June 1884



Ads in the Black Range newspaper had previously been
limited (more-or-less) to businesses in Chloride, Fairview, Grafton,
and Hermosa.  With the naming of Hillsboro as the Sierra
County Seat, ads from Hillsboro began to creep into
the paper - this from page one of the June 6, 1884 issue.

How Wild Cats are Sold-filtered

Page one of this issue is, as usual, dedicated to ads, local color, “humor”, and in this case almost a column of bird lore.

From Page Two

One half of page two was dedicated to ads and legal notices, the rest to news, some of which is quoted below.

“The Washington monument at the national capitol may be completed yet.  It can already boast of being the highest monument in the world.”

“Lowery of the Kingston Clipper keeps repeating that ‘the people of Sierra County will be permitted to vote upon the county seat question.’  The Range would like to know his authority for the remark inasmuch as it knows that the people will be permitted to do nothing of the kind.”

“C. W. Greene, evidently, is incensed against the Range because it objected to him coming into Sierra county with his Deming paper and competing for the county printing.  The cheek of the man is monstrous.  Nobody but he would publish a Sierra County paper in Grant County.  The fact that he has an adjustable heading and expresses his paper to Lake Valley for mailing doesn’t help him a bit.  Any other paper in the United States could do the same.  The Range has the best authority obtainable in Lake Valley that his sheet is not recognized there as a local paper.  If the Kingston Clipper and the Lake Valley New Era had been alive to their interests so handy as they were to the county seat, Green would not have done as well as he did off Sierra County.”

The bit of humorous truth to the right is from page two.

From Page Three

Only the left three columns of page three of this issue is available.  Luckily those are the columns which contain the local news.  Notable items are:

“The St. Cloud boys have been compelled by bad air to put an air pipe in their shaft.”

“The Alley cattle company is putting windmills and troughs on upper Canada de Alamosa creek.”

“Jim Blain returned from Fort Craig Saturday with his band wagon and is now prepared to give rates to picnickers and other bands.”

“Jack Farrell reported that just before be left the Iron Reef mine Saturday, a new body of fine ore had been struck in the Equator shaft.”

“Fritz Traub has his tunnel on the Alta half completed and the indications for mineral are already so good that be expects that he will have ore in good body before the  fourth of July.”

“Ed Ryan one of the pioneers of the Black range but now a resident of Lake Valley, where he is making a fortune from the soda water business. Is saying his willom friends a visit. He notes that Chloride has greatly Improved in size and appearance since he did business here.”

Silver monument-filteredrustlers

“The Colossal mine owners have decided that they will sink the shaft on the chute of their mine.  they will go as deep as they can by hand and will then put on machinery.  This is business, and there is nobody in this country who doubts that by this means the Colossal can be again made an excellent producer of ore.”

“Ed Magner and his assistant is lengthening the north drift on the Black Knight mine at the head of South Fork and is finding ore therein of a perfectly satisfactory character. The Black Knight has a dump of high grade ore to ship when desired, and lower grade for the concentrator when a road shall be built on which to transport it.  The cost of constructing such a road will be slight. The Black Knight group of mines ranks among the best of Black range properties.”

“Owing to the difficulty experienced in transporting goods across the Rio Grande during the present high water the merchants of the range are having their goods freighted from Socorro instead of from Engle. On the Engle road  teams cannot cross the river at all, but goods from there must be hauled to the river, there unloaded and tediously ferried across and then loaded upon other wagons for the rest of the journey.  The process is expensive and uncertain, and hence the temporary change to Socorro.  There is a fund of argument here in favor of a bridge on the Engle road.”

“County Commissioner F. M. Speare, returned a few days ago from an extensive business trip east, in the interest of his constituents.  Mr. Speare reports that he has been highly successful in his endeavors to negotiate the court house bonds, having placed them at Topeka.  The money will be forthcoming within a couple of weeks, and in the meantime work will be commenced.   The contracts have been signed, and brick making will start in a few days.  The work of tearing down the old building will begin next week, and the citizens will soon have the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing a new structure in its place, which will be a credit to the city and county. - Socorro Chieftain.”

Page Four

Because page four is the back of page three, it too is a half-a-page, of ads.

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of June 6, 1884.




Four of T. L. Reber’s bottles.  In this issue of The Black Range newspaper
it is announced that Reber has come back to the Black Range, this time to Hillsboro.

cattle rustling-filtered

The June 13, 1884 issue of The Black Range Newspaper held true to its pattern in that pages one and four had no news, just ads, humorous articles, and legal notices.

