Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

ROCKY MINING DISTRICT (UTAH). RECORDER

Agency History #3206

CREATION

The Rocky Mining District, organized 27 March 1872, was one of several mining districts organized in Beaver County, Utah, in the 1870s. By-laws defined the boundaries as all of an isolated chain of mountains six miles north of Shenandoah City and 2 miles west of the Beaver River (the Rocky Range which is just north of Milford). Prospectors organized this district to manage mining operations and keep records of claims. Later that same year 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, 1872, vol. 17, 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

Rocky prospectors were originally 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. Locators were allowed fifteen days to have claims recorded by the district recorder. By-laws required the recorder to keep a faithful record of all claims in a suitable book which was open for public inspection. To hold a claim for one year, by-laws required five days of work within the first 90 days after recording. After Congress passed a general mining law in 1872, the Rocky District adapted by-laws to conform to federal regulations. Locators could 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 maintain claims.

ADMINISTRATION

Miners in the Rocky District elected Dan Severence as district recorder for many consecutive one-year terms. He was allowed to collect a fee for each claim recorded, and originally was required to keep his office in Shenandoah City.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Rocky Mining District recorder, Dan Severence, appointed deputies to assist him in carrying out his responsibilities. Only a few claims were recorded in the Rocky District in the 1880s, tapering off to a single claim in 1891. It is assumed that the mining district ceased to function that year. 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 Rocky District book was transferred to the Beaver County recorder's office.

DISTRICT RECORDER
Dan Severence 1872, Mar - 1891, Apr

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).

Rocky Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 23994).

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,

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