to the same organization which nine years ago began this work by paying 
for material and for an instructor. Within the last few years a handsome 
club-house has been bought, yet social and civil reform have not been neg- 
lected. Divided into many departments, that of Philanthropy has been 
responsible for providing for helpless waifs, educating needy students, and 
in many ways assisting the helpless and unfortunate. 


The first chapter of the D. A. R. in Nevada, and so far, the only one, 
was organized and received its charter, February 12, 1910. 

Mrs. Charles Silvey Sprague, who was a member of the Zebulon Pike 
Chapter of Colorado Springs, was the moving spirit. Mrs. Sprague is a 
direct descendant of John Alden and Miles Standish, her genealogy run- 
ning back unbroken to these distinguished characters in Colonial History. 
Mrs. Sprague had been appointed State Regent of Nevada, by the Nat- 
ional Board of the D. A. R. Wishing to spread the influence of this patri- 
otic organization and bring her adopted State Nevada which had be- 
fore been unrepresented, into the National organization, Mrs. Sprague 
began the forming of a chapter in Goldfield. It was no easy task, to 
be a member as it is necessary for one to have a complete and authentic 
genealogy reaching back to some revolutionary patriot of record, and 
very few ladies of Goldfield were found who have the authentic and veri- 
fied records necessary. To form a chapter of the D. A. R. it requires not 
fewer than twelve members, and it took a little over three years of work 
and research to complete the records of enough persons to form a chap- 
ter. The name "Montezuma" was adopted by the chapter because of local 
historical significance. The following are the minutes of the first meet- 
ing, taken from the official records: A chapter of the Daughters of the 


American Revolution was organized at Goldfield, Nevada, February 12, 
1910, at the home of the State Regent, Mrs. Charles S. Sprague. The 
meeting was called to order by the Chapter Regent, Mrs. R. G. Withers. 
The first business was to vote upon a name, and it was moved and carried 
unanimously, that the Chapter was to be called, "Montezuma," the Regent 
then appointed the officers for the ensuing year. Register, Mrs. Christine 
Dyer Watson ; Treasurer, Mrs. Nancy Bingham Seaman ; Secretary, Mrs. 
Mary Dunbar Sweet. 

It was moved and carried that the next regular meeting be held on 
Monday, February 2ist at two o'clock at the home of the Regent. 

Mrs. Seaman and Mrs. Sprague were appointed a committee to draft 
By-Laws and a Constitution, submitting them at the next meeting. 

Refreshments were served by the hostess, and as the day of our organ- 
ization was also Lincoln's birthday and that of the oldest daughter of 
Mrs. Seaman, of the new Chapter "Montezuma." 

List of the charter members : Mrs. Evelyn M. B. Chandler, Mrs. Elsie 
Louise Coote, Mrs. Laura B. Dorsey, Miss Mary Richards Gray, Mrs. 
Ethel lone Finch, Mrs. Alice Boutille McNaughton, Mrs. Nancy Bing- 
ham Seaman, Mrs. Blanche Seaman Brown Sprague, Mrs. Christine Dyer 
Watson, Mrs. Mary Dunbar Sweet, Mrs. Gretta Hays Withers, Miss 
Clerimond Withers. 

Later the following ladies joined the chapter: Mrs. Camilla N. Bates, 
Mrs. Louisa D. Hatton, Miss B. M. Wilson, Mrs. Mary E. Harper. 

Officers for '1912-13: Miss B. M. Wilson, state regent; Mrs. Blanche 
Seaman Sprague, chapter regent ; Mrs. Louisa D. Hatton, vice-regent ; 
Mrs. Christine D. Watson, registrar and treasurer; Mrs. Camilla N. 
Bates, secretary. 




Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the National W. C. T. U., with 
her secretary, Miss Anna A. Gordon, toured the Southern and Western 
States in the interests of the temperance work in 1883. They arrived at 
Reno in May, where they organized the Nevada W. C. T. U., with Mrs. 
H. Elizabeth Webster as president. A local union, which had been 
formed in Reno the year previous, became auxiliary to the State union. 
The first convention was held there in 1885 and the second met at Carson 
City in 1887. Mrs. Lucy Van Deventer was elected president and con- 
tinued in office until 1895, with the exception of two years when Mrs. 
A. M. Ward (Clara S.) was president. Dr. Eliza Cook, of Sheridan, 
succeeded Mrs. Van Deventer and retained the position until 1901. At 
that time Mrs. J. E. Church, of Reno, was acting president. 

A young woman's branch existed for several years at Reno, another 
at Carson City, and a third at Elko. The children's Band of Hope was 
merged into the Loyal Temperance Legion, and several unions reported 
this branch of endeavor as part of their work. The most complete report 
of organization is that given by Mrs. Emma Pow Smith in 1888. She 
delivered one hundred addresses, added three hundred members to the 
W. C. T. U. and organized two hundred boys and girls into Loyal 
Temperance Legions. 

There were fifteen unions in the State in 1888. Other national workers 
who visited Nevada and strengthened the cause were: Miss C. S. Burnett, 
Mrs. Henrietta Skelton, Mrs. E. M. J. Cooley, Miss Esther Pugh, Mrs. 
M. L. Wells, Mrs. Emily Pitt Stevens, Miss I. C. Develling and Major 

Legislation. The W. C. T. U. was instrumental in having laws passed 
through petitions, circulation of literature and holding public meetings 
as follows: scientific temperance instruction in the public schools; an 


anti-treat law ; also legislation relative to the sale of cigarettes and obscene 
literature ; and a restriction placed on immoral houses relating to distance 
from churches and public schools ; the age of protection for young girls 
was raised from twelve to fourteen years ; also efficient work resulted in 
the defeat of the State lottery bill in 1888. Petitions on behalf of suffrage 
and prohibition were presented but ignored. The Legislature of 1891 
was the third to be petitioned for woman suffrage. 

In 1890, the Reno union purchased a lot on Second street, corner of 
West, for State headquarters. 

A convention was held at Virginia City in 1895, at which time the 
president reported that the last payment on the State tablet in the Tem- 
perance Temple, at Chicago, had been made. In 1897, a convention 
was held at Reno, but the record is lost. The departments adopted were : 
Evangelistic, Sunday School, Scientific Temperance Instruction, Health 
and Heredity, Flower Mission, Legislation and Petition. 

The first delegate to represent Nevada at a national convention was 
Mrs. Flora McRae, of Reno, who went to Seattle in 1899. In the spring 
of the same year, the national president, Mrs. Lillian M. N. Stevens, 
and Miss Anna A. Gordon visited Reno and addressed a meeting at the 
Opera House. In 1901 Miss Florence Murcutt stopped at Elko and came 
on to Reno, spending a week, encouraging the local union to call a State 
convention, which was held in October. Miss Marie Brehm, of Illinois, 
was present and gave two addresses. 

Mrs. A. E. Hershiser, of Reno, was elected president and a new era 
began for the State work. 

It required almost heroic efforts to again place Nevada in working 
order. But a few of the faithful members cooperated effectively with 
the new officers. Mrs. Hershiser attended the national conventions at 
Fort Worth, in 1901 ; at Los Angeles, in 1905, also Mr. and Mrs. O. G. 
Church, of Logan ; at Denver, in 1908. Miss Gertrude Bonham, of Reno, 
went to Cincinnati in 1903; Mrs. W. E. Bell, of Sparks, to Omaha in 
1909; Mrs. Alice Chism, of Reno, to Baltimore in 1910, and Mrs. S. G. 
Blum and Mrs. Sarah Roberts, of Reno, to Portland, Oregon, in 1912. 

Organisation. The main objects of the temperance army being to 
create sentiment and to aid in the enactment of good laws, the divisions 
of organization and legislation rank first. The State president has ar- 
ranged routes for fifteen or more national organizers, entertained them 

and the lecturers in her own home, and followed up their work by per- 
sonal letters and literature. 

Mrs. Alice Elder, of Reno, organized a Y. W. C. T. U. at the Univer- 
sity. Mrs. Ella Becker, of Sparks, organized a young people's branch 
there and at Fallon. 

Mrs. Wm. Van Buren, when president of the Reno Union, presented 
a fine drinking fountain to the city, the gift of the Union and the Red 
Cross Society, combined. 

Sixteen local unions have been organized. The largest paid up mem- 
bership was one hundred and seventy-five, in 1910. Washoe and Churchill 
Counties are organized for the first time. Eleven Loyal Temperance 
Legions were started, but most of them soon failed for lack of leaders. 

Nevada has been aided by money from the National Organizing Fund, 
raised by offerings at the meetings held on February 17 of each year all 
over the nation, in loving memory of Miss Frances E. Willard. 

Legislation. The bill incorporating the W. C. T. U. was passed in 
1903, at our request. An amendment to a bill increasing the fine for 
selling to minors also passed and became law. 

Under the inspiring influence of a lecture by Miss Marie Brehm, the 
W. C. T. U. took the initial step in the anti-gambling crusade. 

Petitions have been presented to three legislatures pleading for an 
industrial school for boys ; while this has not been granted, the agitation 
paved the way for the juvenile court, with a salaried probation officer 
and an assistant. 

Three times petitions for local option have been presented and lost. 
In 1911 over 2,000 signatures were obtained. In 1905 the Legislature 
repealed the law protecting girls, from sixteen years down to fourteen 
years ; and in 1909 a petition was sent to Carson City asking that eighteen 
years be the limit, but the law was passed making sixteen years again 
the age. The question of suffrage was considered by the State Executive 
Committee, but was not adopted on account of the pressure of the work 
for the boys and girls. 

A marked influence has been exerted on behalf of purity, of uniform 
divorce laws, for an anti-polygamy amendment, to regulate or suppress 
the white slave traffic, to abolish prize fights, and also to obtain and retain 
the anti-gambling law. The law forbidding to sell to minors was re- 


enacted by the 191 1 Legislature ; also at the same time a law was enacted 
not to sell to habitual drunkards, nor drunken men. 

Evangelistic, The spirit of the early crusade days has been kept alive 
by faith and prayer, by work in mothers' meetings, among railway men, 
by literature sent to mining camps and isolated places, by teaching the 
principles of pure living and the results of impurity, and by efforts to 
raise the moral tone of the community. The children's rescue work has 
benefited and saved infants and children and cared for a girl lured by a 
white slaver. Mrs. Jennie G. Nichols, of Oakland, is endorsed and aided 
in this grand work of mercy and redemption. 

Social. Under the social division, we note many parlor meetings in 
homes and churches, with their gains in membership ; the flower mission 
department, including all forms of charity, through the distribution of 
flowers, with Scripture text-cards attached, is the chief line of work. 

Educational. Under this division, there have been held prize essay 
contests in the public schools, six silver medal declamation contests and 
one gold medal contest, at Reno. Through the State Sunday School 
Association, literature has been sent to over one hundred Sunday Schools 
for use on the quarterly temperance Sundays. Lessons in physical cul- 
ture were given to contestants and white ribboners by an expert teacher. 
Temperance literature, also petition work, have gone to fifty towns in 
the State. A convention has been held each year save one, Reno, Sparks 
and Fallon sharing in the entertainment. One of our honorary members, 
Major G. W. Ingalls, has supplemented the work by forming boys' anti- 
cigarette leagues at Reno, Sparks, Fallon, and Elko. 

May, 1913, will witness the close of three decades of temperance 
endeavor in Nevada. 




The movement to enfranchise Nevada's women and give them full 
electoral and constitutional rights with men is not exclusively local, nor 
is it sporadic or ephemeral. It is part of the great world movement for 
democracy and freedom which is one of the dominant characteristics of 
the history of the nineteenth century, the realization of which will be 
the crowning achievement of the twentieth century. The establishment 
of this sounder democracy, which for so many decades has been the 
dominating influence in the thought and action of the dreamers of this 
world will create greater equality of opportunity for every human being, 
irrespective of sex, and many of the evils of our time will be eliminated by 
a proqess of evolution toward a higher and completer type of civilization. 

That this great movement is not "anti-man," that it has not produced 
sex-antagonism, is proved by the fact that there are more than thirty 
men's leagues for woman suffrage in the United States, with a national 
organization and headquarters. There is also an international organiza- 
tion of men for woman suffrage. 

When a democracy based on human instead of sex-rights is established, 
there will be less waste and destruction of human material by blind gov- 
ernment Juggernauts which cannot see their goal, there will be more and 
more conservation of human and social forces, and greater usefulness 
and happiness for a far greater number. We are living in great and 
stirring times. Every Nevada woman who joins and lends her aid to the 
cause of equal suffrage is assisting constructive forces which will make 
the world a better place, will help to evolve the dream of one generation 
in to the reality of the next. 

The history of the woman suffrage question in Nevada is part of the 
evolution of a great human movement. Referring to the Journals of 


the Nevada Legislature from the earliest times, we find the Hon. C. J. 
Hillyer delivering a speech for woman suffrage in the Assembly on Feb- 
ruary 16, 1869, which should be preserved among the orations on human 
rights and liberty. At a time when equal suffrage had not been tried in 
any modern government (except in the Territory of Wyoming), and in 
the same year that the women of the State of Wyoming were enfran- 
chised, we find this man anticipating every argument urged today for 
woman suffrage, now based upon practical experience and the good use 
women have made of the vote in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wash- 
ington, and California. His peroration is significant and interesting his- 
torically as well as intrinsically. At the time he spoke the Civil War and 
the great life of Lincoln were but four years ended : 

"To my Republican friends I say: Look to your laurels. They are green and 
fresh, and magnificently abundant, but they may wither and fade, and your brow 
yet go uncrowned, unless fresh garlands are gathered. With us the past is at 
least secure. I would not barter for the highest political (preferment which this 
nation can bestow the satisfaction that I have a part, however insignificant, that I 
share, however humbly, the rich glories which cluster around the history of our yet 
youthful party. But we must remember that we have succeeded, not because we 
were the Republican party, but because we were right. We have won because, in 
a progressive age, we have been the party of progress ; 'because when the nation 
was marching we have marched in the van ; because we had the courage to pluck 
out, from the overwhelming mass of prejudice in which it was buried, a principle 
of eternal truth ; dared boldly to inscribe it on our banners and to march to battle 

with the watchword of universal freedom Beware of a halt The 

inexorable law of progress will not modify itself to suit our movements ; it will not 
stay its operation through either respect for our party name or past achievements, 
but will as relentlessly consign us to defeat and oblivion as it has for the same 
cause there consigned our Democratic predecessors. 

"Here is the great question of the hour " 

Although greeted with "round after round of applause" at the conclu- 
sion of his speech, "the loneliness of those who think beyond their time" 
was this statesman's portion, as the proposed amendment to strike the 
word "male" from the suffrage clause of the Constitution was shortly 
afterward laid on the table. So far as attempted legislation goes, the 
woman suffrage question appears to have been quiescent for some years. 
Resolutions to amend Article II, Section i of the Constitution with refer- 
ence to male suffrage were dealt with by successive Legislatures, notably 
in 1883, 1885, and 1893, but there seems to have been scant effort to 
reform the Constitution for the benefit of women.* 

*The investigation of the Senate and Assembly Journals for the purposes of this article has 
been done by Miss Clara Smith, president of the College Equal Suffrage League of the University 
of Nevada. 


An attempt was made in the Legislature of 1887 to secure a constitu- 
tional amendment as follows, taken from the Senate Journal of 1887, 
p. 321 : "Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, that Section I 
of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Nevada be amended by 
striking out the word 'male' in said Section I." This resolution was 
lost by a vote of 7 for to 13 against. A resolution to amend the Con- 
stitution "relative to the right of suffrage" was defeated in the Assembly 
in 1889 by a vote of 12 for and 27 against. From the years 1885 to 1895 
there were efforts on the part of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union 
of the State to bring the matter favorably before every successive Legis- 
lature through petitions, containing names from all over the State. We 
find one of these petitions briefly dealt with in the following laconic 
report in the Assembly Journal of February 15, 1889: "Your committee 
on public morals . . . beg leave not to report on petitions on woman's 
suffrage, as it has been before the house heretofore (sic). J. B. Williams, 

As stated, these petitions continued to be presented to every Legislature, 
in spite of successive discouragements. In 1895 we find a petition from 
the W. C. T. U. relating to woman suffrage laid on the table in the 
Assembly, in conjunction with a joint resolution to amend the Constitu- 
tion by striking out the word "male." In spite of the efforts of Mr. H. H. 
Beck to rescue the measure, it was finally rejected by a vote of 14 for to 
17 against, according to the Assembly Journal for 1895, pp. 74-75. 

Following this defeat the Nevada State Equal Suffrage Association 
was organized in McKissick's Opera House on October 29, 1895. Mrs. 
J. R. Williamson, of Austin, was elected president, Mrs. P. S. Marshall 
secretary, and the names of the members are a roll of honor in themselves : 
Miss E. C. Babcock, Mrs. D. B. Boyd, Miss H. K. Clapp, Mrs. C. Gulling, 
Mrs. J. N. Evans, Miss Mary Henry, Mrs. A. Chism, Mrs. Blossom and 
Mrs. Williams, of Genoa ; Mrs. Rinckel, of Carson ; Mrs. Shaw, of Vir- 
ginia; Mrs. Elda Orr, Mrs. Rousseau, Mrs. E. A. Morrill, Mrs. Van 
Buren, Mrs. May Gill, Mrs. Vandeventer, Mrs. Wentworth, Mrs. M. E. 
Pratt, Miss Martha Wright, Miss Eva Barnes, Mrs. C. A. Richardson, 
Mrs. William Webster, Miss Mary Taylor, Mrs. Flint, Mrs. C. B. Nor- 
cross these and many others who have passed on were active suffragists 
in the days when, as in the life of Susan B. Anthony, to be a suffragist, 
to be an upholder of justice to women, meant to be ridiculed and mis- 


understood. All honor to these courageous, public-spirited women who 
kept the flag flying that we may win victory today ! 

The society started under splendid auspices. A letter from Susan B. 
Anthony, advising non-partisan methods, was read at the first convention, 
Rev. T. Magill and Dr. Stubbs, then recently appointed President of the 
University, spoke, and very successful meetings were held. Through 
the personal efforts of Mrs. Williamson, of Austin, the State president, 
some counties were organized, and the work throughout the State was 
advanced by the tour of Miss Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Shaw in 
1896. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, too, visited Nevada in the interests 
of equal suffrage, and spent some time in Reno as the guest of Mrs. Orr. 

Through the efforts of the society a resolution was introduced into the 
Legislature of 1897 to amend the Constitution by striking out the word 
"male." Majorities were pledged to the measure in both houses. It 
passed the Senate, but was finally defeated in the Assembly by a vote 
of 14 for and 16 against, one of the members pledged to the bill, voting 
in the negative. The women seemed disheartened by this defeat. During 
the following years petitions continued to be presented to the Legislature 
to enfranchise women, and backed by women's organizations the age of 
protection for girls was raised from 14 to 16. But the work of the 
Nevada State Equal Suffrage Association lapsed, though interest in the 
question was kept alive by local clubs and organizations like the W. C. 
T. U. in different parts of the State. 

Undoubtedly stimulated by the English militant movement, which has 
quickened the suffrage agitation all over the world, and influenced more 
directly perhaps by the agitations in Washington and California, the 
Nevada Equal Franchise Society was organized in Reno in January, 1911. 
Mrs. H. Stanislawsky was elected president, Mrs. Grace Bridges sec- 
retary, and a joint resolution striking out the word "male" from the 
Constitution, and further providing that there should be no denial of the 
elective franchise on account of sex, was pushed through both houses of 
the Legislature and approved on March 18, 1911. For the first time in 
the history of Nevada a measure enfranchising women passed both 
houses, and this by the decisive vote of 17 to 2 in the Senate and 32 to 
13 in the Assembly. Credit for this victory is due to the disinterested 
assistance of State officials and members of both houses, and to the 
woman suffrage committee led by Mrs. Stanislawsky and Miss Felice 


In February, 1912, the State Society was reorganized in order to 
prepare for a state-wide campaign of organization and education to ensure 
the second necessary passage of the resolution in the Legislature of 1913. 
Mrs. Stanislawsky had moved to California and resigned the presidency, 
and Miss Anne Martin was elected president, with Mrs. Grace Bridges 
corresponding secretary. Mrs. Clarence Mackay gave her support as 
honorary president. In this new administration the Nevada Equal Fran- 
chise Society became a member of the National American Woman Suf- 
frage Association and of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. 
An advisory board composed of representative men from every county 
in the State was gradually formed. The counties were successively 
organized with local women as chairmen. Meetings have been held in 
various parts of the State, addressed by President Stubbs, Judge Far- 
rington, Bishop Robinson, Rev. Charles F. Aked, of San Francisco, 
Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Oilman, Rabbi Martin Meyer, Judge Norcross, 
Senator Francis G. Newlands, Hon. Key Pittman, Miss Anne Martin, 
Mrs. Stanislawsky, and others. 

A State press service has been inaugurated. A large number of 
Nevada newspapers have declared themselves in favor of equal suffrage. 
A leaflet entitled "Women under Nevada Laws," by Miss B. M. Wilson, 
of Goldfield, one of the State vice-presidents and chairman of the Esme- 
ralda County Branch, has been published by the State Society in an 
edition of 20,000. 

A branch of the National College Equal Suffrage League, of which 
Dr. M. Carey Thomas, of Bryn Mawr College, is president, has been 
founded at the University of Nevada. It has a growing membership 
among the college students and alumnae. 

The State Federation of Women's Clubs has endorsed equal suffrage. 
Several of the county delegations to the next Legislature are solid for 
suffrage, a safe majority of both houses has been pledged to pass the 
resolution. The membership of the State Society has increased twenty- 
fold in the last six months, the women of the State are alive to the 
question, and votes for women in Nevada seem absolutely assured in the 
immediate future. 

On November 5 four new states were added to the six already enfran- 
chised: Oregon, Arizona, Kansas and Michigan.* Nevada, bounded by 

*At this time of writing, Michigan, which won by a good majority, has been counted out by 
corrupt influences. 


California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona, is now absolutely enclosed 
in suffrage territory. With the non-suffrage States, colored black, and 
the equal suffrage States, white, Nevada appears as a big black island 
surrounded by white suffrage territory. We are marooned on our own 
black island. The time has now come when Nevada, always generous 
and chivalrous in other respects, will follow the example of her eight 
neighbors as well as of one Middle Western and one Eastern state, and 
give this measure of justice and freedom to her women. Let this isolated 
non-suffrage blot be removed from the fair face of Western territory. 
Let Nevada stand shoulder to shoulder with her progressive and enlight- 
ened neighbors on the broad ground of equal suffrage, of political equality 
and morality, of justice to women for the good of the human race ! * 

* Since the above article was written the Nevada Legislature convened, and has passed the 
woman suffrage amendment by a vote of 49-3 in the Assembly and 19-3 in the Senate, January 30. 
1913. The amendment having passed two successive Legislatures is now ready to be ratified by 
the voters at the next election, November, 1914. Illinois was added to the list of suffrage States 
for national and statutory offices by the State Legislature in June, 1913. The Territory of Alaska 
also enacted equal suffrage in 1913. 





Unique in the history of Nevada is Churchill County, in that it fur- 
nishes a most striking example of the magic touch of man making the 
desert bloom as the rose, this coming about through Uncle Sam selecting 
the Lahontan Valley for the location of his Seven-Million Dollar Farm, 
where the first government irrigation project was established and the 
land divided into 40 and 80 acre farms. Churchill County derives its 
name from an early military post, Fort Churchill, situated just west of 
the present county line, which was named in honor of an officer of 
the United States Army. The county was created by a territorial act, 
approved November 25, 1861, in which the boundaries were described 
as follows: Beginning at the northeastern corner of Storey County, and 
running south along the eastern line of said county to the northern line 
of Douglas County; thence easterly along the said northern line of 
Douglas County and the northern line of Esmeralda County to the one 
hundred and sixteenth meridian; thence north, along said meridian, to 
the fortieth parallel of north latitude; thence west on the said fortieth 
parallel to where it strikes the old immigrant road leading from the sink 
of the Humboldt to the lower crossing of the Truckee River; thence 
westerly, along said road, to the point of beginning. When Lander 
County was created, on December 19, 1862, about one-third of the 
whole area of Churchill County was made a part of the new county all 
that portion lying east of the fortieth degree of longitude. By an act 
approved February 20, 1864, the boundary between Lyon and Churchill 
counties was established at the line of longitude 41 degrees and 40 min- 
utes, by means of which a small cession was made to Lyon County. By 
an act approved February 27, 1869, a triangular tract, forming the south- 
west corner of Humboldt County, was ceded to Churchill County, includ- 
ing about 25 miles of Central Pacific Railroad, the object being to increase 


the revenues of Churchill County. By the same act the present boundary 
between Lyon and Churchill was established. By an act approved March 
5, 1869, a small triangular tract at the southeast corner of Churchill 
County was ceded to Nye County. An act approved November 29, 1861, 
attached Churchill to Lyon for county, judicial, and revenue purposes, 
including it in the third judicial district, and locating its county seat at 
Buckland's. By an act approved February 19, 1864, Churchill was made 
a distinct county, with all the rights, privileges and immunities belonging 
thereto, and the Governor was instructed to appoint its first officials. 
The following were appointed by the Governor as the first officers of 
Churchill County in March and April, 1864; County commissioners, Ben- 
jamin Curler, Thomas J. Cochran and J. B. McClure (Curler declined) ; 
probate judge, Alfred James; district attorney, A. F. Patrick; sheriff, 
Walter L. Gates ; county clerk, W. E. Smith ; county treasurer, Walter 
Goodell; assessor, J. W. Cummings ; recorder, Nelson Murdock; super- 
intendent of schools, A. W. Doolittle ; surveyor, Wm. A. Jackson. 

There was a strong protest signed by thirty-six residents along the 
Carson River, between Fort Churchill and Dayton, presented to the Legis- 
lature against creating Churchill County, and stipulating that if it were 
created, they be set over into Lyon County. A territorial act, approved 
December 19, 1862, authorized Ellen Redman and others to construct a 
toll-bridge across Carson Slough at Redman Station, and to charge toll 
as follows : For wagon drawn by 6 or 8 animals, $2 ; for wagon drawn by 
4 animals, $1.50; for wagon drawn by 2 animals, $i ; for carriage or 
buggy, 2 horses, $i ; for carriage or buggy drawn by one horse, 75 cents ; 
for horseman, 25 cents ; for pack-animals, 123/2 cents ; for loose stock, 
10 cents. Two per cent, of these charges went to the Territorial School 
Fund. A fine for crossing the bridge without paying toll was not less 
than $10, nor more than $100. Any one maliciously injuring the bridge 
was liable to be fined from $25 to $500. All fines were to accrue to the 
bridge company. The rates of toll could be changed by the Governor 
and Legislature, and the commissioners of Lyon and Churchill counties 
could purchase the bridge in three years at its appraised cash value. 

An act of December 20, 1862, authorized J. Jacobson, John Bowan, 
Alexander Person, John Taylor, P. Reynolds and associates to improve 
the Carson River from Dayton to Humboldt Slough, thence to Humboldt 
Lake, thence across the lake and up Humboldt River to Humboldt City, 


cutting canals, etc., and rendering such route practicable for rafts and 
vessels. An act of February 20, 1864, empowered James A. St. Clair 
and J. J. McClellan to maintain a toll-bridge across Old River, at a point 
known as the upper sink crossing ; no other bridge or ferry to be allowed 
within half a mile either way. An act of February 19, 1864, organized 
a distinct and separate county (heretofore connected officially with Lyon 
County) and, on the 2nd of April of the same year, Governor Nye located 
the county seat of Churchill County at La Platta, eighteen miles east of 
Stillwater. In 1868 the county seat was moved to Stillwater, where it 
remained until 1902, when the rapidly developing agricultural section 
further up the Carson River resulted in the removal of the county seat 
to Fallen, twelve miles to the west, where it remains. The removal was 
without opposition. 

The act approved February 27, 1869, by which a portion of Humboldt 
County was given to Churchill, required Churchill to pay to Humboldt 
County therefor $3,000; but by an act passed by the State Legislature 
February 13, 1871, Churchill was released from its payment and all 
unpaid warrants on this account were ordered destroyed. The first 
school in Churchill County, under the county organization, was held in 
the "Big Adobe" in the St. Clair district, in December, 1871, the first 
teacher being Lemuel Allen, afterward Lieutenant Governor, and 
now a resident of Reno. The building still stands. In 1872 the county 
was divided into two school districts, the one being at the upper sink 
and the other at Stillwater, the county seat. In 1874 a third district was 
organized. In 1876 the three districts were combined into one, known 
as the union school district. Soon afterward a fine school house, costing 
$4,000, was erected on the upper sink; a teacher and matron were 
employed, and from 40 to 60 pupils attended. In 1879 the county was 
sub-divided into four districts. E. P. Hall was the first school super- 
intendent. Up to 1878 the late Judge W. H. A. Pike was superintendent 
of the Union School. 

In 1880 an unchartered temperance society was organized at Stillwater 
with forty-four members. The first religious service held in the county 
took place in the institute building at Stillwater in the spring of 1875. 
A Methodist Episcopal clergyman named Pendleton was in charge. The 
first meeting of the Seventh Day Adventists was held in the institute on 
the ist of June, 1876, under the leadership of Jackson Ferguson, with 


a membership of forty-four persons. This denomination built the first 
church in the county, located near St. Clair. The building was later 
moved to Fallon, where worship is held. 

Valuable Springs and Marshes. About eight miles northwest of Fallon 
are situated two circular depressions containing water and surrounded by 
prominent rims marking the site of volcanic craters, active during and 
subsequent to the Lahontan period. The crater rims rise eighty-seven 
feet above the surrounding desert, and some hundred and fifty feet above 
the inclosed lakes. The larger body of water, known as Big Soda Lake, 
lies about fifty feet below the level of Carson River, and has a depth of 
about one hundred and fifty feet in the deepest part. There is no surface 
inlet or outlet connected with this lake, and the water probably comes by 
seeping through a subsoil from Carson River. In its passage through the 
underlying lacustral sediments large amounts of soluble material are 
picked up and carried into the lake. The smaller of these two depressions, 
known as Little Soda Lake, is nearly dry, containing water only in depres- 
sions. This water is very saline, and upon evaporating, during the sum- 
mer, leaves a thick deposit of impure sodium carbonates. The larger 
lake comprises about four hundred acres and the smaller sixteen acres. 
These lakes were discovered by Asa Kenyon in 1855. He sold the prop- 
erty to Higgins & Duffy in 1868, who in turn sold to J. S. Doe and Mr. 
Dowd. In the earlier days a force of five men prepared about sixty tons 
for the market every month, which sold at from $55 to $65 per ton. At 
one time a two-fifths interest in the property sold for $35,000. The 
property is at present owned by Eugene Griswold, of San Francisco, but 
has not been worked the past couple of years, the owner claiming that 
the seepage water from the government canal system for the Truckee- 
Carson project rendered the lakes unfit for the manufacture of soda. 
Specimens from Big Soda Lake were awarded a prize medal and diploma 
at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. 

About twenty miles to the southeast of Fallon is situated the great 
salt marsh, where salt is taken out 95 per cent. pure. It is estimated that 
there are millions of tons of this salt, some of which was shipped to 
mining camps in the early days. The product was brought into Fallon 
in 1912 and sold for commercial purposes. Drilling has shown the salt 
deposit to be four hundred feet thick. Adjoining this deposit is the 
borax works, from which the product was shipped many years ago, and 


shipments were made from it in the year 1912. The property is owned 
by C. W. Kinney and Eastern associates. 

The Lahontan Valley. The scientists tell us that Lake Lahontan, for 
many years called the Carson Sink Valley, was formerly a body of salt 
water. Into this valley are discharged the waters of the Carson River, 
which spread out upon the desert, forming upper and lower Carson Lakes. 
A few miles below the canyon, where the river emerges from the moun- 
tain the stream divided, the Main Carson flowing to the south into the 
upper lake, the other, Old River, turning to the north near Fallen and 
finding its way into the lower sink. During the flood of 1862 Old River 
was cut through, and later New River was formed in a similar way, 
branching off from Old River about one mile west of Fallen. However, 
when the Reclamation Service took charge of the project concrete dams 
were thrown across the Main Carson and New River, turning all the 
water down Old River, except a small quantity that was allowed to flow 
down the Main Carson to supply prior right pending adjustment. One 
of these rights was owned by F. W. Inman for his flour-mill on the slough 
a few miles south of Fallon, but this right was purchased by the govern- 
ment in 1913 for $7,500. The waters of the upper lake, or Carson Lake, 
found their way to the lower sink through Stillwater Slough, and while 
the upper lake is rapidly drying up, the slough serves a good purpose 
in carrying away the drainage water from the irrigation system. 

Lahontan Valley also received a portion of the flood waters of the 
Humboldt River. During the flood of 1859-60 the waters of Humboldt 
Lake broke over and a channel was cut through the low depression, 
allowing the water to run over into the Carson Sink. This still goes 
on every season. So strong and continuous was this flow that a quartz 
mill was erected in the '6o's near White Plains, using the current ojf the 
slough for power. This mill is in Churchill County, and falling into 
disuse, was sold for taxes in 1912. The old immigrant train down the 
Humboldt crossed at this mill and from that point the weary pilgrims 
to the West faced the famous Forty-Mile Desert, on their way from 
Lovelock to Ragtown. This was a waterless, sandy desert, though for 
the most part it was one of those sleek, hard flats where the wheels of 
wagons scarcely made an impression as they passed over it. 

Ragtown was at one time one of the most noted localities in Churchill 
County region, though now the place is known as Leeteville, the ranch 


and residence of James Leete keeping vigil over this landmark of the 
past. For some years Mr. Leete kept a postoffice in his residence, hence 
the name of Leeteville. In the earlier times Ragtown was a station on 
the overland road, when the immigrants moved across the Forty-Mile 
Desert from Humboldt, and pushed on to the gold fields of California. 
When the Simpson route was discovered and adopted in 1860 and immig- 
rants came by way of Schell Creek, Egan Canyon and Jacobsville, on 
Reese River, Ragtown still remained an overland station. Two reasons 
are assigned for the origin of the novel name of the town. One is that it 
was originally composed of cloth-houses built by traders from California, 
who, leaving in the fall, left their ragged shelters to flutter in the wind. 
According to another authority, the immigrants, on reaching it, hastened 
to divest themselves of their ragged garments and plunge into the cooling 
waters of the Carson. Long, scattered piles of rags daily adorned the 
banks of this stream. There was once a burying-ground at Ragtown 
consisting of two hundred graves, results of cholera, fever and exhaustion 
in early years, which were variously marked with log-chains, wagon 
tires, etc. During the flood of 1861-2 it was completely covered over 
and obliterated, and a public road now passes over the spot. 

Lahontan Valley is historic in western travel. The old Pony Express 
used to pass through near Fallon, coming by way of East Gate and 
crossing Old River and going on to the west. The old telegraph line also 
crossed Old River a few miles to the north of Fallon. How history 
changes as time rolls on ! The early immigrants passed along up the 
Carson River, emerging from Lahontan Valley at what is now the site 
of the great Lahontan Dam, where this structure, one hundred feet high, 
will throw the waters back up the stream for fifteen miles, impounding 
300,000 acre-feet of flood waters to be conserved and used in irrigating 
the lands of the hundreds of homesteaders who have settled in the valley 
below. This dam is now well under way and will be ready to catch the 
flood-waters of 1914. 

Soil and Climate. Situated at an elevation of a little less than 4,000 
feet above sea level, the Lahontan Valley has a mild and equable climate. 
Snow forms but a small part of the annual precipitation, and the ground 
is seldom covered for more than a day. Being remote from the lofty 
snow-ranges of the Sierras, the winter weather is usually warm and 
pleasant and the farmers can generally plow their land every month in 


the year. The soil varies from the heavy adobe to the rich black loam 
and light sandy soil, well adapted to various kinds of agriculture, and is 
wonderfully prolific in the growth of vegetation, once water is applied. 
Alfalfa, wheat, oats and barley grow and yield abundantly, while potatoes, 
onions and vegetables are important crops for export. Fruits of delicious 
flavor are produced, and Lahontan Valley watermelons and cantaloupes 
are in great demand in the mining camps. 

Fallon Beet Sugar Factory. The largest commercial enterprise in 
Churchill County is the Nevada Sugar Company's factory, located one 
mile from Fallon, at a cost of $600,000. It was first opened in the fall 
of 1911, and is supplied with beets from the Lahontan Valley and western 
Nevada in general. It is the first beet-sugar factory to be erected in 
the State. Thorough tests have demonstrated that the soil and climate 
of western Nevada are admirably adapted to the growing of sugar-beets, 
the percentage of sugar running unusually high. The enterprise was 
promoted largely through the efforts of Dr. C. A. Hascall, the builders 
and financiers being H. W. Hinze and Fred Hinze. 

There are indeed few men living in Churchill County today who were 
active in its early history, but among these may be mentioned Hon. W. C. 
Grimes, who at the second election, November 3, 1866, was elected a 
member of the Assembly. While holding many official positions in the 
county, among them State Senator, to which he was elected in 1874, and 
several times to the office of district attorney, he was again elected a 
member of the Assembly in 1912, now being a member of that body after 
a lapse of forty-six years. During these years he has accumulated a 
goodly portion of this world's goods and, above all, has maintained an 
unsullied character. J. W. Richards, elected county clerk in 1878, and 
Assemblyman in 1880, is now serving his third consecutive term as county 
treasurer. Mr. Richards was born in Bath County, Kentucky, November 
3, 1839, locating in Churchill in 1863. J. J. Cushman, who was elected 
county clerk in 1872, still resides on his ranch a few miles south of 
Fallon, on which he settled in 1861, the tract comprising 1,200 acres 
of land. 

The City of Fallon. A postoffice was established in 1896 on Mike 
Fallon's ranch, and was given the name of Fallon postoffice. It was 
carried on in a little 10 x 12 shack near the residence, where the people 
of the neighborhood called to get their mail. The farm was later sold 


to Warren W. Williams and the first postoffice was situated just east of 
his present residence. Within a year J. W. Richards moved his store 
from Stillwater to Fallon, erecting the building now owned and occupied 
by the Churchill County Eagle. He later became postmaster. F. W. 
Inman started a butcher shop, and these were the only two places of 
business in the town at the time the act was passed by the Legislature of 
1902 moving the county seat from Stillwater. There was, however, a 
school house and the New River Hall. 

Hon. Warren W. Williams donated the land for the Courthouse and 
Jail and laid out an addition for the town on the west side of Maine 
street, naming the principal street after his native state of Maine. John 
Oats laid out the Oats addition from part of his ranch on the east side 
of the street. Lots were sold at $30 each and the town rapidly sprang 
into life. The courthouse was completed the following year, and with 
the passage of the Reclamation Law in 1902 establishing the Truckee- 
Carson irrigation project, with Fallon as the center, the permanency of 
the town was assured. The various construction camps of the contractors 
and the government located adjacent to the town made times lively and 
Fallon grew by leaps and bounds. The discovery of rich ore at the camps 
of Fairview and Wonder created great excitement and caused a big 
rush in the spring of 1905. Fallon being the natural "Gateway to the 
Mines," reaped a great harvest the next few years from this traffic. 
Outside of the business center it was a city of tents, for houses could not 
be built fast enough to accommodate the rapidly growing population. 
The town was controlled by the county commissioners, sitting as a town 
board. The Legislature of 1907 passed a special incorporation act for 
the Town of Fallon, but when submitted to the voters that summer they 
rejected it, and the government of the town went on as before until 
1908, when the City of Fallon was organized under the general incor- 
poration act, but the validity of this law had to be tested by the Supreme 
Court, which caused much delay. The law was sustained and the City 
of Fallon actually launched out as a municipality. 

In 1911 the City Council decided to bond the city for $35,000 for a 
water-system and $10,000 for a sewer-system. This did not meet with 
any opposition, a petition not even coming in from the necessary 15 
per cent, of the voters to have the question submitted to a vote. How- 
ever, there was considerable difficulty in arranging details and disposing 


of the bonds, and before this was carried out the Government decided 
to construct an electric transmission line from Lahontan Dam, eighteen 
miles west, to the city, at a cost of $20,000, in order to supply the cor- 
poration with light and power. Therefore, it was decided to issue $15,000 
more bonds for a city-light system. This, as before, did not meet with 
any opposition, and the three municipal improvements were installed at 
the same time, during the summer of 1912. But before the sewer system 
was completed it was seen that it should be extended to outlying districts 
in order to accommodate the entire population, and a change was made 
in the plans, entailing an additional expense, which called for $17,000 
more, and for this the council provided by an additional bond issue of 
$17,000, there being no protest from the people. This made the sewer, 
water and light systems cost the city $77,000. The work was carried 
through under the direction of E. P. Osgood, as city engineer, L. W. 
Crehore having special charge of installing the electrical system and the 

The three systems were put into operation during the summer of 1912 
and there was not a hitch in any department. Everything was a success 
from the very start. The city officials who had the responsibility of 
expending this $77,000 were: Geo. E. Sherman, mayor, and Councilmen 
John Oats, Judson C. Jones, and Joe Jarvis, with the assistance of City 
Attorney E. E. Winters, who directed the legal procedure, and City 
Clerk W. H. Reavis, who had the responsibility of handling the accounts. 
And here it may be said that while but few if any cities with 1,200 popu- 
lation have carried out so completely the system of municipal ownership 
of utilities, yet be it said to the credit of the men who had official charge 
that there was not the slightest suspicion of graft or any misappropriation 
of funds. To the contrary, when it came to the election in May, 1913, 
every one of the above-named officers were returned by the votes of the 
people to serve another two years, so well had their work been performed. 
Municipal ownership of water, light and power in the City of Fallon has 
proven highly satisfactory. Besides a splendid public school and a county 
high school, the City of Fallon is provided with five churches Baptist, 
Methodist Episcopal, Episcopal, Seventh Day Adventist, and Catholic, 
which were built in the order named. 





Las Vegas, which being translated from the Spanish means "The 
Meadows," gives in its name the secret of its early importance. God 
decreed that in this valley, in the midst of the desert, a store of living 
water should be placed, and here a kindly Providence guided the foot- 
steps of the Franciscan Fathers in their explorations more than a century 
ago, who, in their spirit of thankfulness for the forests of mesquite 
furnishing a grateful shade, and the broad reaches of green meadow 
made cool and restful by the moisture from the springs and flowing 
streams, gave the name "Las Vegas," so descriptive and suggestive to 
the minds of those who know. 

With the passing of the years, knowledge of this spot, so delightful to 
the fever-stricken travelers of the desert, spread, and Las Vegas became 
well established on the maps of the Far West. Fremont, the pathfinder, 
sent his scouts hither. Searchers after the hidden wealth of the moun- 
tains blessed its life-saving waters. Pilgrims from the newly established 
empire of Utah stopped here to regain their strength and recuperate their 
animals on their awful journeys to Southern California over the old 
California trail. Here the Union soldiers stationed at Fort Callville at 
the Big Bend of the Colorado during the Civil War, came to refresh 
themselves and their tired mounts. Here, also, came the farmer to supply 
the needs of the occasional traveler and prospector. Then the water was 
applied to irrigating the soil, and the remarkable fertility of the country 
became apparent. Fruits, vegetables, hay and grains repaid the venture- 
some ones who were willing to try, in rich measure. 

Yet with all its years as a resting place for the desert traveler, Las 
Vegas would still be unknown to the world had it not been for the decree 
of man that a railroad should be built through this remote region. Here 
again came in the feature of never-failing water-supply, since it was 


necessary at some point to establish great shops and other necessities for 
the maintenance and operation of the road. The Vegas springs decided 
that also, making the newly born city on the Salt Lake Road not a way 
station merely but a division point and the seat of its shops and store^ 
houses. In May, 1905, the railroad, having purchased 1,800 acres of the 
old Stewart ranch with the springs, held an auction sale at which hun- 
dreds of eager bidders struggled for choice building and business lots. 
By reason of this competition high prices were paid by investors for 
much of the property in Clark's Las Vegas townsite, yet there is no case 
so far as we are aware where the property will not bring today a very 
fair return on the investment. The days immediately preceding the 
auction sale saw hundreds of people arriving, to be present at the birth 
of the new city. In tents were postoffice, saloons, gambling houses, 
hotels, large stocks of merchandise and even two banks, a third being 
opened soon after the sale. 

On May I5th, 1905, Las Vegas was really born. Under a spreading 
mesquite tree near the present freight depot a platform had been erected, 
and here congregated the major portion of the three thousand people 
then on the ground. On the platform C. O. Whittemore, representing 
the railroad company, explained the methods to be followed in making 
the sales, and gave to the eager purchasers the promises of the railroad 
company as to future improvements to be made by the company. These 
promises included the building of a water-system whereby water would 
be placed on every lot under pressure ; the improvement of all streets ; 
the building of a handsome depot and other railroad buildings; and 
finally, the building of the principal shops of the system, to employ 
several hundred men. Although for some time before there was some 
dissatisfaction at the delay in carrying out some of these improvements, 
it is but fair to say that all the promises of the company have been fairly 
fulfilled, to the entire satisfaction of the people. 

The struggle between excited bidders for favorite locations grew tense 
as the day advanced, and the incidents of the day will long be remem- 
bered by those participating. The auction sale was not completed until 
the afternoon of the i6th. The intense heat of the sun, added to the 
warmth of the day's activities, those two days being the first hot days 
of the season, and in striking contrast to the chill which had been in the 
air prior to that time. The sale of the lots of Clark's Las Vegas townsite 


has gone into history as the largest sale of lots at auction at any one 
time ever known 1,200 lots were sold for an aggregate of $265,000. 
On the morning of the seventeenth tent houses, loads of lumber and 
every variety of building material were being hurriedly hauled onto the 
townsite, which up to this time was unencumbered by even the smallest 
structure. There was a general search among the clumps of brush for 
the stakes marking the lot corners, the streets even being not yet cleared 
of brush, and before night buildings of all kinds were standing in various 
stages of completion, many of them being used before the roofs were on. 

Among those who are still residents of Las Vegas who were present at the 
sale may be mentioned W. R. Thomas, John S. Park, C. P. Squires, John 
F. Miller, J. S. Wisner, W. R. Bracken, Henry Squires, W. E. Hawkins, 
M. C. Thomas, Peter Buol, Edw. and Frank A. Clark, J. T. McWilliams, 
E. W. Griffith and others. 

Following the sale of town lots the growth of the city was very rapid. 
Buildings of lumber, brick, concrete and cement blocks were erected in 
record time and in thirty days the sagebrush of the desert had given 
way to homes and business blocks and the new city was safely and surely 
on its way to greatness. During the summer following the sale the Las 
Vegas Land and Water Company, in making good its promises to the 
people, graded and oiled ten miles of the city streets, building cement 
curbs in the business portion and wooden curbs throughout the balance 
of the townsite. They also completed the water system, piping pure 
spring water to every lot. These improvements served to remedy much 
that was disagreeable during the first three months of the life of the 
new city, and beginning with the fall of 1905 much substantial building 
was done, concrete blocks being used very largely. The high class of 
building then begun has exerted a very noticeable influence upon the 
character of the city, Las Vegas being more substantial and permanent 
in its appearance than most cities of a similar origin. A brief chronology 
of some of the principal events in the life and growth of the city would 
include the following: 

Early in 1905, months before the present townsite was thrown open 
by the company, "the original townsite of Las Vegas" was subdivided and 
lots therein sold in considerable numbers by J. T. McWilliams. A thriv- 
ing town sprung up with a population of perhaps two thousand souls 
awaiting the opening of the railroad. This townsite is now a residence 


portion of the city and has in it some pleasant homes. The business 
portion was mostly destroyed by fire soon after the railroad townsite was 
opened. The building of the ice-plant of the P. F. Ex. Co. was started 
on land belonging to Mr. McWilliams, but through some disagreement 
that site was abandoned and the plant erected south of the town, ice being 
first manufactured in August of 1905. The capacity of the plant was 
fifty-tons per day. McWilliamstown was busy and prosperous during 
the spring of this year by reason of the immense freighting business to 
the newly discovered Bullfrog district. For a time a large business was 
done, principally by the firm of Crowell & Allot and F. J. Kramer. With 
the decline of the teaming business soon after the railroad company 
opened its townsite, both of these firms failed, it being notable that these 
are the only business houses of Las Vegas of any importance which 
have failed. 

Among the notable things of the early days of Vegas was "Hotel Las 
Vegas," a large canvas structure 40 by 140 with large additions for 
dining-room and kitchen, all furnished and fitted in the style of a first 
class city hotel, with a force of waitresses and cooks brought from 
Los Angeles to cater to the public. This was dismantled in the following 
winter, after entertaining hundreds of guests. It was located on Maine 
Street, adjoining the townsite on the north, and for months marked the 
center of activity in the new city. 

A short distance north of the Hotel Las Vegas was built the garage of 
the automobile line established by Messrs. J. Ross Clark, F. M. Grace, 
C. O. Whittemore and others for the purpose of furnishing transportation 
to the Bullfrog district. This enterprise was abandoned after the expendi- 
ture of perhaps $25,000 when it was determined that a branch railroad 
should be built to connect Las Vegas with Gold Center, Beatty, Bull- 
frog, Rhyolite and Goldfield. This road was projected by "Borax" Smith, 
who caused surveys to be made, and during the following winter, graded 
about ten miles of the road. In the early spring of 1906, a disagreement 
arose between the Smith people and the Salt Lake road as a result of 
which Senator Wm. A. Clark decided to take over the interests which 
Smith had acquired and build the road himself as a private enterprise 
to be a feeder to the main line. Construction was pushed by the Clark 
people with vigor all during that year and the road completed as far as 
Rhyolite by November of 1906. The building of this main line was of 


great importance to Las Vegas, furnishing its merchants a market for a 
vast quantity of material of various kinds which otherwise would not have 
been disposed of. This road was named the Las Vegas and Tonopah 
and is still an important factor in the business of the city. It was com- 
pleted through to Goldfield, which is still the terminus of the line. In 
its early day the L. V. & T. carried an immense traffic to the mining camps, 
being for several months their only rail communication with the outside 
world. The Greenwater boom furnished an especially lively business for 
a few months. "Borax" Smith, not to be thwarted in his railroad am- 
bitions at once upon leaving Vegas, made connections with the Santa Fe 
Company and built a line from Ludlow to Goldfield which is now the 
Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, thus depriving Las Vegas of much 
business that would otherwise have come to her doors had she remained the 
only gateway from the gold camps to the south. 

During the fall of 1905, a company was organized to furnish electric 
lights to the young city. Pole lines were built and a contract made with 
the Pacific Fruit Express Co., to supply current. This service, while far 
from perfect, proved a great convenience, and finally developed into the 
Consolidated Power & Telephone Co., which is now supplying the city 
with electricity, gas and telephone service. In November of this year 
the Home Building and Loan Association was organized and was the 
means through which many of the earlier homes of the city were con- 
structed. This company, owing to lack of investing stockholders, was 
finally wound up, its loan being taken over by the bank. 

Among the buildings which were under construction at this time were 
the Thomas Block, the First State Bank Building, and many frame struc- 
tures of considerable pretense. The homes of John S. Park, C. P. Squires, 
C. N. Brown, (now owned by T. J. Osborne) Dan V. Noland, (now owned 
by W. R. Bracken) and A. L. Murphy on Freemont street, were completed 
in the winter and spring of 1906. 

The summer of 1906 was made active by the building of the Las 
Vegas and Tonopah railroad mentioned above, and by the tremendous 
boom which the newly discovered "Greenwater" copper camp experienced. 
Much travel to the new camps was by way of the Las Vegas, and a large 
trade was enjoyed by her business men. Following this boom and the 
completion of the Tonopah & Tidewater road into Greenwater and Rhyo- 
lite by "Borax" Smith, times were very quiet and the town went through 


one of her most discouraging periods. This was heightened during the 
following winter by heavy rains which caused serious washouts in Meadow 
Valley Wash and a suspension of through traffic for about six weeks early 
in 1907. The Opera House block was built during the summer of 1907 
on the corner of First and Fremont streets. Many remember that the fresh- 
ly laid walls of this building, being unsupported by sufficient bracing, were 
partly thrown down by a severe windstorm which came up unexpectedly 
one night. However the damage was repaired and the building was long 
the principal structure of the town, the large hall being used for all public 
meetings and entertainments as well as by various lodges and for a 
time by the Majestic moving picture theatre. The building was finally 
purchased by M. C. Thomas and used exclusively by the Thomas Depart- 
ment store until it was destroyed by fire in May, 1912. 

During the summer of 1907 the ice- factory of the Pacific Fruit Ex- 
press Co., was destroyed by fire. This was a severe blow to the city, but 
the loss was repaired by rebuilding the plant much better than before and 
with a capacity of 100 tons of ice per day. Las Vegas has been very 
fortunate since its beginning in having ice during the heated term de- 
livered at residences at a price within the reach of all. This feature has 
done much to make the summer heat more easily endured, adding much to 
the health and comfort of the people. 

In common with all other portions of the country Las Vegas was aware 
of the financial panic which swept over the nation in October 1907, yet 
she experienced none of the business hardships which were common to 
practically the whole country. The chief reason for this was undoubtedly 
the stability of the First State Bank and the confidence in which it 
was held by the people. There was no run on this institution at any time, 
and its doors were not closed at all during the panic when all other banks 
of the State were taking advantage of the legal holidays declared. One 
of the most interesting events of 1907 was the completion by the Vegas 
Artesian Water Syndicate of the first test-well sunk to determine whether 
or not there was artesian water to be had in the Vegas Valley. Through the 
efforts of the late Judge Beal, and with the assistance of practically every 
business man in the town, several hundred acres of land were subscribed 
to the enterprise and enough money secured to buy a drilling-rig and sink 
a well. The first effort was made at a point about three miles north of 
Vegas and a small flow of water was secured. This, however, demonstrated 


what all had hoped that the pressure of the underground waters is suffi- 
cient to bring the water above the surface without the necessity of using 
pumps, forming what is probably the very cheapest method of securing 
water for irrigation. From this small beginning the work of developing 
artesian water has reached considerable proportions, there being at this 
date (the summer of 1912) approximately 100 successful flowing wells, 
serving to irrigate many small ranches which have a combined area of 
several thousand acres. 

In 1908 the real growth and prosperity of the little city began. In June 
of that year the Las Vegas Age, the newspaper which was established 
by T. G. Nicklin before the opening of the townsite, and which was the 
only one of three newspapers to survive the ups and downs of the forma- 
tive period of the town, was purchased by C. P. Squires, who immediately 
inaugurated a campaign of optimism with regard to the advantages which 
Las Vegas and its valley possess. Following this a publicity organization 
called the "Las Vegas Promotion Society" was organized to assist in the 
work of publicity, and under the management of the late Judge M. S. Beal, 
did much good work. In August of this year the campaign in favor of 
creating the new county of Clark out of the southern half of what was then 
Lincoln County was taken up in earnest. A county division club was 
formed, committees appointed, money subscribed, and a united people won 
the fight after a vigorous campaign. The Legislature in February 1900. 
passed the county division act, creating Clark county, with Las Vegas as 
the county seat, the bill taking effect July first, 1909. Governor Dicker- 
son appointed W. E. Hawkins, of Las Vegas, W. H. Bradley, of Search- 
light and S. H. Wells, of Logan county commissioners of the new county 
and they in turn appointed county officers to serve until after the election of 
the following year. The county officials were inaugurated with a very 
enthusiastic Fourth of July celebration. A feature of this affair was the 
turning over by the people of Las Vegas of a neat little temporary Court 
House (which is still in use) in fulfillment of their promise to furnish office 
quarters for the county officials for the period of three years free of charge. 
The first set of officers of Clark County were Ed. W. Clark, treasurer, Har- 
ley A. Harmon, clerk, W. J. McBurney, assessor, C. C. Corkhill, sheriff, 
and Frank Clayton, receiver and auditor. 

The beginning of the new county government seemed to give a new 


hope and a new impetus to things in general. Business experienced a very 
marked revival. 

Early in this year (1909) the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake 
Railway Company announced that it would immediately build large 
machine shops in this city. Work on the shop-building was begun in 
March, and by mid-summer was well under way. In July the railroad 
company announced the beginning of construction of forty handsome con- 
crete cottages of four and five rooms for rent to their employees. This 
number was found inadequate and the number was increased to sixty-five. 
Some building was also undertaken by private individuals, making the 
year a fairly busy one. In the latter portion of this year the matter of 
selling bonds of the unincorporated town of Las Vegas to the amount of 
$30,000 was agitated for the purpose of building a sewer system which had 
by this time become very necessary. This bond issue was voted almost 
unanimously at a special election held in January 1910, but owing to cer- 
tain legal defects the bonds were not salable. 

The year 1910 was one of trouble for the new city. On New Year's 
Day a warm rain, following a protracted cold spell, melted the mountain 
snows and brought into the Meadow Valley Wash in Lincoln county the 
flood waters from a vast area of country. For a distance of about no 
miles, from a point a short distance north of Moapa to a point about 35 
miles north of Caliente, the track of the S. P. L. A. & S. L. R. R. Co., 
was reduced to a mass of wreckage. The Los Angeles limited train 
which left Las Vegas north-bound about 9 130 on the evening of December 
3 ist, with all its splendid equipment, was over five-and-a-half months in 
reaching Salt Lake City, reposing all that time in the sands of the wash. 
Without the operation of any through trains Las Vegas was nearly desert- 
ed by the railroad men and her payroll reduced to a minimum, bringing 
to her business men hard times and discouragement. However, on June 
12, 1910, the first through train was run over the road, temporary repairs 
having been made to permit of the resumption of traffic. 

In the meantime, the people of Las Vegas school district voted to issue 
$30,000 in bonds to build a new school building, and on July 4th, the 
celebration included the laying of the corner stone of this handsome struc- 
ture. Owing to an unfortunate series of controversies which arose be- 
tween the contractor and the school trustees, the new building was not 
occupied until the fall of 1911. 


An unfortunate occurrence in connection with the school house troubles 
was the complete destruction by fire in October 1910, of the old school 
building which had been sold by the board to E. W. Griffith, but was 
still occupied by the schools. The fire occurred late at night and was 
undoubtedly of incendiary origin. All the books of the children were de- 
stroyed. Temporary quarters were secured in the Methodist church and in 
a building belonging to Capt. Ladd near the church. Here, without ade- 
quate heating, and with few conveniences for work, teachers and pupils 
were obliged to spend the balance of the school year, yet all worked to- 
gether in making the best of things under discouraging circumstances. 

In August, 1910, Senator Wm. A. Clark announced the intention of the 
railroad to spend about $6,000,000 in rebuilding the line through the 
Meadow Valley Wash on a higher level, safely above the high-water line, 
and the presence of hundreds of workmen for many months engaged in 
this work served to stimulate business. On August 27th the work of tear- 
ing away the old frame structures on the southeast corner of First and 
Fremont streets was begun and the Mesquite block was built on the site 
by Judge W. R. Thomas. 

In January 1911 the railroad shops, which had been long approaching 
completion, were put in operation and soon were employing several 
hundred men. Work on the construction of the big reinforced concrete 
store-house was also begun and carried to completion during the summer. 
Later in the season a handsome apartment house of 50 rooms was begun 
by the Railroad company and completed early in 1912. The most serious 
fire for several years occurred the night of May 24, 1911 when the Over- 
land Hotel was totally destroyed. In this fire one life was lost and many 
narrow escapes from death and injury occurred. Although the results of 
seven years life in Las Vegas were wiped out, the owner, J. S. Wisner 
resolutely set about rebuilding with the result that within the year the 
old structure was replaced by a better and more substantial one of rein- 
forced concrete, well furnished and equipped. After a vigorous campaign 
of education and much work by the committees appointed for the purpose, 
it was decided to incorporate the city, and a charter was adopted by the 
citizens which was presented to the legislature and passed in March, 1911. 
The election of city officers was held in June and the City of Las Vegas 
became a reality with Peter Buol as the first Mayor. In the fall 
following, a special election was called and sewer bonds to the amount 


of $40,000 voted. Although some difficulty was experienced in selling 
these bonds this was finally accomplished and the work of building the 
sewer is now, (in the summer of 1912) under way. 

The most notable feature of the year 1911, was the strike on September 
3Oth of all the shopmen employed. Following this, the railroad company 
closed their enclosure about the railroad property and for some months 
furnished their employees with all the necessities of life within the walls. 
This was a severe blow to the business of the city, but since then the 
company has done away with its commissary department and allows its 
employees to come and go as they see fit and conditions are gradually ap- 
proaching normal. In the early months of 1912, hard times again became 
the plaint. Nevertheless considerable work was under way the most not- 
able being the new Griffith block, the largest in the city. This now houses 
the postoffice, a drug store, the Majestic Theatre and various apartments 
and offices. The postoffice moved to its present quarters in March and 
the Majestic Theatre gave its opening performance April 16, 1912. An 
important event in the life of the city this year was the moving of the 
Consolidated Power & Telephone Company's plant to its present location, 
doubling its electrical power by the installation of a, new engine and an 
additional generator and building an up-to-date gas-plant and piping the 
gas to all parts of the city. 

This chapter being devoted almost entirely to the city proper, but 
slight mention has been made of the astonishing development of artesian 
water in the surrounding valley. At this date there are about 100 flow- 
ing wells and many small producing ranches. Several farming enter- 
prises of considerable size are also under way, all of which are adding 
materially to the growth of the city. The development is naturally slow, 
since it requires approximately one year to sink a well, prepare the 
ground for irrigation, cultivate the soil, and inoculate it with the 
nitrogenous elements in which it is lacking. Beginning with the second 
season excellent results are almost invariably secured. Owing to the 
almost semi-tropical climate, all fruits, except the citrus, may be grown 
in abundance and of splendid quality. Contrary to the general idea, 
apples of excellent quality are produced here. Vegetables of all kinds are 
produced abundantly. One of the staple crops of this section wherever 
sufficient water is available, will always be alfalfa. Owing to the great 


length of the growing season, six cuttings of alfalfa are secured every 
year, the season's production being from eight to ten tons per acre. 

Mineral wealth also adds considerably to the business of the city. The 
Potosi mine, with its stores of lead and zinc, the Arden Plaster Company, 
with its large mill at Arden (almost totally destroyed by fire in the spring 
of 1912 and now rebuilt), the South Nevada Gold Mining Company's 
mine eight miles east of Vegas, as well as the Goodsprings or Yellow 
Pine mining district, the Eldorado Canyon district and other promising 
mining sections all add to the business importance of Las Vegas. These, 
in conjunction with her steady agricultural development and her railroad 
payroll of approximately $60,000 per month, will doubtless soon fulfill 
the destiny of Las Vegas as a center of wealth and industry. Looking 
backward the seven short years to her birth amidst the sage brush of the 
desert and observing her present array of handsome homes, substantial 
business blocks, her numerous municipal improvements, her thriving busi- 
ness enterprises, and above all, the cheerful courage with which her 
people stand together in the hours of adversity, making of every disap- 
pointment a victory and of every disaster a step forward, we can say in 
good faith, "Las Vegas," "The City of Destiny." 





Early Settlement. It is probable that from 1834 until 1843, while 
Nevada was still a part of Mexico, several white trappers passed through 
what is now called the Carson Valley of Douglas County. Tradition 
credits Kit Carson with having been the first white man to see the valley, 
but in what year is a matter of speculation. In 1843 General Fremont, 
it is said, followed the Carson River to where Walley's Springs resort 
stands, and he then named the valley and river in honor of Kit Carson, 
his guide. Via Kingsbury grade, Fremont crossed to Lake Tahoe, nam- 
ing it Lake Bonpland, which yielded to the Indian name of Tahoe, mean^ 
ing bottomless, and went into California. During his expedition of 
1845, Fremont once more passed through the valley, Kit Carson again be- 
ing his scout. 

Between 1845 and 1848 a few scattering immigrants, on their way to 
California, traveled Fremont's Carson Valley route. Probably in 1848 
Mormons made the present site of Genoa a stopping place, but it is un- 
likely that there was a permanent settlement until 1850. It is to be said, 
however, that if the manuscripts of early Mormon settlers may be de- 
pended upon, in 1849 a double log house, without floor or roof, and a 
surrounding rude stockade, or corral, covering about an acre, were built 
in the place. The men who are said to have built these structures were 
H. S. Beatie, Abner Blackburn and his brother, and men named Kimball, 
Carter, Pearson, Smith and Brown. Beatie and Abner Blackburn crossed 
the mountains into California, but soon returned with supplies, which 
they sold to immigrants at fabulous prices. The route to California 
then was through Carson Valley, thus making the station quite a trading- 
post. In the latter part of 1849, or the early part of 1850, the Mormons 
returned to Salt Lake City, except one, who remained at the station, 
according to documents found among Beatie's effects at his death. 
Whether or not one of the Mormons remained, it is certain that in 


> J3 


2 ^ 




1850 the Indians razed whatever there was in the way of a station and 
left not a vestige of the white man's sojourn. 

In 1851, John Reese, a Salt Lake City Mormon, probably having some- 
how acquired from Beatie his "claim" or "rights" in Carson Valley, and 
a party consisting of John and Rufus Thomas, and other Mormons named 
Lee, Condie, Brown, and Gibson, arrived at the deserted settlement. 
Kinsey rode ahead and on July 4, 1851, picketed his horse and awaited 
the coming of his companions. The party proceeded at once to build 
a trading-post of mud and logs. This cabin, the first house in Nevada, 
partly torn down and partly rebuilt, with a shingle roof placed upon it 
sometime in the fifties, remained standing until June 28, 1910, when it 
was destroyed by fire. Despite the efforts of the State Senator from Doug- 
las County nothing was done, and Nevada thus lost her most interesting 
historical relic. During the interim while the Mormons were absent, 
traffic was diverted to the Truckee River route. But the enterprising 
Mormons soon contrived to get back the trade of the travelers, and the 
settlement presently became known far and wide as Mormon 
Station, a name which clung to it until the year 1855, when Probate Judge 
Hyde, sent from Utah by the church, renamed it Genoa in honor of the 
birthplace of the discoverer of America. 

In 1852 a number of immigrants died in Carson Valley from a 
disease resembling dysentery. Nevertheless, the route through it grew 
in favor. A number of people, attracted by the climate, the abundance of 
water, and the fertility of the soil, located permanently in the valley. 
Besides the Mormons, a number of gentiles, including Joseph Webb, T. G. 
Barnard, James Fennimore, and Israel Mott settled there in 1852-3, 
and the first permanent female settler in the person of Mrs. Israel Mott 
arrived with her husband in 1852. On November 12, 1852, the settlers 
formed an organization, petitioned Congress to create a territory, adopted 
rules for taking up land, and elected John Reese recorder and treasurer. 
Reese recorded the first claim for himself early in December, 1852. Six 
other claims were recorded during the same month. 

The advantages of toll-roads and bridges were soon seen, and in the 
latter part of 1852, or the early part of 1853, Reese and Mott secured 
from Utah a franchise to operate a toll-bridge over the Carson River, near 
Genoa and on the present Marquardt farm, a project which for years was 
immensely profitable. It is said that a rude grist or flour-mill was built at 


the station in the early part of 1852, for John Reese. In the mill ther^ 
was a crude thrasher. Reports conflict as to the time of the erection 
of the first saw mill, but it was probably begun in 1853. The first lumber 
was sawed July 25, 1854. John Gary owned the mill, and at first sold 
rough lumber for a hundred dollars a thousand. School was opened in 
Israel Mott's house in 1854, Mrs. Allen being the teacher. James B. 
Ellis, the first white child, was born May i, 1854. In 1853 settlers be- 
came quite numerous and the two merchants did a flourishing business. 
The community began to experience the ways of real civilization, for 
there was a marriage, a "divorce," without court formality, a dance, 
held December 31, 1853, and various other features of social life. There 
was a petty suit tried in the magistrate's court in March, 1853, and 
another in April, 1854. The Probate Court held a session on October 

3, 1854- 

Fortunately, there was but little need for courts. It was not until 
1858, in the hanging of Lucky Bill, that lynch law was resorted to, and 
even then there was no necessity for it. A feature of this first hanging 
was that a timid young man, who attended out of curiosity and who still 
lives in Douglas County, was compelled to drive the wagon from under 
the tree around a branch of which the rope was tied ; as the victim had 
been placed upon the wagon in order to prevent too much stretching of the 
rope, when the wagon was driven from under him he remained suspended 
in the air and the hanging was accomplished. In marked contrast with this 
first peaceful lynching, which was a public affair and occurred in the day- 
time, was the last lynching in the county, in 1896. Adam Uber had shot 
and killed Hans Anderson in Millerville, and it was believed that the 
killing was very atrocious. Uber was taken to the jail in Genoa. A num- 
ber of the valley people, particularly those of the same nationality as the 
murdered man, decided on swift and sure vengeance and a saving of ex- 
pense to the county. On a dark and stormy night the posse overpowered 
the sheriff at the jail, dragged the almost naked victim over the frozen 
ground in a most brutal manner to a tree in Frey's lane several hundred 
yards from the jail, hanged him and riddled his body with bullets. 
Though attempts were made to apprehend the offenders, nothing was 
ever accomplished. It is said that one of the two leaders of the lynchers 
lost his leg and almost his life in a runaway at the identical spot of the 
hanging, several years ago, and that the other always is peculiarly on the 


alert when passing it. Among the crimes to which no clue was ever 
discovered are the murder of Mrs. Sarman and the attempted burning of 
her home, and the murder of one Ledgeway, whose house was burned over 
him. During the days of squatters' rights, there were a number of dis- 
putes between Mormons and gentiles, and a few troubles with Indians. 
There have been very few robberies and crimes of a like nature. Con- 
sidering the conditions, there has been a remarkable scarcity of crime. To- 
day, whiskey-selling to Indians is the only crime heard of. 

Sixty or seventy Mormon families came to the valley in 1856, and, 
also, a number of gentiles. In 1857 the Mormons were ordered by 
Brigham Young to return to Salt Lake City and defend the church against 
threatened action by the United States Government. All the faithful left, 
but others, whose religion did not mean so much to them, and who 
came to be known as "Jack" Mormons, remained in the valley. Gentiles 
seized most of the property left by the departed Mormons, and although 
they were later threatened with dreadful curses, they made no restoration 
or reparation. At the time of the discovery of silver on the Comstock, 
there were between two and three hundred inhabitants in the valley. 
Then came the "boom" days, for the travel through the valley was im- 
mense. A record of the first six months of 1854 shows that 360 horses 
and mules, 7528 cattle and 7150 sheep, besides several thousand people, 
passed through Mormon Station for California, but in the late fifties 
the traffic was much greater, largely because of the travel to the Com- 
stock. This continued for years, during which the stations, that is, stop- 
ping places, did a flourishing business. In the sixties, and later, mines 
were discovered in Bodie, California, and in the Silver Mountains in Cali- 
fornia, both of which places adjoin Douglas County, and to them there 
was a rush of people, all of whom passed through Carson Valley. Stop- 
ping-places and trading-stations, flourished accordingly, those best known 
being Webster's Station, Old's Station, Desert Station, Cradlebaugh's 
Bridge, Twelve-Mile House, and Rodenbah's Station. All mining 
camp followers were rushing through the valley, people with an eye to 
agricultural possibilities were steadily settling upon the fertile lands along 
the river. Hay and grain commanded fabulous prices, even in the late 
sixties hay sold for as high as $300 a ton, and barley for even 
more. It may not be out of place here to relate that it was long a 
custom of the unscrupulous and covetous to thoroughly wet the hay 


before baling it, in order to get as much weight as possible! At first, 
hay was cut by scythes, a number of men attacking a field at the same time, 
as is the custom in Europe. When, in the sixties, the first mowing- 
machines, crude affairs, were used, the men did the laborious work of 
removing the hay from the path of the machine after each round. All 
the bottom or river land in the valley, and some sagebrush land easily sus^. 
ceptible of irrigation, was settled upon before 1860, and the farming 
population then numbered several hundred. Of course, at first there were 
only "squatters" rights, all the Mormon "claims" were such, but when 
the first government surveys were made, such rights were legally per- 

Genoa was the scene of all the early political meetings in Nevada. 
There, on August 8, 1857, Congress was memorialized to create a Terri- 
tory. Because of the feeling against the Mormons and their methods, the 
first territorial convention, held in Genoa on July 14, 1859, adopted a con- 
stitution which practically eliminated the Mormon influence, and elected 
the first territorial delegate to Congress. The constitution was approved 
at an election held throughout the territory on September 7, 1859. There- 
after, for several years, all political meetings of general importance to the 
territory were held in Genoa. The citizens of the valley took an active 
part in the organization of the territory, and later, in the adoption of the 
State Constitution and the organization of the State. The Daily Territorial 
Enterprise, the first newspaper in Nevada and which later became famous 
as a Comstock publication, was first published in Genoa as a weekly, its first 
number appearing on December 18, 1858. The Enterprise and other Genoa 
papers did much to influence and mold public opinion in the early days 
of the Territory and State. 

Douglas was one of the nine counties created by the Territorial Legis- 
lature in 1861, when Nevada was first subdivided into minor divisions. At 
the time of the Mormon settlement, it was a part of Millard County, Utah, 
and later of Carson County. Douglas County was so named in honor of 
Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. Its area is 806 square miles or 515,840 
acres, about an eighth of which is contained in Lake Tahoe. 

In passing from the purely historical, it is interesting to note that 
David R. Jones, the oldest living Nevada settler, still resides on the ranch 
in Douglas County on which he settled in 1852. 

