Idaho History March 8, 2020

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News May 20, 1905

courtesy Sandy McRae and Jim Collord

[Note: to view the old ads, turn off your ad blocker. There are no commercial ads on this page. Click an ad to start a slide show.]

(link to larger size image of banner)

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News

Roosevelt, Idaho May 20, 1905 Volume 1 Number 23


Note: This issue is 4 pages “On account of the scarcity of paper.”

History Of The New Eldorado.

“The great gold fields of Nevada, which are at this time attracting so much attention throughout the world, are seriously threatened with a formidable rival for public recognition in a new find which has recently been made by Denver parties near the headwaters of the Salmon river in Idaho.

In fact, some of the richest gold ore ever exhibited in Denver is being shown by T. M. Rowell, a well-known Denver newspaper man and Colorado prospector, who spent several months in that country, and who says that it is one of the richest mineral sections he has ever visited.

The ore shows considerable free gold and one of the pieces sawed in twain reveals a streak of almost solid gold half an inch in thickness. This ore is entirely different from anything heretofore seen in this country, being a rusty, sugar quartz mixed with an iron formation that looks more like coal cinders than phenomenally rich gold ore.

Howell submitted a specimen of float to E. E. Burlingame for assaying and received a certificate showing 3,645 ounces in gold per ton, or a value of $72,500.

In speaking of the district in which this rich ore was found, Mr. Howell says that it is near Yellow Jacket creek, one of the tributaries of the Salmon river, along which many millions of dollars’ worth of placer gold has been found. It is 125 miles from the nearest railroad station, Red Rock, Mont., and near the trail over which hundreds of prospectors passed a few years ago in their mad rush to the Thunder Mountain country, which is about forty miles father west than the section in which he made his find.

“I believe,” said Mr. Howell, “that this find which I have made goes a long way toward solving the problem of the source of the placer gold of the Idaho streams. This ore is a porus formation, entirely different from the white quartz veins which have heretofore been prospected by the placer miners of that country in their search for the ledges containing gold values. Idaho has produced $200,000,000 of placer gold, yet there has been comparatively little good quartz mining in that country, and while entirely different from the white quartz which abounds throughout the mountains of Idaho, is closely associated with these veins.”

He reports the climatic conditions of the district as being remarkable for habitation.

Mr. Howell is well known throughout Colorado, having been one of the pioneers of the Cripple Creek district, and since returning from Idaho has interested some of the most prominent men of Denver in the properties he acquired while in Idaho and expects to return to that country in a few weeks to further develop the finds made last fall.

There are a number of other Denver parties who have prospected out in that field, and a stampede is anticipated in the early summer when the roads to the new find are passable.”

Following T. M. Howell’s report the Daily Mining Record prints an article in their issue of May 8th by Capt. John A. Dubbs. He showed in Deaver some of the richest gold bearing quartz yet shown in that city, he says comes from a new mine on Arasta creek and that about ten men were on the ground when he left there and that very little ground had been steaked. He also says that while some of the ore is exceptionally rich, in the prospects on which work has been done. The main ore bodies run about $80 per ton in gold and that the veins are large and clearly defined and that it is going to be a great camp.

In view of the fact that the above articles are written at the instance of men of unimpeachable integrity, and that it bears the empress of truth, and if so, effects everyone in the Thunder Mountain country.

I take the liberty to write this short history of this region as I have heard it related to me at times, since I was a boy. The reader can put his own construction on this story. In the … (page torn) … Dalles, outfitted Three Fingered Smith, Pierre Mero, Capt. Pierson — that Pierce City is named after — two or three other men unknown and Uncle Tommy Cleveland to prospect for placer on Salmon river. A part of this party came back to Florence in the fall with quartz gold specimens of remarkable richness and told that Tommy Cleveland had found the same while hunting his horses on a creek they called Camas creek, from the fact that they had to dig and prepare wild camas to subsist on to get back to where they could get supplies.

