February 1884



Dr. Blinn of Chloride

Blinn Ad-filtered

The back page of The Black Range Newspaper rarely has any news and today’s edition of this newspaper holds true to that tradition.  So let us dispense with page 4 from the start - Page 4 was devoted to ads and legal notices.

As is usually the case, page 1 had two columns of ads on the left.  One of these adds was placed by E. P. Blinn (see right).  The photograph of Dr. Blinn at the top of the blog was taken by Henry A. Schmidt during this general time period.  Schmidt also ran an ad on the front page of this issue.  Among his many talents he was an assayer and surveyor, he laid out the original plat for the town of Chloride.

The remainder of page one was devoted to national editorials and “humor pieces”.

Page two, as usual was devoted to national, state, and regional news of the more general variety and to ads.  Four of the six columns were devoted to ads with several ads being two columns wide.

From Page Two

As donald leads his personal pork pie (i.e. USA) into trade wars this clip reinforces that when it comes to humans, somethings never change: “If the people of the United States should begin such a crusade against foreign hogs as foreign countries have against American pork, there would be shortly a lens number of railway travelers occupying three seats each, than at present.”

The entry of Utah into the United States was full of  rancor, as this clip reminds us:  “Governor Murry of Utah took such an open fearless stand against Mormon abuses in his territory, in his recent message, that the Mormon people are trying to oust him from his position.  He doesn't suit them at all.which is the best reason in the world why he shou'd be reappointed.”   Territorial Governors were political appointees of the national government.

Schmidt ad

The temperance battle went on for a long time in this country, as this clip indicates: “A bill giving Alaska a territorial government passed the senate on the 25th. The bill also provides that no traffic in spirituous or malt liquors shall be allowed in that region.  Those who contemplate going to Alaska will therefore prepare themselves in view of this knowledge.”

Ojo Caliente-filtered

Amtrak stops at Deming because a former Congressman wanted it to, something that was not anticipated by the following clip:  “Lordsburg expects soon to be made the end of the first division west of El Paso. This will make Deming simply a way station. It is alleged that the run from Benson to Deming is too long and that from Deming to El Paso is too short. The railroad company having been successful in its endeavor to obtain water by boring will make the terminal change at once.”

The lies and illegal contortions of the European peoples of the west and the US government against the native peoples is evidenced once more by the following (and the clip to the right):  “Senator Wilson of Iowa, is championing a bill which authorizes the secretary of the Interior to confirm the segregation of mineral lands on the San Carlos reservation in Arizona, and open them to location. There are placers and lead mines on that reservation which are supposed to be rich, and when opened to white occupation, it will be actively prospected.”

From Page Three

AMERICAN FLAG MINE:  “The second payment on the American Flag was made Monday evening at Engle.”

ALASKA MINE: “The Alaska pump is making a  navigable stream of Turkey creek and Grafton’s water supply is assured so long as the mine works.”

ROYAL ARCH MINE: “Rush Bowe will try working by contract on the Royal Arch mine for the next twenty-five feet. See the call for bids published elsewhere.”

FAIRVIEW SALOON: “The new saloon building at Fairview will be ready for occupancy in a week or ten days. The work of fitting it up in ship shape is progressing rapidly and the fixtures are expected to arrive daily.”

EQUATOR MINE: “The shaft of the Equator mine at the Iron Reef is now down fifty feet and the ore body remains unabated.  Night shifts have been added to the working force and the sinking rapidly.”

PORTER (IVANHOE) MINE: “The owners of the Porter mine, one of the south extensions of the Ivanhoe, who are Silver City gentlemen have written Ad. Dyer to make arrangements to work that property for them. The amount of work contemplated is indefinite.”


