History of Nevada, 1881, Thompson and West. Pages 443-460

Impressions of the Early Emigrants | General Characteristics | Paradise and Quin River Valleys | Organisation and Boundaries | Financial and Political Matters | Humboldt Canal Scheme | Discovery of Mineral | Principal Mining Districts | Principal Towns and Cities | Hon. T. J. Bradshaw | Joel Bradshaw | James Byrnes | Charles Kimler | C. A. Nichols | W. A. Sherry | Hon. M. S. Thompson | E. Blennerhassett.

ALKALI plains, covered in part with scattering sage-brush, with now and then a tuft of bunch-grass; basaltic rocks, twisted and contorted in the great convulsions of nature, over which the lizard darted in his daily hunt for a dinner of insects; crickets squealing out a complaint when the long whiplash of the ox-driver fell too near them; a sage-hen or a hare hurrying out of sight of the man with a gun intent on getting fresh meat; these were the prominent objects that photographed themselves on the memory of those who passed down the Humboldt in the early California days. How the horned toad, lizards, crickets, rabbits, and sage-hens managed to survive and maintain a [p.444] tolerable appearance of vitality passed the understanding of the average ox-driver who wended his weary, toilsome way towards the setting sun. What such a country was made foróso useless, so God-forsakenówas the standing question always entering into consideration, whether watching the cattle during the long hours of the night, forcing them onward with the resounding lash during the day, or taking the daily rations of sodden bread, fried pork, and black coffee. It is true, that now and then one caught a glimpse of a valley which, with seasonable rains, might make a fine home; but to the average emigrant the country was repulsive in the extreme, and thought of only as separating them from the land that was pouring out its gold in the profusion of El Dorado.
To the thoughtful man there was much to study. The facts that the valley of the Humboldt was the bottom of an ancient sea; that the waves, at some distant period, rolled hundreds of feet above the present water level, were a source of constant wonder. Far up on the sides of the mountains could be seen the terraces of the former beach or water level. Every fragment of obsidian or petrifaction was a subject of wonder, and a text for numberless thoughts. The white sands and colored clays were the relics of by-gone ages, when the whale and other monsters of the deep sported over the present mountains and plains. The ancient lava beds, with basaltic or columnar crystallization, and the intervening or protruding rocks, twisted and contorted with the changing of the alkaline bases, were exposed to the inspection of the curious and the studious.
Year after year the emigrants hurried along, little heeding the treasures that were locked up in the hills, or reposing in the numerous valleys which lay hidden between the mountain spurs which traversed the Great Basin. The “great meadows,” as they were called, which marked the last resting-place of the retreating sea, with their thousands of acres of fine meadow grass, would induce the emigrant to tarry a while to recruit his worn-out cattle; but when the indications of approaching winter came, all left the valley of the Humboldt to the possession of the Pah-Ute and his neighbors, the lizards. It was not until the discovery along the base of the Sierra Nevada of the richest silver mines of history that the attention of explorers was turned toward the great valley of the Humboldt.
With explorations and improvements marked changes have resulted and different ideas prevail. As late as 1859 Horace Greeley made his memorable journey across the country, and, remarking upon the repulsive appearance of the “Great Basin,” expressed the opinion that it would be better if the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains could be brought together and the intervening country eliminated from the surface of the earth. Denunciation was popular then, but the hundreds of millions of treasure since produced, and the perennial stream of bullion flowing from countless fountains, the succulent beef fattened upon its hills receiving a premium in every market, the abounding health of the people and their general wealth, the high and orderly state of society, and the many great fortunes that point to this region as their source, have changed the tone, and Nevada can be no longer disparaged.


Humboldt County contains about 16,000 square miles of territory, traversed by numerous mountain ranges with general north and south trend. Some of the peaks have an altitude of 10,000 feet above the sea level, and 4,000 to 5,000 feet above the surrounding country. The mountains generally have an abrupt elevation, leaving broad, flat valleys, covered with sage-brush or barren sand, between. The Humboldt River enters the county near the center of its eastern border, makes a wide detour to the northwest, turns abruptly towards the southwest, emptying into Humboldt Lake in the southwest, having a course of about 150 miles in the county.
This great valley afforded the most feasible and natural passage for the emigration to the Pacific Coast, and opened a route for the great transcontinental railway. Through it now runs the Central Pacific Railroad, with 144 miles within the limits of the county, thus giving superior advantages of intercommunication.
The eastern portion of the county is the most elevated. From its boundary at the one hundred and seventeenth meridian from Greenwich it slopes gradually to the level of the Great Basin, where it terminates in level, barren, sandy, alkali plains, dry and parched in the summer and half covered with water in the winter. This kind of land forms a notable feature in the topography of the county. One body of this kind in the southwestern portion of the county is fully sixty miles wide east and west, by 160 in length from north to south. North of this tract the country gradually rises until a mountainous elevation is reached. Here were the famous Black Rock Mines, which for a long time were a puzzle and a delusion to the prospector who saw possible millions in the mysterious, uncertain mineral. The Forty-mile Desert, the terror of the early emigrants, where, in 1850, hundreds, or rather thousands, of wagons, harnesses, yokes, and skeletons of horses and cattle attested the reality of their apprehensions, is a part of this barren plain, which may find a parallel in the Great Desert of Africa.

[Residence & Ranch of T.J. Bradshaw]

In the northern and eastern portion of the county are many fine valleys, which for beauty and fertility have no superiors and few equals. The bunch-grass is probably the most nutritious of all the grasses, and keeps its virtues even when covered several feet with snow. Cattle will thrive, and even get fat on this when they have to paw the snow away to get at it, though the snows do not often remain on the [p.445] ground many weeks at a time. The Humboldt Valley east of the Great Bend is nearly worthless for agriculture, but after the river passes through the West Humboldt range of mountains and turns toward the south, the valley becomes wider, grassy meadows take the place of the sage-brush flats, and finally the great meadows are reached. Those who crossed the plains with teams before the time of the railway, will remember that unbroken, even untrodden miles of the finest grass, waist-high, covered these natural lawns, 50,000 or more animals halting there had only cropped away the outer edge, so extensive was the range. These meadows will be referred to again in the sketches of the several towns and settlements.


The first of these, which, fortunately, does no discredit to the name, is one of the oases sometimes found in the most barren and desolate countries, like Broussa, in Syria, or the vale of Cashmere, in Persia. It is situated on both sides of the Little Humboldt, which rises in the northern part of the county in the Santa Rosa and Volcanic ranges of mountains, and flows southward nearly a hundred miles, being joined in its course by several smaller streams, finally joining the main Humboldt at the Great Bend. The valley is reckoned twenty to forty miles long and ten to twenty wide, according to the judgment of the writer as to the character or classification of the land. In some places the rich, black soil, or alluvial deposit, is six or eight miles wide, while the slope or sides of the mountains, which may be made productive by irrigation, are ten or twenty more; in other places the valley narrows to a much less distance, actually segregating it into several distinct valleys. As, from its fertility and favorable situation, it is likely to become the most important and permanent agricultural portion of Nevada, an account of its discovery and settlement well deserves a place in the history of the State.
About the first of June, 1863, R. D. Carr, W. B. Huff, J. A. Whitmore and W. C. Gregg started from Star City with the intention of prospecting the mountains on the north side of the Humboldt, ranging to the east. They crossed near where Mill City now stands, and followed the western slope of the mountains until they struck Rebel Creek, which they followed to its source near the summit. On attaining the summit a wide and beautiful valley burst on their view. Having seen only canons and rugged hills they were much surprised, and W. B. Huff involuntarily exclaimed, "What a paradise !" and thus gave name to the valley. The men, were so elated with the discovery that all thoughts of mines were forgotten, and they lost no time in taking possession of homesteads, or at least driving stakes to indicate their claims. In July following, Gregg returned with fourteen head of horses, wagons, mower, hay-press and blacksmith tools. During the season he cut and baled two hundred and fifty tons of hay, the most of which he sold at remunerative prices at Star City and Austin. In 1864, M. Maylen, Thomas Byrnes, P. H. Scott, E. Lyng, -- Moffett, ó Johnson, Geo. H. Carrol, J. B. Carrol, Wm. Stock, C. W. Hinkey, Geo. A. Middleton, Charles A. Nichols, Richard Brenchley, John Stockham, R. H. Scott, A. Denio, M. W. Haviland and Jacob Hufferd, the two latter with families, came to the valley, Mrs. Hufferd being the first white woman to set foot in it.
They made houses of turf and such other material as was at hand, and set up housekeeping with prospects of eventually building up comfortable homes, and cultivated small patches of land in vegetables. March 6, 1864, Richard Brenchley and Charles A. Nichols plowed the first furrow, and on the twelfth sowed the first grain in the valley. The grain exceeded all expectations. From forty-five acres of wheat they threshed 1,000 bushels, which they sold for $9,000. Others also engaged in farming, the results being equally satisfactory, and the whole colony calculated on engaging extensively in farming the following season. Early in the spring of 1865 the hostile appearance of the Indians induced many of the settlers to abandon the valley. Others relied upon the presence of the military at the different camps to awe the Indians into quiet; but Nevada is a large State, and a few scattered troops can do but little towards restraining thousands of savages hidden in the canons and wild places. April 4th two friendly Indians came to Nichols’ place very much excited, and told him that in two or three sleeps (days) the Indians were going to kill all the white men, and advised, or rather entreated him to leave immediately. Circumstances prevented them from doing so, and some of the number were killed. The Indians continued hostile, and, notwithstanding the presence of the soldiers, made a residence very dangerous. Much of the stock was driven off; some of the men were killed, and it was not until 1869 that the settlers felt secure in their homes. A full account of this period is given in Chapter XXII of this history, to which the reader is referred.
In 1866 a military post was established at Camp Winfield Scott. This was abandoned in 1871, the troops being transferred to Camp McDermit, near the Oregon line. Among the early settlers of the valley, coming after the emigration of 1864, were ----- Mitchel, B. F. Riley, Wm. Trousdale, James B. Glassgow, Victor John, Chris. Dearborn, killed in 1866, also his companion, S. B. Wordin, John and William Sheldon, ó Roper, S. B. P. Pierce, Chauncey Lawrence, John Mullenaux, Alonzo Bryant, T. J. Bryant, Batista and John Rickanzoni, ----- Fornian, Cyrus Abel, Edward Odell, J. G. Johnson, Samuel Foreman, and others whose names are not remembered.
Since 1870 the settlement and improvement of the valley has been rapidly going on; 143,358 acres of land had been surveyed as early as 1876; 33,994 were sold at that time. Flour and barley, products [p.446] of the valley, are now sold everywhere within a radius of a hundred miles. The development of the mines in the Valley is also increasing the value of the land by bringing a nearer market for the productions.
The valley, owing to the immense range of hills covered with bunch-grass, has become famous as a stock range, and we find the following estimates, for 1880, of its live-stock: Cattle, 7,000; sheep, 10,500; horses, 1,000.
The first store kept in the valley was owned by George A. Middleton, at Milton’s Point. Whisky was fifty cents a drink, though regular customers got it at reduced rates. Coffee was $1.00; bacon, fifty cents; beans, thirty; flour and sugar, fifty, and tea, $1.50 per pound. The first flour-mill was built by C. A. Adams in 1868. Previous to this wheat was ground with a coffee-mill. Wheat yields twenty-three bushels to the acre on an average. Of course larger crops than this are frequent, as high as eighty bushels to the acre having been harvested. The mill now has two run of buhr-stone, turning out a first-rate quality of flour.
The Humboldt County Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society owes its existence mostly to the enterprise of the citizens of Paradise Valley. This society has a capital stock of $10,000, divided into 2,000 shares. The principal place of business is Paradise City. The officers for 1880 were:
C. C. Biles, President; J. R. Harvey, Vice-President; J. B. Chase, Secretary; Wm. Stock, Treasurer; J. R. Harvey, Superintendent of Arena; J. B. Case, Superintendent of Pavilion.
Board of TrusteesóW. B. Carrol, C. A. Nichols, Ferdinand Bauman, W. M. Barnum, L. L. Rickard, S. B. P. Pierce, J. R. Harvey, C. C. Biles, Chas. Kemler, Wm. Weighl, B. F. Riley, B. H. Luther, Anton Hinkey, J. B. Carr, Wm. Stock.
Committee on Speed ProgrammeóC. C. Biles, J. R. Harvey, B. H. Luther.
Committee on Premium ListóChas. Kemler, J. B. Case, C. C. Biles.
Committee on PrintingóJ. B. Case, C. C. Biles.
Over $5,000 were offered as premiums, besides medals and diplomas, for best horses, stock, minerals, agricultural, artistic and mechanical productions. The list of the premiums, with the liberal rewards offered, attest the intention of the citizens to put themselves in the front ranks of enterprise and improvement.
Less than twenty years have elapsed since the settlers turned the first furrow, but the comfortable residences and farm buildings, fences, waving fields of grain, and numerous herds of cattle and sheep, attest not only the fertility of the soil, but the enterprise and industry of the inhabitants.
QUIN RIVER VALLEY lies along the river of the same name, which rises in a high range of mountains near the Oregon line, and flowing southwesterly several hundred miles, meandering among the alkali flats, finally dwindles away and disappears in the sands. The upper part of this valley contains some good grazing land, most of which is in the possession of one manóN. A. H. Mason, who maintains upon it a herd of over six thousand head of cattle. No great attempts have been made to cultivate the soil, and the population is sparse. There are neither schools, churches or other institutions for the benefit of the few scattered herdsmen who compose the entire population.


