Idaho History Jan 5, 2020

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News March 18, 1905

courtesy Sandy McRae and Jim Collord

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The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News

Roosevelt, Idaho March 18, 1905 Volume 1 Number 14

A Remarkable Railroad.

The northern part of the state of Maine is threaded with a railroad of two-foot gauge.

The inhabitants of that section have years since, ceased to wonder at this miniature of iron traction; in fact, children have been born and grown to manhood within sound of its trains and are awestruck at their first view of the massive locomotive and, comparatively large, cars of the standard gauge at the terminus of this narrow gauge road. Its construction was began about 1878 from Farmington, the terminal of the great Main Central Road, and has been continually pushed into the very heart of Maine’s virgin lumber centers, and her unparalleled hunting and fishing grounds.

This road is of exactly two-foot gauge. The locomotives are powerful and capable of great speed. The daily runs over parts of the road being made at the rate of forty miles an hour. The drive wheels are about twenty-six inches in diameter and the engines are compact and yet graceful in appearance.

The road gives most excellent passenger service as its palace cars, with single seats on each side upholstered in fine plush are perfect little boudoirs of comfort.

At the time this unique rail road was begun there were but two others of this gauge in the world – one in Texas, since discontinued, and one in Switzerland, still in operation. The particular advantages of such a road were carefully investigated before construction was began and results have shown the wisdom of the promoters. The stock of the Sandy River Railroad, the first division, soon went to par and has ever since paid dividends. The road has but one drawback and this is incident to its very life as a railroad. Its freight and passengers must be transferred. The country through which this two-foot gauge runs would not support a standard gauge road and this peculiar and remarkable system is perhaps the only one exactly adaptable to its environment.

It runs into a rich lumber country covered with white birch, yellow birch, rock maple and the finest of pine, spruce and hemlock. The products of this timberland are shipped to all parts of the world.

But perhaps the largest resource of this road is the fish and game of the district surrounding its terminal at Rangeley. Nestling among the beautiful hills, lies one of the most enchanting system of lakes. In their crystal surface is reflected the verdure of a forest in which lurks the wild deer and the “Monarch of the Glen.”

For three months of the year these may be shot, but the law of the state is so willingly upheld, that practically no large game is gathered in close season – the open months are October, November and December. The close observance of the law has increased the game until the northern part of the state is fairly overrun and the sportsman may leave Boston in the morning and arriving at Farmington in the afternoon, may take the narrow gauge train and in his cozy quarters forget the teeming city. The sylvan beauty is delightful and a very few hour’s run brings him to the verge of the Rangeleys, the finest fishing grounds in the world, and where deer and caribou come down to drink and in the listless sunshine toss their pretty heads and slowly walk away into the deep shades of the wood.
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Note: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad – Wikipedia
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Natures Art in Thunder Mountain.

The Thunder Mountain country has many striking views, in fact it is situated in the midst of most wild and rugged scenery. Surrounded as it is on all sides by lofty ranges and mighty peaks, the view from any nearby lofty elevation is grand and impressive. Mountains are everywhere, range on range till they disappear in the dim haze of the distance. Among the many interesting scenes of the district, Monumental creek, upon whose banks is situated the town of Roosevelt, perhaps is unsurpassed.

Its name is self-explanatory. On the sides of its rocky canyon tower strange and fantastic shapes, which to the new comer excite constant surprise and wonder. The most striking of these are the “Roosevelt Monument,” (page torn) … Roosevelt.”

The first named is a most peculiar and interesting phenomenon. It is situated several miles below town right in the bed of the stream. Its height is about 75 feet and its construction and general appearance seems to indicate that at one time back in the dim past, the bed of the stream was on a level with the top of this monument. It is slim and graceful, being but a few feet in circumference and at the very top rests a huge boulder so delicately poised that one wonders at its quiet repose through all the centuries of the geological past.

“Suicide Cliff” is not thus named on account of any tragedy that has ever taken place there, but the name is nevertheless suggestive. It is situated on the west side of Monumental creek about two miles north of town.

