Markham Mill at Bingham

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Markham Mill

The Markham mill was located at the mouth of Markham gulch, on the east side of Bingham creek. The mill is shown on the 1898 Sanborn fire insurance map, and would have been served by a spur of the Rio Grande Bingham branch.

The Markham mill was already in operation by late October 1893. (Salt Lake Herald, October 24, 1893)

May 12, 1894
The Markham mill was restarted after some modifications and improvements, including adding "one or two Huntington mills" for treatment of gold ores. (Salt Lake Herald, April 23, 1894)

July 16, 1894
George W. Phillips, manager and recent part-owner of the Markham mill, died "yesterday" (July 16). (Salt Lake Herald, July 17, 1894)

April 29, 1895
The Markham mill was to be sold on April 29th, to satisfy a mortgage. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 25, 1895)

August 3, 1895
The Markham mill was to be restarted, after being idle since the fall of 1894. The new manager was Dan Heaston, formerly manager of the Lead mill, and well known as one of the best mill men in the territory. (Salt Lake Herald, August 3, 1895; August 5, 1895)

October 7, 1895
The recent repairs and improvements included a new 250-ton ore bin. The plant was "running smoothly and steadily, and is doing the most satisfactory work." (Salt Lake Tribune, October 7, 1895)

January 1, 1896
"Markham Mill -- In the early part of 1895 this mill ran for a short time, reducing a few hundred tons of ore, then lay idle until about ten days ago.. In the meantime it passed into the management of Fitzsimmons & McEarline, who remodeled it, and now have a capacity of fifty tons of base ore per day. It is a concentrating mill, with rockbreaker, screens and jigs, operated by steam power, and is in Main Bingham, just opposite Markham gulch. The owners having their company the name of Northern Light Mining and Milling company, and the ore so far crushed came from their mine, some 500 tons." (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1896)

Throughout 1896, the Markham mill lay idle on several occasions as the Northern Lights mine itself was idled by variations in the price of metals.

Giant Chief Mill

December 5, 1897
"The Giant Chief company has secured the old Markham mill and it is being overhauled and remodeled" to treat second-class ore from the Giant Chief mine. (This is likely a lease rather than an outright sale.) (Salt Lake Herald, December 5, 1897)

The Giant Chief mine was located in Bear Gulch just above the Old Telegraph mine. It was a small mine until a very rich vein of silver-copper ore was struck in December 1894, in their tunnel which was only 60 feet into the ground.

Giant Chief, Before 1898

The following comes from various newspaper searches.

Giant Chief Mill, 1898-1899

January 2, 1898
"The old Markham mill, having been remodeled, is about ready for its trial run. As recently stated in these columns, it is being fitted up to be operated in connection with the Giant Chief mine, and the bins are full of second-class ore from that property. Some new machinery has been put in, including crusher and rolls, and it should do good work. It is possible crushing will begin today or tomorrow." (Salt Lake Tribune, January 2, 1898)

January 9, 1898
"The Markham mill, after resting about a year and a half, has been busy all week on Giant Chief ore, and appears to be running smoothly and doing good work. The Giant Chief will give it a steady job." (Salt Lake Herald, January 9, 1898)

January 24, 1898
"The Markham mill building is being altered over the reception of stamps, [Wilfley] tables, etc. A battery of ten stamps and other machinery has arrived, and the mill in its new form will be ready to start up in about ten days. The discarded crusher was too light for Giant Chief ore, and played out after a short run." (Salt Lake Herald, January 24, 1898)

February 13, 1898
"It is stated that the old Markham mill is here after to be a thing of usefulness and to be known as the Giant Chief mill. Since the last start-up with new machinery it has made a very successful run, and there is assurance that its work from this on will only be limited by its capacity . The stamps, 600 pounds, are just the thing for Giant Chief ore, which is too hard for rolls. Only five have been used thus far, pending the introduction on the same floor of a crusher for general work, but about 15 tons are being put through daily. Superintendent McNeil and the company are elated over the work of the Wilfley table. This machine, lately introduced into the state by the Utah & Montana Machinery company, seems to be a radical improvement on the Frue vanner, and every other variety of concentrator. Its principal feature is a system of riffles, agitated lengthwise and laterally, which deliver waste at the lower side and concentrates at the end. Though very simple it is said to save every particle of mineral, and each machine is guaranteed a capacity of 25 tons daily. The Giant Chief people are struggling to put in a second one immediately, and will then be prepared to handle 40 to 50 tons of ore per day." (Salt Lake Herald, February 13, 1898)

