BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.Was born in New York City, August 16, 1823. In 1825 his father removed with his family to the City of Mexico, where he established himself in the drug business, remaining only about one year, and returned to New York and carrying on the same business till 1828, when he removed to Tioga County, Pennsylvania, where Clinton got his raising and served his time at farming and lumbering, and in 1845 married Miss Jane Walker, his present wife. Mr. Schieffelin spent a long time traveling over the West looking for a location, and finally sailed for California early in 1852, coming through the Straits of Magellan. In that year he mined on the Honcut and on Feather River, and in July 1853 came to this valley, just [illegible--the remainder of the article on the microfilm is from a different article and issue, mistakenly photographed in this location. The remainder of the article was photographed with the May 21 issue.] and purchased the Davis Evans donation claim, where he now resides. "Sheff," as he is familiarly known, took part in the battle of Hungry Hill, but as he says was not "stuck after" Indian fighting. Mr. S. has raised a family of six boys and two girls, nearly all of whom are paddling their own boat, and paddling them well. He is now comfortably situated on his fine ranch on Rogue River. "Sheff" is a man who has earned friends and retained them by an honorable and manly life. A Republican of the old solid type, he is hard to swerve from his convictions, and his sterling character can be appreciated when it is related that when justice of the peace one of his sons violated the game law by killing a deer and was fined twenty dollars by his father, who had to pay the fine out of his own pocket. No more need be said of his integrity and sense of justice than this, and if there is a man in this whole county who can relate a mean act of "old Sheff" we do not know him.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 14, 1879, page 2 and May 21, 1879, page 2
Mr. Edward L. Schieffelin, of Tombstone, Arizona, made a call at our office one day last week, and interested us with his vivid accounts of Western scenes and events. Mr. Schieffelin may be called the father as well as the sponsor of Tombstone, having discovered the valuable mines at that point and named the place. He informs us that he intends to go to Africa to hunt up the rich gold fields in that land. He was born in Charleston township, and in company with his uncle, Mr. Jacob Schieffelin, of Tioga, he has been visiting the place of his birth.
"Local and Minor Matters," The Agitator, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, August 2, 1881, page 3
The public is hereby notified that the notice in last week's Sentinel, announcing that I had formed a partnership with Elwood Smith, was inserted without my consent or knowledge, as I have not now, nor never had, any business relations with said Smith, whatever. Neither will I be responsible for any debts or contracts he may make.
EFFINGHAM SCHIEFFELIN.Rogue River, Sept. 17, 1881.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 24, 1881, page 4
A PROSPECTING TRIP TO ALASKA.--The S.F. Bulletin says Edward Schieffelin, a well-known Arizona prospector and frontiersman, has organized a party of five experienced men, himself included, to make a thorough prospecting tour of the valley of the Yukon River in Alaska. The party have ample means. A small light-draft sternwheel steamer has been built for river navigation, and will be taken on the deck of a schooner chartered for that purpose. The expedition will leave in a few days. Schieffelin believes that Alaska is within a mineral belt which extends through South America, Mexico, the United States and British Columbia as far north as prospectors have explored and, leaving Alaska unexplored, is disclosed again in Siberia. The party expect to be absent three years.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 3, 1882, page 3. The Sentinel editor seems to have been unaware of Schieffelin's Rogue Valley connections.
ED. SCHIEFFELIN, the founder of Tombstone, Arizona, who some months since went to Alaska on a prospecting tour, writes to the Tucson Star his experiences in that country. He ascended the Yukon about eight hundred miles by the course of the river and found placer diggings paying ten dollars per day to the man. As the party arrived late in the season extensive explorations were rendered impossible by the closing in of the Arctic winter.
"Personal," The Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 10, 1883, page 2
RETURN OF THE SCHIEFFELIN MINING PARTY TODAY.
The Expedition Practically a Failure--Some Gold Found, but Not in Paying Quantities--Drawbacks of Climate and Location.
The Schieffelin mining party, an account of whose prospecting in Alaska was very recently published in the Statesman, has returned to San Francisco on the Corwin, and the Report gives the following further account of their adventures:
"The party consists of Ed. Schieffelin, originator and chief of the expedition; Eff. Schieffelin, brother of Ed.; Charles Farciot, engineer; Jack Young and Charles Sauerbrey, both of whom are well known in mining circles. Wednesday's account of the trip told of the party's prospects up to the winter of '82, leaving off just where they supposed they had discovered a rich vein in gulch 'May-be-so,' which they had had to abandon until the spring. The only difference between their reports now and then is the lack of hope--the only element upon which they had been sustained for a long time. In the spring that gulch and many others were prospected, resulting in a find of ore which, if in a California climate and of easy access, would yield great pay. But, taking the cold weather, the almost impassable mountains and the nearly perpetual snow into consideration, the gold found would not be considered "rich." A great many nuggets were found worth $1, but the veins discovered were very poor and not at all regular. In the eyes of the party, nearly all the members of which were interviewed at the Russ House this afternoon, the expedition was a failure, and must have cost Ed. Schieffelin at least $25,000."
Walla Walla Statesman, Walla Walla, Washington Territory, October 20, 1883, page 1
A Prospector's Opinion of Alaska.Ed. Schieffelin, the veteran prospector, came off as soon as the Corwin had anchored. A reporter found him, and he cheerfully told some of the details of his trip. He says the country up there does not suit him, and, in his opinion, although there is plenty of gold there, it will never be a great mining country, as it is too cold and inaccessible. They found the precious metal in paying quantities about one thousand miles from the Yukon River, in a district that is full of springs. He thinks they averaged thirteen dollars a day while they worked, but that was not long. They found the place October 8, 1882, and on the 12th everything froze up solid and they skated all around the claim: The mercury in winter falls to fifty-five degrees, and often lower. There are only about three months that gold can be washed, from May to August. There is not so much timber as is generally supposed, and it is pf poor quality. The members of his party, Sauerbrey, Farciot, and Young, besides himself and and his brother, all kept in excellent health. They were joined last June by other young men, George Spangenberg, Tom Reynolds, and John McGrew, who came overland with dogs, and all except Farciot came down on the Corwin. They joined the cutter at St. Michaels, at the mouth of the Yukon. The little steamer New Racket was sold, and Farciot, the engineer, remained with it. Schieffelin is not going back, and as yet has no plans.
Schieffelin looks in the best possible health. He is stout and ruddy cheeked, with long brown hair reaching over his shoulders, and his brown beard, that has not seen a razor [in] many years, extends far down his picturesque and serviceable blue flannel shirt.--San Francisco Bulletin.
Iola Register, Iola, Kansas, November 9, 1883, page 8
A telegraphic dispatch was received by the secretary of Jacksonville lodge, No. 10, I.O.O.F., conveying the sad intelligence of the death of Clinton Schieffelin at his home in Los Angeles, Cal., April 15. Mr. S. was one of Jackson County's earliest pioneers, a man of sterling integrity, generous impulses, and kind, benevolent disposition. He had gathered around him here a host of warm friends that mourn the stroke that cuts off, in the prime of useful manhood, a loving husband, kind, affectionate father, and firm and steadfast friend. He was a member of Jacksonville Lodge No. 10, I.O.O.F., and exemplified the tenets of that order in his pure and useful life. There's a vacant seat in our lodge room, a broken link in the endless chain of friendship, a part of the infinite love wafted back to its eternal source; another crown laid down on the altar of Truth and we bow in submission as we waft to our departed one our last farewell. To his bereaved wife and children long and favorably known to us, we tender our sincere sympathy and condolence in their sad hour of affliction.
"Obituaries," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 19, 1884, page 3
COMMITTED SUICIDE.--San Francisco papers of the 16th inst. give an account of the death of C. Schieffelin, formerly of this county, which states that he committed suicide. We publish the Chronicle's dispatch below:
"Clinton Schieffelin, father of Ed. Schieffelin, the discoverer of Tombstone and the explorer of the Yukon River, committed suicide early this morning by shooting himself with a revolver, the ball entering the forehead and passing through to the back of the head. The deceased had been complaining of feeling ill several days, but as he was of a genial disposition the rash act takes all his friends by surprise. He was a native of New York City and 61 years old."
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 26, 1884, page 3
THE TOMBSTONE DISTRICT."I think that the day will come when Arizona will produce more bullion than all the rest of our territory," said Edward Schieffelin to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter the other day.
An Interesting Talk with its Discoverer--How a Town Was Named.
"What makes you think so?"
"There is mineral in every place you go. There is no place that you can strike without it having metal. The trouble is that there is too much Eastern capital in the territory. You know the Eastern people go in heavy for science--they wish to do everything by science. Now, this will not do. The territory wants practical men who will do things properly, and when it gets this class it will become a great mining country."
"You discovered Tombstone?"
"Oh, I was always prospecting, and in one of these tours I came across Tombstone."
"How did it get this name?"
