Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mining Law in 1865

In the earliest days of mining in Montana, from 1862 to 1864, each district had its own rules for the staking of mining claims. Generally these rules were focused on placer claims, and allowed claimants 200 feet long along a gulch, extending completely across the channel. In late 1864, the territorial legislature passed a new law governing mining claims, mostly copied from statutes then in force in California. This law - quoted below - governed the staking of the Cordova and other lodes in the Philipsburg area. The rules created a "lawyer's paradise", generating numerous tangled lawsuits relating to such issues as whether the Hope claim was on a vein that was a "spur" of the Comanche

In 1867, J Ross Browne reported to Congress on the Mines and Minerals West of the Rocky Mountains. By this time, a new Federal statute governed mining claims, which was hardly an improvement over the territorial law. Browne gave a colorful description of the interaction of geology and law in the Comstock district in a Harper's magazine article titled "Washoe Revisited". The Congressional Report the following year contained extensive critiques of the 1866 Federal mining law by W.S.Keyes and Rossiter Raymond. Keyes reported on the operation of the law in Montana, which he regarded as dysfunctional. Raymond's report is a treatise on the history of mining from ancient times to the present and the laws governing mining through time and in various jurisdictions. He is critical of the current mining law but not so scathing as Keyes.

My thanks to John Koerth for pointing out the problems generated by the use of the phrase "dips, spurs and angles" in early mining law. The federal Mining Law of 1872 improved matters somewhat by making claims wider and getting rid of the terms "spurs" and "angles". Most litigation after the 1872 act had to do with miners following a vein on the "dip". If a vein outcropped or apexed on a claim, the claimant could follow the vein down the dip outside the boundaries of the claim. Because of the way veins may complexly branch (much like a braid), it was often difficult if not impossible to determine which branch of the "braid" controlled an ore body. Faulting added additional complications, both geological and legal.

AN ACT relating to the discovery of gold and silver quartz leads, lodes, or ledges, and of the manner of their location. (Approved December 20, 1864.) 

Be it enacted by the legislative assembly of the Territory of Montana, That any person who may hereafter discover any quartz lead, lode, or ledge, shall be entitled to one claim thereon by right of discovery, and one claim each by pre-emption. 

SEC. 2. That in. order to entitle any person or persons to record in the county recorder s office of the proper county, any lead, lode, or ledge, either of gold or silver, or claim thereon, there shall first be discovered on said lead, lode, or ledge a vein or crevice of quartz or ore, with at least one well-defined wall. 

SEC. 3. Claims on any lead, lode, or ledge, either of gold or silver, hereafter discovered, shall consist of not more than 200 feet along the lead, lode, or ledge, together with all dips, spurs, and angles emanating or diverging from said lead, lode, or ledge, as also 50 feet on each side of said lead, lode, or ledge, for working purposes : Provided, That when two or more leads, lodes, or ledges shall be discovered within 100 feet of each other, either running parallel or crossing each other, the ground between such leads, lodes, or ledges shall belong equally to the claimants of said leads, lodes, or ledges, without regard to priority of discovery or pre-emption. 

SEC. 4. When any leads, lodes, or ledges shall cross each other, the quartz, ore, or mineral in the crevice or vein at the place of crossing shall belong to and be the property of the claimants upon the lead, lode, or ledge first discovered. 

SEC. 5. That before any record shall be made, under the provisions of this act, there shall be placed at each extremity of the discovered claim a good and substantial stake, not less than five inches in diameter, said stake to be firmly planted or sunken in the ground, extending two feet above the ground ; that upon each stake there shall be placed, in legible characters, the name of the lead, lode, or ledge, and that of the discoverer or discoverers, the date of discovery, and the name of each pre-emptor or claimant, and the direction or bearing, - as near as may be, of his or her claim ; said stake and the inscription thereon to be replaced at least once in twelve months by the claimants on said leads, lodes, or ledges, if torn down or otherwise destroyed. 

SEC. 6. Notice of the discovery or pre-emption upon any lead, lode, or ledge shall be filed for record in the county recorder s office, of the county in which the same may be situated, within fifteen days of the date of the discovery or pre-emption ; and there shall at the same time be an oath taken before the recorder that the claimant or claimants are each and all of them bona fide residents of the Territory of Montana ; and there shall be deposited in the recorder s office, either by the discoverer or some pre-emptor, a specimen of the quartz, ore, or mineral extracted or taken from said" lead, lode, or ledge, which said specimen shall be properly labelled by the recorder and preserved in his office. 

SEC. 7. That any person or persons who shall take up or destroy, or cause the same to be done, any of the said stakes, or who shall in anywise purposely deface or obliterate any part or portion of the writing or inscription placed thereon, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof- before any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than 1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

SEC. 8. "That the amount of ground which may be taken up upon any lead, lode, or ledge, in addition to the discovery claim, shall be limited to 1,000 feet along said lead, lode, or ledge in each direction from the discovery claim thereon. 

