Two Gentlemen about to duke it out in front of the
Blue Ribbon Saloon, Dillon, Wyo., 1904
named after Malachi W. Dillon who was involved in various mining ventures beginning with
coal in Carbon in the mid 1880's and apparently ending with a gypsite mine in the
Seminoe Mountains about 1915. Dillon may have been an itenerant prospector. He was apparently born in
California in 1864 and was in Carbon County by 1886. In 1892, a Malachi W. Dillon was found guilty of
voluntary manslaughter in Utah.
Dillon, Wyo., 1904
The town received notoriety as a result of
sydicated columns written for newspapers about the country by Grant Jones. Following his graduation from Northwestern in
1897, Jones became a
national writer for the Chicago Times-Herald, covering among other events, the national Republican convention at which
William McKinley was nominated. He was a popular after dinner speaker. His career, however, went
into decline as a result of excessive booze. He first went to Colorado and
then to the Encampment District where he founded the Dillon Doublejack for which every miner in town was a
"special correspondent." [Writer's note; "doublejack drillings" is a method of hand hardrock drilling.
One man holds a steel drill bit while the other grasping a six to eight pound sledge hits the bit. After each blow the
first man turns the
bit. The one holding the bit must have extreme confidence in the one driving the bit. If the second one
misses there is likely to be major injury.] Jones wrote columns about mythical animals, perhaps
similar to "pink elephants," including the one-eyed Screaming Emu and the six-legged Coogly Woo. He died in his cabin
on June 19, 1903, in an incident involving the injection of morphine whilst intoxicated. The cabin was described by Willis George Emerson in his
Treasure of Hidden Valley:
Grant Jones' bachelor home consisted of a single room — a hastily improvised shack,
as he had correctly called it, that had cost no very large sum to build. It was decorated
with many trophies of college life and of the chase. Various college pennants were on the
walls, innumerable pipes, some rusty antiquated firearms, besides a brace of pistols which
Jim Rankin had given to Grant, supposed to be the identical flint-locks carried by Big Nose
George, a desperado of the early days.
Grant's college fraternity, , Phi Delta Theta, Illinois Alpha Chapter,
in its memorial politely referred to
his death as "sudden."
The Dillon Stage
Because of the depth of the snows in the winter, Dillon boasted of a two-story outhouse. Dillon was the alleged headquarters for
Stemp Springs Coal & Power Co., formed by Ole Granberg and Henry O. Granberg of Oshkosh, Wisc. Granberg was also involved with
the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Co, and the Pluto mine. Granberg actually visited Dillon, but he told the
Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, December 1, 1903, p. 10, he did not care to remain there. By 1906, letters to the mining company were being
returned "unclaimed." He did stop off, however, in Cheyenne, to see the hanging of Tom Horn.
now remembered as having purchased a fake 1804 silver dollar from a Pinkerton Agent for $100.00. If
real it would have been worth a fortune. It was in reality a more common 1800 silver dollar whose date
had been altered. In the rush to the mountains to sell stock, another Oshkosh resident who profession was
formerly shown as a bartender and propriator of a sample room found himself as the president of the
Hahn's Peak Gold Mining and Milling Co. The Pluto Gold & Copper Company did slightly better. It was formed in
1902 and was capitalized at $1,000,000. Although, it actually opened a mine with
five shafts, the deepest of which was 100 feet, and had some 2,000 feet of workings and a 40 hp. steam plant. But the glowing reports given by
Granberg would seemingly indicate, based on the illustration below, that the mine's prospects were
The Pluto Mine
By 1909, representatives of Local
No. 189 of the Western Federation of Mines, wrote the National begging off from paying the $77.00
national assessment because the mine had closed before the assessment could be collected and most of the men had departed town.
Dillon, Pencil Sketch by Dean Bode, 1909
Other companies attempted to promote themselves by reference to the apparent success of the
Rudefeha. As an example, a prospectus for the Great Lakes Mining and Smelting Co., allegedly located
five miles south of Encampment, boasted of the number of loads of ore being shipped. What
the prospectus failed to advise gullible investors was that the loads were for the Rudefeha Mine and not
its own from which no ore was being mined. Thus, promotional material for such companies compared themselves
to the Rudefeha even though little more had been done than provide glowing assays. As
another example the only developmental work for the Island City Copper Mining Co. was the
digging of a 15 ft. hole. Of a similar nature was the Calamet Mining &
Milling Co. whose development consisted of a 16 foot hole. The company claimed that
its ore assayed out at 70% copper. Most of the companies were gone by 1907.
From the cloudy crystal ball department: in 1907, the State Geologist Henry C. Beeler reported as to the
mines featured on this page:
The two mines of the Penn-Wyoming Copper Company,
the Ferris-Haggarty and the Doane-Rambler, are in active operation.
In the former some' new ore shoots have been opened and the mine bids
fair for a greater production than ever, as it has been put in
first-class physical shape and the ore handled at a less cost per
ton. Diamond drill prospecting has been going on in the lower levels
of this mine this year, exploring the adjacent formations for parallel
ore shoots, but the results have not yet been given to the public.
In the Doane-Rambler mine, work has been confined to reopening the
working levels, putting them in shape for a large production and
connecting the mine with the sixteen-mile overhead tramway, which
transports the ore from the Ferris-Haggarty mine to the Encampment
smelter and the railroad. There is no reason, why an active production
campaign should not be made, and the management of this enterprise is
to be congratulated on what it has accomplished, in the face of what
appeared to be almost insurmountable difficulties, in the way of fires,
scarcity of labor, financial depression and an arbitrary and needless
decline in the price of copper, which occurred just as it had completed
its new works and was prepared to produce at a handsome profit.
This new smelter and railroad have made the future of the Encampment
district a certainty, as there has never been any doubt as to the ores
here, and new work is going on all over the district.
Rambler, approx. 1904
The mines closed the next year. The Penn-Wyoming Company was over extended with the cost
of the infastructure, several fires at the smelter and a reduction in the price
of copper. In order to promote the sale of its stock, the company resorted
to the declaration of dividends when it was making no money. The assets were
sold to the United Smelters, Railway & Copper Company, but to no avail. A receiver
was appointed and the assets foreclosed upon.
When the shafts of the Rudefeha Mine were sealed no provision
was made for drainage and the shafts are now flooded with some seepage poluting nearby
Rambler, Wyo., 1898
Rambler, located in the Grand Encampment Mining
District of southern Carbon County, was established by Rumsey, Deal, Ferris amd Haggarty
as a part
of their copper mining operations. The Rudefeha Mine was the most important in the area. The Rambler was
the second most important in production followed by the Kurtz-Chatterton.
Bird's eye view of Rudefeha Mine, Rambler, Wyoming. Tramway terminal in
tall building at right of photo.
The ore was hauled
from Rambler by mule train to the smelter in Encampment.
Rambler, Wyoming, 1907.
By 1941, the most of the building in Rambler were in a state of collapse except a few occupied by Sheepherders.
Next page: Battle continued.