Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mining in Baxter County 1900-1910


Mining in Baxter County was a spin off from the progress of mining and prospecting in the neighboring county of Marion. In contrast, to the chagrin of the professional mining companies, local citizens were purchasing cases of dynamite and starting their own mining ventures. Not all of the miners in Baxter County were mining via shafts and tunnels; but, they were also strip-mining on cedar glades, rock outcroppings, creek bottoms, middle of fields, or blasting off portions of sheared bluffs. There were reports of small creeks and fords being blocked due to avalanches due to the process of blasting.



Advertisements can be found in the local paper, The Baxter Bulletin, in 1901 -1908, in which they were urging people to purchase 30-40 acres of land to insure their good fortune of either doing their own mining or sell to an established mining company. Steam drilling came to the Pigeon Creek area in Baxter County by the Kimberly Mining & Milling Company of Chicago, Illinois, on January, 1902, when the company purchased 600 acres in the area.


Advertisements were also in local papers lauding the ease of traveling from St. Louis, Missouri, to Mountain Home, Arkansas, in a record time of 22 hours via train and then stagecoach. By 1901, Baxter County had 154 mines registered within its’ borders in 10 districts.

The following are districts and mines registered in Baxter County as of December 1, 1901.



UPPER NORTH FORK DISTRICT: 9 Mines
Honest Ben, Dan Jones, Cranfill, Bratton, Little Bear, Hargrave, Little Gem, Last Chance Knickerbocker



PIGEON CREEK DISTRICT: 31 Mines
Gambetta, Blazing Star, Foster, Wellington, Hopeful, Rob Roy, Bald Dave, Randall, Tilden, Vester, Dover, Taylor, Tennessee, Major Smith, Brown-Mayfield, Priestly, Lone Star, Flatrock, Billym Gold Coin, Jack Pot, O. K., Twentieth Century, Watson, Brixey, Luck, Bonanza, Skaggs, Big Jack, Kansas, Fox Creek



FALL CREEK DISTRICT: 10 Mines
Klondike, Biggers, Smoky Knob, Wabash, State Bank, Grand Glaze, Eureka, Lady Pearl, Iron Peak, Jeff Davis



THREE BROTHERS DISTRICT: 10 Mines
Bangor, Long Mountain, Union, Jim Johnson, Spring Hollow, Eureka, Old Glory, Amethyst, Frank Jenkins, Zinc King



BRUCE CREEK DISTRICT: 19 Mines
McCracken, Hawkeye No. 2, Cedar Gap, Rocky Hill, Richmond, Stratton, Old Spanish, Bruce, Wild Cat, Mooney King, Evening Star, Stafford, Sorrell, Big Ike, Bullion Beck, Bruce Creek, Killinger, Big John



JENKINS CREEK DISTRICT: 9 Mines
Cincinnati, Allen, Flote, Matthews, Major Hilton, Rex, Cowan, Racket, Coventon



BUFFALO DISTRICT: 25 Mines
Silver Cloud, Bluff Placer, Widow Wood, Brewer, Perry, Alexander, Kentucky, Riley, Martha Washington, Malecek, Golden Eagle, Black Bear, Zinc Hill, Buena Vista, Anna May, Weldon, Cantrell, Red Bird, Silver Mountain, Cedar Hill, Santa Claus, McGinty, Fair View, Hulsey Gulch, Mail Path



SISTER CREEK DISTRICT: 14 Mines
Olive, Holy Moses, Arkansas, Lady Majors, Sewel, Lola, Bucher, Big Buck, Ware, Hazel, Silver Bell, Faris, Lady Baxter, Dixie


SPRING CREEK DISTRICT: 17 Mines
McChristian, W. J. Brian, Corsicana, Alamo, Divide, Avis, Black Cloud, Cyclone, Big Pour Off, Forrest, Kruger, Merriman, Bee Branch, Crippled Turkey, Barndollar, Lena, Top Cap



MARBLE DISTRICT: 10 Mines
Irene, Marble Bluff, Pioneer, Chicago, St. Louis, Bluff Hollow, Helena, Big Red, Mink Maid, North Star
Total: 154


Major Companies Operating in Baxter County (Total: 20)
The following named mining companies own property in Baxter County:
American Mines Development Co.
Baxter Mineral Co.
Blue Rapids Mining Co.
Big Buck Mining Co.
Bucher Churchill Mining Co.
Gehr-Morgan Mining Co.
Hawkeye Mining Co.
Holy Moses Mining Co.
Illinois Marble Mining Co.
Kan-Ark Mining Co.
Kansas Arkansas Mining Co.
Kimberly Mining Co.
Kirkwood Mining Co.
Lone Star Mining Co.
Rex Mining Co.
Rowden Mining Co.
St. Louis Mining Co.
Skull Crest Mining Co.
White River Mining & Development
White River Mining & Milling Co.



Ore on the Dump.
The following is a careful conservative estimate of ore on the dump in various mining districts in Baxter County at this time (Dec. 1, 1901).

BUFFALO DISTRICT 900 Tons
JENKINS CREEK DISTRICT 360 Tons
BRUCE CREEK DISTRICT 1,500 Tons
UPPER NORTH FORK DISTRICT 2,000 Tons
PIGEON CREEK DISTRICT 630 Tons
FALL CREEK DISTRICT 365 Tons
TOTAL 5,755 Tons.


How To Reach The Mines. The Baxter Bulletin, Dec 20, 1901
The best way to reach this country is by Frisco Railroad to West Plains, Mo.; thence by stage to Mountain Home, Ark., where good rigs can be obtained to go to any point desired. Daily fast stages ply between West Plains and Mountain Home, making it possible to reach Mountain Home from St. Louis or Kansas City in twenty hours. All prominent mines of North Arkansas are within twenty-five miles of Mountain Home, thus saving from ten to twenty miles over other points.





References:
Messick, Mary A. Baxter County History: Centennial Edition 1873-1973. Mountain Home, AR: Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce, 1973. Lithographed by International Graphics, Inc. Little Rock, AR.

Shiras-McClelland, Francis H. History of Baxter: From the Beginnings to 1939. Mountain Home, AR: J. W.
Daniel and Shiras Bros. Print Shop, 1940.


Shiras, Tom. “Mining in Baxter County.” The Baxter Bulletin
01 Dec. 1901 I ed.: A1-2.

1 comment:

kate said...

The section on mining is quite interesting, but I want to know what kind of ore they mined and how it was marketed and used. Was there more than one kind of ore in the county?