SEC. 9. All lead, lode, or ledge claims, taken up and recorded in pursuance with the provisions of this act, shall entitle the person recording to hold the same to the use of himself, his heirs and assigns ; and conveyances of quartz claims shall hereafter require the same formalities and shall be subject to the same rules of construction as the transfer and conveyance of real estate. 

SEC. 10. That if at any time previous to the passage of this net, claims have been taken up and recorded in the recorder s office of the proper county, upon any actual or proper lead, lode, or ledge of quartz, ore. or mineral, the owners or proper claimants o f said respective claim shall hold the same to the use of themselves, their heirs and assigns. 

SEC. 11. That the act relating to the discovery of gold and silver quartz lodes and the manner of their location, passed by the Idaho legislature and approved February 4, 1864, and all other acts, or parts of acts, inconsistent with this act, be, and the same are hereby, repealed. 

SEC. 12. This act shall take effect from and after this date. 

Again, by an act approved January 17, 1865, it was enacted that quartz mining claims 
and water rights " shall become part and parcel of the county records, and shall be evidence 
in any court or courts of competent jurisdiction ;" thus placing the titles to quartz claims on 
the same footing and making their transfer subject to the same formalities as those to real 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ledgers of Fred Burr and other Cattle traders

Thanks to Blog follower, Sheri Wysong we have been privileged to view many Utah Archives concerning Fred Burr and other early Pioneers. Sheri copied pages from the Camp Floyd account books showing Burr and other Montana pioneer account ledgers. Thanks muchly to Sheri.

Camp Floyd was established on November 9,  1858 as a military base and commanded by Albert S. Johnston. The fort was the first established in Utah Territory. The location was south of present day Salt Lake City off of the current I-15 freeway. The fort provided protection for the Emigrant Trails and Pony Express during their times of service. They also provided much needed supplies and financial accounting for the wagon trains and men trading with the migrating population. Multiple people such as Fred Burr and Tom Adams bought worn out oxen and cattle from the travelers, took them to the Deer Lodge and Flint Creek Valley for the winter and returned to trade the revived bovine to the new trains traveling through the next spring.

As evidenced by the account ledger there were very large accounts for Fred Burr's half-brother young David Burr and his business partners, Hockaday and Mogo. Mogo and Burr had accounts carrying balances for as much as $3,356.62, that was paid off in August 1860. Burr and Hockaday carried a balance as high as $4, 667.78 that was paid off in November 1859.

Fred Burr and John Powell had an account  in October 1858 (before the Camp was designated as a Fort). John Powell was an early resident of the Deer Lodge area and is the namesake of Mount Powell and Powell County. Their ledger lists items such as 2 dozen oysters, calico cloth, pepper, rice and gloves plus cash and vouchers in the amount of  $263.92   In April of 1859 the full amount then totaling $400 was paid off. At that date another $175.50 worth of supplies was also bought and paid for in cash. Obviously the men had traded fattened cattle for cash from the wagon train travelers.
There is one ledger page for just Fred Burr with a balance of $95.75 on November of 1859. All though no other ledger page was copied, I doubt that Burr left any balance unpaid. A page with just Powell listed has an account of $284.64  charged from November 1859 through March of 1860 and was paid off in full on March 20, 1860. A ledger page for Thomas Adams consisting of items such as 5 spools of thread (.50), 12 yards of calico ($3.60), 1 plug of tobacco (.75), $50.00 cash,  totaling $338.30 charged during January, February and June of  1859. This account was paid in full by Adams and Hereford on another ledger with both names and an account totaling $2,957.03 by July of 1860. 
 Hugh O'Neil had an account ledger with items consisting of a hair brush $2.50, 100 pounds of flour $13.00, 1 dozen tin bowls $4.50 charged during June through October 1858 and February 1859. Family history and the Virginia City accounts always referred to Hugh as Major. This ledger establishes that he found Johnston whom he was looking for when O'Neil originally arrived in the Hell Gate area in November 1857 and was a teamster for the military when he met his future bride in 1858. Hugh O'Neil ran against Fred Burr for Sheriff of Deer Lodge County in 1865 and lost by 47 votes. Hugh is the Great-Great-Great Grandfather of my children and will be discussed on a later blog post. His life is covered also in "Mettle of Granite County Book One" pages 72-88.
Obviously the cattle trade along the wagon train trails was a profitable business for many pioneers and the Fort provided the traders supplies and cash advances that would otherwise not been available to the early pioneers of the land later known as Montana Territory.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Discovery of Sapphires at Rock Creek

General references tend to be silent as to who discovered sapphires along the West Fork of Rock Creek. Elsewhere in this blog we credit Emil Meyer the discovery, citing later newspaper accounts, which even refer to him as the "sapphire king." The principal gulch, now  called Sapphire Gulch, was originally called Meyer Gulch (see P. 45 of USGS report). However we are also researching the role of M. H. Bryan, co-publisher of the Philipsburg Mail. In an 1892 account in the Anaconda Standard, Bryan claimed he discovered the sapphire deposits while prospecting for gold along Rock Creek earlier that year. Perhaps so, though no locations for mining claims by either Bryan or Meyer have surfaced in either the Granite or Deer Lodge County courthouses. It seems a large quantity of placer locations in Deer Lodge County have been lost, perhaps in a courthouse fire, according to the clerks in the Office. This is a subject for further research.