HOPEWELL AND BROOKS CATTLE: “W. S. Hopewellvisited Chloride yesterday. Mr. Brooks, his partner, is now in Denver with his sick wife. He says his company now have 4,300 head of cattle ranging in the Salados and on Monument and Palomas creeks, and that another thousand are expected in in a few days. They have a range to which there is practically no limit.”

grocery adminor mine accident

PELICAN MINE AREA: “A new strike Las just been made on the Palomas between Hermosa and the Pelican mine, by Tom Hall and Jim Curns. The ore is a lead carbonate and galena in a quartz gaugue and without knowing its assay value competent judges believe that it will run well in silver. The mineral is in lime like the other claims of the district and the body is  reported to be large. The find is important. Thanks to Jas. Dalglish the Range has a fine specimen of the ore. The claim was once the property of L. F. Culver, but was relocated for want of proper assessment work by the present owners on the first of January.”

MONTE CHRISTO MINE:  “Work has already begun on the wagon road to the Monte Christo mine.  The present shaft is partly filled with water, therefore levels will be run above the water and the ore extracted worked at the concentrator. At the same time a second force of men will be at work on a tunnel which with a length of 225 feet will tap the vein beneath the present shaft one hundred feet.  This will furnish a water drain and make the working of the mine much more convenient. Capt Jack Crawford has a heavy wagon constructed and four heavy horses to haul it and he will send these over from Craig directly to do the transportation act to the concentrator. The Monte Christo has a nice ore vein and will be a valuable feeder to the Chloride works.”

WALKING JOHN/DICTATOR MINE:  There is almost a column dedicated to a letter from H. N. Castle about his position relative to legal issues associated with the mine.  

See the full copy of this issue at: The Black Range Newspaper, issue of February 1, 1884.  The File is 2.8 MB in size.




Chloride as it appeared in about 1908.  Photograph by Schmidt.

Arizona Camels-filtered

The front page of this issue carried the usual trivia but had two articles of interest; one about the sale of the camels in Arizona (see right) and the other about a volcanic eruption and tidal waves in Alaska.  The history of the camels, which were utilized in the Black Range for a short time, is recounted in a DesertUSA article.

Page Two of this issue had two columns of news, the rest of the page was devoted to ads.  As for the two columns, it was a slow week.

From Page Three

Fairview Townsite Patent:  “Fairview is now at work on a town-site patent, D. H. Wenger being  employed to put it through. One hundred and sixty acres is the area to be secured.”

Black Knife Mine: “Private advices to the Black Range state that the officers of the Black Knife Mining company are rapidly assuming favorable shape for a continuation of development work and that the same will soon be begin on a much larger scale than ever before. This is good news. The Black Knife property only needs development to become a most valuable one.”

Grafton Townsite Patent: “The project of patenting the townsite of Grafton has taken a postponement of indefinite length.  The site of the town is upon the corners of four sections so that all four forties would have to be taken to embrace the whole place.  Thecitizens have no desire to own so much raw land and consequently they are cogitating the matter and resting.”

Royal Arch Mine: “No contract was let on the Royal Arch mine this week in accordance with the advertising for bids. Nobody appears to think that he could improve on Mr. Bowe's management and hence there is much diffidence about making bids. Mr. Bowe, however, thinks that he has discovered a means of saving eight to ten dollars per day over the old way of working and he will try ten hour shifts at four dollars per day.”

Monte Christo Mine: “Work is progressing on the road to the Monte Christo mine and it will be finished probably next week.”

Good Enough Mine-filtered

Walking John/Dictator Mine: “The two claimants of the Walking - John Dictator mine are rapidly developing that property, both being actively atwork upon it.

St. Cloud/White Signal Mine:  “The wagon road to the St. Cloud (White Signal) mine is nearly completed only a little rock work remaining to be done.  The road when completed in good shape will have cost about $500, which would be considered a trifling expense for a two mile mountain road in any country but this.  This is a land of natural roads...The St. Cloud road being about completed, development work is already resumed in the mine. The first project to be carried out here is to continue the tunnel to an intersection with the shaft. This will make the tunnel about one hundred and fifty feet long and will greatly facilitate the work of getting out ore, of which there is apparently no lack.  The amount of ore in sight in this mine even with its limited development work is estimated at $60,000 or $75,000.”

