Kingston Schoolhouse Museum

"Around Kingston in the 1880's" from the Silver City Enterprise newspaper

November 16, 1882

It is reported that Dutch Charlie, a noted faro bank player, was riddled with bullets by another gambler in Kingston last week.

Organization of the New Mexico and Arizona Telegraph Company - The lines of the new telegraph which are now being erected from Lordsburg, New Mexico to Clifton, Arizona, Carlisle, Richmond, Girard, Leitendorf's and other points in both territories, it is thought will be open for business by next Monday. It is the intention of this company to erect lines in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona at all paying points where Western Union does not touch. The stockholders of this company are well known business men from this territory, Kansas, Illinois and New York states, FULL OF ENTERPRISE and push, commanding sufficient means to push their lines and business whereon it can be made remunerative. We understand it is the intention of the compay, in the event of the Western Union not extending its lines to Lake Valley, Hillsboro and Kingston,to build their lines through these places.

There are about sixty men working the Sierra mines at present. The town of Lake Valley is very quiet, the building boom having come to an end. The stage from Nutt to Kingston, passing through the place daily, gives the inhabitants an idea of the Percha boom. Hillsboro gets a little benfit from this traffic. Deming Headlight

COUNTY EXCHANGS (Courier Chronicles) Why not a telephone company organized to construct a line from Kingston to Georgetown and Silver City. There is money in the investment.

THE TERRITORY - The Kingston Bank will open for business December 1. This surely does not look as though the booming camp had nothing to back it. - Democrat

November 30, 1882

GRANT COUNTY - Its Resources, Commercial Importance, Present Prosperity and Future Possibilities. KINGSTON - The mines of the Percha District have received a large amount of attention, not only in this territory, but throughout the Union since the discovery of the wonderful float on the Solitaire mine last August, and many people and journals throughout the country are still discussing the merits from an exaggerated standpoint, either telling fabulous stories of their wealth or decrying their merits and claiming that the whole thing is a scheme of H.A.W. Tabor's and will fall through, as no mineral has ever been found. Either course is a mistaken one, as either will indirectly prove pernicious to our county and the whole territory, in fact; the one being so incredible that mining men are apt to believe that something must be radically wrong, or such stories would not be originated; the other, because some intended investors may be driven away without looking for themselves. The truth of the matter is that there are may fine prospects, and a few of what can be called good mines around Kingston, although the value of most of them cannot be determined until more work has been done.
The rich mineral in the district was found on the Solitaire mine last August, by Jack Shedden, the discoverer of the famous Robinson mine in Colorado. The claim had been located in 1881 by HJ Wilson, but nothing of special value had been found and no work was done. Shedden, not knowing of the prior location, took possession of the mine and bonded it to Tabor and Wurtzeback for $100,000, As soon as Wilson heard of the strike he hurried to the spot, and a difficulty arose between him and the jumpers, this was finally settled by Tabor transferring the bond to Wilson and paying Shedden a bonus for the discovery. The bond will be due in the early part of next month, when it will undoubtedly be paid as the rich float is still being gathered in large quantities.
On the Brilliant mine, adjoining the Solitaire to the west, no shaft has yet been sunk, but considerable ore carrying native silver is found on the surface, which is being sacked for shipment. Assays from this ore run from 150 to 1,000 ounces. An ore house and cabins are being built before commencing the work that was commenced last spring on the Gray Eagle mine at the head of the South Percha; about $2,000 have been spent on its development, and it has proven to be a good property. The vein matter is now about sixteen feet wide, containing red and black oxide and sulphide of copper, galena and carbonates of silver. The owners, Messrs. Stacey, Avery, Routh and Cassil have a standing offer of $35,000 for the claim, but it cannot be sold at present on account of litigation. The Lone Boy and Mountain Maid claims are located in Saw Pit Canyon, three miles from Kingston. The vein found is a contact, the work being done on the porphyry side. The lead is wide, containing quart, carrying free milling silver. Assays from these claims run as high as 125 ounces.
The Iron King mine, after which Kingston was named, has two shafts, one 70 and the other 82 feet deep. This mine has immense bodies of low grade ore in sight and will probably prove one of the riches mines in the county.
The Superior mine was recently bonded for $30,000 by Perkins, Logan, Hurst & Burns, from Hold and Frazier. Eight shafts have been sunk in prospecting work and there are at present four good openings in ore on the mine. The Superior has recently been stocked in San Francisco, and 100,000 shares placed on the market.
On the Bullion mine, two shafts 70 feet deep have been sunk, both of them in rich silver bearing ore. It is claimed that the value of the ore shipped and now on the dumps is $70,000.
The town has had a marvellous growth since the discovery of the mines. On the 6th of June, A Barnaby set up a tent in the woods at a point which is now the center of town and opened a little store. This was the first house in Kingston. On the 26th of August, the first surveying for the town-site was begun, and on the first of October the Kingston Town Compoany was organized and incorporated. To-day the town contains a population of about 1,800 inhabitants and city lots on Main street being as high as $500 a piece. There are about forty saloons and almost as large a number of stores in town, and many new ones are being built. The consequence of this tremendous rush, and the number of business houses located in the town, is that every line of business is overdone, and very probably some of the smaller ones will come to grief before long. Very few miners are now being employed in the mines surrounding the town, and hard times are already being felt, nothwithstanding the fact that so many new people are pouring in every day. The town has received a greater influx of population than its developments warrant, and it expects to have a hard struggle to exist at all this winter, or at all events, until more men are working in the mines and a mill is erected.

