February 5, 2006
Nevada's Online State News Journal
[From Thompson & West's History of Nevada 1881, With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches Of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers, pp. 384-401]
384 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY.
Agriculture and Mining—Organization and Boundaries—Management of County Affairs—Appointments and Elections—Elko Grange No. 9—Valleys of the County—F. Honeyman--John C. Wood—Col. J. B. Moore—William Myers—W. T. Crane—Principal Mining Districts—Mineral Soap Mine—Principal Towns and Cities—Henry Martin Grant—Hon. J. B. Tolley—Fort Halleck.
THE county occupies the northeastern portion of the State, and contains a larger area of land adapted to cultivation and stock-raising than any other section within its boundaries. There are numerous streams wending their way through the elongated valleys that lie between the chains of mountains which traverse the county generally from north to south. These streams being fed by numerous springs, produce an abundance of water, for this section, when compared with some other portions of the " Great American Basin," of which it forms a part. The mountains, slopes and plateaus are covered with nutritious grasses that afford excellent pasturage for the vast herds of cattle, which fatten there for a foreign market.
Grains and vegetables of all kinds are grown in abundance wherever water can be brought upon the land, and thousands of acres, that have been considered fit only for the homes of the coyote and hare, are now bearing the necessaries of life in quantities unequaled in the history of agriculture. Though no part of the State of Nevada is probably better supplied with living streams of pure water than that which comprises Elko County, artificial means for procuring a larger supply must be resorted to before the thousands of acres of land within its boundaries can be reclaimed and made to contribute to the agricultural products of this county.
In nearly every part there is to be found an abundance of game of different varieties, while the streams are bountifully supplied with the finny creatures, making this a sportsman's paradise.
Here grazing and agriculture claim the supremacy over the mining interest. The well-watered valleys and the snow-gathering hills of this elevated region bring forth abundant forage upon which many thousands of animals fatten throughout the year, and the nutritious herbage, the purity of the water and rarity of the atmosphere produce a superior and healthier class of stock than is possible in most other localities. This superiority has been most observable in the beef and mutton and the products of the dairy, but may be looked for in a more marked degree when attention is paid to the equine race. The rugged hills, the invigorating climate and other conditions, are such as to invite the breeders of racers of purest blood with assurance of lungs and muscle that no other land can equal. The agricultural condition and progress of the valleys of Elko are given in detail in this chapter, as well as the descriptions of the mining districts. The right for agriculture to claim the precedence will be disputed by the miner.
The miners of the county have produced a vast amount of bullion in the past, and their future is bright and hopeful. Gold and silver have been the metals most sought, but copper and lead exist in great abundance. In the elevated plateau of the north, particularly in the districts of Tuscarora, Cornucopia, Golconda and Bull Run, and the placers of Independence, McCan's and other streams, the first are mined, while in the southeast are rich veins of copper, and in the southwest are found argentiferous galena and carbonate ores of great value. With such resources, a soil of perpetual wealth on the surface and mines of the precious and useful metals
beneath, Elko may claim supremacy among the counties of Nevada.
ORGANIZATION AND BOUNDARIES.
By an Act approved March, 5 1869, Elko County was created out of Lander County, and its boundaries were established as follows:
It shall lie east of a line drawn north and south through a point on the Central Pacific Railroad track, three miles west of the machine shop of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, situated in the town of Carlin; and north of a line drawn east and west through the most northerly part or portion of the military post or camp known as Camp Ruby, the latter described line being the northerly line of the proposed county of White Pine.
By an Act approved March 1, 187I, all that part of Lander lying between the forty-first and forty-second parallels of latitude, constituting the northern portion of Lander, was added to Elko. The cession included about 2,772 square miles.
On February I6, 1875, an Act was passed over the Governor's veto, ceding to Eureka a triangular strip or piece from the southwest corner of Elko County, which included within its limits the mining district of Galena.
MANAGEMENT OF COUNTY AFFAIRS.
The creative Act made Elko the county seat, and provided that there should be no election until there were a thousand voters in the county. The first Commissioners, who had been appointed by the Governor, took the necessary steps to ascertain the number of voters; and at their first meeting established nine voting precincts. Registers were appointed to take the number of voters, and May 31, 1869, they reported the total number to be 1,097.
The Board thereupon appointed June 21, 1869, as the day of election, fixed the polling-places, and named the inspectors of election. There were 473 votes cast at the first election. The names of the successful candidates at this election will be found in the list of county officers appointed and elected. The Central Pacific Railroad Company presented the county with a block of land upon which to erect proper county buildings.
The Board of Commissioners accepted the gift and proceeded to build a Court House and County Jail and make such other public improvements as
[Illustration -- HALL AND SIMPSON RANCH ON DESERT CREEK, ESMERALDA CO., NEV. - RESIDENCE OF D.C. SIMPSON]
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 385
were deemed essential to the dignity and honor of the people of a newly organized and rapidly growing county.
The Legislature passed a law creating a State University, and left the location of it open to the competition of the various counties of the State. Elko was noted as " the railroad town" of the State, and her people were anxious to make it famous as the seat of learning as well. They therefore made liberal propositions. They offered to donate the land and erect the buildings and make them a free gift to the State. This offer was accepted by the State, and the county expended $20,000 to secure the State University. Bonds, bearing high rates of interest, were issued to pay for the buildings. Scrip was issued to pay current expenses and over-due interest, until, in less than four years after the organization, the county debt had reached the enormous sum of $112,470, while the entire population was less than 3,000. But the steady increase of population and the fact that Elko is specially adapted to grazing and farming, has enabled the county, by strict economy and good management in later years, to pay current expenses and reduce the debt of the county to less than $60,000. The population is now nearly 6,000, and the affairs of the county are in a healthy and prosperous condition.
For a more perfect knowledge of the products of the county, the number of acres under cultivation, and the stock raised and maintained, reference may be had to the tables on pages 135, 136, 139 and 140 of the general history of the State. For the bullion product see table in the later pages of this work.
APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS.
In the following list will be found the names of all the county officers, with the date of appointment or election, from the organization of the county to the present time:-
J. B. Moore, elected November 8, 1870; G. H. Shepherd and G. Cohn, elected November 3, 1874; T. N. Stone, elected November 7, 1876; G. H. Shepherd, elected November 5, 1878; J. B. Tolley, elected November 2, 1880.
J. A. Savage and J. W. Ellyson, elected November 8, 1870; H. C. Street and J. A. Savage, elected November 5, 1872; J. C. Dow, H. H. Peyton, E. Penrod, and F. J. Franks, elected November 3, 1874; G. Griswold, J. B. Tolley, and J. B. Moore, elected November 7, 1876; J. S. Mayhugh, B. L. Plummer, and S. M. Beard, elected November 5, 1878. J. Z. Kelly, O. H. Ballinger, and James McBurney, elected November 2, 1880.
John Wasson, M. P. Freeman, and Sol Lewis were appointed County Commissioners by the Executive, March, 1869. Wasson resigned April 29, 1869. John W. Epley, and W. M. Gillispie were sworn in as the successors of the first Board, May 10, 1869; Len. Wines, J. Pierson, and J. H. Leffingwell were elected June 21, 1869; D. C. Butterfield, S. S. Sears, aid J. Marks, elected November 8, 1870. Butterfield resigned September 4, 1871, and T. B. Henley appointed to fill vacancy. A. W. Gedney was appointed in 1872, in place of J. Marks. George Seitz, G. B. Able, and A. J. Smith, elected November 5, 1872; A. Wiseman and John Hunter, elected November 3, 1874; Thomas Holmes and F. E. Hughes, elected November 7, 1876. Hughes became non-resident, and his office was declared vacant, July, 1878. S. S. Sears and R. M. Conley, elected November 5, 1878; F. Honeyman and J. J. Campbell, elected November 2, 1880.
H. P. Lathrop, M. D., was elected Coroner June 2I, 1869.
Wm. M. Gillispie, elected June 21, 1869; J. H. Lucas, elected November 8, 1870; J. H. Rand, elected November 5, 1872; H. C. Street, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876; J. W. Dorsey, elected November 5, 1878; G. A. Kingston, elected November 2, 1880.
J. B. Fitch, elected June 21, 1869, re-elected November 8, 1870; resigned October 8, 1872, and W. G. Craighead, appointed to fill vacancy. H. H. Scott, elected November 5, 1872; H. W. Brown, elected November 3, 1874; E. L. Seitz, elected November 7, 1876; J. B. Fitch, elected November 5, 1878, reelected November 2, 1880.
J. W. Stainbum was appointed County Clerk April 3, 1869; Thomas A. Waterman, elected June 21, 1869; H. H. Scott, elected November 8, 1870; O. E. Green, elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874, re-elected. November 7, 1876, re-elected, November 5, 1878; A. G. Dawley, elected November 2, 1880.
M. P. Freeman, elected June 21, 1869; G. H. Shepherd, elected November 8, 1870; M P. Freeman, elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874; J. R. Bradley, elected November 7, 1876; H. M. Grant, elected November 5, 1878 ; Thomas Giblin, elected November 2, 1880.