"I was up in the northern part of the territory, in that section known as the Wallapai country, and while there a company of Indians was enlisted for an Apache hunt in the southern part of the territory, and I followed them down. During my journey I was several times asked if I had ever made anything in these prospecting tours, and I used to say that I had not discovered anything of very great value yet, but I hoped later on to do so. I was always alone when I made my prospects in the Apache country. This, no doubt, was dangerous, as the Apaches were very active about that time. They were killing men all over the country, and had dispatched two or three trains that summer. Well, the soldiers often used to tell me to be careful and advise me not to venture alone, telling me, among other things: 'O yes, you'll find a tombstone one of these days; that is what you will find.' This remark was so often made that it impressed itself on my memory, and often when I was on these prospects it would unpleasantly recur, and at length I determined if I succeeded in finding anything to give it this name. Well, in the summer and fall of 1877 I entered the present Tombstone district and made my discoveries, but the locations were not made till the spring of 1878. The delay was owing to the Indians. My finds lay only nine miles from Cochise's stronghold, and at that time I never built a fire in that district for fear of attracting the Indians. I used to stay there about a couple of days; go into other portions of the country for a week or so, and then come back again. That fall I left the country, went to Tucson and tried to get the men there to take an interest in my Tombstone mines. But they would not listen to me. So I went and hunted up my brother (by this time Cochise was dead and the Apaches had scattered), and he, Dick Gird, and I started for the new mines, where we arrived in February, 1878, and then made a camp out of bear grass poles, with a canvas stretched across them. We stayed there about six or eight months, then got some lumber and built a house, in which we lived till the spring of 1880, when I and my brother sold out our interests. Dick Gird retained his interests for another year."
"Do you intend to settle down now?"
"No; I detest city life. I am now on my way to Nevada, where I shall prospect again. If the country is what I think it is I shall stay a few months; otherwise I shall not."
Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia, August 3, 1884, page 2
How the Famous Mining District of Tombstone Was Discovered.
THE STORY OF A PROSPECTOR.
Mines That Have Yielded Millions in Silver.
GOLD IN ALASKA.
A tall, handsome man, with dancing blue eyes, a full brown beard and long hair falling over his shoulders, with his head covered by a big black sombrero, sat in the corridor of the Continental Hotel last night, smoking a cigar and watching the men who walked in and out. He wore a suit of brown and a gray cheviot shirt, thrown open at the throat; a silk handkerchief tied in a loose knot peeped out from under his bushy beard, and the wristbands of his cheviot shirt showed below the sleeves of his coat. His face was rosy, and when he stood up he was more than six feet high and broad-shouldered. He sauntered up to the hotel counter and chatted with clerk Hewes and spoke about the city being a dull place to strike on a rainy day. The register showed that he was Edward Schieffelin, of Los Angeles, Cal., and he said he had left home a week before, where the wheat was two feet high and the peach trees were in bloom. Edward Schieffelin discovered the famous Tombstone mining district and made a fortune. He is the biggest mine prospector in the West, and the mines he has discovered have yielded up more than $25,000,000 worth of silver ore. He came East just for a flying trip and will return to California next week.
THE DISCOVERY OF TOMBSTONE.In speaking of the discovery of Tombstone he said: "I discovered the Tombstone mining district in the summer of '77. I had been looking for a successful find for fourteen years. I went into the Tombstone hills on the 5th of July, 1877, and I found silver ore on the surface. I found some very rich ledges--some of the ore was worth $15,000 a ton. I didn't dare to stay there, on account of the Apache Indians. They were very troublesome, and Cochise, who was then their chief, had his stronghold down the San Pedro River, nine miles from Tombstone. I went there from day to day to look at my find and made what we call a dry camp. I was busted when I made the find. One day in August I gathered up some of the ore that was worth $15,000 a ton and took it to Tucson, but the people wouldn't listen to me when I told them that the ore assayed $15,000 to every ton. So I went back to Tombstone all alone, without any money or any friends or any provisions, and lived on the game I killed with my rifle until the fall of '77. Then I left to hunt up my brother, who was mining at the McCracken mines, four hundred miles away, in the northern part of Arizona. There I met Dick Gird, who became my partner, and he and I and my brother got a wagon and some provisions and an assaying outfit and went back to Tombstone. We arrived there on the 25th of February, 1878. During my absence old Cochise died and his band scattered, and that made Tombstone comparatively safe. So we established a camp. Tombstone in the rough, just as I found it, was worth a clean half a million. In the spring of '78 parties came from San Francisco. We wanted money. So we sold them what was known as the Contention Mine for $10,000 cash. We sold it just as we located it, and I don't begin to know the millions of dollars it's yielded since.
SELLING OUT TO HAMILTON DISSTON."In the winter of '78 and the spring of '79 Dick Gird, my brother, ex-Governor Stafford of Arizona, and myself, organized the Tombstone Mill and Mining Company. Hamilton Disston and other Philadelphians became the purchasers of our interests. Disston made the dicker. He came out there and asked us to name our figure. We said $400,000 apiece and we got it on the spot. Disston just jumped at it. I was a rich man. A year before that I went to my home in Jackson County, Oregon, after having been absent seven years, and only had $2.50 in my pocket, and when I left home again I borrowed $100 from my father and told him I was going to locate a mine sure, and I did. I've been prospecting all my life, for twenty-five years steady, and I suppose I'll be prospecting till I die. I like it better than owning the richest mine in the country. After we sold out Dick Gird bought out a stock ranch, thirty miles from Los Angeles. There's forty thousand acres of it and he's got today one of the finest stock ranches in the country. It's known as the Chino ranch. My brother came to Philadelphia, lost a good deal of his money in speculation, and last March he came out to Los Angeles and died of consumption. The Eastern climate had ruined his health. I went to Los Angeles for a time.
HOW TOMBSTONE GOT ITS NAME."Before I discovered the Tombstone mines I stopped in the military camp at Huachuca. I was waiting for a party of scouts to go out, calculating to follow them through the mountains all summer. I was afraid to travel alone, on account of the Indians, but I went into the Tombstone country frequently, and when I'd come back after two or three days' prospecting the soldiers would ask me if I had found anything. I'd always tell them I hadn't, and one soldier kept telling me that if I didn't look out for the Indians I'd find my tombstone one day. I was impressed with what the soldier said, and so when I discovered the ore I just named the place Tombstone. Now it's the county seat of Cochise County. The county was named after the old Apache chief. When everybody was excited about the Tombstone mines the place had a population of about 9,000, but now it's down to about 5,000. The floating population has left.
PROSPECTING IN ALASKA."In 1882 I went to Alaska. I built a river steamer and fitted it with three years' stores. I went up the Yukon River 1,000 miles. I think the river is equal to the Mississippi. I spent two summers and one winter there. I found gold, but not in big quantities. It would pay a man about $15 a day to mine it. It's a very pretty coarse gold. It wouldn't pay to mine it, though, because the nearest point of supply is San Francisco, 4,000 miles away. It took sixteen months for me to get a letter from home. The only means of communication is through the Alaska Commercial Company. Once a year their steamer goes to the mouth of the river. I don't think gold and silver mine discoveries are anywhere near at an end in the West. The discoveries in the future will be what are called blind or cap ledges. A blind ledge is a ledge that don't crop to the surface. A cap ledge is a ledge where from four to twenty feet on the surface iron ore will be found and gold or silver underneath. I've spent lots of money prospecting, but I've got lots left. I don't invest my money in mines. I put it in government bonds. Prospecting isn't all luck.
GOING IT ALONE."I made a mistake for years in following excitements. When I'd get to a mining camp I'd find I was just too late--that all the good finds had been located. So I started out to go it alone, and after two years I found Tombstone. I've often got blue and packed my blanket into camp dead broke. I've crossed the deserts of Nevada and Arizona in the broiling sun and through the snow, busted and hungry, but, by jingo, I never lost courage but once. I gave it up in '73, after an eighteen months' trip, but I went back to prospecting again. It's the only thing that suits me. When I was dead broke I used to take the first job I got and then got money enough to buy provisions and start out prospecting again. For two months at a time I have lived on my rifle. When I could kill a deer I had venison and when I couldn't kill a deer I went without. The feelings of a man who belongs in the mountains in the far West and comes to a big city are very funny. I could live in this hotel twenty years and not know a man as well as if I was to camp out with him one night. Out in the frontier now a settler never locks his cabin. If he ain't at home the visitor lifts the latch string and makes himself at home. It's all right. The visitor helps himself, cooks what he wants and stays till he's tired. Everything goes. Have a Henry Clay? Before I discovered Tombstone I used to smoke a black pipe. Funny things happen, don't they?--Philadelphia Times.
Evening Telegram, New York City, April 6, 1886, page 4
AN OLD GOLD HUNTER.The discoverer of one of the famous Tombstone mines sat looking out of one of the hotel kitchen windows yesterday. It was L. Schieffelin, whom all old Colorado miners will remember. For 31 years Mr. Schieffelin has been looking for gold throughout the Western States, and in one instance at least made an important discovery. When a boy of 9 years he came West, going to the then little known Oregon. This was in 1857 [sic]. His youthful prospecting did not meet with particular favor from his father, and when 16 years old he cut loose from home and went about the placer diggings of Southern Oregon for five years. He had little luck placer mining and so, at the age of 21, he followed the quartz discoveries of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona and Eastern California, but always came upon the ground too late to find any claim of his own. He was in California Gulch when the first miniature boom struck it.
Something About Quartz Hunting in the Early Days.