Uncle Tommy going out by the way of Idaho City had two assays made of the ore he had found. One piece assayed $41,000 gold the other piece assayed $62,000. This old prospector came back to this country about five years later and from his return to the present time has persistantly tried to rediscover this vein of gold quartz that he and his party showed specimens of at Idaho City, the Dalles and Florence.

Wm. Dunbar, now of Pearl, found the same float in ’78. He and his party left these mountains on account of the Sheep Eater Indians. In ’82 John McMahon and party arrived in Bellview, Wood river, and showed speciments ore of unusual richness. They said this float came from a creek on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. In the late 70’s and early 80’s Cordell, who was afterwards killed at the Yellow Jacket, sold dust every month or so that he claimed he pounded out of rock that was found on Hoodo creek.

Since the efforts of these early prospectors, every year or so, float specimens of striking richness have been brought out of this part of the country by wondering prospectors. Probably overlooked by a thousand prospectors. T. M. Howell, of Denver, has re-discovered and proved true another “Lost Packer Story.”

— — — —

Ranches Tributary to Roosevelt.

One Ranch That Has Made Millionaires.

In 1872 the Caswell brothers seeking a place to grow cattle found it on the Middle Fork of Salmon river at what is now called the Caswell ranch, distant about 30 miles from the present town of Roosevelt. These brothers having more time on their hands than what was necessary to carry on ranching operations and led by a spirit of adventure in prospecting the surrounding country discovered the Mule creek placer diggings and following this rich placer deposit to its source uncovered the gold bearing reef that now constitutes the Dewey, Sunnyside, H. Y.-Climax, and Standard mines, and other properties, on this great gold hearing zone. On this ranch fifteen acres of garden will he cultivated the coming year by Ward Robison, the present leaser and forty acres of hay ground.

The W. D. Bull ranch. About six mile down Salmon river from the Caswell ranch W. D. Bull has a garden spot. The present year he will raise 25,000 pounds of potatoes and 20,000 pounds of cabbage, also two acres of miscellaneous garden.

The James Mahoney ranch. About twenty miles above the Caswell ranch James Mahony has eight acres of land planted in miscellaneous vegetables.

A. J. Hash, Voller McNerney, Pete Rude and Hank McGiveney also grow from eight to ten acres of vegetables it this section on Salmon river.

The Byars ranch, on Marble creek, owned by Joseph Byars, this year will be planted to garden, three acres potatoes, one acre of general garden stuff.

This is all of the land tributary to a great mining country available for farming purposes. These ranches are situated from 30 to 40 miles from Thunder Mountain proper and can have no competition on their produce. A number of them raise a few cattle for which the owners get the highest market price in the west.

To an Eastern reader farms of this description would not appeal strongly but in country, where at the present time, potatoes cost 12 1/2 cents per pound, cabbage 15 cents per sound, onions 15 cents per pound and all other garden produce costs like proportion it will be readily seen how five acres of land, rightly worked, is more valuable than some mines of silver and gold.
— — — —

The Marble Creek Tunnel Site Company, a mile above Belleco, have a couple of men at work fixing up and preparing to commence work. They aim to work ten or twelve men this summer.
— — — —

— — — — — — — —

— — — —

Among the Mines.

At the Sunnyside.

After a ten days successful mill run it was found advisable to put in an intermediate tention tower on the tramway and stay lines for three or four of the towers effected by strain on the traveling cable. This work will necessitate a layoff at this property of from 18 to 20 days. The mine is in the best physical condition to produce mill tunnage [sic]. This layoff is unavoidable.

Adams Mining Company.

At the Adams Mining Company property on Divide creek. The last month a road was completed from the Thunder Mountain wagon road to the mine. This work was done in first-class shape. These people intend to put a mill on their claims this summer and are preparing for the transportation of machinery to the mill site. At the mine the ore shoots from which assays are universally good will be opened by drifts and crosscuts, that this company are now having driven.