William G. Seamands, elected June 21, 1869; H. A. Harville, elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5, 1872; E. H. Griswold, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876; H. V. Mundell, elected November 5, 1878, re-elected November 2, 1880.
R. T. Hafford, elected June 21, 1869; F. A. Rogers, elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876; S. M. Henley, elected November 5, 1878, re-elected November 2, 1880.
386 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF' NEVADA.
COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.
Dr. M. V. Hudson, elected June 21, 1869 ; A. Kinkead, elected November 8, 1870; resigned May 6, 1872, and T. B. Henley appointed to fill vacancy. T. B. Henley, elected November 5, 1872; E. S. Yeates, elected November 3, 1874; S. S. Sears, elected November 7, 1876; T. W. Huntington, elected November 5, 1878; F. F. Muller, elected November 2, 1880.
E. H. Griswold, elected June 21, 1869; C. C. Tracy, elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874; R. M. Catlin, elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878; J. C. Smyles, elected November 2, 1880.
H. J. Cady, elected June 21, 1869; H. Ward, elected November 8, 1870, failed to qualify, and H. C. Street was appointed May 6, 1872; L. Terry, elected November 5, 1872, became non-resident, and Charles E. Abbott was appointed November 3, 1873, to fill vacancy; C. C. Mellus, elected November 3, 1874; N. F. Peterson, elected November 7, 1876; Isaac Gates, elected November 5, 1878; Isaac Syoc, elected November 2, 1880.
ELKO GRANGE, NO. 9,
Was organized at Elko, in 1875, with twenty-four charter members. The first officers were J. A. Tinker, Master; E. Burner, Overseer; G. W. Litton, Steward; J. F. Burner, Lecturer; E. S. Yeates, Chaplain; J. Hunter, Treasurer; J. L. Keyser, Secretary; H. Tuttle, Gatekeeper; Mrs. G. Litton, Ceres; Mrs. A. C. Tinker, Pomona; Miss M. Yeates, Flora; T. Hunter, Assistant Steward; Mrs. H. Tuttle, Lady Assistant Steward.
The largest membership at any one time was eighty-one, and a very little decrease is reported at the present time, the books showing seventy-five members in good standing. Their financial condition is good, though a little in debt, they having a brick building, worth $800. The present officers are J. A. Tinker, M.; J. Brain, 0.; G. W. Litton, S.; E. Burns, L.; Mrs. L. M. Hunter, C.; Mrs. G. W. Litton, T.; Miss N. Tinker, Sec.; J. Yeates, G.; Mrs. E. Littlepen, C.; Miss F. Kinnerson, P.; Miss E. Clide, F.; J. Dencor, A. S.; Miss E. Litton, L. A. S.
VALLEYS OF THE COUNTY.
CLOVER VALLEY lies between the Spruce and Ruby Mountains on the west, and the Steptoe range of mountains on the east, and is about thirty-five miles long by twenty miles wide on an average, its general direction being north and south. In some places it widens out to a distance nearly equal to its length, and then gradually narrows up to about ten miles, giving it a picturesque appearance, when viewed from the surrounding mountain tops. Warm Creek, so called, winds its way in a serpentine manner from north to south, receiving additional waters from no less than twenty smaller streams that rise in the mountains and empty into it. There are numerous springs, also, that contribute to the waters of the main stream. These small creeks are named after the different ranchers through whose lands they flow.
The early settlement -of the valley, according to statistics from F. Honeyman, was by a number of United States army officers, who conceived the idea of doing a little ranching in connection with their official duties. In 1864, Captain Thurstin, Lieutenant Tolls and Doctor Long settled on the ranch now owned by Mr. Honeyman, at the south end of the main settlement. After one year's experience, these gentlemen sold their interests to George Brumfield, a discharged private soldier, and he remained in possession until 1869, when he sold the claim to Mr. Honeyman, who owned the adjoining ranch, and who was one of the early settlers, he having a claim and men at work for him as early as 1864. He settled permanently there in 1866. In 1868, the valley commenced to receive settlers, and during the succeeding three years the population increased very rapidly.
An abundance of wood is found in the mountain ranges on both sides of the valley, consisting of mountain mahogany, pine, cedar and quaking-aspen, with an occasional spruce or fir on the eastern side.
The main settlement is in the northwest portion of the valley, about twelve miles from the town of Humboldt Wells, on the Central Pacific Railroad, and thirty-one miles from Spruce Mountain Mining District. The railroad company own every odd section of land in the whole valley, and have sold comparatively little.
The land being well watered, agricultural pursuits are a prominent feature. Oats and barley are extensively raised, about 23,000 sacks being the result of the crop of 1880, also considerable wheat and a large amount of vegetables. There are about 6,000 head of cattle, owned by the settlers, that find good pasturage, and in the winter a great many are driven into the valley to roam at will during the cold weather, it being sheltered by the high ranges of mountains. It is second to none of the winter-grazing ranges. Over 3,000 head were driven to this locality during the winter of 1880. During an unusually cold snap in 1880 the frost touched the crops slightly for the first time. The valley has also been visited by crickets, but the damage done by them was very slight.
The present population is about 125, of whom forty-three are voters. In the spring of 1872 a public school was started, and is kept about eight months in the year.
The Indians have a ranch and cultivate about fifty acres, principally in roots, there being about half a hundred of them in all, including squaws and papooses. The bucks also work for the settlers, at one dollar per day.
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 387
The subject of this sketch, was born in Leitrim County, Ireland, in 1833. At the age of seventeen years he emigrated to the United States and settled in the city of New York, where he remained until 1856, engaged in a dyeing establishment during most of the time. In the last-named year he came to California by the Nicaragua route. Arriving in the land of gold, he sought his fortune in the mines, and after one year's experience on the main Yuba River, he went to Oregon, where he engaged in farming. From there he went to Washington Territory, and again took up the pursuit of mining, and remained until 1861, when he returned to California. The Rebellion breaking out about that time, he was one of the first to enlist in the defense of his adopted country, joining the Third California Infantry Regiment, under Colonel Connor, as a private, in which capacity he served his country only two months, being elected Second Lieutenant during that time. His regiment was ordered to Utah, where he was kept until the close of the war, having re-enlisted as a veteran in the meantime. During his four year's service he commanded a battery of light artillery most of the time. At the close of the war he was mustered out of service, and came to Nevada, settling in Clover Valley, Elko County, his present location, where he has since resided, engaged in farming and stock-raising. His ranch is situated eighteen miles south of Humboldt Wells.
PHOTO BY LOUIS MONACO, EUREKA
John C. Wood
Was born on the twelfth of January, 1829, near Roseville, Parke County, Indiana. At the age of nineteen he went to the State of Illinois, where he remained until 1850, when he came to California by way of the plains. The haps and mishaps incident to such, a trip were passed in safety, and upon reaching the Pacific Coast he entered the usual field of labor, that of mining, which occupation he followed in Calaveras County for five years, at Angel's Camp and other places. In 1855 he went to San Joaquin County, where he remained until 1859, when he removed to the State of Iowa. In 1862 he returned to California, and one year later came to Carson City, Ormsby County, where he engaged in the lumber business, remaining until the year 1869. Soon after the excitement upon the discovery of the mines in White Pine County broke out, he went to Hamilton, in that county, thence to Eureka, thence to Spruce Mountain, and in the fall of 1870 located at Clover Valley, Elko County, where he has since resided, extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising, his ranch containing 480 acres. During the past two years he has handled large quantities of grain with good success. In 1856 he was married in San Joaquin County, California, to Miss Eliza Webb, a native of Tennessee. Their union was blessed with three children, only one being alive at the present time, a daughter, married. On the twentieth of April, 1859, his wife died. During his sojourn in Iowa, he again entered the connubial state, being married to Miss Jeannette Simons, at Lebanon, Van Buren County, on the twenty-first of October, 1860. Eight children have been born to them, four of whom are now living—two boys and two girls.
388 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
HUNTINGDON VALLEY is another fine tract, and is twenty-five to thirty miles in length, and an average width of ten miles, running from the extreme southern line of the county northerly to the junction of Huntingdon Creek with the south fork of the Humboldt River, the former stream, which affords ample irrigating facilities, running entirely through it. Many fine farms are here cultivated, large numbers of stock are raised and fattened for market, and general thrift is indicated by the homelike and substantial improvements of its inhabitants. Diamond Range lies upon its western side, and the east Humboldt Range upon the east, from the latter of which many small streams, as Smith and Twin Creeks, put down into the valley and join Huntingdon Creek toward the west.
