Utah Mining Claims

Utah county recorders and mining district recorders have kept numerous documents associated with individual mining claims. Many of these records are available at the Utah State Archives. Documents associated with mining claims include the by-laws of various mining districts. They include thousands of individual notices of location, as well as mining deeds, affidavits showing proof of annual assessment labor, notices of intent to hold a claim, and lease documents. Mining district and county recorders have also created indexes and abstracts to enable retrieval of these documents. Prior to statehood mining records were usually kept by mining district recorders. However, at statehood the Utah Legislature transferred responsibility for keeping mining records to county recorders. In 1897 all Utah mining district recorders were commissioned to deposit their books in the office of the county recorder who would thereafter assume responsibility for keeping all mining records. (See sources used in compiling this research guide. See series holdings.)

Utah Mining District By-laws
The gold rush of 1849 brought some 40,000 prospectors to California. Since no laws were in place to regulate mining, the gold rush began as a free-for-all. Prospectors soon realized the need for regulation and began organizing local mining districts to enforce order and establish ground rules. Mining districts adopted by-laws which established requirements for making and marking claims, regulated the amount which could be claimed, and the amount of work required to hold the claim. Precedents set in California were continued in Utah. Federal troops who were stationed in Utah and who were also veteran prospectors organized Utah's first mining districts in Tooele and Salt Lake Counties. Initially Congress struggled with the mining issue, but finally in 1866, ruled that mineral deposits in the public domain were free and open to exploration and occupation. This act validated the mining districts that had already been organized and the conventions they had established. Prospectors organized more than 130 mining districts in Utah Territory. These districts vary greatly in terms of size and production, but all were authorized to create their own regulations within federal and state guidelines. Typically mining district by-laws designate a name for the district and specify its boundaries. By-laws detail requirements for recording claims and marking them at the site. They also define the responsibilities of the district's recorder, designate his term of office, provide for his election, and specify the fees he can charge for services. District by-laws usually specify how records should be kept and designate who had access to them. In 1876 Utah's Territorial Assembly validated the records kept by mining district recorders, declaring them "receivable in all courts of this territory." The Assembly also ruled that mining district by-laws must be recorded by the county recorder in the respective counties. Since methods of organizing records vary from county to county, county recorders' copies of district by-laws may have been filed among notices of location, in miscellaneous records, or elsewhere. Many Utah mining districts kept a copy of their by-laws in their own records or filed a copy with the General Land Office. Copies filed with the General Land Office have since been transferred to Utah State Archives:

United States. General Land Office Mining district by-laws, 1872-1909

Series 3651

Notices of Location
A document which records a specific claim is called a notice of location. In 1866 Congress authorized the location of a lode throughout its depth, but not the location of the land encompassing the deposit, but in 1870 extended rights to 'placer claims,' allowing prospectors to claim up to 160 acres. Congress adopted a fully developed mining law in 1872. This law continued the policy of making mineral deposits free and open to exploration and purchase according to the rules of local mining districts, but added certain regulations. Claims were limited to 1500 feet along a vein or lode with no more than 300 feet on either side of the center, and placer claims were limited to 20 acres. After statehood the Utah Legislature added certain qualifications to the federal law. Utah locators were required to mark their claims according to detailed instructions and to have a notice of location recorded by the county recorder within thirty days. The 1872 mining law limited claims to 'valuable' deposits. The issue of whether or not this law applied to petroleum became especially hot in the 1890s. In 1896 the General Land Office determined that petroleum was not 'locatable.' The following year (1897) Congress clarified the dispute by passing the Oil Placer Act, which stated that oil and gas were locatable under the general mining law. While most location notices recorded during the territorial period were recorded by prospectors searching for precious metals, many petroleum locations were recorded in the early twentieth century. Notices of location dominate the mining records kept by both mining district and county recorders (see sample notice of location). Many thousands of them have been recorded. Each notice identifies the claim by a unique name, such as 'Poor Man's Friend,' 'Sunshine Lode,' 'Bald Eagle Mine,' or 'Good Luck Mine.' Each notice names the locators, indicates the date of location, and tells how many feet or acres the claim involves. Location notices confirm compliance with federal law and affirm the locator's citizenship. They indicate whether the claim is a lode or placer claim and sometimes name the valuable mineral being sought. Books of location notices also contain variations such as location amendments, relocation notices, or location notices for water or mill sites used in mining activities.

