Idaho History March 22, 2020

The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News June 24, 1905

courtesy Sandy McRae and Jim Collord

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The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News

Roosevelt, Idaho June 24, 1905 Volume 1 Number 28

The True Fissure Veins of Cooper Mountain.
The Formation and Conditions which Exist There, also a Few of the Characteristics of the Discoverer, Sun-Down Bill Cooper.

by Ernest A. Clark

The writer was recently asked by one of the uninitiated in the noble art of prospecting, and one who contemplated following this hazardous occupation, what qualifications one must possess in order to become a success in this chosen field. The answer to the query thus put, is both large and voluminous, inasmuch as it depends intirely [sic] upon the efforts of the individual himself, and the conditions which he has to cope with. The virgin territory that surrounds the Thunder Mountain mining district offers many opportunities to the enterprising prospector, who, each season, goes into the mountainous regions to [take his chance in making it rich.] (page torn)


Amongst the lucky few in our midst can be numbered that well known rock shark, Bill Cooper, the discoverer of the true fissure veins that traverse the mountain that bears his name. This man, possessing as he does, the tenacity of purpose and a physique that enables him to withstand the many hardships in his quest for what he seeks; also his familiarity with the different watersheds of a large scope of territory; his vastly comprehensive understanding of the many kinds of formations he comes in contact with, and the whys and wherefores of the same, has all been gained by him in the hard school of experience. The knowledge thus obtained has been a great factor in the important discoveries he has recently made.


In the fall of 1903 this enterprising prospector found some honey-combed quartz float on the west of the mountain that bears his name, and to use miners parlance, it looked good to Bill, and quickly found its way into the assay office yielding $50 to $75 per ton in gold. No trouble was experienced in locating the croppings from whence it came and ten claims were located by him comprising the well-known Monte Cristo group, owned and operated by the Spear’s American Exchange of New York City.


Owing to the lateness of the season. Mr. Cooper was unable to do further exploitation work, but early in the following summer, he in company with James Hood, an expert miner, (now deceased) gave the mountain a thorough prospecting, which resulted in the finding of three parallel true fissure veins, the croppings of which not only panned big, but yielded large assay returns. Three claims in length were located on each of these ledges. They are known as the Alice Roosevelt, Minnie Wilson and Mikado veins, thus comprising a group of nine claims. 1000 feet east of this property the croppings of a parallel vein were discovered on which locations were made by McBride, Uhdal and others. This property is known as the Snowstorm group.


Cooper Mountain is situated about 18 miles in a southerly direction from Roosevelt, the metropolis of Thunder Mountain, and lies two miles in a westerly direction from the wagon road. Its south and west slopes form the watershed of the headwaters of Reardon creek. Its east slope the head waters of Big Indian, and its north, the S. W. fork of the above named stream.


The formation is comprised largely of granite, with altered granite dykes cutting through, in which the true fissures are found. The following country rocks are also to be found associated with this formation: Feldspar, crystallized lime, quartzite, schist and sandstone.


Croppings of these ledges were found on the south slope of the mountain and locations were made there-on by the following well-known expert miners: The Allison, Busby and Blackburn ore chutes were discovered that yielded large assay returns, and have been developer by them the past winter. The results of which fully justifies the owners in asking a mine price for their property.


Extensions on the north, owned by the writer, consist of six full claims and two fractions, comprising what are known as the Dame Fortune Group Nos. 3, 4 and 5, consist of locations made on the Alice Roosevelt, Wilson and Mikado ledges, which crop out strongly and well defined. No. 6 consists of the extensions of the Snowstorm ledge. Development work done demonstrated the fact that the ledges not only lived throughout the country, but carried the values as well.


This property consists of six full claims, and comprise the extensions of the Dame Fortune Group, owned and discovered by E. S. Bish. These ledges were also in evidence on this property by their out-crop, and work performed there-on also was a great factor the proving of the true fissure veins.

(page torn)

The development work carried on the past winter, both night and day, by the Spear’s American Exchange, and under the able management of John Ebeno, fully proves the fact that the true fissures of Cooper Mountain are to be found at a great depth carrying good values, and having every indication and ear-marks of becoming, when fully developed, dividend paying mines. An important feature of this development work was the cross-cutting in the main tunnel which is now in 420 feet of two ledges, five and eight feet in width, that were not known to exist by the owners, carrying gold values of $6 to $20 per ton, proving thereby that traversing the formation a net work of veins and feeders exist.

