Idaho Ghost Towns: Patents as a Key to the Past

Karen F. Hertel
Reference Librarian and PTDL Representative
University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho


Nearly one quarter of the patenting activity in historic Idaho took place in what are now considered ghost towns. As a group, the 70 patents used in this study provide a rich body of data on place names, genealogy, progress of technology, and activities in early Idaho towns. The mining industry as central to Idaho history and early patenting activity is discussed. Also covered are complexities inherent in analyzing historical patents and areas where further research is needed.


Idaho, Ghost Towns, Historical Patents, Mining, Inventors, History of Science, Independent Inventors, Early Idaho Towns, Historical Places, History of Technology


Patenting activity commenced in Idaho in 1866, with the issuing of a patent for a steam generator to Robert Bailey of Idaho City, Territory of Idaho. During the next 34 years, 312 patents were issued in Idaho. Seventy, or roughly 22%, list as residence of inventor towns that have completely disappeared, or had a significant decline in population. This paper will examine the 70 patents in the study group with the aim of identifying possible patterns or groupings of invention that offer insights into the history and culture of Idaho towns that flourished in the late 19th century and later declined, becoming ghost towns. A second aim is to note some of the various complexities encountered when undertaking historical patent research.

Karen F. Hertel
Reference Librarian and PTDL Representative
University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho


Nearly one quarter of the patenting activity in historic Idaho took place in what are now considered ghost towns. As a group, the 70 patents used in this study provide a rich body of data on place names, genealogy, progress of technology, and activities in early Idaho towns. The mining industry as central to Idaho history and early patenting activity is discussed. Also covered are complexities inherent in analyzing historical patents and areas where further research is needed.


Idaho, Ghost Towns, Historical Patents, Mining, Inventors, History of Science, Independent Inventors, Early Idaho Towns, Historical Places, History of Technology


Patenting activity commenced in Idaho in 1866, with the issuing of a patent for a steam generator to Robert Bailey of Idaho City, Territory of Idaho. During the next 34 years, 312 patents were issued in Idaho. Seventy, or roughly 22%, list as residence of inventor towns that have completely disappeared, or had a significant decline in population. This paper will examine the 70 patents in the study group with the aim of identifying possible patterns or groupings of invention that offer insights into the history and culture of Idaho towns that flourished in the late 19th century and later declined, becoming ghost towns. A second aim is to note some of the various complexities encountered when undertaking historical patent research.

A former patent librarian at the University of Idaho Library is compiling an index of historical Idaho patents; currently completed are 1866-1908 (Hanson, 2003). Sources for the index are the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents located in the United States Congressional Serial Set, the Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the Subject-Matter Index of Patents Issued by the United States Patent Office from 1790 to 1873, Inclusive.

An examination of the index contents showed a number of well-known ghost towns and unfamiliar place names listed as residence of inventor, as well as a preponderance of patents related to mining. A study was undertaken to first classify the inventor residence listed in Idaho patents granted from 1866 through 1900 as either “present-day ghost town” or “not present-day ghost town”, and secondly to further analyze the subject matter of the patents assigned the ghost town classification.

Historical Background

Early Settlement of Idaho Territory

Paul (2001, p. 2) asserts that prospectors and miners were the pioneers in most of the Far West, disagreeing with the common perception of a settlement pattern in a frontier area as a procession of first fur trappers, then pioneer farmers, then substantial farmers, and finally town builders. “If that procession ever existed in fact, then it was only in the forested, well-watered lands to the east of the 100th meridian. Westward the natural conditions and natural opportunities were quite different.” Arrington (1994, Vol.1, p. 183) notes, “Except for the Mormons at Franklin, the settlement of Idaho and the creation of Idaho Territory were indirect outgrowths of the gold rush to California.” As the Sutter’s Fort rush in California played out, gold seekers tried their luck elsewhere; where they struck it rich, towns materialized (see Figure 1) as “merchants, packers, teamsters, stagecoach lines, and express companies quickly brought their services to each new camp-arriving coincidentally with the speculators and promoters, but well after the saloon keepers and gamblers.” (Paul, 2001, p. 2)

