The Battle Mountain mining district was organized in 1866 after the discovery of copper in the north of Lander County, following the rush to the Reese River area in the south of the county where Austin was booming. The name Battle Mountain was said to commemorate a battle between white settlers who had detoured from the established Humboldt River trail and were set upon by a war band of the native tribes (Western Shoshone and Northern Paiutes) in 1857, but this story is almost certainly apocryphal, there being no actual evidence of any such “battle” having taken place. It may simply commemorate the endemic tensions between white settlers and the local tribes. A number of small camps sprung up in the district and when the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad reached the area in 1868 it established a station at Argenta, but after a few months the railroad moved its station closer to the Reese River and laid out a new townsite. The new town of Battle Mountain became the rail head for the surrounding mining district, and its position as a regional entrepôt was strengthened in 1880 when the Nevada Central Railroad completed its line from Austin to Battle Mountain to connect the silver mines in the Austin District with the Central Pacific’s main line.
The first paper in Battle Mountain was the Measure for Measure [LCCN: sn86076252] published by the eccentric and vitriolic newspaperman William J. Forbes in 1873, and which died with its publisher in 1875. Two more papers followed, the Battle Mountain Messenger [LCCN: sn86076250, sn86076251] and its rival the Lander Free Press [LCCN: sn86076371] both succumbing by 1884 to the general depression in silver mining.
In 1885, in answer to public demand and promises of support, veteran newspaperman John H. Dennis, former owner of the Messenger, inaugurated The Central Nevadan in January 1885. It was a four-page, six-column sheet selling for a yearly subscription of $5. “It is with a firm belief in the future prospects of Nevada,” Dennis wrote in his “Salutatory” column, “and especially the central portion of the State, that we begin the publication of a new paper to be known as the CENTRAL NEVADAN, which will be issued weekly, and will at all times give a truthful and correct account of all occurrences in this locality, as well as general news of the State and Pacific Coast. The Central Nevadan will be independent in politics, thus reserving the right to criticize or censure the acts of the politicians and representatives of either party. The chief object of the publishers will be to offer to the people a class of matter that will be instructive and beneficial, and in order to attain that end we will endeavor, through the columns of our paper to labor industriously for the best interests of the country, and to assist in the development of many resources upon which depends the future prosperity of Nevada.”
Dennis ran the newspaper until 1889. It then went through a series of owners and editors until Fred L. Woolcock took over as editor in 1892, continuing in that role until the paper was suspended in December 1907 when the owner, A.D. Lamaire, sold it to its competitor the Battle Mountain Herald with which it merged to become the Battle Mountain Herald and Central Nevadan [LCCN: sn86076257]. This paper prospered for a few years, finally suspending publication in 1911. As a small but bustling regional freight depot Battle Mountain survived the decline of the local mining districts and vied with Austin for the seat of Lander County until 1979 when the state legislature moved the county seat from Austin to Battle Mountain, which had experienced a small boom from the recent resurgence in copper mining.
This is a revision of the Headlines and Heroes 2019 International Women’s Day blog. Sunday, March 8, 2020, was International Women’s Day and today we return to our historical newspaper archives for stories featuring change-making women in newspapers searchable in Chronicling America. This database, sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, provides access to historic United States newspapers published between 1789 and 1963. As the Library’s digital collection grows to over 16 million digitized pages, we are featuring 16 Chronicling America topics pages. Each page provides links to articles and
includes significant dates and associated search terms useful for searching the topic in historical newspapers.
Alice Paul was arrested seven times, jailed on trumped-up charges, and force-fed in prison – all for having the audacity to fight for women to be enfranchised. She was in relentless pursuit of a federal amendment to the constitution that would grant women the right to vote. Her story is one of trial and triumph, as she continued to fight for equality for women even after the Nineteenth Amendment was passed.
Fashion became political in the 1850s with the introduction of the bloomer, loose-fitting trousers named after women’s rights activist Amelia Bloomer. Promoted as a healthier and more liberated dress alternative to tight corsets and heavy petticoats, the bloomer was quickly adopted by suffragettes such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. While the 1850s fashion trend was shortlived, the bloomer’s popularity returned stronger than ever with the bicycling craze of the 1890s.
In June of 1889, Clara Barton and 50 American Red Cross volunteers assist the survivors in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after a massive flood kills over 2,000 residents. The response to this disaster was one of the first major relief efforts organized by the
American Red Cross, which Barton founded in 1881. She led the American Red Cross for 23 years, helping establish the organization as a renowned resource of humanitarian aid.
Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer (aka Dorothy Dix) was the original syndicated women’s advice columnist and a well-known American journalist. Throughout her career, more than 2,000 people wrote to her for her advice, and about 60 million read her daily column published in newspapers and magazines across the country.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” Penned by Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls, the Declaration of Sentiments paved the way for the first organized women’s rights and women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Stanton, one of the most prominent of the American suffragists, fought to secure equal rights for women, including the right to vote.
On April 6, 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York to cross the US stumping for the women’s right to vote. Traveling in the Golden Flyer, a yellow two-seater, the suffragettes embarked on a five-month cross-continent trip across many dirt
and gravel roads. Armed with a fireless cooker, hand sewing machine, typewriter, and a cat named Saxon, the women spoke tirelessly across the country to garner support and encourage women to attend parades at the 1916 Republican and Democratic National
Conventions in Chicago and St. Louis.
Known as the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman ran away from slavery but went back to the South at least 19 more times, risking her life to bring others to freedom along the Underground Railroad. In the Civil War, she worked as a Union spy and scout and was celebrated for her courage.
Despite being the leading American prima donna of her day, Helen Bertram’s story is often left unsung. Bertram was a comic opera soprano who trained at the Cincinnati College of Music before becoming the lead singer for various opera companies, such as Abbott, Conried, and The Bostonians. Her roles in “The Gingerbread Man” and “The Prince of Pilsen” helped to further develop the unique genre of comic opera. But her off-stage life may have been even more interesting, with scandalous affairs, deceased lovers, heated rivalries, and multiple bankruptcies.
“The facts have been so distorted that the people in the north and elsewhere do not realize the extent of the lynchings in the south,” stated Ida B. Wells in June of 1895. Wells worked tirelessly to fight against lynching in the American South through newspapers, pamphlets, and speeches. A former school teacher, she is remembered for her work in both civil and women’s rights.
“Woman Rebel” Margaret Sanger spearheaded the birth control movement in the United States, coining the term “birth control” and opening the first birth control clinic in the country. Her activism directly targeted the Comstock Laws, which made it illegal to disseminate birth control information. A prolific writer and lecturer, Sanger overcame many obstacles to pave the way for women’s rights in the United States.
Labeled as “a very modest and undemonstrative woman,” by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in 1910, Marie Curie’s accomplishments in the fields of science and physics were anything but. One of the most renowned scientists in history, Marie made her mark in her field in 1898 when she, along with her husband, discovered the new elements radium and polonium.
Irish born Mary Harris Jones, known as “Mother” Jones, was a constant presence in the labor movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jones once testified before Congress that she lived “where the big thieves are wringing their dollars out of the blood and bone of my poor, miserable people.” As the “angel of miners,” she witnessed many major labor events including the Colorado Coalfield War and the March of the Mill Children.
The most famous newspaperwoman of her time, Nellie Bly amazed readers across America with her pluck and fearlessness. Writing for The Pittsburg Dispatch, New York World, and New York Journal, Bly pioneered the field of investigative journalism, posing as all kinds of characters and going to great lengths to seize the inside scoop. As well as writing the headlines, Nellie Bly was frequently the subject of them as a trailblazing business leader and humanitarian.
Queen Victoria is the second longest-reigning monarch in British history, following the present Queen Elizabeth. Generally popular, Queen Victoria pushed for social and educational reform and also oversaw the great expansion of England into an empire. As a woman, she constantly dealt with power struggles and detested the ideas of marriage and babies.
“No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent,” declared Susan B. Anthony, renowned American social reformer and suffragist. Alongside close friend and partner Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony campaigned for women’s rights in the United States. The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, is popularly known as the Anthony Amendment. She also became the first non-fictitious woman to appear on U.S. currency when her portrait appeared on the 1979 dollar coin.
Victoria Woodhull was one of the most controversial and well-publicized women of her time. The first female presidential candidate as well as a proponent of “free love,” Woodhull also operated the first female brokerage on Wall Street and exposed the sexual infidelities of America’s favorite preacher, Henry Ward Beecher.
Finding more stories about remarkable women in Chronicling America? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out more Headlines and Heroes posts featuring amazing women.