Humboldt County was created at the first session of the Territorial Legislature by an Act approved November 25, 1861, and its boundaries were described as follows: " Beginning at the northeast corner of Storey County; thence running easterly along the immigrant road leading to the sink of the Humboldt, to the fortieth parallel of latitude; thence east along said line to the eastern boundary of the Territory; thence north, along the eastern boundary, to the northern boundary of the Territory; thence west along said boundary line to the northeastern corner of Lake County, (since called Roop); thence south along the boundary lines of Lake and Washoe Counties to the point of beginning." This comprised close upon 23,490 square miles in the northeastern quarter of the Territory. This tract of country was larger than all of New England, and larger than several of the other States; in fact it would have been, as far as territory was concerned, a very respectable State. It is not presumed that the organization of a county government served as much of a restraint on the Indians, or on the more civilized whites who launched themselves into this terra incognita.
By the Act approved December 19, 1862, creating Lander County, all that portion of Humboldt County lying between the fortieth and forty-second parallels of north latitude, and lying between the one hundred and sixteenth and one hundred and seventeenth degrees of longitude, was made a part of Lander County. This included about one-third of the original area of Humboldt County. By the Act approved March 7, 1873, a portion of the southeast corner of Humboldt County was added to Lander County, leaving the boundaries between the two counties as at present. By an Act approved February 27, 1869, the fortieth parallel of north latitude was made the southern boundary of Humboldt County. By this change Humboldt County lost a triangular piece of territory at its southwest corner that contained 29¼ square miles. In return for this cession, Churchill County was required to pay to Humboldt County the sum of $3,000. The object of the cession was to include a portion of the Central Pacific Railroad in Churchill County, and thus assist Churchill in maintaining a government. Subsequently another small triangular section was ceded to Churchill County in the extreme southwest.



It seems to be the fate of young communities, like the young generally, to plunge into debt, and then struggle for years to get out, or to keep even. Debts are usually incurred in prosperous years and paid when times are hard. In some instances a community is organized with high hopes, rich mines or other sources of wealth being apparently unlimited. Public works of an extravagant character are inaugurated, bonds bearing a high rate of interest are issued to pay for them, and for a few years at least everything appears prosperous. But the tide of prosperity turns; the mines fail or become worked out; the population which was attracted by the excitement leaves for some other new wonder; property depreciates; everything but the debt gets less and less as the years pass on; but the bonds bearing a high rate of interest, which perhaps is not paid, roll on increasing as they go, until every industry is overshadowed by them; while the authors of the misfortunes, the office-seekers and politicians, who usually are parasites on the community, neither toiling nor spinning, fold their tents and glide away. This is the history of many a county in California; and Nevada seems no exception. Humboldt County for years had a nominal debt, but a Court House commensurate with the prosperous condition of the county was needed, and the nucleus of a debt started. From a few thousands it became $66,000. A thousand or two was added each year until, in 1880, approaches to near the sum of $100,000. Luckily for Humboldt County the influx of population was not by tens of thousand a year as in the counties of El Dorado and Calaveras, in California, or the experiences of those counties might have been repeated here. By looking at the assessment roll it will be seen that there has been a general and steady increase of property values. This is owing in a great measure to the farming and grazing interest, which is subject to much less fluctuation than mining. The incomplete returns of 1863 do not show the basis of the assessment roll of $1,096,848.50 for that year, but the decrease of over $200,000 the following season might have been occasioned by the loss or driving away of cattle and other stock in consequence of the dry winter of 1863-64, also by the Indian difficulties. The lowest point was reached in 1865, when the assessment roll showed a total of $385,460. From this point it gradually increased to over $1,500,000 in 1868, and to $2,198,797 in 1869. The fluctuation was caused by the discovery of some of the richest mines away from the Comstock Lode, causing a boom which reached its climax in 1869. The reaction lasted but a year or two, when the prosperity of the county was placed on a permanent basis.
The mines, though not fabulously rich, are generally on a paying basis. Though it may seem strange to relate, yet it is now a conceded fact that mines which are rich enough to attract the attention of millionaires do a country but little good. The management is entrusted to agents who obtain labor and materials at the lowest rates, the profits going to some other place to be expended, perhaps in London or Paris in “creating a sensation.”
Humboldt County has an assurance of a moderate prosperity, and when the people awake to the necessity of curtailing county expenses to the rates prevailing in older communities, as they inevitably will, and commence a reduction of the hitherto increasing debt, they may rest in peace.
The total value of taxable property in the county for 1875, was $2,098,716, and the total debt was $69,403. In 1880 the taxable property was $2,375,973, with a debt of $98,079; showing that the increase of debt keeps pace with the increase of property values in the county. According to the reports of the various Assessors there are but 20,000 acres actually under cultivation, while the Surveyor General reports 150,000 acres in the county available for agriculture, with the possibility of increasing the amount to 300,000 by means of proper irrigation. So that there is ample room for a larger population and more homes in Humboldt County.
For a full statement of the population, the bullion product, the fruit trees and vines, the amount of land under cultivation, and the various products of the same, the reader is referred to the various tables in the general history, where each is given under the proper heads. See pages 135, 136, 139, and 140.


The names of those who filled the various positions of honor and trust in the county, either by appointment or election, and the date of such ’appointment or election in each case, are given below:-


M. S. Thompson was elected Councilman under Territorial law September 3, 1862; W. H. Claggett and Wm. Essler, elected Senators January 19, 1864; Fred. Hutchins, elected Councilman September 7, 1864; Fred. Hutchins and M. S. Thompson, elected Senators November 8, 1864; J. J. Linn, elected November 6, 1866; M. S. Bonnifield, elected November 3, 1868; Robert McBeth, elected November 8, 1870, resigned, March 18, 1873; Charles S. Varian, elected November 5, 1872, resigned, August 8, 1875; O. K. Stampley, elected November 3, 1874; Charles McConnell, elected November 7, 1876; M. S. Thompson, elected November 5, 1878; Charles McConnell, elected November 2, 1880.


