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Transcript of interview with Murl Emery by James M. Greene, October 18, 1974




On October 18, 1974, James M. Greene interviewed Murl Emery (born June 7th, 1903 in Bolton, California) at his home in Nelson, Nevada. Also present during the interview is Mrs. Emery and Mr. Dutch Eckhart, a guest who has just arrived to visit with Mr. Emery. The interview covers Mr. Emery’s personal experience in and around Southern Nevada, particularly in the areas from Searchlight, Nevada to Nelson, to Boulder Canyon, but mostly on the Colorado River. Mr. Eckhart also helps to interject some insight into the popularity of the Model T Ford in those days and early days of newly paved roads. Additionally, they discuss water shortage, wells, the building of the railroad, and mining in Nevada. Mr. Emery also discusses the books that were written about his adventurous life, his discoveries and his explorations.

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Emery, Murl Interview, 1974 October 18. OH-00538. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery i An Interview with Murl Emery An Oral History Conducted by James M. Greene Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018 UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery iv Abstract On October 18, 1974, James M. Greene interviewed Murl Emery (born June 7th, 1903 in Bolton, California) at his home in Nelson, Nevada. Also present during the interview is Mrs. Emery and Mr. Dutch Eckhart, a guest who has just arrived to visit with Mr. Emery. The interview covers Mr. Emery’s personal experience in and around Southern Nevada, particularly in the areas from Searchlight, Nevada to Nelson, to Boulder Canyon, but mostly on the Colorado River. Mr. Eckhart also helps to interject some insight into the popularity of the Model T Ford in those days and early days of newly paved roads. Additionally, they discuss water shortage, wells, the building of the railroad, and mining in Nevada. Mr. Emery also discusses the books that were written about his adventurous life, his discoveries and his explorations. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 1 Murl Emery in Nelson Nevada, on October 18th, 1974. We’re going to talk about Mr. Emery’s experience in and around Southern Nevada, particularly in the areas from Searchlight, Nevada to Nelson, to Boulder Canyon, but mostly on the Colorado River. And of course, the mining associated in this area, with the community or sometimes properly called in those days as the mining camp of Nelson. This tape will be deposited in the University of Nevada Las Vegas library and in Special Collections of Nevada History for the purposes of research and completing work or contributing, rather, work to the master’s history project of the interviewer. Mr. Emery, you said you’re, you came to the river in about what year? About 1917. Since 1917 my father (unintelligible) came up with a homestead, on Cottonwood Valley and of course, that was for me, because that was on the Colorado River. Always fascinated by rivers, wherever I could find them. And of course, at that tender age, we didn’t have too much of a chance. But anyway, he came up with a ferry along with the homestead and later when he was headed for another Green Valley, why, I stayed and operated the ferry, when I was about sixteen years old. But the highlight to me was when the beaver trappers came down the river, every winter, I would be waiting for them. Because they represented something that I thought was real important and of course it was. So— Mr. Emery, were these the so-called “Mountain Men of the West”? Ah, yes. Yes. They would be the Mountain Men. The reason that they came to the Colorado River, of course was only for beaver. And I became knowledgeable about the trapping of beaver. So every winter for a few winters that’s, I was, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old. I would always—wherever I was, working around the mines or the cow ranches in Southern Nevada, I would always head back to the river for my cash crop. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 2 This was about say 1920 or ’21? No later than that. From seventeen to twenty, twenty-one. That’s right. I’m curious about the operation of the ferry, Mr. Emery. If my memory serves me that there was no power operation, you operate out of a cable, across the river with a currant. Would you please explain that? Well, that is true to a point. The old Searchlight ferry that my father had leased was a motorboat type ferry. The ferry at Nelson was a cable ferry. The ferry that I built and put in operation, the Paris’s ferry, that’s at the mouth of the Grand Canyon, was a cable ferry. And my later ferry at Bolthead was a cable ferry. So we had two types of ferry, cable or power, depending on what you wanted to build and your river conditions and so forth. For instance, there’d be no way of operating a cable ferry in the Cottonwood Valley area. Too many sandbars, and you had to move your landings on both sides of the river, to wherever the sandbars would let you run your ferry. Okay now, Mr. Emery, do you recall—you say you came back for your cash crop, which was operating the ferry across the river. Do you recall particularly any heavy type of traffic, say, that might be associated with mining or was it people, or just travelers or what, what was your type of traffic? About half of our business, teams and wagons. Teams and Wagons. Maybe the short half of our business was on teams and wagons. And of course that had the right idea, and later I carried two of them. At that time whisky was, moonshine was sixty dollars a gallon in Clark County and four of five dollars a gallon in did I say Mojave county? No. Not yet. At that time whisky, moonshine, was sixty dollars a gallon in Mojave County. