March 11, 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. 527-563]
HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY. 558
of J. L. Cary, absent. These were the jurors selected: J. Mott, Geo. Hill, Thomas Boyd, J. Adams, P. Brown, Thomas Yancy, J. Gatewood, W. Sturdevant, W. H. Boyd, H. Mott, J. Rose, and John Cosser. The trial was reported by P. H. Lovell, then telegraph operator at Genoa, to the Semi-Weekly Observer, at Placerville, and published in the issue of June 4, 1859. The above is the report of the first day,
concluding as follows:
Several witnesses were examined yesterday, and the case rested by both counsels. The evidence goes to show conclusively that Jessup made the first assault.
June 7th he telegraphs:
The People's Court met pursuant to adjournment. W. M. Ormsby was chosen Chief Judge; H. F. Pierce and G. Whipperly, Associates; and J. K. Trumbo, Clerk. A resolution was passed that Sides be held to bail in the sum of $2,500 till Wednesday, the first of September next. A resolution was also passed requesting the press not to publish the evidence in the case. The case was then withdrawn.
On the sixth of June an important meeting was held in Carson City, for the purpose of taking initiatory steps to organize a Territorial government. At this meeting A. J. Hammack was appointed Chairman, and J. K. Trumbo, Clerk. The following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved, That a convention of the people of the Territory of Nevada be called to assemble in Genoa on the eighteenth of July ensuing, to consider the public safety.
Resolved, That an election for delegates to said convention be held throughout the Territory on the second of July ensuing.
The convention was held as ordered, the proceedings of which are published elsewhere in this History.
The thirteenth of June was celebrated in Carson by a well-attended ball, as the birthday of Mr. Charley Stebbins, one of the pioneer settlers of the valley and a very popular member of society.
Among the pioneers first to obey the impulse of the mining excitement was Dr. O. H. Pierson, then of Marysville, California, who, ten years before, had felt the same thrill of adventure while practicing his profession in Peoria, Illinois, and joined the throng that went seeking the golden placers of the Pacific Coast. He writes, twenty-one years after:
In June I came here; with pioneer wagon drove through Washoe Valley seeking a new home, and after visiting the then houseless and lonely rough spot now known as Virginia City came to Eagle Valley, alias Carson, and found a valley of beautiful pasture, but only three buildings, one owned by the well remembered Major Ormsby, one by the noble Abram Curry, who assisted so much afterwards in improving Carson, and one owned by Mr. Stebbins. [Dr. Pierson's letter does not agree with older records, which mention Green's, Proctor's, and Musser's residences, Ormsby's, Stebbins' and Curry's business houses and the Gem Saloon, besides several cabins and dwellings either in the town limits or in the immediate neighborhood.] I erected the fourth building, the old St. Nicholas Hotel, on the corner of Carson and First Streets, and after that built twelve other houses of various sizes and different forms of construction, in different parts of the city. As by magic buildings were erected all along the main, or Carson Street, and on the cross streets.
Less than a year has passed since the survey of the town plot, and in the fortunes and prospects of the pioneers changes have been made as vividly romantic and interesting as ever conceived in the brain of the novelist. The discovery of mines has been made whose wealth startled the world, and brought to this quiet eastern slope a rushing, excited mass of humanity. Carson City becomes a city in reality. Hotels, saloons, stores, a brewery and other places of business are opened. The enterprising firm of Wells, Fargo & Co. establish an express, and by this means letters are quickly and regularly sent to California at twenty-five cents each. Stages were run tri-weekly between Genoa and Gold Cañon, via Carson, Messrs. Lewis & Wylie being the proprietors.
So far had progress been made that on the fourth of July, 1859, a grand celebration of the Nation's birthday was held. An oration, prayers, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence, with procession, the firing of cannon, feasting, and dancing in the evening were the features of the day. An accident, resulting from the bursting of the cannon used in firing the salute, severely injuring one of the cannoneers, marred the happiness of the occasion.
Acts of violence were quite common in the town and surrounding country, some quarrelsome people disregarding settlements by arbitration, and defying the People's Court in the absence of courts and officers authorized by regularly constituted governments. A correspondent of the Placerville Observer, writing from Carson City under date of June 26, 1859, says:
Such things as cutting and shooting are of too frequent occurrence here, and a stop should be put to them. Offenders ought to be placed in confinement until we shall have courts legally organized. It is true some time may elapse before we are blessed with such institutions, but criminals are the persons who should suffer for this delay. They ought to be kept even for forty years, and if they survive the present generation of men and still no courts are organized, we should hand them down prisoners to posterity.
August 13th, the telegraph wires were stretched to Carson and an office opened. This was an institution at that time quite uncommon on the Pacific Coast, and the erection of a single line of wire to any town was regarded as an important event. An extract from the Territorial Enterprise of September 17, 1859, says of Carson City:
All is life, bustle and activity at this growing place. Major Ormsby is building an adobe house 45x50 feet, and two stories high. He intends it for a residence and place of business. There is a hotel .in progress of construction by Sears & Co., 100x50 feet. Rice & Co., have a large saloon adjoining their
554 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
hotel nearly completed. Mr. Curry has commenced a building also intended for a saloon. There are also many other buildings in course of construction intended for stores and private dwellings. The scarcity of lumber is a great drawback to our prosperity; J. K. Trumbo disposes of his lumber weeks in advance. Thomas Knott is building a saw-mill in Jack's Valley. A company from Forest City, California, is about building a mill in Eagle Valley and ere long all demands for lumber will be supplied."
On the twenty-eighth of September, five teams from the new mines of Virginia City passed through Carson en route to California, loaded with silver ore. This was a palpable evidence of the wealth of the mines; offering a future resource of business in transportation, from which Carson City would greatly profit. As a consequence, it created a sensation. The rich and mysterious ore would all be sent to San Francisco, and probably Europe, for reduction, as it was not generally believed that skill and means for beneficiating them could be had in that wild region. Now it was first becoming known that the mines were really valuable for silver ore, and this is the first mention made of any quantity of that metal being found. Now everybody began looking for silver.