Alaska Mine:  (see right as well) “The Alaska hoisting machinery including boiler and engine is offered for sale (see notice in this paper) and it is a bargain for those in need of it.  The outfit was purchased new a year ago and none but skilled engineers have had the handling of it so that it is in really better condition today than when it left the shops.  For its qualities having been thoroughly tested on the Alaska there is no question as to its ability to do the labor required of it.  It will be sold everything complete for nearly fifty per cent less than cost.”

Alaska Mine-filtered

Caledonia Mine/Silver Monument Ledge: “The tunnel of the Caledonia location which is being run to catch the Silver Monument ledge on the second west extension is now fifty-three feet long.  The ledge is expected to be close at hand and liable to be exposed with each additional blast. Charley Myers and his co-owners are satisfied that the ledge is there and they are equally confident of its thorough mineralization.  The Range expects to have a boisterously triumphant article on the result next week.”

Solitare Mine: (see right as well) “Jim Wilson received word Wednesday that some new parties bad jumped the Solitaire mine at Kingston and were making preparations to take out the ore body in sight. Jim mounted his horse yesterday and struck southward with the threat on his lips that be would make work for the coroner if he found anybody packing away ore from that mine. Pending the Wilson-Tabor suit the Solitaire has lain idle and some covetous parties evidently couldn't bear to see so much good silver ore lying idle.”

The complete issue may be read at: The Black Range Newspaper, issue of February 8, 1884.  The File is 2.8 MB in size.




Captain V. Grozier first Postmaster of Chloride.  
Photograph by Henry A. Schmidt.

A Woman Skipper-filtered

Women have made great strides in gaining greater equity in all things and in having more say about their own lives.  Obviously more progress is needed but let us celebrate that which has been made in today’s post.  The article to the right is from the front page of the February 15, 1884 issue of the Black Range newspaper.  


POSTAL TELEGRAPH SYSTEM:  “The question of the establishment of a postal telegraph system to be under government control is being actively discussed by congress at the present tune, and it appears to be pretty well established that some movement in this direction will be made.  The chief point of difference among the friends and promoters of the scheme appears to be whether the government had best build 'its own lines or purchase those already in operation. If the purchase of the present lines can be made at the actual value thereof it will probably be thought best to take them, but the government will buy no watered stock, nor should it.”

PROPOSAL TO FORM SIERRA COUNTY:  “A New County.  The project to cut off portions cf Socorro, Grant and Dona Ana counties and from the slices make a new county is being agitated, and the proposition will be urged before the New Mexico assembly at the session which will convene next Monday. The scheme is the conception of Nick Galles and he will doubtless do his best to put it through.  The country which it is purposed to embrace in the new county extends from Ojo Caliente on the north to Fort Cummings on the south; from a line running some fifteen miles east of Engle on the east to the summit of the Black range of mountains on the west, making an area of some sixty miles square. Mr. Galles being a Hillsboro man has, naturally, fixed the boundaries to give his town the best chance at securing the county seat, and of course hasn't shaped the tract just as this section would most like, yet notwithstanding, the petition asking for the change was almost unanimously signed by the people here. They are in the condition in regard to county relationship which impels them to cry out for a change and to not be too fastidious as to the exact nature of  the same. It is also argued that with this proposed division we will at once enjoy the pleasure of enlightened county officials and juries, and it in the future this section shall be sufficiently populous to justify a new division it will be no harder to get it because of this. 


The north end of the Black range is not in so urgent need of this proposed change as is Kingston and the Percha, for down there the county lines are so indistinct that there is no certainty of having records rightly made unless the the three counties of Dona Ana, Grant and Socorro are  patronized, but still the weight of the argument is decidedly in favor of the change and Is not to be rebutted by the increased inconvenience of a  journey to Hillsboro over a trip to Socorro.

One year ago when this new county project was originated, the Range opposed it on the ground of their being so little taxable property in the district to be cut off, but the unexpected rage for title which has prevailed during the past twelve months has changed this aspect of the case materially and made us abundantly able to provide for ourselves. The Range has slight expectation of this division being made this winter, but the attempt can do no harm.” (See also, article to the right.)


