First, a few overviews:
Ore was discovered in the district in 1868, and about 60,000 tons averaging 20 ounces of silver was mined before 1885. An additional 100,000 tons average 10 ounces of silver per ton was produced from 1920-1960. Silver King Mines explored and developed the district in the 1960's and 1970's. A 1200 tpd, CCD cyanide plant became operational on April 1, 1981.
-Geology & Ore Deposit Report, HAVENSTRITE, Stuart .R.
The district was discovered in 1873. Production was mainly from two mines, the Argus and the Monitor. The first ore was shipped to Sacramento, California for treatment. Later ore was shipped to Eureka, Nevada. Beginning in 1881, ore was treated locally at stamp mills in the nearby Nevada district, mainly at the Argus Mill at Comins Lake. The district became idle in 1892, but some work was done in the 1960's.
-GEOLOGY; DISTRICT REPORT date unknown
The Taylor District includes two mining properties which lie close together in the low foothills on the west side of the Schell Creek Range about 16 miles south-southeast of Ely. The mines are about 2 miles east of the stage road from Ely to Osceola, and are easy of access, both by wagon and automobile. A good-sized town was built in the little canyon south of the mines in the period of greatest activity (1872-1878) but it has long been abandoned. H.R. Whitehill (1875) reports that the ores carrying galena and copper were discovered in July, 1872, by Messers, Taylor and Platt, and R. W. Raymond (1877) says that the Taylor Mine was bought in 1875 by the Martin White Co. of Ward, for $14,000, It is said that the total production from the two mines in this district is about 1,000,000 ounces of silver. In 1913 the Argus Mining Co. was prospecting the old Taylor mine with churn drills.
-Notes on Mining Districts in Eastern Nevada
Like most mining camps, sometimes things got a little rough. Naturally, it's women's fault!
THE FIRST HOMICIDE IN TAYLOR
A WOMAN AT THE BOTTOM OF IT
Hugh Karnahan Charged with the Murder of George Fox at a House of Ill Fame Saturday Morning
When the peaceable residents of Taylor came down town Christmas morning they were horrified to learn that a foul murder had been committed a few hours before, in a fen of ill repute near Chinatown, occupied by a woman named Hazel Rivers. Repairing to the scene at the summons of Coroner Carpenter, the NEWS reporters met a most ghastly sight. Lying on the floor in a single room cabin was the lifeless body of George Fox. An examination of the premises showed that both deadly force and deadly weapons were used to effect an entrance to the house. The lower panel of the door had been kicked in and two bullet holes perforated the door. One of these-- the upper, and that which doubtless did the deadly work00 was made by the pistol being put up against the door and fired, as all around the hole was powder burnt. The lower bullet went through the lower panel and did no harm, being after wards found on the floor. Another pistol ball, which must have been fired from the inside, was found imbedded in the wall, back of the door casing, which in all probability was fired by the woman, as she had powder smoke on her hand. There was nothing to show that the dead man had any arms on him at the time he was killed, though the woman says she gave him her pistol. All the indications go to show that Karnahan, or someone else, tried to force the door in, and that Fox was standing against it to prevent anyone from entering, when the fatal shot was fired. A light was burning in the room at the time and the outside party could see through the broken panel the movements of anyone inside, so there can be no doubt but the outside party knew he was shooting with fatal effect. These facts were plainly shown at the inquest. George Fox, who came to so sudden a death, came here from Frisco, Utah, about five weeks ago, and was working at the Argus mines. Those who knew him say he was a quiet, industrious, peaceable man, well liked by those who knew him. He was a member in good standing of the A. O. U. W. of Frisco. Hugh Karnahan, who is charged with the murder, has been in Taylor for some time. He tended bar at the Brewery Saloon last Summer, but was working in the mine of late. We knew him in Eureka eight years ago when he tended bar for Charley Laughtenschiager. Before this he had many warm friends in Taylor and was well thought of. He had a preliminary examination before Justice Carpenter Monday and Tuesday, and was held over without bonds to await the action of a Grand Jury. He was taken to Hamilton Tuesday by Sheriff Bassett. The after noon after the inquest, Dr. Campbell held a post mortem examination on the body of Fox, and found that the ball entered the right breast 3 1/2 inches below the nipple, passing over to the left side and through the heart, lodging in the back. He thought death was almost instantaneous. The evidence taken before the Coroner's Jury (which is only a small part of that brought on the examination) and their verdict, is as follows:
THE CORONER'S INQUEST. In the matter of the inquisition upon the body of George Fox, deceased, before H. Carpenter, Justice of the Peace and Coroner, Taylor Township, White Pine COunty, Nevada, Hazel Rivers being sworn deposes and says: Deceased was in the house here with me, I think it was 3:30 o'clock in the morning, when some person came to my door; I did not see him, but I think it was Hugh Karnahan. He asked to come in; I did not open the door. He said that he was coming in anyway. Mr. Fox got up and went to the door, I don't recollect what if anything was said; I heard two shots from the outside; they were both fired nearly at the same moment; Fox fell between the stove and the door; he said, "I am gone," that was all he said; he groaned a few times and died in a few minutes;I am almost sure it was Hugh Karnahan fired the shots that killed Fox; there was no one in the house at the time of the shooting but Fox and myself. Lew Carpenter, being sworn says: I reside in Taylor; was up town last night (December 24, 1886) till about 2 o'clock in the morning; I then went home and to bed in my cabin; my cabin being about twenty feet from the house where Fix was killed; I heard some shooting about 3 or 4 o'clock this morning; I jumped out of bed and went to the door of my cabin; Hugh Karnahan was standing at the door of the house where Fox was killed; he was the only one I saw; he had a pistol in his hand; I asked who was doing all the shooting; he said they were shooting at me from the inside; he said I have got no gun; then he stepped towards me; I told him to keep away from me. hazel came to me and said Fox was killed; I went over to Mr. Fitton's cabin; about 40 feet from Hazel's [to ask him to go for the officers]: I saw Jack Owens standing near the blacksmith shop, about 250 feet from where Fox was killed; he said he knew nothing about the shooting. Jack Owens went for the Sheriff, and I came to [Hazel's} house shortly afterwards; Fox was dead when I cam in' he was lying between the stove and the door: I did not examine him closely; I did not think he was alive; there were three others with me.