On the fifth of October, Messrs. E. Dearborne, H. E. Bond and John A. Talbott arrived at Carson from the mines in the vicinity of Mono Lake, and reported finding rich silver veins on the east side of the Carson River, and many went out to locate claims, thus originating Sullivan's District. From this date silver predominates in the reports.
November 5th, is an important day in the history of Carson City, as on that day the Territorial Enterprise was transferred there from Genoa, indicating the growth of the new town, and giving it precedence as the place of first importance in the Territory.
Numerous stage and express lines are now appearing. George McCarter established a transmountain express September 1st. John A. Thompson & Co. established a tri-weekly stage and express from Carson City to Placerville, commencing November 2, having purchased the line of Brady & Sunderland, who had failed in their contract of carrying the overland mail. Saunders & Co. established an express, commencing on the ninth of the same month.
The nineteenth of November is darkened by the tragedy of John L. Blackburn, Deputy Marshal of western Utah, and engaged by the citizens of Carson as watchman, killing James N. Stevenson. For this Blackburn was arrested and tried for murder. The Territorial Enterprise of December 3d, reported his acquittal, it having been proven that he acted in self-defense, and that Stevenson was a malicious and desperate man. Tragical events of this character resulted greatly to the prejudice of the young community on the eastern slope, and have been much commented on and exaggerated, but order was generally better maintained than is usual in unorganized society on the frontiers. Blackburn had previously been a resident of Dutch Flat, in California, where he held the reputation of a quiet and peaceable citizen, and in his new home was honored with high office; but he was subsequently regarded as a desperate and fighting man, and at last fell by the band of an assassin, being murdered by Wm. Mayfield, in November, 1861, for whose arrest a reward of $1,000 was offered by the State.
A second winter was then approaching, finding the people poorly prepared to meet it. There had been a great increase of population, many arriving late in the season, both from the east and the west, and many thousand head of stock were scattered in the valleys. Roads had been constructed over the Sierra with the expectation that they would be traversable continuously, and no apprehensions of want were entertained. Quoting further from Dr. Pierson's reminiscences; he says:
Who does not remember the winter of 1859, when the snow fell on the night of the seventh of November two feet on a level, and remained until the ensuing March, and the inhabitants living on the scanty supplies that were then in the valley, for it was impossible to get provisions from over the mountains. I paid twenty-five dollars to a man to go with three yoke of oxen up to the first mountain to bring in half a cord of wood, and on one occasion went on horseback to Jack's Valley, cleared off the snow and dug up two sacks of onions and three sacks of cabbages, paid an enormous price, had them hauled up and used them for the guests of the St. Nicholas, showing how scarce vegetables were. Barley was one dollar a pound, hay two hundred dollars a ton, charges for keeping a horse to stabling, hay and grain seven dollars a night, day board, two meals a day, eighteen dollars a week. And now, 1880, how changed. On nearly every street through which I pass I find new buildings, I see trees in every yard, the first ones of the kind I having set out in that same summer of '59.
At intervals during the winter, the roads crossing the mountains were opened, and trains of pack-mules carried over supplies, but it was late in the spring before business was fully resumed.
During this winter, Mr. John A. Thompson, who had previously established a stage line, rendered great service by carrying the mail across the mountains, going over the deep snow on snow-shoes, by which act he gained much credit and notoriety, earning the sobriquet of " Snow-shoe Thompson." A sketch of him, and of his perilous feats are given elsewhere.
The Enterprise had repeatedly called upon scientists of metallurgical experience, to establish an assay office in Carson, pointing out its opportunity for business and the necessity to miners. Early in the spring of 1860 this requirement was filled by Prof. Louis Lanszweert, which gave an impetus to prospecting, and many of the since celebrated mines first had their value told at this office.
Among other enterprises called for was that of an accurately surveyed race-course near town, and this was accomplished in April, 1860, over which many
HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY. 555
trials of speed have been Made, and over which some prominent politicians have presided.
The Carson City Water Company, for the purpose of supplying the citizens with water for domestic and other purposes, was organized on the twenty-ninth of February, 1860, and the following officers were elected: Wellington Stewart, President; Thos. J. Moore, Superintendent; John Leach, Secretary; and Wm. DeKay, Treasurer.
The past year had been one of continued prosperity, notwithstanding the severity of the winter. Carson City was now the acknowledged center of business, and most important town in western Utah. Here people gathered, and built, and speculated in city lots, thinking its eligible site, its abundance of pure water, its fertile soil, so favorable for gardens and comfortable homes, and its many other advantages so perceptible to the eye, would secure to it a permanent precedence. The barren and wind-driven mountain-slope, where the silver mines were found, was regarded as so inhospitable as to forbid its selection for homes or places of business to any great extent, and it was at this time neglected for the pleasanter valley. But it was soon found that business centered close to where the miners delved, whether in deep cañon or on a rocky peak, and the fair Carson was surpassed in the race.
In May a temporary pause was given to progress, a most disastrous Indian war occurring, in .which several of the most prominent and enterprising citizens of Carson lost their lives, and causing a panic that sent many families to safer quarters in California. This was the war with the Pah- Utes, resulting in the battles near Pyramid Lake, to which a chapter is devoted in this history.