As early as February, 1877, he went to the silver mines of Ivanpah, Cal., and after 14 months of unsuccessful prospecting, having procured an outfit at San
Bernardino, struck into the Wallapi country of Arizona, on the borders of the Grand Canyon. After a month's stay there he made two trips into the Tombstone country of Southern Arizona in company with the Wallapi government scouts. They kept in the valleys, however, and so, in spite of the roving Indians, he struck out alone in July, 1877, and made a discovery of a rich float quartz on the surface of a range of very low hills.
"For lack of means," said Mr. Schieffelin, "I only located one claim. I went to Tombstone [sic], but they wouldn't look at me. They had a soft enough thing of it then--government contracts. I had a brother somewhere in the country, and in the fall I started out to find him. which I did in the Owens district. We went back to the Tombstone district, together with a few others.
"We arrived at the claim early in February, 1878. During my absence, old Cochise, the Indian chief, had died, and in default of his leadership and daring, his followers withdrew to more secluded retreats and left us in peaceful possession of the field. We now made eleven locations, and by the sale of the Contention for for $10,000, we were enabled to do some development. We also got a $5,000 forfeit from some San Francisco capitalists to whom we bonded the remainder of the claim for $90,000. Ex-Governor Sanford, of Arizona, then made a proposition to put up a mill and take a fourth interest in it. This offer was accepted, and the mill was run from June 1, 1879 to March, 1880, and then we sold out for $600,000.
"That was my only real success. I have since spent a great deal of my time in Alaska, and consider the gold fields of the Yukon among the most promising in the world."
Herald Democrat, Leadville, Colorado, May 31, 1890, page 8
M. Schieffelin, one of the first discoverers of Tombstone, Arizona, district, is prospecting in Inyo Co., Cal. Ed Schieffelin is prospering in Southern Oregon mining operations.
"Personal," Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 15, 1896, page 140
EDWARD SCHIEFFELIN, who discovered the Tombstone mines, was found dead in his bed about twenty miles from Canyonville, Oregon, on the 14th inst. He was on a prospecting trip and is supposed to have died from heart failure.
Mesa Free Press, Mesa City, Arizona, May 21, 1897, page 2
HIS GRAVE ON A MOUNTAINTOP.
Strange Resting Place Chosen by the Founder of an Arizona City.
Edward Schieffelin, the miner who founded Tombstone, Arizona, made provision in his will for his last resting place. His body rests on one of the hilltops overlooking the city he founded years ago. This is the manner in which he directed that his body should be disposed of:
"It is my wish, if convenient, to be buried in the garb of a prospector, my old pick and canteen with me, on the top of the granite hills about three miles westerly from the city of Tombstone, Arizona, and a monument such as prospectors build when locating a mining claim built over my grave and no other monument erected. And that none of my friends wear crepe. Under no circumstances do I want to be buried in any cemetery or graveyard."
His wishes having been complied with, his will disposes of an estate worth from $50,000 to $75,000. To Mrs. Mary E. Schieffelin, the testator's widow, is bequeathed all his real and personal property in Alameda and Santa Clara counties and $15,000 in University of Arizona bonds. The will directs that all other property be given to Jay L. Schieffelin, a brother, as trustee. A succeeding clause declares that a $15,000 life insurance policy and money from the sale of United States bonds in the hands of John Sparhawk, Jr., of Philadelphia, over which suit is pending, shall be divided between the widow and J. L. Schieffelin, trustee, after debts have been paid. Another clause recites:
"I have no children, but should anyone at their own expense prove to the satisfaction of my executors, hereinafter named, to be a child of mine, to each I give the sum of $50."
Mrs. Mary E. Schieffelin and Jay L. Schieffelin, a brother, are appointed executrix and executor. The will was made September 16, 1896. Edward Schieffelin died in Oregon on May 12 last.
St. Joseph Herald, St. Joseph, Missouri, June 23, 1897, page 5
And It Is No Graveyard Tale, Either.
FINDING OF ARIZONA MINES.
The man who discovered the rich silver mines at Arizona, whose persistency and pluck and belief in himself led to their development, whose discovery caused the building of the famous mining city of Tombstone, who gave that city its name, died this month and now lies buried on the summit of the granite hills three miles west of Tombstone. What follows here are extracts from a story of the life of Edward Schieffelin and the events attending the discovery of the Tombstone mines, written by E. E. Bowles.
----"You'll find your tombstone over there instead of your fortune; you'd better stick with us, Ed.," said the grizzled old captain of Arizona scouts to Edward Schieffelin, one of his best men. That was along in the spring of 1876, and the scouts had for months been alternately dodging and fighting those fiends incarnate, those outlaws from Hades, the Chiricahua Apaches. Schieffelin was a pioneer prospector, frontiersman, mountaineer and scout, at home on mountain, mesa or valley; a big, honest, open-hearted man, brave as a lion, standing six feet two and carrying his 195 pounds easily; strong-limbed, broad-shouldered and deep-chested, a good man to have at your back or shoulder in any kind of trouble. He was a prospector by nature and instinct, and had joined the scouts for the sole purpose of exploring that alleged garden of hell, Southeastern Arizona, from which the military arms of two nations had failed to expel Cochise and his murderous bands.
The scouts had dodged and fought their way back from the Dragoon and Mule mountains, down the San Pedro Valley, and were now on their way to the military post at Fort Huachuca to report. The captain had learned to like (as everybody did) that big, quiet, good-natured young fellow, Ed. Schieffelin, who could laughingly draw his belt up another hole when rations were short, whose eyes never wavered between the sights of his rifle, and whose nerves never faltered although a horrible death in the form of hideous Chiricahuas might be lurking behind the next clump of mesquite, or the heap of boulders beyond. The scouts were on a spur of the Huachucas, and Schieffelin, with a powerful glass, was examining the ground over which they had passed, when he expressed the determination to leave the command and prospect the country, he having told the captain when passing the buttes between the Mule and Dragoon mountains that the country abounded in good mineral signs, and then the captain expressed his opinion as quoted above. But Ed. carried out his determination, and time has proved both correct, for he found his fortune.
----Edward Schieffelin, the central figure, was born in Western Pennsylvania in ; his father removed to Oregon when Edward was ten years old and settled on Rogue River. [The Schieffelins were in Oregon in 1855.] The lad had no affinity for farming and stock-raising, but loved the mountains and acquired a desire to prospect; the sands of Rogue River and the adjacent mountains were prospected by him for gold, and before he was thirteen he knew every foot of the country for miles around and nearly every gulch and sidehill in the vicinity were marked by his prospect holes. In his eighteenth year he spent six months building a flume to carry water from Rogue River to some placer ground he had discovered, but the first cleanup was so discouraging that he abandoned his workings. A short time afterward the great mining boom in Nevada attracted his attention, and after fulfilling every duty to the kind and indulgent parents who had allowed him full scope to follow the bent of his inclinations, he engaged his services to a stockman and started with a cattle outfit for Nevada. It was on this trail that he was initiated into the first degrees of Indian warfare, but nature was an open book to him; he had a practical mastery of her secrets, and the lessons were easily learned.
Arriving in Nevada, he secured employment in the mines, where he worked until he had learned to follow an ore body underground as well as on the surface; there is a vast difference which you will learn if you ever engage in mining. Having acquired the necessary craft as a miner, young Schieffelin, with the money thus earned, bought an outfit and started into the hills of Arizona and Nevada, generally with one or more partners, but he early learned to place more reliance in his own judgment than that of others, especially after having deferred to the opinions of men older than himself they were obliged to fight their way out of very close quarters, sometimes with the loss of a man or two and sometimes losing only their pack animals and outfit. After a few experiences of this kind he determined to travel alone; this he did for nearly ten years, and those [were] ten years of ceaseless work and travel through the wilds of Arizona. The complete record of toil, suffering and privations, the single-handed fights and hairbreadth escapes of that lone prospector, his deeds of daring and heroism when opposed to bands of murderous Apaches, will never be known. He knew not the meaning of the word "fear"; he was never a communicative man, and it was only occasionally that he would talk of his experiences to members of his own family. But at that time Arizona was infested with hordes of bloodthirsty Ishmaelites whose hands were against every white man, and up to that time the records show that over 1000 men, women and children had been murdered and tortured by those fiends. By the water holes, by the lonely trail and public stage road, behind rock, bush and tree, the red assassins lay in wait for their victims, and the complete list will never be known until that "last great day." It was under such conditions that Ed. Schieffelin carried on his explorations, traveling by night, by day studying the formation of the hills through his glass or turning it back to watch the movements of Indians following his trail, thirsting for the blood of this hated Americano who was among the first to penetrate their mountain fastnesses.
----Schieffelin returned to the post, drew his wages, left the command and started across the mountains to Tucson. There he purchased an outfit and began packing for his dangerous trip.