From Page Two

In the category of “there will always be terrorism” is this bit of news: “The Irish are stirring London up with solid shot just now.  On the 30th of May a concerted movement among the dynamiters resulted in the blowing out a corner of the detectives’ office at Scotland Yard, in making a large fracture in the residence of Sir Watkin Wynn in St. James square, and only a defective fuse saved the Nelson monument.  The explosions injured thirteen person, five of them seriously.  Atlas powder was the explosive used.  The Irish are simple to expect to accomplish any good for their cause by such incendiary methods.  These dynamiters should and doubtless will receive the punishment they deserve.”

Most of page two was dedicated to news from the Republican National Convention in Chicago.

From Page Three

The article about cattle rustling to the right.

“The concentrator added a night force Wednesday and now runs the whole day long doing good work.”

“The high waters of the Rio Grande have had their effect even in this altitude in that it left us a week without a mail and has run short on provisions....The Rio Grande flood has subsided and trains on the Santa Fe road begun making regular runs on Monday.”

“The road to the Silver Monument is finished and work  thereon has stopped.  The last three days of the work was expended in improving the road along Chloride gulch and it is now in very fair condition...Tom Long teams went up to the Monument mine yesterday loaded with lumber to be used in the shaft and to load back with ore. There Is one hundred and fifty sacks of first-class ore to bring down now and an immense dump of second grade ore.”

“Miss Nellie Russell begun her school at Fairview Tuesday, using the drugstore building for a school house.  There are twelve pupils in attendance for a starter with a probability of the number being greatly increased next Week.”

Colossal and Reber

“...Lanstrum will resume work on his Durango claim on upper Chloride creek this week.  The shaft is more than thirty-eight feet deep and he estimates that the ore chimney is not twenty feet distant from the bottom of the same.”

“Judge Holmes went to Hillsboro yesterday to interview Probate Judge Donahoe on the townslte question. He took with him applications for town lots to the number of seventy-five to file in the probate judge's office, according to law. Most of the citizens prefer paying for their deeds when they get them, and those who get their applications filed in the probate judge's office first, have the advantage in case of contest.”

“One hundred sacks of Midnight ore are now at the concentrator awaiting treatment. It was taken from as near an average of the dump as possible to get it. Mr. Chamberlin grows daily in faith in this property. The developments which he is now making on the surface ground indicates that the whole hillside on which the  workings have been made is a solid mass of ore. He gets good ore in apparently limitless quantity one hundred feet east of what is considered the main lead.”

“Capt. Bryant has found a cropping of good ore on the Mystery claim at Hermosa.  The Mystery lies between the Flagstaff and the Amajicano being located to cover a wedge-shaped piece of ground situated between the two properties mentioned.  There is a huge blow-out of quartz on its surface, and in this spot the captain’s prospecting last week revealed a body of fine ore which had all the indications of being extensive.  The ore is of the same character as that of the American Flay.  The Mystery has the same owners as the Amajicano mine.

”The last article, above right, mentions that T. L. Reber has returned to the Black Range, this time to Hillsboro.  Twenty years later he was in Benson, Arizona and the state of bottle caps is shown in the ad below.



“Messrs. Halleck Donaldson, et al. the cattlemen who came up this way on a thief-searching tour, last week, mention of which was made in the range, captured Johnson of the old mill ranch and took him with them to Hillsboro.  Jim Johnson, the senior member of the firm of Johnson Bros., had been previously arrested under criminating circumstances, and so the brother was wanted and sent for. His captors traveled all Saturday  night and came upon their game on Silver creek above Antelope Springs. He was just in the act of raising a cup of coffee to his lips when he was told to surrender. He coolly drank the beverage and set down the cup before replying. Johnny Canada who was with Johnson when the arrest was made was also taken prisoner and brought to Chloride, but a preliminary examination before Judge Holmes showed that Johnny was there incidentally only; that he was in the employ of the Alley company, and that he was on his regular ride. Consequently he was released.”

The remainder of this page was dedicated to ads, other bits of news, and legal notices.

The entire issue may be read at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of June 13, 1884.




The Republican Convention of 1884 issued its Republican Platform just
before this issue went to print and it was reprinted on the front page of this,
the issue of June 20, 1884.  It contained this bit of history.  Polygamy
still occurs in some corners of the west and is a good test
of the limits, or lack thereof, of protections for religious beliefs.