December 7, 1882

A new county to be composed of portions of Grant, Socorro and Dona Ana counties and to include Hillsboro, Kingston and Lake Valley and the Black Range Country will be asked for at the next session of the legislature.

The New Mexican and Arizona Telegraph company have nearly finished the line between Lordsburg and Clifton, and intend to push their lines about five hundred miles farther in Grant and the surrounding counties. The first extension will probably be to Lake Valley, thence to Hillsboro, Kingston and this city. A line will be put into every camp of any importance in the county not at present on the Western Union line.

December 14, 1882

The miners are coming in daily from Kingston and Lake Valley, complaining of no work in those camps.

January 4, 1883

Smallpox has struck Kingston, and the camp is depopulating rapidly.

A Timely Suggestion - .....The daily Southwest of the 3d inst. contains the following pertinent remarks on this subject: "There can be no doubt that the bulk of strangers now crowing into town are from Kingston and the Percha district, which has been practically abandoned upon account of small-pox. So great is the influx here, that every available place of shelter has been taken up, and in our public resorts may be seen until late hours men who are evidently at a loss as to where they shall pass the night. So far as Kingston is concerned, our city authorities should certainly take some action. Self protection is the first law of nature, and a quarantine of some kind should be established without a day's delay. ......

The Southwestern Church News soon to make its appearance here 1/1883

BIG STRIKE. The Superior Mine at Kingston Shows up in Good Shape. At a Depth of Sixty-six Feet the Ore Assays into the Thousands. One of the richest strikes that has ever been made in the territory is reported from the Percha District. If the strike is as stated in the Kingston Tribune extra, of date of the 13th inst., another "boom" is imminent which will be gigantic in its proportions, and will forever set at rest the false impression, which has for the past few months gained credence in the minds of many that the Perchas and Lake Valley districts were simply blanket discoveries. If this new "find" is one half as rich as reported, Kingston may yet become a second Leadville, and the growth of this portion of New Mexico receive such an impetus as will place it in an enviable position as a miner-bearing section. The following is the substance of the extra referred to:
It would not be correct to say that the people of Kingston were surprised this morning to learn that a fine body of ore had been struck, upon the contact, in shaft No. 2, of the Superior mine. It has been expected by those who are conversant with the situation in the mine that the pipe, or vein, or ore which has been followed in the Bullion, adjoining the Superior, and which has been leading directly toward the contact, was the off-shoot from a large body of mineral.
Just at the change of shifts last night, a shot opened into the body of such ore, and the work during the night uncovered a face of it in the bottom of the winze over its entire surface.
At the present writing the assays are not complete and if they were, the rules of the company would not permit them to be published. The silver is distributed all through the tale and is visible to the naked eye, while the harder portions of the ore are even richer than that.
This is but one of a series of favorable developements in the Superior in the past ten days. Three days since a fine ore body was struck in No. 6, which is improving in quality with each day's work. In No.7, a four feet ore body of high grade is being opened in to the hill, while in No. 4, they are working in good mineral.
Surely the owners of the Superior mine have a property of which they may well feel proud. Here we may say it is owned by a very few men, most of lhem in San Francisco, and its stock is not for sale.
