April 1884


US_Treasury_Mill_after_1908 Henry A. Schmidt

The copy of the Black Range newspaper issue of April 4, 1884 which we have access to suffers the same fate as the last issue.  In this case one-half of page 1 and page 2 is missing.  Luckily, pages 3 and 4 are intact and page 3 is the page with the local news.

What we have of page one is two columns of ads; a news story about a new weapon called a dynamite canon; and a humor article about international chicken fights.  We have legal notices and ads on page 2.

From Page Three

Notes about people moving, traveling, and having dental appointments started the local news.

saucier bros ad

“Kingsbury Bros, from Grafton, began assessment work on the U. S. Treasury and the White and Gray Eagles, this week.”  (Ed. Note: The U.S. Treasury Mill in 1908, photo by Henry A. Schmidt, is shown to the right.)

“The windmills on Cuchillo Negro creek at Fairview and above give that community the appearance of a section of Illinois.”

“Positive information has arrived in the range that theAlaska will soon resume operations, though the particulars are not given.”

“The suit between the people of Canada de Alamosa and the settlers on the creek above is being tried at Socorro this week, in the district court.”

“The teams of the Saucier brothers brought to the concentrator this week the ore from the Sunrise mine and it is now in the bins awaiting treatment.”

“A Mexican baile caught the boys Wednesday night. It was held at the Germania hall and eight Mexican ladies from Stone ranch constituted the female portion of the party.” (Ed. note: A baile is a gathering for dancing, the term is used in the southwestern U.S. and parts of the Americas south of the U.S..)

“Long and Richardson have closed their meat market, and Chloride folks have resumed their diet of ham and bacon. The reason for closing was that they could get no beef to kill, and was not because they had no customers.”

“The Equator mine is now working five men on a southeast drift and some of the very finest ore that has yet been found is being taken out.  The product is rapidly filling the sacks and in a week or so another shipment will be ready to send off.”

“Dr. Reekie lessee and part owner of the Blue Dandy mine has two men at work taking out ore and he proposes to increase the force to an unlimited extent if the concentrator tests prove satisfactory.  The delivery of the Blue Dandy ore at the concentrator begins this week.”

“Wages on the American Flag mine at Hermosa were reduced this week fifty cents per day. The old price was four dollars per day but three and a half being the ruling price of the Black Range, no complaint was made by the men employed when the Flag came down to this figure...Jim Menitee came up from Hermosa Monday having some samples from the deep shaft of the American Flag For assay. The shaft has a greatly improved appearance and Messrs. Yeazel and Bently are greatly encouraged thereby. Jim estimates that the Flag has 500 tons of excellent ore in sight at the present time. Six men are at work on the American Flag and two on the Flagstaff adjoining. After another test of ore the Flag will probably be a heavy feeder of the Chloride concentrator.  The ore is proven to work nice and to run well.”

“Capt. Blain is authority for the statement that the Monte Christo will start up again, when all the ore now insight running over two thousand ounces will be sacked and shipped and the lower grade worked at the concentrator.  The road lead to the mine is in excellent repair.”

“T. L. Reber, once the soda pop man of the Black Range but more recently of Socorro, is now located at Big Springs, Texas, engaged in his old business. He has a fine outfit there he says, and is doing well, but be pines for the range and says be is coming back here some time.”


(Ed. Note:  “The Remarkable T. L. Reber; Soda Bottles and Bottling in the Black Range and Silver City, New Mexico”, by Bill Lockhart and Zang Wood notes that Reber “and his wife, Rebecca, would arrive in a town - usually newly opened, a railroad center, or a mining town - and buy or rent a lot.  A carpenter by trade, Reber would then construct a one- or two-room building and open up a soda bottling plant.  Once the business was successful, he would sell out and move on.  His drinks were high quality, so he usually sold the plants within a few months - often just weeks.  Reber, himself, claims to have sold fifty setups in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and El Paso, Texas.”

“Billy Dunn and Hugh Love have begun work on the White Shield mine on Mineral creek. This claim has a large quantity of fine ore and a capacity for large production. The new work will be done in a winze now twelve feet deep at the end of an eighty foot drift.  The ore according to concentrate test made by Mr. Castle in Colorado last fall carried fitly ounces silver as it ran on the dump.”

“The school election held last Saturday at Chloride, in accordance with the order of the board of county commissioners, to organize a school district in precinct No. 20, and to choose three directors for the same resulted in a poll of fifty-seven votes every one in favor of the organization of the district.  There was but one ticket in the field and this received almost the unanimous vote. James Dalglish, John McBride, and Geo, B. Haskell, are the directors elected and their choice is eminently satisfactory.”

“The committee appointed by the Socorro County Stock Growers' association to visit the governor and wage a modification of the new law requiring an inspection of all cattle coming into New Mexico, has been successful in getting the legislature to adopt a resolution which suspends all operation of the law until such time as the governor may by proclamation declare it in force. As there seems to be no demand for tho exercise of the law now it is null and void. This will save Mr. Lyman the exorbitant fees demanded by the Trinidad quarantine and inspection.”

