A strange name for an unusual company publication. It was the brainchild of Edgar M. Ledyard, an extremely competent historian who had a special interest in the history of mining and of western trails, at
a time that many of the people who first mined the mines and followed the trails were still living. The name Ax-I-Dent-Ax was intended as a play on words: an ax to cut "axidents." It is probable that Mr. Ledyard's explanation to management was that if employees of the United States Smelting Refining and Mining Company were given something to look forward to, they'd try to stay alive long enough to receive it.
Instead of Volume and Number, the early issues were playfully labeled "Chop One, Chip Three". The magazine was very popular, and the envy of the industry. Unfortunately, when Edgar M. Ledyard died in 1934, the magazine died with him; its final issue carried his obituary and little else.
The article below appeared in the issue of June, 1929 and includes a very informative biography of our William Adams Hickman and the other men who were involved with him in the founding of the West Mountain Mining District.
Early Utah Mining and Smelting Addenda
By EDGAR M. LEDYARD
Mr. J. Fewson Smith, in the April number and Mr. Robert Wallace, in the May number, dealt quite fully with the early history of mining and smelting in Utah. As indicated in Mr. Smith's article, the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company own the first mining claim of record in Utah. A facsimile of the location notice appears on another page. The notice reads as follows:
Jordan S M Co
The Undersigned Members of the Jordan Silver Mining Co. claim for Mining purposes one Share of Two Hundred feet each, and one additional Claim of Two hundred feet for the original Discoverer George B. Ogilvie on this Lead of Mineral Ore, with all its Dips, Spurs, and Angles, beginning at the Stake situation one Hundred feet North East of Gardners Shantie (s) in Bingham Kanyon, in West Mountain, and Running five Thousand two Hundred feet in a Westerly Direction, along the side of said Mountain on a line with Bingham Kanyon and intend to work the same according to the Mining Laws of this Mining District.
Archibald Gardner 1M. G. Lewis 1 Geo. B. Ogilvie 2Alex Bexsted 1 Alex Ogilvie 1James Finnerty 1 P. E. Connor 1Saml. Egbert 1 R. C. Drum 1G. W. Carleton 1 Wm. Hickman 1Neil Anderson 1 Robert K. Reid 1Edw. McGarrv 1 John Harcottle 1M. J. Jenkins 1 C. J. Sprague 1H. O. Pratt 1 Thomas Bexsted 1Robert Pollock1 James Branigan 1Daniel McLean1 Henry Bexsted 1N. B. Eldred 1
Salt Lake Co.
A. Gardner, Recorder"
A picture of the mill in which the first mining laws were written appeared in the May number. The revised laws of 1864 appear in this issue.
After searching through "Record of California Men in the War of the Rebellion", Heitman's "Register of the United States Army, 1789-1903", Utah directories from 1869 on and from interviewing descendants of the Becksteads. (improperly spelled on the notice) who live near the Midvale Plant at West Jordan, it was possible to find the record of most of those whose names appear.
"Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah", page 1075, states that George Ogilvie was the son of George Byers Ogilvie and Barbara Mattatahl of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; came to Utah September 7, 1855, in the Noah T. Guymon Company. According to the Patriarchal Record. book No. 26. page 307, George B. Ogilvie, father of the above named, was born August 4, 1804 and given a patriarchal blessing in Utah On August 19, 1857. George B. Ogilvie and Alex Ogilvie were well known to Henry Byram Beckstead who states that they lived at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon at the time of the discovery of galena ore. According to Mr. Beckstead, a spring above the present model residential town of Copperton furnished culinary water and water for their stock. Mr. Beckstead states that these men were of good repute and, in his opinion, members of the Mormon church at the time he knew them. George Ogilvie, the son of George B. Ogilvie, was born April 24, 1834, was an early settler in Sevier and Utah counties, Sheriff of Sevier County in 1873-74, a guard in the Echo Canyon War and a Black Hawk Indian War Veteran. Following the Sevier County lead, the Editor wrote to Mr. Vern M. Fairbanks, Sheriff of Sevier County, who states that George Ogilvie and Alex Ogilvie are both dead. W. J. Ogilvie, a grandson of the original discoverer, lives at Magna, Utah, according to Mr. Fairbanks.
