Way We Were: Some trouble with surveys
Park City Museum researcher
Note: This is the fourth article in a series on the Conkling Mining Co. v. Silver King Coalition Mines Co. lawsuit.
Immediately after signing the order granting Colonel Nicholas Treweek permission to survey certain underground workings of the Silver King Coalition Mines Co., Judge John A. Marshall left on his European summer vacation. Marshall would spend the next 11 weeks with his family in the South of France, where his two daughters were studying. Treweek’s engineers were just about finished with their three-month survey when the judge arrived home on Sept. 17, 1908. Both underground and above-ground surveys were made for the purpose of compiling data for the trial, which was expected to be taken up during the coming session of the federal court.
Coincidentally, the Conkling Mining Company was incorporated on the afternoon of Judge Marshall’s return to Salt Lake City. Its purpose was to operate the Conkling and Arthur patented lode claims in Park City’s Uinta Mining District. Nicholas Treweek was designated in the articles of incorporation as president; W. C. Hall, vice president; J. Leonard Burch, treasurer; and George A. Land, secretary. They, along with Treweek’s wife Margaret, constituted the board of directors and incorporators.
It was understood that very wealthy investors were behind the new corporation, which was capitalized for half a million dollars. Five-hundred thousand shares were offered with a par value of $1 each. To access the large bodies of ore opened up by the Silver King Coalition company, an elaborate development plan had been decided upon. It was calculated that a shaft would have to be sunk to a depth of about 1,300 feet to reach the openings made in the ground by the Silver King. An engineer who was familiar with the ore zone in that belt felt that the shaft proposed by the newly organized Conkling Mining Company would have to be sent down from 1,800 to 2,000 feet to get into country that would be worth exploring.
In a very surprising turn of events, the Salt Lake Telegram reported on Sept. 21, 1908, that the Treweek survey showed the end lines of the Conkling lode claim to be 125 feet short of the ores that were being mined by the Coalition company. This discovery greatly simplified an affair that at one time was reported to be very complicated and was heralded as a prospective drawn-out litigation. Engineers for both sides now agreed to a joint survey that promised to end the dispute between Colonel Treweek and the Coalition forces in a very short time.
Results of the joint survey fixed the west end of the Conkling claim 135.5 feet east of the point which was designated by the Conkling Mining company as its west boundary. Virtually all of the ore that was taken from the bonanza ore body in dispute was taken from the ground within this 135.5 feet of the end of the claim.
The Conkling Mining Company and Nicholas Treweek were not satisfied with the results of the joint survey. When the patent was obtained on the Conkling claim, it was thought that a full claim was embraced, but the surveys had disproven this; instead of being 1,500 feet in length, the claim was only 1,364 1/2 feet long.
This story will be continued. Don’t miss a virtual Park City Museum lecture on Thursday, March 25, from 5-6 p.m., called The Great Frontier Odyssey, given by curator Claudine Chalmers, relating to the traveling exhibit currently on display at the Park City Museum. For more, visit parkcityhistory.org.
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