Figure 1: Silver City, Idaho. 1892. #6018-140, Historical Photograph

Collection, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Idaho’s first major rush was set off by Captain E.D. Pierce’s 1859 discovery of gold in the Clearwater country of northern Idaho. After working Oro Fino Creek during the summer of 1860, some of Pierce’s companions returned to Walla Walla for the winter with their dust. The enthusiastic prospectors’ talk of the strike was enough to send thousands, once spring arrived, dashing off to the goldfields. Wolle (1953, p. 221) observes that, “By August, 7,000 men jostled each other in Pierce City.” Oro Fino City sprang up three miles upstream from Pierce and; “In no time it had sixty log houses, ten stores, and numerous tents and was selling lots for $200 and cabins for from $500 to $1,000.” (Wolle, 1953, p. 221) A diverse mix, the miners included “churchmen, merchants, laborers, and lawyers, virtually anyone capable of handling a pick and shovel. The Argonauts came from all over the United States as well as from Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, France, China, and the Hawaiian Islands” (Schwantes, 1991, p. 51). Seven short years later, the fields were played out and “by 1868 Oro Fino had become a ghost town.” (Miller, 1976, p. 26)

This boom-bust pattern, with some variations, continued throughout the remaining five major mining rushes in Idaho. The rush to Florence in 1861, close on the heels of the Clearwater rush, was followed by the Boise Basin and Owyhee rushes, both occurring from 1863-66; the Wood River rush from 1880-82; and the Coeur d’Alene rush from 1882-89. The 1870’s were disappointing, “as with all new placer regions, flush production developed quickly and fell off with like rapidity . . . Its [Idaho’s] recorded population of 14,999 in 1870 can not have been more than half the number that had come to Idaho for varying periods of time during the decade” (Paul, 2001, p. 143).

Many historians remark on the transitory, unstable nature of mining camps: “The miners of Idaho were like quicksilver. A mass of them dropped in any locality, broke up into individual globules, and ran off after any atom of gold in their vicinity. They stayed nowhere longer than the gold attracted them.” (Bancroft, 1882-1890, Vol. 31, p. 427) “Some…were merely tent cities, others consisted of a few log cabins, and still others…became quite plush cities in their day. . . Communities soon sprang up around a mill or smelter and were as quickly deserted when the mine shut down.” (Sparling, 1974, p. 9) The quicksilver-like emergence and subsequent abandonment of some mining camps is hard to imagine; Florence in the rough and remote Salmon River country is a case in point. Schwantes (1991, p. 52) estimates “eight thousand people were in Florence in late June 1862; two weeks later six thousand of them had departed.”

Ghost Towns

Mining camps were usually built close to the diggings, with little apparent thought to future viability or location. Burke (see Figure 2), a town founded in 1885 during the Coeur d’Alene rush, “is so solidly squeezed into the bottom of the canyon that its main hotel once spanned the railroad tracks.” (Florin 1967, p. 39) It was not unusual for towns to be located within a few miles of each other, examples being Pierce and Oro Fino, Murray and Delta, and Pioneerville and Centerville. The Coeur d’Alene Mining District illustrates a common pattern. Burke, Mace, Gem, and Wardner, all founded during the boom years, depended on the mines and lost the majority of their population when ore ran out or transportation bypassed the town. On the other hand, Wallace remained a thriving community because of its location on the main transportation route (Hart, Nelson, 1984, p. 71).

Figure 2: Burke, Idaho. 1888. Photo: Barnard-Stockbridge Collection. #8X-0431, Historical Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

The first rail lines came to Idaho Territory in 1873-1874 (Arrington, Vol. 1, 1994, p. 313); and the impact was enormous in the ensuing years. Consequences to towns bypassed by the railroad were often fatal, as illustrated by Salubria, a town settled in the late 1860’s. The bustling pioneer community had enough people to merit a post office in 1874; unfortunately several years later the railroad was built on the opposite side of the Weiser River, dooming Salubria and leading to the birth of the new town of Cambridge. The location of the rails even a few miles from a village, coupled with miners moving on as strikes played out, were often the impetus for the birth of a ghost town.