FACSIMILE OF FIRST LEGALLY ESTABLISHED MINING CLAIM LOCATION NOTICE OF RECORD IN UTAH. THIS CLAIM IS NOW THE PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES SMELTING, REFINING AND MINING COMPANY. MRS. R. K. REID POSTED ANOTHER NOTICE WITH TWENTY ONE NAMES ON THE SAME PROPERTY THE SAME DAY.
(Cut used through Courtesy of Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce)
1820 - 1891
Patrick Edward Connor
General Patrick Edward Connor was a loyal Irishman. Every act of his life and everything he wrote indicates patriotism as commonly defined and accepted. In "As I Remember Them", from which a large part of this account is drawn, Goodwin says of Connor:
"Some men fight when they have to; some men fight when a fight comes to them: now and then a man goes out after a fight and General Connor was one of the latter class."
General Connor was born near the romantic Lakes of Killarney in Kerry County, Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day in a country where, according to tradition, there isn't a living thing, man, woman or child, horse, dog, pig, chicken or anything else that won't fight. He came to this country at an early age with his parents and at the age of nineteen learned that the Florida War was in progress. While he probably had no definite idea where Florida was nor what the war was about, he longed for a fight and volunteered. This first service, during which he first fought for the United States, lasted five years. He finished this work in November, 1844. In the early part of 1846 he moved to Texas; soon afterwards the Mexican War broke out. He joined a regiment of Texas Volunteers, as a captain, under Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, was the second volunteer officer mustered into his service and one of the immortal forty-five hundred men who confronted Santa Ana's army of twenty-two thousand men at Buena Vista. Wounded in the early part of this engagement, he fought throughout the day and lost so much blood that two of his comrades slept on either side of him through the night to keep him from dying from cold and exhaustion. He then returned to New York City where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits for a time. He left New York City for California, where he arrived on January 22, 1850. He explored the Trinity River, Humboldt Bay and the Redwood Forests. He sounded Humboldt Bay and served as a pilot for a time. In 1854 he married Johanna Connor. a resident of Redwood City but a native of Killarney, Ireland. He was appointed Postmaster at Stockton the same year. During the fifties. Stockton was the home of Judge David S. Terry and a number of other Southern sympathizers and as a result of General Connor's loyalty to the Union, his life was threatened many times. He established and owned the Stockton Water Works and took the contract for laying the foundation of the State Capitol, Sacramento. He helped to exterminate Joaquin Murrietta, the scourge of central California. When the Civil War broke out he offered his services to the Governor of California and was appointed Colonel of the Third California Volunteer Infantry. He was stationed at Benicia during the winter of 1861-62. To their great disappointment General Connor and his men were ordered to Utah rather than to the South and in May, 1862, they started on foot for Salt Lake City, marched over the Sierras. through Nevada and camped for a time in Ruby Valley. He was in command at the battle of Bear River in which the Indians were signally defeated; in the Powder River campaign he overwhelmed the Arapahoes in a crushing defeat. On May 30th, 1865, he was placed in command of the newly organized "District of the Plains" which comprised Utah, Nebraska, Colorado and perhaps adjacent territory. His immediate command consisted of twenty-thousand men; his superior officer was General Granville M. Dodge, who built the Union Pacific Railroad. He earned the title of being one of the best Indian fighters in the Army. From an obscure emigrant boy, [p.25] he rose through merit to the rank of Brigadier General on March 30, 1863; was brevetted Major General on the 13th of March, 1865 for gallant and meritorious service, was honorably mustered out of the service on the 30th of April, 1866, and died at the Walker House in Salt Lake City on December 17, 1891. He was given a splendid military funeral and is buried in the Military Cemetery at Fort Douglas. It is fitting that a man of his qualifications should be the "Father of Mining" in Utah.
Bishop Archibald Gardner
Bishop Archibald Gardner, whose name appears as the first one on the list and also as Recorder, was the son of Robert Gardner and Margaret Calinder, and was born on September 2, 1814, at Kilsyth, Scotland, came to Utah with the Edward Hunter Company on October 1. 1847, and settled at West Jordan, Utah. He was Bishop of the West Jordan Ward, a member of the Territorial Legislature for two terms and a Patriarch in the Jordan Stake. He constructed and operated the first sawmills at West Jordan. Spanish Fork, St. George. Utah and Star Valley, Wyoming. His descendants are prominent in Utah affairs.