Development. Since the days of the first Mormon settlers, Carson 


Valley has steadily developed. The unusually friendly attitude of the 
Indians was no doubt a leading cause for this. Of course, for a number 
of years the Indians imposed upon their white brothers by begging food 
and by taking, without leave, whatever happened to strike their fancy; 
occasionally they killed someone, and a few times they threatened serious 
trouble ; but, for the most part, they acted and conducted themselves in a 
singularly peaceful manner. Coincident with development there has been 
an increase in population, and in 1910 the census showed the county to have 
1895 people. It is believed, however, that during the boom days in the 
sixties and seventies, and while logging was in full sway at Tahoe, there 
were at least twice as many people in the county as now, but they 
were not permanent residents. At first, the principal business was trading. 
Col. Reese, William Nixon and A. Klauber, the pioneer merchants, reaped 
a rich harvest from the travelers. Likewise, the keepers of stations and 
toll-bridges did a tremendous business. But it was the farmers and stock- 
men who settled all over the valley whose business endured. To-day, on 
the East Fork of the Carson River there are approximately thirty thousand 
acres of land being irrigated, and there is two-thirds as much on the West 
Fork. There are also a number of ranches along the foothills whose 
sources of water-supply are small mountain streams and springs, and 
there are several ranches in Jack's Valley and Long Valley. The constant 
production is an index of the richness of the soil as well as of the thrift 
and enterprise of the people. It is claimed by investigators that there is, 
no more productive soil anywhere, and that the per capita wealth of the 
people equals that of any farming community in the country. Much of 
the land was unlevel, but the bulk of it is now in splendid condition. The 
people, thrifty Germans, Danes and Italians as well as Americans, are 
a sturdy type, as it is shown by their modern homes, equipped with water 
systems, electric lights, telephones and all conveniences. The barns, mach- 
inery, and stock are of the best. About three-fourths of the farmers 
own automobiles. 

The great staple product of the valley is alfalfa, which, by the way, 
was, according to the belief of valley people, planted in Douglas County 
before it was planted anywhere else in Nevada. This is the evidence: 
S. A. Pettigrew, in 1864, filed on what is now the D. Winkleman ranch 
and began work on his ditch, and the next year he sowed a little alfalfa, 
according to eye-witnesses. It may be, however, that some was 


planted in the valley before that time, for in 1868, when H. 
H. Springmeyer bought the Cottonwood ranch, his present home, 
he found roots as large as a man's arm, and his men bear him out, 
which, from later experience, could belong to plants not less than seven 
or eight years old. According to this, C. Topham sowed the seed in 
the early sixties, before Pettigrew settled on his homestead. It is an 
amusing fact that at first alfalfa was believed by the unknowing to be 
a noxious weed, because of its rapid growth, but the fondness of stock 
for it soon dispelled that idea. The first alfalfa produced on a commer- 
cial basis was when in 1875 H. H. Springmeyer baled and shipped some 
to Virginia City, where it found immediate favor. As the two forks of 
the Carson River are mountain torrents, they carry down and deposit 
in the valley each year large quantities of mineral silt, thus peculiarly 
adapting the soil for alfalfa production. 

Experience proves that alfalfa and timothy mixed, is the best hay 
for feeding horses, and several thousand tons of it are shipped each year 
to the Southern Nevada mining camps and some to California. The large 
cattle owners ship into the valley each fall hundreds of head of cattle and 
thousands of sheep for fall and winter feeding, and many thousands of 
tons of hay are used for that purpose, straight alfalfa being preferred. The 
dairy herds also require much pasturage and hay, for dairying is one 
of the principal industries and supports two creameries, the Douglas 
County Creamery Co., whose plant is near Waterloo, and the Minden But- 
ter Manufacturing Company, located at Minden. Each creamery manu^ 
factures and ships about a thousand pounds of butter a day, on the aver- 
age. About a fourth of the cultivated land in the valley is sowed to wheat, 
barley, and oats. It is found that "breaking up" the alfalfa land about 
once every five or six years and sowing it to grain for a few years 
greatly increases the yield; the alfalfa appears to enrich the soil for 
grain, and the grain supplies elements or produces such chemical action 
in the soil as to fit it for heavy alfalfa crops. There are two flour 
mills, the Douglas Milling and Power Company (which also has a small 
power plant in connection with the mill), at Gardnerville, and the 
Minden Flour Milling Company, at Minden. The mills together handle 
about four thousand tons of grain a year ; each has attached a steam rolling 
plant for barley, and each is valued at about fifty thousand dollars. 

For years past, gold and silver have been mined in a more or less 


desultory fashion in the Pine Nut hills in Douglas County, the total produc- 
tion being in the neighborhood of a hundred and fifty thousand dol- 
lars. It was generally believed that the belt was too pockety for 
successful mining, and the additional fact that it seemed to be badly 
broken up for the most part retarded mining activity. Lately, however, 
some extensive development work has been done and it has been demon- 
strated that there are a number of rich mines with extensive ore 
bodies. Before long it is expected that sufficient capital will be in- 
terested to make some of the mines heavy producers. There are now 
several small mills ready for operation. The copper camp of Buckskin is 
in Douglas County, near the Lyon County line, and is attracting general 
attention. Deeper workings should put the camp in the class of large 
producers. Copper has also been mined in the hills back in Genoa for 
many years, but, unfortunately, the owners have shown no disposition 
to bring in capital. There is now one copper mine being operated near 
Jack's Valley whose showings are said to be immense. Gold placer 
mines in the Pine Nut hills are worked each spring until the water gives 
out. Some day water will doubtless be brought to develop these mines. 
They are believed to be very rich. 

During the height of mining activity on the Comstock, lumbering in the 
mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe was one of the principal industries of 
Douglas County. Captain Pray erected a mill at Glenbrook in 1861 and an- 
other in 1864 and actively went into the lumber business. Later 
in the sixties, Bliss and associates acquired practically all the valuable tim- 
ber land and built new saw mills and several miles of a narrow gauge 
logging railroad, the first railroad in Douglas County. Lumber was 
in great demand and sold for from fifty to seventy-five dollars at the 
mills. The splendid forests all around the lake were denuded of timber, 
the logs being towed across the lake. The lumber-men had absolutely 
no regard for future generations, and left the land in such condition as to 
prevent future growth, for the most part. So it has been also, with the 
wood-choppers who destroyed the forests along the entire range from 
Job's Peak to the Ormsby County line. If they had exercised even a 
little care, the hills would now be far less barren. The result is that 
while for years Douglas County produced more timber than all the other 
counties in the State together, the lumber industry is now at a standstill 


and hills and mountains once superbly beautiful in forests and verdure, are 
almost barren. The rainfall would also be greater. 

It may be mentioned that from 1875 to 1893 an important industry 
was the logging of timber from Alpine County down the East Carson 
River to Empire, for use on the Comstock. 

Coincidentally with the agricultural development of the valley, there 
has been a development of facilities for merchandise. At Gardnerville 
there are two large general merchandise stores, a furniture store and a 
drug store; at Minden, a general merchandise store and a dry good 
store ; and there are stores at Genoa, Sheridan and Centerville. There is 
a large and prosperous bank, the Douglas County Farmers' Bank, at Gard- 
nerville, and another, the Carson Valley Farmers' Bank, at Minden. 
Every profession and every trade is represented in the County, and the 
community is in every sense modern and up-to-date. There is one news- 
paper, the Record-Courier, a weekly, published at Gardnerville, by Mr. 
Selkirk, which has a reputation throughout the State. The plant was 
moved from Genoa a number of years ago. The same old town of 
Genoa, shattered now by the elements and closely resembling a deserted 
village or an abandoned mining camp, remains the county seat. But for 
the rivalry of the towns of Minden and Gardnerville, the county seat 
would now be located near the center of the valley, for the fire of 
1910 destroyed the old Genoa Court House, and it may be that for years 
to come the people will be subjected to the inconvenience of having' the 
county seat where it now is. 

Gardnerville was founded in 1880 by Lawrence Gilman, a Douglas 
County pioneer of the early fifties, and was generously named by him 
after John Gardner, a near-by rancher, who is often erroneously sup- 
posed to be its founder. It remained a small town until about 1885, 
when the needs of the farmers and the traders from Bridgeport and Bodie 
brought about the establishment of stores. It now has a population of 
about six hundred, and is three or four times as large as any other town in 
the county. Besides the institutions before mentioned, it has four excel- 
lent hotels, two jewelry stores, fruit and confectionery stores, two garages, 
two blacksmiths, two livery stables, and altogether too many saloons. 
The headquarters of Mono National Forest is in Gardnerville. The Metho- 
dist Episcopal church has a neat edifice in the town, and the Lutheran 
church is a short distance away. The county high school, a splendid 


institution in an ordinary building, is in Gardnerville. Among the finest 
residences in the valley are those in the town. The people are prosperous 
and enterprising, they declare they will not rest until a railroad is brought 
into the town, even if they must build and operate it themselves. 

Minden, established in 1905 by the V. & T. Railroad company and the 
Dangberg company, is the terminal of the railroad and is situated about 
three-quarters of a mile west of Gardnerville. It is a beautifully laid 
out town, its streets are lined with trees and are kept in as good condition 
as those of the most modern city. It has a number of beautiful homes 
and justly boasts of the finest small theatre in Nevada. The theatre is also 
used for meetings and other social purposes. Like Gardnerville, the town 
has a complete water-system and an aseptic sewerage system. It is a 
thriving place, and next to Gardnerville, the largest town in the county. 
Waterloo, situated on the cross roads about a quarter of a mile from the 
Douglas Creamery, and Centerville, situated on cross-roads in the middle 
of the valley, about three miles west of Sheridan, are well known small 
stopping places. Sheridan, on the western slope of the Sierras, near Job's 
Peak, is one of the old stations in the valley and still is the business center 
for the near-by farmers. 

Probably, in the hills and valleys, there are 100,000 acres of land avail- 
able for cultivation. About 70,000 acres of it are in Carson Valley pro- 
per, about 3000 acres in Long Valley, situated toward California on the 
south, about 3000 acres near Lake Tahoe, about 2000 acres in Jack's 
Valley, which is northwest of Carson Valley, and the balance in the 
Pine Nut hills. There are nine school districts, and all are excellently 
conducted. The taxable valuations of the property aggregates a million 

An organization of East Forks farmers, called the Alpine Land and 
Reservoir Company, controls a system of half a dozen reservoir sites in 
Alpine County, California, which have been gradually developed during the 
last twenty years until now they afford storage facilities amounting to 
about 10,000 acre-feet. In dry seasons, this water has been found to be 
of incalculable value to the farms, and the money expended, amounting 
to about $25,000, is regarded as well invested. The Dangberg com- 
pany has a series of several small reservoirs situated directly west of the 
Pine Nut foothills, which store a considerable quantity of water. Mud 
Lake, a reservoir in Long Valley owned by Mr. Dressier, affords storage 


for sufficient water to irrigate about a thousand acres. Private enterprise, 
however, appears to be unable to cope with the task of storing sufficient 
water and reclaiming all the arid land in the valley. 

Owing to the fact that in 1905 the United States Reclamation Service 
appropriated all the surplus water of the Carson River for use in the 
Truckee-Carson project in Churchill and Humboldt counties, it is now 
impossible to acquire water rights for the thousands of acres of fertile 
land still idle in Douglas County and Ormsby County. Realizing that un- 
less action was quickly taken their farming development would practically 
come to a standstill upon the completion of the Truckee-Carson project, 
the citizens of Carson Valley took steps in the spring of 1912 to in- 
terest the government in building reservoirs at the headwaters of the 
Carson River as well as in Churchill County. The matter was pressed 
with characteristic energy, and presently the government engineers were 
sufficiently impressed to make an investigation into the feasibility of 
building the reservoirs. The fertile, level fields of the Carson Valley 
farmers and the tremendous resources of the valley greatly astonished 
the engineers. The well-kept highways, the square fields, the ditches laid 
out along engineering lines, all had an effect. After numerous confer- 
ences and almost endless negotiations, the government sent an engineer to 
the valley in the month of December, 1912, to make complete plans, sur- 
veys, and investigations. It was expected that the work could be com- 
pleted in a month, but it has been found that several engineers cannot 
complete it in the space of three months. The dawn of a new era 
appears to be at hand for Carson Valley, and the people are greatly en- 
couraged in their hope that a unit of the Carson-Truckee project will soon 
be constructed somewhere near the headwaters of the river, and that 
water will then be available for the irrigation of all the valley land not 
now cultivated. In the meantime, every drop of water is being utilized, 
and successful experiments for the development of artesian water and 
pumping from underground streams are being conducted, although of 
course, the supply of such water is inadequate. 

A future asset of Douglas County is Lake Tahoe as a summer resort. 
Practically all the Nevada portion of the lake is in Douglas County. The 
magnificence and even grandeur of the scenery, the fine fishing, boat- 
ing and bathing, and the excellent summer climate make the lake ideal for 
recreation. Glenbrook, in a sheltered corner in the northeastern part of the 


















lake, is rapidly gaining a reputation, as is State Line Park, on the southern 
boundary. At the base of the mountains, near the mouth of the Kingsbury 
grade, and only a mile from Genoa, are numerous thermal springs called 
Walleys. There is a large tank, and bath-houses with accommodations for 
patients and tourists. The springs have unusual medicinal qualities, espec- 
ially for rheumatism. There are similar springs, as yet undeveloped, in and 
near Jack's Valley, and on the old Kirman ranch, near the Pine Nut 
foothills. A tremendous fault of several hundred feet, still clearly visible 
to the naked eye from a distance of several miles, once occurred along 
the line of the hot springs and along the eastern slope of the mountains 
from Walleys to Jack's Valley and on to the Kirman springs, an indi- 
cation, doubtless, of the volcanic origin of the valley and springs. 

This narrative would be incomplete were mention not made of the 
marvelous scenic beauty of the hills and valleys. Viewed from the middle 
of the valley or its eastern part, the Sierras are sublimely beautiful. Few 
know that Job's Peak, named after Moses Job, a trader who settled in the 
valley in 1852, has a more steep and precipitous slope than any hill or peak 
in the West, not even excepting those in the Yosemite. The peak is more 
than 10,000 feet above sea level and over 6,000 feet above the valley. 
Across the top of the peak is the clearly defined recumbent figure of a 
woman, and on the south slope appears the figure of a grizzly bear. 
Throughout the county there are many such grotesque figures. One that 
is truly extraordinary is the perfect likeness of Shakespeare on the face 
of Shakespeare Cliff, a few hundred yards from Glenbrook. On the 
same cliff is the head of an Indian chief in full war regalia. On the Clear 
Creek road is a gigantic stone exactly in the form of -a couchant lion, 
and innumerable figures of birds and animals. And, most beautiful and 
striking of all, are the crystal streams and the green fields, as they appear 
from Kingsbury grade. It is not strange that the history of the county 
is tinged with romanticism. 





Early history of men and affairs in the north-eastern part of Nevada is 
not lost in the mazes of time. It has been preserved and is still in the 
memory of living men. We are not required to search ancient manuscripts 
or musty pages. The transcribing of historical records has not altered 
the story. Elko County is not ancient history. The old residents of the 
County who crossed the plains in 1849 to 1853 in ox-carts still live. 
Following the trail of Jedediah S. Smith the first white man to enter what 
is now Elko County came Kit Carson, the Donner party, and John C. Fre- 
mont. There followed in their trail a few years later those who came to 
California during the gold excitement. But few of them still live to tell the 

Nothing is more fascinating than an interview with these sturdy 
pioneers who have thrilling experiences to relate. To hear from their 
own lips what future generations can get only by tradition is one of the 
opportunities of the age in which we live. No historian can ever do 
justice to the adventures of the first settlers. One by one they are pass- 
ing. Soon their voice will be hushed ; but while they live, we shall do 
them reverence and honor them for the noble sacrifices they have made 
in redeeming the land. Every day we partake of the fruits of their 
labor. The Indians are submissive because they subdued them ; our hills 
and valleys are productive because they tilled the soil and turned the 
streams. They came before the bands of steel made our nation one united 
Commonwealth. As we cross our desert in palace cars, it is difficult to 
conceive of the hardships that presented themselves to those who came in 
ox-carts fighting wild Indians. 

Wild West stories are of the past. Those good old days of long ago 
before the coming of the wire-fence are but a memory. Those pioneers, as 
Kipling said, "built their barns and strung their fences in a little border 


station tucked away below the foothills where the trails run out and 
stop." Those were the days that tried men's souls. What they have done 
for us is one of the debts we shall never be able to pay. For the purchase 
of land we can pay the price, but for what these large souls have left us we 
can never pay. Two distinct routes of pioneer travel traverse Elko County, 
one along" the Humboldt river and the other over the Overland Pass known 
as the Ruby Summit. This trail extends over the line into White Pine 
County. Along that highway, marked by sobs and groans and broken 
hearts, that highway made bare by the tramp of weary feet, there are still 
a few landmarks left to tell the frightful story. N,o history of Elko 
County would be complete without reference to the pioneers who, crossing 
the well-watered valleys of Eastern Nevada on their way to the Pacific 
Coast, carried in mind these snow-capped peaks and mountain streams, 
and within vision of bright possibilities for such fertile soil, returned 
again. There were but few if any who remained in Elko County when 
they first passed through. California was the goal, and Nevada the 
bridge over which they passed. But those who returned to the valleys 
of Elko County established themselves so vitally in its history that their 
names should not be buried in oblivion. 

Elko County with its population of 10,000 lies in the extreme northeast- 
ern corner of Nevada. Idaho lies to the north ; Utah to the east ; White 
Pine, Eureka, and Lander Counties to the south, and Humboldt County 
to the west. This vast empire covering an area of 11,000,000 acres is 
larger than the combined states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and 
Connecticut. One tenth of the acreage is in the forest reserve con- 
trolled by the government. The assessed valuation of the property of this 
County is $20,000,000, exceeding that of any other county of the State. 
On the assessment roll of the present year are 217,000 sheep, 71,760 cattle, 
and 11,250 horses. Two banks in the County Seat carry deposits of $2,000,- 
ooo. They are capitalized at $100,000 each, while the bank at Wells is 
capitalized at $50,000. Splendid school facilities are afforded in its sixty 
district schools. 

By legislative acts from 1869 to 1875, Elko County was formally outlined 
and at the latter date was given its present boundaries. It was created out 
of Lander County. Later another portion was taken from Lander County 
and given to Elko, thus increasing its size. The last act of the Legislature 
affecting the size of the County gave to Eureka County a portion in the 


southwestern corner including the mining district of Galena. With the 
County Seat at Austin, several hundred miles away, men often took justice 
in their own hands. Frequent hangings took place rather than journey so 
far to the County Seat. 

When the new County was created, Elko was made the County Seat. 
It was further provided that 1000 votes should be necessary for the holding 
of an election. The total number of votes reported on May 31, 1869, when 
the canvass was made was 1,097. O n J une 2I > 1869, the first Elko 
County election was held under the direction of Commissioners appointed 
by the Governor. In the nine established polling places 473 votes were 
cast at this first election. A block of land was presented to the town 
government by the Central Pacific railroad company upon which to erect 
County buildings. Upon that site now stands the Elko County High 
School. This fact accounts for the present name of Court street, the 
street on which the High School stands. Another selection for the Court 
House was made on Idaho street. 

By a legislative act of 1874, a State University was created, the loca- 
tion of which was to be given to the highest bidder. The population of 
Elko County at that time was only 3000 and the bonded indebtedness 
of the County only four years after its establishment was $112,470. 
Twenty thousand dollars of this amount was expended to secure the 
location of the State University. The citizens of Elko County donated the 
land, erected the buildings, and presented the University to the State. The 
University building stands on a prominent and conspicuous location on a 
rising hill and is now used for a County hospital. Near by is the old Uni- 
versity dormitory, a large, well constructed building opposite the public 
school building, the property of C. S. Tremewan. When the University 
was removed to Reno, Washoe County paid Elko County $20,000 the 
original cost of constructing the buildings. The first County Commis- 
sioners were appointed by the Governor in March, 1869. John Wasson, 
M. P. Freeman, and Sol. Lewis received the appointment. At the first 
election on June 21,1869, the following County officers were elected: 
District Attorney, Wm. M. Gillispie; Sheriff, J. B. Fitch; Clerk, J. W. 
Stainbum ; Treasurer, M. P. Freeman ; Assessor, Wm. G. Seamands ; Re- 
corder, R. T. Hafford ; Superintendent of Schools, Dr. M. V. Hudson ; 
Surveyor, E. H. Griswald ; Public Administrator, H. C. Cady. On Novem- 


her 8, 1870, J .B. Moore was elected the first Senator and J. A. Savage and 
J. W. Ellyson the first Assemblymen. 

Eternal snows upon the high mountain peaks supply constant streams 
for the valleys below. The West Humboldt range, commonly known as the 
Ruby mountains, protect these snows from the hottest summer 'suns. 
Rocks, trees, and canyons hold back the supply of water until it is need- 
ed to flood the arid lands below. Natural reservoir sites and many moun- 
tain lakes prophecy still further development of land when Nevada's fer- 
tile soil is needed to supply the markets of the world. High altitude limits 
production and land values, but diversified farming will do much in the 
future to add to the value of land. The most important valleys of this 
county are, Lamoille, Pleasant, South Fork, Mound, Huntingdon, New- 
ark, Ruby, Secret, Clover, Independence, White Rock, and North Fork. 
The Ruby mountains to the south of the County seat are high, rough, and 
rugged on the east and south. They rise abruptly and are difficult of 
access. On the north and west they are gradually approached by low foot- 
hills and long canyons. An abundance of water furnishes good sport for 
the fisherman for the waters abound in mountain trout. These mountains 
are heavily timbered in some places with mountain mahogany, pine, cedar, 
quaking asp, spruce, and fur. Being difficult of access, only what is easily 
reached is brought down to the valleys for cord wood. The lakes on the 
high mountain peaks are some of them 10,000 feet high. Around them 
are the eternal snows which never melt. High, rugged cliffs rise abruptly 
from their shores and the water is very deep. 

Clover Valley was settled as early as 1865 by United States army offi- 
cers who observed the possibilities of the south end of this valley while 
doing duty at Fort Ruby near the old overland trail. Clover Valley 
has always been a good cattle country. The residents have prospered and 
in recent years have beautified their ranches with neat modern homes and 
live in comfort and luxury. The Clover Valley Association has under 
its care a public hall, a cemetery, and a public park. A small, neat church 
building adds to the advantages of this magnificient valley. 

Ruby Valley is the longest in the State. The ranches are all along one 
main highway seventy-five miles in length. The oldest settlers now 
living in this valley are Thomas Short, William Griswold, and Isaac 
Woolverton, the latter having come in 1869. For many years Thomas 
Short had possession of the Cave Creek ranch in the southern end of the 


valley. Here a great underground lake is hid away behind the hills. 
A river of clear ice-cold water has cut its way through the rocks. This case 
was explored very early in the settlement of the valley by a soldier who was 
so elated over his first success that he attempted the second time to go 
further into the secrets hitherto concealed from human eyes. His body 
was found at the opening of the entrance to the cave the next day. A few 
years later A. G. Dawley and Thomas Short, in Search for the origin of 
some valuable mineral they had located, attempted a thorough exploration 
of the cave by taking within the narrow opening material out of which 
to construct a boat. They passed from one huge cavern to another perhaps 
a quarter of a mile beyond the first opening when at last they were con- 
fronted by a large chamber resembling a pipe organ arrangement. This 
they termed the "Great Organ." Of late years no one has had the courage 
to enter. The entire cave has not yet been explored. This underground 
river and lake is one of the natural curiosities of the State and is of 
more than passing interest. 

The first white man to bring out a report of what he had seen within 
this cave was Hon. A. G. Dawley, now residing in Elko County. For 
twenty years he was county clerk and treasurer of Elko County. In 
1864 he came to this valley and has been closely identified with its 
development ever since. Two large lakes hold the water brought down 
from the melting snows. They are known as Ruby Lake and Franklin 
Lake. In the extreme southern end of the valley is the site of old 
Fort Ruby which was located near the old pioneer trail to Reese River 
and westward. In this vicinity, as early as 1861, the Overland Mail and 
Telegraph Company established stage stations. One year later a military 
fort was located here with two companies of the Third California Volunteer 
Infantry. This fort continued until 1869, when the troops were moved 
to Fort Halleck, which was established July 27, 1869. Fort Halleck lies 
across the divide on the north end of Ruby Valley. In 1886 A. G. Dawley 
was appointed by the government to auction the buildings of this fort and 
the troops were moved to Fort Douglas. The adobe walls of the old 
buildings of the Fort still remain. Others were removed to Ruby Valley. 
The present residence of Isaac Woolverton was one of the officer's 

This valley was the first one to be settled in the county. The first 
cabin built in Ruby Valley was erected in 1859 by William Rogers, better 


known as Uncle Billy. The first flour mill built in Elko County was 
constructed on the Overland Ranch in 1870 and is still in use. In 1864 
the first farming in the valley was done by Colonel Moore and Lieutenant 
Gillman. As early as 1865, 1,000 acres were planted in grain in this 
valley by the Overland Stage Company on land leased from Mr. Gris- 
wold. Here until the completion of the Central Pacific in 1869 the 
Overland Mail Company had a very important station near Fort Ruby. 
The only relics now extant of this old fort are a bomb and a U. S. 
branding-iron in the possession of the museum of the Elko Y. M. C. A. 
In Secret Pass, on the north end of Ruby Valley, there has recently been 
discovered some exceptionally fine mineral water in what is now called 
the Ruby Mineral Springs. These springs were discovered in the fall of 
1904 by two prospectors, one of whom, A. S. Coleman, is now vice- 
president of the corporation. The location is one of the most desirable 
in the State for this enterprise. The scenery is rugged and the climate 
ideal. The elevation is about 6,000 feet. Snow-covered peaks near by, 
over 12,000 feet above sea level, add greatly to the picturesqueness of 
the scenery. 

Secret Creek, at high water, used to cover the springs part of the 
time; the creek has recently been diverted and the mineral water runs 
from the solid rock into the creek. The Ruby Water Springs Company 
has been incorporated to put the water on the market. This natural 
carbonate mineral water was analyzed by State Chemist, Professor Dins- 
more, at the University of Nevada. His analysis showed it to be highly 
carbonated and unexcelled by any mineral water in the United States. 
It contains a small amount of Iron, Aluminum, Chlorine, Silica, and 
Potassium and a large amount of Sodium, Magnesium, and Calcium. 
The water has a sharp, though pleasant taste and i as clear as crystal. 
A short distance above the springs are large waterfalls from which 
power will be generated to operate the works and get the product to 
market. With a flow of about seventy-five thousand gallons of water 
per day this location will become one of the best health resorts in the 
West. It is now proposed to construct a sanitarium on the site. 

Lamoille Valley, settled in 1866, has proven to be the most aggressive 
valley in the county. The Lamoille Mercantile Company, of which Judge 
Talbot is one of the leading factors, has established a business of large 
proportions. The Lamoille Creamery, built in 1907 at a cost of $15,000, 


is one of the most modern and up-to-date business institutions in the 
State. It has an annual output of $21,000 worth of butter. A new 
church building has recently been constructed by the Presbyterians at 
a cost of $5,000. A thriving settlement has sprung up at the crossroads 
at the entrance to a long canyon. Several promoters have located the 
water-rights in this canyon for the purpose of conveying electric power 
to the city of Elko. The first to see the possibilities of this location was 
VV. T. Smith. When he abandoned it others took it up. But not until 
the present time has sufficient capital been available to assure its success. 
Now enterprising business men have hold of the rights and are rapidly 
pushing the project to completion. In the valley of the South Fork of 
the Humboldt is a small mercantile business, a creamery and some very 
prosperous ranchers. 

North of Elko is a valley of vast proportions traversed by the road 
from Elko to Tuscarora. This valley is named Independence from the 
fact that it was first discovered by a scouting party of United States 
soldiers on the Fourth of July. Beyond this on the west side of the 
North Fork Mountains is White Rock Valley. Still farther north is 
Duck Valley, in which is located the Western Shoshone Indian reserva- 
tion, about 125 miles north of Elko, with an Indian population of 569. 
This reservation was set aside by President Hayes in 1878. President 
Cleveland added three townships in Idaho in 1886. Levi Gheen was 
the first superintendent. He is said to have spoken Shoshone so well 
that he instructed the children of the Indians in Indian. The twelve 
school buildings cost $30,000 and the sixteen agency buildings $15,000. 
The reservation covers 290,000 acres, half in Idaho and half in Nevada, 
a well-stocked store is nearby. The Presbyterian denomination, under its 
missionary, A. E. Danly, is now constructing a church and manse here for 
the spiritual and moral betterment of the red man. 

In the mountains to the east of White Rock the North Fork of the 
Humboldt takes its rise and flows down the east side of the mountain 
through the valley of the North Fork until it empties into the main 
stream of the Humboldt near Halleck. Through Independence Valley 
flows the only river that runs out of the State of Nevada. This is the 
Owyhee. It empties into the Snake and eventually into the Columbia. 
This entire northern country is devoted to cattle, horses and sheep and 
is the best grazing county in the State. Lamoille and Starr Valleys 


have developed the bee-industry. George Bowers, of Lamoille, has 250 
stands of bees with an output of five tons a year of the best honey the 
world produces. In Pleasant Valley is located the Elko County Dry 
Farm Exepriment Station, under the auspices of the State University. In 
1909 the county purchased the ranch from John Thompson for $2,000. The 
farm is maintained by the State and has already proven its worth. The 
board of directors are A. W. Hesson, Professor True and George 

Very early in Elko County history the mining industry was given 
prominence. In 1867 the Tuscarora mines were discovered by the Beard 
brothers. Never, however, has the output of the entire county been as 
gratifying as at present. The surface has not yet been prospected. So 
promising are the present locations that no one dare prophecy concerning 
the future. When the white man first came the Indians directed him 
to deposits of free gold. Since then men have been seeking the precious 
metals until many good producers have been found in various parts of 
the county. Home capital has developed many of the mines and most 
of the money now produced by the county remains to enrich it. Condi- 
tions are rapidly changing. Once men came to Elko County to make a 
stake and spend it elsewhere. Now desirable public institutions and 
handsome residences with all modern conveniences and sanitary environ- 
ments offer attractions to people to remain at home. Sixty millions of 
dollars worth of the precious metals has come from Elko County and 
has added much to our mineral wealth. 

Recent legislation to prevent wild-cat schemes has materially aided 
the mining industry of the county. More new properties are being 
worked to-day than for the past ten years. Gold Circle, discovered in 
1907, is located forty-five miles west of Tuscarora. Since its discovery 
seven mines have been developed and three stamp mills have been 
built and operated. Seven companies are working at the present time. At 
Edgemont, about ninety miles north of Elko, are located the mine, mill, 
and cyanide plant of the Montana Gold Mining Company, which owns 
practically all the west side of the Bull Run Mountain. There are six 
miles of underground workings, which have produced about $1,000,000, 
chiefly gold. A main working cross-cut tunnel is now being driven to 
develop the property at an additional depth of 500 feet. This will give 
a total depth of 1,500 feet below the surface workings. The tunnel has 


been driven 3,000 feet and is to go 1,000 feet further. Work is now 
in progress. 

Nestling in the hills of antiquity where Indian legends abound is the 
famous camp of the Jarbidge. Nature could not have added more to 
the attractiveness of this location. It is in strong contrast with the 
camps of southern Nevada. An abundance of timber and water, good 
feed and wild game make it a veritable pleasure resort. The camp is 
only four years old. Boom days have passed and permanent work 
established. Many of the mines are being actively developed at the 
present time. 

Also in the northern part of the county is Contact, a camp producing 
copper, silver and gold. A contemplated railroad connecting Idaho points 
with the Western Pacific at Wells will enable this camp to market its 
ores. From the Copper Queen on Lone Mountain, twenty-eight miles 
north of Elko, ore is now being shipped by the Ely Consolidated Mining 
Company to their smelters in Salt Lake City. Home capital is developing 
Sprucemont, south of Wells. Mardis and Charleston, north of Deeth, 
have several producers, on one of which a ten-stamp mill was built last 
year and is now in operation. 

No camp presents greater possibilities than old Bullion, reached by 
easy drive over a good level road from Elko, only twenty-five miles 
southward. Here the Nevada Bunker Hill Mining Company is driving 
cross-cut working tunnels that will open up these properties 800 feet 
below the old workings. Ore is now being shipped from this camp to 
the Salt Lake City smelters. All of these camps are being legitimately 
developed and an enormous increase in the output of Elko County mines 
will be manifest in the next year. 

Between Salt Lake City and Reno, a distance of over 500 miles, the 
largest city is Elko, the county seat of Elko County. It has a population 
of 2,000 and is 5,000 feet above sea level. Five hundred and sixty-seven 
votes were cast at the last election. At the present time there are about 
400 dwellings, and the city is growing very rapidly. It has been stated 
that the name "Elko" was given to the county seat by Mr. Charles 
Crocker, one of the directors of the Central Pacific Railroad. Mr. 
Crocker simply added an "o" to "elk," because of the large numbers of 
elk in the surrounding hills at the time. This gave the town the name 
"Elko." In 1868 the Central Pacific, which was constructed from the 


west as well as from the east, reached Elko. For some time the present 
site of the town was the eastern terminus of the road. Thus was estab- 
lished the town that has grown to its present proportions, the location 
having been determined by this mere coincidence of the delay in con- 
tinued construction. On May 10, 1869, the golden spike completing the 
road was driven at Promontory. 

The oldest landmark in the town of Elko is the old building formerly 
used as the Pioneer saloon. It was recently moved on the old Chase 
estate to make way for the construction of a three-story brick building, 
still known as the Pioneer Building. When the railroad was completed 
the Overland Stage Company put on a stage-line between Elko and 
Hamilton and Elko became the leading shipping point on the railroad. 
One month after the driving of the golden spike that marked the com- 
pletion of the Central Pacific Railroad, Elko's first newspaper was pub- 
lished. On June 19, 1869, was published the first copy of the Elko 
Independent, which is still run under the same name and is owned by 
Hon. W. W. Booher. The advertisements and locals of that issue indicate 
most prosperous conditions and a most sanguine people. Elko was then 
a tent-city of about 2,000 people. Lots jumped within a few months from 
$500 to $2,000. Such buildings as were necessary for emergency were 
rapidly constructed. Elko became firmly established as an emporium 
of trade and it was then prophesied that it would soon become the 
leading city between Sacramento and Omaha. 

The first child born in Elko of which we have any record was George 
Elko Gantz, born July 7, 1869. The oldest living Elkoite is Judge L. E. 
Morgan, now in his eighty-ninth year. In 1849 he joined the Odd 
Fellows lodge at Unadilla, Michigan. This makes him the oldest Odd 
Fellow on the Pacific Coast. He has served two terms -as county treas- 
urer and eight years as justice of the peace. J. F. Triplett, now living 
in Elko, claims the distinction of acting as guide for the first stage that 
came through the Humboldt Valley in 1858. Elko is well represented 
in all the fraternal organizations of the State. A charter was granted 
to the Elko Lodge No. 15, F. and A. M., in 1871. At this time they 
held their meetings in a brick house near the Humboldt steel bridge. At 
present this lodge numbers 145 members. The charter for the Eastern 
Stars was granted in 1908. It is one of the flourishing lodges of the 
county. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows dates back to 1870. 


The Rebecca Lodge is of more recent date, having received its charter in 
1898. The Knights of Pythias was organized in 1883 and is the only 
lodge in Elko that owns its own hall. It meets in a brick building, 
built by Elko Grange No. 9, and is one of the historic landmarks. Four 
years ago the Woodmen of the World was established. They hold 
regular meetings and have a large membership. 

An abundant supply of good water has been secured in Elko by tunneling 
.the hills of Kittridge Canyon, eight miles away. The water is stored 
in large reservoirs near the town. A new one is now being constructed. 
In public buildings the county seat of Elko County leads the entire State. 
In 1909 the old public school building of two stories brick, which was 
constructed in 1875, was torn down and a new modern school house 
erected to take its place. The new one cost $40,000. On September 20, 
1869, the cornerstone of the first Courthouse was laid. This building 
stood on the corner of Sixth and Idaho Streets until 1910, when it was 
torn down to make room for the present building. Additional ground 
was purchased and a handsome building was constructed at a cost of 
$150,000. The following year, on the opposite corner, the Presbyterian 
Church constructed a large and beautiful building, harmonizing with 
the Courthouse in architecture. This building cost $20,000. It is' a 
combination church and Y. M ; C. A. 

One of the most important events in the recent history of Elko was 
the construction of the Western Pacific Railway. The track-laying 
machine laid the rails in Elko on the day before Christmas, 1908. On 
August 20, 1910, the first passenger train on this road passed through 
Elko. It was a newspaper-special and carried representatives of nearly 
all the papers of Nevada. The first regular passenger train passed 
through two days later. The Western Pacific received a purse of $10,000 
from the business men of Elko to establish here their shops and round- 
house. At the same time they made Elko their freight division point 
and established here their main offices of the eastern division of which 
R. M. Ogilvie is superintendent. The Western Pacific employs 170 men 
in Elko and has a monthly payroll of $20,000. This road, running south 
of Salt Lake, runs through Clover Valley and parallels the Southern 
Pacific from Wells to Winnemucca. There is less than a one per cent, 
grade on the entire system. 

In the fall of 1912 the present sewer-system was installed at a cost 


of nearly $50,000. The sanitary and climatic conditions of Elko makes 
it a desirable residence for those suffering from throat and lung troubles. 
The Hot Springs Hotel, near the outskirts of the town, is a veritable 
health resort. Here rheumatics are treated very successfully. All blood 
and skin diseases yield very readily to treatment in these medicinal 
springs. A large pool is constructed for the use of pleasure-seekers. 
Well equipped private baths are provided for those who desire privacy 
and opportunity to. regulate the temperature of the water at their own 

Carlin, the freight and passenger division point of the Southern 
Pacific, is situated just twenty miles west of Elko. This town was 
first settled in 1868 by J. A. Palmer. The present population of the 
town is about 650. Business is good and everyone is prosperous. A 
commodious school of modern equipment furnishes excellent facilities 
for instructing the pupils. The Methodists have a substantial frame 
building, the pulpit being supplied from Sparks. A railroad club has a 
library, reading room, pool room, and bathrooms. These are furnished 
and maintained by the railroad, which employs 175 men and has a 
monthly pay roll of $15,000. Wells, on the Southern Pacific and Western 
Pacific, has a population of about 400. There is a Presbyterian church 
building and a manse. Two good hotels furnish accommodations second 
to none in the State. The Nevada State Herald is published here. The 
oldest pioneer of Wells is Uncle Abner Wiseman. Tuscarora was 
settled in 1867 by prospectors in search of placer-gold. In 1868 an 
adobe fort was built by the settlers to protect them from the invasions 
of the Indians. A Methodist meeting-house furnished a religious home 
for all denominations for many years. It is now practically abandoned. 
Deeth is another railroad town between Wells and Elko. It is the 
shipping-point for Starr Valley, a very productive settlement. Here a 
weekly newspaper, The Commonwealth, is published by A. B. Gray. A 
few other towns along the line of the railroad, the principal one of 
which is Montello, are shipping points for ranches and mines north 
and south of the railroads. 



Up to March i, 1873, Eureka County was a part of Lander, at 
which time an act of the Legislature called it into being and described 
its boundaries as follows: 

"Beginning at a point on the north boundary line of Lander County, 
equi-distant between the northeast and northwest corners of Lander 
County; thence running due south from said initial point to the south 
boundary line of said Lander County; thence running east along 
said south boundary line of Lander County; thence running north 
along the east boundary line of Lander County to the southwest cor- 
ner of White Pine County; thence running west along the south 
boundary line of Elko County to the southwest corner of said Elko 
County to the northwest corner of said Elko County; thence running 
along the west boundary line of Elko County to the northwest corner 
of Lander County; thence running west along the north boundary 
line of said Lander County to the place of beginning." 

By a,n Act approved March 2, 1881, a small strip was detached 
from White Pine County and added to Eureka. The Act creating 
the county stipulated that Eureka should assume half the public 
debt of Lander and the town of Eureka was named as the county 

The first meeting of the Eureka County Commissioners took place 
in Eureka March 20, 1873. The first Commissioners were D. H. Hall, 
E. E. Phillips and L. W. Comer. F. H. Harmon presented his com- 
mission as County Clerk and it was accepted, but when William 
Arlington presented his commission, signed by the Governor as 
County Commissioner, the Board rejected it. Next in order, Dis- 
trict Attorney Baker presented the commission of T. C. Edwards as 
County Recorder; W. M. Gates presented a similiar commission on 
behalf of A. S. Campbell for the same office. The commissions were 
spread on the minutes and later in the day Campbell was recognized. 
W. A. Edwards was appointed County Surveyor, J. D. Sullivan, 


Sheriff, and L. P. Kelly, Superintendent of Schools. C. C. Wallace 
was recognized as Assessor, and W. A. Seaton as County Treasurer. 
On March 22 the Board rejected the bond of William Head as Super- 
intendent of Schools and declared the position already filled. 

On March 25 Skating Rink Hall, on the corner of Main and Bate- 
man streets, was accepted for county purposes, being presented by 
J. O. Darrow. 

The Act creating the county provided that an election should be 
held whenever 500 citizens presented a petition calling for it. Such 
a petition was duly presented to the County Commissioners, but they 
decided on May 5 that it was not in accordance with the law, as it 
contained many names who were not bona fide citizens of the county. 
On June 16 additional signatures were secured and the petition again 
presented, again to be rejected on the same grounds as before. On 
April 21 the Board of Commissioners approved the settlement of the 
public matters between the counties of Lander and Eureka. 

On December 2 another petition was presented to the Board bear- 
ing the names of 680 citizens, representing three-fifths of the taxable 
property of the county. By this time there were many mutterings 
of discontent and threats were numerous as to what might happen if 
the Board should again reject the petition. They declared the County 
of Eureka subject to the provisions of the Act of March 21, 1873. 
This Act was made to apply to an area two miles north and south of 
the Court House, one mile west and half a mile east of the same. 

Ruby Hill township was created on March 16 and abolished Sep- 
tember u, 1876. In September fifteen voting precincts were created 
and a few weeks later two more'were added. In October, 1873, bonds 
to the amount of $20,000 were issued to meet public needs, and in 
December, $17,347 in bonds were issued to meet the indebtedness to 
Lander County. In 1880 the new Court-house was accepted. In the 
same year $20,000 in bonds were issued to provide for public schools. 
In 1872 the children of school age numbered 472. 

The first paper published in Eureka was the Sentinel, a daily, edited 
by George Cassedy, who was afterward elected to Congress. The 
Leader was also a daily, and the Weekly Mining News was published 
at Mineral Hill. The Sentinel still survives, being published by Geo. 


Eureka's topographical features consist of mountains and valleys. 
The Humboldt River flows across the northern part, with its general 
course to the west; Maggie Creek from the north, and Pine Creek 
from the south, empty into the Humboldt. Fish Creek rises in the 
southwestern part of the county and flows east into White Pine and 
sinks. The Diamond range of mountains skirts the eastern border 
for nearly 100 miles. The Sulphur Mountains extend from the Hum- 
boldt River on the north nearly 100 miles south, and then turn 
westerly across the southwestern portion of the county. The lowest 
point of the county is at Beowawe, which is 4,695 feet above sea 
level. Prospect Mountain and some of the loftiest peaks of the 
Sulphur Range have an altitude of 9,500 feet. Diamond Mountain, 
overlooking the town of Eureka, has an altitude of 11,000 feet. 

The county is more adapted to mining than agriculture, although 
of late years along the Humboldt, Fish Creek and in Pine Valley a 
good deal has been invested in hay and cattle raising and the growth 
of the white sage affords good pasturage for cattle. Cottonwood, 
cedar and mountain mahogany afford fuel and the charcoal industry, 
when the mines were producing, was large and lucrative. 

The principal mining districts are the Antelope District, twenty 
miles north of Eureka; the Cortez District, in the Toiyabe Mountains, 
about thirty miles southeast of Beowawe station on the Southern 
Pacific R. R. The Cortez Co. built a mill in 1863 which cost $100,000. 
It was afterward enlarged from eight to sixteen stamps and finally 
sold for $6,000 to Sam Wenban, one of the original locators. 


Eureka County lies entirely in the Great Basin, and its surface is 
divided between great mountains and valleys. The former are preg- 
nant with mineral veins and deposits of gold, silver and lead, copper, 
antimony zinc, etc. The gold and silver-lead deposits have been 
mined extensively; the copper and antimony are abundant. There 
are well-known veins and deposits of zinc. 

Sulphur, niter, salt, borax, soda and other minerals of economic 
value are abundant in the county ; but as little or no attention has 
been given them, their extent cannot at present be estimated. Bitu- 


minous slate, gypsum and kaolin are known to exist, but have re- 
ceived only passing attention. 

. The valleys are mostly arid, but where irrigation is applied the soil 
will produce an average of forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and 
60 bushels have been harvested in the richer soil. Barley and oats 
have been raised in considerable quantities for home consumption. 
Alfalfa grows luxuriantly and two crops harvested during the year 
will cut from three to five tons to the acre. Good crops are cut in 
the Humboldt Bottom and in Pine and Fish Creek valleys. There are 
a number of small farms watered from the mountain springs that 
yield good crops of hay, barley, oats, fruit and vegetables of extra- 
ordinary fine quality and flavor. Both the mountains and valleys 
afford good pasturage in winter and summer alike, with only occa- 
sional unfavorable seasons, there being an abundance of bunch and 
other natural grasses in the mountains and white sage in the valleys. 

Stack Racing Industry. Stock raising is a permanent industry out 
of which a number of persons have become rich, the climate and extent 
of the ranges being exceedingly favorable. Game is not abundant, 
but wild rabbits, grouse, sage fowls, doves, etc., breed enough to afford 
good sporting. Several of the streams are full of trout and German 
carp (the latter imported), and the Humboldt River affords fine fish- 
ing for splendid mountain trout and imported catfish. Cottonwood 
trees of natural growth are found along the river bottoms, and dwarf 
cedar, nut pine and mountain mahogany are plentiful in the moun- 
tains and foothills. Wild flowers and medicinal herbs grow in pro- 
fusion. The average elevation of the valleys above sea level is about 
6,000 feet. Prominent mountain peaks rise above the valleys from 
2,500 to 4,600 feet. In 1878 the population of the county numbered 
7,896, 6,581 of whom were residents at Eureka, the county seat, and 
Ruby Hill, the center of mining operations in Eureka county. The 
average quotation of silver in New York that year was $1.152 per 
ounce. Since that year, corresponding with the decline of silver, min- 
ing and metallurgical operations have steadily diminished, and the 
population of the county is reduced accordingly. 

Newark District, with the Bay State, Nevada, Battery, and other 
mines, which have been productive and profitable at one time or 
another, is situated about 20 miles to the northeast of Eureka, be- 


yond Alhambra Hill. It also lies in White Pine County, borders on 
Newark Valley, and procures its supplies from and ships its products 
by way of Eureka. Spring Valley and Prospect Mountain districts 
lie to the west and southwest and are separated by Spring Valley. 
In the former district are situated the Woodchopper, Reeves and 
Berry, North Star and other mines, which have produced considerable 
rich chloride of silver ore; in the latter are the Mountain Boy and 
Kentuck mines, which have yielded large quantities of rich silver- 
lead ore. These districts are each of them tributary to Eureka and 
likewise referred to as belonging to Eureka district. 

Geology. The cambrian, silurian, devonian and carboniferous ages 
are all represented in Eureka district, but it is only in the limestone 
of the cambrian period that ore deposits of any great value have 
been found. The Hoosac, "76" and a few other small mines lie in 
the Lone Mountain's limestone, and the Bullwhacker in the Pogonip 
limestone, both of which belong to the silurian age. In the rocks of 
the devonian and carboniferous ages in Eureka district no ore what- 
ever has been found. The following beds of the cambrian age have 
been distinguished by Mr. Arnold Hague, geologist in the field of this 
region, of the U. S. Survey of the Fortieth Parallel ; Prospect Moun- 
tain quartzite, Prospect Mountain limestone, Secret Canyon shales, 
^Hamburg limestone and Hamburg shale. The rocks of the silurian 
age, in the order of their succession, are Pogonip limestone, Eureka 
quartzite, and Lone Mountain limestone. The rocks of the devonian 
age in the neighborhood are the White Pine shale and Nevada lime- 
stone, in the latter of which are situated the mines of Alhambra Hill 
and some of those of Prospect Mountain district. 

The principal mines of Eureka district lie in Prospect Mountain 
and Hamburg beds of limestone, which run through the district sev- 
eral miles in length, and are bounded on either side by bands of 
quartzite or argillaceous shale. The beds of the Prospect Mountain 
limestone differ somewhat from the Hamburg beds, the latter con- 
taining more silica, and breaking with a sharper fracture than the 
former; upon the surface it also shows a rough surface where it has 
been weathered by exposure to the elements. These beds vary in 
width from 1,000 to 6,000 feet and have a general northerly trend. 
The dip is to the eastward, excepting isolated cases. The Prospect 


Mountain quartzite bends around the northern slope of Prospect 
Mountain in the form of a horseshoe; it sinks on the east side just 
north of the Eureka tunnel, where it is separated by a fault from the 
Secret Canyon shale. At a point northwesterly, upon the west side, 
west of the mouth of the Prospect Mountain tunnel, it underlies and 
forms the foot-wall of the Ruby Hill lode, with an average dip of 40 
degrees to the northeast. 

The ore-bearing limestone zone of Ruby Hill has been characterized 
as a "lode" in the rulings of the court of the sixth judicial district of 
Nevada, upon the evidence submitted through litigation between the 
Eureka Consolidated Mining Company and the Richmond Consolid- 
ated Mining Company of Nevada, and these rulings were sustained 
by the United States Supreme Court. Hence the term "lode" has 
been applied to all of that portion of the Prospect Mountain limestone 
of which Ruby Hill is partly formed. The main feature of the Ruby 
Hill is the presence of a fault fissure, to which the name of Ruby Hill 
fault has been given by the U. S. Geological Survey, and which ap- 
pears to have a very important bearing upon the mineralized zone, 
as also upon the ore deposits. It strikes in a southeasterly direc- 
tion and the average dip of its plane is 70 degrees northeasterly. It 
extends from Ruby Hill through all of the mines to the southeast 
and has a fault plant along which the whole southwestern country 
has been raised (as illustrated by the U. S. Survey) from 500 to 2,000 

Ores of Eureka District. The following minerals have been found 
among the gold and silver-bearing ores of Eureka district: Galena, 
anglesite, cerusite, minelite, wolfenite, limonite, pyrite, arsenopyrite, 
molybdenite, malachite and azurite. The different classes of ore are 
so varied in their composition that a full description here would be 
too voluminous for the requirements of this work. 

Silver occurs in the form of chlorides and sulphides, etc., and is 
more directly associated with quartz, lead and iron than other com- 
ponents in the ores. Gold occurs in a metallic state and is also chemi- 
cally diffused through quartz, iron oxide, etc. Antimony is present 
in many of the ores, but in what state has not yet been determined. 
Silver is seldom found without an intermixture of gold, and although 
Eureka is regarded wherever it is known as a "silver camp," gold and 


silver at their present respective commercial values occur in about 
equal proportions in the combined products of the district. 

The lead ores of Eureka district have cut a most important figure 
in the general output; the metallic leads obtained from them have 
realized no less than $25,000,000 in the open market. They occur 
rriostly in the form of galena of a coarse and medium grain and more 
or less mixed with sulphide of lead and iron oxide. The lead fre- 
quently occurs in the form of nodules of galena, which are changed at 
or near the surface into carbonate of lead and in irregular masses dis- 
tributed with iron oxide throughout the ore. The products of the 
mines of Eureka district may be classed as auriferous argentiferous 
lead ores, gold as well as silver entering largely into this composition. 
They are generally of a smelting character and while lead has always 
formed the most important factor in their reduction, they also contain 
sufficient iron, silica and other reducing agents to make them self- 
fluxing. They are phenomenally valuable for shipment to distant 
smelting centers, on account of their iron gangue. Especially where 
ferruginous ores are scarce and in demand, they command the highest 
rates paid and frequently realize in the open market more than the 
full commercial value of their gold and silver contents. The sul- 
phurets, sulphides and carbonates of lead usually contain more silver 
than gold and carry combined values in both of the precious metals, 
varying from $20, or thereabouts, up to $150 per ton, while ores of 
similar characteristics, found in the Hamburg limestone beds, fre- 
quently run from $300 to $500 per ton in value and carry more gold 
than silver. The chloride ores of the district are sometimes extremely 
rich, running up into the thousands of dollars per ton, principally in 
silver. The iron and silicious ores usually carry greater value in 
gold than silver; especially where the quartz appears in a much crys- 
tallized form, it is generally very rich in gold. 

Iron ores are plentiful in all parts of the district; they occur in the 
form of oxide and carbonates and occasionally silicate of iron, and 
range in value from $6 or $8 to $200 and $300 per ton in gold and 
silver. In some of the mines where iron ores predominate the con- 
tents average three or four dollars in gold to one in silver, and in 
many cases might be treated for reduction by the cyanide or other 
similar processes with extremely profitable results. 


Free gold has been found in Prospect Mountain in hematite (sesqui- 
oxide of iron) and also in shipping quantities in calcite (crystallized 
carbonate of lime). Specimens of free gold in hematite and large 
blocks of calcite have assayed up into many thousands of dollars per 
ton. Those occurred in some of the mines upon the west aide of 
Prospect Mountain, but in the Hamburg bed of Adams Hill, and that 
which forms the eastern base of Prospect Mountain for a continuous 
distance of 10 or 12 miles, the ores that were mined generally predom- 
inated in gold. It is estimated that there are millions of tons of low- 
grade ore blocked out and in prospective in the various mines of the 
district, the value of which must depend on future appliances for 
their reduction to marketable material, and which, under such ad- 
vantages as are enjoyed in the prominent camps of California, Utah 
and Colorado, would realize to the owners many millions of dollars. 

Yield of the Metals Estimated. The total yield of ore from the 
mines of the county from 1894 up to the end of 1895 is estimated at 
over $125,000,000 gross value. That estimate is based on the tonnage 
accounted for upon the county assessor's books since March, 1873, the 
ores that were reduced in Eureka previous to that period, the products 
which were shipped to Austin and other places, and from other sources 
of information. Up to the latter part of 1882 the estimates of the 
U. S. Geological Survey placed the total production of the precious 
metals from Eureka district alone at about sixty million dollars 
about one-third gold and two-thirds silver. It also estimated the 
production of lead at 225,000 tons, which, at $90 per ton, equals a 
value of $20,250,000, making the total yield of the district, up to the 
latter part of 1882, in round figures, $80,000,000. 

The Eureka reduction companies never paid anything for the iron 
contained in the ores they purchased, but shippers are paid at the rate 
of $15 per ton at the Salt Lake and other distant smelters for all of the 
iron their ore contains. As some of the Eureka ores carry as much as 
60 per cent. (1,200 to the ton of 2,000) of iron, that metal has assumed 
great importance as a factor of economic value to shippers. At distant 
smelters it is an important fluxing agent, and not easily obtained. It 
is worthy of note that Eureka district has been mainly self-sustaining. 
It has neither been fostered by loud advertising nor speculation in 
stocks. The total amount of capital invested for the purchase of mines 


has now reached $2,000,000, and a like amount will co-ver all of the 
assessments that have been levied for its support. The shares of her 
incorporated companies have always been held for legitimate invest- 
ment at their normal value. The mines have been only 25 years under 
active development and the lowest depth obtained is only 1,400 feet. 
That was the depth (or thereabouts) of the Con. Virginia when it 
commenced to make millionaires of men and show up the apparently 
limitless richness of the Comstock. The county assessor's books show 
a total yield from the mines of the county, from the quarter ending 
March 31, 1873, U P to March 31, 1896, of 1,316,170 tons and 1,490 
pounds of ore of the net value of $44,241,016.93. 

Neighboring Districts Within County. Outside of Eureka and 
within the county are several mining districts any of which may come 
to the front as great ore producers. In fact, Cortez and Mineral Hill 
have already yielded sufficient to give them place among the most 
important mining regions of the county. Safford district, situated on 
the south side of the Humboldt river, about five miles distant from 
Palisade, has a number of ore veins in porphyry. The ore is generally 
very rich in silver, and there is justification in the belief that the veins 
will pay well to explore on an extensive scale. 

Richmond district, which is divided by the line that separates Eureka 
from Elko county, and Goodhue and Schroeder districts, in the north- 
erly part of the county, have produced rich ore, but not in such quan- 
tities as to give them special distinction. Roberts district has been 
known for a number of years, but until within the present year it has 
only received passing attention. Several years ago some claims were 
worked, but with results so unsatisfactory that they were soon prac- 
tically abandoned. Early last spring, they having fallen into the 
hands of R. D. Clark of Reno, his son and others who were associated 
with them, men were employed by them on the Keystone mine, and 
they developed a vein or deposit of ore which they feel justified in 
exploring on a more extensive scale than had previously been 
attempted. Miners are of the opinion that the prospect is good for 
the development of a great mine. It is situated about 53 miles north- 
east of Eureka and 17 miles southwest of Cortez. The mines show 
bold croppings which are traceable for a half mile or thereabouts. 
The work recently done there consists of a tunnel 150 feet in length, 


connecting with a shaft 105 feet deep. Low-grade ore was found on 
top, but very rich material was encountered in sinking. Recent devel- 
opments consist of a vein of 15 to 20 feet in width, not all ore, but the 
paying material assays from 18 to 600 ounces of silver to the ton, and 
some of it will yield as high as $120 in gold. The ledge is described 
as a contact vein, with a porphyry foot-wall and limestone in the 
"hanging." Messrs. Clark & Co. have secured about 20 claims on the 
lode. Cuprite and other forms of copper are found in some of the 
ore, and quantities of it will yield from 12 to 34 per cent, of that metal. 
Lead and iron sulphides are also abundant. A concentrator has been 
set up near the mine and a smelter is in course of construction to be 
used for matting the ore until more definite plans are matured. 

Mineral Hill district is situated in the foothills, about five miles east 
of Mineral Station, on the line of the Eureka and Palisade railroad. 
It was discovered in 1869, when several claims were located there 
upon silver quartz deposits. They were sold in 1870 to George D. 
Roberts and Wm. Lent, of San Francisco, for $400.000, and the Mineral 
Hill Mining Company was organized. After mining and milling sev- 
eral hundred thousand dollars' worth of ore, this company sold to an 
English syndicate for one and a half million dollars. The English 
people operated the property for some years, but, although some of 
the ore ran very high in silver, the average of it was too low grade to 
work, as affected by the downward course of silver. So they sold to 
the present owners, Messrs. Barker, Spencer & Co., who realized 
$60,000 or $70,000 profit by running tailings through the mill. The 
ore that has been mined since then was assorted, and lo-ts, valued at 
from $100 to $500 per ton, were shipped to Salt Lake and Eureka. 
The character of the ore is free milling quartz and chloride. This 
is doubtless a great property, but it has nowhere been developed below 
loo feet in depth. 

Cortes district is situated upon Mount Tenabo, east of and near the 
north end of Toiyabe range, and about 30 miles south of Beowawe. 
It is there that the first important mining operations in the county 
were conducted. It was discovered in 1863. The principal mines 
the Garrison and others, numbering upwards of 60 claims are prin- 
cipally owned by Simeon Wenban, who, by his indefatigable energy 
and shrewdness, has amassed a great fortune out of them. He was 


among the discoverers and first locators of the district, and in the 
face of numberless difficulties stood by the great property with strong 
resolution and indomitable will through many trying ordeals, over a 
period of nearly thirty years. D.eserved success crowned his efforts 
and made him a millionaire. These claims are now incorporated in 
Nevada, under the styling of "The Temabo Mill and Mining Com- 
pany." They are marked by several miles of bold croppings, and are 
combined in what is probably the greatest mining property, at this 
date, in the state of Nevada. The ore runs from a few dollars up into 
the thousands per ton. The principal workings are approached by 
long tunnels, and but little shaft work has so far been needed. The 
mines are nearly idle at present, it being understood that Mr. Wenban 
will not work them, on account of the low price of silver. The ores 
are treated by a leaching process, and the plant in use for the purpose 
is said to be one of the finest appointed establishments of the kind in 
the State. 

Union district, situated about four miles eastward from Mineral 
Hill, has an abundance of low-grade silver-lead ore and considerable 
of high-grade. It, at one time, bid fair for a position among the 
favored mining localities ; but through unfortunate business manage- 
ment it is practically deserted. Diamond district, situated in the Dia- 
mond range, about 12 miles north of Eureka, is in a similar position. 

The First Smelting Furnace. The discoveries of precious metals in 
Eureka brought some of the best equipped metallurgists in the world 
to this county. 

There is some difference of opinion as to whom belongs the credit 
of erecting the first furnace in the State. In 1869 a smelting furnace 
was erected in the Eureka district, Nev., by C. A. Stetefeldt, which 
appears to have smelted ores from several of the mines, but a large 
proportion of gangue in the ores rendered the flux required too great, 
and pecuniary difficulties prevented the completion of the plant. The 
first successful commercial plant appears to have been erected by Col. 
G. C. Robbins at Eureka, 1869, which plant was described by R. C. 
Canby before the International Congress of Applied Chemistry, the 
data being furnished by F. Robins, son of Col. Robins. The stack was 
a draft furnace, through which the mixture of oxide and carbonate 
ores is said to have "run like butter." 


Originally slag was run off into ordinary iron wheelbarrows, and 
bullion molds were made of sheet iron, folded and reinforced by a 
heavy wire rim. In 1870 the original draft stack had already given 
way to two small blast furnaces, and within the next four or five 
years there were 12 or more plants erected. However, it did not take 
the mine owners long to learn that the smelting toll charged by a 
large pla;nt was less than the operating costs of an individual one, so 
eventually two only, the Eureka Consolidated and Richmond Consoli- 
dated, survived. These eventually combined to fix a smelting charge 
which was all the miner could stand and just low enough to prevent 
the ore going to Salt Lake City. 

In 1870, with the exception of Stetefeldt, there were no skilled 
metallurgists, there were two or three itinerant assayers whose knowl- 
edge did not extend beyond the use of the crucible and cupel, but 
careful hourly analyses of slags were made on the point of a long- 
handled shovel. 

T. Pritchard was smelter foreman, a son of a Welshman and a. 
Mexican woman described as racially a metallurgical marvel. 

The crew was Mexican and Indian and celebrated feast days with 
great vigor. During one of these shutdowns Pritchard whitewashed 
the furnace interior with bone-ash, having gotten the idea from the 
resisting properties of the cupel. Three young German metallurgists, 
Karl von Leibinau, Albert Arents and Otto H. Hahn, came to the 
camp about this time. Hahn, probably with Leibinau as his assistant, 
planned and constructed the smelting plant of the Richmond company 
in 1871. Arents remodelled that of the Eureka. These men probably 
brought with them the plans of the Raschette furnaces from Germany. 
They were the first to introduce dust chambers into the camp and 
Arents invented and patented his siphon tap. For many years metal- 
lurgical pilgrims came to steal ideas from these works. For many 
years the lead product of Eureka led all Coast records, but the works 
were but crude affairs when compared with the monster copper-plants 
at Ely owned by the Guggenheims. 

"The finding of the great Eberhardt mine on Treasure Hill, in White 
Pine County, Nevada, in 1867 or '68, drew critical attention to eastern/ 
Nevada. Pioche was quickly discovered, and Eureka, that had been 
previously discovered but abandoned, was re-located, or re-appropri- 


ated, and by the autumn of 1869 a good many prospectors had gone 
there and were exploring all that region. Four men had taken up the 
Eureka mine and had mined and piled on the dump, perhaps fifteen 
hundred tons of ore. Four others had located the adjacent claim north 
of the Richmond, and were sinking upon it. The Jackson, to the 
south, had likewise been located and a little work done. A hundred 
other locations had been made in the district and a good many miners 
were at work, but it was clear that about all they hoped for was to 
make as good a showing as they could, in the hope to later sell out, for 
the ores were all heavy in lead, with a good deal of silver and a small 
percentage of gold, all impossible to mill, and up to that time no 
successful smelting had been accomplished in the State. 

Then, none of the ores would bear transportation to the railroad and 
thence to any known point of reduction, for to get to Eureka from the 
railroad, men had to go south 140 miles from Elko to Hamilton 
three miles below Treasure Hill and thence northwest 40 miles, to 
Eureka. In December, 1869, Eureka consisted of two tents, one log 
house, one rough board house and one corral. Isaac Bateman, who 
built the first and second International hotels in Virginia City, with 
Colonel David Bull and with Joe Farren as silent partners, had bonded 
the Eureka mine, and a little later Bateman went to London to try 
to sell it. They also built two furnaces of about 30 tons capacity 
each, and employed an old Baltimore copper smelter, who knew noth- 
ing of scientific smelting, the analysis of ores or the needed fluxes to 
use, and gave him charge of the smelters. 

The Jackson smelter was set running with similar ability in charge, 
and because of the goodness of God and the fact that the ores were in 
great measure self-fluxing, some base bullion was turned out. A little 
later a road was opened to Carlin, and in the following spring still 
another road was opened to Palisade, on the old Central Pacific Rail- 
road. In the course of the winter a crowd of people had flocked in, 
until the camp numbered 1,200 or 1,500 people. The only source of 
revenue was the smelters. Farren had some money, but Bull and 
Bateman had none to speak of. That firm made an arrangement with 
an Austin bank to get advances on their bullion. The Jackson com- 
pany made a similar arrangement with a Hamilton bank. 

But it was a tough, hard winter. It was the only camp in Nevada 


where the people were held together by the cohesive attraction of uni- 
versal poverty. With the rest, a great many tough characters had 
flocked there, and things were always lively and sometimes exciting^ 
There was no jail, and if a man was convicted of any offense, he had 
to be sent by stage 90 miles, to Austin, the county seat. 

The late Major John H. Dennis was deputy Sheriff, and he made 
frantic efforts to get the county to build him a jail. But the commis- 
sioners were cautious men; they informed him that it would be more 
prudent to wait and see if there was really going to be a permanent 
camp before building a jail. In this crisis one of the county commis- 
sioners came into the camp with a four-horse team load of barley, in 
eighty-pound sacks. The commissioner brought his own food and 
blankets with him, tied his horses to the four wheels of the wagon and 
fed them, and when night came went to sleep in his own blankets on 
his load of barley. Dennis knew all the thugs in town. He selected 
two whom he considered experts, explained to them that in the interest 
of justice it was necessary to separate four sacks of that barley from 
the wagon and deposit them in a designated place, for which he prom- 
ised a reasonable reward and exemption from prosecution. Barley 
was worth there at the time four and a half cents per pound. 

The feat was accomplished. Next morning the commissioner rushed 
to Dennis and acquainted him with his loss. Dennis assured him it 
would be idle to try to find and arrest the culprits, assured him that he 
had got off cheaply, and expressed surprise that they did not likewise 
take his best span of horses. The commissioner hastily disposed of his 
load and the next night made his camp out on the road to Austin, 
twenty-five miles from Eureka, and, it is said, slept that night with one 
eye open. Reaching home, he called a special meeting of the board of 
county commissioners, and before the meeting adjourned a jail for 
Eureka was ordered and a message sent to Major Dennis to begin 
work on the jail at once. The major always insisted that when he had 
secured the jail, he made full restitution to the commissioner for the 
lost barley, and maybe he did. But he is dead now; so is the commis- 
sioner; so are nearly all of that old company, and de mortuis rial nisi 

Colonel Dave Buell was a great help to Eureka in that first winter. 
He was six feet four inches high, muscled like a tiger, was afraid of 


nothing, and the whole town knew his history, and when they saw 
him, the worst of them did not feel like making trouble. A couple of 
anecdotes are told of him. One illustrates his nerve; the other, his 
gall. He was, in the '505, Sheriff of El Dorado County, California. 
There was a tree in the outskirts of the county seat upon which some 
seven or eight men had been hanged. Buell always rode a thorough- 
bred horse. One afternoon a messenger reached him at a way station 
twelve miles from the county seat and explained that a mob had been 
formed and would take a prisoner from the jail as soon as it was dark, 
and hang him on that tree. 

Buell at once called for a bucket of water and a bottle of whiskey. 
He broke the top of the bottle off, poured half the contents into the 
water, gave it to the horse and then said, "Come." From where he 
was there was a steep grade up the mountain for three miles, then 
a down grade into town. He started up this grade on foot, in a dog 
trot, the horse following him. Reaching the summit, he sprang upon 
the back of the good steed and in a fast lope rode to town. Night came 
down before he reached home, the mob had the prisoner with a rope 
around his neck, leading him to the tree. As Buell approached a hun- 
dred pistols were drawn, and he was sternly warned not to interfere. 
But he spurred into the crowd, shouting, "Let me speak to the man a 
minute ; he may have a message to send to friends." 

Springing down beside the wretch, with his bowie knife, which he 
always carried, he severed the rope from his neck, caught him up and 
threw him upon the horse; then slapping the flank of the horse, he 
bade the man to run him for his life, then turned, and, facing the 
crowd, cried out : "You are under arrest, every son-of-a-gun of you." 

There were hot words hurled at Buell in return, but the crowd 
cooled down quickly. The audacity of Buell had won their admira- 
tion, and the result was that they made a night of it. I am afraid Buell 
joined them. 

The other anecdote is that he once obtained a bond on a Belmont 
mine Belmont is a little northeast of Goldfield and went to Paris to 
sell it. He did not know three words of French, but he carried his gall 
with him. He had been in Paris but a day or two when a great horse 
race was advertised. He in some way found when and where the race 
was to come off, and was on hand early. Seeing a finely-canopied 


grand stand vacant, he unceremoniously took a seat in it. In a few 
minutes a superbly-mounted officer rode up and, dismounting, with 
many bows, addressed him in beautiful French, to which Buell replied 
in Western English: "I am much obliged for your words of welcome, 
but it is of no consequence; I do not desire any special courtesies." 
The young officer mounted and rode away, but five minutes later an 
older man, still more elaborately dressed and decorated, came, and in 
incisive tones made a little speech to Buell. Buell listened and then, 
in the same western English, replied: "Really, you gentlemen are 
showing me too much attention. I am just a common miner from 
Nevada, and do not expect extraordinary attentions in France." Just 
then a splendidly caparisoned carriage and four, with stunning out- 
riders, drove up. The Emperor and Empress Napoleon III and 
Eugenie alighted and took their seats in this pavilion, where Buell 
quietly sat. The officer who had been appealing to Buell, turned to 
the Emperor and, bowing low, made what Buell believed was an expla- 
nation, coupled with an appeal, which was probably for authority to 
oust the intruder by force. 

The Emperor listened, then turned to Buell, smiled, and then ad- 
dressed a few words to the officer, which Buell construed to mean, 
"Never mind; let the long American alone." And he watched the 
races from the Emperor's pavilion. 

Bateman finally succeeded in bonding the Eureka mine to an Amer- 
ican corporation after he had failed to dispose of it in London and that 
mine, which cost $250,000, paid $1,000,000 in dividends annually for 
fifteen years and its total yield was more than twice that amount. 

The Richmond mine was bonded for $55,000. The man who held 
the bond pointed out to a hundred men that if in that soft ore there 
was not a million dollars under the sag of the hillside, then he was an 
idiot, and everyone, in a courteous way, assured him that he probably 
was. But J. J. Dunne took it to London, unloaded it for $600,000 or 
$700,000 upon the Englishmen. They sent a superintendent over who^ 
on looking at the property, declared the belief that it was another 
Yankee swindle. But when the company got to work, that same sag 
in the hillside paid annual dividends of $1,000,000 a year for nine con- 
secutive years, and in the meantime every conspicuous member of the 
company and many outsiders made fortunes. 


Some of the leading State builders lived originally in Eureka. It 
produced some of the most successful politicians in Nevada. Black 
Wallace got his first political schooling there. George Cassady was 
elected to Congress from there, as was Thomas Wren and George 
Baker. Gov. Sadler also was an old Eureka man and during one of 
the hard winters he ran a general merchandise store, and when nearly 
every one in town was broke he never refused credit to man or 
woman, and when spring came he had over $200,000 of bad debts on 
his books. Eureka, while now carrying but little of the prestige of the 
old flush days, has been one of the greatest camps of the State, and 
possibly the very best for the amount of money expended. It grew 
into a great camp on the individual efforts of a few men and without 
assessing its stockholders. 



The first attempt to organize into a county unit any part of Es- 
meralda's territory was by the Territorial Legislature of Utah in the 
act of March 3, 1852, whereby seven counties were created, at least on 
paper, out of the present State of Nevada, at that time a part of Utah. 
Beginning at the north, these divisions were Weber, Deseret, Tooele, 
Juab, Millard, Iron and Washington Counties. They covered the im- 
mense area from the 37th to the 42nd parallel of north latitude, with 
Utah and California as east and west boundaries. Parallels of latitude 
separated the seven elongated quadrangles, each being about fifty miles 
in width, except Juab, which was only about thirty-six miles from north 
to south, and included all of what is now Storey and the southern end 
of Washoe County, or the greater part of the scant population of the 
entire region. Millard extended nearly to the southern limit of Walker's 
Lake, while the remaining territory to the south was divided equally 
between Iron and Washington Counties. So Esmeralda was later to 
possess certain parts of Millard, Iron and Washington. The line be- 
tween the last two counties passed not far from the present towns of 
Silverpeak and Diamondfield. Thus, had the original county division 
persisted, Goldfield would have been in Washington County and near 
the border of Iron. The Territorial Legislature of Utah went further, 
electing judges with four-year terms to preside in the newly created 
counties; Anson Call for Millard County, Chapman Duncon for Iron 
and Washington. The wise legislators either anticipated a mighty influx 
of settlers or thought to organize the Indians, there being an utter ab- 
sence of white men in the two southern counties. 