A few days' crawling about the buttes proved to him that he had found that for which he was seeking. Simple tests of the ore, such as prospectors make in the field, showed the ore to be fabulously rich. He made no locations, having sufficient confidence in himself to keep his find secret and conscious of the fact that few, if any, would have the temerity to follow his trail; then, besides, the erection of monuments would inform the Indians of his visit and probable return. Taking a few pounds of the float, or surface ore, in his pack, he started across the territory for the Silver King mine, miles and miles away over trackless deserts and rugged mountains infested by hordes of hostile Indians. At the Silver King mine his brother Albert, or "Al." as he was familiarly known, was employed. Al. had about $5000 in ready cash, and Ed. hoped to interest him in his find. He arrived there in time, weary and worn with nights of travel and days of ceaseless watching, but was made heartsick by Al. refusing to even look at his ore.
"You are always going around with your pockets full of rocks, and you have never found anything yet. You have been at it for ten years and what have you got? You had better stay here and go to work."
Smothering his disappointment, Ed. did as suggested and went to work for wages, hoping his brother would, as time passed, be induced at least to sample the ore. But he was in error; both were of the same stock, and each had a will of his own. A year and more passed, and the brothers were still at work at the mine, Ed. chafing at the delay, fearing that someone might stumble onto his find. Then it was that the new superintendent came to the Silver King mill, Dirk Gird. Ed. and Dick struck up an acquaintance at once. There seemed to be an affinity between the two men, and it was not long until Ed. was telling him all about his find down in the Chiricahua country, and going to his cabin brought some of the ore up to the mill for Dick to assay. It did not pan out very well, but they were not discouraged. The characteristics of the ore was different from that which yielded readily to the process they tried, so a few days later they treated it by a different process--result, $9,000 silver per ton. That settled it. Al. was interested right away, and it was not many days until the three intrepid miners were on their way to the site of what is now the flourishing mining city of Tombstone. They were in too much of a hurry to use great caution but were well armed and all good Indian fighters, so they went "through" instead of "around." The result was that the very first night at Ed.'s old camping ground on the San Pedro River they were "jumped" by a band of Chiricahuas, and a long, hard fight followed. The superior weapons and marksmanship of the white men won; the redskins were not educated up to the magazine rifle by which "white man load gun in morning, shoot all day." The Indians drew off, but not before they had stampeded the horses. The animals crossed the river and stopped to graze. They were still within easy range of the rifles the Indians had learned to respect, so under their cover Ed. swam the river and returned with the horses. The approach of a scouting party from Fort Huachuca drove the Indians back to the dragoons, and the three prospectors began their explorations. In a few days they ascertained they had a "big thing" and staked off the Contention, Tough Nut, Lucky Cuss, Goodenough, Graveyard and one or two other claims, all of which have since become world famous. They constructed a rude arrastra, and with the crude appliances at their command took out in a short time $10,000 in silver bullion. This they sent to San Francisco, and invested the entire amount in improved machinery for the reduction of silver ores.
The report of their rich discoveries spread like wildfire to every camp east and west of the Rocky Mountains, and an army of adventurers flocked to the new silverado. Thousands of locations were staked out, a city sprang into existence as if by magic, reduction works were erected, and a steady stream of bullion began to find its way out of the camp. When law and order organized against disorder the founder of the camp was called upon to christen it, and thinking of the old captain's prophecy, he suggested "Tombstone," and Tombstone it was and is, famous as one of the greatest producers of silver bullion the world has ever known.
The Ledge, New Denver, British Columbia, July 22, 1897, page 3
A FAMOUS OLD MINER.The Pacific Coast newspapers have been full of stories about Edward Schieffelin, one of the discoverers of the Tombstone mines, who was found dead in a cabin in Eastern Oregon. His remains, according to his wish, now rest upon the top of a granite peak two miles west of Tombstone, A.T. He desired, he said, "to be buried in the garb of a prospector, my old pick and canteen with me, and a monument such as prospectors build when locating a mining claim built over my grave and no other monument or slab erected."
EDWARD SCHIEFFELIN, ONE OF TOMBSTONE'S DISCOVERERS.
True Stories of a Most Typical Western Prospector--How the Schieffelin Brothers and Dick Gird Struck It Rich in Tombstone Gulch.
It seems to be generally felt throughout the Pacific Coast that this plain, ignorant, kind-hearted old pioneer and prospector, who had traveled many thousands of miles in search of new mines, has thus unconsciously made his mark upon our romance and history. That lonely granite cairn in the desert, rising upon the extreme point of a treeless promontory, will long be pointed out as the grave of one of the most famous of American prospectors.
Ed Schieffelin's one great strike yielded him fully a third of $1,000,000. At various times in his adventurous career he plodded painstakingly over the wildest portions of the Rocky Mountains and Sierras, he visited Alaska, Mexico, South America and South Africa, but never again found such a mine. When he died, his fortune, at one time said to be over $500,000, had greatly decreased by reason of bad investments and costly expeditions.
The story of the finding of Tombstone, that briefly famous Arizonian mining city, has been told in many different ways, until it is fast becoming one of the most attractive of Pacific Coast myths. The simple facts are that late in the seventies the two Schieffelin brothers and Dick Gird were prospecting, sometimes together, sometimes separately, in various districts of Arizona and New Mexico. It was a time of terrible Indian outbreaks, and the Apaches were on the warpath, killing lonely miners and prospectors, attacking the stage coaches and running off cattle. Ed Schieffelin finally wandered into the neighborhood of a disputed claim, the Bronco, where eight men had been shot in various attempts to demarcate its ownership, and was hired at $2 a day to sit on a hilltop and look out for Indians. One day, while hunting up a stray horse, the hitherto unsuccessful prospector stumbled into what was afterward called Tombstone Gulch and found some copper-stained rock on what became the Tough Nut mine. This he sent to Gird for an assay, and soon after sent ore from the Lucky Cuss. When development was begun, a thin vein in granite widened, and promised immense riches. The claims were sold for very large sums, and when the Apaches were driven out capitalists poured money into the district. But the mines did not justify expectations. Tombstone was very far from being a second Comstock. The unlucky Bronco never paid a dollar. The Schieffelin and Gird claims yielded for a time but soon ran out, and the camp sank into decay.
The first time I met Schieffelin, that most typical of western prospectors, was about six years ago. After hearing some of his picturesque prospector yarns I told him about the various treasure expeditions to Cocos Island and the legends which had caused these excitements. He seized upon the glittering tale of diamond-hilted swords, bags of doubloons and bars of gold with the faith of a child and at once offered to fit out a schooner for the islands and to pay my expenses as well as give me a third of the treasure if I would go along to repeat the legend as often as desired. He had prospected for almost everything, he said, except pirate treasures, and he wanted those diamond-hilted swords to "put in his parlor."
I did not know at that time the story about his parlor. Having bought a $7,000 house in the town of Alameda, he kept several tons of quartz in one corner, on top of which his old prospecting tools, burro's saddle and camp outfit reposed when not in use. I never heard what his wife thought of this unique furniture, but there is no doubt that the diamond-hilted swords would have rested peacefully on the quartz pile, and it was with sincere regrets that I acknowledged to him my entire lack of faith in the picturesque Spanish legend of Cocos Island.
Schieffelin's Alaska experiences have long deserved a chronicler. He fitted out an expedition years ago and prospected over vast areas of that region. His little steamboat ascended the broad Yukon, and the party wintered in the interior. One man, since dead, Charles Farciot, remained behind when the steamer returned to prospect further. When he desired to return, he built one of the most remarkable little steam engines ever seen on the coast. It was made from a few pieces of pipe and some old cans picked up about the deserted Schieffelin camp, and his only tools were a file and a pocket knife, with a stone for a hammer. He put this rude little engine in the stern of a small rowboat left behind for his use and steamed 2,000 miles without an accident. The outfit was afterward on exhibition in San Francisco and excited the astonishment and indeed the profound admiration of the best machinists, who agreed in saying that Farciot's mechanical genius was of a very high order.--New York Post.
Greensburg Standard, Greensburg, Indiana, August 20, 1897, page 7. This article was distributed in stereotype and widely printed in August 1897.
Mr. Fate remembers the coming to this part of the country of Mr. Ed Schieffelin in about the year 1892 [sic]. Mr. Schieffelin was a very successful mining man from Arizona, where he had located the famous Tombstone mine, a placer [sic] property which Mr. Schieffelin had just sold for a very large sum of money. He could not resist the urge of the pick and shovel nor the lure of the miner's trail. So he went to Jacksonville, Oregon and picked up the lode or mineral belt which ran a little east of north through the southern part of the state and which gave great promise of becoming very valuable. He traced this lode through the southern part of the state to Douglas County, doing his last prospecting near Days Creek. These mineral lodes develop occasional pay streaks, ranging from moderate values to some of immense gold deposits. Mr. Schieffelin had followed the lode very carefully from Jacksonville, and was convinced there were good pay streaks to be located in this part of the country. He found that the lode which he was tracing runs through Coffee Creek and goes to the north in an east by northerly direction, towards the Bohemia district, one of the famous mining districts in the Pacific Coast country. This lode, he found after careful and thorough prospecting and development work, cuts across Days Creek and the headwaters of Myrtle Creek, continuing in a northerly direction across the headwaters of the South Umpqua and the North Umpqua, also the Calapooia to Bohemia.
He kept with him at all times a daily diary in which he made a careful and detailed record of his movements each day and the result of his work and findings. It was a very valuable book of facts.
