February 19, 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. 512-527]
512 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
HISTORY OF NYE COUNTY.
Early Explorations—Petition and Remonstrance—Organization and Boundaries—Appointments and Elections—Economy and Healthy Growth—Debt and County Buildings—Grazing and Agriculture—Valleys of the County—Principal Mining Districts—Principal Towns and Cities—Hon. George Ernst —Hon. J. T. Williams.
ORGANIZED in 1864 and named in honor of Gov. J. W. Nye. In the organization of the Territory of Nevada, all that part south of the thirty-ninth parallel and east of Mason Valley was assigned to Esmeralda County. Little was then known of the region, excepting that about Aurora and a narrow belt leading thereto from the north. All the east was an unexplored wilderness, with the exception of a few localities. Some of the old maps had a line running through Smoky Valley, designated as " Fremont's Trail in 1845," and along it were the names of San Antonio Peak, Hot Springs, Twin Rivers and Smoky Creek.
Little or nothing more was known of that section of the Territory prior to the Reese River excitement of 1862-63. Soon after the settlement of Austin, prospectors went on exploring expeditions along the Toiyabe range, which extends southward beyond the limits of Lander County. In that range were soon organized the districts of Washington and Marysville on the western slope, and Twin River on the eastern slope. In Reese River Valley, part of which was in Esmeralda County, several ranches were located and settlements were made.
Prospectors were thought exceeding bold who penetrated the unknown country beyond sight or easy reach of known springs or water-courses, and it was some time before any dry valleys were crossed. South of the Lander County line the Toiyabe range is a high and precipitous ridge from 8,000 to 12,000 feet in height, and flowing down both sides are numerous streams, generally sinking in the border of the subjacent valleys, but Reese River, coming from the southern part of the range, continues its course 100 miles or more to the north. These supplies of water led the prospectors south. Heading Reese River Valley and inclosing it on the west is the Shoshone range, and this was next explored. On the western slope of this range silver-bearing veins were found in 1863. Union District was organized and the town of Ione was soon built in the midst of supposed rich mines.
PETITION AND REMONSTRANCE.
The causes which led to the organization of Nye County are partially set forth in a petition to the Territorial Legislature, signed by a large number of pioneers, who had recently discovered a new mining district, and reads as follows:
To His Excellency, the Governor, and the Honorable members of the Legislature of the Territory of Nevada--
We, the undersigned residents of Nevada Territory, respectfully represent that we are residents of
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a newly-discovered mining district, which is now known as "Union District; " that the same is situated in the range of mountains lying between the valley of Reese River on the east and the valley of Smith Creek on the west. We are distant from the city of Austin, in Lander County, in a southerly direction about sixty miles, and from Aurora, in Esmeralda County, in an easterly direction, about 100 miles. Now we, your petitioners and residents of this district, pray your honorable bodies that you take into consideration the propriety of forming a county for us, believing that our ends and the ends of justice will be better subserved by so doing.
Immediately upon the presentation of the above petition, a remonstrance was forwarded to the Governor and Legislature, which was extensively signed by residents of Lander County, protesting against the cession of any portion of their county to the proposed new corporate body. Nevertheless, a bill was introduced into the Assembly for the creation of Nye County, and was favorably reported upon by the committee to whom it was referred. In reporting the committee stated that the proposed county contained from 1,000 to 1,500 people.
ORGANIZATION AND BOUNDARIES.
The bill to organize the county of Nye was approved and became a law February 16, 1864. The territory of the new county was thus described:-
Beginning at the intersection of the thirty-ninth parallel of north latitude with the meridian of longitude 40° 30' west from Washington; thence running east along said thirty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the eastern boundary of the Territory of Nevada; thence running south along said eastern boundary to the point of intersection with the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude; thence running along said thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude west to the California line, and northwest along said California line to the point of intersection with the meridian of longitude 40° 30' west from Washington; thence running north along said meridian to the place of beginning.
Subsequent to the original creative Act the boundaries of Nye County have been changed six times. On the ninth day of March, 1865, half a degree was ceded to Esmeralda County, making the eastern boundary of the county the meridian of longitude 40° 30' west from Washington. February 26, 1866, a large part of the southeastern portion of Nye was formed into Lincoln County. May 5, 1866, an Act was approved by the President of the United States extending the eastern boundary of Nevada sixty miles into Utah, and adding to this State all its present area south of the thirty-ninth parallel of latitude. This addition on the south increased the territory of Nye; but on March 2, 1869, a portion of Nye was added to White Pine. March 5, 1869, the western boundary of the county was established as at present. In 1875 that part of Nye east of the one hundred and fifteenth meridian west from Greenwich was added to Lincoln and White Pine. The area is 18,432 square miles.
APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS.
Below, under appropriate heads, will be found the names of all the persons who have filled the different offices of honor and trust in the county from its organization down to the present time, either by appointment or election, with the date of such appointment or election and the particular office each has filled.
F. M. Proctor, elected November 8, 1864, and vacated his seat September 20, 1866; J. G. Riddle, elected November 6, 1866; Robert Mullen, elected November 3, 1868; D. P. Walter, elected November 5, 1872; H. T. Cresswell, elected November 7, 1876; J. T. Williams, elected November 2, 1880.
A. C. Bearss, elected November 8, and re-elected November 7, 1865; J. M. Graves and W. T. Jones, elected November 6, 1866; Wm. Doolin and John Bowman, elected November 3, 1868; Bowman and A. H. Greenbalgh, elected November 8, 1870; Bowman and J. A. Prague, elected November 5, 1872; John B. McGee and P. M. Ellison, elected November 3, 1874; T. J. Bell and J. M. Caldwell, elected November 7, 1876; W. B. Taylor and J. T. Williams, elected November 5, 1878; T. J. Bell and Geo. Ernst, elected November 2, 1880.
Wm. B. Gould, G. A. Swasey and Lucius B. Moore were appointed by the Executive April 4, 1864. Moore did not accept and E. C. Southworth was appointed to fill the place July 6, 1864; J. M. Bowes, J. P. Courter and A. H. Simmonds were elected September 7, 1864. Courter resigned March, 1865, John L. Craig appointed. O. T. Clark, elected November 8, 1865; A. T. Hatch, J. S. Bernard and W. N. Smyth were elected November 6, 1866. Hatch resigned September 26, 1868; Samuel Tallman, J. A. Ball and J. S. Tipton, elected November 3, 1868, E. G. Bruen, A. Pearson and R. A. Prior, elected November 8, 1870. The vote between Pearson and Prior was a tie. R. M. King, E. G. Bruen, and P. M. Ellison, elected November 5, 1872. Ellison resigned September 27, 1873; Joseph Stowe appointed to fill the place. C. E. Ashburn and B. McCann were elected November 3, 1874. W. C. Humphrey and T. F. Morgan, elected November 7, 1876; Andrew Bradley and J. G. Mitchell, elected November 5, 1878; A. H. Spaulding and John Gooding, elected November 2, 1880. At a meeting of the Commissioners June 5, 1865, J. C. Johnson appears as a member of the Board, there is nothing on the minutes to show how he came there.
Elias C. Brearley appointed by the Executive April 8, 1864, resigned July 28, 1864, George W. Merrill appointed, and elected September 7, 1864, and re-elected November 6, 1866; George R. Williams,
514 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
elected November 3, 1868, and re-elected November 8, 1870; Frank Owen, elected November 5, 1872; H. T. Cresswell, elected November 3, 1874; Benjamin Curler, elected November 7, 1876, and re-elected November 5, 1878; J. I. Griffith, elected November 2, 1880.
Edward Irwin, appointed by the Executive April 8, 1864, re-elected September 7, 1864, resigned June 5, 1865, A. Ranney appointed to fill vacancy, and elected November 7, 1865, re-elected November 6, 1866; Robert Stein, elected November 3, 1868, and re-elected November 8, 1870; J. M. Caldwell, elected November 5, 1872, and re-elected November 3, 1874; W. H. Huyck, elected November 7, 1876; David O'Neil, elected November 5, 1878, and re-elected November 2, 1880.
George W. Chandler, appointed by the Executive, April 11, 1864; E. D. Turner, elected September 7, 1864; J. M. Bellrude, elected November 6, 1866; W. A. Brophy, elected November 3, 1868, re-elected November 8, 1870; G. Nicholl, elected November 5, 1872, and re-elected November 3, 1874, November 7, 1876, November 5, 1878, and November 2, 1880.
