February 1883


Hillsboro Main Street

The main street of Hillsboro in the late 1880’s.


FEATURED TODAY: More on the east-side road, general lawlessness, the need for a jail in Kingston.

In this issue, it is reported that: 

  • “Kingston is now free from small-pox” according to the Kingston Tribune;

east side road

  • “The poles for the telegraph line between Deming and Silver City have been delivered on the ground and the line will be put up as soon as the wire arrives.”;
  • “At Hillsboro, J. R. Johnson and nephew, shot and killed a man by the name of Fields, who had first attacked the former with a pistol.”;
  • “An electric light company has been organized in Albuquerque and will begin operations at once.  This is the first company of the kind in the territory.”;
  • “A terrible cutting affray occurred at Socorro on the 25th last among a party of drunken Mexicans who were quarreling over the use of the hot springs water.  One man had an eye knocked out and another had his head laid open.”;
  • The comings and goings of locals, and often their daily activities, filled the space of The Black Range, sometimes its statements were rather blunt - see the top item, about Burt Brumfield;
  • The matter of a road between Chloride and Hillsboro continued to get a lot of attention in this issue, to the right is part of most of a column about the matter;
  • “The Lake Valley Herald says: ‘A bad man under arrest at Kingston is worse than a white elephant in the hands of the officers of the law, because there is no place to put him.  Kingston needs a jail, and needs it badly.”;
  • “The Sierra Nevada mine at Lake Valley is now producing daily 6,000 to 10,000 ounces of silver.  The total output up to January 5th, for six months, commencing July 21st, 1882 was $869,138.88.  It is a grand record for a twenty stamp mill.”;
  • Reprinting from the Silver City Southwest - “ The finest place on the Mimbres is that of John Brockman.  This gentleman has a fine orchard and vineyard, which now covers more than thirty acres of land.  On this ground he has set out 2,000 apple, peach, pear and cherry trees, and over 3,000 grape vines.  In his nursery he has 7,000 young trees.  Last year, an experimental period, he made over 400 gallons of wine.  In the next season he hopes to manufacture 2,000 gallons of fine native wines and to raise 2,000 bushels of fruit of all sorts.”
  • Reprinting from the Rio Grande Republican - “From every ranch in the county and along the Rio Grande, from just below Socorro to the county south of Mesilla, including Palomas, Colorado, Lake Valley, Leasburg, Dona Ana, and many other towns, comes intelligence of cattle in large numbers having been run off by rustlers during past week.  Great excitement prevails all along the line, and several armed bands of citizens are on the road after the villains.  They have not yet returned...”

If you would like to read the entire issue, it is available at The Black Range Newspaper of February 2, 1883.  The file is only 1.9 MB in size.




What it cost to buy the Black Range Newspaper.

FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE: Public schools, picket fences, and bears.

In this issue it is reported that:

fuller adsandwich islands
  • “A.T. & S. F. company are laying out a new town eighteen miles north of Socorro, to be called La Joya.”
  • “The New York chamber of commerce has adopted a petition to congress asking the suspension of the coinage of the silver dollar.”
  • The El Paso Lone Star reports that “A Mexican attempted to cross the Rio Grande with his team near  Socorro a few days ago, and the whole outfit was drowned.  At this place, nearly two hundred miles below, a blind burro might cross the river without any danger of drowning.  Indeed, during the passage he might lie down in the bed of the stream and take a rest without any further danger than that of catching cold.”
  • “Arrangements have been made in Lake Valley for supporting a public school.  A school district has been organized containing 44 scholars of school age.”
  • “The Atlantic and Pacific railroad company has reduced passenger fare over its line to eight cents per mile, and promises a further reduction to six cents on the first of April.”
  • “The post-office at Robinson has been discontinued, and the people at that town will get their mail at the Fairview post-office hereafter.  The former post-master, Mr. J. L. M. Hill, desiring to leave the place resigned his position, and no one else could be found to accept it, hence its discontinuance.”

