Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

SAN FRANCISCO MINING DISTRICT (UTAH). RECORDER

Agency History #3207

CREATION

The San Francisco Mining District, organized 12 August 1871, includes both flanks of the San Francisco Mountains which are located about 15 miles due west of Milford, Utah. The San Francisco District was organized the year before Congress passed a general mining law validating the already established precedent 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. The San Francisco District produced high grade silver, as well as lead, gold, and zinc. The highly productive Horn Silver Mine, located in the mid 1870s, revitalized Milford and resulted in the settlement of a mining town, Frisco. By the early 1880s Frisco had a population of 6,500 and had become one of the largest and wildest mining towns in the west. In 1880 the Utah Southern Railroad completed a line to Milford in order to transport silver from Frisco mines. In 1884 the Horn Silver Mine caved in, and thereafter mining activity in the San Francisco District declined. By 1895 Frisco had become a ghost town. The records of the San Francisco District were transferred to the office of the Beaver County recorder in 1897, when the Utah Legislature enacted a mining law transferring responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders (Laws of Utah, 1897, chapter 36).

FUNCTIONS

Originally, San Francisco prospectors were allowed to claim only 200 feet along a lode, with the exception that the original discoverer was allowed an extra 200 feet. After discovery, locators were allowed ten days to have the claims recorded by the district recorder, and an additional twenty days to complete work on the claim. By-laws required ten days of work for each claim, or 2 days of work for each 200 feet. This work would hold the claim for one year. After Congress passed a general mining law in 1872 the San Francisco District adapted district 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 hold each claim.

ADMINISTRATION

San Francisco District recorders kept all records relating to mining claims. Miners in the San Francisco District elected recorders for one year terms. Original district by-laws allowed recorders to collect 50 cents for each name recorded on a claim. By-laws required recorders to go to the ground and inspect claims if requested to do so. Recorders kept records in suitable well bound books which were open for miners in the district to inspect.

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

San Francisco 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 San Francisco District were transferred to the Beaver County recorder's office.

DISTRICT RECORDERS
L. J. McConnell 1871, Aug -1872, Aug
James Ryan 1872, Aug - 1875, Aug
Edward B. Chase 1875, Aug - 1876, Aug
Dan R. Severence 1876, Aug -1877, Aug
James Ryan 1877, Aug - 1880, Aug
James R. Lindsay 1880, Aug - 1882, Sep
Daniel Freeney 1882, Sep- 1884, Aug
John R. Hawkes 1884, Aug - 1886, Aug
N. W. Collins 1886, Aug - 1888, Aug
David James 1888, Aug - 1897, May

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , February 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).

San Francisco Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 23995).

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).