INDEPENDENCE VALLEY lies about fifty miles north of the town of Elko, between the Tuscarora Mountains on the west, and Jack Creek range of mountains on the east, and is about twenty-five miles long, by eight miles in width, being in the shape of a quarter moon. The south fork of the Owyhee River traverses the valley from east to west, or nearly so. There is an abundance of water, many small creeks rising in the mountains and swelling the main stream. This valley was discovered by a scouting party of United States soldiers, and derived its name from having been first seen by them on the fourth of July. Along the river are beautiful meadows that widen out in some places to three miles, which produce thousands of tons of hay. Lying at an altitude of 7,000 feet above the level of the sea, grain does not grow as well as could be wished, though it is raised to some extent. The land is used principally for grazing purposes, only about 300 acres being devoted to agriculture, most of which lies in the eastern portion of the valley. Wood is found in the gulches in limited quantities, but in the Jack Creek range, on the east, there is plenty of timber, and a saw-mill is established on the creek by that name, whence come the mining timbers for the Tuscarora silver mines. About forty men are constantly employed in the lumbering business at this mill.
Old Tuscarora, a deserted town, lies on the north side of the south fork of the Owyhee River, about two and one-half miles southwesterly from the present town of that name. The road from Elko, Carlin and Battle Mountain passes through this valley to Tuscarora.
There is a school district established and a school house erected at the creek. The placer mines in the valley on McCan Creek, are still worked by Chinamen in the spring of the year, when there is plenty of water. Stock-raising is engaged in to a considerable extent, there being about 15,000 cattle and 3,000 horses that find pasturage in the mountains and along the streams. There are sixty voters and about twenty women and children inhabiting this valley, and some of the residences would do honor to a modern city.
LEMOILLE VALLEY, though smaller than some others, compares very favorably with its larger neighbors in many respects. Beginning at the foothills of the Ruby range of mountains it widens out at the Humboldt River, its course being about north and south, is about fifteen miles long by four miles in width on an average, and is situated about twenty miles from the town of Elko.
The first settlers were John Walker, Thomas A. Waterman and — McClain, who came from Austin in 1864 and located in this valley. None of the gentlemen are residents of the place at the present time, the last one moving away in 1875. The water supply is unlimited; Lemoille, Bowlder and Salt Creeks traverse the valley and empty into the Humboldt River. On the banks of these streams grow cottonwood and quaking-aspen, and in the mountains are to be found the usual mahogany and piñon or nut pine. One-half of the valley is the property of the Central Pacific Railroad Company.
Frost has twice played sad havoc with the crops, principally on the lowlands bordering on the streams. Wheat and barley are raised to a considerable extent, and some of the finest potatoes produced in the State come from this section. Unlike many other localities, it has never been troubled by that scourge in the shape of crickets that have found their way into the county. The nearest mining is in Railroad District.
In 1876 a school was established that has an average attendance of about thirty-five scholars. The post-office was established in 1880.
As a stock-raising section it is a success, being well watered, and the surrounding country covered with nutritious grasses. In connection with the business, a curious incident took place in 1871. Thomas Atkinson owned a band of sheep, twenty-five of which were herded and driven off by a mountain "buck," or Rocky Mountain sheep, that was finally killed by John Walker.
Instances have been authenticated in the State of singular hybridizing of domestic and wild stock. J. J. O'Dougherty, of Egan Cañon, had a small flock of sheep, of perhaps thirty ewes, in 1867, several of which had hybrid lambs. Two of them resembled antelope, in that they were akin to the young of that animal in color, and had sharp, straight, spike horns, projecting backward some five or six inches long, when not more than three months old. Another resembled the common black-tailed deer more than it did the family to which the dam belonged. Still another was of a dingy white, with long forelegs, and shorter hind ones, the elevated muzzle and watchful disposition of the ovis montana, or big-horned mountain sheep. The ewes, with other sheep, had been purchased from a drove that came from New Mexico a year and a half before, and as they were desired entirely for mutton, were not permitted to breed, all the bucks having been killed off. In the fall of 1868 these ewes had strayed off,
[ILLUSTRATION -- VIEW REPRESENTING MR. E.W. BENNETT'S RESIDENCE AND PROPERTY, ON WEST SIDE, MAIN STREET, GREENFIELD, MASON VALLEY, NEV.]
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 389
and were lost sight of for many months, the owner never expecting to see them again. An Indian came one day and reported having seen them upon a certain mountain, some twenty miles away. The owner sought them, and succeeded in getting them home. They had been in an isolated place far beyond the reach of any animals of their own kind. After they had been home about two months their owner was astonished to find that several of them had dropped lambs of the character above described. Offers to purchase the hybrids at a fancy price were refused by the owner, who declared it his intention to send them to the Smithsonian Institution, at Washington, as curiosities in nature. But this intention was frustrated by the death of the animals, which occurred before any of them became ten months old.
MOUND VALLEY is situated thirty miles south of Elko and seventy miles northeast of Eureka, with the Ruby Mountains on the east and the Pine Valley range on the west, is five miles long and one and a half wide, taking the same direction as Smith's Creek, which runs through it from northeast to southwest. W. M. Kennedy claims to have been the first settler in 1861. Governor Bradley came into the valley the same year with stock, but remained only a short time. Kennedy located on Smith's Creek, and named the valley from a mound that was near his location. In former years the frosts have injured the grain a little, but not lately. Water from the mountains is plentiful in the spring, and wood is obtained from the Ruby Mountains.
PLEASANT VALLEY is one of the smallest in the county, being about four miles square, but is in a fine location and is wonderfully prosperous. According to the information imparted by Mr. H. A. Youngs, the first settlers were Frank Williams and George Seitz, who anchored there as early as 1868, neither of whom are at present residents of the place. The valley heads in the Ruby range of mountains, and runs about northeast, and is well watered from the several creeks which flow through it. The whole area of the valley is made to be productive, nearly all of it being under cultivation. Grain is the principal product, and about 1,500 tons was the total of the crop of 1880. One-half the valley is the property of the railroad company, but is nevertheless settled upon. In 1877 the grain was. injured to some extent by the crickets that found their way into the valley from the distant north. Smut has once or twice visited the valley, but has not done much damage.
Nearly all of the original log cabins are replaced by frame houses, which give the valley a fine appearance. The land is well fenced. Pleasant Valley School District is located here, having a school house, with improved furniture, and an average attendance of fifteen scholars. The inhabitants number about sixty, of whom thirty-six are voters. Wood is obtained from the mountains. Cedar lumber is found in the South Fork range, which divides the South Fork and Pleasant Valley.
Mr. Youngs became a resident of this valley in 187I, and it was upon the ranch now owned by him that the leaders in the great car robbery in 1870 lived, purporting to be ranchers. A detailed account of this daring robbery will be found elsewhere.
RUBY VALLEY lies east of the range of mountains bearing the same name, beginning about eight miles south of the old overland stage road. It is about seventy miles in length by about sixteen in width, and is one of the most fertile sections in Elko County. The general direction of the valley is nearly north and south, narrowing at both ends, making it a grand corral. It is well watered by the many streams which rise in the mountains and flow through it, and for a distance of over fifty miles are numerous ranches that are irrigated therefrom. The eastern side of the valley looks dry 'and barren when compared with the beautiful green, cultivated fields on the western side. Near the center are two beautiful lakes, called Franklin and Ruby, the former ten miles long by four wide, and the latter twelve miles long by three wide, including the tules that grow around its shores.
On the east side of the valley grows the piñon, a species of timber found in nearly all the mountain ranges. The Ruby Mountains are generally destitute of timber, but on the high elevations yellow pine is found, though-difficult of access. Along the streams grows a sufficient quantity of cottonwood for all purposes of the settlers. Everything considered, this is one of the finest valleys in the State of Nevada.
According to the information so kindly furnished by Col. J. B. Moore and E. H. Griswold, the honor of first settlement is given to William Rogers—known as " Uncle Billy"—who arrived there as early as 1859, in the employ of the United States Indian Agent, for the purpose of selecting a reservation for the Shoshone Indians. His selection was a part of what was afterward known as the Overland Farm. The Government did not approve the selection, however, but Uncle Billy built a cabin and put in a small patch of grain, and planted some vegetables near the center of the valley, thus demonstrating the fact that the land was capable of being made productive.
In 1861 the Overland Mail and Telegraph Company's established stations at the south end of the valley. In 1862 Colonel P. E. Connor, established Camp Ruby, while en route for Salt Lake, Utah, leaving two companies of the Third California Volunteer Infantry, under command of Maj. P. A. Gallager, who was succeeded in 1863 by Lieut. Col. J. B. Moore, who held command of the post until the fall of 1864, when Capt. G. H. Thurstin, with a portion of the Nevada battalion, took command. In 1869 the camp was abandoned, and the troops were removed to Fort Halleck.
390 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
In 1865 the Overland Mail Company becoming tired of paying the exorbitant prices demanded by the Mormons for barley and oats, concluded to raise grain for their own use, and accordingly put in about 1,000 acres in Ruby Valley. Their experiment proving a success, others entered into the same pursuits, and this was the pioneer grain country of eastern Nevada. All the supplies for the company were raised there until the line was drawn off in 1869, upon the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad.