Its perpendicular wall rises several hundred feet above the creek which runs at its base, and like all perpendicular precipices, it seems to the traveler on the trail a few feet from its base, that it is fairly overhanging him and is about to topple from its rock bound station.

But the most beautiful of all, is “Lady Roosevelt,” named for the gracious mistress of the White House. Nature has perhaps no prettier statue in the state. It is not obtrusive but stands in graceful pose at the very top of the cliff on the west side of the canyon. It is the superb figure of a woman; the head is delicate and pretty. The bust is plainly outlined and from the waist the solid rock forms a long flowing robe graceful in every line.

Happily this statue is so situated that it is best seen from a point in the very center of the town, and shows to best advantage just after the sun has sunk behind the canyon wall, where it rests in serene profile against the evening sky.
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Among the Mines.


Supt. E. Haug, of the Dewey mine, arrived Thursday afternoon from Boise. Mr. Haug has been on an extended trip to the East where he attended the stockholders meeting at Pittsburg. At this meeting G. T. Bradener was elected president of the company. Mr. Bradener and T. N. Barnsdale, one of the directors, will arrive early in the season for a visit to the mine. Mr. Dewey also will be in Roosevelt early in the summer. Mr. Haug finds that operations at the mine have been carried on in a most satisfactory manner during his absence.


The Bur Oak tunnel has been driven to a distance of 1820 feet. At this point a raise to the surface will be made of three compartments. At this point the shaft is 192 feet from the surface.

Supt. Abbott is anxiously waiting for the crusher when the mill will soon start. The tram and all other apparatus will soon be in readiness.


(page torn) … Point and Toltac tunnels are making a fine showing.

Mr. Z. A. Harris, president and general manager of the 20th Century Co. has purchased ten spans of mules with which the company’s freight will be drawn this coming season. The first consignment will leave Boise about April 1st.


Work is progressing with increased activity at the Standard mine; two more miners are engaged for the first of the week and each day the mine seems to give further guarantee of its stability and resources.


The Empress Mining & Milling Co. are now pushing work on their main tunnel which is in 225 feet. They are in a granite formation.

Within a few weeks we shall have new mines to report; this year will be one of great activity for this camp.
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The Lewis & Clark Exposition.

The greatest of all western expositions will open at Portland June 1.

It will be, like all other great fairs, a source of education as well as of pleasure and recreation, but its benefits to the northwest will not end here. Thousands of people from all parts of the country will visit the exposition and they will arrive during the most beautiful months of the year and will experience the cool, delightful climate of our great northwest, unexcelled in any part of the United States. The visitors, many of them will come not to see the Fair alone, but with an eye for investment or for a future home. They will be a class of desirable people and the result will be that the Lewis and Clark Exposition will bring to this section of the U. S. many men of sufficient means to purchase land and build homes. Coming from crowded eastern and middle states they will find in the boundless northwest ample opportunity for agricultural, mercantile, and mining operations. Idaho, as much as any other state, will have the benefit of this influx.

Vast tracks of the most fertile land have just been reclaimed from the desert. And but a very few years will elapse before the sage brush will have entirely disappeared and in its place a veritable garden spot, luxuriant in verdure and vegetation will lie where previously the Snake river wound through a vast waste of sand. As this state is young and still sparely populated, its promise of future greatness is assured. Fabulous mineral wealth, almost untouched as yet, combined with great stock ranges, and fertile farm land as well as its limitless water power, make the state capable of supporting a large population.

Central Idaho will at once feel the effect of the new life. Within its boundaries are situated some of the largest mineral deposits in stock, unlimited water power for mining and milling purposes and much fertile land for agriculture.

The Lewis & Clark Exposition will do much to bring to the eyes of the world the vast and virgin resources of all sections of the Northwest and the result will be plainly felt here in the central part of the state.
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Rainbow Mountain.

In our article last week on Rainbow Mountain we endeavored to mention all properties on which any considerable amount of work has been done. In reviewing the matter, we find that two groups or at least two properties omitted should have received consideration.

First, the Rainbow group of seven claims situated on the Sugar Creek slope and near the very top of the mountain.