The territory destined later to constitute Esmeralda County was again 
considered by the Legislature of Utah, when, on January 27, 1854, Car- 
son County was carved out of the former divisions by the following 


act: "All that portion of country, bounded north by Deseret County; 
east by the parallel of longtitude 118; south by the boundary line of the 
Territory, and west by California, is hereby included within the limits 
of Carson County, and until organized, is attached to Millard County 
for election, revenue and judicial purposes." Of course Millard County 
as here referred to meant the county of that name in the present State 
of Utah. A glance at the map will show that much of this new county 
covered what was later to become a part of Esmeralda. 

At length Esmeralda County was created by an act of the Territorial 
Legislature of Nevada, approved November 23, 1861, being one of the 
nine counties into which the new territory was divided. Four days 
later an act was approved locating the county seat at Aurora. The 
boundaries established by the creating act of November 25, were as fol- 
lows: "Beginning at a point where the thirty-seventh degree of north 
latitude intersects the one hundred and sixteenth meridian, and run- 
ning west along said thirty-seventh degree, to the California line ; thence 
along said line, in a northwesterly direction, to the summit of the divide, 
between the east and west forks of Walker River; thence along said 
divide, in a northerly direction, to the headwaters of Deseret Creek; 
thence following down the middle of said creek, to a point to where it 
debouches from the mountain ; thence following the base of the moun- 
tain, to the west branch of Walker River; thence across said river, to 
the base of the mountain; thence following the base of the mountain 
in a direct line, as near as may be, to Masqn's ranch ; thence due east to 
the one hundred and sixteenth meridian ; thence south along said merid- 
ian, to place of beginning." Now that we have traced our county through 
the Legislative enactments of two Territories, and find it at last estab- 
lished with the seat of justice whence its affairs were to be administered 
for more than a score of years, let us go back to view the conditions 
that made the county possible and laid the foundation for after events 
before resuming the consideration of shifting lines and changing county 

From early August, 1860, E. R. Hicks, J. M. Corey and James M. 
Braley had been working their way slowly south, between the east and 
west forks of Walker River, zigzagging right and left in order to cover 
the more territory. Arriving at Mono Lake, they turned their course 
sharply to the northeast and prospected the country both east and west 


of Walker's Lake, without making any satisfactory discoveries. A 
council was held near the lake and the decision reached to abandon their 
search in that section and go to the Coso country, nearly one hundred 
and fifty miles southward. And in order to take a view of the natural 
objects that would guide their way, they ascended a lofty mountain, 
since called Corey's Peak, in honor of the leader. They had pursued 
their chosen route some twenty miles, when the necessity of finding 
water caused their course to veer to the westward, where a spring was 
found in the hills and a camp for the night was made near by. There 
being game in the country and the food supply running low, Hicks took 
his rifle early in the morning and passed over the hill to the west of 
their camp, hunting rather than looking for a mine. But the true pros- 
pector ever walks with eyes on the formation at his feet, and Hicks 
was an experienced searcher after attractive rock. Chancing on a fine 
piece of quartz, he soon abandoned his hunt to return to the camp and 
show his find. Pannings were made with such encouraging results that 
the three returned to the place whence the quartz had been taken and 
the whole hill was found to be ribbed with veins. Coso was now for- 
gotten. With a moderation hard to understand by present day pros- 
pectors, the three located but seven claims and hastened to Monoville, 
25 miles away, to report their find. This discovery was made August 
25, 1860. On the 3Oth of that month they returned with some twenty 
others, laid out a mining district ten miles square, drew up and signed 
rules and regulations for the government of the same, and at the sug- 
gestion of Corey, christened it Esmeralda Mining District. Esmeralda 
is the Spanish word for emerald. Probably Corey had in mind some 
beauty who answered to that musical word, as it is a common name for 
girls with green eyes. Be that as it may, Esmeralda soon became the 
popular name-word for a territorial empire. There was Esmeralda Hill, 
Esmeralda Gulch, Esmeralda mines, Esmeralda business houses, Es- 
meralda County, and later on an effort to have an Esmeralda State in- 
stead of Nevada State. The whole region was called Esmeralda in an 
indefinite sort of way. 

The prospectors had not over-valued their discovery, with surprising 
rapidity for those days, when horseback was the quickest mode of travel, 
samples were taken to Carson City, no miles away, and bonanza re- 
turns made. Monoville moved over en masse and a spectacular rush 


was on. The bunch of tents on the hill, called Esmeralda, was soon 
moved down into the more convenient flat in the gulch, and added to 
those already pitched there, started the future Aurora. So, by the mer- 
est accident, Esmeralda missed being the town's name. Though the 
winter was a severe one even for that altitude of one mile and a quar- 
ter, the fortune hunters began to arrive late in September and continued 
throughout the cold months in ever-increasing numbers, until in the 
spring of '61 Aurora was a thriving little city. The camp responded 
generously from the first in rich silver ore. 

Though the first location had been made August 25, 1860, and Aurora 
was no miles from Carson, the nearest outlet to market, the Pioneer 
Mill of eight stamps had been erected at a cost of $25,000 and was 
turning out bullion the following June. Within the same year the Union 
Mill was in operation, with an equal number of stamps, and had cost 
$30,000. Before the end of '63, seventeen mills had been erected with 
a total of some 175 stamps. Late in '62 the population of Aurora num- 
bered at least 5,000, with two well-equipped fire companies of 60 mem- 
bers each; two military companies fully uniformed, drilled and ac- 
coutered for service, each with its own commodious armory; two daily 
newspapers, ably edited and widely circulated ; a brass band of eleven 
pieces, and a city government in effective operation with all the acces- 
sories that go to make a mining metropolis. 

Aurora, with its mines, was a bone of contention between California 
and Nevada for three years, with California in the ascendant until the 
line separating the two States was finally established in '63, leaving the 
prosperous city within Nevada by some four miles. California gained 
the advantage by acting first. By the act of its Legislature on March 
24, 1861, Mono County was created with Aurora as the county seat, 
the object being to give local government through county organization 
to the miners of Esmeralda and Mono districts. In so doing, that 
State anticipated the action of Nevada by eight months, and controlled 
the situation for nearly three years. The act creating Mono County 
also provided for an election of county officers on June i, '61. This 
election was held accordingly and the officers were discharging their 
duties before Esmeralda County was created. But Governor Nye, while 
acting cautiously until the State line should be established, was careful 
to retain the claim for Nevada. Esmeralda was made Council District 


One, with one Councilman and two Representatives. As early as Au- 
gust 24, 1861, the patriotic Esmeralda Union Club sent six delegates 
to Carson City to attend the Union Convention for the nomination of 
a candidate for Delegate to Congress, and urged the election of mem- 
bers of the Territorial Legislature in accordance with the Governor's 
proclamation. The election was held the last day of August, John W. 
Pugh was chosen Councilman (Senator) and Samuel Youngs and Wil- 
liam E. Teell as Representatives. All three participated in framing the 
first laws of the Territory of Nevada, and in creating Esmeralda Coun- 
ty, California in the meantime claiming Aurora as the county seat ot 
Mono County, and actually governing it through its laws and officers. 
July 8, 1862, John F. Kidder was appointed by Governor Nye as Sur- 
veyor, and so became the first officer of Esmeralda County. Nevada 
had begun to assert active right to Aurora and vicinity. December 22 
following, William N. Dixon was appointed District Attorney. With 
these assertions of Esmeralda County's rights, both States to the con- 
troversy awaited the establishment of the line that would finally deter- 
mine the ownership of the rich and productive mines. In June the in- 
itial point of the survey was established in Lake Tahoe, and the Gover- 
nor made another move by appointing a Sheriff, Clerk and three Com- 
missioners on June 22. In July, Chief Justice Turner, assigned by the 
Governor as Judge of the Second District, opened court in Aurora, 
while Judge Baldwin was holding court there for Mono County, Cali- 

In the meantime, the election day, September 2, 1863, and the State- 
line surveying party, consisting of the Surveyor General of California, 
and Butler Ives as Boundary Commissioner for Nevada, were both 
near at hand. Election day arrived first, and a novel agreement was 
reached. Each county would put up two full tickets, two Republican 
and two Democratic, and all qualified voters could cast a ballot at 
Armory Hall for Esmeralda officers, and also another ballot at the 
police station for Mono County officers. By this plan either county 
would be officered the next two years, regardless of where the invisible 
line now rapidly approaching should fall. September 22 the survey 
passed southwest of Aurora, leaving it within the confines of Nevada 
by four miles. Immediately two officers, who had been elected for 
Mbno County, piled the records on a wagon and took them to the town 


of Bodie, twelve miles away, and the next year they were conveyed to 
Bridgeport, which had been declared the new seat of justice of Mono 
County. Since these records have never been transcribed, the effort 
to do so ending with the purchase of the necessary books, and they 
contain the earliest data of Esmeralda as well as of Mono County, 
much valuable matter pertaining to the former is in another State. Only 
the necessary expense of $10,000 prevented this being undertaken in 
1864. Aurora was then showing signs of waning prosperity. But as a 
precaution against any legal question as to the election of September 2, 
Governor Nye, seventeen days later, appointed the elected officers for 
Esmeralda County, and added A. S. Peck as County Judge. On the 
22nd they took the oath of office and entered upon their duties as the 
first fully recognized officers of the new county, now nearly three years 
old. The county was divided September 29th by the newly elected 
Board of County Commissioners into three townships, with Aurora, 
Sweetwater and Excelsior District as the election precincts. Without 
funds, the new county found itself in debt for the Court House, and 
in October, '65, bonds were issued bearing interest at the rate of 2 per 
cent, per month to meet the deficit. 

About the same time that Hicks, Corey and Braley were placing Au- 
rora on the map, other industries were being established in two valleys 
at the north by the pioneer cattlemen of Esmeralda. While driving cat- 
tle through the Walker River Valley in 1854, the three Mason brothers 
noted the abundance of bunch-grass and white-sage everywhere, and 
when the dry years in California made forage scarce in that State, N. 
H. A. Mason returned in search of pasturage to the region he had vis- 
ited five years before. Finding his former impression of the country 
strengthened, he located the Mason ranch, which later became one of 
the Esmeralda county corners. He wintered a herd of Eastern cattle 
there and the following year drove thither all his California stock. The 
same year, '60, Mr. Mason erected what was probably the first house 
ever seen in the Mason Valley. In October of '59. Wm. H. Dickson 
located farther up the river, some fourteen miles from the lake. 

Smith Valley was settled about the same time by S. Baldwin, J. A. 
Rogers, and the Smith brothers, R. B. and T. B., in whose honor the 
valley was named. Their home ranch was located on the west fork 
of the Walker River, a few miles from the confluence of the two 


branches and about twenty miles south of the Mason ranch. This was 
in August, '59, and they had come from California to find better range 
for their cattle. Mr. Mason had preceded them by a few months, but 
they at once erected a tule domicile for the winter and so could claim 
the honor of having built the first house in the entire Esmeralda coun- 
try, though as yet unnamed. In the summer of '60, J. B. Lobdel ar- 
rived and settled six miles south of the original Smith location. Being 
a farmer, with fertile soil and water at hand, he put out barley and 
vegetables in the following spring and was rewarded with a rich har- 
vest, the first attempt at agriculture in that valley. Mr. Mason had 
experienced like success in the valley named in his honor the same sea- 
son, having taken out his water from the first irrigation ditch ever 
constructed in either of the valleys. Later this ditch was extended and 
many others were built within the next few years, the fertile valleys 
filling up with new settlers very rapidly when the cattle business and 
agriculture were proven successes. Added impetus was given both pur- 
suits by the ready and rich market afforded by the growing camp of 

It is safe to say that neither Esmeralda nor any other county would 
have been created and organized out of this vast territory for years 
afterward had pay-rock not been found at Aurora, August 25, '60. 
Barring the few ranches scattered in the Mason and Smith valleys, the 
whole region was regarded as a useless desert waste. Until silver was 
discovered June 12 or 13, '59, on the Comstock lode, Nevada had 
about the same relation to the National Government that Esmeralda had 
to the Territory of Nevada before Aurora was made known. But for 
the treasure-hunters that streamed into Nevada on hearing of the 
Comstock, Aurora and other strikes, it remains a question whether even 
expediency in national politics could have produced the hardihood to 
rush this sparsely settled region so precipitately into territorial existence 
and through this into Statehood. The entire population of the Terri- 
tory, taken by Dr. Henry De Groot soon after his appointment of July 
24, '61, as enumerator, was 16,374 souls, and it may be taken for 
granted that a Territory seeking admission to Statehood would not 
leave any of its people uncounted. This was more than two years 
after the finding of silver in the Comstock. Whatever influence the 
discovery of silver may have had, Esmeralda County exerted its full 


share through the rich mines about Aurora. At that time Aurora and 
Esmeralda were well nigh convertible terms. 

Before taking up other camps, mostly offshoots of Aurora, or the 
county seats and boundaries of Esmeralda County, it is perhaps as well 
to say the final word of that pioneer mining camp, and its finders. Its 
best days were from '61 to '65. By the last year named fourteen 
o-f the seventeen mills had ceased to run; the Antelope and Real Del 
Monte ran some years later, and in '80 only the Coffee Mill was in 
operation with four stamps. Approximately $20,000 had been produced. 
In '80 Aurora had only 500 population, or one-twentieth of wha| it had 
in its best days. By 1903 it proudly boasted of five residents, one of 
whom was the faithful District Recorder, the first officer to be elected and 
the last to desert a mining camp. But Aurora is threatening to come back, 
with every evidence that the threat may be made good. The Knight 
Investment Company has just let to the Copper Belt Railroad a con- 
tract to deliver 2,000 tons of mine and mill machinery and equipment 
at Hudson, and the rest of the way to Aurora the tonnage will be trans- 
ported either by freighting teams or automobile trucks. The public 
will have a lively sentimental reason for wishing the enterprise all suc- 
cess, to the end that Aurora may again enrich the world with its bullion. 

He who would find a word-picture of a mining camp need look no 
further than the first library containing a copy of Mark Twain's Rough- 
ing It. By substituting a few modern terms for those rendered obso- 
lete through mechanical progress, such as auto for stage-coach, dynamo 
for steam engine, 'phone for messenger, etc., and calling Smith by the 
name of Brown, Roughing It becomes an universal history of Nevada 
camps. The suggested substitutions, with Goldfield for Aurora, renders 
further effort useless. Twain's cabin was still standing a few years 
back, but in a position further up the gulch than when he lived in it in 
true bachelor fashion with Col. Higbie in '62. It had no floor then and 
was 10x12, with one door and one window, both in the front. The walls 
were made of weather-boarding, and roofed with shingles. The char- 
acteristic feature of the one-room building was the flag-pole securely 
let into the front gable through the roof. This pole, being of hickory, 
was probably shaped from a wagon-tongue. From its top we may be 
sure floated the Stars and Stripes July 4, '62, as both its owner and 
the town were ultra patriotic in those warring times. Some unknown 




party carried it away many years ago and manufactured it into walking 
sticks that sold for fabulous prices. Mr. A. H. Finney, an old resident 
of both Aurora and Bodie, related the above with corroborating facts 
and gave me a genuine certificate of Aurora mining stock that was 
taken by him from Twain's Cabin nearly twenty years ago. Among 
many other interesting features, this "Pride of Aurora Gold and Silver 
Mining Co." certificate for 25 shares, declares it was "incorporated 
March, '63, in "Esmeralda District, Mono County, California," with 
"capital stock $250,000, 1,000 shares, $250 each." As number of feet 
was then the basis of capitalization, this was a small claim, but each 
foot was quite valuable. The government war-tax stamp of 25 cents 
is affixed, dated March 26, '63, and initialed by the secretary of the 
issuing company. This was six months before Esmeralda District, 
Mono County, California, became accepted generally as a part of 
Nevada. Hicks, Corey and Braley seem to have had little part in 
Aurora after locating it, judging by the records. Probably their best 
monuments are to be found in connection with the mountain peaks 
named after them. Corey's Peak stands near the western shore of 
Walker Lake, while Mt. Braley and Hicks Mountain are near the 
mines they discovered. Prospectors seldom profit by their finds 
equally with their customers, let the fault rest where it may. 

Just as the uncovering of the Comstock lode in the summer of '59 
sent tireless prospectors searching for new ore deposits throughout 
the mountainous portions of the Territory, so the discovery at Aurora 
itself became a new center whence radiated these sleepless ones, singly 
and in groups of two or more, as the spokes from the hub. A promis- 
ing location or strike, itself but the late result of a similar cause, 
immediately became the efficient cause of yet others in the endless 
chain being daily forged. So it is that Aurora now began to father 
numerous new camps as it had been fathered but yesterday by Vir- 
ginia City. Quite as naturally new bounds must be set for the ever- 
changing political divisions, the old lines being inevitably shortened, 
and the seat of justice gradually moved toward the geographic center 
as the population spread out over a greater area of Esmeralda County. 

Columbus was the first persistent mining district to organize after 
the Aurora excitement. This was organized in August, '64, by Mexi- 
can miners, who were soon replaced by Americans, Germans and 


Slavonians, both in ownership of the claims and control of the affairs 
of the district. Mineral district was merged with that of Columbus 
because of their nearness and the more desolate character of its loca- 
tion. May 22, '65, the Candelaria claim was located, and later this 
name was taken by the mining camp near by. In '70 the miners shook 
off their sluggishness and began to give promise of activity. In that 
year three mills were erected, two of ten stamps each and one brought 
over from Aurora with four stamps. By '73 the Northern Belle, 
which had been originally located in '65 and relocated five years later, 
had found so much ore that it started a 2O-stamp mill that was com- 
pleted two years later, only to build another of equal size the next 
year. Water was conducted to this mill by a fifteen mile pipe-line and 
ditch at an outlay of $25,000. This one company produced in excess 
of one and one-fourth million dollars in '77. The Candelaria mines 
are credited with a production of fifty-five millions, work still going 
on. The town never claimed over 1,000 citizens, and most of these 
were male, as the conditions were not inviting for residence. 

Columbus, eight miles southeast from Candelaria, took its name 
from the mining district and prospered because of its close connection 
in the early days with Candelaria, which got its water there. It 
started in '65 and was at its best in the five years following '70, when 
its population numbered 1,000. The production of salt and borax in 
the adjacent marshes added to its resources. It was at the Columbus 
marsh, five miles south, that the Pacific Borax Company began its 
extensive operation in 1872. 

Red Mountain district was organized the same year it was discov- 
ered, July, '64, and before the beginning of the next year had a three- 
stamp mill, soon followed by one of 3O-stamps. Silverpeak having 
been discovered only a few miles away and organized, the two districts 
have since been generally regarded as one. Work ceased in '70, but 
has since been resumed, and a fine mill of 120 stamps has for many 
years been in successful operation, four miles from the town of Silver- 
peak, which reminds the visitor of a Mexican village. The main town 
is Blair, near the mill that receives its ore by an aerial tramway. 

Gold Mountam district followed in '66 and was organized in Sep- 
tember of the same year, the discovery by Thos. Shaw, who made a 
second and more important discovery in the Oriental five years later. 


Some of the richest gold ore ever found in the State was taken from 
this mine, some rare specimens going to the Centennial at Philadel- 
phia in '76. The gold in that district is associated with some silver 
values. More or less work has been done off and on in that district 
since its discovery. 

Palmetto district came into organic life in '66, the discoverers being 
T. W. M'Nutt, H. W. Bunyard, and Thos. Israel. Before the year was 
out a 12-stamp mill was built and put into successful operation, but 
the ore soon gave out and the mill was carried away piecemeal. The 
property, mining claims and mill-site was patented and is still owned 
by the original company, in which W. H. Whitney and Samuel J. 
Tilden were once the moving spirits. A watchman remains on the 
mill-site to look after the company's rights. 

Pine Grove district was another birth of the year '66, July 9. Three 
mills with a total of some 20 stamps were erected to treat the rock 
that was mostly gold bearing, with some silver. 

Montezwma, district was added in '67, being discovered May 24, and 
organized in June by Thos. Nagle, Matthew Plunkett and a Mr. 
Carlyle. The ten-stamp mill erected in the fall of '70 was closed down 
after a run of less than six months. Considerable prospecting and 
mining have been under way in this district and vicinity since the 
location of Goldfield in '03. 

Oneota district was placed on the map by Mr. Wetherell in May of 
'70, though it had been known long by the Indians and eight years 
before part of this section had been organized as a mining district. It 
was again organized June 20 of the year it was rediscovered and soon 
the Indian Queen mine began shipping good ore to the reduction 
works of San Francisco and Reno. By '75 it had in this way produced 
several hundred thousand dollars. Then a four-stamp mill was begun 
and completed in June of the same year. The mine had yielded suffi- 
cient returns since to pay a large sum in dividends. 

Sylvcmia district, discovered in '70, was organized in '72 as Green 
Mountain district, but the next year changed its name to Sylvania. 
Smelting works were put up at Lost Springs in '75 and were operated 
for some years. 

Lida Valley district was brought to light by Wm. Scott in May, '71, 
and organized the next August 7th. In spite of the excessive freight 


rates for supplies, $100 per ton from Wadsworth, 175 miles distant, 
the hardy miners persisted, laid out the present town-site March i 
the following year, and began active mining. Within a few years the 
district had an eight and a five stamp mill to reduce the ore that the 
high freight rates prohibited from shipment, unless of the best grade. 
There was shipped some ore of such richness that the long and expen- 
sive haul made comparatively small inroad on the profits. But when 
this high-grade was worked out near the surface and funds were 
lacking to go deeper for the main ore-bodies, the miners either left the 
camp or remained only to do the required work to hold their claims 
or to await better conditions. About '07 a small mill was erected on 
the Florida property, but was not utilized. At present the outlook 
seems brighter for the old timers who have abided so long in hope. 
The town remains about what it was in the eighties, having lost its 
blacksmith-shop and gained one saloon. , 

Belleville, now reduced to a village, began its existence in '73 as 
the site of quartz mills, being only eight miles north of Candelaria and 
its rich mines. It reached its zenith in '76 with a population of 500. 
In '80 it had two mills with 20 stamps each, 300 residents, a school 
house 20 x 30 feet, and seven saloons. 

Space is lacking to proceed further in a catalogue of the mining 
districts that once filled the minds of men with visions of fortune and 
hope. Before passing to a recital of the successive boundaries of 
Esmeralda county, by means of which nearly six-sevenths of its 
original territory has been lost, and its business transacted in the third 
county-seat, it may be well to enumerate a partial list of the aban- 
doned districts, many of which sound strange to the ears of the second 
generation since they flourished. Among the number may be men- 
tioned: Desert Lake, Baldy, Cottonwood, Cornell, Tule, Walker 
River, Masonic, Canon, Montgomery, Van Horn, Thunder Springs, 
Minnesota, Hot Springs, Blind Springs, Washington, Pahdet, Inde- 
pendentia, etc., etc. 

Esmeralda coiinty early began to lose its territory by Legislative 
enactment. Longitude west from Washington is meant in all cases. 
The act of February 16, '64, creating Nye county, limited Esmeralda 
on the east to the meridian of 40 30', and took away the greater part 
of its area. A part of this domain was restored by the amending act 


of March 9, '65, by declaring the 39 58' meridian the line. The act of 
March 5, '69, made the boundary between Nye and Esmeralda a line 
running from the intersection of the California line by the meridian of 
40 15' north to the 38th parallel; thence northwesterly to the Hot 
Springs on the Wellington and Reese river road; thence north to the 
39th parallel. By the act of February 26, '75, the line was changed to 
the 40 7' meridian, thence north to the 38th parallel, northwesterly 
to the Hot Springs (as before), and north to the 39th parallel, the 
present dividing line between the two counties. By the act of March 
i, '83, several hundred square miles were detached from Esmeralda 
and annexed to Lyon county, by declaring a northeast and southwest 
straight line of division. In this manner Esmeralda lost the fertile 
lands of the Mason and Smith valleys, its legitimate claim to a great 
agricultural section. A Legislative act of the same year transferred 
the county seat from Aurora to Hawthorne. This was due to the 
condition of the mines at Aurora as well as the ascendancy of Haw- 
thorne, gained by having become the terminus of the Carson and 
Colorado Railroad that was crawling along the eastern shore of 
Walker Lake in the spring of '81, and made the new town possible, 
not to mention the splendid grade completed about the same time and 
by the same interests between the new county seat and Bodie, 38 
miles away. Bodie was grinding out its millions during this period. 
Hawthorne was also nearer both the geographic and population center 
of the county. 

By act of February 4, '07, the county-seat was changed from Haw- 
thorne to Goldfield from and after May first of that year, for reasons 
similar to those that had given it to the former 24 years before. On 
February 10, 'n, another act was approved, by the provisions of 
which the new county of Mineral was erected out of a part of Esmer- 
alda county's diminished territory, again making Hawthorne a county- 
seat. The division was unequal, Esmeralda getting only 3,541 square 
miles of dry land to Mineral's 3,891, with 125 miles of lake surface 
thrown in. In exactly 50 years Esmeralda county has had six distinct 
manipulations made with her territory and three seats of justice. 
Starting in '61 with nearly 25,000 square miles, an area almost equal 
to that of either the Kingdom of Greece or the State of West Virginia, 


her one remaining consolation in being reduced to one-seventh is, that 
that seventh is the richest mineralized section of the State. 

The organization of the Goldfield mining district, October 2Oth, 
1903, is the central date from which preceding and after events must 
be considered. It set in operation a series of influences that have been 
as potent on the history of Esmeralda county as was the discovery of 
Hicks, Corey and Braley at Aurora on August 25th, '60. The latter 
made possible the Old Esmeralda as the former created the New 
Esmeralda county. Ever since, the story of Goldfield has been well 
nigh the history of the entire county. 

When James L. Butler accidentally discovered rich "float" at Tono- 
pah in 1900, numerous conditions prevailed to help usher in and 
support the boom years that followed : the entire country had recov- 
ered from the distressing period of the middle 'po's and was financially 
able and in the mood for large speculation; already a reflux tide of 
miners had set in from Alaska; labor troubles were about to send 
hordes of stalwart miners trained in Colorado, and very soon there- 
after the automobile began to contest the horse's prescriptive right 
to the public highway, and reduce the long stretches of the desert to 
fractions. Goldfield fell heir to these forwarding impulses more 
largely than did Tonopah, the immediate cause of its birth. 

The press has made such effective use of the desert that many still 
accept without question the suggestion that Goldfield was quite 
beyond the known, prior to 1902, somewhat as we are influenced 
through the very reiteration of advertisements into believing their 
claims. At that time Lida and Silverpeak, distant 30 and 25 miles 
respectively to the southwest and west, had about the same popula- 
tion as now; Tonopah was a thriving mining camp 30 miles to the 
north of Goldfield, with miners frequently working at Klondyke, 
which is almost on a direct line and midway between the two places. 
Since the early sixties, when the Comstockers began to prospect 
southern Nevada for silver and so missing the gold, searchers after 
mines had been for this reason passing over the gold of Goldfield, 
stopping at Rabbit Springs for water. Trails and roads passed and 
crossed within sight of Columbia mountain. One of these paths of 
travel about halved the present holdings of the Consolidated Mines 
Company, the greatest so far found in the district. In 1904, Mr. 


John Chiatovich, of Silverpeak, actually went into the courts to restrain 
the piping of water from Rabbit Springs to Columbia, claiming 
damage for the consequent loss of stock, and asserting title thereto 
since 1886. Of course live stock had to give way to a mining camp 
coupled with such hope. 

Such was the country round about Goldfield's present site when two 
prospectors from Tonopah, W. A. Marsh and H. C. Stimler, found 
themselves but a short distance north of Columbia mountain's summit 
in early December, 1902. On the 4th day of that month they located 
the May Queen, Sand Storm and Kruger claims, adding their names 
after those of J. L. Butler and Tom Kendall. All were recorded 
February 28th. They describe the location as 10 miles southerly from 
Klondike Well, about 6 miles easterly from the Montezuma mines, and 
one and one-half miles north of Cove (Rabbit) Springs. The district 
was denominated Grandpa in jest at Hinnepah, Weapah, and Tonopah, 
believing they had found the grandpa (h) of all, the old man. 

Returning to these locations, in the spring of 1903, ore was found on 
the Sand Storm, and the rush was on to the new section. About the 
first of May, Thos. Ramsey and R. C. Crook arrived in the Grandpa 
district, riding on a buck-board drawn by two burros, and accom- 
panied by C. D. Taylor, who rode a pony with pick, shovel and 
blankets tied to his saddle. Thos. D. Murphy and A. D. Myers came 
about the same time. These and others prospected the country south 
of Columbia mountain and east of the Goldfield townsite, camping 
near Rabbit Springs. The whole surrounding country was called 
Grandpa in that indefinite way of miners and prospectors. May 21, 
1903, Thos. Ramsey located the Tennessee claim, and five days later 
returned and took up the ground immediately to the south, calling this 
second claim the Berkeley, after the home city of his brother. Ten- 
nessee was adopted because of its rich sound, so dear to a miner, and 
for the additional reason that the locator was a Southern man. The 
location notice of each was signed by H. Ramsey, R. C. Crook, Thos. 
Ramsey, and recorded at request of H. Ramsey on July I, following. 
But the work was never done on these two claims until dressed out in 
other names. 

Within the first few days of July, Thos. Ramsey and his partner, 
R. C Crook, left for Atwood, northwest of Tonopah, on a prospecting 


trip. Tiring of this, as Crook had his mind set on Tokop and the 
Slate Range country, the two returned to Tonopah, August I3th, and 
the following day Ramsey abandoned his burros, mounted a pony and 
in company with Thos. Keane returned to Grandpa to see about the 
location work on the Tennessee and Berkeley claims. Crook soon 
followed. But on second thought, it was decided to let the 90 days 
run out and relocate them. Accordingly the Tennessee became the 
Mohawk No. i and the Berkeley was re-christened Mohawk No. 2, on 
August 2oth and 23rd respectively. Probably the Mohawk No. 2 is 
the richest piece of ground ever found in Nevada, if not in the world, 
having since produced as many millions as the locator had fingers and 
toes and bidding fair to keep this up for many a day. However, four 
names were put on these second locations, that of A. D. Myers being 
added later to the three original ones on the Tennessee and Berkeley 
on condition that he do the location work. He did it with a will in a 
few days at most and in 1906 sold his interest, one-tenth, in same 
for $400,000. Location certificates were filed, October 31, on request 
of Harry Ramsey, the partner who remained in Tonopah to provide 
the grubstake, while his brother and Crook searched for mines. In 
September, 1903, Thos. Ramsey sold his one-fourth interest in the two 
Mohawk claims, with an equal interest in the Slim Jim Fraction and 
one-third of the Booth claim, for the princely sum of $750, the lucky 
buyers being James Forman and A. C. Eisen. In 1904, Crook sold his 
one-fourth part of the Mohawks to Nixon and Wingfield, with other 
property, for $5,000, and the following year Harry Ramsey disposed 
of his interest to the same parties at a handsome figure. Later on 
these two old claims became the jewel caskets of the Consolidated Mines 

As a further illustration of the small valuation placed on these 
bonanza properties, C. D. Taylor came to where Thos. Ramsey, T. D. 
Murphy and A. D. Myers were working on the Combination, the first 
of September, '03, and offered to sell the Florence for $20, whereat 
Ramsey made the counter proposition of selling him thirty-five claims, 
covering the very heart of the district, at $20 each, or a total of $700, 
if his partners would agree. Ramsey did sell the Redtops, then the 
Alabamas, for $35 a piece. And it must not be inferred that these 
sales were made under stress, for the prices were then regarded as 


fair and full; neither seller nor buyer could foretell what was to be. 
These instances are given as typical, showing the low estimate placed 
on Grandpa mining acres in the summer and early fall of '03. 

There was a space of a few weeks in July of '03 when every soul had 
deserted the new camp except A. D. Myers, who was living in a tent 
back of Jumbotown, and Wm. Beauchamp, who was camped in what 
later became Columbia, a mile apart. A Mr. Hart soon joined Myers, 
and then there were three. Early in September, as the weather became 
more agreeable, the pioneer prospectors and locators began to return, 
and others came with them. Ore had been struck on the Combination 
by Murphy and Myers in July and this initial strike in Goldfield 
proper was followed by another on the same property in August. The 
strike on the Sandstorm by Marsh and Stimler in April of that year 
is usually regarded as the first. Further impetus was given the new 
camp by the first lease and bond, made to L. L. Patrick on October 
9th and taken up by him 17 days later. This was on the 10 claims of 
the Combination group and was the result of the strikes by Murphy 
and Myers on that property in July and August. Three years later 
these ten claims were sold to the Consolidated Mines Company for 
four million dollars and completed that powerful consolidation. In 
October Mr. Patrick brought Robt. Lanka from Tokop to do the 
assaying for the combination. He also did custom work, and was the 
first Goldfield assayer. 

About the first of September the small group of tents scattered 
below Rabbit Springs, to be near water, was moved down to the 
present Main street of Goldfield, between what is now Myers and 
Crook Avenues, and the town in this way was started. Ben Hazelton 
found water at a depth of 20 feet by sinking a well at the intersection 
of Main Street and Myers Avenue. This, with several other shallow 
wells, constituted the water supply until the following year, when the 
first water, company piped water from Rocky Canyon, one mile south 
of town. The need of order in the arrangement of the accumulating 
tents caused the miners to stake off Main Street early in September. 
Both the lay of the land and a possible hint whence most had come 
determined its direction northward, pointing toward Tonopah. A 
little later, Elmer J. Chute, a competent engineer and surveyor, laid 
off several blocks and the town limits continued to extend until on 


January ist of '04 there was filed for record the first Townsite Plat 
of Goldfield. This plat covered the area between Fifth Avenue on the 
east and Third Street on the west, and between Elliott Avenue on the 
south and an unnamed avenue one block north of Miners Avenue. 
Block one was limited by Elliott and Myers, Main and Columbia. The 
town then showed symptoms of spreading southwest, the six blocks 
east of Columbia remaining merely skeletoned on this first plat. 

The original intention of the Townsite people was to have the 
streets run north and south and the avenues east and west, naming 
the latter in honor of the pioneers of the camp. Elliott, Myers, Crook, 
Ramsey and Hall were so bestowed, while the whole mining popula- 
tion was complimented by the name of Miners. The next year they 
added Fifth Avenue and Euclid Avenue pointed to an awakened ambi- 
tion for the future of the city. Choice of the lots fell to the early 
comers, and they naturally chose the corners, some of which were 
awarded this wise : the Palace corner, Crook ; the Northern, Tex Hall ; 
the Mohawk, Murphy; the Hermitage, H. H. Clark; the Texas, Pat- 
rick; the John S. Cook Bank corner, Chute, and the First National 
Bank corner, Thos. Ramsey, who felt slighted because his lot was so 
far out of town. The growth of the town and the increasing value of 
real estate are shown by one illustration. The Cook Bank corner 
brought $50 in the spring of '04, $5,000 the next October, and $10,000 
December 2nd, following. It was worth $35,000 two years later. 

The gathering of the tents and the locating of Main Street were 
the first hints of a town. The first all-wood structure came September 
6th. It had been built in Belmont in such fashion that by removing 
the bolts that held it together the whole house, 12 x 14, could be 
loaded onto a two-horse wagon and hauled anywhere. In this manner 
it was brought to Tonopah and set up as among the very earliest, if 
not the first, frame buildings. Harry Ramsey sent it over to the Sand 
Storm in August, and again removed it to Goldfield as stated, setting 
it up on lot four of block two. From its high social standing as a 
saloon in Tonopah, it was degraded in Goldfield to the menial rank of 
a kitchen. This pioneering shack is now on the Blue Bull property. 
In these humble beginnings, a fourth event occurred to make the future 
certain R. A. Dunn within a few days opened the first business house, 
a "thirst parlor," in a half tent-half frame building on the next lot 


north. This was the brightest omen of all and must needs be suitably 
celebrated. Thither converged all steps the first evening and the 
session was soon on. A thorough inventory discovered but seventeen 
dollars and some odd cents of the necessary wherewithal among the 
whole assembled population, but it was ample if properly circulated, 
and this was accomplished by the simple device of tapping the money 
box every time it gained possession of the circulating medium. In a 
gathering as democratic as that the protests of the proprietor were 
wasted. Seeing this he made the best of it, charging the loss to 
discreet advertising. This saloon from that night was the club of the 
camp and was always popular. The function of a saloon in a mining 
camp is something unique, and not to be confused with that in a city. 
With the two strikes on the Combination and the evident progress 
of the town, to say nothing of capitalized hope, and the ascendancy 
gained over the original Grandpa section about Columbia Mountain, 
the miners, gathered along Main Street in some 20 tents, now began 
to agitate the formal organization of a Mining District. W. H. Harris 
at the same time busied himself campaigning in behalf of Goldfields 
as the name of the town and district. The failure of Grandpa to organ- 
ize made the organization of a district imperative. All were agreed, 
and accordingly, on October loth, notices of a mass meeting of the 
residents owning property were posted in Dunn's saloon, at Rabbit 
Springs, and Klondyke Well, the three best known places. The 
appointed time and place were 1 130 p. m., October 2Oth, '03, on the 
southwest corner of block two, at the crossing of Myers Avenue and 
Main Street. Thirty-six qualified voters assembled at place desig- 
nated. Claude M. Smith, formely a California teacher, called the 
meeting to order and nominated Attorney R. L. Johns for Chairman. 
It was a beautiful afternoon to meet with the building material scat- 
tered around, offering a good substitute for a well furnished hall. 
Johns was elected chairman, took his seat on a pile of shingles and 
rapped his knuckles on a soap box table for the attention of the first 
meeting ever held in the district, the remaining 34 perching themselves 
on the stacks of lumber. As the Resolution and Minutes are the offi- 
cial evidences of this meeting, and tell best their own story, they are 
here given as taken from the originals : 



WHEREAS, the miners and persons owning mining claims in the Grandpa Min- 
ing region, Esmeralda County, Nev., pursuant to public notice duly posted, have on 
this 20th day of Oct., 1903, duly assembled at Goldfield in said Mining region for 
the purpose of organizing said mining region into a Mining District and for the 
purpose of establishing such rules and regulations for said mining district as shall 
be deemed expedient and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States and 
of the State of Nevada. 

NOW, THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED by said miners and owners of mining 
claims, in meeting assembled as aforesaid ; 

FIRST. That said mining region be and the same is hereby organized into a 
mining district with the following boundaries, commencing at a certain spring 
known as Rabbit Spring in said Esmeralda County, thence extending five miles 
north from said Spring, eight miles east from said spring, five miles south from 
said spring, and two miles west from said spring and covering in all a region ten 
miles square. 

SECOND. That the name of the said mining district shall be GOLDFIELD 

THIRD. That the officers of said mining district shall be a President and a 
Recorder, who shall hold office for a period of one year and until their successors 
are duly elected and qualified ; that all miners and owners of mining claims in said 
district shall be qualified to vote at all elections for such President and Recorder ; 
that the first election of such officers shall be held on Oct. 2Oth, 1903, at Gold- 
field, Nev., at 2 o'clock P. M. and annually thereafter at the same time and place ; 
that notice of said elections shall be given by the President of said district by 
posting notice thereof in not less than three public places in said district not less 
than ten days previous to such election. 

FOURTH. That it shall be the duty of said President, upon the written request 
of not less than five miners or owners of mining claims in said district, to call a 
meeting of all the miners and owners of mining claims in said Mining District ; 
that he shall give at least two days notice of such meeting by posting notice thereof 
in a conspicuous place in Goldfield ; that he shall preside over all such meetings. 

FIFTH. That it shall be the duty of said Recorder to act as the Secretary of 
said Mining District ; to keep the minutes of all such meetings and to attend to 
the correspondence of the said Mining District and to perform such other duties 
as are prescribed by law ; that it shall be the duty of said Recorder to properly 
record all certificates of location, amended locations, deeds, surveys and instru- 
ments of whatever nature as shall be properly presented to him ; that he shall be 
authorized to charge for his services the following fees : for certificate of location, 
amended locations, and certificates of survey (when the latter are not accompanied 
by nor attached to certificates of location), a fee of two dollars each; that for 
recording deeds, mortgages, etc., he shall be authorized to charge a fee not in 
excess of the fee charged by the Recorder of Esmeralda County, Nevada, for 
recording the same instrument; that the fees hereinbefore named shall not include 
the fee or fees of said County Recorder; that the books of the District Recorder 
shall be the public property of the said Mining District. " 

SIXTH. That the scale of wages and hours of the said Mining District shall 
be four dollars for eight hours' work. - 

SEVENTH. That the President of said Goldfield Mining District shall appoint 
a committee of three, of which he shall be one, whose duty it shall be to supervise 
the work of the District Recorder, also to draft rules and regulations for the 
advancement of the said Mining District, and present the same at the next called 
meeting as aforesaid. 


EIGHTH. That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this 
meeting and that a copy of the minutes of this meeting be filed with the Recorder 
of Esmeralda County, Nevada. (Signed) 

R. C. Crook, Claude M. Smith, R. L. Johns, A. D.. Myers, T. D. Murphy, H. O. 
Hall, W. H. Harris, O. Rosengreen, A. C. Eisen, J. T. Jones, S. D. Forman, H. C. 
Marcus, W. S. Williams, W. S. Bryden, W. A. Marsh, P. C. Kretz, Dr. Whitewolf, 
E. Marks, Ed Clifford, W. D. Nelligan, D. H. McLaughlin, Geo. Turner, R. 
McGlenn, J. W. Riggle, F. A. Montgomery, E. A. Montgomery, H. C Stimler, 
J. E. McLaughlin, T. Kendall, Geo. McLelland, C. D. Taylor, R. A. Dunn, G. S. 
Phenix, Elmer J. Chute, Goe. A. Kernick, Thos. Ramsey. 

GOLDFIELD, NEVADA, Oct. 2Oth, 1903. 

At i :3O o'clock P. M. a meeting, having been duly advertised, was called to 
order by Claude M. Smith, who nominated as chairman Mr. R. L. Johns. Mr. 
Johns was unanimously elected chairman. 

Claude M. Smith was nominated and unanimously elected secretary of said 

The resolution as attached hereto was read by the secretary. Mr. R. C. Crook 
moved the adoption of the resolution as read. The motion was carried. 

A. D. Myers was nominated for President and, there being no opposition, he 
was declared elected by acclamation. 

Claude M. Smith was nominated for District Recorder and elected by acclamation. 

President Myers appointed Messrs. T. D. Murphy and R. C. Crook to serve with 
himself upon the committee as provided in the resolution. 

There being no further business, a motion to adjourn was made, seconded and 

Respectfully submitted, 

CLAUDE M. SMITH, Secretary. 

It will be seen from the Resolution that Goldfield was already 
accepted as the name of the town, but not yet as that of the mining 
district, as the Resolution had been prepafed before the meeting with 
two references to the town of this name, while the name of the district 
about to be organized was left blank, and was filled in with pen and 
ink among the typewritten words. The original shows this to be the 
only written insertion. W. H. Harris, the seventh signer, had for 
some time been agitating in favor of Goldfields for both town and 
district, and had evidently succeeded in having it generally accepted 
as to the former, the naming of the latter requiring the approval of 
the meeting. Harris proposed Goldfields in the meeting and Smith 
seconded him, provided he would leave off the pluralizing s. This was 
done and so the honor of christening the new city and district is 
divided between the two. Mr. Harris evidently had in mind the city 
whence he had come, Goldfield, Colorado, but desired to make the 
new name distinctive and more ambitious by implying more than one 
field of gold. In nominating Mr. Smith for District Recorder, Mr. 
Murphy explained that he did so because the candidate was "too small 


to do a full shift's work," and ever since the big man and the small 
man have been inseparable. A greater service was rendered than 
could at that time be imagined ; the office paid during Mr. Smith's 
incumbency of three and one-half years about $1,000 per month, easily 
the most lucrative office in the State. 

One of the 36 signers, and a man capable of making the analysis, 
gives some approximations going to show what manner oi men they 
were. Their average age was about 33 years ; Harris the oldest at 60, 
and Stimler the youngest at 23. Seventy-five per cent, of the number 
were unmarried ; three surveyors, one assayer, physician, druggist, 
teacher, merchant, attorney, and cowboy each, and 20 miners and pros- 
pectors, with six others otherwise engaged, but likewise learning 
mining in connection with their regular pursuits. Fifteen States, three 
foreign countries, and three races were there represented. California 
led with seven, Colorado came second with four, and Nevada and 
Texas tied with three each. Nearly half were Irish. Not one man 
made "his mark," but each signed the Resolution with a firm, legible 
hand, though most had finger joints stiffened from daily association 
with pick and shovel. Doubtless any capable expert in the matter of 
handwriting would pronounce the 36 signatures a very remarkable 
list. And after-knowledge of these organizers of the Goldfield Mining 
District confirms such an estimate. The list includes many of the 
successful, big men of later Goldfield. Immediately following the 
meeting of October 2Oth, the camp felt a new impulse forward. A 
city must be built as well as a district developed from prospects into 
mines, and the task was begun with a will, now that there was an 
organic beginning. Energy made up for lack of numbers. The work 
of the camp-makers was paving the way for the camp-followers sure 
to come when the hard places had been made soft. Of course good 
citizens continued to arrive as the tidings spread, and bad ones, too. 
The pioneers had conducted a pure Democracy as nearly as human 
nature seems able to permit. It was not until the arrival of the camp- 
followers that the merchant had a market for locks and keys, which 
before a twelve-month had replaced the latch and string. Limited 
space forbids details told in order of time. Hence, a restricted num- 
ber of enterprises and institutions must suffice, and the imagination 
do the rest. From October 2Oth to the spring of '04, the little camp 


was busy, daily growing more so, preparing for the boom days of '05, 
'06, '07. Only 28 miners were found to eat the two turkeys the Christ- 
mas of '03 ; perhaps as many more had gone to Tonopah for the holi- 
days. But the future was safe, for women had actually established 
residence in Goldfield before the year of '03 was out. That spring Mrs. 
Marsha and Mrs. Stimler had been at their husbands' camp at Colum- 
bia mountain, but perhaps the first to call the new camp of Goldfield 
home were Mrs. G. S. Phenix, Dr. Frances Williams, and Mrs. E. R. 
Collins not long thereafter. 

Late in December, Peter Samuelson found travel between Goldfield 
and Tonopah sufficient to put on a two-horse stage. In February he 
was hauling the mail, and the public demand justified John O'Keefe 
in starting a four-horse stage each way daily, a little later a six-horse 
one, and from July, '04, to September, '05, when railroads came into 
the two camps, two six-horse Concords went either way. These car- 
ried the Wells-Fargo Express as well as passengers. Fare, $4 each 
way with some slight variations. In addition, many other lines were 
established and the livery stables did a thriving business in special 
service. M'Clain and M'Sweeney had several hundred head of stock 
engaged in freighting before spring. J. E. C. Williams had an equally 
large capacity and livery as well, dozens of smaller operators trans- 
porting an immense tonnage into GoldfieW. This takes no account 
of hundreds of individuals and firms that did their own hauling. 
Spanning the gap between stage-coach and railroad, the automobile 
made its appearance generally in the summer of '04 in the Nevada 
camps. Fred. J. Siebert had brought a two-cylinder Winton into 
Tonopah the year before. August loth, 1904, the i6-horse-power 
Rambler of G. W. Richard "walked" lamely into Goldfield, making 
the trip from Tonopah in two hours and fifty minutes with a detour 
of eight miles. G. J. Packer, the chauffeur, worked days to get it out 
of town. L. L. Patrick first successfully made the trip in a 3O-horse- 
power Pope-Toledo, September. By '05 they were numerous and 
an automobile line was running regularly from Tonopah to Goldfield 
and south to Rhyolite. Charles Crisman built a powerful lo-passenger 
car in Goldfield the winter of 'o6-'o7 to run between this place and 
Greenwater. It was a success, carrying both passengers and freight, 
and established records yet unbroken. He covered the 30 miles be- 


tween Tonopah and Goldfield in some forty minutes and the 75 miles 
to Rhyolite in a little over two hours. 

Transportation was settled by the railroads, which came thick and 
fast in answer to the call of gold. Tonopah was reached July 4, '04, 
with celebration 25, 26, 27 that road was standard-gauged August I, 
'05, and extended into Goldfield September 14, same year, celebrating 
the 14, 15 and 16. Late in '06 the Bullfrog-Goldfield road reached the 
vicinity of Rhyolite and was connected up with the Tidewater from 
the south at Gold Center October 30, '07. The L. V. & T. came into 
Rhyolite December 14, '06, and into Goldfield October 28th of the 
following year, making two railroad connections south and one north. 

In February of '04 a fourth-class post-office was established with 
Claude M. Smith as Postmaster, and opened in the butcher shop of E. 
R. Collins, but soon went into the Red Front Store, both locations 
being on Lot 5 of Block 2. Mr. Collins had the first store in the camp. 
Mrs. E. R. Collins was deputy and succeeded Mr. Smith within a 
few months, as he could not spare the time to run the office. In the 
spring of '05 the office was moved to the southeast corner of Columbia 
and Hall, where it remained until July 28, 1907, when it was again 
removed, this time to its present site on north side of Crook, between 
Columbia and Fifth avenue. Mr. E. R. Collins succeeded his wife as 
Postmaster December 15, 1905. In 1906-07 the immense volume of 
mail handled caused this office to, be rated as first-class, the only one 
ever in Nevada; it is now second-class. 

Labor Organisations in the Beginning; Goldfield Early Becoming a 
Strongly Unionised Town. Perhaps the incipiency of unionism had 
its birth in the camp through the informal action of C. C. Inman and 
J. P. Sanders, the first carpenters, and the first contractors, under the 
firm name of Inman and Sanders. Inman, finding work slack in Tono- 
pah in the fall of '03, followed a wagonload of lumber, tools on back, 
not knowing definitely whither it was bound until he found himself 
in a place called Grandpa. When the load was deposited on the 
ground he seated himself thereon to await the owner, who soon 
appeared on the scene. Inman engaged himself without cavil to 
erect the shack and Sanders put in an appearance, likewise looking 
for a job. There and then union labor established wage and hours, 
appealing to the toss of a coin. Heads won and Inman proclaimed the 


day's wages at $6, Sanders chiming in with "eight hours." Soon 
thereafter the powerful Carpenters' Union was organized. Before 
many years had passed it had its own building and space to rent to 
other orders. Of course unionism is rightly found wherever two 
novitiates chance to meet, be it on desert or in crowded city. The 
Colorado miners brought their notions of unionism with them and 
they came early with ever-increasing numbers. In April and May, '04, 
500 arrived, many with their families. They had been driven from 
home and came seeking the opportunity to help carve another mining 
empire from a new country. Probably their Local 220, W. F. M., had 
its beginning about the same time the carpenters were uniting into a 
body. It is difficult to determine just when the inception occurred, 
as the first meetings were informal, no records kept, and a sort of 
club usually preceded the actual organization. However, the Miners' 
Union possessed a desirable building site on west side of Main street, 
between Crook and Ramsey, in the first months of '04, with a rude 
tent-house in which they met, and with a free reading room soon 
afterwards. That early they were caring for their sick and dead, 
seeking employment for their people, giving alms, offering social 
privileges to the public and performing the many other functions for 
which they are so well known. The first day school was opened in 
their hall free of charge and their first hospital was opened that 

Churches and secret societies vied with each other in establishing 
themselves in the new camp, seemingly divining oncoming events. 
Rev. Francis H. Robinson, a Presbyterian divine who had been active 
in pioneer work in Tonopah, with true missionary spirit, came early 
and Sunday, April 24, 1904, conducted his initial service in the home 
of Mrs. C. H. Elliott. The same day he organized the first Sunday 
school of the camp in the residence of Mrs. L. Briggs, who was 
elected superintendent, and May ist the first Sunday school met in 
the new postoffice, which had been shifted a few feet to its second 
location. Rev. Father Gleason, of the Catholic faith and also a mis- 
sionary, arrived in camp on Saturday, April 23, and the next day held 
services in the Main street office of H. B. Lind, near the middle of 
the block, between Crook and Ramsey avenues. He held a second 
service at the same place the following Sunday. People were in- 


vited to attend without regard to their religious affiliations or beliefs 
and the invitation was accepted generally. At the same hour of the 
same day Rev. Robinson and Rev. Gleason were delivering the two 
pioneer divine services in Goldfield. As if not to be behind in the 
start, Rev. Samuel Unsworth came into town May 27th, investigating 
the need of a local Episcopal church. It was not long before other 
denominations followed. The Catholic Church erected its first build- 
ing at Cedar street in '05, the earliest in the camp, and began a larger 
one on Hall avenue and Franklin street a year later, the original 
building not being large enough to accommodate the worshippers. 
Though uncompleted, services have been held in it for the last five 
years. This church has wielded a powerful influence under the able 
pastorate of Rev. Father James B. Dermody, who may rightfully be 
regarded as the organizer of his people here. The Presbyterians 
erected their place of worship 'o5-'o6 at the corner of Ramsey and 
Fifth avenues. The splendid edifice of the Episcopalians was not 
occupied until '07, the Christian Scientists having built theirs near 
the corner of Myers and Euclid in the boom days of the camp. The 
Methodists completed a handsome structure on the corner of Euclid 
and Crook in '12. Other denominations have labored in the camp 
from early days. Among these are the Baptists, who planned but 
never completed their house of worship. 

Public schools came shortly after the churches. Rev. Robinson was 
a pioneer not only in the pulpit and Sunday school, but he started 
the first day school for general instruction. On the morning of May 
i, 1904 he received pupils in the Miners Union Hall, which was at 
that time a rude combination of tent and woodwork. Of the 17 pupils 
reporting for instruction seven were put in the primary class and 
the remaining 10 distributed between the second and seventh grades. 
C. C. Inman, E. R. Collins and Claude M. Smith were appointed as a 
school board in May and a school census taken June 3, showing 45 
persons to be under 21 years of age, but seven of these too young to 
enter school. Mr. Smith soon resigned in favor of H. W. Knicker- 
bocker, who was later succeeded by P. H. Toohy. In the fall of '04 
and spring of '05, Mrs. Francis M. Nesmith had charge of the school, 
assisted in the latter year by a young lady, the school rooms being in 
the Ladies' Aid Hall on West Crook street. Miss Mary McLaughlin 


(now Mrs. W. D. Hatton) took charge in September of '05, and with 
her assistants gave a sort of peripatetic instruction as the expanding 
business of the town crowded the pupils from one place to another, 
no school building having yet been erected. A contract was let for 
the Cedar street school building in the summer of '05, but it was 
not ready for occupancy until the fall of the next year. It has six 
rooms and cost $10,000. Miss McLaughlin, as principal, and three 
teachers taught in it 1906-07. The high school building was dedi- 
cated November 18, 1907. It was completed and furnished at a cost 
of $103,000 and has twelve recitation rooms and a large assembly 
hall. The Sundog and Westside buildings, with six and two rooms, 
were built in 1908 at a combined cost of about $50,000, with furnish- 
ings. The largest attendance was 1908-09, 982 pupils with 26 teachers. 
The present enrollment is 529, with 18 teachers. These compared 
with the 17 of May, 1904, will index the ebb and flow of the camp's 

The Ladies' Aid Society was organized May 3, 1904, and at once 
began raising funds to erect their hall for the Sunday school, religious 
meetings and general gatherings. This body of women became a 
powerful factor for the general good, competing later with the mas- 
culine Montezuma Club. 

The Montezuma Club charter members issued their first call De- 
cember 30, 1904, met January 7 and chartered their club February 
10, 1905. Its first home was in the adobe building at 106 Columbia, 
whence it was moved in the middle cf the same year to the Palace, 
where its influence and prosperity were greatest from 1905 to 1908; 
then it went into its own building at the corner of Columbia and 
Crook, where it soon expired for want of sustenance. Beginning with 
its organization, L. L. Patrick, H. T. Bragdon and J. P. Loftus were 
its first three presidents. June 19, 1904, the County Hospital opened 
a i6-foot tent near the old jail for the reception of the sick, Dr. E. J. 
Rowland in charge. A. R. Wittke was the first resident physician of 
the camp. The following February the present building was put up 
at a cost of about $12,000, fixtures and equipment included, having 
a capacity of thirty patients. Almost double that number were taken 
care of during the trying days of general sickness. The Miners Union 
opened its first hospital about the same time and place and began 


and completed in 1906 and 1907 the best equipped building for that 
purpose in southern Nevada. It is now closed. The Consolidated 
Mines Company has its own hospital nearer its mines. There have 
been from time to time several private institutions to care for the 
sick. For years E. T. and G. B. Richmond, brothers, ran a private 
hospital, where the unfortunate were taken care of free of all cost, 
regardless of race, character or any other condition. 

The sore need of these institutions may be inferred and their in- 
capacity suspected from these figures : April and May, 1905, occurred 
27 and 24 deaths; November and December, 1906, 62 and 53, and in 
January following 40. This was the era of what the laymen call 
"black pneumonia." That alcoholism took a hand may be inferred 
from the fact that the victims were rarely women. Insufficiency of 
food, clothing and shelter played havoc with those not acclimated. 
The fuel famine occurred at this time and had its part in the loss of 
life and general discomfort. A poor grade of coal brought $95 per 
ton and nearly $150 if bought by the sack; men fought for wood at 
$60 a two-horse load, while railroad ties were sawed up and sold at 
25 cents a block. All were ready to pay the price but the supply fell 
short of the demand. The weather was severe and the buildings less 
substantial than later, many living in tents. 

On March 16, 1904, arrived the most welcome guest of the camp, 
Florence Tidwell, the daughter of Roland and Lena Phillips Tidwell, 
whose home was on Lot n of Block 2, just opposite the present Gold- 
field Hotel. She was the first child to be born in the camp and 
the winner of a townsite lot which was never claimed. The "boys" 
regarded this as an event even more auspicious for the future of the 
place than the arrival of women the year before, and made no little 
fuss about it. All claimed an interest in the little girl, coming early 
to pay homage. Sunday, October 3Oth of the same year, the enter- 
prising Townsite Company bestowed a lot at the corner of Crook 
and Fourth streets as its award for the first wedding, Miss Evelyn 
Roach and Milton C. Ish winning that day, though one or more 
couples had been married in Tonopah previously. This was regarded 
as a purely home affair, Justice of the Peace Collins tying the knot 
that holds. The Townsite Company continued to encourage home 


industry in many other directions, making a specialty of "sooners" 
in all lines. 

The first death was that of Curtis Kendall, April 13, 1904. He was 
shot by Howard Sharp, and his remains sent to Salt Lake for burial, 
after the first funeral of the camp by Father Gleason. The second 
was a suicide by drowning in the Columbia water tank a few hun- 
dred feet below Rabbit Springs. The unfortunate was known here 
under the name of Byron Enright. This occurred at noon, June 17, 
1904, and the remains were buried the following day after a funeral 
service by Rev. F. H. Robinson in Miners' Union Hall. His was the 
first grave. Mrs. Katherine Wadleigh's death, June 23, 1904, was the 
first from natural causes, followed by that of Adolph Kornbluh from 
appendicitis on July 22 of the same year, being the first man to die 
here naturally. Joseph Marsh, father of W. A. Marsh, was watching 
the Rabbit Springs and the Columbia water tank the day Enright com- 
mitted suicide, as there had arisen some feeling between Goldfield and 
Columbia over the latter's having gained title to the only known 
nearby water supply. Hence the property needed watching, as they 
thought. Seeing a suspicious looking man approach the tank, Mr. 
Marsh armed himself with a stout stick and went to see whether he 
contemplated harm to the tank or merely to steal a bath, a very rare 
thing at that day. Approaching and not finding his man, he at length 
peeped over the six-foot sides and was horrified to see the struggling 
form at the bottom, weighted down with a large rock attached to his 
neck by a piece of baling wire. A sojourning physician took up a 
position near by and began to assert that he could revive the man. 
When ordered to proceed he asked for his fee first. Two swift and 
well directed kicks and that medico's usefulness to the new camp was 
over. He soon departed unregretted. Columbia made trouble under 
the same head. The Goldfield bunch had turned off the water in 
taking out the body and Columbiaites became wroth over what they 
regarded as an extravagant waste in a desert country. The cemetery 
has grown with the town, now having 740 graves, seven of these in the 
G. A. R. section and 114 in the potter's field. Twice as many bodies 
have been sent out for interment. The beautiful wild flowers of the 
desert are gathered each May 3oth and tenderly placed on the graves 
of all. 


May 6, 1904, a baseball club was organized, with Frank Lothrop as 
manager and Joe Duffield as captain. Early in June J. F. Bradley 
and Frank Horton started a gun club, ordering five expert traps, 10,000 
blue rocks and 6,000 rounds of ammunition. At the same time a 
brass band had its beginning. Everything and everybody were 
organizing; the American dearly loves orders, the miners especially, 
as a list of secret societies will show. 

The Masonic order led the way for strictly secret fraternities. M. 
E. E. Wadleigh and H. B. Lind issued the first call for a meeting 
June 24, 1904, and four days later the meeting took place in Mr. 
Lind's office. Nearly all the States and several foreign countries 
were represented. The Masonic Club was organized July 12. It was 
the forerunner of the many other Masonic bodies that followed: 
Montezuma Lodge No. 30, F. and A. M., dispensation granted Janu- 
ary 27 and charter June 13, 1906; Goldfield Chapter No. 10, R. A. M., 
dispensation, February 16 and charter, June n, 1907; Nevada Coun- 
cil No. i (being the only one in the State), R. and S. M., dispensation 
granted June I, 1907, and charter, September 10, 1912; Malta Com- 
mandery No. 3, K. T., dispensation, January 2, 1909, and charter, 
August u, 1910. 

The Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows followed hard on the 
starting of the Masonic Club. Both are flourishing, the K. P.'s hav- 
ing the uniform rank and a large membership. First meeting of the 
K. P.'s was in J. R. Duffield's office July 30, 1904. In the matter of 
holding regular lodge meetings the I. O. O. F. people antedated the 
Masons, their dispensation bearing date of October 2, 1905, and their 
charter June 17, 1906. To save space, the following list of fraternities, 
societies and organizations is offered, all being strong: Masonic 
bodies already given and Eastern Star, Knights of Pythias and the 
Pythian Sisters, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekkahs, 
Knights of Columbus, B. P. O. E. Lodge No. 1072, Eagles, Moose, 
Redmen, Woodmen, Goldfield Volunteer Firemen, Carpenters, 
Daughters of American Revolution, Ladies Aid Society, Women's 
Club, Foresters, Bar Association, Medical Association, Industrial 
Workers of the World, Western Federation of Miners (Local 220), 
Business Men's Association, Mine Owners' Association, Carpenters' 
Union and Salvation Army. This partial list comprises both active 


and defunct bodies, without any effort at classification, and in some 
instances giving the popular name in ignorance of the exact one. 
The Elks are a numerous and growing lodge, having been organized 
in the spring of '07 under dispensation, followed in July by a charter. 
Their home is the handsomest in Goldfield. They have done much 
good in active charity. 

From 1904 to 1908 were the leasing days, the best of the camp. 
Leases are great distributors. Some fifteen in the Goldfield District 
paid handsomely, among the hundreds let. Four of these netted near 
a million each within a month's time, one approximating the five 
million mark in gross value during its existence. As early as the year 
1904 the camp yielded about $4,000,000, reaching the high water-mark 
of some $12,000,000 in 1910. One property has to date produced 
$55,000,000 gross and paid $25,000,000 in dividends, and is still per- 
forming in large figures. To operate this and other mines, mills, 
water lines, power and many other accessories were required. Of 
mills there have been twelve erected within the district to treat the 
immense tonnage of the mines. Most of these were constructed dur- 
ing the leasing period and never over half the number were active at 
one time. The greatest daily capacity was about 1,500 tons. Water 
was a problem. Many companies were formed. When the wells 
proved insufficient pipe lines were built. In the fall of 1904 a line 
was constructed from Rocky Canyon, one mile south of town; the 
next summer a ten-mile pipe line conveyed water from Alkali Springs 
at the west to the Combination Mill ; in the spring of 1906 the Nevada 
Water Company pumped water from the Highlands Mine at Diamond- 
field, six miles away, and put in the sewerage system of Goldfield, 
while the Esmeralda Water Company put up a tank for the fire de- 
partment. A more ambitious undertaking was started by the Monte- 
zuma Water Company in December, 1905, whereby water was to be 
brought into Goldfield from the ample supply about Lida, 30 miles 
to the southwest. This task was completed by the Goldfield Water 
Company and water turned on in Goldfield in October of 1907, flow- 
ing through 7 and 9-inch pipes. The whole line, with laterals, is 43 
miles in length, with 450,000 gallons daily capacity. January i, 1907, 
the Goldfield Water Company expanded into the present Goldfield 
Consolidated Water Company, and by taking over the Esmeralda, 


Montezuma and Nevada water companies, and the Esmeralda Sew- 
erage and Improvement Company, it controls the water supply for 
the town and mills, except as to the wells. Their owners are inde- 
pendents and still peddle water from the early-day five-gallon bucket 
at 10 cents. While times boomed they made as high as $50 net a day 
to the wagon. 

To supply commercial power and lights, a strong company was 
organized in '04 at Bishop, California, 100 miles west. This was the 
Nevada-California Power Company, which has a 15,000 horse-power 
plant and over 300 miles of line, connecting with Goldfield, Tonopah, 
Manhattan, Rhyolite and other points. Its original capital has been 
increased from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000. Goldfield consumes 3,000 
horse-power. Power was turned on in Goldfield September 19, 1905, 
18 days after it had come into Tonopah. The Goldfield Electric and 
Power Co. was the pioneer and furnished light in 1904. Telephone 
and telegraph lines came early in 1904. The Western Union was 
first, the Postal second. Wells-Fargo Express was carrying matter in 
February, 1904, and had all the business until three years ago, when 
the American entered in competition. The first large building on 
Main street was the Exploration Mercantile structure, erected late 
in 1904, and was outdone early the next year by the Nixon Building 
opposite. The most expensive single building is the Goldfield Hotel, 
costing $400,000 with fixtures and furnishings. The city has had five 
big fires and many, many smaller ones, but the splendid fire-fighters 
have invariably prevented a wide spread of the flames or great prop- 
erty loss. July 8, 1904, the half-finished Nevada Hotel burned to the 
ground at the corner of Crook and Columbia, entailing a loss to T. D. 
Murphy and L. L. Patrick of nearly $40,000. Flying sparks fired the 
Enterprise Mercantile Building a block away and the citizens helped 
the fire department to fight it out, the whiskey, brandy, wine, beer 
and champagne stored in the place being applied both externally and 
internally. October loth of the next year the St. Francis Hotel, 
on Main street, between Myers and Crook, took fire and threatened 
the whole block, but it was confined to a small area, with small loss. 
At daylight, November 17, 1906, the (old) Goldfield Hotel burned to 
the foundation, two of its guests perishing, Mr. Ellis and Mr. Heber. 
The Florence Mill was later totally destroyed by fire and the Con- 


solidated Mill was greatly damaged some time before. Being so far 
out of town the fire department was greatly handicapped, but re- 
sponded bravely. If there be one organization in Goldfield that has 
always met requirements efficiently and fully, it is this department. 
It is an outgrowth of the volunteer department that organized within 
the first months of 1904. With limited water, at times, and a wooden 
town seasoned to tinder, the record is marvelous. 

The streets were graded 1907-08 at an expense of $35,000. Four 
years before 12-horse wagons sank to their axles on Main street. 
With the coming of the county seat in May, 1907, a Courthouse and 
Jail were started and finished in November at a cost of $158,000, in- 
cluding fixtures, furniture and other appurtenances. Goldfield has had 
many banks, of which but two survive, the John S. Cook & Co. and the 
First National. Births and deaths are as follows: The State Bank 
and Trust Co. opened for business July 26, 1904 in a small corner 
of W. S. Elliott's saloon, T. B. Rickey, President, and G. W. Richard, 
Cashier. It was a branch of the mother institution at Carson City 
and allied with a similar one at Tonopah. It closed October 23, 1907, 
and has so far paid about 25 cents on the dollar. It was the first 
bank in Goldfield. 

The Nye and Ormsby Co. Bank, also a branch of the home bank 
of Carson City, with another agency at Tonopah, opened August 15, 
1904, in J. D. Lothrop's store, nearly opposite the State Bank and 
Trust Co., with John S. Cook, Cashier. It too closed October 24, 
1907, but opened the next January 2 and remained open until February 
2 3> 1 99> and then closed finally. This paid 72 cents on the dollar. 
The third to open was the Goldfield Bank and Trust Co., December 
15, 1904, with J. R. Boal as Cashier. Its location was Main street, 
near the Hall corner. It failed utterly May 24, 1905. The Nye and 
Ormsby Co. Bank opened a branch at Columbia on the last day of 
December, 1904, but soon withdrew it. Arthur G. Raycraft was 
Cashier. What has proved to be the strongest bank of all was opened 
with John S. Cook as Cashier on January 26, 1905. This was called 
the John S. Cook & Co. Bank, and had $50,000 capital. About March 
of that year Messrs. Nixon and Wingfield bought it in and the cap- 
ital was increased to a quarter of a million. This institution proved a 
very Rock of Gibraltar when other banks were crashing about it in 


the panicky days of October, 1907. It is among the living, Mr. Wing- 
field having succeeded Senator Nixon as its president several years 
ago. March 8, 1908, the First National was established, L. L. Patrick 
and W. B. Hamilton as President and Cashier. Its capitalization was 
$125,000. This also abideth with us. 

It was a great mistake to forget the stampedes to booming camps. 
Passing by the ephemeral rushes to new strikes of almost weekly 
frequency, the annual ones will illustrate. Cuprite, Stonewall, Gold 
Crater and others earlier in '04 played introduction to the first genu- 
inely big boom, Bullfrog. This began with the summer find of Cross 
and Harris and culminated the following spring, when there were 
literally 75 miles of dust to the south of Goldfield. One hundred 
wagons were counted on this road within twenty-four hours, all going 
south more than one to the mile. The lame, the halt all were on the 
way. Not to be outdone, one man piled his blankets, water, food and 
tools, about loo pounds weight, on a wheelbarrow, and pushed it into 
Rhyolite on schedule time. 

While Bullfrog was still booming, Manhattan broke out and this 
drew from Goldfield the population it could ill afford to spare in the 
fall of '05 and spring of '06. The earthquake chilled its fever, through 
cutting off the California capital, but it is now reviving. Walker 
Lake Reservation was thrown open November 29 of '06 and thither 
hied the restless who "got in bad" at the previous strikes. They came 

Greenwater held the center of the stage in 1906-07, and was re- 
placed by the spectacular Rawhide rush of 1907-08, the last to date, 
except smaller ones. Hornsilver, 30 miles southwest and once Lime- 
point, arrived in April of '08, but before the country had sufficiently 
recovered from the panic to give it a chance to show what it might 
have done under favorable circumstances. It was during the stampede 
to Rawhide, when it was at its height, that a childish hand scribbled 
on a Goldfield church door, "Church closed Krist gone Rawhide," 
and some wag wrote below, "never to return." 

In addition to mining, Esmeralda County has few industries. The 
promising coal field at Coaldale deserves mention, along with the gold 
and silver. Fuel has been dug there for years, but not until the last 
year or so, since the grade has improved with depth, could it be made 


commercially profitable. Borax and salt are still collected in several 
localities when the plants are in operation. The cattle and sheep 
business flourish when water is pumped to the surface for their use. 
A little dry farming at Pigeon Springs gave gratifying results, though 
done on a small scale. Politics have been reduced to a science and so 
should be classified as among the active pursuits of men without busi- 
ness of their own sufficient to engross their energies. Such suffer 
less than their constituents. From the first the best talent has been 
engaged in development enterprises, to the great prejudice of the 
public weal. 

Many enterprising geniuses find profit in dealing out liquid refresh- 
ments at all hours of the day, frequently combining this pursuit with 
the kindred dance hall and games. It is to be suspected that the two 
former serve as bait for the latter, enticing the victim into the net 
and putting him in the proper frame of mind to separate from his 
lucre. Less flourishing than in the boom days, all of these means still 
reach the desired end with satisfying certainty. But in the hey-day 
of the camp the gambler had the most cunningly devised device ever 
thrown off by the human brain, when considered in all its ramifi- 
cations. As soon as the unwary, or initiated, for that matter, had 
gathered in response to beckoning lights, glowing warmth, the mock- 
ing feminine voice or more often the persuasion of the decoy as 
soon as the proper temperature had been reached and the throng was 
like ants in a formicary, the play was on with the percentage against 
the visitor, of course. There were two kinds of operators behind the 
game the old-timer who played for the sake of the game, and the 
designing gentleman, who played for the gain. He got the latest news 
of the new strikes, the first news, and so could have the refusal of 
investment with the other fellows' money. When the genial pros- 
pector had been thoroughly stripped he was treated as the farmer's 
cow, urged with a kick to new pastures to replenish the supply, only 
to return to the milk gap in due time for another milking. It was 
hugely profitable. 

It now remains to relate in brief the salient facts in connection 
with the most unfortunate event of Goldfield's history, the lamentable 
labor troubles of 1906-07. Space forbids the recital of details, even 
if propriety would sanction the reopening of old wounds and the 
uncovering of ugly scars that are best forgotten. The full limits of 


this article would not suffice properly to introduce, let alone discuss, 
the subject to a conclusion. The whole controversy was but another 
phase of that world-old struggle for adjustment of the relationship 
of employer and employee. After-happenings have demonstrated that 
no final solution was made except locally. 

As many forwarding causes had united to bring Goldfield to its 
happy situation in the fall of '07, so numerous untoward conditions 
contributed to aggravate the issue between mine owner and mine 
worker, chiefest among these being the panic with the consequent 
crashing of banking institutions and the scarcely less potent influence 
of the mesalliance formed between the highly-skilled miners and the 
ill-assorted, heterogeneous mass of Industrial Workers of the World. 
Almost from the outset, the contest degenerated into a fight, not be- 
tween mine operator and miner, but between operator and the I. W. W. 
Of course, there had been from the first, as must be expected where 
any considerable body of men come together, more or less friction be- 
tween the man who paid and the man who received wages, but all 
differences up to this time had been adjusted and most likely could 
have been settled again but for the unskilled labor that was unaccus- 
tomed to treat with its employer. The final straw was dropped when 
the banks went on a script basis and the operators tendered it in pay- 
ment for labor November 18, 1907. Then history was made with 
staggering rapidity. 