At this date the following were among the principal business men and professionals of Carson City as shown by their advertisements in the Territorial Enterprise, published by Col. Jonathan Williams and Wm. L. Jernegan, Attorneys-at-law, J. J. Musser, Frank M. Proctor, William S. Spear, R. M. Anderson, W. F. Anderson, John C. James, Charles H. Bryan, W. Stewart., D. B. Milne, Gavin D. Hall and Kirkpatrick & Baldwin. Dr. Anton W. Tjader, and Dr. Moore were resident physicians and Dr. S. F. Child practiced dentistry. P. C. Rector, John Day and S. H. Marlette were surveyors and engineers. Thomas Knott was Justice of the Peace by commission of Governor Cummings, of Utah. Parker H. Pierce sold shingles and shakes. Mrs. C. C. Williamson advertised machine sewing. P. H. Lovell was telegraph operator and agent for the Pony Express which advertised to take letters from San Francisco to New York in twelve days, and to transmit telegraphic dispatches in eight days. Letters were carried through for five dollars every half ounce, and telegraphic matters from Carson City to St. Joseph, Missouri, at two dollars and forty-five cents for each dispatch, adding the telegraphic charges. Lewis & Rice cried" Ho! For the Diggings," as they sent off their "Pioneer " stages with six horses each twice a day to Virginia City. Wells, Fargo & Co., and S. W. Langton, advertised their express business. Adolphus Waitz kept the Carson City Hotel. Stege's Hotel and Restaurant was under the proprietorship of Richard Stege. L. Arpin, V. Bick & Co., conducted the St. Charles Hotel. George Lewis was proprietor of the Magnolia Saloon. J. & W. Pearson made beer, ginger wine, bitters, syrups, etc., at the Pioneer Brewery, on Carson Street, and J. Barenkamp & Co., on King Street sold all kinds of liquors, wines, etc. A Lindauer & Co., advertised new store and new goods. O. H. P. White & Co., in connection with Landecker, were merchants and forwarders. John C. Fall, William P. Harrington, Jr., and S. Buckingham had a general merchandise store and also a banking business. Col. J. B. Starr, late of Sacramento, and Van Winkle & Co., were auctioneers, and Louis Lanszweert was assayer. Gen. Thomas H. Williams and W. H. Clow, advertised that they owned a one-half section of land north of Nicholas Ambrosia's ranch, known as " Dutch Nick's," and warned people off from it. Much of the advertising in the papers of that period are from Placerville and other points. Some of these advertisers are still residents of Carson, some living in various parts of the world, and others have closed their life's history. The list does not comprise all who were engaged in business at that time, only those who handed their names down in the pioneer newspaper of the city and Territory. Major W. M. Ormsby, up to the time of his death at Pyramid Lake, was engaged largely in business; Henry Meredith, a young lawyer recently from California, the same; Eugene Angel, a lawyer by profession, but then surveying and dealing in real estate at Carson, also a victim of the war; Dr. Munckton, druggist; H. S. Phillips, groceries and real estate; O. H. Pierson, hotel, succeeded by Scott & Vantine; H. Remington, carpenter; H. Muller kept a restaurant and J. Muller was barber. John Wagner started the first brewery. Others of the pioneers have been mentioned in different parts of this history. Among those who claim pioneership not previously mentioned are J. Q. Moore, who built the first theater in 1861; George and Daniel Kitsmeyer, saddler and harness makers and furniture dealers; J. H. Kinkead, merchant, now Governor of the State; A. B. Driesbach, merchant; Jacob Klein, merchant; John Kosser, butcher, now proprietor of the Ormsby House; James Duffy, acid works; Thomas Millard, tailor; J. M. Benton, livery stable; Wm. Littlefield, merchant; Geo. T. Davis, groceries; Chas. Mann and Jos. Plat, clothing; George Tuffly, hotel, now banker; J. G. Torreyson, carriage maker; Joseph and George Cowan, painting; Augustus Lewis, carpenter; Ed. Sweeney, water-works; Alfred Helm, Parker & Moore, saloon and theater; Henry Martin, teaming; H. S. Mason, grocer; Kaiser & Elrod, hay yard; Samuel Wright, undertaker; A. D. Treadway, M. W. Little, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Woods and Mr. Winny,
556 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
farmers; Col. A. C. Ellis, lawyer; Wm. Pierson, merchant; O. P. Willis, druggist; Matt. Rinkel, butcher, H. F. Rice, Wells, Fargo & Co's. agent.
For several months following the massacre of Pyramid Lake the fright continued, and little advance was made, but the Indians having been subdued, and the people becoming convinced of the fact, resumed their business and general prosperity ensued. During this period local politics considerably agitated the people of Carson, who were restive under the rule of Mormon laws, and were desirous of self-government. They had previously sent on one of their prominent citizens, Hon. John J. Musser, as Delegate to Congress, asking the creation of a Territory, but he had been unable to accomplish the object.
In the spring of 1860, Judge Cradlebaugh, one of the United States District Judges for the Territory of Utah, arrived and organized a court. This improved matters slightly, but as all civil cases required to be adjudicated according to the statutes of Utah, little business was done. In August an election for town officers was held, but the laws being Mormon, great dissatisfaction continued. The formation of a new Territory was constantly urged, some advocating the name of Washoe, and others the name of Nevada. Great was the rejoicing when it was learned that on the twentieth of March, 1861, President Buchanan had approved the bill organizing the Territory of Nevada. Shortly afterwards James W. Nye was appointed Governor by President Lincoln, and in July, in company with most of the Federal appointees, arrived in the Territory, and on the eleventh issued his proclamation of the organization of the government, selecting Carson City as the capital. A census of the people having been made as required in the Organic Act, an election for choosing a Delegate to Congress and members of the Legislature was ordered to be held on August 31st. The members of the Legislature chosen at this election, met at Carson City October 1, 1861. Wm. M. Stewart represented Carson City in the Senate, and John D. Winters in the Assembly. This event was celebrated by a ball given at the house of John D. Winters, which was one of the most notable affairs of the kind occurring in the young city. Governors Nye, Roop, and numerous other distinguished gentlemen were among the guests.
Carson City has now become the capital of the Territory, an honor to which she had aspired, and to which her founders had looked forward when surveying Eagle Ranch into town lots and squares. The first Legislature met at the Warm Springs Hotel, a large building recently erected and belonging to Abram Curry.