At the time of writing an important deal is about to he consummated on the Hood & Cooper property which will be fully developed this season. Other important, discoveries in the vicinity have been made and the future is one of great promise for this section of the Thunder Mountain mining district.
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20th Century Dam on Monumental Creek.
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19050624Pg2-txt1headline1Our Natal Day.

Of all days in a year the 4th day of July carries with it more reasons why the same should be observed by the people of the United States than all others. Its very history signifies that joy, pleasure and jubilation should be the guiding factors in arranging an entertainment suitable to its proper observance. It will be the natal day of one of the greatest republics on the face of the earth, under which law abiding; and law respecting citizens consider themselves especially favored. Happiness and sunshine should fill all hearts and thanksgiving be the universal prayer.

The patriotic citizens of Roosevelt have responded to the influence of the day by arranging to celebrate the same in manner deserving of its significance.

A program has been made calling for songs to inspire, words to strengthen, good sports to gladden all hearts. Such a program is complete and especially appropriate. All patriotic citizens and all persons, near and far, who enjoy and appreciate the benefits of our government should be present and assist in duly honoring the day.

Let all become active participants in the games and sports and thus give assurance of success to the occasion. At least, let us all be present, show our interest, and possibly influence others to act.

All mines should, be closed, and all employees therein bidden to make merry and be exceedingly glad. There should be no reason why the coming Fourth of July should not prove to be a memorable day in the history of Roosevelt.
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19050624Pg2-txt1headline2What We Need.

As the year is now half gone and tax collecting time is drawing near, it is the duty of the County Commissioners of Idaho county to give us a deputy tax collector They now have an assessor and polltax collector in the field summing up the amount of revenue which they will shortly demand from us. In this isolated part of the county and without county protection our needs should be catered too as a merchant caters to his customers. Last year there was quite a lot of dissatisfaction here in regard to this matter. People mailed their money to pay their taxes on time, but on account of the poor mail service at that time they were made delinquent taxpayers. If a deputy tax collector was appointed for Roosevelt it would be a great convenience to those living here.
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It is stated on good authority in London on the 10th that Russia and Japan look favorably upon Roosevelt’s suggestion for peace and that a meeting of representatives of the two powers is now being arranged.
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The town of Wardner has the honor of having a ladies jury. The difficulty was between two women and they called for a jury of the same class.
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19050624Pg2-txt1headline3Freight Moving.

J. B. Randell returned Thursday from the Transfer where he has been looking after his freight. He has 32,000 pounds on the road. He says the old back mail is all on the road in and will be in shortly.

Mr. Randell reports the road about clear of snow and freight moving. There are twenty teams and four park trains between the Transfer and Roosevelt and will commence to arrive about Tuesday.

They have commenced to work on the telephone line at Trappers Flat. The poles are being cut and the line men are to follow up. It is hoped this line will soon reach town as it will be a great convenience to the people of this section.
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19050624Pg2-txt1headline4$15 Reward.

One gray horse, weight about 1125 pounds, no brand, flee [sic] bitten on shoulders and neck, dapple gray on hind quarters, long mane and saddle marked.

The above reward will be paid upon delivery of same at Dewey mine. E. Haug.
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There was something over 100 pack animals unloaded in Roosevelt Tuesday among the different firms. This was the largest amount of freight received in any one day this year.
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Brown Gravey Sam is always on deck.
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19050624Pg3-txt1headline1Crowel Missing.

News comes to us that a man by name of Crowel is missing in the Big creek country. He was coming in from Goff with a couple of pack animals loaded with provisions and out of Warren another man fell in company with him. When they reached Logan Crowel purchased some meat at a butcher shop and they went to his claims in that vicinity. A day or so later this companion returned the meat to the shop and stated that they did not want it. This man took Crowels provisions and disposed of them and brought the stock on to Roosevelt and disposed of the animals.

These men reached Logan about the 20th or 25th of last September. When Crowel left Goff he was only to be gone about thirty days and has never been seen or heard of since the day he bought the meat in Logan.

