Agency History #3140


In August 1870 prospectors in the Rush Valley Mining District held a miner's meeting in Tooele, Utah to organize the Tooele City Mining District. The new district included the area just east of Tooele on the west slopes of the Oquirrh Mountains. According to established precedent, which was later validated when Congress passed a federal mining law, mineral deposits in the public domain were free and open to exploration, and locators of the same had exclusive right of possession. (See Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, 1872, chap. 152). The Tooele City District was very active during the decade of the 1870s, when the general area was experiencing a boom in silver mining. After 1887 the Tooele County recorder kept the records of the Tooele City District.


In local areas miners organized mining districts and elected district recorders to oversee mining operations and keep records of claims. The recorder kept his record in a bound book which was open for public examination. He was required to ensure the validity of claims before recording, and was allowed to collect $3 for each claim recorded and in addition to collect travel money at the rate of $.10 per mile for visiting claims to examine them. According to the original by-laws in the Tooele City District, prospectors were allowed to stake claims 200 feet in length and 100 feet in width, with the exception that the person who made original discovery was allowed 400 feet. The claim was to be marked with a notice posted on a blazed tree surrounded by a mound of stone. In order to hold the claim good for a year, the locator was required to perform $3 worth of labor within the first three months after location. In 1872 the mining district adjusted by-laws to comply with newly enacted federal mining law, which allowed claims up to 1500 feet and established an annual labor assessment of at least $100 to hold claims.


Miners in the district elected a recorder to "record all Notices of Location claims whether for mining or for other purposes."


The recorder appointed deputies to assist him as needed. No location notices were recorded by the Tooele City Mining District recorder after 1883. The district revised its by-laws in 1887 and after that date the Tooele County recorder kept all records for the district.

Richard Warburton 1870-1887

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , August 2002


Blanthorn, Ouida. A History of Tooele County. Utah Historical Society, 1998.

Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, chap. 152. Published by authority of Congress, Boston: Brown, Little and Company.

Tooele City Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 24152).

Tooele County (Utah). County Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 6150).

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.