Among the first statutes was one approved November 28, 1861, giving to John J. Musser. Jonathan Wild, Sarah A. Blackburn, and John G. Kelly, and their associates the right to lay water pipes to supply the town of Carson City.
November 29th an Act was approved creating the Carson City Gas Company, granting the franchise to John J. Musser. George Lewis and associates. The Act creating the County of Ormsby had been approved on the twenty-fifth, and on the twenty-ninth, Carson City was made the county seat. This is another step of importance in the history of the town, it now being county seat and capital, and on the high road to prosperity.
The principal events in the history of Carson are epitomized in the following:
February 12, 1865. The Nevada Historical and Scientific Society incorporated. President, A. F. White; Vice President, W. F. B. Lynch; Recording Secretary, C. L. Anderson ; Corresponding Secretary, Thomas Wells; Treasurer, W. B. Lawlor.
August 2, 1865. At 3 A. M. a fire broke out at the rear of "Squire's Bowling Alley," corner Fourth and Carson Streets, spread to adjoining buildings and destroyed, including merchandise, about $60,000 worth of property. James Sanderson, Samuel Cohn, and S. Foulk were the heaviest losers.
August 18, 1865. At 3:30 A. a fire broke out in an unoccupied building known as the People's Market, on Carson Street, between Fourth and Fifth, directly opposite the scene of the conflagration of the second instant. The surrounding buildings were light frames, and the whole block was swept away. Loss, $25,000, which was well divided up among many citizens. This fire was the work of an incendiary.
December 26, 1865. Five prisoners escaped from the penitentiary just before the breakfast hour. They had dug a hole through the wall of the dining room. Careless guarding was the cause. Their names were Dade, Sharner, Donnelly, Cooley and George. The latter was recaptured in the afternoon.
December 27, 1865. The Secretary of the Treasury at Washington appointed Abram Curry, Henry F. Rice and John H. Mills, as Commissioners to establish a Mint at Carson.
February 9, 1866. B. F. Small, Postmaster at Carson, received notice from the Postmaster General that Carson had been designated as a money-order office.
April 18, 1866. The Warren Hose Company of Carson receive a $500 hose carriage purchased from the Liberty Hose Company of San Francisco.
July 17, 1866. From Carson Appeal " A glorious day for Carson ! The arrival of the Mint papers ! Joy and gunpowder ! At an early hour yesterday morning our citizens were startled from their beds by the booming of cannon and the ringing of bells, which demonstrations were made in honor of the arrival of a big package of papers by express marked A. Curry, Superintendent of Construction, Carson Mint.' And, glorious to contemplate, that package contained the long-looked-for plans and specifications for the Branch Mint at Carson." A handsome installment of the appropriation for the Mint was at that date in San Francisco, subject to the check of the Disbursing Agent.
July 18, 1866. On this date at 8 A. M., ground was broken for the mint. John H. Mills threw the first shovelful ; H. F. Rice the next; Col. Abe Curry the third, and H. R. Mighels of the Appeal the fourth. The line of the front porch was selected for the ceremony. An ample force of laborers then went to work.
August 11, 1866. At 12:30 A. M., a fire broke out at the rear of the premises of Jacob Beam, on Carson
HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY. 557
Street. Loss, buildings, tools, etc., $4,630. An incendiary fire.
September 24, 1866. To-day the Masons laid the corner-stone of the mint. Fine day, brass band, singing, a big crowd. Senators Nye and Stewart, and the Judges of the Supreme Court present. J. C. Currie, G. M. of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, laid the stone. Col. Robert Taylor, and Nye and Stewart spoke. Ceremonies closed by the singing of " Old Hundred."
The following is a brief description of the
Granite from the prison stone quarry. Pict style of architecture. Portico, Ionic. Hall, twelve feet in width; main hall 12x40; on the right of the entrance. Paying Teller's office, 13x16 feet. Coining room, 19x19. Spiral staircase conducts above. Whitening room, 10x14 1/2, with a vault in solid masonry 5x6. Annealing furnace and rolling room, 17x24. Gold and silver melting room, 10x24. Melters and refiners' office, 12x19 feet. Deposit melting room, 14 1/2x19. Deposit weighing room, 19x19, with a strong vault 6 1/2x10 1/2 feet. Treasurer's office, 13x16, with a vault five feet square. Engine room, 16 1/2x53 feet. Beside which there is a cabinet, adjusting room, ladies' dressing room, humid assay room, assayer's office, assayer's room, watchman's room, two store-rooms, attic, basement. As a preventive against fire the floors are double, with an inch of mortar between. The foundations are seven feet below the basement floor and laid in concrete. Building two and a half stories high.
The machinery for the mint arrived November 22, 1868. The mint has a front of ninety feet on Carson Street.
January 23, 1869. A bill was introduced in the Legislature appropriating $100,000 for a Capitol building. The local press agitates in its favor.
November 1, 1869. The machinery of the mint was put in motion in the afternoon.
January 26, 1870. The Board of Directors of the Nevada Orphan's Home hold a meeting and accept the tract of land known as the Perley and Lander lot, on which to build the Home. It has a frontage of 940 feet on Fifth Street and 750 feet on Stewart Street, and contains seventeen acres. The purchase money was donated by the citizens of Carson, the chief movers being Geo. L. Gibson, A. L. Treadway, A. Curry, Geo. Tufly and A. B. Driesbach. The law requires that the building shall be constructed and be ready for occupancy by October 18, 1870.
