TONOPAHTHE HISTORY of Tonopah, the first grea bonanza camp to "boom" Nevada since the days of the famous Comstock lode of Virginia City, is similar to the history of Goldfield. For two years after the discovery by Jim Butler of croppings rich in gold in the foothills of Mount Oddie, Tonopah experienced the extremes of bouyant hope and grinding disappointment. Not until the Curtis strike was made on the Tonopah Fraction did the district begin to experience a real "boom." This "strike," made in a shaft at a depth of 237 feet, demonstrated that the values did go down. Up to that time mining experts who examined the various properties of the district had contended that the contrary was the case.Philadelphia capitalists made the first purchase of magnitude in the district. O. A. Turner, a mining engineer acting for Colonel Woodside and other well-known men of the Pennsylvania city, purchased the eight mineral locations now constituting the property of the Tonopah Mining Company from James L. Butler and associates for $360,000; $50,000 of the amount was paid down at the time the sale was concluded. The remainder of the amount was taken from the ground in ore long before the final payments on the property became due.Executive Officers and Members of the Tonopah Board of Trade.When, on December 31st, 1901, leases on the famous Mizpah mine were formally surrendered to the purchasers, Tonopah was what was known as a "one man" camp. Not long did this name stick to the district, however. The men who had made their money off James Butler's great property immediately commenced prospecting and developing the ground which surrounded the Mizpah. Immediately, "capital" was interested, and a large amount of money came into the camp. Within a year the "Montana," "Belmont," Midway," McNamara," "Extension" and "Jim Butler" were recognized as ranking with the great mines of the country.Today, in addition, there are the "Western," "California," "Boston," "North Star," "Ohio," "McKane," "New York," "Little Tonopah," Cash Boy," "Red Rock," "Great Western," and a dozen or more others were producing many millions of dollars worth of ore annually, and paying substantial dividends to the fortunate stockholders. Many large mills for testing the ores have been built, among them the "Midway," one of the first mills of its kind in the country.Tonopah is now recognized all over the country as a mining town with a great future. Its population is less than 7,000, but is rapidly growing. It boasts a progressive Board of Trade, composed of the leading business men and mining officers of the district. The town itself is up-to-date in every respect, having modern schools, residences and public buildings. The power plant at Bishop furnishes electricity.So much capital has come into the district in the last two years that no trace of early "boom" methods now remains. Tonopah is extremely conservative. It is the opinion of mining experts that the future of "the camp" as a producer of precious metals is assured for at least another quarter of a century.
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