Wm. H. Claggett, A. J. Simmons, elected Representatives under Territorial law September 3, 1862, re-elected September 2, 1863; L. D. Prescott, J. W. Strong and A. J. Simmons, elected Assemblymen January 19, 1864; D. H. Brown and E. W. Pratt, elected Representatives September 7, 1864; D. H. Brown, B. H. Nichols and J. Angus Dean, elected Assemblymen, November 8, 1864, under the Constitution [p.448] that was rejected; J. A. Banks, T. V . Julien and J. J. Linn, elected November 7, 1865; P, J. Parmater, T. V. Julien and O. K. Stampley, elected November 6, 1866; J. M. Woodworth, R, H. Scott and T. W, Rule, elected November 3, 1868; W. A. Trousdale, Thomas Harris and Joseph Organ, elected November 8, 1870; John O. Teviss, Charles H. Stoddard and John H. Hoppin, elected November 5, 1872; L, A. Buckner, Pablo Laveago and J. B. Case, elected November 3, 1874; S. W. Hammond, W. H. Howard and W. A. Trousdale elected November 7, 1876; Angus Morrison, David McLarkey and O. P. Crawford, elected November 5, 1878; A, J. Shepard, Joseph Organ and Thomas J. Bradshaw, elected November 2, 1880.


M. S. Thompson, J. G. Briggs and A. Benway were appointed in 1861; J. G. Briggs, L. M. Carter and M. S. Thompson, elected January 14, 1862; R. M. Johnson, A. P. K. Safford and L. M. Carter, elected September 3, 1862. Johnson did not qualify, and J. B. Addlebaugh appointed November 15, 1862. Safford resigned October 20, 1862, and Thomas Ewing appointed to fill vacancy. Thos. A. Freeman, W. W. Williams and C. W. Shang, elected September 2, 1863; A. D. McCullough and T. A. Freeman, elected September 7, 1864; Geo. W. Fox, elected November 8, 1865; A. D. McCullough, Robert B. Fluger and L. L, Rigby, elected November 6, 1866; H. G. Cavin and Thomas Thompson, elected November 3, 1868; B. F. Riley, Frank Drake and G. M. Miller, elected November 8, 1870; John Borland and Nathan Levy, elected November 5, 1872. C. A. Nichols and J. F. Clark, elected November 3, 1874; R. W. Wood and A. Westfall, elected November 7, 1876; R. H. Scott and H. P. Marker, elected November 5, 1878; D. Giroux and L. N. Carpenter, elected November 2, 1880.


A. W. Olliver, appointed December 10, 1861; Hiram Knowles, elected September 2, 1863, re-elected January 19, 1864.


Wm. W. Dixon, appointed Prosecuting Attorney December 22, 1862, resigned January 9, 1863, and Hiram Knowles, appointed January 15, 1863, to fill vacancy; O. R. Leonard, elected September 2, 1863; A. P. Overton, elected District Attorney November 8, 1864, There being no vacancy he never served. O. R. Leonard held over until January, 1867, by virtue of Section 13 of Article 17 of the Constitution. O. R. Leonard elected November 6, 1866; P. H. Harris, elected November 3, 1868, re-elected November 8, 1870; T. V. Julien, elected November 5, 1872; S. S. Grass, elected November 3, 1874; Geo. P. Harding, elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878; J. H. McMillan, elected November 2, 1880.


A. W. Nightingill, appointed December 10, 1861; Robert McBeth, elected January 14, 1862; re-elected September 3, 1862; S. D. Prescott, elected September 7, 1864; J. M. Woodworth, elected November 6, 1866; J. N. Thacker, elected November 3, 1868; N, H. Westfall, elected November 8, 1870; Samuel King, elected November 5, 1872; Richard Nash, elected November 3, 1874; Charles A. Kyle, elected November 7, 1876; Geo. M, Miller, elected November 5, 1878; W. T. Burns, elected November 2, 1880.


J. W. Whitney, elected January 14, 1862; re-elected September 3, 1862. Wm. K. Parkinson, appointed March 1, 1864, in place of Whitney, deceased. Wm. K. Parkinson, elected September 7, 1864; J. D. Minor, elected November 6, 1866; re-elected November 3, 1868; C. S. Varian, elected November 8, 1870; J. H. Job, elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876, reelected November 5, 1878; J. E. Sabine, elected November 2, 1880.


A. W. Nightingill, elected January 14, 1862; W. A. Holcomb, elected September 3, 1862, re-elected September 7, 1864; M. P. Freeman, elected November 6, 1866; J. M. Brown, elected November 3, 1868; Christopher Lark, elected November 7, 1870, re-elected November 5, 1872; A. J. Shepard, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878; C. A. La Grave, elected November 2, 1880.


S. M. Boblett, elected January 14, 1862; E. E. Comstock, elected September 3, 1862. Hiram Welch was appointed June 6, 1864, in place of Comstock, absent. W. J. Hanks, elected September 7, 1864; M. H. Haviland, elected November 6, 1866; J. Q. Dryden, elected November 3, 1868; Charles Kyle elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5 1872; James Buckner, elected November 3, 1874 re-elected November 7, 1876; L. L. Rickard, elected November 5, 1878; William Perkins, elected November 2, 1880.


Wm. Brayton, elected January 14, 1862, re-elected September 3, 1862. J. D. Minor, appointed April 6 1863, in place of Brayton, deceased. A. P. K. Safford, elected September 2, 1863, re-elected September 7, 1864; H. Welch, elected November 6, 1866, re-elected November 3, 1868; S. J. Bonnifield elected November 8, 1870, re-elected November 5. 1872; Charles A. La Grave, elected November 3 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876; G. F. Turriten, elected November 5, 1878; W. A, Trousdale, elected November 2, 1880.

[Residence and Ranch of Mr. & Mrs. Joel Bradshaw]


E. A. Scott, elected September 3, 1862, Office declared vacant April 6, 1863, and H. Pfersdorff appointed to fill vacancy. J. F. Kingsbury, elected September 7, 1864; A. H. Heaslep, elected November 7, 1865; George M. Miller was appointed April 2, [p.449] 1866; T. G. Negus, elected November 6, 1866, reelected November 3, 1868; L. M. Irving, elected November 8, 1870; C. Chenowith, elected November 5, 1872, re-elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878, reelected November 2, 1880.


Wm. Epler, appointed December 9, 1861; Wm. Epler, elected January 14, 1862, re-elected September 3, 1862, re-elected September 7, 1864; P. K. Root, elected November 6, 1866, re-elected November 3, 1868; T. Ginacca, elected November 8, 1870; Joseph Ginacca, elected November 5, 1872; D. Van Lennep, elected November 3, 1874, re-elected November 7, 1876, re-elected November 5, 1878; T, D, Parkinson, elected November 2, 1880.


W. F. Stevens, elected November 6, 1866, reelected November 3, 1868; James Buckner, elected November 8, 1870; David McLarkey, elected November 5, 1872; M. Oppenheim, elected November 3, 1874; Pat. Bell, elected November 7, 1876; M. Oppenheim, elected November 5, 1878, re-elected November 2, 1880.


Frank K. Wheeler, elected September 3, 1862, re-elected September 7, 1864, resigned April 2, 1866; J. D. Minor appointed to fill vacancy.


This canal was projected in 1862 and built by an incorporated company, with the central office at San Francisco, the most of the stock being also owned there, The principal operator in the matter was J. Ginacca, an Italian, who had been a resident in the Territory since 1860, being the earliest settler of the town of Winnemucca. It was proposed to irrigate all the land along the line of the ditch and also furnish motive power to all the mills on its route, Mill City was started up with the intention of making it a milling and reduction center for all the mines in the Star District, but the canal never reached that point, stopping at Winnemucca, twenty-eight miles from the place where the water was taken out, For some reason it was not found profitable and the work was abandoned, no water having been through the canal for ten years. About $100,000 were expended in constructing the canal to Winnemucca. The canal was to have been ninety miles long, fifteen feet wide and three feet deep.


The first mineral from Humboldt County, seen in Nevada, was exhibited by two Frenchmen, Louis Barleau and A. Gintz, early in the spring of 1861, They kept a trading-post about one and one-half miles south of the Humboldt House, and reported rich and extensive veins carrying both gold and silver in the main Humboldt range. The prospect of finding a new El Dorado induced a great number to plunge into the unknown land, The common route of travel was along the Carson River to the Carson station; thence across the Forty-mile Desert to the sink of the Humboldt River; thence along the lake and river to the Humboldt cañons, The Indians also brought in many rich specimens which they reported as having been found on the east side of the West Humboldt range. They appeared willing to lead the whites to the sources of these specimens. Hugo Pfersdorff, on the twenty-eighth of April, 1861, was conducted into the valley where Unionville has since flourished. About the same time, Isaac Miller and Joe Thacker were guided into Star Cañon, the discovery of the famous Sheba mine being the result. During the year but three settlements were made, Humboldt City being the third. Dun Glen was settled in 1862.


BATTLE MOUNTAIN DISTRICT, lying mostly within the limits of Lander County, will be treated of in the history of that county.

BLACK ROCK DISTRICT has been the subject of more speculation, the cause of more brilliant expectations, and greater disappointments than perhaps any other section of country in the mining regions. As early as 1859 men began to hunt for precious metals among the curious black ledges which were so different from anything seen elsewhere. It was soft, easily whittled, and had some of the lustre, when cut, pertaining to all minerals and ores. Anything new had tremendous possibilities in it. If this was silver the only apprehension felt was that the enormous quantity in sight would utterly destroy the value of that metal. By some it was urged that precious metals were never deposited in such large quantities; that it was impossible. Others saw no reason why mountains of silver should not be found as well as mountains of iron. Most of the assayers pronounced the rock worthless; others said that it would yield, under proper treatment, $50 to $500 per ton. The Assessor and Surveyor of the county for 1867-68 reported as follows:-
The difficulty met in reduction has already been adverted to. It arose from a total misunderstanding of the nature of the ore. The ores are true salts of silver and gold, which have gone through one of the most important steps in the process of reduction in the laboratory of nature, in the bosom of the earth, and are found in the form of chlorides, iodides, bromides, cyanides, and nitrates. To attempt to chloridize a chloride is folly, but that is what most of the workers of this rock have undertaken to do, and the reputation of the district has suffered in consequence. But give credit to nature for what she has done -- commence where she has left off and the reduction of the ores is a very simple matter.
The public chose the side of tremendous possibilities, and pronounced the rock good. Several districts were organized, and a number of mines in each opened. A railway, with steam navigation across Pyramid Lake, was talked of, and great [p.450] cities built in imagination, but the price of silver did not come down, nor did the discovery work any change in the monetary affairs of the world. The silver was not there. At present there is no work being done at Black Rock. Three mills, built respectively by the Black Rock, Goodwin, and Atchinson Companies, were removed, after giving the mines a fair trial. Other districts in the vicinity, called the Hardin, Piute, Foreman, Chico, and High Rock had about the same history.
The famous Rabbit Hole sulphur mines are in this district. The first locations were made in March, 1875, by McWorthy and Rover. Shortly afterward locations were made by Hale & Wright, one mile and a half distant. The sulphur is found mixed with clay, and sometimes nearly pure in large masses, and seems to have been distilled, or sublimed, out of the adjoining rocks, which are black, slaty marl and limestone. An alkali flat bounds the sulphur deposit opposite the hills or mountains. Both places are owned by the Pacific Sulphur Company, which ships large amounts to San Francisco, where it is refined and used for making sulphuric acid and other chemicals. It is worth at San Francisco about seventy-five dollars per ton. The deposit is about twenty-five miles due north of the Humboldt House, a station on the Central Pacific Railroad.