Indian Creek.

Joe Gardner and Perry Watson will commence work shortly on a hundred foot tunnel to develop their ground. These boys have a good showing.

L. E. Moody, arrived at his property last week. He came in from Boise with two miners and six loaded pack animals and expects to increase the force already employed as soon as supplies and tools can be got on the ground. This property is situated one and one-fourth miles east of the Monte Christo where the strike was recently made. The vein and ore on his property are of the same character as the Monte Christo.
— — — —

Building Notes

Virgil Richardson is building an addition to his store.

Sam Bell is having another new residence built south of his new building now finished.

Wm. Midgley is having constructed three rooms along side of his place of business.

Hunter E. Crane is having erected a 24×42 two story business block on the east side of Main street north of the Amusement Hall.

Sam Gillam is having his place of business renovated throughout. When completed Sam will have one of the most attractive saloons in Idaho county. He is also putting up a building 14×16 for a residence north of Sam Bell’s new residence.

Lee Lisenby is having material got out for the commencement of an addition to his hotel, which will be built adjoining the present building on the north. This part will be 25×50 with a 14 foot ceiling and will be used as the wine department, and the present building will be used for hotel purposes exclusively.
— — — —

— — — — — — — — — —

To Establish a Government Townsite.


A large and enthusiastic meeting of the residents of Roosevelt was held at Smith’s Hotel for the purpose of devising ways and means to establish a Government Townsite and to prevent the issuance of a patent to Davis, et al, entryman of the so called Black Bird Placer Mining Claim, upon which ground the town of Roosevelt now stands. Said ground not being placer ground and Davis et al does not intend to work it for the purpose of extracting gold from the ground, but for speculative purposes and of extracting money from the pockets of those who have labored hard to build up the town, by selling lots at exorbitant prices and have already received money on lots for which they have no legal or moral right.

An association was formed called the Government Townsite Association of Roosevelt. A committee composed of Messrs. Dutton, Whitcomb, Scott, Jones and Smith was appointed to draft constitution and by-laws, which, when presented, were unanimously adopted and the following were elected permanent officers: Geo. D. Smith, president; W. M. Dutton, secretary, and Virgil Richardson, treasurer.

Active committees were appointed and other business pertaining to the townsite was transacted. Remarks were made by the President, Messrs. Whitcomb, Jones, Dutton and others all tending to show that the association had taken hold of the matter in earnest and would fight this steal to a finish. And to secure a Government Townsite from the government whereby we could get title to our lots direct from the government at a nominal price and not, to pay an exorbitant price to outsiders who have done nothing to help build up the place.

There was not a dissentary [sic] voice present and every one present signed the constitution and by-laws, and others have signified of joining at next meeting. The association means business and will use all honorable and legal means to win — which it will.

After congratulating each other on the formation of a permanent association and reiterating its determination to fight to a successful end it adjourned subject to a call of the president.
— — — —

A letter received recently at this office from P. K. McCann, who left here a few months ago for Ketchikan, Alaska, gives a brief description of the country. Mr. McCann says that Ketchikan has about 1000 or 1200 inhabitants and has only three horses which are used by the merchants for draying. This is a new country without trails or wagon roads. And as to the mines they are copper and gold propositions running very high in copper. The formation is diarite and dark gray granite. The wages there are just about the same as in Thunder Mountain.
— — — —

Those knowing themselves in-debt to the firm of Dorsey & Shaneour, also to Jones & Shaneour, will call at Dock Jones’ saloon, pay the same, and be receipted in full. C. T. JONES.
— — — —

— — — —

Notices For Publication



link: Notice For Publication.rtf
— — — — — — — — — —


J. R. Noss is on the sick list this week.

D. S. Cotter left for Boise last Saturday on a business trip.

L. A. Wayland is suffering with a severe attack of neuralgia.

J. B. Whitlock will leave the first of the week for Salt Lake City.

It is reported Salmon have reached Roosevelt so we can have fish at home.