Such results cannot be otherwise than encouraging to mine owners in this neighborhood, and the further fact, as reported by the assayers, that the general average of the assays for the past week have been more than triple what they were a month ago, attests that as depth is gained rapid improvement is found in the grade of the ore at every point. It fully confirms the opinion expressed by every experienced man who has visited the district that the neighborhood of Kingston has a more general distribution of high grade mineral than perhaps any other portion of the Black Range. Taking all together, this favorable condition of the Superior, the yield of fine ore coming daily from the Bullion; the unquestioned discovery of the ledge from which the exceedingly rich float was found in the Solitaire; the Splendid showing from the Brilliant, the Hillsboro and others on the North Percha; the high grade ores of the Miners' Dream, which promises to be one of the rich mines of the camp and the Illinois, north of town, the rapid development and improvement of the Grey Eagle, Black Eagle, Humming Bird and others on the South Percha, where can more encouragement be found?

February 1, 1883

The city physician of Kingston makes oath that there are only 2 cases of smallpox in that town.

A miners union has been organized in the Black Range. Members of it are required to sign the following pledge: "That we, the miners of the Black Range, pledge ourselves to work underground for a no less compensation than four dollars per day."

February 8, 1883

Kingston is enjoying another boom. Percha City is growing to be quite a town.

March 1, 1883

The following from the Rocky Mountain Mining Review - .....Kingston, an almost unknown district, has in a short time become familiar throughout the United States. It has furnished large amounts of exceedingly rich float, and the veins from whence this float came have been discovered in the Solitaire and Brilliat. A rich strike was recently made in the Superior Mine, and others have been made in various properties situated upon the same contract and extending for several miles. Much defelopment has been done and many properties have changed hands at good prices.

March 8, 1883

New sidewalks are being laid and improvements are the order of the day in Kingston.

A gentleman just in from Lake Valley says the Sierra company does not permit the workmen in the mines to go into town, and that the enormous quantity of silver being produced scarcely benefits the town at all. He also informs us that two tons of ore recently shipped from Kingston to Denver for reduction netted $3,000 over and above all expenses. Lone Star

The net returns from the last carload of ore shipped from the Bullion mine, Perchas district, to Denver amounted to 6,110 for a little more than ten tons. It was sufficient to pay all lthe working expenses of the mine for the last three months, and leave a balance of $2,000 in the treasury. The next carload will soon be ready, and the mine is yielding rapidly of high grade ore.

March 15, 1883

Large numbers of people at Lake Valley are leaving and going to Kingston and Deming.

New Mexico produced nearly $4,000,000 in precious metals last year. With the exception of Grant county, the mines in the remainder of the territory were only being prospected. This year will double the yield and this arithmetical progression may be maintained for years to come. Astonishing developments may be anticipated this year.

April 6, 1883

....At the time of the killing, Major Fountain had gone on with another division of his command to Kingston, yet he is responsible for the action of his company, and a great deal of hostile feeling is openly expressed against him at Lake Valley.

April 13, 1883

Kingston will not tolerate Chinamen as citizens or laborers.

April 20, 1883

There is everything to indicate that the year 1883 will be the brightees in the annals of New Mexico mining history. - Kingston Tribune

May 4, 1883

Ex-Seator Tabor thinks he has got the richest silver mine ever discovered. It is on the south branch of the North Percha, about four miles northeast of Kingston. He bought it while he was serving his 30 days senatorship in Washington, and is said to have paid $110,000 for it.