Ghost towns are defined by the Idaho Encyclopedia (Federal Writers’ Project, 1938, p. 98) as “ghosts now in comparison with their former activity, [some] still maintain a dubious existence; and still others are showing signs of renewed life after a long period of quiescence.” This rather arbitrary definition was expanded for purposes of this research to include towns that had an initial boom followed by a decline in population, or towns established for a specific reason, or around a specific operation, that for the most part ceased to exist when their reason for being dwindled.

Information on mining camp culture (see Figures 3, 4, 5) is more readily available than material about life in the smaller railroad towns and trading centers. Historians paint a colorful picture of mining life. Schwantes (1991, p. 52, 65) states that “miners worked hard and had little time for play” and “living in the mining camps were men like Cherokee Bob, Dutch Fred, and Boone Helm, fugitives from justice.” Arrington (1994, p. 189) observes that “contemporaries complained of the lawlessness…such outlaw activity appeared near most of the gold mines.” Wells (2002, p. xi) says “Where tourists now see ghost towns, miners of a century ago saw stable, permanent communities, most of which they expected to last indefinitely;” while Paul (2001, p. 7) remarks that “…found no existing . . . and thus had to create . . . just enough economic, social, and political controls to permit each one to seek his fortune as an individual and yet enjoy some of the benefits that came only with organized society.” This curious juxtaposition of brutal working conditions, violence, transience, and community seems at first glance an unlikely harbinger for invention. Yet if one considers the ensuing environment, as did Paul (2001, p. 7) “the result was a curious blending of the new and the familiar, of innovation and imitation,” such that mining camps were a natural place for invention to flourish.

Figure 3: Placer tailings. Leesburg, Idaho. 1888?. #6008-04, Historical Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Figure 4: Bunker Hill “Glory Hole”. 1886. Photo: Barnard-Stockbridge Collection. #8-X0024, Historical Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Figure 5: Placer mines, Delta, Idaho. n.d.. Photo: Barnard-Stockbridge Collection #8-X0302, Historical Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Studies of patenting activity often provide insights into the advance of a particular technology in a society. Of the mining West, Paul (2001, p. 7) claims that, “The greatest achievement by far was technological, the art of mining.” Mining of gold and silver was completely unknown to most Americans and foreign methods had to be adapted and improved to meet local conditions. Paul (2001, pp. 7-8) asserts that “By the close of the nineteenth century, Americans had advanced so rapidly and had proved so inventive in their new profession that they were regarded as world leaders in the art of extracting precious metals.”

Figure 6: Map compiled by Bruce Godfrey, University of Idaho Library, 2003.

Figure 7: US Patent 456,517

Figure 8: US Patent 593,459

Figure 9: US Patent 96,391


Patents as Indicators of History and Culture

Of the 312 patents issued to Idaho from 1866-1900, 70 are from ghost towns. (see Appendix) These 70 patents, (see Table 1) come from 27 different residences as claimed by inventor. (see Figure 6) Eighteen of these towns were founded around mining operations, including: Atlanta, Banner, Bay Horse, Bullion, Burke, Centreville, De Lamar, Delta, Doniphan, Gem, Idaho City, Leesburg, Murray, Placerville, Silver City, Silver Mountain, Soldier, and Wardner. Research did not show that Silver Mountain was ever a town, but rather a highly-anticipated mining area on a mountain by said name whose claims turned out to be unproductive; nonetheless, patent 407, 934 reads “…of Silver Mountain, in the county of Boise, Idaho Territory”. It is assumed the locale is the mountain as the county is correct. The other nine locations were railroad stations, trading centers, and/or post offices and include: Camas, Falk’s Store, Jansville, Lemhi Agency, Lenville, Old Mission, Salubria, Seneaguoteen, and Washoe. This grouping, in general, did not experience the same dramatic population surges as the mining camps, although the fortunes of some, such as Camas, the largest shipping point for mines in the Lemhi country, is a case in point–were directly tied to the mines. Because no patenting activity occurred during the study time period, there are numerous other Idaho ghost towns not included in this research.