Col. J. B. Moore and Lieut. K. Gilman had raised grain and vegetables the previous year, though not in great quantities. There was a gristmill built in 1867 by C. A. Griswold and Samuel Woodward, on the overland farm, with two runs of stone. They also built a saw-mill during the same year on Cave Creek. Both these mills were run by water. This was the only saw-mill ever built in the valley, and is still standing, there being but one other in the county of Elko.
Col. J. B. Moore.
Was born in the town of Piermont, Grafton County, New Hampshire, on the twenty-eighth of October, 1823. He remained there until 1840, and during that time received a limited education, such as can be obtained in the common schools. In the last-named year he went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he cast his first vote for President James K. Polk. In 1846 he enlisted in the First Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteers, and served through the Mexican War. Came to California in 1852, where he served seven consecutive years on the San Francisco police force. In 1861, at the breaking out of the Rebellion, he raised a company of volunteers for the Third Regiment, of which he was elected Captain.
In the month of October of the same year he was promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel. In 1863 he came to Nevada, and commanded Camp Ruby, also Camp Douglas, in Utah; and was discharged in the month of January, 1865, at his own request. Settling in Ruby Valley, he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and still resides in the valley. He raised the first grain in Elko County. In 1869 was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket by a majority of only one vote, against a Democratic majority of I50 in the county. Served in the fifth and sixth sessions. In 1876 was elected to the Assembly, being the only Republican elected in the county. Was Deputy Warden of the State Prison in 1879, and has held numerous positions of trust in the county. The Colonel still continues in single blessedness.
Was born in Herkimer County, New York State, September 28, 1839, where he lived until the fall of 1858. He then came to the Pacific Coast by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and settled in Contra Costa
County, California. He afterwards lived in various parts of that State until the year 1862, when he enlisted in Company B, Third Infantry California Volunteers, Col. P. Edward Connor, commanding. July 12, 1862, the regiment left California and was stationed in Utah, where it was engaged in fighting Indians part of the time. He held the office of Commissary Sergeant of the Regiment for one year and was then promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company E. After about three years' service he resigned and came to Nevada, settling in Ruby Valley, Elko County, his present location, where he has since resided. He has a ranch containing 640 acres, and is quite extensively engaged in stock-raising as well as being a good farmer. In politics Mr. Myers is a
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 391
strong and consistent Republican. Was married March 17, 1869, to Miss Lottie Mangus, at Herkimer, New York State. They have two children named Ruby and Mabel, aged respectively nine and four years.
SILVER CREEK VALLEY heads in the Bull Run Mountains, and runs east and west, being about twelve miles in length and has an average width of eight miles, lying about twenty miles south of the Idaho boundary. It is strictly an agricultural section, being well watered by several creeks, among which are White Rock and Bull Run, that flow west and empty into the south fork of the Owyhee River. About four thousand acres have been broken up and seeded to grain and grass. Land under fence is valued at five dollars per acre. The present population as per census of 1880 is seventy-four.
SOUTH FORK VALLEY heads in the Ruby, or East Humboldt, range of mountains, lying between them and the Inskipt Mountains, and runs nearly east and west. Its length is about fifteen miles by one-half mile in width on the average, and is nearly all fenced and under good cultivation. The upper end is devoted to agriculture while the lower end is used as a grazing range for the thousands of cattle that find pasturage upon the nutritious grasses that grow in abundance upon the mountain slopes. The valley terminates in a cañon on the ranch of W. A. Shepherd, the gorge stretching away for twelve miles to the Humboldt River. The scenery through this cañon is magnificent, and would well repay the tourist for his trouble in visiting this locality in beholding this grand upheaval of nature. The Central Pacific Railroad Company owns a portion of this valley, although it is nearly all occupied by the settlers. Grain is the principal product, though the frost sometimes happens along at a time when it is of no benefit to the ranchers. The crop is seldom a failure, however. Fruit does not thrive, but berries, such as strawberries, gooseberries, etc., are a success. Melons are also raised at the upper end of the valley.
The old Hamilton and Eureka road passes through the valley, which lies directly south of the town of Elko, a distance of sixteen miles. Cottonwood grows in abundance from the ranch of G. H. Shepherd, to the head of the valley, a distance of some ten miles.
According to information received from the last-named gentleman, the first settlers were John Richardson, T. Chandler, W. A. Tucker, Robert Toiler and W. T. Crane, who arrived and anchored there in 1867, in the spring. G. H. Shepherd arrived in 1868, and W. A. Shepherd came in 1871.
The population at this time does not exceed seventy-five, and about thirty-five votes are polled. A fine school house adorns the settlement, and two schools are maintained.
W. T. CRANE
Is a native of Pennsylvania, was born in the year 1829, in Green County, where he passed his boy-
PHOTO. BY TODD, SACRAMENTO, CAL.
W . T Crane.
hood days until sixteen years of age. In 1845 he went to Illinois, and was engaged in farming until he came to the State of Nevada, in 1863. He first settled in Austin, Lander County, adding stock-raising to his former business, in which he has been successful. In 1867 he moved to his present location, South Fork Valley, Elko County, where he has since resided, engaged in the same business. He has held the office of Postmaster at Coral Hill, also that of Justice of the Peace. On the first of January, 1857, he was married to Eliza Wallace, a native of Sangamon County, Illinois, their union proving fruitful, eleven children having been born to them, ten of whom are now living. The following are the names of the children, and the date of their birth:—
Geo. W. W., born January 5, 1858; Jessie Rae, born March 26, 1860; Knox A., born November 16, 1861; Mary E., born April 18, 1865; Lizzie L., born January 28, 1867; Henry Shepherd, born February 14, 1869; Emma Frances, born January 28, 1871; Charles Humboldt, born December 20, 1872; Andrew B., born May 15, 1875; Jennie B., born October 27, 1877; James M., born May 11, 1879. Jessie Rae, the second child, died August 6, 1861.
STAR VALLEY heads in the Ruby range of mountains, its general direction being north and south—is about twelve miles in length with an average width of eight miles, and lies twenty miles southwest from the town of Wells. There is an abundance of water flowing through the valley, the principal creeks being Herders, Ackler, Deering and Boulder, which rise in the Ruby range and traverse the valley,
392 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
greatly to the advantage of the ranchers. Wood is procured from the mountains, consisting of mountain mahogany, yellow pine and aspen. Barley is the principal grain product, though wheat and oats are raised to a considerable extent. The frost has never injured the crops, with the exception of one season. Crickets have made their appearance, but have never seriously injured the grain. Stock-raising is a prominent feature in this locality, the cattle finding excellent pasturage along the streams and on the neighboring mountain slopes.
A public school was established in 1876, which has an average attendance of sixteen pupils. The school building, which was erected in the latter year, is an ornament to the section, and would do justice to any ordinary city. The building and furniture cost $I,250. When the small number of population is considered—only about 150, with twenty-five voters—this institution reflects great credit upon the little band of pioneers, who, isolated as they are, desire to give the young a chance for an education. The nearest post-office to this place is at Deeth's Station, on the Central Pacific Railroad.
THOUSAND SPRING VALLEY, at the source of the Humboldt River, is another great grazing section, and large quantities of hay are here yearly cut. This place in former times was a goal toward which the weary emigrant hopefully plodded, knowing that if once reached his foot-worn and emaciated cattle could speedily recruit. The valley receives its name from innumerable springs—some of cold, some of warm and others of mineral water. On the northeast are the Goose Creek Mountains, and the cañon of the Humboldt affords egress to its waters at the southwest. To the northward is a high plateau, also abounding in springs, in which heads the many creeks and tributaries of Snake River, whose waters flow into the Columbia and thence to the Pacific. Notwithstanding its elevation, there is no barrenness ; it abounds in forage throughout valley and hill, offering superior inducements to stock-raisers.
PRINCIPAL MINING DISTRICTS.
ALABAMA DISTRICT lies forty miles north of Humboldt Wells, and was discovered in 1871 by Messrs. Noll and Slack. Several locations were made, but only a small amount of work has ever been done in the district. A shaft was sunk to a depth of fifty feet, which disclosed a vein of considerable thickness. Water caused a cessation of work. Some of the ore taken out was shipped to Winnemucca, and worked there. The Dayton is the chief mine.
AURORA DISTRICT was discovered in December. 1875, at which time its organization took place, and several locations were made. A code of laws was adopted in regard to the water privileges, locations, etc. Wood and water are found in abundance in close proximity to the mines. Developments are in order; the indications are fair.
BRUNEAU DISTRICT is situated about two miles from Island Mountain District, and is, therefore, about seventy-five miles north of Elko. It was formerly known as the Wyoming. Limestone, granite, slate, and quartzite are the prevailing rock formations, and the ore found here is comparatively rich. Wood and water are found in abundance in convenient distances, making the facilities for mining exceedingly good. The Mardis is the principal mining company. Their prospects were good, but for undefinable reasons the place is deserted. It was here that G. W. Mardis was killed by a Chinaman on the eleventh of September, he being the only white man left in the district. The first location was made in July, 1869.