BUENA VISTA DISTRICT was organized in 1861. Is in one of the most beautiful sections of the State, with cold springs, which feed a perennial mill-stream flowing through a broad and fertile valley. The mines in this district have furnished nearly $4,000,000 in bullion, and some of them, such as the Arizona and Hope, are still on a paying basis. Among the prominent mines in early days were the National, Governor Downey, Alba Nueva, Cass, Joe Pickering, Halleck, Seminole, Eagle, Leroy, Agamemnon, Manitowoc, Champion, Cedar Hill, North Star, Atlas, etc. These had veins of ore three feet or more in width, reported as paying from $50 to $1,200 per ton. Some of the veins would run as high as $400 per ton; but the general average was very much less than was estimated when the mines were being opened, and the final result was not as satisfactory as the estimates and assays indicated. In 1878, of all the mines in the county, only the Arizona and Rye Patch paid a bullion tax. From 1871 to 1878 the Arizona produced $1,302,238.58. Water was encountered at the depth of eighty feet, and at the depth of 400 feet it became uncontrollable. The property was owned by John C. Fall & Co, The district lies on the eastern slope of the West Humboldt Mountains, about twenty-five miles south of the Central Pacific Railroad at Mill City.

CENTRAL DISTRICT was organized in 1862, the principal mine being called the Fifty-Six. The vein, which was a compound or multiple vein, and sixty-five feet wide, was rich in copper and silver, containing of the latter some sixty or seventy dollars to the ton. It was soon after sold to a New York company, in anticipation of the building of the transcontinental railway. Ten years afterward locations were made under the names of Teamster, Golden Age, Railroad, Locomotive, Hammond and Monarch. The veins are said to be very narrow, with bodies of very rich ore, yielding in some instances $2,000 to the ton. Up to 1875 the Golden Age had produced about $17,000 in bullion, the ore averaging $400 per ton. The mill, a four-stamp, was burned in 1876, since which time little work has been done.

ECHO DISTRICT was among the first organized, dating back to 1863, and is situated on the western slope of the West Humboldt range of mountains, the Buena Vista being opposite on the east. The noted mines at the time of the organization were the Washington, Mountain King, Mining Star and Alpha. The Washington Mine included several parallel veins, two to three feet wide, assaying as high as $500 per ton, with every appearance of being a true fissure vein. The Mountain King was to the south of the Washington, with similar croppings and characteristics. This was considered a very promising vein also. The vein was tapped at a depth of 500 feet with a tunnel 450 feet in length. The San Francisco was north of the Washington Mine. The Mining Star veins were at the head of the Echo Cañon, on the same range as the Washington and Mining Star. The Alpha Mine, located in 1864, is situated at the mouth of Panther Cañon. The ore is found in considerable quantities in chutes and pockets in a metamorphic limestone. The mine was sold in 1869 to an English company for $62,000, and has been worked most of the time since. Selected ore mills $100 per ton. The Rye Patch Mine is a similar formation and is owned and worked by the same company, as is also the Butte Mine. The company has paid several dividends and owns a Stetefeldt furnace and ten-stamp mill, at the Rye Patch Railway Station.
The dividends aggregate ___ $127,500
The assessments “ ____________ 97,500
The Rye Patch Consolidated is an incorporated company with stock called on the Boards at San Francisco. The works have been tied up to some extent for some years, in consequence of a suit with the Reese River Gold and Silver Mining Company, who sued to obtain possession of the Alpha Mine and $225,000 damages.

EL DORADO DISTRICT is situated on the western slope of the West Humboldt Range, west of Star Peak. The ledge which drew attention to this section was the Banner, and is now known as the El Dorado, and is 3,330 feet in length. The Corinth, New England and Mount Carmel were also noted mines. None of the mines have met the expectations of the owners or become noted.

GOLD RUN DISTRICT was organized in 1866, and is [p.451] located on the second range of mountains east of the lower Humboldt, the Golconda, Cumberland and Jefferson being the principal places of promise, though numerous other locations were made. The Golconda, in particular, was supposed to be an immense fortune. The following extract from the report of the Surveyor General will show the estimate of its value in 1868:--
The Golconda is an immense mass of mineral, yielding from $40 to $118 per ton in the mill. * * * A shaft eighty feet deep has been sunk in a solid bed of ore. This shaft and a large cut on the surface, some forty feet in length and fifteen feet deep, expose thousands of tons of very fine ore, sufficient to employ several mills for several years. In working the assessments under the district laws the owners have found rich and well-defined veins of ore on three several places, of the same character as the original location. * * * * * Assays as high as $12,486 per ton have been made from this ore by Sidney Tuttle, assayer at the Oreana Smelting Works.
But a small amount of bullion tax was ever paid from these mines.
HUMBOLDT DISTRICT, organized in 1860, has the honor of being the first in the county, is on the westerly slope of the Star range of mountains, about five miles from the river, two and a half from the Central Pacific Railroad, sixteen miles from Unionville, and one hundred and seventy-five miles from Virginia City. Humboldt Creek, forming Humboldt Cañon which is four miles long, runs through the district. A strong vein or reef of limestone, in some places seventy feet high, crossing the cañon, is one of the main geological features of the district. Several quartz veins running parallel to the limestone reef first called the attention of the prospectors to the mineral wealth of the district. On the lower side of the reef are the Reveille, Franklin, Santa Cruz, and Monte Christo veins. On the upper side, in a quartzite formation, are the Starlight, Calaveras, Sigel, Adriatic, Winnemucca, Washington, and Saint Bernard, occurring in the order mentioned. According to the reports of 1868, the Starlight had a vein ten feet wide; Calaveras, sixteen feet; Sigel, two feet, bearing gold; Adriatic, four feet; Winnemucca, twenty-four feet; Washington and Saint Bernard, four feet each.
Nine mines were opened to a depth of fifty feet or more, and tunnels were driven into the mines at a great expense, but no large bodies of ore were found. During the panic of 1865 all work was suspended, though the claims were not wholly abandoned. In the winter of 1870-71 work was resumed on the Starlight and a mine called the Madia. At a depth of seventy feet the vein of the Starlight was four feet thick, standing nearly perpendicular. The Madia was in the foot-hills, and was a vast mass of quartz containing some gold, arsenic, and silver, the gold being four to nine dollars a ton through the mass. None of these mines ever became productive. With cheap timber, fuel, and labor, some of the mines may be put on a paying basis. During its best days the district contained about 500 inhabitants. Not far from the railway is a deposit of sulphur, left by an extinct thermal spring. The deposit of sulphur alternating with gypsum is about twenty-five feet across, and of uncertain depth. It has some economic value, but is more interesting as a relic of the geological formation of the country.


MOUNT ROSE DISTRICT, located in 1871, is situated in the boundaries of the famous Paradise Valley, in the northeastern part of the county. Having been discovered and developed since the great mining craze of the decade of sixty, it may be relied upon as promising something for the future. It is said that wood, water and other supplies are in such abundance as to make it the most favorable point for mining in the State. The veins are well-defined with porphyry and granite walls. The ore is rich, carrying both gold and silver, and easily reduced. The principal work, so far, has been done by the Paradise Mining Company, though perhaps a hundred other locations are made. Their vein crops out on the face of a steep mountain, affording good opportunities to mine with tunnels or drifts. Largo quantities of ore have been extracted, which averages $200 per ton. So far as explored, the vein averages six feet in width. The ore is crushed at a ten-stamp mill, running by water and steam, as circumstances require. The mill has changed hands several times, so that the quantity of ore reduced is unknown. It is estimated at $300,000.

ORO FINO DISTRICT was organized in 1863, in the same range as the Sierra District, lying to the south. The prominent features are a quartzite formation dipping west and capped with limestone. This gives an appearance to the ridge or reef as being composed of quartz on the east side and lime on the west. On the summit of the ridge is an immense vein, called the Great Eastern, of opaque, brilliant, white quartz, which crops out for a distance of seven or eight miles, from six to thirty feet wide, from which assays have been made from $80 to $500 per ton in silver, which is found as a black chloride. Two other veins, less prominent, but supposed to be richer, called the Natchez and Yo Semite, attracted the attention of the first prospectors of this district. The Natchez is on the eastern slope, and consequently underlying the Great Eastern and running parallel to it at a distance on the slope of about 2,000 feet. The ore was said, in 1868, at the time of the discovery, to assay as high as $16,000 per ton, and the whole mass as averaging $175 per ton by the pan process.

The Yo Semite vein is in the northern part of the district, and was estimated to yield $500 per ton on an average. Oro Fino Creek, at the foot of the western slope, was thought to furnish ample mill-power for the mines. None of these fine prospects [p.452] ever became profitable mines, and at present are not worked.