April 14, 1870. The State Capitol Commissioners received proposals for the erection of the Capitol building. They were as follows: Geo. H. Hancock, Virginia City, $96,700; John C. Metson, Gold Hill, $89,000; Charles Hanberger and John Hughes, San Francisco, $96,000; S, F. Hoole, Reno, $92,400; John A. Fiske, Carson, $160,000; Peter Cavanagh, Carson, $84,000. Contract awarded to Cavanagh on condition that he file a bond to the amount of fifty per cent. of the bid. The bond was filed on the following day; Cavanagh to be paid monthly as the work progresses, seventy-five per cent. of the amount due. He agrees to have the building ready for occupancy by December, 1870, and finished by January 1, 1871. Mr. Gosling is appointed architect.
April 18, 1870. Water pipes were laid across Carson Street to the Capitol grounds, and a load of rock was hauled to the same place.
April 21, 1870. Ground was broken for the Capitol building. Firm ground was found at three and one-half feet. The foundations of the exterior walls are to be seven feet thick.
April 23, 1870. The Board of Orphan's Home Directors receive bids for the Orphan's Home Building as follows: B. H. Meder, Carson, $8,500; S. F. Hoole, Virginia City, $9,500; E. B. Hancock, Gold Hill, $7,800; C. H. and J. P. Jones, Carson, $9,995; J. E. Metson, Gold Hill, $8,350; E. Demuelle, Virginia City, $8,500. Hancock was awarded the contract.
LAYING THE CORNER-STONE OF THE CAPITOL, JUNE 9, 1870.
The procession consisted as follows:
Marshal Tritle and Aids, mounted.
Emmet Guard, of Virginia City, fifty members.
National Guard, of Virginia City, forty members.
Eagle Engine Company, of Virginia City, and machine.
Curry Engine Company, of Carson City, and machine.
Federal officers in carriages.
Officers and attaches of Mint, in carriages.
Liberty Engine Company, of Gold Hill, and machine.
Warren Engine Company, of Carson, and machine.
The contractor and builder of the Capitol.
Capitol workmen, fifty-six men.
Carriages with citizens.
Seventy-six members of Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows.
Thirty-three Knight Templars mounted on black horses.
Two hundred Masons of the Grand and Blue Lodges. After a march through town the Choral Society opened ceremonies.
While the procession was moving, Stanton Post, of Grand Army of the Republic, fired salutes with a howitzer.
Grand Master George Hopkins laid the cornerstone, and Robert M. Taylor delivered the address.
A brass box, deposited in the corner-stone, contained a copy of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, Organic Act of Nevada Territory, etc., etc.
September 10, 1872. A $4,500 fire occurred. September 19, 1872. Supt. H. F. Rice puts down before the Mint building a granite sidewalk, twelve feet wide and 180 feet long. Gas is introduced into the Capitol building.
September 20, 1872. Peter's new flouring and barley mill starts up.
" Carson is noted all over the State as the Forest City of Nevada; cottonwood, being the native to the manor born, does the best, but trees of all kinds do well."—Appeal.
November 30, 1872. First anniversary dinner of the St. Andrews Society of Carson.
January 7, 1873. The Grand Council of the Independent Order of Red Men of Nevada was instituted this evening by A. Curry, V. G. I. The following officers were elected: Jonas Seely, G. S.; H. J. Peters, S. S; C. N. Harris, J. S.; A. Waitz C. of R.; J. B. Fitch, K. of W.; A. Curry and E. Strother, G. R. Representatives from all the tribes in the State were present.
March 1, 1873. An unusual Washoe zephyr. The highest wind ever known here. Several large barns blown over and miles of fencing.
July 1, 1873. F. D. Hetrich became Superintendent of the Mint vice H. F. Rice.
July 31, 1873. A big fire occurred at Camp 18. A $25,000 mill, belonging to Bragg, Folsom & Co., was burned, and $30,000 worth of lumber.
558 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
August 2, 1873. A big fire occurred at the lumber yard of Sharon & Yerington's flume, one and one-half miles west of town. About 8,000 cords of wood were burned, worth seven dollars per cord. Origin of fire not stated. Insurance, seventy per cent.
August 17, 1873. The Appeal says: " The finances of Ormsby County are in fine condition. The county pays cash for everything, and has been doing so since the last income of taxes.
August 2, 1874. The Glenbrook planing mill, owned by Davis & Thaxter was burned at 2 A. M. this morning. Loss $15,000. Origin a mystery.
August 12, 1874. At 6 P. M. sixteen men working on the new ditch at the end of the flume about two and a half miles west of town, uncoupled a car standing on a side track, and started for town. The brake would not work and the car came down at terrific speed, and finally collided with some freight cars. Peter McMahon was mortally injured, and died in one hour and a half. E. L. Anderson was seriously
injured, and all the others more or less hurt.
November 10, 1874. Rice & Holmes water-works completed, west of town. The reservoir is on Porter Warren's place—old Camp Nye—is capable of holding 200,000 gallons, to be drawn from Taylor's springs, and other springs in the vicinity. The main pipe enters the city on Robinson Street.
December 29, 1874. John Murphy hanged at Carson for murdering John McCullom.
January 20, 1875. Great snow storm at Carson. Two feet of snow on a level falls in thirty-six hours. Greatest storm since 1861-62.
February 27, 1875. Carson Incorporation Act signed by the Governor. Also, bill to appropriate $25,000 for the improvement of Capitol Square.
October 7, 1875. Ordinance passed creating Carson fire department.
October 30, 1875. At 5 A. M. Carbon Acid Works burned; incendiary fire; loss $53,000; insured for $25,000. Completest establishment of the kind on the coast. Produced sulphuric acid and blue stone. Belonged to a stock company of which the principal men were Adolphus Waitz, George Gillson, and Felix Marzbach. These are the second acid works burned on that spot.
December 17, 1875. At an early hour this morning the body of Tom Burt was found hanging to the cross beam of the gate of the graveyard. Pinned to his breast was a sheet of note paper, on which was inscribed with a pencil "601." He had been taken from the Curry Engine House during the night by a party of disguised men and hanged. It was well enough known that he had been connected with recent acts of incendiarism. He was a rough and vagrant, and had been in the habit of sleeping in the engine house. Had a very bad record.