It is the opinion of every one that this man has met with foul play and they will commence to solve this mystery when the snow leaves that section. Not only the citizens of that place are going to make a search but we are informed the county officers are going to take the matter up.

The man disposing of these provisions and animals should be made to prove where he got them and what became of the missing man.

Mr. Crowel was in Roosevelt last summer and was slightly known here.
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19050624Pg3-txt1headline2The Pearl Gold Mining Co. at Work

W. A. Douglas, general manager for the Pearl Gold Mining Co., arrived the latter part of last week with a team from Boise. This was the second team over the road. While here Mr. Douglas put six miners to work and let a contract to Nick Kill and M. M. Atherton to cut a road from the Adam’s Mining & Milling Co.’s road to their property. This road will be about one half mile in length with a good grade. Mr. Douglas left Wednesday morning for Boise to meet Alford Adams, Jr., the president of the company. They will be in as soon as Mr. Douglas can make the round trip.
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G. B. Holleran, general manager for the the Spear’s American Exchange, was in town the first of the week in the interest of the company. This company own the Gold Bullion property of which S. I. Choat, deceased, had a contract on. The tunnel is in 326 feet. On account of Mr. Choat’s death Mr. Holleran paid off the men employed and stopped work for the present. Mr Holleran says there is plenty of money coming from the company to pay the bills connected with the mine and Mr. Choat has plenty to satisfy the few outstanding bills. There will be nothing further done until an administrator is appointed. Mr. Spears will be in next month and work will most likely be started up again on this property.
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Johnny Conyers and wife, passed through Roosevelt Sunday morning with a lot of pack animals, headed for their new home on the Middle Fork, which they recently secured from the Caswell Bros.
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link: Notice For Publication.rtf
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E. M. Thornton was in town the first of the week.

Just received a fine line of confectioneries at James McAndrews.

John Noss, father of J. R. Noss, arrived Thursday evening.

B. F. Francis has a full line of bunting and flags for the Fourth.

Ollie Lingo has gone to the South Fork after a train load of hay.

Julius Lachs is putting a porch on the building occupied by R. F. Francis.

E. W. Whitcomb has commenced the erection of a building on north Main street.

J. B. Randell commenced the completion of his new building yesterday morning.

Bert Ailport has gone to the transfer after Mrs. Ailport who is on the way to Roosevelt.

M. F. Kirkpatrick, a well-known mining man of this section, died in Goldfield, Nev., on June 3rd of typhoid fever.

A. D. Clark passed through town Thursday enroute to Boise His two brothers have been sick but are able to be at work again.

Warren M. Dutton has been appointed postmaster at Roosevelt, Idaho county, vice James Randell, removed. — Capital News.

The Wellington Cafe has changed hands. The name of the new firm will appear later. We hope them success in their new undertaking.

The Overland Cafe is the best place to get a good 50 cent meal.

Thomas Neighbors and wife have returned from the outside. Mrs. Neighbors had trouble in making the trip on account of poor health.

There has been a strike made recently on the Alta group on Divide creek, two miles from town. This ground belongs to Frank Hutchinson. He is in about three feet on this vein and it pans.

James McAndrews has all kinds of smoking and chewing tobaccoes [sic].

A NEWS representative happened to run across a couple of stray horses the other day. These horses have been in their present section about eight months. Full information can be had by calling at this office.

Charley Frost, of the livery firm of Jones 86 Frost, left last Wednesday for Boise. He took out T. J. Little and will bring back Mrs. Henry Kinsinger and and children. Mr. Frost will make regular trips if the travel will demand it.

John Treweek, of Salt Lake, has accepted the position as general superintendent of the Sunnyside properties. He has had 20 years experience in mining and is looked upon as a good man for the position. Tom Babbitt will be the new foreman.

Just follow the rush to the Overland Cafe.

J. M. Venable came in the latter part of last week and is starting preliminary work on the Mosier property. This ground adjoins the Sunny side property and lies in a good mineral belt. Mr. Venable is representing St. Joseph, Mo., people.

S. G. Spicer arrived the first of the week with a drove of milch cows from Salmon Meadows and has engaged in the dairy business here. He has taken up quarters at the mouth of the West Fork of Monumental. This makes two dairies for Roosevelt.