CAVE CREEK DISTRICT lies twelve miles north of Fort Ruby, on the eastern slope of the Ruby Mountains, near the summit. The organization of the district took place on the fourth day of June, 1869, having been discovered in the preceding month of May by General Ewing. There is an abundance of wood and water close by the location. The Amazon, Mississippi, Dodds, Exchequer, Enterprise, Longmore, Murphy, and others, are claims which were located the same month in which the district was organized. The country rock is limestone, and the ore carries lead, copper, and chloride of silver.
CENTENNIAL DISTRICT was originally named Bull Run, and afterward changed to White Rock, and finally received the name it now bears. The mines were discovered in 1868, but the district was not properly organized until June 21, 1869. It is situated in the Bull Run range of mountains, sixty-five miles, air line, north of the town of Elko. About two hundred locations were made soon after the organization of the district. The chief formations of the mountains in which the mines are situated are granite and limestone, with a belt of porphyry between the two. James Patterson, now of Carlin, was the first Recorder. Wood in abundance is found in close proximity to the mines, consisting of mahogany, fir, white and yellow pine, piñon, juniper, cottonwood and alder. Sufficient water for all purposes is found in the cañons in the immediate vicinity of the mines. The Blue Jacket is one of the principal mines and has a twenty-stamp mill and two Bruckner furnaces. Among the other prominent mines are the Porter, Tuscarora, Ontario, Potosi and Revenue, upon which considerable work has been done. This is a fine agricultural section, there being some fine cultivated ranches on Silver Creek, a few miles to the northwest.
COPE DISTRICT was organized May 27, 1869. It is situated on the Owyhee River, about twelve miles from the State line. Plenty of wood and water are found in the immediate vicinity, and in Duck Valley, twelve miles away are some fine agricultural lands. The character of the formation and veins here is similar to that of Reese River District, in Lander
[Illustrations -- RANCH AND RESIDENCE OF A.B. FITCH, LYON CO., NEV.; RESIDENCE AND DAIRY RANCH OF T.B. SMITH, SMITH VALLEY, ESMERALDA CO., NEV.]
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 393
County. The ores also contain considerable horn silver near the surface. The Excelsior and El Dorado were among the principal mines. The former was put on the stock board at San Francisco, at 100,000 shares, and was quoted in 1873 at $2.90. A shaft was sunk to a depth of about 600 feet on this mine and another on the Argenta reached a depth of 240 feet. Mountain City grew up in consequence of this discovery, and at one time was one of the most prosperous mining towns in the State. In 1871-72 it contained about I,000 people, some of the buildings were of cut stone and two were built of brick. The frame buildings have nearly all been moved away. There is one, out of twelve hotels, that still continues business, also one store. The closing down of the Excelsior in the fall of 1873 caused the decline of the town.
CORNUCOPIA DISTRICT was discovered in August, 1872, by Mart Durfee, and organized during the same month. It lies about sixty-five miles north of Carlin. There are at present only about ten miners at work in the district, though about fifty locations have been made. The principal mines are the Leopard, Hussey, Panther and Fisher, the first two being the only ones upon which work is now done. The quartz veins are found principally in porphyry, and run northeast and southwest with the formation, and dip at an angle of 45° to the southeast. The ores are mostly free-milling, silver-bearing, carrying some gold, and are worked by the roasting process.
The only quartz mills built in this district were by the Leopard Mining Company, first a ten-stamp, which was consumed by fire and replaced by a twenty-stamp mill at a cost of $163,000, which was likewise destroyed on the eleventh of July, 1880. This company sunk a shaft on their mine a distance of 800 feet. The longest tunnel in the district is on the Fisher mine, which is 250 feet.
Freights are received from the town of Carlin, and are hauled to the district at a cost of two cents per pound. The ores are shipped to Bull Run and Tuscarora, for working. Wood and timber are procured from the Jack Creek range of mountains, a distance of sixteen miles away.
The excitement incident to the discovery of this district caused the building of the town of Cornucopia, which at one time, in 1874, was quite lively and contained about 1,000 inhabitants, and polled a vote of 400. Considerable business was transacted during the excitement, requiring five stores and other buildings in proportion. It was a prosperous town until the destruction of the quartz mill, since when the population has steadily decreased until there are very few people left in the place. The census of 1880 places the number at 174. A fine two-story hotel, containing thirty rooms, is the only one running at this time. In 1874 L. I. Hogle erected a large boarding-house and saloon, at a cost of $8,000.
DELANO DISTRICT is situated north from the town of Tecoma, distant about thirty miles. The prevailing geological formations are limestone and porphyry. Very little work has been done in this district, though quite a number of locations were made. Wood and water for all purposes are found in the vicinity. There were hopes at one time that the mines would be developed by the Servia and Slavonia Mining Company, which incorporated in San Francisco for that purpose, but these hopes were never realized. It is a quiet place at the present time.
DOLLY VARDEN DISTRICT is located about sixty miles south of Toano, and was organized in 1872. No work is being performed there at the present time, though the locality was considered good about eight years ago. The prevailing formation is limestone, and the ores are of a character requiring the smelting process. There being a scarcity of water along the wagon road from the nearest railroad station makes freighting very costly. Wood is found in the vicinity in quantities for all purposes.
GOOD HOPE DISTRICT lies in Elko County, about twenty-five miles northwest of Tuscarora, and was discovered in 1878, the nearest post-office being Cornucopia. The place was originally called Aurora. Miners' cabins constitute the village. There are at present about fifteen miners in the district, but about fifty locations have been made. The principal mines being Tiger, Page and Kelly, Snyder, You and I, Amazon, Rattler, Golden Era, Buckeye, Aurora, Atlantic Cable, Trade Dollar, and Silver Brick. The veins run principally north and south with the formation, which is porphyry, and dip at an angle of about 75° degrees west. The ores are usually free-milling, and are worked by the Freiburg, or roasting, process. The ledges are silver-bearing, with a slight trace of gold. The deepest shaft is on the Page and Kelly, and has reached a depth of 110 feet. The ores are shipped principally to Tuscarora, some going to Salt Lake, Utah, however. Freights are received by team from Cornucopia and Tuscarora, at an expense of fifteen to twenty dollars per ton, during the summer months. The wood supply is principally of sage-brush for fuel, but the timbers for mining purposes are obtained in the Bull Run Mountains, and hauled to this district. Amazon and Four-mile Creeks furnish the water supply. The population of the district is sixty.
GOOSE CREEK DISTRICT lies in the mountains bearing the same appellation, about thirty miles north of Tecoma, a station on the Central Pacific Railroad. The mines were first discovered by an Indian, who pointed them out to Messrs. Thomas and Brown. The organization took place in the summer of 1872, and about ninety locations were made. The geological formation is limestone and porphyry, the veins varying in width, and crop out in many places on the surface. Wood and water are very scarce in the immediate vicinity, though there is a good supply
394 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
within a radius of four or five miles. Assays give from $160 to $350 per ton. Some work is being performed in the district at the present time.
GRAND JUNCTION DISTRICT is well wooded, and has an abundant supply of water. It is situated about fifty-five miles from Elko, in a northerly direction, and quite a number of locations were made, but no important results were obtained. It is now lying quiet, those holding claims living in hopes of further development.
GRANITE MOUNTAIN DISTRICT lies three miles west of Dolly Varden District, in the same range of mountains. It was located in August, 1872, by William Muncey and Judge Reilly. The ore is principally copper. Work is entirely suspended at the present time.
HALLECK DISTRICT is situated about six miles from the Fort bearing the same name, and is on the northwestern slope of the Ruby range of mountains. It was organized during the slimmer of 1873, and quite a number of locations were made by the officers and soldiers from the Fort. Gold and silver are found in small quantities in the ore veins. Work is suspended at this time.
HICK'S DISTRICT is situated near the Island Mountain District, distant about ten miles. There are some prospectors still there who firmly believe in this eventually becoming a noted locality. The McDonald mine was bonded at one time for a considerable sum, that and the mine bearing the same name as the district, being the principal locations. Some very good ore has been produced by both these mines.
ISLAND MOUNTAIN DISTRICT was organized in September, 1873, and is situated seventy-five miles north from Elko, and twenty-five miles south from the Idaho line, near the Bruneau Mountain. The original discoverers were E. Penrod, C. T. Russell and W. D. Newton, the first named being one of the discoverers of the Comstock Lode in 1859. In 1875 a town started up, and several houses were built, but in 1878 it declined and only a few buildings remain, among which are a hotel and blacksmith shop; also a Chinese store. The principal features in this district are the placer mines, though quartz is found to some extent, generally in porphyry formation. The principal mines are the Owyhee and Hope Consolidated, Groelm and French, and W. A. Penrod. There are only five white men and fifty Chinamen in the district, though about 100 locations have been made. The quartz veins run northwest and southeast, with the formation, and generally dip about 40° to the northeast. The veins carry but little silver, but go from $20 to $400 in gold, which is worth $19.50 per ounce. The longest tunnel is on the Island Mountain Mine, and is about sixty feet; the deepest shaft is on the Golden Star, and is about seventy-five feet. The latter mine was recently sold by Henry G. Catlin to a New York company, but the purchasers have not yet commenced operations. Freight is received from Elko, and costs about thirty dollars per ton. Wood is found in abundance in the mountains four or five miles distant, and consists principally of mountain mahogany and cottonwood. There are no ores now worked in this district, but it is expected that when the new company begins operations those who have retained their interests in the district, will realize the fruition of their fondest hopes.