Henry D. Groot, appointed by the Executive April 4, 1864, resigned July 28, 1864, P. C. Turner was appointed to fill the place; A. Ranney, elected September 7, 1864, resigned June 5, 1865, and A. A. Simmonds was appointed to fill the place; John Sharp, elected November 7, 1865; William Locker, elected November 6, 1866; Perry Coleman elected November 3, 1868, and failing to file additional bonds the office was declared vacant August 20, 1870, and C. F. Singletary was appointed, and elected November 8, 1870; A. McLean, elected November 5, 1872, and re-elected November 3, 1874, re-elected again November 7, 1876, November 5, 1878, and November 2, 1880.
D. P. McHay, appointed by the Executive April 4, 1864; S. Brees, elected September 7, 1864, failed to qualify; James H. Berry, appointed April 6, 1865; Stephen Roberts, elected November 7, 1865, re-elected November 6, 1866, November 3, 1868, and November 8, 1870; Thos. Morgan, elected November 5, 1872; T. Warburton, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876, and November 5, 1878; T. F. Morgan, elected November 2, 1880.
Nicholas Smith, appointed by the Executive April 4, 1864; Joseph Stowe, elected September 7, 1864, and re-elected November 6, 1866; John Sharp, elected November 3, 1868, and re-elected November 8, 1870; J. J. Falkinheim, elected November 5, 1872; James A. Service, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876 George Ernst, elected November 5, 1878; M. R. Delano, elected November 2, 1880.
COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS.
H. D. Hoyt, elected September 7, 1864; Thomas Cahill, elected November 7, 1865; B. W. Crowell, elected November 6, 1866; G. R. Alexander, elected November 3, 1868, resigned July 6, 1869, and Jno. Powers appointed; J. V. Hathaway, elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5, 1872, resigned April 9, 1873; C. E. Ashburn, appointed, who resigned July 7, 1873, and E. C. Southworth was appointed; F. C. Granger, elected November 3, 1874; M. R. Delano, elected November 7, 1876, and resigned April 2, 1878; R. M. King was appointed ; J. R. Daugherty, elected November 5, 1878, and re-elected November 2, 1880.
John F. Kidder, was appointed by the Executive April 4, 1864; Francis Tagliabue, elected September 7, 1864; D. S. Childs, elected November 6, 1866; J. A. Phillips, elected November 3, 1868, office declared vacant January 4, 1872, and A. D. Rock was appointed; John Jack, elected November 8, 1870, office declared vacant January 4, 1872, and George Ernst was appointed; J. C. Ogden, elected November 5, 1872, failed to qualify, and George Ernst was appointed April 3, 1873, and elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876; A. M. Hawkins, elected November 5, 1878; Aug. Matthews, elected November 2, 1880.
S. L. Baker, appointed by the Executive, April 4, 1864; C. E. Ashburn, elected November 6, 1866, failed to qualify, and G. A. Swasey was appointed, January 6, 1868, and resigned, July 21, 1868; L. W. Ferris, appointed to fill vacancy, was elected November 3, 1868, and resigned November 18, 1868, W. W. Brown appointed to fill the place; J. Cornell, elected November 8, 1870; J. W. Hollis, elected November 5, 1872; C. C. Dykeman, elected November 3, 1874; J. L. Thomason, elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878; A. Crabtree, elected November 2, 1880.
ECONOMY AND HEALTHY GROWTH.
The territory originally embraced in Nye County was carved out of Esmeralda.
April 2, 1864, in accordance with the Creative Act, the Governor issued his proclamation, locating the county seat at Ione City, and appointing the first county officers.
The County Commissioners thus appointed convened at the county seat April 26, 1864, and qualified by taking the prescribed oath of office and the oath of allegiance.
A tax was then ordered of eighty cents on each $100 worth of taxable property in the county, to be made immediately payable; and the Clerk was instructed to notify the Auditor, Assessor, Treasurer and Tax Collector of the fact. Thus was the machinery placed, and the wheels of government
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were set in motion. Although the birth of the new county was ushered in by the discovery of a new mining district, there was not that unbridled extravagance in the management of its financial affairs which characterized and distinguished many of the county organizations of the State.
A Court House was necessary, and the modest sum of $800 was deemed sufficient for the construction of a building for that purpose.
The wisdom of the Commissioners, in this regard, is now apparent, as the county seat was removed from Ione in three years' time. February 6, 1867, the Legislature of the State passed an Act decreeing that from and after the fifteenth day of the following May, the county seat of Nye County should be at the town of Belmont, to which place the public records, archives and officers were moved on the day provided.
The numerous mines located in that vicinity, and the rapid developments that were being made, attracted wealth and population, and Belmont soon became an important center for all kinds of business. The year previous and the year following the change of the county seat, several quartz mills were constructed in the district, of which Belmont was the center.
DEBT AND COUNTY BUILDINGS.
In 1874 it was found necessary to build a Court House and county jail at the county seat, with accommodations to meet the wants of the growing county. The sum of $34,000 was appropriated for this purpose, and the bonds of the county were issued to cover the appropriation. This fact will explain the great increase of the county debt in the year 1875, which was $69,101. The total valuation of property for that year was $1,500,000. The population was nearly 2,000. From that year to the present the county indebtedness has steadily diminished, and the population remains about the same.
The bullion product of Nye, although aggregating nearly $8,000,000, has not been so great as that of some other counties, nor the returns from her agriculture so satisfactory. Still the affairs of the county are, and always have been, in a healthy and flourishing condition.
In the tables, found on pages 135, 136, 139 and 140 of the general history, can be seen the total products of the county, the number of acres under cultivation, the stock and grain raised, and the fruit trees and vineyards under training. For the bullion product of the county see table elsewhere in this book.
GRAZING AND AGRICULTURE.
The topography of the county differs little from that of the major portion of Nevada, consisting of valleys running north and south, and of mountain spurs and ranges. A few years ago Nye was considered a fine grazing country, but its feed supply has been nearly destroyed by the large herds of stock which have been subsisted within its boundaries for several seasons past. During the last two years more than 10,000 head of cattle have been driven away. The summer feed consists of bunch grass. The winter feed is white sage, a fine forage plant growing from eight to ten inches high, which is not eaten by stock till after a heavy frost occurs, which latter sweetens or softens the plant. Cattle are then very fond of it, and prefer it to anything else, and, where it is abundant, will fatten on it through the severest winters known in Nevada. The ranchers of this county have never been seriously troubled with grasshoppers, but crops are frequently injured by frosts. With the exception of barley, very little grain is raised. Alfalfa does well, and is being introduced where sufficient water can be had for irrigation purposes.
In 1874 the Surveyor General reported ten ditches in the county for this purpose, and that 3,000 acres of land were being supplied with water sufficient to make them productive. Fruit trees, especially apples, pears and plums, were being cultivated with good success. At that time the value of taxable property in the county was a little over $1,500,000, nearly two-thirds of which was personal property. Since then the value of personal property has been reduced one-half, while the real estate value has remained about the same, showing that while the mining interests of the county have materially declined, the farming and grazing interests have about held their own.
VALLEYS OF THE COUNTY.
DUCKWATER VALLEY commences about seven miles south of the north line of the county, and runs southerly into Railroad Valley. It is three-quarters of a mile wide and about twelve miles long, and is well watered by Duckwater Creek. It almost entirely consists of meadow land, only about 800 acres of which are under cultivation. It produces all kinds of grain and vegetables, which are only slightly liable to injury by frost. Many fruit trees have been planted, none of which are yet old enough to bear.
HOT CREEK VALLEY runs nearly parallel with Railroad Valley, and is about eight miles wide and 200 miles long. It affords good winter grazing, producing white sage in abundance. Its water supply is insufficient, being obtained from small creeks and springs. No families occupy the valley at present. The towns of Hot Creek, Tybo and Morey are in the bordering mountains.
MONITOR VALLEY lies to the westward of Hot Creek Valley and extends about seventy miles southerly from the northern boundary of the county, and is about eight miles wide. It is watered by Pine and Mosquito Creeks and several other small streams. Only about 300 acres of its entire area are under cultivation; the balance consists of hay land. This valley was first settled in 1866 by Jacob and Samuel Stainenger. Soon afterwards George and Thomas Andrews settled near them, and in a difficulty which
516 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
ultimately followed, Thomas Andrews was killed. The Stainengers were acquitted.
