Mostly mining news (plus moonshine, murder, and a beaver)

news from the iron mines

Interesting notes relative to our principal industry

The Clark property, two and one-half miles east of Hibbing, is developing into a rich mine, explorations on the property being under direction of Capt. John Mallman. Melvin J. Clark and L. W. Wolcott, of Grant Rapids, own it, the exploratory work being in their interest. Capt. Mallman reports that he has already shown up 3,000,000 tons of ore, assaying from 62 to 65 percent iron and but .022 and .030 in phosphorus.

Nearly or quite a full force resumed work at the Franklin on Monday, many of the old men returning at the old wages. Aside from a ten day’s lay-off, a trifling expense to the mining company, a big expense to the county and a good rake-off secured by the drunken bums who came here as deputy sheriffs, the strike was futile of results. The Franklin is loading from shaft and stockpile.

W. P. Murray of New Orleans has leased to R. L. Giffin of Mountain Iron and iron exploration consisting of the north half of the northeast half of 9-58-18. The lease is for 30 years, calls for a minimum output of 50,000 tons at a royalty of 20 cents. The lessee has the right of buying for $100,000 at expiration of lease.

John Eggen of Bessemer came up yesterday for the purpose of building the shaft house at the Adams, the foundation of which was built the first of the week. At the present time 150 men are employed at the mine, which force will be greatly increased when shipments begin, probably the fore part of June. The D. M. & N. spur from Iron Junction to the property is now being ballasted, preparatory to prospective service.

The Drake & Stratton company have commenced work on the Ohio, two shovels being employed. The Ohio can be put in shipping condition for the latter part of the season, and a record of 100,000 tons or better may be expected as the ’95 output.

J. C. Morehead, formerly chief clerk at the Auburn, has been promoted to the position of superintendent of the Fayal and Auburn, with Capt. G. W. Wallace as general manager. The promotion of Mr. Morehead is a deserved recognition of ability and faithful service. Mr. M. E. Pearce of Soudan succeeds Mr. Morehead at the Auburn.

At the Auburn upwards of 300 men are employed and large shipments are being forwarded. Winston Bros. also have a good crew finishing up their stripping contract on this property, and the location presents as lively an appearance as any property on the range.

Capt. J. G. Cohoe, formerly connected with the Mountain Iron Mine, is kept busy these days in drilling, test pitting, and unsurfacing ore on lands owned and controlled by the Consolidated company. He has a crew on the company’s land near the Virginia cemetery and at this place he is farther advanced than at the others, he being employed to prospect this land by the Missabe Mountain company. On the adjoining town on the north, 59-19, the Capt. has a crew at work test pitting. He reports at good showing at both locations.

In speaking of the Fayal, the Eveleth Star says underground developments are progressing rapidly. There are ten drifts, one completed raise and one nearing completion. There is but one skip working at present, but as soon as shipping begins others will work. About 1,000 tons per day will be the summer’s shipment, and for this output it will require the services of from 350 to 400 men. Shipping will begin immediately after the D. & I. R. is completed, which will be next week.

Cole and McDonald are working with ten men and diamond drill on A. E. Humphrey’s property, the Lincoln, about two miles north of the city. —Virginia Enterprise May 24, 1895


A pair of fatal accidents are recorded on the range this week, the first being John Hangas, who jumped out of the skip at the Canton to save going over the chute and fell 175 feet to the bottom on Wednesday morning. The second was on Thursday morning, when Aug. Forsberg, a Swedish miner at the Norman, fell down the chute in the pit while at work, being killed instantly. —Virginia Enterprise May 24, 1895

location school contracts given

Hibbing board closes deal for construction of six buildings

Hibbing, Minn., May 23—(Special to The Herald)—When the next school term begins, the local school district will not have to incur the expense of bringing children in busses from six locations to the local schools, as contracts have just been closed for the construction of six buildings by Aug. 15 next. The contract for the four larger schools went to the Graham-Young company of this village as follows: Brooklyn school, four rooms, $12,734; Kittszville [sic.] school, four rooms, $12,987; Pool school, four rooms, $10,028. E. W. Hallett of Pequot, Minn., was the only other successful bider, the following contracts being awarded to him: Leetonia, two rooms, $6,950; Morton, two rooms, $6,900; Kelley Lake, one room, $2,471.50.