The Owyhee Canal in connection with this district, deserves mention. It was built by a company which organized in 1874, with J. W. Pence as President, but is owned and controlled at the present time by E. Penrod. Its total length is about ten miles, including the branches, which aggregate about three miles, and has a capacity of 500 inches of water. It has a reservoir located two miles from the lower end, that covers an area of two acres, and cost about $1,000. The total cost was about $10,000. Unfortunately there is only sufficient water to keep it running two months in the year to its full capacity. The altitude is 7,500 feet, and the winter weather is severe. In the spring the melting of the snow on the mountains produces the water supply.
KINGSLEY DISTRICT was originally located in December, 1862, by Felix O'Neil, and is situated in the Antelope Mountains, about ten miles north of the old emigrant road. After partially organizing, and doing nearly a month's work on the claim, Mr. O'Neil was driven from the locality by the Mormons. In 1865 the claims were discovered by a soldier named George Kingsley, and the district was reorganized under the above title. It lies in the second range of mountains east of Egan Cañon, in a country abounding with wood and grass; water in limited quantities is found in springs. In 1867 about thirty shafts were sunk, varying in depth from twenty to 100 feet. The geological formation of the district is granite and limestone. Rich copper ore is found here, and a furnace, employing twenty men, is running. The district is about seventy miles from Toano, and about thirty-five miles from Schellbourne.
KIT CARSON DISTRICT lies in a northerly direction from Humboldt Wells, distant about sixty miles, and was organized in 1872 by the same parties who located the Salmon District. Quite a number of locations were made, but developments are still necessary. The formations are granite and limestone. The ores contain gold, silver, and copper. Little, if any, work is in progress there at the present time.
LONE MOUNTAIN DISTRICT was organized in June, 1869, and is situated about thirty miles in a northerly direction from the town of Elko. Considerable excitement prevailed incident to the discovery of this mining locality, but soon died out from the want of confidence. Wood is scarce in the district,
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 395
but water in sufficient quantities is obtained from springs in the immediate vicinity. There are four or five miners at work there at the present time. W. R. Litchfield was the first Recorder.
LUCINE, OR BUELL, DISTRICT is situated about five miles from Tecoma, southeast of the Central Pacific Railroad; a portion of it lying in Utah, but the principal locations are in this State. There are several mines which produce smelting ore, one of them having a furnace very complete in its appointments, which was erected and equipped at an expense of nearly $40,000. This furnace is idle at present, and is the property of the estate of I. C. Bateman. The town was quite lively at one time, and there is still considerable prospecting in the vicinity. The population has dwindled down to about a dozen people. There is one hotel, one brewery, and a few houses. The ores are chiefly lead, but carry a large percentum of silver. Some beautiful specimens of wolframine from this camp were exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition, and received a prize medal. They were the property of Mr. — Adams.
MURRAY DISTRICT is situated in the northwest corner of the county, and was organized in July, 1869. The Eclipse, Wool, Kansas, Black Eagle, St. George, Raven, Lodi, and others, were at one time considered good claims. On the Wool claim there was a tunnel run about eighty-five feet. Shafts were sunk on other mines, but at the present time nothing is doing in the district.
ROCK CREEK DISTRICT was discovered in August, 1876, and is situated at the head of the creek, from which it is named, about ten miles distant from the town of Tuscarora, in a westerly direction. Good prospects are found, and about twenty-five miners are at work in the district. Wood and water are found in sufficient quantities for mining purposes in the immediate vicinity.
SALMON DISTRICT is situated near the Kit Carson, and about sixty miles north of the town of Toano, on the Salmon Falls River. It was organized in 1872 by Messrs. Hanks, Noll, and Lewis. The ores are principally copper, several tons of which have been shipped to San Francisco. Developments are necessary in order to judge what this district is capable of producing. There are some fine agricultural lands in the vicinity.
SOONER DISTRICT, formerly known as " Fair Weather," is situated about ten miles east of Mountain City, in the Bruneau range of mountains. It was first located in April, 1870, and organized in the following July. The geological formation is granite. The ores are argentiferous galena and copper. Wood and water for mining purposes are found in sufficient quantities near the location. The district at present is abandoned.
SPRUCE MOUNTAIN DISTRICT is situated about forty miles south of Humboldt Wells and due east from Elko. It was a lively camp in its earlier days, and still continues to exist, after experiencing many serious drawbacks. The Ingot Mining Company erected a magnificent smelting furnace at an enormous outlay, and for a time bid fair to astonish the world with its production of bullion; but for some unaccountable reason the furnace was closed down in 1872, long before the ore veins gave evidence of being worked out. The district is well watered and an abundant supply of wood is found very convenient to the mines. Other companies erected furnaces, and a bold endeavor was made to keep this camp in a lively condition, but to no purpose. The geological formation of the district is limestone and porphyry. Among the most prominent claims located there in the palmy days of this camp were the Star King, Latham, Fourth of July, Black Forest, Melrose, Iroquois Chief and others.
A New York company is putting up a large furnace at the present time, which will undoubtedly enliven things, and greater developments in the near future may be looked for. The camp at present contains two hotels, two saloons, one livery stable, one blacksmith shop, one butcher shop, six families and fifty miners.
TUSCARORA DISTRICT was organized in July, 1867, and lies in the mountains bearing the same name, about forty-five miles north from the town of Carlin, which is the nearest railroad station. The Owyhee River has its source in this locality, the waters of which flow into the Pacific Ocean. The district was discovered by the Beard Brothers, but the work was confined mostly to placer mining for some time thereafter. The principal quartz mines are Grand Prize, Argenta, Independence, Navajo, Belle Isle, Young America, South, Silver Star, Silver Prize, Star Spangled Banner and Commonwealth. The geological formation is porphyry, the veins generally running with the formation. The Grand Prize vein runs east and west while nearly all the others run north and south, and generally dip at an angle of 45° north, the Belle Isle lying nearly flat. The ores are nearly all free-milling, and carry gold in considerable quantities near the surface, which diminishes as the depth increases. The greatest depth of shaft was on the Grand Prize, about 600 feet. The longest tunnel is on the Independence Mine, which is about 1,500 feet.
Pine, fir and cottonwood timber is obtained from the Jack Creek Mountains, a distance of from ten to sixteen miles. The water supply for mining purposes is obtained from the mine. Freight is received by teams from Carlin and Elko, and costs from one and one-fourth to three cents per pound. At present there are about 500 miners in the district.
WYOMING DISTRICT is situated about twenty miles southeast of Cope District, and was discovered in October, 1869. Organization took place on the following third of November. The geological formation is granite and slate, with limestone near the
396 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
summit. In the mountains fir timber is found, while along the creek, which flows through the center of the district, cottonwood grows to a considerable extent. In the cañons are fine springs of clear, cold mountain water. Among the principal mines are the Mountain King, Chrysopolis and Miners Delight. The courses of these leads are northeast, and dip at an angle of 30° to the southeast. The ores contain silver, copper, antimony and arsenic. There is very little work being performed at the present time.
MINERAL SOAP MINE: A very remarkable deposit of mineral soap was discovered by the Hon. G. H. Shepherd in October, 1875, near the junction of Smith Creek and the south fork of the Little Humboldt River. It lies south of the railroad, and was discovered while in search of coal deposits. The formation in which the soap is found is of limestone. A stratum of coal one-half inch in thickness, lies fifty feet beneath this vein. The soap and coal veins lie horizontal, and parallel with, and in many respects bear a strong resemblance to each other. It is free from grit and makes a fine toilet soap, though not strong enough for bleaching or washing purposes. It is easily dug out with a shovel, and when dry crumbles to a dry powder.
An analysis made by a chemist gave the following qualitative result : Silicic acid, sesquioxide of aluminum, magnesia, oxide of iron, traces of lime, and water--corresponding to a mixture of clay and steatite, tinged by iron.
PRINCIPAL TOWNS AND CITIES.
CARLIN dates back in the annals of time to the year 1868. J. A. Palmer was the first settler, he having located in the month of July of that year. In the following September, S. Pierce joined with Mr. Palmer, and stands second on the list of pioneers of the town. In 1869 C. Boyen, James Clark, and others, settled there. This being the end of the Humboldt Division of the Central Pacific Railroad, a town sprang into existence in a very short time. The place is located on the Humboldt River bottom, with mountains on the north and south. The altitude, by railroad survey, is 4,897 feet. The round-house and car-shops of the Central Pacific Railroad being located at this place, gives it a lively appearance. Carlin was most prosperous in 1871, at which time there were about eight hundred inhabitants, while at the present time it has but about five hundred. The nearest towns are Elko, twenty-five miles east, Palisade; nine miles west, both on the line of the railroad ; Tuscarora is forty miles north.