RALSTON VALLEY commences at a point sixty miles south of the northern line of the county near the town of Belmont, and runs to the southern line. It is about eight miles wide, contains no water, and no attempts to settle it have ever been made. It was named in memory of Judge James Ralston, who left Austin on May 1, 1864, to go to his ranch, situated about thirty-five miles southwest of Austin. Losing his way, he crossed several mountain ranges, and on the eighth of May died of exposure and starvation at the edge of the valley bearing his name, at a locality sixteen miles southeast of Belmont. He had traveled more than 250 miles. Some days after his departure from Austin, his friends feared that something had befallen him, and a search party was dispatched to overtake him, but returned unsuccessful. A second party was organized, and, accompanied by Indians, trailed him to the place of his death, and recovered his body. Here and there, on their way, they discovered evidences that he had fed on mountain berries, and bad been sufficiently refreshed to resume his dreary pilgrimage. On the day he died be was observed by an Indian while staggering along in a demented condition. The Indian remarked to his squaw that " that man would die before night," and approaching the Judge endeavored to take charge of him, but was unable to do so, and found his body on the following morning. The Indian refrained from communicating the fact to the whites for fear of being charged with murder. In 1837, Judge Ralston succeeded Stephen A. Douglas as Judge of the Fifth District of Illinois. Later he was a State Senator in Illinois, and a Quartermaster in the army during the Black Hawk War. In 1850 be removed to Sacramento, California, and became a State Senator, and about 1860 came to Nevada. At the time of his death his family resided at Austin.
RAILROAD VALLEY, on some maps called Warm Springs Valley, lies between the White Pine Range and the Pancake range of mountains, and is twelve miles wide and nearly 200 miles long. This valley was first settled in 1867 by Alexander Beaty and others. There is a lack of water, which is found only in occasional spots, but not in sufficient quantities for use in irrigation. There is enough for stock-raising, however, and the valley is a good stock-raising region, producing plenty of white sage and sand grass. It also contains two salt marshes, which supply the local demand for salt for milling and domestic purposes. There is at present but one family in the valley.
REESE RIVER VALLEY, which extends south from Lander County and reaches thirty miles into Nye, is eight miles wide, well watered and contains eighteen ranches and fifty inhabitants. About 900 acres have been brought under cultivation, much of which is white sage land which yields well.
SIERRA, or WHITE RIVER, VALLEY extends across the eastern part of the county and is an extensive grazing region with a number of fine ranches in it.
SMOKY VALLEY also commences in Lander County, and for 140 miles runs southward through Nye, a little west of the center, being about fifteen miles in width, and watered by numerous small streams and springs. H. Robinson and William Shay were the first settlers. They took up land as early as 1863. The valley now contains thirteen ranches and forty inhabitants, and 500 acres of ground are under cultivation. The crops suffer very little from frost, the reverse of which is the case in the principal portions of the county. An extensive salt marsh is in the central part of the valley, from which large quantities of salt is gathered for the supply of the quartz mills of the neighboring districts. Some remarkable hot springs, elsewhere described, are in the southern part.
PRINCIPAL MINING DISTRICTS.
BLUE SPRING DISTRICT is situated about fifty miles southerly from Austin, and about seventeen miles northerly from the stage station of Hot Spring. Mineral discoveries were made there in 1867, upon which a district was immediately organized. Fifteen locations have been made. The formation in which the veins are found consists of slate, quartz, porphyry and granite. The veins run with the formation, in the direction of northeast and southwest. The ore is low grade, is both free and base, and contains a trace of gold. A fifty-foot shaft is the deepest in the district. Freight charges to Austin are twenty dollars per ton. Timber and water are scarce. No mills have yet been erected, and but little work has been done in the district for several years. The ore is worked by milling and roasting, and has thus far been taken to Park Canon in North Twin District. The name of the post-office at Blue Spring District is Minnium. The mining records are kept by J. H. Greenbalgh.
DANVILLE DISTRICT is situated in the Monitor range of mountains, about half way between Hot Creek and Eureka, and a little westerly of the direct line. Ore was discovered by P. W. Mansfield in 1866, and a district organized which was re-organized in 1870. Quartz veins are found in a formation of limestone, running north and south with the formation, and dipping to the west at an angle of forty-five degrees. The ore is free, and bears a small trace of gold. It is most advantageously worked by the milling process. Spring water is abundant, and nut pine grows in close proximity. The freight rate to Eureka, by team, is thirty-five dollars per ton. The principal mines are the Sage Hen, Boston, Eucalyptus, Argonaut and Richmond. The greatest depth of shaft is in the Boston, 150 feet; the greatest length of tunnel is in the Eucalyptus, 125 feet. About thirty locations
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have been made thus far. The ore is hauled to Morey. From 1877 to 1879 about twenty men worked in the various mines, but only five are now employed, and very little more than assessment work is done. Some of the ore assays from $200 to $600 per ton. The mining records are kept by Frank Miller.
EMPIRE DISTRICT takes in a portion of the town of Tybo, and is in the Hot Creek range, about 100 miles southerly from Eureka. Ore was discovered in August, 1866, by John Centers, D. B. Haight, J. B. Saburn, E. P. Sine, and others, and a district was immediately organized. The principal mines are the Bunker Hill, Mayflower and Sclavonian Chief. The greatest length of tunnel is in the Bunker Hill, 200 feet; the greatest depth of shaft, 180 feet. The formation is of limestone, running southeast and northwest, the veins running with it and dipping to the east at an angle of thirty degrees. The ores are both free and base, and contain lead, iron, a little copper and a small percentage of gold. The number of locations in the district is 168, and the number of mines twenty. Little more than prospecting has ever been done excepting in the Bunker Hill Mine, from which about 2,000 tons of ore have been taken that yielded from thirty to thirty-five dollars per ton. Small lots of surface deposits have been shipped from the district which went as high as $500 per ton, but no permanent ledge of such value has been found. Sufficient spring-water is available, and at a distance of eight miles nut pine is abundant. The ore is worked by the milling process. Freight teamed from Eureka costs forty dollars per ton. The mining records of the district are kept by J. D. Page, of Tybo.
GRANT DISTRICT was organized on the twenty-seventh of October, 1868, and lies on the western slope of the White Pine Mountains, at a locality seventy-five miles south of Hamilton. The formation is of talcose slate, which dips to the east. 'The two principal mineral veins also dip to the east at an angle of forty-five degrees. They run parallel. The mountain is lofty, broken and precipitous, and affords an abundant supply of white and yellow pine, fir and other woods valuable either for fuel or timber. Water and grass are also abundant. The Meridian ledge is about four feet wide, the ore of which contains carbonate of copper and chloride of silver. The width of Blue Eagle ledge is five feet, the ore of which is a green and blue carbonate of copper. Assays show silver as high as $300 dollars per ton. Very little work has been done in the district. Butterfield's Salt Marsh is adjacent, and could produce an unlimited amount of salt for milling purposes. In 1869 a considerable quantity of ore was shipped to Austin from Grant District, and yielded from $500 to $600 per ton. The ore is base.
HOT CREEK DISTRICT was organized in 1866, ore having been discovered by William Waters, William Robinson, and others. The mining records are kept by W. Gluys. There are ten miners in the district, and the number of locations is 200. The formation is limestone running north and south, the veins running with it, and dipping to the east at an angle of eighty-five degrees. The ore is free-milling, bears a small per cent. of gold, assays as high as $900 per ton, and averages about $250. The principal mines are the Old Dominion, New Dominion, Coal Burner, Wyandott, Mountain View, Free Ore Ledge, Oliver Twist and Night Watch. The Old Dominion has a shaft 300 feet deep, and the Night Watch a tunnel 300 feet long. Freight is teamed from Eureka, a distance of eighty-five miles, at the rate of forty dollars per ton. Water is abundant, and plenty of nut pine is to be had at a distance of two miles. The mineral belt included in this district is about six miles long and a mile in width. There is a belt of slate on the east of the mines, and near them an outcropping of transition rock. The district received its name from a great natural curiosity, being a stream of hot water of several hundred inches in measurement, and running for several miles in a deep chasm through the mountains, sinking in a tule marsh in a valley east of the range.
JACKSON DISTRICT is in the Ione, or Shoshone, range of mountains, thirty miles south of the railroad station of Ledlie, and ten miles west of the stage station of Barrett. Ore was discovered in 1864 by a. prospector named Thomas Barnes, and the North Union District was organized. In 1878 it was reorganized under the name of Jackson District. The veins are found in a formation of porphyry and syenite, and run north and south, the veins running with it, and dipping to the east at an angle of from forty to sixty degrees. The ores are free and contain metal that is forty per cent. of silver and sixty per cent. of gold. The principal mines are the San Francisco, Arctic and North Star. The Arctic has a shaft sixty feet deep, and the North Star, a shaft fifty feet deep. Wood and water are found in abundance immediately around the mines. The wood consists of nut pine and cedar. About twenty locations have been made in the district, and there are about six miners there. The district was distinguished, in the early years of its organization, for the many beautiful specimens of geodes, chalcedony, agates, silicified wood and other stones, valuable to the jeweler and lapidary, found in it.