This property is owned by the Idaho Gold Mines Development Co. of which Charles W. Neff is the local manager. This same company owns the Osborne mine at Horseshoe Bend. About 275 feet of tunnel work has been done on the Rainbow Group, and is cut in direction of the great rhyolite dyke. This dyke shows free gold on the surface.

Another property consisting of the Rio Grand group and Pickwic group lying contiguous and owned by the Thunder Mountain Consolidated Gold Mining & Milling Co. consists of seven claims and as much as 800 feet of tunnel work has been done on these two groups. We understand the showing is very satisfactory.

Still another group – the First National has received considerable attention and quite a lot of work has been systematically done.
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Ward Robinson arrived this week from Boise. It is reported that he is to take charge of the Caswell ranch.
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The Inauguration.

Theodore Roosevelt has been formally inaugurated as president of the United States.

The ceremonies were the most brilliant in the history of the nation. It has justly been spoken of as the first national inauguration since the Civil war. North,South, East and West were represented – not politically, for Tennessee sent its whole legislation, governors from Main to North Carolina rode in the great parade. The famous colored regiment of U. S. Cavalry, the military organizations of the Philippines and of Porto Rico, Indians from the far West, and many organizations, civic and military, from all parts of the laud formed one of the most notable processions in the country’s history.

Roosevelt is a unique personality. No president since Andrew Jackson has had a place in so large a percentage of American hearts and homes as has the chief executive in the White House today.

The prejudice occasioned in the South three years ago has almost entirely disappeared – this is plainly evinced by the tone of the southern press; and the whole country regardless of political faith looks forward to Mr. Roosevelt’s admiration with confidence. … (page torn) display … most superb in the history of electricity, and the inaugural ball was entirely without precedent.

The President enters upon his second administration under most auspicious circumstances and with the God-speed of the whole nation.
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The Mail Service to Be Improved.

The sub contract taken by E. P. Stickney for carrying the mail from Thunder City to Roosevelt has been given up and Mr. Barnes, the government contractor, has again sub let the route to Messrs. Wootan & McLaughlin, a livery firm of Boise. The price paid for a service of 60 days, commencing about March 10th, is $3000.

Wootan & McLaughlin have again sublet the route from Knox to Roosevelt to a Mr. Ailport, he to receive $1500 for the tri-weekly service of 24 trips.

Mr. Ailport himself will bring the mail from Reardon Creek to Roosevelt which is the worst part of the whole route from Boise to this point. He will have the mail here on time three times a week. The irregularity of the arrivals during the past winter, which has caused so much annoyance, is probably over and regular service may reasonably be expected.
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A. D. Clark left camp Tuesday morning for Boise. While Mr. Clark was here he visited Wilson Creek in company with W. R. L. Posten to look at some mining property in which he has an interest. Mr. Clark was so well pleased with the mine that he will buy a ten stamp mill and have it sent in just as soon as possible. Mr. Clark owns ten or twelve claims joining the 20th Century Mining & Power Co.’s property on the south and expects to install a mill on the property in the near future.
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70,000 Killed.

As we again go to press the terrible battle around Mukden is still raging. March 5th. 70,000 men have been killed in the two armies and another awful carnage is added to the world’s bloody annuls. Considering the strong defensive position of the Russians, the Japanese have the best of the fight thus far. We feel safe in predicting the victory of the Mikado’s arms. Actuated by a patriotism that amounts almost to fanaticism, and commanded by the best officers in the world, the vast army of Japan will entertain no thought of defeat.

A decisive victory for Japan, will practically end the war. The moral effect upon the Russian people added to the internal dissatisfaction and unrest already existing there, will make it impossible for the Czar to regain prestige already lost.

The Russian empire does not lack resources – it wants for neither money nor men. It is however devoid of love for native land. Why indeed, should a peasant of Russia love a land where be is born to strive and labor through (page torn) … therefore a mere existence?

No thrill of freedom and larger manhood ever penetrates his breast; the ambitions and possibilities of free life incidental to self government he never knows; with dogged submission he allows himself to he driven in this unjust war, against vast armies made up of men ennobled by the loftiest principles that ever actuated men to supreme sacrifice: the love and devotion for their fatherland.