April 10, 1898
The Giant Chief mill had been shut down for two days due to a broken drive shaft, and started up again "yesterday." (Salt Lake Herald, April 10, 1898)

April 18, 1898
The owners of the Old Jordan mine (Conglomerate Mining Co.) sued the owners of the Giant Chief Mining Co. for encroaching on their claim. While waiting for the outcome of the encroachment suit, the Giant Chief mill was doing custom work for other mines, with about 1,000 tons waiting to be processed. The other mines included the Neptune, the Julia Dean, and the Kempton. By December 18th, the suit was settled and the mine was again shipping ore, but only first class ore was being shipped, meaning the highest value ore, to get as much cash as possibible, as quickly as possible. (Salt Lake Herald, April 18, 1898; April 24, 1898; May 2, 1898; May 22, 1898; December 18, 1898)

June 1, 1898
The Giant Chief mill was leased to H. A. Cohen, in the interest of Capt. DeLamar, "with which he will make exhaustive tests on a large amount of ore from different properties," including the All's Well group. (Salt Lake Herald, June 1, 1898; June 5, 1898)

June 12, 1898
Although the ore being processed at the Giant Chief mill appears to be "country rock" with no apparent mineral content, exhaustive tests being made by H. A. Cohen on ore from the Dick Mackintosh mine show microscopic grains of copper pyrite spread throughout the porphyry ore, with an average of 4-1/2 percent copper. The results "are liable to be viewed with misgivings by old mining men, whom experience has taught to be suspicious of radical departures from time-honored lines." After reduction of 10 tons of ore into one ton of concentrate, the end product was 45 percent copper. (Salt Lake Herald, June 12, 1898)

(An item in the June 20, 1898 issue of the Salt Lake Herald, repeating the results of the tests at the Giant Chief mill, is the last reference to that mill in available online newspapers.)

December 18, 1898
The Giant Chief Lode was sold to George A. Lowe. Prior to this Lowe and Thompson had been leasing the property from its owner, L. J. Ruth. (Salt Lake Herald, December 18, 1898)

On April 4, 1899, the "personal" property of the Giant Chief Mining Co. was sold at a sheriff's sale, to satisfy a mortgage of $1900 issued on March 14, 1898. The sale did not include the mine itself, just all of the buildings, machinery and improvements. The mill was not mentioned, and the mine continued to ship ore. (Salt Lake Herald, March 20, 1898)

Giant Chief, After 1899

The Giant Chief was out of production until June 1905, when a new tunnel was being dug, and a new ore vein was struck, matching the ore of the adjacent Old Telegraph mine of the United States company. The mine was owned by the widow of George A. Lowe, who had passed away on January 4, 1903 at age 66 years. He was born on May 16, 1836, and after the Civil war, went to Chicago, then Boone, Iowa, then Denver, then in 1870, to Corinne, Utah, as a carriage and implement dealer. In 1873-1874, he moved to Salt Lake City. In 1890, he became vice president of the National Bank of the Republic, and attended that company's annual meeting just days before his death of heart disease.

A new Giant Chief Consolidated Mining Co. was organized on February 3, 1906, with Mrs. Lowe and the mine's engineer and manager, P. J. Donohue as principle owners. The properties included the Giant Chief and the Rough and Ready claims, and five others, a total of 2,000 acres all adjoining the Old Telegraph mine. The new company expected to be shipping sulphide ore, carrying lead, silver, copper and iron, with some gold.

In April 1906, the Giant Chief Consolidated Mining company was among several other properties sold to a group eastern investors that included the Heinze interests. The sale was completed on May 8, 1906 when Mrs. Lowe quit claimed the Giant Chief lode to the Giant Chief Consolidated Mining Company.

The Giant Chief group of claims was sold in February 1907 to a group of European investors, including Count Reginald Ward of London, with plans of assembling a large group of paying mines at Bingham, using the name Utah-Bingham Mining Company, which had been incorporated in Maine in February 1906. By August 1908, the Utah-Bingham group was reported as being the best example of a resurgance of English investment in Bingham. (By December 1909, the Giant Chief Consolidated company was listed on the delinquent tax rolls.)