The patents in this study were divided into broad subject categories (see Table 2) in order to discover possible relevant groupings. Of the 70 patents, 22, or a significant 31.4%, were directly related to, or motivated by, mining as determined by the title and description. (see Figures 7 and 8) Ten additional patents, or 7%, in the “Mining/Other” category were for technologies potentially useful to mining operations; however, it was difficult to verify if mining activities prompted the invention. The remaining 38 patents relate to activities and items one might expect to see in a burgeoning western town of that era, running the gamut from patent 391,186 for a razor caster to be used in a barber shop to patent 605,890 for an animal destroyer. Some of the “non-mining” patents are particularly indicative of principal activities in the area. For example, patent 393,360 for a mail bag is from Camas, a station on the UPRR; the description and drawings in the patent document show a locking mail bag used to transport mail between railroad stations.

Silver City provides an illustration of a town that experienced several mining booms from its glory days in the 1860s on into the first years of the 1900s (Welch, 1982, p. 111). Not surprisingly, patenting activity reflects a more diverse community than some of the other towns that had shorter lifetimes. For example, Bullion flourished from 1880-1893 (Miller, 1976, p. 3) and claims only two patents, both directly related to mining. Of the 14 patents issued in Silver City, seven were for inventions not related to mining. According to An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho in the late 1890’s Silver City had: Six general merchandise stores, two hardware stores, a tin shop, two meat markets, two hotels, four restaurants, eight saloons, bakery, one shoe shop, a photograph gallery, brewery, soda-bottling works, two livery stables, a feed store, three drug stores, a jeweler, three blacksmith shops, a furniture store, two lumber yards, a tailor shop, three barber shops, a newspaper, four lawyers, two doctors,…” (Lewis Publishing, 1899, p. 236)

The first daily newspaper in the territory, The Owyhee Avalanche, began publication in 1865 in Silver City, changing ownership several times in the next two decades. Patent 96,391 for a copy holder (see Figure 9) was invented by John S. Butler; possibly one of the Butler brothers, owners of the Tidal Wave, a small paper that merged with the Avalanche in 1870. In 1876, patent 185,102 for a ruler was invented by C.M. Hays, publisher of the Avalanche from 1882-1890. (Lewis Publishing, 1899, p. 190) Other patents from Silver City for use in commercial venues, recreation, and agriculture further support the image of a well rounded, thriving frontier town.

Patenting numbers corroborate the transient nature of the towns, at the same time indicating a high level of innovation during the boom years. Of 381 Idaho patents issued from 1901-1908 (Hanson, 2003), only 14, or 3.7%, are from the 27 ghost towns in the study, a significant decline from the 70, or 22.4%, of the 312 patents issued from 1866-1900.

Historical Patent Research

An unanticipated difficulty was verifying the location and existence of the residence claimed by the inventor. Lalia Boone’s (1988) Idaho Place Names was consulted heavily, as were books on Idaho ghost towns and history, census data, and historical maps. Table 3 lists variant spellings of the towns and any other known names, as well as other significant demographic data. Sometimes, sources did not agree; for example, patent 484,943 listed as residence Kaintuck, county of Bingham. No such town was located in the abovementioned resources, or in histories of Bingham County, even considering the histories of counties Bingham was formed from and counties that were formed later from Bingham. Boone does list Kaintuck as a former name of Wardner (in Shoshone County), and an Internet search yielded an old letter for sale from Kaintuck, believed to be the Kentuck mine near Shoup in Lemhi County (Anderson, 2003). Ultimately, an obscure listing in the Polk’s Directory (1903-04) listed Kaintuck as the original name of Rexburg, which is in Madison County, at one time a part of Bingham County. The Rexburg entry did not verify this. Because Rexburg is not a ghost town, this patent was not included in the study group.

The “Kaintuck example” also illustrates the difficulty posed by changing county boundaries. In territorial and early statehood days, Idaho counties tended to be vast, and were hacked up and added to with remarkable frequency. Table 4 lists both the county name given in the patent and the current county name if different. Tracking an obscure residence listed in a patent through the county boundary changes is difficult; one must also consider the possibility that the inventor made a mistake in listing the county.

The facsimiles of the 70 patents from ghost towns revealed some discrepancies, primarily in dates and spelling, between the patent and the source data such as that from Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents. Also interesting to note are differences between the listing in the source data and the title on the patent document. For example, patent 564,388 is listed as “Doors” in the Annual Index; the title on the patent document is “Locking Mechanism for Mob and Burglar Proof Doors”. Often the source data did not list middle names, only initials of inventors and assignees. Most of the patents examined listed the full middle name, an important implication for genealogical and biographical research.