Local bidders were the Graham-Young company, C. A. Kilander, and Heazley and Hazelcamp. Other bidders were Redfield and Colburn, A. J. Roberts and Co., and L. J. Klippen.

All of the buildings must be finished by Aug. 15. Graham-Young company will be given a bonus of $20 per day for every day before that time which they can save and will be assessed $15 for every day they overrun. E. W. Hallet will be given a bonus of $15 per day and will be assessed $10. A superintendent will be appointed to have charge of the construction of all the buildings. —Duluth Evening Herald May 23, 1910

coal thieves fined

Ely, Minn., May 23—(Special to The Herald)— Four residents of the Zenith Location named Antonic were haled before a judge on Thursday, charged with stealing coal from the Section Thirty Mining Company. Three were fined $10 apiece, and the other $8. —Duluth Evening Herald May 23, 1910

chisholm man has close call

Albert Burt of Range Power Company is nearly burned to death

Chisholm, Minn., May 23—(Special to The Herald)—Albert Burt, an employee of the Range Power Company, is recovering from serious burns he sustained a few evenings ago that might have resulted fatally but for prompt action on the part of a fellow employee.

Burt was carrying a five-gallon can of gasoline up a ladder to a gas producer when drops of the oil fell upon a lighted lantern standing on the floor directly below the ladder. Fire ran from drop to drop upwards until it reached the can. The explosion which followed caused gasoline to saturate Burt’s clothing and in an instant he was enveloped in flames.

The unfortunate man made a dash for the open air but was seized by Joseph Cummings, E. J. G. Tower, Alex McDonald and Hugo Olson, who wrapped him in an old engine cover and rolled him over and over until the flames were extinguished. Mr. Burt is burned on the right arm and on the face. The right eye, the only optic from which the unfortunate can see, was slightly injured, although it is not thought he will lose his sight entirely. —Duluth Evening Herald May 23, 1910

ballasting line into chisholm

Missabe Road is also building depot and will soon run trains Chisholm, Minn., May 26—(Special to The

Herald)—The Missabe railroad is ballasting the new line into this village, building the freight and passenger depots and will soon be running trains into this village. The same company has a force of men laying steel for the extension from Sherwood, on the main line twelve miles east of Hibbing, to Kinney, near Buhl.

This line will serve the Woodbridge, Whiteside, Kinney and Helmer mine and will also give Buhl and Kinney a passenger service. The grading of the line is in charge of contractor Rinquist of Duluth and is now nearly completed. The work of laying the steel is in charge of roadmaster E. J. Sponberg. —Duluth Evening Herald May 26, 1910

PeTtit miner is killed by rock

Jerry Nunic, resident of Eveleth two years, is crushed to death

Eveleth, Minn., May 26—(Special to The Herald)—While “cap” breaking in the Pettit Mine yesterday, Jerry Nunic, aged 30, married, and for two years an employee of the mine, in attempting to escape from falling earth and rocks fell and was struck by a big rock, being instantly killed.

His partner managed to escape injury. The deceased’s wife resides in the Old Country. —Duluth Evening Herald May 26, 1910

leonida s shaft is down 175 feet

To be steel lined and one of the best on the iron ranges

Eveleth, Minn., May 26—(Special to The Herald)—The shaft being sunk at the Leonidas Mine by the Oliver Iron Mining Company has already reached a depth of 175 feet and steady progress is being made.

The shaft will be one of the deepest on the range and will be constructed of steel material. The drills that were operating in the vicinity of the shaft found many bodies of good ore.

A boiler house has been constructed at the mine, and many men are already being employed in the vicinity of the new shaft, working on the shaft structure and at the boiler and other shops that are being operated. Fifteen dwellings have been erected at the mine and are being occupied by the men now employed in that vicinity. A fine site for a mining location has been secured in the immediate vicinity of the new mine, and in this district the houses have been erected. —Duluth Evening Herald May 26, 1910

Mine officials visit the range

J. Uno Sebenius, chief engineer for the Oliver Iron Mining Company, and J. H. Hearding, assistant general manager for the Oliver, are visitors here today on the regular tour of inspection of the company’s mines in the Virginia and Eveleth districts. They motored to Virginia from Eveleth this morning with General Superintendent Webb of the Republic Iron and Steel Co. The former’s private car “Missabe” was brought here this morning and is parked in the yards east of the Duluth, Missabe & Northern station. The officials will remain here until noon tomorrow. —Virginia Enterprise May 28, 1915

captain burke, missing a month, writes family

Disappeared from Ely a month ago

Captain Burke, well known Mesaba and Vermilion Range mining man, mysteriously missing from his home at Ely for more than a month, has been located. In a letter to his wife at Ely written from New York, he states he is on his way to England.

