Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

LINCOLN MINING DISTRICT (UTAH). RECORDER

Agency History #3205

CREATION

The Lincoln Mining District, organized 16 January 1871, was one of several mining districts organized in Beaver County in the early 1870s. The district included 96 square miles in the area northeast of Minersville, Utah. 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. Prospectors organized the Lincoln District to manage mining operations and keep records of claims within the district. In 1872 Congress validated the authority of local mining districts as well as the already established precedent that individuals have the right to claim mineral wealth in the public domain (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, 1872, chap. 152). 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).

FUNCTIONS

Originally, Lincoln prospectors were allowed to claim only 200 feet along a lode, with the exception that the original discoverer was allowed an extra 200 feet. Locators were required to place a substantial stake or stone monument at the point of discovery and post thereon a note specifying details about the claim and its locators. They were required to have a notice of location recorded by the district recorder within 20 days of discovery. To hold the claim for one year, prospectors were required to sink a shaft at least two feet deep for each 200 feet claimed. By-laws required a recorder or deputy to go to the site to measure. By-laws commissioned the recorder to keep a 'true, full, and correct record of all claims located in the district,' and to keep district books open for public inspection. For each recording the recorder was entitled to collect a fee. By-laws authorized a group of ten or more claim holders to revise by-laws at any time. Lincoln District miners did make revisions. Miners decided that voting power should be based on the number of claims owned. Also, in July 1871 miners laid the ground rules for the development of a mining camp, Lincoln City. After 1872 miners in the Lincoln District revised by-laws to conform to federal regulation which allowed prospectors to claim up to 1500 feet along a lode with 300 feet on each side. Federal mining law required an annual labor assessment of $100 worth of work to hold a claim.

ADMINISTRATION

Lincoln District recorders were elected for one year terms.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Lincoln 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 Lincoln District books were transferred to the Beaver County recorder's office.

DISTRICT RECORDERS
James H. Rollins 1871, Jan - 1883, Oct
B.L. Croff 1883, Oct - 1887, Mar
William L Croff 1887, Mar - 1896, May

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , March 2003

SOURCES

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).

Lincoln Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 23989).

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.

United States, General Land Office. Mining district by-laws. Utah State Archives (Series 3651).