GRAFTON DRUG STORE CLOSES:  “The Grafton drug store has succumbed to the pressure of the times and the appetites of the managers, and the stock and fixtures has been bargained to Dr. Blinn of Chloride.”

IVANHOE RANCHES:  “A. Talbot, superintendent of the Ivanhoe ranches, arrived in the range this week with nine hundred head of cows and calves with which to stock the range. The cattle came from Uvalde county, Texas, and were delivered to Mr. Talbot at El Paso. He had contracted for the purchase of one thousand head and 997 were shipped, from Uvalde but the owners had bad luck with them and lost ninety head during the transfer. Mr. Talbot has a strong company behind him and he will soon have his range stocked with all the cattle that it will keep and it will keep a good many, for it is a first-class ranch.”

School Desks-filtered

REBER: “Reber & Co, late of the range have left  Socorro and gone to Colorado City, Texas.”

AMERICAN FLAG MINE: “L. Hahn of the American Flag mine, came in from the east last Saturday and was to the Palomas Monday.  Says his company are going to work theFlag on a scale that means business.”

ALASKA MINE: “Judge Adams having shut down the Alaska, Charley Cady's occupation as superintendent is gone, and he with his family returned to their home in Chloride, last Monday.”

HUNTIN’ AND FISHIN’: “B.F. Holmes, W. F. Caldwell, E. C. Gillem and Ed. Magner returned from a week's hunt across the range on Tuesday last. Three deer, and plenty of trout for camp eating is the report they give of their achievements.”

RENT: “Geo. Richardson has moved back to Fairview where he owns his dwelling.  He is also hunting new quarters for his meat market. Twenty dollars per month rent for an old adobe house without a floor is too steep for him these hard times.”

INGERSOLL MINE/JAY BARNES:  “J. M. Smith exhibits some handsome specimens of argentiferous galena ore which is the product of some north Percha property recently purchased by him of Jay Barnes and others. There are four claims in the group, the chief one being the Ingersoll, which has a ten inch crevice of solid galena ore that runs forty per cent, lead and any where from twenty-five to fifty ounces silver per ton. Smithy considers that he has a valuable property here, and it certainly appears so.”

BUFFOM MINE: “The mineral crevice of the Buffom is improving in size and beauty in the bottom of the shaft where it is now about four feet in width. Some fine specimens of free gold were taken from the surface of the lead last week while the ground was being cleared away to give additional working room. The shaft is now 235 feet deep and water is becoming troublesome. The attempt is being made to get it down 250 feet and then pumps and hoisting machinery will be put on.”


EQUATOR MINE: “This week or next the Equator mine in the Iron Reef district will make Its first shipment of ore, which will consist of one carload. The mineral will go to Denver, the highest bids on the same coming from that point. Mr. Quinlan went out Thursday morning to make arrangements for the disposal of the ore which will follow him closely.  Work on the mine still continues with full force, and no diminution of the ore body. The Equator has established itself pretty firmly as one of the chief bonanza properties of southern New Mexico.”

MIDNIGHT MINE:  An extended article is found on page three.


Page Four was dedicated to ads and legal notices.

A full copy of this issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of February 15, 1884.  The file is 2.8 MB in size.


IMG 5702

Page One of the February 22, 1884 issue of the
Black Range Newspaper contained the following blurb:
“A meeting of the sheep raisers of Nebraska, Kansas, Utah,
Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico is called to be at
Denver March 12th for the purpose of organizing to protect
the wool interest from adverse legislation now threatened.”


Page One of this issue contained the usual soundbites and “humorous stories”.  It also contained an article about Crater Lake and “Dead Letters” at the Post Office.

Buy Local:  On Page Two the Black Range laments that much of the “rich ore” is being shipped to Colorado for smelting but understands that they find it more economical than use of the Billing Smelter at Socorro.

The remainder of page two was dedicated to a discussion of the antics of the legislative branch of the territorial government, legal notices, and ads.  In the discussion of the legislative branch it noted that Nicholas Galles was representing Dona Ana County in the House.

