December 1883


chloride Type

Some of the type face used by the Black Range newspaper. (photo 8-16-2016)


Chicago & Alton RRGreat BurlingtonGrafton school

Two Railroad Companies joined the small group of entities with graphical ads in the Black Range Newspaper with this issue.  On page three was an ad for the Chicago & Alton R. R..  If you are one of those people who have never heard of this railroad, follow the link, the map above shows their routes as of 1885.  The fact that this railroad would be advertising in The Black Range Newspaper is a testament to the mobility of the American populace during this time.

On page 4, of this issue was an ad from the Great Burlington Railroad, also graphical.

The issue of December 7, 1883 was the 35th issue of the second volume of the Black Range newspaper.

This issue ran an extended description of the train robbery near Deming, which was first covered in last week’s issue.  From Page 1:

concentrator 1

“More minute particulars of the train robbery near Deming are given by a correspondent of a Deming paper:  On Saturday evening the Southern Pacific train was reported on time as usual, but it failed to come. About seven o'clock a telegram came from Gage, stating that the train bad been wrecked by train robbers and that the engineer and express messenger had been killed. A special train consisting of one flat car and two emigrant sleepers was made up as soon as possible, and started for the scene of the robbery with about fifty well-armed men and Doctors Keefe and McChesney to render medical or surgical aid if necessary. After a cautious run of a little over half an hour, during which time a sharp lookout was kept for obstructions on the track and torn up rails, the scene of the robbery was reached. The first thing noticed was the lifeless body of Engineer Webster, as it lay  stretched out on a car door alongside of the locomotive. The particulars of the robbery were then ascertained to be as follows: At 4:20 o'clock as the train was about six miles east of Gage, the fireman noticed a misplaced rail and exclaimed: "My God there's a hole in the track!" Hardly had the engine been reversed and air brakes applied ere the engine was bumping over the ties. The fireman jumped and the engineer was preparing to do so, when he was shot through the chest and fell dying between the rails. Two shots were fired at the fireman who escaped by crawling on his hands and knees away from the train, which was lying in a cut six feet deep. Two shots were fired through the postal car, narrowly missing the postal clerk. The express messenger was then ordered to come out and hold up his hands, which demand was complied with promptly. They requested him to give up his keys and with them they unlocked the safe and took everything that they thought would be of value to them. The leader of the gang was very particular as to what he took refusing Mexican coin and jewelry, which, he remarked was probably for Christmas presents. After they had ransacked the car, they were very much dissatisfied with the result of their search, having obtained only about $800. They then entered the mail car, with the expectation of getting something from there, but the postal agent says they were novices concerning Uncle Sam's valuable mail matter.  The registered mail pouch was lying near the mailing table, but was not noticed by them. The leader of the gang opened a drawer where there were some nuts and taking them out he cracked them and picked out the meats with his bowie knife while the other's were searching the car for valuables.  As far as the mail agent knows there was nothing removed from his car.  The passenger coaches were unmolested and only one passenger, Mr. Gaskill, of the U. S. publishing house, Chicago, whose curiosity exceeded his sense, was robbed. He got off the train to "see what was going on," and very suddenly found out a good deal more than he had any desire for knowing. He was relieved of $155 in cash and a silver watch, but they gave him back his watch on his informing them that it was a present, remarking that it was of no use to them anyhow. From Conductor Vail they took $200 in money and a line gold watch. They remained in the cars an hour and then rode away in the darkness. A Brakeman got away from the train, ran to Gage and telegraphed to Deming for aid. The fire man returned to the train as soon as the robbers had gone and found that the engineer was dead, and he was greatly effected thereby. The alacrity exhibited by some of the passengers in secreting their valuables is said to be wonderful. One gentleman from New York secreted over $1,000 in his shoe.  Watches, rings and other valuables were dropped in the water coolers, in the coal-box behind the hot water pipes, in pillow boxes and in fact in every conceivable place in the coaches and sleeping car. One man even attempted to secrete himself in the linen in the sleeper. On the arrival of the special from Deming the work of transferring the baggage, mail and express was begun. After every thing had been transferred there was a delay of about an hour caused by wait ing for orders from Tucson. Immediately on reception of orders the train returned to Deming, arriving about eleven o'clock. The work of clearing the wreck was commenced at once and the train was brought into Deming, about eight o'clock Sunday morning. It is thought that the robbers have made their escape into Mexico. A reward of $2,000 each has been offered for them, $1,000 by the Southern Pacific company and $1,000 by Wells, Fargo & Co..”

From Page Two:  The top clip, re: what the concentrator will charge.

From Page Three - Grafton

“The Alaska drift is in over one hundred feet and the rock which lately was quite soft has changed back to the hard formation.”