Burke left Ely without informing his family or friends. His disappearance was kept a secret for several weeks and various stories regarding it prevailed. A quiet search for him was instituted and at one time it was feared that he had been the victim of foul play or had drowned in one of the lakes near Ely.

The letter to his wife and family, whom he left practically without funds, clears up the mystery of his disappearance but leaves the impression with those who know him well that he is suffering from aphasia, a mental affliction, which as caused him to temporarily forget his identity and to wander from his home.

Burke is well known in this city, where he was formerly employed at the Norman Mine. He went to Ely a year ore more ago from Virginia to take a position with Pattison Bros. at the South Chandler mine. He has traveled extensively, was a veteran of the Boer War, and has had an adventurous life. He is a member of several fraternal organizations and it is said they will interest themselves in locating him for his family. —Virginia Enterprise May 28, 1915

fatally shoT over moonshine kettle

Mountain Iron man killed and companion wounded; slayer at large

Virginia, Minn., May 24—(Special to The Herald)—During an argument over the possession of a kettle alleged to have been used for moonshining, Joe Grebich, Wacootah location, Mountain Iron, shot John Grebich and his nephew, Mike, with a .32-caliber revolver, the shot proving fatal in the case of the former, who died in the Buhl hospital early this morning.

It is alleged that John Grebich and his nephew went to Joe Grebich’s home at 6:30 Sunday evening and demanded the kettle in the possession of the latter. An argument followed and John Grebich was shot through the intestines and Mike through the leg. It is not thought that Mike is seriously injured.

Mountain Iron authorities and the sherrif’s office were unable to located Joe Grebich up to noon today. Neighbors and relatives of the man refused to talk of the affair. John and Joe Grebich are not related. It is believed they were members of a moonshining organization. John Grebich was aged 50 and is survived by his wife and several children. —Duluth Herald May 24, 1920

TONage tax menace will be shown visitors

Virginia, Minn., May 24—(Special to The Herald)—An effort to impress them with the tonnage tax menace will be made when the St. Paul Wholesalers’ Association visits Virginia Friday. This matter is in the hands of the Retail Merchants’ Association, which is in charge of the plans for the entertainment of the St. Paul visitors.

The St. Paul visitors will spend Friday night in Virginia and will go from here to Mountain Iron by automobile the next morning. —Duluth Herald May 24, 1920


Virginia, Minn., May 26—(Special to The Herald)—The murder of Mike Malkovich, who was stabbed in a free-for-all fight at Mountain Iron Nov. 17, 1918, and who died two days later in an Eveleth hospital, is believed to have had its origin in the work of the same gang concerned in the shooting there Sunday night. Mike Grivicic, who was acquitted of the murder by a jury at the February 1919 session of the district court, is reported related to the Grivicics concerned in the other affair. He was alleged to have cut Malkovich with a butcher knife about the groin and death by peritonitis followed two days later. He was also said to have attempted to kill Tony and Uick Procrnic on the same occasion. Both affairs occurred in the same house. —Duluth Herald May 26, 1920

Claims moonshine was cow medicine

Virginia, Minn., May 26—(Special to The Herald)—August Halberg, arrested for violation of the prohibition law at Aurora, was released on his own recognizance to appear before the grand jury at its next session. Bail was first fixed at $1,000 by Judge E. H. Yarick, but the amount was later changed to $500 which he was unable to obtain.

The testimony before the Aurora justice court offered by the officers was that upon visiting Halberg’s place near the Meadow farm they found a barrel of raisin mash, a copper section of a still to fit over a wash boiler, a boiler concealed under the bay in the hayshed and a quantity of moonshine.