The Elko Independent, The Weekly Elko Independent, Daily Independent, Weekly independent
In May 1869, E.D. Kelly, publisher of the militantly anti-Chinese Humboldt Register and Workingman’s Advocate moved its plant from the declining town of Unionville, Nevada, to the new railroad town of Elko. In his first editorial in the newly established Elko Independent, Kelly described the founding of the town:
About the beginning of January, 1869, the first tents were pitched on the present townsite of Elko. For the casual observer there was nothing to be seen in and about the sagebrush flat on which the town was built to warrant the belief that at a near day in the future a city of many thousand inhabitants would rise to control the commerce of the Great Basin.
By 1870, Elko was an important freighting center for the surrounding mining districts and the third most populous county in Nevada. However, Kelly was impatient with what he considered the slow pace of Elko’s boom and sold his interests in the Independent to a new partnership headed by his silent partner, Judge George G. Berry. After Berry’s partners left to purchase the Carson City Appeal, Berry hired William B. Taylor, owner of the opposition Republican Elko Chronicle to run the Independent, which had been reduced in 1872 from its original semiweekly publication schedule to a weekly. Taylor later became an owner, but he in turn left to start the Republican Pioche Review in 1872. New owners took over the Independent and added a daily edition(DailyIndependent) in 1875. The paper was sold again in 1886 and then again, in 1892, to W.W. Booher, who ran it as the Weekly Independent until he retired in 1914.
After Booher’s death, the new owners of the Independent suspended the weekly edition in December 1914. In the midst of declining gold supplies and a slumping economy, the Independent published in August 1916 a promotional 76-page Industrial Issue filled with local advertisements and feature stories on Elko mining, agricultural, and commercial businesses. “In preparing the text of this edition on the resources of Elko County,” the editors stated, “we have endeavored to be conservative and not over-estimate. It has been our aim to give plain, ungarnished facts, for the truth regarding this vast empire is good enough. This section has been referred to as the Frontier of the World — the Last Great Land Chance . . . Elko County’s future is as certain as the dawn of tomorrow. All that is needed is the magic touch of capital and labor to develop the resources now dormant.” Despite this optimism, both the paper and town of Elko continued to struggle, and the Independent was reduced to a triweekly schedule.
In 1920, Harold P. Hale bought the Elko Independent, as it was then called, and ran it successfully until 1937 when Warren L. Monroe of the Winnemucca Humboldt Star acquired the newspaper. Monroe remained its sole proprietor and editor until May 1975. The Elko Independent continues to publish today.
I recently read a very interesting story from CNN about human remains found have now been identified as a man who escaped jail over 100 years ago. (Article link & paste below)
I particularly liked this story because I know it was possible to cause major chaos and escape jails in our early years from articles I see in Nevada’s historic news pages. I have clipped a few to share —
The articles below show just a sample of cases from Nevada.
Prisoners had hacksaws, a bottle of acid, one escaped by digging out with a fork, others got away by faulty gates and locks, guard carelessness (leaving key in door), and one even cut the phone lines before fleeing!
A real tragedy — an inmate attacked a prison guard with an ax.
These stories are quite shocking.
All of the below are from The Silver State, The Daily Silver State, Silver State News, and one from Yerington Times: Year 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1916, & 1920
These pages teach me a lot about the WHY we have certain measures in place today —
City Animal Control departments around the country now require dog and cat owners to license all animals – and the requirement for that? Rabies shots. I know that rabies used to ravage our communities from reading our historic papers. I am very happy we have rabies under control today.
Here in this case, we know why jails have such strict procedures – so inmates do not set fire to the jails, bring in hack saws and axes.
——- CNN story ——–
He escaped jail and was killed more than 100 years ago while on the run. His remains were just identified
By Christina Maxouris and Amanda Watts, CNN Updated 1:48 AM ET, Wed January 1, 2020
(CNN) Bones discovered in an Idaho cave in 1979 and 1991 have been identified as the remains of Joseph Henry Loveless, a man who escaped from prison more than a century ago after being arrested for killing his wife.
The identification, confirmed by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, was initially made by non-profit volunteer organization DNA Doe Project, which said in a Facebook post that the “remains were preserved in the Buffalo Cave for as long as 63 years.”
Loveless likely died around 1916 at age 46, the organization said. He appears to have been killed and dismembered.
Before his death, Loveless had been arrested at least twice for bootlegging and escaped custody by sawing through jail bars, the organization said.
Around that time Clark County Sheriff Bart May said Loveless killed his wife with an ax and was incarcerated in what was then Freemont County. He escaped again, this time using a saw he hid in his shoe, the organization said. He was never seen again.
