Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service


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Agency History #3203


One of Utah's major mineral belts extends through the Wah Wah and Tushar Mountains of Beaver and Piute Counties. Mining in this area prospered during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In September 1880, Wah Wah prospectors organized the Preuss Mining District adjoining the San Francisco Mining District in northern Beaver County. It is bounded on the west by the Wah Wah Valley. The Preuss District was organized according to federal law which states that mineral deposits in the public domain are free and open to exploration, and locators have exclusive right of possession (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, 1872, chap. 152). In local areas groups of miners organized districts to manage mining activity and keep records of claims. In 1897 the Utah Legislature enacted a mining law, which transferred responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders (Laws of Utah, 1897, chapter 36). Beaver County's thriving mining community, Newhouse, was in the Preuss District, but its boom period, 1905-1912, was after county recorders were keeping mining records.


Federal regulation allowed claims to be 1500 feet along a lode with 300 feet on each side. In order to maintain the claim, prospectors were required to do at least $100 worth of work on the claim annually. Local districts could impose additional requirements as long as they were not in conflict with federal law. Preuss District by-laws specified that each location should be marked at the site with a monument at least 4 feet high, and with additional monuments at each corner. Location monuments were to include a notice giving locators' names, location date, and the number of feet claimed. Claims were to be recorded by the district recorder within 20 days of discovery.


Miners in the Preuss District elected recorders for one year terms. District by-laws allowed recorders to collect $1 for each claim recorded.


Preuss District recorders appointed deputies to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities. In 1897 the Utah Legislature enacted a mining law which transferred responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders. (Laws of Utah, 1897, chapter 36). At that time the records of the Preuss District were transferred to the Beaver County recorder's office .

George Winceslaw 1880, Sep -1883, Sep
Oliver S. Carver 1883, Sep - 1897, May

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , February 2003


Bradley, Martha Sonntag, A History of Beaver County. Utah State Historical Society; Beaver County Commission (Salt Lake City: 1999).

Laws of Utah, 1897, Chapter 36. Utah State Archives (Series 83155).

Preuss Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 23993).

Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, 1872, vol. 17, chap. 152. Published by authority of Congress, Boston: Brown, Little and Company.