At first the great unorganized body of the people tried to remain 
neutral, at least to conceal their sympathies, hoping to remain out of 
the gathering storm. They were ultimately to be the real sufferers, 
ground between the upper mill stone of organized capital and the 
nether mill stone of organized labor. The force exerted between 
these elements would have crushed into pulp all the ore in the dis- 
trict within a fortnight if properly directed. Finally excesses drove 
the unwilling middle-man into a partnership from which he could but 
at best retire badly damaged. Then the deadline was drawn for the 

No well-informed man believes the rank and file of the miners 
desired trouble ; on the contrary, they themselves knew that many of 
their number had just escaped from a disastrous campaign with 
their families and without money, and that to a place where there 


was but the single industry of mining, upon which they were de- 
pendent by days' wage for bread. To court disagreement with their 
employers meant madness, and these men have never been suspected 
of that. In a word, the miners had been supplanted in their own hall 
by the very weight of allied numbers. On the other hand, the oper- 
ators were dependent upon the uninterrupted production of their 
mines and their operation by these same miners to meet their matur- 
ing obligations, in some instances the purchase price, most of them 
then being men of moderate means. This was the alignment when 
challenges were given and accepted. 

November i8th the mine owners and operators passed and pub- 
lished a resolution to pay the miners with script on and after that 
date, and "until the present financial crisis is passed." The W. F. M. 
Local 220 met this by adopting a resolution the 26th with but one 
dissenting vote, to refuse script in payment for labor, and on the next 
day called out 1,200 of its members. December the 3rd the Mine 
Owners' Association countered by declaring all past agreements with 
the union abrogated because no referendum vote had been taken in 
calling the strike. Up to this time the honors were about even. But 
the union had over-calculated the strength of one element, the atti- 
tude of the Governor. He had publicly and privately often declared 
his adherence to the laboring man and without his intervention against 
them they well knew the victory was theirs. The Sheriff was their 
sympathizer, too, and the ordinary way of enlisting Federal aid was 
for the Sheriff to certify to the Governor that he was unable to con- 
trol the situation with safety to life and property, and in the ab- 
sence of an adequate State police force it then became the Governor's 
duty to appeal to the Federal Government. This was the coup that 
won. The Sheriff remained steadfast, but under great pressure Gov. 
Sparks reluctantly made the call December 4th or 5th, the Federal 
Government responded promptly, and December 7th three companies 
of the 22nd Infantry, under Col. Alfred Reynolds, detrained in Gold- 
field, and the fight was won for the Mine Owners' Association. Gov. 
Sparks arrived the loth, Gen. Funston the i2th, and a special com- 
mission appointed by the President reached Goldfield from Washing- 
ton the I5th of December. Gen. Funston immediately went into con- 
ference with Gov. Sparks and the latter's personal representative, 


Capt. W. L. Cox. The Federal Commission, consisting of Assistant 
Secretary Murray of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Labor 
Commissioner Chas. P. Neill and Herbert Smith, Commissioner of 
Corporations, made an independent investigation and reported back 
to Washington adversely to the Mine Owners' Association as to the 
need of troops. In the meantime, December Qth, two days after the 
arrival of the troops, the Mine Owners' Association issued a statement 
placing the ban on the members of the W. F. M., set the I2th for 
reopening the mines and required all other miners to report for work 
that day, and made as a condition of employment the signing of an 
agreement prepared by the Association, the Tonopah scale going into 
effect. This scale was somewhat lower than the former Goldfield 
scale. On the appointed i2th, 56 men reported for work at the 
Combination mine and mill. Later, strikebreakers were imported to 
take the place of the W. F. M. men who were not acceptable. 

Gen. Funston returned December iQth, but Gov. Sparks remained 
some time, and then went home, soon to die. President Roosevelt 
on the nth -directed that the troops preserve an absolutely impartial 
attitude between the factions, and this was observed to the letter, 
the soldiers fraternizing with the miners and citizens on the friendliest 
terms, no one doubting that they would do their duty under orders. 
On the i7th the President informed Gov. Sparks by telegraph that 
the troops had been here ten days and no need of their presence ap- 
pearing, he would therefore order them returned to their former sta- 
tion December 3Oth, unless the State of Nevada showed in the mean- 
time its good faith by taking steps to police its own territory. Ac- 
cordingly, the Governor issued on December 3Oth a call for an extra- 
ordinary session of the Legislature, to convene January I4th follow- 
ing. To influence the President to retain the troops in Goldfield pend- 
ing their action, a Memorial and Joint and Concurrent Resolution 
was passed by the Senate and approved January I7th, and a Joint and 
Concurrent Resolution was passed by the Assembly and approved 
February ist, bearing the same import as that of the Senate. On 
January 2gth the so-called Nevada Police Bill was approved. 

The troops remained until toward spring, when the State Police 
assumed their functions for several months. In the meantime the 
mine owners organized a compact body of secret service men, the 


nucleus of which came into existence during the troubles of the pre- 
vious years, to take the place of the State police, when they should 
be withdrawn. Their main function being to protect the largest 
bodies of high-grade, they became a needless expense with its prac- 
tical disappearance, and so they, too, have been greatly reduced in 

To-day nothing but wounds and scars remain of that needless strife, 
and the memory of it alone should conjure both capital and labor to 
avoid the like again. The innocent suffered most, as might have been 
expected, and no principle was finally settled. 

The bituminous coal fields of southwestern Nevada, located near 
Coaldale in Esmeralda County, were discovered in the early 8o's by 
a German prospector named William Groetzinger, operating under a 
grub stake agreement with William A. Ingalls, then a merchant of 
Candeleria, Nevada, and now Sheriff of Esmeralda County. Later, 
other entries were made by Clay Peters and William Wilson, both of 
whom, including Ingalls and Groetzinger secured government title by 
patenting the locations after having done a considerable amount of 
preliminary work in the way of developing the discovery. These 
titles were afterwards acquired by L. K. Koontz and associates, of 
Goldfield, Nevada, and Pittsburg, Pa., who after the expenditure of 
no less than $50,000 in development have succeeded in proving up a 
limited area of semi-bituminous coal, good for ordinary commercial 
purposes, and have placed several cars with satisfactory results in the 
local market of Goldfield, Tonopah, Blair, Millers and Mina. The 
veins are dipping to the east so far as developments show and while 
there appear to be about five different strata, yet only two have thus 
far been developed to commercial importance, showing from four to 
six feet of marketable product. The coal is comparatively free from 
an excess of ash and sulphur and has improved materially with devel- 
opment as depth and pressure have been attained. 

Developments thus far show that this coal deposit may become 
an enterprise of prime importance in reducing the cost of fuel for 
local domestic purposes, and as it appears to have a fair coking quality, 
it may constitute a factor in the economic reduction of the vast met- 
alliferous ores which abound in the vicinity, by smelting or roasting. 
The property is owned by the Nevada Coal Co. and a part of it is 


under lease to the Nevada Coal & Fuel Co. on a royalty basis. It is 
situated on the Tonopah & Goldfield Railroad and can be reached by 
a switch about a mile and a half long. The veins are somewhat de- 
ceptive at their outcrop, both as to quantity and quality, as they have 
been subjected to disintegration and expansion by exposure, but 
almost invariably assume a normal condition by a few hundred feet of 
development work. The State -may well congratulate itself in having 
a possible fuel supply within its borders and so readily accessible, for 
should the deposit respond to future development as well as it has 
in the past, whereby an estimate of 50,000 tons of commercial coal is 
exposed by superficial development of only 3,000 feet, it is not un- 
reasonable to suppose that 10,000,000 tons would be a fair estimate 
of the possible contents of the territory. 

The allotted space has been exceeded with the merest fraction told, 
the enforced topical method pursued scarcely erecting enough sign 
posts to point the way. However, with here and there a lapse into 
reminiscence, the periods of discovery, organization, expansion and 
ultimate concentration, through which Goldfield has passed, have 
been indicated with more or less emphasis. The effort is in vain un- 
less it has been made clear that both the city and the mines sprang 
from the co-operating brain and brawn of a poor but brave and hardy 
pioneering stock. Outside capital and tenderfoot both arrived after 
the merit of the camp had been demonstrated, the miners' wives 
preceding them. Nor could a graver notion be formed than to ac- 
count the camp-builders ignorant or uncouth. After-years have not 
improved the original breed. Goldfield had more college and profes- 
sional men in 1905 than any other city of its size in the country ; they 
had left the drones at home. A mining camp offers the sharpest in- 
tellectual competition. "Wildcatters" were recruited from the new- 
comers rather than from the old-timers. The apparent lawless, open- 
hearted abandon was a surface deception ; at the core there was wom- 
anhood and manhood of the sturdiest type. Glamour and romance 
there was in plenty. The lilt of hope displayed itself in every step. 

It was such a people that built a city of 20,000 within three years. 
Its well-laid foundation withstood the combined attack of a panic and 
a labor war. While building their city, still greater marvels were 
being performed in the mines that have in ten years time yielded near 


$75,000,000 gross, to be poured into the hungry arteries of yawning 
commerce, and the production goes on in goodly fashion. The pro- 
digious achievement was wrought by the co-operation of the many. 
If the division of the profits has not been as even as the division of 
responsibility the impersonal system can be loaded with the blame. 
But behind the system is found the individual always. Every citizen 
is a part of that system. 




Humboldt County gets its name from the Humboldt River, which 
enters its borders near the southeastern corner, runs to the northwest 
for a distance of some sixty miles ; then, turning to the southwest, the 
stream continues to the Humboldt Sink, or Lake, near the center of the 
southern line of the county. This river cuts its way persistently through 
a series of north and south mountain ranges, and formed the natural 
and easiest route for the early exploration and travel of the inter-mountain 
region. During its meanderings through the county the channel of this 
stream traverses a distance of some 160 miles. Along its course are a 
series of basins which were at different periods the points at which it 
terminated and lost its identity in the waters of the great inland sea 
which covered this entire region. As the waters of this sea receded 
toward the present low levels of the Humboldt and Carson sinks, the 
channel of the river was extended through a series of "narrows" or 
canyons. At right angles to the valley of the river, and lying between 
the mountain ranges, are other broad valleys and plains, most of them 
of desert nature, but which are now being rapidly settled and irrigated 
from small mountain streams. Thus it will be seen that Humboldt 
County has a great variety of valley and mountain lands, suitable for 
agriculture, grazing, stock raising and mining. Some of the mountain 
peaks have an elevation of 10,000 feet above the sea level and 5,000 feet 
above the surrounding plains. The Humboldt River and its tributaries 
form the principal water supply for the irrigation of lands, though small 
mountain streams furnish the supply for some quite extensive individual 
ranches in the various parallel valleys. 

The climate of the county is the average of the inter-mountain region, 
being neither extremely cold in the winter nor extremely hot in the 
summer. Grains, grasses, the hardier fruits and berries, besides a great 
variety of vegetables, are readily grown, finding a good market in the 
towns and mining camps of the county. There is a continually increasing 


variety of crops being grown, chief among which is the sugar beet. On 
the bench lands new ground is being put into vines and fruit, to be 
irrigated by pumping-plants. 

The overland travel through the county in the early days followed the 
course of the Humboldt River to a point known as "Lassen Meadows," 
from the residence there of a man named Lassen, who afterward moved 
to California and from whom the Lassen County of that State is named. 
This place was on the river, about four miles west of Humboldt House. 
Here the overland route divided, the main travel going across the river 
to the West, out through the Cedar Springs Pass to the Black Rock 
Desert, through Susanville and the Beckwith Pass in the Sierras, to the 
gold fields of California. The lesser travel came on down the Humboldt, 
past old Fort Churchill and on to Carson City and Virginia City. In 
reaching Placerville, California, they went up the West Carson River, 
around the southern end of Lake Tahoe and on down to Placerville. 
Among the popular stage and express lines through the county in early 
days was the one coming down from Silver City, Idaho, crossing the 
river at the old French Ford (Winnemucca), leaving the Humboldt 
Valley at a point near Mill City and bearing southwest down through 
Dunn Glenn, the Buena Vista Valley below Unionville, Jacob's Well, 
Zimmershed's, Streif's Buffalo Springs, Mud Hole Well, Grimes' Well, 
White Cloud Well, Desert Well, Stillwater, and on to Virginia City via 
Ragtown. Many of the above-named stations are now completely oblit- 
erated, but the well-worn trail is still used and can be seen in its course 
for nearly the entire distance. It must have been a regularly surveyed 
route, for it runs in a straight course for long distances. 

One of the great assets of the county in years to come will doubtless 
be its many hot springs, situated at some point in nearly every one of 
these mountain valleys. These springs are usually at the base of some 
mountain range, and some very pleasant resorts have been established 
and built up around them. Others are still in their native state but, 
because of the native great healing virtue of their waters, must become 
famous health resorts some day. One of these springs, known as the 
Kyle Hot Springs, is situated in the Buena Vista Valley, twelve miles 
east of Unionville. This spring has never been known to fail in the 
cure of rheumatism and is far famed for its having effectually and per- 
manently cured venereal diseases of the worst character. The virtue of 


the water of these various springs will some day become more generally 
known and people will come from long distances to secure relief from 
disease by application of their healing waters. 

Southern Humboldt County. While man might be termed a "land 
animal," still his life and being is always closely associated with the 
receding tide of some great body of water upon the face of mother 
earth. This is the case with the southern portion of Humboldt County. 
Here the waters of the Humboldt and Carson Lakes or "Sinks" have 
been alike the bone of contention of the aborigines and Mecca sought 
by the overland travelers on their way to the California gold fields. 
There are many tales of strife between the Pahutes and Shoshones on 
the north and a mysterious tribe of little red-haired men, known as "man- 
eaters," to the south. But through all this warfare the Pahutes came 
out victorious and are the original "natives" now in evidence in the 
southern portion of Humboldt County, there being quite a village of 
them surrounding a government school, near the town of Lovelock, the 
present metropolis of the southern portion of Humboldt County. The 
legends of strife between these aboriginal tribes are many and varied. 
There is the story of how the Pahutes during one conflict turned the 
course of the Humboldt River, so that they might cross to do battle 
with their enemies ; or how they finally drove them into a cave and 
roasted them alive, and many other tales of barbaric warfare in which 
the Pahutes came out victorious and maintained their supremacy along 
the borders of this great inland sea and retained possession of this rich 
area until the "paleface brother" came and wrested it from them. Be 
these legends true or false, there remains the fact that the main channel 
of the Humboldt used to be along the western foothills, while now it 
is along the eastern, and in the recent taking of guano deposits from 
the caves along the eastern border of the lake were found the skeletons 
and relics of ancient tribesmen. These relics were many of them rare 
specimens of aboriginal art. Nettings of unique weave, moccasins, pot- 
tery, beadwork and other articles that point to the fact that a branch of 
the Aztec tribe were one time in this vicinity, were found. To strengthen 
this theory, that the Aztecs were once here, is the existence of a series 
of hieroglyphics along the mountain cliffs of a canyon above the present 
town of Unionville. These resemble very closely those of the southern 
cave dwellers and are to be seen opposite a large cave located among 


the cliffs on the north side of Star Canyon. Wm. Woolcock, of Union- 
ville, once wandered for two hours in the labyrinths of this cave, and 
yet did not find its ending. To assure finding a way out he unwound 
a cord as he went in, and with the aid of that was able to retrace his 
steps. This cave shows evidence of having been inhabited at one time. 
And then came the "paleface brothers/' first passing through on their 
way to the California gold fields in the excitement of '49, many of them 
stopping to let their oxen feed on the rich grass of the "Big Meadows," 
as the Lovelock Valley was then termed, many of them being forced 
at this point to abandon their outfits and journey on as best they could; 
then returning later to make this their home, having been unsuccessful 
in their search for riches in the California gold fields. Here they estab- 
lished an empire of agricultural wealth, surrounded on all sides by 
mountains rich in deposits of mineral of great variety and extent. Among 
the minerals to be found within a radius of fifty miles from Lovelock 
are gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, tungsten, cobalt, nickel, antimony, 
iron, tin, sulphur, besides many kinds of mineral earths, clays and 
salts. Here their descendants have lived and multiplied, and others, 
hearing of the riches of this valley, have swelled the number of inhabit- 
ants, until the native meadows have been turned to alfalfa fields and the 
waters of the great Humboldt River have been arrested in their flow 
toward the lake and made to water the thirsty earth, and the margins 
of the once famous inland sea have receded, until it is hardly large 
enough to make a good-sized duck pond. It will not be many years 
until the vast extent of this ancient lake bed will be entirely under cul- 
tivation. Marion F. Howell, whose erect and well-preserved form is 
well known to most of the people of Lovelock, is probably the oldest 
living white settler of the Lovelock Valley. He first passed through 
the valley in 1859, going with his father and other emigrants to Sac- 
ramento. From that city they hauled provisions over the Sierras to 
Virginia City, when the Comstock Lode was producing its millions, and 
his historic tales of those days are very interesting. In the year 1861 
Mr. Howell and his father did not return, as had been their custom, 
from Virginia City to Sacramento, but started for Paradise Valley, with 
their ox-teams loaded with supplies and provisions. At Humboldt City 
they found a settlement of some fifty people, and decided to stop there. 
The ruins of this village are still in evidence, situated in a beautiful 


mountain canyon some four miles east of the Humboldt House station 
on the Southern Pacific. Among the ruins are the remnants of sub- 
stantial brick buildings, showing this to have been quite a village at 
one time. 

After some two years' residence at Humboldt City the Howells 
removed to Wadsworth, which was then the terminal of the great over- 
land railroad being built from the Western coast to the East. From 
Wadsworth they returned to live near Ryepatch, bringing with them 
some two hundred head of cattle and other stock, which fed upon the 
native grasses that grew luxuriantly on the Big Meadows at that time. 
Their herds multiplied so that at one time the Howells were known as 
the "cattle kings" of Humboldt County. During these days the mines 
were in operation first in the Trinity Canyon, then at Arabia, then at 
Ryepatch, and at these places the Howells found a ready market for 
beef, hay and other products of their herds and fields, and were in con- 
tinuous and close touch with the development of the southern portion 
of Humboldt County. At one time they sold hay at $1.50 per ton, which 
they had cut on the Humboldt Meadows and hauled to Ragtown, which 
was one of the early settlements on the Carson Sink. So the fame of 
the Lovelock Valley as a producer of hay and feed dates back to the 
early days. 

During these early years the Pahute Indians, who were then the 
inhabitants of this section, were very friendly to the whites, and from 
them Mr. Howell learned many of the legends of Indian warfare along 
the borders of this great inland sea. It seems that the early Indian 
settlers of this section were a tribe of cannibals, described by the Pah- 
utes as small of stature, having red hair and freckled faces. They were 
warlike in their associations with surrounding tribes, and were beaten in 
warfare by the Pahutes many times. 

At last the Pahutes had them surrounded and driven to take shelter 
in boats out upon the lake, making siege upon them and promising 
them release from utter extermination upon condition that they would 
live peaceably and "like brothers." This the little tribe would not 
promise, so the Pahutes held them in siege until finally they managed 
to escape to the mountains on the eastern border of the lake and took 
refuge in the Horseshoe Cave, which has been the subject of much 
interest the past two years on account of relics found therein. Here 


the Pahutes again surrounded them and Chief Winnemucca told them 
that unless they would promise to be good and live "like brothers" the 
cave would be their funeral furnace. The "little man-eaters," as they 
were termed by the Pahutes, would not promise to be good, so huge 
piles of driftwood were made at the mouth of the cave, and, after a 
final useless appeal by Chief Winnemucca that they should come out and 
be peaceable, the tribe of cannibals were burned like rats in a trap. In 
relating this tale of destruction to Mr. Howell the Indians of his day 
stated that after the fires had died down some of the Pahutes ventured 
into the cave to see if they could find any vestige of their vanquished 
enemies, but they could not, and the manner of their disappearance is 
a great mystery among the Pahutes to this day. But this mystery may 
be partially solved by the finding of bodies and relics in this cave during 
the past two years, while the rich guano deposits were being mined 
therefrom and shipped to the coast for fertilizer. 

The man who exerted a lasting influence upon the future of the town 
and valley of Lovelock was the one whose name they now bear, George 
Lovelock. In the year 1862 he came to the valley and established his 
home at a point nearly opposite where the railroad depot now stands. 
Since that time to the day of his death he has been most active in the 
development of all industries in the southern portion of Humboldt 
County. Generous to a fault, he died almost penniless. He was one 
of the first residents of the mining camp of Trinity, conducting a hotel 
and operating mines there. For a number of years he conducted a hotel 
at the smelting town of Oreana, located on the Humboldt River, about 
ten miles north from Lovelock, and at which the ores from the Arabia 
and Trinity mines were treated. This was the first smelting plant known 
to exist in the State of Nevada and was estimated by Mr. Lovelock to 
have cost $250,000. In 1868 the value of the ore from the Montezuma 
mine, in the Arabia district, which was treated at this smelter, was esti- 
mated at $45,000, and in 1880 the best authorities place the whole of ores 
extracted at 30,000 tons, which paid from $30 up to $/oo per ton. 

While engaged in building the home and caring for farm lands which 
he had located in the valley, Mr. Lovelock could never quite give up his 
interest in the minerals he found to exist in the surrounding hills. The 
properties of his latest discoveries are the nickel and cobalt mines 
located in Cottonwood Canyon, about forty miles east from Lovelock, 


and which will some day add new impetus to the mining industry of 
this section of the county and State. 

William Silverwood is one from whom much of the early history of 
the Southern part of Humboldt county can be learned. He came to 
what was then called "Brown's Station," located at the southwestern 
margin of Humboldt Lake in the early sixties. At that time this was 
the terminal of the Southern or Central Pacific, and Mr. Silverwood 
entered the employ of the company as pumpman. The name of the 
station has now been changed to Toy, and the scenes of activity in the 
days when that was a coaling station, supply point, helper station and 
terminal for a telegraph line running to Unionville have passed. Only 
a section-house and a few cabins for the Japs remain, and the trains 
merely give a passing whistle as they go flying by. Up to some years 
ago Mr. Silverwood has been continuously in the employ of the com- 
pany, besides being interested in many industries of the county. His 
name is still on the Southern Pacific payrolls, though he is not required 
to perform any labor. 

Among the very early business men of Lovelock and those who con- 
tributed to the upbuilding of Lovelock may be mentioned the names of 
Edwin C. Ascher, Horace C. Emmons, Stephen R. Young, Patrick K. 
Reid and Antoni Feliz. 

The agricultural development of the Lovelock Valley has been gradual 
but permanent since the later sixties, when small streams were taken 
from the river and thrown out over the natural meadow lands to increase 
the growth of wild grasses and forage plants along the stream and 
around the margin of the lake. By this first rude means of irrigation 
heavy yields of native blue joint hay were secured from the Big Meadows 
and sold at fabulous prices in the surrounding mining camps and to the 
overland stage teams and travelers. Then small patches were put into 
grains, vegetables and other food products, then seeded to alfalfa, until 
now this great desert grass is the mainstay and chief product of Love- 
lock Valley. It is conservatively estimated that the value of alfalfa hay 
produced in this valley will reach the sum of $500,000 per year. In the 
early years of breaking up and seeding this vast acreage large areas were 
sown to wheat, especially along the margin of the lake, some of this 
grain yielding as high as seventy bushels per acre. Combined harvesting 
and threshing machines were used to harvest these vast fields, as many 


as fifty head of horses being used at a time for hauling these great har- 
vesting machines, until the traction engine supplanted horseflesh and 
gasoline took the place of hay as the motive power. Five thousand acres 
in one field was no uncommon occurrence in these days, but the area now 
put in grain is getting limited, the major part of the irrigated fields 
having been seeded to alfalfa, which yields an average of five tons per 
acre annually. To consume this hay many thousand head of cattle and 
sheep are shipped into the valley from the mountain ranges in the eastern 
part of the State every winter, and from here reshipped to the large 
slaughtering and packing houses of the Pacific Coast, as they are needed, 
and as they become fattened by feeding on the exceedingly nutritious 
alfalfa hay. 

To some extent, the farmers of the Lovelock Valley are now getting 
out of the "alfalfa rut" and are producing more of a variety of crops. 
This is not because of alfalfa being an unprofitable crop, but rather on 
account of the present ranches being in smaller holdings, and the desire 
is to make every acre produce to its greatest capacity. With this end 
in view the attention of the farmers is being turned to the culture of 
sugar beets, which the rich alluvial soil of the valley produces in great 
abundance and of high saccharine content. These beets are being shipped 
to the factory established in 1912 at Fallen, sixty miles distant, but there 
is every assurance that a large factory will be built at Lovelock in the 
immediate future. From thirty-two samples of beets raised in the Love- 
lock Valley and sent to the Agricultural Department at Washington by 
John Harrison, the pioneer beet raiser of the valley, an average of 
twenty-two per cent, in saccharine matter was obtained, the highest 
percentage being twenty-eight. 

The irrigation systems now operating in the valley and the acreage 
which they supply, proceeding up the river in their order, are: 

Lovelock Land & Development Co 8,000 acres 

Union Canal Ditch Co 10,000 " 

Rodgers, Carpenter, et al 15,000 " 

Irish-American 5,ooo " 

Old Channel Dam & Ditch Co 7,000 " 

Young Taylor Dam & Ditch Co 5,ooo " 

50,000 acres 


The Lovelock Land & Development Company have a water-storage 
reservoir of sufficient capacity for one irrigation, that is located quite 
close to their lands. 

The Humboldt Land & Irrigation Company has three reservoirs near 
Humboldt Station which have a capacity that is sufficient for one irriga- 
tion for 50,000 acres. The ditch has its inlet near Mill City, is eight 
miles long, twenty-five feet wide on top, fourteen feet wide on the bottom, 
and eight feet deep. This property is owned exclusively by the farmers 
of Lovelock Valley. The successful end of this large undertaking is 
of great importance in providing water-storage for dry seasons and 
increasing the acreage of producing lands in and about Lovelock and 

From its earliest history Humboldt County has been conceded to be 
rich in mineral deposits. Specimen rock brought in by the Indians and 
shown to overland travelers by keepers of trading stations aroused the 
curiosity of the emigrants and caused many of them to abandon their 
trip farther west and hunt for minerals in the Humboldt Range. Others 
had taken some chance specimens of rock they had found during the 
course of their journey to Sacramento and upon landing there had found 
out its great mineral value. An instance of the latter, and probably the 
first mineral found by a white man in Humboldt County, was that dis- 
covered by a Mr. Hardin, in the "black-rock" country, while trveling 
to the western coast in 1859. Mr. Hardin had camped one night at 
the Hot Springs, on the edge of the great Black Rock Desert, now a 
station on the Western Pacific. One of the two teams of oxen in his 
outfit became very sick and as a last resort to restore health he fed 
it the last mite of bacon on hand in their meager larder. The following 
morning the animal seemed to be all right, and after starting his family 
on the road with oxen and outfit, Mr. Hardin started to walk out through 
the hills in quest of game to take the place of the vanished bacon, prom- 
, ising to meet his family at Mud Springs about noon. While going across 
a volcanic outcrop he noticed a peculiar black, metallic-looking rock 
protruding from the volcanic ash, and from this he selected a large 
sample to take with him. Upon arriving at Mud Springs he found 
that his family had already passed that place, but another emigrant had 
lost one of his ox teams there and was making a cart from a portion of 
his wagon, to proceed on his journey with as light a load as possible 


After helping him make the cart Mr. Hardin continued on his way to 
overtake his family, but first hid the greater portion of rock he had 
found in the brush near the spring. Upon arriving in Sacramento this 
rock was assayed and showed high values in silver, and was on exhibi- 
tion in the leading bank of Sacramento at the time Mr. Marion Howell 
and his father, who are mentioned elsewhere in this history, arrived 
there. The rock which he had left hidden in the brush was found by 
a company of emigrants following Mr. Hardin and brought to Sacra- 
mento by them a few months later. 

Some two years later a company of men, headed by Mr. Hardin, 
came back to this county and, in company with Marion Howell, made 
a fruitless search for the lost treasure. The volcanic ashes seem to have 
swallowed it up completely, and it has not been recovered to this day, 
though rich mineral deposits are being worked in that vicinity at the 
present time. Considerable tonnage of sulphur has been produced by 
the Pacific Sulphur Company from sulphur beds near these same hot 
springs and shipped to San Francisco for commercial purposes. 

New discoveries and the organization of new districts followed in 
rapid succession. Buena Vista District was organized in 1861. Though 
comparatively inactive at the present time, this district has produced 
millions of mineral wealth. Among the prominent mines of early days 
were the National, Governor Downey, Alba Nueva, Cass, Joe Pickering, 
Halleck, Seminole, Eagle, Leroy, Agamemnon, Manitowoc, Champion, 
Cedar Hill, North Star, Atlas, Arizona, Hope, etc. In 1878, of all the 
mines in the county only the Arizona and Rye Patch, situated in the Echo 
District and across the mountain to the west, paid a bullion tax, and 
from 1872 to 1878 the Arizona alone produced close to five million 

In 1862, Central District was organized, the principal mine being the 
Fifty-six. A four-stamp mill was built for treating ores of this district, 
averaging $400 per ton. This mill was destroyed in 1876, since which 
time little work has been done. To the south of this and situated on 
the western slope of the Humboldt Range, is Echo District, organized 
in 1863. The principal mine of this district was the Alpha, sold to an 
English company in 1869 for $62,000. Walter Schmidt, the discoverer 
of this mine, is still living at Parran, Churchill County, and can give 
many interesting points of history as to the early mining industry of 


this county. The Rye Patch mine is the principal mine of the Echo 
District, and has been worked to a certain extent up to the present time. 
This company at one time erected a furnace and ten-stamp mill at the 
Rye Patch Station. 

Star Peak is the principal mountain in the southern portion of Hum- 
boldt County, rising to an altitude of 11,000 feet. On the western slope 
of this mountain the Humboldt District was organized in 1860, being 
the first mining district of the county. Humboldt City was the principal 
town, at one time having a population of about 500 people. Nine of 
the mines in this canyon were developed to the depth of some fifty feet, 
but no producing mines were found, though ore-bearing veins up to 
twenty-four feet in width were cut. Sulphur, alternating with gypsum, 
is the deposit of a thermal spring in this vicinity. On the southwest 
slope of Star Peak is the Sacramento District, easily reached through 
a mountain canyon of the same name. The Montana, Bullion, Sacra- 
mento and Nevada were the chief mines at the time of organization. 
The Humboldt Queen, situated in the southern portion of this district, 
has been a mine of some note, though inactive at the present time. For 
nearly half a century Marion Howell has retained the ownership of 
promising mines at the mouth of this canyon, named the Sunrise and 
Crown Point, and work now being prosecuted gives promise of rich 
reward. The richest section of this district at the present time, however, 
is the Pole Canyon, next north of the Sacramento Canyon, in which 
ledges carrying high values in free gold are now being developed. On 
the northeastern slope of this great mountain, in 1861, was organized 
the Star District, the town of Star City being about twelve miles north 
of the present town of Unionville. The district was six miles long, down 
the slope of the mountain, by four miles wide. Star Creek, a stream 
carrying about seventy miners' inches of water at its minimum flow, runs 
down the main canyon of this district and supplies valuable ranches in 
the valley below with irrigation water. The celebrated Sheba mine is 
located in what is termed the lime contact, which runs along the base 
of this mountain. Here the ledge is estimated to be one hundred and 
fifty feet wide and, taken in sectional strata, was estimated in 1868 to 
give the following values: First-class ore per ton, $1,200; second-class 
ore per ton, $250; third-class ore per ton, $150. Some of the assays 
reached as high as $16,000 per ton, but this was when silver was quoted 


at twice the present price ; still the cost of operating was proportionately 
larger. The De Sota was another famous mine of this district. 

Across the Buena Vista Valley, to the east of Star Peak, Sierra District 
was organized in 1863. The town of Dunn Glenn, originally the location 
of Government forts, lately known as Chafey, was the center of the 
district. Mining in this district has been quite continuous and fairly 
profitable all these years since its first organization, selected ore paying 
$1,000 and upward to the ton. Looking from the summit of Star Peak 
to the west, across the Humboldt River and valley, you view the varied 
colored hills of the Trinity and Arabia districts, organized in 1863 under 
the title of the Trinity Mining District. The mines of the Arabia Dis- 
trict were considered at one time to be the richest in the known world, 
the Montezuma mine especially producing a half-ton of metal for every 
ton of ore taken therefrom, and up to 1875, according to the State min- 
eralogist, yielding 3,150 tons of lead and $455,000 in silver. The ruins 
of the old town of Oreana, at which place the ores from this district 
were smelted, are still in evidence at a point along the Humboldt River, 
twelve miles north of Lovelock. These smelters were destroyed by fire 
in the later seventies, since which time the ores have been shipped to 
both eastern and western points for treatment. The Evening Star was the 
chief mine of the Trinity Canyon and was worked extensively in 1864. 
There is considerable activity in these old-time districts at the present 
time, the prospectors of these latter days obtaining more of the gold 
values in porphyry formations. To the north and along the western 
margin of the Humboldt River have been the San Jacinta, active in the 
later eighties, the principal mine being the "Poker Brown" mine, and 
lead and silver being the predominant minerals of the ore; the Antelope 
or Cedar Springs District, of which the Nevada Superior is the principal 
mine; Vicksburg District, organized about the time of the Black Rock- 
excitement; Mount Rose District, located in 1871 on the boundaries of 
what is now Paradise Valley, for many years known as the Paradise 
mine, and now being exploited as the Orange District; and the Winne- 
mucca District. 

But in passing thus hastily over the mining industry of the past in 
Humboldt County, we should not neglect a district lying to the south of 
the great Star Peak, namely, Rochester and Relief. In the early sixties, 
parties from Rochester, New York, started operations on the lime con- 


tact where it cuts through Rochester Canyon, at a point ten miles south 
from Ryepatch. This is a continuation of the Ryepatch ore zone, and 
very similar in characteristics and formation, though it had never 
produced any quantity of ore. Old shafts, inclines and open cuts are 
to be seen at the present time by those going to the new camp of Roches- 
ter, mute evidence of the search made by early pioneers for mineral 
wealth. Upon reaching a depth of some eighty feet the miners were 
driven from these workings by a strong flow of water from an underground 
channel, which they had tapped, leaving pumps in the shaft and barely es- 
caping with their lives. From Rochester Canyon the miners went to the 
south and east some seven miles and established the Relief District. 
The Relief mine of this district has a production record of nearly half a 
million dollars, from workings not to exceed 300 feet. New work 
is now being prosecuted in this district and rich silver deposits are being 
exposed, also ledges of cinnabar and other valuable minerals. 

The present camp of Rochester, just entering upon a tremendous 
production record, is an illustration of the popular saying that "The old 
is ever new." For many years prospectors in the Humboldt Range con- 
fined their operations to the lime contact belts which cut along the base 
of the mountains, both on the east and west side. In this belt or contact 
were the famous Sheba, Arizona, De Sota, Eagle and other mines on 
the eastern slope of the mountains, while in the corresponding contact 
on the western slope were the Ryepatch, Humboldt Queen, Oro Fino, 
Tiger Montana, Sacramento and other mines of the Sacramento District. 
Later prospectors have gone above this lime contact and as a result have 
exposed rich ledges of gold and silver ore in the altered rhyolite or 
Koipato formation of the Triassic age. There has been spasmodic mining 
and prospecting in the Rochester Canyon ever since the early days, but 
it was not until the spring of 1912 that the richness and extent of the 
veins began to be realized. For some seven years previous to that time 
an old prospector named Hutch Stevens, from the Black Hills of Dakota, 
had maintained a camp at the head of American Canyon and kept alive 
a group of claims covering the mountain now known as Nenzel Hill, 
from which center radiate the Limerick, Rochester, Weaver and Juniper 
canyons on the west, and American, South American, Troy, Fisher and 
Cow canyons on the east. In the winter of 1909 this venerable prospector 
perished while going from the Spring Valley stage back to his camp 


during a severe snowstorm, and his body was not found until the fol- 
lowing spring. Among the relatives who have kept these claims alive 
since this tragic death is Joseph Nenzel, a nephew by marriage and an 
able mining man from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Through very 
adverse circumstances, at times not knowing from whence the next bill 
of "grub" was coming, Mr. Nenzel persisted in prospecting arid devel- 
oping these claims, his faithful wife, a niece of the original discoverer, 
living with him in the hills and encouraging him as best she could. In 
April, 1912, Mr. Nenzel exposed a stringer of rich ore tending into the 
Xenzel Hill and began to mine for shipment. 

Among other prospectors who had been attracted to Rochester was 
F. M. Shick, who secured a group of claims at the head of the canyon, 
adjoining the Nenzel claims on the southwest. Upon a portion of these 
claims Walter Moynough discovered rich float and obtained a lease in the 
summer of 1912, shipping float that he had picked from the surface and 
breaking up large boulders of float and croppings from the huge ledge. 
Meanwhile Nenzel had been tracing the Crown Point or Nenzel Hill 
ledge along the crest of the central mountain, and had determined to 
some extent its richness and immensity, but had not begun the produc- 
tion that has since made the camp famous. Moynough and associates 
caught the ledge at its southern end and began shipping from the grass 
roots. Thos. Smaston, Ed. Stiff and H. C. Hardesty were at the same 
time developing the Sunflower group of claims adjoining on the west. 

While this development was going on at the head of the canyon 
Jerry Healey, Wm. Stotts, Cliff De Lome, Claude Campbell, Frank Gol- 
den, and others interested with them, were prospecting Lincoln Hill, lying 
on the western border of Rochester Canyon, about two miles westerly 
from Crown Point. During the summer they discovered much high- 
grade float, breaking up and sacking boulders rich in free gold and 
exposing ledges that assayed high in gold and silver values. By the 
first of November of 1912 nine carloads of ore had been shipped from 
the properties on Nenzel and Lincoln hills and the public began to "sit 
up and take notice" that there was something doing in Rochester Canyon. 

Frank Reber, of the National Miner, was attracted to the camp 
about this time, and sent out word of its mineral riches to the mining 
world. Experts and investors were attracted to the camp and soon a 
great mining boom was again on in Nevada, and Rochester was the 


new Eldorado, toward which all were treading. Within three months 
three towns were platted within a distance of two miles; tents, shanties 
and more substantial buildings followed each other in rapid succession; 
large companies were capitalized and extensive development work started 
along the huge ore ledges both on Nenzel and Lincoln Hills, the greater 
portion of the work being done under the leasing system. A population 
of 2,500 people was soon living in the canyon and another Goldfield 
was predicted to have been started. The "boom" has passed and many 
have gone from the camp disappointed, some have realized comfortable 
fortunes from their findings there, but the development and production 
of the camp has but just begun, and every foot of development work 
being done and there are a great many of them is demonstrating 
the permanency and richness of the ledges in the Rochester District. 
Milling plants are being installed, the field of known ore bodies is being 
rapidly extended, the payroll is increasing from month to month, now 
averaging about twenty-five thousand dollars per month, and another 
producing camp has been added to Nevada's mining laurels. Oreana, 
now named Nixon by the railroad company, is the nearest railroad point 
to Rochester, being twelve miles from Nenzel Peak. It has grown from 
a side-track to an active forwarding town with the growth of the camp 
and will continue to grow until such time as the railroad sees fit to 
extend its line up through Rochester or Limerick canyons, plans for 
which are already being formulated. 

But the history of this rich mineral section would not be complete 
without mention of the placer mining in Spring Valley, Dry Gulch and 
American canyons, which extend from the summit of the Humboldt 
Mountains, as they pass through the present Rochester District, down 
to the Buena Vista Valley at their eastern base. Placer gold was dis- 
covered in these canyons in the early seventies and was worked exten- 
sively for some years by Chinamen, who had leased the ground from 
L. F. Dunn and his associates, and are credited with having extracted 
ten millions of dollars from the rich gravels of these canyons. The pin- 
cipal canyons are honeycombed with their old shafts so that it is hardly 
safe to drive down them with a rig. They extended their work to 
Rochester, Weaver, Limerick and adjacent canyons to some degree, but 
not on a paying basis. At present the Federal Mining Company, com- 
posed of Iowa and Chicago capitalists, are installing a large dredger 


in Spring Valley, while other parties are sinking shafts and running 
tunnels in the placer channels of American canyons, to work below the 
fifty-foot level, which was as deep as the Chinamen had sunk. So the 
Humboldt Range bids fair to again become productive in placer gold as 
well as from ledges. 

Seven Troughs is chief among the mining camps developed during the 
later years. It is situated in the Stone House range of mountains, thirty 
miles west from Lovelock. It was discovered in the fall of 1905, Wm. 
Stautts, Frank Crumpacker, Joe Therien, and Alex. Borland, all of Love- 
lock, being among the first to secure locations in the canyon. It de- 
rives its name from a series of seven troughs which had been placed below 
some springs in the canyon by stockmen for watering stock. The water 
was brought to the surface by a large black basalt dike which cut through 
the mountain, crossing the canyon at this point, and along which contact 
the ore was found. From this central location the ledges were traced 
to the north and south. Farrell, in the Stone House canyon, being at 
the northern extremity and Vernon at the southern end of the district, 
an extreme distance of twelve miles. Soon the fame of this new 
discovery spread to the southern camps of Tonopah and Goldfield and 
prospectors and mine operators came from those camps in great numbers. 
The entire district was soon covered with monuments and great things 
were predicted for the new bonanza camp. Four towns, Vernon, Mazuma, 
Seven Troughs and Farrell were established, each gaining quite a popu- 
lation and considerable activity was evidenced throughout the entire dis- 
trict. Mills were built at Mazuma and Seven Troughs, the latter by the 
Seven Troughs-^Coalition mining company of which L. A. Friedman is 
President and General Manager, and the former by the Nevada-Darby 
Mining and Milling Company. July I7th> 1912, the towns of this district 
were devastated by a great water-spout, washing away buildings, mills, 
people, and leaving a path of desolation and suffering in its wake. Nine 
were killed outright, three others succumbed to wounds, and several were 
severely injured in the flood, and the property loss was estimated at a 
quarter million dollars. The district has never fully recovered from this 
great disaster, though work has been steadily prosecuted on most of the 
mines and the mills have been repaired and in operation. It is estimated 
that this district has produced a million dollars up to the present time, the 
greatest depth reached in the workings being eight hundred feet. Much 


ore is now blocked out in the district and the production era has but just 

To the south of the Seven Troughs, and in the same ore zone, are sit- 
uated the camps of Velvet, sixteen miles west from Lovelock ,and Jes- 
sup, twenty-four miles southwest of Lovelock. Neither of these camps 
have reached the producing stage, though very good values and exten- 
sive ore bodies are being developed in both. In the Sahware range of 
mountains, next west of the Stone House range, is located the Juniper 
mining district. This is thirty-five miles west of Lovelock, in the extreme 
western part of the county. The Nevada Development company, of which 
Mr. J. T. Reid is resident agent and with him has New York capital 
associated, is developing promising copper deposits in this district. 

"Kennedy" District on the east side of the "East" Range now having but 
a few inhabitants was the scene of an excitement attending its discovery 
in 1893 that attracted the venturesome from all parts to this promising 
district. Soon after the erection of mills adapted to work free milling 
ores, it was found that a serious error had been made and since the com- 
panies had expended all their available capital the district with its promis- 
ing veins of base ores had to suffer a long period of idleness. Renewed 
interest is now apparent, and it is thought that the district will at no dis- 
tant date figure somewhat in the State's mineral producion. 

Though Humboldt county has an area of 11,000 square miles it has 
a population of only 8,000 people, therefore it cannot have any very 
large towns. During the half century since the advent of the white man 
into this county many settlements have risen to more or less magnitude, 
then dwindled to nothing, chiefly because of the rise and fall of various 
mining camps. Some of these towns have vanished so completely that not 
a vestige of them is left, a few dilapidated ruins mark the site of 
others, while still others remain in all their former strength and with 
steadily increasing population and activities. As examples of the first 
mentioned we would name Aetnaville, Torryville and the Old Oreana, 
in the Trinity and Arabia districts. Star City, Humboldt City, Unionville, 
and Rye Patch in the Humboldt range are fair examples of the second- 
named class ; while illustrating the latter we would name Paradise, Love- 
lock, Mill City, and Winnemucca. 

Humboldt City, is credited with having been the first white settlement 
in the county, having been established as early as 1860. The ruins of this 


place are still in evidence at Humboldt canyon, about two miles east of the 
station by that name on the Southern Pacific railroad. A correspondent 
of the Humboldt Register, published at Unionville during the early sixties, 
under date of May 2, 1863, thus describes the town as it was then : "A 
picturesque and beautiful village, containing some 200 well-built houses, 
some of which are handsome edifices, and many beautiful gardens that 
attest the taste and industry of the inhabitants. A beautiful, crystal stream 
of water diverted from its natural course, runs a little babbling stream 
through every street. * * * * Humboldt City contains two hotels, 
kept in good style, one the Coulter House, by Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Nichols, 
the other, the Iowa House, by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson; two saloons, one 
blacksmith shop, two stores, four families and children, chickens, pigs, 
and dogs enough to give the place a lively appearance. All signs of life, 
however, have now passed away and this once lively village is but the 
abode of chipmunks, squirrels and horned toads. 

One of the most historic towns of the county is Unionville, which is 
still quite a little settlement, situated eighteen miles south from Imlay, 
the first freight division east of Reno on the S. P. railroad. The town 
was originally laid out about a mile up the canyon above its present site by 
Captain Hugo Pfersdorf, who with J. C. Hannan and four Indians, and 
having two donkeys loaded with supplies, had come from Virginia City 
in quest of a new Eldorado. They had been piloted to the place by the 
Indians, who had brought specimens of rich rock to Virginia City and 
seemed willing to show from whence it came. But the Captain held the 
lots in the new town at a high figure, so the story goes, and Chris Lark, 
a later arrival, started a town upon ground he had located at the present 
site of Unionville, and soon had a hundred buildings in course of con- 
struction thereon. 

A majority of citizens of the new town being in sympathy with the 
southern forces in the conflict then in progress, the town was called 
Dixie, but within a year many Union men came to the camp and succeed- 
ed in changing public sentiment so that on July 14, 1861, the name was 
changed to "Unionville" and the Stars and Stripes waved triumphantly 
to the mountain breezes. Upon the organization of Humboldt county 
in 1862, Unionville was designated as the county seat by the Governor of 
the State, which title it held until 1872, when Winnemucca was given 
that honor. The population of the town in its best days reached as high 


as 1,500 people, three stamp mills were in operation, two of them of ten- 
stamps and one of five ; there were two stores, saloons, restaurants, livery 
stable, postofftce and express office, telegraph office and a Methodist 
church building which cost $2,500. The buildings were of wood, adobe 
and stone, some of them being quite large and very substantially built, 
remaining in a fair state of preservation to this day. 

The ores from the surrounding mines were crushed by the stamp mills, 
passed over concentrating tables and into amalgamating pans. The yield 
from the first crushing and amalgamation was but 40 to 50 per cent of the 
assay value, but the tailings were worked over, after standing awhile, and 
a fair proportion of their value was recovered by a simple repetition of 
the pan-process. The yield from the raw ores during the first process was 
$25 to $40 per ton, while the tailings the second time yielded $20 to 
$30 per ton. 

To be seen upon the hill-side in the upper part of Unionville is the 
ruins of the Stone Cabin that was once the abode of "Mark Twain" 
(Samuel Clemens) when he was a prospector and before he became 
famous as an author. He was one of the party succeeding the first party of 
explorers that came to Unionville. Many of the prominent men identified 
with the early history of the State were those who had been the first 
residents of Unionville. 

At present there is a population of less than one hundred people 
living in Unionville. There is a small two-stamp mill in operation. 
The canyon is planted in orchards which produce excellent fruit and it 
is, withal, a most picturesque and pleasant place in which to live. The 
Buena Vista valley, lying to the east of and below the town, has some 
extensive and very productive ranches within its borders, and it is cer- 
tain to become one of Humboldt counties best farming sections. 

Star City, a town of considerable importance in the earlier days, was 
situated directly north of Unionville, in a canyon by the same name. 
Its chief support was from the operation of the Sheba and De Sota mines. 
It possessed a number of large buildings, stores, postoffice, express and 
telegraph office. One of its hotels is said to have cost $40,000. A 
mill of ten-stamps and four reverberatory-furnaces for roasting the ore 
was built at the mouth of the canyon but was later removed to Unionville. 

Mill City, established in 1863, was the railroad point for Unionville, 
Star City, Dunn Glenn, and adjacent mining camps. It is on the main 


line of the Southern Pacific railroad, eighteen miles north from Unionville. 
As its name indicates, it was intended to be the milling center for the 
rich mines and here was built a foundry for castings needed at Mills over 
the eastern part of Nevada and surrounding districts. It was along 
the proposed course of the Humboldt canal. This canal project was in- 
corporated in 1862 by an Italian named J. Ginacca, a resident of Winne- 
mucca, and associates living in San Francisco. The canal, starting twenty- 
eight miles from above Winnemucca, was to have been 90 miles long, 
fifteen feet wide and three feet deep. About $100,000 was expended in 
constructing the canal to Winnemucca, where it was abandoned, leaving 
Mill City high and dry. 

One of the early settlements of the county was Dunn Glenn, its set- 
tlement dating back to 1862, and in 1863 a company of United States sol- 
diers were stationed there to keep the Indians in check. At one time 
the population reached 350, but is now down to almost nothing. In 
later years the settlement has been known as Chafey, from the Chafey 
mine and mill which is located there. Besides the mining and milling 
carried on in a small way, there are a few familes interested in stock and 
ranching living there, this giving the place more permanency than if it 
were merely a mining camp. It is situated nine miles from Mill City and 
twenty miles from Winnemucca. 

One of the places most attractive and likely to be remembered by 
the Overland Traveler of the early days is Humboldt House, which was 
one of the principal eating stations on the Overland route. Here the 
natural desert waste had been obliterated, by the application of a 
supply of water from mountain springs, and the trees, shrubbery, ber- 
ries, verdant lawn, roses and other flowering plants produced must have 
been a welcome sight indeed to the weary travelers during their journey 
across the Great American Desert. A thousand fruit and shade trees 
were grown on this oasis of some thirty acres. The fruit trees pro- 
duced peaches, pears, apples and apricots equal to those of California, 
while cottonwood, locust, willow and oak trees gave the welcome shade. 
This garden spot has been somewhat neglected of late years, for there are 
no more Overland eating stations, and only a few section-men are living 
there, but it is still a place of beauty and a joy to the weary travelers. 

Lovelock, situated near the mouth of the Humboldt river, is the 
first town east of Reno of any size. This place was settled by James 


Blake in 1861. In 1862 the late George Lovelock settled here with his 
family, making his residence opposite where the Southern Pacific depot 
now stands, on the corner now occupied by the Orpheum Theatre. The 
great Overland railroad, then termed the Central Pacific, was built through 
his door yard in 1866, establishing a station directly opposite his home, 
chiefly for the accommodation of mining business of the Trinity district, 
which was then quite active. The old Overland stages used to have 
stations at various points in the valley, along the river, but they were on 
the eastern side of the stream, the route passing along the eastern foot- 

The Big Meadows, around the margin of Humboldt lake, afforded abund- 
ant feed for the stock of emigrants and settlers, and demonstrated the great 
agricultural possibilities of this section. Besides this, there was evidence 
of great mineral wealth in the surrounding mountains, and with the 
natural resources for these two great industries, how could Lovelock 
help becoming the metropolis of the southern portion of Humboldt county, 
as it is to-day and will be in the years to come. Some cities are built 
upon the mining industry, some base their growth upon agricultural 
wealth and development ; the first-named may grow rapidly and be active 
for a number of years, then drop into decay; the second-named may 
be slower of growth but are more permanent and lasting; Lovelock is 
the natural center for a large territory of mining, agricultural and grazing 
territory, and having all these industries to rely upon, its growth has been 
steady and permanent. The valley at this point is about thirty miles 
long, with an average width of eight miles. The soil is a deep, rich, 
alluvial deposit and is very productive. ' Drillings have been made to a 
depth of nearly 500 feet, and bed-rock was not reached, but decomposed 
vegetation was brought up from this depth. No wonder that this section 
has been producing heavy crops of alfalfa year after year for over half 
a century, and yet the fertility of the soil is undiminished. From the two 
or three stores first established along the streets on each side of the railroad 
track, the business section of the town has spread to cross streets, until it 
now covers three blocks, and many of the business houses are constructed 
of brick, stone and concrete and are fitted with all modern conveniences and 
occupied by large mercantile establishments. There having been times of 
quite rapid growth, during the rise of some adjacent mining district such as 
the Seven Troughs and, more recently, that of Rochester; then there 


would be a seemingly dull time, but each succeeding excitement left the 
town with evidence of considerable growth in business and population. 
The chief industry in the valley is the production of alfalfa hay and the 
feeding of same to cattle, sheep and horses, which are brought in from the 
ranges to the north and east. The acreage sown to grain is becoming 
gradually less, being about five thousand acres for the present season of 

The population of the town at the present time is about one thousand, 
and of the town and valley, about sixteen hundred. The last school census 
showed one hundred and forty in the Lovelock district and educational 
facilities are well advanced. Three teachers are employed in the public 
school and two in the Lovelock Branch County High School. The 
average attendance the past year was 91 in the public and 10 in the 
High School. There is a government Indian School here, with a twenty- 
acre tract adjacent platted into lots and leased to the Indians for 
residence purposes. The population of "Indian Town" is about one 
hundred or more. These Indians are chiefly of the Pahute tribe, the word 
Pahute means "Waterless" or absence of water "Desert Indians" being the 
remnants of the native aborigines. They are generally industrious and 
take considerable pride in establishing and keeping up their homes ad- 
jacent to the school. 

While Lovelock town and valley has- been settled for more than 
fifty years, still its growth and industrial development are only in their 
infancy. Hardly one^tenth of the tillable area of the valley is under 
cultivation at the present time. Much of this is held in large tracts 
and worked upon a large scale, which method does not give it as intensive 
cultivation as it would receive under smaller holdings. By means of 
the large storage reservoirs lately constructed at a point west of the 
Humboldt House, thirty-seven miles above the lake, the surplus flow of the 
Humboldt river will be kept from entering the lake and the entire surface 
of this lake bed will eventually be brought under cultivation. With the 
subdivision of the present lands into smaller holdings, and with a steady 
water supply such as the Humboldt storage will furnish, and with the 
added area of the present lake bed under cultivation ; it is a very conserva- 
tive estimate to state that the Lovelock valley will support twenty times its 
present population and that the value of its products will be enhanced in 
a like proporion very rapidly during the next twenty-five years. 


As a counterpart to the Lovelock valley, we have in the Northern part 
of the county Paradise valley. It is situated on both sides of the Little 
Humboldt river, which rises in the Northern part of the county and 
flows southward for nearly one hundred miles, being augmented by other 
streams, until it reaches the main Humboldt at a point near Winnemucca. 
This valley is forty miles long by twelve wide. Its soil is a rich 
alluvial deposit and very productive. About the first of June, 1863, R. D. 
Carr, W. B. Huff, J. A. Whitmore and W. C. Gregg started from Starr 
City on a prospecting trip to the northern side of the river. They crossed 
near the present site of Mill City, followed the Western slope of the 
mountains until they struck Rebel creek, and up that to its source 
near the summit of the range on the Western border of the valley. 
Here an enchanting sight burst upon their view and W. B. Huff involun- 
tarily exclaimed, "What a Paradise." Here all thoughts of mines were 
abandoned and the prospectors began staking out homesteads instead of 
mining claims. March 6, 1864, Richard Brenchley and Charles A. Nicols 
turned the first furrow and a few days later sowed the first grain in the 
valley. From forty-five acres of wheat they harvested one thousand bus- 
hels, for which they received $9,000. The growth of the valley was hinder- 
ed by the hostile appearance of Indians, some of the inhabitants suff- 
ering death at their hands. A military post was established at Camp Win- 
field Scott in 1866. A fort was built in 1868, under contract with the 
government by Reid & Manton but in 1871 the troops were transferred to 
Camp McDermitt near the Oregon line, and the post abandoned. The 
foothills and mountains, on each side of the valley, furnish excellent 
grazing for stock, so thousands of head of cattle, sheep and horses are 
owned by the settlers there. These mountains are also rich in minerals and 
many producing mines add to the resources of the valley. 

Paradise City, the business center of this valley, was established in 
1866 by C. A. Nichols and family. After him came Charles Kemler, J. 
B. Case and others. /The town is situated nearly in the center of the val- 
ley, being forty miles northeast from Winnemucca. It has good school and 
church facilities, prosperous business houses, elegantly fitted and appoint- 
ed hotels. At one time, the Paradise Record, a twenty-four column paper 
was published there, but has of late years been discontinued. So the 
village town has been steadily growing, through varying conditions, 
until it has become one of the substantial towns of Humboldt county. 


Extending northward from Paradise valley is the New Goldfields 
district, rich in the precious metals and containing large deposits of the 
base ores. Chief among the producing mines of this district is the Ohio 
mine. Development work in this section is being accelerated because of 
surety of a line of railroad being built from southern Idaho to tap the 
Southern Pacific line at Winnemucca. Still to the north is located the 
great mining camp of National, which has been world-famed for the 
richness of its mineral deposits. Since their discovery in 1909 these mines 
have produced over four millions of dollars in gold bullion. Leasers 
have been made millionaires, and the finding of new pockets of fabulously 
rich ore, portend the continued production from this high-grade camp. 
Continuing on North from National, we have the Quinn River valley, 
another great agricultural section, of which) McDermitt, located at 
the northern extremity, is the commercial center. The extent of this 
valley is conservatively estimated at 500,000 acres of good agricultural 
land. It is surrounded by large tracts of rich grazing land, making an 
inland empire of vast wealth. This section will soon be traversed by 
a railroad, and, with the new settlement which is drifting rapidly to- 
ward it, will be among the most prosperous sections of the State. 

Adjacent to this Quinn River district on the west are the Disaster 
Peak mines, containing valuable mineral-bearing ledges ; the Pueblo 
valley, a rich agricultural section ; the mining camps of Dyke, Florence, 
Ashdown and Varyville, all in the Pine Forest range of mountains, and 
the mineral values running chiefly in gold. From Quinn River south 
we find the Jackson range of mountains, covering a distance of some 
forty miles. In this district are the camps of Jackson Creek, Deer Creek 
and Red Butte, in which copper values predominate. Journeying on to 
the south we pass through Central district, of which the Blackbird and 
Golden Eagle mines are the chief producers. Rosebud, Sulphur, Saw- 
tooth, Antelope, Black Diamond and Jungo are promising camps which 
have sprung up in this section, incident to the building of the Western 
Pacific railroad west from Winnemucca. 

Winnemucca is the county seat and commercial center of Humboldt 
county. It is situated on the banks of the Humboldt river, at "The 
Great Bend," which term is given to the point where the stream turns from 
its course to the Northwest and flows to the Southwest. Though on the 
line of the Southern Pacific railroad and for many years one of its 


principal division stations, this town was established long before the 
advent of the railroad and is not dependent upon that for its existence 
or maintenance. In the year 1850 it was established as a small trading 
station, on the great overland route to the California goldfields and was 
known as the "French Ford." It is the railroad point for a vast and 
rich inland empire to the north, south and east, and has lately been made 
an important station and division on the Western route. It is near 
the geographic center of the State and aspires to become the State 
capitol. It has good promise of being the terminal of the proposed line of 
railroad to be built from the Oregon Short Line in Idaho, south to 
the Southern Pacific, at Winnemucca, and still further south and west 
to the Pacific coast. It is the largest town in the county, the last census 
showing close to 1500 inhabitants, and it is soon to be incorporated. 

The county buildings here are the Courthouse and Jail, which have been 
erected at a cost of some $75,000 ; a county hospital, costing $50,000 and 
County High School, costing some $20,000. The business buildings of the 
place are very substantial and occupied by many large mercantile com- 
panies and corporations. It has large and up-to-date hotel-buildings, 
churches, school houses and an opera house which cost approximately 
$50,000 and was the gift of the late United States Senator George S. 
Nixon. A liberal appropriation has been made for a Federal Building 
in Winnemucca and a site for the same is now being selected by the 

The town was named by C. B. O. Bannon, nephew of the Secretary 
of the Interior under President Lincoln, who wished to perpetuate the 
name the Pahutes gave to their chiefs and which in their language signifies 
"Place by the River," where he resided. When trie Idaho travel was at 
its zenith, and before railroads had reached that section from other 
points, Winnemucca was a famous stage and teaming center. During the 
years of 1868 to 1874 it reached a population of 1600. In 1872 the county 
seat was removed there from Unionville, it being much nearer the center 
of population. It is now destined to be among the larger cities of the 
"New Nevada," which is springing into being with the influx of a 
more permanent agricultural population. Though the immediate valley 
of the Humboldt is narrow at this point, there are large fertile valleys 
adjacent, of which this is the commercial center. The foothills adjacent 
have a gentle slope, especially on the southern side of the valley, and 


are becoming famous by reason of successful dry-farming activities 

Winnemucca may justly be complimented for its "homelike homes," for 
with hardly any exception they are very tasty and comfortable, with 
abundant shade trees, verdant lawns and the general appearance of be- 
ing a most desirable place in which to reside. The town has excellent 
water and electric-light service, and a sewer-system lately installed at 
a cost of $50,000. With the increment which it must naturally receive 
from the general growth of Humboldt county, with the direct support 
of the adjacent mining camp's of Rexall and Barrett Springs, and with the 
general growth of the entire State of Nevada, Winnemucca will become 
one of the large centers of the Inter-Mountain region. Twenty miles east 
of Winnemucca, in the center of quite an extensive valley, is situated 
the town of Golconda, fast becoming noted as a health resort, from hot- 
springs located there. This is quite a prosperous community, having 
several business houses, a hotel and a good school building, and quite 
a settlement of ranchers adjacent. Two miles west from town is the 
Kramer Hill mining property, under active development and with a fine 
milling-plant. The Glasgow & Western Exploration company have a large 
smelting and milling plant here, with a narrow-gauge railroad running 
to their mines in the Gold Run basin, twelve miles to the south. The 
new mining camp of Gold Circle, or Midas, is forty miles to the northeast 
of Golconda, making that place its railroad point. The town of Gold 
Circle is situated in Elko county, the district being partly in Elko and 
partly in Humboldt counties. The Elko Prince mine, chief among the 
mines of this district, is reported to have been recently sold for $250,000, 
Clover Valley is one of the adjacent agricultural districts to the north 
and the Dutch Flat placer mines, in the same direction, have added 
much to the resources of the town. A short distance northwest of 
Dutch Flat is Eden Valley, another fine agricultural valley, where there are 
large ranches and much fine stock on the ranges. 

The building of the Western Pacific across the entire width of 
Humboldt county has added much to its wealth and development, making 
a section of the county which was formerly desolate and inaccessible 
now easy of access and proving the existence therein of vast mineral 
and agricultural wealth. Entering the county at near the southeast corner, 
the line of the road follows parallel to that of the Southern Pacific, only 


on the northern side of the river, to Winnemucca. Here it diverges from 
the line of the Southern Pacific, bearing more directly west and emerging 
from the county near the center of its western line. The section from 
Winnemucca west, along this railroad, is the one most rapidly coming to 
the front in mining and agriculture. This was formerly known as the 
Great Black Rock Desert, forty miles across, the dread of the Overland 
travelers. In this expanse of desert there is a space fifty miles in length 
by ten miles in width as smooth as a hardwood dancing floor. Much of the 
traffic which was formerly forced to come to the line of the Southern Paci- 
fic at Winnemucca, Mill City, and Humboldt House, is now diverted to 
the new road at Jungo, Sulphur, and Gerlach, the latter being the first 
freight division west of Winnemucca. Adjacent to this road are the 
large deposits of sulphur, near the town by that same name, the mines 
of the Rosebud and Rabbit Hole districts, the latter being worked chiefly 
as placer mines, Cedar Springs, where there is a large concentrating 
plant, and the more extensive revenue in the shipment of livestock from 
the vast ranges among the mountains and valleys of this northern section 
of the county. 

Before passing from the History of Humboldt county, to that of 
others of this great State of Nevada, we would make special note of 
its present wealth and resources and great possibilities for the future. 
Within its borders this county has some of the richest and most 
extensive mineral deposits known to exist in Nevada. Its mines, from 
the earliest history of the county, have been among the heaviest pro- 
ducers of bullion, and the camps of National, Seven Troughs, and 
Rochester, now in their prime, bid fair to continue this record. But 
the mineral wealth of this county, though having been worked for half a 
century, has scarcely been touched. Besides the common ores of gold, 
silver, copper and lead, this county has an abundance of the rarer 
minerals, clays and earths, demand for which is becoming more apparent 
every year. Among these might be named tungsten, antimony, nickel, 
cobalt, bismuth, zinc, cadmium, tin, uranium, vanadium, molybdium, cry- 
stalme and amorphouse graphite ; bauxite, tripoli, gypsum, sulphur, 
nitrates of soda and potash ; the sulphates and carbonates of soda and 
potash, kaolin, borax, mercury and platinum. The development of these 
various minerals, earths and salts, will bring the investment of large 
capital and the employment of many men. Along agricultural and 


horticultural lines, the possibilities for enrichment and increment are im- 
mense. While there is a vast amount of territory within the county 
that is not susceptible of cultivation, still, but a very small part of that 
which is, has been brought under cultivation. Tests in some of the 
mountain valleys, of the planting of fruit trees have proven that fruits 
of rare flavor and perfection can be produced, and this industry is still 
in swaddling clothes ; the experiments in the growth of the sugar beet 
in the Lovelock and other valleys of the county, have proven that to 
be a practical industry for this section and one of great possibilities. 
The great amount of grazing lands adjacent to the ranches makes the 
raising and fattening of stock one of the great wealth-producing in- 
dustries and it is safe to say that a large percentage of the live stock 
slaughtered and consumed in the markets of San Francisco comes 
directly from Humboldt county. The great need is for settlers to 
occupy the waste places. Many of the former ranch holdings are 
being subdivided and placed on the market for small farms; many 
of the valleys that were supposed to be void of water are being proven 
to be supplied with subterranean channels, from which an inexhaustible 
supply can be secured, and these desert places are being rapidly settled 
and made to "Blossom as the Rose." 


The discovery of gold and silver veins of quartz in the great Humboldt 
range of mountains near the north end of the range in 1860, caused 
quite a rush of prospectors and mine-hunters to cast their lot with 
the mountains of the great sagebrush land. These discoveries coming 
so soon after the greatest of all mineral discoveries, that of the famous 
Comstock vein, 1859, caused hundreds to seek fortune and fame in the 
early spring and summer of 1861, in the then wild regions of Humboldt 
County. In the spring of 1862 these discoveries had been opened or 
prospected to a point where assurance of great wealth and value was a 
certainty. Then the wild rush for Humboldt began. Thousands of 
prospectors, mine-buyers, merchants, political and professional men lined 
the roads and trails. Even in those days the professional men were always 


willing to divide even if the toilers did all the work. The politician or 
political position-seeker was satisfied if you helped him out to take all the 
honors. The white metal in those days being the standard, the silver 
prospects commanded the leading price and greatest attention. In many 
cases and almost in general, gold prospects were scorned, passed by and 
left for the future picking of less particular prospectors. 

The canyons of the mountains were soon gobbled up for town sites, 
mill sites, water rights, etc. The side hills were covered with stakes 
representing so many hoped for fortunes and old Humboldt County was 
on the map to stay. Speculation ran high. All sales or dealings were 
made in feet, the price varying according to the size of the vein (not the 
feet). Everybody carried blank mining deeds with them wherever they 
went, as the transfer of feet in certain claims was liable to occur at 
any moment and was of greater value than coin. Store-bills, hotel- 
bills, saloon-bills, professional-bills, and in fact any debts could be 
arranged by a deed of a certain number of feet in some claim. The re- 
corder's office was a fat job headquarters with a dozen or more deputy 
recorders all recording deeds, and yet at times it would be months be- 
fore you would get the recorded deed back. Daily you would see 
messengers, express-men, rushing in with loads of deeds for filing. The 
fees of the office ran up to hundreds of dollars per day. The present 
craze for millions of shares of non-assessable hot-air fake mining stock 
was not discovered until years afterward. This new field brought to- 
gether many splendid men from California as well as a few adventurous 
spirits from the east. I doubt if ever a better class of men, taken all 
around, came together than the early settlers of Humboldt County. 
Buena Vista Canyon was selected as the county seat, in the town of 

There were many lawyers there, some with titles and some who were 
just starting out. Much legal business was transacted representing 
great wealth in the future, yet the disposition to cross swords on 
every mining deal had not become so common as afterwards. Great 
rivalry existed between the different towns, socially, commercially and 
in mining importance. In all a general good feeling of friendly fellow- 
ship always existed between the people of Unionville, Star City and 
Dunn Glenn, the principal towns of the County. Everybody had money 
people came here loaded with gold from California. Nobody was poor, and 


if he was, credit was good. Men paid up in those days plenty of feet, 
and that was better than the early day issue of the greenbacks. 

The late army of lace-boot tack-hammer brigade of mine experts were 
unknown. Occasionally some great professor of some University with 
eye-glasses would come out to examine the geology of the country, and 
the amount of good he did the country as far as mining is concerned, 
would fill one of Greeley's small books. The practical miner, then as now, 
was the man to depend upon for useful knowledge in mining. In 1864 
Nevada became a State. Things were lively then all over the country. 
It was a presidential year with Mr. Lincoln running for a second term, 
with two United States Senators, one Congressman, a Governor, Legis- 
lature, and all county officers to be elected. Of course it was lively, there 
being so many offices to fill and still not half enough to go around. The 
two leading candidates for the Senate were able men old tried war- 
horses. Gov. Nye was the man of all men to campaign in a frontier coun- 
try a vote-getter. Stewart was also good. These two were the principal 
speakers with Prof. Siliman of Yale, Judge Jno. H. Watson from Georgia, 
M. S. Bonnifield, Frank Ganahl, J. A. Banks, Claget and others thrown 
in to fill up. 

That campaign will be remembered long by those who engaged in it it 
was great. We had no Pullman on rails then we went from town to 
town on horseback, in wagons, and on foot. The order of campaign was a 
systematic one to win, planned by a few that had the success of Mr. Lin- 
coln, Nye and Stewart at heart. These men equipped great freight wagons 
with platforms, beds and seats, with a grand-stand in the center on which 
stood a barrel of good old Kentucky rye whiskey with a cup chained to it 
this on each of the three wagons drawn by eight, ten and twelve mules, 
a cannon on wheels drawn by four respectable jackasses, plenty of powder, 
a rawhide band, a quartet of singers, some Indians and some white 
men, much noise, much speaking and much fuss, but no fighting. That 
campaign cost some of the leading spirits of old Humboldt County 
$20,000. Lincoln, Nye and Stewart were elected and the country was 
saved and Uncle Sam, through the great product of gold and silver, was 
able to pay his debts and resume specie payment, mostly owing to 
the State of Nevada. Old Humboldt carried away the honors by winning 
the great silk banner offered by the committee for the District or County 
that would make the greatest showing in proportion to the population. 


That silk banner (36 x 14), waved from a flag staff in Unionville on all 
occasions of importance, holidays, etc., until it was worn out. As there 
was not a tree in the country, a pole had to be imported to raise the 
flag yet many good people cry out for a tariff that the hundred men who 
own all the forests of America, mostly stolen, may be protected and 
helped along generous indeed. 

Most all of that army of early day settlers have gone over the great 
divide, no doubt looking for another new sagebrush land where they may 
be happy and feel at home. Among those of the different professions who 
distinguished themselves in their different callings in life in after years 
as well as in the political field, and who were foremost in importance to the 
country, was that grand old merchant, mill-builder and mine-speculator 
Mr. John C. Fall. Coming to a new country at sixty years of age, with 
but little money and small backing, but with great industry and energy 
and with some aid from a few friends, he built the first quartz mill in the 
County, crushing ore from all mines and prospects helping all. In this 
he made a great success. Mr. Fall's name should always be revered in 
this County. 

Among the other noted men are Hiram Knowles, U. S. District Judge, 
Montana ; William Dixon, Judge at Butte, Montana, and Congressman ; W. 
H. Claget, Congressman, and a great orator and lawyer ; Frank Ganahl, 
a great orator and criminal lawyer; M. S. Bonnifeld, Supreme Bench, a 
member of the State Senate and other political positions (still living) ; 
Mark Twain everybody has enjoyed his humor none will ever forget 
it; Jarnes G. Fair, U. S. Senator; Gov. A. P. K. Safford, eight years 
Governor of Arizona; E. F. Dunne, Mayor of Chicago and candidate 
for Governor of Illinois, and W. K. Parkinson, Comptroller. 

The great travel between California and Nevada over the Owyhee 
trail, and the establishing of a great daily stage line between the end 
of the Central Pacific Railroad as it progressed, soon caused houses and 
forts to be built along the line, and the night-howl of the savage was 
heard no more, instead, peace and plenty has been the order ever 

The old Humboldters are proud of their early doings, of their County 
and State, and delighted to think they enjoyed the early days with their 
hardships and successes, that they lived when men lived, and that it 
did not take two to make an average man, that they blazed the trail 


for those who came afterwards to follow and enjoy in the great sage 
land. It is the same with the early Humboldters as with the old man 
from Maine He may wander all over the world, but as he comes back 
home to the land he loves and smells the codfish of Maine, or the 
sweet odor of the sage, he cries out "Home again Home again," and 
so it will ever be. 