June 6, 1876. When a construction train of the Virginia & Truckee Road was nearing the tunnel on the divide between Ormsby and Storey Counties, loaded with Chinese laborers, it was stopped by thirty or forty armed white men, and compelled to turn back to town. The white men declared that they needed work for the support of their families, and that the Chinese should not work.
The next day a crowd of 150 white men drove 80 Chinamen from the wood camp of Yerington & Co., and notified other employers not to keep Chinamen more than forty-eight hours. That evening three of the rioters were lodged in jail, and threats were made that the jail would be mobbed. Chinatown quaked to its foundations, and the war ended.
August 9, 1876. Mountain fires in the Clear Creek gulches and cañons, at Ash Cañon, etc. No great damage done. Fine scene at night.
August 19, 1876. Cobetot House burned. Loss, $25,000.
November 2, 1877. At 7 P. M., an immense wood-pile at the flume south of town, was discovered to be on fire; 9,500 cords of wood burned. Loss, $47,000. Origin unknown. Owned by the Flume Company.
January 10, 1878. At 1 A. M., the old Frisbie Corner (restaurant and saloon) was burned. It was the first frame building in Carson, although much enlarged and added to. Built by Ben. Green in early times. L. P. Frisbie bought it in 1860. Was a barroom, lodging-house and eating-house for eighteen years. Origin of fire unknown.
January 19, 1878. At 1 A. M. an incendiary fire broke out in Chinatown, and twenty-two houses were burned.
August 6, 1879. James McCarthy was tied to a post in the Capitol grounds, with a placard of " Wife Beater," adorning his person.
November 25, 1879. In the District Court, M. C. Gardner vs. Yerington & Bliss. Plaintiff entered into a contract in the spring of 1875, to furnish logs to defendants, the latter to provide a man to measure the logs. Plaintiff claims that by false measurement he was cheated out of 8,000,000 cubic feet of lumber, worth $30,000. (Colonel Ellis and Judge Harris for plaintiff, Judge Whitman, of Virginia City, for defendants.) Yerington & Bliss bad previously loaned Gardner $14,700 with which to build the railroad near Yanks, Lake Tahoe, and sought to cripple him and get the road. A hard, legal fight ensued. After a second trial the jury gave a verdict of $4,400 for Yerington & Bliss, and an offset of $10,000 for Gardner for underscaling. Gardner had hard work to raise the $4,400 necessary to save his road, but by great efforts succeeded, and then sold the road to a rival lumber company for $17,000. In various ways the damage in cash and business to Yerington & Bliss amounted to $100,000.
In the bad days of 1861-62, there was a high-toned mulatto barber at Carson named Underwood. He was partially educated, and affected to regard full-blooded negroes with unbounded contempt, and seldom lost an opportunity to express himself on the subject. " Doc," a black man, entered his shop one evening, and a conversation between them soon drifted into a row.
"You niggers ain't got the sand!" Underwood exclaimed. " Doc" drew an immense knife; Underwood fled out of the shop and across the street, but " Doc " overtook him on the plaza.
" Aint' got the sand, eh ? " exclaimed " Doc " repeatedly, each time plunging the long blade into the shrieking mulatto, who soon fell dead. The murderer served a term in the penitentiary for this offense.
HON. CHAS. F. BICKNELL,
Was born May 22, 1840, in Bath, Sagadahoc County, Maine. After receiving a high school education in his native State, he learned the trade of carriage making. Not contented with the quiet life he was there leading, he sought new fields for his labors, and came to California, by way of the Isthmus of Panama, in 1860. Reaching San Francisco in due time, he remained there until May, 1863, at which time he came to Nevada, and worked in the mines fifteen months. When the excitement at White
559 HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY.
Pine broke out, he went with the throng to that locality, and was the first Deputy County Recorder of that county. In 1871 he came to Ormsby County. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Nevada Senate in 1869, and elected Secretary during the sessions of 1871 and 1873. In 1874 he was elected Clerk of the Supreme Court, and was re-elected to the same office in 1878. In the fall of 1874 Mr. Bicknell built his handsome residence on Elizabeth Street, Carson City, a view of which will be found in this history. Mr. Bicknell is well known throughout the county in which he resides, as well as the eastern portion of the State. He is a courteous gentleman, and universally respected by all. He was married to Mrs. A. G. Roberts, daughter of A. H. Davis, of Carson City, on the tenth of April, 1872.
GEORGE C. THAXTER,
Is a native of the State of Maine, and was born in the city of Bangor, October 14, 1842. He lived in his native city until 1862, when, fired with patriotism for his threatened country, he enlisted in the Eleventh Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry, receiving the appointment of hospital steward. After seeing service in the field as well as the hospital, he was discharged on account of disability caused by exposure. On coming out of the army he returned to his native State and entered the drug business at Newport, Penobscot County, where he remained during the succeeding five years. In 1868 he went to Moingona, Iowa, and for eighteen months was engaged in the same business and then came to the State of Nevada, and located at Carson City, Ormsby County, where for nine years he was engaged in the lumber business, being a partner in the Glenbrook Mill Company. In 1878 he left the last-named business and returned to his first love, the drug business, buying the establishment of O. P. Willis, at the northwest corner of Carson and King Streets, Carson City, where he continues to hold forth as one of the leading druggists in the State, a man thoroughly conversant with the profession. He was married to Miss M. Davis, of Newport, Maine, December 11, 1864.