These are the conditions under which Russia is striving for autocratic ends. Should this battle around Mukden be lost to the Czar, further struggles would only sink the imperial government at St. Petersburg into deeper dishonor with the inevitable result of Japanese victory.
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Note: Battle of Mukden – Wikipedia
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The Sunday Closing Law.

The Sunday Closing Bill has become a law in Idaho, having passed the house on the last active day of the legislative session, March 3.

It was amended in such a manner that communities not incorporated may be excluded from its provisions by a majority of the qualified voters petitioning the commissioners to allow them to remain open Sunday. The mistake is, that the petitioning was not reversed, making it necessary in order that the places of business be closed. Then the law would have been obeyed; as it is it will simply become a dead letter.

Incorporated towns are excluded from the provisions, so that in order that they may have Sunday closing they must enact a municipal law to that effect. If a majority of the citizens desire the places of business kept open they simply have nothing to do in the matter but allow events to take their own course – they are not transgressing the law. But upon the isolated, unincorporated districts is thrown the burden of this law. In order to legally do business on Sunday a majority of the citizens must petition the commissioners to that effect. This will not be done in most cases.

Had the petition been made necessary for Sunday closing it would have made provision whereby a community desiring a quiet Sunday would have the weapons with which to enforce it. The same ends would have been gained and the very undesirable effect of disregard for law would have been avoided. It is safe to say that not a mining camp in the world desires a closed town on Sunday, and the effect of the new law will be simply unnoticed in nearly every mining town in this State.
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We quote from an editorial in Goodwin’s Weekly, a most excellent publication, by the way: “Andrew Carnegie has given away much money for public libraries. We do not think they will add very much to his fame for libraries are, after all, inert things. But a very small proportion of the people, even in the most cultured centers, patronize them, and after a generation or two, if any one hears the name of the founder mentioned, he is liable to think of him as be does of an Egyptian mummy – as one who long ago went back to dust.” We take decided issue with Goodwin’s Weekly. Libraries are not “inert things;” their subtle, silent but living influence effects every home in the land Our observation has not been that “very (page torn) … most cultured centers,” patronize them, and we believe that were Andrew Carnegies fame dependent alone upon the libraries he has established or aided, he would live in the love of the English speaking world as long as history and poetry and art and music are loved and revered.
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The completion of the Simplon tunnel through the Alps is an event that attracts universal attention as one of the greatest engineering feats of history. The ancient wonders of the world are dwarfed into insignificance by such an achievement as the boring of this mighty hole through the rugged mountains. It is 12 miles long and is a double-compartment bore. The work has consumed several years and has cost fifteen millions of dollars. The manual labor expended upon some of the great works of antiquity was far in excess of that employed in this undertaking, but the earlier engineers did not have the advantage of steam, electricity and dynamite. They consumed an enormous amount of labor, but they were unable to make such progress as our engineers record with the modern facilities for mastering nature.
– Statesman.
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Note: Simplon Tunnel – Wikipedia
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Attention is called to the article on the two-foot gauge railroad published on another page. It has often been remarked by members of this community who have seen this road and witnessed its work that it is strange that that gauge is not used more extensively in rough mountainous countries like our own. It can be built and maintained for a fraction of the cost of a standard gauge. It can make curves and use grades impracticable with the ordinary railroad and the fact that in a country where its usefulness has been demonstrated, it is being continually extended, indicates that the road is a thorough success.
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Harry Wilson, in a state of semi-intoxication jumped from a projection at the top of Shoshone Falls on March 2nd. The distance is 225 feet and a large volume of water was pouring over … (page torn) … turned twice in the air before he disappeared in the spray and foam and by chance only, struck the water in such a position that he was not injured. He was next seen swimming stoutly for shore. His foolhardy adventure could probably not be accomplished again in a thousand rials.
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Mahoney and His Ditch.

When we are sitting round the fire
On these lonesome winter nights,
Solving other people’s problems,
‘Till we’ve got ’em “dead to rights.”
When all subjects are exhausted,
We are always sure to switch
To the never failing – wait now
‘Till “Mahoney gets His Ditch.”