JETT DISTRICT is situated in the Toiyabe range, near Summit Cañon, thirty miles west of Belmont. Hot Springs, ten miles to the northward, is the nearest stage station. Belmont is the nearest post-office. Ore was discovered in the district in 1875, by John Davenport. During the ensuing year, the district was organized, but not until 1880 did active operations begin. More than a hundred locations have been made, although no miners are now resident there. The records are kept by J. W. Bolen, of Hot Springs. The principal mines are the Centennial,
518 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
Seventy-six and the Idlewild. In the Centennial, the ores are of a varied character, such as carbonate of lead, argentiferous galena, zincblende and antimony. They are very rich, assaying from $100 to $300 per ton. The general character of the ore in the district, however, is low grade and base, with no trace of gold. The veins are found between slate and porphyry. The greatest depth of shaft, 190 feet, is in the Centennial; the greatest length of tunnel, 200 feet, is in the Idlewild. Plenty of wood and water are to be had near the mines. Considerable ore has been shipped to Eureka and smelted. Freight is teamed from Austin, sixty miles distant, at the rate of thirty dollars per ton. A New York company contemplates active operations at an early date.
LONE MOUNTAIN DISTRICT takes its name from a solitary mountain standing in Smoky Valley. On this mountain the mines are located. They were discovered by Mexicans in 1863, and were worked in a rude way for several years, in quest of gold. A district was organized in 1864. In 1866 the mines were abandoned. In 1878 new mines were opened, and the ore was transported to Belleville and milled, yielding from seventy to seventy-five dollars per ton. The number of miners now in the district is fifteen; the number of locations, twenty. The veins are found between slate and porphyry, and run with the formation in a northeast and southwest direction, dipping to the east. The ore is base, being adapted for smelting, and contains copper, lead, silver and some gold. The greatest depth of shaft is thirty-five feet. The nearest railroad point is Austin, 120 miles distant, from which freight is brought by team. Spring-water is abundant, and there is plenty of nut pine and cedar convenient of access. Not very far west of Lone Mountain is a salt mine, but it has never been worked to a great extent.
MANHATTAN DISTRICT is ten miles southwest of Belmont. Ore was discovered in 1866 by George Nicholl, and a district was organized the following year. Fifty locations have been made. The principal mines are the Mohawk and Black Hawk. The veins are between limestone and porphyry, which formation runs north and south. The veins run with it in most cases, but in others, across it. The dip is westerly, at an angle of thirty-five to thirty-seven degrees. The ore is base, containing copper and iron, but no trace of gold. The Black Hawk Mine has a shaft sixty feet deep, and the Mohawk a tunnel 100 feet in length. Freight from Austin, ninety miles to the northward, is teamed at sixty dollars per ton. Plenty of nut pine and cedar are close by the mines, and the supply of spring-water is ample. The ore has been milled at Belmont, and has averaged about $100 per ton. Very little work has been done in the district since 1869. The mining records are kept by George Nicholl.
MILK SPRING DISTRICT joins Tybo District on the south, and was organized in 1867. About forty locations have been made. In the fall of 1867 Colonel Buel worked six or eight mines. Considerable ore was taken out, much of which yet remains on the dumps. Since then nothing has been done. The district receives its name from the appearance of the water which rises in a large spring, which, although pure to the taste, is milky in color.
NORTH TWIN RIVER DISTRICT lies on the east side of the Toiyabe Mountains, forty miles south of Austin. A mill was built there in 1867, by the La Plata Mining Company, of Reading, Pennsylvania, but ran only for a short time. The Buckeye Mining Company, of New York, worked extensively for several years upon the Buckeye Mine, which was discovered and opened in 1865. The mine produced considerable silver, the ore being in irregular bunches, sometimes very rich and promising, but not equaling the great expectations, the mine was abandoned by them. Ore is occasionally taken out and shipped to Austin.
SAN ANTONIO DISTRICT is situated in the Toiyabe Mountains, about thirty-six miles southwest of Belmont. Ore was discovered in 1863 by a party of Mexicans, and a district was at once organized. Considerable work was done during the ensuing few years. In 1865 a ten-stamp mill was built at San Antone Station, in Smoky Valley, twelve miles distant, but after being operated a year it was pulled down and removed to some other mining locality. A four-stamp mill was also built in 1867, but was only run a year. Slate, lime and porphyry are the prevailing formations, and run north and south, the veins running in the same direction. The ore is base. It is of high grade and bears lead and antimony, but no gold. It is worked by the milling and roasting process. The principal mines are the Potomac and Liberty. The latter contains a shaft 400 feet deep. Plenty of nut pine and cedar are found at the distance of twenty miles from the mines. Water is hauled from springs three miles distant. Freight is teamed from Austin, 100 miles distant, at a cost of thirty dollars per ton.
SILVER POINT DISTRICT is twelve miles south of the stage station of Hot Spring. The nearest post-office is Belmont. Ore was discovered in 1865 by Edward Shumway and others, and a district was organized under the name of Argentore. In 1871 it was reorganized under the present name. Twenty-one locations have been made. The veins are found between slate and porphyry, and run north and south with the formation, dipping to the southwest at an angle of forty-five degrees. The ores are base, containing copper and iron, and average about $130 to the ton. About 100 tons have been taken out that have not been milled. The principal mines are the Minnesota, Blue Bell, Modoc and Monte Christo. The shaft of the Minnesota is eighty feet in depth. Water is scarce.
HISTORY OF NYE COUNTY. 519
Plenty of wood is found within three miles of the mines. Freight is brought from Austin, seventy miles to the northward, at thirty dollars per ton. The ores of the district are worked at Austin and Jefferson. The mining records are kept by the County Clerk.
SPRINGFIELD DISTRICT is on the west side of Monitor Valley, in Silver Bend Mountains, about thirty-five miles north of Belmont. It was organized November 24, 1874. More than a hundred springs furnish an abundant supply of water, while the slope of the mountain is covered with white and nut pines. The ores are base, containing iron, lead and silver, and best adapted for smelting. The belt has been traced for five miles along the range, some of the veins being shown by continuous croppings for a mile or thereabout, which reappear in the distance. Considerable work has been done on the Sheba Mine, which produces ore assaying ninety dollars to the ton.
THE DEVIL'S PUNCH BOWL. About a mile east of the district is the remarkable feature of nature known as the Devil's Punch Bowl. It consists of a butte in the form of an inverted wash-bowl, which is a quarter of a mile in diameter where it touches the ground, and a hundred feet in diameter at the apex. Upon ascending the smooth side of the bowl to the top, the visitor is confronted by an immense chasm, almost perfectly circular, with vertical walls, and of great depth, at the bottom of which is a seething cauldron of boiling water of unfathomable depth, which is incessantly foaming and exhaling hot vapors and steam.
SUMMIT DISTRICT is in the Toiyabe range of mountains, thirty miles south of Austin, on the southeast side of Bunker Hill. Ore was discovered in 1863, a district organized, and three mills erected. Operations were not successful, however, owing to inadequate machinery, and lack of proper knowledge of the ores. The companies engaged in mining failed, and very little work has been done since. The principal mines are the Victorine and Phoenician. The formation of the latter is limestone and slate. The vein is five feet thick, has a course east and west, and dips north at an angle of forty degrees. A tunnel fifty feet in length has been driven into the ledge, and from the end of it an incline has been sunk forty feet. The ore contains a large per cent. of gold. Assays have been made which show $150 gold, and $125 silver per ton. Some years ago, 1,800 tons of ore from the Victorine were worked, the average pulp assays of which were sixty dollars per ton. Thirty-seven per cent. only of this was saved, which was not sufficient to pay the expenses of milling and mining. There is plenty of good ore in this district, which improved machinery could handle at a profit. There is an abundance of water, and wood can be had at five dollars per cord. The ore can be mined and delivered at the mills for two dollars and fifty cents per ton. [This district is probably in Lander County.]
TOIYABE DISTRICT is fifteen miles north of San Antone Station. Ore was discovered in 1876 by Messrs. Nicholl, Wallmer and Terrill. In 1878 a district was organized, but no town has ever been built there. The veins are between limestone and slate, and between slate and porphyry, and run north and south with the formation, dipping to the west at an angle of forty degrees. The ores are both free and base, and bear gold and silver. The base ores contain lead and antimony. In some of the mines there is very little silver, the ore going about $300 per ton. About thirty tons have been milled at Jefferson. The base ore yields from sixty to eighty dollars per ton. Wood and water are abundant, the latter being obtained from springs. Freight is teamed from Austin, eighty miles to the northward, at the rate of twenty-five dollars per ton. The principal mines are the Toiyabe North, Wykiup, California North, California South and Toiyabe South. The deepest shaft in the district is seventy-two feet. The mining records are kept by S. Compton at Peavine.
Other districts are described in connection with the principal towns within their limits.
PRINCIPAL TOWNS AND CITIES.