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of April 4, 1884.  


Unfortunately, the April 11 issue of the Black Range Newspaper is not available to us.   Instead we offer a photograph of Lake Valley (top and immediately below) in about 1900 by Henry A. Schmidt and one by F. Kuellmer about a half-century later (bottom).

Lake Valley House ca 1900 Henry A. Schmidt
Lake Valley 1954 by F. Kuellmer



Nicholas Galles, about whom much is written below, at about the time of this issue.


new county of sierra-filtered

Page one of the April 18, 1884 issue of The Black Range newspaper is, as usual, “lite”.  Ads, humor (often vile) and local color make up the front page.


The first entry on page two falls within the category of “my how things change”:  “The Las Cruces people complain that Dona Ana county, without Lake Valley, is the feeblest county financially in New Mexico.  They also aver that Sierra County is one of the wealthiest.” Certainly a lesson in the “benefits” of extractive industries.  The formation of the new county and the selection of Hillsboro as the county seat was not without controversy - see clips to the right and quotes below.

“The Las Cruces gentlemen who are so hard in their denunciations against those who voted for the bill creating Sierra county didn’t make a cent off of John A. Miller or Grant county.  Mr. Miller bluntly told Messrs. Rynerson and Riley the chief kickers, that he was pledged to the new county bill before he went to Santa Fe as they were themselves, and that they were cowards and sneaks to “kick against the pricks”.  Las Cruces gave away Lake Valley and Hillsboro in consideration of getting the county seat of Dona Ana county and a new court house.  Now they want their gifts back.  You are silly and inconsistent gentlemen.”

And more on the county creation machinations: “Slick Nick thinks to sell his old store for a court house for the new county at an enormous price, and thus lift the attachments for his other property, is pretty good for one term.  Of course he expects to reign supreme there, after doing so much for his “dear people”. But he “Ain’t got thar yet.” -- Dona Ana Co. Times”

new county boundaries-filtered

And more: “We believe the people of the new county are also opposed to Nick Galles’s law, by which a debt is at once incurred on them to the tune of thirty thousand dollars for the purchase of grounds and the erection of county buildings at an unsuitable place.  The project, too, has the appearance of a scheme to redeem the fortunes of a bankrupt at the expense of the people and not at all in the public interest.  If we mistake not, the Hon. Nick Galles if he stays in the new county, will dwell in a hornets nest.  He has, if his “pet scheme” stands the test of judicial investigation, cheated the people of his own section, and they themselves will resent it. -- Rio Grande  Republican”

The schemes and machinations associated with the formation of the new county of Sierra were the source of most of the news on page two (see clips to the right and quotes above).  The remainder of the page was dedicated to ads and legal notices.


“C. H. Brooks, the purchaser of the Silver Monument mine, went back to Denver on Monday...John McBride will begin work on the unfinished portion of the road to the Silver Monument mine next week and will put it in shape for hauling ore and machinery over.”  (See, also, clip bottom right.)

“Sierra County is one of the smallest counties in New Mexico and one of the richest in nature’s treasures.”

“The Black Range will publish the full bill creating Sierra County if it ever succeeds in possessing itself of a copy.”

“The smelter at Kingston was expected to blow in this week and the Range hopes the occurrence was attended with success.”

“Tom Long’s bull teams went down to Hermosa this week to begin hauling to Engle another shipment of fourteen tons of American Flag ore.  This property sends out its product very regularly...Hon. C. B. Coon one of the directors of the First National bank of Hebron, Nebraska, and an owner of the American Flag mine, accompanied by C. H. Williard cashier of the same bank, a prospective owner of the same mine, arrived in the range Monday night and went down to Hermosa Tuesday morning to take a look at the mine.  They looked the property over to their satisfaction and this morning started on their return trip for home.  Mr. Yeazel becoming of the party.”

“Mooney’s Black Tail claim south of Hermosa is improving wonderfully as development work progresses.  The ledge now shows six feet wide and is mineralized throughout.  The character of the mineral is silver glance and horn and native silver.”

“There are many things about the bill creating Sierra county which might have been improved but taken altogether the kickers against the new county are not residents within the district embraced within its described limits.  We are quite well satisfied.”

“The horse race which was run at Fairview yesterday between Ted Houghton’s bay pony and M. G. Levy’s gray was hotly contested but resulted in the wining of the bay.  Half way down the track the gray had a good lead but the bay recovered all this and won the race by nearly a length.  The stakes were fifty dollars a side, and considerable money changed hands by side bets.” (Ed. note: This when a miner made $3.50 a day.)

“Grafton is getting to be an agricultural town.  Most of the citizens are ranching on the west side of the range.”

“Bids have been sent to Lacrosse, Wisconsin for doing the work of running the Colossal Tunnel one hundred feed further into Hagan’s Peak.”

“The Black range saw mill takes a walk to the other side of the range this week.  Its new location is south of the road running through Nell’s Pass about a mile and a half from the summit point.  The distance from  the saw mill to Chloride is about six miles further than it is now but the price of lumber will remain the same because the cost of getting logs to the mill will be so cheapened that the owners of the mill can afford to pay more for hauling the lumber.  The other side of the range at the new mill site is level and timber is much superior to that heretofore used.”