When we get to talking politics
Just to hear each other prattle
Or the more familiar subjects
Trails, cayuses and cattle,
Our arguments grow hotter,
Soon it reaches quite a pitch
‘Till we cool down with a joke
On “Mahoney and His Ditch.”

Oh! we are building castles.
Everyone has got a plan
How to better his condition,
All that’s lacking is the sand.
How the sawmills would be buzzing,
Bridges built, without a hitch,
But we are all kind of waiting
‘Till “Mahoney gets His Ditch.”

Now, if all our wise or otherwise,
Predictions come not true,
And we find our calculations wrong
As wise men sometimes do.
If we see that water running
Wont it make our fingers itch,
Just to handle some of that money
He will make off that “Old ditch.”
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Three Stories Underground.

The New York Times is being published from its new building in Times square, a structure which has been referred to by experts as one of the notable architectural triumphs of the world. In recognition of this contribution to the architectural beauty of New York, the city government some time ago named the district from Forty-second street north for seven blocks along Broadway and Seventh avenues, Times square, and the subway station in the basement of the building bears the same title.

The moving, including the 30 linotype machines brought from Park row to Times square, over a distance of three miles, began after midnight. A force of 150 expert machinists accomplished the work without the slightest hitch or delay and the following night the same machines were setting up the paper that did similar work 15 hours earlier three miles away.

The building is the city’s tallest structure, from base to top being 31 stories, with an extreme height of 476 feet. A new record in steel tonnage has been made in its construction, as it contains a larger percentage of steel to cubical contents than any other office building, having at the same time the strongest and stiffest steel frame structure of similar dimensions ever erected. It contains a 30-ton girder, the largest in any office building, and in its construction 80,000 field rivets were used. A 50-foot railway runs obliquely through its basement without contact at any point.

The total weight of the building is nearly 8,0000,000 [sic] pounds of structural iron; brick, 19,000,000 pounds; cement and mixed mortar, 14,000,000; terra cotta arches and partitions, 5,000,000; rubble masonry in back fill, exclusive of 2,000,000 pounds of cement, 15,000,000 pounds; sand, 2,500,000 pounds, and other items of equal significance.

The presses are 55 feet below the street, while the paper is written and set up from the 14th to the 25th floors. The foundations of the present completed building were laid in June, 1902, and since then 299 days were lost by strikes and 35 days by bad weather.
– Pittsburg Gazette.
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Claim Hash.

The Belle of Thunder Mountain smiled
Because her Sunnyside,
To see Hatty Young on a Burr Oak plant
Take a Misterious Slide.
The Yankee Boy kissed the Yankee Girl,
You’r my Mountain Maid he said.
They put a Lightning Peak on the old Blue Cap,
To give to the Niger Head,
The Apache scalped the Navaho.
He’s a Holy Terror to fight,
But he told Blind Tom where he could get
A Central Tunnel sight.
The Black Horse winked and Ruber Necked
And it made the North Star twinkle
To see the way Black Hornet had
Of awakening Rip Van Winkle.
– J. R. L.
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He Gave One Cent.

We once beard an amusing anecdote told of James Winchell, formerly a wealthy shoe manufacturer of Haverill, Mass. He commenced life as a journeyman at the bench and became well known as a gruff but kindly business-man.

One day a philanthropist, much interested in foreign missions, called at Mr. Wichell’s office and asked for a contribution to be sent to the benighted heathen. Fumbling in his pocket, the manufacturer drew forth a one-cent piece which he presented with great ostentation.

The petitioner expressed much disappointment adding “We had hoped for greater generosity from you; whereupon Mr. Winchell said: “Now don’t get in a hurry, I’m going to write you a check for a hundred dollars; it will take at least a hundred to get that cent to India.”
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Large Coinage in France.

If statistics are correct, France carries more gold and silver coinage than any country in the world, the combined amount being, in round figures, $1,500,000,000, the United States coming second with $1,219,000.000, says the Los Angeles Mining Review. That France carries so large an amount of coinage may be accounted for by the fact that the system of paying accounts by checks on banks does not prevail in France as it does in the United States and Great Britain.
—Tonapah Miner.
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5,000 Rode the Goat.