General Richard Colter Drum
General Richard Colter Drum entered the United States Army as a private in K Company, First Pennsylvania Infantry on December 16, 1846. served through the Mexican War and the Civil War, was brevetted for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Chapultepec, Mexico, and reached the grade of Brigadier General on the 13th of March, 1865, for faithful and meritorious service during the Civil War and was retired on May 28, 1889. General Drum served General Connor as Adjutant General and his signature appears at the end of many communications originating with General Connor.
William A. Hickman
William A. Hickman was born on April 16. 1815 in Warren County, Kentucky. Five generations of Hickmans lived in Virginia prior to their removal to Kentucky. When he was three years of age, his parents moved from Kentucky to Missouri and settled where Old Franklin now stands and two years later the family moved to Huntsville, a wild section forty miles north of Old Franklin. His father ran the first grist mill in that section which was operated almost continuously, night and day, to supply the early settlers with flour. As a young man he fished, hunted, explored the wilderness and in various other ways fitted himself for the "wild western life" which he lead to the time of his death. His father was a magistrate of Randolph, Missouri for five years and his father-in-law-, George Burckhardt, was State Representative of Randolph County to the Missouri Legislature for fourteen years. He received sufficient frontier education to teach school. The discipline was undoubtedly perfect. He made his first church connection with the Methodists, to which his wife belonged at the time of their marriage. While the Mormon Church was active in Missouri, he became a member and entered heartily into their activities and defense. In 1846 he became a captain in the Artillery Division under General Scott. He reached Salt Lake City on August 20, 1849 and after stopping in the City for a few days, located on a place ten miles south of Salt Lake City where he lived until about 1865, This place, known to old settlers as Hickman's Fort, is the first place on the right-hand side of the road across the Jordan River immediately west from the Old Highland Boy Smelter and on the old road to San Bernardino, California. Mr. Hickman sold part of the land in this section to the Bringhursts. He served under officers Kimball. Ferguson, Gunnison and Stansbury in the "Provo War of 1850". He went to California in the Fall of 1851, stopping for a time at Mormon Station, now Genoa, Nevada. He engaged in mining at Coon Hill Diggings, south of Placerville (Hangtown) and between that place and Weberville, famous gathering place and division point for early California miners. He returned to Salt Lake City on the 3rd of July, 1852, and worked for "Doc" Morton who conducted a trading post at Pacific Springs during 1853. He was active around Fort Supply in 1854, which post was about twelve miles south of Fort Bridger, Utah, established by the Mormons to furnish supplies to emigrants. While at Fort Supply (then a part of Utah) he was appointed Sheriff. Later Judge Appleby appointed him County Prosecuting Attorney, Assessor and Collector. In 1855 he ran ferries at Green River. In 1856-57 he carried the United States mail to Independence from Fort Laramie; O. P. ("Port") Rockwell carried it from Fort Laramie to Salt Lake. He engaged in various activities and acted as a guide for General Connor on a [p.26] number of occasions. He accompanied Lieutenant James Finnerty, whose name appears on the mining notice. to the Snake River Ferry to pay off troops. While on this trip it is recorded that Finnerty took a drink of whiskey on a cold morning at Soda Springs, but had no sooner filled his mouth than he ejected it, saying that it was filled with sand and cursed the Commissary Department for putting sand in the whiskey. Upon examination the "sand" proved to be ice. Thus the temperature was recorded and a physical analysis of early whiskey made at one time. In September, 1871 he was arrested, together with a man by the name of Flack, and confined for a time at Fort Douglas. At Fort Douglas he was assigned to Major D. S. Gordon's company for rations. The latter part of his life was spent around Lander. He settled on Baldwin's Creek, north of Lander, his last home. He stepped to the door of his house one morning to "survey the situation" and without a word fell dead in the doorway. Mr. Henry Harting, who lives on the main highway about a mile distant from Hickman's old home, now obliterated, and who served as a soldier at Fort Douglas when Mr. Hickman was confined there, helped to bury him in the old Lander cemetery. A new cemetery has been established on another site and his resting place is unmarked. He was described as "a man of heavy build, round head and somewhat awkward shuffling gait; five feet nine inches in height, with bright but cold blue eyes, of extreme immobility, hair and beard dark auburn-the latter now tinged with gray-and a square, solid chin, His vitality is evidently great and his muscles well developed". His picture depicts him as a man of mentality. Many of William Hickman's descendants have attained prominence in Utah.