Watch for the x on your paper, which denotes the expiration of your subscription.

C. Ball, the sign painter and decorator, is turning out some good work this week.

Jim Herron and family have moved to Belleco this week from the Middle Fork, where they have spent the winter.

Olof Hagberg while on the way to town Wednesday saw six deer between the 20th Century mine and town. This is a sign of spring.

At the Lost Packer mine a man — name unknown — died of pneumonia last week. Eight others are sick with this mallady [sic]. It seems to be an epidemic.

As we go to press we learn that P M. Reuter has sold his interest in the general merchandise store of McAndrews & Reuter, to his partner, James McAndrews.

A letter received from B. F. Francis last Saturday states that he will be in Roosevelt soon and by looking over his ad you can get a better idea about what he is coming for.

Dr. W. L Connell is in from Warren and the Big creek country and will spend the summer with us. The Dr. says that Shep Edwards and James McCaller opened up some good bodies of ore this winter.

W. D. Bull, the Middle Fork rancher, and formerly an owner in the Sunnyside mine, was in town last Saturday. He called at this office and gave us some green onions. In this country these favors are surely appreciated.

C. E. Curtis was over from Belleco Monday on a business trip. Mr. Curtis left us an ad and invites his friends to call and see him when in that section. Charlie handles nothing but the best of wines, liquors and cigars.

Quite a number of prospectors have left Roosevelt this week for the new El Dorado on the Middle Fork of Salmon river. This country is situated about forty miles from here. Roosevelt is the nearest supply point to the new diggins [sic].

S. P. Burr, the deputy U. S. M. Surveyor, after a couple of months absence to outside points and his home at Gennessee, returned to town the first [of] the week by way of Warren. His brother, W. W. Burr, accompanied him in and will spend the summer in this section.

Sam Bell says that the next work Mr. DeCamp will have done will be work to develop the Cheapman group. He expects Mr. DeCamp in Roosevelt in a short time. Then a comprehensive plan for the working of the property under Mr. DeCamps charge will be outlined and carried out.

James W. Hood, aged 36 years, a native of Pennsylvania, died at Boise, Idaho, on the. 7th inst. of pneumonia. Mr. Hood was well known in Roosevelt. He was a prospector by profession and had resided in this district for the last three years. He had been a resident of Idaho about twelve years and in Silver City, Rocky Bar and at Atlanta was universally liked and esteemed for his many unobtrusive acts of kindness and charity. Vale — to another old prospector.

THE NEWS lost its first subscriber last Saturday on account of the article written in regard to “Which way will this road be built?” This is the way we like to see a man express himself and then we know just where we stand and an accommodation is appreciated once and awhile.

Geo. Wertz, the well known Thunder Mountain mining operator was married to Miss Bessie Beard, at Nashville, Mich, their old home on the 10th of May. Mr. and Mrs Mertz* will make Roosevelt their future home after a couple of months visit in the East. We offer congratulations to George and bride. [*sic?]

J. E. Armatage, a veteran Colorado prospector will leave this camp in a few days in company with Johnny Cameron for the Wilson creek country. Mr. Armatage has had a representative on Wilson creek since last fall. He expects to look over a number of sections in that country and afterwards go to Camas creek. Mr. Bruce, the Roosevelt business man, is partially outfitting these parties.