BELMONT, the county seat of Nye County, is situated on a sloping plateau of the Toquima range of mountains, and has an altitude of 8,000 feet. Its environs are picturesque in the extreme. The location is also at the center of the important Philadelphia Mining District, the principal mines of which are about a mile east of town. They are the Belmont, Highbridge, Arizona, El Dorado South, El Dorado North, Combination, Green & Oder, North Belmont, Monitor-Belmont and Quintero. Ore was discovered by an Indian, and the first locations were made in October, 1865, soon after which a district was organized called the Philadelphia. In 1866 the name was changed to Silver Bend, but in the same year was changed back to the one originally adopted. The quartz veins are found between slate and porphyry, which formation runs north and south, the veins running with it, and dipping easterly at an angle of from thirty-seven to forty-five degrees. The ore is base, containing copper, lead and antimony, and is worked by milling and roasting.
Spring-water is abundant for all purposes, and nut pine and cedar are found within eight miles of town. Freight is teamed from Austin, ninety miles distant, and from Eureka, 109 miles distant, at the rate of from two to three dollars per 100 pounds. The completion of rail communication to Walkers Lake will probably somewhat reduce these rates. Three hundred locations have been made in this district.
The first mill was built in 1866, having ten stamps. During the following year a twenty-stamp mill was put up, and in 1868 a forty-stamp mill. The first
520 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
mill erected ceased operations in 1869. The second was idle from 1868 until 1878, after which it ran at intervals for two years, and was then taken down and moved to Gold Mountain. The third stopped running in 1876. The present facilities for working ore consist of a five-stamp and a twenty-stamp mill. The richest of the ore has yielded as high as $1,000 per ton.
The deepest shaft in the district is in the Belmont Mine, and penetrates to the depth of 500 feet. At the depth of 360 feet a level has been run in the vein for the distance of 1,400 feet. In sinking winzes from this level two chimneys of ore were discovered, pitching south, which were so remarkably rich that the stock of the company rose from $1.50 to $30 per share within a few days. One of these chimneys was within 200 feet of the locality from which the Canfield Company took half a million dollars' worth of ore a few years ago. Considerable difficulty is experienced in working the Belmont Mine, on account of the flow of water. Pumps throwing out 200 gallons of water per minute can scarcely remedy the difficulty. Nevertheless the mine has been most intensively developed, which can also be said of the El Dorado South. The shaft of the Monitor-Belmont has been sunk to a depth of 250 feet, and much rich ore has been taken out. An incline in the Arizona Mine is 175 feet in depth. Some of the ore extracted from the Green & Oder Mine has yielded $400 per ton. The records of the district are kept by George Nicholl, of Belmont.
The first settler of Belmont was Antonio Borquez, who arrived in 1865. He was soon followed by A. Billman, H. G. C. Schmidt, J. M. Reed, C. L. Straight, R. Kelley, D. R. Dean, Len. Martin, O. Brown, S. Tallman, J. Grover, D. E. Buel, Dr. Wm. Geller, Charles St. Louis, J. W. Gashwiler, S. M. Burk and others. Ore discoveries, the convenience of wood and water, and a naturally fine location, caused the selection of the town site. Belmont was most prosperous in 1866-67, and again in 1873-74, at which times it contained about 1,500 inhabitants. Its streets are partially shaded by maples, locusts and Balm of Gilead trees:
The nearest towns are these: Barcelona, eight miles west; Jefferson, fourteen miles north; Hot Creek, thirty-five miles easterly, and Tybo about the same distance southeasterly. Nut pine, cedar and mountain mahogany are obtained from the surrounding hills. At present the town contains four stores, two saloons, five restaurants, one livery stable, a post-office, an assay office, a blacksmith shop, and about 400 inhabitants. The buildings are constructed of stone, brick, adobe and wood.
The Episcopalians and Roman Catholics have organizations, and frame houses of worship. The Episcopalian Church will seat 200 persons, and the Catholic Church 150. There are no clergymen at Belmont, however. There are four lawyers, and the extreme healthfulness of the township enables it to fare well with one physician.
The number of quartz mills is three—one of five stamps, one of twenty stamps, and one of thirty stamps. The water supply is obtained from springs and wells, and is ample for general use. Merchandise is procured both from San Francisco and Chicago. Secret societies consist of one Masonic lodge and one lodge of Good Templars. A stone school house 20x24 feet in size, is capable of seating 100 pupils, but only about half that number are in attendance. The public hospital is under the management of the County Commissioners, and at present contains ten patients. The aggregate length of streets is three miles. The sidewalks are of wood and stone.
Agricultural interests in the vicinity are not of an important character. Some stock-raising is carried on. In Smoky Valley are numerous hot springs, which have attracted much attention.
In 1867 a weekly newspaper called the Silver Bend Weekly Reporter was established and continued in existence about two years. Another paper The Mountain Champion was published in 1868 during the election campaign, and in 1874 the Belmont Courier was established and still continues.
The prices of board, and commodities in general, as they were in March, 1867, may be learned from the following extract from the Silver Bend Reporter of that time:
For the information of persons contemplating a trip to Belmont, we append the following list of prices of various articles at this time. Lumber per 1,000 feet, $140; stone wall per perch, $5; passage from Austin, $15; freight from Austin per pound, fast 4@5 cents, slow do 2 1/2@3; board per week, $10@$12; flour, per 100, $13; sugar, (crushed) per pound, 33 1/3 cents; coffee, 45@50 cents; bacon, 35@40 cents; wood per cord, $4@$6; beef, 15@25 cents, eggs per dozen, $1.25; tea per pound, $firstname.lastname@example.org; beans, 15@20 cents; butter, 75 cents; barley 9@10 cents; hay per ton, $75. Adobes are valueless, and there is no brick, shingles, nor shakes in the market.
Nye County, at present, is classed among the undeveloped counties, being distant from, and untouched by any railroad. Every other county has some railroad history, but this great means of development promises to reach these most distant parts at an early day. From the east is promised the extension of the Utah Southern from Milford, through the northern part of Lincoln, crossing this county by Reveille and Tem Pah-Ute, opening easy communication to Belmont, San Antonio, Smoky Valley and to a junction at Silver Peak with a railroad from California. The work of construction has already begun for the extension of the Nevada Central from Ledlie in Lander County, under the name of the Nevada Southern Railway, which will pass through the rich mining region of Grantsville, and extending to a junction with the road from California and from the East.
HISTORY OF NYE COUNTY. 521
HON. BENJAMIN CURLER was born in Ferrisburgh, Addison County, Vermont, September 27, 1834.
The father of our present subject being a farmer of no great wealth, his early days were spent in active pursuits, and were only varied by his attendance at the district school. In September, 1853, he entered a high school kept by B. B. Allen, at Vergennes, Vermont, and at the expiration of the term, returned to his father's farm, and worked until the school opened again the next September, when he once more settled down to his studies in good earnest. After his second term, he taught a school for four months. During his twenty-first year of life he emigrated to Illinois, but returned to his native State, and taught school that winter. In the spring of 1856 he again went to Illinois, and for a period of nearly two years was engaged in teaching school, and reading law. In the fall of 1857 he went to Wisconsin remaining but a short time, however, when he returned to Illinois, and engaged in the mercantile business. In the spring of 1859 he started for the mines at Pike's Peak, Colorado, and not realizing what he expected in that region, he continued his journey, and reached Carson City, Nevada, on the fifteenth of September of that year, and followed the occupation of carpentering for some time. In 1862 he kept a stage station on the Carson River, and continued the study of his profession. In 1863 he was elected a member of the Territorial Legislature. March 9, 1864, was appointed County Commissioner, by Gov. James W. Nye, for Churchill County; and during the same year he was elected District Attorney, and admitted to practice law in all the Territorial Courts. At the general election in 1866, he was elected District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, comprising the counties of Nye and Churchill; and was re-elected to the same office four years later, his opponent being the Hon. C. H. Belknap. At the expiration of his last term, he resumed the practice of his profession. In 1876 he was elected District Attorney for Nye County; and was re-elected in 1878, which office he still holds. Mr. Curler is well known throughout the State of Nevada, and is universally esteemed. He was married in Vermont, November 6, 1856, to Miss Rhoda A. Thompson.
