November 9, 2005
Nevada's Online State News Journal
1004 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
BY MAJOR G. W. INGALLS.
[From The History of Nevada, edited by Sam P. Davis, vol. II (1912)]
INCIDENTS IN EARLY SETTLEMENT.
This county takes its name from the aboriginal tribe who inhabited the strip of country extending along the base of the Sierra Mountains, from the head of Carson River to the Truckee. The section embraces a series of valleys, of which Carson, Eagle, Pleasant, Steamboat and the Truckee are the principal ones, and including the adjacent mountains, which is still the home of this people.
The name "Washoe" was applied to most of the country now embraced 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 surrounding 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
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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 immigrants 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 huckster 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 demand.
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
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south are great. Then all were covered with an immense growth of forest trees which in a few years were converted into wood and lumber 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 reduction 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 Franktown 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 $0 per thousand at the mills. The lots of Franktown 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 remained 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,
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was the secretary. Hundreds of men were employed around the works. The same spring the company sold part of their lands to Captain 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 at 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 consent, the people held an election for school trustees and elected George H. Douglas, A. Denio and H. H. Beck as such officers. The inhabitants 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 regulated 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 Nicknames 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 fishing 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
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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 "Dublin 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 Hogan.
Washoe City was started in the winter of 1860-61 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 prosperous. 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 complained 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
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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 ordinary 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 McFarland 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,
1010 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 fortune 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. Bostwick 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 saloonkeepers were James Pearson, Jim Roberts, Sam Southworth, J. P. Winfrey and others.
Galena, situated about four miles northwest of Washoe City, contained 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. Practically 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 sawmills, 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 Assembly, 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, in which he championed the candidacy
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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 profession and engaged in the poultry business as a diversion. He established 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 growing 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 contained about 2,500 people. Ophir had 1,200 inhabitants, and Franktown 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 importance 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
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Franktown Ore Dalls 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 supervision 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 Governor Stevenson, was located and for a time operated the Willow Creek Smelting Works. These several ore-working plants cost several millions of dollars, and employed many hundreds of men. In the mountains and foothills, west of the valley, were located a score or more of saw-mills making lumber for the local and Comstock markets. Hundreds 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 composing 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 business, and, as a matter of course, lawyers were not in demand. Everybody 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
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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 off, 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 lawyers 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 feeling being so strong against him in Washoe City, he caused the preliminary 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
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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 Tom made any considerable 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 complete 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 following:
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 condition of attorney and client, and while very dissimilar in many respects, 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
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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 consultation 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
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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 consideration. At each session of the Court the Grand Jury would find indictments against every person keeping a gambling-house. Every transgressor 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
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saw of him proved their first impression was correct. He remained, however, and made a competency. In 1866 Mr. Webster was nominated 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 Webster, 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 discovered that the community was without a graveyard. But this is digression. 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-
WASHOE COUNTY 1019
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 suffered a long illness with fever and was attended by an eminent physician 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 Mormonism 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 uncommon for new arrivals to be looked upon as ministers or deacons until opportunity was afforded for a sitting at the card table, when the supposed 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 clergyman 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 gentlemanly, devout and courteous. Small physically, had it not been for a
1020 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 believe they know." "But what did he say that makes you think the minister was profane?" "Well, I will tell you," said Kentuck.
WASHOE COUNTY 1021
"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 neighborly 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 liquors 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 McFarland 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
1022 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 election of that year many voters refused to be counted either as Democrats 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 themselves 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.
WASHOE COUNTY 1023
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 barbecue 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 committee Doc Winham was the head, with Sol. 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 barrels 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 contributions 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 day everything was well in hand, and several suggested to Doc Winham that the great success of "our barbecue" would make him Gover-
1024 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 1 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 1 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-
WASHOE COUNTY 1025
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 suggestions to hold office himself, but was ever ready to assist his friends. Very soon after followed the White Pine mining excitement, 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 reelected, and for eight years served the State as one of the most conscientious, 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 timers.
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
1026 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 remember 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 investments since then have had their full effect. Dean B. Lyman came to Washoe City early in the '60s and for a long time was a foreman under Colonel Avery in the management of the New York and Manhattan 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.
