Series 24165
Ophir Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records

Dates: 1870-1929.

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

General Patrick Connor, mining entrepreneur and commander of a military unit sent to Utah in the 1860s, and his prospector soldiers organized the Ophir Mining District in Tooele County, Utah on 6 August 1870. Connor and his soldiers separated this southern section from the already organized Rush Valley District when they discovered a particularly promising lode in Ophir Canyon. The Ophir Mining District was organized before Congress passed a general mining law in 1872, validating the rights of individuals to explore and claim mineral wealth on the public domain (Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. 17, chap. 152). In order to regulate mining activity and keep track of individual claims, miners in the Ophir District elected a recorder who recorded notices of location and other mining documents. Each location notice confirms the validity of a claim, states its dimensions, and describes its location. Location notices identify each claim by a unique name, give dates of location and recording, and identify individuals filing the claim. Since original Ophir District by-laws limited claims to 200 feet along a lode, early notices list several individuals for each claim and state the number of feet allotted to each. Most claims in the Ophir District were recorded in the 1870s and 1890s.

In addition to location notices, mining records include amendments to notices of location and documents offering proof that the annual assessment labor required to maintain claims had been completed. In 1893-1894 and 1917-1918 Congress temporarily suspended the annual labor requirement, however, in order to take advantage of this benefit, miners were required to file notices of intention to hold their claims. These notices were filed in the mining record books for those years. Book A also includes some mining deeds. Book L2 includes the time period when Ophir District records were in the custody of the Tooele County recorder, and was recorded by that office.


Roughly chronological by date filed.

Related Records

Mining records from Tooele County (Utah). County Recorder, Series 6150, contain additional location notices and other mining records for claims located in the Ophir Mining District, but recorded by the Tooele County recorder.

Miscellaneous records from Ophir Mining District (Utah). Recorder, Series 24508, contain documents affecting the validity of early Ophir mining claims.

Deeds from Ophir Mining District (Utah). Recorder, Series 24572, contain early deeds for mining claims or mining property sold in the early Ophir District.

File books from Ophir Mining District (Utah). Recorder, Series 24971, provide reference to notices of location as well as summary information about each notice. File books also contain notices of location for land and water to be used for mining purposes.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

Ophir Mining District records were processed by Rosemary Cundiff in December 2002. Because of the poor quality of the original filming, Ophir books were refilmed by Utah State Archives and the inventory updated in April 2003.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Most Ophir Mining district record books include an index at the beginning which provides reference by the name of a claim. Exceptions are Book L2 (1897-1899), and Book H (1917-1929). File entries in early deed and file books provide additional reference to early claims,.

Indexing Terms

  • Mining claims—Utah—Tooele County.
  • Mines and mineral resources—Property—Utah—Tooele County.
  • Prospecting—Utah—Tooele County.
  • Utah—Tooele County—Mines and mineral resources.

Container List

1 1870, May-1871, Jul (Book A)
1 1871, Jan-1871, May (Book B)
1 1871, Jun-1871, Oct (Book C)
2 1870, Nov-1871, May (Book D)
2 1872, Jun-1872, Aug (Book E)
2 1872, Aug-1874, May (Book F)
2 1874, May-1882, Dec (Book G)
3 1883, Jan-1893, Dec (Book H)
3 1893, Dec-1896, Mar (Book I)
3 1896, Mar-1897, Jun (Book J)
4 1896, Dec-1897, Jan (Book K)
4 1897, Feb-1899, Dec (Book L2)
4 1899, Jun-1904, Mar (Book L)
4 1905, Mar-1908, Feb (Book M)
5 1910, Dec-1917, Feb (unlabeled book)
5 1917, Feb-1929, Jun (Book H)

Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.