In September 1911 the Utah-Bingham took a $100,000 mortgage to pay existing debt, and to finance further improvements. In May 1912, the Utah-Bingham Mining Company was reorganized by the same owners and directors, as the "New Utah-Bingham Mining Company." The property consisted of 150 acres of patented mining ground adjacent to the Old Telegraph mine. The Utah-Bingham mine was being worked by way of a tunnel 150 feet in length, and new funding allowed an extension of 100 feet, with additional surface workings to support the larger mine. In November 1918 the New Utah-Bingham company was sold to the New York-Bingham Mining Company, with the Giant Chief vein forming the major portion of producing ground for the new company.

In March 1921, the New York-Bingham group of mines (together with the adjacent Silver Shield group) was purchased by the Bingham-Galena Mining Company, which held a total of 485 acres of patented mining claims, adjacent to the United States Mining company's property in Bingham. The Bingham-Galena company was shipping its ore by way of the Niagara tunnel, through the Silver Shield's haulage rights in the tunnel that was owned by the United States company.

In late October 1922, because of some questionable practices in marketing and selling its shares on the local stock market, for which the principal offenders were caught and punished by the Utah securities commission, the Bingham-Galena Mining Company changed its name to the Park-Bingham Mining Company. In 1931, the Park-Bingham company was sold to Combined Metals, a subsidiary of National Lead Company, and in 1955, the Combined Metals company sold its interests and assets at Bingham to Kennecott Copper Corporation.

(Read more about Park Bingham Mining Company and its association with the Butterfield Tunnel)

Testing Porphyry Copper Ore

From September 1898 through January 1899, the Markham mill was used as a testing and experimental mill by the Boston Consolidated company to test low-grade copper ore from its Copper Center mine, to aid in the design of its pending 500-ton mill. The manager in charge was Alfred J. Bettles, one of the best mill men and metallurgists in the territory, who was in the employment of Samuel Newhouse and was developing processes for the treatment of Boston Consolidated's porphyry copper ore, and may have been one of the first mill men to work with this type of ore. Bettles designed the Boston Consolidated mill at Garfield, and the Cactus mill at Newhouse in central Utah. Bettles died on August 3, 1911. (Salt Lake Herald, September 11, 1898; Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1899; September 18, 1911)

Red Wing Mill

Beginning in February 1899, the Markham mill was used by the Red Wing mining company for a run of its ore. The Red Wing people had previously been using the Dewey mill.

April 11, 1899
The Red Wing Mining company had "taken charge" of the old Markham mill, and began overhauling it for better processing of its ore. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 11, 1899)

May 23, 1899
The new Red Wing mill shipped its first concentrates "yesterday" (May 23) to the Germania smelter. (Salt Lake Herald, May 24, 1899)

During September and October 1899, the Red Wing mill was shut down while the Red Wing's tunnel was extended. The idle time was used to install new crushing rolls that would increase the mill's capacity to 150 tons per day. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 30, 1899; Salt Lake Herald, September 30, 1899, October 15, 1899)

December 31, 1899
"The old Markham mill having passed into the hands of the Red Wing Mining company and its name changed, was greatly improved. Before making the changes in the plant it was run about three months, during which it crushed from thirty to forty tons of ore per day. As improved its capacity is from 75 to 100 tons per day. The improvements cost $6000. It is supplied with a crusher, rolls, screens, jigs and Wilfley tables, does excellent work and is kept busy. A five-stamp battery has been added to reduce the middlings and also as a prospector's mills. The Red Wing group has the mouth of its tunnel within 800 feet of the mill and a tram will probably be put in to save the use of teams as at present. The company marketed in the past year 295,490 pounds crude ore and 1,117,493 pounds concentrates which netted $14,788.44, and this was put into property. In milling they concentrate about six tons into one and the concentrates net from $17 to $25 per ton. In the mine there are large lead stopes, ore being opened sixty feet across and without walls, and fifty feet opened upward and about 500 feet long. This is all good milling ore and 125 feet below this is another large stope. Much work is being done in advancing tunnels, drifts, etc. The officers are W. H. Tibbals, president, and E. A. Duncan, manager." (Salt Lake Tribune, December 31, 1899)

May 19, 1900
"An average of one carload of concentrates is being shipped weekly from the Red Wing mill - running one shift - returns averaging $18.50 per ton, or about $350 per car." (? about 189 tons per car load ?) (Deseret Evening News, May 19, 1900; Salt Lake Herald, May 21, 1900; the two news items are word-for-word identical)

September 1, 1900
The Red Wing mill was leased to George Forrester, who planned to overhaul the mill as a custom mill to process ore sampled, assayed and purchased from other mines. Forrester had worked in the Markham mill earlier when it was testing the Boston Consolidated ore. (Salt Lake Herald, August 26, 1900)

