Dewey Mill at Bingham

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Dewey Mill

The Dewey mill had been completed in May 1898 by the newly organized Dewey Consolidated Mining and Milling Company. The Dewey mill was located about 500 feet up-canyon from the mouth of Markham Gulch, taking its water from that source by way of a pipeline. The Dewey mill was about 0.6 mile up-canyon from the D&RGW depot, and the adjacent Winnamuck mill.

(The first reference in online newspapers for the "Swan-Bemis mill" was in late April 1898. A new building was being built and was almost complete. The new mill was to be owned and operated by the Dewey Mining and Milling Co., with G. L. Bemis as manager. First operation was on June 22, 1898. The first ore being processed came from the dumps of the Niagara mine. -- Salt Lake Tribune, May 28, 1898; June 26, 1898; July 24, 1898)

The Dewey mill was a custom mill, taking in ore from all the mines at Bingham. The local press usually only remarked on the big producers sending their ore to the Dewey mill. During September and October 1898, the Dewey mill was processing ore from the Old Telegraph and Spanish mines.

December 12, 1897
"Dan W. Swan, ex-Marshal Nat Brigham, Roy Bemis et. al. are planning to build an extensive custom mill in the main canyon opposite the old Sing Lee cabin site. We understand the ground has been purchased and that plans are drawn." (Salt Lake Herald, December 12, 1897)

February 20, 1898
Grading had begun at the site for the new mill at Bingham. A 60-horsepower boiler had been delivered. Fred Bemis was to have charge of the construction and management of the new mill. (Salt Lake Herald, February 20, 1898)

May 18, 1898
The Dewey Consolidated Mining and Milling Company was incorporated "yesterday" (May 18). (Salt Lake Herald, May 19, 1898)

May 22, 1898
"The new concentrator being completed by Messrs. Swan, Bemis & Co. is to be known as the Dewey mill, and operated by the Dewey Consolidated Mining and Milling company of Utah. The company was incorporated this week with a capital stock of $10,000, to develop mining property in Bingham. John L. Weber is president. George L. Bemis vice president, Daniel L. Swan secretary and treasurer, and the other Incorporators and directors are Fred H. Bemis and John J. Kearns. It is understood the company will soon begin developments on mining property in its control and to be worked in connection with the mill. Though work on the latter has been much delayed by bad weather, it will soon be running." (Salt Lake Herald, May 22, 1898)

June 15, 1898
The new Swan-Bemis mill was to be put into operation "Wednesday" (June 15) and would begin by processing ore from the Niagara mine. (Salt Lake Herald, June 13, 1898)

During 1899, the Dewey mill processed 18,000 tons of ore from various Bingham mines, with the largest being the Old Jordan, the Old Telegraph, and Neptune mines. Most of the ore came by way of the Standish & Jimpson horse tram, which later became the Copper Belt Railroad.

The November 5, 1900 issue of the Deseret News reported that Fred Bemis was the manager of the Dewey mill, which had just processed ore from the Red Wing Extension mine, producing concentrates that were 52 percent lead.

In October 1903, the Dewey mill was reported as being sold to the Columbia Copper Mining Company [later Ohio Copper], but the sale fell through and Columbia leased, then bought the Winnamuck mill instead. (Deseret Evening News, October 24, 1903; Salt Lake Herald, November 5, 1903)

Wall Mill

Between May and December 1901 the owners of the Tiewaukee mine leased the Winnamuck mill and made several changes to mill the ore coming from the Tiewaukee mine. In December 1901, they turned the lease on the mill over to Enos Wall, who was developing a millining process to for the low grade porphyry ore he was promoting, and which later became Utah Copper. From early 1902, Wall made more changes to the Winnamuck mill and the test runs were successful. To increase output Wall moved his tests from the Winnamuck mill to the larger Dewey mill.

(Read more about the Tiewaukee mine)

When the sale of the Dewey mill to Ohio Copper fell through, Enos A. Wall took an option to buy the mill. There was speculation that although he likely turned the option over to Utah Copper, he may have had plans to operate the mill to process ore from one of his other mines. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 26, 1904)

With an effective date of July 1, 1904, the Dewey mill was sold to Utah Copper Company. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 21, 1904)

July 18, 1904
The Dewey mill and its water rights were sold to Enos A. Wall "yesterday" (July 18). Previously, Utah Copper had held an option, but had allowed the option to expire. The reason given was that they had water rights from another source. Wall was to operate the mill to process ore from the Kingston group of mines. The Dewey mill specialized in processing ore that was low grade and which would otherwise be sent to the dump. The mill would reduce the ore and make it a commercial product. First class ore was ore that could be mined and sent directly to the smelter. Second class ore was ore that needed to be reduced, or concentrated, before it could be smelted. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 19, 1904)

November 19, 1904
Enos Wall had developed a new concentrating process to reduce the low grade ore coming from many mines in the West. He had built a prototype in Salt Lake City, and would now modify the old Dewey mill to include a larger version for demonstration and more testing. During March and April 1905, the mill was shut down while new equipment was installed. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 19, 1904; Salt Lake Herald, April 22, 1905)

By March 1905, the mill was referred to as the Wall mill. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 11, 1905)

In 1907, and again in 1908, the Wall mill was wrecked by runaway Copper Belt engines, and each time it was rebuilt, it was also remodeled with an improvement. The wrecks were in March 1907 and again March 1908. Each time, it took three to four months for repairs to be completed and new machinery installed.

August 15, 1908
"Repairs on Colonel E. A. Wall's mill, which was badly damaged by a Copper Belt engine several months ago, have been completed and the work of installing machinery commenced." (Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 1908)

The 1908 Mines Register, published in 1909, shows that Fred Bemis was also the superintendent of Wall's Kempton mine, and that the Kempton mine had a 125-ton mill that was opened in 1905. (This was likely the Wall mill.)

"Kempton Mine. Utah. Office: care of Col. Enos A. Wall, owner, Salt Lake City, Utah. Mine office: Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake Co., Utah. Fred Bemis, superintendent. Lands, in the West Mountain district, carry argentiferous and auriferous lead and copper sulphides, values being mainly in lead. Has a 125-ton mill, rebuilt 1905, which is unique, inasmuch as practically all the machinery was designed by the owner. The equipment includes a set of Wall corrugated rolls, a set of steel rolls for middlings, also invented by Col. Wall, 3 sets of Wall jigs, 2 Wall tables for concentrates, and 2 Wilfley tables."

During June 1910, the Wall mill was being remodeled to process porphyry copper ores, using equipment designed by Enos Wall. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 20, 1910)

Enos A. Wall died in his home in Salt Lake City on June 29, 1920. He had been born in Indiana on June 21, 1839.

December 1933
The Wall mill, located just below the post office, had not been in operation for many years, and was being demolished to make way for a new building. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 20, 1933)