faster train

  • “H. C. McKay is enclosing his front yard with a neat picket fence.”
  • “Ivanhoe stock has advance to 65 cents.  This is over 100 of a rise since Jan. first.  Let her boom; perhaps after a few more fortunes are made on stocks the mine will be worked.”
  • “Fred Haught, of the Gila, recently had a narrow escape from the clutches of a huge bear, while out near the head of Turkey creek.  He espied two of them together, and wounded one, which retreated, but the other showed fight and pressed Mr. Haught so hard as to throw his horse before he could kill it.”
  • “L. Corson has purchased the adobe walls of Dr. Driscoll on the north side of Wall street, and will immediately commence to complete a substantial building out of them, placing an iron roof thereon, and making it as near fire-proof as possible.”
  • “Alex. Rogers, of Engle, made one of his flying trips to the range last week.  Mr. Rogers will soon inspect the new road to the Palomas with a view to putting on a stage line to Hermosa and establishing a store at that place.  An effort will also be made to get a mail service over the route.”
  • “The machinery for the stamp mill at Hillsboro is now at Nutt Station.”
  • The Las Cruces Republican reports that “ Every month or two, for some years past, two Mexicans have crossed San Augustin pass from the west, and have skirted the foot hills to the south and then by a secret pass again entered the heart of the range.  After staying there a day or two, they return as quietly as they went away.  Of course the magnet that draws these Mexicans there can only be a rich mineral deposit, from which they monthly obtain wealth enough to support them in the interval.   They have been interrogated from a distance, but refuse to respond, and always hide when followed.  When at the mouth of the pass, one Mexican seats himself as a sentinel while the other penetrates the mysterious labyrinth beyond; and if anyone happens to approach, the sentinel discharges his rifle as a warning to his friend and disappears.  Efforts have been made to trail up the secret miner, but without success, as the Mexicans are too sharp to give themselves away so easily.  And the mystery is still unveiled.”

Editors Note:  The Bobtail shaft is part of what is now known as the abandoned Rattlesnake Mine complex.  Galles went on to some prominence in Hillsboro and was the architect behind Hillsboro becoming the county seat of the new county of Sierra.

To read the entire issue of:  The Black Range Newspaper of February 9, 1883, the file is 2.4 MB.


FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE:  The Czar is safe, unprofitable mining, Kingston PR efforts, and snowbirds.

The big news in Chloride is the announcement of a new stage line, to run from the rail stop at Engle to Chloride.

In this issue it is reported that:

Lake Valley Stablesunprofitable mining
  • “The Silver City ordinance compelling commercial drummers to pay a license of ten dollars per day has been repealed.”
  • “The Russian police claim to have destroyed nihilism, and the czar walks the streets of St. Petersburg without an armed escort.”
  • “Milton Yarberry was hanged at Albuquerque last Friday for the murder of Chas. D. Campbell in June 1881.  He had to be braced up with whiskey.”
  • “New Jersey has passed a bill prohibiting the employment in factories and workshops of children under twelve years of age, and children under fifteen without two years schooling.”
  • “A Tucson dispatch says that Mexican soldiers on the border of Sonora and Chihuahua, killed one hundred and took prisoner sixty Apaches.  This is the third victory for Chihuahua troops within ten days.”
  • “Our exchanges tell us that Col. M. J. Gillette, who leaves the Sierra property of Lake Valley on March 1st, will return to his old love, the Ivanhoe, at Grafton, and that work will be resumed on that property.”
  • “Henry Harper, a mining expert, suddenly left Silver City, without telling any one where he was going, and his friends are out about $7,000.  He left mining properties in the Hanover district worth double that amount.”
  • “In order to attract the attention she merits Kingston will, as soon as practicable publish for general circulation, 10,000 copies of a forty-eight page pamphlet ‘setting forth in plain, modest language the exact facts regarding the location of Kingston, the character of its surroundings, the general geological formation, the nature and extent of the mineral belts, together with a description of each mine or prospect upon which any considerable development has been made.’ ” (Editor: Read the pamphlet: Kingston Mines.pdf - 3.2 MB)
  • “Director of the Mint Burchard is of the opinion that without an international agreement as to the relative value of gold and silver, a continuance of the coinage and circulation of silver by the United States would tend to make this country the dumping ground for the silver of all nations, while gold would find its way out of the country as fast as imports came in.”
  • “Thomas Sturgis and wife left Robinson for Socorro last Tuesday, from whence they will start for Sturgis, Michigan, about the first of March.  They find it pleasanter to pass the winter months in this territory than endure the cold weather in the east, especially such as the past few months have witnessed back there.”
  • “Oehl and Dyer are making preparations to start a henery on Turkey creek.  They will get eggs from the east and hatch them by incubation.”
  • “William Maroney who has been in the range for some time, had his horse and burro stolen while prospecting on the Animas.  He can get no trace of the thieves.”
  • “Judge Holt is up from Georgetown.  Mr. Holt thinks that Kingston and Chloride are to be the two livliest camps in the range.”
  • “The Ben Franklin mine, near the Superior, at Lake Valley, has been sold for $2,500.”
  • “A dispatch to the Albuquerque Review says five cow-boys took in the old town of San Marcial on the 12th, and there was some lively shooting.  Two Mexicans were fatally wounded.  A posse was sent in pursuit of the cow-boys.”
  • “Governor Sheldon has received a petition from one hundred and forty citizens of Dona Ana county, stating that the rustlers are stealing a great many cattle and that the lives of prominent citizens have been threatened and that a bad state of affairs exist and praying for action regarding the matter.  Sheldon has referred the petition to Major Fountain, with instructions to use the militia under his command and run the rustlers out.”
  • From the Hillsboro Prospector: “Mr. E. J. Butcher has just completed his contract on the Copper King, sinking the shaft fifty feet and the cross cut fifteen feet. opening up one of the most immense beds of copper ore ever seen.  The ore is red oxide of copper, and will yield from fifty to eight per cent. copper.  The exact extent of the deposit is not known yet.”
  • From the Hillsboro Prospector: “An attempt to rob the bullion room of the Sierra Mining Co., was made one night last week.  The superintendent, Col. Gillette, was informed by some one who was in the secret, that an attempt would be made, and he prepared to receive them in a proper manner.  He let them enter so as to have certain proof on them.  The thieves had passed out one bar, about 200 pounds, and were making preparations to get some more when the men that the Colonel had posted on guard fired on them with shot guns, but the Col. certainly selected bad marksmen, for all the damage done the thieves was to cause on to lose his boots and another his hat.  They all escaped.”
2-16 a ball in grafton

