The Lovelock Tribune

The Lovelock Tribune  of the great Nevada town, Lovelock!
This title is currently in digitization so keep an eye out in the near future! 

Lovelock, like other towns across northern Nevada, began as a rest stop near the terminus of the Humboldt River on the overland trail to California. The valley of the Humboldt River provided lush pasture and water for cattle, horses, oxen, and people before they headed west across the dreaded 40 Mile Desert. A few homesteaders settled in the valley to harvest the wild rye and cut and sell the alfalfa for hay. The town took its name from George Lovelock, an English settler who had traveled into Nevada from California after the Civil War and bought up some 320 acres and the water rights in the Humboldt Valley from the local resident squatters. A town was laid out when the Central Pacific Railroad passed through and George Lovelock donated 85 acres for the site for a depot, which became known as “Lovelock’s Deport”. Lovelock diversified his interests, discovered mineral deposits in the surrounding areas, became the town’s first postmaster, and became the proprietor of the Big Meadows Hotel adjacent to the railroad station. By 1900 Lovelock was a bustling town with a school, churches, and a business district along Railroad Street. And the town supported no fewer than three weekly newspapers.

The Lovelock Tribune was the first Lovelock newspaper, established in 1898 by S.R. Young and George W. Peltier, incorporated as the Lovelock Publishing Company, with Charles McKnight Sain as editor and manager. Sain removed to Virginia City in 1902 where, the Reno Gazette (sn 82007252) reported,  “One Charles McKinight Sain of malodorous political, mining and journalistic record is at present editing a blackmailing Stewart organ in Virginia City. It is known as “Campaign Notes.”  In 1905 the Lovelock Argus (sn 86076296) owned and edited by the Riddle family since 1900 consolidated with the Tribune. Howard W. Cherry took over the paper in 1907, joined in 1908 by George Riddle. Cherry left the Tribune to start his own paper the Review, in neighboring Vernon (sn 86076405), which he then moved to Lovelock (sn86076365). John S. Case took over the Tribune in 1908.  Case, originally from Winnemucca, graduated from the State University of Nevada and with one of his classmates leased the Winnemucca Silver State (sn 86076224) newspaper as managers and editors. When the downstate Tonopah Bonanza (sn 86076142) noted his wedding in 1910, Case was referred to as “one of the well-known newspapermen in the state.” He represented the Lovelock Tribune at the organizational meeting of the Nevada Editorial Association in Reno in 1911, for which he served on the executive committee. He expanded the Tribune to a semi-weekly, but in February 1912 he suspended publication of the Tribune and moved briefly to the Lovelock Review-Miner (sn 86076998) before he gave up the newspaper business altogether and returned to Winnemucca, where a fellow editor reported in the Carson City Appeal (sn 86076241), “the former editor of the Lovelock Tribune will engage in the merchandising business in Paradise Valley, having forsaken the newspaper game. It is a hard game, John, and success to you in your new venture.”

Lovelock was incorporated in as a city in 1917 and became the seat of the new Pershing County in 1919 when its famous round courthouse, designed by Frederick Joseph DeLongchamps, was built.  Periodic mining activity, agriculture, and tourism sustain Lovelock to this day.

White Pine News history

Dear, friends, please enjoy the below essay on the history of White Pine News, authored by Dr. Peter Michel.

Also, check out the pictures on our page!

White Pine News

No other Nevada newspaper so closely replicates in its own history and travels the history and vicissitudes of its county than does the White Pine News. In its 55 years of near-continuous publication from 1868 to 1923, The White Pine News moved six times to six different mining camps and towns, all within a 45-mile radius.