Trout Mill area

Here are several Steve Neal photos (taken by his father Frank) of the Trout mills at the head of Cliff Gulch during the 1950s. We visited this area on our Silver and Sapphire trip in June. 

The building on the left is the Trout Manganese mill and the mine dump belongs to the Trout mine.

On the left is the Trout Manganese mill with the Silver Mill on the right.

Here's a closer view of the Trout Silver Mill, a flotation mill for recovering silver from the ore of the Algonquin and nearby mines. 

Scratch All Mine


One of the stops on our "Silver and Sapphire" field trip in June was the Scratch All mine. This is a Steve Neal pic of some of our group in the mine yard... in front, from left, Brian Antonioli, John Koerth, Dave Harris, Bill Olson, and Mike Miller... and behind, Joan Gabelman, John Gabelman and Larry Hoffman. Dave was one of the last miners to work in the Scratch All.

Below is a Steve Neal pic of the mine as it appeared when it was operating in the 1950s.

"Scratch All" is an apparent misspelling of the term for the tool "Scratch Awl", as it appeared on the original survey. Both names are used in historical accounts of the mine. 

The mine develops several veins, including the Cliff, Scratch All Hanging Wall, and Scratch All Foot Wall. The main shaft interconnects with the Cliff, Salmon, Blackmail, and Sharktown workings. The Cliff vein - originally discovered by Hector Horton in 1866 - is the most important. The Cliff was developed by the Hope Mining Company west of the Scratch All proper, through a series of shafts and tunnels on the Cliff No. 2 claim. 

The Scratch All itself was first developed by Murray and Durfee in the 1870s. They developed the mine by driving the Sharktown Tunnel, the portal of which is located several hundred feet below the vein outcrops. The silver ore was processed in the Northwest Company mill located not far from the portal. The Algonquin Company suspected that the ore in the Sharktown was being mined from the Salmon vein, which they owned, and sent a crew of miners, led by their formidable foreman, Harvey Showers, to seize the portal. The confrontation quickly adjourned to a courtroom, where the Algonquin Co.'s suspicions were vindicated and damages assessed. 

During the 20th century, the mine was operated by the Silver Prince Co. (especially during the 1920s) and through the 1960s by Contact Mining Co. and their lessees.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Placer mining panorama

God love this town
And swallow it down
And goodbye to you
(the fate of No Name City in Paint Your Wagon)

We are venturing a ways from Granite County today to post a very early panorama of a placer mine and town that we stumbled across reviewing the index of the Granville Stuart papers in the Tom Perry special collection of the Harold Lee library at BYU. In box 19 there is an item (No. 9) which was apparently identified by Mrs. Granville (Belle) Stuart as a photo of mining at Gold Creek and an unidentified mining town (which we presumed to be Pioneer) taken in 1868. However, when we received a scan of the photo we saw it could not be Pioneer. It rather seemed more like Bannack but careful examination of the photo shows a building with a "Weston House" sign which strongly indicates the panorama is of Diamond City. See especially the Helena Herald of May 20, 1869, for correspondence from Diamond City discussing the Weston House. We have been pointed in the direction of Diamond City by feedback from the Bannack Association as well.

The photographer is not named but we think it could be August Thrasher who was a pioneer photographer with a penchant for producing panoramas, and who was in Montana in the right time frame. He lived in Deer Lodge and was in Bannack during the 1870 census. We are interested to know if other copies of this photo exist. This scan is posted by permission from the Perry collection. Thanks!

Another photo of Diamond City was published in Volume 4 of the Proceedings of the Montana Historical Society in 1903 (below). In this photo, the perspective is similar to the Panorama above and the hills behind are an excellent  match. However, the town is located on the bench, well to the north of the town's location in the panorama, . The original Diamond City apparently suffered the fate of "No Name City" in "Paint Your Wagon" and was engulfed by mining, buried in the tailings seen below the mined bench in the photo below.

Diamond City's newspaper was the Rocky Mountain Husbandman, which contains several articles detailing visits by reporter to the Philipsburg area in the late 1870s and early 1880s - a gold mine of information on the town, people, and mines in that time frame.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 20th Silver and Sapphire field trips

The morning began at 8 am sharp at the James Stuart/ Hope Mill Site with 40 cheery faces assembled around the Stamp Mill (Some Assembly Required). Ted Antonioli talked about the discovery of the Philipsburg District 150 years ago, and the history of milling at the site, with comments added by Loraine Bentz Domine.  Horton's Cordova mine can be seen from the millsite. Here's Ted pointing to the Cordova (Steve Neal pic).