522 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
HON. GEORGE ERNST was born in Kirchheim, Hessen Cassel, Germany, A. D. 1837. His father is a stone mason, and is still living. At the early age of two years the subject of this sketch emigrated with his parents to America. In 1845 his family settled in Dubuque, Iowa, and George received his education in the common schools of that place, and also learned the trade of his father. He subsequently entered Kenyon College, in Ohio, from where he graduated with high honors in 1862. In 1863 he came to Nevada, and located at Dayton, Lyon County, where he soon after received the appointment of Deputy County Surveyor, under John Day, and for three years remained in that office. In the spring of 1866, Mr. Ernst accompanied Governor H. G. Blaisdel on an expedition to Pahranagat Valley, and for a time remained there. In 1867-68 he was Assessor for Lincoln County, being the first man elected to that office in the county. In 1870 we find him a farmer at Hot Creek, in Nye County, and in 1872 he was appointed County Surveyor of the same, to which office he was elected in 1874 and 1876. In 1877 he had charge of the office of County Recorder and Auditor, and was elected to perform the duties pertaining to that office in 1878. In 1880 he was elected to the Assembly of the Nevada Legislature. Mr. Ernst was the first to suggest to Adolph Sutro, the feasibility of the enterprise resulting in the construction of the famous Sutro Tunnel, and to him is accorded the honor of making the first survey, locating the tunnel and shafts. In connection with his many other duties he has been Deputy United States Mineral Surveyor for eight years. In politics he is a Democrat, but was a strong Union man during the slight misunderstanding between the North and South. He was married to Miss Ellen Mary Hinton at Dayton, in 1865.
BARCELONA is eight miles west of Belmont, in Spanish Belt District, which is situated in the Smoky Valley, or Toquima, range. Ore was discovered by a party of Mexicans in 1867. In 1875 the district was detached from the Philadelphia District, and organized as at present. During the following year Barcelona was started, and attained a population of 150. It contained a store, blacksmith shop, assay office, three boarding-houses, etc., but was deserted in the latter part of 1877, by reason of the cessation of work in the mines. In 1879 the mines started up again, and about 500 tons of ore were taken out. The ores of the district are rich, and prospects are promising. The formation is between slate and porphyry, running northeast and southwest, the veins running with it, and dipping to the east at an angle of forty-five degrees. The ores are base, requiring roasting. They contain antimony, zinc and iron, and some have yielded twenty dollars per ton in gold and $380 per ton in silver. There is plenty of spring-water at the mines, and nut pine, white pine and cedar are abundant in the neighborhood. The principal mines are the Barcelona, Liguria, Altocana, Enterprise, and San Pedro. The shaft of the Barcelona is 180 feet deep; the tunnel of that mine is 1,300 feet long. Freight is teamed from Austin, eighty miles to the northward, at the rate of fifty dollars per ton. The ores taken out are worked at Belmont, Austin and Eureka; but it is believed that a mill will soon be erected at the mines. The records of the district are kept by George Nicholl, at Belmont.
BARTLETT is twenty miles east of the stage station of Minnium, on Miner's Mountain, in the midst of a good mining region. Ore was discovered in 1866 by a prospector named Logan, and a district was organized called Northumberland. In 1875 the name was changed to Monitor, but was changed back to Northumberland in 1879, at which date the town was started. It once contained a store, boarding-house, post-office, numerous saloons, etc., but is now entirely deserted. A ten-stamp mill was erected in 1879, but was operated only three months. The quartz veins are between slate and porphyry, running north and south with the formation, and dipping to the east at an angle of thirty-seven degrees. The ore is free-milling, containing gold and silver. Some of it is very rich in gold. The principal mines are the Monitor and Blue Bell. The shaft of the latter is 120 feet deep. Freight is teamed from Austin, sixty-five miles distant, at the rate of twenty dollars per ton. Nut and white pine are abundant. Water is scarce, and is procured from springs. Belmont and Austin are the nearest post-offices. The books of the district are kept by S. Slusher, of Eureka.
HISTORY OF NYE COUNTY. 523
ELLSWORTH is in Mammoth District, thirty miles south of the old overland road through the Cold Spring range of mountains, and about twelve miles westerly from Ione. It contains a post-office and stage station. Ore was discovered in 1863 by the Indians, and in 1864, Sam. McKeon, A. T. Hatch, and others, organized a district. The town was started soon afterwards, but its growth was slow and discouraging until 1870, when a ten-stamp mill was built. Its population then increased to 200, and it became very lively. Since 1874 the mill has been operated only a portion of the time, and the population of the town has dwindled down to twenty persons, including six miners. The quartz veins are found in a formation of granite, which runs northeast and southwest, the veins running with it and dipping to the west at an angle of forty-five degrees. The ores are mostly free-milling, and average about $100 to the ton. The principal mines are the Peoria, Morning Call, General Lee, Silver Wave, Mount Vernon and Lisbon. The greatest depth of shaft is in the Mount Vernon, 180 feet. When the mill was in operation, Indians were employed at the pans, settlers, concentrators and furnaces, with a couple of white men to oversee them, and proved very efficient laborers. The cost of wood delivered at the mills, has usually been three dollars and a quarter per cord. Salt is worth thirty-five dollars per ton. Water for the mill is obtained from a forty-foot well. Some very rich ore has been taken from the Esta Buena Mine, located and owned by Don Manuel San Pedro, of Grantsville. Some of it has gone as high as $1,600 per ton. Several tons worked in the mill yielded $325 each. The nearest railroad point is Austin, sixty-five miles to the northeast. Freight is brought from Wadsworth at the rate of fifty dollars per ton.
GRANTSVILLE is in a beautiful cañon about four miles from Ione Valley. It is in Union District, which is situated in the Ione, or Shoshone, range of mountains, just west of the Toiyabe range. Ore was discovered in 1863 by P. A. Haven, and a district was at once organized. Haven also laid off the town of Grantsville, and about fifty persons settled there, among whom was John Bowman, J. C. Johnson, Mr. Veach, Peter Lefler, M. C. Mahone, Manuel San Pedro, and others. Its growth has been most promising. Its altitude is about 8,500 feet, and fine mountain scenery stretches away on every hand. Ten miles to the northward is Ione, and seventy miles to the northeastward is Austin.
In September, 1877, the Alexander Company became interested in the mines in and around Grantsville, and re-located and laid off the town, and built a twenty-stamp mill there, the capacity of which was increased to forty stamps in 1880.
The present population of Grantsville is 800, including 356 registered voters. It contains ten merchandise stores, two drug stores, one hardware store and tin shop, one furniture store, five restaurants, two bakeries, five saloons, two barber shops, one jewelry store, two blacksmith shops, two meat markets, two livery stables, one brewery, two assay offices, an express office, bank, newspaper, and a foundry. The climate is healthy and the atmosphere pure. Three mails arrive and depart every week, and stage lines connect with Wadsworth and Austin by way of Ione, and with Eureka by way of Belmont. Town lots sell all the way from $50 to $500.
In the vicinity of Grantsville there are fourteen valuable silver mines, as follows: The Elizabeth, Bonanza, Lefler, Harvey, Success, Galatea, Chicago, Centennial, Cooper, Silver Crown, Cadiz, Alameda, Brooklyn, and the Alexander series.
The veins of the district are found in porphyry, quartzite and limestone, running northwest and southeast with the formation, and dipping to the southwest at an angle of sixty degrees. Porphyry is the predominating formation. The ore contains native gold and silver, chloride and sulphuret of silver, antimony, copper, and the carbonate of lead. Some exceedingly rich specimens, containing gold, have been found in the Shamrock and Franklin Mines. Large-sized specimens have been obtained from the former mine, showing more gold than quartz. The deepest shaft is in the Alexander mine, 1,200 feet. The incline of the same mine is 500 feet long. The ores of the district are worked by the milling and roasting process.
Wood and water are convenient and abundant. Freight is teamed from Austin at the rate of forty dollars per ton. The number of miners now in the district is 140. Thus far the total bullion product has been to the value of about $1,000,000. The mining records of the district are kept by J. F. Duchet.
The Odd Fellows have a well-organized lodge. Educational facilities consist of a good, brick school house, capable of seating sixty pupils, about forty pupils being in regular attendance. The aggregate length of streets in the town is two miles. About ten miles to the westward, on Reese River, are a few small ranches, and some stock-raising is also carried on.
In November, 1879, the Grantsville Sun, a weekly paper, was started in the interest of Senator Jones, but suspended in 1880. In January, 1881, the Grantsville Bonanza was started by Maute & Donald, and is now being regularly published.
A tunnel in the hillside answers the purpose of a jail. In February, 1881, a Spaniard was lynched for the murder of a countryman of his. Another murderer was arrested in August, 1880, and after conviction, was sent to the State Prison, where he is now incarcerated. The prospects of Grantsville are favorable in the extreme.