A complete copy of this edition is available: The Black Range Newspaper of February 16, 1883 - the file is 2.3 MB in size.


FEATURED TODAY: Several mines are doing well, Fountain to go after rustlers, and Albuquerque free of small-pox.

2-23-83 Page 1

ft cummings robberytelephone linefountain after rustlers

In “our” time, media is about the “image”.  In 1883, it was not about image, photographs were not printed in media like The Black Range newspaper and block prints were very rare.  That meant, among other things, that ads had to be treated  differently.  The image above, of the front page of today’s edition (February 23, 1883) is a perfect example of how ads were treated to make them obvious.  First of all; 1/2 of the front page is taken up by ad space;  Secondly, the font and font size is used to distinguish the ads from the text of the paper; and Lastly, there was ample use of white space to make the type more noticeable and readable.

In this issue:

The Front Page was dedicated to ads and a few articles on “The Porosity of Rocks”, “The Ideal Mule”, “Pacific Coast Nabobs” (who are the rich?), transactions in a grocery store, “The Longest Bridge in the World”, “How Fair Lost a Million” (mine deal), and bits of humor.

“Richard Wagner, the eminent German musical composer is dead.”

“The hospital at Fort Stanton was burned to the ground one day last week.  The fire was caused by a defective flue.”

“The Journal says Albuquerque is entirely free from small-pox.”

“Two pleasure seeking parties from the east recently arrived at Santa Fe.  They had their bicycles with them, with which they astonished the natives.”

“Albuquerque will soon be supplied with electric light, and is fast putting on metropolitan airs.”

As is usually the case, most of page 2 consists of ads and legal notices of one sort of another; applications for patent, notice of homestead proofs, notice of pre-emption proof, and notices of forfeiture.

“E.C. Gillem, one of the proprietors of the Silver Monument, was in town this week.  He sees a good deal of improvement since his departure from here last spring.”

“George Beebe returned from Hermosa (Palomas Camp)  last Saturday.  He reports the bright prospects of that camp still improving.  Three shifts are now pushing the work on the Palomas Chief, and they are finding native silver in black lime....Tom Kittrell and Jim Moody have their cabin completed and have commenced work on the Flag Staff and the American Flag.  Both of these claims have large and strongly mineralized ledges, and the surface indications are that they will make first-class properties.”

fairview gunplay

Albert Fountain photo below.  See “Tales of the Lake Valley” for additional information on the rustling and Albert Fountain’s role in the matter.

“Two more men have been put to work on the Black Knife, making eight men altogether besides the superintendent,  now employed there.  The mine is improving with the progression of work, and from the indications of Mr. White, the superintendent, has no doubt that sufficient ore will be obtained to keep the smelter running steadily.”

Read the whole issue of: The Black Range Newspaper - Issue of February 23, 1883, the file is 2.4 MB.



Albert Fountain - Honorable Citizen? Hitman for the
Cattle Syndicates? Murdered?  Fountain would
play a big role in Hillsboro later - albeit, indirectly.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2020