Charlie Connell, a stamp mill expert from Arizona, was given the floor and expressed his great enthusiasm for our project and it's progress. He presented Dave Harris with a stamp mill "key" which is necessary during mill startup. In Steve Neals pic below Dave holds the key while Charlie explains its uses.

Then the group proceeded to the Horton and Cliff Veins along the "road to N.W. Co. Mill." These two veins were Horton's best discoveries, cornerstones of Philipsburg's economy in the 20th century. We took the Scratch All Road and stopped at the Trout Mill area. Below is Loraine's picture of some of the attendees at the morning tour near the Trout Mill Site overlooking the Flint Creek Valley.

Then we turned around and stopped at the Cliff Mine where Horton's discovery is a shaft below the road. Next we stopped at the Scratch All road turnoff and walked up to the Scratch All mine yard. At each of these stops Ted gave a history of the mine and answered questions from the group. The entire area is covered by maps and details in the "Silver and Sapphires Booklet" provided to the group for $10.00 a booklet.

The group then returned to Philipsburg for lunch and some departed for other obligations. After lunch 37 people car pooled to the Sapphire Mines on the West Fork of Rock Creek where we were met by Robin McCulloch and his wife Julie. The group of many pickups, SUV's, jeeps  and my Jetta proceeded through the Gem Mountain tourist panning site and passed the Sapphire Ranch to Maley Gulch where Robin began a thorough discussion of the geological makeup and history of the Sapphire claims. the tour continued on over fairly good logging roads to Sapphire Gulch, the head of Maley Gulch, the ridge between Rock Creek and West Fork, a view of Anaconda Gulch and returned to Skalkaho Highway 38 via Coal Creek road. At each of these sites Robin described what is being found during this current geological exploration and what has been mined in the years prior. Participants were thrilled to find small sapphires and garnets in the road bed and on piles of dirt/clay being prepared to screen during the field trip.  Here's a Steve Neal pic of Robin (right) explaining the sapphire mines to some of the attendees.
The book "Sapphires in the southwestern part of the Rock Creek District, Granite County, Montana" written by Richard Berg in 2014 is a wonderful resource for all interested in the geology and history of this area. It can be purchased for $30.00 at the School of Mines in Butte, Montana.

A hot and tired group returned to Philipsburg about 5pm and at 6:30 pm 16 people plus the Jim, Jill and Jean Waldbillig family enjoyed a back yard BBQ.

Stay tuned for the plans for the summer of 2016 field trip and seminar.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

People involved in the Sapphire MInes on the West Fork of Rock Creek

The original discovery of sapphires is credited to Emil Meyer in 1892. According to the 1910 Census, Emil was born in Germany in about 1848 and emigrated to the United States in 1866. Emil and Lou Moffat with the assistance of David Jankower, a gemologist from London and New York, were able to market the stones they placer mined to Switzerland and other foreign markets. In 1900 the March 8th Philipsburg Mail, stated their yield of sapphires was 200,000 carats with 1,200 carats fit to cut. These numbers helped Meyer and Moffat sell the original claims in 1901 to the newly incorporated American Gem Mining Syndicate.
The American Gem Mining Syndicate composed of people already active in the Philipsburg Mining District was incorporated as follows:
Capital Stock as $300,000 and distributed in the following manner: D. Jankower of Philipsburg, Montana had 299,996 shares; Paul Fusz of Granite, Montana had one share; Moses Rumsey of St. Louis had one share; Auguste B. Ewing of St. Louis had one share; Charles McLure of St. Louis had one share. The corporation directors were: Jankower, Fusz, Rumsey, Ewing and McLure.
The document was signed, notarized and recorded on August 9, 1901. (Montana Historical Society Research Library, Antonioli Papers)

Other persons known to be involved in staking sapphire claims were the Jamieson brothers from at least 1899 to 1905; J.T. Pardee, Doctor Power, Richard Stingle, J.D. Kennedy and Sam Schively. Schively was documented as a gold placer miner in Basin Gulch as early as 1884.

Emil Meyer died of stomach cancer at Mrs. Bennett's hospital in Philipsburg on April 5, 1917. After selling the sapphire claims Emil worked a claim near Princeton during the summer and resided in Philipsburg in the winter. He had no known relatives and it appears he was buried as a pauper in the Philipsburg cemetery.