The date of the discovery of the mining camp of Rochester, in Hum- 
boldt county, Nevada, might properly be fixed as June 28, 1912, for it was 
on this day that Joseph F. Nenzel, after having prospected the mountains 
about Rochester for many years with small degree of success, picked 
up the rich silver-float which led to the uncovering of valuable silver 
deposits on what is now known as Nenzel Hill, at the head of Rochester 
canyon. Just previous to this time, Mr. Nenzel had practically gone 
down and out financially. In an effort to secure food for his family 
and himself living in Limerick canyon just over the ridge from Rochester 
canyon, Mr. Nenzel went into the town of Lovelock, 24 miles away. 
He walked the entire distance and there induced three men, Tom Ebert, 
Roy Beeson and John McCracken, to advance $45 grub money, Nenzel 
agreeing to locate for them two claims in which he was to retain a 
fourth interest. He located the Ora Honda claim on Nenzel Hill which 
was sold three months later for $15,000. 

After uncovering the ledge from which the rich silver-float had broken, 
Joseph Nenzel started to mine a carload of the ore. Without assistance he 
worked in the tunnel which he drove into Nenzel Mountain. After taking 
out the ore, he built the trail down the mountain side into Roch- 
ester canyon. Constructing a sled out of the junipers which grew upon 
the side of the mountain, Nenzel dragged his ore down the steep slope 
of the mountain to a point in Rochester canyon where it might be placed 
aboard wagons and teamed to the railroad 12 miles away. George Pitt, 
a Lovelock rancher, was induced by Nenzel to send his teams into the 
canyon to haul the ore to the railroad for shipment to the smelters. The 
wagon road through Rochester canyon was sadly out of repair and 


Nenzel was compelled to do this work of reconstruction besides completing 
the road through the gulch for a considerable distance to reach his 
sacked ore. Finally, after months of laborious effort, the first car of 
ore was shipped to the smelter and gave returns of $72.90 a ton. With 
this encouragement and ready money Nenzel set to work to mine another 
carload of ore. Again he went to the task alone and this second car 
was shipped in September and caused mining men to take an interest 
in Rochester canyon which had been named after prospectors who 
had formerly lived in the city of Rochester, New York, and had prospected 
in the canyon some years before. About the time Nenzel shipped his 
second car of ore to the smelter, Frank Forvilly had struck ore of a 
shipping grade on Lincoln hill, further down the canyon, and a carload 
of ore was shipped from Forvilly's property. Walter Minough, a pros- 
pector and miner, came into the district and secured a lease on the Weaver 
claims owned by Frank Schick. Minough started a tunnel on the western 
slope of the mountain. He also struck shipping ore and sent two carloads 
to the smelter, later gathering up a carload of ore from the surface. 

The district was now attracting considerable attention and prospectors 
importuned Nenzel for leases on his claims on Nenzel Hill. A lease 
was given Messrs. Joseph Platt, William Robertson, Dave Patterson and 
E. A. (Slim) Ludwig. This was known as the Big Four lease and almost 
immediately after the first pick was placed in the ground the ore body 
was encountered. Other leases were given and by the later part of Decem- 
ber, 1912, six months from the day the first piece of rich silver-float 
was picked up by Nenzel, 24 sets of leasers were working on his pro- 
perties. With the striking of ore on the Big Four lease the mining 
excitement which produced three separate towns in less than two months' 
time took place. Rochester broke into prominence and thousands rushed 
into the district. Big prices were paid for leases, companies organized 
and active operations in the district commenced. Like all mining excite- 
ments hundreds of men and women rushed into the canyon utterly without 
purpose or reason and the towns grew faster than the mines could develop. 
A reaction was inevitable and slowly the hordes of camp followers and 
idle men drifted away. 

Almost overnight the town of Rochester came into existence with its 
night-life and typical mining camp population. A tent-city burst into 
being as if by magic. Then followed more substantial buildings. Auto- 


mobile-trucks freighted lumber into the camp. A second town started at 
the base of the mountain nearly two miles from the original town. It was 
called East Rochester. Then squatters took possession of the western 
slope of the mountain and the third town sprang into existence. Far 
above on the mountain top miners were blasting their way through the 
hard rock uncovering the rich silver veins hidden beyond and the thunder- 
ous explosions of dynamite reverberated through the canyon. A new 
mining excitement had gripped Nevada and a new and rich district 
evolved. In a marvelously short period of time Rochester passed through 
the various stages from a prospect to a producing property. Rich veins 
have been penetrated and Rochester bids fair to equal any of the mining 
camps which Nevada has given to the world. 

Rochester is situated 24 miles northeast of the agricultural town of 
Lovelock, Nevada, in the Humboldt Range. The camp is 10 miles due 
east of Oreana, now called Nixon, on the main overland line of the 
Southern Pacific railroad, to which point the ore is shipped to the 
smelters. Neiuel Hill is 7200 feet in height, standing at the head of 
Rochester canyon. To the east are the American canyons where millions 
of dollars in gold have been taken by Chinese and whites in the past 40 
years through placer-mining. To the north is Limerick canyon while to the 
south is Weaver canyon. Rochester is the center of the highly mineralized 
Humboldt Range which has produced some of the greatest mines in the 
history of the State of Nevada. 



Lander County was called into existence by an Act of legislation 
approved Dec. I9th, 1862. It was created by taking portions from 
Humboldt and Churchill counties. It is bounded by the counties of 
Churchill, Humboldt and Esmeralda, and when first created occupied 
one-third of the area of Nevada. In 1862 it was a vast unexplored 
region crossed by two overland routes of travel, the Humboldt Valley 
and Simpson routes. The mines of Pony Canyon were the first dis- 
coveries and the name of Reese River was given to the District. 

The settlement of the country began with the Reese River excite- 
ment. The overland mail route crossed the Valley of Reese River at 
Jacobs Station. East of the Station was a pass i,n the mountains 
through which pony-express riders often traveled as a cut-off, and it 
received the name of Pony Canyon. In this Canyon on May 2nd 
William M. Talcott discovered a vein of rich ore while hauling wood 
from the Canyon. The ore was sent to Virginia City for assay, and 
proving very rich, the news soon spread and there was the usual rush 
to the "new diggins." Reese River Mining District was formed on 
the loth of May, 1862. The first locators were Wm. M. Talcott, Felix 
O'Neil, Augustus Clapp, James Farmer, G. W. Jacobs, J. R. Jacobs, 
A. P. Haws, Joseph Towne, Walter Cary, G. L. Turner, and T. L. 
Grubb. Their locations covered a total of 2,600 feet. The first was 
called the Pony Ledge. 

Here Austin was located and on the 2nd of Sept., 1863, the people 
voted to make it the County Seat of Lander. On May 5th, 1866, a strip 
of territory of one degree of longitude was taken from Utah and added 
to Nevada. This added three square degrees of territory to Lander 
County. This section became known as "The Great East" and Lander 
afterward gave up strips of territory here and there to other counties 
until it became known as "The Mother of Counties." Lander was 
named after Gen. Frederick W. Lander, who served in the Indian war 


of 1860 and was placed by the U. S. Government in charge of the con- 
struction of a wagon-road across Nevada. 

The County Commissioners held their first meeting March 3rd, 
1863. The first Court House was built by J. A. McDonald and cost 
$8,440. The county was divided into thirteen voting precincts. The 
census of July, 1863, showed 1,052 men, no women, and "two young 
children." It is estimated that about 500 prospectors scattered among 
the hills were not enumerated in the census. 

From J. L. Madden's account of the early discoveries the following 
is taken : 

In December, 1862, John Frost, Felix O'Neil, J. T. Vanderbosh and 
Geo. Guffet arrived in Austin. They found J. Marshall and William 
Cole living in a cabin at Clifton, and running a tunnel on the Highland 
Mary, opposite the present site of the International hotel. They 
located the North Star, Oregon and Southern Light lodes and returned 
to Truckee to spend the winter. From these claims grew the Austin 
Manhattan Consolidated Mining Company. Jacobsville was the first 
county seat of Lander County, but this was only temporary, as the 
county seat was moved to Austin on September 2, 1863. On February 
17, 1864, Austin and Upper Austin were incorporated into the city of 

The first bullion output was from Buel's five-stamp mill, which 
started August, 1863. In 1883 there were 29 mills in operation, with 
an aggregate of 444 stamps. The cost of a mill at this time was from 
$125,000 to $250,000, so there was considerable capital represented in 
mills in Lander County. Austin has a record production of $50,000,000 
extracted from an area not more than 1,500 feet square, and an 
average depth of not more than 400 feet. The Reese River district 
comprises a mineral area of over 15 square miles, which has not even 
been scratched as regards mining. 

Prominent among the famous producers of the Lander Hill, or 
Austin mines, and which were not worked to exceed 500 feet in depth, 
are the following: The Panamint, with a record of nearly $7,000,000. 
The Paxton, on which less work was done, but has produced over 
$1,000,000. Buel and North Star produced over $2,000,000. The 
London, on which comparatively little work has been done, but which 
has a record of over $1,500,000. Independence, production over 


$1,000,000. The Oregon, which has a production of over $5,000,000. 
The Isabelle, with a production of over $3,000,000. The Union, pro- 
duction $3,750,000. The Savage and Diana, production $2,000,000. 
Besides various others having excellent records of production. 

At one time there were 69 shafts in operation on Lander hill, each 
shaft being on a different vein system. So far as known there are 100 
vein systems traversing the Lander hill area. The course is east and 
west, the dip is north, and the pay-shoots pitch to the northwest. The 
formation is granulit or microgranite. Nearly every known silver ore 
is to be found in the different vein systems. The principal pay ores, 
or those which have produced the greatest tonnage, are argentite, 
cyrargyrite, pyrargyrite, proustite, stephanites, tetrahedrite (gray 
copper) and chalcocite copper (silver) glance. In reference to the 
gray copper ore in this camp, the antimony is replaced by arsenic, 
and the major portion of the copper by silver, which renders it valu- 
able silver ore. 

Lodes Are True Fissures. The veins or lodes are true fissures 
varying from one to five feet in width and cross-sected by dioritic and 
doleritic dykes, which become considerably altered at the intersection 
of each vein system, that is, the diorites graduate into an altered 
gabbro and the dolerites into an altered andesite. These dykes cut the 
east and west or general vein system diagonally, and show evidences 
of a second Assuring, for the reason that at each and every intersection 
ore shoots form in them, besides, throughout, the dykes carry an 
appreciable amount of pay. The ore deposits form in regular shoots 
and rarely are lenticular shaped. 

The character of the ore is semi-silicious sulphide base below the 
oxidized zone; the ores in the latter zone are chlorides and chloride 
bromides. The zone of bonanzas is the sulphide zone, or zone of 
secondary enrichment. The veins are easily and cheaply mined, 
requiring little or no timbering, and have a dip of nearly 55 degrees, 
which enables the ores to be easily drawn from the chutes by gravity. 

Austin is in a high grade district. The richest ton of silver ore that 
any mine ever produced was extracted from the Panamint stope in the 
Bodie incline, and the same is being developed in the ground of the 
Nevada Equity Mines Company. The ton of ore was shipped to the 
Centennial in Philadelphia, where it was exhibited, and afterwards 


was sold to a smelter in New Jersey for $22,000. The average value 
received in the mills of the Manhattan Silver Mining Company, whose 
properties now belong to the Austin Manhattan Consolidated Mines 
Company, for 20 years average $245.55 P er ton, while the very rich 
ores were not milled, but shipped away for treatment. From 19,522 
tons of ore extracted from the Panamint vein and milled, gave a yield 
of $3,729,322.13, to which may be added fully 10,000 tons worth 30 
ounces aggregate per ton, but being too low grade to be milled at that 
period, was considered worthless and was thrown away with the 
waste rock. From 4,778 tons of ore mined and milled from the Ferrel 
vein, gave a net bullion yield of $1,147,377. From 9,410 tons of ore 
mined and milled from the Independence vein gave a bullion yield of 

Again, in 1869, the government sent as United States Commis- 
sioner of Mining, Dr. Rossiter W. Raymond of New York, who is one 
of our foremost mining engineers of to-day, and who for six years 
reported yearly the operations of this district. His "Mineral Re- 
sources of the West," six volumes, 1869 to 1875, may be found at 
any of the large libraries. In his reports of 1870 to 1875, he says : "I 
examined the prospects of the Manhattan Silver Mining Company. 
From 5,130 tons of ore mined and milled a yield of $828,504 was 
obtained. From 1,137 tons f ore mined and milled from the Oregon 
lode there was bullion yield of $473,560, an average of $312 per ton. 
From the Black lode, 187 tons yielded $51,785 in bullion, or an average 
of $270 per ton. From the Alida lode 103 tons worked gave in bullion 
$20,714, an average of $200 per ton." In his report of 1870 he says: 
"The Reese River district produced 7,677 tons of ore averaging very 
nearly $297.26 per ton, and yielding a total of $2,278,749." His report 
of 1875 says: "From 300 tons of ore extracted from the Silver Cham- 
ber, a yield per ton was obtained of $435, or a total of $152,282. Upon 
the Magnolia lode, at a depth of 125 feet, the paystreak is three feet 
wide and averages $200 per ton, but in places the ore will work from 
$600 to $1,000 per ton." 

Austin is one of the oldest camps in the West. In many ways its 
history is like that of Eureka which is 70 miles east. Both places have 
held prominence as large mining centers. Present conditions in the 
two places are very much the same. Each place has less than 1,000 


population now. Many of the good mines are closed on account of 
disputed ownership and trouble with railroads over ore rates. These 
troubles will soon be adjusted and work will continue on some of the 
best mines in Nevada; payrolls will begin and business activity will 
increase. Austin and Eureka are both built well up in the mountains, 
Eureka at an elevation of 7,200 feet and Austin at 7,500 feet. The 
mountain scenery around these two towns is very fine and has been a 
factor in drawing many tourists there. 

The government maintains a forest reserve in Lander County for 
grazing purposes. The reserve is stocked almost to the limit now. 
Many thousand head of sheep and cattle are kept there. Some of the 
largest single herds in Nevada may be found in Lander County. Wool 
growing is an important industry and thousands of cattle are shipped 
out every year. 

The meadow lands in the valleys of Eureka and Lander counties 
produce an abundance of hay for feeding stock. The REESE RIVER 
REVEILLE, published at Austin, Nevada, is one of the pioneer papers of 
the State. It was founded in 1863 and the first edition was printed 
May 16 of that year. Lester W. Haworth is the editor and manager. 





The first recorded person of European descent to enter the limits of 
Nevada was Francisco Garces (1738-1781), of the Order of St. Francis, 
who set out from Sonora in 1775 and passed through what is now the 
extreme southern corner of the State, later known as Lincoln County, 
on his way to California. The old Spanish trail which he is supposed 
to have orginated and which is shown on the early maps, leads by a 
winding course from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles, via the Rio 
Virgini* and Las Vegas. In 1849, a company looking for a shorter route 
into southern California, crossed the lower part of what was afterwards 
Lincoln County, and perished in Death Valley. In the winter of 1865-6, 
wagon-tire and other irons supposed to have belonged to the outfit were 
found and brought into Pahranagat Valley to be used by the miners there. 
In 1852 the Mormons received a contract to carry the mail from Salt 
Lake to San Bernardino over the route established 'by Congress that year. 
Las Vegas was established at that time, partly as a way station and partly 
to smelt lead from the Potosi mines. Several acres were planted in 
grain in Meadow Valley, probably near the present site of Panaca, in 
1858. In 1863, Meadow, Eagle and Spring valleys were used as herding 
grounds by St. George Mormons. The first real settlement in the Southern 
part of the County was in 1856 when a number of Mormon families set- 
tled at Las Vegas The Meadows. In 1857 when the San Bernardino 
Branch of Mormons was called to Salt Lake, the station fell into the 
hands of Gentiles who have occupied it since. In 1865 a mission of 
about 250 Mormon families from Utah settled the Muddy Valley, estab- 
lishing the towns of St. Thomas (originally laid out under instructions 
from Brigham Young in 1864), Overton, St. Joseph, Junctionville and 
Bunkerville. At the period of its greatest prosperity, in 1867, St. Thomas 
contained about 500 inhabitants. These Mormons considered themselves 


residents of Pahute Co., Arizona, but the subsequent session by Congress 
of a degree of longitude from Arizona to Nevada put them indisputably 
in Nevada. Controversies then arose about back-taxes, to end which 
Brigham Young ordered the abandonment of the settlements in the 
Muddy Valley. March, 1871, witnessed the exodus of the entire popu- 
lation excepting one family. Ore was discovered, the Colorado District 
organized, and Eldorado laid out in 1861. Callville was settled in 1864 by 
Anson Call and some Utah emigrants. About 1864 ore was discovered 
in Pahranagat (Watermelon) Valley and in 1865 Wm. H. Raymond 
bought about a million feet of ground there. Prospects were very pro- 
mising, so steps were taken to organize a new County, with Crystal 
Springs as the County Seat. 

Early in the spring of 1866, Governor Blasdell left Carson City, accom- 
panied by a number of his friends, with the view of organizing the new 
County. But, the party, in endeavoring to reach Pahranagat by a diff- 
erent route from the ordinary one, journeyed by way of Death Valley, Cali- 
fornia. They crossed the valley without serious difficulty, but after pass- 
ing Ash Meadows they found themselves reduced to very short allowances 
of food and water. Realizing the perils of the situation, the Governor, 
and State Geologist White, hastened on to Logan where they loaded a 
wagon with supplies and sent it back under a guard to their suffering 
friends. The latter were met at Summit Spring in a sorry plight. For 
several days they had been subsisting on lizards ; one man of the party had 
died, and all were more or less exhausted with the unusual hardships. 
Then, contrary to the Governor's expectations, the County lacked the num- 
ber of legal voters necessary to fill the legislative requirements, so its 
organization had to be postponed for one year. 

Of the Lincoln County aborigines, practically nothing is known, as there 
has been very little research work. Dr. S. L. Lee, of Carson City, re- 
ported that in Condor Canyon, on the route of the branch railroad to 
Pioche, there are about 50 figures cut in the rocks, many of them 
designed to represent mountain sheep. Still farther south, possibly 80 
miles from Pioche, in the Meadow Valley wash near Kane Springs, this 
class of prehistoric art is most numerous and perfect in design. Men 
on horesback, engaged in the pursuit of animals, are among the most 
perfect, and probably modern, of the designs at that place. The Indians 
in the country, who are practically all of the parent Shoshone tribe, seem 


to have some superstitious belief regarding these inscriptions. In any 
event, they refuse to talk upon the subject with the whites. On the other 
hand, their unwillingness to speak of them may be due to their natural 
reticence which is very pronounced. 

About April i, 1867, Robert W. Knox left Austin, with a man named 
L. B. Vail, for the Southern portion of the State. Nothing further was 
heard of Knox until his body was disinterred near Hiko. Indians pissing 
a formed camping ground of Vail found a saddle that had been partly dug 
up by coyotes, and took it to Hiko. As foul play had been suspected, 
white people went to the spot where the saddle had been found, and soon 
discovered the buried body of Knox, evidently killed by a blow on the 
head, probably with an axe, while asleep. It is said that Vail had camped 
on the spot, sleeping upon the grave of his victim for over a month in order 
to hide it. Vail was captured at the White House, on Reese River, about 
10 miles from Austin, by Sheriff Jas. E. Matthews, of Lincoln Co., Sheriff 
Rauney, of Nye County, and City Marshall Hank Knerr, of Austin. After 
his arrest he was taken to Belmont and held in jail there by order of 
Judge Curler for some weeks, as there was neither Judge nor jail as 
yet in Lincoln Co. Early in July, however, Sheriff Matthews took 
his prisoner to Logan. On July 10, he was taken before a justice of the 
peace for examination, but on the nth he was taken away from the 
officers by a body of citizens. He was brought to Hiko where a Court was 
organized and a jury impanelled. Reports say he was given a fair trial, 
found guilty of murder, and at 15 minutes to 9, he was sentenced to be 
hanged at 10 o'clock. Another report says that while his trial was 
going on in a front room, his coffin was being made in the rear. He was 
taken under a tree in a wagon, the noose adjusted to a convenient limb, 
and the wagon then driven out from under him. 

The history of Lincoln County is largely a history of its mines. Potosi 
and Eldorado Canyon were the earliest strikes, followed shortly after 
by the Pahranagat Valley. Next came Pioche, originally known as Panaca 
(Panacker-Silver) Mount Irish, with an altitude of n,ooo feet, where 
many good prospects have been found since 1865, was named after the 
Indian agent at that time. Freyberg, in the Worthington district, was 
located in '65. The Highland district was organized in '68 : Silver Springs, 
now known as Silver Park, where there were once two mills, was organized 
in '69; Tem Pah Ute, formerly the Sheridan district, in '68; Groom in 


'70; Pennsylvania in '71 ; Bristol and Chief, '70; Silver King and Patter- 
son about '74, and Jack Rabbit in '76. Wm. Hamblin was in Clover Valley 
in the early '6os; a negro, Barton, says he was the first white man to 
settle in Meadow Valley; Spring Valley was settled in '67 by Wm. C. 
Moody and Alma Willett ; Lake Valley, A. Prarie's farm, shortly after- 
wards. Pioche was settled in 1868 by Jos. Grange and E. M. Chubard, 
who erected a small furnace which proved a failure. In 1869, Raymond 
and Ely brought their five-stamp mill up from the Pahranagat Valley. 
A company consisting of P. McCannon, L. Lacour, and A. M. Bush laid 
out the town in 1869. It was surveyed by E. L. Neason, C. E., and was 
named Pioche by Mrs. S. E. C. (Carmichael) Williamson in a letter read 
at the organization meeting of the Ely Mingin District which follows : 

MEADOW VALLEY, February 20, 1869. 

Messrs. SMITH, TOWNSEND, McNEiLL AND OTHERS locating the "City of the 

Gentlemen With many thanks for the compliment allowing me to suggest a 
name for your City, I offer for your consideration "Pioche." Most respectfully, 


F. L. A. Pioche, of San Francisco, owned largely in the mines, so the town still 
bears his name. In 1870-2 Pioche was the most active town in Nevada, with the 
possible exception of Virginia City. 

The County Seat, first at Crystal Springs, and later at Hiko, came to 
Pioche with the boom. Writing on the "Romance of Pioche," Col. 
James W. Abbott says: "Long before the camp had any name, the 
Pahute Indians had discovered the ore. As early as 1863 some of that 
tribe had induced a man named William Hamblin to go with them to the 
scene of their discovery. At the time of his first visit to the deposits, 
Hamblin attempted to make some locations, but at that early period the 
mining laws and regulations were exceedingly crude. The following 
year, 1864, Hamblin returned to the place with other white men, and 
more locations were made. (The Panacker, 1864, is the first recorded 
claim, and from it the adjoining acreage was called Panaca Flat), owing 
to the distractions of the Civil war, and difficulties with the Indians, 
little progress was made in developing this region for some years. There 
was no transcontinental railroad in those days ; even Virginia City 
was reached by stage lines crossing the Sierras. All freight from the 
East came by vessel to San Francisco, and was shipped in from there 
by freight wagons. A line of Concord coaches was operated from the 
Missouri River to Sacramento, but the fare was very high, and the 


cost of freight prescriptive. Prospectors nearly all came by stage to 
Virginia City, and outfitted there for prospecting trips, or proceeded 
further East to some other camp to purchase an outfit there from some 
other adventurer. A little desultory work was done on the claims from 
'64 to the early part of '68. By this time trie story of the rich veins 
had gone abroad, and it was early in the year 1868 that F. L. A. 
Pioche sent Chas. E. Hoffman to purchase the properties which later 
were incorporated as the Meadow Valley Mining Co., one of the two 
great mining companies that in the 7o's became rivals, and were as 
famous in the mining world as the Bonanza Mines at Virginia City. 
Hoffman was a metallurgist of considerable experience and high reputa- 
tion. He brought with him from California to Pioche, a lot of Mexicans 
who had worked for him there, and at once began to erect a little smelter 
to treat the ores from the claims he had purchased for Pioche. About the 
first of the year 1869, two men, named John H. Ely, and Wm. H. Raymond, 
appeared at the new camp. They had been operating in the Pahranagat 
Valley, about 150 miles farther South, and had gone through all their 
means when they reached Pioche's camp. They made a dicker with two 
brothers named Edward and Pat Burke, who had located a very rich 
claim, and bought it. Ely and Raymond had been running a little five- 
stamp mill down at Hiko in the Pahranagat Valley, and there it had been 
a dismal failure. Twelve miles below Pioche's camp was a Mormon 
settlement called Panaca (settled about 1864, and receiving its name 
from the Panacker claim as the party locating it had made their head- 
quarters there in '64). Ely and Raymond induced some of the Mormons to 
go down to Hiko and bring up that little five-stamp mill, and to wait for 
their pay until it could be realized from the sale of bullion. The mill 
was brought and set up on a sloping hillside where water was convenient 
and abundant (later known as Bullionville), and to this mill the Mormons 
hauled the rich ore from the Burke mine. The enterprise prospered ; Ely 
and Raymond made money very rapidly, liquidated their debts to the 
Mormons, and soon organized a company which became the famous Ray- 
mond & Ely. The Meadow Valley and the Raymond & Ely remained the 
two great rival properties and continued to produce very abundantly 
until the year 1876. The year 1872 was the banner year of production. 
Just how much was realized from the mines in that or any other year, it 
is impossible to ascertain. The law of Nevada provides that a return 


must be made to the County Assessor of the bullion produced in the 
County. During the year 1872, the returns to the County Assessor in 
Lincoln Co., of which Pioche was the County Seat, aggregated about 
$6,000,000. As these returns were required for the purposes of assess- 
ment and taxation, it is unreasonable to suppose that full returns were 
made to the County Assessor. The bullion all had to go to the outside 
world, where it WHS converted into cash, and the money was deposited at 
the Company's headquarters in San Francisco. It was not necessary even 
then that there should be a record of it at the Company's local office at 
Pioche. The ore was largely in the form of silver chlorides and bro- 
mides, and lead carbonates rich in silver. The gold and silver were 
extracted from the ore by what was known as the Washoe process, 
so-called because the process was first devised to treat the ores of the 
Washoe district, Utah, later known as the Comstock bonanzas of Vir- 
ginia City. Bullionville, where Raymond & Ely's five-stamp mill had 
been erected, became a very important point. The little five-stamp mill ran 
for a year or two, but other and larger mills were built and soon sup- 
planted it. The din of a hundred stamps in larger and better equipped mills 
after a while drowned the feeble tapping of those little antiquated stamps, 
and soon they went to the scrap heap. All the ore from the Raymond & Ely 
mine, and much from other claims in the district, was treated at Bullion- 
ville, but the Meadow Valley ore was treated in a splendid mill which the 
Company built at Dry Valley, ten miles northeast of Pioche, where a 
well had been sunk to obtain water. After the transcontinental railroad 
was completed and opened in '69, freight, stages and express came in 
from various points on that road. Some came from Salt Lake, some 
from Toano (near where Cobre is now located), some from Wells and 
Elko, and probably the larger part from Palisade by way of Hamilton. 
Much has been written about conditions in Pioche during the time of its 
greatest activity. It was a wild, turbulent, uproarious population which 
gathered there. At the height of its boom in '72, Pioche must have had 
a population of 10,000 people. This meant life at full tide. The follow- 
ing are a few of the high lights in an intensively interesting picture: 
A daily line of six-horse Concord coaches carrying U. S. mail and Wells- 
Fargo express to the Central Pacific R. R. at Palisade, through Hamilton 
(White Pine) ; a similar line to Salt Lake City, both operated by the 
famous Western stage-men Gilmer & Salisbury; three daily lines, two 


of them running six-horse Concord coaches, to Bullionville ; three lines 
of railroad organized to build into Pioche with the utmost possible 
speed The Salt Lake City, Sevier Valley & Pioche Railroad (a Mormon 
line) and the Palisade, Eureaka & Pioche, controlled by D. O. Mills from 
the North, and another from the South; the Western Union Telegraph 
to San Francisco by way of Palisade (Pioche was long one of the 
Western Union's principal western offices), and the Desert Telegraph 
(Brigham Young's line) through Salt Lake City; 32 steam hoists with 
their chorus of whistles; a fast-freight-mile-line running day and night, 
with regular station for change of stock, carrying freight under contract 
for delivery in five days (with penalty for failure) from Palisade to 
Pioche (260 miles) ; a narrow guage steam freight railroad from Pioche 
to Bullionville, past the mills at Dry Valley and through Condor Canyon ; 
two daily papers with associated press service ; in the cemetery the graves 
of 78 men who died a violent death; 72 saloons, 3 hurdy-gurdies (dance- 
halls, two white and one variegated) ; 32 maisons de joie, with intimate cor- 
relation in the last four items; two good theatres; two breweries; two 
gravity water-systems with street mains and fire plugs, and two hose 
companies ; a livery stable with 300 horses. Probably twenty mining 
companies were organized to operate different properties at or near 
Pioche. These companies were all listed on the San Francisco stock ex- 
change, and the best of them were as much in demand as the Virginia 
City stocks. Fortunes were made and lost in the stocks of Meadow Valley 
and Raymond & Ely. The final collapse of the camp was said to be due 
primarily to stock speculation." It is certain, however, that reaching the 
water level (1200 ft.), the demonetization of silver and the failure of the 
Bank of San Francisco were contributing causes. Under the subject "Ear- 
ly Days in Lincoln County," Charles Gracey in a letter to the Nevada 
Historical Society says: "In August 1868 we loaded up at White Pine 
and started for Lincoln County, Highland District, the latter named by 
Mr. Allen McDougall (our guide) who was Highland Scotch. Since 
ours was the first wagon into the county (?) we had to break the road, 
and we were several days making the trip. Arrived in camp we found 
the balance of the company, which consisted of six in all: Ed. Cavence, 
Gus Gatewood, Chas. Meyers, Allen McDougall, Micham and myself. I 
did not like the looks of the mines when I had time to look them over, but 
did not say much for I saw that they were all touchy about the matter. 


Times had been very hard with them, and they were all glad for the load of 
provisions, steel and tools which we had brought in with us, and we 
commenced to open Highland district, twelve ( ?) miles west of Pioche. 
Some of the names at least in the following narrative will be familiar to 
many readers. There came to our camp two brothers, Pete and George 
Miller. Pete was, later, in politics and held County offices. We were 
in Stampede Gap, well North in the District. In the Southern part were 
Slaven, Marshall, and four brothers from Arkansas, the Dodd boys, as 
they were called, also Johnnie Harwood. Marshall was our District 
Recorder. We met every evening and discussed matters. It was in this 
way that I learned that 60 miles South and West was Pahranagat Valley 
and the town of Hiko, and that over there were mills for the working 
of silver ores ; that a man by the name of W. H. Raymond had operated 
them in '63, '64 and '65, and that he and John Ely had sold out for big 
money (?). I learned also that here were mines in Pioche (called 
Panaca at that time), and that E. Marten Smith had been there and 
purchased lead mines and proposed building a smelter. 

"Our mines in Stampede Gap did not turn out well because we did not 
understand the ores. I built a small furnace, and with a large bellows 
which I had, tried to smelt some of the ores and succeeded, but the 
product was small and mostly lead. The expense was great and, as I was 
the only man in the Company who had a cent of money, it was soon ex- 
hausted and we broke camp. We all started off to find new fields. Com- 
ing to the new camp of Pioche, we found great expectations among 
all classes. E. Marten Smith had sold the Meadow Valley mine to Cali- 
fornia men who proposed building a smelter at once. A man by the 
name of Lacour had put in a stock of goods. For prospectors 'all broke' 
and ready for anything that would furnish grub this was great news. 
The thought occurred to one of our company, Charlie Meyers, that if a 
smelter was to be built, there must be coal ( charcoal) to run it, and, said 
he, 'burning coal is my business.' We all agreed that he must see the 
Meadow Valley men about coal. Accordingly the next day he interviewed 
Charles Hoffman, the head man of the Meadow Valley outfit, and secured 
a contract for 2000 bushels of coal at 3oc. a bushel at the pit. That 
night there was a great rejoicing in our camp. It certainly looked 
as if all of our fortunes were made. Next morning we all 
assembled at a grove of nut-pine and commenced to build two coal 


pits. We carried the wood on our backs to suitable ground. Meyers made 
good and proved that he thoroughly understood the coal burning. Our 
success was great. In a few weeks we had our money, for the Meadow 
Valley Company was composed of wealthy men, F. L. A. Pioche be- 
ing one of them. They put things through rapidly. All these things hap- 
pened in 1869. When we got our money for the coal, Ed. Cavence and I 
took my team and started to White Pine for supplies, that being the near- 
est provisioning point. On our return we fell in with a load of sup- 
plies coming in for the Meadow Valley Co., and with the load were some 
young men of whom I afterwards learned to think a great deal of 
Thompson Campbell, Dave Newman, John McManus and Jas. Findley. 
Hoffman had employed them and was sending them out to work for 
the Company, mostly at office-work. When we got back to camp 
(Pioche), we found that another Company had been started and was 
building a furnace. The Company, consisted of two men, Raymond and 
Ely, who started in a humble way, but later figured largely in the 
camp and the county. Still another individual has as much to do with the 
success of the camp as any other man. His name was Shuber. He was 
a Frenchman and a metallurgist of note. He had a furnace built on upper 
Main street, near the Raymond & Ely mine, and worked it with two 
bellows arranged with double covers and his power was the noble burro. 
He made a success and proved the values of the ores, but also demonstrated 
that they were not smelting ores. The Meadow Valley Co. spent $75,000 
to learn what Shuber (E. M. Chubard) proved for $75, not counting his 
work. Shuber proved his mines, took the small amount of bullion pro- 
duced and his returns away with him, sold his interests and never re- 
turned. In November, 1869, I went over to where the Raymond & 
Ely people were at work and found Tom Greaves trying in vain to put 
steel into a pick. Here was my opportunity. I was a blacksmith by trade. 
I put the steel in and became great in an hour. John Ely was in- 
formed of the circumstance. He came to me and said: 'Gracy, you are 
just the man for whom we are looking; you stay here and do our work, 
and you can board at our camp.' Board looked good to me and I stayed. 
They were building a furance and had had a threshing machine horse- 
power to run the blower. A German named Shuner was employed as the 
furnace expert. After some days of experimenting the furnace was 
declared a failure. While working at odd jobs I had by this time showed 


that I understood machinery. Mr. Raymond now came to me and said : 
'Mr. C. P. Hall tells me that you are a machinist as well as a blacksmith.' 
I replied that I was. Said he : 'I never expected this furnace to work, but I 
wanted my partner, Mr. Ely, to be satisfied, which I think he now is. 
I have a silver-mill in Pahranagat Valley. If you think that you could 
take it down and have it put up again in good shape, I would have it 
brought over to Bullionville and have it set up there. I think that this 
ore can be worked by the same process.' I assured him that I could do 
any kind of machine work, having erected two sawmills in California, and 
he replied that he was satisfied that I could do the work. 'But' said he 
'we have no money. If we can take it out of the mine, we will pay you, 
and it will also make your mines more valuable.' I agreed to work without 
pay if he would furnish the grub. He replied that he could not even do 
that, but that John Ely, his partner, was acquainted with the Mormons 
and could get grub from them. Moreover, he did not even own the mine 
as yet, but if I would promise to stay with him and build the mill, he would 
buy the mine. That night around the camp-fire were Pony Duncan, Bob 
Winans, the Burke Brothers, Raymond and myself, and several others. 
All were very glum. The smelter was a failure. No one had any 
means, and it was, on the whole, rather a dull outlook. After a while, 
Mr. Raymond spoke up and said to Mr. Burke (called Pat Maloy) : 'This 
furnace is a failure. I have a proposition to make to you boys that 
own this Burke mine. I have a five-stamp mill in Pahranagat Valley. 
I am willing to pay you $35,000 for the mine, provided you will wait 
for your money until I can get the mill here and take out the ore.' All 
were very quiet for a time. Then Pony Duncan spoke up and said: 
'I am willing to agree to that.' Bob Winans also agreed to it. The 
Burke brothers who owned one half of the mine said nothing. Thus 
we sat for 10 minutes and no one spoke. Then 'Pat Maloy' asked: 
'Where will we get anything to eat while you are doing all that?' Ray- 
mond replied that John Ely would see to getting the grub. Then said 
Burke: 'It is all right,' and Mr. Raymond handed him his silver watch 
and turning to me, said : 'Charlie, you are a witness that I have bought 
this mine and that I give him this watch to bind the bargain. Boys, 
you are all witnesses. This watch is worth $60. Charlie, we will start for 
Pahranagat at once, going as far as Bullionville to-night.' That 
was 12 miles from where we were camped. Then Raymond said to Withe 


Walker, who was attending to camp : 'Walker, can you let us have some 
bread and meat?' Walker put up a loaf of bread and a large piece of 
boiled beef, and we started out for Panaca, or, as it was afterwards 
called, Bullionville. Some time during the night we arrived at the place 
where we built the mill. Next day we got some teams at the Mormon 
settlement and started for Pahranagat Valley. Some mining had been 
done at the latter place in the early 6o's, and Raymond had been the 
moving spirit, but it had proved a failure. About the same time there 
was a rumor of trouble with the Indians, but more, I believe, of some 
doubt about the Mormons being loyal to the North, and in 1864 General 
Connor had been sent with cavalry to look things over. His men had lo- 
cated many claims both in Pahranagat and in the Pioche country, but had 
done nothing to speak of. The soldiers and all prospectors had left in '65, 
and all the mines had been abandoned until '68. We arrived in Pahrana- 
gat in good time. We took down the mill and made arrangements with 
residents of the valley to have it loaded on teams as they came in. Then 
we returned to the mill-site, and the miners of the camp volunteered their 
services to grade for the mill and to build the road. All were promised 
pay after the mill was started. The building was slow work, but in 
January 1870, I got things in shape and ran the five-stamps on ore that 
had been hauled down to the place. In the meantime Mr. Raymond 
had gathered around him men who had spme knowledge of working 
the ore. The head man was L. B. Sever, an assayer and a good man. 
There was also a carpenter named Mortimer Fuller, afterwards District 
Judge. I had considerable trouble with the mill, but finally got it 
started. The first night I stayed up all night. We drew off the charge 
from the pans into the settler and then drew off the quicksilver from the 
settler and strained it through a sack. In the morning I had the sack 
full of amalgam. Mr. Raymond came down about four in the morning 
and asked me how things were. I showed him the sack of amalgam. He 
pinched it and said : 'That is good ; it squeaks. Gold and silver amalgam 
is the only one that will squeak.' Well, it was a success. The ore was 
worth $300 a ton and we were working it to 78 per cent. There was plenty 
of ore, and in 60 days Raymond and Ely had paid every dollar they owed 
and were rich men. We had shot off a gun that sounded around the 
world, but were not aware of it, at least I was not. I was Chief Engineer 
of the Raymond & Ely for 7 years, and had 60 stamps running the 


last 5 years. In that time the Raymond & Ely Co. produced $17,00,000. 
The Meadow Valley Co. did not produce as much, but that mine was also 
good and produced many millions. When with our five-stamp mill we 
proved how easily money could be taken out, that was the making 
of Pioche. Bullion was a great advertiser. People began to flock in from 
everywhere. Rich ore was found in many places not thought of be- 
fore. The first trouble occurred at the Washington & Creole. Tom 
and Frank Newland had made a location above the Washington & Creole 
mine, which latter was owned by Raymond & Ely. The Newland t>oys 
asked for the privilege of starting a tunnel below the Washington & 
Creole to run through the same which at this time was not considered 
of much value. Raymond & Ely gladly granted the privilege for the New- 
land boys were new-commers and needed encouragement. The boys 
ran in their tunnel about 30 feet underground, or from the face, and 
struck the Washington & Creole ledge as was expected. But, contrary 
to expectations, the ledge at this point was very rich, averaging about 
$300 per ton. It proved to be 9 feet thick. Before much was known 
about the strike, the Newland boys went to Ely and Raymond, and 
secured the privilege of taking out ore on the Washington & Creole for 
30 days. They then opened up a wonderful bonanza. Everything was 
satisfactory. Raymond & Ely were pleased that the boys were doing 
well, and Mr. Raymond said that it would encourage others to dig. 
When the 30 days expired the ground was turned over to Withe Walker, 
who was foreman for Raymond & Ely. Walker went with the Newlands 
through the tunnel and saw thousands of tons of rich ore exposed and 
ready to be taken out. Walker was naturally much pleased, and said he : 
T can keep that rattletrap of a mill at Bullionville going now.' As the 
Burke mine was then in a pinch and not supplying the ore as rapidly as 
needed, everyone was pleased. Mr. Raymond said 'That ore might have 
lain there for years, or might never have been found.' He believed iri 
being liberal. It was the best way, and he took considerable credit to 
himself for his fair dealings. He was indeed a fair man, but he had 
much to learn and never learned it. Well, as I have said, the Newland 
boys turned the thing over, and everyone thought that it was all right. 
The Newlands went on with their tunnel. But a mountain of ore worth 
$300 a ton will worry anyone when it is in plain sight and everyone is al- 
lowed to see it. Before long the Newlands got some of the new men from 


White Pine to help jump the mine. They built a fort in the night and 
manned it with men and guns for defense. Then they commenced to 
take out and ship the ore to Silver Peak, where there was a ten-stamp 
mill. There was no law in the country, and no one to stop them. 
It is true that a township had been formed and a justice court provided. 
The County had held an election and chosen John Kane, a miner, 
Sheriff. He went up to the fort but was ordered away. The boys 
continued to move the ore. Something had to be done. Raymond 
and Ely could do nothing, for they were told in plain words that if 
either of them set foot in camp it would be certain death, and there is 
no doubt but such would have been the case. Many men were coming 
from many places, some men of means. There went to Bullionville four 
young men, polite, gentlemanly fellows, all under 30 years of age, 
They were Michael Casey, Barney Flood, Morgan Courtney and Wm. 
Bethers. They said to Raymond and Ely: 'We will drive these fellows 
off it you will give us a written promise that we can have the ground for 
30 days.' The bargain was made and operations begun. I was posted 
on everything that was going on, but did not know when or how 
these young men would get possession. That they kept to themselves. 
This is what was done; I was in a good position to see the whole 
battle, which was afterwards known as the Washington & Creole fight. 
These young men got some whiskey up to the guard in the fort. At 
that time there was a pretty good growth of nut pine on the hill above the 
fort. Here the young men hid. About 3 o'clock there came a shout, 
and the four young men ran rapidly down the hill, each with a pistol 
in hand. They drove the others out and away from their arms. I heard 
the shots and saw one man fall, Snell by name, and I saw Casey take a 
rifle and knock a man down the bank with it. Many shots were fired and 
many men were wounded, but Snell was the only one killed in that 
fight. Nevertheless, I have heard others tell of the same fight and 
give the number of killed as 10 or 12. But I was an eye witness and 
very much interested, and I am sure that one man only was killed. I 
do not remember the number of wounded. The boys who did that 
piece of work made $15.000 each of their lease of 30 days. Raymond 
and Ely bought the ore and paid them their money for it. This was 
the beginning of trouble in the camp. During the next year or so there 
were at least 7 men killed in disputes about mining claims. Fights 


were of frequent occurrence, and many men were wounded, but not more 
than 7 or 8 were killed. Two men were killed by an explosion after 
the big fire in '71. Of the four young men who took the Washington 
& Creole, I will say something further. Morgan Courtney turned out 
to be a sport and was counted chief of the fighting men. He gambled 
very heavily. Barney Flood got into trouble and stabbed a man, but 
did not kill him. To save himself he left the camp and went, I think, to 
New York. Casey owed Tom Gossen $100. When he had deposited his 
$15,000 in the bank he was met there by Gossen who said to him: 'You 
had better pay your debts.' Casey told the banker to pay Gossen $100 for 
him. Gossen then reminded Casey that there was interest due him. 
Words followed and both drew guns. The doors opened from the bank 
to the street. Each man stepped to a door and shot at the other. Gos- 
sen's gun missed, but Casey hit Gossen, who died about a day later. Be- 
fore his death he left his money to friends with the exception of $5,000 
which was to go to the man who killed Casey. Gossen's friends set a 
watch over Casey so that he could not leave town. Yet they scarcely 
dared to kill him in the town. Casey's friends said that Gossen had 
shot first. Some of those who saw the shooting said that Casey shot 
first. One of these was Jim Levy. I knew Levy well. He was 
a very quiet man and a good miner and worked every day. Casey met 
Levy in Felsenthal's store and in my presence asked Levy if he had 
indeed said that Casey fired the first shot. Levy said that he had, and 
was ready to swear to it. Casey then commenced abusing Levy. Levy 
replied in a quiet way: 'You can abuse me now while you have your 
gun with you.' Levy had just come from his work in the mine and car- 
ried his lunch bucket in his hand. Casey told him to get his gun and come 
shooting. Levy left the store, went to his cabin, changed his clothes, got 
his gun and returned. Dave Nagel was on the sidewalk in front of Fel- 
senthal's store watching for Levy to come back along the street, but Levy 
came through an alley instead that ran alongside the store, and thus 
surprised Casey and Nagel. The shooting commenced at once. Nagel ran 
out into the street and fired several shots at Levy. But Levy and 
Casey had clinched and were on the sidewalk together. I think now, 
and have always thought, that it was the beating over the head with a 
pistol that killed Casey rather than the shots that were fired. Nagel hit 
Levy in the lower jaw or chin and made a bad scar. Levy was shot in the 


forehead but it did not penetrate the skull. Casey was now dead and 
Gossen was avenged, but Casey's friends now were the enemies of Levy 
and tried their best to kill him. But he proved to be the most fearless 
and aggressive in that line that had ever appeared, and was soon the 
terror of all the fighters. When he got the $5,000 left by Gossen for 
killing Casey, he was himself no longer. He was killed many years 
later in Tucson, Ariz. Bill Bethers was shot, I think, in Eureka, Nev., 
a year or so later. Morgan Courtney, who was still around town, had shot 
one or two men, and was held to be a very bad character. Before I left 
the mill at Bullionville, Courtney met his match one afternoon on the 
main street. Both men got out their guns, but Courtney was too slow 
and was shot six times before he had time to shoot. The other man was 
arrested but went unpunished for it was proved that Courtney had made 
the shooting necessary, and in a few hours the accused was a free man. 
(So Barney Flood is the only live man of the quartet, and he had to 
leave town to save himself). By this time the rich ore supply was ex- 
hausted ; the wild excitement was no more ; money was hard to get. The 
town became as quiet as any other old town. I find that a bad name is liable 
to be exaggerated, and thus it has been with Pioche. It was not so bad 
a town as is now represented. There was some killing, to be sure, but 
there was also great provocation, and it is a wonder to me that Pioche 
did not become as bad as some at the present day claim it was. But I was 
there from first to last, and, while I admit that it was bad enough, it was 
not as represented later by those who did not know. While the excitement 
continued in and about the mines there were even worse things going 
on among the law-and-order men who were supposed to keep the bad 
element down. There was a Vigilante Committee formed which proved 
to be of no credit to the town. This gang ran the politics. John Kane, 
was Sheriff, but was considered too slow, and Wes Travis was elected 
in his stead. Mortimer Fuller was District Judge. A Court House was 
built and an indebtedness incurred which has hurt the County more than 
all the killing that was done. At no time was crime punished, yet all the 
time the expenses were piled up. The Sheriff's office while Travis had it 
was considered worth $40,000 a year. All other things were in proportion. 
Such things need no exaggeration, while the number of poor men who 
were killed may be magnified to any member that suits the fancy of the 
teller. The sums of money that were stolen under the name of law need no 


exaggeration. Of the two kinds of men, which is the worst: He who 
'rights his wrongs where it is given,' or the man who promises to pro- 
tect you in your rights if you will only elect him to office and put your 
trust in him, and then deliberately steals everything in sight and bonds 
you for forty years to come? The story of Lincoln County and the 
removal of the county-seat from Hiko to Pioche and the building of the 
Police Court House I remember very well, but it would be a long story. 
I leave it to others to tell. It is not a story of which to be proud. It was 
steal, steal, early and late, and keep on stealing. That was the main point in 
Lincoln County affairs. It is now forty years since I first came to Lincoln 
County, but I remember very well the main points. I had a very active 
part in the mining and milling of the ore which produced the millions that 
were taken out. If you think that this account is worth anything, I give 
it freely and can vouch for the truth of it. So far as the County stealing 
is concerned, I think that the men elected supposed that this was the 
way to play the game for they seemed pleased at what they had done. 
All men at that time were trying to make a stake and get out of the 
country, and could you blame them? Times were not then as now, and 
the early-day men must not be judged by the present conditions, neither 
must what they did be so judged. I did not blame the men at the time, 
or since. I have been in Nevada 40 years, and I think we have as good 
men and women in Nevada as in any State of the Union. I am sure that 
there never were more courageous and self-reliant men in any country." 

As to the Mines, although many of them were heavy producers, ac- 
cording to statistics compiled by Professor Pack, only one Company, the 
Raymond & Ely, was able to pay dividends in excess of assessments levied. 

In regard to the fire which practically destroyed the town on Sept. 15, 
'71, a report that there were thirteen killed and forty-seven injured is 
probably exaggerated.. The story that there were three men killed in a 
flood following a cloudburst is also erroneous. The cloudburst occurred, 
but the damage was confined to flooded cellars. 

Referring to the Court House, contract to build same was let for 
something less than $20,000. The boom collapsed shortly after the con- 
tract was let and work commenced. County scrip fell below 5oc. on the 
dollar, and the County officers issued enough of it to make up the cash 
value of the contract. In addition they allowed extras in such an amount 
that it appears the only- thing specified by the contract was the making of 


plans. When it came to furnishing the building, one item will be suffi- 
cient to tell the story $180 in scrip was allowed for four student lamps. 
On top of the Court House deal came the Collectors' Fees swindle, which 
cost the County $16,000 the first year. But "all's well that ends well," and 
the natural resources of the County may yet draw it out of the mire. 
The lines of R. G. Schofield, one of the pioneers of Pioche, published in 
1900 under the title "Ode to a Defunct Silver Camp," may be pro- 
phetic : 

"City of the Dead! With streets forlorn! 

Mushroom of an hour! Of all thy grandeur shorn, 
Where are thy hosts of decades three ago 

Who built each wooden palace for time to overthrow? 
In vain your mines their silver millions gave ; 

Each old-time miner left is Time's most pallid slave. 
An alien race now claims thy frowning rock hill 

Which once resounded with its blasts, and blows from pick and drill. 
Thy pride is humbled, but thy crimes are not forgot. 

Thou 'City of an Hour,' how sad now is thy lot ! 
And yet, 'twas not thy fault, but only greed of men 

Who spilled each other's blood and made of thee their den. 
In times to come, when silver shall regain its place, 

Then may you glory in an honest, Godly race !" 

By an act approved Feb. 20, '75, Nye County, in consideration of Lincoln 
assuming part of its debt, deeded to the latter County 51 miles of the strip 
formerly dividing White Pine and Lincoln Counties. 

The early '8o's marked a revival in the mines in the vicinity of Pioche. 
Bristol and Royal City were busy towns about that time, the National, 
Hillside, and Mayflower being the most important Bristol Mines. The 
Hillside, in two years, produced $518,265.45 in silver alone, and the Day 
mine at Royal City, originally located by Ike Garrison, produced $99,787.- 
50 about the same time. A new smelter and concentrating works were 
installed at Bullionville in 1880, principally to work over old tailings. Con- 
siderable work was done on the Mendha (Melissa) and the Chisholm 
mines near Pioche. In 1882 ore was found about 14 miles west of 
Pioche and the Comet district organized. In May, 1883, the Floral Mill, 
just below the town of Pioche, was moved, reconstructed and resumed 
operations. Mill originally built in '72. There was considerable railroad 
talk and a committee found that the following shipments had been 
made from Pioche alone in the years 1870 to 1880: Raymond & Ely, 
$10,228,211.50; Meadow Valley, $5,53 2 >53-3 2 ; Alps, $743,963.11; Amer- 


ican Flag, $350,000; Pioche, $460,000; Others $250,000; Total, $17,- 

In the summer of 1881, Jay Gould, of New York, commenced at Hiko 
to survey a line of railroad which was to connect San Francisco with the 
Utah Southern, but nothing materialized. Shortly after, Assemblyman 
Eugene Howell made a strong effort to get an appropriation of $250,000 
from Congress to make the Colorado navigable to Callville, but he was 
unsuccessful. Judge Fuller, the first District Judge of the County, died 
in 1880 after being thrown from a buggy. As an instance of Spartan 
bravery in the County at that time, the citizens of the Pahranagat Valley 
in 1883 killed an insane man "just to get rid of him." There was a 
destructive fire in Bristol in 1886. In 1887 State Senator Poujade, of 
Lincoln, introduced a resolution for the direct election of U. S. Senators, 
which passed both houses. On August 18, 1888, 3.04 inches of rain fell 
in Pioche inside of 2 hours. It was in 1888 that judgment was given 
for $350,000 to the holders of the County Bonds issued in 1873. Dec. 
23, 1889, was the date of the biggest flood ever known in Meadow 
Valley wash. In 1890 Hank Parrish was convicted for the murder of P. 
G. Thompson at Royal City, and he was hanged in Ely, where he was 
convicted, on Dec. 12. In 1890 the Union Pacific graded the road through 
Condor Canyon on a surveyed line from Milford to Pioche. 

In 1891 a smelter was built near the present Pioche depot, work on 
the narrow gauge line to Jack Rabbit was commenced, an electric light 
plant was put in by the Pioche Water Co., and a telephone line built. 
In 1892 the Monkey Wrench district, later called Ferguson, was organized 
and the town of Helene sprang up. In April 1894, Captain Delmar bought 
the most important mines there and the town was moved over the hill 
and called Delamar. The principal producers, of gold, were the Jim 
Crow, April Fool and the Magnolia mines. About this time the judg- 
ments on the $180,000 bond issue of 1873 amounted to $440,000. In the 
latter part of June 1893, silver dropped to 73c. an ounce. Within a week, 
the Bullionville smelter, partly insured ($30,000) burned down; the 
Yuba mine at Pioche, formerly the American Flag, tried to reduce wages 
and the men quit; and shortly afterwards the Poorman, the only other 
silver producer operating, shut down. A mill which had been erected in 
Condor Canyon, and which had been treating ores from Pioche and 
Delamar, burned down in 1895, in June. On July 27, 1895, Panaca had 


the worst flood in its history. In this year Delamar received considerable 
notoriety on acount of the issuance of aluminum coins as pay, owing to the 
danger of robbery when importing gold and silver to meet the pay rolls, 
but the practice was quickly stopped by the U. S. Government. Delamar 
also became notorious about this time on account of its failure to pay 
just Bullion Tax. For the first quarter of 1896, it made the following 
report : 

Tons milled : 20,677 tons > Value, $575,462 ; Extracting, $77,435 ; Trans- 
portation, $22,436. Milling, $372,186 or over $18.00 per ton. 

The tax was evaded by forming a separate Company to mill the ores and 
by charging exorbitant rates to eat up all the profits of the mine, and the 
State and County officers seemed unable to prevent the practice. 

State line and Line City boomed in 1897. In Nov. '01, at Fay, a negro 
named Ellis, was attacked by a gang of white men, threatened with hang- 
ing, robbed, and run out of camp. Some of the better element in the 
camp reported the matter to the authorities, and the next Grand Jury 
indicted 13 men for assault with intent to kill and robbery. The men 
were tried on the first count before Judge Talbot, District Attorney Mc- 
Namee for the prosecution, and Attorneys Osborne and Sawyer for the 
defense. Two of the jurors held out for acquittal, but finally agreed to 
a compromise verdict wherein 7 of those indicted were found guilty of as- 
sault and battery. 

Hancock Murder. In June 1897, a veterinary surgeon named Eng- 
elke, and his driver known as "Canadian Joe" Edminston, stopped at Pah- 
rump, Nye Co., on their way North. Mrs. Winnifred Myers, later Mrs. 
Goss, and John Hancock, from Orange, California, stopped there at the 
same time, also on their way North. The woman had a 7 year old boy 
with her. The two parties arranged to leave Pahrump together. On the 
third day out, Hancock proposed to the woman that they kill Engelke and 
Edmiston, swap outfits and get some money they were supposed to have. 
That night they slept in beds about 15 feet apart and at 3 a. m. Hancock 
struck each of the other men over the head with an axe, then shot them 
with a pistol and again struck them with the axe. He made the woman 
assist him to place the bodies in quilts, and after searching them, hauled 
them away in his wagon about a quarter of a mile and piled rocks on 
them. They then changed camp-outfits, burned their own wagon, soiled 
clothes and trunks, and threw away a box of medicine and instruments 


belonging to the Doctor. They left one horse at the camp and reached 
Eisenmann's ranch in Pahranagat Valley about 2 o'clock, where they 
traded some articles and sold a bulldog. At Panaca, they traded Engelke's 
race-horse to C. Rice for a team of work-horses, then went over into Utah. 
Hancock was arrested in Los Angeles in November, 1898, for burglary, 
and as soon as he was behind the bars, the woman confessed her part 
in the murder, claiming that only fear of Hancock had prevented an 
earlier confession. A map was sent to Sheriff Freudenthal, of Lincoln, 
and he started out with Jake Johnson, of Delamar, for Summit Springs, 
about 30 miles west of Pahranagat, on the road to Groom. About 10 
miles this side of the Spring, the wagon tracks still visible led them to the 
two skeletons with fractured skulls and bullet holes, also the medicine 
case and some burned pieces of iron. After the skeletons were brought 
to Pioche, Hancock confessed, but implicated the woman. In the mean- 
time he had received a ten-year sentence, having pleaded guilty to the 
burglary charge ; and he had also been accused of the murder of Detective 
Moor in Denver in 1895, under the name of F. A. Benton. Requisition 
papers were issued for his return to Nevada, but the Governor of Cali- 
fornia considered it advisible to have him serve out his sentence there, 
for fear that he might not be convicted on the murder charge. After 
serving 8 years in San Quentin, on June 4, 1905, he was brought to 
Pioche by Sheriff Jake Johnson and Deputy H. E. Freudenthal. Pleading 
poverty the Court appointed F. J. Osborne to defend him. He pleaded not 
guilty and his trial was set for June 26. Although 8 years had elapsed 
since the crime had been committed, every material witness was present 
when the case was called before District Judge Geo. S. Brown. Dis- 
trict Attorney Ben Sanders was assisted in the prosecution by "Judge" 
Marioneaur of the Salt Lake firm of Powers and Marioneaur. The Jury 
took only 20 minutes to return a verdict of guilty of murder in the 
first degree. He was sentenced to be hanged at Carson City on Sept. 
8, 1905. On that day, after having ordered and eaten a hearty breakfast 
of fried oysters, his prayer on the gallows was as follows "Almighty 
God, I come before thee this morning praying that Thou wilt have mercy 
upon those who assisted in my prosecution. I trust that Thou wilt not 
lay it up against them, for they know not what they do. I trust that in the 
future my innocence will be proven, and I ask this in the name and in the 
mediation of Jesus Christ, my Saviour." 


On April 20, 1899, the Summit Mill of the Pioche Consolidated Co. 
burned down at 1 130 a. m. while a dance was going on in town. In the 
same year the Utah Pacific built a line from Milford to McCune, on the 
State line between Utah and Nevada, but went no farther as times were 
very dull in Pioche, and the Company did not wish to incur the expense 
of filing its articles in Nevada. The reservoir at Round Valley was 
also projected in this year, to irrigate the Panaca country. In 1901, Sena- 
tor H. E. Freudenthal introduced a bill refunding the County Bonds, 
the judgments on which by that time aggregated about $600,000, for 
$225,000; but Assemblymen Burke and Conway defeated it because "any 
bill that would save the County that much money must have a steal in 
it somewhere." Six years afterwards, times being more prosperous, 
Senator Campbell succeeded in refunding the debt at 65 per cent of the 
aggregate, and new bonds were issued for $435,000, bearing 4 per cent in- 
terest, to take up the judgments. 

The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake R. R. filed its articles of 
incorporation with the County Recorder on April 8, 1901, and for some 
time afterwards there was a bitter feud between Senator Clark and the 
O. S. L. over the right of way. For sometime the Clark Co. wavered 
between a route through the Meadow Valley Wash, or the old U. P. sur- 
vey over Bristol Pass, but they finally decided on the Meadow Valley 
Wash. There were several battles between Clark and O. S. L. parties 
in the vicinity of Nevada and Clover Valley, where both roads were 
trying to build at once, but the Clark people finally secured the right of 
way. Calientes was laid out in 1901, and held that name until the Post 
Office was established when it dropped the final "s." In Sept. 1901, 
through the efforts of Ed. Freudenthal, most of the old Pioche mines 
were incorported under the name of the Manhattan Mining Co., which 
later became the Nevada-Utah M. & S. Corporation. 

In 1912, ore was struck at Silver King, about 50 miles northwest of 
Pioche, carrying 16,525 oz. silver, and there was considerable excite- 
ment about it for a short time. 

In 1903, Cochie Segmiller, an Indian boy, 16 years old, was tried 
for the murder of Bill Williams in the southern part of the County, and 
pleaded guilty. The Judge went so far as to change his plea to not 
guilty, but the boy on the witness stand insisted on his guilt. He was 
convicted and sentenced to be hanged Jan. 28, 1904. Shortly before that 


date, considerable influence was brought to bear on the Governor and 
the Board of Pardons in favor of the boy, and, largely through the per- 
sonal efforts of Major Ingalls, an Indian Agent in the early days of 
Lincoln County, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. 

The last spike on the San Pedro Railroad, connecting Salt Lake City and 
Los Angeles, was driven in Lincoln County at siding No. 31, 20 miles 
north of the Nevada^California line on Jan. 30, 1905. After the railroad 
was completed, making travel through the country more convenient, the 
outside world made the startling discovery that the largest county in the 
United States, having an area of almost 20,000 square miles, had neither 
church nor preacher. Of course, there were half a dozen Mormon Meet- 
ing Houses, and a Catholic Church had been built in Pioche in the '70*3, 
but Lincoln County had to be rescued just the same, One resident of 
Pioche still continues to work this graft on eastern people every Christ- 

In October, 1905, the Grand Jury indicted County Clerk and Treasurer 
H. J. Goodrich for embezzlement, and Deputy Geo. O. Sawyer for falsi- 
fying accounts. In addition they severely censured practically all the 
other County officers and their predecessors. The indictments and 
censure were the result of experting the County books, which had been 
often recommended theretofore but as often postponed. In Court both 
Goodrich and Sawyer were acquitted. 

In March '06, almost 100 miles of the San Pedro between Acoma and 
Vegas were washed out by a flood in Clover Valley and Meadow Valley 
Wash, and the line was out of commission for two months. In June '06, 
articles of incorporation of the Caliente & Pioche R. R. were filed, but 
work on the road was not commenced until the middle of April, '07, shortly 
after another wash-out in Meadow Valley Wash. The first train came 
into Pioche in Nov. '07, but there was no regular service and only a few 
shipments were made until the following year. In the election of 1908, 
the people voted in favor of a County High School, which is now located 
at Panaca. The 1909 Legislature, through the Bergman County Division 
Bill, divided Lincoln County and created Clark County out of the portion 
south of the 3rd Standard Parallel south of the Mount Diablo base line, 
effective July i, 1909. In the 1911 Session, a bill passed both Houses 
straightening out the balance due Lincoln County by Clark on account 
of several items not covered by the Bergman Division bill, but Governor 


Oddie vetoed it claiming it was unconstitutional. In 1913, the same bill 
was again passed and Oddie signed it. 

Two more serious washouts of the San Pedro in Meadow Valley Wash 
Jan. i, 1910, and Jan. 28, 1911, persuaded that line to build a new roadbed 
through the wash, about 15 feet higher than the old one, after an un- 
successful endeavor to find a route other than through the Wash. Caliente 
enjoyed a brief boom while the reconstruction work was in progress, and 
in 1912 made a determined effort to capture the County Seat, but all candi- 
dates pledged to try to move it were defeated in the fall election. The 
branch railroad from Pioche to the Prince Mine was completed in July, 
1912, by the Thompson Construction Co. of Salt Lake, at a cost of about 

The present area of the County, according to the Surveyor-General is 
10,515 square miles, according to the County Assessor, 11,034 square miles, 
in the following approximate acreage: agricultural land, 300,000 acres; 
grazing, 5,661,760 acres; timbered, 550,000 acres; mineral, 550,000 acres. 
The tax rate for 1912 was $3.10. The total assessed valuation in 1912 
was $2,226,918.50. Railroad mileage is as follows: San Pedro, 162.09 
miles; Pioche Pacific (Jack Rabbit) 18 miles; Prince Con. g% miles, total 
assessed in 1912 at $1,597.690.00. The population in 1910 was 3,489; 
in 1912 there were 692 pupils enrolled in the schools. 

According to Bullion Tax reports, the mineral production for 1912 
was over $1,000,000, but not a dividend was paid during the year. The 
year 1913 however, promises to see mining conducted in a more business- 
like manner. 





Before the white man turned his face westward, Mason Valley was 
inhabited by the Piute tribe of Indians. It was a fertile country with 
meadows of wild grass along the river, which was filled with trout. 
There were no trees except a few in the Southern part of the valley. 
The Indians lived by hunting and fishing; using rabbit-skins for clothes 
and beds. Having no grain of any kind, they gathered the seeds from 
bunch-grass, grinding it on flat rocks to make a kind of bread. For sugar 
they gathered crystals from the canes that grew along the river banks. 
They gathered many pinenuts from the mountains and wild berries 
which were stored for winter. They had some very unclean customs 
such as using their mouths for a receptacle for vermin plucked from 
the heads of the children and carrying small worms thrust in the side 
of the mouth to keep the bait moist. Old Indians tell of their fright 
when they first saw white men driving horses. They fled to the moun- 
tains for safety. They often suffered from cold and hunger and are 
better off since the coming of the whites. When they had no guns 
often a man would chase down a rabbit, running and yelping like a dog 
to frighten and confuse the animal. After a light fall of snow they 
formed a long line driving the rabbits from their hiding places, some- 
times killing as many as fifteen hundred in a bunch. These were 
skin,ned and dried for future use. 

The earliest account we have of a white man entering the valley was 
taken from the report which Fremont sent to the Government at Wash- 
ington describing his journey over the Sierra Nevadas to California. 
On January 2ist, 1844, he writes of camping over night at the forks of 
the river, opposite and near, the place now called Nordyke. He named 
the river Walker, after a member of his party. For a number of years 
after this, emigrants brought their parties through this valley. The old 


road is still plain in the Southwestern part of the valley, passing through 
the mountains into Smith Valley near Wellington Springs. 

During the year 1854, N. H. A. Mason with his brothers, who were 
driving cattle through to California, observed the value of the land for 
grazing purposes. Late in 1859, Mr. Mason returned and found that 
one William Dickson had, in October of that year, located in the North- 
ern part of the valley. Mr. Dickson, no doubt being glad to see a white 
man, offered Mr. Mason half of his claim to remain with him. Mr. 
Dickson finally lost his property on account of being absent for some 
time. Mr. Mason, from whom the valley takes its name, located on 
what was known as the Mason ranch, now the property of Miller and 
Lux. In 1860, Mason built the first house here. It was 16x24 feet 8 
feet high with sides of mud held in place by willows and roofed with 
tules. It was burned in 1866. Following Mason were the Wheeler 
brothers, who settled on what is now a part of the George Wilson ranch. 
Soon after them came Angus McLeod, Charles Sneider, and a man 
named Clement, also Charles D. Lane, Johnson, the Alcorn brothers and 
Jesse Woodcock. David Wilson, with his wife and four small children, 
came in the summer of 1863. Mrs. Wilson was the first white woman 
to remain in the valley. Mr. Wilson helped the Alcorn brothers cut hay 
with a scythe and put up the first of many haystacks built here. Mr. 
Wilson then bought Tom Wheeler's ranch and settled near his present 
home. For six months she lived without seeing the face of another 
white woman, and we may imagine her joy when Mrs. Sprague, with 
her husband and daughter Alice, moved in from Carson Valley. Mrs. 
Wilson, who was of a retiring nature, said, "W r hen I heard there was 
a woman in the new tent I did not wait to be introduced, but just put 
on my bonnet and went to see her, and how we talked." 

Usually the Indians were friendly, but at one time, for some 'cause 
unknown, they put on their war-paint and executed a war-dance. Seven 
painted warriors camped opposite Mr. Wilson's house. He armed the 
six white men who lived with him, and they in turn stood guard several 
days and nights. All other white people in this valley fled to Fort 
Churchill, taking with them Mrs. Wilson's daughter, who was visiting 
the Sprague family. No shots were fired and the Indians peacefully 
withdrew to their camps. 

In the year 1864 the first white child, a son, was born to the wife of 


Adam Herboldt, living near the Brady ranch. The weather was stormy 
and the wind whistled through their abode; but the boy John grew to 

The discovery of gold by William Wilson in Pinegrove during 1866, 
materially increased the population of this country. As there was no 
established mail-route, Charles Sneider and Angus McLeod ran a four- 
horse stage from Pinegrove through Mason Valley to Virginia City, 
carrying letters by express. Mr. W. R. Lee in 1861 pre-empted 160 
acres of land and built the first house in Yerington, which is at present 
occupied by Mrs. Barton. Soon after Mr. E, W. Bennett bought near 
and built a store. Mr. James Downey moved from Pinegrove, secured 
a large amount of land and built a saloon, thus forming a nucleus for 
the present town of Yerington. Before anyone settled there, the pioneer 
trading post was a small store located near the Rhymers ranch ; but after- 
ward moved to about a mile north of Yerington and called the Gieger 
store. Mail came from Wadsworth, Nevada, once a week to this place 
and it was known as the Mason Valley postoffice. About this time the 
first school was opened by Miss Mattie Wiley, who taught in the home 
of Alec McLeod, near the present town. 

Religious services were not neglected, being held as early as 1866 by 
Rev. R. Carberry, who was followed by Rev. Mr. Orne. Rev. Thomas 
Bartley organized the Methodist Church with two or three members. 
Rev. J. T. Ladd erected the present church building. A Good Templars 
Lodge was organized by Rev. F. M. Willis with good results. 

During the spring of 1876 a bridge was built across the Walker River 
on the Sprague ranch, south of the present crossing. Being improperly 
constructed it settled in the centre, and when the high water in summer 
came, it floated down the river. The timbers were anchored by Mr. 
John Gallagher and the bridge rebuilt near the Geiger store. The next 
bridge was built on the East Fork of the Walker River. Through the 
summer months when the water was high, Mr. Sprague towed a barge 
back and forth by means of a windlass and rope to ferry teams across. 
The fare was a dollar and a half, so he did not go often. Early in the 
history of the valley, the cultivation of the soil began. 

Mr. Wilson and Mr. McLeod raised grain, hay and potatoes; Mr. 
McLeod took a load of potatoes to Aurora, receiving $250 a ton for 
them. These pioneers also brought in the first alfalfa seed, but as they 


sowed it on wet ground the results were small. Old Mr. Osborne 
secured the first good field on what is now the Fitzpatrick place. He 
was also the first man to bring in bees about 1883. 

For years cattle-raising was the principal industry and vast herds 
roamed the unfenced plains. Gradually the ranches have been fenced, 
the cattle sold, and we have now a vast area of land devoted to diversi- 
fied farming. For a period of ten years, between 1880 and 1890, the 
monster known as "Hard Times," visited the farmers. Prices were low 
and there was no market for produce. Eggs sold for ten cents per 
dozen, chickens $3.50 per dozen, potatoes 50 cents to $1.00 per sack, and 
hay as low as $2.50 per ton. The cowboys rode about singing "Oh Mason 
Valley with her alfalfa hay, that's the gold standard down there. You 
ask for a dollar and the rancher will holler, I've only got alfalfa hay." 
During this season, Mr. Sayers started the Mason Valley Tidings, which 
was sold to Mr. Charles Patterson, and he changed the name to the 
Yerington Rustler. About 1902, Mr. Fairbanks moved his paper in 
from Dayton, giving it the name of Lyon County Times. Later the 
name was changed to the Yerington Times. 

The manufacturing interests of the valley were few; however, in 
1868, W. R. Lee built a flour-mill near George Wilson's present home, 
and selling that, built another about two and a half miles from Yering- 
ton. In 1891 a new and up-to-date mill was erected at the place now 
called Nordyke. About two years later the present creamery was estab- 
lished and also one year the Nichols ranch, which was destroyed by 
fire. Lately an ice-plant has been added to the manufacturing industries. 

Yerington usually was supplied with a number of boarding houses, 
but for many years Mr. John Craig conducted the principal hotel. It 
was burned in 1883 by a fire which swept the northern part of the main 
street on the west side. About a year later another large fire consumed 
the southern part of the same street. 

The valley has always been well supplied with stores which gradually 
increased in size and number, the two largest being Mr. Lam's, built in 
1907, and the Mason Mercantile, a brick store just completed. 

Yerington has not always been known by that euphonious name; but 
for many years bore the opprobious cognomen of "Pizen Switch." The 
first postoffice was Mason Valley, afterward changed to Greenfield. 
Cowboys are fond of nick-names, and in early times Mr. Downey went 


to Virginia City and bought a receipt for making his own liquor, which 
the boys called "pizen." Mr. Downey's saloon was nick-named "the 
depot," and a small drinking-place built of willows, about a mile off the 
road was called the "Willow Switch." Farther down the road was the 
Geiger store called "The Dump." The vaquros amused themselves rac- 
ing horses from one drinking place to another, and used the expression 
frequently, "Let's switch oft" and get some pizen." Finally the other 
drinking places were closed, and Mr. Downey's was called "Pizen 
Switch." As the town grew the name of the postoffice was so far for- 
gotten that a letter addressed to Grann or Smart, no matter which, safely 
reached its destination. Later the name was changed to Yerington, and 
the influx of strangers made it permanent. 