The wood supply for the place is obtained from the mountains and consists of juniper and cottonwood. Water is procured from wells. One school house adorns the place, built in 1871, at an expense of $1,500, which sum was-raised principally by subscription. The building is of wood, is 30x60 feet, and will seat 100 scholars. The average attendance of children is about thirty-five. There is a Sunday-school with about fifty scholars, held under the auspices of the Episcopalian denomination; also a lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and one of the King Solomon Brotherhood.
Stock-raising and ranching is carried on to a considerable extent easterly of the town, many of the old settlers being engaged in those pursuits. On the night of November 28, 1879, the library building, furnished by the railroad company, was entirely consumed by fire, likewise 1,100 volumes of books, a piano, and the furniture, entailing a loss of $3,000, on which there was an insurance of $2,000. The value of taxable property in the township, not including that belonging to the railroad company, is about $50,000. There is a cemetery which is enclosed, but as the locality is exceedingly healthy, and there being no prevalent diseases, it has been but little used.
At present Carlin contains the railroad machine shops and round-house, four stores, one hotel, two saloons, two restaurants, two blacksmith shops, six other places of industry, one telegraph office, one express office, one physician, and one jail.
ELKO is the county seat of Elko County, and is situated on the north side of the Humboldt River, on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad, at an altitude of 5,060 feet above the sea level. George F. Paddleford is credited with being the first settler, he having anchored there as early as the first of December, 1869. Fred. Wilson came during the same month. Col. Frank Denver and Len Wines had selected this point early in 1869 as the most eligible for the receipt and discharging of freights and passengers from the railroads to the White Pine mining districts, and a road was laid out and constructed by these gentlemen connecting the two points. A line of stages was started by them, and were followed by Wells, Fargo & Co. and Hill Beachy & Co. Soon after this the railroad company laid out the town site and sold lots, through their agent, D. H. Haskell, at prices ranging from $300 to $500 per lot of 25x100 feet. These same lots sold, in the following June, for from $1,500 to $2,000, at which time the population had increased to 2,000, and the town contained 500 houses including shanties and tents.
The nearest towns are Carlin, twenty-five miles west, and Wells, fifty-five miles east, both on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad.
The Presbyterian denomination has a church built of wood, which cost about $2,000, and will seat 200 people. Two other religious organizations are in existence. The Presbyterians also conduct a Sunday-school, containing about ninety scholars.
Among the corporations are a large Milling Company, with a flouring mill, built at a cost of $12,000; the Elko Mining and Soap Deposit Company, organized in May, 1879; and the Water Company, organized in 1873. Water for the use of the town is taken from the Humboldt River, and conducted in
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 397
pipes wherever required. The supply is unlimited.
Freights are shipped from this point to Tuscarora, Railroad District, and to the neighboring valleys, at a cost of from three-fourths to one cent per pound; and supplies are received from San Francisco and the East.
There is considerable stock-raising and farming in the neighborhood, large quantities of wheat and barley being raised, most of which is shipped to the mines in the interior.
The Masons, Odd Fellows, Good Templars, Forresters, and Patrons of Husbandry, all have their lodges, and are generally in a flourishing condition. The first two mentioned own cemeteries for the burial of deceased members, which are enclosed and decorated. There is no public cemetery in the town. The prevalent diseases of the locality are of pulmonary character, but, as a general thing, the place is very healthy.
A school house of brick, 20x60 feet, with a seating capacity of 200, employing three teachers, with an attendance of about 150 scholars, is a noted feature, and a credit to the inhabitants. There is also a public hospital that ranks well with similar institutions elsewhere.
The total value of taxable property in the township is about $341,000; and the total length of the streets is about four miles, which are well supplied with sidewalks of brick and planks.
About one mile from the town are situated the Hot Sulphur Springs, one of those strange freaks of nature for which the State of Nevada is noted.
The Elko Independent, a daily and weekly newspaper, is published with S. S. Sears as editor and proprietor. The State University is located here.
Elko has been visited by the fiery elements at different times, the most disastrous of which occurred on the nineteenth of October, 1871, when that portion of the town lying between Fourth and Fifth Streets, on Commercial, was destroyed, including a large portion of Silver Street, known as Chinatown. The loss was upwards of $75,000, on which there was an insurance of about $10,000. On the twenty-first of January, 1875, another extensive fire burned that portion of Commercial Street lying between Fifth and Sixth Streets, with the exception of the two corner buildings. The loss incurred at this fire amounted to about $20,000.
A jail, built of brick, with iron cage cells, the structure costing $10,000, stands as a warning to evil-doers.
At present the town contains 800 population, ten stores, one hotel, seven saloons, two restaurants, two livery stables, two blacksmith shops, one lumber yard and ten other places of industry; one clergyman, five lawyers, two physicians, and two other professional men.
HENRY MARTIN GRANT,
Son of Cyril R. and Abby Fales (Mason) Grant, was born in Woonsockett, Rhode Island, September 4, 1842. He received a thorough education, his intention being to adopt the profession of civil engineer. At the age of eighteen years he left school, and was occupied in various clerical duties until 1863, when he engaged as clerk and accountant for a copper mining company, in the Lake Superior country. This he continued until 1866, when he came to the Pacific Coast in the interests of a New York company, who were developing mines in Nye County in this State. He remained in their employ two and a half years as chief accountant. In 1868, he returned to the East and was married to Miss N. Arda Rorison, daughter of D. B. Rorison, of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Mrs. Grant was born in Seneca County, New York, a lady of unusual force of character, excellent judgment and cultivated tastes; and, after a life of usefulness, departed this life, May 31, 1878. Upon the return of our subject to this coast, he accepted a position with the Owyhee Mining Company as accountant for the working of the Poorman Mine at Silver City, Idaho, where he remained until 1870, at which time he engaged in the banking business in Mountain City, Elko County, Nevada, for himself. He followed this business for three years, but failing to be remunerative it was abandoned, leaving him somewhat embarrassed; but through his extra exertions, and pure self-denial, he paid his indebtedness dollar for dollar. In 1873, he engaged
398 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
as cashier in a banking house at Elko, Elko County, Nevada, and there continued until 1880, when he was appointed, by Wells, Fargo & Co., as their agent in the same town, which position he now holds, and conducts in connection therewith, a general insurance business. In 1878, he received the Republican nomination for County Treasurer, and was elected by a majority of 627 votes, this in a strongly Democratic county, being a strong indorsement of his standing in the community. Mr. Grant is, at present, also largely interested in stock-raising and farming in Ruby Valley, Elko County. He has an interesting family of three children: Harry M., born January 15, 1872; Adele, born March 31, 1874; and Sarah A., born July 15, 1875.
FORT HALLECK was established in July, 1867, by Capt. S. P. Smith, of the Eighth United States Cavalry, under orders from the General commanding the Department of California. This fort is on the right bank of Cottonwood Creek, about six miles from its source, and the same distance above its junction with Secret Creek, thirty miles southeast from the town of Elko. It is in latitude 40° 48' 45" north, longitude 115° 19' 34" west, altitude 5,800 feet, magnetic variation 16° 21' 24", and has a post-office, at present in charge of Charles E. Mayer. The military reservation covers about nine square miles. There are no large tribes of Indians now in this vicinity. A few wandering Shoshones are seen occasionally.
The East Humboldt Range is directly back of the fort. Several of the peaks rise to a height of 12,000 feet above the sea. The range is scantily covered with a growth of mahogany, pine, cedar, and aspen. In the cañon is a fair growth of cottonwood, poplar and willow.
The soil is a rich, black loam, quite fertile when irrigated. The country is exposed to frosts almost every month in the year, so that only the hardier vegetables can be raised. June, July and August are generally very warm. The winters are usually long and the snow-fall very heavy. The prevailing wind is from the southwest. The annual rain-fall at the fort in three years was 6.61 inches. The health of the country is excellent. The mean temperature is 46°. The maximum temperature for several years past was 108°. Minimum, 27° below zero. Maj. Geo. B. Sanford, of the First United States Cavalry, is commander of the fort. The garrison consists of Company I, First United States Cavalry and Company G, Eighth United States Infantry.