Conrad Wipf is listed on some of the original AGMS patents. Papers at the MHS Archives state he staked claims in Anaconda and Sapphire Gulch in 1905 and the deeded them over to the corporation. He was paid $4.00 a day to supervise the workers in 1904 and 1905 and continued as foreman until 1910. Bill Queener and Charles Porter stayed at the Sapphire Ranch during the winter of 1904. For the winter of 1905 Axel Sandin and young Conrad Wipf stayed on the ranch for $35 a month. Al Maley, a local trapper and miner, frequently stayed on the ranch and one of the gulches is named after him. Axel was in charge of the teams and claim representation in the summer of 1910. Joseph Sorenson was foreman in 1911 (and maybe through 1913). He died May 1916 in California of Miner's Consumption. Sebastian Seelos filled the position from 1914-1917; Charles Carpp was foreman of Basin Gulch from 1916; Henry Bohrnsen had been a laborer for 15 years before becoming foreman of the Sapphire Gulch Camp in 1917 through 1937. He married the Basin Gulch cook, Ruth Erickson Rau in 1925. They lived in the upper camp on Sapphire Gulch until the next fall when the cabins were moved down to the Sapphire Ranch. The Bohrnsen family then began living year round at the ranch. Hans Luthje was assistant foreman under Bohrnsen. When Charlie Carrp became foreman of all the placers in 1937 (approximately 4,000 acres), he was able to convince J. Walter Kaiser that the claims were financially solvent.

Carrp and Kaiser bought (some say leased in the beginning) the Sapphire Mines from AGMS after the mining season of 1937 for $6,000 and operated them until 1943. They then leased the property to George Carter. In September of 1961, Sally and Bill  Eaton of Seattle bought the mines for $10,000, renamed them The American Bar Sapphire Mines and George continued running the claims as a "Rock Hounding" experience. Marc Beilenberg acquired several of the claims in 1964 and called his property "Skalkaho Sapphires". Willfred Chausee paid $90,000 for the remaining claims in 1966-67.  He allowed Rock Hounds to work the property through 1979. In 1980 Ted and Marie Smith bought the Chausee claims for $1,000,000 with Dick and Joan Tapplin as managers. Bus and Grace Hess later took over the management of the tourist operation. The Smith's sold to American Gem, a Canadian Group, in 1994 and after many manipulations of large amounts of money, they went bankrupt. About 1950 the Sapphire Ranch was broken out of the original claims and was owned and leased by several people, including Nellie Sutherland and my parents: Harry and Nina Bentz. Skalkaho Grazing acquired the ranch meadows sometime in the early 1970's. In the 1980's the Gem Mountain Sapphire Corporation began a fee digging and screening operation in the area north of the Sapphire bridge that Chausee had originally built. American Gem bought Anaconda Bench and Dann Placer from Gem Mountain for $4,000,000 in 1994 and mined more than 4 million carats of gem quality stones during the years of 1994 to 1996. (Berg, 2014; Kane, 2003)  From 2001 to the present (2015) Gem Mountain uses dirt mined from their claims along Anaconda Gulch and Coal Gulch for the tourists to pan and search for sapphires.  R-Y Timber acquired many claims and clear cut the timber before selling to the current owners (Barron and Lutz).
The Ewing family built a log bungalow on a five acre island between the Ranch and Skalkaho Highway 38 (which contained part of the Yellow Dog, Anaconda and Kruger Mining Claims). The exact date the bungalow was built is uncertain but the MHS Archives discuss the Ewing family visiting as early as the summer of 1915. The Walt Kaiser family used the bungalow as a summer home when they owned the Mines. In 1947-48 Bill and Jewel Ball lived there while Jewel taught school for 7 of us children in the "Berry House" located in the Sapphire Ranch field. Harry and Nina Bentz bought the bungalow and 5 acres in 1950-51. The Bungalow burned down in 1959 and Harry sold the property (Yellow Dog 10A and part of the Kruger Claim) to Alvin E. Lutz, Max T. McKee, William Jellison, Clark Blaine Hughes and Lyndahl Hughes on April 12, 1963.
From the beginning, water was a scarce resource, once the mountain snow melted. As early as 1901 articles were published discussing the building of a flume. By 1905 the Cralle Ditch was under construction to supply a decent water source to both Sapphire and Basin Gulch. Also, a V shaped flume was discussed from Stony Creek to the The Cralle Ditch. Whether there was only one flume or Stony Flume, Ewing Flume and West Fork of Rock Creek Flume are all different and built at different times has not been revealed in extensive document research. The DEQ website credits "expert miner McElroy" as stating that a sixteen mile flume was being constructed in 1911, to serve McLure Placer, Aurora and twenty other mining claims. The cost was stated at $75,000. No one at the Deer Lodge National Forest has been able to produce the article cited for this information. The original application filed with the Forest Service in 1906 for one million board feet of timber was to build a flume 18 miles in length  and the timber was to be cut along the ditch with a portable sawmill to clear a strip 100 feet wide. A sawmill was finally set up at the mouth of Coal Creek in 1912 under the supervision of O. J. Berry. Documents at MHSRL indicate a request to P.C. Miller in Stevensville, Montana to submit a bid to build a flume on April 1, 1912. By July 30th the Cheatham brothers (J.N. and C.W.) as engineer and surveyor had 2 camps set up with Foreman E.E. Rhudy and G. E. Rasmussen busy hiring crews and advertising for lumber bids. Camp #1 started a flume from Gem Creek with intake from Gem and Little Gem Creek. Camp #2 was the main flume on the West Fork of Rock Creek with intake from Spruce Creek and Dunshee Creek. Parts of this flume are still visible on the north slide rock along Highway 38 west of Coal Creek.
Paul A. Fusz, born in 1847, left Montana in the fall of 1909 and died February 16, 1910 in St. Louis of Pernicious Anemia.
Charles D. McLure, born in 1844, died in Missoula May 21, 1918 and is buried in the Philipsburg Cemetery.