Implications for Further Research

Those who study technological progress of an industry through time have long considered patents a valuable resource. Further research should be done of all mining-related inventions in Idaho, not just those from ghost towns. This will both place Idaho inventions in the context of the larger mining industry and also to study the progress of mining technology on a more regional level.

All resources consulted on mining in Idaho note the significant role played by the Chinese. As camps began to decline, the claim holders would sell out to the Chinese, who would work for a smaller return. (Paul, 2001; Arrington, 1994) The 1870 census lists 4,274 of the 14,999 people in Idaho as Chinese; in classification by occupation 6,579 men of all races are miners, with 3,853 being Chinese, more than half of all listed miners. Railroad construction also attracted a large number of Chinese, the labor force they provided was instrumental in the building of the rail lines in Idaho (Schwantes, 1991, p. 128). Even though there was a large number of Chinese in Idaho in the late 19th century, none of the inventors in the patents analyzed had obvious Chinese names. However, a much more extensive knowledge of Chinese names and possible Anglicization thereof, as well as further research on the status of Chinese in early Idaho towns is necessary before drawing any conclusions.

As discussed previously, the research had unanticipated findings in the areas of place names and genealogy. Lalia Boone’s place name research notes are available in the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives and should be consulted for possible verification of remaining place name questions. Lillian Otness, in the foreward to Boone’s 1988 work notes, “Valuable as Idaho Place Names is, it should not mark the end of place name research in the state. In only a few counties has intensive research been carried out.” (p. x) By listing a residence and placing it in a county at a point in time, historical patents serve as a tool for place name research. For genealogical purposes, patents can fix a person in a time and locale, as well as give valuable information about their interests and accomplishments.


The Idaho patents compiled in Hanson’s (2003) index serve as a source for place name research by revealing the existence of Idaho ghost towns, some of which have completely disappeared and have little recorded history. In addition, the patents in this study clearly show not only innovative mining activities, but that other creative pursuits did occur in present-day ghost towns during their heyday. Comparing the study time period of 1866-1900 to the time period of 1901-1908, a sharp decline in numbers of patents from towns in the study group supports the idea that patents are a valuable resource of information on the activities of a particular place, in this case the transient nature of the respective communities. Early patents serve as a goldmine of historical information, helping to define the culture and history of a particular locale.


Anderson, Warren (2003). American West Archives Online Catalog. Retrieved June 6, 2003 from

Arrington, L. J. (1994). History of Idaho. (Vol. 1-2). Moscow, ID: Universsity of Idaho Press.

Bancroft, H. H. (1882-90). Works (Vol. 31). San Franciso: A.L. Bancroft.

Boone, L. P. (1983). From A to Z in Latah County, Idaho: A Place Name Dictionary. Moscow, ID: Idaho Place Name Project.

Boone, L. P. (1988). Idaho Place Names: a Geographical Dictionary. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Press.

Federal Writers’ Project (1938). The Idaho Encyclopedia. Caldwell, ID: Caxton. Retrieved November 13, 2003 from

Florin, L. (1967). A Guide to Western Ghost Towns. Seattle, WA: Superior.

Hanson, D. (2003). U.S. Patents Issued to Residents of Idaho, 1866-1908. Unpublished report, Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Library.

Hart, P. & Nelson, I. (1984). Mining Town: the Photographic Record of T.N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d’Alenes. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Idaho State Historical Society. (1969). Mining in Idaho, 1860-1969 (Reference Series No. 9, rev. ed.). Boise, ID: Author.

Lewis Publishing Co. (1899). An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: Author.

Miller, D. C. (1976). Ghost Towns of Idaho. Boulder, CO: Pruett.

Paul, R. W. (2001). Mining Frontiers of the Far West, 1848-1880. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

R.L. Polk & Company (1903-04). Idaho State Gazetteer and Business Directory (Vols. 1-2). St. Paul, MN: Author.

Schwantes, C. A. (1991). In Mountain Shadows: A History of Idaho. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Sparling, W. C. (1974). Southern Idaho Ghost Towns. Caldwell, ID: Caxton.