Proof of Labor
The General Mining Law of 1872 added a requirement for at least $100 worth of annual assessment work to be done on each claim in order to maintain it. Failure to mark and record a claim or to do the necessary annual assessment work would open the claim for location by someone else. County or mining district recorders kept track of this assessment work. In affidavits showing proof of labor a claimant swore that he had performed the necessary amount of labor, and usually specified exactly what that labor involved, who did the work, and when (see sample affidavit showing proof of annual assessment labor). Some mining districts required district recorders to personally examine work done and make their own assessment.

As long as claims were properly recorded and maintained through annual assessment work, locators could continue to hold them without the necessity of any record except at the local level. After statehood the Utah Legislature passed a law requiring prospectors to do at least $50 worth of labor within the first ninety days, and specifying details required in affidavits showing proof of labor filed thereafter.

Mining Deeds
A revision of the 1872 Mining Law provided a process by which claims could be patented (owned outright). Anyone who had properly located a claim could file a patent application. The application was to be accompanied by a plat map and field notes made or authorized by the surveyor general, and two affidavits verifying that the claim had been distinctly marked at the site and that notice of patent application had been posted. Applicants were additionally required to do at least $500 worth of labor on the claim and prove that no adverse claims had been filed. After these requirements had been met the applicant could purchase the mineral land for $5 an acre. A mineral certificate issued by the district land office entitled the claimant to a federal patent. Utah county recorders kept copies of patents and mineral certificates with other mining deeds, which by definition transfer interest in mining claims or ownership of mineral lands from one party to another. Mining deeds name a grantor (giver) and grantee (recipient), specify the amount of consideration money and indicate whether divided or undivided interest in the claim. They describe the location of the claim, and identify when, where and by whom it was originally recorded. Most district or county recorders kept mining deeds separate from location notices. Often they are intermingled with other deeds transferring land.

Intent to Hold a Claim
Congress suspended the annual assessment requirement during some recession years, especially during World War I, and the 1930s. While claim holders were not required to perform annual assessment work during these years the law required that each miner file an intention to hold a claim.

Lease Documents
In 1920 Congress made a major departure from the original location system. The Mineral Leasing Act rescinded the right to locate and mine fossil fuel and chemical minerals and replaced the location system with a permit and leasing system. This 1920 law authorized the Secretary of the Interior to issue prospecting permits and leases for the development of gas, oil, phosphates and coal. Qualified applicants could obtain prospecting permits allowing exclusive right to explore up to 2,560 acres. If oil was discovered, the permit holder could lease up to 640 acres. Lease holders are required to pay both rent and royalties of not less than 12 % of the value of production. Similar regulations were put in place for gas, coal and

phosphates. Utah county recorders books contain numerous notices of location for petroleum in the early 1900s. After 1920 these claims were replaced by leases and agreements.

Indexes and Abstracts
County recorders created various indexes and abstracts to provide reference to the notices of location and other mining records. Indexes usually identify the claim, the kind of document, the date, names of locators, and book and page number where documents were recorded. Abstracts begin with a notice of location and chronologically list each document associated with a claim. They indicate where relevant documents were recorded. Most early indexes and abstracts provide reference based on the name of the mine or claim, but not the names of the individuals or corporations involved.

Mining District Location Maps
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Box Elder County Mining Districts Tooele County Mining Districts San Juan County Area Mining Districts Beaver, Iron, Washington and Piute Counties

Series Holdings
Following is a list of processed mining records created by mining district or county recorders: BEAVER COUNTY:

Beaver County (Utah). County Recorder Notices of location books, 1872-1885. Beaver Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1870-1871. Beaver Lake Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1872-1897. Black Mountain Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1895-1896. Bradshaw Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1875-1897. Granite Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1880-1887. Series 23992 Series 23984 Series 23985 Series 23986 Series 23987 Series 24935

