1887 saw Era Booming with Lots of Trouble

Editor's note: This is another in a series of articles dealing with the early history of the Lost River Valley, and particularly at the time that silver was discovered by Jack Hood and Fred Winterhoff. The articles have been written, in the first person, by Reed Anderson of Arco who for several years has made a study of early days in the Valley. In tha two preced-ing chapters, Mr. Anderson dealt with the discovery of silvet in the Era area.

As I recall Era had three or four saloons, drug store, barber shop, two genetal stores, an a lotta shacks, this be'in in 1886.

In 1887 things were really boomin' here in Era. More people, more buildings, and more trouble. I hear that Frank is havin' one bad time at raisin  cattle fer a living. Fred sold out his share of every thing to me awhile back, now all he does is sit and  drink.   Inside I don't think he'll ever fergive that gal fer runinin off  to only knows where.

In 1887 Jane an I got married. Jane was a gal that I had met when we first come up here from Nevada. We had a very comfortable home jest above the town. Janie surt did fix it up nice, curtains up to the winders, rugs on the floors, an most important of all jist her in that home. Last sunday Bill Noyes got shotgun in the face.
I heard tell that Bill had been pussy footin round with the mill super's wife an hot caught up with. What a way to go. Tomorrow we're burin him up in rocks above his cabin. Still ain't heard nothin' from Fred since he lit out.

I'm a father now. of a  fine looker of a son. Janie is real happy and thrilled. Doe Stevens is sure a welcome addition to the town, with all this dannn infernal ruckus an killin goin on all the time. This year. (1888) I think maybe I'll sell the mine. It sure is gittin' the best of me a workin at it the way I do, that's fer damn sure.

The town is still a growin' to beat hell. This last week we buried two more guys, both killed at the Silvet Palace.

 We wound up 1888 by burn' about 10,  I guess, most of 'em from lead poison. Ore must be a gittin short cnuse there's claim jumpin' goin on all the time. The big mill turned  out so far  a little better than a million in silver fer the mint at Carson city.  Old Powell, Richardson an Jenkins are sure a haulin the silver out.  I Well, I done sold  out my mines  to the firm in Sait Lake City an startin out a new year little different.

 Clarence, my brother-in-law, moved out to homestead some ground up in Antelope, sez he's wife goin' to raise sheep.  Sounds like a kinda peaceful job to me after all this hard work.

Janie thinks that  its a nice thought and sides  she sez that our boy could be taken out of Era.  Bibe Morrison is gonna homestead plus run his store in town the way I heat it. This being 1895 think I'll do what Janie wants, move out.
Clarence was over the other evenin' and looks as though we have settled on a partnership in sheep raisin'.

In 1898 Era came to a close with some movin' on to new mining fields, ranchin' and just movmg.   I read in the Statesman last evening where Frank Martin died up in Oregon. But. the big news is that we're now a state! Number 43 in the Union.. (1890).

Janie came out to the lambin' sheds with sad news this after- noon. Fred died up in Montana with no wife or family.
 I sure do feel bad inside that I didn't see him again before he died. Me and Janie spent the whole evening kinda reminicing 'bout old times with Fred and all the life we'd had together so fer.

The railroad came threw Big lost River valley this year an Green's going into partnership with a guy named John F. Smith. I guess their business will be a big  general merchandise store near the railroad.

In 1904  I sold out the ranch in Antelope an  moved to Black foot. Our boy sure is doin' good in life fer himself, chip offin the old block.

Well Lord I'm gittin mighty tired an I hope when you call that Janie will find some com-fort cause she sure has been a great comfort to me.  In 1906 the Iord dcall Jack Hood  home that he might find peace and rest. Jane Kinney Hood joined her husband again in l908..

:: Home :: Back :: :