WASHOE COUNTY 1027
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 principal 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 commission of lunacy. No; no one thought of anything but the great possibilities. 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 reduction of ores were constantly being planned. Town property was valuable and corner lots in constant demand, and it was a matter of speculation 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 importance. 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
1028 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 considerably 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 unwary, 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 gained
WASHOE COUNTY 1029
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 20-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 size.
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 Mining 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 population 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 crystallized gold quartz was found in the mountain worked by the company. Coal was discovered, several companies worked the same, but it was demonstrated it was of too recent origin to be of value for mechanical or do-
1030 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
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 construction 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 government 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 Dewey.
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., California. Population, 500. Has express, Western Union telegraph, hotels, several stores, school house. Shipping point for many towns north and west.
Galena—Started in 1860 by A. J. and R. S. Hatch. Was for several years a flourishing lumber camp. Received its name from extensive deposit 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.
WASHOE COUNTY 1031
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 permanently established by Prof. J. E. Church, under direction of the Nevada University.
Marmol, 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
1032 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
stage trips. A man by the name of J. S. Maltby 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 Virginia 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 mining 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 Gerlach, 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
WASHOE COUNTY 1033
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, 23 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.
Sano—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., 11 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 because 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;
1034 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
loss, $50,000. The springs were located in 1860 by Felix Monet, a Frenchman. Large quantities of pure sulphur have been taken from places around the springs.
Wadsworth—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 Rebellion.
Webster—Parties interested in the Peavine District, laid out a town in the vicinity of the mines, which they had dubbed Webster after Daniel Webster.
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 County.
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 Central 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 and again in 1879. A Court House was erected of brick in 1872-3 and a Poor Farm and Hospital were provided 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
WASHOE COUNTY 1035
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 mountain. 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 sidewalks, 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 (1) 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 population, based on the 1912 directory, is 12,500
In addition to its public park is Belle Isle, a most attractive spot, situated 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.
1036 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Reno is also the financial center of the State. Its five banks reported at the close of business, September 4, 1912, as follows: Capital, $1,920,000; surplus and undivided profits, $572,473.40; deposits, $7,026,233.82. Since the organization of the clearing-house, November, 1907, the clearings 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 Railroad 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 Comstock lode. Power-stations have been constructed at various points on the river, but do not generate one-tenth of the power that could be obtained. Within five miles of the city of Reno it would be possible to develop 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.
RENO COMMERCIAL CLUB.
On the seventh day of December, 1907, this club filed its articles of incorporation 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 Nevada. 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
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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, secretary; 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 discussion and action on matters of public welfare.
The club is in active co-operation with all national and State organizations 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 business 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 investment, the dissemination of literature telling of the resources of the State, the building of good roads and co-operation with other States for a National Highway, the immigration of settlers upon the agricultural lands
1038 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
of the state, and for more intensive farming, expansion of the dairy interests, fruit-growing and all matters that pertain to making the State of Nevada a greater and grander Commonwealth.
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.—Although the Young Men's 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 Association, 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 $30,000 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 appropriate exercises, and the work was started. This building is modern throughout 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. Post-office—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, furnishing $35,000, tote $125,000.
The New Virginia St. Bridge—Was completed October 15, 1905, at a cost of $39,000.
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The New Washoe County Court House—Was completed and occupied June 1, 1911, Total expense of construction, $250,000; total furnishing, $25,000.
The New City Hall—was completed April 30, 1907, at a cost of $50,000.
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 improvements 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 railroad 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 between 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 supply of pure water, there is the ozoned air from the pine forests and the
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perennial snow-banks. For the size of the town it is unexcelled in its sewage disposal system and its electric lighting.
ESTIMATED VALUE OF COUNTY AND CITY PROPERTY.
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
CITY OF RENO.
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
STATE PROPERTY IN WASHOE COUNTY.
University Buildings $350,000.00
Experiment Station 30,000.00
Athletic Grounds and Improvements 25,000.00
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Asylum Buildings 125,000.00
Equipments, etc. 55,000.00
Power and Water Rights 15,000.00
STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
Grounds and Race Track $35,000.00