N. J. B. TOLLEY
Is a native of La Fayette County, Wisconsin. When but thirteen years of age, he started for California by the overland route in company with a brother, and being a delicate boy suffered greatly from the privations consequent upon such a long and tedious trip. His first occupation after reaching the land of gold was mining at Placerville, El Dorado County,
J. B. Tolley.
California, where he was not favored by dame fortune, and soon afterwards accepted the position of clerk in a grocery store at Michigan Bar, Sacramento County, where he remained during the winter. In 185I, he emigrated to Trinity County, in the same State, and again sought his fortune in the mines on Texas Bar; but the hostility of the Indians was a great hindrance, and the severity of the winter of 1852, caused much suffering among the bold pioneers of that region. In 1853, Mr. Tolley invested in a pack-train, packing supplies from Colusa to the northern mines, enduring all manner of hardships in the interests of his enterprise. In 1854, ho returned to the State of Wisconsin, and devoted himself to a course of mental culture, attending a select school at Mineral Point, and afterwards the seminary at Plattsville, reaping invaluable benefits therefrom. In 1861he, in company with his father, drove a herd of cattle across the plains to Trinity County, California, and experienced great trouble from the redskins, having some desperate skirmishes with them. Upon his arrival in California again, he pursued mining until 1862, when he returned to his native State. The next year he again sought the Pacific Coast, accompanied by his family, this time taking the route via the Isthmus of Panama. For seven years he followed his old occupation, that of mining, when he received the appointment as agent for Woodruff & Ennor's Stage Line, at Elko, and was afterward appointed as assistant superintendent of the Leopard Mill and Mining Company, at Cornucopia. In 1876 he was elected to the Assembly, and in 1878 he removed to Tuscarora, his present place of residence, from whence he was elected Senator from Elko County, a position he now holds.
HISTORY OF ELKO COUNTY. 399
Is a native of Christian county, Kentucky, and was born on March 14, 1827. His parents were farmers, and at the tender age of sixteen years he commenced the battle of life for himself. In 1845 he went to New Orleans, Louisiana, and entered the employ of a wholesale firm as salesman. The breaking out of the Mexican War caused him to leave his situation, and he became one of the first volunteers in answer to the call by General Gaines for six-months men to assist General Taylor on the Rio Grande. One year later he returned to Kentucky, and spent the succeeding five years in the employ of W. W. Western, a stock dealer.
In 1853 he started, with a band of cattle, from Texas for California, and spent the winter in the Cherokee Country, and completed the journey the next summer, delivering the stock at Redding, Shasta County, California. He then remained with his brother, J. A. Shepherd, at the place then known as Doak & Bonsell's Ferry.
In 1858 he commenced merchandising at same place, now known as Shepherd's Ferry, on the San Joaquin river, in San Joaquin County. In the spring of 1866 he closed out his business at that place, and, with a large stock of goods and a band of horses, went to Virginia City, Montana, disposing of them at a decided advantage, and in the fall returned to California. In the spring of 1868 he came to Nevada and settled in the valley of the south fork of the Humboldt River, in Elko County. The next fall he commenced to grade what is known as the Elko and Hamilton Toll-road, the first road of the kind in eastern Nevada, and for six months after its completion was a bonanza, but Hill Beachey constructed an opposition route running parallel with it, and the bonanza ceased to exist. After the White Pine excitement was over his attention was turned to stock-raising, a business he still follows. In the early organization of Elko County he was elected County Treasurer. and he has been twice elected to the State Senate, having two years of his present term yet to serve, and rejoices in the fact that he was born a Democrat and has never sold his birthright. His nominations at the hands of his party have been without opposition, and the journals of the State Senate reveal a record of his unvaried hostility to monopolies that in itself speaks volumes. It is safer to trust a man's record than his promises.
400 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
HUMBOLDT WELLS is situated on the Central Pacific Railroad, fifty-seven miles east of Elko and thirty-six miles west of Toano. It was first brought into existence by the railroad company, as a station, being the end of the Humboldt and Ogden Division. It lies on an open plain at an altitude of 5,629 feet above the sea. On the south are seen the snowcapped mountains, elevated 10,700 feet above the sea level, reaching with majestic grandeur away up among the clouds. In every direction mountains are to be seen from this town, though those on the south rear themselves far above their neighbors. The station was established in 1869, and R. P. Hamill was the first settler, he being the agent for the railroad company, and also for Wells, Fargo & Co. His date of settlement was in September of the last-named year. The next settlers were H. P. Renshaw and Wm. Humphreys, who opened a saloon in a log shanty on Christmas, 1869. P. D. Freese and T. A. Jones arrived in 1870. Badt & Cohn opened a store in 1871. The first hotel was built and opened to the public by J. H. Smith in the same year, and is now known as the Depot Hotel. In 187I a stage line was established, running south, by way of Spruce Mountain, to Schellbourne, and that, in connection with the developments of the mines, by an Eastern company from Philadelphia, gave the place a start.
From 1872 until 1876 the place was most prosperous, though the population never exceeded 300. A supply of wood, consisting of mountain mahogany, nut pine and cedar, is obtained in the mountains to the east. The water supply is from wells and springs, there being no public water-works. A school house, built of wood, capable of accommodating fifty scholars, has an attendance of about forty children, under the instruction of one teacher.
Among the curiosities of nature that are found in this vicinity are the celebrated Humboldt Wells, from which the town derives its name, mention of which is made in the general history, page 18.
On the twenty-fourth of March, 1877, there was an extensive fire, that swept away the main part of the town, including the buildings belonging to the railroad company. This was a sad blow to the business interests, and the loss was very heavy, amounting to about $50,000. The fire was undoubtedly of incendiary origin. Another fire occurred February 21, 1881, which entailed a loss of about $20,000. Notwithstanding these calamities there is still life in the place.
In the cemetery are twenty-three graves, mostly of children. The prevalent diseases are mountain fever and pneumonia.
Stock-raising around the outskirts of the town is quite extensive, though agricultural pursuits are not engaged in to any great extent.
At present the place contains 160 persons, the round-house and railroad buildings, two general merchandise stores, two grocery and variety stores, one hotel, two saloons, one restaurant, two barbershops, one blacksmith-shop, one livery stable, two breweries, one harness-shop, one Chinese store. The official name of the place is Wells.
TUSCARORA is one of the most prosperous towns in the State, and was first started by men who were in search of the gold placer mines reported, by the Indians, to be located in that vicinity. According to the best authority obtainable Hamilton McCan was the first settler, he arriving in the month of September, 1867, and during the next month, Warren Shoecraft, Tim Brown, M. H. Black and the Beard brothers, John and Stephen, arrived there. The location of the foregoing gentlemen was at Old Tuscarora, about two and one-half miles southwest of the present town, and is now deserted. An adobe fort was built in 1868 by the settlers for protection against the Indians, and is still standing.
In 1875, the discovery of silver caused an excitement, and many people rushed to the new El Dorado during the year, at which time the present town was started, situated at the foot of the mountains which bear its name, on the west side of Independence Valley, about four miles from its head. Among the first to settle in the present town was A. V. Lancaster, who put up the first building, which was used as a store, boarding-house, and saloon.
In 1876 it was a very lively camp and contained about 3,000 inhabitants, and though the population has decreased, the prosperity of the place still remains. It is located on the foot-hills which skirt the valley at an altitude of about 7,000 feet. The houses are built principally of wood, though there are some constructed of brick, stone and adobe. The nearest towns are Cornucopia twenty-five miles, Columbia forty-five miles, and Mountain City. The wood supply is obtained from the mountains on the opposite side of the valley, and consists of pine, cottonwood, quaking-aspen and alder. The water is supplied by a private company and is obtained from the mountains back of town. There are two churches, Methodist and Catholic. A Sunday-school connected with the former contains about sixty scholars.
The mining interests have kept the town in existence, the quartz-mills furnishing employment for many men. The Grand Prize, twenty stamps; Tuscarora, Independence and Navajo, ten stamps; Lancaster, ten stamps; and De Frees, ten stamps; being located at this place.
Freights are received by teams from Elko and Carlin, the former fifty-eight miles, and the latter forty-six miles distant. The cost of transportation from these places being from one and one-quarter to three cents per pound.
Tuscarora has a school of about 150 scholars, employing three teachers, although no regular school building has been constructed. The building used is a wood structure 25x45 feet, and is rented for that purpose.
[Illustrations -- B.H. REYMERS; MRS. B.H. REYMERS; RESIDENCE AND RANCH OF B.H. REYMERS. MASON VALLEY, ESMERALDA CO., NEVADA]
HISTORY OF ESMERALDA COUNTY. 401
There is considerable stock-raising in the vicinity, but agricultural pursuits are not engaged in to any great extent. The Hot Springs in close proximity to the place are a great natural curiosity. The Times-Review, a daily twenty-column newspaper, is published here by O. L. C. Fairchild, and is one of the live papers of the State.
The town has a number of secret societies, among which are Tuscarora Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, Tuscarora and Cornucopia Lodges Independent Order of Odd Fellows, also a lodge of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and the Tuscarora Miners' Union.
The total value of taxable property in the township is about $700,000.
Tuscarora has been very fortunate in regard to fires, there having been but few of any consequence. Among them was the burning of the Grand Prize Mill, January 1, 1879, which caused a loss of about $20,000, and the destruction of J. R Wilkin's hotel and some other buildings, which proved a loss to their owners of about $16,000, on which there was an insurance of $6,000.
The prevalent diseases are mountain fever, pneumonia, and diphtheria.
There is no jail, which speaks well for the inhabitants, a small lock-up answering every purpose in that line.
At present the town contains twelve stores, one hotel, eleven saloons, eight restaurants, two livery stables, three blacksmith shops, three butcher shops, one telegraph office, one express office, two assay offices, two clergymen, two physicians, four lawyers.