A son, J. B. Hickman [actually brother], was one of a committee of five appointed on June 26th, 1872. to revise the "By-Laws" of the "West Mountain Mining District" which work was completed on July 6th, 1872. The name "Hickman" is the only one on the committee to revise the laws which appears on the original notice.
Dr. Robert K. Reid
Dr. Robert K. Reid enlisted at Camp McDougal, California on September 16, 1861, was mustered into the service on October 1, 1861 and was mustered out at Camp Douglas, Utah on October 28, 1864 but soon after re-mustered as surgeon of the Second Cavalry of California Volunteers. Surgeon Reid was cited by General Connor for bravery at the battle of Bear River.
Colonel Charles Jeffrey Sprague
Colonel Charles Jeffrey Sprague was a native of Maine, fought through the Mexican War and distinguished himself in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco. He served as paymaster with various ranks from 1861 to 1867, was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel on the 13th of March, 1865 for faithful and meritorious service and died on the 3rd of May, 1896.
Thomas Beckstead was born in Matilda, Canada, April 27, 1823. He was a resident of South Jordan for a number of years where he was prominent as a farmer and stockraiser.
Henry Beckstead was born December 4th, 1827, at Williamsburg, Canada. He settled in South Jordan and was a member of the bishopric of that ward for twenty years. He was prominent as a farmer and stockraiser. He died September 3rd, 1888 at West Jordan. A son, Henry Byram Beckstead, now living in South Jordan, was working in Bingham Canyon when ore was discovered there.
Captain Micajah G. Lewis
Captain Micajah G. Lewis was a native of Tennessee, enlisted in Company I, Third Regiment of California Infantry on September 16th, 1861, and was Captain of his company. He was promoted as Acting Adjutant General of the district of Utah on General Connor's staff on June 9, 1863. He was honorably mustered out of the service on September 19th, 1865.
Alexander Beckstead was born March 16th, 1803, in Williamsburg, Canada and came to Utah in September, 1849, with the Redden Allred Company: settled at West Jordan in 1850 and assisted in bringing immigrants to Utah. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk War.
Lieutenant James Finnerty
Lieutenant James Finnerty enlisted at Benicia. California on January 8th, 1862 and was mustered into the service on the same day. His first assignment was as Second Lieutenant of Company G, Third Regiment of California Infantry. He was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred to Company E of the same regiment at Fort Douglas, Utah on July 2, 1864. He was discharged at Camp Doug-[p.27]las November 1st, 1864 by consolidation of the regiment. He built a small smelter north of Stockton, Utah. Stockton. Utah was named by General Connor after Stockton, California.
Samuel Egbert was born March 24, 1814 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. He came to Utah October 15, 1849 with the Allen Taylor Company. He established his family home at West Jordan where he was a school teacher for a time and later prominent as a farmer and stockraiser. He was an Indian War Veteran. According to Mr. Henry Byram Beckstead, a nephew of Mr. Egbert, it was John Egbert, a son of Samuel Egbert. who uncovered the galena ore in Bingham Canyon while dragging logs there in Sept. 1863.
Mr. Neil Anderson. formerly employed at the Midvale plant of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company, who lives at 319 East Center Street. Mid-vale, is a son of the Mr. Neil Anderson whose name appears on the location notice. Mr. Anderson states that his father's correct name was Nels. although Mr. Henry Byram Beckstead knew him as "Neil". Neil, or Nels Anderson emigrated to America from Sweden in 1852 and settled on the present site of the steel plant immediately north of the Midvale plant. Mrs. Anderson, wife of the original locator and mother of the present resident of Midvale, states that Mr. Anderson was working in Bingham Canyon when the ore was discovered. It is her understanding that Mr. Anderson subsequently sold out his rights for eighty dollars. Mr. Anderson was a prominent member of the local community near Midvale and at one time operated two farms. Mr. Nels Anderson died on July 1, 1910.
General Edward McGarry
General Edward McGarry was a native of New York, entered the United States service April 1st, 1847 and was assigned to the Tenth Infantry as Second Lieutenant on April 9, the same year. He was honorably discharged on August 21, 1848, was made a Major in the Second United States Cavalry on October 17, 1861, and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on October 18, 1834, Colonel on November 29, 1864 and brevetted Brigadier General of Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for gallant and meritorious service. He later served as Lieutenant Colonel in the regular army and died on December 31, 1865.