PINE FOREST DISTRICT is in the extreme northern portion of the State, and was organized about the time of the Black Rock excitement. Nothing has ever been done in the district. The country is said to be well watered and timbered, and will probably prove more valuable for agriculture than for mining.

SACRAMENTO DISTRICT is in the West Humboldt Range, south of Unionville and east of the Great Meadows, and within a short distance of the Central Pacific Railroad. The Montana, Bullion, Sacramento, and Nevada were the prominent attractions in the district at the time of the organization. The ledges cropped out boldly and were said to be well charged with sulphurets of silver. Like many others, most others, in fact, failure was the result.

SIERRA DISTRICT was organized in January, 1863, and is one of the cluster in the vicinity of Unionville, which is about twenty-three miles to the southwest, The Central Pacific Railroad and the Humboldt Canal run through the district. The town of Dun Glen, in the center of the district, is about five miles from the river.

The attractions to this district were the Neptune series of ledges, on which were Tallulah, Empire and Essex Mines, and the Gem, about five miles to the north of Dun Glen. These ledges were several feet in width, with firm, smooth walls and clay selvedge, and were supposed to be permanent, first-class mines. According to the Assessor of 1868, the ledges were well charged with various kinds of silver ores, the rock assaying as high as $6,000 per ton, the Gem Mine reaching as high as $16,000 per ton. Several long tunnels were run into the hills, one to the Essex vein being 635 feet long, tapping a vein of three feet; another to the Ophir Ledge, of 320 feet, cutting a vein of four and a half feet, both of which were estimated to mill forty dollars per ton without selection.
The Gem was in a limestone formation, and was said to yield an average of $175 per ton. The Chrysopolis was about two miles north of Dun Glen, and had a vein of white quartz twenty inches wide, charged with black sulphurets of silver, and was estimated to average $100 per ton. The company had 1,800 feet on the vein, which held its width and quality to the depth of eighty feet, the deepest working. The Munroe Ledges were to the south of Dun Glen about one mile. These were charged with free gold and also gold in sulphurets. The country rock is graywacke or metamorphic slate of the earlier series of sedimentary rocks. The average yield was said in 1868 to be $250 per ton.
For the first two quarters the returns were $526.92 per ton and $279.05. Selected ore paid $1,000 or upwards per ton.

STAR DISTRICT was organized in 1861, and is one of the cluster in the vicinity of Unionville, the town of Star City being about twelve miles from Unionville. The strata at this point dip west at angles varying from 25° to 80°. The district comprised a territory six miles long on the slope of the mountain and four miles wide. A gorge through this toward the east exposed the different strata and also served to drain the entire district, the stream running about seventy inches of water, miners’ measurement, in the summer and a larger stream during the rainy season. As the sources of this stream are high up among the snows it affords quite a quantity of water when the vicinity is parched with drought. In ascending the cañon or viewing the stratification from the east, the rocks appear in the following order, the first named being the lowest of the series and the last named the uppermost:--
Brown Quartzite, steel-gray when broken, greatly metamorphosed.
Black Limestone, sprangled with veins of feldspar and sulphuret of iron; has a cleavage parallel to the stratification. In this stratum is the Almira series of veins on the north of the creek and the Yankee series on the south. The Commonwealth Company of New York owned 2,400 feet on this range. The width of the veins is three to eight feet. The ores were supposed to be free from rebellious mixtures and to be easily milled. The ores on the south side, or on the Yankee claims, were similar to the Almira lode, though there were three distinct varieties, one being identical with the ore of the famous Sheba mine.
Graywacke, of a bluish-gray and extremely hard, forming an extensive portion of the mountain.
Hard, black laminated slate. Between the last two is the celebrated Sheba vein or ore channel, one hundred and fifty feet wide, the value estimated in 1868 as follows: First-class ore per ton, $1,200; second-class ore per ton, $250; third-class ore per ton, $150.
Some of the assays reached as high as $16,000 per ton. The ore required roasting before reduction. It was worked up to within twelve per cent. of the fire assay at a cost of thirty-five dollars per ton.
The extensions north and south, two or three thousand feet, did not differ materially from the original location. An immense amount of work was done on the mountain, but the ores were not as extensive, nor as rich or as easily reduced as was anticipated in 1868, and the mines were nearly abandoned for a long time. Recently considerable concentrated ore has been shipped to San Francisco for reduction. No bullion tax was paid in 1880. The Sheba and De Soto mines are still being worked.

[Chas. Kemler, Store, Paradise ]
[Chas. Kemler, Flour Mill, Winnemucca]

The black slate, forming the hanging wall of the Sheba mines, extended up the mountain for three-fourths of a mile, when it abruptly terminated, meeting a quartzite stratum more decidedly silicious than the veins at the foot of the slope. Several veins of hard, glassy quartz, four to eight feet thick, cropped out of this stratum for nearly a mile, receiving the [p.453] name of the Mammoth Lodes. The ore was an argentiferous galena, assaying $180 to $900 per ton. The Mauch Chunk and Maston were the prominent locations on this lode.
Above the mammoth series and in the same quartzite formation were the Mountain Top series, which is such a geological curiosity as to merit an extended notice. This lode seems to have been a fissure in all the rest of the formations, made after they were all in place, as it cuts all in a direction diagonal to all the lines of stratification, the fissure being filled with brilliant white quartz which is visible by its outcrop for ten miles, forming a prominent landmark. It is an evidence of the vigor of nature’s workings when the minerals were being distributed or perhaps concentrated into veins. From the south side of this great vein a dozen or more small veins of mineral shoot out and come to the surface. Little work was done on them, though it was proposed to run a tunnel into the mountain which should tap it at a depth of 2000 feet. They went so far as to organize and name the Perigord Tunneling Company, and stopped at that point.

TRINITY DISTRICT was organized in 1863. It is situated twenty-five miles north of Humboldt Lake, and thirty miles southwest of Unionville, opposite and west of the towns of Etna, Torreyville, and Oreana, which are built along the Humboldt River. The mines which gave the place its reputation were the Montezuma, Jersey, Savannah, Sultana, Chloride, Guatimozin, Tontine, Eagle, Dunderburg, Ne Plus, Bald Hornet, Daisy and Oxide, Atlantic, Northern Belle, Southern Belle, Eastern Belle, and Western Belle, Hurricane, Vanderbilt, Belvidere, Savanna, Shamrock, Dundock, Daisy, Kingkalla, and General Grant, formerly the Moonlight. These were all located in a section of country called Arabia, and at one time were believed to be the richest mines in the known world, the Assessor of the county, in 1868, expressing the opinion that a mile square, within which they were located, would produce more bullion than any other ever known. The Montezuma, especially, was so rich that every ton of ore produced a half ton of metal, consisting of antimony, lead, and silver, there being no rock at all in the vein. Up to 1875 there had been taken out of the mine 7,000 tons of ore, yielding 3,150 tons of lead, and, according to the State Mineralogist, $455,000 in silver. The Evening Star, by the same authority, paid sixty-five dollars per ton in silver. The Chloride, a narrow vein, was said to assay as high as $1,200 per ton. The General Grant was a relocation of the Moonlight. About $100,000 was taken from this mine when it was first located and worked. The ore from the Montezuma mines were reduced at the Montezuma Smelting Works, located at Oreana, which at that time (1868) were said to be the most complete of any in the State. They were under the charge of A, W. Nason, and were estimated by George Lovelock to have cost $250,000. In 1868, the annual product was estimated at $45,000. In 1880, the best authorities place the whole of the ores extracted at 30,000 tons, which paid from thirty dollars up to $700 per ton. The veins followed the general trend of the mountains from north to south.
The Evening Star mine was worked extensively in 1864, The ore is a black sulphuret, with some horn silver, remarkably free from base metals, and yielded sixty-five dollars per ton down to a depth of 200 feet, when water was reached, since which time little work has been done. Since the destruction of the Oreana Smelting Works by fire the ores of this district are reduced at Salt Lake City. All the paying mines are now bonded to Voshay & Lyons, formerly of the Emma Mine of Utah.

VICKSBURG DISTRICT was organized about the time of the Black Rock excitement, and was situated some seventy miles north of Humboldt City. The miners were driven out of the country in 1864, during the Indian War. The principal mines were the Spring, Silver, Great Southern, Montana, and Excelsior. After the termination of the Indian difficulties work was resumed, but nothing valuable was developed.

WINNEMUCCA DISTRICT is about forty miles north of Unionville, on the west side of the Humboldt River, near the great bend and three miles from the railroad. The principal mines were the Pride of the Mountain, Winnemucca and Union. The ores, though supposed to be rich, were too refractory to be worked by mill process. In 1869, the first-named mine reduced eighty-seven tons of ore, producing $5,220. The following year (1870) the Winnemucca reduced sixty-eight tons, producing $3,285.76; 140 tons in the Union claim produced $2,629.51.
The country rock is a hard slate, containing sulphurets of iron. Considerable money has been expended in developing or testing the mines. 200 tons of ore from the Pride of the Mountain produced $80 to $175 per ton. The ore is a chloride, carrying horn silver. During the years 1875-76 about $40,000 in bullion was produced in this district. No bullion was reported for 1880.