THE CORONER JURY'S VERDICT.
To H. Carpenter, Justice of the Peace, and ex-officio Acting Coroner of Taylor Township, White Pine County, Nevada: We your jury, summoned to hold an inquest upon the body of George Fox, on this 25th day of December, 1886, after hearing the testimony adduced and examining the body, do find that the deceased was named Gorge Fox, a native of England, aged 27 years, and that he came to his death in the town of Taylor between 3 and 4 o'clock on the morning of December 25th, 1886, from a pistol shot wound, and that said shot was fired by Hugh Karnahan. All of which is duly sworn to. (signed) Wm. Hendrie, FOreman. W. L. Davis, Those. Johnson, D. D. Jolly, Wm. H. Burris, J. F. Cupid.
-White Pine News, January 1, 1887
For some reason, they moved the trial to Elko.
District Attorney Love has gone to Elko to have the cases of Karnahan and Owens set for trial. They will not probably come up before the middle of February.
-White Pine News, January 14, 1888
Looks like Mr. Karnahan is going down for this.
ELKO COURT CALENDAR
Case Of Interest To White Piners
From the Elko Independent we take the following Court notes, which are of interest to our readers:
January 10, 1888
State of Nevada va. Hugh Karnahan, indicted for murder. Henry Rives counsel for the defendant, offered a motion that said case be transferred from Elko to Eureka county, or some other county on this state. Motion taken under advisement by the Court.
-White Pine News, January 28, 1888
The State of Nevada vs. Hugh J. Karnahan Trial concluded at 9 P.M. and case given to jury.
Those who saw and hear District Attorney Love's management of the Karnahan trial tell us it was an able prosecution, and, notwithstanding he had three able lawyers to contend against for the defense, he more than held his own in the forensic contest. He is said to have made a clear case against Karnahan, whether the jury so view it or not.
-White Pine News, February 25, 1888
The Elko Independent says:
We learn that District Attorney Love, of White Pine county, had put in a claim against this county for services rendered in prosecuting Karnahan, whose case was transferred from that county to Elko. We fail to see that this county is under any obligation to pay a bonus to the District Attorney of White Pine county for prosecuting its own criminals.
-White Pine News, March 10, 1888
He was found guilty of manslaughter, but apparently someone wanted him released.
Petitions are in circulation to the Board of Pardons for the release of Hugh Karnahan, sentenced to the State Prison for ten years for the killing of George Fox in Taylor. Karnahan has served two years.
-White Pine News, June 27, 1890
And pardoned he was, on July 15, 1890, after serving only 2 years, 4 months, and 22 days of his sentence, according to the Appendix to Journals of Senate and Assembly of the Fifteenth Session of the Legislature of the State of Nevada, 1891
Taylor apparently wasn't a very healthy place in other regards, either.
Outbreak of Scarlet Fever
Eureka, July 30th-- News has arrived here of the sudden breaking out of scarlet fever of a virulent character in Ward and Taylor, White Pine county. In the first named town fifteen cases and one death are reported, and in the latter five cases and one death. State Senator Briggs' 8-year-old son died yesterday.
-Sacramento Daily Union, July 31, 1885
There is just now quite a number on the sick list in Taylor, though none of the cases are of a serious nature. Slow intermittent fevers seem to be the trouble.
-White Pine News, October 22, 1887
That Taylor is proving itself to be a very unhealthy place to live the number of deaths during the past two years is conclusive evidence. There are now a number on the sick list, and a few of them seriously so.
-White Pine News, November 12, 1887
Taylor, White Pine county, for the past two years has been alarmingly unhealthy caused, the White Pine News thinks, either by the quality of the water used or super induced by the filthy condition of the streets, most probably the latter. The News recommends that a purse of $150 or $200 be raised and the amount expended in thoroughly cleaning the streets and removing all nuisances. The suggestion is a good one and its adoption would undoubtedly go a long way in improving the sanitary condition of the town.
- Elko Daily Independent, November 22, 1887