The building of the Carson and Colorado Railroad in 1880 through 
the northern end of the valley brought the town of Wabuska into exist- 
ence. It was a narow-gauge road without much traffic. After the dis- 
covery of Tonopah, it was taken over by the Southern Pacific Com- 
pany, and broad-gauged, and during the last two years (1910-1911) 
the Nevada Copper Belt has been built from Wabuska south to the Lud- 
wig in Smith Valley, with a short branch running north to the new town 
of Thompson and the new smelter now in operation, treating from 700 
to 1,000 tons of ore daily. For many years the growth of the popula- 
tion was very slow. The writings of Fitz-Mack, advertising the copper 
deposits near the opening of the Reservation brought new blood and 
life to the valley. A telephone line has been constructed, a bank founded, 
a high school established, and a new Court House built at Yerington. 
A fine new grammar school building was built in Yerington, finished in 
1912. About the year 1909, Mason, a sister city, was surveyed, laid 
out, and built, being situated on the banks of the Walker River, about 
three miles southwest from Yerington. It is the headquarters of the 
Nevada Copper Belt Railroad, and of the Mason Valley Mines Company. 
It has grown rapidly and supports a good hotel, several shops and a 
good school. 

About 1890 an Indian known as Jack Wilson, a large, fine-looking 
Indian of the Piute tribe, began giving ghost dances out in the timber 
and in the open spaces in the woods and creating quite a stir among the 
Indians, but he did not receive the support that he expected here. So 
he went East and through his agents communicated with the Sioux In- 


dians, and started the last Indian war, known as the Ghost Dance War. 
This Indian Jack was raised in the family of David Wilson, where the 
old-fashioned custom of reading the Bible, and having the family pray- 
ers twice a day obtained. He evidently listened closely to the story of 
the Messiah and, being a very bright Indian boy, at the age of about 
17 was employed by a sleight-of-hand performer going through the 
country to work over this section with him as an assistant. Through 
this employment, he learned many mysterious tricks, and so it was a 
very natural sequence to his early impressions that he should constitute 
himself the Indian Messiah. At the age of about 28 years, he started 
these ghost dances before mentioned. His promises made to the In- 
dians that after they begun the war there would be a resurrection of all 
the Indians who had previously died, and they would join in the battles 
and drive the white men out of the country, formed the inspiration for 
their actions. This same "Messiah" now receives prominent Indians 
from the Middle West and Montana, who give him many presents and 
treat him with great consideration when they come. He accepts these 
attentions with great dignity and in profound silence. 

This county was organized in 1861. In 1883 that portion of Esmeral- 
da County lying west of a line commencing at a point on the boundary 
line between California and Nevada, where the counties of Esmeralda 
and Douglas corner, and running thence, in a northeasterly direction to 
a point on the north boundary line of Esmeralda County, where the Car- 
son and Colorado Railroad crosses said line, was detached from Es- 
meralda County and annexed to Lyon County. It was part of what is 
known as Mason Valley. 

As already stated, the greater part of these lands nearly 200,000 
acres is now lying idle, though abundance of water is afforded by 
Walker River to irrigate all. This county in its contour resembles a 
four-pointed star ; the last part added from Wabuska south was taken 
from Esmeralda in what is known as "the land slide." 

In the palmy days of the Comstock, Dayton, at the north end of Lyon 
County, was the teamsters' camp for the Virginia mines, twelve miles 
distant. After the panic it was no longer the skinners' resting place 
and the business shifted to the new city of Yerington, the centre of 
the great copper mining district of that name. 

A few years ago an unfortunate fire destroyed the Court House at 


Dayton, which had been built in the sixties, and at once a fight began 
between Dayton and Yerington for the county seat. The fight was a 
very bitter one, but it was won by Yerington, and this town now boasts 
of a Court House built on modern lines. To that has been added a 
beautiful public school building and waterworks, with a standpipe sup- 
plied with water pumped from four artesian wells. The town also has 
a modern sewer system. Where two years ago the lizards and coyotes 
roamed the outlying plains and foothills of Wabuska, Thompson, a 
smelter town stands with its tall chimneys belching smoke from the 
manufacture of copper. From these plants seventy-five tons of copper 
matte a day are produced as the product of the great Yerington dis- 
trict. Another unit is being added and more are to follow to keep pace 
with the constantly increasing output. Yerington supplies Mason Val- 
ley, Waubuska, Thompson, Shurz. Morningstar, and Pine Grove as a 
depot point, and a monthly payroll of more than six hundred men redis- 
tribute the profits of the mines, and farms making a healthy commercial 
condition which has succeeded the first hurrah of the boom days. 





On the loth day of February, 1911, the Legislature erected the County 
of Mineral out of the northern portion of Esmeralda County. The 
Governor appointed as the first Board of County Commissioners, J. H. 
Miller, of Hawthorne, F. R. Red, of Rawhide, and B. R. Balzar, of Mina. 
The Board organized on February i8th, 1911, and appointed the following 
named County officers : Sheriff and Assessor, Eugene Grutt, of Rawhide ; 
Clerk and Treasurer, J. G. Atchinson, of Hawthorne ; Recorder and Audi- 
tor, John Gallagher, of Hawthorne; District Attorney, H. F. Brede, of 
Rawhide ; Public Administrator, W. E. Beauchamp, of Hawthorne County ; 
Surveyor, L. B. Spencer, of Hawthorne. These officers held until the next 
general election in 1912 at which election Eugene Grutt was again elected 
to the same office, J. H. White to the office of Clerk and Treasurer, S. T. 
Kelso to the office of Recorder and Auditor, John R. Melrose to the office 
of District Attorney, J. H. Miller and F. R. Red and Sol M. Summerfield 
were elected as a Board of County Commissioners. 

This is essentially a Mineral County as it is named, although there is 
considerable agricultural area, principally in the northwestern portion of 
the county along the East Walker River and its tributaries, Sweetwater 
and Bodie Creeks, from the boundary line between California and Nevada 
to the boundary line between Mineral and Lyon Counties at the head 
of Walker Lake on the Indian reservation. The soil, in other portions of 
the county wherever water can be obtained, has proved highly productive. 

The Nevada and California Railway extends through about the center 
of the county from its N. W. boundary to the S. E. boundary line, skirt- 
ing the eastern shore of Walker Lake. Several ranges of mountains 
traverse the county from northwest to southeast, all of which are highly 
mineralized and are continuously being explored and developed by 
prospectors and miners. The majority of the towns of the county are the 


result of the discovery of mines rich in gold, silver, copper, lead, etc. 
Earlier than the discovery of the Comstock, the mines of Aurora were 
producing millions in gold, and have been producers continuously, in vary- 
ing quantities ever since. Very recently the Knight Investment Co. 
took over the principal mines and are prosecuting development work vigor- 
ously and are erecting a reduction works of 500 tons capacity daily. 
Aurora is situated near the boundary line of Nevada and California and 
12 miles northeast of Bodie, Cal. (Mark Twain was discovered there). 
In the next range to the east, the Walker Lake Range, are numerous min- 
ing districts from the Beach Yerington and surrounding copper producers 
in the northern portion of the range, to mines in the Huntoon district in 
the southern portion of the county. The Chip-Munk Springs, Walker 
Lake, Mt. Cory, Alum Creek, etc. The Luckyboy mines are in Alum 
Creek district and produced over a million in silver and lead in a year. 
A tunnel is being driven on this property to a distance of six thousand 
feet to develop the known ore-bodies at a vertical depth of a thousand 
feet. The next range some 10 miles to the east, arid generally parallel, ex- 
tends the full length of the county, and in it are situated the Rawhide 
mines, in the northern portion. The phenomenally rich gold ore discovered 
here caused the Rawhide boom in the years 1906, 1907, and 1908. Raw- 
hide is a steady producer, three quartz mills being in operation there and 
satisfactory returns being had. Further south, and all along the range 
on the eastern shore of Walker Lake, mining is being done with satis- 
factory results. In the next range to the east are the copper mines of 
Luning District and the mines surrounding Mina. Still further south 
are the mines of Candelaria, discovered in the early seventies, which 
have produced millions in silver, and are still producing. To the west 
of Candelaria is situated the Teels Borax marsh where F. M. Smith 
(the Borax King) made his start in borax production. This marsh 
has produced millions of dollars worth of borax. On the line of the 
Nevada & California Railway, in the northern part of the county, and 
near the head of Walker Lake, is the town of Schurz, the headquarters of 
the Indian Reservation officials. Walker Lake extends north and south a 
distance of 26 miles in length and averages four miles in width. 

In the valley at the south end of the lake is situated the County Seat, 
Hawthorne, a veritable oasis in the desert. The soil is productive and is 
irrigated with water brought from the mountains to the west. Every 


residence is surrounded by shade, fruit trees and gardens, while the 
rest of the valley is arid, the waters of the lake being slightly high 
in akali for irrigation purposes. Hawthorne was the county seat of Esmer- 
alda County prior to 1907, when Goldfield was made the county seat. The 
forming of the new county again made Hawthorne the seat of govern- 
ment. The town was built in 1881 on the advent of the Carson & Colorado 
R. R., afterward the Nevada & California R. R., and was division head- 
quarters of that road. To the east of Hawthorne, on the line of the R. 
R., is the town of Luning, the supply point for the copper-mines of that 
vicinity. Twelve miles south is the flourishing town of Mina, division 
point of the railroad, and where the machine-shops, round-house, etc., are 
situated. Surrounding Mina is a rich mineral country, and it is being 
vigorously developed. Three miles further south is Sodaville noted for 
its mineral soda springs. Sodaville, some four miles, the Narrow Gauge 
R. R. leaves the main line and runs southwesterly through the county 
and on through Mono and Inyo counties to Los Angeles, Cal. Since the 
creation of Mineral County it has been prosperous. The valuation of 
assessable property being over two and a quarter millions. Expenses are 
light. Every community has its public school well equipped and well 
taught. There are thirteen school districts in the county. All in all the 
youngest county in the State has a bright future. 



Nye County was, by act of the territorial legislature of Nevada, carved 
out of Esmeralda County, in the year 1864, and was named in honor of 
Gov. J. W. Nye. Esmeralda County at that time comprised the territory 
south of the thirty-ninth parallel and east of Mason Valley. Aurora was 
a thriving camp, but of the land to the east, little was known. True, some 
old maps showed the line through Smoky Valley marked "Fremont's Trail 
in 1845" an d along it were the names of San Antonio Peak, Hot Springs, 
Twin Rivers and Smoky Creek. 

In 1862-3 the Reese River excitement brought in many settlers and the 
town of Austin was founded. Prospecting expeditions were undertaken 
southward along the Toiyabe range beyond the limits of Lander County. 
Discoveries were made and the districts of Washington and Marysville 
on the western slope and Twin River on the eastern were organized. Up- 
on the precipitous slopes of this range, which extends from 8,000 to 12,000 
feet in height, numerous streams arise and flow down to the adjacent 
valleys, and there sink ; but Reese River runs for 100 miles to the north, 
and along its course ranches were located and settlements made. Con- 
tinuing the exploration, the Shoshone range was next explored, and on the 
western slope silver-bearing rock was discovered in 1863. Union district 
was then organized and the town of lone was founded, surrounded by 
supposedly rich mines. The causes which led to the organization of 
Nye County are partially set forth in the petition to the Territorial Leg- 
islature signed by a number of pioneers, and reads as follows: 

To his Excellency, the Governor and the Honorable members of the 
Legislature of the Territory of Nevada : 

We, the undersigned residents of Nevada Territory, respectfully represent that 
we are residents of a newly-discovered mining district, which is now known as 
"Union District," that the same is situated in the range of mountains lying between 
the valley of Reese River on the east and the valley of Smith Creek on the west. 


We are distant from the city of Austin in Lander County, in a southerly direc- 
tion about sixty miles, and from Aurora, in Esmeralda County, in an easterly direc- 
tion, about loo miles. Now, we your petitioners and residents of this district, pray 
your honorable bodies that you take into consideration the propriety of forming a 
county for us, believing that our ends and the ends of justice will be better sub- 
served by so doing. 

A protest by numerous residents of Lander County was forwarded 
to the Governor and Legislature, but a bill was nevertheless introduced 
providing for the creation of Nye County. In the favorable report on this 
bill we find the statement that the proposed county contained from 1,000 
to 1,500 people. 

The bill became a law February 16, 1864. The territory embraced was 
thus described : 

"Beginning at the intersection of the thirty-ninth parallel of north latitude with 
the meridian of longitude 40 30" west from Washington ; thence running east 
along said thirty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the eastern boundary of the 
Territory of Neyada ; thence running south along said eastern boundary to the 
point of intersection with the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude ; thence run- 
ning along said thirty-ninth parallel of north latitude west to the California line, 
and northwest along said California line to the point of intersection with the merid- 
ian of longitude 40 30' west from Washington ; thence running north along said 
meridian to the place of beginning." 

Subsequent to the original creative Act the boundaries of Nye County 
have been changed six times. On the ninth day of March, 1865, half a 
degree was ceded to Esmeralda County, making the eastern boundary of the 
county the meridian of longitude 40 30' wes,t from Washington. Febru- 
rary 26th, 1866, a large part of the southeastern portion of Nye was 
formed into Lincoln County. May 5th, 1866, an Act was approved by the 
President of the United States extending the eastern boundary of Nevada 
sixty miles into Utah, and adding to this State all its present area south of 
the thirty-ninth parallel of latitude. This addition on the south increased 
the territory of Nye; but on March 2nd, 1869, a portion of Nye was 
added to White Pine. March 5th, 1869, tne western boundary of the 
county was established as at present. In 1875 that part of Nye east of the 
one-hundred-and-fifteenth meridian west from Greenwich was added 
to Lincoln and White Pine. The area is 18,432 square miles. April 2nd, 
1864, in accordance with the creative Act, the Governor issued his pro- 
clamation locating the county seat at lone City, and appointing the first 
county officers. As evidence of the frugal character of the first officers, it 
is recorded that the modest sum of $800 was appropriated for the con- 
struction of a County Court House. The wisdom of this was shown when 


on February 6th, 1867, the Legislature passed an Act removing the 
county seat to Belmont. The numerous mines and rapid development 
being made, attracted wealth and population, and Belmont soon became 
an important center. The first bonded debt was created in 1875, at 
which time the valuation of property in the county was $1,500,000, and 
the population 2,000. 

The topography of the county differs little from that of the major 
portion of Nevada, consisting of valleys running north and south and 
of mountain spurs and ranges. In its earlier years, Nye was considered 
a fine grazing country and thousands of cattle grazed annually upon the 
bunch grass and white sage which grew profusely over large portions 
of the county, the white sage in particular constituting a very valuable 
winter feed. For many years, however, the greater portion has been 
looked upon as desert, inhabited by the lizard and horned toad, while 
the slinking coyote is monarch of all he surveys. 

Duckwater Valley commences about seven miles south of the north 
line of the county and runs southerly into Railroad Valley. It is three^ 
quarters of a mile wide and about twelve miles long, and is well watered 
by Duckwater Creek. It consists almost entirely of meadow land, al- 
though all kinds of grains and vegetables may be produced. It is noted 
for the apples which are grown there. 

Hot Creek Valley runs nearly parallel with Railroad Valley, and 
is about eight miles wide and 200 miles long. Its water supply is in- 
sufficient, being obtained from small creeks and springs. Considerable 
numbers of cattle and horses range there at various seasons of the year. 

Monitor Valley lies to the westward of Hot Creek Valley and extends 
about seventy miles southerly from the northern boundary of the county, 
and is about eight miles wide. It is watered by Pine and Mosquito Creeks, 
and several other small streams. The raising of hay and cattle are the 
principal industries. 

Ralston Valley commences at a point sixty miles south of the northern 
line of the county near the town of Belmont, and runs to the southern 
line. It is about eight miles wide, contains no water and no attempts to 
settle it have ever been made. It was named in memory of Judge James 
H. Ralston who lost his life through starvation and exposure on the edge 
of the valley in May, 1864. 


Railroad Valley lies between the White Pine Range and the Pancake 
range of mountains, and is twelve miles wide and 200 miles long. There is 
a lack of water, which is found only in occasional spots, but not in 
sufficient quantities for use in irrigation. Indications of potash here 
in 1911 have led to extensive location of the valley lands, and deep-boring 
has taken place with a view to discovering deposits of commercial value, 
but without complete success as yet. 

Reese River Valley, which extends south from Lander County and 
reaches thirty miles into Nye, is eight miles wide, well watered and 
produces abundantly. 

Smoky Valley also commences in Lander County, and for 140 miles 
runs southward through Nye, being about fifteen miles in width and 
watered by numerous small streams and springs. 

As one glances through the mining records of Nye County, the 
names of mining districts at this date almost forgotten are found. Blue 
Spring, Danville, Empire, Grant, Hot Creek, Jackson, Jett, Milk Spring, 
San Antonio, Silver Point, North Twin River, Springfield, Summit, Toi- 
yabe, recall but a memory, and the traveler in those sections finds only 
the remnants of decaying cabins and abandoned workings. Belmont has 
been abandoned as a mining camp, and its few residents are connected 
with the cattle and farming industry in the vicinity, while its mills have 
been looted of all useful machinery and their walls have crumbled back to 
earth. Such was the condition of the mining industry when the new 
discoveries were made which have brought Nye into the lead of the 
mining counties of the State, following the discoveries of Tonopah. It 
will be noted that I have used the word in the plural, "discoveries," and 
the reason will become apparent later. The discovery of Tonopah by 
Butler on May igth, 1900, was by far the most important event in the 
later history of Nevada, just as the discovery of the Comstock was the most 
important event in the State's earlier history, and all the in- 
formation concerning it should, therefore, be told by those who hear or 
know the facts. Again, the usually accepted story of the Butler discovery 
probably does not state the whole truth. 

The ledges at Tonopah, out-cropping in a space less than three hundred 
yards square, but nevertheless prominent, must have been seen by pro- 
spectors and cowboys many times before Butler saw them, for they 


were in plain sight from the trail that led through the Sawtooth Pass 
from San Antonio Valley to Ralston Valley. 

There are other passes across the San Antonio range, but this was 
the least rough and certainly the lowest pass between the few inhabited 
points in that part of Nevada, particularly between the station at Stone 
Cabin, about forty miles east of Tonopah, and the cattle ranges along 
lower Peavine Creek in San Antonio Valley, which extends westerly 
toward Silver Peak, and Candelaria. The old name of the pass, for it 
is now called Tonopah Pass, was taken from the early name given by 
the cowboys quite appropriately to the high volcanic rim now known 
at Mt. Butler, which they called Sawtooth Peak, from its serrated sum- 
mit. It can be seen from great distances in the desert, and is peculiarly a 
landmark easily distinguishable from all surrounding mountains. 

"Float" from the Valley View ledges was scattered all along that part 
of the pass at the base of Valley View, or Silver Top hill, and some 
of it was very rich. But it was all black or brownish black, and black 
ledges were held in no favor in southern Nevada, where there is a number 
of them running high in iron, but low in everything else but silica. So 
the cowboys and prospectors must have ignored the black-float and 
the black ledges it came from, thinking the coloring due to the presence 
of abundant iron compounds, instead of compounds of manganese and 
silver, the true coloring agents of the rock. Butler found location monu- 
ments on the ground, but they had partly fallen down and were weather- 
beaten and apparently old. He found no location notices. 

The nearest town to Sawtooth Peak was Silver Peak, about thirty-five 
miles westerly. Prospectors went out from that town in all directions. 
Along there in the nineties, was an old man who made several trips to- 
ward Sawtooth Peak, and who reported that he had found and located 
some ledges of black quartz near its base. It is supposed that he had 
some idea of the value of his discovery for he allowed no one to accompany 
him on his trips in that direction. After a time he was missing from Silver 
Peak, and has never been seen there since. Whether he left on a trip 
out into the desert and lost his life there, or whether he simply went 
away from Silver Peak to some more attractive place of abode, no 
one knows, for he was little given to talk and did not disclose his plans. 
What description he did give of the ledges he discovered, however, 
fits very closely those at Tonopah. Several years after the old man had 


disappeared, an Indian known as Charlie Fishman told the assayer at the 
Silver Peak Mine that he knew where there were some big black quartz 
ledges; that they looked good and that he thought they might contain 
gold. This Indian is a half-breed from the Fish Lake Valley country at 
the foot of the White Mountains, and is more intelligent and restless than 
most Shoshones and Piutes. He knows something of prospecting, and was 
in the habit of making trips for that purpose on horseback. The assayer, 
who was generally known as "Van," to the whites, and "Mr. Van" to 
the Indians, was himself deeply interested in the country surrounding Sil- 
ver Peak, and encouraged prospecting to the extent that he could afford. 
He asked Fishman how long it would take him to make the trip and pro- 
spect the ledges for gold. Fishman said he could do it in two or three 
weeks, if he had an outfit. The assayer supplied Fishman with a light 
wagon, a team of horses, and enough supplies for three weeks. The 
Indian said he knew where he could get what water he needed. Van's in- 
structions to him were to pan for gold all along the ledges. 

Fishman returned in about three weeks and reported that he had panned 
the ledges as well as he could and that he had gotten but one color. He 
brought back none of the rock. He returned to the assayer what was left 
of the outfit and disappeared. In 1901, the assayer paid the newly dis- 
covered Tonopah a visit. He had heard wonderful tales of its mineral 
wealth, the activity of its leasers, and the great shipments that were 
furnishing employment for scores of teamsters and hundreds of horses, 
and wanted to see for himself. He inspected the leases on Mizpah Hill 
and then crossed over to the Valley View Hill. As he stood on the edge 
of the first lease he came to that side and looked down into the open cut 
where the ore was being broken, he spied Fishman working with a single- 
jack and drill. He called to him. The Indian looked up and said : "Hello, 
Mr. Van how are you ? This is the place where I found the black quartz." 
Van turned away without replying ; walked rapidly down the hill ; hitched 
up his team without a word and left Tonopah, never to return. 

In the spring of either 1897, 1898, or 1899, Isador Sara, a sheep- 
owner was driving his band of sheep along the Monitor to the San 
Antonio range of mountains. The feed about the present site of Tonopah 
was good and springs between what is now known as Heller, Butte, 
and Mt. Butler furnished abundance of water. The sheep camp was 
established near the present site of the State Bank Building, and the sheep 


ranged on the slopes of Mizpah Hill. Sara's herder had done some pro- 
specting and noticed the croppings as his sheep fed. He broke off some 
samples and tying them in his handkerchief hung them on the side of the 
camp burro. About this time the weather turned very warm and the 
springs dried up. It was necessary to move the sheep by forced marches. 
In traveling, the samples wore a hole in the handkerchief and into the 
burro's side. They tied them up again and hung them on the burro, but 
again the chafing wore the cloth through and Sara, becoming disgusted, 
threw the samples into the ditch. The herder thought the samples were 
very rich. They came from the Mizpah and Valley View croppings. 

Butler's discovery is generally attributed to the straying proclivities 
of his burros, but two facts should be considered as possibly having 
some bearing on it. Butler speaks the Shoshone dialect perfectly, and 
dearly loves to talk to any Indian or group of Indians he may encounter. 
He has always treated them well and is looked upon by them as a 
friend. Many a dollar of his Tonapah wealth has been spent upon them 
in late years. His trip was ostensibly taken for the purpose of visiting 
the Bell & Court strike at Klondike, in the range of low hills connecting 
the San Antonio mountains with the present Diamond-field region, a few 
miles northerly from Goldfield. The most direct route from Belmont, 
and in all respects the most feasible for him, was down Ralston Valley 
to the spring at Rye Patch, thirty miles to the south the first day, then 
the remaining twenty-five miles or so the next day, continuing on down 
the Ralston Valley to Cactus Lake, across the west edge of the lake 
to Klondike hills and across them to the Bell & Court property. Instead 
of this course, which lay before him like an open door, almost every foot 
of it in plain view from the mouth of the canyon at Belmont, he crossed 
the San Antonio Mountains, through a high, rough pass to Tonapah 
Spring, about four miles north of the present town of Tonopah, and 
then, after discovering the ledges, crossed the range again around Saw- 
tooth Peak and through what is known as Gold Mountain Pass. That is to 
say, he crossed the range twice, when, had he no other object in view than 
visiting the Bell & Court discovery, he need not have crossed it at all, and 
could have avoided its roughness and cut off eight or ten miles of travel 
with burros, which is not an easy and comfortable method of getting from 
place to place. The probability is that he was looking for ledges he had 
been told of by the Indians, and that he found them where he expected to 


find them, with a little assistance from the straying burros. None the 
less, however, the credit is and should be his, for the making of a dis- 
covery of mineral that has lifted Nevada out of the lethargy into which 
the State was slowly sinking into oblivion. 

In the years that have passed since this discovery, Tonopah has passed 
through the usual struggles of the desert mining Camp. Electric power has 
been brought in from Owens River, eighty miles away. Water has been 
piped in from Rye Patch, eighteen miles distant. A sewer system has been 
installed; a five-story hotel, and five-story office building erected. A 
Masonic Temple has been secured by the Masonic bodies at a cost of 
$20,000. A High School building is being erected (1913) at a cost of 
$50,000. Five Stamp Mills, with an aggregate of 200 stamps, are dropping 
on the ores in Tonopah, while two mills at Millers, 14 miles away, with 
lob-stamps, also handle Tonopah ores, from ten producing miles with a 
monthly output of over $1,000,000. The population is at present about 

Bullfrog Following in the history of the later mining camps of Nye 
County. Frank (Shorty) Harris, a typical desert wanderer, returning 
with a companion and the inevitable burros of the prospector, from a trip 
to the Keane Wonder country, camped at Buck Springs. The next morn- 
ing Harris started to prospect some boulders of quartz and in a few minutes 
had discovered samples of what afterward became known as the genuine 
green bullfrog rock, through which free gold was scattered with a lavish 
hand. He located only one claim, a mill-site and water-right, and 
proceeded to Goldfield, the nearest town, and the rush was on ; and proper- 
ties were at various times sold for considerations reaching in the aggre- 
gate to over a million dollars, were soon located. But the original dis- 
coverer, in a moment of forgetfulness due to over-indulgence, parted with 
his interest in the initial discovery for $1,000. In its palmy days, 
Rhyolite, the principal town of the Bullfrog District, numbered 5,000 
inhabitants, and the Montgomery-Shoshone Mine, with its large Stamp 
Mill, was one of the best known mines of the State. But again the desert 
has claimed its own. 

Manhattan Popularly known as the "Pine Tree" camp of Nye County, 
probably attracted more attention and recorded greater progress during 
the year 1912 than any other district in Nevada. While Tonopah and 


Goldfield led by a wide margin in amount of wealth produced from the 
mines, Manhattan undoubtedly made greater advancement from its former 
position than was witnessed even by those greater camps. From a 
condition of comparative uncertainty and almost stagnation which had 
prevailed for several years, it solved the mining and milling problems 
before it, and hewed its way into public recognition, sustained by many 
new and important discoveries of ore and liberal shipments of gold to 
the United States Mints. 

The history of Manhattan has not been without its romantic and 
kaleidoscopic features. The first gold was discovered in April, 1905, by 
John C. Humphrey and partners, in a ledge of silicified lime that out- 
cropped prominently near the base of what is now known as "April Fool" 
hill, and but a hundred feet from the old Belmont-Cloverdale wagon 
road. The scene of this discovery is now in the center of the town 
of Manhattan. Shipments from the apex of this ledge were later freighted 
to Sodaville, and gave returns of over $100 per ton. An influx of 
prospectors followed the original discovery, and a large area was located. 
New excitements elsewhere during the fall caused a general exodus, and 
in December the town had less than 100 inhabitants. A shipment of 
rich ore in January, 1906, created a new rush, and in March the district 
had 3,000 population. This boom attracted much San Francisco capital, 
and the principal properties passed into the control of men of the coast city, 
but the earthquake of April 18, which wrecked San Francisco, also ruined 
many of those who had invested in Manhattan, causing cessation of 
development and practical abandonment of the camp. 

Mining was at a standstill, except in the case of a few leases that 
were intermittently being operated in the western or lower end of the 
camp, around the Union No. 9 claim. Among those which helped to fill 
in the small activities of the camp were the Evans lease, the Lamb 
lease, the Shea & Putman lease and the Dexter Leasing company, all of 
which operated on the Union No. 9 claim of the Dexter company. Each of 
them were profitable producers from the standpoint of the leases. 

Discovery of rich placer diggings along the main gulch immediately 
below the town of Manhattan early in 1909, renewed interest in the dis- 
trict, and led to a revival of lode mining on a small scale, in addi- 
tion to the extensive activities on the placers, which extend down the 
valley for several miles. To Thos. ("Dry-Wash") Wilson, who had pre- 


viously cleaned up about $40,000 in less than 90 days "dry-washing" on 
the Sunnyside ground of the Round Mountain Mining company's holdings 
at Round Mountain, belongs the credit of inaugurating successful oper- 
ations on the Manhattan placers by installing equipment and methods cap- 
able of handling the water and gravel which varied from 40 to 70 feet 
to bedrock. The value of the gravel ranges from $8 to $30 per yard, and 
many large nuggets have been found. 

Lode mining by leases spread to the eastern portion of the camp 
and resulted in a number of good discoveries in Litigation Hill and on 
the White Caps. The Big Four, at the western edge of the town, 
also, in 1911, became a notable producer under the operation of the 
(Poak-Steen) Cicala lease, and gave added impetus to the district. This 
lease, when at a depth of 400 feet and with a production of approximately 
$400,000 to its credit, was taken over by the Big Four Mining com- 
pany April 4, 1912, and the company immediately proceeded to sink the 
shaft to 500 feet, where the large ore bodies were again picked up by 
lateral development in July. A notable feature in the revival of Manhat- 
tan was the fact that it was brought about almost entirely by the acti- 
vities and successes of lessees in various parts of the camp. All of the 
owning companies had been put out of business by the San Francisco 
earthquake and the panic of 1907, but there were men who still re- 
tained faith in the resources of the district, and their leasing operations 
brought results which justified their efforts, and again attracted capital 
for mining development and modern milling facilities. 

Although for several years handicapped by inadquate custom-mills 
and high milling charges, those problems have been gradually solved. 
The War Eagle mill, with 10 stamps of 50 tons daily capacity, was con- 
structed in 1910, superseding the old Canyon mill as a market for ore. 
The treatment consists of stamp-crushing, amalgamation, and cyanide. 
In 1911 it passed into control of the War Eagle Mining and Milling com- 
pany, with D. R. Finlayson as general manager. The Priest mill, of 
similar capacity, was practically completed in 1910, but became involved 
in debts and did not begin operations until January, 1912, when it 
was taken over under lease by the Poak-Steen-Cicala syndicate for treat- 
ment of ore from their lease on the Big Four. It was later purchased by 
the Manhattan Ore and Reduction company, headed by Jno. D. Williden, 
of Philadelphia. 


The Associated mill, for which ground was broken in November, 1911, 
was completed and placed in operation April i, 1912. It is controlled 
by prominent mining men of Tonopah and Manhattan, headed by John G. 
Kirchen, and conducted under the management of its designer, Chas. 
Kirchen. The mill is situated in the "upper" or eastern end of the camp, 
and was designed especially for the treatment of the refractory ores 
of that locality, in which are the Manhattan Consolidated and the White 
Caps. It has 10 stamps, or a capacity of 50 tons per day, and the values 
are recovered by cyanide, without amalgamation. 

Before the close of the year 1912, the Big Four company will have 
a 5O-ton mill in operation, of its own construction. Mining operations 
by owning companies, were resumed in an energetic manner on a num- 
ber of properties in the spring and summer of 1912, and considerable new 
capital was invested in the district, with excellent results to those who 
thus showed their confidence in the camp. 

Among the active companies in 1912, were the Big Four, the Dexter- 
Union, the Toro Blanco, the Morning Glory, the Manhattan Amalga- 
mated, the Manhattan Earl, the Manhattan Dorris, the Thanksgiving, and 
the Mineral Hill Consolidated. The most prominent leases, all of which 
were producing pay ore, were the White Caps Syndicate on the White 
Caps, the Steffner, the Mushett- Wittenberg, and the Kendall-Douglas on 
the Manhattan Consolidated, the Swanson, and the Bath Bros, leases on the 
Earl, the Green lease on Litigation Hill Merger, the Branson-Herd on the 
Dexter-Union, Tarash-Lindsay lease on Big Four, the Putman, Shea & 
Kelliher lease on the Union No. 9, and Stray Dog, the Rakestraw lease on 
Union No. 9, the Phillips lease on Indian Camp, besides a number of 
others of lesser note in various portions of the district. The placers 
were still receiving a great deal of attention and give promise to make 
a generous yield of gold for several years to come. 

Electric power, which was installed by the Nevada-California Power 
company by extending their lines into the camp in 1909, has played an 
important part in the larger development of the district. The camp has 
many natural advantages for mining operations, including a delightful 
climate, an abundance of water for milling and domestic purposes, 
a thick growth of pine timber on the surrounding hills, and ease of 
access by automobile and freight wagons, although located 45 miles from 
Tonopah, the nearest railway point. Most of the ore shoots come to the 


surface, and are easily found by intelligent and persistent prospecting, 
which makes the expense of preliminary work a very small item. The 
geological formation includes slates, limestones, quartzite, granite, por- 
phyry and rhyolite, through which there has been extensive faulting, 
the faults being responsible in a large degree for the extensive ore bodies. 
Manhattan is one of the most picturesquely situated mining camps in 
Nevada. The little town nestles in the forks of two gulches that come 
down in a gentle slope from the rolling hills above, and from where the 
gulches join and continue down toward the Smoky Valley. The string of 
houses follow for half a mile or more. The town has an altitude of 
about 7,250 feet above sea level, and the narrow valley in which it is 
situated is followed by the old Belmont-Cloverdale wagon road, which has 
been one of the principal highways of the desert since the early sixties. 
The rounded hills on either side of this valley rise only 200 to 500 feet 
above its floor, but about i^ miles to the northwest, they grade into 
the rugged mountains forming the crest of the Toquima range, which 
extends northward about 80 miles further, paralleling the Toiyabe range 
to the west and separated from it by the Big Smoky Valley. 

Round Mountain. One of the most interesting low grade but profit- 
yielding camps in Nevada is Round Mountain, located in Nye county, 65 
miles north of Tonopah, and 20 miles from Manhattan. Among the several 
companies there, the Round Mountain Mining company is the leader, 
but it has some good neighbors in the Round Mountain Sphinx, the 
Round Mountain, Fairview, Round Mountain Daisy, and others of 
lesser note. The strike that first brought the attention of the public 
to Round Mountain was made in the spring of 1906, on ground located 
by Louis D. Gordon, and on a lease given by him to Scott, Morgan, and 
Scott on the Sunnyside No. i claim, which has been included in the 
holdings of the Round Mountain Mining company since its organization 
during that year. 

Round Mountain, after which the district and its leading company, 
take their name, is a low, round top mountain of porphyry and rhyolite, 
on the east side of Smoky Valley, near the base of the Toquima range. 

The property of the Round Mountain Mining company, comprises 350 
acres, which were acquired in 1906 and 1907. Since its incorporation, 
the company has mined and milled over 210,000 tons of ore of a 


gross value of approximately $2,000,000 and a net operating value of 
about $750,000, out of which it has paid dividends amounting to $328,- 
404.17, and has in its treasury a surplus of more than $165,000. During 
the past year the company has added to its milling facilities, and is now 
milling about 5,000 tons a month as compared with 3,000 tons per month 
formerly. The ore averages between $6 and $10 per ton, but owing to the 
large ore bodies and the free milling character, mining and milling costs are 
very low. The property is developed to a depth of 900 feet on the vein and 
has more than seven miles of underground workings, with a very large 
tonnage of ore developed in the mine. The company is capitalized 
at 1,000,000 shares, par value $i, of which 870,000 shares have been 
issued. The officers and directors are: Jas. R. Davis, President; W. H. 
Webber, Vice-president; H. G. Mayer, Secretary; L. D. Gordon, and 
W. H. Bryant. The principal offices of the company are located at 
Goldfield, Nev. In addition to the values recovered from the mines, a large 
amount of gold has been recovered by lessees working the placer ground 
on the company's property below the outcrop of the big vein. 





Geographically, Ormsby is the smallest county in the state. It was 
named after Major William M. Ormsby, who was one of its pioneers 
and prominent citizens, and who met his death at the battle of Pyramid 
Lake, where the force under his command was defeated by the Indians. 

By an act of the Territorial Legislature, approved November 25th, 
1861, the boundaries of the county were defined as follows: 

Beginning at the northeastern corner of Douglas County, and run- 
ning in an easterly direction along the northern boundary thereof to a 
point where it crosses El Dorado Canyon ; thence down the center of 
said canyon to a point there on due east of Brown and Cos dam, on 
Carson river; thence in a westerly direction, crossing Carson river at 
said dam ; thence to the Half-Way House, between Carson and Silver 
City; thence northwesterly to the summit of the mountains east of 
Washoe Lake; thence in a westerly course along said summit to the 
tops of the Sierras ; thence due west to the California line to the place 
of beginning. 

It is bounded on the north by Washoe and Lyon counties, on the 
east by Lyon, on the south by Douglas, and on the west by Placer 
County, California. The total area of the county is 172 square miles, 
and twenty-seven of these are under water, being a portion of Lake 
Tahoe. Nearly one hundred square miles are covered with picturesque 
mountains and the rest is valley land of great richness, capable of 
producing all kinds of fruits, grain and vegetables. 

At the west the Sierra Nevada range, whose peaks are sometimes 
covered with snow until late in autumn, rising to an altitude of eight 
thousand feet above the sea. These mountains were originally covered 
with dense growths of pines and cedars. But of late years they have 
been denuded by the lumberman's axe. Square miles of these forests 


were cut down to supply timber for the mines of the Comstock. 
Happily for the interests of the country a second growth of pine is 
appearing on the slopes of the mountains and being protected by law, 
and at some future day the forest glories of the past will be restored. 

The Pine Nut Mountains are at the south and east, and so named 
from their growth of the Nut-Pine, but they have also been denuded 
of their forest growth to supply the needs of an advancing civilization. 

Once a thing of beauty, they are now bare and unattractive. Gold 
has been found in both these ranges. In the early days the Pine-Nut 
range was the home of cattle rustlers and bandits and many a skeleton 
has been discovered there which tells of robbery and murder and 
crimes whose mysteries will never be solved. 

After entering Ormsby County the valley of the Carson widens. It 
is covered with prosperous farms and abounds in beautiful scenery. 
It is known as Eagle Valley, and has an area of about twenty-five 
square miles. 

The altitude of the Valley at Carson City is 4,015 feet above the sea. 
The Carson river runs about eighteen miles through the county. It 
has a variable flow. In the spring its swollen torrents sometimes 
sweep away its bridges and in the fall it dwindles down to a mere 
brook, not more than a foot in depth. Clear Creek is a mountain tor- 
rent in the spring from the melting mountain snows, and after a short 
course runs into the Carson. Mill Creek is a still smaller stream and 
there is another in El Dorado Canyon. These streams constitute the 
water courses of Ormsby County. 

In addition to these are three hot-springs which burst out of the 
ground with water hot enough to boil an egg. One is at the States 
Prison, one just at the southern edge of the County, and the other, 
more commonly known as Shaw's Springs, is about three miles north- 
east of Carson and has been a public resort for many years. The waters, 
are highly mineralized and medicinal and known for their curative qual- 
ities all over the Coast. 

Prior to being Ormsby County it was known as the County of 
Carson, having been so named by an act of the Territorial Legislature 
January I7th, 1852. At that time it was a part of the Territory of 
Utah. The history of Ormsby County becomes almost entirely the 
early history of the State. 


Carson City, the county seat and also the Capitol city of the State, 
took its name from that picturesque character, Kit Carson, a hunter, 
trapper, explorer and venturesome frontiersman who entered the 
county by way of the river which also bears his name. 

The first people to make a permanent stay in what is now Carson 
City were Joseph and Frank Barnard, Frank and W. L. Hall, A. J. 
Rollins and George Follensbye. They were gold-hunters, and came 
from the placer mines of California. Realizing that the country 
offered advantages for trading and agriculture they set up a station 
at that point. This was in Nov., 1851. Having killed an eagle they 
stuffed the bird and placed it over the front of the station as a sign and 
this gave the name of Eagle Valley to the surrounding country. The 
section they had selected was without a name or a government and a 
part of Utah. 

The Legislature that created the county of Ormsby selected as its 
first. Commissioners F. A. Tritle, J. S. Albro and H. F. Rice. The 
Commissioners held their first meeting Dec. 24th, 1861, with Rice 
acting as Chairman. Acting under the general statutes they organized 
the first election precincts designated as follows: 

No. I Carson City at Ormsby House. 

No. 2 Empire City at Kinney's Hotel. 

No. 3 Clear Creek at Haskell's Saw Mill. 

No. 4 at Half Way House. 

The following were appointed as Judges of Election : Polls No. I 
W. G. Bingham, W. D. Torreyson and Seymore Pixley; Polls No. 2 
H. Kinney, Abe Jones and D. C. Clark; Polls No. 3 H. G. Haskell, 
R. Walton and Charles Jones; Polls No. 4 W. F. Bryant, PI. Howell 
and George Pringle. 

The first election was held on January 14, 1862, at which time nearly 
1,000 votes were cast. To illustrate the interest taken in the election 
there were fourteen candidates for the office of Justice of the Peace. 
The following officers were elected: D. J. Gasherie, Sheriff; Parker 
H. Pierce, Clerk; W. D. Torreyson, Treasurer; A. H. Pierson, 
Assessor; S. D. King, Recorder; Rev. A. F. White, Superintendent of 
Schools; J. S. Lawson, Surveyor. 

On Sept. 3rd of the same year Gavin D. Hall and J. C. Lewis were 
elected to represent Ormsby County in the State Senate and Abram 


Curry, A. D. Treadway and W. H. Brumfield went to the lower house. 
Carson City had been made the location of the Capitol in 1861, and 
there being no suitable building in which to meet, the County Com- 
missioners had tendered the State the use of a building where the 
State's Prison now stands. 

Story and Lyon County were at the same time in competition for 
the prize, but the offer of Ormsby to furnish the building free of 
charge had its effect. In 1864 an attempt was made to remove the 
Capital to Storey. A company organized with considerable capital 
laid out a town on the flat below Gold Hill and named the place 
American City. They next offered the territory a bonus of $50,000 for 
the State Capital. This created quite a stir and the main reason ad- 
vanced for the change of location was that Ormsby County had 
broken faith with the people of the territory in offering a building 
for the meeting of the Legislature free of charge and then asking a 
rental of $4,500 per session for its use. Such a storm was raised over 
the matter that E. B. Rail, Wellington Stewart and other citizens of 
Ormsby called upon their County Commissioners to resign. The re- 
quest was specially addressed to Adolphus Waitz, the Chairman of 
the Board. The correspondence between Waitz, and the citizens 
who sought his resignation, was very bitter, and some lively person- 
alities were indulged in. The matter was before the Legislature and 
charges were made of the use of money to keep the Capital at Carson. 
During the debate the editor of the Carson Post stated editorially that 
he had personally collected some of the money used to buy votes and 
threatened to expose any one else who did likewise. 

This was the first attempt to remove the Capital from Carson City, 
but it was by no means the last. Storey County continued to hanker 
after the prize and some years after the State Capital was built there 
was an odd impromptu attempt to take it to Virginia City, which 
nearly succeeded. 

One night Joseph T. Goodman, Rollin Daggett, publishers of the 
Territorial Enterprise, were out painting the town with Jonas Seeley, 
a prominent attorney. They finally hired a hack and when the driver 
asked them where they wished to go they were at first at a loss to re- 
ply, as they had imbibed considerable liquor and were careless as to 
their destination. Finally Daggett suggested a ride to Carson City. 


It was then midnight and the driver of the hack demanded fifty 
dollars for the trip, which was at once paid. On the way down Seeley 
ventured to ask Daggett what they were going to Carson for and the 
latter sleepily replied : "We are going down there to remove the Capi- 
tal to Virginia City." This struck all hands as a good and sufficient 
reason for the trip, and so it was agreed. 

Arriving early in the morning they took a short rest and rising 
about nine o'clock, they invaded the halls of legislation and announced 
their mission. They had money to burn and soon champagne was 
flowing freely in every saloon in Carson. They invaded the Gov- 
ernor's office with baskets of wine and the same afternoon a bill was 
introduced in the Assembly providing for the removal of the Capital 
from Carson City to Virginia City. It passed the Assembly with a 
whoop and went in due course to the Senate. Goodman, who had 
great influence with Abraham Curry, secured the promise of his vote 
in the Senate for the removal bill. With Curry's vote they could 
pass the bill and the citizens of Carson gave up the fight when they 
counted noses in the Senate. 

But a strange thing happened which saved the day for Ormsby. 
The night before the vote was to be taken Goodman and Curry were 
walking in from the Hot Springs, and as they neared the edge of 
town Goodman noticed that Curry was in tears. When asked for 
the reason of his emotion Curry replied that the Capital building was 
his architectural child. The idea of its removal had preyed upon his 
feelings and he desired to be released from his promise to vote for 
Goodman's bill. Curry broke down completely when he asked for a 
release from his promise and Goodman, who was a man of fine senti- 
ment, replied : "Abe, I respect your sentiments and release you. I had 
rather lose this fight than trample on your feelings." 

Next day the Virginia City delegates were still celebrating what 
they regarded as a sure victory, but when the vote was taken in the 
Senate it was one short and Carson won. Goodman explained to his 
associates why he had released Curry from his promise and Curry 
was never afterward blamed for it. Years afterward Reno made sev- 
eral attempts to secure the Capital and used the threat of removal as 
a lever to secure favorable legislation for Washoe County. 

More recently, Winnerrmcca made a fight for it and Senator Bell 


led the battle. He passed a bill in the Senate to submit it to a vote 
of the people, but it failed in the House, and in the last session of the 
Legislature the matter of the Capital's location was settled for all 
time by the passage of a bill introduced by H. R. Mighels, an Assem- 
blyman for Ormsby, providing for a $60,000 addition to the Capital 
building. This bill passed readily, as the repeated efforts to move the 
seat of State government was becoming generally obnoxious to the 
taxpayers of the State, who were in no humor to foot the bills which 
would result from such a course. 


Of all the early pioneers of Ormsby County the name of Abram 
Curry stands most prominent. He came over the Sierras in 1858 
from California and planned to settle in Genoa. The place was then 
known as Mormontown, and Curry planned to buy some lots and specu- 
late. The people with whom he attempted to do business were not 
easy as to terms and Curry regarded their price as too high. They 
wanted $1,000 cash in hand for a corner lot and would consent to no 
reduction. After they had coldly refused to reduce a single dollar in 
their price Curry mounted his horse, remarking: 

"I will go farther down the valley and start a town of my own." 
Next day he was in Eagle Valley to redeem his promise. Joined by 
B. F. Green, Frank M. Proctor and J. J. Musser, companions who had 
crossed the mountains with him, he bought a ranch of Mr. Mankin. 
Its eastern limits were the Warm Springs and States Prison grounds 
and its western boundaries extended to where Minnesota street now 
is. Curry and his companions paid Mankin $500 down and some 
horses and mustangs for the ranch. Mankin had numerous creditors 
who were on his trail as soon as they heard of the sale, but he got 
away in the night on a grey stallion with his children and an Indian 
boy. He had an old standing trouble with the Piute Indians of the 
section and claimed to have killed fifty of them. He had a very 
hard reputation at the time and was a rough, illiterate man who was 
always quarreling with his neighbors. He was an athlete and foot- 
racer, a crack rifle-shot, and generally regarded as a dangerous man 
to have in a community. All in all, the citizens of Eagle Valley were 
glad to know that he had left the country for good. 


In Sept., 1858, Curry laid out the town site of Carson. The popu- 
lation of the valley was so scant at the time that all of them gathered 
at a dance would not occupy more than three sets. 

Carson City soon became a sort of central station for travelers, specula- 
tors and prospectors. The Eagle Ranch, as it is called, became a gen- 
eral trading post. Many emigrant trains from the east went by this 
route in the early days. Stock were driven over that trail until 1857 
the grass had been entirely eaten up by the roots and tfie tide of 
travel passed over other routes. 

Among the early settlers of Carson were J. T. Griffith and Dr. B. 
L. King, after whom Kings Canyon was named. He came in '52 and 
ran a public resort where the Carson Brewery now stands. Richard 
Rose soon followed and Rose Canyon bears his name. Major Ormsby 
came in '57 and gave the county its name. S. A. Nevers is credited 
with having erected the first dwelling house in Carson City. Henry 
Ful stone arrived in '58 with his family. Also John Bath, Aaron 
Treadway, Warren Wasson, Samuel Nevers, W. D. Torreyson, H. 
H. Bence and Sam Wright were among the first comers. Wright 
was an undertaker, soon became a political boss and was finally 
appointed to be Superintendent of the U. S. Mint. 


Saw Mills. Teaming, mining and logging were the first industries 
of Ormsby County, with some tendency to agriculture. Timber cut 
in the Sierras was floated down the Carson River and piled up at Em- 
pire. "Dutch Nick" was about the earliest settler in Empire and 
when Mark Twain wanted to hoax the San Francisco papers he 
wrote a harrowing account of a man who killed a number of people 
in Virginia City and then mounted a horse, ran for miles through a 
forest between Comstock and Empire and dropped off his horse in 
front of "Dutch Nick's" with his throat cut from ear to ear. The 
whole affair was a pure invention on Twain's part, and as there was 
not a tree higher than a man between Empire and Virginia City, the 
forest section of the yarn was considered the worst part of the story. 
Empire City became known as "the seaport town" because of the 
water that laved its shores and sometimes washed its streets in the 
spring floods. 


The first saw-mill was built by Mr. Gregory on Mill Creek west of 
Carson in '59. It was the first steam-power ever used in the State. 
The heavy machinery was transported at great expense over the 
mountains. The mill was run to a capacity of 15,000 feet a day on 
advance orders. Customers waited weeks for a chance to get their 
timber turned into lumber. Alexander Ashe erected the next mill on 
the same creek run by water-power. Thompson and Treadwell 
erected another mill about a mile from Gregory's and of equal capac- 
ity. It also manufactured shingles and with a planing machine pre- 
pared dressed lumber for building purpo-ses. The price per 1,000 feet 
of lumber ran as high as $200 and was readily paid. These figures 
lured other men into the business and soon lumber and planing mills 
began to multiply along the Creek. 

In 1862 there were three on Clear Creek southwest of Carson, cost- 
ing over $10,000 apiece. They turned out from 15,000 to 30,000 feet 
daily. Next the Lake Bigler Lumber Co. went into business at Lake 
Tahoe. The company was managed by A. L. Pray, C. R. Barrett and 
N. D. Winters. The Monitor Mill was erected in Kings Canyon in 
'63. Steve Gage, who was afterward largely identified with the 
S. P. R. R. Co. as a lobbyist and tax-man, had a mill on Clear Creek. 
In 1862 Hobbs, Russel and Co. built a saw-mill near Empire at a cost 
of $20,000. The Legislature granted this company an exclusive fran- 
chise for using the Carson River for rafting logs, firewood and lum- 
ber. The timber sawed at this mill came from Alpine County, Cali- 
fornia, eighty miles away. It required about forty days to make the 
drive down the river. Upward of 5,000,000 feet of lumber were 
handled this way annually. 

Yerington and Bliss in later years almost monopolized the lumber 
industry of the country. They had their large mills at Glenbrook 
and rafted most of the timber across the lake. The profits of the lum- 
ber business was so enormous in those days that much wanton de- 
struction of timber was the rule and large tracts of forest lands were, 
devastated to swell the fortunes of the lumbermen. 

Mining and Milling. With the development of mining on the Corn- 
stock came the need of mills to handle the rich ore. The first ore 
extracted from the Ophir and Mexican mines at Virginia City was 
carried on the backs of mules across the mountains to Grass Valley 


and San Francisco. It is recorded that one mule packed $2,000 worth 
of ore on his back from Virginia City to San Francisco. But there 
was plenty of ore in the mines that could not stand these costly trans- 
portations and the water-power on the Carson River seemed to offer 
the best solution of the problem. 

A small mill was constructed on the Carson River near Empire. 
This was in the spring of '60 and the mill was subsequently enlarged 
to the Mexican Mill, or the Silver State Reduction Works. In '61 a 
small mill for reducing ore was built on Clear Creek and in the same 
year Mr. Ashe built a mill in Gregory Canyon which was afterward 
called Ashe Canyon. The mill was wiped out by a flood in the winter 
of 61-62. A ten-stamp mill was then erected by Childs and Hunt on 
Mill Creek. The main mill for reducing Comstock ores was the Mexi- 
can mill after it was enlarged. Its motive power was water brought 
four and a half miles in a ditch having a capacity of 4,000 cubic feet 
per minute. The breast wheel was 28 feet in diameter, the largest 
on the coast, and furnished 200 h. p. The fall of the water was 22 
feet and it ran 44 stamps, crushing 75 tons of ore daily, double the 
amount of any mill then operating in the territory. Later on the same 
mill was run by a turbine wheel and handled 120 tons daily. 

Many years later a suit was brought by Fox et al, charging that the 
mill was so operated that about 50 per cent, of the values ran off 
into the slum pond, to be diverted from the stockholders and later 
to be grabbed by the management. This suit was tried before Judge 
Hebberd in San Francisco and the revelations caused a great scandal 
at the time. Meads' Mill was located near Empire and ran sixteen 
stamps. In '62 the Merrimac Mill was built by Bryant and Elsworth 
two miles below Empire at a cost of $50,000. 

One mile further down the Copper Canyon Mill was erected in '62 
by Van Fleet, Tucker, Moor, Kendrick and Clarke to mill Yellow 
Jacket ore. Next was the Vivian Mill, owned by Spery & Co., running 
16 stamps. Below this was the Morgan Mill, owned originally by 
William M. Stewart, John Henning, Jas. Morgan and C. F. Wood. It 
crushed 30 tons daily. Baldwin and Co.'s Mill at Empire City ran 
sixteen stamps. These mills were enlarged to meet the needed re- 
quirements and in 1874 the mills in Ormsby County were handling 
a combined output of 500 tons daily. 


Mining never reached very large proportions in Ormsby. In the 
outlying hills which formed the base of the mountains, however, 
small veins of gold have occasionally been found, and now and then 
a prospector brings in coarse gold taken from some creek nearby, but 
never in paying quantities. The first mine to be opened on an ex- 
tensive scale in Ormsby was the North Carson. It was discovered 
about three miles due north of Carson in the hills east of the Hot 
Springs. In 1874 the stock was in demand in Carson and was finally 
put on the stock-board in San Francisco, where it reached $7.50 a 
share. In 1876 assays of the ore made at the Branch Mint in Car- 
son showed values running from $5.00 to $2,132.17 per ton. In spite 
of the richness of the ore taken out, most of which netted $600 at the 
Douglas Mill in Dayton, it gave no return to the stockholders and 
assessments were levied one after the other until the stockholders re- 
fused to be further bled and then came troubles between factions in 
the company. Suddenly the superintendent, who had been living very 
high for some months, at the company's expense, disappeared with a 
lady friend between two nights and the property on which nearly 
$30,000 had been spent, closed down. 

Some years later Mrs. Langtry, the English actress, bought a piece 
of property near the mine and sank an artesian well, which encoun- 
tered a ledge of ore seven feet in thickness at a depth of 160 feet. It 
was identical in appearance with Comstock ore and assayed $620 per 

This find caused considerable excitement at the time and there was 
a rush to locate claims in the vicinity. Over one hundred locations 
were made during the next thirty days and work was resumed on the 
North Carson mine in the upper tunnel. The mine changed hands 
several times during the next few years, but no systematic work was 
done until Whitman Symmes, of Virginia City, secured control of 
the property and he is now spending considerable money on its develop- 
ment. The lower tunnel is being extended to the main shaft and 
.good ore is being encountered. A power-line has been run from Car- 
son City to the mine, a distance of three miles, and electric drills are 
running night and day. 

The Voltair, Eagle, Clear Creek, Niagara and Athens mines., in the 
vicinity of Carson, were worked at different times but abandoned 


for lack of money to thoroughly develop them. Of late Brunswick 
Canyon has made some excellent showing in copper and James Yer- 
ington secured considerable Canadian capital to erect a custom smelter 
on the Carson River, near Brunswick station. 

The United Mining Co., in the same vicinity, has developed its 
copper properties through Mr. Harry Cowden to a depth of over 
400 feet, with an excellent showing of permanent values. 

In '59 and '60 there was considerable excitement over discoveries 
in the Sullivan District, in the Pine Nut mountains south of Carson. 
Later on gold ore was found in the Zern mine running several thous- 
and dollars to the ton. Considerable work was done there and Charles 
Lane, the California capitalist, made an attempt to bring water in 
and work the placer deposits, but he finally abandoned the project 
because of the prohibitory prices put upon everything in the vicinity. 
The main ledge in Pine Nut has never been found. William Zern, 
the discoverer of the rich gold ore, lost his life there from a cave-in 
in a tunnel where he was working. 

During several years past, ore which carries more than half its 
weight in gold has been brought to Carson by Bud Barkley from some 
point in the mountains west of Carson. From the fact that the find 
lies on land owned by the Robert estate, acquired by private owner- 
ship prior to the mineral reservation act of Congress passed in 1873, 
reserving all mineral land for locators, the ledge discovered by Bark- 
ley can only be worked by permission of the Robert Estate. Some 
of the gold exhibited in Carson was so phenomenally rich as to re- 
semble the product of a furnace. Numerous attempts have been made 
to induce Barkley to disclose the location of the ledge, but without 
success. Several attempts have also been made to enter into some 
arrangement with the Robert estate by which the mine could be de- 
veloped and worked on shares. Numerous agreements have been 
drawn by the Robert estate attorneys for Barkley to sign. Whenever 
these contracts have been submitted to Barkley's legal advisors they 
have deterred him from signing on the ground that the contracts in- 
variably contained jokers to ultimately deprive him of all interest in 
the property. Meanwhile the Roberts have put scores of prospectors 
in the field to find the gold ledge, which is supposed to be worth 
millions of dollars. For awhile many people supposed the ledge was 


a "pipe dream" of Barkley's. This idea, however, was dissipated when 
he confided his secret to Alexander Ardery, Superintendent of the 
V. & T. R. R. Co. He took him to the spot where he made the orig- 
inal discovery and showed it to him that some one might know the 
locality in case of his death. Mr. Ardery confirms Mr. Barkley's 
statement that one of the richest gold ledges ever discovered lies in 
the Sierra mountains but a few miles from Carson City. 


Ormsby has always been more of an agricultural county than any- 
thing else. In the early rush the high price of all staple commodities 
naturally drove the people to cultivate the soil. In 1858 flour sold as 
high as $28 for a hundred-pound sack. All kinds of vegetables were in 
proportion. Meat was at times so scarce that it could not be had at 
any price and jack-rabbits became a steady diet for many people. 
Among the first to till the soil were the Mormons, and many of them 
left valuable lands when Brigham Young issued a call to bring them 
back to Utah. 

In Carson, Treadway's Ranch became the best known ranch 
in the county and for years nearly all the Storey County picnics for 
the Miners' Union, and other large bodies, were held there. It is now 
owned by Henry Bath. The Nevers and Bath ranches west of the 
city were also models. On the Gilson ranch the largest apples 
were grown that were ever placed on exhibition on this Coast. 
Originally Carson City was founded on ranch land and town lots 
were given away to induce people to settle. The Methodist Church 
block went for $25 cash and a pair of boots. A fourth interest in 
the Warm Springs went for 25 Ibs. of butter. The land is now under 
cultivation from Carson to the States Prison and all the ranches 
in the vicinity of Carson are in a perfect state of cultivation. The 
Holstein ranch north of Carson was so named from the fact that its 
owner, Sam Davis, imported the first thoroughbred HcJstein cattle 
ever brought to the State. The more recent ranches now maintained 
in Ormsby County are known as the Thorn, Robinson, Quill, Ander- 
son, Hidenrich, Blockwell, Walsh and Raycraft ranches. 



From the very earliest times the people of Carson were given to 
social pleasures and general recreation. As early as 1858 they were 
whiling away their evenings with dances. In Henry Fulston's private 
diary the following is found, in recording the doings of himself and 
neighbors in 1858: "Jan. I2th. Turned tailor to-day and cut out Joe 
a pair of buckskin pants. Mines not doing much and times awfully 
dull, but there are plenty of dances here and the charge per couple is 
five dollars." The social pace set by the early settlers has always been 
maintained and Carson has always been noted for its gay social life, 
its prolific hospitality and general tendency for public enjoyment. 
Dancing was always a favorite pastime and for a while the big 
pavilion where the Capital now stands was used for public dances at 
least three nights in the week. In the early days a race track was 
built and some of the fastest horses on the Coast have performed 
here. The old Moore Theater, which was the first playhouse in the 
city, was often utilized for prize fights, contests between dogs and 
bears, cock fights, wrestling matches and such recreation. It was 
finally supplanted by the Opera House. 

The frequency of small prize-fights led to the passage of a bill which 
went into effect during Gov. Sadler's administration, providing a 
license of $1,000 paid for each finish-fight held in the State. The 
"Battle of the Century," as it was called, took place at the Carson 
race track under the management of Dan Stewart. It took place 
on St. Patrick's Day between Robert Fitzsimmons and James Cor- 
bett. For weeks prior to the event the City of Carson was filled with 
sporting men and newspaper correspondents from all parts of the 
world. Main street was alive with people day and night. The huge 
signs displaying from the headquarters of the different newspapers 
gave Carson the appearance of a section of San Francisco. For weeks 
the vilest weather imaginable prevailed, but the morning of the con- 
test broke clear and calm and the most perfect day of the year was 
the result. It has always been claimed that Carson always had good 
weather on St. Patrick's Day and this was no exception to the rule. 

An English syndicate made a deal with the principals that it would 
give $200,000 for the moving pictures if the fight lasted twenty 


rounds. As it lasted but fourteen the English firm refused to take the 
pictures and they were thrown on Dan Stewart's hands. He made 
over a million dollars out of them with his proverbial good luck. It 
cost him upwards of $50,000 to get his men in the ring and the at- 
tendance in the amphitheatre was not over $8,000. It is claimed 
that an agreement was made between the principals to extend the 
fight to twenty rounds, and that Corbett took advantage of his op- 
ponent in the sixth, and catching him off his guard, attempted to end 
the fight. If there was any sort of a frame-up to extend the fight 
for the picture firm it was certainly disregarded after that and both 
men fought savagely to win. In the fourteenth round Fitzsimmons 
landed his famous solar plexus blow and won the fight and championship 
of the world. 


By an act of Legislature approved Jan. 27th, 1869, the County 
Commissioners of Ormsby were authorized to issue $200,000 in bonds 
to aid the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. These bonds were de- 
livered to William Sharon in December, 1869. Other counties joined 
Washoe and Storey and the combined assistance of these counties 
enabled Sharon to build and own the best-paying railroad of its length 
in the world. It was 52 miles long and at times cleared a thousand 
dollars a day. There was considerable opposition on the part of some 
of the taxpayers against making a present of the road to Sharon or 
his associates. It was a clean gift of the people to men who made a 
monopoly of the line and taught a valuable lesson in the ownership 
of public utilities. Had the bonds been retained by the counties and 
the road owned by the people who raised the money to build it, the 
dividends would have paid all the expenses of maintaining the gov- 
ernment of the three counties through which the line runs. 

Public Buildings. In 1862 the County Commissioners, rented the 
lowest story of a building owned by C. Adams and used it for a 
Court House. On the following October "The Great Basin Hotel," 
on the corner of Carson and Musser streets, was purchased of Abram 
Curry for $42,500 and used for a Court House. A jail was added at 
a cost of about $6,000. It was partly destroyed by fire in 1870. It 
stands now practically as it did after being repaired. The Legislature 


of 1861 created a State Board of Prison Commissioners and a couple 
of years later leased the Curry property at Warm Springs to be util- 
ized for a prison. Curry was the first warden. He took $80,000 worth 
of bonds for the place. 

The Carson Mint was built in 1867. The machinery arrived the 
following year. Its first superintendent was Abram Curry. It earned 
a reputation of great efficiency and economy until the discovery in 
1892 of a $90,000 shortage. The U. S. Government sent detectives and 
experts to Carson and soon several arrests were made. Johnnie Jones, 
one of the trusted employees of the institution, and James Heeney, 
were tried. An attempt was made to fasten the guilt on the new 
management which had come in, but a defect in the stamping dies 
indicated when the crooked work was accomplished. The gold bars 
had been remelted and after a greater part of the gold had been re- 
moved, silver was substituted and the bars, while correct in weight, 
were falsely stamped as to value. The die which stamped the figure 
four was broken down with use and the time of the breaking of the 
horizontal line of the 4 being definitely fixed, it was clear to the jury 
that all bars stamped with a perfect figure 4 were treated prior to a 
certain date and all stamped with a defective figure 4 were subse- 
quently treated. This irrefutable evidence fixed the guilt on Jones 
and Heeney and they were sentenced to seven years each. 

It was also charged that silver bullion worth but 60 cents an ounce 
was taken from the Mexican Mill at Empire and brought to the 
Mint at night, where it was coined into dollars worth $1.35 per ounce. 
It was further charged that this went through the Bullion and Ex- 
change Bank and from there into the State Treasury, to be exchanged 
for gold coin. When William Westerfield was elected State Treas- 
urer he found $80,000 in new silver dollars of the date of the previous 
year in the treasury. As there had been no money coined during the 
previous year in the Carson Mint an investigation was made. The 
papers charged crookedness and the defendants of the previous ad- 
ministration held that the silver had come to the offices in taxes. 
The books showed but a little over $15,000 in taxes. During the trial 
of the Mint cases William Pickler was found dead in his bed and his 
alleged suicide followed the finding of some bullion buried in his yard. 
It was claimed that the bullion was planted to .throw suspicion on 


him and a woman hired to poison him. A man named Price, who had 
been connected with the Mint, was found dead in Golden Gate Park, 
San Francisco. It was supposed to be a suicide, but since the Mint 
trials circumstances have come to light which leads to the theory that 
Price was put out of the way because he knew too much of the thefts 
and that he might have implicated some who were never even in- 
dicted. The charges relative to the presence of Carson Mint dollars 
in the State safe, which had never been officially coined, was never 
investigated by the Government. 

The defense in the cases claimed that the values had run off 
through Cole Atherton's potato patch and it is alleged spent $5,000 
salting the potato patch with gold to assist in proving their theory. 
It required three trials to convict the defendants and they served 
their terms. During the trial Langerman, a witness for the Govern- 
ment, testified that Trenmore Coffin, an attorney for the defense, had 
bribed him to leave the country. Coffin was indicted by the Federal 
Grand Jury, but escaped because of a flaw in the indictment. Robert 
Clarke was retained by the Government to assist in the prosecution, 
and to him was due the credit of the conviction of the defendants. 

U. S. District Attorney Jones, who was accused of lukewarmness in 
the discharge of his duties, was not long afterward shot and killed 
by Guy Guinon in front of the latter's house in Carson. He charged 
Jones with paying improper attentions to his sister, but the Coroner's 
jury exonerated him. 

Ground was broken for the State Capitol Building on April 2ist, 
1870. The cornerstone was laid April 23rd with imposing public 
ceremonies. The structure was built according to contract and there 
was no graft in its construction. It stands to-day practically in as 
good condition as the day it was finished. The State Printing Office 
is located in the rear of the CapitoLBuilding. 


On November 29th, 1861, there was an act passed creating a Terri- 
torial Library, and appointing the Territorial Auditor as ex officio 
Librarian; and creating a fund for the Library from all fees, from 
the Supreme Court and fees from all attorneys admitted to practice 


The Library grew slowly, until February Hth, 1865, after Nevada 
was admitted to the Union. An act was then passed whereby all the 
monies from the State Treasurer, Controller, Governor, Secretary of 
State, and Clerk of the Supreme Court offices, were turned in to the 
Library fund, making a total for the purchase of books for the first 
year of the Library of nearly five thousand dollars. 

The books purchased during the first year amounted to over eight 
hundred volumes, the books in those days being very expensive, as 
one item shows one hundred and fifteen books costing seventeen hun- 
dred dollars, and the express bill for same was over two hundred 

The different States at that time did not pay the express as they do 
now, and the Library Commission thought seriously of stopping the 
different publications from other States and ordering them direct 
from some law book house and sending them across the Isthmus of 
Panama, which was slower but cheaper. 

In 1879 tne Library was moved to a room in the west front of the 
Capitol and was placed under the supervision of the Supreme Court. It 
was during this period that some of the most valuable books in the 
law library were purchased. The books began to accumulate so rap- 
idly and the condition of the Library became so crowded and the 
books were so very hard to locate that the Legislature ordered the 
first catalogue, which was compiled by Miss Jennie Fisher, and pub- 
lished in 1890. The Library then contained some 18,000 books and 
had extended to the whole west front of the Capitol. 

The year 1905 the Library was in such a crowded condition that the 
Legislature passed an act creating a building fund to erect a Library 
building, and a beautiful building octagonal in design, was built of 
steel and granite, ninety feet in diameter, three stories high and fitted 
throughout with steel cases and furniture. This is the present home 
of the Library. 

The Library was moved to the new building in 1907 and a new card 
catalogue was made under the Dewey system, whereby all books are 
separated into ten main classes and each of these classes into nine 
divisions, so that each book on a separate subject, has a different 
class number and is easy to find by the card index. 

The Library is in a very flourishing condition; at present it con- 


tains over 61,000 catalogued volumes and it is going forward at a 
very rapid rate. The law department contains over 33,000 volumes, 
and lawyers from different States, and experts from some of the large 
book houses, rank it among the best law libraries in the U. S. The 
Library in its present state can accommodate about forty thousand 
additional volumes, and with the extension of the steel cases there will 
be room for thousands of volumes for a number of years. 


On the 3rd day of March, 1869, the Legislature passed an act for 
the erection of a suitable building for the care and maintenance of 
orphans of the State of Nevada, and all full orphans and half orphans 
were eligible for admission. The sum of $15,000 was appropriated by 
the Legislature, which delegated the State Treasurer, State Controller 
and Surveyor General as a Board of Directors, to carry out this act. 

The citizens of Carson donated 16 acres of land in the city limits for 
the purpose of erecting the building, which was completed and ac- 
cepted on the 27th day of September, 1870. On the first day of Oc- 
tober the Nevada Orphan Asylum, then situated at Virginia City, 
was notified that all orphans in their charge would be received at this 
home and all expenses in moving them would be paid by the State. 
On the 28th day of October, 1870, the first children were admitted. 

July 4th, 1902, fire was discovered in the attic of the main building 
and in a very short time it was burned to the ground. Seventy-nine 
children were inmates at the time and all were cared for. At a 
session of the Legislature in 1903 the sum of $38,000 was appropriated 
for the erection of a new building, which was soon found inadequate. 
Additional funds were therefore necessary for its completion and its 
cost to the State, including the furnishing of the same, was $85,000. 

Eight hundred and twenty-five children have been admitted and 
cared for since its establishment and up to this date but five deaths 
are recorded. 

This home is being maintained strictly from the public funds of 
the State and is in every respect carried on as a non-sectarian institu- 
tion. Philanthropists of the State of Nevada or of any other State 
have never thought anything of Nevada orphans. All classes of 
children are now admissible to this home ; that is, full orphans, half 






orphans and neglected children, and they are maintained and cared for 
to the age of 16 for boys and to the age of 18 for girls. 

The Sagebrush Club, opposite the U. S. Mint, is a public club sup- 
ported by the citizens of Carson and is in a very flourishing condition. 
It is purely a social organization and twice a month "Ladies' Night" 
brings the people of the town together for social recreation. Strangers 
entertained at this club carry away the pleasantest recollections of 
the lavish hospitality of Carson people. 

The Leisure Hour Club is another of the regular institutions of 
the city and in May last ground was broken for a new building to be 
occupied by the members of the club, which is a social and literary 
organization combined. 


In the early days lawless characters were very plentiful in Ormsby 
County and a Vigilance Committee was organized to rid the county 
of undesirable characters. A hint from the committee generally 
caused the recipient to seek other localities at very short notice. 

In 1875 a number of incendiary fires following in rapid succession 
caused great excitement in Carson City and the streets were patrolled 
by armed men at night. Several hard characters suspected of com- 
plicity in these incendiary fires were ordered to leave the city and 
all but one obeyed the summons. The one who paid no attention to 
the warning of the "601" was a baseball player who was in the 
habit of sleeping in the engine house of the Curry Co. He was 
taken from his bed by a party of masked men on the night of the 
i6th of December, 1875, and hanged from the cross-beam of the ceme- 
tery gate. On his breast was pinned a placard bearing the simple 
inscription "601". It is claimed that some of the leading citizens 
of Carson were in this necktie party and it is the general belief that 
an innocent man was hanged. 

In times past Carson has boasted of many newspapers. The Tribune, 
the Past, the Record and the Index sprang into existence and passed 
away; and at present the Appeal, an evening paper, and the News, a 
morning paper, supply the needs of the community in furnishing the cur- 
rent events of this day. 



The first Board of States Prison Commissioners was created by 
the Territorial Legislature of 1861. Abram Curry, who had furnished 
a place for the meeting of the Legislature, next provided the territory 
with a place for its prisoners. He leased the Government his Warm 
Springs and a stone quarry a couple of miles southeast of Carson. 
He was elected Warden of the institution. He took $80,000 worth of 
bonds for the place. In 1864 an Act was approved providing for a 
Territorial Prison. Some building was purchased of Curry which was 
destroyed by fire in May, 1867. Robert Howland was the next 

After Nevada became a State an Act was passed providing for a 
State Prison with the Lieutenant-Governor as Warden. The law also 
prohibited barbarous and inhuman punishments for convicts. 

