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Ghost Mines of Yosemite (1958) by Douglass Hubbard


7. CONSOLIDATED SILVER

UNDER THE LAWS of the State of Illinois an organization was formed on November 10, 1881 known as the Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company. Its capital stock was 800,000 shares—$8 million—and was subscribed to by 19 men in amounts ranging from 10 shares ($100) to the 795,560 shares ($7,955,600) signed for by Judge Joseph Parker.19 This may well have been a shrewd move on the part of the Judge. Purchased on a promissory basis, his shares would give him control of the company, yet he had little to lose should the venture fail.

President Thomas Bennett, Jr. reported that some 50,000 shares of the treasury stock were sold at $1 per share. This furnished a portion of the money used to meet the expenses of the first year, but sales were not fast enough, and it became necessary to obtain money by loans to the company. 1

A tone of discord runs through the entire operation of the Great Sierra Company; friction between “Eastern” and “Western” stockholders—never clearly defined geographically in the old reports—and between those who willingly advanced more money to continue operations and those who would not. In the end this caused the collapse of the company. But things looked smooth on the surface:

This looks like business on a large scale, and from what we know of the character and enterprise of several of the Eastern capitalists who are large stockholders and directors of the company, we are satisfied that they mean business . . 20 Considering the enormous width of these lodes, the length of ground owned by the company and the quality of this ore, this consolidation constitutes perhaps the largest and most valuable mining property ever owned by a single corporation in the United States. 21

STOCK SUBSCRIPTION, GREAT SIERRA CO.
[click to enlarge]
STOCK SUBSCRIPTION, GREAT SIERRA CO.


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