U.S. Census, 1870: Table 1: The United States (1872). Washington: Government Printing Office.

U.S. Census, 1870: Selected Occupations with Age and Sex and Nativity, Table XXX: Territory of Idaho (1872). Washington: Government Printing Office.

Welch, J. C. (1982). Gold Town to Ghost Town: the Story of Silver City, Idaho. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Press.

Wells, M. W. (2002). Gold Camps & Silver Cities: Nineteenth-century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho Press. (Reprinted from Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 22, 1964).

Wolle, M. (1953). The Bonanza Trail: Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of the West. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.


Table 1. Total Granted Patents/Ghost Towns to Total Granted Patents/Idaho (1866-1900)
Year Ghost Town Total Idaho Year Ghost Town Total Idaho
1866 1 1 1884 3 4
1867 1 1 1885 3 6
1868 0 0 1886 2 6
1869 1 1 1887 1 4
1870 0 0 1888 4 12
1871 2 2 1889 4 18
1872 1 1 1890 3 12
1873 1 1 1891 1 14
1874 0 0 1892 3 18
1875 0 1 1893 7 23
1876 1 5 1894 4 22
1877 0 1 1895 1 15
1878 2 2 1896 7 20
1879 1 3 1897 5 28
1880 2 2 1898 3 15
1881 0 3 1899 5 28
1882 0 4 1900 1 33
1883 1 6
Total Ghost Town: 70

Total Idaho: 312

Table 2. Patent Groupings by Category
Category Patent #/Title Total
Mining 60,611/steam generator; 64,060/quartz crusher; 142,857/elevated wireways; 208,509/amalgamator; 226,933/coating ingot molds; 271,145/utilizing force of currents & streams; 305,250/joint-protector & igniter for fuses; 316,528/pick; 324,445/pick; 332,978/crushing-roll; 337,901/pulverizing mill; 359,020/concentrator; 384,420/sampling apparatus; 412,586/registering & indicating device for mines; 456,517/ore-roasting furnace; 495,374/cable-tramway grip; 504,923/concentrator; 520,287/plunger-worker for concentrating jigs; 526,242/ore concentrator; 593,459/tool for miners’ use; 619,765/combined miner’s candlestick & fuse implement; 639,011/water motor 22
Mining/Other 114,194/lubricators; 120,366/governors for steam & other engines; Re 4,931/improvement in governors; 219,161/balance slide-valves; 494,392/antifriction journal box; 516,619/car coupling; 552,843/drill sharpener; 560,606/car coupling; 562,550/coupling block for sprocket chains; 664,146/check valve 10
Railroad 442,643/railroad rail brace; 532,668/railroad switch; 567,911/station indicator; 567,912/striker arm for station indicators 4
Other Transportation D 32,031/car-door hinge; 298,436/wagon running gear; 472,398/wave-power motor; 556,613/sled propellor; 586,344/bicycle bell 5

351,530/pendant-stem for watches; 387,011/watch-case pendant; 407,934/syringe; 469,169/figure toy; 524,620/boot or shoe; 609,083/puzzle; 613,610/swimming appliance; 620,504/folding umbrella 8
Household 436,940/door securer; 500,006/stand; 507,448/washstand; 605,890/animal destroyer 4
Commercial D26,923/inkstand; 204,189/machine for pitting & cutting fruit; 231,056/paper bag; 391,186/razor caster; 497,929/billiard cue; 564,388/locking mechanism for mob & burglar doors; 584,225/bottle 7
Agriculture D32,032/barn-door hinge; 406,680/baling press; 437,450/cultivator or harrow; 578,447/barbed wire fence 4
Firearms 296,054/combined knife & pen holder; 402,918/trigger-setting mechanism for firearms; 503,215/pipe wrench 3
News/Mail 96,391/copy holder; 185,102/ruler; 393,360/mail bag 3