The men standing in the Stony Flume are probably the Cheatham brothers.  The cabins were at the upper Sapphire camp and later resided at the Sapphire Ranch (picture from Edward Bohrnsen). The Portraits are of Paul A. Fusz and Charles D. McLure and copied from "Prominent Citizens of St. Louis Missouri".

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Horton's Grave Marker

Here is Hector Horton's grave marker, recently installed in the Helena, Forest Vale cemetery by Brian Antonioli and family for the Granite County Historical Society.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Granite County Historical Society 2015 "150 year celebration"

Date and time: June 20, 2015 at 8am Sharp
Where: Meet at James Stuart/Hope Mill Site (east end of Broadway in Philipsburg)
First topic: Hector Horton's Biography and discovery of Silver 150 years ago.
                    presented by Ted Antonioli
Tour of some of Horton's mines such as the Cordova, True Fissure and Scratch All
                    descriptions and discussion by Ted Antonioli

Carpool to West Fork of Rock Creek Sapphire Mines
                    bring your own brown bag lunch

Afternoon Presentations of Sapphire Mines History and tour of the properties
                   Geological History by Robin McCulloch and Ted Antonioli
                    Social History by Loraine Bentz Baker

We will be near the Gem Mountain site, so if person's wish after the tour, they can purchase a bucket of dirt to pan for sapphires. They charge $22.00 a bucket.

Late afternoon/evening BBQ at Jim Waldbillig's Ranch (near Philipsburg)

Pre-registration appreciated and indicate if you want to purchase any of the following:
Richard Berg's "Sapphires in the S.W. part of the Rock Creek Sapphire District"  $30.00
GCHS 2015 Booklet "Hector Horton"............................................................................$10.00
"Silver and Sapphires" t-shirt (above design) (indicate size) S  M  L  X-L.................$15.00
BBQ at Jim Waldbillig's (Hamburgers, Baked Beans, Fruit Salad, Desert) ..............$15.00

Dress for the weather, walking in the hills and insects such as Mosquitoes, Deer Flies and Ticks

Contact: or phone 503-804-4734

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tidbits about Emmetsburg

The mining camp of Emmetsburg was established during the time period of 1865 to 1878, during the heyday of placer mining in Henderson Gulch. Lore has it that the name was in honor of Robert Emmet who was executed (sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and in the event, hung, and his body beheaded) for high treason in Dublin, Ireland on August 25, 1803. Irish Nationalists organized under his name as the Robert Emmet Literary Association and kept his name alive while they settled the American west. One of the pioneers of Henderson Gulch was James A. Murray, who later erected a monument to the miners buried there. According to Bill Farley, author of an upcoming biography, Murray was a dedicated Irish nationalist and no doubt he and the other Irish pioneers of Henderson commemorated Emmet, their hero, by naming their settlement in his honor.

Emmetsburg has the dubious distinction of being remembered for two violent incidents.

In 1871, a Chinese miner, Ah Hoy (listed as living in Deer Lodge in the 1870 census), was apparently caught with stolen goods (or coins) in his possession, was tried in irregular manner by a "people's court", and, the vote of the court having a majority of one in favor of his execution, was summarily hung. Knowles, the district judge, was not amused, and impaneled a grand jury to determine who was responsible for this lynching, but it seems the perpetrators escaped accountability for their actions.