White Pine County in eastern Nevada epitomized the dramatic and sometimes violent boom and bust of western mining and mining camps. After the initial discovery of gold and silver deposits on Treasure Hill in 1868, there was an explosion of furious but relatively short-lived booms that traveled from one new strike to the next leaving a trail of recently bustling but soon deserted camps behind. The White Pine News began its life in the town of Treasure City perched just below the top of Treasure Hill at an elevation of 9,000 feet. In 1868 W.H. Pritchard and Robert W. Simpson acquired the press of the defunct Silver Bend Reporter (sn 86076157, 86076162) in Belmont, in Central Nevada and hauled it to the new bonanza in White Pine County and up to the new boomtown of Treasure City where in December they began publishing the weekly White Pine News. It quickly grew to a tri-weekly then by April a daily, reflecting the town’s boom. The paper changed ownership frequently, and by August 1869 was reduced to a tri-weekly and by October back to a weekly. The then owner, William J. Forbes, a staunch Republican who was engaged in a bitter rivalry with the newspaper in the neighboring town and newly designated county seat of Hamilton, finally decided to suspend the News in Treasure City and haul his press down the mountain to Hamilton where he resumed the News as a daily in January 1870 and his battle with the Inland Empire which succumbed and suspended publication in April. Forbes reduced his paper to a weekly in 1872 and sold the paper in 1873 to new owners who changed the paper’s politics to Democratic. As the mines declined, and with it Hamilton, the paper and its owners struggled. Publication was suspended in 1878 and after a number of unsuccessful attempts to revive it,  in 1880 its owners moved the White Pine News moved with its plant to the new boomtown of Cherry Creek, where it resumed publication in January 1881 as a weekly. It was published by the same owner W.L. Davis in Cherry Creek until August 1885 when he removed the paper from waning Cherry Creek to the newest boomtown of Taylor. Davis bought out the other paper in Taylor, the White Pine Reflex (sn86076314), and combined the two plants to publish the White Pine News. But Taylor’s prosperity also proved short-lived, and when the county courthouse in Hamilton burned down in 1887 and the county seat moved to Ely, Davis followed the next year and re-established the peripatetic White Pine News in the new town of Ely, which was to remain the seat of county government and the center of the new copper mining boom. With Ely established as a relatively stable town, the White Pine News settled down into an established newspaper despite the frequent changes in ownership that characterized many newspapers, and prospered with the town. In 1907, the News, now a daily, began a separate weekly edition, The White Pine News Weekly Mine Review (sn86076354). In 1908 the paper moved for the last time to the end of town to the new industrial suburb of East Ely where it stayed (the Mining Review was absorbed back into the News in 1909), until 1923 when this indefatigable paper suspended publication for the last time.

Morgan Courtney of Pioche

Morgan Courtney
gravesite below-
picture was taken last week at
the Boot Hill Cemetery of Pioche, Nevada

20200409_113549

Well, what can I say about this? The grave “stone” made me think this was a mysterious man who was stabbed in the back (shot in the back). That’s what it says!

Well, I have not even gotten through all the news on this man. Mysterious indeed! I have pages of results from the historic pages on Chronicling America. I will add as I learn of more dirt! And there is a lot on this guy! Here is a little to frame this Pioche story of 1873.

First all, his real name is not Morgan Courtney. His name is Richard. He went by Rick Moriarty. He changed his name and moved to Nevada running from the law in Virginia. He murdered a man there. So, that was the beginning of this story. (For now! If and when I extend my search to other states in Chronicling America, who knows how early this man’s story goes!)

Incident occurred in 1868 – charged with the murder of John O’Toole in Virginia; see the below: 

Richard Moriarty is Morgan Courtney sn84022048 1872-10-03

He has an extensive criminal history.

1872 was an active year… He did go back to trial in VA, which I find impressive. After all, there was no facebook or twitter but they did find him and learn of this name change. He was escorted back, faced trial, and was not convicted.

06 Oct. 1872. sn84022048 COURTNEY ESCOURTED TO VA10-6-1872 (Ely)

 

Oh, here is ANOTHER MURDER (Nevada)!! James Sullivan by Courtney in 1872! 

 

sn84002048 1872 09 19 Courtney v state

Ely sn86076215 1872-09-06 pleads

Morgan Courtney Acuitted sn84022048 1872-09-22

 

Just a side note from someone [me] that reads a lot of historic news of Nevada 1864-1910; a lot of people did not face convictions and long jail time for murder then. I think the evidence was just not there a lot of the time. Criminal justice was weirdly still in infancy and forensic science practice was nonexistent. Innocent until proven guilty. And then if they did go to jail, it was often not for extended periods of time like today – perhaps they just could not afford to clothe (they didn’t – prisoners wore their own clothes) and also feeding these people – winters were harsh, Carson City is not a cake-walk winter! I know security is an issue of jails of Nevada – there were often jailbreaks and officers attacked (I did a blog on jail). 

Next, the news portrays a negative opinion of Mr. Courtney. He was active in the happenings – I see his name in the “quick mentions” area here and there – but you can sense clearly that he was not liked. One article states, “the community loses nothing by his assassination…”

Perhaps Courtney was cocky, over-confident – maybe from his past of killing men and walking!  There is also an account of him threatening a bartender for serving him the wrong drink (whiskey and wine).

 “Courtney was one of the most
desperate and bloodthirsty characters that ever disgraced a mining town…”

 

 Mr Courtney was shot down by George McKinney, a young man working the mines of Nevada and Utah from about 1868. I am not seeing evidence of McKinney being possible innocent and an angel, he was not highly reputable in the community either (one man claims to know McKinney from 1871 and refers to him as lazy). 

McKinney had lived in Pioche for a short time before this incident, Courtney was not a long-timer either.

So, was McKinney a coward attacking from behind? I doubt it.