The Nampa Leader-Herald contains the following information given out at headquarters concerning the Dewey mill and mine: “Several very important strikes have been reported lately, which the company is not ready to make public. The development work has been pushed with great vigor since Mr. Haug’s trip to Pittsburg, with a view of installing the big 100 stamp mill. Mr. Haug reports that he can be ready for the larger mill in about two months.”

Geo. D. Smith has been appointed deputy assessor for this district and is at work. He is also polltax collector. If you pay this tax before the first of the ear it is $2 after that time it is $2.50. Mr. Smith seems to think we will get a road supervisor appointed for this district about the middle of July.

Nash Wayland and Harry Markham arrived from Grangeville the latter part of last week with a cargo of supplies and departed Monday for Elk City for another load which they have there. This will be their last trip on the northern route. They will work on the southern route the remainder of the season as it is inure profitable.
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19050624Pg4-txt1headline2Must Be Lost.

Some three months ago Mrs. Ross Arnold was engaged to teach the Roosevelt school and was directed to come by Boise, but after leaving Grangeville with her husband for this place they changed their mind and started in by way of Elk City and after coming some distance on the road they concluded the snow was too deep to finish the journey and returned to the outside and Mrs. Arnold exchanged schools with Francis Steele at Clearwater.

Mr. Steele started to Roosevelt and came as far as Salmon river and was going to leave there with one days rashions [sic] but was insisted upon until he finally took enough for five days. This was the last seen or heard of him until he arrived at the Ramey Cabin on Big creek. The way they know he arrived there was that he dropped a few letters and assessors books in or near the cabin for this place. When he arrived at this cabin he had been out fifteen days, and as this is a bachelors cabin, as is familiar in this country, there was two men. One of these men had prepared a good dinner and happened to be out awaiting the arrival of the other and Steele entered the cabin and ate this dinner with a lot of other stuff and it is thought by many that the excessive eating was too much for him to bear and he lost the presence of mind.

This cabin is on a main traveled trail and there is no reason why he should not come through alright if something like this has not happened him. He has never been seen or heard off since he was at this cabin.

Mr. Steele would not listen to his friends ideas but clung to his own as he seemed to be a determined man. He was told if he got lost to remember that “water runs down hill.”

It is safe to say if this man Steele is not lost in the mountains he would show-up somewhere after this elapse of time.
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June 24, 1905 4 pages Images of full sized pages:

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Link to Thunder Mountain and Roosevelt index page

Link: Public folder with images of the old newspapers
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Other Papers

Elk City Mining News June 17, 1905 page 1

Francis Steele Failed to Reach His Destination at Roosevelt — Last Seen on Salmon River — Mining Notes.

Clayton Vance passed through town this week on his way out from Roosevelt after supplies. He was accompanied by S. S. Whitaker. Mr. Vance brought out such particulars as could be gathered along the route relating to the disappearance of Francis Steele, the school teacher who is supposed to have been lost in the mountains between Salmon river and Big creek, while on the way in to Roosevelt to take charge of the school there.

So far as Mr. Vance knew the unfortunate man was last seen at Warren E. Cook’s ranch on Salmon river May 9th, where he secured five days rations, enough to bring him through. About the 20th a prospector named Lynch who was in temporary camp in the Ramey cabin, returned from a day’s hunt and found his camp had been visited during his absence, evidently by a half famished man, judging by the havoc wrought on a “mulligan” stew. After eating this the intruder carried away a kettle of beans. This kettle was afterwards found empty but a short distance from the cabin, near where had been a small camp fire.

Ten days later Lynch found the sack containing the poll books which Steele had with him for the purpose of assessing the Roosevelt district, also in the vicinity of the Ramey cabin. All of which seems to justify the assumption that the unfortunate man had lost the trail and had wandered around until famished and demented, and while in this condition he found Lynch’s camp, and instead of remaining in safety he, following the primal instinct, gorged himself till satisfied, took the remaining food and fled again into the wilderness.

Should this line of reasoning prove correct, and there seems little reason to doubt it, it leaves little hope for the unfortunate man’s escape from the saddest possible fate.