Many mines (placer) have been located and worked out along this lode. In the past years there has been much activity and much gold taken out. At the time of his death, Mr. Schieffelin was working on Days Creek, about nine miles from the post office at Days Creek. He was found dead by the mail carrier, at which time he was lying face down just outside of the door to his cabin. It was without any doubt a case of heart failure.
The peculiar thing is that the last entry written by Mr. Schieffelin in his diary and just a few hours before his death stated that he had "camped on the mountain the night before and that he had found a real prospect at last." Coming from him this statement meant something. With him was found a quantity of gold-bearing ore, very rich and [of] unusual promise.
The body was taken back to Oklahoma [sic] for burial but the news had leaked out and miners from all sections began to flock in and start to prospect in the district, hoping to find what Mr. Schieffelin had discovered. Schieffelin was so well known in the mining world that any statement or opinion from him carried weight and the statement in his diary that he had discovered a good prospect was given much credence and caused a great excitement and a boom in the Days Creek mining area. Much prospecting work was done and money expended but to no avail, as the "find" was never located. His two brothers and a sister from Southern California came and made a very determined effort. They prospected, sunk shafts and spent a considerable amount of money. Their enthusiasm was not rewarded although they were very persistent. It seems they were devout Spiritualists and it was told that the Spirit World urged them on with promises of. success and very tempting pictures of the wealth they would find. However it was of no avail and after a time they also packed up and returned south.
Memories of the old diary statement survive to this day, and prospectors continue to go into that district and try to locate the "Schieffelin Prospect." Miners are firm in their belief that Ed Schieffelin did locate a good property just before his death. He was a man of vast mining experience and cool headed, nor was he to be stampeded by a mere symptom or a promise.
Remick Fate oral history, July 7, 1938, Douglas County (Oregon) Museum
Lost: Ed's Red Blanket and Rich Gold Mine
BY DALE VINCENTA heavy Concord coach tumbled over the plank bridge into Woodville, Ore. Big Ed Schieffelin laughed in his beard as he galloped his span of four up the one dusty street. It was the year 1895. Ed was coming back--in style--to the land of his boyhood!
Oregon Free Lance Writer
Twenty long years ago he had trudged on foot far to the south. In Arizona he had prospected, thirsted and burned---and fought Geronimo. And they had told him "All you'll ever find is your tombstone." That phrase had seared deep into his mind.
But he had "struck her rich," and in defiance called his claim "Tombstone." Then came the Lucky Cuss, the Tough Nut and others. He sold out, became a millionaire, bought a fine coach and four---and set out for the land of his boyhood dreams.
A curious crowd of miners watched the fine outfit thunder into Woodville. Ed's voice boomed out "Whoa!" and with a screech of brakes, the coach came to a halt.
Wrapping the lines around the long brake rod he leaped to the board sidewalk, stomping the dust from his high leather boots. From under the broad Stetson flowed long dark hair. Two hundred .pounds of muscular energy vibrated with confidence as he addressed the miners.
"Where can 1 get some good whiskey?"
OLD-TIMERS: Failed to Recognize Now Rich ProspectorThe miners gave directions, and as Ed walked into the saloon the crowd gathered around the new outfit. Four well-matched sorrels, all young and in good spirits, stood impatiently in their handmade harness, as the men's glances swept past them to the coach. It was a thoroughbrace with special compartments, and its leather springs were of the best steerhide. The body was painted a deep rich blue, and the running gear a yellow as bright as gold.
Charlie Warren, a young prospector, voiced the thoughts of the crowd when he said: "The man that owns this outfit must have struck her rich somewhere. I wonder who he is."
That was what they all wondered, for no one had recognized Ed after his long absence.
The saloon door flew open with a well-placed kick as big Ed appeared with a five-gallon keg of whiskey on his shoulder. Making his way through the crowd he lightly tossed it into the front boot of the thoroughbrace. Turning, he surveyed the encircling men and spoke. "You there, with the bright eyes, what's your name?"
"Charlie Warren," said the young man.
"How would you like to work for me?" asked Schieffelin.
"Well," said Warren, his honest face speculative, "that's according to who you are, and what you're doin'."
"That was well put, Warren--and I'm beginning to take to you." Ed put one expensive boot on the front hub and leaned against his rig. "My folks used to live across Rogue River there in plain sight, at the mouth of Schieffelin Gulch. I was raised there. As a boy 1 used to walk over here barefoot, to watch the Wells Fargo stage go by. My name is Schieffelin."
ED: Offers Warren Attractive Job"For a moment everyone was quiet, then they all moved at once. They wanted to shake hands. Everyone had known his folks and his brothers, and many remembered him. One bearded old-timer suggested they go to the saloon and celebrate.
"No, boys, I appreciate your neighborliness, but I have things to do."
Looking at young Warren, Ed said: "How about my offer, Charlie? I'll give you $20 a month and found. You do the cooking, tend the horses and outfit, and do the driving, I'll cut you in on any strike we make as if you weren't workin' for me."
Charlie tingled with excitement as the big man spoke. He could sense adventure ahead. This would be a high-toned way of traveling for sure.
"It's a deal," he said, and they shook hands.
"Now," said Ed, "trot this outfit down to the blacksmith's and get good shoes on these ponies. I want to see how you handle 'em."
Like a monkey Charlie went up into the driver's box. With graceful ease he strung the lines through his fingers and kicked loose the brake. The horses gave a spirited surge and the coach rolled swiftly toward Chuck Hatch's blacksmith shop.
A satisfied expression was on Ed's face as he walked toward the general store.
That afternoon, completely stocked and outfitted, Ed and Charlie turned into the hills. As evening came on they camped by a crystal stream. Ed hobbled the horses in belly-high grass while Charlie got supper.
PROSPECTOR: Tells Wild and Woolly StoriesAfter a filling meal, blankets were rolled out under the glittering stars, and as the campfire embers glowed Ed spoke of the hectic days he had gone through, comparing the ease of their present journey with the hardships encountered in seeking the rich silver of Arizona.
"There were always Apaches after me," he said. "I hid in the scrubby mesquite like a rabbit. Sometimes I almost starved before I dared shoot a deer. A fire would have shown up my hiding place, so I ate my meat raw. That raw meat made me see and hear as sharp as an animal, and so the Indians never got me."
Charlie's eyes were big as biscuits.
Big Ed roared with laughter. "They said all I'd find would be my tombstone, but I sure fooled 'em all right. I found what I was after. Silver! Almost pure silver. I could push a quarter into it and leave the print of the coin. Soon word got around about my strike. Men started staking ground all over those hills, until there was a sizable camp, mostly tents. That was the beginning of Tombstone, Ariz."
Ed liked to talk to a good listener, and continued.
"I was gettin' a fair-sized hole dug on one of my claims when someone yelled at me from above. Lookin' up I saw two eastern dudes in striped pants. One of them yelled down at me: 'How much will you lake for your claims?' 1 yelled right back: 'Fifteen hundred thousand dollars!' 'Sold!' said the dude, 'Now get out of that hole and quit digging our ore.'"
Again big Ed roared, for this was his favorite story. He rolled deeper into his blankets, and his voice went on. "I was rich! I went over into California and bought an orange grove for my folks. Then I married and tried to settle down. Bought a fine home in Alameda. But I don't lake to a fancy life."
At last he yawned and grew quiet. Soon his deep breathing told Charlie there would be no more tales that night.
Charlie lay still, and looked at the stars, for the power of the big man was impressive.
Early in the morning his eyes flew wide. He lay still, listening--something had disturbed his sleep. He could hear the horses munching in the dew-wet grass. Day was starting to break! There! He heard it again. A very faint musical tone, like a tiny bell. What in the----
"Time to get up, Charlie." Big Ed rolled out of bed and into his boots.
Ed went after the horses while Charlie built the breakfast fire. He decided to tell Ed what he had heard.
WATCH: Cost Him Neat $450Big Ed laughed loud. "What keen ears you got, Charlie. Those bells you heard were the chimes in my watch. See here." And he pulled a beautiful gold watch from his pocket. "See that little lever on the side? When that is pulled down the watch strikes the hours, quarter hour and the minute. That tells me the time in the dark."
The watch had cost Schieffelin $450 and was the only piece of jewelry that he ever owned.
Schieffelin had peculiar ways, and Charlie got well acquainted with them as time went on. Ed would not wear a tie, but instead, a silk handkerchief was knotted in front when he dressed up. He would have no plug or stovepipe hats at any time--just a good honest Stetson. His boots were made to order of the finest fancy-stitched calfskin and came over the knees. Ed always claimed they were rattlesnake proof.
These were simple whims for a wealthy man, but Ed hated the artificialities of civilization, where, in his own words, "everybody tried to hook me." He was a man of simple and honest tastes, choosing a campfire in a dry gulch to the bright lights of a city--and he was a born prospector.
Many times he found gold that would have delighted most men, but big Ed would move on. One thing only was he hunting--a big strike--one that would cause a stampede--bring men by the hundreds--like Tombstone, Ariz.
Happy months went by. Wherever fancy called they hunted for gold. There was plenty of game in the hills, and fresh waler was abundant.
