Old West History Archives

The Jersey Lily Mine

Jersey Lily MineMarch 31, 1897, Weekly Journal-Miner, Prescott, Arizona – In company with Gil S. Ferguson, a former owner of the Jersey Lily mine, the editor of the Journal Miner visited the above property this week, and was very courteously received and hospitably entertained by General Manager W. C. Bashford and Superintendent J. E. Clark.  The underground workings were visited and examined—not in the capacity of an expert, but simply out of curiosity.

The shaft is 370 feet deep.  It is sunk on the ledge, which pitches at an angle of 44 degrees.  The shaft is one of the best timbered ones in the county, everything being as neat and workman like as it is possible to make it.  In addition to an old level, run at a depth of thirty feet, which is called the grass root level, but which is not now used, there are three levels run, one at each hundred feet of depth.  At the 200 foot level, a south drift is in 250 feet and a north drift 180 feet.  The latter is in good high grade ore all the way, while the former is also in ore, part of which is high grade and part of ore of lower grade, but good milling ore.

At the 300 foot level, the north drift is in 110 feet, with a solid body of ore all the way, averaging from three to four feet, and with a fine body of high grade ore on the face of the drift.  The south drift is in 100 feet, but owing to the pitch of the ore chute on this side, the ore encountered in this is of lower grade, but improving now with every foot of work done.  A small amount of stoping has been done, and the stopes also show up good ore bodies.

In the “grass root” level, a large body of rich honey comb ore, which made the Jersey Lily famous, even in the days of its infancy, remains exposed to view.  It is very high grade, and a moderate fortune can be obtained from it at any time that it may be desired to take it out.  Mr. Bashford has about twenty men at work at the present time, and on April 1st he will increase this force and will sink the shaft to a depth of over 500 feet, and will open up the 400 and 500 foot levels respectively.

The mine is equipped with one of the finest friction hoists in the territory.  It is of sufficient capacity to sink to a depth of 1,000 feet or more.

The Lily Company also owns the Gold Treasure claim, a very promising one, which adjoins the Jersey Lily on the north, but on which very little development work has been done.

The company expects, during the summer, to erect a mill for the reduction of the ore.  This will be done just as soon as the mine is opened up to a depth of 500 feet.

Northwest of the Jersey Lily, W. C. Bashford, J. E. Clark and Fred Smith own a claim, called Point Look Out, from which they have taken ore for shipment which went $250 per ton.

Another Killing For Dodge

Ben Daniels.

April 20, 1886, Globe Live Stock Journal, Dodge, Kansas – On last Thursday evening at about six o’clock, a shooing took place on the south side of the railroad on the sidewalk in front of Utterback’s hardware store, two doors west of Ed Julian’s restaurant, the latter gentleman being the victim in the affray; and his antagonist, ex-assistant city marshal Ben Daniels.

Four shots were fired, all by Daniels, all of which took effect on Julian. While Julian was found to be armed, he however, did not get to fire a shot; there is much diversity of opinion in the matter, some claiming it to have been a deliberate murder, while others assert it to have been justifiable. The evidence taken at the preliminary trial does not fully sustain either. It was a well known fact that these parties had been bitter enemies to each other for a long time, and both had made threats against each other, which fact was not only elicited at the preliminary, but was know to many of our people long before the shooting took place. Ben Daniels, at the preliminary before Justice Harvey McGarry, was placed under a $10,000 bond for his appearance at the next term of court.

The remains of Ed. Julian were taken in charge by the member; of Lewis Post, G. A. R., of this place, who gave them a very respectable burial with appropriate ceremonies. This was a very unfortunate occurrence for this place, and that too at a time when everything appeared to be moving along so harmoniously and quietly. But it appears that no one could have prevented this tragedy, not even our officers, no matter how vigilant they might have been; the bitterness which existed between them was almost certain to bring them together sooner or later, and as many predicted, that one or the other or perhaps both would be mortally wounded, if not killed outright.

Artist Frederic Remington

Artist Frederic Remington Although artist Frederic Remington had the look of an eastern lawyer or banker, on the inside he was a cowboy who could shoot and ride with the best. 
 
Remington was born in New York and went to college at Yale, where his size made him a powerhouse on the football field. Majoring in art, he found the structured classes boring. When Remington was 19 his father died, and Remington dropped out of school.
 
He wasn’t a lady’s man. As a matter of fact, he only painted a picture of one woman, and he destroyed that. But Remington was smitten by an Eva Caten. Denied permission to date her, a dejected Remington went to Montana. His first taste of the open spaces, and the wild, free life, changed him. 
 
While sitting around a campfire on the Yellowstone River he realized that within a few years the west he was experiencing would no longer exist, and he understood the need to chronicle it.
 
Remington spent time in Kansas City, roping and branding during the day, and painting at night. He spent his free time in bars swapping stories with cowboys. Later he headed to the Southwest where he met Comanche, Apache and Mexican vaqueros.
 
His experiences weren’t all pleasant. He failed at sheep ranching, got cheated out of a part ownership of a saloon, and searched fruitlessly for a mystical mine.
 