One reporter did get into the jail to talk to McKinney. His side of the story was given and he [McKinney] expressed concern that everyone thought Courtney was wrongly “shot in the back.” They began face-to-face and this was not isolated aggression, there had been tension between these two for the weeks leading up to this.  

From all accounts, Courtney was mad [jealous] that his girl Georgiana was poking around visiting McKinney. And Georgie also was supposed to visit McKinney at his room one evening, she never showed. The next day he asked her why and she stated that she was afraid of Courtney finding out. So, there is how it started.

 Courtney made it known that he was after McKinney with open threats, finally these two men faced each other in the street and had an old fashion old wild west shoot-out.

 Shots fired, then Courtney turned and ran. McKinney suggested he knew that once shots are fired, that is that –  someone is going to die, so he kept shooting (that’s how he was shot in the back, not an ambush). Those may not have been the fatal shots – these two moved around! Courtney was shot in the back when he was running into a saloon, in there McKinney said he “stayed close to shoot him again” and then they moved out into the street! 

Wow. Hmmm… Perhaps the firearms then were not as good today. I wonder if a firearms enthusiast can shine some light on this as a factor in the case?

 Courtney wanted to be thought of as a mystery man gunned down in an ambush, and whoever was in charge of the grave markers complied. Before dying, Courtney gave his story that he never fired and portrayed himself as a victim of McKinney’s savage violence.

You can read the testimony in the articles. In fact, I will attach ALL the articles I used in my investigation. 

McKinney was reported acquitted September 21, 1873.

It was a quick trial – the incident occurred Aug 1, 1873. Speedy trial!

The wild west was wilder than we know.

 

The sn # is the LCCN which will give you the title, the date will be on the first clip of each story. These are all from Nevada papers. Title saved on first clip of story. 

Pioche Gravesites (Bass & Lynch)

Yesterday I took a drive to Pioche – my first “visit” and I cannot wait to go back!  I plan on going back when the quarantine is over – I can take more pictures and talk with the locals about the history.  Anyway, when I visit these little historic Nevada mining towns, I always like to visit the cemeteries. They always have many stories to tell and Pioche is no exception.

The grave markers always give some detail about the person or incident in which they met their death. I have noticed this in Tonopah and Goldfield too. I will have to find my pic of the “Unknown man Died from eating Library Paste” and it turns out library paste was poison then – and well, hunger can make a person do some pretty desperate things.

So, back to Pioche! It was a beautiful town and the people that were out and passed waved hello, even the passing cars greeted me. I cannot wait to go back. Really a great place!

Below is a couple of pics I took a few from Boot Hill Cemetary and here is what I found in the newspapers to tell the tale!

I have at least one other to talk about, but there sure is a lot of news coverage – I need to get it all in order first. Until then – read about James Bass and John Lynch. (The next blog up will be Morgan Courtney – what a story!!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

James Bass

Well, the witnesses’ accounts vary — slightly. I am unsure if he fired first or at all, but one thing is for sure, there was a conflict with two police. He was intoxicated and driving his team of horses (possibly “speeding” again, there are different accounts regarding the speed) after supposedly threatening an officer with his pistol. He was a colored man, I am guessing he was Black – but more investigation may reveal otherwise.

Another note – his grave states he was shot by officers 5 times but accounts lean toward 3 times with 5 shots being fired. Whatever the truth is proves very misfortunate and sad. What happened to his wife after this? I will look and see if I can find any info. If I find any, I will post an update here. I guess we can look at this as a “DUI and speeding” in today’s terms…

 

1875-06-29  White Pine News 

1875-06-27 Pioche Daily Record 

 

______________________________________________________________________________

John H. Lynch

July 6, 1873 – Shot during dispute over a dog. A native of Ireland. Killed by John Harrington – who killed THREE other men before this incident. And this was a dispute over a dog. Very reckless and sad.

This all took place at Lynch’s chophouse (see an ad in the local paper below).

The list of people involved: Lynch, Schoonmaker, O’Neil, Harrington, and Sullivan.

O’Neil and Sullivan came in – Sullivan handled the dog and hurt it, Schoonmaker said something to him about it; he apologized saying he did not intend to hurt the dog. Having appeared to be solved, the men left and outside – O’Neil said to Sullivan that he was a d—d coward (damed coward?) for apologizing about hurting a dog, Schoonmaker replied something, ONeil remarked back then Schoonmaker struck him. Then Harrington, who had nothing to do with the dog dispute stepped in with a six-shooter.

Three shots fired resulting in 5 wounds. Sullivan, Lynch, O’Neil. and Schoonmaker all wounded. Lynch’s wounds proved fatal.

This man had a wife in San Fran, CA. How sad – he was just running his chophouse.

 

1873-07-08 Pioche Daily Record 

Battle Mountain’s “The Central Nevadan”

The Central Nevadan of Battle Mountain, Nevada 

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.