May 18, 1883

The Lake Valley Herald and Kingston Tribune have been consolidated, and will be published at Kingston. This is the effect of runing a brevier paper in a pica camp, or in other words the paper was too good for the town.

Jan 9, 1885

The price for hauling ore from Kingston to the railroad depot in Lake Valley, with mule teams, is $5.50 per ton. Return loads the same.

February 6, 1885

A new telegraph line is being established from Fort Bayard to Kingston, Hillsboro and Lake Valley. L. R. Gordon of this city, A. G. Hood of Deming and the chieef operator of the Santa Fe road are the promoters of the enterprise.

Joseph Askew, of Kingston, exclaimed when he reached New Orleans, "Well, pard, we've struck water that we can't ride our horses across."

June 5, 1885

A party of mounted Indians chased Mr. Holcomb almost into the town of Kingston. They fired at him several times without effect. They built large fires on two of the highest peaks near Kingston. A company was organized for the protection of the town and a guard was stationed for several nights. Quite a band of Indians camped all night within one mile of the town, but left the next day for the Carpenter district. The Indians shot a number of their horses which had become too much exhausted to be of further use to them. ......

November 13, 1885

INDIAN TROUBLES NEAR KINGSTON - Bill McKay Shot on Iron Creek. The Journal Condemned and Crook Damned Generally.
A Kingston correspondent of the Journal gives the following particulars of the Indian raid in that section, which occurred last week.
A small band of Indians made their appearance on the North Percha last week. Soldiers, militia and citizens turned out after them, and were joined by other soldiers who had been following them for several days. They passed within five miles of here and may be closer. They shot at John Carlisle and Bill McKay, who were stopping at Frazier's cabin, on Iron Creek, five miles west, and just over the divide. They boys had been out hunting and stopped for dinner, and while preparing it were fired into. They retreated into the cabin and while in there, Bill had a ball put through his leg. After remaining several hours the boys ventured out and gliding onto their burros made all haste to Kingston.
The Indians seemed to be making all haste to get south and were in several bands, picking up a horse now and then. They got Georrge Webber's mare and colt. I hear of no lives being lost nearer then Lake Valley, where they happened to run across a wood-choper. ......

April 2, 1886

Sheriff J. W. Allen, of Sierra county, was shot and instantly killed in Kingston on the 6th inst. He was attempting to disarm O P. Boger, who had been drinking heavily, when the gun was discharged, the ball passing through the groin, effecting instant death. Boger formerly
traveled for Betterton & Son, of Deming. He claims that the shooting was purely accidental.

October 8, 1886

A Newsy Kingston Letter
The toiling miner from the hills is quite numerous evenings and more particularly on Saturday, when he wends his way painfully over the hills to the modern Babel, there to make the regular weekly deposit of his hard-earned wages. Speaking of depositories incidentally leads me to remark that Kingston is well supplied with banking institutions so that the toiler has every opportunity offered him for depositing his surplus wealth. Mr Frank Thurman, a resident of Deming, in your county, is among the leading lights of this community in the banking line, to make no mention of the Percha bank and lesser fry.

Jan 21, 1887

.... Mc Lean and Oberdine were brave, hardworking men. McLean's brother, who lives at Kington, went to Hudson on Thursday and took the remains to Kingston, where they were interred; Oberdine was buried at Hudson. He was a brother-in-law of ex-Sheriff Poe, of Lincoln County.

A milk-man was shot and almost instantly killed at Kingston last week. He was driving his wagon home after dark, when the cowardly assassin fired the shot at short range, the bullet striking near the hip and ranging upward through the body. The murdered man's son-in-law has been arrested.