From Page Three

“The wagon road to the Monte Christo mine is completed...Turner talks of putting men to work on the Vulcan first north extension of the Monte Christo. No reason why good ore should not be found there with depth. The lead is strong and the vein perfect.”

“Parker & Son are nicely established in their new blacksmith shop.” 

“Next Wednesday is the day set for the sale of Ojo Caliente Reservation.”

“The St. Cloud is working with two shifts this week driving the tunnel and dumping ore.”

“F. H. Winston has charge of the Grafton post office, being compelled to take it, against his will.”

“A. Rush Bowe was down to Chloride Sunday for three new men for the Royal Arch work. He got them without difficulty.”

“Charley Ridgely expects soon to commence work on his Bromide claim. It is one of the promising prospects of the range.”

“Tom Chambers over from Grafton, Wednesday, says that his town isn't nearly so lifeless as it was expected to be after the Alaska mine shut down.  Tom with his saloon and feed stable is doing a fair business, and he is happy and contented.”

“C. H. Canfield and Frank Hastings have gone down to the Iron Reef to work on the Equator in the place of some of the force who having had too much Sunday night dance at Cuchillo Negro failed to be on hand Monday morning and hence were relieved of their situations...For the past two weeks no ore has been taken from the Equator mine at the Iron Reef, but the full force has been engaged in the task of straightening the shaft which the previous following of the ore chute had rendered crooked and inconvenient for hoisting.   The shaft is now in order and the ore hoisting continues as the shaft grows deeper.”

ladies society

“Major Beebe begun work on the Sunrise mine this morning, announcing his determination to continue the same to extensive proportions. There is a forty-foot shaft on this claim which makes a magnificent showing of ore, ranks the Sunrise with the best of the good claims of the range.”

“On Monday last the owners of the Midnight prospected the wash at the bottom of the hill, and found where the lead crossed the gulch, and now have M. R. Lundv at work on the lead running a drift into the hill. The lead though just uncovered and broken up shows good ore like that found on the croppings above the creek...The Range is informed by M. H. Chamberlin that he and Mr. Turner are now engaged on the wagon road up Byers' run to the Midnight, and that they are pleased with the prospect of getting an easy and good road. There are a number of properties up Byers' run that will be benefitted by this road, and now would be a good time for the owners to lend a helping hand in pushing this road through.”

“Dr. Blinn's drug store has been notably improved in appearance, and usefulness by the addition of the stock from the Grafton drug store, defunct, and he now has as handsome shelves and as well assorted a stock as can be found In most towns east. The doctor since he came into possession of the place has been making constant additions until it bears little resemblance to the drug store of a year ago.”

Page Four was dedicated to legal notices and ads.  The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper issue of February 22, 1884.  The file is 2.6 MB in size.



Nicholas Galles, 1884


Plemmons store ad

In this issue of the Black Range newspaper it is reported that “The Lake Valley branch is almost finished. Trains are expected to be running in a few days. Upon the completion of this branch, the whole force now at work there will be shifted to Socorro and there set at work on the Magdalena branch.” (Page 1)

The newspaper reports on other railroad news on Page 1 as well.  On the other side of the range from Lake Valley “The A. T. & S. Fe will take possession of its new purchase, the Deming, Silver City & Pacific narrow gauge, on March 1st. The gauge will not be changed to standard width, but instead the line will be extended to Georgetown and other rich mining, camps and the A. T. & S. F, will establish a small narrow gauge mountain division of its own.”

And in the way of humor Page 1 had the following: “"Ah, Aristophanes, I don't see Miss Aresthusa on the street any more.'" 'No?” "I use to see her with you a great deal." "Yes?" "Is she well ?" "She has gone into a decline." "No, you don't say?" "Yes," "How?" "Declined to have anything more to do with me."”