DUN GLEN was among the earliest settled places in the county, its settlement dating back to 1862. D, P. Crook was the first person who ventured into this section of country as a settler. He was soon after followed by Angus Dunn, D. McLarkey, J, Slade, A. J. Elsey, D. P. Crook, R. Monroe, Thomas Ewing and James A. Banks. A company of United States soldiers were stationed here in 1863, to keep the Indians in check. At this time and for two or three years after, the population reached 250, but since then has dwindled down to about fifty. Nearly the whole industrial interest is stock-raising. The hamlet is surrounded by high mountains, partially cov- [p.454] ered with stunted cedar trees, which furnish the wood of the settlement. It has a post-office called Dun Glen, but no telegraph or express office. It has one ten-stamp mill for extracting the gold from the quartz. The total amount of bullion so far is about $100,000. It is believed by many that thorough exploring would develop profitable mines.
Supplies are obtained from San Francisco and Sacramento by way of Mill City, on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad, distant nine miles; freights being about nine dollars per ton. Winnemucca is about twenty miles away. The houses are mostly adobe and wood. The most noted homicide was the killing of a German merchant by a man by the name of Jackson, with a pistol shot. He escaped and was never apprehended,
THE HUMBOLDT HOUSE and grounds, though not in themselves remarkable, are quite so when the surrounding circumstances are considered. Perhaps no more desolate place than this was can be found in the State of Nevada. What it now is shows what the State might become with proper preservation and distribution of the winter rains.
A stream of water of perhaps 100 inches miners’ measurement was brought in a ditch from a cañon some miles away, and turned upon the desert, irrigating or moistening about thirty acres. The results are 1,000 fruit and shade trees. Among the former are 500 peach, apple, pear, and apricot trees, which produce fruit equal to that of California or Oregon. The shade trees, consisting of locust, cottonwood, willow, pine, and oak, give an air of comfort and prosperity to the place, all the greater for the contrast with the surrounding sterility. Gooseberries, strawberries, currants, and blackberries, the lilac, rose and other flowering shrubs grow as if to the manor born, while eight acres of alfalfa, yielding several crops a year, and a garden of all kinds of vegetables, supply the physical wants of man and beast.
What might Nevada be with a people as energetic as the author of this place?
HUMBOLDT CITY may be said to be the best illustration of the celebrated " places that were" that is known. There are stone and adobe houses, stores and hotels, but not a foot-fall gives evidence of life. In 1863, when in its most flourishing state, it had a population of some 500 inhabitants. The first settler was Louis Barbeau, who has the reputation of being the first to discover the existence of valuable minerals in Humboldt County. Soon after him came A. Pryor, John Coulter, F. J. Daniels, Colerick Brothers, Geo. W. Meacham, Thos. McKinzie, Charles Lewis, Toney Martinn, and John Sylvester. The mines at the time of the settlement were considered very promising, and prospective millionaires were as plentiful as mosquitoes. Among the mines which promised much were the Starlight, Calaveras, Sigel, Adriatic, Winnemucca, Washington, and Saint Bernard. Some of these veins were cut by tunnels several hundred feet in length. A vast expense was incurred. During the panic of 1865 all work was suspended, though the claims were not quite abandoned, sufficient work being done to hold possession. In 1871 work was partly resumed on the Starlight and Madia, which, however, are not worked at present. The town seems to be utterly prostrated. The nearest place is the Humboldt House, two miles away. The place seems capable of being useful, and in the hurly-burly of mining may again wake to life. A correspondent of the Humboldt Register, May 2, 1863, thus describes the town:--

* * * A picturesque and beautiful village containing some 200 well-built houses, some of which are handsome edifices, and many beautiful gardens that attest the taste and industry of the inhabitants. A beautiful, crystal stream of water diverted from its natural course runs, a little babbling stream, through every street. * * * Humboldt City contains two hotels, kept in good style, one the Coulter House, by Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Nichols, the other, the Iowa House, by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson; two saloons, one by Messrs. Sylvester & Helmer, gentlemen ready to argue or fight for their politics, or deal out red-eye to their numerous thirsty customers, the other by Messrs. Wilson & Coulter; one blacksmith’s shop, by Daniels & Cooper, who will at any moment stop shoeing a refractory horse to spin a yarn; two stores with large and well-selected stocks of goods; four families (five or six more are on the road for this place) and children, chickens, pigs, and dogs enough to give the place a lively appearance.

LOVELOCK is a station on the Central Pacific Railroad seventy-three miles southwest of Winnemucca, and near the south line of Humboldt County. Those who crossed the plains in an early day will remember this as the place where hundreds of emigrants were compelled to leave their worn-out teams, wagons, and the remains of their outfit, to be appropriated by any who liked, and to make the balance of their way on foot to California. Guns, pistols, clothing, carpenter’s tools, and every conceivable thing with which they had loaded their wagons in Missouri were thrown away to put themselves in light marching order for the balance of the trip.
The valley here capable of cultivation is some thirty miles long and twelve miles wide, the Humboldt River running along its southeastern side. The first permanent settlers were induced to come here in consequence of the location of a station for the overland stage at this point. James Blake located in April, 1861, being joined by George Lovelock and others the following year. In 1866 the Central Pacific Railroad Company established a station here for the convenience of the people doing business in the Trinity Mining District, and a small town, numbering about sixty inhabitants, was the result. The neighborhood is thickly settled, so that about fifty children attend school. The school house is large and commodious, 30x80 feet, divided into two portions. Church service and Sunday-school is regularly held in one of the rooms by the Wesleyan [p.455] Methodists, the Sunday-school attendance being usually about forty, children and teachers. The taxable property of the town, exclusive of the railroad property, is about $70,000. There are about four miles of streets in the aggregate, partly shaded with locusts and other trees. The buildings of the town are generally constructed of wood, some few being of stone. The lumber for building is brought by railroad from the Sierra Nevada. The name of the post-office and station is Lovelock. The town has four stores, three hotels, two saloons, one livery stable, and one blacksmith’s shop. The locality is considered healthy, a light malarial fever in the autumn being the worst to be apprehended.
The town has a good reputation for peace and sobriety, there being but one homicide on record. This was the killing of Patrick Tulley, July 28, 1880, by Robert St. Clair, with a pistol-shot, for which the latter was sentenced to the penitentiary for twenty-five years. There have been no lynchings or mob demonstrations in the place, nor disastrous fires or floods.
The valley around the town contains about 400 inhabitants, most of them being engaged in stock-raising and farming; 6,000 head of cattle are pastured in the valley and adjoining mountains. Among the prominent stock-raisers are: Marzen, who owns 2,000 head; Marker Brothers, 2,000, and Carpenter & Lowery, 1,000. Of grain 1,500 tons are usually grown in the valley, Joseph Marzen, the largest stock-raiser, owns 1,200 acres of highly improved land, the Marker Brothers, about 1,000.
The prospects of the valley are hopeful, in view of the immense mineral resources in the vicinity. On the north the Trinity Mining District, which has an inexhaustible supply of smelting ore, containing lead, antimony and silver, at no distant day must be a source of much wealth. Thirty miles south are mines rich in copper, which are also promising elements in the future of the place. Six miles south are beds of salt, soda, gypsum and saltpetre, which will eventually become valuable.
MILL CITY was started in 1863, in anticipation of the Humboldt Canal, and thereby becoming a center for the reduction of the ores of the Buena Vista and Star districts, which were distant from six to twenty miles. The water, however, never reached the place, and the town became a shipping place for the mines in the vicinity of Unionville. The present population is about fifty, It has a store for general merchandise, one hotel, saloon, livery stable, blacksmith, and foundry; also, telegraph, express and post-office. It is supplied with water by the Mill City Water Works.
The town claims to be the healthiest in the world, having so far no necessity for starting a cemetery.

HON. M. S. THOMPSON, [Portrait]

Was born in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania, in the year 1827, where he received his early education, and in 1852 he came to California. In 1853 he settled in Sonoma County, and built a flouring mill, being the first to enter that branch of industry in that county. With a party of ten men, he left that portion of the country in 1858 and crossed into the then Territory of Nevada, for the purpose of finding a rich mine said to have been discovered by some emigrants as early as 1849. It was said to be located in the Black Rock country, now Humboldt County, and of immense richness. [See page 54,] He was not favored by dame fortune in this enterprise, but liking the climate he concluded to settle there, and has since been an active, energetic resident of Humboldt County. He has identified himself with the politics of the State in a creditable manner, and has had considerable to do with the law-making, from the time of its merging from a Territory into a State. Was three times a member of the Territorial Council. In 1859 he was appointed by Gov. J. W. Nye as one of the Commissioners to form and organize the county government of Humboldt. He was nominated and elected Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, under the first constitution, but as the constitution was defeated in 1864, he did not enter upon the duties of that office. Mr. Thompson was a member of the Senate, during the first and second sessions of the State Legislature. From this time on, he was engaged in mining, until in 1878 when he was again elected to the Senate, and in all of the many positions to which he has been elected and appointed, he has given the utmost satisfaction to his constituents. In politics he has been a [p.456] thorough Republican, and in all the years of his political life has not once swerved from his fixed principles. The healthy town of Mill City is his home and post-office address.
PARADISE CITY, the center of business in the valley of that name, was located in 1866 by C. A. Nichols and family. After him came Charles Kemler, J. B. Case and others. The town now contains over 100 inhabitants, three hotels, two public halls, three stores for general merchandise, one drug store, one brewery, four saloons, one cabinet shop, two blacksmith shops, one physician, a barber, a harness maker, carpenter, butcher and one school house.
The Paradise Record, a twenty-four column paper, Democratic in politics, keeps the people well informed on national and general topics. The town is nearly in the center of the valley, forty miles northeast from Winnemucca and nine from Spring City, a rival town in the same valley. The buildings are constructed of wood and adobe. The school house is 28x56, divided into two rooms, each 14x28. The value of taxable property is about $100,000. There has been but one homicide committed in the valley, May 4, 1879, Charles W. Hymer killed J. K. West with a pistol shot, for which he was tried and executed. The valley is generally considered healthy, a slight tendency to pneumonia and typhoid fever being the only exceptions.


Is a native of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois, where he was born in 1840, and lived on a farm till the age of twenty-three. Like most young men, he had an intense desire to get a larger view of the world than could be obtained by looking across a prairie, and in 1863 he pushed out west across the plains, bringing up at Virginia City, in Montana. Remaining here but one year he then went to the newly-discovered mines of Kootenay, in British Columbia. Fortune had no favors for him there, and he left for Washington Territory, traversing much of the country since so famous for wheat, taking Walla Walla and other noted points in his course. Seeing nothing peculiarly attractive, he concluded to try California, and lived two years in Colusa County in that State. Whether because his expectations were not realized, or that he had not satisfied his desire for travel, he pushed out into the Territory of Nevada, and connected himself with the greatest railroad enterprise of the age, remaining with the Central Pacific Company until the last rail was laid which connected the Occident and Orient of the American Continent. When this was done he settled down for life in the sage-brush, having, perhaps, a father’s feeling for the land which he had assisted in developing. His judgment as to the resources of the land proved correct, and he soon made a pleasant home, a view of which is given in another part of this work. He owns 640 acres, or one square mile of fine soil in Paradise Valley, and cultivates it all. He has not surrounded himself with the good things of this world for himself alone, for he is a happily married man, with five children to share his joys and assuage his sorrows. His neighbors manifested their appreciation of his upright character and ability by sending him to the Legislature during the session of 1880, from which he returned with the respect of his constituents.


