Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service


Agency History #3143


On 30 January 1894 a small group of ranchers and miners met at the Erekson Brothers Ranch in the pass between the Sheeprock and Simpson Mountains near the Juab-Tooele County border to organize the Erekson Mining District. The Cottonwood Springs Mining District recorded claims in this area in 1892-1893. The development of the cyanide process in the early 1890s, and the construction of the first commercial cyanide mill in Mercur greatly enhanced the profitability of gold mining, stimulating mining activity, and prompting the organization of several new mining districts. These districts were organized according to federal law which states that mineral deposits in the public domain are free and open to exploration, and locators of the same have exclusive right of possession (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, 1872, chap. 152). In 1897 the Utah Legislature enacted a mining law, which transferred responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders (Laws of Utah, 1897, chapter 36).


In accordance with federal guidelines, mining districts adopted by-laws to regulate mining activity in the district and elected recorders to keep records of claims. In addition to the requirements of federal law, Erekson District by-laws stated that all claims should be marked with stakes or monuments at least three feet high at the point of discovery and at each corner. District by-laws also required claim owners to perform enough labor to equal 5 feet and to have a notice of location recorded within thirty days of discovery. Lead and zinc as well as gold and silver have been mined in the Erekson District.


At least five bona fide claim holders in the district could form a quorum to select a mining district recorder who would hold office for a two year term. District recorders kept records of all notices of location, assessment work, mining liens, location of water rights and mill sites. All documents filed or issued by the district recorder were validated with a seal on which was engraved, "Erekson Mining District, Juab County, U.T." Anyone could examine the district recorder's books if in his presence or that of his deputy.


Erekson District by-laws authorized the district recorder to appoint a deputy for whose official acts he would also be responsible. In 1897 the Utah Legislature enacted a mining law which transferred responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders. (Laws of Utah, 1897, chapter 36). The mining records of the Erekson District were transferred to the office of the Tooele County recorder.

J.T. Erekson 1894, Mar-1897, Jun

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , August 2002


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

Erekson Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 24155).

Laws of Utah, 1897, Chapter 36. Utah State Archives (Series 83155).

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.

United States. General Land Office. Mining District By-laws. Utah State Archives (Series 3651).