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 3 You said, same amount. That was Clark County. Nah but Clark County price was five dollars a gallon. That saves that! So that looked like an opportunity, so the fact that (unintelligible) teams and wagons and so forth, we really lived off of hauling the whisky runners, if you want to call ‘em that—from Nevada into Mojave County. We would, after all, five dollars against sixty dollars, was a kind of a lucrative way of making your river crossings. What was your charge for a trip across the river? Or depending on, was it depending on what you were hauling? Or the weight of it? Or? How would you determine the charges? Our automobiles, we’d charge three dollars and fifty cents, a teams and wagons were a different price schedule, matter fact, no schedule. You either haul ‘em for nothing or you got a few dollars out of ‘em but the guys hauling the whisky, moonshine, course they were only chargeable to three and a half dollars but there was a whole lot more in it than that. Because they were happy to get their load across to Colorado River. So that was the lucrative part of it, was hauling whisky across—they’d come down in their pickups, they didn’t have pickups in those days in their cars, loaded with, the (unintelligible) and chloride and whatnot, to get into that sixty dollar a gallon market. Mr. Emery, did this mean that you had to be, live right at your ferry, on the river, to be on-call at all times? Or would they have to wait until morning until—? There was no night traffic. No night traffic? No night traffic. Everything was in the morning. Did you live on the river? Or up above? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 4 On the river. On the river. Right at the ferry. Did you have a permanent dwelling or a temp? A few boards and arrow weed shades and whatnot. About half off the country and half off of Bree and lumber. But it was comfortable enough. I had a problem of course to water, the river water was so dirty. (Laughs) And thick with mud that you would have a certain number of barrels set up right along the river bank and you would barrel this mud in, this Colorado River water. And let it settle overnight and by that time it was usable for all purposes. Did you have a loan at this time, Mr. Emery? Ah. Or have a helper? No helper. No helper. I lived pretty well alone. But of course (unintelligible) was a very efficient operator and I wasn’t, I had something real interesting, why, I’d leave the ferry and let him wait for a day or two. After all, they weren’t going no place, and I had something important to do. I didn’t know what it was at the time but it was important. (Laughs) So. Interesting life. (Laughs) We, course, you gotta remember this, when I hit the labor force at sixteen years old, us kids had a choice. We could either go to work on the cow ranches or we could go to work in the mines. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 5 And there was no other money available except the cow ranches or the mines. I was never compatible with a cow. We didn’t get along, so—so I didn’t, oh I worked in, with cow men occasionally, in later years. I spent quite a little time, I graduated way up to a mule skinner at one time. (Laughs) What would a mule skinner earn, in a month, say? Oh, ninety dollars. Ninety a month? That was good wages. That was real good wages, yes. I gravitated to those high paying jobs. So if you hired me, I only stayed long enough till I could find one of those high paying jobs. (Laughs) So. But we had to—we had no (unintelligible) we just didn’t have too much, although the river at that time, in this Nelson-Cottonwood area, had (unintelligible) with catfish. Catfish? Bullhead catfish. Yes. The little ones. The small. Mm-hmm. So that was an important part of our food supply, or my food supply. Of course there was rabbits and there was game. And you gotta remember this, cows were worth ten bucks a head. Cattle were worth ten dollars a head? Ten dollars. Throw in the calf. (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 6 So, it wasn’t too much of a thing to have meet. So this meat was raised locally? Right on the river bank. Right on the river bank. Right in the little bush flats that would flood every year and make feed. Flood. Now that you mention floods, of course before the starting of the Bureau of Reclamation Black Canyon project with Hoover Dam, I just wondered how many months of the year you could operate your ferry? And during those times did you have to go back to the mines when the water was on the rampage? No. The ferry was every day of the year. Floods didn’t bother your operation? Yes. They bothered but— Couldn’t put you out of business? You designed and repaired (unintelligible) Improvised. Improvised for them and—and of course, the extreme floods like the one in 1921, why, that put everybody out of business. The river ran two hundred and ten thousand cubic (unintelligible) feet. And I don’t think it run that much since. Course with the (unintelligible) dammed up, why— They’re very unlikely? Yes. Yes. Never happen again? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 7 Never happen again. Real, I furnished the boats for the engineering and whatnot of the dam. I took the first, I skippered the first motor boat, which Al Jorgensen owned in (Unintelligible). But he was never a skipper on there. I docked that boat up through the Black Canyon and Boulder Canyon in 1921. And that was the first power driven boat ever up the river with the exception of the old steamer. That’s as far as you could go at that time. Ah. Ran out of (Laughs) enough water to navigate probably, huh? You never had enough water because you couldn’t—you never had enough power but what you’d have to wait for a little water to make your trips. I see. ‘Cause you got stuck with a boat that would go seven miles an hour on a rapids that would run eight. (Laughs) And you’d develop quite a little skill in overcoming a condition like that. (Unintelligible) (Laughs) And I became very proficient at it. I could look at that Colorado River and by the action of the surface water I could tell you within an inch how deep it was. And it was an open book to me. Yes. Because that was—that was my life, at the time. And when I came through here in 1921, I was well acquainted in this Nelson River area. Much due to the fact that this was one of the choice beaver trapping areas. Yes. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 8 And I, I might mention something here, the reason that these mountain men came down to the Colorado River for beaver was the fact that the Colorado River beaver brought the highest price of any beaver in the western hemisphere. Colorado River beaver. That’s right. First because the mild conditions they grew bigger and the perfect food, willows and cottonwoods and whatnot. They bred and grew to maturity right here on the river? Right here and they didn’t have dams of course because nobody ever condemned Colorado River. So they would dig in right under the low water level and make an entrance, then come up with an opening. Then cover that opening with (unintelligible) willow sticks and use cottonwood sticks and so forth and so on. Surely. And that was their home. In other words— And the second thing that (unintelligible) Sure, surely. This beaver thing. Yes. First of all, the blankets were huge. The blankets? Yes. That’s the pelt, the hide. That’s the pelt, okay. Secondly, due to the mild winter conditions here, they didn’t grow many guard hairs. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 9 Guard hairs? Yes. Now to make a beaver usable, to make a beaver hat or whatever you’re using it for, they had to pluck all the guard hair. Pluck the guard hairs. And up north in your zero trapping area and so forth, the beaver grew a tremendous amount of guard hairs. So that was a costly thing and it weakened the hide level or whatnot. But here a minimum of guard hairs, larger blankets and so forth, brought the premium price and of course that brought out the beaver trappers. And the home they had was actually about the middle of the river, huh? The home? The beavers tunnel under the river? No. Under the bank. Under the bank? I see. Yes. Yes. They’d dig in underneath the water level at the bank and then curve up to an opening and cover that with a tremendous amount of willows and— Willows? And cottonwood and so forth and just make a big mound, maybe six to eight feet high and twenty feet across. That was their home? That’s where they lived. That’s right. And of course they’d never have to come into the open to get into the river because they’d go down through their little opening they’d dug underneath the river bank. So I, oh, we got as high as thirty dollars a blanket. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 10 Mr. Emery, that is so interesting but I’m just curious and I know you’ll know about the nature of the beaver is to make a dam. Well, here, on the Colorado River, you apparently found that impossible to do, and that’s why he made his home underneath the bank. (Unintelligible) And his activities, see, during a year’s period would be just feeding and growing? Mm-hmm. Or did he make attempts at dam something where he’d have a slew, or some kind of a pond? No, no. Not that I know of. They’re a different character than the mountain beaver. Well, thank you. They didn’t make their lakes or anything. They just lived on the river bank in their holes you might say. I’m sure this is new information (Laughs) that I’ve never heard of before and well, thank you for that. Did you know Mr. (Unintelligible)? Oh, I got real well acquainted with old timer (Unintelligible) but he was dead when I did it. (Laughs) I just wondered if—(Laughs) I knew his boys and whatnot. And the old (Unintelligible) ranch but, they were real nice. The reason I said I got well acquainted with him when Hollow Garrison was moving the graves out of the lake bed well, they uncovered old Daniel. (Laughs) He was really something to see. His hair was perfectly combed, he had silk black neck tie on underneath his beard and he was in perfect shape. Absolutely. He was just well groomed? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 11 Yes. Well groomed. I’ll tell you. (Laughs) He wasn’t a typical frontiers man in his dress, was he? No. At that time? No. Well, he was an outstanding citizen of this area. His influence came clear down into here. He was the man. About that time then, how many ferries were in existence? Yours and Mr. (Unintelligible) and is there one south of you? That was the, beginning at Needles. At Needles? Yes. Sweeney had a ferry at Needles, and that was a power ferry. The next ferry was Cottonwood, that operated— Yes. More or less, off and on, from about 1915 to 1921, when they moved that to Bullhead. The next ferry was at the cable ferry here at Nelson, which washed out in 1919. And of course, I didn’t cry too much about it because of ferry traffic crossing here had to come down and cross our ferry at the cottonwood. And the next ferry was (Unintelligible) That was up river? Up river. Out in the middle of the virgin—big lake. Yes. Basin. Basin. That’s right. The next ferry was at Greg’s. Greg’s? Greg’s. That is— UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 12 That’s up or down river now? Up the river above (Unintelligible) Yes. And the next ferry was the old, old ferry, was at Paris’s ferry. Paris’s. Which is in off the Grand Canyon and that of course died early in the game. That was out there by the Mormons when they were trying to get in to Arizona. And down crossing from Saint George into Arizona. So that was, that many ferries. Now they—you wonder why they could support so many ferries. Yes. I do. Well, it was a starve-to-death deal, you know. You didn’t get a good support out of it. But if you, if your wagon, you’re driving through, as I said before, we had lots of wagon and horse traffic and so forth—if you could make a sixty mile cut off, you made two or three days saving in your trip. Certainly did. When you’re dragging a wagon. So any place they could have a road on both sides of the river some enterprising soul including myself would build a ferry. Was there any point on the Arizona side of the river where these, say the transcontinental trails would split and they would go from one ferry to the other, they make their selection? To a point, yes, see, this ferry here, of course was a mail route through here. The Nelson ferry was a mail runner? Mail runner, from White Hills through Eldorado Canyon here. Was that horseback? Mail carried by horseback? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 13 Yes. All the mail routes through here were. I see. But they probably did have a stager on there but I’m sure they must have had a stage run across there, when the White Hills was booming when this camp was growing. Stages supplemented, or they carried the heavier loads? Yes. They carried the heavier loads. What stage? Do you remember the name of that stage? No, no. I have no (unintelligible) on that stage. There’s a lot of independence in those days too weren’t there? (Laughs) Oh, a lot of wonderful things went along. The, there was some guy here got a mail contract to haul mail with his rider and his pack horse from Eldorado Canyon for Nelson and the whole, that things been torn apart and put together for over a hundred years, which is Eldorado Canyon and which is Nelson. Nelson. Yes. (Laughs) And it’s still that way today, more or less. But this one guy got a contract to haul mail to Callville. Callville Bay? To Callville. Which is Callville now. Yes. You know why the Mormons built that. The big stone (unintelligible) Well, I know there’s a Mr. John Callville that was in that area. No, I don’t know why the Mormons built Callville. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 14 Well, due to the Civil War it became next to impossible to get freight across these United States to Salt Lake. So the Mormons come up with the idea of building a warehouse in a town at the lower end of Boulder Canyon, which they named Callville, with the idea of bringing their necessary freight up the Colorado River to Callville and then (unintelligible) into the Mormon area. Well, that never worked out. I don’t believe there was ever more than two or three steamers ever got up to that point. And then, the war ended, so that did, they never even totally completed their warehouse, big thing (unintelligible) I see. So that died when there was no more civil war. You see things spot at Nelson and Eldorado here was the last scheduled steam boat, planning on, up to Colorado River. This is as far as the steamers could get, under their own power. So they ran freight up here, beginning about 1859 or ’60, for the mining camps of Hico and the area north of us, see, there was no freight demand here until well 1851. Was it? There was a freighter came through here his name was (Unintelligible) oh, I can’t think of it. Well, this is before Major Paul’s time then, on the river? Yes. Mm-hmm. So he discovered gold right here. Right behind you. The way he discovered it— In what year did he discover the gold? 1851. 1851 in Nelson? That’s right. And he was the operator of this ferry—steam boat? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 15 No, no. He was—government was asking for bids to haul freight from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Fort Katie, which is Barstow. Well, Park Katie was Barstow. And the government said that the road would parallel the thirty-fifth parallel as close as possible. So in his crude reckoning he came to concluding that the Moapa Eldorado Canyon here would be the northern most place that he could cost. So he came through here in 1851, with his pack mule train and he stopped for lunch right here in, my backyard. Right in your backyard. And his mule boys started to pan this gravel, which you see behind you. Yes. And he found some gold, the mule boy did, in his dinner, dinner plate. So Albright swore him all to secrecy and he came back in 1855 with some goldminers, plaster miners, from the mother lode. And they went to work here and in just a matter of days found out there wasn’t enough gold here to justify mining. So then the word got out, gold had been discovered. But that didn’t created a boom or anything, but there was a group of hard rock quartz miners from the mother lode, now you gotta remember by 1860 the Mother lode was just, there was so many miners, they were just crowded out. Yes. So they came down here in 1860 and they found the rich quartz load mine. They found the Gracie right above us here. The Gracie? In Nelson and that ran three thousand dollars a ton on the surface. (Whistles) Oh! UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 16 They found the (Unintelligible) they found the (unintelligible) they found most of the real rich ore deposits and they immediately went on to work to build mills and so forth to harvest their strike. Before that they were using Spanish (unintelligible) to recover the gold but that’s too slow a way. So they build a gold mill down at the mouth of this Eldorado Canyon, we’re sitting in, in the early sixties. 1860? In the sixties, and they started harvesting the, their bonanza. So Nelson is operated more or less continuously or there’d be a couple years of depressed conditions and so forth, since oh say 1863 to 1942, when the war production boards saw fit, not to give these gold miners, any dynamite or labor couldn’t be had. The whole thing was over. You might—you could say that the war production board stopped them from mining, and that was in 1942. So up to this day, we haven’t been able to reactivate the mines. Mr. Emery has interjected a point of great interest here about the transportation in and around Nelson in the early 1920s about the advent of the Model T Ford. And he mentions at some time, the Model T’s were packed up into the hills to the mines to use as shuttle vehicles and freight. On the other hand I’m going to leave Mr. Emery and Mr. Dutch Eckhart, a guest who has just arrived to visit with Mr. Emery, about how far you could go with a modern four wheel vehicle and then where you would find a Model T. Mr. Emery would you please care to comment on transportation and during those days and around Nelson in the mining areas, please? Well, in the early ‘20s and late teens, of course, the Model T was a popular vehicle. There was many others, there were some good ones, some bad, but the Model T of course, you found everywhere. And I can explain it quite easily. If you drive your four wheel up some of these old UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 17 roads as far as you can go and then you get out and walk, then you’ll find parts of Model T’s ahead of you. I don’t know how they got there, it’s just a miracle, but they did. One of our big problems in running the ferry down here, speaking of Model T’s, going up the mountain to Chloride, the hill was so steep you’d get no oil in your front bearing. And yet burn the front bearing out so you had no choice except turn your car around and back of it. Back it. If you wanted up there. But we made bearings out of leather. Out of leather? Out of leather, after you burn out bearing. Yes. Why then you cut a piece of leather and put in there, and that was marvelous. It would probably last a mile. Last a mile. (Laughs) Real important (unintelligible) That was another mile. That was important. (Laughs) Yes and bacon rind (unintelligible) Bacon rind. Bacon rind, too? Bacon rind. We always had bacon with us. That’s right. Cut a piece of bacon up, said, the hide, and make yourself a bearing. All the oil, (Laughs) all the oil was not where it was needed. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 18 You—I might bring out the point that in about 1921, there was thirty miles of paved road in the state of Nevada. Thirty miles in Nevada? My goodness. And the only paved road we had in Southern Nevada was from Fremont Street to Fifth Street. Fremont to Fifth was—? And the other paved road was from Reno to— Sparks. Carson City. Sparks. And Sparks. And Sparks? Well, I see— That’s where the railroad crossed over, wasn’t it, huh? No, I seen, they had a streetcar went from Sparks to Reno. Reno. Yes. That was in our town. And that was the only place that they added blacktop. (Laughs) And later on the blacktop was from Carson City to Reno. That was the first long village road. Las Vegas, I mean for a while there, down by Fremont was just, when it rained just went down into two ruts in the middle of it. (Laughs) That was boot country wasn’t it? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 19 Well, that is important because it shows what’s happened, and of course in my short lifetime. You’d find these poor guys coming up to the ferry landing in their (unintelligible) big fine automobiles and whatnot, with manila rope wrapped around the wheels trying to get a little farther, a little farther. But this arrow had a trail, which started up at Salt Lake and went down to what is now the junction in 95 and 66. Yes. That was at the Arrow Head Trail. And there was a very lucrative business going on in Searchlight. (Laughs) In the early ‘20s. Because the railroad still ran out through Searchlight and these guys would show up in their (Unintelligible) and their Thomas Pliers and their beautiful things and they’d load ‘em on flat cars. (Laughs) Ship ‘em out of Searchlight. What, does the railroad run from Searchlight straight down to Needles? No. No. Down to Gulfs. Down to Gulfs. That’s where the junction is. I remember that because that’s where we had to water. That was the only water available in that area. Right at the junction (unintelligible)? Santa Fe Water. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 20 Right there. Ninety-five and sixty-six. (Unintelligible)? No. That—Barnwell happened— It had a different name then when I go up there. There’s another name, that’s right. That’s from—they built the railroad from Gulf and they were headed to Death Valley Junction to get that lucrative-- Well, that’s the Tonopah and Tidewater. No. This was the, what later turned out to be the Searchlight short line. When they got up about Ivanpah, the Tonopah and Tidewater was ahead of ‘em. So the Santa Fe realized that if they was going up to Death Valley Junction, Tonopah and Tidewater is already there, what the hell, they’re out of business. Yes. (Unintelligible) So then they went back to Barnwell and branched over to Searchlight. Yes. And continued the railroad to Searchlight. They did the last twenty years. Then Bill Crosser told me he worked down at T and T, he came here in 1902, he said. 1902. He came to Nelson in 1902? No. Through that, to work on that railroad. Oh worked on the railroad. Santa Fe. And then from there when the railroad completed he come here. How he got here, I don’t know he never told me. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 21 (Laughs) But Ray told me but I forgot. Who cares? He’d be one of the old famous miners here. What was his name? Bill Crosser Bill Crosser. That man would sink a hundred foot shaft if he was sure there was a quart of whisky at the bottom of it. (Laughs) Yes sir, old Bill was something else, again. That motivated a lot of miners. You talk to Mrs. Peterson about Ike Alcock? Not yet, not about Ike, no. She know all about Ike. Yes. He— Ike Alcock. She’s sitting on more than us. She got all the history of old Ike. Yes? Yes. (Unintelligible) Ike used to (unintelligible) Don’t forget to (unintelligible) I will I’ll put it down (unintelligible) Yes. Ike used to live with her over there (unintelligible) How do you spell his last name? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 22 Alcock. Alcock? Ike Alcock. Well, listen, he’s buried over there. I think his name is on it. Okay. Well, thank you Dutch, I’ll certainly, when we talk to Eva Peterson, we’ll talk about Ike Alcock, too. She’s probably got all that history what Ike ever told us when we were there. That was in 1902? 1900 up to 1930-something. When did Ike die? Oh. I don’t know. That’s quite a while. Twenty years. Did he own a mine, Mr. Emery? No, no. He— He was a miner, huh? He was a squaw man and he just lived here for what—fifty years? The way you say he came here in 1898. 1898. Or ’96 somewhere in along there. I’m sure you’ve got all this written down. I think she can tell you more than I can. Uh-huh. So I really don’t want to be talking for a long time. See when I come here, coming through, Alcock, (unintelligible) Matt Simon, (unintelligible) Shaw. Matt Simon? UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 23 Yes. Matt Simon, he— Was Pop Simon ever around this area? No. I know he was over Gene. Pop Simon was here. He was here? He was here, yes. He was here? (Unintelligible) Matt Simon. This was Matt’s? All right then. All those old timers are all (unintelligible) Mr. Emery, were these deep mines? Or were they ran in the seams? Ran unpredictably through the rock? The one thing you could be pretty sure of, when you got deep enough you run into sulfites then your value dropped. And how ‘bout the water problem? Did you have that like they did in the Mother lode? Just the other way. We had no water. Had no water? No water. How did you mine without water? It wasn’t easy. See what happened, why, they built the stat mill on the Colorado River. Oh yes. And haul the ore to them with the fact that a stat mill uses so much water. UNLV University Libraries Murl Emery 24 Yes. That you couldn’t have a stat mill on— On the mining site. On the mining site. So when they come up with the cyanide process, oh, right after the turn of the century, then it was possible to move the mills to the mines, because cyanide processing of the gold and silver only takes roughly a ton of water to tunnel ore. Would you just briefly describe the cyanide method for us, Mr. Emery? I understand it dissolved everything but the gold. Could you clear that up for a layman? Dissolves everything and then you run it over zinc shavings and convert it back into metal. And it converted back to the metal? Now all metal did this or just—? No. Just gold and silver. Just gold and silver. That right, Dutch? Just gold and silver. (Unintelligible) you see, and all that (unintelligible) Yes. And then you put it in the crucible, and then you (unintelligible) I’d like to ask you gentlemen a question about this cyanide process or the character of what appears to be rock in Eldorado Canyon. Some people say it’s tailing but I know from looking at the rock, it’s white