Page four was dedicated to ads, legal notices, and foolishness.

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of April 18, 1884.




Some of the stock brands published in the April 25, 1884 issue
of The Black Range newspaper.  Graphics continue to increase
 in number with every issue.

sec 4 & 5-filtered

Page One of the April 25, 1884 issue of the Black Range Newspaper is dedicated to ads, local color, and humor.  A section of column has been cut out of page two - thus creating a vacant space on page one.

From Page Two

“The new county of Sierra contains within its boundaries the most valuable mines and larges ore lodes to be found in the territory. -- Santa Fe Review”

“The capital of Sierra County wants a newspaper, Mr. Greene.  Moving day is close at hand.”

“The New Mexican Review prints in full the bill creating Sierra County which is as follows excepting the description of boundaries published in The Range last week.

Provided that the property thus separated from the county of Socorro shall not be exempt from its share of taxation to pay the outstanding bonded indebtedness of Socorro county.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, that within ten days after the passage of this act the governor of the territory call an election, to be held within thirty days thereafter, for the election by the people of said county of a full corps of officers, in accordance with existing laws relating to counties of this territory and who shall be entitled to assume the duties of their respective offices upon complying with the requirements of law now in force in regard to the county officers of other counties of this territory, and who shall hold their respective offices until their successors shall be elected at the next general election in this territory and shall qualify for their respective offices, as is now provided by law.

Sec. 3.  Be it further enacted, that the county seat of said county of Sierra be, and the same is hereby permanently located and established at the town of  Hillsboro, in said county of Sierra.

Sec. 4 & Sec 5 see clip at right.

Sec 7 - 10-filtered

Sec. 6  Be it further enacted, that the board of county commissioners of said county, within thirty days after they shall have been appointed and shall have qualified as provided in section two of this act, shall hold a meeting of said board at the County seat of said county, and shall examine and require into the sufficiency of official bonds given or to be given by any county or precinct officers as is required by law in other counties of this territory, and at said meeting, or as soon thereafter as may be, shall act off and organize, as many election and judicial precincts in said county as they shall deem necessary and proper, and shall perform all the duties required by law of like boards of county commissioners in other counties of this territory.”

stock brands announcement-filtered

Sections 7 - 10:  See clip to right.

The remainder of page two is dedicated to ads and legal notices.

From Page Three

“Ed Manner has gone up to the head of the range to work assessments on the Black Knight group of mines for the year 1884.”

“The Rio Grande river is coming up toward its spring rise and the ferry boat is now doing service on the Black Range and Engle road. Fares the same as last year.”

“The livery firm of Crawford Bros., here in Chloride, is dissolved, Austin retiring.  Capt. Blain has charge of the business and will run it until other arrangements are afected.”

“Thomas Murphy of Lake Valley and Frank Boyd of Kingston are aspirants for the office of sheriff of Sierra county and are circulating petitions among the people of their respective localities getting the endorsement of the people.”

“Messrs. Stone, Beebe and Trumbor on their Walking John No. 2 claim have just opened up a ten inch streak of fine sulphuret ore. The claim it at present developed by a thirty-foot cut and a ten foot shaft, and it was at the bottom of the shaft that the last and best ore strike was.”

“Dr. Reekie has two men employed in deepening the shaft of the Blue Dandy mine. They have just struck a new character of ore being a sort of soft carbonate which he says is very rich in silver. As  soon as the concentrator has any entity bins the Dr. will begin hauling ore down.”

“Mr. Reed and family of Grafton yesterday moved down to Hermosa to keep boarding house for the American Flag employes, Hermosa is on the upward grade now and with the popularity that Mrs. Reed gained in Grafton as boarding house landlady these folks ought to do well in their new location.”

“Dr. Haskell has received official notice of his appointment to the office of school superintendent of Sierra county.”

“The wagon road to the German mine on which work has been progressing for the past three weeks is completed, it is the best piece of mountain road yet constructed in the range. There is a large ore dump on the German to haul to the concentrator, and the property is capable of producing a considerable quantity daily, when work is renewed.”

“Billy Taylor moved from Mineral creek home to Grafton on Monday. He left a twenty-foot tunnel, considerable other work and a goodly dump of ore  on the Walking John when he left.  He desires to pay the Braxton some attention in the near future, and is trying to instill the desire in his partner in the property. The Braxton is on of the properties on which the hopes of Grafton is based, and it really ought not to be idle.”

“Miss Nellie Russell closes her three months term of school at Grafton today.  Her teaching has given complete satisfaction to everyone concerned.”

“The new smelter at Kingston has been running for a couple of weeks and according to all accounts is a grand success. This rejoiceth all the people throughout the range. The plant has a capacity of sixty tons and was erected by the owners of the Iron King mine for the especial purpose of working their own ores.”

The remainder of page three is dedicated to ads and legal notices.

Page four was dedicated to ads, legal notices, and foolishness.

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of April 25, 1884.


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