HON. WM. M. CARY
Was born at Smithfield, Jefferson County, Ohio, January 3, 1814. In 1818 the family moved to Stillwater, Guernsey County, Ohio, to re-commence life on the frontier, their respectable fortune having been swept away amid the general depression that resulted from the war of 1812. After one year at that place the family moved to the banks of the Sandusky River, where the town of Bucyrus now stands. In 1822 the subject of this sketch was sent to his grandfather, in Middletown, Washington County, Pennsylvania, where he attended a school kept by the father and sister of the celebrated Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Campbellite Church. In 1823 his mother died, and be lived with his relations until 1827, when he was apprenticed to a hatter, in his native village. In 1831 he removed to Lima, Indiana, where he commenced life for himself. In 1834 he left the latter place and located in Peoria, Illinois, where he lived until the spring of 1836. In December, 1836, he was married to Miss Sarah A. Kirk, at Bucyrus, Ohio, and soon after moved to Angola, Indiana, where a commission awaited him as the first Sheriff of the new county of Steuben. He remained in Angola until the fifteenth of March, 1850, when he started for California, and arrived at what is now Placerville on the fourth day of August the same
560 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
year. He acquired some wealth and returned in January, 1851, to Indiana for his family. Three months and seventeen days were occupied in his trip home, he taking the Nicaragua route. In March, 1852, he left Angola with his family for a second trip across the plains to California, and arrived at Placerville, by a singular coincidence, on the fourth of August, 1852, just two years from the date of his first arrival. Soon after he commenced the hotel business, and in the fall of the same year built the Placer Hotel, which was burned in April, 1856. One year later he built the Cary House, and remained the owner and usually the proprietor of this well-known house until 1865, when he sold the place and came to Carson Valley, Nevada, and built a flouring mill. In 1866 he was elected to the Assembly of the Nevada Legislature from Douglas County. In May, 1867, his wife died, and he removed to Virginia City and was Superintendent of several quartz mills. In 1869 he removed to Washoe City and was married to Mrs. Estelle M. Clark. He remained in this place until 1874, when he returned to his farm in Douglas County. In 1877 he moved to Carson City, where he now resides. He has been twice elected Justice of the Peace and City Magistrate, and at present holds the office. Mr. Cary has two sons, Edwin R. and Wm. H. H. Cary, the result of his first marriage, and one son, a lad of nine years, Eugene D., by his second marriage. Mr. Cary has seen much of active life, and is a man of unusual vitality. He is of Quaker origin, and his family is noted for longevity, and he bids fair to live for many years.
J. H. MARSHALL
Was born July 26, A. D. 1850, in Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio. His father was born in the same town, while his mother was a native of Xenia, Ohio. During the first nine years of his life he lived in his native town, and then removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended the Webster School for seven months. He then moved with his parents to Mattoon, Illinois, where he had the benefit of one year's schooling, and at the early age of eleven years, entered the mercantile business, as clerk, in the establishment of McIntyre & Ogden, afterwards that of J. M. Douglas, where he continued until the spring of 1864. The father of Mr. Marshall was Assistant Quartermaster of the United States Army stationed at Cincinnati, Ohio, whither young Marshall went. After a short stay at that place he went to Bucyrus, his native town, and six months later went to Xenia and commenced a five-years' course of study with the intention of qualifying himself for a lawyer. A few weeks later his father was killed, and the subject of this sketch was compelled to relinquish his pet object and go to work, which he did in a masterly manner. His first move after quitting his studies, was in obtaining a position as clerk and bookkeeper in a store at Sulphur Springs, Ohio, where he remained until November, 1867; thence to Junction City, Kansas, where he held the position of Assistant Postmaster one year, and changed to his old profession as book-keeper in a general merchandise store
HISTORY OF ORMSBY COUNTY. 561
for one year; thence to Lawrence, Kansas, and entered the employ of the Kansas Pacific Railroad Company as Chief Clerk, Cashier and Ticket Agent. After this he held positions on several railroads, until 1873. March, 1874, he accepted a position as book-keeper with J. G. Fox, of Carson City, Nevada, and came to the latter place. He occupied that position until he was elected County Clerk of Ormsby County, in 1876, on the Dolly Varden ticket. Mr. Marshall has never married.
J. M. BENTON,
The subject of this sketch, is a native of the State of New York, being born in Tompkins County, July 19, 1837. His parents were driven from New York City by the Tories, during the Revolutionary War, and settled in Yates County. Benton Center, of this last-named county, derived its name from this family. They, however, afterwards removed to Tompkins County. In 1856 Mr. Benton started out to seek his fortune, and for about six years traveled through the Western States. In 1862 he entered the United States Army, as a surgeon, a position he creditably filled for nineteen months. In the spring of 1864 he came across the plains to Nevada, and was engaged in mining and milling until 1867 when he entered his present line of business, that of livery and sale stable. A view of his stable buildings accompanies this sketch. They are situated on the northeast corner of Carson and Third Streets, the site of one of the first buildings in Carson City. He bought this property in 1867 and has built additions from time to time as his increasing business demanded, and has at present one of the finest and best arranged establishments in the State. For the past ten years he has been the proprietor of the stage line running between Carson City and Lake Tahoe, of which the celebrated " Hank Monk " has been the " whip." Mr. Benton was married August 28, 1868, to Miss Mattie E. Meder, daughter of Senator B. H. Meder, of Carson City.
M. D. HATCH,
The subject of the following sketch, is a native of the Green Mountain State, being born in Williamstown, Orange County, Vermont, on the nineteenth of August, 1841. Though a native of that State, his recollections do not date back to the time he lived there, for at the early age of two years he went with his parents to Lake County, Illinois, where he obtained a common-school education, and passed the days of his youth in the garden State of the West. When he was a mere boy his parents moved to California, and he accompanied them on the long and tedious journey. This was in the year 1852. Arriving in the land of gold they settled in Nevada County, where they remained until 1867. During the last-named year, Mr. Hatch crossed the mountains and located at Carson City, Ormsby County, Nevada, and engaged in the mercantile and lumber business, where, by strict application to his business, he acquired a competence, and retired from active business life. A man of sound judgment and sterling integrity, the partiality of his fellow-townsmen did not allow him to remain a private citizen among them, and he was induced to accept the nomination as County Clerk, to which office he was elected by a handsome majority in 1880, and without doubt will be able to exhibit as clean a record at the expiration of his term of office, as his predecessors have done. He was married October 20, 1869, to Miss Bertie A. Davis, of Glenbrook, Nevada.