A stone prison was built from the stone taken from the quarry and 
there was little of note transpiring until the outbreak of December 
i, 1870. In this outbreak McCleur, a prisoner who attempted to 
escape, was shot and killed, together with another convict named 
Shea, who was shot by a guard. 

On September 17, 1871, there was another outbreak and Gov. Den- 
ver and four of the guards were badly wounded. F. M. Isaacs, a 
guard, and Matthew Pixley, a prominent citizen of Carson, who volun- 
teered to assist the guards in the suppression of the revolt, were 
killed. Twenty-nine desperate characters escaped and were hunted 
for months through California and Nevada. Some were killed and 
some captured and after being brought back were tried and executed. 
So great was the excitement in Carson that all able-bodied men rallied 
to the assistance of the prison officials and the militia was called out. 

What was known as "the States Prison War" followed in '73. Owing 
to the ambiguity of the law, Frank Denver, the Warden, refused to 
give up the keys to his successor. P. C. Hayden. He also refused to 
admit Governor Bradley, the Attorney-General, or the Secretary of 
State, which comprised the Prison Board. Bradley, who was known 
as "Old Broadhorns," at once ordered Major-General Van Bokkelen to 
assemble an armed force of sixty men and some artillery and put 
Hymen in charge of the institution, even at a cost of human life. 


Van Bokkelen went to the prison with his men and planted his artil- 
lery for action when Denver capitulated, saying that to resist would 
sacrifice human life and allow the prisoners to escape. 

Mr. Hymen established a boot and shoe factory in the prison and 
at the close of the term a very satisfactory showing was the result. 
The earnings were $47,417.71 and the actual cost of maintenance 

Gen. Batterman succeeded Hymen. On October 29, 1877, there was . 
another outbreak and convict Ole Johnson was killed and Daniel 
Matheny wounded. In this outbreak Capt. Mathewson was seized by 
the prisoners and held up as a shield between the prisoners and the 
guards. While in this position Mathewson gave the order to the 
guards to disregard him and fire. They did so, but not until they 
were called upon by him three times to do so. Mathewson was shot 
through the arm. The convict Johnson received twenty-seven slugs 
and died in a few hours. The shots quelled the revolt. 

The most interesting thing in connection with the history of the 
prison is the establishment of the "Honor System" by Ray Baker, 
who took charge in 1911 and began the inauguration of many startling 
reforms. He established a road-camp where prisoners were allowed to 
live for weeks unguarded, while they worked on the road. 


Next to the marvelous mineral deposits of the State, the thing that 
has most attracted the attention of the outside world to Nevada is 
unquestionably that remarkable display of fossil footprints in the 
quarry at the State Prison at Carson City. 

Almost from the time of their discovery they were transformed into 
something more than mere fossils that is, they became a veritable 
bone of contention among scientists ; and, though the strife over them 
has now raged for more than forty years, the vital point has never 
been definitely settled. Every once in a while some new disputant 
born since the contention was first begun, in most cases fancying 
he has been given new lights, will tear open the slowly healing ques- 
tion and set it to bleeding afresh. 

There never was any particular controversy about the mastodon, 
saurian or bird tracks. They were too self-evident to admit of any 


quibble for even scientists to quarrel over; and, besides, the mastodon 
was considerate enough to leave a lot of his bones, which rendered 
his identity indisputable. But the creature whose tracks resemble 
human footprints was the one that made the hot trail. Was it a gigan- 
tic man or a huge sloth? That is the question over which the scien- 
tists have raged, and will probably continue to rage until doomsday, 
unless the remains of the mysterious creature itself should chance to 
be found and thus put an end to the wrangle. 

In the late '705 Arthur McEwen induced Professor Joseph Le Conte, 
of the University of California, and Dr. Harkness, of the California 
Academy of Sciences, to come to Carson and take a look at the foot- 
prints. Dr. Harkness made casts of the most distinct of the man- 
like tracks and had the whole series of them reproduced on canvas for 
the Academy of Sciences. He unhesitatingly expressed his belief that 
the tracks were those of a human being. Professor Le Conte was not 
so positive in fact, he straddled the question, as he did all matters 
where science was likely to come in conflict with biblical traditions. 

But when they returned to Californa and Dr. Harkness presented 
the casts and drawings to the Academy of Sciences and announced his 
conclusions, the Carson Fossil Footprint war broke out in deadly 
earnest. Professor Davidson, president of the Academy, took issue 
with him at once and so bitter did the feeling of the two leaders and 
their partisans become that the learned institution was split wide 
open and the breach caused by the dissension has never been com- 
pletely closed to this day. 

From San Francisco the war spread, until there was scarcely a 
scientific man of any prominence in the United States or throughout 
the world who did not take part in it. Yet, for all that has been writ- 
ten on the subject, nothing can be regarded as authoritative. The 
arguments advanced in favor of the human origin of the footprints are 
just as sound and conclusive as those put forward to prove they were 
made by a sloth, and yet not a bit more so thus leaving the matter as 
much beset with doubt as it was at the beginning. 


For more than thirty years attempts have been made to establish a 
State lottery in Nevada. By reason of a clause in the State Constitu- 


tion prohibiting lotteries, these efforts were always doomed to failure. 
The first attempt was made by Robert Keating and his associates of 
Virginia City, by the passage of a bill giving him and his partners a 
franchise to run a lottery. The case was taken to the Supreme Court 
and the law decided to be unconstitutional. In 1887 another attempt 
was made to establish a lottery by amending the Constitution. The 
resolution passed two successive Legislatures and there seemed a 
strong trend of public opinion in its favor from the fact that outside 
lotteries were extracting a great deal of money from the people of 
Nevada, which a State lottery would keep at home. 

Presently a decided opposition began to be manifested by the 
newspapers until a majority of papers in the State were denouncing 
the scheme as the sum total of all iniquity. Investigations were made 
by the Home Lottery Co. and a detective sent to San Francisco. He 
posed as an agent of a Havana lottery and in that way opened nego- 
tiations with a number of papers to fight the home lottery. He suc- 
ceeded in securing letters which showed that the opposition of the 
newspapers who were denouncing the lottery on moral grounds was 
founded upon another basis. 

The various outside lotteries, notably the Louisiana Lottery of New 
Orleans, and the Little Louisiana of San Francisco, were fighting the 
Nevada Lottery with plenty of money and their agents were skillful 
enough to secure the aid of clergymen who denounced it from the 
pulpit. After the passage of the necessary resolutions by the Legis- 
lature the matter was submitted to a special election in the dead of 
winter. The taxpayers resented the extra tax of some fifty thousand 
dollars for what they regarded as a special interest and defeated the 
scheme by about 600 majority. 

Not discouraged by this failure, another attempt was made to estab- 
lish a lottery in 1901. Dan Stewart, the prize fight promoter and 
turfman, was the moving power in the fight. 

He deposited $150,000 with his agents in Nevada and placed $250,000 
in a New York bank, in case of further necessity, and the fight began 
in the Legislature on the old lines. By this time the people of the 
State were generally against the establishing of a lottery in Nevada 


and petitions were sent to Carson asking members to vote against it. 
Before the lines for the fight were fairly formed an anti-lottery resolu- 
tion was introduced in the House and passed by a decided majority. 
No further attempt has been made, nor is it likely that any future 
attempt will ever be indulged in. 





The early history of Storey County, before it received its name, is 
inextricably interwoven with that of western Utah, now called Nevada, 
of "The Land of Snow." Its existence as a county is due to the discovery 
of the Comstock Lode and the Bonanza mines. 

The story of this discovery overshadows the history of the conquest 
of Mexico, the battles of Napoleon for power and territory, or the search 
for the Golden Fleece. It made millionaires of miners and "muckers" 
of millionaires. Storey County is situated in the west central part of 
Nevada. It was named after Capt. Edward Faris Storey, a frontiersman 
who, after the death of Major Ormsby at the battle of Pyramid Lake, 
raised a force of riflemen, and on June 2, 1860, attacked the fortified camp 
of the Piutes and defeated them. He was afterward shot by an Indian 
from ambush, the bullet piercing his lungs, and he died the same day. 

Storey was made a county by an act of the first territorial legislature, 
the same being approved November 25, 1861. 

Virginia City, the principal town of Storey County, and for years the 
largest in the State, lies on the eastern slope of Mt. Davidson at an 
altitude of over 6,000 feet above sea level. It commands a magnificent 
view of the surrounding country and a great panorama of multicolored 
and snow-capped mountains to the west and south. In the gap between 
the mountains lies the desert and a fringe of green to indicate the course 
of the Carson River. The air is so clear that at times one can see one 
hundred and eighty miles from Mt. Davidson. 

Gold Hill, the next town of importance, lies immediately south of 
Virginia Gty, separated from it by a rise known as "the Divide," the 
windiest part of the State. The mines were discovered by chance. 
Emigrants passing along the trail to California stopped and prospected 
the ground near Hall's Station, where Dayton now stands, but they did 


not find enough to cause them to remain, and they pushed on. Others 
took their places, and in the spring of 1857-8 about one hundred and 
fifty men were working in the canyon. On January 28, 1859, a rich strike 
was made in Gold Hill by "Old Virginia" H. T. P. Comstock and 
others. At the same time work was being done in Six-Mile Canyon and 
a few days later rich ore was found where the Ophir was since located. 
This was about a mile or more north of the first discovery. The dis- 
coverers were Peter O'Reilly and Patrick McLaughlin. Comstock gave 
a portion of the find to Emanuel Penrod, but claimed about everything 
else in sight. Comstock was a good advertiser, like Amerigo Vespucci, 
and fastened his name to everything in sight. 

Later came the Grosch brothers, who discovered silver where gold 
only was supposed to exist, and this gave a great impetus to mining in 
that vicinity. Sandy Bowers was one of the first locators, and the story 
of his sudden rise to opulence, his reckless extravagance and final pov- 
erty is of human interest. His daughter, Persia, died at the age of 
sixteen and was buried near the Bowers Mansion on the west side of 
Washoe Valley. Mrs. Bowers became a seeress and made a scanty 
living on the old Ledge, and in San Francisco by divination. 

In July, 1859, a Washoe Valley rancher took some pieces of blue-clay, 
thrown away as waste on the Ophir dump, to Grass Valley, where he gave 
the specimens to Judge Walsh, who had them assayed. This ore went 
$1,595 m silver and $4,790 in gold. The Judge and a friend started out 
next morning for "the diggins," and this led the memorable rush to 

No pen could hope to portray the whole of this wonderful excitement. 
From a purely human interest standpoint scenes and episodes of this 
rush are deep-dyed with the richest color of comedy, pathos and tragedy. 
Acts of heroism and cowardice, self-denial, selfishness, straightforward- 
ness, intrigue, honor and shame are here seen side by side. Fortune 
played strange tricks in those early days, and the moods and passions 
of men were seen under changing lights, as she smiled or frowned. The 
first discoverers gained little and that little they lost. 

Comstock sold his interest for $10,000, but soon lost it. He then left 
the territory and in September, 1870, committed suicide near Bazeman, 
Montana. McLaughlin sold his interest for $3,500, which he soon lost, 
and. after working as a cook in different localities, died a tramp. O'Reilley 


held his interest until he got $50,000, built a hotel and gambled in stocks 
until he went broke. He spent some years tunneling for gold in Douglas 
County, under the guidance of spirits, and ended his days in a private 
asylum in California. 

"Mannie," or Emanuel Penrod, was the last survivor of the original 
locators. He died in Vallejo, California, in April, 1912. Mannie was some- 
thing of a character, and in 1909, when the Comstock held its golden jubi- 
lee, he was invited to be present, as the only surviving original locator. 
When he received the invitation he was engaged in driving a tunnel into a 
mountain side in Elko County. The committee forwarded his expenses 
and provided liberally for the trip. In the grand street parade which 
took place July 4, 1909, Mannie, along with Oscar Steel, James Roberts 
and Frank Dickerson, occupied the place of honor, riding in a gaily 
decorated carriage next the Governor and staff. He was given a great 
reception and ovation and entertained many of his old friends with tales 
of the birth of the wonderful Washoe District, which he founded. When 
Mr. Penrod departed, after the celebration was over, he was still filled 
with confidence that some day he would return to the old Ledge a 
wealthy man. But he did not survive long enough to fulfill his prophecy, 
and at the celebration he was the sole remaining figure contemporary 
with the days when no one ever dreamed of the countless millions which 
they bartered away for a mere pittance. He has gone to his final rest. 
Requiescat in pace. , 

After the big rush began many hard characters held a powerful sway 
on the Comstock until the year 1871, when the "601" was formed. This 
vigilance committee was composed of honest, determined citizens who 
decided to take the law into their own hands. One of their most sensa- 
tional lynchings was the stringing up of Perkins to the rafters of Piper's 
Opera House. Perkins shot a man for some trivial remark he made and 
he was spirited away to Carson by the authorities. He was brought 
back to be tried in the District Court at Virginia City and was hardly 
inside the county boundaries before he was taken by the "601" and hung 
in the Opera House. No sooner did the body swing clear than a dozen 
or twenty shots were fired into it. McKee Rankin, the famous actor, 
and the mother of Maud Adams were playing there at the time. 

The town became quieter after that. The statement has been made 
that the first sixty graves in Virginia City were filled by murdered men, 


but no authority can be found for it. At present, however, the popula- 
tion of the cemeteries of the Comstock is in excess of those living in the 
vicinity, and it is no unusual sight to see the superscription "murdered" 
on the tombstones. 

In 1859 and 1860 the shelters of the inhabitants were of the crudest 
character possible. Some of the gold-seekers lived in holes dug in the 
side of the mountain. One "billiard parlor" was of this type and did a 
good business. It was located where the present Corporation House 
now stands. In 1860 about four hundred people were camping in Vir- 
ginia City. The first house in Gold Hill was built by "Dutch Nick" 
Ambrose, near the Gold Hill croppings. The first house in Virginia 
City was erected at the corner of A Street and Sutton Avenue by John 
L. Newman. The first International Hotel was built at the corner of 
Union and B Streets, and its first day's receipts were $700. 

In April, 1860, flour was from $30 to $40 per 100 pounds; sugar 
62 cents, candles 75 cents, shovels $5 and picks $6, powder $i a pound, 
e gg s $3 a dozen. In 1861 Virginia had a population of about 2,700 and 
Gold Hill 1,300. In 1864, five years after the first discovery, Virginia 
City had a population of 5,000. Twenty-one miles of shafts and drifts 
had been excavated and over 60 mills were working on the Comstock 
ores. Great fortunes were being taken from the ground. Imperial had 
produced $2,750,000, Overman $3,250,000, Hale and Norcross $11,000,- 
ooo, Gould and Curry $15,500,000, Chollar and Potasi $16,000,000, Yellow 
Jacket $16,500,000, Savage $16,500,000, Ophir $20,000,000, Crown Point 
$22,000,000, Belcher $26,000,000, and others in sums ranging from thou- 
sands to millions. 

The majority who came in the first rush were young men. The greater 
number were under thirty years of age and many under twenty-five. 
As a result many strong and life-enduring friendships were formed. In 
1874 a continuous row of houses extended from the upper part of Vir- 
ginia City through to Gold Hill and far down into the canyon. They 
held a total population of nearly forty thousand. A great influx of 
people was due at this time to the discovery of "The Big Bonanza" in 
the Con Virginia and California mines. These mines subsequently pro- 
duced, for the next fourteen years, an average of $1,500,000 per month. 
The total output of these two mines was about $180,000,000 and they 
continued paying enormous dividends for years. 


Con Virginia was at one time as low as 15 cents a share, and it went 
to $800 a share even after it had been cut up into five-for-one with a 
stock dividend. Mackay, Fair, Flood, and O'Brien were known as the 
Big Four. With the wealth taken from the mines, San Francisco was 
built and palaces of the Comstock mine owners began to rise in stately 
magnificence on Nob Hill. The Palace and Fairmount Hotels were 
built from these dividends and the building of the Pacific Cable and the 
great Postal Telegraph systems came from this source. 

When the "Bonanza" was discovered, some 200 miles of work had 
been done on the Comstock, and enough timber buried in the depths of 
the Lode to house a population of half a million people. The tendency 
of the ground to cave necessitated this enormous use of timber and the 
western slopes of the Sierras were practically denuded to furnish the 

Phillip Deideshimer was the inventor of the square system of tim- 
bering, without which the mines would have been worked but a few 
hundred feet in depth. He solved the vexed problem when development 
on the Ledge threatened to be at a standstill. He also wrote the report 
on the extent and richness of the bonanza discovered in California and 
Con Virginia and it is claimed that this report caused the demonetization 
of silver by the German Government. 

Many disastrous fires followed the introduction of timbering in the 
mines. The worst was the Yellow Jacket fire in Gold Hill in April 24, 
1869, in which forty-five men lost their lives. It was claimed at the 
time that Senator Sharon instigated the work of firing the mine to depress 
the stock, and Adolph Sutro took advantage of the fire to show how 
lives could be saved through his tunnel. The next notable fire was in 
the Curry, June 24th 1888. Several miners lost their lives, being unable 
to escape to adjoining mines, and the blame of the disaster was laid at 
the door of the practice of keeping adjoining mines isolated and not 
connected by drifts which might be made use of in. case of fire. 

Many disastrous fires have occurred on the surface. The greatest was 
in 1875. The fire wiped out some $12,000,000 worth of property, and 
most of the hoisting works went up in the blaze. The stock depression 
following the conflagration was very disastrous to the entire Coast. The 
work of rebuilding, however, began immediately and finer and better 
buildings resulted. The new Court House was erected at a cost of $75,000, 


the International Hotel at a cost of $125,000. This was furnished regard- 
less of expense, and its magnificent chandeliers, ceiling-high mirrors and 
mahogany furniture made it a hostelry for the wealthy. Most of the 
intrigues and big mining deals were incubated within its walls, and 
could they speak now, a new history of the Ledge might be written of 
unsurpassed interest. All of the churches were rebuilt and better than 

The first mill erected to crush Comstock ore was built by A. B. Paul 
near Silver City, May 24, 1860. From that on they steadily increased 
until mills varying from three to sixty-stamps lined the canyons, dotted 
the Carson River and lined the shores of Washoe Lake. The ore was 
transported from the Comstock by team mostly in quartz wagons drawn 
by twelve or sixteen horses. The milling methods were crude and expen- 
sive and scarcely any ore worth less than $16 a ton was considered worth 
treating. Wasteful methods were the rule, and the loss of precious 
metals, including the quicksilver used in amalgamation, was enormous. 
The chief ingredients used in amalgamation were quicksilver and copper 
sulphate, though every available concoction was used experimentally, 
including mixtures of drugs and sagebrush-tea. 

In some of the richer ores as much as five pounds of quicksilver was 
used to the ton. Blanket tablemen reaped a rich harvest from the "slimes 
and tailings." The Union Mill and Mining Company soon controlled 
most of the mills and the extensive operations of this monopoly are 
treated fully in another portion of this work. Legal battles over disputed 
claims were very numerous and scores of lawyers reaped fortunes from 
these litigations. In many cases the disputants never bothered to go 
into court but settled the matter with guns and pistols, and many a claim 
had its dead man to bury after the squabble was over. The bloodiest 
battle over a claim was fought at the Justice Waller shaft at Gold Hill, 
October 3, 1874, where several men were killed. The Miners' Union, 
after its organization, did much to put a stop to these methods of settling 
miners' rights. 

The Virginia Miners' Union was organized in December, 1866, and 
the Gold Hill Union, July 4, 1867. The most amicable relations have 
always existed between the unions and the mine owners. The wages 
have always been $4 a day. These unions numbered 4,375 members in 
June, 1875. There is a by-law in the constitution of the unions that it 


cannot disband until the number is reduced to seven. Whenever it reaches 
that membership the seven meet, divide the money in the treasury, and 
the union goes out of existence. The wise heads that conceived that 
idea knew what they were doing, evidently. 

Fuller accounts of the many things lightly touched upon here appear 
in the widely scattered writings of many brilliant men who formed a 
powerful coterie in the early days. All of these men were connected 
more or less with the press, chiefly the Territorial Enterprise, the Virginia 
Chronicle and the Gold Hill News. Among the list may be mentioned 
Mark Twain, Dan De Quille, Joseph T. Goodman, Charley Goodwin, 
Rollin M. Daggett, Bret Harte, Sam Davis, Edward Townsend, T. E. 
McCarthy, Arthur McEwen, Alf. Doten and others more or less known 
who made history on the old Ledge. 

The order of the names implies no opinion of the individual merit or 
personal preference. Their writings, if gathered together and compiled, 
a word here, a line there, a bit of sparkling wit and a touch of pathos, 
with reference to the strange, wild, unusual life on the early Comstock, 
would weave into a drama touching the greatest depths of despair and 
the fullest achievements of hope known to man; for the events and inci- 
dents that characterized the workshop of the wonderful Lode were such 
as showed human nature in its lowest degradation and the highest aspects 
of sublimity. 

It was a great stage on which mighty actors have played their parts 
and passed on. Her garnered wealth has quickened the pulse of civiliza- 
tion and revived the drooping industries of the world. The power of her 
Midas touch will be felt during coming centuries. Her glory rests upon 
the achievements of the past, but the future will recall those glories long 
after the men have been forgotten who plucked their wealth from the 
restless tide of frenzied finance that dashed its breakers against the rocky 
sides of old Mt. Davidson. 






This county takes its name from the aboriginal tribe who inhabited 
the strip of country extending along the base of the Sierra Moun- 
tains, from the head of Carson River to the Truckee. The section 
embraces a series of valleys, of which Carson, Eagle, Pleasant, Steam- 
boat and the Truckee are the principal ones, and including the adja- 
cent mountains, which is still the home of this people. 

The name "Washoe" was applied to most of the country now em- 
braced within the boundaries of our State. It was the wish and opinion 
of some of the members of the Constitutional Convention held 
in Carson City, that the proposed State should be known as 
"Washoe" a majority, however, thought differently, hence the name 
"Nevada." But it is a fact that formerly people in California and 
other States knew and referred to the great Comstock and surround- 
ing country as the "Washoe Mining District." This was especially 
true during the years 1859-60 and '61, notwithstanding Congress in 
March, 1861, created a new Territory and called it "Nevada." This 
action by Congress practically settled the name and those favoring 
"Washoe" made their last effort in 1863. When the Territory was 
organized by the Territorial Legislature of November, 1861, among 
its first acts it divided the territory into nine counties. From and 
after this date the sentiment in favor of Washoe gradually subsided, so 
that for more than fifty years the name properly applied referred to 
Washoe County. Of course, the name still applies to a tribe of Indians, 
to the old county seat of the county, Washoe City, and to Washoe Lake, 
as well as to Washoe Valley. 

The year 1860 brought with it many changes from the plodding 


and quiet ways of the early settlers in Washoe Valley. The products 
of the soil, which for years had but a nominal value, and largely a 
matter of barter, were now in demand at very high prices, and gold 
and silver coins were freely exchanged for grain, hay and all kinds 
of farm and garden produce. This was illustrated near Ragtown on 
the Carson River in 1860. A train of twenty-seven wagons had just 
crossed the "Great American Desert" and was camped a few miles up 
the river, where they encountered good water and grass, just above 
Ragtown. Near the camp was a huckster from California by the name 
of B. C. Raynous, who had gone down to meet the incoming immi- 
grants with fresh vegetables, as well as flour and other necessaries of 
life. Of the party was the family of Sam Smith from Iowa. Mrs. 
Smith soon heard that fresh vegetables were to be had from the huck- 
ster and told Sam to go over to the "store" and get some potatoes 
for a change. Sam, in response, hunted up the family purse, which, 
by the way, was not at all plethoric, and started. Arriving in front of 
the huckster's layout he accosted the dealer, saying: "Hello, Captain! 
Have you any potatoes?" Being informed that potatoes were kept 
in stock, Sam next inquired the price. The dealer said he was selling 
them at "fifteen cents." Sam promptly said, "Give me a bushel." 
The dealer readily divined the fact that Sam did not fully comprehend 
the situation, so he said: "Stranger, I guess you are 'off' a little; 
potatoes are sold by the pound and not by the bushel." "I will take 
a pound," Sam almost instantly said. The cental system in the sale 
of potatoes was new and interesting to all "tender feet" then. 

On arriving at Carson City they found produce and provisions much 
cheaper; that is to say, potatoes could be had for ten cents a pound. 
All kinds of farm produce was selling at about the same high rates, 
so it is no wonder that the farmers in Washoe Valley were prosperous. 
Their farms were often as valuable as the silver mines. Hay was a legal 
tender on the Comstock at from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
dollars per ton for fair quality and even salt grass and dried tules were in 

Looking back to the time of fifty years ago it cannot be said that 
the valley has materially changed in general appearance. The valley 
was then divided into farms and holdings very much like now. But 
the change wrought in the foothills and mountains on the west and 


south are great. Then all were covered with an immense growth of 
forest trees which in a few years were converted into wood and lum- 
ber for the Comstock. Indeed, for a number of years these forests 
supplied their entire demand. In 1860 it was decided by many of the 
leading mining companies of the Comstock to build their mills and re- 
duction works in the valley near the timber and mountain streams. 
The ores were hauled down from Virginia and Gold Hill, while the 
same teams took back wood and lumber as back freight. 

Franktown, in Washoe Valley, was one of the earliest settled places 
in Western Utah, several Mormon families having located there in 
1848. It was a pleasant little hamlet situated on the west side of the 
valley and still bears the impress of its founders. One of the first 
saw-mills on the eastern slope of the Sierras was located at Frank- 
town and owned by J. Ross. In 1862 there were twenty saw-mills in 
the county, producing two million feet of lumber per week; the prices 
ranged from $35 to $50 per thousand at the mills. The lots of Frank- 
town originally contained four or five acres each, supplied with water 
carried in channels through the public streets. The houses were built 
of hewn logs, presenting a rude, primitive aspect, and on every hand 
there were to be seen the evidences of primitive life. This town re- 
mained the principal city in the county for many years. There was a 
very large amount of well-timbered land, also of agricultural and 
grass-lands of the former not less than one hundred thousand acres, 
and of the latter not less than thirty or forty thousand acres. 

Ophir City. In the fall of 1860 the Ophir Silver Mining Company 
began the erection of extensive reduction works two miles south of 
Franktown, where they spent over half a million on their works for 
the extraction of the precious metals. But as the then four or five 
saw-mills in the valley could not supply the increasing demand for 
lumber, the company first erected a saw-mill of their own and thus 
produced most of the material used in the extensive quartz mill which 
they built immediately surrounding it. Millwrights, carpenters, 
masons, machinists and common laborers were in great demand. 
Work was pushed through the entire winter, so that in May, 1861, the 
works were started and immense amounts of gold and silver were 
added to the world's stock of those metals. Captain William L. Dall 
was superintendent. T. B. Shamp, afterward a Senator from Washoe, 


was the secretary. Hundreds of men were employed around the 
works. The same spring the company sold part of their lands to Cap- 
tain H. A. Cheever and C. S. Potter for a town site near the works. 
As soon as the lots were surveyed they were sought for art round 
prices and the town of Ophir was built up very rapidly. 

First School House Started. The Town-site Company erected a 
neat and substantial schoolhouse and donated it to the town, so that 
during the summer of 1861 the first term of public school was held, 
with Miss Addie Ferguson as teacher. Previously, by common con- 
sent, the people held an election for school trustees and elected George 
H. Douglas, A. Denio and H. H. Beck as such officers. The inhab- 
itants increased very rapidly, so that before winter came again the 
place was one of considerable importance and, notwithstanding there 
was no law, the community was the most law-abiding and best regu- 
lated to be found anywhere. Every one seemed bent on following 
the golden rule and treated his neighbor with Christian forbearance, 
even though it was not then known that there was a single Christian 
or church member in the town. In some respects the community was 
a motley gathering, for there were people from all States in the Union, 
as well as from many nations of the globe, including native Indians, 
not taxed, and men from Ohio. By mutual consent, but without 
special agreement, everybody minded his own business and police 
courts were not needed. 

Odd Nickwmnes Given Settlers. A large number of the residents 
were known by nicknames given them on account of some personal 
peculiarity. Very few took any pains to know the true name of his 
neighbor. Henry S. Smith was known as "Brick Top" on account of 
his red hair. G. W. Atkinson passed as "Old Tennessee." When the 
Sunday School was organized it was discovered that "Noisy Dave" 
was none other than Dave Ehler, "Big Nobe," when arrested for fish- 
ing on Sunday, admitted his true name to be N. M. Jellerson. M. C. 
Sloan was known as "Pike." The true name of "Sailor Jack" was 
John Saunders. Charley Howard answered to the name of "Texas." 
Dave Bittenger was always hailed as "Finnigan." The real name of 
"Buckeye George" was Sam Hawkins. "Farmer Jim" signed his 
name as J. H. Sturtevant. "Handsome Brady" signed the pay-roll as 
Michael Brady. A young woman waiting on table at the Ophir 


House was known to most of the boys as the "Monitor," and Susan 
Fleming, possibly on account of her size, was referred to by the 
ungodly as "The Great Eastern." Then there was "Big Pete," "Slim 
Jim," "Boston Charley," "Dutch Ike," "Spooney Saunders" and "Dub- 
lin Pete." In some instances their true names were never known in 
that community. When the registry law went into effect later on 
most of those remaining made a record of their true names, although 
the fellow who passed for a long time as "Old Blue Mass" finally 
established his true name, when he joined the church, to be Doctor 

Washoe City was started in the winter of 1 860-61 and in early 
spring the necessary surveys were made and at once the place began 
to grow and for half a dozen years no place in the State was more pros- 
perous. Money was plentiful and nearly every person engaged in any 
kind of business did well. It then being the county seat, the place 
assumed importance as a political center, although for the first two 
or three years partisanship in politics was unknown. All candidates 
for office made a go-as-you-please race, and, as a rule, the ones most 
popular on personal account got the most votes. The sack was then 
unknown and the system of central committees had not yet obtained, 
so there were no assessments of candidates and no one ever com- 
plained of being sold out by his party. Nearly every office to be 
filled had from two to five candidates seeking the place. No political 
conventions, hence no swapping or trading, and the political boss was 
yet to come. Charley Smith was the first Sheriff of the county and 
T. A. Read, of Franktown, was one of the first County Commissioners, 
and F. A. Ent carried the keys to the first county treasury. During 
his time he lived in Franktown and carried the county funds back 
and forth to the county seat, where he went at stated times to pay off 
and receive funds belonging to his office. P. E. Shannon filled the 
office, first of County Clerk and later Recorder. He, like so many 
others, made a reputation for himself in Washoe and then went to 
San Francisco. James H. Sturtevant and Sol. Geller looked after 
the interest of the people of the county in the Legislature. During 
the winter of 1862 one G. W. Derickson established the Washoe. 
Times, a weekly publication. He was killed soon after by a man 
named Horace F. Swazey, who lived at Ophir, and the paper then 


went into the hands of General Allen, uncle of Mr. Derickson. The 
killing was the result of a wordy altercation in the printing office, near 
the middle of the day, where Swazey went to demand a retraction by 
the editor for abusive language published concerning him. Swazey, 
as a correspondent at Ophir, had plagiarized by copying a funny 
article from some Eastern paper and tried to palm it on the Times 
man as original. In this he signally failed and Mr. Derickson exposed 
the writer in the next issue of the paper and charged him with being 
an imbecile and an ass. This caused Swazey to demand a retraction. 
Both men were armed, but the editor being a man of more than ordi- 
nary nerve, drove Swazey out of the office. Swazey retreated up the 
street, and several hours afterward, seeing Derickson outside of his 
office on the sidewalk, he deliberately fired from in front of the Mc- 
Farland Livery Stable, a distance of more than a hundred yards, and 
killed the editor on the spot. Swazey got out of town and escaped 
to Sierra Valley, but some weeks later was arrested and indicted. 
On his trial he was ably defended by Charley De Long and finally 
went free. The principal ground of defense was a novel one, but 
worthy the resources of the able attorney who urged it. Briefly stated 
it was : That the defendant could not, and did not, fire the fatal shot 
with malice or with intent to kill, as the deceased was too far removed 
and he could not with any hope or expectation of striking the object, 
have fired the shot ; that it was as if he had fired at a man five miles 
away and simply a snapshot showing bravado, and nothing more. 
But the intelligent jury thought they saw merit in the point. 

Business men came to Washoe City from many places on the coast. 
Stores, hotels and saloons multiplied rapidly, as well as all other kinds 
of business. Isaac Mears and J. H. Kinkead were among the first to 
open a mercantile house, under the firm name of "Mears & Kinkead." 
Then came "Erlanger & Wertheimer," "Lamber & Co.," "Haskell 
Clarke" and "I. S. Bostwick." All the firms carried heavy stocks of 
general merchandise. In fact it was necessary then to stock up 
heavily, especially in the fall of the year, for during the Winter the 
freight charges were very high, owing to the condition of the roads 
over the mountains, and nearly all material coming in during the 
winter cost all the way from ten to twenty-five cents a pound freight 
charges, Forty dollars a barrel for flour was not unusual; in fact, 


during the early Spring of 1860, the staff of life brought as high as 
two hundred dollars a barrel, or a dollar a pound. But then we had 
free coinage those days and even with high prices for all kinds of 
provisions, very few, if any, went hungry. Then all merchandise and 
machinery was freighted from California on big wagons drawn by 
from six to sixteen horses, mules or oxen. During the months of 
September and October the merchants stocked up heavily for the 
winter trade. After the winter supply was all in, the storekeeper was 
happy. Let the storms come, the merchant was ready. On these 
occasions Mr. Erlanger was in the habit of scanning the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains every morning on getting to his place of business to see 
what the prospects were for a storm, and every time he found a cloud 
he would give this order to his salesmen : "Hey, there, boys ! Mark 
up flour and ground barley another cent a pound." Of course the 
customers stood the raise. Mr. Erlanger not only made a reputation 
in Washoe, but money as well. Charley Lambert made a small for- 
tune in Washoe City. For four years he served the county in the 
Legislature as Senator and then retired to the more genial climate of 
California. D. B. Boyd was a clerk with Lambert & Co. I. S. Bost- 
wick had the reputation of sanding his sugar, but he made a bushel of 
money and carried it to the Bay. Haskell & Clarke made money and 
died in Washoe. Mr. Mears left the county many years ago. His 
partner, Mr. Kinkead, up to the time of his death, was a leading citizen 
of Virginia City. He was the first Postmaster of Washoe and was 
succeeded by Nat Holmes. Among the earliest hotel and saloon- 
keepers were James Pearson, Jim Roberts, Sam Southworth, J. P. 
Winfrey and others. 

Galena, situated about four miles northwest of Washoe City, con- 
tained for a number of years as patriotic a lot of citizens as ever made 
up a community anywhere. A place as radically for the Union as ever 
was the States of Massachusetts or Rhode Island, and was frequently 
referred to as the "Eastern Tennessee" of Washoe County. Practic- 
ally all belonged to the Union party during the war, notwithstanding 
a large majority of them had previously been Democrats or Whigs. 
This unanimity of political sentiment was partially shown at the 
September election in 1862, when the Union ticket received 381 votes 
out of a possible 384; only three votes for the opposition. But then 


the majority of the party was organized and led by such men as Fred 
Stadtmuller, R. M. Shackelford, Tom Prince, John M. Thomas, W. N. 
Beldon, A. J. Hatch, Wallace Caldwell, Henry Tiffany, Doctor Kords, 
Judge C. C. Goodwin, and many others of like influence and reputation. 
The town of Galena was simply headquarters of quite an extensive 
lumbering camp. Prince & Brown owned and operated several saw- 
mills, as did several others of those named above, including John 
Thomas and Wallace Caldwell. Mr. Stadtmuller was the principal 
merchant in the town and made a small fortune, as fortunes were then 
rated. Judge Goodwin tried his virgin hand at quartz-milling in 
Galena Creek. According to his own report he lasted quick and in 
the fall of 1863 he went into politics and was elected Probate Judge. 
John Thomas, after leaving Galena, married Jennie Champion of 
"Little Bangor" and, some years later, removed to Southern California, 
engaging in the sheep and wool business. Tom Prince was twice 
elected to the Legislature from Washoe City, after which he married 
Miss Davis of Carson and moved to Contra Costa County, California. 
Wallace Caldwell left the State about 25 years after, also serving a 
term in the Assembly. A. J. Hatch was a surveyor and civil engineer. 
He served as County Surveyor, and in 1870 was elected to the Assem- 
bly, where during the session of 1871 he did much towards getting the 
land laws into system. In 1878 he was elected Surveyor-General of 
Nevada, and served a four-year term, soon after which he, too, like 
most of Nevada's successful business men, sold his interests here and 
moved to California, where he, for a time, engaged in the dried-fruit 
industry. Several years ago he closed his earthly career and his name 
is now numbered with the silent dead. W. W. Beldon for a time held 
the office of Justice of the Peace in Galena and in 1864 was elected to 
the State Constitutional Convention, where he assisted in framing our 
organic law. Some years later he also left our State, and since then 
also passed over to the great majority. At the territorial election in 
September, 1864, Dick Shackelford was the Republican candidate in 
Washoe County for Sheriff, but was defeated by a close majority by 
T. A. Reid, of Franktown. At the next election in November of the 
same year he was chosen one of the three members of the Assembly 
from Washoe County, and served in the first Legislature of the State 
during the winter of 1864-5, m which he championed the candidacy 


of his old friend Judge Whitman for United States Senator. Not long 
afterward he moved from Nevada and located in Hollister, California. 
Doctor Kords, while a resident of Galena, practiced medicine as a pro- 
fession and engaged in the poultry business as a diversion. He estab- 
lished a reputation while there, and then went to California, where he 
amassed a fortune. Mr. Stadtmuller died in San Francisco. Judge 
Goodwin has made his home with the saints in Salt Lake City for 
many years, where he added fame to the good name he earned in 
Washoe. But what of Galena alas, Galena is no more. The old 
timers left, and its glory departed and the immense pine forests were 
cut down to supply the demand of the Comstock for wood and timber. 
Other places in the valley had claims on the seat of county government 
as being "more central." Ophir was then a very prosperous and grow- 
ing town and felt slighted when Washoe City got the prize, and even 
Franktown had its claim for preferment not so much on account of 
its size, but generally because it was the first located town in the 
county, and further, claimed that it was nearer the center. 

Washoe City in 1864 was then in its greatest prosperity, and con- 
tained about 2,500 people. Ophir had 1,200 inhabitants, and Frank- 
town and vicinity about 500, Mill Station and surroundings about 300. 
In addition to these places there was still another community, in the 
valley claiming individuality known as Little Bangor, situated about 
a mile south of Franktown. As an additional item of the general im- 
portance of the Valley at the time, it may be noted that in the general 
election in 1864, Washoe Co. cast over 700 votes, Ophir over 300, 
Franktown something over 200, and Mill Station about 150, to say 
nothing of the votes cast at the half-way house on the Ophir grade, 
between the Valley and Virginia City. The Washoe Valley asserted 
great influence in many ways, including politics, and had much to do 
in the organization of the State government. As regards partisan 
politics, a large majority of the people could always be counted on in 
favor of sustaining the Union and Uncle Abe Lincoln in his efforts to 
put down the rebellion. Money was plentiful, everybody that wanted 
work was being employed at good wages, and prosperity was seen on 
every hand. 

One of the Ophir company's works at Ophir, together with the 
range belonging, was assessed for taxation purposes at $400,000. The 


Franktown Ore Balls Mill at $90,000. At Washoe City there were 
located and in operation quite a number of large and extensive quartz 
mills costing from $50,000 to $200,000 each. Notably among them was 
the Newark Mill and the Manhattan reduction works, under the super- 
vision of Colonel Avre, the Minnesota Mill, built by Judge North, the 
Buckeye mill, owned and operated by W. W. Shelley, the Atchinson 
Mill, built and owned by J. H. Atchison and S. S. Atchison. Some 
little distance west, on Galena creek, was located a quartz mill built 
and owned by William Alford, who always referred to his plant as a 
"schrushing mill, sir." In Pleasant Valley, a few miles north of 
Washoe, was located the Temelec Mill built and owned by Judge 
Wallace; and just below the little concentrating mill built by Gover- 
nor Stevenson, was located and for a time operated the Willow Creek 
Smelting Works. These several ore-working plants cost several mil- 
lions of dollars, and employed many hundreds of men. In the moun- 
tains and foothills, west of the valley, were located a score or more of 
saw-mills making lumber for the local and Comstock markets. Hun- 
dreds of teams were busy hauling wood and lumber to Virginia and 
Gold Hill, and bringing back thousands of tons of Comstock ore for 
the quartz mills. The farmers in the valley had a home market for 
everything they could produce at fabulous prices. The people com- 
posing the community of Washoe Valley, as well as Washoe City, 
were what may be called homogeneous. 

During the years 1860-61 it seemed that professional men were not 
needed, as nearly every person was a stranger to his neighbor and 
everybody else, by common consent ; everybody minded his own busi- 
ness, and, as a matter of course, lawyers were not in demand. Every- 
body was a law unto himself and the golden rule was more the law 
then than at any time since and then, too, as long as there were no 
lawyers, courts were not in demand, and so it appeared with regard 
to doctors. People seemed to get along without being sick and even 
accidents occurred but seldom, possibly from the fact that surgeons 
were not to be had. The same may be said with regard to ministers of 
the gospel with the exception of Uncle George Smith of Pleasant 
Valley and Abendigo Johns of Genoa, two of the Joseph Smith order 
of Latter Day Saints, who once in a while preached to the ungodly 
of Washoe, they had no preachers. In the few years, however, the 


sentiment of the whole community was changed. The people got to 
know each other, and the better they became acquainted the more they 
mistrusted one another. Hence courts were in demand and with the 
establishment of legal tribunals came the lawyers. When the people 
became sociable they talked of fancied ailments and the doctors 
came. As the many restraints incident to strangeness wore oft", the 
people compared notes each with his neighbor until they made the 
discovery that the whole community was ungodly in the extreme and 
liable to go to Hades, and this condition brought the ministers. 

Under the act of the Territorial Legislature of November, 1861, 
Probate and Justices Courts were established in the several counties 
of the Territory. Charles S. Potter of Ophir was appointed for 
Washoe County, and at stated times held Probate Court at Washoe 
City. Then came the lawyers. Among the very first in the valley was 
Judge Watson, formerly from Watsonville, California. He lived in 
Ophir, but practiced in all the courts of the Territory. Then came 
Tom Cox and H. A. Gaston, who formed a co-partnership under the 
firm name of "Cox & Gaston." About the same time two young law- 
yers came who did business as "DeWitt & Haydon." But this firm 
did not remain in business long. Both were of the "secesh" order, and 
too frequently made known their sympathies with the South in the 
Rebellion. Haydon was from Arkansas, while it was said DeWitt 
hailed from somewhere in New England, the most rabid pro-slavery 
man of the two. John S. Bowker, afterwards Justice of the Peace in 
Reno, was Deputy County Clerk under C. C. Conger. He and DeWitt 
had a dispute one day in the Clerk's office which ended by DeWitt 
stabbing Bowker. For a number of days his life was despaired of, but 
he finally got well. The assassin, DeWitt, was arrested, but the feel- 
ing being so strong against him in Washoe City, he caused the pre- 
liminary investigation to be transferred to Ophir, where Justice of 
the Peace Beck held him under a bond to appear before the Grand 
Jury. But he soon after left for other parts. 

About this time J. W. North and James F. Lewis located in Washoe 
City and together practiced law under the firm name of "North & 
Lewis." Law business was plentiful and the fraternity prospered. J. 
W. North soon after was appointed by President Lincoln one of the 
three District Judges of the Territory, while James F. Lewis, after 


serving a term as District Attorney for the county, was elected one of 
the three first Supreme Judges of the State and served for eight 
years. A little later came Tom Fitch, the eloquent, who combined 
law with politics. It was never known whether Torn made any con- 
siderable money as a lawyer, but he did have the reputation of having 
a whole lot of fun. For some years he and Tom Cox were the leaders 
of the Washoe Bar and almost invariably were they pitted against 
each other. Cox was the better counselor, while Fitch got the credit 
for being the more brilliant advocate. During these times, too, the 
Bar was graced by George Nourse, who was later elected as the first 
Attorney General of the State, which office he filled with great ability 
for two years, and soon after moved to San Francisco. But the list of 
attorneys of the Washoe Bar during early times would not be com- 
plete without the name of T. W. Healey, who came to Washoe a 
young man of more than ordinary promise. Most of the time his 
practice was limited, but being young and robust he could wait, and 
he did. One of his principal clients was James M. Gatewood, an old 
pioneer, not only of Washoe, but California. "Jim Gatewood," as 
everybody called him, was of a kind of whom there were few, a born 
philosopher and always an enigma. To strangers he always appeared 
morose and disinclined to sociability, while the fact was that no one 
in the valley was of a more genial nature, but always acting as if he 
was afraid people would think he was assuming virtues he did not 
possess. His philosophy may be illustrated by incidents like the 

H. H. Beck on one occasion, thinking he had need of a lawyer, asked 
Jim as to who he thought was the most competent to entrust with the 
business on hand. Jim promptly said: "Go and get Col. A. C. Ellis, 
and, by the way, Beck, let me tell you that my experience is just this : 
If you need a lawyer get a good one, and when you want a damn fool 
attend to it yourself." Between Jim Gatewood and Lawyer Healey 
there seemed to exist a bond of sympathy disconnected from the con- 
dition of attorney and client, and while very dissimilar in many re- 
spects, there were grounds upon which they fully agreed. In their 
opinion Dame Fortune was a fickle jade and both agreed that the 
wealth of this world was none too equally divided. In short, there 
were times with them even during the flush times that "grass was 


short," so it chanced that the two concluded to reduce expenses to 
their lowest terms by setting up what they called a bachelor's hall. A 
comfortable little cabin was rented on the outskirts of Ophir for the 
winter of 1864, and their worldly goods and chattels moved in. Each 
took his turn in the art of cooking and the care of the house, and all 
went well until they discovered that the supply of wood was about 
exhausted. Wood was plentiful in the mountains not far away, but 
they had no wagon with which to bring it to camp. A short consulta- 
tion resulted in their going to Jim Sturtevant and asking him to haul 
them a few loads. To this Mr. Sturtevant demurred and said : "Boys, 
I am as lazy as you are ; haul your own wood." They explained they 
had no team. Sturtevant then told them to take his two yoke of cattle 
and haul all they wanted. This matter being arranged, Judge Healey 
and Jim Gatewood started up the canyon, Jim doing the driving while 
the Judge held down the wagon. All went well going up hill. The 
wagon was soon loaded and the team headed down the grade, but here 
trouble commenced. The wagon crowded the wheel cattle so that the 
team jack-knifed and an upset was imminent. But the oxen were 
finally halted and it was then arranged that the Judge should take a 
position on the off-side of the cattle and assist in keeping the team 
straight and in the middle of the road. When all was ready Jim 
admonished the "damn bulls" to act decently and they started down 
the road. But the cattle were nervous and restless. The outfit got 
going faster and faster until it was evident that unless the team was 
halted dire destruction was sure to come. Jim called to the Judge to 
stop the cattle, at the same time doing all he could in that direction 
himself. Matters got worse and Jim got excited and finally yelled out 
to Healey, "Stop them, Judge, stop them; why in damnation don't 
you stop them?" This profanity was too much for the Judge, so he 
stopped short and yelled back to Jim : "Stop them yourself, I am no 
damn bull driver! I am a Kentucky gentleman, sir!" 

Soon after Governor Nye issued his proclamation in November, 
1861, dividing the Territory into three Judicial Districts and assigning 
the three Judges appointed by President Lincoln, the law business 
began in earnest. The Courts being established and lawyers being 
plentiful, many otherwise good people could not resist the temptation, 
and litigation was rife. Gordon N. Mott was assigned to the First 


District, which embraced Washoe County, while Dighton Corson came 
by appointment from Washington and acted as United States District 
Attorney. The duty of the District Attorney was to prosecute all who 
sinned against the laws of the United States as well as those causing 
an infraction of the Statutes of the Territory. Under the act of the 
Territorial Legislature of 1861, gambling was strictly prohibited. 
Poker playing was a crime and all banking games were liable to a 
heavy fine. However, but few transgressors ever suffered, unless the 
fees paid attorneys for defending the accused be taken into considera- 
tion. At each session of the Court the Grand Jury would find indict- 
ments against every person keeping a gambling-house. Every trans- 
gressor was brought into Court, where he pleaded "not guilty" and 
his attorney filed demurrers. These two things usually carried the 
cases over until next term. The law was not popular then, and even 
the Judge acted as if loath to enforce it. Indeed, it was quite the 
custom of the Court while sitting in judgment during the day, to play 
poker two-thirds of the night with the accused. 

During these years the local Bar was greatly augmented by their 
brethren from Virginia City and Carson. From the former place came 
Charley H. Bryan, Wm. M. Stewart, and his partner, A. H. Baldwin, 
Will Campbell, Judge Pitzer, R. S. Mesick, H. K. Mitchell, Todd 
Robinson, Judge Brumfield, Frank Tilford and several others. From 
Carson came such well known attorneys as ex-Governor J. Neely 
Johnson, Hal Clayton, William Patterson, Jonas Seeley and Thomas 
E. Haydon. But an overruling Providence was kind even to lawyers, 
for most of those named above filed their last brief long ago and so 
their trials and tribulations in this world are no more. Judge Haydon 
came to Washoe County to stay about forty years ago. Hank Mitchell 
went to California, where he enjoyed the good reputation earned in 
Nevada. Numerous additions were made to the local Bar during 
1862-63, including Wales L. Knox. In 1865 a new law firm was 
established, then known as "Webster & Walker." Mr. Walker came 
to the county from Truckee. Judge Webster crossed the plains from 
Iowa the year before, bringing his family with him. His advent into 
the Washoe burg was treated becomingly, but when he announced 
that he was a lawyer, there was surprise, for every one then thought 
he was the greenest attorney they had ever seen, and the more they 


saw of him proved their first impression was correct. He remained, 
however, and made a competency. In 1866 Mr. Webster was nomi- 
nated on the Democratic ticket for District Attorney of the county 
and ran against Judge Goodwin. After a spirited campaign Judge 
Goodwin was defeated. A few days after the election the two met 
and Mr. Webster hailed his old friend and competitor with: "Hello, 
Judge, I guess the people failed to vote for you because they knew 
you." To which sally Judge Goodwin retorted : "Oh, no, Judge Web- 
ster, not at all ; but the fact is, the damned fools voted for you because 
they didn't know you." 

Among the first physicians in the valley were Doctor Allen, Doctor 
Bonham, Doctor G. A. Weed and Doctor J. S. Stackpole. Of their 
ability in the profession no one knew and very few cared. The doctors 
honored the community with their presence and the people, wishing 
to be sociable, gave them employment. Of course, it was soon discov- 
ered that the community was without a graveyard. But this is digres- 
sion. Doctor W. P. L. Winiham soon after established a drug store 
and the graveyard came in due time. Of the comparative ability of 
the several doctors little was known. The law requiring a diploma to 
be filed in the Recorder's office had not obtained. Many of those, 
thinking they needed a prescription for something they thought ailed 
them, were of the opinion that Doctor Weed or Doctor Stackpole were 
the best and safest to be consulted. But among the masses generally 
it was agreed that Doctor Stackpole was a failure in cases requiring 
surgical skill or "carpentering," as the boys called it. Three of those 
doctors above-mentioned were hoist by their own petard or something 
else, while Doctor Weed practiced his profession in the State of 
Washington. Later on came other doctors, including Doctors 
Mitchell, Bishop and Hogan. The advent of Doctor Mitchell marked 
an epoch in physics, medicine and lotions. He brought with him a 
metaphysical vocabulary strictly his own, so that it was often said 
that one of his technical disquisitions to an ailing patient was as good 
as a dose of pills. But while he was not like other doctors, he was 
among people who were not all alike, so that at least some regarded 
him as filling a long-felt want. In 1869 Chauncey Haskill took sick 
while boarding with Mrs. Roff. Doctor Mitchell was called. He 
came and diagnosed the case: the verdict being: "Too much bilious- 


bile on the stomach, my dear man." The next time Mrs. Roff met the 
good doctor she asked him concerning the welfare of her boarder. 
The doctor told her about as above stated, but assured her there was 
no immediate danger, although great care must be taken, and added 
that "the disease was of such a licentious nature that the outcome was 
uncertain." Chan Haskell pulled through. 

But Dr. Mitchell did not live in vain. His energy and perseverance 
were destined to be rewarded later. When Mr. I. H. Ball of Pleasant 
Valley lay sick unto death the doctor was called. Mr. Ball had suf- 
fered a long illness with fever and was attended by an eminent physi- 
cian from Virginia. Finally the Virginia doctor told his patient to 
make his will, for he would surely die, and gave up the case. Then 
Dr. Mitchell came on the scene. He diagnosed the case carefully, 
asked questions, and then, quoting from a speech made by the devil 
two thousand years ago, he said: "My dear sir, you shall not surely 
die." And he didn't. 

There was an irrepressible conflict between the simon-pure Mor- 
monism and the sect known as the Latter-day Saints. These were the 
church people in Washoe Valley, when the maddening rush came in 
1860 and 1861, and it is not strange that even the devout Latter-day 
Saints should he be carried away in the general excitement occasioned 
by the influx of the thousands of newcomers bent on making fortunes 
out of the newly discovered mines of the Comstock. Churches there 
were none. Of Christians the numbers were not many. And still, as 
already said, the community averaged in a moral way fully up to any 
standard since then established. If there was any praying done it was 
in. secret and not in an ostentatious manner. To find a man who 
would refuse to take a drink at a bar was rare and it was not uncom- 
mon for new arrivals to be looked upon as ministers or deacons until 
opportunity was afforded for a sitting at the card table, when the sup- 
posed teacher of godliness proved that he was no better than those 
with whom he associated. 

Among the early ministers in Washoe City was a nice little clergy- 
man by the name of William Dyer, who was sent out from some place 
in the East as a missionary among the supposed heathens. He taught 
Christ from the standpoint of the Episcopal Church. He was gentle- 
manly, devout and courteous. Small physically, had it not been for a 


black beard, he could readily have personated a woman. He preached 
alternately in Washoe City and Ophir. In a short time he won the 
favor of all whom he met and no doubt did his best to make himself 
useful in his mission. The miners and lumbermen always greeted him 
with a hearty "How do you do, Parson?" and very often asked him to 
"take something," which was then the custom of the country. Of 
course he always refused, but in such a quiet way that caused many a 
wood-chopper to apologize by urging him to accept a dollar or two in 
lieu of a drink. On one of his visits to Ophir he found old "Pike" 
busy with a pair of young steers, which he was breaking in to work 
under the yoke. The cattle were nervous and the weather very warm, 
while to say Pike was hot was drawing it mild. Pike was swearing a 
blue streak and lambasting the cattle for all they were worth. The 
minister looked on awhile and then approaching the irate Missourian 
he said : "My good friend, would not moral suasion be of use under the 
present excited condition of those cattle?" Pike was thunderstruck 
for a moment and could say nothing. He put down his goad-stick and 
said : "Deacon, the boys all say you are a devilish good preacher, but it 
is manifest to me that you never drove bulls." 

But Brother Dyer got along quite well, and as a rule the little 
School House was well filled when he preached in Ophir and the 
financial support from the boys was all that could be expected. But, 
the good man had a grievous failing, which, while it was natural at 
times, seemed extravagantly unnatural. It consisted in an inability 
to properly emphasize certain words in a sentence, and this caused 
him the loss of one of his best paying parishioners. A big strapping 
fellow, known in the town as Kentuck, took offense one Sunday and 
abruptly left the church in the midst of the service. A few hours 
afterward a friend asked him why he disgraced the town by such 
unseemly actions in leaving the church during the preaching. "Well," 
said Kentuck, "I left because I don't like to hear a minister swear 
while preaching, I can do that myself." The friend said there must be 
a mistake, as he had listened to the preachng and heard no swearing. 
Kentuck said : "Well, I don't know what you Yanks call it, but down 
in the blue grass region of Kentucky they call it swearing, and I be- 
lieve they know." "But what did he say that makes you think the 
minister was profane?" "Well, I will tell you," said Kentuck. 



"Didn't you notice that he stated in just so many words that 'David 
was beloved, by God,' and if that ain't taking the name of our Maker in 
vain then I'm an Injun." Brother Dyer was told of the incident, but it 
was some time before he could be made to see the point, and even then it 
seemed impossible for him to repeat the sentence without placing unusual 
stress or emphasis on the last two words. 

Other ministers came in due time, among them T. G. McGrath of 
the Methodists, and later Brother Hitchcock and Warren Nims of the 
same faith. Washoe City built a fashionable meeting-house and a 
parsonage adjoining. Other denominations were well represented for 
a time, including the Catholics. Before the advent of the clergy into 
the Valley the people treated each other as friends, and in a neigh- 
borly manner. After they came a good many folks seemed to forget 
the amenities of this life. At any rate, the good intentions of the 
preachers had but little influence on such old timers as John Bowman, 
who, as the pioneer Justice of the Peace in Washoe City treated his 
office like a sick oyster always open and went so far as to swear 
men on Sunday. O. H. Gallup was not much better. He was the 
Nasby for a number of years, and kept cigars and tobacco in stock, 
which he sold for more than cost. Indeed, it was currently reported 
for some time that he sold more five-cent cigars for two bits than any 
living American. But his financial success did not inflate his vanity. 
Jim Pierson kept a hotel and sold refreshments over the bar for all 
the traffic would bear. J. D. Roberts built and kept the Lake House. 
Jim may have been intended for the ministry; if so he missed his 
calling. When the ministers left the valley Jim went to Carson. Bill 
Williams kept a saloon open day and night. His liq ( uors were of the 
latest pattern. When asked if the whiskey was good, Bill would 
answer, "You bet it is good; I made it myself." Uncle Sammy Mc- 
Farland kept a livery stable in connection with an extensive lumber 
business. He was not as handsome as Jack Foulks or Henry Mattney, 
but always a genial, good citizen. All three of the last named are no 
more forever so far as this world is concerned. Charley and Frank 
Burroughs made wagons and did blacksmithing on the square. Old 
Louie Epstlin kept a restaurant and furnished the hungry with baked- 
heart and boiled-tongue, but in his peculiar dialect and manner of 
expression many of his boarders were at a loss to know if he meant 


what he said of these meats or not. Ike Cook kept a general store in 
which he frequently forgot some of the Ten Commandments. But all 
these old settlers were no better and no worse by reason of the 
churches. Sunday closing with the business houses was not generally 
the order. * * 

Up to 1863 little was heard of partisan politics and even at the elec- 
tion of that year many voters refused to be counted either as Demo- 
crats or Republicans. But the next year everybody got into line and 
hair-pulling began. This condition of affairs, in the minds of a few 
conservatives, was brought about by reason of the presence of the 
professional men who were charged with instigating strife for selfish 
purposes; at any rate the go-as-you-please candidates for local offices 
were not heard of again. 

H. H. Beck, Andrew Sauer and Ross Lewers in 1860 backed them- 
selves up against the mountains on the west side of the valley with 
the evident intention to make homes in the then wilderness, and most 
righteously they kept the pledge. Of all the many thousands who 
have come and gone, not one, if alive, can fail to say they knew these 
men, and it may be said, too, that each one was at all times regarded 
as a good citizen, with an ambition to build up and maintain a law 
abiding community. Many others of the days of 1860 are still alive, 
but not in the valley or at least not in the same place they occupied 
then. "Thee" Winters in October, 1860, officiated as a Captain of a 
Carson Guard of about fifty citizens, that assisted the Sheriff in the 
hanging of John Carr, who had been convicted of murdering a Honey 
Lake rancher. This first official hanging in western Utah took place 
immediately on the spot where the murder was committed, at a point 
200 yards west of where the Carson High School is now located. 
Some apprehension was felt that the friends of the murderer would 
rescue him at the last moment. But danger or no danger, it would 
have required a daring lot of men to have broken the hollow square 
formed by Winters and his guard, in the center of which Carr made 
his last speech on the scaffold. "Thee" was young then, and looked 
the soldier all over. Andrew Sauer was a next door neighbor to Mr. 
Winters for years, where he raised an interesting family of boys and 
girls that were truly American. Ross Lewers has been a fixture in 
the valley so long that the term "Nestor" is applicable. 


In 1864 partisan politics became a full-fledged fixture in the valley, 
and even then a few of the leading men of the old settlers took sides 
with great reluctance. But by the time the general election took place 
nearly all had openly declared themselves, and for several weeks 
times, in a political way, were warm. Nearly every man was ready to 
charge the "other side" with conduct unbecoming a good citizen. In 
the minds of many, there were traitors, "secesh" and "copperheads," 
while the accused retorted with the charge of "black Republican," 
"abolitionists" and "nigger worshippers." "Uncle Abe" was the 
watchword of one side and "Little Mac" of the other. In September 
the Democrats, to further their cause, concluded to have a grand bar- 
becue at Washoe City. The leading Democrats met and appointed a 
special committee charged with the responsibility of seeing that the 
affair should be ship-shape and worthy of the occasion. Of this com- 
mittee Doc Winham was the head, with So. Geller, Pete Miller, Rube 
Perkins, George Hepperly, Uncle George Huffaker and several others 
as members. Pete Miller said "we will have a barbecue after the good 
old style of Missouri plenty to eat with something to wash it down." 
George Hepperly wanted the affair to be conducted after the style in 
Illinois plenty to eat and a horse-race or two. Every one offered 
suggestions to the chairman, who suggested that some eminent 
speakers be invited to grace the occasion. This was agreed to and the 
work began. A subscription was started and money was liberally 
subscribed. Judge Jussie D. Pitzer, Todd Robinson and Hal Clayton 
were written to and asked to come. H. Harl furnished a fat steer to 
be roasted whole; Harry Jenkins brought down a nice calf; Charley 
Mann, of Ophir, contributed a nice hog, and several sent in sheep and 
lambs; Al. White and Jim Roberts rolled over to the camp ground a 
few kegs of beer ; Joe Jones hired Joe Ackerman to make up two bar- 
rels of lemonade. Each contributor as he came to Doc Winham, the 
chairman, with his offering, would congratulate him on the grand 
prospects of "our barbecue," and Jim Gatewood said, "You bet, our 
barbecue will be up to the style in Kentucky." The money contribu- 
tions were sufficient to buy all the etceteras, such as bread, cakes, pies 
and the stuffing for the roasts. So on the evening before the appointed 
clay everything was well in hand, and several suggested to Doc Win- 
ham that the great success of "our barbecue" would make him Cover- 


nor. The great day came at last and was ushered in with the booming 
of cannon, and when the sun peeped over Mount Davidson it saw 
three or four roasting-pits on Court House Square, with a dozen busy 
men preparing the meat for the coming feast. Tables were built and 
evergreen boughs shaded them. The speakers' stand was conveniently 
arranged, and all went well and looked prosperous until near noon. 
The "big eat" was to begin at i o'clock. But at noon there appeared 
less hilarity than was expected. The chairman of the committee 
looked worried. The expected multitude had not so far materialized. 
The feast was nearly ready. The tables were spread. At i o'clock the 
meats were done, boiled, cooked and roasted. Loaves, pies and bullock 
enough to feed two regiments, and not two hundred men in sight. 
They waited one hour longer and then the order was given to fall in. 
Some there were who relished the good things, but the management 
ate sparingly or not at all. "Failure" was written on the face of every 
member of the committee. Everybody, including black Republicans, 
were invited to partake and save the waste, but the "fragments" were 
enough to fill more than seven basketfuls. The feast of good things 
was over and the day came to an end, but Doc Winham's reward came 
not for many a long day. During all the managing and planning the 
affair was referred to by all his helpers as "our barbecue," but from 
that time on whenever Geo. Hepperly, Jim Gatewood, Pete Miller and 
the others met the jolly Doctor they would say to him, "Well, Doc., 
your damned old barbecue was a fizzle." 

Of course there was more or less back-biting, with charges and 
counter-charges as to who was to blame. "Rough" Elliott thought it 
was absurd to think of attracting a large crowd of Democrats with 
lemonade. Others gave other reasons, but when it came the turn of 
"Big Mouth" Murphy he settled the whole shooting-match by saying, 
"Who in thunder but a 'dam-phool' would appoint a meat barbecue for 
the party on a Friday when half the Democrats are incapacitated?" 
To many the failure of the barbecue was ominous of the general result 
at the election. Nevada went Republican and so did Washoe County. 

Old Timers of the Long Ago. Among the very first mechanics to 
open show in Washoe City was Joseph E. Jones, commonly known 
ever since as Joe Jones, or, as the Danes who worked for him used to 
call him, "Yo Yones." Joe built a little blacksmith-shop at the ex- 


treme north end of Little Washoe Lake near the Lake House owned 
by Jim Roberts. He came to Washoe with enough money to stock 
his shop, and being a good mechanic, had all the work he and several 
hired helpers could do. This business he followed until 1863, when he 
and George Lameraux engaged in teaming to Virginia. Soon after 
Mr. Lameraux sold his interest to Joe, who, for a number of years, did 
an extensive business in hauling wood and lumber to the Comstock 
and ore back to the mills. Having made a considerable sum of money, 
and concluding it was not well to be alone, in 1864 he married Miss 
Mary Allen, daughter of Dr. Allen of Washoe. Several years later 
Joe took a lively interest in local politics and was twice elected Sheriff, 
which office he filled for years to the satisfaction of the county and 
honor to himself. 

Possibly the most popular man of the old timers was Jeremiah S. 
Schooling or "Jerry" Schooling, of whom it was often said that he 
never had an enemy. Always the same in temper, he was liked by all 
who knew him and a favorite among women and children. He, too, 
was a mechanic, but did not engage in that business in Nevada. As a 
partisan in politics he was always considerate of the opinions of 
others. During his first residence in the county he avoided the sug- 
gestions to hold office himself, but was ever ready to assist his 
friends. Very soon after followed the White Pine mining excite- 
ment, and while living in the eastern part of the State he was nominated 
in 1879 at Elko for State Treasurer and elected. In 1874 he was re- 
elected, and for eight years served the State as one of the most con- 
scientious, honorable and competent officers the State has known, and 
in marked contrast to at least one predecessor as well as one successor 
to that office. With him the office was a trust and he a servant. Jerry 
afterward settled again in Washoe County and engaged in business, 
during which time he was elected State Senator and served his term 
with personal distinction and honor to an appreciative constituency. 
Very few men did more to build our State. But his race in this life is 
run. His good deeds and kindly acts live in the memories of the old 

Among other old timers were such men as B. G. Clow, John P. 
Richardson, Dean B. Lyman, Chancy Haskell, Nat Holmes, M. L. 
Yeager and Jake Becker. Barney Clow was a man who strictly 


minded his own business and expected everybody else to do the same. 
In the fall of 1860 Barney was doing business in Carson City in what 
is known as the Peterson Hay Yard, and it was there that H. H. Beck 
first saw him and noted an incident that went to show that Barney 
was a man of few words. Early in September of that year Mr. Beck 
came to Carson from "over the plains" "dead broke and no blankets." 
For three days Beck diligently hunted for work without success. 
Finally on the third day he concluded that a little stratagem might be 
of use, so he fixed it up in his mind to go down to the hay-yard and, 
tell Barney that he (Beck) had been sent by a friend of Barney's. 
Considerably elated over his own cunning, Beck went into the yard 
and approaching Barney, who was just then engaged in swearing at 
some careless "bull puncher," he waited a moment and then asked : 
"Are you Mr. Clow?" Barney immediately and without turning 
around answered, "Yes, what do you want?" Beck answered, "A 
friend of yours uptown told me that you needed a good man and that, 
no doubt, you would give me a job." Barney turned round and 
snapped out, "Who was it?" This stumped Beck for a moment, but 
being ready to lie it out, said, "Well, truly, Mr. Clow, I don't remem- 
ber his name." Barney settled the whole matter with this, "Well, you 
go back and tell him he is a damned liar." 

John P. Richardson was there doing a profitable business and had a 
host of friends. When the town went into decay John left the valley 
with considerable means, but bad health at times and disastrous in- 
vestments since then have had their full effect. Dean B. Lyman came 
to Washoe City early in the '6os and for a long time was a foreman 
under Colonel Avery in the management of the New York and Man- 
hattan Mills, and while so engaged gained such a reputation as but few 
men ever get in this world, giving entire satisfaction to his superiors, 
while those under his command regarded him as a just task master, and 
he was liked accordingly. In making out their statement of property 
to the Assessor in 1863 the general management tried to evade a just 
assessment and asked Lyman to make the necessary affidavit. Dean 
looked at the figures and said : "If you want these figures verified do 
it yourselves; I won't." 

Mike Yeager clerked for Lambert & Co. until 1863, when the firm 
was changed to "Lambert, Mason & Yeager," with Mike as a partner 


In 1866 he was elected County Clerk and served two years. When 
Jerry Schooling assumed office as State Treasurer he made Mr. Yeager 
deputy, in which capacity the two old friends served together as prin- 
cipal and deputy for eight years. Among the worst things said of 
Mike is that he "went to California to spend his money." Nat Holmes 
was the postmaster for a while and kept the office in connection with 
a little store. Nat at times was accused of "bluffing," but he met his 
match one day when he met Charley Joy. Some dispute arose between 
the two, when Nat rushed up to Charley and said: "Charley Joy, I 
want you to know that I weigh a ton." Charley called him in this 
wise : "Nat, I think you are a sucker and I'll bet you nine dollars you 
don't weigh forty pounds." In 1861 the Washoe Brewery was built 
by two Germans, who later sold out to George Becker, who, with 
Jake, conducted the business of brewing for a number of years and 
made what was then considered good beer. It was a favorite resort 
for all who liked beer or indulged in the "Dutch lunches" always free 
to the patrons. 

Had any one in 1862 or 1863 prophesied the great changes wrought 
during the last four decades he and his heirs and assigns, without 
doubt, would have been hustled to the insane asylum under a com- 
mission of lunacy. No; no one thought of anything but the great pos- 
sibilities. The settlements were increasing; discoveries of new gold 
and silver mines were daily occurrences. Mill-sites and water-powers 
were sought for at round prices, and new quartz mills for the reduc- 
tion of ores were constantly being planned. Town property was valu- 
able and corner lots in constant demand, and it was a matter of specu- 
lation as to how large and important the several towns and villages 
of the county would some day become, so that it would have been 
dangerous for any one to predict failure in the efforts of the Townsite 
Company of Washoe City to make it a place of metropolitan import- 
ance. This Townsite Company consisted in part of the Atchison 
brothers John H. and Samuel S. together with Jake Gries and Peter 
Rice. The original plat contemplated and reserved a block in the 
center for a Courthouse and Jail; blocks and lots were set aside for 
schools and churches. Surveys were made for a complete system of 
waterworks, and all went merry for a time. That the end came as it 
did is now well known. Of those who were there and saw it grow 


like Jonah's gourd, and then wither and die, many are dead, and many 
more moved away. 

The Harris brothers Herman and Ben kept a dry goods store on 
E street, six doors north of the Courthouse, where all-wool-and-a- 
yard-wide goods were exchanged for gold and silver at a price con- 
siderably above cost. Like so many others, they made lots of money 
and left for San Francisco. 

Next door to the Harris store was a clothing emporium presided 
over by a nobby little fellow known as Marcus Weinberger. On the 
opposite side of the street was an opposition store that made times 
lively for Marcus, so that he was not slow in asserting that that other 
fellow was a swindler, and thinking it his duty to protect the un- 
wary, he put up a sign at his own door, with a warning to this effect ; 
"If you want to be swindled, don't go into the opposite store: step 
right in here." R. R. Johnson was there, too. He was the greatest 
conundrum ever produced in the West. He always insisted on being 
called "Colonel," and, indeed, but few knew any name for him other 
than Colonel Johnson. The Colonel was then an old man, judging 
from physical appearances, although he ever insisted he was but in his 
prime and would never admit of more than 50 years, but it was an 
easy matter to prove by his own experiences, as told by himself, that 
he was from 150 to 200 years old. If the Colonel had been judged 
by the legal quibble of lawyers that "a lie is not a lie unless uttered to 
injure or defraud," then it may be said he was a good citizen and a 
Christian gentleman, but if not, then otherwise, for he was known 
to tell things that passed the limit of credulity. He was born near 
Columbus, Ohio, and took pride in being strictly an "Ohio man." He 
was a nephew of the Colonel Johnson whom history credits with 
shooting the famous Indian chief Tecumseh, and he would spend hours 
in descanting on the prowess of "Uncle Dick." "He attended school 
and often played marbles with Rufus Choate, Daniel Webster and 
Wendell Phillips" so he said. 

H. B. Cossitt, a moderately young attorney, came to Washoe City 
in 1863 from Downieville, where he had practiced in company with 
W. M. Stewart, Tod Robinson, J. J. Musser and others. Mr. Cossitt. 
being of a genial disposition, soon made many friends among the 
residents, and being strikingly handsome in person, he soon gaine4 


a place in the affections of the ladies. The Washoe bar welcomed 
him and he soon secured a place that yielded him a revenue. 

In 1874 the Judge was elected District Attorney of the county and 
filled the office with honor and dignity. 

Anderson's Was a stage station situated at what is now known as 
"Spark's Ranch," three miles south of Reno near Moano Springs. 

Auburn Was laid out and named in 1865 by an English company, who 
erected a 2O-stamp mill about a mile northeast of Reno. The mine proved 
of little value; after extensive tunnel work had been done the company 
sold considerable stock, which proved worthless. 

Big Canyon Where now a postoffice is located instead of at Dewey, 
undoubtedly takes its name from the canyon, which was named for its 

Brooklyn was a small place located in 1875, midway between Reno and 
Verdi south side of Peavine Mountain. Named by the United Brooklyn 
Mining Company, which ran a tunnel and intended spending considerable 
money in developing several mining claims in this section of Peavine Min- 
ing District. The enterprise proved unprofitable after much money was 
expended and the camp was abandoned. 