The Dalgish & Plemmons store ran an ad on the front page, see right.  In 1890 the Plemmons store looked very established (see below - photo by J. C Burge).


minutes of school mtg

From Page Two

The Black Range newspaper noted the new county of Sierra and complained about its Spanish name:  “The new county contemplated for this section is to be called Sierra. The Black Range cannot understand the necessity for going outside the English language for a name. There is a plethora of Spanish in the territory already.”  County changes were widespread; “All along the line efforts will be made for readjustment of county lines.  There are three bills on hand for dividing Grant county; large petitions from Deming are arriving and a delegation from there is expected. Socorro and Dona Ana counties are to be remodeled. Valencia is to catch it and Bernalillo and San Miguel are to be cut in two. The county seat of Colfax is to be taken from Springer to Raton. -New Mexican Review....As things appear now there is a strong probability that the contemplated new county for the Black range country will be made. The bill for the organization of the same has been introduced in the house by Nick Galles and it has been referred to the committee on counties of which Mr. Galles is chairman. Mr. G. therefore has things pretty much in his own hands in this matter.  Mr. Cooney of Socorro county, will ask to have the Mogollon county annexed to Grant county and hence he is not expected to oppose Mr. Galles’ scheme, while the Grant county members will be satisfied, doubtless, to trade Kingston for Alma.”

A Hillsboro killing was noted: “The notorious "Dobe" Johnson of Hillsboro, has at last fallen by the effect of the bullet with which he was always so free in life. On Sunday "Dobe"got on a spree and assaulted Wm. Meade, following him into his own house and maltreating his wife.  Meade took a rifle and shot him dead.  The citizens exonerate him from blame.  Meade is a saloon keeper and Johnson was engaged in the mercantile business at Hillsboro. The deceased has killed many men in his life and it is but fitting that he should die in the way he did. There will be little sympathy or regret at his final taking off.”  Harley Shaw provided the photograph of Johnson’s gravesite (below).

From Page Three

“There are now thirty-one ladies resident in Chloride which is more than has ever lived here before, at the same time.”  (Ed. This at a time when some claim Chloride had a population of 3,000.)

“The Midnight has discharged its solitary force and the superintendents are debating whether to continue work or rest for the summer. They will doubtless rest...The owners of the Midnight at the request of H. Bradford, of Philadelphia, and the Fort Scott concentrating works, will send fifty pounds, of their ore to both places for concentrate test.”


“Capt. Grozier, passed over to his range on Diamond creek this week with thirty-five head of cows to add to his herd there. The increase of the herd is just beginning.”  (See photograph of Grozier, by Henry A. Schmidt, right.)

“A horserace is on the taple for next week, Friday, between J. M. Smith's brown mare of Chloride and the sorrel horse of Jimmy Boyd of Grafton. The race is a single dash, distance six hundred yards, stakes forty dollars, and will be run on the Fairview track...The sports of Chloride are building a race track on the mesa south of town.  It will lie six hundred feet long and sufficient labor will be put upon it to make it equal to any racing track in the territory.”

“Colonel R. G. Ingersoll and family, J.B. Alley and others to the number of fourteen persons, all important personages from the east, are expected to arrive in Grafton soon and that little burg is on a tiptoe of expectation.  These people are in the territory having been enticed hither by the sale of the Ojo Caliente reservation, and it is not improbable that they will visit their extensive possessions here.”

Alice Barnes

“The Ladies' Improvement society received a contribution thisweek from Ed Fest of Cuchillo town, in the sum of ten dollars to be devoted to school purposes. The money was thankfuly received and Mr. Fest's generosity was highly applauded. Ed has no little ones of his owe to send to the school, but he takes an active interest in the affairs of the range and is glad to help along a worthy object.”

“The Chloride school will begin again Monday, probably, and will likely be held in Tom Barridale's building on lower Wall street, though this is not fully determined.” And note the Minutes of School Meeting (above right) also from this page and the article about Alice Barnes’ selection (right).  “By applying to the general freight agent of the A. T. & S. F. road Mr. Castle has secured the transportation of the school desks free from Halsted where this road receives them to Engle. Some corporations have souls.”

This entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of February 29, 1884.  


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