Halberg declared that he had brought the copper top in from Mud Lake, where he had found it nailed to a tree and took it for the copper. He said that the boiler found by the officers in the hayshed belonged to his wife and that the stuff in the barrel was not moonshine, but was made from clover blossoms, potato peelings and anise seed as medicine for sick cows.

The officers said that they pulled the bung from the barrel and found nothing but raisins and water, whereupon the defended declared that he forgot to say the raisins were in the barrel. Upon his appearance at the courthouse where Halberg was accompanied by his wife and seven children, he sais he had been a resident of the Range for 29 years and had never before been in trouble. —Duluth Herald May 26, 1920

Furnace co. takes option on lease

Virginia Mine, located near this city, is open pit—will test property for additional ore

The Shenango Furnace company has taken an option for lease of the Virginia iroin mine, situated in Section 30, 58-17, north of the west end of Adams pit near this city, according to Skillings Mining Review. The company will conduct testpitting, and later drilling, to ascertain the extent of ore remaining in the property. The fee of the Virginia is owned by M. H. Alworth of Duluth and his associates.

The Virginia Mine is an open pit, and became a shipper in 1910. The mine was operated by Pickands, Mather and Co., and the last shipment was made in 1914. During those five seasons, the property shipped a total of 1,019,227 tons. The mine has been idle since 1914. The largest shipment in any one season was in 1913, when 391,109 tons were forwarded.

Two ores were shipped from the Virginia, one known as Virginia Bessemer, a hard, mixed, Bessemer hematite, and Virginia non-Bessemer, a hard, mixed, non-Bessemer hematite. The ores were crushed. The Shanango people will make a thorough test of the property for additional ore. —Eveleth News May 27, 2020


No state in the Union levies a tonnage tax. Neither so far as can be learned is a tonnage tax levied upon mineral production in any country in the world. Even the state of Pennsylvania which has more reason, if there is anything to the heritage theory, to levy a tonnage or supertax does not do so but provides for straight ad valorem taxation of all its coal mines.

Every state or country that has tried a tonnage tax has found it unsatisfactory and has discarded it. The state of Michigan and the province of British Columbia are notable examples. Michigan had a tonnage tax on iron ore from 1853 to 1891, when it repealed the tax as unjust, unwise, and undesirable. British Columbia had the same experience. Minnesota had a tonnage tax from 1881 to 1895 when it was repealed as unsatisfactory and the present system adopted. In 1907 the present system was greatly improved by the creation of the State Tax Commission and the taxing of iron ore is now so scientifically and so accurately done that tax experts brought to Minnesota by the Non-Partisan League in 1919 to give information in support of the League’s tonnage tax bills testified that Minnesota’s system of taxing minerals was the most scientific and accurate in the United States.

Every governor in the United States who has studied this question has pronounced against a tonnage tax. This is true not only of Governors Johnson and Burnquist in Minnesota, both of them southern Minnesota men, but also of that notable champion of the rights of the people, Governor Pingree of Michigan.

Moreover, all the advocates of a tonnage tax now admit that all the tonnage tax bills which they tried to enact into law from 1907 to 1917 inclusive were unwise and unsound, and were justly defeated.

Is a system of taxation that has repeatedly tried and found wanting every time that it has been tried, and which does not now anywhere exist, a wise system for Minnesota to adopt? —Tower Weekly News May 28, 1920

Beaver was too inquisitive

A big beaver came to grief at the Pike River hydroelectric power plant last Saturday night when he chewed off a 2×6 piece of timber over the draft tube leading to the water turbine and was drawn in and caught in the governor gate. The animal’s inquisitiveness cost him his life and also caused engineer Jack Tinkler considerable uneasiness until Sunday morning when Supt. Fay went out and removed the body from the water wheel. The animal was an unusually large one, Mr. Fay says. He and Mr. Tinkler skinned it and have written the state game and fish commissioner asking what disposition to make of the pelt. —Tower Weekly News May 28, 1920


Two Harbors, Minn., May 25—(Special to The Herald)—There are now about a dozen trains and engine crews hauling ore to this port as compared with two to four last week. Three or four ore boats are due here within the next day or two and it is the general belief here that any changes in the near future in the ore business will be for improvement. —Duluth Herald May 25, 1922

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.