Lincoln Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1871-1890. Newton Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1892-1897. North Star Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1871-1897. Preuss Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1880-1897. Rocky Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1872-1891. San Francisco Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1871-1897. Star Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1870-1897. BOX ELDER COUNTY: Ashbrook Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1874-1881 Box Elder Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Notices of Location, 1889-1893 Mining Records, 1890-1892 Lucin Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1869-1896. Mining records index, 1869-1893. Mining notices filings, 1885-1896. Rosebud Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1872-1896 Willard Mining District Recorder Mining Records, 1870-1897 Box Elder County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Notices of Location, 1907-1952 Mining Records, 1871Mining Records Indexes, 1871-1873; 1885-1973 DAGGETT COUNTY: Daggett County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Records, 1919-1984 DUCHESNE COUNTY: Duchesne County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Deeds, 1898-1950 Mining Notices of Location, 1882Mining Proof of Labor Records, 1898-

Series 23989 Series 23990 Series 23991 Series 23993 Series 23994 Series 23995 Series 23996

Series 18132 Series 18128 Series 18129 series 18126 series 18127 series 22091 Series 18131 Series 18130 Series 18133 Series 84097 Series 6143

Series 83797

Series 84251 Series 18101 Series 22195

EMERY COUNTY: Emery County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Notices of Location, 1907-1992 GARFIELD COUNTY: White Canyon Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1887-1897 Garfield County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Abstracts, 1872Mining Notices of Location, 1907-1911 IRON COUNTY: Pinto Iron Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Location Notices, 1874-1894 Silver Belt Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Location Notices, 1872-1875 Iron County (Utah). County Recorder Land Patents, 1905-1964 Mining Abstracts, 1955-1960 Mining Deeds, 1899-1964 Mining Deeds Index, 1899-1952 Mining Location Notices, 1881-1964 Mining Location Notices Indexes, 1920-1960 Mining Location Notices (Placer Claims), 1912-1965 Miscellaneous Records, 1897-1964 Stateline Mining District Records Transcript, 1896-1897 KANE COUNTY: Kane County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Records, 1910PIUTE COUNTY: Gold Mountain Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1889-1897 Mount Baldy Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1878-1897 Ohio Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1872-1897 SAN JUAN COUNTY:

Series 82451

Series 20081 Series 20084 Series 20082

Series 23961 Series 23968 Series 83751 Series 23955 Series 23951 Series 23953 Series 6144 Series 23954 Series 23952 Series 23981 Series 23969

Series 9930

Series 23923 Series 23933 Series 23934

Blue Mountain Mining District (Utah). Recorder Entry Book, 1894-1897 Mining Records, 1892-1897 Gabel Mining District (Utah). Recorder General Index, 1892-1894 Mining Location Notices, 1893-1894 Reception Book, 1892-1894 Monumental Mining District (Utah) Mining District Minutes, 1908-1909 Mining Location Notices, 1896 Williams Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Location Notices, 1895-1896 In XML and PDF. San Juan County (Utah). County Recorder Deed Records, 1891-1952 Mining Location Notices (Lode Claims), 1900-1951 Mining Location Notices (Petroleum), 1905-1941 Mining Maps, 1912-1918, 1950-1982 Mining Proof of Labor Index, 1957-1994 Mining Records, 1891-1914 Mining Records Index (Locations), 1888-1982 Mining Records Index (Locators), 1954-1994 SEVIER COUNTY: Henry Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1883-1896. Sevier County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Abstracts Indexes, [undated]-1903 Mining Placer Claims Index, n.d. Mining Records, 1897-1970 Mining Records Indexes, 1896-1983 TOOELE COUNTY: Blue Bell Mining District (Utah). Recorder Location Notices, 1896-1897 Camp Floyd Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1870-1897 Clifton Mining District (Utah). Recorder File Books, 1869-1896 Intent to Hold Claim Notices, 1893-1894 Location Notices, 1870-1938 Location Notices Indexes, 1894-1938 Miners Meeting Minutes, 1869-1932

Series 24036 Series 24035 Series 24038 Series 24039 Series 24037 Series 24042 Series 24041 Series 24040

Series 23399 Series 24035 Series 24000 Series 23905 Series 83186 Series 84250 Series 23583 Series 23584

Series 22251 Series 22250 Series 22254 Series 84249 Series 2848

Series 24153 Series 10334 Series 24333 Series 24334 Series 24331 Series 24464 Series 24163