“Back in 1916, it was the wild West up here and most likely the locals took care of the problem,” May said. “We’ll probably never solve the homicide, but we still encourage anyone who has heard stories to contact our office, you never know what piece of information could help.”
DNA Doe Project had to overcome numerous hurdles before making a positive identification. Loveless used multiple aliases, had no close living relatives in the national database and was an off-the-grid outlaw who lacked official records.
The volunteers sifted through more than 31,730 individuals trying to find a connection to the man’s DNA.
The process of identifying Loveless’ bones has been 40 years in the making.
In August 1979, a male torso wrapped in a burlap sack was discovered by a family in a cave near Dubois.
“Wearing dark colored pants, white shirt with blue pin stripes and maroon sweater, the torso was buried in a shallow, 18-inch-deep grave,” DNA Doe Project said in a statement.
About 12 years later, a mummified hand was found, along with an arm and two legs wrapped in burlap in the same cave system. Volunteer staff and students from Idaho State University continued to comb through the cave but never found any other remains, including the body’shead, the organization said.
University anthropology professors and students worked with the organization’s volunteers to eventually come up with a tentative identification, which was sent to the sheriff’s office in November 2019.
A remaining relative
May said his office tracked down an 87-year-old grandson of Loveless who lived in California and agreed to meet with deputies and give a DNA sample.
Those results were analyzed by the organization and found to be 100% consistent with a grandparents/grandchild relationship, he said.
“The grandson had heard stories about their grandma and their grandpa,” the sheriff said. But the family stories about Loveless’ death didn’t match up with what the organization found through original records and newspaper articles, the organization said.
Loveless’ death remains an open case.
“We know he was murdered, but we don’t know who murdered him,” May said.
My father and I were dining the other day and he started telling me about a fascinating podcast about the temperance movement and of a 6 foot tall woman led the movement in her own way – by destruction of the bars! She seriously would just walk in a bar and start smashing bottles of liquor. Now this rang a bell in my head, trying to recall the articles I have seen in my newspapers about a woman with a hatchet, crushing bottle after bottle to protest alcohol.
“Carrie Nation?” I asked him. “YES! that is her!” he answered. How cool that something from my papers is known by my dad, who does not read old papers or history books. Now keep in mind I have a history degree and never knew of Carrie Nation until I saw her in my historical papers, but it turns out – she is very much well known. If you don’t know who she is, please look her up in the newspapers on Chronicling America. She is a fascinating woman!! In most of her photos, she is posing with a book and a hatchet. (I have some Nevada newspaper clips shared here too- see below!)
She was jailed many times and it never stopped her. She would make bail and would go right back at it! She lectured and would save the money made for bail. Look at her! She means business and you know it!
“I felt invincible. My strength was that of a giant.
God was certainly standing by me.
I smashed five saloons with rocks before I ever took a hatchet.”
I am a person who enjoys an occasion cocktail, or two, or three, and my father too. So, we started conversing about how the temperance movement began and why women were the lead in this. Nation claims she was led by G-d, but I wanted more of an explanation.
This seems pretty extreme today, right? Making sure alcohol is NEVER available to anyone.
I know Carrie’s first husband was an alcoholic and died of alcoholism. But after further discussion, it started to make even more sense. Let’s think back to those years – late 1800s (around 1870-); women had no rights as citizens. The majority of women married or worked, not both, and if they did- the paycheck could legally go straight to the husband, because after all she was his property.
Women could not leave their husbands and secure good jobs and take care of themselves. In fact, often women who did leave their husbands were not allowed to take their children. Often they left with the clothes on their back only – the closet of other clothing belonged to the man of the house.
Women were suffering greatly during this time with staggering domestic violence issues. And, again, you see that they had no alternative to make sure their children had safe environments. Women were considered imbeciles by many – it would be normal for a woman not to testify in court because of the fact she is a woman- you can’t trust what they say.
“You have put me in here a cub,
but I will come out roaring like a lion,
and I will make all hell howl!”
I know that the temperance movement was frequently framed by G-d and morals. But, removing the very things responsible for violence and crime was a way I did not see it before. Women trying to live a happy and safe life. Many were stuck at home, could not leave the man no matter his behavior. Now looking at the situation this way – it makes sense they went after the liquor. Men were coming home drunk from the saloons, abusing women and sometimes children- how else were they going to stop this? Doesn’t it make sense when you look at it this way?
Of course, I am sure there are other situations and views at play here – and I welcome them all to be mentioned, I find this story very interesting.
(Note, I did see an article in 1901 that Carrie Nation’s husband was granted a divorce.)