Since the new mail contractor, Al. Ostner, has taken charge of the mail route we are now receiving our mail regularly. Mr. Ostner’s stock are all in good shape and he says that he is not going to work them unless he can feed them good. The people of Roosevelt and along the line can congratulate themselves on getting a man that takes pride in taking care of this stock and getting us a regular mail. As soon as the road is opened up Mr. Ostner will put on a regular stage and express line.
— — — —


To E. M. Clements, his heirs or assigns:

You are hereby notified that I have expended during the year 1904 the sum of two (200) hundred dollars in labor and improvements upon the Edmon, Bullion and Amalgan Bar mining claims in the Pittsburg group of quartz mining claims, situate in Thunder Mountain mining district, Idaho Co., State of Idaho, the location certificates of which are found of record in the office of the recorder of said county, in order to hold said claims for the period ending December 31, 1904, you proportion of said expenditures being one (100) hundred dollars for said year, for the one-third interest belonging to you. And if, within ninety days after the service of this notice by publication, you fail or refuse to contribute your proportion of such expenditures as co-owner, together with the cost of this notice, your interest in said claims will become the property of the undersigned your co-owner, under the terms of section 2324, Revised Statutes of the United States.

Dated at Roosevelt, Idaho, May 17, 1905. D. T. SILLIVAN.
— — — —


To C. J. Fry, his heirs or assigns:

You are hereby notified that I have expended during the year 1904 the sum of one (100) hundred dollars in labor and improvements upon the Monk mining claim in the Pittsburg group of quartz claims, situated in the Thunder Mountain mining district, Idaho county, State of Idaho, the location certificate of which is found of record in the office of the recorder of said county, in order to hold said claim for the period ending December 31, 1904, your proportion of said expenditures being fifty (50) dollars for said year, for the one-half interest belonging to you. And if, within ninety days after the service of this notice by publication, you fail or refuse to contribute your proportion of such expenditures as co-owner, together with the cost of this notice, your interest in said claims will become the property of the undersigned your co-owner, under the terms of section 2324, Revised Statutes of the United States.

Dated at Roosevelt, Idaho, May 17, 1905. D. T. SILLIVAN.
— — — —

Grass is getting good in all parts of the canyons and stock is doing well.
— — — —

— — — — — — — — — —

Images of full sized pages:

link: Page 1 top
link: Page 1 bottom

link: Page 2 top
link: Page 2 bottom

link: Page 3 top
link: Page 3 bottom

link: Page 4 top
link: Page 4 bottom
— — — — — — — — — —

Further Reading

Link to Thunder Mountain and Roosevelt index page
Link: Public folder with images of the old newspapers
Link: November 5, 1904
Link: November 12, 1904
Link: February 4, 1905
Link: March 18, 1905
Link: March 25, 1905
Link: April 1, 1905
Link: April 8, 1905
Link: April 15, 1905
Link: April 22, 1905
Link: April 29, 1905
Link: May 6, 1905
Link: May 13, 1905
Link: May 20, 1905
Link: June 3, 1905
Link: June 24, 1905
Link: July 1, 1905
Link: July 15, 1905
Link: August 19, 1905
— — — — — — — — —

Other Newspapers

The Coeur d’Alene Press., May 20, 1905, page 6

CDAPress19050520-1headlineExtension of P. & I. N.

Work to Begin Soon., Says Manager Heigho

Boise, Idaho, May 17. — E. M. Heigho, general manager of the Pacific & Idaho Northern road, tuning north from Weiser, is in the city today. He stated that work on the proposed extension of the line would begin soon as material, already ordered, should arrive. Part of the grade to Meadows, 30 miles, has been made. Mr. Heigho said the extension would reach that place this year, and possibly be carried to Payette Lakes, 12 miles farther. It is part of the general plan to build a narrow gage line from the lakes to Big Creek and Thunder Mountain, but by a different corporation. It is understood the large operators interested in the Big Creek section are back of the narrow gage project, but it is closely allied with the P. & I. N. Mr. Heigho declined to make a statement on this point.

source: Chronicling America
— — — — — — — — — —

Elk City Mining News., May 20, 1905, page 1

ECMN19050520-1headlineA Large Consolidation
Twelve Groups of Claims in Thunder Mountain Form One Company.

A consolidation of rather extensive proportions, embracing twelve different groups of properties, all located in the Thunder Mountain and Big Creek sections of Idaho, became public recently. The new company will be known as the Thunder Mountain and Big Creek Consolidated Mining and Transportation company, with a capital stock of $25,000,000.