“W. E. Taylor has begun work for the year on the Capt. Pat and Old Vic claims owned by J. Q. Wills of Albuquerque. Mr. Wills went home on Monday, but his newly acquired interests will bring him back again often.”

From Page Three - Chloride

“The lime kiln built up the gulch by Evans and Norton did not turn out as much lime as was expected as very much of the rock did not burn at all.  When the kiln was first investigated it was thought to be a total failure, but lime enough is secured to lay the concentrator foundation and the work is progressing rapidly.”

“J. H. Magner, one of the owners of the owners of the Black Knight, and who left here last spring for his home in Paris, Illinois, has turned his mining interests over to his son Edward who is now here awaiting the arrival of Dr. Vance to arrange for further development work. Mr. J. H. Magner has gone into business in Paris and will not return to the range.”

“0. F. Ober, the baker of Chloride, is getting up some prize candy packages for the Christmas trade. Every package will contain a prize and excellent mixed candiesmanufactured by him-self. Ober is a first-class confectioner and his candies besides being attractive are much more pure and whole some than the stock carried by the candy trade generally. He has also received a stock of Christmas tree ornaments and he proposes to amuse the children with a Christmas tree whether anybody else in the range does or not. The baker is a man full of enterprise and if the town ever grows up to him, it will be a city.”

“ J. B. Newman who has been paying a visit to Abilene, Texas, returned to his ranch on Palomas creek this week. He brought back with him twenty-two thoroughbred merino bucks for use in his flocks of sheep, and he purchased also a team and wagon. He shipped the stock by rail to Rincon, driving them the remaining distance. Mr. Newman's herd now contains sixteen hundred head of sheep of various grades. In a week or so we will have lamb meat in the market in plenty and will visit the towns of the range with it.”

“Mr. Castle informs the Range that the Monte Christo owners are going to work their mine, and he expects fivetons of ore each day from that property.  The Monte Christo and Vulcan are on the same lead and the nearest of all the properties to Chloride, so that the item of transportation is virtually nothing. Why should not the Vulcan also be worked. The last assessment on that claim showed mineral, and it being nearer to the mountain range, and its tendency to the mineral center, there is no reason why it should not prove on of the strong properties of the camp.”

The entire issue may be read here: The Black Range Newspaper, issue of December 7, 1883, the file is 2.7 MB in size.



Some of the type face used by the Black Range newspaper, after it became more graphically intense.



Page one of this issue was devoted to the assorted “general interest” and humor which it is usually dedicated to in its entirety.  See the clip to the right.

From Page Two

“Six men supposed to be the Southern Pacific train robbers have been arrested at Lake Valley.”

“People who have any disposition to use their pre-emption rights on public lands cannot be in too great haste in being about it.  Bills have been introduced by several parties in both houses of congress to provide for the abolition of the pre-emption and timber culture acts, permitting only the homestead law to stand, but allowing final proof to be made three years from date of entry. The  interest which this subject seems to excite among legislators makes it reasonably certain that a bill of this kind in some form will pass and the pre-emption right thereby be done away with.”

“Joe Fowler was found guilty of murder in the first degree, for the murder of Cale, and has been sentenced to be “hanged by the neck until death do us part" on the 4th day of January. His lawyers gave notice of an appeal, but that is expected to amount to nothing.  Fowler received his sentence with composure.  The jury in the case was native without exception. The Sun said that two of the jurymen knew the name of the chief executive of the nation and that five could write their own names, but ignorant or Intelligent they did their duty in this case and praise should be accorded them. Socorro's committee of safety also  distinguished itself. Immediately upon his arrest the prisoner was given into their hands by the governor, and Col. Eaton and Capt.  Sowers as all the members as well have 'untiring in their vigilance to see the law vindicated. The committee has by this action shown that justice not blood is its desire. The moral effect on Socorro by the  circumstances and result of the Fowler trial cannot fail to be excellent.”

From Page Three



“The Santa Fe surveyors resumed work on the projected line west from Socorro this week and the building of at least a branch to the Magdalenas may be expected to follow immediately.”

“Canfield and Hastings completed the assessment work on the El Paso in the Cuchillo Negro last  Saturday, and left the claim In an improved condition.  Rogers, Howe and Canfield are the owners of the claim.”

“C. H. Laidlaw has resigned his office as justice of the peace, owing to the fact that the people are either unwilling or afraid to back him in maintenance of law and order. He leaves the office with no regret and hails his freedom from disagreeable, unthankful and unpaid for duties with the gusto of a young nigger for a green watermelon.  Fairview will now have to look to Chloride for her dispensation of judicial lore or fight it out on a powder basis as seems the bent of general inclination.”