MATHIAS RINCKEL (DECEASED)
Was a native of the old world and was born in the year 1833. Coming when a mere babe to America, with his parents, his early recollections did not date back to his native land. His people settled in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where our subject passed the days of childhood and early youth until he was about nineteen years of age; being a man every way, except in years, he started out at this age to seek his fortune.
In 1852 he went to California and after eight years' stay in there he came over the mountains to Virginia City. During the next three years he made the trip between California and Nevada several times, and located permanently in Carson City, Ormsby County, in 1863, where he carried on the meat business for many years, and by strict application to business accumulated a comfortable fortune. In 1876 he erected the palatial residence, corner of King and Curry Streets, one of the finest in the city, where his family now reside. Mr. Rinckel departed this life October 6, 1879. He was well and favorably known throughout the State, and his death was a calamity to
562 HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA.
the town in which he lived. Many monuments of his untiring energy are still visible in Carson, in the shape of fine buildings. He was married to Miss M. E. Coffey, at Carson City, on the sixteenth of September, 1865, and their union was blessed with six children, four girls and two boys, all of whom are living. A view of their home and one of the many business properties owned by them may be seen elsewhere in this work.
The subject referred to in this sketch, is a native of Canada, and first beheld the light of day in the Province of Ontario, on the seventeenth day of March, 1840. His education was obtained on Canadian soil, and for some years after arriving at manhood's estate, was employed as foreman of a large lumber yard in his native town. In 1870 he emigrated to Nevada, and located at Carson City, Ormsby County. His old business still clung to him, and soon after his arrival in the land of silver, we find him an extensive contractor for the cutting of large amounts of wood for different companies. His early training combined with a clear well-balanced head, soon placed him in advance of his competitors, and he has, beyond a doubt, handled more wood during the past few years than any man in the State of Nevada. Mr. McRae now employs a large force of men, numbering about 125, and over 100 horses and mules, in the delivery of 400 cords of wood daily at Lakeview. The wood is cut in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and placed in a V flume and thus transported by water to a point nine miles below. The wood is owned by the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Company, and is used principally by the Bonanza Firm in working their mines on the Comstock. A view of McRae's wood-camp and portrait of himself may be seen amongst the illustrations of this work.
Was born in Lancaster, Ohio, November 16, 1846, where he spent his boyhood, receiving such advantages in education as were afforded by the schools of his native town. Fired by the prevailing patriotic feeling he left school when he was sixteen and enlisted in the three-months service under Captain Henley, and went to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, in the latter part of 1862. At the expiration of his three-months' term he re-enlisted in the Tenth Ohio Cavalry. On the reorganization of his company he was made Sergeant, and was afterward promoted to First or Orderly Sergeant.
He participated in all the active service of that Regiment, down to the time of the famous march through Georgia, where in a charge on the enemy at a place called Bear Creek he received a wound which necessitated his being carried in an ambulance the rest of the way to the sea. The charge was considered a brilliant affair, and he received the approbation of his officers for the daring displayed in leading the way and enthusing his company with his own spirit. We can hardly conceive a more disagreeable position than to hear the thunder of the guns and see the triumphs of the Union cause in that famous " march to the sea," without being able to participate in the brilliant achievements. On his arrival at Savannah he received a furlough, and visited his home in Ohio, where he remained until able to report for duty, when he rejoined his regiment in 1865, which was, however, soon disbanded. His career, short as it was, was long enough to stamp his character with the soldierly qualities of bravery and endurance.
In 1866 he went to St. Joseph, Missouri, where he engaged in merchandising. While there he was appointed Cashier for the Union Pacific Railroad, which position he was obliged to resign on account of his failing health, which had been much impaired by the necessary hardships to be endured, as well as the severe wounds he received. He turned his steps towards California, the land supposed, above all others, to be best fitted to restore impaired health. Soon after reaching California he was appointed conductor on one of the trains of the Central Pacific Railroad. He was married to Miss Lou C. Tufly, February 21, 1871. Their dreams of domestic happiness were, however, rudely broken by his untimely death, which occurred March 11, 1874. The hardships of camp life on his boyish frame, together with the severe wound, cut short a promising career and swelled by a unit the number of victims of the great Rebellion and the price of establishing a free government.
The widow of the subject of this sketch resides in what is called the Governor's house, or the Nye Mansion, which was occupied by that famous man during the Territorial existence of Nevada. It passed into her possession June 15, 1880. A sketch of it will be found on another page.
Three and a half miles north of Eagle Ranch, now Carson City, the overland emigrant and stage road struck the bank of the Carson River, and there Nicholas Ambrosia located a ranch and kept a station, his claim being recorded March 24, 1855. This station became known as " Dutch Nick's," which name it bore long after the locality had been surveyed into lots and streets, and was officially known as Empire City. 'The town site was laid out in March, 1860, by Eugene Angel and other surveyors, and the name it now bears given it.
The fine water-power here afforded by the river, and its convenient access to the mines of the Comstock Ledge, were the inducements for making a town. Several large quartz mills were built, as has been mentioned in the history of Ormsby County, and the town has always been busy and prosperous. Within the town are the Mexican and Morgan Mills, and others in the vicinity. Two miles below is the Brunswick Mill which, when in operation, employs 200 men.
At Empire is the depot of the wood business of
HISTORY OF ROOP COUNTY. 563
the Carson River; the many thousand cords of firewood, mining timber and other classes of lumber floated down that stream are here caught in booms, landed and transferred to the cars of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad which passes through the place, and borne to their destination. Fifty thousand cords of wood were thus brought to market in 1880.
Among the places of business are four saloons and one large store. The present population is 150.