September 11, 1900
The Markham mill burned to the ground "last night" (September 11) and was a total loss. The loss was reported as $8000. "The origin of the fire is not known. The Markham mill had been leased for some time past by the Red Wing company, and they were making extensive repairs to it. They had been testing the machinery for some days past, and for that purpose had fire in the boiler room. The supposition is that the fire started in some way from the fire in the furnace. The building was almost entirely of wood, it was two stories high and as it was very dry it made a big blaze while it lasted." (Salt Lake Herald, September 12, 1900)

Markham Gulch Mill

September 29, 1906
The Markham Gulch Mining & Milling company was organized. "Organized Sept. 29, 1906, under laws of Maine. Is controlled, through ownership of one-half of stock issue, by New Red Wing Mining Co., and is under same general management as the Utah Apex and Utah Development companies." "Property is a 200-ton concentrator, on the site of the old Red Wing mill, which was running on ore from the New Red Wing mine, at last accounts." (The Copper Handbook, Volume 11, 1909, page 924)

The New Red Wing Mining Company: "Organized circa 1900, with capitalization $500,000, as successor of Red Wing Gold Mining Co. Is said to have a $50,000 bond issue. Is controlled, through ownership of majority of stock, by Utah Development Co., and owns a half interest in the Markham Gulch Milling Co., which has a 200-ton concentrator." (The Copper Handbook, Volume 9, 1909, page 1036)

(Page 1167 of this same source shows: "Red Wing Mining & Milling Co., Utah, Dead. Succeeded, circa 1900, by New Red Wing Mining Co.")

(Page 1125 of the later Volume 10, for 1911, of the same source shows the name as Markham Gulch Mining & Milling Company.)

October 14, 1906
The Markham Gulch Milling company was organized "last week" to build a new mill on the site of the old Red Wing mill, for the purpose of treating ore from the Utah Apex and Red Wing mines. The new mill was to have a 200 tons per day capacity. The ore from the Utah Apex mine was 3 percent copper, 34 percent lead, with 12 ounces silver and some gold. The Red Wing mine was owned by Utah Development company. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 14, 1906)

May 19, 1907
The Markham mill was designed originally to handle such ores of the Utah Apex and the Red Wing mines as demanded treatment before being sent into market. Both properties had undergone strenuous development during the past two years, and both have "handsome" tonnage available for the mill when its current remodeling was complete. It was being remodeled to increase its capacity to 200 tons per day. The Utah Apex was encountering large quantities of high-grade copper and lead ore. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 19, 1907)

The New Red Wing Mining Company "Was disincorporated, 1908, and merged in North Utah Mining Co." (The Copper Handbook, Volume 10, 1911, page 1291)

June 11, 1909
The Markham Gulch mill was to be overhauled and reopened by its owners, North Utah Mining company. (Inter-Mountain Republican, June 11, 1909)

The North Utah Mining company was incorporated in Maine in February 1906, and became qualified to do business in Utah in January 1909. In February 1909, it purchased the Butler-Liberal group of claims at Markham Gulch, a total of sixteen claims for a reported sale of $99,215. The claims encompassed the holdings of the Utah Extension Copper company and the Utah Development company, with Lord William Hood of London being one of the principle bondholders, with a bond in the amount of $486,000. (Salt Lake Telegram, March 25, 1909; Salt Lake Herald, March 30, 1909)

December 21, 1909
The North Utah mill (old Markham mill) was running steady on North Utah ore. (Salt Lake Herald, December 21,1909)

December 13, 1910
"The Red Wing mill at the mouth of Markham Gulch, the property of North Utah Mining company, will start up in a few days" to process custom ore from other mines, not from the company's own mine. The initial run would be on lead-silver ore from the Yampa, and the next run would be on ore from the Montana-Bingham Mining company. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 13,1910)

February 1911
"Word has just reached Salt Lake stockholders of the North Utah Mining company of Bingham acquainting them of the failure in placing the bonds, and that a receiver for the property has been appointed. This property consists of the old Red Wing group, the Butler-Liberal, the Vespasian and Hooghley properties, located in Bingham." (Coalville Times, February 10, 1911)