Proof of Labor Record Books, 1874-1939 Proof of Labor Index, 1906-1915 Cottonwood Springs Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1892-1893 Dugway Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1872-1877; 1891-1897 Dutch Mountain Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1892-1894 Erekson Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1894-1897 Free Coinage Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1895-1897 Hercules Mining District (Utah). Recorder Location Notices, 1895-1897 Mercur Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining records, 1895-1897. Ophir Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1870-1929 Miscellaneous Records, 1871-1873 Deeds, 1870-1873 File Books, 1870-1873 Point Look Out Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1896 Rush Valley Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1863-1897 Proof of Labor, 1870-1896 Transfers, 1864-1866 Shambip Mining District (Utah). Recorder (1870) Mining Records, 1870-1873 Shambip Mining District (Utah). Recorder (1894) Mining Records, 1894-1897 Tooele City Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1870-1887 Tooele County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Records, 1885-1917 General Mining Index, 1869-1978 Mining Location Notices Index, 1891-1978 Mining Districts Index, 1951-1978 Mining Claims Abstracts, 1891-1978 Mining Claims Abstracts Index, 1891-1978 Patented Mining Claims Index, 1891-1978 Willow Springs Mining District Records, 1891-1900 Willow Springs Mining District (Utah). Recorder Title book, 1891-1897

Series 24332 Series 24463 Series 24151 Series 24159 Series 24157 Series 24155 Series 24156 Series 24150 Series 24849 Series 24165 Series 24508 Series 24572 Series 24971 Series 24154 Series 24160 Series 24162 Series 24161 Series 24158 Series 24166 Series 24152 Series 6150 Series 24174 Series 24176 Series 24182 Series 24562 Series 24177 Series 24564 Series 24408 Series 24409

UINTAH COUNTY: Uintah County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Deeds, 1903-1905 Mining Notices of Location, 1903 Mining Records, 1889Mining Records Indexes, 1887WASATCH COUNTY: Wasatch County (Utah). County Recorder Mining Notices of Location, 1897-1962 Mining Proof of Labor Records, 1901-1959 WASHINGTON COUNTY: Harrisburg Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1871-1897 Tutsagubet Mining District (Utah). Recorder Mining Records, 1883-1885 Washington County (Utah). County Recorder Abstracts (Mines), 1875Agreements and Leases, 1923-1954 Mining Deeds, 1901-1955 Mining Notices Index, 1906-1914 Mining Notices of Location, 1891-1959 Mining Plats, ca. 1925 Mining Proof of Labor, 1897-1956

Series 22522 Series 22523 Series 83236 Series 6138

Series 83880 Series 22199

Series 23675 Series 23690 Series 23670 Series 84209 Series 23669 Series 6151 Series 81372 Series 23680 Series 23671

Sources used in compiling this research guide:
"An Act granting the Right of Way to Ditch and Canal Owners over the Public Lands, and for other Purposes" (July 26, 1866). The Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. XIV. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1868. "An Act Providing for the Manner of Locating and Recording Quartz and Placer Mining Claims" (March 11, 1897). Laws of Utah, 1897. "An Act Providing for the suspension of annual assessment work on mining claims held by location in the United States and Alaska" (May 18, 1933; May 15, 1934). The Statutes at Large of the United States of America, vol. 48, part 1. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1934.

"An Act to authorize the entry and patenting of lands containing petroleum and other mineral oils under the placer-mining laws of the United States" (February 11, 1897). The Statutes at Large of the United States of America, vol. 29. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897. "An Act to promote the Development of the Mining Resources of the United States" (May 10, 1872). The Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America, vol. XIV. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1873. "An Act to promote the mining of coal, phosphate, oil, oil shale, gas, and sodium on the public domain" (February 25, 1920). The Statutes at Large of the United States of America, vol. 41, part 1. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1921. Butler, B.S., G.F. Loughlin, V.C. Heikes and others. The Ore Deposits of Utah. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1920. Copp, Henry Norris. Manual for the use of Prospectors on the Mineral Lands of the United States. 1897. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1979. "Joint Resolution To suspend the requirements of annual assessment work on mining claims during the years 1917 and 1918" (October 5, 1917). The Statutes at Large of the United States of America, vol. 40, part 1. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1919. Mall, Loren L. Public Land and Mining Law, text and cases. Seattle, Wash: Butterworth (Legal Publishers), c1981. Revised Statutes of the United States. 43rd Congress, 1873-1875, Chapter Six, "Mineral Lands and Mining Resources." Utah Mining Association