THE TOWN OF HOT CREEK is situated in the center of a rich mining region, with wood and water convenient and abundant. Among its earliest settlers
524 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
were Jeremiah Miller, David Baker, Eli Baker, G. B. Montgomery, Dr. Walter, E. G. Brown, Garrett & Joslyn and Capt. A. D. Rock—who arrived in 1867. The town was most prosperous in 1868, when its population numbered about 300. The altitude is 6,800 feet. It is situated in a beautiful valley in the foot-hills of the Hot Creek Mountains, and is fifteen miles south of Morey District, twelve miles north of Tybo, and thirty-five miles southeast of Belmont. Its present inhabitants number only twenty-five. The site of the town is now the property of Hon. J. T. Williams. A saloon, restaurant, hotel, post-office, blacksmith shop and assay office meets the present wants of the community. The buildings are of stone and iron. In 1867 a twenty-stamp mill was built, but it was soon afterwards burned down. The town at that time consisted of two camps, and the upper one was then abandoned. In 1880 a ten-stamp mill was built at the lower town, but it has never been operated much.
The bullion product of the town to date has been about $1,000,000. The water supply consists of 300 inches, and is private property. Austin, about ninety miles to the northwest, is the nearest railroad point, and to team freight from it costs two cents per pound. The taxable property of the township is valued at $200,000. Large herds of cattle and horses are raised in the vicinity, and one fine ranch raises a large amount of hay and other produce.
Near the town are boiling hot springs of great medicinal value, and mineral water is also abundant of a quality highly appreciated.
The principal fire occurred in 1867, when the Old Dominion twenty-stamp mill was burned down, causing a loss of $90,000.
The Eureka Sentinel of September 2, 1877, contains the following information concerning Hot Creek:
Henry Allen, the well-known contractor of Eureka, has just finished a work of considerable magnitude at Hot Creek. Last summer he was employed by the Tybo Consolidated Company to build fifteen kilns, in which the company proposed to burn the charcoal necessary to supply their furnaces at Tybo. He finished the work about a week ago, and some idea of its magnitude may be gathered from the fact that 600,000 bricks were used in building the kilns. They are oval in shape, having a diameter of twenty-five feet. Each one has a capacity of 1,400 bushels, turning out that quantity of coal to each charge, the operation consuming five days. A great economy of time results from these kilns, instead of burning in the old-fashioned way, and as the company owns a vast quantity of wood in the immediate vicinity, they calculate on their fuel costing them about one-half the usual rates. A force of twenty men were employed about three months in building the kilns.
The White Pine excitement proved a great injury to Hot Creek, from which its recovery has been slow.
HON. J. T. WILLIAMS
Is a native of Arkansas, born in Conway, July 21, 1842. His father was a planter and died when the
J. T. Williams.
present subject was quite young. At the early age of seventeen years he came to California, by way of the plains and arrived in 1859 in the land of promise. He having no relatives or friends on this coast, was obliged to follow the promptings of his own nature. He settled in Calaveras County and engaged in mining until 1862, when he came to the then Territory of Nevada, and followed the occupation of silver mining.
In 1863 he went in company with Gov. L. R. Bradley to Austin, during the Reese River excitement, and assisted in the organization of Nye County, and has since resided in that county. He was married to Miss Sophia Ernst, September 20, 1870, a lady of cultured tastes, and more than ordinary ability.
Mr. Williams is a descendant of an old Democratic family, and is himself a Jackson Democrat of the strictest kind. His ancestors on his father's side were from Wales, and settled in North Carolina long before the American Revolution. His mother's ancestors were of French descent, settling in Virginia about the same time, both families being strongly identified in the cause of American Independence. His grandfather was an officer in the Revolutionary War, and his brother, Colonel Williams, fell at a place known as Williams' Pond, in South Carolina. The works of Thos. Benton, "Thirty years in the United States Senate," reveals the fact that Mr. Williams comes from good stock. His brother Lewis Williams, of North Carolina, was a member of Congress for many years, and Jonathan Williams, at one time United States Senator from Tennessee, whose father fought in the Revolution, and who participated himself in the war of 1812, was also a member of the same family.
HISTORY OF NYE COUNTY. 525
The great triumph of the subject of this sketch is in the authorship of the Williams Resolution regulating freights and fares on the railroads of the State, which he introduced in the Nevada Senate in 1881. His present residence is at Hot Creek, Nye County, and his business is divided between mining and farming. He is extensively interested in mining, owning several paying claims. He also owns a hotel, and has some 500 acres of fine bottom-land at his home place and his hay crop is very valuable, being worth about forty dollars per ton. Mr. Williams is a gentleman, esteemed by all who have the honor of his acquaintance.
IONE, the original county seat of Nye, is about twelve miles north of Grantsville, and is situated in a romantic cañon surrounded by lofty mountains. Among its first settlers were Messrs. Veach, Carmack Bowman, Barker, Baker, Johnston, Williams and other prospectors. In 1865 Ione contained a population of about 600. At present it contains a store, hotel, saloon, livery stable, post-office, blacksmith shop and twenty-five inhabitants. Its two quartz mills are idle. Their total bullion product to date is estimated at $500,000. Austin is the nearest railroad station, and the freight rate, by team, is one and one-half cents per pound. The taxable property of the township is valued at $50,000. About a thousand head of horses and cattle are owned in the vicinity. In 1865 a weekly newspaper was started, called the Nye County News, but it discontinued publication in 1867. The wood and water supplies of the town are abundant. Its buildings are chiefly frame structures.
JEFFERSON is situated in Jefferson District, in Jefferson Mountain, a lofty section of the Toquima range, and is about twelve miles north of Belmont. Ore was discovered in 1873 by John Johnson and Robert Furgerson, and a district was organized under the name of Green Isle, which name was subsequently changed to the present one. In 1874 the town of Jefferson was started, which, in less than two years, contained a population of 800 and polled 600 votes. It contained two stores, three blacksmith shops, three boarding-houses, a post-office and an express office. Two mills were also in operation, and eight of the mines were producing ore. In 1876 the ten-stamp mill stopped work, and in 1878 the other one stopped, upon which the town was abandoned. Only four miners are now there. One hundred and twenty locations have been made. The ore is free and contains chloride of silver, containing a small percentage of gold, and is very rich, and is worked by the milling process. The veins are small, and are found between porphyry and slate. They run with the formation, nearly north and south, and dip to the east at an angle of sixty degrees. The Jefferson Mine contains a tunnel 625 feet long, and a shaft 700 feet deep. Selected specimens of ore from this mine, having the appearance of granite, and betraying no evidence of metal, yielded as high as $10,000 and $20,000 per ton, and took the premium at the Centennial Exhibition. General ore from the district assays from $40 to $1,700 per ton. Freight is teamed from Austin, seventy-six miles, at thirty dollars per ton. An ample quantity of spring-water exists, and nut pine is abundant at the distance of three or four miles. The records of the district are kept by E. E. Shumway.
LODI is in Lodi District, in the northwest corner of the county, about a mile from the line of Churchill County. The district is situated on a mountain spur running northwest from the Mammoth Range. It is seven miles from Porter's Stage Station, and the nearest post-office to it is Downeyville. Ore was discovered in 1874 by Henry Welch and J. Kirkpatrick. On May 14, 1875, a district was organized. In 1878 the town contained a population of 100, and boasted a store, blacksmith shop, boarding-house, saloon, a ten-ton smelting furnace, and other indications of business life. It has since been abandoned, however, and there are only six miners in the district. The records are kept by Mr. Massey. About twenty-five locations have been made.
The formation is of limestone, running southeast and northwest, the veins running with it, and dipping to the southwest. The ore is base, and contains lead and a little antimony, but no trace of gold. The principal mine is the Illinois, on which a large amount of work has been done. Its shaft is 450 feet in depth. At a depth on the vein of 100 feet, a tunnel has been run 200 feet, from which level winzes have been sunk at different points. The vein is from two to eight feet in width, and the ore in it is chiefly carbonate of lead, which carries a large per cent. of silver, some of which assays as high as $500 per ton.
Water is brought in pipes from springs five miles distant. Wood is scarce. Freight is teamed from Wadsworth, on the Central Pacific Railroad, 100 miles to the northwest, the rate being forty-five dollars per ton. The present facilities for working ore consist of a small water jacket furnace. Since its organization the district has yielded ore to the value of $400,000.
MOREY is in a mining district of the same name, situated in the mountains about fifteen miles north of Hot Creek, and four and a half miles from More's Stage Station. Ore was discovered in 1865 by T. J. Barnes, and in 1866 S. A. Curtis, Wm. Muncey, John Emerson and others organized the district. In 1869 the town was started. A ten-stamp mill was built in 1873, but, after running a month, it discontinued operations, and the ore was shipped to Tybo until April, 1880, when the mill started up again, and ran until the following December, turning out $9,000 worth of bullion per month. Another resumption of milling operations is soon expected. Morey contains a store, blacksmith shop, post-office, board-
526 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
ing-house, express office, and a population of about sixty persons. Thirty-five locations have been made in the district, and there are twenty miners there. The records are kept by George Hammond.