Browns A station on the V. & T. Ry., seven miles southeast of Reno. 
Has a school house. Reno is express and telegraph station. Felix 
Brown established the station. 

Buffalo Meadows A postoffice 100 miles north of Reno on Western 
Pacific Railway. Is centre of a stock raising district. Has a public school 
and two hotels. Was established in 1865. 

Clarks A station on the Southern Pacific Railway, 18 miles east of 
Sparks. Settled, 1862, by James Clark, the boss of Chinamen laborers on 
Southern Pacific Railway. The town took its name from Mr. Clark, on 
the authority of R. L. Fulton and others. 

Crystal Peak was laid out in 1864 lies partly in Nevada and California 
is in Dog Valley and three miles north of Verdi. In 1868 had a popula- 
tion of 1,500. The Crystal Peak Company which laid out the town, owned 
lumber and mining interests ten to fifteen miles west of the town on a 
mountain. The town was named Crystal Peak because of crystal- 
lized gold quartz was found in the mountain worked by the company. 
Coal was discovered, several companies worked the same, but it was dem- 
onstrated it was of too recent origin to be of value for mechanical or do- 


mestic use. The saw mills have been operating almost continuously to 
date and the cutting of timber extended nearly 25 miles from Verdi. The 
entire population of Crystal Peak has left and not a house remains to mark 
its former glory. 

Deep Hole is at the north end of Smith Creek Desert, 115 miles north 
of Reno, nine miles northwest of Gerlach, on Western Pacific Railway, 
which is its telegraph, express and shipping station. It was named after 
several deep springs near by. 

Derby is situated on the Southern Pacific Railway, is 27 miles east of 
Reno and 19 miles west of Hazen. It was established during the construc- 
tion of the United States reclamation work and named by the railroad 
company for an employee of the company named Derby. It became noted 
for the numerous shooting scrapes during the construction of the govern- 
ment work. Has school house, postoffice, telephone and has daily stage 
line to Olinghouse. Population, 50. 

Dewey A mining camp, 31 miles northeast of Reno, established 
during the Spanish-American war, and named in honor of Admiral 

Franktown Station and postoffice on the V. & T. Ry., 21 miles south 
of Reno, county seat. Has telephone, telegraph and express, school house, 
hotel. Second oldest town in the county. Named after Frank Poirier, by 
his neighbors, when it was first settled in 1854-5. First school house 
erected in Washoe County was in Franktown. It was later sold to 
"Lucky Bill" and he removed it to Genoa. It was finally used for a stable. 

Gerlach A town on the Western Pacific Railway, 125 miles northeast 
of Reno, 438 miles northeast of San Francisco, 483 miles west of Salt 
Lake City, 94 miles west of Winnemucca, Nev. ; railroad division point. 
Stages from this town to Eaglesville, Cedarville, Bidwell-Modoc Co., Cali- 
fornia. Population, 500. Has express, Western Union telegraph, hotels, 
several stores, school house. Shipping point for many towns north and 

Galetut Started in 1860 by A. J. and R. S. Hatch. Was for several 
years a flourishing lumber camp. Received its name from extensive de- 
posit of galena. The mill established there was quite famous for the great 
body of mineral and investment of capital, but to date has not proved very 
successful in treatment, owing to refractory character of the ore. 


Hayfed Station on Southern Pacific Railway, ten miles east of Sparks, 
which has postoffice, express and telegraph. 

Huffakers Station on V. & T. Ry., seven miles south of Reno. In 
1859 G. W. Huffaker and L. P. Drexler engaged in the cattle business and 
settled on the Truckee Meadows. In 1860 the pioneer express established 
a station here. A postoffice was located here in 1862 and G. W. Huffaker 
was postmaster. 

Hunter's Crossing is the same place as has since been called Mayberry 
Crossing, for Mr. James Mayberry who now owns it. A man named 
John Hunter owned a toll bridge at this crossing, selling out later to 
Mr. Mayberry. ".*.*. 

Incline Situated on northeast shore Lake Tabor, located 1882. Was 
source of supplies for lumbering interests. In 1898 business declining, 
postoffice was removed. Lumber was flumed to Lake View Station and 
shipped to Virginia City. 

Kepler Station on the Western Pacific Railway, two miles west of 
Sandpass and 46 miles west of Gerlach, has express and telegraph. 

Lawton's is a station four miles west of Reno, which was built by 
Sam Lawton, who still owns the place. 

Lakes Bridge was first known as "Fuller's Crossing," from the fact 
that it was owned by two brothers named Fuller. Mr. M. E. Lake traded 
his Honey Lake ranch for this property at this bridge much traffic passed 
over it during the early days. This is the original site of Reno. 

Little Bangor was a mining and lumber camp, established by Bragg & 
Folsome in 1863. It was also called Bangor because several citizens were 
there from Bangor, Maine. 

Mt. Rose, situated southwest of Reno on Mt. Rose location of United 
States Observatory named by party of visitors from Washoe City one 
of them was Miss Rose Hickman. Mr. H. S. Ham, editor of paper of 
Washoe City, was one of the excursion party. He suggested the name at 
the time. Work has been greatly extended and the station more per- 
manently established by Prof. J. E. Church, under direction of the Nevada 

Marmot, a station on Southern Pacific Railroad in southern part of 
Washoe County, settled 1890; here marble works were located. 

Maltby was simply a stage station this side of Verdi. There were 
quite a number of these stations, as horses were changed often on the 


stage trips. A man by the name of J. S. M'altby owned this stage station. 

Mackay and Fair was a lumber camp, employing from five hundred to 
eight hundred men, and was established in 1863 by James Mayberry for 
Mackay and Fair of the Comstock, hence its name. The place was also 
known as Mayberry Camp. There was a daily mail but no postoffice. 

Mill Station was a lumber station situated on the road between Carson 
City and Washoe City, and was settled about 1860 or 1861. Several mills 
were located there giving the place its name. 

Nixon A station on Fernley Lassen Railway, 58 miles northeast of 
Reno, three miles from United States-Nevada Indian Agency, 18 miles 
north of Wadsworth. Started, 1913. Pai-Ute Indian population, 600, 
who live in houses, cultivate land and raise horses, cattle and hogs ; United 
States school buildings. 

Nevada Indian Agency and Reservation, 18 miles north of Wadsworth, 
three miles from Nixon, on the Fernley and Lassen Railroad. 

Olinghouse, a mining camp and postoffice, 30 miles east of Reno and 
eight miles southeast of Derby. 

Ophir, saw mill camp on Washoe Lake, five miles east of Franktown 
on V. & T. Ry., was started 1860 when Ophir Mining Company, of Vir- 
ginia City erected a quartz mill and reduction works. Wood was hauled 
from this station to Virginia City ; was cut on hills back of Ophir. Had a 
population at one time of 500. Had a postoffice in 1863. The place 
declined and disappeared 1865. 

Peavine, sometimes called Poeville, from the name of John Poe, a min- 
ing man, the discoverer of a rich mining claim in 1863 and was situated in 
the Peavine mining district about nine miles northwest of Reno in Peavine 
Mountain District. 

Phil, a station on the Western Pacific Railway, eight miles west of Ger- 
lach, which is its postoffice, telegraph and express station. 

Purdy Station on N. C. O. Railway on Long Valley Creek, 17 miles 
northwest of Reno, which is the banking point. Has hotel, postoffice, 
telephone, express and telegraph. 

Pyramid City Town laid out 1876; population, 300 at one time; stage 
line to Reno. Pyramid Lake which is 40 miles long and 10 miles wide, 
discovered by General J. C. Fremont in 1844. Rising from middle of 
the lake was a great rock estimated 600 feet in height, in form like the 
Pyramid of Cheops, therefore the lake was called Pyramid. At the south 



end was a fresh water inlet instead of an outlet, the latter does not exist 
now. Excellent fish abound in this lake, affording food for Indians. 

Reynard A station on the Western Pacific Railway, 21 miles west of 
Gerlach, its postoffice; 100 miles north of Reno, county seat. Express 
and telegraph offices. 

Roop A postoffice near California State line on Smoke Creek, 25 
miles north of Sandpass on Western Pacific Railway and 125 miles north 
of Reno. It is situated in the central portion of Washoe County on its 
western boundary line. It was settled in 1860, took its name from Roop 
County, formerly the Northern Division of what is now Washoe County. 
Roop County took its name from Isaac Roop, who was elected Governor 
of Provisional Government by people of Western Utah, 1859. 

Sandpass Postoffice and station on the Western Pacific Railway, 44 
miles southwest of Gerlach, has express and telegraph stations. 

Sana A station on the Western Pacific Railway, 33 miles southwest 
of Gerlach; telegraph, telephone and express stations. 

Sheepshead A postoffice in Smoky Creek Valley, 20 miles north of 
Sandpass on Western Pacific Railway and N. C. O. Railway, 71 miles 
north of Reno. Stock raising is principal business. 

Sturtevant was an important stage station owned by J. H. 
Sturtevant, an old historic character of Washoe County. It was located a 
few miles from Clark's, and was established at a very early time when 
this part of the country was first settled. This station was of importance, 
due to the fact that all the travelers from Virginia City and the places 
adjacent came here to catch the overland train in the early days. A great 
deal of garden produce was raised at the ranch at this station, and sent to 
Virginia City. 

Steamboat Springs A station on the V. & T. Ry., 1 1 miles southeast 
of Reno, has local and long distance telephone, express ; farming principal 
business. Located here is the celebrated mineral springs, covering a space 
of more than a mile in length and one-third of a mile in breadth. The area 
is covered with a cloud of steam springing in jets from apertures in the 
rocks, resembling the escape from a high-power engine. Postoffice was 
started in 1880. The station took its name from the springs. It is in the 
midst of a very beautiful valley and is a popular resort for invalids be- 
cause of the medicinal properties of its waters. A fine hotel of 20 rooms 
was operated at the springs for several years, but was destroyed by fire ; 


loss, $50,000. The springs were located in 1860 by Felix Monet, a French- 
man. Large quantities of pure sulphur have been taken from places 
around the springs. 

Wadszvorth Situated on the Southern Pacific Railway at the big bend 
of the Truckee River, at a point formerly known as Lower Emigrant 
Crossing. It is 35 miles northeast of Reno and on the line of the Fernley 
and Lassen branch of Southern Pacific Railway, three miles from Fernley. 
Has several good stores and churches. Was end of division of Southern 
Pacific Railway and had round house and repair shops in 1903. The 
Southern Pacific Railway Company removed the division to Sparks. The 
place was named by Southern Pacific Railway Company after General 
Wadsworth, a distinguished division commander in the war of the 

Webster Parties interested in the Peavine District, laid out a town in 
the vicinity of the mines, which they had dubbed Webster after Daniel 

Washoe A postoffice and station on V. & T. Ry., 16 miles south of 
Reno, which is the county seat and its banking point. It was the original 
county seat of Washoe County and was started in 1860. April 3, 1871, 
by an act of the Legislature was declared the county seat of Washoe 

Reno. The first county seat of Washoe County was at Washoe City, 
but was removed to Reno by a vote of the people in 1870, and by an 
act of the Legislature, April 3, 1871. Reno was founded by the Cen- 
tral Pacific Railroad Company in 1868, and named in honor of General 
Reno, who was killed at the battle of South Mountain. It has been twice 
nearly destroyed by fire, once in 1873 an d again in 1879. A Court House 
was erected of brick in 1872-3 and a Poor Farm and Hospital were pro- 
vided by the County Commissioners in 1875. In 1877 a free iron bridge 
was constructed across the Truckee River, in place of a toll-bridge, which 
had been in use since 1863. The first settlement on the site of Reno 
was made by C. W. Fuller in 1859, who kept a hotel, and built the first 
bridge across the Truckee, at this place in 1860. Fuller also owned a 
toll-road, and sold the whole property to M. C. Lake, from whom the 
place took the name of Lake's Crossing. 

The city of Reno lies beneath the foothills of the Sierras where the 
Southern Pacific begins its ascent to the summit, less than fifty miles 


away. From the beautiful asphalt streets, lined with magnificent shade 
trees, the snow-capped mountains are in plain view winter and summer. 
The city is located in a luxuriant valley along the banks of the Truckee 
River, which furnishes an unlimited supply of pure mountain water as 
it comes from its source in Lake Tahoe, some sixty miles up the moun- 
tain. The fall from its source to Reno is over two thousand feet. The 
waters of the river have been harnessed to meet the requirements of the 
age. Electrical power has been developed and is used to run city and 
suburban cars. Reno has been justly christened the "Biggest Little 
City on the Map." It is the metropolis of Nevada, Eastern California 
and Southeastern Oregon. In the matter of improved streets and side- 
walks, Reno is up to date with asphalt and macadamized streets, thirty- 
five miles of cement sidewalks, thirty-six miles of water mains, sixteen 
miles of gas mains, thirty miles of sewers and fifty-five miles of streets. 
Its school buildings are of the mission style of architecture, especially 
attractive, and are planned with special reference (i) to the health, 
comfort, and convenience of pupils and teachers; (2) to the demands 
of industrial ideas in modern education; and (3) to absolute protection 
against loss of life by fire. 

The State University is located here, and its buildings and extensive 
grounds lie at an elevation north of the city, from which a magnificent 
view is presented of a large cultivated and beautiful valley to the south, 
east, and west, and extending to the snow-crested Sierras. Connected 
with the University is the College of Agriculture and the Experiment 
Station Farm. 

Reno's assessed value for 1911 was $9,978,116 and for the county $17,- 
759,031. This assessment is based on a valuation of about 50 per cent, 
thereby making the real value for the city and county about $20,000,000 
and $35,000,000, respectively. County and city property in Reno is valued 
at $1,793,300. 

The census of 1910 gave Reno a population of 10,867, a gain of 141 
per cent, over the previous census, and for the county 17,434. Its popu- 
lation, based on the 1912 directory, is 12,500. 

In addition to its public park is Belle Isle, a most attractive spot, situ- 
ated in the heart of the city, on a wooded island in the Truckee River, 
embowered in foliage, shrubs, and flowers, where in summer the public 
indulge in open-air amusements, and in winter in skating. 


Reno is also the financial center of the State. Its five banks reported 
at the close of business, September 4, 1912, as follows: Capital, $1,920,- 
ooo; surplus and undivided profits, $572,473.40; deposits, $7,026,233.82. 
Since the organization of the clearing-house, November, 1907, the clear- 
ings show a total of $72,761,794.81. A comparison of the receipts of 
Reno's postoffice since 1900 shows: Year ending June 30, 1900, $11,- 
681.56; year sending June 30, 1912, $53,220.66. 

The main overland route of the Southern Pacific Railroad passes 
through Reno. It is also the terminus of the Virginia & Truckee Rail- 
road running to the south, and the Nevada, California & Oregon Railroad 
running to the north, making it the natural distributing point and jobbing- 
center of Nevada and that part of California lying on the eastern slopes 
of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is the largest city between Salt Lake 
and Sacramento. 

One of Reno's greatest assets is the famous power and trout stream, 
the Truckee River, fed by the eternal snows of the Sierra Nevadas, with 
a fall of 2,442 feet between Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake, affording 
a water-power equalled by few cities in the world, and which is being 
utilized as fast as the demands of industry call for. Its power-plants now 
supply light and power as far south as Yerington, to the copper mines 
and smelter of Mason Valley, to Virginia City and the mines of the Corn- 
stock lode. Power-stations have been constructed at various points on 
the river, but do not generate one-tenth of the power that could be ob- 
tained. Within five miles of the city of Reno it would be possible to de- 
velop 40,000 horse-power if needed. This means that Reno has most 
exceptional advantages as an industrial town. Power is bound to be low 
in cost always, and the supply never failing. 


On the seventh day of December, 1907, this club filed its articles of in- 
corporation in the office of the Secretary of State at Carson City, and on 
that date it became a body corporate under the laws of the State of Ne- 
vada. The objects and purposes for which it was organized are: To 
encourage educational and social intercourse, disseminate information, 
foster peace, harmony and fair dealing, promote the interests of capital 
and labor, and aid in the civic, social, and material upbuilding of the City 


of Reno and the State of Nevada, and acquire, hold and dispose of all 
personal and real property incident to its said objects and purposes. 

Its membership is composed of men in all walks of life, endowed with 
the spirit of civic and State pride, who are willing to devote time and 
money to the accomplishment of benefits of a public or general character 
which would aid in the material and social upbuilding of the State. 

The control of the affairs of the club is vested in a board of fifteen 
directors, five of which retire yearly. The officers and members of the 
first board of directors were : A. J. McCone, president ; J. B. Menardi, 
vice-president; F. W. Thomas, treasurer; A. B. Gray, secretary; W. P. 
Seeds, W. H. Simmons, W. L. Cox, S. M. Sample, J. Van Derwerker, 
T. J. Steinmetz, R. L. Fulton, F. J. Shair, F. M. Lee, E. C. O'Brien and 
J. F. Waterhouse. 

Its present officers and directors are : F. J. Shair, president ; R. L. 
Fulton, vice-president; A. C. Frohlich, treasurer; C. T. Stevenson, sec- 
retary ; J. S. Mitchell, A. M. Britt Paul D. Roberts, Dr. M. R. Walker, 
T. J. Steinmetz, W. H. Johnston, Sardis Summerfield, R. C. Turrittin, 
W. S. Settle, F. L. White, F. M. Lee and E. L. Drappo. 

Its clubrooms, occupying the entire west wing of the third floor of the 
Odd Fellows' building, are handsomely furnished, commodious and well 
equipped for the requirements of the club. Other associations hold their 
meetings in the rooms of the club, as do the citizens of Reno, for dis- 
cussion and action on matters of public welfare. 

The club is in active co-operation with all national and State organiza- 
tions of the country on economic and industrial matters. It exchanges 
courtesies and has affiliations with all the leading similar organizations 
throughout the Union, thereby bringing its members in closer touch with 
citizens of other States, and enlarging business and social relations. It 
sends delegates to the various commercial and industrial conventions and 
congresses for discussion and securing of the proper legislation by the 
National Congress on those matters that affect the business and the busi- 
ness* welfare of the country at large. 

The club's efforts are continually directed to the encouragement of 
new enterprises, the securing of capital for new industries and invest- 
ment, the dissemination of literature telling of the resources of the State, 
the building of good roads and co-operation with other States for a Na- 
tional Highway, the immigration of settlers upon the agricultural lands 


of the state, and for more intensive farming, expansion of the dairy in- 
terests, fruit-growing and all matters that pertain to making the State 
of Nevada a greater and grander Commonwealth. 

Christian Association movement has been conducted in the United States 
and other countries for over a half century, it was not until the year 1910 
that a branch became permanently organized in the State of Nevada. 
Reno lays claim to the first Y. M. C. A. in this State. For some time 
previous to the above-mentioned year there had been a deep desire on 
the part of several Reno men to have a Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion, fully equipped and strongly organized. With the co-operation of 
Mr. C. G. Titus, representing the International Committee of the Y. M. 
C. A. of North America, a united effort was made by the citizens of Reno 
to organize and secure a building through which the association could be 
of help to the men and boys of this community. In ten days' time, from 
May 18 to 28, 1910, the sum of $117,000 was subscribed for the project; 
$87,000 of this being in cash subscriptions from 1,353 persons, and $30,- 
ooo being the value of a lot given by the late Senator George S. Nixon. 
Nearly all the contributors were residents of Reno, although considerable 
aid came from other parts of the State. 

On November 12, 1911, the new building was dedicated with appropri- 
ate exercises, and the work was started. This building is modern through- 
out and contains a gymnasium, swimming pool, bowling alleys, handball 
court, locker rooms, shower baths, reading and social rooms, billiard 
room, offices, assembly room, boys' club room, dormitories, etc. The 
membership at this writing numbers nearly five hundred men and boys. 

The U. S. Postoffice Was completed and occupied April 29, 1909, at 
a cost of $87,000, furnishing $8,000, total, $95,000. 

The Elks' Home Was completed 1903, costing $65,000. 

The Masonic Hall was completed 1905, costing $95,000. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows' Building Was completed 
1907 and occupied in 1908, costing $175,000. 

The Gazette Building Was finished in 1905 at a cost of $90,000, fur- 
nishing $35,000, total $125,000. 

The New Virginia St. Bridge Was completed October 15, 1905, at 
a cost of $39,000. 


The New Washoe County Court H'ouse Was completed and occu- 
pied June i, 1911. Total expense of construction, $250,000; total fur- 
nishing, $25,000. 

The New City HaHl was completed April 30, 1907, at a cost of $50,- 

Sparks. The Southern Pacific shops at Sparks are among the most 
important on that line. They are the same size and capacity as the Ogden 
shops, and furnish employment to between five and six hundred men. 

The general repair work of the Salt Lake division of the Southern 
Pacific is done at Sparks, and it is estimated that the grounds and im- 
provements at the Sparks shops cost the Southern Pacific $1,500,000. 
They have all the latest improvements, including electric cranes, and are 
up-to-date in all details. The round-house is fitted with all the latest 
appliances and has forty stalls. 

Sparks boasts of a population of 2,500 people, and is a modern rail- 
road town. The monthly pay-roll is from $100,000 to $125,000, and is 
an important factor to the Reno merchant. The excellent car-service be- 
tween Sparks and Reno affords the people of Sparks an opportunity to 
shop in Reno. 

Verdi at present contains a population of 600 people. There are two 
churches in the town and other denominations hold worship there. 

Mr. Terwilliger occupies the responsible position of manager of the 
Verdi Lumber Company, also its secretary' and treasurer. He has 350 
men under his direction, of which number the majority are in Verdi, 
employed in the mill and box factory, while the next greatest number are 
in the logging camps. There are a number of other employees in each 
town in Nevada where the company maintains an agency. 

The payroll at Verdi is approximately $25,000 a month, in Reno $1,500 
and at each of the other agencies about $800. 

J. F. Condon, who during the Lonkey regime was manager of the 
company, is now president. Al Revert is vice-president. The mill at 
Verdi, while not the largest, is one of the most modern and complete in 
the West. It is now cutting about 75,000 feet of lumber daily. 

There is no more healthful town in the State, for, coupled with a sup- 
ply of pure water, there is the ozoned air from the pine forests and the 


perennial snow-banks. For the size of the town it is unexcelled in its 
sewage disposal system and its electric lighting. 



Court House and Grounds $250.000.00 

County Jail 25,000.00 

Pest House and Grounds 2,000.00 

County Bridges 150,000.00 

Hospital and Grounds 50,000.00 

Tools and Implements 5,000.00 

School Buildings and Grounds 450,000.00 

Total $932,000.00 


City Hall and Grounds $75,000.00 

Central Fire Station , 25,000.00 

South Side Fire Station 35,000.00 

Second and Scott Street Bridge 24,000.00 

Riverside Park and Others 30,000.00 

Stone Quarry, 40 Acres 2,000.00 

Dumping Ground, 10 Acres 600.00 

Furniture and Fixtures 10,000.00 

Personal Property, Tools, etc 5,000.00 

Engines, Horses and Equipment, Fire Department 42,000.00 

Stable, Storehouse and Grounds 2,500.00 

Total $251,100.00 



University Buildings $350,000.00 

Equipment 162,000.00 

Library 40,000.00 

Campus 50,000.00 

Experiment Station 30,000.00 

Athletic Grounds and Improvements 25,000.00 

Total.. ...$657,000.00 



Grounds $60,000.00 

Asylum Buildings 125,000.00 

Equipments, tc 55,000.00 

Power and Water Rights 15,000.00 

Total $255,000.00 


Grounds and Race Track $35,000.00 

Buildings 12,000.00 





The story of the remarkable mineral production from the treasure- 
laden hills of White Pine County sounds like a strange, beautiful dream. 
The history of the wonderful Commonwealth, embracing an area of 
8,200 square miles, naturally divides itself into two parts, the Age of 
Silver and the Age of Copper. 

The discovery of an extraordinary body of rich chloride ores at Treas- 
ure City in 1868 excited the greed and interest of all within hearing, 
and the tales of the richness of big excitement seemed almost incredible. 
Electrified by the prospects of wealth beyond the dreams of human 
avarice, multitudes headed for the new Mecca. It would take a wealth 
of flattering adjectives to adequately describe the wealth of this section. 
It is generally known that the richest mass of silver ore ever extracted 
in the history of western mining camp was taken from the Eberhardt 
mine. A pocket worth $3,200,000 was removed from an opening seventy 
feet long and forty feet wide, no portion of which was more than twenty- 
eight feet below the surface. Thirty-two hundred tons of this bonanza 
material milled $1,000 a ton, despite the crude milling facilities in vogue 
at that time. Truly, the white metal was predominant. Almost forty 
years later, after the ephemeral excitements of Treasure City, Hamilton 
and other camps had passed, the theater of mining operations was trans- 
ferred to Ely, where copper was destined to reign supreme. Ely is the 
home of mammoth undertakings. To give the district its just deserts 
one must wander into the realm of the superlatives. It boasts of the 
most wonderful mining proposition in the world in point of low cost 
production. The volume of low grade ore disclosed on the holdings of 
the Nevada Consolidated is so stupendous that it almost bewilders the 
imagination in an attempt to grasp its empiric extent. It is estimated 
that the possessions of the Guggenheim interests contain 130,000,000 tons 


of copper ore of an average grade less than two per cent. The mag- 
nificent ore output is measured by trainloads instead of tons. The cheap 
manner of handling copper is due to the fact that steam shovels mine it 
for less than fifteen cents a ton. To give an idea of the capacity of these 
shovels it may be said that one machine does the work of 500 men em- 
ployed underground. 

The idea of handling the copper porphyrys as a commercial success 
was unknown to mining practice a few years ago, and it remained for 
the ingenuity of western mining engineers to bring to light within a few 
miles of our own doors one of the greatest combined ore tonnages on 
the globe. One need not search the dictionary for diminutives in treating 
of Ely, as the great copper camp has long since discarded its swaddling 
clothes. It is the general belief that the copper magnates spent fifteen 
million dollars in the development of their mines, the construction of a 
railroad and the building of a huge smelting plant before their properties 
reached a producing stage. The narration of the fabulous wealth that 
has been wrung from the ore-bearing territory as one of the pioneers 
in a new line of commercial endeavor has the ring of an old-time fairy 
tale. The increased use of electricity for the purpose of communication 
and the transmission of power at great distances caused a renewal in the 
use of the metal which Ely miners had looked at in despair which was 
destined to usher in a new era in the mining industry of the county. 

White Pine County was included within the boundaries of Lander until 
1869, when the Legislature authorized the sanction of the two bodies 
politic. The county and mining district bearing the same name received 
their designation from the predominant forest trees abounding in that 
locality. The White Pine District, was first organized in the fall of 1865, 
but was not the scene of successful mining operation until the rich mines 
on Treasure Hill were located two years later. An Indian named Napias- 
Jim, who brought a piece of chloride rock to Al Leathers and other 
prospectors, was induced to disclose the location of the rich find, which 
was afterward known as the Hidden Treasure mine. The news of the 
remarkable discovery precipitated a meteoric excitement and resulted in 
the concentration of thousands in that quarter. Within a short time the 
White Pine District swirled into one great boom, with each little com- 
munity as the garden gate to the land of promise. Displaying a marked 
indifference to sickness and climate, the pilgrim army utilized every 


possible means of locomotion to reach the new Mecca. The multitude 
established themselves at Treasure City in huts and caves, nine thousand 
feet above sea level, during the severe winter of 1868-69, when the 
thermometer was hovering below the zero mark, and an epidemic of 
smallpox broke out to add to their sufferings. In 1870 one hundred and 
ninety-nine companies, besides numerous leases, were working in the 
White Pine District. The output from the lead-belt was handled by 
nine smelters of various capacities. Because the ores contained such a 
large percentage of the black metal, the ventures failed to disclose any 
profits, the finished product being but little better than the crude material. 
During the height of the excitement, the population of Hamilton was 
placed between ten and twelve thousand. It was made the county seat 
at the time of the creation of the county. Treasure City was credited 
with 6,000 inhabitants. Both communities were visited by disastrous 
fires, from which neither ever recovered. All but two of the business 
houses at Hamilton were swept away by a fire of incendiary origin in 
June, 1873, causing a loss of $600,000. Treasure City suffered a similar 
misfortune a year later, and only a small portion of the town was ever 
rebuilt. The prosperity of the White Pine District was decisive enough 
to satisfy the most speculative mind. The mines were exceedingly rich, 
and, while they were entered among the list of dividend-payers, produced 
bullion in abundance. During the second year after discovery the value 
of the gross output exceeded a million and a half. At the close of 1873 
the production from the mines amounted to $8,767,784. There was 
considerable bullion turned out during this period, statistics of which 
are unobtainable. The most striking feature of the silver deposits were 
their remarkable richness at the surface and their failure to attain any 
great depth. A boulder of horn-silver weighing forty tons is said to 
have been found in the Eberhardt mine, and it is claimed to be the largest 
mass ever discovered. Numerous others of less weight were extracted, 
but still worth a fortune. The bulk of the production from the White 
Pine District is credited to Treasure City, a profit of $22,000 having 
been derived from the treatment of milling ores of a lower and occurring 
below the richer ores. 

In an effort to thoroughly explore the ground, a tunnel was run through 
the Eberhardt and Aurora mines by an English company with little 
success. With a marked decline in the price of silver in 1887, and the 


exhaustion of ore bodies heretofore easily accessible, there was almost 
a complete suspension of mining operations and a general exodus of the 
population to other parts. Crude methods of milling and prohibitive 
transportation charges have wrought havoc with the prosperity of the 
White Pine District. Those who remained in the old camp devoted their 
attention to lead mining. A change in market conditions made it possible 
to ship the high grade ores at a profit. The shipments from the lead-belt 
have amounted to 145,000 tons, the ores averaging 65 per cent, lead and 
20 ounces in silver. The Rocco-Homestake, the Young Treasure and 
other properties have been steady shippers for years. Some consignments 
were sent to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the mine owners receiving a 
good margin on their ores. On account of their desirability for fluxing- 
purposes, the ores from Hamilton have commanded a handsome royalty. 
A remarkable feature about the later history of Hamilton is that no 
capital other than that extracted from the mines has been used in 
development work. If the camp were afforded the advantages of a rail- 
road it would be possible to market thousands of tons of low-grade ores 
now lying on the dumps. In spite of the handicaps that Hamilton has 
been compelled to contend with, the district has produced more than half 
the lead ores mined in Nevada during the last fifteen years. 

Many of the old-time mining camps that came into prominence in the 
early days are now forgotten, save in the reminiscences of the pioneers. 
With the failure of the promising ore bodies on Treasure Hill, fortune- 
seekers began to prospect . the unexplored section in search of new 
bonanzas. Enthusiastic and excited camps sprang up, and for a time 
flourished like the traditional green bay-tree. White Pine County was 
prolific of boomlets and dotted, with many small camps, the majority 
having a fleeting existence and then passing into oblivion. Twenty new 
districts were organized within four years after the establishment of the 

Cherry Creek, which produced several millions in the later seventies, 
was discovered in 1872. The town has remained stationary in population 
for the last thirty years. The Star mine, the leading disburser of div- 
idends during halcyon days, was purchased in 1897 by the Glasgow and 
Western Exploration Company, and a noticeable revival in mining fol- 
lowed the completion of the deal. The property has been worked on a 
small scale since that time, but has never attained a producing stage. 


High-grade gold ores have been found in Egan Canyon, and the mineral 
showings are extremely gratifying to the owners, when it is considered 
that only a limited amount of development work has been accomplished. 
After its discovery in 1876, Ward grew rapidly, and within a year had 
a population of 1,500. The silver-lead ores, remarkable for their rich- 
ness, were successfully handled in a furnace, which was built by the 
Martin White Mining Company. Handsome dividends were paid to the 
stockholders for a short time. With a depreciation in lead values and 
the difficulty of obtaining fluxing material, it became necessary to close 
down the furnace. The ores were of a rebellious nature, and the company 
was compelled to purchase lead ores from Robinson and Muncy ana 
pure bullion from the Hunter District. A twenty-stamp mill was after- 
ward erected at a cost of $85,000 and proved a failure after an additional 
$35,000 had been expended in experimental purposes. Ward was com- 
pletely deserted for twenty-five years. The holdings of the late Martin 
White and his associates and contiguous ground were taken over by the 
Nevada United Mines Company in 1906. During the last six years half 
a million dollars has been spent in proving the resources of the property. 
A survey for a railroad was completed in 1910, and adequate facilities 
for shipping the low-grade ore are needed to place the camp in the front 
ranks as a producer. 

Osceola has been noted for its placer diggings since 1872, and has a 
production of $3,000,000 in gold to its credit. Water for hydraulic pur- 
poses was obtained from the different streams that find their source on 
Mount Wheeler, and considerable wealth was extracted from the gravel 
beds near Osceola through this method of mining. A nugget worth in 
the neighborhood of $3,000 was found in 1876 by a miner in the employ 
of John Verzab, now a resident of Lane City. Believing that he was 
entitled to his new-found wealth, the miner concealed the nugget near 
the scene of its discovery and returned to Ward, where he was employed 
during the winter months. A guilty conscience smote the man who had 
found a treasure that had been stored away by nature, and he returned 
the gold-bearing rock to the owner of the ground, receiving a small 
reward for his honesty. 

The hills around Osceola are traversed by many quartz ledges rich in 
gold. Although silver ore was discovered in Taylor in 1873, the camp 
did not attract much attention until ten years later, when the Argus and 


Monitor mines were placed upon a producing basis. Taylor was a thriv- 
ing place for several years, but the low price of silver and the expenses 
entailed in the treatment of the ores caused a complete suspension of 
mining activity. An effort is now being made to interest Eastern cap- 
italists in the old-time properties. The United States Tungsten Cor- 
poration was organized in 1910 for the avowed purpose of controlling 
the world's supply of tungsten. The dreams of the promoters were never 
realized, as the company became involved in financial entanglements 
shortly after the first carload of concentrates had been shipped to 
eastern points. A mill for the treatment of ores was available in 1911. 
The existence of ores containing a large percentage of tungstic acid 
south of Osceola was first discerned by Walter D. Buntin and Charles 
W. Gaby, who disposed of their mineral territory to James H. Mariott. 
Marriott sold the claims in 1909 to A. Turner, who spent considerable 
money in development work. The properties are now controlled by the 
Tonopah Mining Company. 

A depression in many lines of business followed the failure of many 
of the old camps. There was a noticeable decrease in population through- 
out the county. Ward and Taylor wore the aspects of deserted villages. 
In other towns, where a portion of the population remained, two out of 
three of the brick or board houses were vacant, and the paneless windows 
sealed with clapboards. Here and there stood the remains of a district 
devastated by fire and never rebuilt. 

Those who in years gone by beheld before them a world of luxury of 
which hitherto they had only dreamed were destined to endure many 
lean and dark years. They remained merely in scraping the pudding. 
The county passed from a condition of real life to one of dormancy. The 
entouragement of wealth in which the oldtimers had lived vanished like 
the enchanter's palace when the enchanter had died. The impression 
one received on viewing a majority of the camps was that of a deserted 
habitat of days long past. It was not a sad-faced group that cast its 
lot with old White Pine. Those who had little or none were "stuck," 
marooned and couldn't get away. In those days a silver dollar looked 
bigger than the moon and as far out of reach. There is a song of parting, 
an intensely pathetic song, which contains the lines, "All the tomorrows 
shall be as today" meaning equally gloomy. The epitome of gloom 
found no sympathy with the free-handed and open-hearted pioneers, who 


were responsible for many deeds of charity that have gone unrecorded 
by a thankless world. It was not the lethargy of despair that overcame 
the people. It was a determination to win out which could not be denied. 

While other classes of business starved or took the bankruptcy route 
during the years of gloom, the stage line, which ran from Eureka to 
Pioche and passed through Ely was the only concern in the county that 
was making money. Gilmer and Salsbury operated the stage lines in 
White Pine County for the greater part of this period and received $51,000 
a year from the Government for carrying the mail. To land an assign- 
ment of this nature from Uncle Sam required the furnishing of a bond 
for $65,000, a long list of guarantors being essential. Properly qualified 
signers were as a rule not available, and it was the common practice 
of stage companies to complete the list with fictitious names, or have 
persons with no financial standing in their community endorse for any 
number of thousands their fancy might dictate. On one occasion the 
bond of Gilmer and Salsbury was declared forfeited for a breach of 
contract. "Doc." Ellison, a rancher in the White River Valley, was 
among the number invited by the Post Office Department to qualify 
for the amount he had signed on the bond. Ellison thought it was a 
huge joke for the Government to demand the money for which his name 
was down, for he had no assets of any nature. The Federal authorities 
never realized a single cent on the security furnished by the stage com- 
pany. To give an illustration of actual conditions in the county it is 
only necessary to refer to a letter written by County Clerk William 
Laurenson in response to an inquiry from the Census Bureau asking 
for statistics as to the amount of liquors used in the county hospital 
during 1889. Laurenson's reply was brief, reading as follows : "Hospital 
bought five gallons of mighty common whiskey in 1889. This was used 
by patients who died the same year. Hospital closed in December; no 
patients left." When a county hospital is deserted you can bet that chill 
penury has the county on the hip. 

The history of the rise and development of Ely reads like a romance. 
The first find of metallic wealth was that of gold and silver ores in 
1869 by Thomas Robinson, the founder of the district bearing his name. 
Mineral City was started in the center of Robinson Canyon and had the 
customary mushroom growth of many western mining camps. Within 
a year after its discovery, twelve hundred locations had been made. 


After being almost deserted in 1870, Mineral City enjoyed a new lease 
of life two years later, the population numbering 200. The mining 
records were kept by A. R. (Buckskin) Watson, who in later years 
played a prominent part in the development of the district. For many 
years only a few families remained in that locality. It is twenty-eight 
years since the first building was erected on the present townsite of Ely. 
Joseph Featherstone conducted the first stage station and postoffice, and 
for several years the old building that stood at the southeast corner of 
Aultman and Murray Streets was the only structure within the present 
city limits. After the burning of the county seat at Hamilton in 1885, 
it was removed to Ely two years later, and the town became a permanent 
fixture on the map. 

Numerous stories have been circulated as to the source from which 
Ely received its name. At least half a dozen persons have been men- 
tioned as being entitled to the distinction of being the one whose name 
was given to the great copper camp. The most probable story is that 
the county seat of White Pine County was named after John Ely, a 
native of Illinois, who died in Montana in poverty-stricken circumstances, 
after a most adventurous career in the West, with his fortunes ranging 
from that of a millionaire to a pauper. Ely was a magnificent specimen 
of a frontiersman, standing six feet three inches in his stockings. During 
the time that the notorious Captain Slade was so feared in the West, 
Ely was his partner. Together they amassed a fortune in Montana, but 
after Slade was hanged by the vigilantes, Ely migrated to Nevada. He 
bought several claims from William Raymond in Lincoln County. This 
transaction led to a partnership and resulted in the development of the 
famous Raymond and Ely mine in the Pioche District. They bought 
the property for $3,500. Ely gave his watch in part payment, and within 
sixty days the balance was forthcoming. The mine produced $20,000,000. 

San Francisco capitalists offered Raymond and Ely $700,000 for their 
mineral holdings in Pioche. Raymond refused to sell his interest, but 
Ely accepted $350,000 for his share in the valuable mine. Ely removed 
to Salt Lake and lived in luxury for a few years. He extended his 
operations throughout Utah and more than trebled his Pioche fortune. 
In the early seventies Ely went to Paris and became associated with a 
group of French promoters in Guiana mines. The adventure was ill- 
advised, Ely losing his entire fortune. His wife deserted him on his 


return to the French capital, and when he returned to the United States 
on money supplied by a friend, his brother, Charles, and intimate asso- 
ciates of his more prosperous days refused to recognize him. These 
actions cut Ely's sensitive nature to the quick and he proceeded to drown 
his sorrows and disappointments in liquid tumult. Then Ely regained 
his fortune on a lucky plunge in mining, and consummated many suc- 
cessful deals in the western country. 

Ely had loaned $5,000 to A. J. Underbill with which to purchase the 
land now embraced in the Ely townsite, together with the Selby smelting 
plant, which was located on the old Chainman mill-site. The county 
seat was still located at Hamilton, and in recognition of the favor that 
had been extended to him in time of need Underbill decided to honor his 
benefactor by christening the new seat of the county government Ely. 
Compared with the monumental smelting plants of today, the effort of 
the Selbys was a mere pigmy. Its maximum capacity was thirty tons 
daily. The Selbys and their associates had located ground that was in 
extent over 3,000 acres and covered the holdings of the big companies 
operating in Ely today. 

The State Legislature of 1887 authorized White Pine County to issue 
$10,000 worth of bonds for the building of a new Courthouse, jail and 
hospital. H. A. Comins and Sol. Hilp were appointed by the solons at 
the State capital to assist the commissioners in the erection of the new 
buildings. Mr. Comins went to San Francisco to dispose of the bonds, 
but unexpected obstacles were encountered and the journey proved un- 
successful. The entire bond issue was sold to residents of the county 
at par. W. G. Lyons purchased the bulk of the bonds and was not 
dubious about the county's future even though the treasury was in a 
depleted condition. All the bonds were subscribed for in July, 1887. 
Before the county building was ready for occupancy some of the county 
officials used a portion of Sol. Hilp's store for the transaction of official 
business. A session of court was held in the new structure before the 
roof was finished. The board of county commissioners at that time con- 
sisted of W. C. Gallagher, M. F. Boyle and Alex. Muir, and they had 
many difficulties to centend with in a financial way, after Ely had been 
selected as the seat of the county government. The discovery of high- 
grade ores in the White Pine District did not prove to be of such 
inestimable benefit to the new county as one would imagine. Although 


the money that found its way into the treasury from the proceeds of 
mines almost equalled the total amount .collected from all other sources, 
scrip was issued to pay off the floating indebtedness as early as 1869. 
The affairs of the county were conducted in a high-handed and extravag- 
ant manner. A county treasurer had quietly retired in 1870 and an 
audit of his books disclosed a defalcation of $24,000. A reward of $1,000 
failed to effect his capture. Those were the days for the rapid touch 
and the quick getaway, and the touching was good and tangible. The 
resources of the infant county had disappeared so rapidly that the com- 
missioners were compelled to issue scrip to meet the current expenses. 
The amount of outstanding scrip in 1872 approximated $113,000. Specu- 
lators in these certificates had corralled the outstanding supply and forced 
a measure through the Legislature in 1873 providing for the refunding 
of the floating debt through the issuance of bonds bearing interest at 
10 per cent., reaping a large financial reward as a result of the nefarious 
transaction. In 1877 a bill was fathered in the Legislature by H. A. 
Comins which provided for the redemption of scrip. The passage of 
the act was beneficial to many counties that were on the verge of bank- 
ruptcy and enabled them in course of time to pay off all their floating 
indebtedness. During the first few years after the removal of the county 
seat to Ely, scrip was issued to jurors in payment of mileage and jury 
fees, and was worth from fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar. At that 
time the county had a floating indebtedness of $70,000 and a bonded 
indebtedness of a like amount. It used to be a common occurrence for 
jurors upon receiving their pay in scrip to 'indulge in a game of poker 
or seven-up with the scrip as stakes. The game would generally continue 
until one of the members of the venire had acquired all of the much 
detested medium of exchange, enough to pay off his expenses. 

As White Pine County became more prosperous, the scrip increased 
in value. During 1897 scrip to the amount of $1,778 was redeemed. As 
soon as $500 was available in the sinking fund the county treasurer was 
instructed to advertise for sealed bids for the deliverance of the scrip. 
Although the salaries and current expenses were in arrears at that time, 
the commissioners had succeeded in reducing the bonded indebtedness 
$13,650, while $5,635 represented the quota that was paid to bondholders 
in 1897. Between 1899 and 1906 scrip was never redeemed for less than 
sixty cents on the dollar, and frequently was accepted by the treasurer at 


almost its face value. The bonded and floating debt was completely 
eliminated by those who were responsible for Ely's new era. The Legis- 
lature of 1903 passed an act providing for a floating debt tax for the 
payment of outstanding scrip. Application was made to the commis- 
sioners to refund the floating debt, but without actual encouragement In 
June, 1906, A. D. Campton and Charles S. Chandler, who had purchased 
$14,356.45 worth of scrip, formerly the property of the late William 
Hayes, presented a written demand to the commissioners for the redemp- 
tion of the certificates of indebtedness, but the county board refused to 
accede to their request. A writ of mandate was issued by Judge George 
S. Brown in 1909, compelling the commissioners to issue bonds bearing 
interest at five per cent, in paying off the scrip. This procedure marked 
the end of the era of scrip. 

Ely was originally worked as a gold proposition, the yellow metal 
appearing in the upper workings. The Joana mine, owned by A. R. 
Watson, was the first to attract the attention of outside mining men to 
the new gold-bearing territory. After the first strike had been made, 
and when it was generally known that the property was of unusual merit, 
litigation began which ran through the courts for a number of years at 
great expense and annoyance to the owner. The mine was tied up and 
nothing could be done until a decision had been handed down. While 
the case was pending, several prominent mining men made an examina- 
tion of the Joana at different times. It is believed that the Joana met 
with their expectations, but legal proceedings always interfered and pre- 
vented a consummation of any deal, which would have netted the old 
prospector a sum sufficient to have maintained him in luxurious circum- 
stances. Although Watson's title to the Joana was eventually sustained. 
his resources were severely taxed, and the mine fell into the hands of 
attorneys who had represented him at the trial and creditors. The 
amount taken out in the aggregate from the Joana was something over 
$15,000. The ores were treated in a mill at Ely, which was poorly con- 
structed, and the only appliance for the saving of the gold values was 
copper plates. Less than half of the gold was saved by this method of 
working, as shown by constant assays of the "tailings." Watson died 
near the scene of his early mining activities comparatively poor. The 
Chainman mine, owned by W. N. McGill, W. G. Lyons, James P. McOmie 
and A. J. Underbill, was in the limelight during the early nineties. It 


was the general impression that the mine would attain high rank as a 
producer of the precious metals. The owners erected a milling plant in 
Ely, but such a large percentage of the ore values was lost in the tailings 
that the undertaking was not a financial success. 

Ely awoke for a brief period from its sequestered quietude in 1897, and 
was transformed into a community bristling with life, when the late 
Charles D. Lane obtained a bond and option on the Chainman mine. 
The destinies of the new company were placed in the hands of his son, 
Thomas T. Lane, who made only a spasmodic attempt to develop the 
mineral holdings and manage the other interests controlled by the family. 
During his connection with the Chainman, Lane expended $168,000, a 
portion of this money being utilized in the construction of a power-plant 
and water-ditch and the building of a mill. The California millionaire 
also placed Ely in communication with the outside world, financing a 
telephone line to Eureka. Ely seemed doomed again to a long period of 
inactivity after Lane had abandoned all his mining enterprises on the 
mine, which, it was expected, would bring about a rejuvenation of the 

The Ely Mining and Milling Company, a flotation of Salt Lake cap- 
italists, bought the Robust group of mines from R. A. Riepe and the 
estates of Henry Riepe and "General" Thomas for $10,000. After spend- 
ing considerable money in an effort to open up ore bodies of merit, the 
company erected a cyanide plant, but the ores were not susceptible to the 
treatment provided. The mill was closed, having run on ore for a brief 
period, and has since lain idle, another token of the mismanagement and 
incompetency of mining promotions. The excitement precipitated by 
Charles D. Lane had subsided, and for the next three years Ely was a 
"dead one." In 1900 the Chainman was purchased by a coterie of New 
York and Pennsylvania capitalists for a cash consideration of $150,000. 
A mill costing in the neighborhood of $100,000 was installed to reduce 
the ores. The plant was rendered useless, as the presence of copper in 
the sulphides, when a little depth had been reached, made the work 
unprofitable. The Chainman group, the Joana and other contiguous 
claims were absorbed by the Chainman Consolidated Copper Company 
in 1906, and will form a part of the big copper merger recently completed 
by the Cole-Ryan and Gunn-Thompson interests. 

During the time that he was prominently identified with the Chainman, 


Dix W. Smith, of Elmira, New York, incorporated the McKinley Mining 
and Smelting Company. The assets of the flotation included a group 
of twenty-three patented mines which had been owned by the late William 
McKinley, the martyred president, and his brother-in-law, George D. 
Saxton. The mines were allowed to remain dormant for twenty years 
by the owners, who had controlled the ground, since the first excitement 
in the Robinson District. The promoters worked the ground in a desul- 
tory manner for several years, when developments were suspended. The 
holdings of the McKinley Company were acquired in 1906 by the Copper 
Mines Company. The gold-mining ventures proving unsuccessful, the 
claim owners began to devote their energies to copper, the metal which 
they had looked at with despair, and which was to prove the want which 
would awaken the camp to a newer and more intense life. While the 
camp was languishing, claims were located and abandoned many times. 
The first attempt to work territory within the recognized copper belt 
occurred in 1899, when Joseph Bray bought a group of claims on the 
present site of the steam-shovel pit from Thomas Rockhill, Newton Boyd 
and Thomas Johnson, for Mulford Martin, of New York. Through 
the instrumentality of Frank Paul, Joseph L. Girous was induced to 
invest several thousand dollars near Pilot Knob Mill, the mines in that 
section forming the nucleus of the present mineral possessions of the 
Giroux Consolidated. Although they had wealth at their elbows, the old- 
time claim owners offered their locations for a mere pittance to any 
prosperous-looking stranger that came along. 

The actual development of the copper zone began in 1900, when Edward 
F. Gray and David P. Bartley obtained an option on the Ruth mine 
from D. C. McDonald and Water Rynearson for $1,200. They had hit 
upon the real clue to the mineral wealth of the district. Surface out- 
croppings encouraged them to sink, and, unassisted, they demonstrated 
that the Ruth possessed sufficient merit to justify the expenditure of 
further money in development work. M. L. Requa, of Oakland, whose 
father was a prominent figure on the Comstock during the halcyon days, 
realized the future possibilities of the low-grade porphyries by concen- 
tration, when there was considerable skepticism as to their profitable 
operation even if they were treated on a large scale, and was responsible 
for millions being spent here. He was prominently identified with the 
Ely District for a period of five years. A consolidation of the New 


York and Nevada Copper Company, with mines at Copper Flat, and the 
\\ I lite Pine Copper Company, owning the Ruth group, was effected under 
the Requa management, and the success of the Nevada Consolidated is 
sufficient proof that the merger was well advised. 

Before any boom had ever struck Ely, and when the camp was prac- 
tically non-producing, J. Parke Channing, an engineer of world-wide 
prominence, whose specialty is the cost-sheet, made a careful and accurate 
investigation of the vast ore deposits in the Ruth and other adjacent 
properties in 1905. At the time the sampling was done ten million tons 
had been blocked out. So great had been the development of the mines, 
and so remarkable were the ore bodies, that the Guggenheims decided 
to "come in" after Channing had reported favorably on the Ruth mine 
and declared that there were at least ten million tons of copper ore aver- 
aging two and one-half per cent., which could be worked profitably on 
a large scale. The tremendous ore tonnage not only insured the building 
of the Nevada Northern, but necessitated the erection of one of the 
largest concentrating and smelting plants in the world. There is no 
prospect that the present generation, or several to come, will ever see the 
copper deposits worked out. 

The Ely District had been practically unknown prior to 1906. Nevada 
had no copper production worthy of mention at that time. A few hun- 
dred thousand pounds had been gleaned from occasional custom shippers. 
The knowledge of the existence of immense deposits of copper in this 
section had remained for almost half a century locked beneath the sterile 
soil of the surrounding hills. When the great awakening came, and the 
fame of the district was being borne on the wings of the wind, Ely 
enjoyed a spectacular boom, which for intensity could be compared only 
to that of the White Pine District at the time of the big silver excitement. 
It was the era of anxious crows and easy money. The town never saw 
such a spending jag. The population more than trebled after the advent 
of the railroad, hundreds coming ;n on every train to reap their share 
of the anticipated profits. Every line of business activity was affected. 
The boom was in full bloom. Seldom had there been such a field for 
promotion; seldom such a blind faith in speculative fancy. When the 
rush was at its height, there were forty-eight different companies operat- 
ing in the district. Some of the suavest dispensers of superheated 
atmosphere that ever reeled off a heart-to-heart monologue were doing 


business in Ely. Miners holding locations on the edge of the big prop- 
erties, or even in close proximity, could always sell for a good price, even 
if only a limited amount of development work had been accomplished. 
Situation was a more valuable asset in disposing of mining claims during 
the frenzied period than a mineral showing of merit. Those who had 
an abiding faith in the future of the district and played a waiting game 
were amply rewarded for their constancy, having found themselves mas- 
ters of from $5,000 to $200,000 in cold cash. 

Real estate values soared to unprecedented figures. Two years pre- 
vious lots within the city limits went begging. Sales were rare occur- 
rences, and property was a drug on the market. W. G. Lyons, one of 
the owners of the Ely townsite, died in 1904, and his heirs were willing 
to dispose of his realty holdings for $2,500. A. D. Campton, the remain- 
ing partner, acquired the interest, after several pioneer residents had 
expressed an unwillingness to dabble in real estate at the county seat. 
The phenomenal advance in the price of real estate during 1906 exceeded 
all expectations. The two lots upon which the Northern Hotel is located 
were purchased by the hotel company for $15,000, and the party who 
disposed of the property made a profit of $14,200. A business lot on 
Aultman Street was sold five times within a year, the initial price being 
$1,200, while the party who now holds title to the ground separated 
himself from $9,500. A. D. Campton, the owner of the townsite, sold 
hundreds of lots when Ely was at its zenith and accumulated a fortune 
estimated variously from $200,000 to $4,200,000 from his numerous real 
estate transactions. The development of the big copper propositions had 
a marked effect on the population of the county, and the city of Ely in 
particular. The census returns for 1910 indicated that there were 7,441 
people in the county, an increase of 279 per cent, over the handful that 
were enumerated during the previous decade. Ely could not muster more 
than 525 on the census rolls in 1900, while ten years later the population 
had increased almost five-fold, 2,600 people being accounted for by the 
census marshals. The increase in White Pine County was three times 
as large as the average growth of the State. Yes, Ely is growing. The 
outlook fully warrants a marked increase in population within the next 
few years. There is a permanency to the community unknown in other 
camps of short life. It has long since been a city of homes. Hundreds 
of workingmen employed at the mines or smelter live in Ely, which is 


centrally located. Ely has a perfect water-system, that is remarkable for 
its purity. The water supply is unfailing, and excellent fire protection 
is afforded. A modern sewerage system and cement sidewalks were 
among the public improvements made by the city during 1909. Ely is 
noted as a place where capital can be invested with full assurance of 
receiving adequate returns. Educational facilities have not been neglected. 
A central schoolhouse was built in 1907 at a cost of $35,000 to accom- 
modate the increased population of school age. The last session of the 
Legislature provided for a bond issue of $50,000 to insure the completion 
of a high school building, which will be erected this summer. The Court- 
house grounds are recognized as one of the prettiest spots in the State. 

Ely has the largest payroll of any mining camp in the State, $315,000 
being distributed every month by the six big companies doing business 
here. This great volume of wealth is poured into the waiting pockets 
of a large army of workmen that are fast bringing fame to Ely as the 
lowest-cost producing camp in the world. A reduction of rates on cattle 
shipments during the last three years has made Ely the headquarters 
for stockmen within a radius of 150 miles. In 1910, 2,400 head of cattle 
were forwarded from Ely, three counties in the State contributing to 
the large shipment. Ely is a favorite stopping place for automobile 
tourists who are making transcontinental tours, and has been placed on 
the Midland Trail, one of the most important auto routes across the 
United States. 

In the Nevada Consolidated the country is presented with one of the 
world's largest copper propositions. It is a mere youngster, having been 
converted into the breadwinner class within the last five years. It was 
demonstrated within a short period of time that pure copper could be 
produced one cent a pound less than the estimate of J. Parke Channing, 
but it has required expert treatment and added a new epoch to the 
metallurgy of the world. Moving a big mountain is the mighty work 
that is being done in Ely since operations began in the steam-shovel pit 
in 1908; 105,510,821 tons of ore and a large amount of overburden has 
been removed from the mammoth excavation. The ore reserves are never 
decreasing, as more extensive bodies are being opened every year. The 
value of the gross output since the Nevada Consolidated reached a pro- 
ducing stage during the last quarter of 1908 is $38,931,347.23. 

In addition to the deposits of ore at Copper Flat, the Nevada Con- 


solidated ships about 1,000 tons of ore a day from Veteran mine, where 
the caving system is employed in the extraction of the ores. Great bodies 
of ore have been blocked out in the Ruth and Star-Pointer shafts, which 
have not been touched since the commencement of mining operations. 

In April, 1912, the record production from the big glory-hole was 
broken. The output reached the enormous figure of 14,168 tons. It 
required 253 big cars to transport this high tonnage over the ore line to 
the Concentrator at McGill. If this stupendous production could be 
maintained, the value of the ore would eclipse that of any gold mine in 
the United States. No engineering difficulties were encountered in the 
building of the Nevada Northern Railroad from Cobre to Ely, a distance 
of 141 miles. The road is practically level for its entire length, no grades 
of any importance being encountered. To guarantee the cheap trans- 
portation of ores, the route through Robinson Canyon to the Concentrator 
was constructed. This road required many fills and cuts in its course, 
and was as difficult to build as that portion of the Nevada Northern 
through Steptoe Valley was easy of construction. The ore line was ren- 
dered unusually costly on account of the building of two tunnels. The 
officials deemed it advisable to make the road as straight and short as 
possible because of the heavy tonnage that is being transported daily. 
The maximum grade does not exceed three per cent. In addition to the 
regular passenger service to outside points, the Nevada Northern runs 
suburban trains to McGill and the mines, a convenience that is appre- 
ciated by all residents of the district. 

The reduction works of the Guggenheim interests are located at 
McGill. It was built jointly by the Nevada Consolidated and Cumberland 
Ely, the latter company owing forty per cent, before a merger of the two 
corporations was successfully consummated. The plant has always been 
worked at a higher capacity than originally rated. Modifications have re- 
sulted in increasing the efficiency of the Concentrator, until it is capable of 
handling 10,000 tons a day, when the eight units are in operation. During a 
single month the production of blister copper has exceeded six million 
pounds, the cost being 6.34 cents a pound, the lowest mark ever attained in 
the history of copper mining. The annual point has passed the sixty million 
mark. Another large Concentrator and smelting-plant is assured for the 
Ely district through the organization of the Consolidated Copper Mines 
company, an eight-million dollar corporation, which will absorb the 


Giroux Consolidated, the Copper Mines, the Butte and Ely, and the Chain- 
man Consolidated companies. The properties to be merged consis of 
160 claims in the heart of the principal copper belt, and includes practi- 
cally all the developed and partially developed ore bodies except those 
controlled by the Nevada Consolidated. The basis of the respective ex- 
change of shares was determined by Edwin F. Gray, who for five years 
was in direct charge of Nevada Consolidated operations, and A. J. Sale, 
mining-engineer for the Giroux company, both of whom are familiar with 
the geology and ore possibilities of the district. The terms of exchange 
are as follows: One share of new for each two and one-half shares of 
Giroux Consolidated ; one share of new for each three and one-eighth of 
Copper Mines ; one share of new for each six and one-half shares of Butte 
and Ely; and one share of new for each twenty-five shares of Chain- 
man Consolidated. In addition to its mineral holdings, the consolida- 
tion owned 4,445 acres of agricultural land, formerly embraced in the 
Shallenbarger and Comins ranches, and also controls the waters of Steptoe 
creek, the only stream available with a gravity flow. The Chainman is 
the only one of the four properties that can boast of large deposits of iron 
ore, containing all the necessary elements for fluxing material, which will 
be extremely desirable for future smelting operations, 

It is the belief of engineers, who completed the arrangements for the ex- 
change of shares, that, through the union of interests, a company will be 
created with ore-bodies of sufficient magnitude to justify the installation 
of reduction work commensurate with the Steptoe plant at McGill. They 
also recommend that a series of tests be carried on with a view to obtain- 
ing a higher extraction of ore-values from the copper porphyrys than is 
now possible through present methods of concentration. Neither the 
Giroux nor Copper Mines own plants for the treatment of ores. The 
Giroux has been producing from 900 to 1200 tons a day of copper- 
ore averaging 2 per cent., while the output from the Copper Mines has 
been limited. The ores of both companies were treated at McGill by the 
Steptoe Valley Smelting and Mining Company. It has been demonstrated 
to the satisfaction of the stockholders that neither of the companies can 
save all the profits to accrue from the reduction and treatment of ores 
unless they are amply equipped to carry on the work on a stupendous 
scale, and own an adequate smelting plant. 

The fertile lands in Spring, Steptoe, Snake and White River valleys 


were sought out shortly after the silver excitement at Treasure City, 
and supplied the different mining camps with everything that a northern 
climate can produce. For a long period the agricultural possibilities of 
the county were neglected, but the "Back to the Soil" movement has been 
given considerable impetus in recent years. Although numerous home- 
steads have been taken up lately, there are still thousands of acres of farm- 
ing land yet uncultivated. Unfailing streams furnish a dependable water 
supply, the crops are certain, and the best market in the State exists 
in the Ely district. The development of a market within easy reach has 
resulted in renewed activity throughout the farming communities, and the 
county in general is more prosperous now than at any time since the 
White Pine district was in the halo of its glory. 

The high mountains in the county receive a heavy precipitation of snow, 
and yield a large amount of water that flows down into the valleys, moisten- 
ing the ground, producing excellent range for stock, and furnishing a 
good supply for irrigation. Fruit-raising is no longer an experiment. One 
of the richest and finest apple sections in the State is in Snake Valley. 
Many varieties of fruit such as peaches and apricots do well here, 
and are sure of bearing. It is claimed that there has not been a complete 
failure of the fruit crop in this section for more than thirty years. Stock- 
raising has been an important industry in the county, and some of the 
best ranges in the State are located here. In the valleys and lower moun- 
tains, grasses grow in abundance, while in almost every portion of the 
county the white-sage and browse afford excellent winter feed. Besides 
the stock owned in this county, thousands of sheep are annually driven 
from Elko county and farther north to winter in the valleys of White 
Pine, where the snowfall is always light, and the feed good. 




JOHN W. MACKAY was born in Dublin, Ireland, November 28th, 1831. 
Whfle yet a child he was brought to New York City by his parents, and he lived 
with them in Park Row, working in the ship-building trade as an apprentice, 
until early in 1852, when he went to New Orleans and from there sailed for 
Chagris, crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and from Panama he went by steamer 
to San Francisco. In the summer of that year he went up the Sacramento 
River, landed at Marysville and started to walk to Nevada City. While on 
the road, "Curley Bill," the stage driver, gave him a free ride for a 
part of the way something which Mr. Mackay never forgot and his 
son ever remembered. Later they took care of "Curley Bill" until his death. From 
1852 up to the fall of 1859 Mr. Mackay mined at Downieville, Forest City, Sierra 
City and en American River, making a specialty of placer and drift mining with 
varied fortune. In December, 1859, he and "Jack" O'Brien went over the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains from Downieville to Virginia City, Carson County, Utah. Car- 
son County was made a Territory in i86t, called Nevada Territory, and becoming 
the State of Nevada in 1864. On his arrival in Virginia City he went to work in 
Cook Tunnel, at first as a miner at $4 a day, but he soon became most expert in 
timbering a mine to sustain the roof, and because "of his efficiency received $6 
per day. He gradually accumulated money, and in 1861, with John Henning, he 
went to Aurora and bought the Esmeralda Claim. This venture proving a failure, 
he returned to Virginia City and joined with J. M. Walker in building the Peta- 
luma Mill at Gold Hill, which turned out to be a profitable enterprise. Mr. 
Walker introduced Mr. Mackay to James C. Flood and William S. O'Brien, of San 
Francisco. These four carried on operations for several years, and then James 
G. Fair became a member of the group, each having a one-fifth interest. Mr. 
Walker finally said that he was rich enough, so he sold his one-fifth interest 
to Mr. Mackay and, went back to the State of Virginia, of which his brother 
was Governor. This gave Mr. Mackay a two-fifths interest in the business. The 
four men Mackay, Fair, Flood and O'Brien obtained control of the Gould and 
Curry. Best and Belcher, Consolidated Virginia and California mines. Mackay 
and Fair studied the characteristic features of the great lode to ascertain if the 
indications might lead to valuable ore bodies. . Neither Mackay nor Fair 
had any previous experience with ledges or schooling as geologists. What they 


acquired in the way of mining lore was in the hard school of experience. It was 
the theory of Mackay and Fair that the old workings in the Consolidated Virginia 
and California, if explored, would reveal a good deal of low grade ore which had 
been passed, but which might be profitably worked with reduced cost in transpor- 
tation and reduction. After six months' exploration very little had been realized, 
and it was determined that they should go to the bottom of the Curry shaft, 1,200 
feet deep, and drift north, on the theory that it would be through virgin ground. 
Then, if the Ophir and Mexican surface-ores had any counterpart in the depths, 
by the strike of the vein, it would probably be on the line of such drift. This was 
done and the drift passed from the Curry shaft 150 feet north through the Curry 
ground, the 700 feet of the Best and Belcher, and 150 feet into the Con- 
solidated Virginia (all the way through blasting rock), where the "big Bonanza" 
was struck about 30 feet below its apex. Had the drift been 40 feet higher, 
the Bonanza might have remained undisturbed to this day. The world 
knows the result. From that single ore body $119,000,000 in gold and silver was 
taken, and $67,000,000 paid in dividends. Mf. Mackay married Marie Louise 
Bryant (daughter of Colonel Daniel E. Hungerford, a Mexican war veteran), in 
1867 at Virginia City. They continued to live there until 1874, when 
they went to San Francisco, but Mr. Mackay himself passed most of his time in 
Virginia City. In 1876 they went abroad and lived in London and Paris. Mr. 
Mackay frequently returned to Virginia City and later to New York City to take 
charge of his cable and telegraph interests, but he was often in London where 
Mrs. Mackay resided and still resides at No. 6 Carlton House Terrace. Mrs. 
Mackay was a widow when Mr. Mackay married her, and by her former 
husband had one daughter, now the Princess di Stiglianno Colonna. Mr. and 
Mrs. Mackay had two sons, trie elder of whom, John William Mackay, was 
throw from a horse and killed on October 18, 1895. The younger son, 
Clarence H. Mackay, still survives and devotes himself to carrying on 
the vast enterprises which he inherited from his father. By his bearing 
no man was ever less affected by the sudden coming of a great fortune 
than John W. Mackay. His heart was always open to charity and 
the furthering of any good cause. During the six months after the 
great fire in Virginia City, by the express desire of Mr. Mackay, Bishop Monogue 
drew upon him for the poor of the city checks to the amount of $150,000, and 
every one was honored. For years he met the expenses of the Sisters' Orphan 
Hospital at Virginia City at about $S,ooo a month. He gave money silently and 
helped deserving people in every direction, sending the assistance in roundabout 
ways so that the source could not be traced. He was altogether a great man, so 
great that the accumulation of a mighty fortune only made him more considerate, 
gentle and generous. His pathway was lined with charities made without ostenta- 
tion or one trace of false pride. Though born in Ireland, there was never a more 
intense American. All he had was at the service of his adopted country. He 
was an industrial king by nature, a high-souled, royal-hearted gentleman. No 
disappointment could cast him down; in the face of danger he could not be 


daunted; in battle he would have^ .ridden into the jaws of death with unblanched 
face. Mr. Mackay was twice-tendered the United States Senatorship from Nevada 
once in 1874 and ageirfin 1880 but he declined. In politics Mr. Mackay was 
a Republican-^After the coming of his great fortune his desire for years was 
to invest it' safely, where it would yield a reasonable income, but at the same 
time supply a great host of people with generous employment. At one time 
he seriously contemplated the building of a line of great transatlantic steamers. 
Finally, however, he turned to submarine cables and land telegraph lines. This 
was an entirely new field for him and one in which he had not had the slightest 
experience. Yet he succeeded marvelously. 

This brings us to the second part of his career, as distinct and separate from 
the first part as though it had been the career of an entirely different man. Here 
we realize that men of achievement are important not only for what they do but 
how they do it. Personal characteristics show us the man, and, after all, the 
human side of a noted man is as interesting and instructive as his 
deeds. Mr. Mackay was a man of very decided characteristics. His pleasure 
in life was in working out big things. In one of Frederick the Great's discussions 
with his friends, the remark was made that he is the happiest man who has the 
means and opportunity to accomplish great things. Certainly that was Mr. Mac- 
kay's pleasure. From mining he turned to an entirely new field the laying of 
submarine cables and building of telegraph lines. He found in 1884 a strongly 
entrenched monopoly the Western Union Telegraph Company with no oppo- 
sition on the Atlantic Ocean and only a few scattering, badly organized and in- 
solvent competitors on land. He was attracted by the opportunity to do 
a master workman's work, and he had the means to do it. Accordingly in 1884, 
he laid two submarine cables from America to Europe, through The Commercial 
Cable Company which he had organized in 1883. At once the "cable combine" made 
war on him. Cable rates were reduced to a ruinous basis. The war lasted eighteen 
months, and when it ended he had maintained his ground, had dictated the terms 
of peace and was never afterward disturbed. Jay Gould said there was 
no use trying to beat Mackay, because the latter would spend all his money 
in fighting and then go and dig some more out of the ground and start in fighting 
again. And Gould knew that no quarter was asked. Two years later, in 1886, 
Mr. Mackay organized the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company, and commenced 
the construction of land telegraph lines throughout the United States. It had 
been the boast of the Western Union that no telegraph company in competition 
with them had ever paid a dividend. And that was true up to that 
date. The trouble was that no competitive company had ever been 
able to cover the whole United States, and the public would not 
patronize a telegraph line that did not reach all important points. 
Accordingly Mr. Mackay pushed out rapidly in all directions. Here cer- 
tainly was a big thing, and it required millions as well as courage and brains. 
To-day it is paying good dividends, while the Western .Union has dropped its 
dividend from five to three per cent. The third step in building up the Postal 


Telegraph-Commercial Cable System was in laying a cable from San Francisco 
across the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu, Manila, China and Japan 10,000 miles. 
Mr. Mackay was engaged in this at the time of his death in 1902. The work has 
been carried to completion by his son, Clarence H. Mackay, and the Postal Tele- 
graph-Commercial Cable System now extends over two-thirds of the way around 
the world, namely, from London and Paris, across the Atlantic, the United 
States, and the Pacific to China and Japan. It is a proud record. It is a great 
feat; a worthy accomplishment of a modest man of bold and large ideas, sturdily 
and steadily carrying out his plans day by day against seemingly insurmountable ob- 
stacles and opposition. Another characteristic of Mr. Mackay was his liking 
for other men of his type. He was a friend of such men as Gen- 
eral Grant, General Sherman, General Sheridan, C. P. Hunt : ngton, and that 
wonderful group of Pacific Coast men "men with the hearts of Vikings and the 
simple faith of a child." They all felt at home with Mr. Mackay, and at the time 
of his death the walls of his office were covered with fine large photographs of dis- 
tinguished men from all parts of America, who had known him personally and 
presented him with these pictures. He was always ready to help them. When Mr. 
Huntington ajppealed to Mr. Mackay to accept the position of director in the 
Southern Pacific Railroad Company in order to render the road more popular, 
Mr. Mackay did so without hesitation, and from that day Mr. Huntington had an 
easier time of it. But, after all, the finest trait in Mr. Mackay's character was 
his sterling honesty. A dishonorable or dishonest act he was incapable 
of. He often said to his associates in the telegraph and cable business : "Keep 
your name good if you haven't a dollar." He never speculated; never borrowed 
a dollar. When he died his estate did not find a single debt to pay. He lived 
simply, carried on his vast operations simply, confined himself to single enter- 
prises, and devoted himself, heart, soul and fortune, to working them out. In 
1902 Mr. Mackay was spending the summer in London with his wife and looking 
after the European side of his telegraph and cable interests. While there he died 
suddenly, July 20th, 1902, in the seventy-second year of his age. His wife, step- 
daughter, and his son, Clarence H. Mackay, survive him. 

HON. TASKER LOWNDES ODDIE was born in Brooklyn, New York, 
October 24, 1870. From early childhood he lived in East Orange, New Jersey, 
where he attended school. From the age of sixteen to nineteen he lived the 
life of a cowboy on a ranch in Nebraska, where he became imbued with the 
spirit of the West which resulted in his taking up his life in the Western 
country later. On returning frojn Nebraska he engaged in business life in New 
York City and held responsible positions of trust. During this time he 
attended night law school, from which he was graduated, and in 1895 was 
admitted to the New York Bar. In 1898 he came to Nevada in the interest of 
his New York employers to investigate conditions in their mining, railroad, 
banking and other interests in that State. He uncovered a gigantic system of 
frauds which were being perpetrated on his employers, and as a result they 


recovered large sums of money which they had lost. The following year he 
embarked in the mining field for himself, and went into the almost inaccessible, 
sparsely inhabited, mountainous districts of Southern Nevada, and underwent 
hardships and privations for a number of years, working hard all the time at 
the most difficult manual labor. In this way he learned the practical side of 
mining and at the same time studied the scientific side. During this time, in 
1900, he became interested in the original discovery of the Tonopah mines with 
his friend, the famous Jim Butler, their discoverer, and amassed a fortune in 
this enterprise. He was manager of these great properties for the first five 
years, during which time they were splendidly developed into enormous pro- 
ducers of gold and silver. In this work he was ably assisted by Fred J. 
Siebert, a mining engineer of remarkable ability. Goldfield and other important 
mining camps were soon discovered as the result of the opening up of the 
Tonopah District, and millions of dollars a year have been produced by each 
of these camps ever since. The effect of their discovery and development has 
meant the building