WANDERINGS: Bring Pair into Canyon Creek AreaCharlie always stayed in camp, took good care of the horses, kept the coach greased, gathered wood and water, and cooked two meals a day, breakfast and supper. Big Ed spent all day ranging the hills around camp, coming in at dark hungry as a wolf. It was never his habit to carry food on short trips.
This one outstanding characteristic was his peculiar way of thinking. At night, after going to bed, Ed would think out what he would do on the morrow. Awakening at daylight his mind was set like a steel trap, and he would follow the plan of the night before. It was this bull-headed trait that brought him success where other men failed.
But this same trait was probably responsible for his death many years before his time--the death that has been kept strangely hush-hush. Perhaps because it involved the discovery of another rich mine. This time gold.
Their quest had led them out of Oregon on a wide dusty circle through Nevada, back through California, and up the Pacific coast to Coquille, Ore., again. They had missed by only a few miles the later strikes of Tonopah, Bullfrog and Rhyolite.
Luck eluded them on every hill and gulch, and after a year and a half they came into Roseburg. Here they turned south into the Canyon Creek country.
Charlie wanted to see his folks, since they were so close, so leaving Ed he went on alone to Woodville--never to see Ed Schieffelin again.
Ed, that night, pulled in to a homesteader's cabin on the mouth of Day's Creek, made a deal with the homesteader to keep his team and outfit, put a pack on his back, and went upstream.
Deep he pushed into the green wilderness. Near the head of Day's Creek he came to an old cabin, still serviceable. Here Ed pitched camp, alone. Cutting fir boughs for his bunk, he spread his two expensive heavy wool blankets, one blue and one red.
His meager food supply was placed on the rough table beside the demijohn of whiskey, which was considered essential and was never forgotten. Perhaps the heaviest article in his pack was a small iron mortar and pestle, which he used for grinding ore samples.
Two weeks later, Alex Orme, sheriff, rode up to the homesteader's cabin on Day's Creek. Alex knew Ed, and upon seeing his big blue coach in the yard, swung down from his saddle and asked about his friend.
"I don't know where he is," said the rancher. "Mr. Schieffelin drove in here and asked if I'd take care of his outfit a few days while he prospected up Day's Creek. That was nigh on to two weeks ago now."
Alex looked concerned. "How much grub did he take?"
"Not much, just a small pack and a gallon of whiskey."
Swinging back into the saddle, Alex said, "Think I'll mosey up there. He might of broke a leg." Turning his horse, he headed upcreek. He had a strong feeling something was wrong.
DIARY: Records "Struck Her Rich Again"When at last he came into the clearing where stood a cabin, his eyes met a horrible sight. Ed's body was sprawled over his mortar on the doorstep, where he had been grinding samples. He had been dead for several days.
Alex did the best be could. He dug a shallow grave, took the only blanket on the bed, a blue one, wrapped the body in it, and buried big Ed Schieffelin in the cabin yard.
This done, Alex Orme removed his hat, and stood silently over the grave.
Remembering Ed's habit of keeping a diary, he began to look about. On the table, hastily scrawled, he found what he sought.
"Struck her rich again, by God." These were the last words Ed had written--the last he would ever write.
Examining the ore in the mortar, Alex understood what Ed had meant. The bottom was covered with finely ground ore which afterward assayed $2000 to the ton.
On the table he found tobacco cans also filled with this same "high-grade." The demijohn of whiskey was only half full; in the oven was a pan, of blackened biscuits. Evidently Ed had been preparing his meal while he drank from the demijohn and worked his mortar.
BLANKET: Remains Key To Lost MineAlex Orme did not know until he returned to the ranch on Day's Creek that Ed had also taken with him a red wool blanket.
"But there wasn't any red wool blanket," said Alex, "I'm sure of that."
Since that day many prospectors have hunted for Ed's last big strike, but today it still remains a lost gold mine, undeniably rich.
Maybe they were hunting too close to the cabin. Anyway, that's what Charlie Warren thinks.
Charlie still lives in Southern Oregon, down the river from Woodville, which is now called Rogue River. Charlie says: "I knew Ed's stubborn habits. He found that rich ore a long ways from his cabin. That's why the red blanket was gone. He took that to sleep in. His strike was so far away that he couldn't do any work and get back before night, so he slept one night at the strike and the next night at the cabin.
"Ed could go a long time without food. He did not like to carry grub. I say that Ed was unusually tired the night he died. He was excited over his rich find. He didn't have his supper ready yet, and his stomach was empty. He grabbed the demijohn and swallowed a big jolt of whiskey, and kept on grinding his ore--then another slug of whiskey. Ed wasn't young anymore, and it stopped the valves in his heart."
Charlie Warren, who is now 79, stopped to get his breath, then continued: "Whoever finds that red wool blanket will find that lost gold mine, and it will be rich--or Ed wouldn't have been interested in it."
But no one has ever found the blanket--and no one has ever found the mine.
Oregonian, Portland, March 31, 1946, page 68
ED SCHIEFFELINEd Schieffelin was a prototype of the indomitable prospector who is pulled by an irresistible magnet and never stops seeking the seductive treasure waiting around the next bend of the creek. In Schieffelin's case The Search became such a compulsion that, even after he had found the Big, Big Boodle, he continued the pursuit.
THE FOUNDING OF TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA . . .
& THE STORY OF THE RED BLANKET MINE
The obsession probably began during his early childhood in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. When he was only five years old, his father, Clinton Schieffelin, became intrigued with the tales of wealth to be found in the seeking, and the boy was given the full treatment when he was at his most impressionable. At last when Clinton could no longer resist the lure of the gold fields, he joined forces with his brother-in-law, Joe Walker, and the two of them sailed for California early in 1852, coming through the Straits of Magellan. They moved in with the multitude mining along the Feather River, but the news of the extravagant discoveries at Jacksonville and Rogue River drew them on to Southern Oregon. In 1853 they bought a land claim along the Rogue and filed for a donation land claim near Jewett's Ferry on the river. The two men made a pretty good thing of mining and farming, and in 1857 Clinton's wife and children--six boys and two girls--crossed the plains and joined them in Oregon. The Schieffelins were an affectionate family who were deeply loyal to each other and had strong family ties. They became solid citizens of the valley and soon gained the respect and admiration of their neighbors.
Ed was not ten years old when he arrived in the West, but he soon began panning for gold on his own. His brothers shared his interest and joined him in his search from time to time, although their fever was not so acute as that which seized Ed. As a boy he regularly took pick, shovel and gold pan and wandered alone into the hills, following the ravines and gulches. He was always seeking color, and even when he was occupied with his farm chores he would stop to break quartz into pieces and then examine those pieces for gold. He tried hs luck in every likely looking spot in the valley: Jackson Creek, Forest Creek, Grave Creek, Foots Creek, the Sterling Gulch, the Applegate River, the Illinois Valley and even the Umpqua country.
By the time he was a young adult he had missed very few places in Oregon. He had sometimes joined up with experienced sourdoughs and had tested nearly every productive spot, including regions of the McKenzie and the Calapooia rivers. He had also gone south to try his luck in the famous gold lodes of California. Stories of the fabled lost gold mines--the Blue Bucket, Massacre Lake, and the Lost Dutchman--were as familiar to him as his primer, and by perseverance, study and experience he gained a background that few prospectors acquire.
When he was twenty-one (1869) he wrote in his journal: "I'm getting restless here (Rogue River) and want to go somewhere that holds wealth for the digging of it. I can't say that I care to be rich--it is not that. If I had a fortune I suppose I'd not keep it long. I like the excitement of being right up against the earth trying to find her gold." (His writing skill is exceptional, particularly at a time when most prospectors were illiterate, and many could only sign their names with an X.)
Leaving his home and family, he began a roving existence which took him to Surprise Valley and the Pioche country in Nevada, the Salt Lake district in Utah, and back up to the Snake River and into the Boise Basin.
His trek led into Idaho during the coldest time of the year. It would seem that if one were going to wade around muddy river banks at random, he might pick a more agreeable climate in the winter months than that found in Idaho. Perhaps he too drew this conclusion, because he soon left the area and headed south through Nevada to the Grand Canyon and on into Texas.
His persistence was remarkable in the face of the adverse fortune he encountered at almost every step. A miner spurred with a little less insistent lust for gold would have yielded to despair early in the game. Almost always he was flat broke. While he was in Utah he wrote that his funds had run out "and I sold my saddle mule and put my blankets on my back." He had to beg a stranger for the twenty-five cents fare to cross the Colorado River, and in Texas he chopped wood to get eating money. Eventually he became seriously ill and returned home, arriving with only $2.50 in his poke.
At the end of three weeks he was longing to go back to the creeks. He borrowed $100 from his father and set out for Arizona. By the time he reached southeastern California, the money was gone and his blankets were again on his back. He was obliged to find a job, and he worked for fourteen months to save money enough to buy another outfit: a pair of mules, saddles, guns, food and mining equipment.
In January, 1877, he again set off for Arizona. After prospecting in the Grand Canyon country with no success he joined up for protection with some scouts who were patrolling the Apache territory of southern Arizona. At Camp Huachuca he found traveling with the army too slow for his liking, and he began making prospecting trips alone. The soldiers warned him repeatedly about the danger he faced, but he continued on his daily solitary trips. He assured the men at the fort that he would surely find something in that vast country. "Yes," said one of them, "you'll find your tombstone."