Five thousand candidates were initiated into the mysteries of the Knights of Pythias at one time in St. Louis, recently. For the occasion the big Jai-Alai building near the world’s fair grounds, was converted into an immense lodge room and the greatest initiation in the history of all secret societies took place. Pythians not alone from St. Louis but from other states were present to participate in the unparalleled initiation.
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Note: Knights of Pythias – Wikipedia
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People who object to the use of that convenient word “Hello!” as used over the telephone, apparently haven’t stopped to consider how easily it is reversed.
– Idaho World.
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The NEWS has two 2nd hand stoves for sale – one heating stove and one cook stove.
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Phil Gruvici, D. S. Cotter, Frank Beck and E. Haug arrived in town Tuesday afternoon.

B. B. Scott, also Orin Goodrich went to Knox this week to get telegraphic communication with the outside.

“Mahoney and His Ditch” in this issue was contributed by a poetess from the Middle Fork of the Salmon river.

O. T. Lingo has gone down to Big Creek to look after his horses and mules. He expects to come back in a few days.

Charles W. Neff and George McBride have completed a thirty foot contract for Clark & Posten on the Porphyry Reef claim.

S. L. Choat has completed the hewing and framing of a fine set of logs for his story and a half residence to be built in town.

W. R. Polson, proprietor of the Summit House, is building an eight-room two-story hotel in order to be able to handle the summer traffic.

S. M. Mayo arrived Sunday from Boise where he has been spending a few days. Mr. Mayo is an employee at the Standard mine.

D. S. Cotter has just returned from Johnson Creek where he has been in telephonic communication with the outside. Dan has something “up his sleeve.”

James W. LeRoy began his building Thursday morning on the west side of Main street, four lots above the Jones building. He will open a restaurant as soon as the structure is completed.

Geo. M. Shrock has bought the half interest of Wm. Webb in the Producer group on Lightning Peak. This group consists of three claims, adjoins the Standard on the north and extends toward Cornis Creek. James LeRoy is the other owner.

The proprietor of the Amusement Hall is building a house for rent on his lot above his place of business and soon he is to commence an addition on the latter. This will be built on to the south side and will consist of an apartment for a family with restaurant in front.

Friday was St. Patrick’s day; it was observed to some extent in this camp. The very first to arrive in town were C. J. Cronin and J. M. Green well decorated with the colors of the patron saint. Mr. Green is a public spirited citizen. He knew that on account of his name it was his duty to sacrifice his time and add to the levity of the occasion he responded nobly.

We wish to correct a mistake occurring in the article on Rainbow Mountain – the issue of March 11th. It was stated that “The Empress group is owned and controlled by the 20th Century Company.” The 20th Century has no interest in this property. It is owned, controlled, and is now being worked by the Empress Mining & Milling Company.

Lee Tanner, John Snyder and Andy Paulson arrived in camp last evening from Clearwater. They spent the winter on Mr. Snyder’s ranch. Mr. Tanner has returned to take his place as blacksmith for the 20th Century Co. where he has been for the last three years. Snyder and Paulson will work in the mines for the company. They report a very hard and dangerous trip from Big Creek over the Snowslide summit to Roosevelt.
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A Good Woman Dead.

Mrs. Stanford is dead; and the general opinion is that she was murdered by poisoning, though at last advices [sic] such a theory had not been positively substantiated. What could possibly have been the motive of such a fiendish deed, no one is ingenious enough to discover.

Mrs. Stanford was universally beloved and most so by those who best knew her. At the great university built in memory of her only son, she was the idol of both students and faculty; and her gentle, kindly ways had endeared her to people all over the land. The absolute lack of any apparent motive for her murder still leaves hope that her death may have occurred by some natural cause.

* Wikipedia: Jane Stanford Murder
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Relocation Necessary If Annual Labor Is Not Done.