After countless rejections by publishers, finally on February 26, 1882 Harper’s Weekly published his first illustration. He then sold his entire portfolio to Outing Magazine.
 
Frederick Remington moved from illustrating, to painting, bronzes and stories, all depicting the authentic west. Although he only lived 48 years, the 2,500 paintings and drawings, 25 bronzes, and thousands of words produced by Remington preserves an important time in American history.

Old West Book Review: The Devil’s Triangle

The Devil's TriangleThe Devil’s Triangle, James Smallwood, Kenneth Howell, Carol Taylor, University of North Texas Press.  Paper, $19.95. Non-fiction, Maps, Notes, Bibliography, Index.

This book is a well-written study of the War of Reconstruction in Texas between 1865 and 1877.  Gangs of ex-Confederate soldiers returning home to Texas after the “Lost Cause“ harbored hatred and resentment toward freedmen (ex-slaves) and Northern sympathizers who tried to begin new lives after the Civil War.

For more than ten years, roving bands of robbers and highwaymen, acting under the guise of getting even for past grievances were determined to use the war as an excuse for the murder and mayhem they created.  Most were really bandits and renegades using their hatred for a good excuse for their skullduggery.

One young ex-Confederate soldier, born and raised on a successful Texas farm, is featured in this book as one of the ringleaders operating throughout various Northeastern counties in Texas.  Ben Bickerstaff came from a disciplined, hard-working family.  He took to soldering at a young age, joined the Confederate Army when Texas went with the South and saw military action in a number of battles.  He eventually became a prisoner of war and spent time in a Northern prison camp.  A series of harsh experiences drove his hatred for the North, and by the time he returned home in Texas at Warts end, he was a bitter, battle-hard soldier determined to get even with everybody.

Bickerstaff was one of the organizers of the Ku Klux Klan, and apart from robbing and looting, he took part in the murders of many freedmen trying to live in their own new world.  With peace officers few and far between, Bickerstaff and his followers created nearly constant fear and unrest in the entire Northeastern corner of the state of Texas.  Due to his familiarity with the countryside learned from his boyhood, Bickerstaff and his followers were able to hide in heavily wooded areas where lawmen and bounty hunters could never successfully follow.

The book goes into detailed political maneuvers among those trying to create a. safe environment for law-abiding citizens living both in towns as well as on ranches.  The emotional turmoil spilling over after years of war continued to cause harsh feelings among the people, and some even privately took sides with Bickerstaff’s hatred for the North.  Bickerstaff’s crimes were horrific; folks who sympathized with the North were in peril until Bickerstaff’s own death at the hands of an armed group of townsfolk who had finally had enough of him.  Bickerstaff was a married man, and it sounds like his wife was as tough as he was.  Upon learning of his death, she angrily retrieved the body for burial in a place of her choice, even though the corpse had been beheaded.

We read about influential people such as Sam Houston trying to establish peace and tranquility in Texas newly returned to the Union.  The history of Texas Reconstruction between 1865 and 1877 is fascinating and sometimes shocking.  The authors have presented a serious, hard-hitting view of a difficult time in Texas history that has been mostly forgotten today.  This book belongs in your Old West library.

Editor’s Note: The reviewer Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza is the author of numerous published books about the Old West, including 9 Days At Dragoon Springs, published by Silk Label Books, P.O. Box 399, Unionville, New York 10988 www.silklabelbooks.com

*Courtesy of Chronicle of the Old West newspaper, for more click HERE.

Grand Duke Alexis

Grand Duke AlexisIn January of 1872, the Russian Grand Duke Alexis went on what was called a “millionaire hunt.”
 
Because of his political influence, General Sheridan was instructed to make sure the 21-year-old Grand Duke had a good time. So General Sheridan selected George Armstrong Custer as the grand marshal, and Buffalo Bill Cody as the hunting guide.  
 
Buffalo Bill enlisted Sioux Chief Spotted Tail and 100 of his braves as entertainment. According to Buffalo Bill “the Duke Alexis paid considerable attention to a handsome Indian maiden.”
 
Protocol dictated that the Grand Duke should kill the first buffalo.   
 
The Grand Duke wanted to take his buffalo with a handgun. But after he emptied two pistols with no hits, Buffalo Bill gave the Grand Duke his buffalo rifle, “Lucretia”. The Grand Duke got his buffalo. Afterward, everyone drank champagne. Buffalo Bill, in his autobiography commented that he “was in hopes the Grand Duke Alexis would kill five or six more, if champagne was to be opened every time he dropped one.” 
 
One can only imagine the battle for the Grand Duke’s attention that took place between Buffalo Bill Cody and General Custer. However, it seems that the Grand Duke actually liked General Custer quite a bit. General Custer got a big hug from the Grand Duke. The two took pictures together following the hunt. And when General Custer was killed, the Grand Duke sent money to General Custer’s wife Libby. Buffalo Bill did get three buffalo’s head broaches. And then, don’t forget the free champagne.
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