He was not more than thirty miles north of the Mexican border one day when he saw a geologic formation that attracted his interest. Examining it more closely, he drove his pick into the black ore. Scooping back the top earth, he uncovered a streak of almost pure silver. He could scarcely believe his eyes. This was it! All of a sudden he had found his treasure. He had always known he would find it; that was a sure thing. But this was like a plunge into an icy river. You think you're ready but . . . YOWEE! Remembering the soldier's admonition, he shouted, "I'll call it Tombstone," and piled up some rocks to mark his discovery. He gathered samples, assured himself he could find the spot again and made his way to Signal, Arizona, where his brother Al was working in the McCracken mine.
Ed waited outside the mine until his brother came off shift. Al scarcely recognized this dirty, ragged, unkempt man as his brother Ed. He was overjoyed to see him, but no amount of argument and logic could convince him to invest his savings in Tombstone. He was not going to give up a steady job for a risky mining venture.
Disillusioned, Ed went to work in the mine at Signal alongside his brother Al. Eventually, however, Richard Gird, the mining and mechanical engineer of the Signal mine, heard of Ed's strike, and, impressed with his considerable knowledge of geology, and the plausibility of his story, agreed to become a partner. Upon hearing of Gird's decision, Al relented and the three of them joined forces, although Al was still reluctant to put his money into the scheme. They arrived at Tombstone in February 1878. Richard Gird soon had a crude assay furnace in operation, and after examining the ledge at Tombstone, he concluded that the ore was rich but shallow. A second discovery was also only so-so, but a third ledge, the Tough Nut, was extremely rich in silver and gold. Ore samples assayed $15,000 to the ton.
The three of them returned jubilantly to Signal, filed their claims and forged back to Tombstone with equipment and personnel. The rush was on. Overnight a tent city appeared, and before a year had passed Tombstone had become a rowdy, roughneck town. The Schieffelins and Gird traded off part interest in the mine to men who put up a mill to refine the ore. In 1879 the mine paid over $50,000 a month.
In a May, 14, 1879 issue of the Oregon Sentinel the editor wrote:
LUCKY BOYS"The friends of C. Schieffelin and family will be glad to learn that his three sons have struck it rich in Arizona and are on the high road to prosperity. [Ed had rounded up another brother and invited him to join the project.] The eldest, E.L., left here in 1873, and in 1878, after many vicissitudes, having been twice run out of the mountains by Apaches, discovered the Tombstone silver mine, eighty miles south of the San Pedro River, in the Pima District. Taking in with him his brother, A. E. Schieffelin, who arrived in 1877, and a man named Gird, they secured several claims on the ledge, one of which they sold for $7,500. Other claims they have bonded for $100,000 and have sold one quarter of their first location on the ledge for a ten-stamp mill, which has just been put in running order. 'Effingham,' the youngest of the boys, went down last October, and is a sharer in the fund. The boys have sent a large amount of rich specimens to their parents, and their energy and pluck have evidently been well rewarded."
In 1880 the Schieffelin brothers sold their interest in the claim. They were wealthy men--rich beyond their dreams. Leaving Tombstone, they prepared to enjoy their new money at their well-earned leisure. Unfortunately, brother Al., who died in 1885, lived hardly long enough to become accustomed to his new status.
Ed was only thirty-two years old when he set out to see how the very rich do their thing. He patronized fashionable stores and ordered expensive hand-tailored suits. He seemed to be a little kinky for elegant, knee-high boots, and he preferred them with a high gloss.
He was surely an impressive figure as he visited the big cities in the East--Washington, Chicago and New York. He stayed in the most cosmopolitan hotels and dined in the finest restaurants. He was an easy spender and became a popular celebrity. Although his biographers wrote that he soon became bored with high living, he appears to have devoted a couple of years to it, so he couldn't have found luxury all that unpleasant. Even a sourdough of the first water might enjoy a stint as Man of the Hour.
Looking for gold, however, was his reason for being, and he ultimately spent a large sum of money to build a sternwheeler steamer for a prospecting trip to Alaska. He and several companions spent the summers of 1882 and 1883 on the Yukon, but they made no lucky strikes.
In the meantime Mary Brown, a young lady from San Francisco, entered his life. A little time on his hands gave him an opportunity at last for romance. In the fall of 1883 they were married, and the next year they settled in Alameda, California, where Ed purchased a mansion. In addition he bought a large home in Los Angeles and an orange orchard for his parents.
Ed was at the high spot in his life. He was a big man, weighing 200 pounds or more, with curly dark hair and beard. A representative from the Bancroft Company of California, who interviewed him about the beginning of Tombstone, described him as "large, bronzed, with keen blue eyes . . . a physically perfect man."
Marriage did not lessen his chronic gold fever. From time to time he made short trips in which he panned for gold, and he was continually planning his next expedition into big pay dirt country.
One night when he was half asleep, he suddenly remembered a spot in Southern Oregon which he felt he had failed to probe sufficiently; he had not explored carefully enough at the bedrock level. The thought that he had overlooked a Big One began to nag him, and around 1890 he returned to the Rogue River Valley which he had always regarded as his home.
Having left the area twenty years before as a penniless miner with no apparent prospects, he returned in grand style wearing an elegant Stetson, city duds, fancy-stitched calfskin boots which came up over his knees and a $450 watch with tiny bells that chimed the hour and the quarter hour. He arrived in a deep blue thoroughbrace coach with leather springs and yellow running gear, drawn by four perfectly matched sorrels. The folk in Woodville had never seen anything quite so splendid, but when they recognized him as a longtime friend they gave him a warm welcome. He visited boyhood friends, fished in the river, and sat for portraits at Peter Britt's studio in Jacksonville.
At Woodville he hired Charlie Warren, a young man of eighteen with no permanent job, to be his teamster and campmaker. For $20 a month Charlie would do the cooking, tend the horses and the outfit, and do the driving. He would also receive a cut of any gold Ed discovered. They set forth in a seemingly aimless manner, prospecting here and there, all the way from Coquille down to California, over to Nevada and back to Roseburg. Several times Ed found strong indications of gold but he passed them by. He was looking for another bonanza, even though the odds against two rich strikes in one lifetime were not in his favor.
In September, 1896, after dismissing Charlie Warren temporarily, he returned to Alameda and made his last will and testament. He left half of his estate to his wife Mary and half to his brother Jay. His brother Charles and his wife were named co-executors of the estate. Early in the spring of 1897 he headed back to Oregon, and, picking up Charlie Warren, he decided to try his luck again in Douglas County.
Finding an unoccupied cabin in the hills, he moved in, having left his valuable horses and his wagon with a rancher who lived near the mouth of Days Creek. He gave Charlie Warren some time off to return to Rogue River to visit his parents, and he settled into the cabin alone.
After a couple of weeks the rancher who was keeping his team became uneasy. Ed had said he'd be down for supplies at a specified time, and he failed to appear. When the local sheriff, Alex Orme, rode by the house, the farmer expressed his concern, and the sheriff, having a strong sense of foreboding, rode off at once to investigate. He found Ed Schieffelin dead, face down on the floor of the cabin.
He had been sitting at a table, breaking ore with a hammer, when he suddenly died--apparently from natural causes. The ore was later assayed at $2,000 a ton; it would [have] made its finder a fortune. The last entry in Ed's diary was "Struck it rich again, by God!"
Sheriff Orme wrapped him in a blue blanket--the only one in the cabin--and buried him under a tree not far from the doorway.
Charlie Warren said that Ed had traveled with two heavy wool blankets, one red and one blue. If his prospecting took him on an overnight trip, he always carried one of these blankets along. At his death the red blanket was not found in the cabin. Charlie deduced that the new strike was far enough away so that Ed had stayed overnight and had left the red blanket there, expecting to return. Wherever the red blanket would be found, there would be Ed's incredible rich last find--the Red Blanket Mine. Hundreds of hopeful prospectors have combed the hills around Canyonville, but, in true lost mine tradition, the fabulous treasure has never been found. The more persevering are still looking.
Excerpts from the last will of Ed Schieffelin:
"I give my wife, Mary E. Schieffelin, all interests, both real and personal properties . . . in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, California. Also 15 $1000 University of Arizona bonds. All other properties, both real and personal . . . I give to my brother, Jay L. Schieffelin. I have no children, but should anyone at their own expense prove to the satisfaction of my executors . . . to be a child of mine, to each I give the sum of $50.
"It is my wish . . . to be buried in the garb of a prospector, my old pick and canteen with me, on top of the granite hills about three miles westerly from the city of Tombstone, Arizona, and a monument such as prospectors build when locating a mining claim built over my grave . . . and that none of my friends wear crepe. Under no circumstances do I want to be buried in any cemetery or graveyard."
Ed Schieffelin was disinterred and shipped to Tombstone, where he was buried with his pick, shovel and canteen, just as he had requested. The pile of stone, his marker, is still there, three miles west of Tombstone, which like so many other boom towns has seen its glamor and glitter fade away. Yet Tombstone, "The Town Too Tough To Die," stands today as a living monument to Ed Schieffelin, who knew from the very first that one day he would make it big.