Son of John and Susannah Bradshaw, was born at Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois, October 22, 1842. His parents were natives of the State of Tennessee, but emigrated to Illinois in early life, and settled in Morgan County. John Bradshaw was born in 1819, his wife being only two years his junior, born in 1821, and has passed the greater part of his life on a farm. In 1846 he settled on a farm in Hancock County, Illinois, where he lived until 1866, when he removed to Franklin County, Kansas, where he still resides. But to return to the subject of this sketch. He lived with his parents until April 13, 1864, when he started across the plains, in charge of a four-horse wagon, in the employ of a man named John M. Jones, and arrived in Marysville, Yuba County, California, September lst, of that year. During the succeeding four years he was roaming around through the State, and on the nineteenth of November, 1868, arrived in Paradise Valley, in Humboldt County, Nevada. Three months later he went to White Pine on a prospecting tour, and was for two years in that district, east and south of White Pine for a distance of twenty-five to 150 miles. In October, 1871, he returned to the valley, and on the twenty-first of that month, homesteaded the northwest quarter of section twenty, where he now resides. He has added to his original amount until he has at present 300 acres of as good soil as the valley contains, all under a wire fence, and well improved, He has about twenty-five acres in alfalfa. His house is one of the best in the valley, ceiled throughout. In politics Mr. Bradshaw is a liberal, in religion a Protestant. He was married November 21, 1876, to Miss Adelia Akin, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, daughter of Jonas and Eliza Jane Akin. By this union there are two children, named Joel Pomera and Francis. In business Mr. Bradshaw has been successful, and is blessed with a pleasant home that in summer has the appearance of an oasis on the plains.


Son of James and Mary Byrnes, was born at Rome, New York, October 20, 1848, and was educated at the common school of his native town. His parents resided on a farm near Rome, and James worked thereon until March, 1867, when he sailed for the Pacific Coast, and arrived at San Francisco, California, April 2d, following. About a month later he went to Paradise Valley, Nevada, where he arrived May 9, 1867, and has resided there ever since. In 1872 he returned East, and while there [p.457] was married to Miss Mary Skahen, a daughter of Patrick and Catherine Skahen of Rome, New York, February 13, 1872. He and his bride at once returned and settled at their present residence. By this union they have had four children born, viz.: Kittie, December 4, 1873; Charles, October 25, 1875; James, September 18, 1877; Alice, August 31, 1879, all living. Mr. Byrnes has a good ranch all under fence, and 400 acres cultivated. A view of his place appears on another page. In politics Mr. Byrnes is a Republican, in religion a Catholic.

[W.A Sperry Ranch, Paradise Valley]
[James Byrnes Residence, Paradise Valley]


This well-known pioneer business man came to Paradise, in Humboldt County, from Sacramento, California, in 1862, shortly after the discovery of the famous valley, and has, perhaps, done as much as any other person to develop and make known its resources. He first engaged in freighting goods to the valley, soon adding trade to it, opening the first store in the place. He also ran a hotel in connection with the store. In 1873 he erected a flour mill, the first run by steam in the State. He also found time to engage extensively in farming and raising blooded stock, mostly cattle, some of which rank among the best on the Pacific Coast. Mr. Kimler is also heavily interested in mining, being the Superintendent of the Bullion Mill and Mine, situated about two miles from the town of Paradise. He has been and is now a live man, who sees at a glance the opportunities for business, and acts without delay. His humanity is broad and liberal, prompting him to acts of public as well as private benefits. The erection of the Odd Fellows Hall illustrates his public spirit. He has assisted many worthy but impecunious men, putting them in the way of doing well for themselves. A view of his place of business will be found in another part of the work. The building is fifty-four feet by eighty-five, and two stories in height, and is an ornament to the town.


Son of Asa and Harriett (Hildreth) Nichols, was born in the town of Crown Point, Essex County, New York, September 30, 1823. His education was confined mostly to the public schools, with a short attendance at a select school. After reaching the age of eight years he only attended the winter terms, working on a farm during the summer, and when sixteen years old left school and devoted his time entirely to farming and hauling lumber. With his meagre facilities, Mr. Nichols had acquired a good knowledge of the common branches, and in 1844 went to Michigan, with an uncle, locating in Branch County, and engaged in teaching school in the winter and working on a farm during the summer. This he continued until the fall of 1851, when he was obliged to change his residence on account of poor health, and desiring to try his fortune in the mines, came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco in November, 1851,
He at once went to the mines at Sonora, on foot, being almost penniless, In company with Dr. Ballinger, of Branch County, Michigan, he prospected for a claim, and not being supplied with blankets sufficient for the life he was leading, he contracted a severe cold and was compelled to lay idle at Sonora all winter. In the spring, he bought a claim on Woods Creek, from which he took out enough to pay his doctor’s bills. In company with Amos Gustin, he left the mines at that place and started for Fresno. When he reached Merced River, he concluded to go to work in a quartz-mill, and was to receive $100 per month, but the man failed and Mr. Nichols got nothing. Soon after he engaged in mining and merchandising on the river, and very soon was well situated from a financial point of view, In May, 1855, he sold his business and returned to Michigan, thence to Iowa, and in the fall of the same year returned to Michigan, and was married to Miss Susan A. Cragin, daughter of Milo and Susan Cragin, of Quincy, Michigan, and with his bride removed to Iowa, settling in Ozark, Jackson County, where he, in connection with an uncle, was engaged in milling and merchandising, for a few months, when Mr. Nichols removed to Hopkinton, Delaware County, and purchased a mill-site and saw-mill, partly constructed, for $5,500, and through the ill-luck of his uncle, lost every dollar. The creditors allowed Mr. Nichol to finish the mill, and he also erected a flouring mill, and by good management and industry cleared the indebtedness on the property. In 1864, Mr. Nichols rented the mills, and again sought the Pacific Coast and located in Honey Lake Valley, California, where he farmed one season, and then removed to Paradise Valley, Humboldt County, Nevada, where he was joined by his wife and daughter, and has since resided. He has held the office of County Commissioner of Humboldt County for four years, and was also Justice of the Peace two years. Their daughter, Hattie Josephine, is married and living in the valley.


Is a native of the State of Connecticut, born in the town of Derby, December 18, 1840. At the age of eleven years he went to Illinois and engaged in farming. As youth ripened into manhood he desired a wider field for his labors, and at the age of twenty-two years sailed on the ship Northern Light to the Isthmus of Panama, and from there came to San Francisco, California, in the steamer Golden Gate. Unlike nearly all new arrivals, he did not seek the mines as his first occupation, but going into the Sacramento Valley he pursued the same business he had followed in his Illinois home. After two years as a farmer he went to Dutch Flat, Placer County, and commenced mining, where he stayed about one year. From there he went to Summit Valley, thence to Bear Valley, thence to Meadow Lake, and finally arrived at Dutch Flat again. Having traveled rather extensively through [p.458] California, he came to Nevada, and for a period of three months was located at Gravelly Ford. He then came to Paradise Valley, Humboldt County, and was there about the same length of time, when he went to White Pine, and for two years was engaged in quartz mining. He then came back to Paradise Valley, and taking up some Government land settled down as a tiller of the soil, where he has since resided. In 1873 he built a fine house, and has a well-appointed farm. In January, 1879, he was married to Lena E. Wilder, of Athens, Michigan.


