Agency History #3197


The Beaver Lake Mining District, organized on 2 September 1872, was one of several mining districts organized in Beaver County in the early 1870s. One of Utah's major mineral belts extends through the Wah-Wah and Tushar Mountains of Beaver and Piute Counties. Mining in this area prospered throughout the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Beaver Lake miners defined boundaries for the district to include an area ten miles north and ten miles east from the junction of the Beaver River and the stagecoach road from Salt Lake City to Pioche, Nevada (an area north of Milford). The Beaver Lake District was organized in the same year that Congress passed a general mining law validating the already established precedent that mineral deposits in the public domain are free and open to exploration, and locators have the right of possession (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, 1872, chap. 152). In the nineteenth century miners in local areas organized mining districts to oversee mining operations and keep records of claims. 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).


Federal regulation allowed claims to be 1500 feet along a lode with 300 feet on each side. In order to maintain the claim, prospectors were required to do at least $100 worth of work on the claim annually. Local districts could impose additional requirements as long as they were not in conflict with federal law. Originally, the Beaver Lake District limited the width of claims to 100 feet on each side. Beaver Lake by-laws required that location notices be filed within five days of discovery and that they be recorded within 30 days. In 1885 Beaver District miners increased the allowed width of claims to 300 feet and allowed 15 days from discovery to file location notices.


Miners in the Beaver Lake District originally elected recorders for one year terms, but beginning in 1885 recorders served two year terms. Only Beaver Lake claim holders could vote in elections. Original district by-laws obliged the recorder to visit each claim and make its boundaries before recording, and for this service allowed him to collect three dollars. Recorders could collect two dollars for recording each certificate of labor. District recorders kept records in bound books which were open for inspection during office hours.


Beaver Lake District recorders appointed deputies to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities. 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). At that time the records of the Beaver Lake District were transferred to the office of the Beaver County recorder.

William B. Devoll 1872, Sep -
J. Hayes Cook -1885, Aug
Dan L. Feeney 1885, Aug - 1893, May
R.S. Lipscomb 1893, May -1895, Aug
H.W. Collins 1895, Sep - 1897, May

COMPILED BY: Rosemary Cundiff , February 2003


Beaver Lake Mining District (Utah). Recorder. Mining records. Utah State Archives (Series 23985).

Bradley, Martha Sonntag, A History of Beaver County. Utah State Historical Society; Beaver County Commission (Salt Lake City: 1999).

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

Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, 1872 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).

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.