The question of the right of a locator of a claim to profit by “his own negligence in failing to perform the annual labor” (or to make improvements) required by the federal law is one which has run the gauntlet of the courts. The question as it came before the supreme court of Utah was: “Can the locator of a quartz mining claim, who has allowed his location to lapse by a failure to perform the necessary work, make a relocation of a new location covering the same ground?” The court decided that such was recognized by the circuit court of the Ninth circuit (Warnock vs. DeWitt, 11 Utah, 324; 40 Pac., 205) Case was dismissed by the United States supreme court on appeal, for failure to comply with Rule 10, and also by the Land Department. Further the fact that a prior locator, after his right lapsed, may renew it by resuming work, would appear to be a favor or right granted to such prior locator, but to deny him the right to locate is to deny him the right given to strangers. The case in the circuit court referred to is that of Hunt vs. Patchin, 35 Fed., 816, and that of the land department was a letter from Acting Commissioner Holcomb to a man in Leadville, Colo. The case of Hunt vs. Patchin does not appear to apply directly to the question, that being a case where-in several co-owners were concerned, and arose over an instance where one of a number of partners attempted to relocate for himself alone, while excluding his co-partners. In the instance of the land commissioner it was not a litigated case, but merely the opinion of the commissioner, expressed in a letter, that one of several co-locators, all of whom are in default, may relocate in his own name, and hold the claim adversely to his former partners.

The federal law makes discovery and location of a mineral vein, or deposit, the basis of the title to such property, and subsequently its development, by working and improvement, as a condition upon which it may be held. (Erhardt vs. Boaro, 113 U. S., 527, 535; 5 Sup. Ct. Rep, 560.)

Lindley on Mines calls attention to another important phase of this question, which is of particular interest at this time, on the eve of a new year, which is that “the forfeiture is not complete until a relocation has been made.

It is the entry of a new claimant with intent to relocate the property, and not mere lapse of time, that determines the right of the original claimant. The right to resume work before the relocation by another is evidence that the original estate is not wholly lost by the failure to do the work. (Larkin vs. Sierra Buttes G. M. Co., 25 Fed., 337, 343.)

The supreme court of Colorado has said: “As between the locator and the general government the failure to do the annual assessment work does not result in a forfeiture. In other words, it is not necessary to perform the annual labor, except to protect the rights of the locator against parties seeking to initiate a title to the same premises. * * * To otherwise express our views, it might be said that, after a valid location, the title thus acquired remains so, whether the annual assessment work is performed or not, until forfeited or abandoned. (Beals vs. Cone, 27 Colo., 472) * * * Forfeiture is not complete until someone else has appropriated the property.” (McCarthy vs. Speed, 11 S. D., 362.)

By location the locator is given by the federal laws from one to two years (according to data of making location) within which to perform his assessment work. Within this period his claim is valid and no one can deprive him of it. If at the expiration of the time (end of the second calendar year after date of location) he is permitted to relocate he may hold the claim another period of two years without work, and in this manner, by making a !elocution biennially, Without any work whatever, which is clearly contrary to the spirit of the law.

Annual work if performed as required by the federal statutes (in addition to such further acts as may be required by the state or territorial and local laws) secures the locator in his title against all others, and if the locator has failed to perform his assessment work his claim is subject to relocation, which he can only prevent by resuming work before a stranger enters upon, the claim for this purpose.

The supreme court of the United States has never passed upon the question, but there is little doubt but that the attempt to hold a claim indefinitely or for any period longer than that allowed by the statutes by the mere act of relocation would be declared noncompliance with the law and the claim subject to relocation by a stranger.
– Mining Review and Mettallurgist.
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E. W. Whitcomb, of this city, tells an amusing story of a fellow-passenger on the. steamer “San Blase,” running between Seattle and Nome. It also illustrated the common “black eye” contributor of all mining camps. This was at the time of the great Nome beach excitement, the next year after $1,000,000 had been rocked from a stretch of beach half a mile in length. The steamer ploughed its way through ice of the Behring sea and at last dropped anchor in the offing at Nome. Eager passengers hurried down the ship’s side to the lighter which took them through the surf to the gold laden shore. The passenger in question sprang from the lighter as her keel grated, and seizing a handfull of sand eagerly saught [sic] the yellow metal. With infinite expression of disgust he threw it from him saying, “Another fake – just as I expected.”
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page updated Feb 3, 2020