Is a native of Germany, the country to which the United States is so largely indebted for the steady, industrious emigration which has done so much to make the wilderness blossom like the rose. He came to the United States in 1854, making his first halt at Cincinnati, in Ohio, where he engaged in coopering for five years. The reports of fortunes easily made in California swept him off his moorings, and the summer of 1859 found him on his way to the farthest West. He worked for two years in the mines in Trinity and Shasta counties, and then three more at farming. Having accumulated a considerable sum by his industry, and desiring to try the world for himself, he purchased an ox-team and went to freighting between California and Nevada, and made his way into Paradise Valley among the first. His experience there will be found more fully related in connection with the history of the Indian difficulties in 1863-64-65-66. He also mined at Silver City, Idaho, during the years 1864-65, visiting California during the time. In the fall of 1866 he came to Paradise again, and located the farm upon which he has since lived, in company with G. H. Carroll. His adventures and hair-breadth escapes during these years will be a source of interest as long as people shall be interested in frontier tales,
QUEEN CITY was one of the prospective rivals of Paradise City, It was built, or rather the name was given to a cluster of buildings on Martin’s Creek, at the time of the building of the Paradise Quartz Mills, in 1874. At the closing down of the mills most of the population left. In 1879 it contained about 100 inhabitants, but being situated in a cañon in a rather inaccessible place, it did not long prove a rival to Paradise City. It is distant five miles from Paradise, and six miles from Spring City. It has at present eighteen inhabitants; no stores or places of active industry. Letters to persons at this place are sent to Paradise City. The mill (not running) is a ten-stamp mill, dry crushing, with a capacity of ten tons per day, using both steam and water power. It has a roasting furnace (White & Howell) with a capacity of twenty tons. The amount of bullion produced while running was estimated at $235,000.
SPRING CITY is a lively little town, twelve miles northeast of Paradise City. It has a post-office and daily mail, express office, seven saloons, two stores, two hotels, one restaurant, one brewery, one bookstore and other industrial places. It is quite a center, and at the last election, in 1880, cast eighty votes.
STAR CITY was the principal town of the Star District, and is ten miles north of Unionville, the former County Seat, and ten miles south of Mill City. It has an altitude of 3,700 feet, and is situated in a deep cañon, with Star Peak, a lofty mountain which is a landmark for all the region south of the Humboldt, only two miles distant. In 1864-65 it had a population of 1,200, which began leaving during the panic of the following years, until now, but four persons keep guard over the place. It has a Crane Concentrating Mill capable of reducing forty tons of ore in twenty-four hours. The value of all the taxable property in the place is estimated at $10,000. In consequence of the almost utter desertion of the place it has been next to impossible to gather anything of its early history. A full account of the mines has been given under the head of Star District. That 1,200 active men should ever have assembled at any point and remained there three or four years without making materials for an interesting history would be absurd, impossible. The abandoned shafts and tunnels, the holes where the miner had his shanty, the half-ruined chimneys, and the hundreds of trails ramifying in every direction through the cañon, are all that remain to speak of the busy thousand who once hoped to achieve fortunes which should make them respected and happy.
UNIONVILLE has a history of its own, which alone would make a good-sized volume. To condense into a few pages a history which involves so many social, political, and financial features is a piece of vandalism that a true historian is very unwilling to be guilty of, but there seems to be no alternative.
Soon after the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the Indians brought into the camp pieces of ore similar to the rich rock of that lead, and expressed a willingness to conduct white men to the vicinity. Captain Hugo Pfersdorff and J. C. Hannan, with two donkeys loaded with supplies, and four Pah-Ute Indians, started out into the desert of sagebrush, sand plains, and rugged, barren mountains, and on the twelfth day of May, 1861, just as the sun was setting, stood on the top of the ridge overlooking the Buena Vista Valley, or Cañon, as it seems to have been improperly called, for it is rather a valley. The quiet valley, with a clear stream running through it; the great gorge in the mountain range, which towered among the clouds; Star Peak some miles to the north, the summit covered with snow, contrasting with the dark-green of the valleys, were features fit to be limned by a painter, or immortalized in poetry by a Homer or Virgil. Though our prospectors appreciated the scenery, they had come for the silver that was in [p.459] the mountains, and lost no time in giving the rocks a thorough examination. They were gratified in finding abundant indications of mineral. Soon after the arrival of the first party of explorers, came Jerry Harmon, W. Strong, C. Lark, S. Montgomery, G. W. Whitney, John Wolliver, D. B. Higgins, A. P. K. Safford, J. C. Fall, Thomas Rutherford, A. W. Nightingill, F. Aires, W. A. Holcomb, George Wortman, C. P. Dietz, G. W. Fox, Wm. H. Claggett, and Sam. Clemens (Mark Twain), all following the trail of the first party, and anxious to share the fortunes which were said to be had for the taking. Within a week from the time the first white men came into the cañon a meeting was called to organize a mining district, S. M. Carter being chosen Chairman; W. Cummings, Secretary. Within a year a town was organized, the first set of officers, or Board of Directors, being R. McBeth, Chas. Kyle, Chris. Lark, James Emory, and John Spencer. J. W. Story was the first Treasurer of the town. The town was originally laid out nearly a mile above the present location by Captain Pfersdorff, who called the place Buena Vista. It is said that, in anticipation of a great population coming, the owner asked extortionate prices for his land; in consequence of which, Chris. Lark, who had taken up a place a mile below, conceived the plan of having a rival town, and by judiciously giving away and selling lots cheap, he turned the tide of settlement to his portion of the valley, 100 houses being put up in a short time,
What’s in a name ? At first the new place, which bad a preponderance of persons sympathizing with the Rebellion, was called Dixie, but in the course of the year a great many Union men came to the place, and July 14, 1861, after much angry discussion and hard feeling, the town was baptized “Unionville,” and the American flag flung to the breeze amid much rejoicing.
In 1861 there were but three settlements in the county, Unionville, Humboldt City, and Star City, Dun Glen being settled the following season. At the organization of the county, in 1862, the Governor designated Unionville as the county seat, which position it retained until 1873, when it was removed to Winnemucca. Though the population poured rapidly into the Star District very little substantial work was done until 1866, when the Arizona mine was sold by Wm. Graves and Ed. Kelly to Fall and Temple, who organized the Arizona Silver Mining Company, with John C. Fall as Superintendent. It is said that the Arizona Mine has produced $3,500,000 of bullion to date. The Humboldt Register, a lively, six-column paper, was started in May, 1863.
The population of the town, in its best days, is variously estimated from 600 to 1,500. The difference in the estimates is probably caused by the boundaries not being exactly defined, one party basing his estimates on those who actually resided in the compact part of the town, the other including the suburbs many miles in extent. Since 1870 the town and surrounding district has declined considerably in population, the present population being about 200. Unionville is considerably above the level of the basin, which is about 4,000 feet above the ocean, and is pleasantly located in a valley which brings to perfection all kinds of hardy fruits, and good crops of hay and grain. There are now two stores, one saloon, two restaurants, one livery stable, two blacksmith shops, a post-office, a telegraph and express office. The buildings are constructed mainly of wood and adobe, some being of stone, however; there is one church (Methodist Episcopal), built of wood, costing $2,500, and capable of seating 500 persons.
The only mining machinery in the town is a twenty-stamp tailing-mill, capable of working forty tons a day, and a two-stamp prospecting-mill, working one ton a day. The town is supplied with water by a pipe running from the head of the cañon. It is private property. The villages in the vicinity are Rye Patch Station, six miles west over the mountains, Mill City, on the line of the railroad twenty miles away, through which supplies are obtained from Sacramento and San Francisco, Star City, ten miles north, and Vandewater, ten miles south. Wood for fuel is obtained from the surrounding mountains, and is mostly cedar and mahogany. There is no prevailing disease unless a tendency at some seasons of the year to pneumonia may be considered as such. The locality is not subject to floods, and has had but one severe fire, which occurred in August, 1871, burning the express office, Luther’s store and David’s shoe shop; the damage being about $5,000.
WINNEMUCCA is situated on the south side of the Humboldt River, 475 miles from San Francisco, 130 miles east from Wadsworth, fifty miles north of Unionville, and forty-two miles southeast from Paradise City. This place was known in 1861 as the French Bridge, or Ford, from its being a noted crossing place. Joseph Ginacca and J. A. Algaur, both now dead, were the owners at that time. The former of these was the originator of the Humboldt Canal, spoken of in another place. The immediate site of the town was formerly a hay ranch, owned by White, Moore & Rule, as early as 1861. The town received its name from C. B. O. Bannon, nephew of the Secretary of the Interior under Lincoln, who wished to perpetuate the name of a famous Indian Chief. Along with Bannon came Milton Shepardson, J. M. Thacker, R. B. Cutler, T. D. Parkinson, and soon after, H. Barnes, N. Levy, W. F. Stephens, and others. W hen the Idaho travel commenced in 1868, a large portion of it found it most convenient to leave the Central Pacific Railroad at this point, and it became a famous stage and teaming center. Its most prosperous period was from 1868 to 1874, when it had a population of some 1,600. In 1872 it got the county seat away from Unionville, being much nearer the center of population than that place, [p.460]
The present population is about 1,000, with fifteen stores, three hotels, twenty-one saloons, three livery stables, five blacksmith shops, and twelve other places of business not enumerated; telegraph office, post-office, express office, assay office, reduction works, flouring-mill, two churches (Methodist and Presbyterian), two clergymen, two lawyers, six physicians, and one newspaper, the Silver State.
The Humboldt Reduction Works have a smelting furnace and ten-stamp mill. The flouring mill has two run of buhr-stone, and turns out a good quality of flour, enabling the farmers in the vicinity to realize good prices for all their wheat.
The education of the children is attended to, there being two schools with competent teachers.
The Court House is a large and substantial brick structure, with jail and fire-proof vaults, built in 1874, at a cost of $50,000, for which bonds were issued bearing, an annual interest, A county hospital provides a home for the indigent sick. The Masons and Odd Fellows have strong societies in Winnemucca, as do the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Independent Order of Good Templars. The first two have an inclosed cemetery. The supplies are obtained at Sacramento and San Francisco, by way of the Central Pacific Railroad. Wood is supplied from the surrounding hills, and is mostly of juniper, or cedar as it is commonly called. Winnemucca, in consequence of being situated on a line of extensive travel, where persons of all nations and character come in contact, has an extensive record of homicides. These are recorded elsewhere in this work. Extensive fires occurred in 1870 and ’76, destroying considerable property. The immediate prosperity of the town depends upon the trade to the northern portion of the State and Idaho, and the possession of the county seat. It is quite likely that a railway may be built through the Paradise Valley to Idaho, making Winnemucca a railway center, in which case the town will have a brilliant future. The valley of the Humboldt is here very broad, and the possibilities of an extensive farming and pastoral region are suggested to the observer. The bottom lands near the river, where the old French Crossing was the town before the railroad came, are already fertile, and other localities, where water has been applied, show the productive qualities of the soil. Should enterprise bring a sufficient quantity of water for general irrigation, either by pipes from the mountains, as at Humboldt House, or by artesian wells, as at Battle Mountain, the whole could be made part of that Paradise Valley that stretches away to the north. Such was the view that Ginacca, the enterprising pioneer of the town, had when he projected the great canal which was to redeem the desert and establish manufactories and towns along its course. But Ginacca has passed away without realizing the dream of his life, but instead, bearing the contumely of devoting a fortune to an impracticable idea. He was acting, simply, in advance of the time. The localities irrigated prove what can be done, and intelligent enterprise will not permit the wide plains and valleys of Nevada to remain the deserts of the savage.

E. Blennerhassett [Portrait]

Is a native of South Carolina, and a grandson of the Blennerhassett of the Ohio, so celebrated in the story of Aaron Burr and his southwestern empire. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and came to the State of Nevada, in 1870. He was one of the Democratic Presidential Electors for Tilden, and was also Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. Married the only daughter of C. Chenowith, of Winnemucca, Humboldt County. Their union has been blessed with two children.

*Residence legislated into Lander County.
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