The quartz veins are found in a formation of porphyry, which runs east and west, the veins running with it, and dipping to the south at an angle of fifty degrees. The ores contain zinc, lead, antimony, some copper, and a small percentage of gold. The principal mines are the Bay State, American Eagle, Cedar, Keyser, Monterey, Little Giant and Black Diamond. The shaft of the American Eagle is 200 feet deep; the tunnel of the Bay State, 1,000 feet long.
Freight is teamed from Eureka, a distance of seventy-five miles, at the rate of thirty dollars per ton. Wood and water are in sufficient quantities for all purposes. The ores averaged about eighty dollars to the ton. Most of the mines in the district have been self-sustaining from the outset.
OPHIR CANON is situated on the eastern slope of the Toiyabe range of mountains, in Twin River District. The nearest stage station and post-office is Minnium, twenty-six miles to the northeast. Ore was discovered in 1864, by G. H. Willard, Joseph Patty and John Murphy, and a district was organized. In 1865 a twenty-stamp mill was completed, costing over $200,000; connected with it was the first experimental Stetefeldt furnace ever built. The mines proved very rich at the outset, but after penetrating below the water level, the wall rock was found to be so hard that it could not be worked profitably. Over $2,000,000 worth of ore was taken out of the Murphy Mine. When the mill was built the town was started, and it grew to a population of 400, but work on the mines ceased in 1868, and the town became deserted.
In the Murphy Mine the vein is from eight to forty feet in width. Its course is northeast and southwest, and it dips to the east at an angle of forty-five degrees. The ore is found in pockets near the hanging-wall, and contains a large per cent. of iron, copper, and arsenic. Beautiful specimens of native silver have been found in this mine. The country rock on both sides of the cañon, where the metal-bearing veins are found, is slate. It contains a large amount of the pyrites of iron; small stringers of white quartz cut through it in all directions. The Murphy Mine contains a shaft 300 feet in depth. Freight from Austin, sixty miles to the northward, is teamed at the rate of twenty-five dollars per ton. Timber is scarce; Ophir Cañon Creek supplies an abundance of water. The mining records are kept by A. H. Greenbalgh; the number of locations is 100; only four mines still remain in the district, but the massive stone walls of the costly and splendid mill, and the brick walls of the elegant office and mansion connected with the works, mark the scene of the once busy place, monuments of great expectations and wasteful extravagance.
REVEILLE is in a mining district of the same name, in the Reveille, a continuation of the Pancake, range of mountains, about thirty-five miles southeast of Tybo. Ore was discovered in August, 1866, by W. O. Arnold, M. D. Fairchild and Alonzo Monroe, and a district was at once organized, and named in honor of the Reese River Reveille, of Austin. By the ensuing year fifty mines were in course of development, and the ore shipped to Austin and other places. A town sprung into being, containing two stores, a blacksmith shop, a boarding-house, a post-office, and 150 inhabitants.
In 1869 a five-stamp mill, and another one of ten stamps, were built about twelve miles west of the town, where water was to be had in abundance. They were operated only a short time owing to the failure of the company interested. In 1875 the ten-stamp mill again started up, and was run at intervals for four years, producing about $1,500,000 worth of bullion. It then ceased operations. In the spring of 1880 work was stopped on all the mines and the town was abandoned, but the indications are that it will again be re-peopled.
The number of locations in the district is 950. The formation is of limestone, quartzite and porphyry, and runs northeast and southwest, the veins running with it and dipping to the east at an angle of forty degrees. Most of the ores are free-milling. The base ores contain lead and antimony. The principal mines are the Gila, Spy, Liberty, Fisherman, Good Hope, La Salle, and Joliet. The Gila mine has a shaft 460 feet deep and a tunnel a thousand feet long.
The water supply of Reveille is obtained from wells, and is insufficient. Wood is scarce, but there is an ample supply of nut pine and cedar ten or twelve miles distant. The mining records are kept by J. H. Taylor, of Grantsville. Much of the ore of this district has averaged from $75 to $100 per ton, and in several instances has yielded $1,500 per ton.
Reveille District is remarkably healthy, most of the deaths which have occurred having originated from accidents. There have been some cases of pneumonia. The town of Reveille now consists of one hotel, a saloon, post-office, butcher shop, livery stable, and a blacksmith shop, and about thirty inhabitants. The buildings are constructed of wood and stone. Freight is hauled from Eureka, a distance of 125 miles, at a cost of two and one-half cents per pound. In the vicinity of Reveille are five or six cattle ranches, but agricultural interests are not flourishing.
TROY is situated on Grant Mountain, about fifty miles east of Hot Creek. The nearest post-office is Duckwater; the nearest railroad station, Eureka. In 1867 the attention of A. Beaty was attracted to some float rock in a ravine. He immediately sunk a shaft on the side hill above and struck ore, and a district was soon organized. In 1869 the town of Troy was laid off, and it soon contained two stores,
HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY. 527
a boarding-house, a blacksmith shop, a post-office, an express office and other adjuncts of embryo civilization.
In 1871 a twenty-stamp mill was built, with a furnace in connection. It ran about six months and was then moved to Ward. The ore was of such low grade that its reduction was considered unprofitable. Work ceased on the mines and the town became deserted. The formation is slate and limestone, running northeast and southwest, and dipping to the southeast at an angle of fifty-five degrees. The ores are base, containing lead and copper. The principal mines are the Clifton, Troy and Blue Eagle. The latter has a shaft 300 feet deep and a tunnel 700 feet long. The Troy Mine is also well developed. Plenty of black pine, nut pine, yellow pine and fir are in close proximity to the mines. Water is abundant, a fine creek flowing past the town and mines. Freight is teamed from Eureka, 125 miles distant, at the rate of sixty dollars per ton. No ore is now being taken out. The mining records are kept by A. Beaty, at Blue Eagle Ranch. There are seventy miners in the district.
TYBO is twelve miles south of Hot Creek, and about forty miles southeast of Belmont, in a mining district of the same name, which is situated on the eastern slope of the Hot Creek Mountains. Ore was discovered in 1866, and in 1870 some important locations were made, including the Two G Mine, by Dr. Gaily and M. V. B. Gillett. Tybo District was organized in 1870, being composed of the southeast portion of Empire District. In 1874, the town of Tybo was started in Tybo Cañon, about two miles from its mouth at Hot Creek Valley. John Centers was its first settler, having made his home there in August, 1866. Its altitude is 6,500 feet, and it is surrounded by fine mountain scenery.
Soon after the organization of the district, a smelting furnace was built at the town, and put in operation, and in 1875 still another furnace was built, and also a twenty-stamp mill. In 1876 the town contained five stores, two blacksmith shops, numerous saloons and 1,000 inhabitants. From the opening of the mines until 1879, most of the ore worked in the district was smelted, but in that year the process of crushing and roasting was adopted, since which time the smelting furnaces have not been run. Closing them threw more than 400 men out of employment, and the town commenced declining. The present population is 100. It contains three hotels, one saloon, two restaurants, two livery stables, a post-office, an express office, an assay office and a blacksmith shop. Pneumonia is the only disease which can be called prevalent, for the whole region is remarkable healthy. The buildings are of wood and stone. The fuel supply is obtained from the mountains, at distances varying from ten to twenty miles.
The Tybo Consolidated Company has two furnaces, having a total daily capacity of eighty tons, and a twenty-stamp mill. The water supply is obtained from springs, which are private property. Eureka is the most convenient railroad station, 100 miles distant, and the freight rate by team there from two dollars per 100 pounds.
Tybo has a Good Templar's lodge, a brick school house, 18x20 feet in size, with twenty-five pupils in attendance; and the taxable property of the township is valued at $200,000. In the vicinity of the town are numerous fine ranches, and about 2,000 head of horses and cattle. The Tybo Sun was started in 1876 by Mr. Ragsdale, who sold out to Wm. B. Taylor. William Love and D. M. Brannan in turn succeeded Taylor, and in 1879 the paper suspended. The jail consists of a stockade, and is, fortunately, but little used. Several shooting affrays occurred at Tybo during its palmy days, resulting fatally; but the victims and the slayers were desperadoes, and little attention was paid to the matter.The reduction mill is now working about twenty-five tons per day, which average about twenty-five dollars per ton. The formation of the district is limestone and porphyry, running east and west, the veins running with the formation, and dipping nearly perpendicularly. The ores are base, containing lead, iron and zinc, and seven-eighths silver and one-eighth gold. The principal mines are the Lafayette, Casket and Two G. The latter is the most thoroughly developed, having a shaft 450 feet in depth. The vein is very regular and dips slightly to the northeast. The ore is principally gray and yellow carbonates and argentiferous galena. The tunnel is 3,000 feet in length, extending through the three principal mines. The mill is supplied with water from the mines. It contains twenty stamps and a White roaster. The records of the district are kept by George Turin. Total number of locations, 100.