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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 106

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Chapter 16 Changing Times in Boomtown… Gala Luncheon at Lake Tahoe… Professional Honors for a Husband… Reprise of Boomtown Memories… Farewell, Tonopah BY 1920 GOLDFIELD, as well as many of the less spectacular strikes like Manhattan, Rhyolite, Bullfrog, and Rawhide, was pretty much at the end of production. However, Tonopah was still jogging along as one of the biggest silver producers in the world. Many old friends had left: Jen Stock had lost her husband and followed a sister to Los Angeles where, alas, she died in a traffic accident; Herman Albert accepted a position with the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. Several of the lawyers and many of our most successful businessmen remained in Nevada but moved to Reno. Our neighbors, Mrs. Hank Knight and her courtly husband, flashed across our vision in later years. One day I was walking on the lot at the Lasky Studio in Hollywood with my uncle Theodore Roberts, who was then a member of the movie colony, and suddenly I saw a familiar face under the poke bonnet of a typical pioneer woman. It was Mrs. Hank Knight! She told me she and Hank had become regular extras in western films, and I must say they were perfectly type- cast for such parts. But the “ old timers,” the mine superintendents and the engineers, were still with us. They serve to prove the point that the pioneers of Tonopah were a different type of frontiersman. However, those who panned dirt for a day’s wages along the streams of California frequently experienced the adventures so dear to the heart of the true westerner. One such happened to an unsuspecting gentleman who was equal to the situation - Fred L. Berry, who had come to Tonopah from San Francisco, where he had been Assistant District Attorney. Fred was elected District Attorney of Nye County and was therefore in the center of our labor disputes. One day a man burst into his office, brandishing a sharp- pointed pick with a head of great striking weight, and shouted, “ They’re after me!” Fred looked at him with a coolness he had learned to assume in other face- to-face encounters and asked laconically, “ Who?” “ The company spies,” the man yelled. “ They’ve got a rope! They’re going to hang me!” “ Aw, come now..." Fred began, but the man stepped toward him, pick upraised.

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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 106
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