A second infamous incident involved mining partners. According to an Ancestry Message Board on the Internet The St. Louis Globe Democrat, on April 10, 1875 page 2, carried an article titled "Fighting to the death", which originally appeared in substantially the same form in The New Northwest, the local newspaper of that time.
Cartwright (David) and Wallwork (Mathew) were partners in a prospecting enterprise near Emmetsburg and had been working together for some time. They had at one time had differences, but they had been amicably adjusted. Ferguson was the friend of both, esteemed by both, and is Justice of the Peace of the township.  On Monday last, Wallwork, Ferguson and Charlie Cooper had just returned from Phillipsburg and Wallwork and Cartwright happened to be in Ferguson's cabin about noon. Only the three men were present. Wallwork and Cartwright drifted into a quick quarrel and both drew weapons simultaneously-Wallwork a derringer and Cartwright a navy revolver. Ferguson interposed to prevent an affray and caught the revolver which was accidently discharged in the scuffle, the ball passing through Ferguson's right hand, between the first and second fingers, breaking the bone of the first, but not severing the tendon. The ball lodged in the floor of the cabin.  All three left the cabin, Ferguson going to Caplice & Smith's store to have his hand dressed. Wallwork and Cartwright came together again on the street. Frederick Grant was the only witness of the first part of the second encounter. He said they were standing about five or six feet apart, each armed as before. Cartwright said to Wallwork two or three times: "I'll riddle you for that"- presumably having reference to the accidently shooting of Ferguson, or the remarks made in the cabin. Wallwork responded "Commence" or words to that effect and fired his derringer. Cartwright fired his revolver about the same time. Some say the firing was simultaneous, others that Wallwork fired first. Wallwork's derringer had entered about one inch below the outer of Cartwright's breast. He fell, raised to his knees, and fired two more shots, and fell over on his side with a moan. Wallwork, who had received in the front every ball fired from the revolver, turned to walk away, and again turned back, when Cartwright raised a little and fired a fourth shot, that also striking Wallwork. One barrel remained loaded, six shots fired had each hit a man. Wallwork received one ball which lodged three inches above the right knee, one passed into and through the upper part of the right leg from the side, and two balls entered the left leg from the front, one fracturing the femoral artery and one entering four inches below and to the left. Cartwright died. Wallwork has little chance of recovery. Both men were well thought of, were sober, and given to desperate deeds and had been friendly. But both were game. Wallwork was a large powerful man. Cartwright was a small man.
The men detailed in the previous story are listed in the US Federal Census of 1870 as residents of Emmetsburg. Wallwork was listed as a saloon keeper(line 9), though he was also a postmaster, butcher and landlord,  and Cartwright as a miner (line 18).
Following are copies of the Emmetsburg, Montana Territory, US Federal Census 1870. Listed are all of the residents that were home during the time of the survey. Blank lines designate dwellings that were empty at the time of the survey. Note that no Chinese are listed as residents; apparently, they arrived the next year as land surveyors in 1871 noted that the gulch was largely worked by Chinese miners.

Page 125 has only one name living in residence 181 who is William McFarland age 55 who is
farmer, born in Ireland and has personal items valued at $500.00.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Location of Emmetsburg

The principal settlement for the placer miners of Henderson Gulch (where it seems likely the first gold panning in Montana took place) was known as Emmetsburg.  The location has faded somewhat from historical memory as no buildings have survived and most of the site was used for dams and ponds related to placer mining in the mid-20th century. Below is the Original Survey plat of the township from 1871 showing the town of "Henderson" which was an alternative name for Emmetsburg.  It was located where the first ditch built for placer mining in the district discharged into Henderson Gulch,  so this is where the first substantial mining in the gulch took place. It is most likely that mining started on the best ground so the town is probably near what was originally the richest part of the placer.   The survey notes for the western boundary of the township state that "Henderson, or Emmetsburg as it is now usually called, is a thriving little mining camp composed of one store, a saloon, and several houses. Henderson Gulch, in which the camp is situated, was formerly quite rich in gold, and is now worked to a considerable extent by Chinamen."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pioneer Letters

Granite County Historical Society thanks Pat Close for providing us with the following correspondence from the A.S. (Stearny) Blake archives.

#1028-16th St. S.W.
Washington City D.C.

My Dear Stearney--
      Last fall, after working for over 16- years for Blake &McKibbin I was discharged by McKibbin--This was opposed by L.L.[Levi L. Blake] but he had not the power to prevent it. Since then I have not done anything & now I am in need of some sort of work to live on--
       I write to you to ask you if there is anything for me to do in Your neighborhood. I can Keep books or do any kind of clerical work, and  have still good health.
        As you may remember, in the old times, I helped you and Bud MacAdow, and all my life have been willing to help others.
         Now I want you to write to me and let me know if there is anything in which I might be able to help you, as you must have need of helpers in your various works. Or if you know of any openings for me in the Bitter Root Valley.
          The Major and his family are all well, and a few days ago Eliot Smith was here in Washington & his folks are well.
           We have had a very cold & rainy Summer so far, and the Steamboat business has not been very good.
            If there are any openings in the vicinity of Victor put me in, and send for me.
            Please do not fail to drop a few lines, & give me the news of the Country, and all of my old friends in whom I have always taken a lively interest, & am glad to hear of their prosperity.
            We have not heard a word from Granville Stuart since he was here. You know Bill Hamilton, (Deaf Bill) could you give me

This letter is incomplete, without a date  and stops mid sentence. Obviously the recipient is A. S. (Stearney) Blake and the writer is assumed to be Thomas Adams. The subject adds to what is known about Tom's life in Washington City and leaves the reader with a sad picture of a very desperate unemployed, proud man.

The first part of the following letter to  A.S. (Stearney) Blake from Fred Burr is missing.

