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Loose Leaf, From The Journal
Nevada State Journal - January 27, 1933, Page 1

"Silver Dollar" film epic at the Majestic theater this week, has unusual interest here because the history of our state is so closely allied with the history of the early mining excitement in Cripple Creek, Independence, Durango, Victor, Salida, Sterling, Telluride, Greeley, Goldfield, Leadville and other famous mining camps of Colorado.

The motion picture, "Silver Dollar," is the story of silver. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons who lived through the stirring boom days of the Colorado camps now live in the Sagebrush state.

Miners from the Cripple Creek district poured into Nevada with the stampede to Goldfield in 1906 and many of Nevada's first citizens are ex-Coloradans.


In fact, one of the discoverers of the famous Stratton Independence mine is still a resident of Nevada - he's a ranch hand now working somewhere around in the Fallon district feeding cattle but he came out of Cripple Creek with at least $2,000,000. The inviolable rule of "easy come, easy go" got him and now he is penniless.

We refer to Johnnie Harnon who started the stampede to Cripple Creek together with W. L. Stratton and Jim Burns.

The discovery of the famous Independence mine and the origin of Cripple Creek is similar to the discovery of Tonopah. Stratton was camped out in the hills with his burro on a prospecting trip. Around the campfire one night he picked up a piece of float to toy with. The float held phenomenal values in free gold. Burns and Harnon were in partnership with Stratton. The discovery was made on the Fourth of July and that's how the mine got it's name.

The claims sold for $7,000,000. Harnon drifted out to Nevada, became interested in a mine at Leadville, in Washoe county, but his money petered out.

Jack Bell, of Reno and Verdi, another old miner from Cripple Creek, once saw a Chicago banker hand Harnon a list of mortgages he owned valued at more than a million dollars.


Old Tom Wilson, the first man into Rawhide, Nev., came from Creede, Colo. Wilson made a fortune in Rawhide, lost it, and has never left there. He's still living in Rawhide, the only resident in that famous Nevada "ghost town," as far as I know. He was one of the miners who stood about the bier of Riley Grannan when the unfrocked minister, Knickerbocker, made his famous speech. You ought to hear Wilson tell the story of that funeral oration!


Jack Bell, whom most everyone in Reno knows, now a writer and correspondent for a number of newspapers and resides in Verdi, was superintendent of the Stratton Independence Mine in the heydey of Cripple Creek.

It was Jack who led a band of miners upon the gang of ore thieves, headed by the "Philippine Kid," engaging in a wild gun fight on the 400 foot level of the mine.

The story of that fight is part of the history of Colorado now. They captured the "Philippine Kid" alive.

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