North Utah Mining Co. incorporated in Maine on February 23, 1906. "Company owns a half interest in the Markham Gulch Mining & Milling Co., and absorbed the Utah Extension Copper Mining Co., September, 1908, and the Utah Development Co. circa Nov. 10, 1908, and also has taken over the property formerly owned by the New Red Wing Mining Co., these various merged companies having had interlocking relations." "Lands, circa 300 acres, In Markham Gulch, including the Red Wing and Butler-Liberal mines." "The mine produced considerable ore, carrying mainly silver-lead value, under former ownership, and the present [1911] small production is concentrated at the mill of the Markham Gulch Mining Co." (The Copper Handbook, Volume 10, 1911, page 1318)

November 10, 1911
The Third District Court ordered on September 12, 1911 that all of the property and interests of the North Utah Mining company, including 500 shares of Markham Gulch Mining and Milling company, be sold at public auction to be held on November 10, 1911. (Salt Lake Herald, October 17, 1911)

The sale was delayed until March 31, 1913 to satisfy claims by British investors made before the Probate Court in Portland, Maine.

Markham Gulch Mining & Milling Company: "Organized Sept. 23, 1906, under laws of Maine." "Is controlled by the Mineral Lands Co., through ownership of entire share capital. Company owns no mines but has a 200-ton concentrator, on the site of the old Red Wing mill." (The Copper Handbook, Volume 11, 1914, page 557)

June 13, 1916
Bingham Coalition Mines Co. was incorporated in Maine "this morning." The company registered to do business in Utah on the same day. (Salt Lake Telegram, June 13, 1916; Salt Lake Tribune, June 14, 1916)

June 15, 1916
Bingham Coalition Mines Company purchased the stock and assets of the Markham Gulch Mining & Milling Co. from Mineral Lands Co. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 15, 1916)

July 30, 1916
Bingham Coalition Mines was working the Utah Development, Massasoit, and Butler-Liberal groups in Bingham. property included fifty mining claims and the Markham mill, which was shown as a 150-ton mill. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 30, 1916)

April 17, 1917
The Markham mill of the Bingham Coalition Mines company was working one shift per day, and running about 30 to 35 tons per day through the mill. The mill capacity was 150 tons per day, and would soon be increased to 175 tons per day. The company was shipping four to five cars per month of high grade ore, with an income of $17,000 for March 1917. A crew of about 75 men were cleaning out the "old drifts" of the Butler Liberal, Red Wing, and Massasoit mines. (Salt Lake Telegram, April 17, 1917; Salt Lake Mining Review, April 30, 1917)

Mineral Lands Company: "Inc. 1913, in Maine. Company owns entire capital stock of the Markham Gulch Mining & Milling Co. Property: the Red Wing and Butler-Liberal mines, with about 300 acres in Markham gulch, formerly owned by the North Utah Co., at Bingham, Utah." (The Mines Handbook, Volume 13, 1918, page 1362)

Bingham Coalition Mines Company: "Property is a consolidation of the Butler Liberal, Red Wing and Massasoit properties, about 50 claims, which have yielded some ore in the past. Equipment: includes 175-ton mill. Shipping 4-5 cars of ore monthly, 1917." (The Mines Handbook, Volume 13, 1918, page 1356)

Bingham Coalition Mines Co. was incorporated in Maine in 1916 as a "merger of the Butler Liberal, Red Wing, and Massasoit properties, about 50 claims in Markham and Freeman gulches." "Equipment includes the 200-ton Red Wing mill." Some shipments in 1918, but no updates through 1922. (The Mines Handbook, Volume 15, 1922, page 1489)

State of Utah changed its tax assessment and valuation of metal mines. Instead of their net proceeds plus an "occupation" tax, the valuation was changed to a new calculation of three times their net proceeds and in addition according to their improvements, including milling plants, whether situated at the property in question or not, such as Utah Copper's Magna and Arthur concentration plants. This new valuation essentially brought an end to all small mining mills in Utah, especially those owned by the smaller mining companies. The milling operations were moved to the smelting companies, and away from the mining companies. (Mineral Resources of the United States 1919, Part I - Metals, USGS, 1922, page 425)

March-December 1922
The Bingham Coalition Mines company was in default with the Utah secretary of state for not paying its annual corporation fee, as well as its state and county property taxes. (Ogden Standard Examiner, March 28, 1922; Salt Lake Telegram, December 14, 1922)

After the Markham mill (also known as the Red Wing mill) was demolished, the site was used in 1924 for the high school of the Bingham School District. The first class graduated in 1925. The building was later used as the Central School, and was demolished in March 1962. (Bingham Bulletin, March 30, 1962)