...built especially for their Mt. Vernon business- in connection with the Marshall Hall work. The Macalaster is the fastest and most elegant boat in these waters. Carries about 2,000 passengers, and was crowded to her utmost capacity during the busy season, making three trips a day.
        Marshall Hall is the finest summer resort on the Potomac and is always crowded with pleasure seekers in the summer that together with Mt. Vernon and the work down the river carrying freight and the mails to different points on the river, gives plenty of business---and will require both boats this summer-- the boat lately purchased is said to be first class and large enough to carry 12 to 1500 people. She is now in Baltimore being overhauled, painted &c. I am writing to you these details not knowing if you are posted or not, but as I imagined that "paralyzed hand" of your brother had not gotten well enough to allow him to write much. Thought he had not told you very much news. Mrs. Blake is a fine looking and good woman---and the baby has lots of friends, when the next one comes (it may be expected before many moons) then the Major will be proud sure enough.
          Tom Adams is about the same Form-- though greyer--in fact white as a white cat. He has not married. We often sit down and talk over old times, and he declares he will go to Montana some of these days. Do you ever see Tom Harris if you do I wish you would push him to write to me in answer to my letters about my Claim for the value of the horses stolen from me in 1857 --- he knows all about the matter and his evidence would help me to get my claim through, now that there is a fair prospect of getting it allowed. My lawyer has written to him as well as myself but lately we can not hear from him. While I was asking for favors I will say that now appears to be a good time for Power and Sanders to urge upon the Interstate Commerce Commission the increase of my salary, as the Commissioners will want to make all the friends they can among the Senators and members to get themselves put on a firm footing.
         I was appointed at a salary of $75.00 per mo. and was glad to get that as I thought when once in an increase would come, but if my backers do not push the matter it may be long before the promotion comes.  I say it (not to boast) and without fear of contradiction that I do more work and of the same class of work as the Clerks who sit around me getting $100 and think it is only fair that the same salary should be given me. If you can stir those fellows up please do so.
                                                                                               Remember me to all friends
                                                                                                     Yours Truly
                                                                                                       Fred H. Burr

Dec. 14, 1891
A. S. Blake Esq.                         
                                                      Friend Blake
                                                                                                                  I learned from L.C. Powers that I was indebted to you for your exertions on my behalf in regard to my procuring a position in the Inter State Commission and I hasten to thank you sincerely and kindly for your interest in my welfare. Your brother the Capt. told me that he had mentioned the matter to you, and I am thankful to him also. He has always proved himself to be a good friend to me and also to Mrs. Burr.
           At the risk of "riding a free horse to death"  I have another request to make of you. There is a rumor of changes to be made in this office, and there may be a chance for me to be advanced. Although I am thankful for $900---still would like $1200 better. and with out undue credit to myself I know that I do the same class of work and more of it than many of those who get the Larger salaries. I thought if you saw Power or Sanders you might prod them up, sometimes they forget little things like this matter, in the press of their business. Remember me to all the Boys, and when you have time and inclination please write to me.
             I sent you a paper. I would like to see some Montana papers.
                                                                                                          Yours Truly
                                                                                                           F. H. Burr
                                                                                                            612 B. Street N.E.

Dec 28
            The foregoing was written as you will see some time ago but was not mailed for some reasons, one of which I did not know your P.O. address. Today I met the Capt. or Major, he told me that Victor was the right address. The Major is looking well he has been a little under the weather with a bad cold but is all right now. He says your Sister is (or has been here) and was anxious to hear from you directly. Major told her "a fellow came to borrow a dollar from me the fellow said he worked for Sternei", he had come here to get a pension ($5oo) per mo-- and was broke.
                                                                                                   As ever
                                                                                                     Yours Truly
                                                                                                       Fred H. Burr

Victor Jan. 9th" 1892
F.H. Burr
Washington D.C.
        Dear Friend
Yours of 14th" Dec. came to hand, and I was glad to here from you and here you were in the land of living yet- and had a position. I did not get your letter in time to do anything for you as our Senators had come and gone. How ever my intention is to visit Washington in May and if I can be any help to you will be glad to do so.  Granville Stuart was at my place about six weeks ago and stop with me two days and we had an old fashioned visit. Talked about you and all the old timers and had a good time. Granville is looking well and feeling well. I made a start for Washington with my Partner and got as far as Chicago and he took sick with the Gripp and stoped with him two weeks, and in the mean time Congress adjourned for the holidays and they was so much sickness I thought I would come back and take in California this winter. Frank Woody and Myself will start next Wednesday. What has come of  Tom Adams. I don't here from him any more, quite a number of your old friends have died since I wrote you last--Lomprey,  Silverthorne,  Higgins and some other I can't think of now.  Fred I am always glad to here from you as that big Brother has quit writing to me  I guess he has to much to do to write. I will send you some papers and say good by. Yours Truly AS Blake