H. O. Pratt
The name H. O, Pratt appears in the Salt Lake City Directory and Business Guide for 1869. He is classified as a telegraph operator.
Colonel Robert Pollock
Colonel Robert Pollock was a native of Pennsylvania. entered the United States service as a sergeant of Company H, First Virginia Infantry on January 6, 1847, was made a second lieutenant on May 6, the same year and honorably mustered out on July 3, 1848. He re-enlisted at San Francisco on August 26, 1861; was mustered in the same day as Major. He was transferred to the Third Infantry on September 5, 1851, rose successfully to the rank of Colonel, succeeding General Connor as Colonel of the Third Regiment of California Volunteer Infantry; was mustered out at Camp Douglas on November 14. 1864 by consolidation of the regiment and brevetted Colonel on March 13, 1865 for faithful and meritorious service. He re-entered the United States Army as First Lieutenant, Thirty-second Infantry on January 28, 1866, rose to the rank of Captain, retired on September 17, 1883 and died on February 24, 1901.
Captain Daniel McLean
Captain Daniel McLean enlisted in Company H. Second Regiment of California Cavalry on September 5, 1861, and was mustered in on the same day. Four companies of the Second California Cavalry were with Connor on his march to Utah in 1862. Captain McLean was re-mustered into the service at the Presidio at San Francisco January 5, 1865 and was mustered out with his company on April 26, 1866.
No Written Record Found
No written record of Alex Ogilvie, John Harcottle, James Branigan, Hugh O'Donnell. G. W. Carleton, M. J. Jenkins or N. B. Eldred has been found to date but further search will be made.
On the original location notice it is difficult to determine whether the word after "Gardners" is "Shanties" or "Shantie". According to Mr. J. Fewson Smith, our Engineer of Mines, the "official" word is Shanties. Mr. Henry Byram Beckstead states that Bishop Gardner had only one shanty, with which he was familiar since he and other men slept in it at night.
The "Ogilvie Notice"
It is not generally known that there was a notice posted on the same day, [p.28] September 17, 1863, other than the one commonly known as the "Ogilvie Notice". This notice carries twenty-one names and credit is given to Mrs. Robert K. Reid as the "Original Discoverer". This would entitle the claimants to only forty-four hundred feet along the side of the mountain, while the Ogilvie notice calls for fifty-two hundred feet. Many of the names on each notice are identical and apparently a compromise was effected in which Mrs. Reid and others relinquished their rights in favor of Ogilvie and other locators.
One account states that a party of women, taken on a picnic by Lieutenant Arthur Heitz, discovered the ore and this story may be the foundation of Mrs. Reid's "discovery". Mr. Henry Byram Beckstead states that some officers were hunting "grouse" in Bingham Canyon on the day of the discovery and that women from Camp Douglas were on a picnic in the canyon.
Henry Byram Beckstead
Reference has been made, in a number of cases, to Mr. Henry Byram Beckstead. Mr. Beckstead was born in 1850 and was working in Bingham Canyon when lead ore was discovered there. Some might question that a boy of that age would be employed, but Mr. Beckstead began to handle horses at the age of ten or twelve. He has an alert mind and the physical appearance of a man of fifty-five or sixty years of age. General Connor's army camped near Mr. Beckstead's home in South Jordan while on their way to Camp Douglas, now Fort Douglas. Mr. Beckstead states that the original owner of an area bounded on the north by Great Salt Lake, on the northeast and east by the Jordan River and on the west by the Oquirrh Range was a Spaniard, (or a Mexican) who was living at Bluffdale when the Mormons entered the Valley in 1847. This man was raising stock and engaged in farming. After the United States took formal possession of Utah the Mexican land grant was recognized and this man's holdings were purchased and he returned to Mexico. It may be necessary to do some research work on Mexican History before we have the written record of events in connection with Bingham Canyon which was evidently in the early Mexican Land Grant.
We invite any other company to present a more distinguished list of ecclesiastical men and military men and fighting men than the one which appears on the first location claim notice of record in Bingham Canyon, which claim afterwards passed into the possession of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company.
Click here to learn more about the Hickman Family at Bingham Canyon. Click here to learn more about the Hickman Family as miners in other districts. Click here to return to the Hickman Family index page.