As to the mining operations in Thunder Mountain and Big Creek camps the coming season, Mr. Vance says they will be lively. All the better known properties are going ahead with development. The Dewey mill is pounding away steadily. The Sunnyside people have experienced bad luck with their mill thus far, it having run less than two days since its erection. Superintendent Abbott and his foreman have both resigned. There, is no doubt, however, with the installation of the additional power now planned this property will make good everything claimed for it in the past as a producer.

The Ramey Ridge and Big Creek countries are forging ahead in the most gratifying way. New discoveries are being made and the older ones are being developed into mines. Among the more promising new properties is the Florence A. group, owned by Vance, Merritt, Shepard and Arnelstrom. The ledge is uncovered for a distance of 2000 feet along its strike and has an average width of four feet. Average assay values thus far taken give $30 per ton in gold, much of it free.

Mr. Vance met Wayland’s pack train between Chamberlain basin and Big creek. It will be the first train to reach Roosevelt this season.
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ECMN19050617-5headline1Thunder Mountain Mill.

Most of the timbers for the Champion mill are sawed and framed; although the recent accident by which the big saw was put out of commission has delayed operations considerably in this direction. Excavation for the mill foundations and for the mortar blocks is being rushed with all possible dispatch by Manager Stoever.
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ECMN19050617-5headline2Broke His Leg.

G. W. Peck, a miner and prospector, well known in the various mining camps of Washington and Idaho, while logging for the Thunder Mountain G. M. Co. was caught by a log and suffered a compound fracture of the leg below the knee. Drs. Cullen and Parks reduced the fracture and the injured man is doing as well as could be wished.

source: Chronicling America
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Elk City Mining News June 17, 1905 page 8

Local Mention Personal and Otherwise

Ed Pell is working for the Thunder Mountain company.

D. Rosengrantz of Stites bro’t [sic] in a load of freight Monday for the Thunder Mountain Co.

J. J. Barlow and P. Gilbert of Spokane arrived in camp to work on the Thunder Mountain mill.

source: Chronicling America
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Idaho County Free Press June 22, 1905

Young Man Perishes

Francis Steele was a school teacher and spent the winter and early spring in Mt. Idaho. He left Grangeville on May 8 for Roosevelt where he expected to teach school during the summer and assess the district for the county assessor of Idaho Co. On May 9 he appeared at Campbell’s crossing where he was supplied with food by Warren Cook. This is the last time he was seen.

He was directed by Cook how to follow the trail as miners and packers are constantly passing back and forth to the mines, and no trace of Steele had been found until Vance and Whitaker, of Roosevelt, found the assessment blanks and school books at the mouth of Ramey creek. They had evidently been on the ground several days as they were covered with mould [sic]. There was a bucket that had been taken from the cabin of Tom Lynch on May 20. Lynch was fishing and had left some grouse, fish and a lot of cooked beans in his cabin and when he returned he found the cabin had been entered and the greater part of the food was gone. There was a pair of gloves on the floor.

Search parties have spent several days traveling through the mountains where the papers were found, but no trace of the unfortunate man has been discovered. Steele leaves a wife in Portland.
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Idaho County Free Press July 27, 1905

Steele’s Body Found

Miners who arrived at Warren, Monday brought the news that the body of Francis Steele has been found near the mouth of Ramey creek which is about a half mile from the spot where he camped and ate his last meal. The supposition at the time of his disappearance is that he had attempted to cross Big Creek and was drowned. Details concerning the burial of the body have not been learned, but it is thought no effort will be made to bring the remains out of the country.
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Idaho County Free Press August 17, 1905

Steele’s Body Found

Word has been received that the body of Francis Steele has been found in Big Creek. A similar report reached here about two weeks ago but the body then found was evidently that of some other unfortunate. It is said that papers and other articles on the body leave no doubt as to his identity. Coroner Irwin and J.W. Evans, a brother-in-law of Steele’s expect to examine the body and it will be brought out for burial if possible.
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Idaho County Free Press Sept 7, 1905

Coroner Irvin passed through Warren with the remains of Francis Steele who was lost in Big Creek last spring. The remains were taken to Cottonwood for interment.

source: Idaho County GenWeb Project complied by Penny Bennett Casey