The organization has secured control of the Werdenhoff Mining and Milling company, Crown Mining company, Empress Mining and Milling company, East Dewy Gold Mining company, Blackfoot Gold Mining and Development company, Ltd., Dewey Ledge Gold Mining company, Rainbow Mountain Gold Mining company, Thunder Mountain Gold Mining company, Campfire Mining company, Blackfoot Extension Gold Mining company, and the Buffalo group of claims, said to be located between the Sunnyside and the Dewey mines. It is announced that sufficient shares of the various companies have already been secured to insure the deal going through.

The officers of the combination are: J. E. Morhardt, New York, president; F. W. Hunt, Boise, Id., vice-president; James B. Pratt. New York, secretary, and E. H. Higho, Weiser, Idaho, treasurer. The directors include H. N. Coffin, Boise; Edmund Wolcott, New York; B. F. Olden, Boise; H. E. Neal, Boise; O. H. Miller, New York; S. A. Powell, New York, and Martin Jacobs, Boise.

The impression prevails that the combine has been effected as furnishing an easy method of obtaining additional funds to make the improvements contemplated on the various properties. A portion of the properties mentioned in the deal are still prospects, though development work has been done on all of the claims, while at least six of the groups have opened up ore deposits. The company expects to erect a power plant on Big creek or elsewhere in the district, where more advantageous facilities may be offered.

The company likewise will attempt to acquire control of the Big Creek and Thunder Mountain railroad and work out the plans originally prepared by this organization, to build a railroad into Thunder Mountain. The company will also help the state of Idaho to construct a wagon road into the Big Creek section.

The immediate plans contemplate the opening of the blanket ore body underlying the holdings in the mineral zone on Thunder Mountain, and the installation of a modern milling plant of at least 50 stamps capacity, which will insure the treatment of approximately 200 tons of ore per day. A statement covering all the details of the merger is being prepared and will be sent to the stockholders of the companies, to be taken up by them. The management states that all the companies will retain their identity.

source: Chronicling America
— — — — — — — — — —

The Weiser Semi-Weekly Signal., May 20, 1905, page 1

The Federal Developing company has recently filed its articles of incorporation with the secretary of state at Boise and now has a force of men exploiting its properties on Salmon river, Yellow Pine basin, Quartz creek and Big creek. The officers are: H. T. Abstein, president and manager; Fred Sittkus, vice president; W. H. Hooper, secretary-treasurer.

The Dewey, on Thunder mountain proper, is keeping its five stamps dropping and is turning out about $1,000 to the stamp per month.

The Sunnyside has installed its machinery, after a breakdown with the grips on the ore conveyors. This company conveys the ore from the mine to its mill, several thousand feet distant and below, by gravity, and thus generate sufficient power to run the mill.

The Standard has done a large amount of development work and blocked out some very rich ore ans is now ready for a mill and cyanide plant.

It is rumored that a bond has been given on the “Copper Camp,” on Big creek, for $250,000 and that engineers will examine the property the present month.

There was still several feet of snow on the summit between Warren and Big creek on May 1.

source: Chronicling America
— — — — — — — — — —

Long Valley Advocate., June 01, 1905, Long Valley Advocate Supplement, page 9

LVA19050601headlineWill Build Warren-Big Creek Road.

The state road commission has decided to appropriate ten thousand dollars for the construction of the Warren-Big creek wagon road, conditional upon the people of the country benefited raising an equal sum. At the meeting in Boise where the decision was arrived at, Ex-Governor Hunt and Civil Engineer Chas. W. Luck appeared. Mr. Luck, who has carefully surveyed the road, gave the commission the benefit of his estimates. Governor Hunt gave assurance of financial assistance of his associates.

Bids will be called for at once, the idea being to have construction work under way before the end of this month.

source: Chronicling America

Updated October 3, 2022