“The Alaska pump was placed in position about two weeks ago. It has been tested at all speeds that the present supply of water would admit of from one to fifty strokes per minute.  It can be worked to seventy strokes per minute. Judge Adams, the engineer and the foreman are all well pleased with its work.”

“On the 20th instant the Ivanhoe mine will be sold at sheriff's sale to satisfy a judgment of $3,000 obtained against it by its superintendent, Brad Williams.  A host of stockholders will mourn, but Grafton and the Black range will be pleased, because it will put this valuable property in shape to be handled.  The probability for the immediate resumption of work on the property has never been so good as at present.”


“McMillan, superintendent of the Colossal, is still quite low with typhoid fever, but the doctor pronounces his symptoms better and he is quite hopeful.”

“Blun & Co. by the hands I. H. Gray, sent over quite a number of trinkets and toys to Miss Barnes for use as Christmas presents for the children of her school.”

“On Tuesday last M. H. Chamberlin brought into the Black Range office a piece of bornite ore weighing about four pounds broken from the croppings of the Midnight lode. It is one of the finest pieces of ore yet shown in the camp.”

The clippings below the last photograph are from the Chloride section of the page.

“Westerman's well has an abundance of water. The town well is substantially dry, and the public goes to Westerman's for its water supply.  Westerman & Co, have built their well at their own expense. Now that the public visit it, would it not be well to move the curbing, rope and tackle down to Westerman's. If not, it is nothing but fair that those using the well should contribute to a first-class rig for hoisting water, to replace the old and dangerous contraption now used. The fact is the concern is dangerous, and as women and children are compelled to resort to this well it would not at all surprise the Black Range at any time to hear of some fatal accident occurring there.”

“The public is invited to attend the Christmas tree at the school house next Friday afternoon. The school will close its first term on that date and the exercises of the children will enliven the occasion.”

The third page ended with an extended discussion of how the work for the concentrator was progressing.  The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range Newspaper, issue of December 14, 1883, the file is  2.8 MB in size.




The Black Range newspaper typeface.
Chloride, NM, USA Chloride Museum

Chloride Hotel

The type set above was used by the Black Range Newspaper, for a later version of the ad to the right, which appeared on the front page of this issue.  The front page consisted of two columns of ads and four columns of folksy humor.  The last page was devoted to ads and legal notices.

The second page of this issue was dedicated to four columns of ads and two columns of news, mostly a letter to the editor by H. N. Castle who was the President and Manager of the Black Range Milling Company - the company which is building the concentrator in town.  A lot of concern about the cost of services.

The third page consisted of two columns of ads and four columns of news.  The following items are from the third page.

CONNECTION TO THE NORTH STAR ROAD:  “The people of the Black range desire a wagon road west of the range, to connect with the old North Star road, and have petitioned the county commissioners to build such a one. Their prayers should be granted, as it would benefit the people of Socorro county generally, and of the town of Chloride and of the Black range particularly...The petition to the County Commissioners, of Socorro county for a wagon road and an appropriation therefor, to connect the Engle road at Chloride with the North Star road at its crossing with Diamond and Turkey creek, has about one hundred names attached to it. This will prove a very important road as it would lessen the distance, between the ranches on the other side the range and Engle, by fifteen or twenty miles. It would also bring the ranching population over the divide, nearer to their best base of supplies here at Chloride. The County Commissioners should not hesitate a moment in ordering the road laid out, and then support the order with a liberal appropriation.”

BURNS SALE OF THE SUPERIOR MINE:  “Report has it here that our old friend Capt. Thos. Burns, of Kingston, has sold out his interest in the Superior for $30,000. Good enough. No better man ever came to New Mexico, than this same man Capt. Burns. He has had a fortune two or three times, but has always been too generous to hold it. He has helped many a man that has failed to know him when he was overtaken with disaster. About a year ago he arrived in Kingston with just forty dollars, and now he has as many thousand. No one knows better how to enjoy good fortune than, be, and no man in the world is more of a philosopher in adversity ready to do anything his hands may find to do. He is no blower of his own horn; when he was in bad luck no one ever heard him tell of what "he had been." He has hundreds of friends, all over the country, that will be as glad to bear of his fortune, as if they had made it themselves.”

JAY BARNES: “Jay Barnes is part owner in a good mining property near Kingston.”

AMERICAN FLAG MINE:  “The American Flag has a car load of ore on the road to Engle. It will be shipped to Argo for treatment.”

CHLORIDE SUNDAY SCHOOL:  “Thirty-one persons are enrolled in the Chloride Sunday School, of which number twenty-five were present last Sunday.”