Table Rock Sentinel, Southern Oregon Historical Society, January 1983, pages 13-18
CLINTON SCHIEFFELINClinton Schieffelin was born in 1823 in New York City. When he was two years old his parents took him to Mexico City, where his father went into business as a druggist. The father soon developed considerable enthusiasm for the apothecary trade but little appreciation for the charms of Mexico, and about a year later brought his family back to New York, where he continued with the pharmacy business. In the city, however, he met with great competition, and after a few years of little profit determined to move to a more advantageous location before he faced bankruptcy. The family then moved to Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania he extended his business interests to include agriculture, and young Clinton grew up on the family farm.
As a boy he worked for his father and for people on neighboring farms. When he was about twenty he got a job in a lumber mill at a regular salary, met Miss Jane Walker and began courting. In 1845 they were married and soon started raising a family.
In 1849 news that gold had been discovered in California ushered in a period of restlessness. Many young men headed west as soon as they could, and those who stayed behind were nagged by the thoughts of sudden wealth as their fancies were sparked with persistent tales of rich strikes in the gold fields.
Clinton Schieffelin resisted the enticement for several years, but in 1852 he could no longer ignore the yen to go. Leaving his wife and children, he joined his brother-in-law, Joe Walker, and the two sailed for California, passing through the Straits of Magellan. He had decided that after he had struck it rich and had tamed a little patch of the wilderness, he would return to Pennsylvania and fetch his family.
He and Joe Walker tried their luck along the Feather River, but that region was pretty well exhausted and they had no luck. Hearing the tales of the glories of Southern Oregon, they headed north, reaching the Rogue River Valley early in 1853, just at the beginning of the rebellion of the Rogue Indians.
Much to his credit today, "Scheff," as he was familiarly known, told the settlers he was not "stuck after" killing people. He did his best to avoid any participation in the fighting, but to disprove a charge of cowardice, took part in the battle of Hungry Hill, where the Indians were the easy victors and the armies of volunteers and regulars were forced to make a hasty and humiliating retreat.
In 1853 Scheff and Joe Walker bought a land claim along the Rogue and at the same time filed for a donation claim near Jewett's Ferry. They combined mining and farming and met with considerable success in both endeavors.
By 1857 Jane Walker Schieffelin and her six-children--four boys and two girls--crossed the plains and came to Oregon. Whether Scheff went to fetch them as planned or whether she bundled up her young ones and made the trip without him is not recorded. The children were Ed, Jay, Al, Charles (Effingham), Lizzie and Lottie. Two more boys were born at Rogue River.
Jan and Clinton Schieffelin were from sturdy stock, industrious, devout and sociable. There children were taught to live by the same rules, and they possessed the same qualities.
As they grew older they became attractive, popular young people, held in high regard and warm affection by their many friends in the valley and particularly in the Rogue River area.
News items about the family frequently appeared in the Oregon Sentinel and the Democratic Times, reporting that Lottie and Lizzie had visited Jacksonville for shopping or to attend a party or a wedding or that one of the boys had made a lucky strike while prospecting.
The sons, who dutifully helped their father with farming chores, were all interested in mining and when they found time diligently panned for gold, often making lucrative finds in the areas around Foots Creek and Evans Creek. Ed, the oldest, however, was obsessed with prospecting, and before he was ten years old had ranged far and wide seeking veins of pay dirt and sometimes had surprising successes. The fact that he eventually found a legendary fortune was probably less luck than expertise which was gained by his years of experience with a gold pan and a pick.
In 1879 the editor of the Sentinel featured a series of biographies of Southern Oregon's outstanding first citizens. Of Clinton Schieffelin he wrote: "He is a Republican of the old solid type, hard to swerve from his convictions. His sterling character can be appreciated when it is related that when [he was] Justice of the Peace, one of his sons violated the game law by killing a deer and was fined twenty-dollars by his father, who had to pay the fine out of his own pocket." The editor concluded that "no more need be said of his integrity and sense of justice than this, and if there is a man in this whole country who can relate a mean act of 'old Scheff' we do not know him.
Over the years the farm flourished and Clinton Schieffelin acquired considerable capital and property, and by the time he was fifty he had become a venerable citizen. The children had left home and, the Sentinel declared, were "paddling their own canoes and paddling them well."
In 1879 Scheff returned to Pennsylvania to visit his aged parents and made an extended stay of three months. He was almost sixty at the time, and his parents must have been enchanted to see him again after so many years of separation.
This was the time that Ed made his famous find at Tombstone. After he, his brother Al, and their associate, Richard Gird, began their operations, the mine paid over $50,000 a month, and when it was sold in 1880 the men received money beyond their wildest dreams. Ed, always close to his family, at once decided that all of them would share his fortune. Three of the boys, Ed, Al and Effingham, having worked the mine, received shares, and Ed gave Lottie and Lizzie and the other three brothers generous gifts, presenting C.L., the youngest, with a hotel in Los Angeles. He bought an orange orchard in Southern California for his parents.
Perhaps Clinton Schieffelin should have realized his roots were deep in Rogue River soil and that at sixty he might better prepare for a comfortable retirement than a complete change of occupation, but he was probably caught up in the excitement of Ed's sudden wealth, and he agreed to relinquish his prosperous farm with its fields and stock and set out for another new world. Not willing for the family home to go to strangers, Effingham paid his father $9,000 for it and assumed its operation.
In less than a year Scheff became dissatisfied with life as an orange orchardist. In January 1881 Effingham came back from a family reunion in Los Angeles with the news that Clinton and Jane Schieffelin were homesick and were planning to return to Rogue River in time for spring planting.
Reports then began appearing in the local newspapers that Clinton was not in the best of health. In April, he was unable to make his return trip to Southern Oregon. He was suffering from pneumonia and "at one time was so low as to cause alarm." A couple of months later a newspaper item revealed "the old gentleman was afflicted with the mumps."
Selling the orange orchard, Clinton Schieffelin bought a new home in Los Angeles. He may have decided against the return to the farm because such a move would not be fair to Effingham. By fall of the year, Jane Schieffelin, weary with her exile, accompanied her son, C.L., on a visit to Southern Oregon, but she soon returned to Los Angeles because she was concerned about Clinton's health.
The Oregon Sentinel of April 19, 1884, contained the announcement: "A telegraphic dispatch was received by the secretary of Jacksonville Lodge No. 10, I.O.O.F., conveying the sad intelligence of the death of Clinton Schieffelin at his home in Los Angeles, April 15."
In the next issue, April 26, additional details were given:
"Clinton Schieffelin, father of Ed Schieffelin, the discoverer of the Tombstone and the explorer of the Yukon River, committed suicide . . . by shooting himself with a revolver, the ball entering the forehead and passing through the back of the head. The deceased had been complaining of feeling ill several days, but as he was of a genial disposition the rash act takes all of his friends by surprise. He was a native of New York City and 61 years old."
Suicide is hard to accept. Those close to the victim are usually beset by eternally unanswered questions: What did I do that I shouldn't have done? What did I fail to do that I should have done? How could I have prevented it? Grief is accompanied with guilt. After the first shock of surprise and sorrow, the Schieffelin family began to rationalize. Could it have been an accident? Surely Papa couldn't have willingly left us. What is the reasonable and more easily accepted cause of his death?
In the June 7, 1884, issue of the Sentinel Reverend J.W. Ellis presented his conclusions about the death. After much methodical thinking, he became certain it was no suicide. His thesis is kinder by far than the harsh story which had been presented as truth.
THE LATE CLINTON SCHIEFFELIN"This sad event is relieved by the fact that it was the result of an accident . . . which might happen to anyone.
"It was not even momentary insanity. He spent the preceding evening aiding the youngest grandson in the family in his mathematical studies, and was more than is usual cheerful and happy, and slept all night soundly, and not to exceed five minutes preceding his death talked intelligently to his wife about the state of his health, and was in the act of dressing for breakfast when the accident occurred.
"His business affairs were in a satisfactory condition. He was in excellent spirits. His family was a source of gladness rather than sadness. He was treated with love and respect.
"The circumstances show conclusively that it was an accident. The revolver was one left in the house by an absent son. He was not familiar with it. There had been a recent burglary in the vicinity so he purchased some cartridges, loaded the weapon and placed it under his pillow. Mrs. S., being timid, removed it to the stand drawer without his notice of knowledge. On the morning of his death he had occasion to open the drawer for some medicine and in the early twilight was surprised to lay his hand upon the weapon. The stand and the bed are so close together that when the body fell the space would not admit the prostrate form, but left it in a bowed state. Surprised by touching the weapon, he seems to have stooped to look into the drawer, at the same time lifting the weapon. The attitude of his head was such as to bring it in the line of the muzzle of the weapon, which was a self-priming revolver, and being unfamiliar with it, the discharge was accidental and the result fatal. The facts relieve the family, friends and community of this deep sorrow. It is but an act of justice to the memory of the dead that these facts be made public."
Reverend Ellis' essay may indeed be fact rather than fiction, but it doesn't quite quell all the nagging doubt. But if one repeats it often enough, it may in time acquire the ring of truth.
Table Rock Sentinel, Southern Oregon Historical Society, November 1983, pages 19-23
Last revised November 28, 2020