Red Ants-filtered

Page One of this issue was dedicated to ads, the Republican Platform, bits of humor, and general interest articles.  In the last category are the article to the right and this bit: “The Advance of Photography - A Cleveland inventor, named Fell, has perfected an invention by which a photograph can be taken on any substance which has a smooth surface and the expense need not be over a cent a picture. This would advance the lithographic art wonderfully as there will no longer be any transfer by hand, which is clumsy and tedious, for now the picture can be taken at once on the stone, from which duplicates can be multiplied indefinitely. The inventor thinks this new process is  wonderful, and will be as useful in its way, as the electric light or the telephone. Demorest’s Monthly.”

From Page Two

Chloride Races-filtered

“Fort Craig is not likely to be garrisoned for some months to come, so it is understood.”

“The adobe church at San Marcial and the round house at Rincon are the two notable buildings washed to pieces by the floods of the Rio Grande.”

The Black Range is clearly a Republican paper and is very fond of Blaine’s nomination at the Republican Convention.  At this time they can not imagine who the Democratic nominee would be given that Tilden had withdrawn from consideration.  The Black Range is predicting a landslide for Blaine.

From Page Three

“The Chloride School taught by Miss Alice Barnes closed its spring term last week. Free storage for the furniture is furnished by Mr. Castle in the upper part of his resilience. Miss Barnes has the highest praise from the parents for the rapid progress made by her scholars in their studies.”

“Peter Aikes is at work on the Readjuster mine situated on Rock Cliff creek.  Mr. Aikes is one of the owners of the property and he has great faith in it.  It certainly has a large body of ore.”

“In making the first trip to the Silver Monument for ore Creager lost an ox by the animal falling over a cliff and breaking his neck. On the second trip one of Long's wagons broke  down. Every business and occupation has its share of losses to bear...Long and Creager have hauled two carloads of ore from the Silver Monument to the concentrator since the last issue of the Range and there is another car load ready to come down. The Monument is producing a good deal of ore at present with famous prospects for the future.”

“The Colossal mine has another carload of first class ore nearly ready for shipment. A couple of pockets of fine ore were encountered in the stopes the other day, and the remainder of the car-load will be taken out of those before the contemplated work on the shaft is begun in earnest.”

“Rafael Tafoya has four thousand head of sheep up in the range which have no business there and should not be allowed to remain. Wherever they travel they lay the hills waste and the prosectors animals must seek new pasture.  This herd should be ordered out of the mountains at once.”

“J. D. Perkins, of Robinson, has constructed an incubator for the raising of chickens with facility. The box is heated with oil lamps and the eggs burst open from the sawdust where they are bedded letting the chickens hop out as lively as if they had dozens of mothers. The machine Is a success and Cuchillo Negro creek in the vicinity of Perkins' will soon have a chickeniferous appearance that will make you wish that you were a near neighbor.”


“A special meeting of the board of commissioners of Sierra county was held the middle of this week with a view of taking action on the question of the erection of the court house and jail for which the organic act of the county makes provision. A jail seems to be imperatively demanded, and the intention of congress not to interfere with work of the late legislature appears to be sufficiently established to warrant the erection of the court house.”

“The whim for the German mine has reached Fairview and the Range understands that Major Day will put it up and begin work on the mine just as quickly as possible.  A new discovery of mineral has been made by the Major adjacent to the German shaft which has a fine surface showing.”

“The recent work on the Midnight by Mr. Chamberlin has greatly enhanced the value of that mine. The lead is shown to be a hundred feet wide with mineral scattered through it in more or less compact form. The ore deposits discovered long ago which were supposed to exist in side veins or spurs are shown to be simply an integral part of the huge vein whose walls Mr. Chamberlin has definitely located. The character of the ore Is divers, from lead carbonates  on one wall to bornite and sulphides on the other. The  future operations on the property will depend somewhat on the result of the three ton test which will be made at the concentrator after the present run on tailings is finished.”

“The concentrates of the Bremen mine at Silver City run seventy dollars per ton and these are shipped to the smelter at Socorro and Pueblo with a profit which is making the Bremen a better paying property than it has ever I been before.  At Chloride the big expense of shipping make it necessary to concentrate ore that is richer than the Bremen concentrates. Ore in the Black range must run eighty dollars per ton to make it profitable to ship.  The mines of Georgetown, Grant county, are hauling $40 ore to Silver City and shipping it to the smelter from there with profit. Mr. Potter when here told the people that when they could guarantee to produce five car loads of shipping ore  per day the building of the railroad would no longer be delayed. If the Dreadnaught and Midnight should begin work and the Colossal, St. Cloud and Silver Monument become sufficiently developed to make their output steady and regular there would be no trouble in making these mines furnish many times the desired amount, and the other excellent properties could add greatly to the sum.   The Range feels warranted in saying that if the railroad should begin building it here at once, that the five car loads per day shipping business would be ready for it when it arrived.”