PALOMAS CHIEF MINE: “Moorland is hauling Palomas Chief ore from the Palomas district to Engle.   White, of the Chief, will ship his ore to Socorro for treatment. He has a car load ready.”

ROYAL ARCH MINE: “A. Rush Bowe, of the Royal Arch, was in town yesterday. He says his pump works like a charm, and he has imported a regular machinist from Denver to take charge.”

SILVER MONUMENT MINE:  “The returns on the last car load of Silver Monument ore showed big for the property. There were three separate lots in the car load. First-class of four tons and 264 pounds run 364 1/2 oz. silver, 27 per cent copper.  Second-class five tons 1930 pounds run 90 ounces and 8.3 per cent copper. A lot shipped by Caldwell, which was set aside to him by Von Wendt at the time of the first shipment 11,308 pounds run 147 ounces silver and 17.2 per cent copper.  The car load after deducting treatment brought $2,329.43.”

MIDNIGHT MINE: “A second ledge on the Midnight, parallel with, and about one hundred feet from, the main ledge, has been discovered, carrying at the surface considerable galena. It will be opened up.”

DREADNAUGHT MINE:  “Talk about J. M. Smith going away!  Not much. The money he got for hisone-third in the Dreadnaught he will turn over at least a dozen times in the next six months, right here in Chloride.  He sees the boom coming, and has some ideas he don't tell every body.

ALICE BARNES SCHOOL:  “It will not be forgotten that this afternoon is the closing of the first month of Miss Barnes' school. The public are invited to be present and witness the fulfillment of a program wherein the children are to take part in readings, recitations and declamations. The exercises will close with the distribution of Christmas presents to the children.  A Christmas tree will be one of the features of the entertainment.”

The last column of news on the third page had to do with the costs and prices of concentrating ore.

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of December 21, 1883, the file is 2.8MB in size.


Photos above and below, the Grafton Cabin at the Chloride Museum site -
what is left of the mining town of Grafton. (photo 8-16-2016)

Alice Barnes School Christmas Party

The Grafton Cabin, shown above and below, is currently located on the site of the Chloride museum.  The cabin was built in the late 1870’s and is the most substantial piece of Grafton which remains.  Like many mining towns Grafton sprung up in no time and went away just as quickly, it was effectively abandoned by 1890, only this cabin remained by 1970.  It was removed to Las Cruces during that decade but made its way back to Chloride in 1976.

Page One

The front page of this issue devoted a column and a half to “How to Get A Patent” & “Law Points on Locations”.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the mining laws of this period, a patent is the process through which miners were able to appropriate Federal Lands for their personal use through a transfer of land ownership.  

The rest of the front page was dedicated to ads and humor.

Page Two

Four of the six columns on the second page were dedicated to ads and it is noted that “For want of space, several communications, with considerable local matter, is necessarily crowded out.”

Almost of all of the two columns of substance were dedicated to an article, and comments about, the prices that the concentrator being built in Chloride would charge (general outrage was the tone of the comments).

Page Three

This page starts with a summary of the year 1883 - “...The Range has been dull.  Our mining industry has lain dormant, for want of capital to develop, and the prospector, and the owners of claims have been discouraged, almost beyond hope, because of the lack of means to develop their properties, and show to the world that right here is the unmistakable evidence of untold incalculable wealth...”

The summary of the year past is followed by a prediction of the next year and all of its glory.

CHLORIDE: “Canfield and Hastings are working the assessment on Wall Street No. 2...Ed Magner is up at the Black Knight. Will probably spend the New Year there...The Walking John assessment was finished this week by George Smith and H. Cate, of Grafton...Billy Dunn, Ed Leighton and Harry Berlew came in from the Iron Reef district Monday evening...Canfield and Hastings finished the assessment on the Terrible, last week...Supt. Bently, of the American Flag mine, left for the east Monday morning...In the absence of Superintendent Bently, James Moody is In charge of American Flag mine, on the Palomas...J. H. Drake returned from Kingston last Monday. He has commenced work on the Hercules, south of the White Signal...Blain and Cameron are doing assessment work on the Fast Mail and other property of the Black  Range Co, on Dry creek...Billy Taylor was down from Grafton this week; says the out-put of water from the Alaska mine has made Turkey creek a navigable stream...The Range regrets to report that W. B. Stevens is probably loser, to the extent of several hundred dollars, by the failure of the Grant County Bank....”

The Christmas party held at the school by Alice Barnes was noted with appreciation, see clip above.

Page Four

Page four of this issue was dedicated to ads and legal notices.

A complete copy of this issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of December 28, 1883, the file is 2.8 MB in size.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2020