Way We Were: The big Park City mine merger | ParkRecord.com

Way We Were: The big Park City mine merger

Dalton Gackle
Park City Museum
The Silver King Coalition building was built in 1901 along with the aerial tramway. The building received the ore buckets from the tramway and dumped the ore into rail cars to be shipped to Salt Lake City and beyond.
Park City Historical Society & Museum, Pop Jenks Collection

In late May 1907, The Silver King Mining Company was no more. Born was the Silver King Coalition Mines Company.

The Silver King Mining Company had incorporated in 1892 from several claims around Woodside Gulch: the original Mayflower, the Woodside, the Northland, the Tenderfoot, and the Silver King. The Silver King Mine would prove to be an incredibly profitable mine, making the Silver King Mining Company, and its partners, filthy rich.

It was inevitable that they would expand. In May of 1907, the Silver King Mining Company acquired the Kearns-Keith, the Alliance, the Magnolia-St. Louis, the Pinyon, the Odin, the Belmont, and the Jupiter mines.

The Park Record reported that Park City, up to this point in time, “has been remarkably free from mine consolidations, and no mergers of importance have been chronicled in this magnificent camp since the Daly-West absorbed the Quincy some years ago.”

According to the paper, the reason the merger even came to be was due to “pending litigation” between the Silver King and the “McGregor interests and other adjoining properties.” Mining claims in the Park City mining district tended to overlap, especially in a vertical sense. This caused many disputes throughout Park City’s mining history.

As one of the three most prominent and wealthy mining companies at the time, the Silver King could easily afford to take other companies and claimholders to court. Extended fights could bankrupt these other claimholders. Rather than lose their money in court, seven mines sold their interests to the newly incorporated Silver King Coalition mines Company to make or recoup some money (thus forming the merger).

With these new properties, the Park Record editorialized that “the Silver King Coalition represents the greatest merger and consolidation ever perfected in Utah, as the holdings taken over by the new company embrace an area of over 2,000 acres,” including all of the successful holdings of the Silver King Mining Company (over $10,900,000 dividends distributed to stockholders by the merger).

In looking to how the merger might fare, the Park Record noted that “the Silver King has always occupied a prominent position in Utah mining circles. The company has ever been noted for its square dealing, for the able manner with which it has managed its property, and for the magnitude and regularity of its dividend payments; and this fact, together with the further fact that the same people who were back of the Silver King are the main factors in the organization of the new company, is an assurance that the affairs of the latter will be conducted for the best interests of its shareholders, and that the Coalition will be as popular with the public as was ever the parent company.”

The Silver King Coalition would absorb the Silver King Consolidated (a.k.a. the King Con) Mining Company in 1924. They eventually merged with the Park Utah Consolidated Mining Company, which controlled the interests of the Daly, the Daly West, the Judge, the Park Utah, and the Ontario properties, in 1953 to form the United Park City Mines Company.

Learn more about Park City’s mining history by reaching out to the Park City Museum Research Library at research@parkcityhistory.org, visiting the Museum’s website: parkcityhistory.org, supporting the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History, watching videos on the Park city Museum’s YouTube channel, or enjoying a social distancing hike to view the remaining Silver King structures at the top of King Road, near the Bonanza ski run.

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