“The St. Cloud mine has finally developed a rich streak of ore. Heretofore the ore mined has been particularly uniform in character with none extremely rich or discouragingly poor, but this week the workmen in the shaft caught a streak of metallic mineral some two inches wide lying alongside of the foot wall, which upon assay proved to have a value of $1500 per ton. The character of the ore is lying in a spar gangue and if it continues as it is naturally expected to do, it will be a pretty nice thing to have exclusive of the extensive body of the concentrating rock which lies beside It.  The people of the Black range generally as well as the owners of the St. Cloud will be glad to see that property added to the list of shipping ore producing properties.”

The remainder of Page Three was dedicated to legal notices and other bits of news.  Page Four was dedicated to ads and “Foolishness”.  

You may read the full issue at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of  June 20, 1884.




Assay office, Hillsboro, New Mexico


San Maracel-filtered

Page One of the June 27, 1884 edition of the Black Range Newspaper was dedicated to the usual humor, ads, and informative pieces (some of which we now recognize as sheer nonsense, but some of which were generally accurate).  In the lower right corner of the front page is this quip which refers to the U. S. Mail service attempts to suppress the use of the mail system by lotteries:  “The attention of Postmaster General Gresham is called to the oft repeated statement that marriage is s lottery.  If this be true, love letters should be denied the use of the mail.”

From Page Two

“The democratic convention meets in Chicago on the 8th of July.  It is hardly worth while to attempt to guess whom the nominee will be.”

Much of page two is dedicated to national politics.  The Black Range newspaper is clearly a “republican paper” (in the instant case, strongly supporting Blaine who was the republican candidate for president in 1884).  During this period, the republicans were the more progressive of the two parties, the democrats being under the control of the former slave holders.  The Black Range was fairly typical of papers during this era, many made little pretense about impartiality - like the Fox News Entertainment programming of today.  

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

From Page Three

“Superintendent Drake is erecting a two-story log building at the Silver Monument mine for the employees...A twelve ton shipment of probably the finest ore that ever went out of the range was sent to Socorro Wednesday, where it will take the train for Denver, it was from the Silver Monument Mine.”

“Trumboe and MacGowan caught three hundred fish with hook and line in a couple of days on Diamond Creek.”

“W. H. Beery has finished assessment work on the Dreadnaught and Minnehaha claims and is now at work on the Yankee Boy.”

“Jim Wilson of the St. Cloud mine has quit work on that property and gone to Kingston where he has the Solitaire and other excellent properties, Forrest and Pitcher are working along on the St. Cloud now.”

“The railroad between Las Cruces and Rincon is in such bad condition that its use for a long time is despaired of so the citizens of Las Cruces have put on a hack line to Rincon in order to get to and from the outside world.”

“This week the concentrator cleaned up its run on the St. Cloud tailings and put through the Blue Dandy and Midnight ore.  The run Is now on the Defiance. The Sunrise will then be taken hold of. The Silver Monument will be left until the machinery is put in order.”

hillsboro patent-filtered

“About a year ago congress rebated the tax on tobacco and everybody who had this commodity on hand was invited to send in the amount to headquarters and get his money back. Geo. Turner sent in his claim along with the rest and Tuesday he received a check for twenty-five dollars. It is just like finding it in the street. The government may be slow in its movements but it is exceedingly sure.”

“Operations on the Homestake mine have been renewed by the owner thereof, G. W. Wolfert. He ran a drift into the hill from the bottom of his shaft and opened a bed of lead carbonates.  Without exploring the find to see its extent he concluded to cut from the level of the drift to the surface to make a tunnel opening, and he is busy on that work now. When be begins on the ore body he anticipates showing an unlimited quantity. The Homestake is one of the Palomas mines.”

“Work on the Equator mine at the Iron Reef is taking a recess until September.  The Iron Reef is barren and totally unprotected from the sun's rays, and consequently is exceedingly hot, while the water being almost stagnant and foul made the place almost unendurable in the hot days of summer.  The men were all sick more or less and objected to remaining there so Mr. Foster concluded he would put in the summer on the Pelican and Albatross at Hermosa.  Both Sam and Jack Farrell are at Hermosa now.”

The articles, above right, about San Marcial flooding, a major storm, sheep herding, and the Hillsborough patent are from page three.  The remainder of the page was dedicated to other news and legal notices.

Page Four was dedicated to ads and “Foolishness”.  

You may read the entire issue at: The Black Range newspaper, issue of June 27, 1884.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023