May 6, 1887

The "Terror Of The Range" and How His Light Was Sniffed By Brave Con Ryan -
Judge John M Wright, who returned from Kingston, gave the Enterprise the particulars of a duel to the death between Con Ryan and one Burke, who delighted in the sobriquet of the "Terror of the Black Range." They were both well known mining men. They had been quarreling all night, and about 6 o'clock in the morning Burke said "Let us fight it out like men' get your gun," Ryan said he didn't have a gun. Burke answered that he would furnish him one, and the two men went together to Burke's house, at the head of the main street. Burke procurred two 45's, and stepping up to the fence threw one of them down on the ground, remarking: "There's your gun." "That's no way to do," said Ryan,, "you can shoot me while I am picking up the gun. Besides, I don't know that it's loaded." Burke then threw his gun down on the ground, and the two men picked up the guns together. While Ryan was examining his gun to see if it was loaded, Burke fired at him twice without effect. Ryan then leveled his gun and quickly took deliberate aim and fired and the "Terror of the Black Range" fell dead. The ball struck a little to the left of the bridge of the nose and passed out through the back of the head. Ryn was placed under $4000 bonds. It seems to be the general opinion at Kingston that Burke received his just deserts.

June 24 - 1887

James McLaughlin, indicted for the murder of Tobias Kinsley, of Kingston, who was recently allowed to give bail in the sum of $25,000, has "skipped," presumably for Mexico. He had been confined in the Sierra county jail since last February. He was interested in some of the Kingston mines, and after the amount of his bond was fixed soon arranged matters with his partners, who put up $16,000 of the amount in cold cash. Soon after McLaughlin had given his bond Judge Henderson discovered that the court had been imposed upon in the matter, and from Santa Fe issued a bench warrant for the re-arrest of the young man. In the mean time Mc. had gotten himself up in genuine desparado style. His person was adorned by two ivory-handled 45's, while a repeating rifle swung in its scabbard on his saddle. Mounted on a magnificent horse and thus armed, he rode out of Kingston about an hour before the bench warrant arrived. It is thus that the ends of justice are often defeated. He has probably turned over his mining property to his bondsmen, and will be seen no more in these parts. Similar incidents have occurred in this section.

July 8, 1887

Con Ryan, who shot and killed Dave Burke in Kingston, on the morning of May 1st, and who was released upon bail in the sum of $1000, has lately been acting in such a manner as to cause his bondsmen to withdraw from his bond; whereupon Ryan was arrested and brought to Hillsboro last Sunday and confined in the county jail to await his trial. Hillsboro Advocate

August 26, 1887

This week Hillsboro and Kingston had a flood that played havoc with moveable property. Thomas Edwards and son, of Texas, were drowned in a box canyon, through which they were driving when the flood came. The slaughter houses of the Sierrra land and cattle company were swept away. The water was three feet deep in T. F. Chapman's parlor. Chaig's bridge was swept away. It is said that a wall of water fifteen feet high went down the canyon. Great quantities of hail fell.

October 14, 1887

Kingston Shaft: The new 450 -pound fire bell arrived last Tuesday, and at night its clear, resonant tones rang out calling the members of Pioneer Fire Company No. 1 to its regular meeting. The bell was purchased of Ramsey & Co., St. Louis, and was laid down here at a cost of $130, and was presented to the company by the citizens. The bell is the first one of its size that ever awakened the echoes of this portion of the Black Range.

December 16, 1887

Another tragedy has occurred at Kingston in which Larwrence Meagher, a citizen of that camp, lost his life. It appears that on the evening of the 5th inst. Meagher and three other men were playing cards in the saloon. A dispute arose in which Meagher lost his temper and hit one of the other men a blow over the head with his revolver. This broke up the game. About an hour later he was shot in the left arm by some person from the outside. He immediately started with the intention of having the wound dressed, and had only stepped outside of his house when he was fairly riddled with bullets. Ten shots in all were fired, two of which went completely through Meagher's body and death was almost instantaneous. An inquest was immediately held which resulted in the arrest of Mike Conway and Neil Conway. Both men were taken before Judge Burns for a preliminary examination, but the judge stated that he had heard the evidence produced at the inquest, which had prejudiced him against the prisoners, and he felt that he would be unable to give them a fair trial. He sent them to the justice of the peace at Hillsboro, where they had an examination. A clear case was made out against the prisoners.

A man was in town this week with a wagon load of bear and wolf pelts.
A man named Hoffman at Kingston shot a negro there the other day who had called him a liar. Hoffmann was placed under $1000 bonds.



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