Hat Creek Dateline: 1878/01/18
Officials on the lookout
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer
The weekly treasurer coach that came through here yesterday with Capt. Walter Scott Davis and D. Boon May riding shotgun arrived in Cheyenne today on schedule. Treasure in the "salamander" safe on this trip included a gold "button" valued at $7,400. It was a product of the last cleanup from the Hidden Treasure Mine and Mill. Tim Dyer is president, and I.C. Whpple is treasurer of the Hidden Treasure Mine.
It seems as though the road agents have gone into "hibernation" for the winter, at least they have not held up any stages during the last several weeks. However, stage company officials and local authorities keep up their search for outlaws who already have perpetrated crimes against the stages. Stage company detectives continue to scour the northland, visiting ranches and known hang-outs of the outlaws.
In the last two years the mining business in the Black Hills has settled down to substantial proportions. In this time the Hills have changed from a trackless wilderness to one of the richest gold producing areas of the world. Over $10 million worth of gold have already been added to the wealth of the United States from the Black Hills. Most of this gold has been transported through here by the Cheyenne Black Hills Stage Company.
The helter-skelter stampedes of prospectors looking for something better "just over the next hill" are over. Many of the big strikes, especially around Deadwood City must now be developed through the expenditure of large capital.
About 700 stamp mills are now at work in the Hills and twice that many are needed. Most of this heavy equipment has been freighted by here, and great strings of freighting outfits are still laboring northward loaded with more heavy mining machinery in addition to other supplies.
Jack Gilmer has pronounced the Black Hills to be the "best mining country in the world." He and Monroe Salisbury, both owners of the stage line, are interested in mining gold as well as transporting it over their stage line. In addition to their holdings near Deadwood City, they have invested heavily in various properties near Lead, including the Homestake. George Hearst and other Californians also have interests in the Homestake.
Gilmer and Salisbury have induced California and Nevada bonanza kings to inspect the Black Hills mines. Gilmer said he anticipates an influx of capital that would bring "a better class of travel," over the stage line. He feels that the day of the bonanza kings is indeed at hand for the Black Hills.
(Information source: "The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Routes," by Agnes Wright Spring).