Table 3. Ghost Town Demographic Data
Town Notes
Atlanta Founded 1864, mining through 1930’sa Still has residentse
Banner Founded 1864, flourished after 1882. Originally called Silver City.b
Bay Horse Founded 1877, flourished 80’s/90’s; also Aetna, Bayhorseb Pop. (1885) 400d
Bullion Flourished 1880-1893. Peak pop. 700b
Burke Founded 1885, by 1888 pop. 800i
Camas Station on the UPRR; flourished 80’s, pop. 3000b
Centreville Peak pop. 3,000; New Centerville 3 miles from original.b Also Centerville
De Lamar Mining from 1863, town founded 1888; flourished 1890; P.O. 1889-1942b
Delta Pop. may have reached 1,000i
Doniphan Flourished early 80’sb Pop. (???) 10g
Falk’s Store Founded 1862, first store 1867a
Gem Founded 1886, peak pop. 2,500b Small town today
Idaho City Founded 1862; by Dec. pop. 6,000+; peak pop. 30,000, pop. (1869), 1,000d Also: Moore’s Creek, Morestown, Bannock City, and West Bannock..cStill county seat, small town
Jansville Trading center; P.O. 1890-1901f
Leesburg Founded 1866, peak pop. 3,000-7,000, declining by 1874b
Lemhi Agency P.O. on Lemhi Valley Indian Reservationg
Lenville Established 1864, flourished after 1882. Originally called Silver City.b
Murray Founded 1884, year later pop. 2,000, by end of 1886 pop. 100; Also Murrayvilleb Small town today.
Old Mission Built 1848, oldest building in Idahob Today, major tourist attraction, National Historic Landmark
Placerville Founded Dec. 1862; by June, 1863 pop. 5,000d
Salubria Founded late 1860s, P.O. 1824-1916; died when RR bypasseda
Seneaguoteen Early Hudson’s Bay trading post, Kootenai county seat 1864-1881i Also Sineacateen, Seneaguoteen, Seneacquoteen a
Silver City P.O. 1863-1943b Peak pop. 5,000d Removal of county seat to Murphy catastrophich
Silver Mountain Not actual town; silver mines not productivea
Soldier Founded early 80’sd P.O. 1882-1919, died when railroad passed bya
Wardner P.O. 1886- , Also Kentuck, Kaintuckb Founded 1885, 8 months later pop. 1,000d Small town today, pop. (2000) 215
Washoe Early ferry and settlement; P.O. 1873-1898a
Sources: aBoone (1988), bMiller (1976), cIdaho State Historical Society (Reference Series No. 9), dIdaho Encylopedia (1938), eSparling (1974), fBoone (1983), gIdaho State Gazetteer and Business Directory (1903-04), hWelch (1982), iAn Illustrated History of North Idaho (1903)

Table 4. Granted Patents by Town/County
Town # Pat. County Current Name
Atlanta 2 Alturas Elmore
Banner 1 Boise

Bay Horse

2 Custer
Bullion 2 Alturas Blaine
Burke 1 Shoshone
Camas 1 Bingham Jefferson
Centreville 1 Boise
De Lamar 3 Owyhee
Delta 2 Shoshone
Doniphan 2 Logan

Falk’s Store 2 Ada Payette
Gem 1 Shoshone
Idaho City 5 Boise
Jansville 1 Latah
Leesburg 1 Lemhi
Lemhi Agency 1 Lemhi
Lenville 1 Latah
Murray 3 Shoshone

Old Mission 1 Kootenai
Placerville 2 Boise
Salubria 2 Washington
Seneaguoteen 4 Kootenai Bonner
Silver City 14 Owyhee
Silver Mountain 1 Boise
Soldier 1 Logan Camas
Wardner 12 Shoshone
Washoe 1 Canyon Payette



Bibliographic Detail of Patents Analyzed

Date Number Title Inventor(s) Residence

60,611 Improvement in steam generators Robert Bailey Idaho City
4/23/1867 64,060 Improvement in quartz-crushers Robert Bailey Idaho City
11/2/1869 96,391 Improvement in copy-holders John S. Butler Silver City
4/25/1871 114,194 Improvement in lubricators William Eaton Phillips Silver City
10/31/1871 120,366 Improvement in governors for steam and other engines Charles P. Bowen Silver City
6/4/1872 Re 4,931 Improvement in governors Charles P. Bowen Silver City
9/16/1873 142,857 Improvement in elevated wireways Henry T. Lantris

Nelson Davis

12/5/1876 185,102 Ruler Charles M. Hays Silver City
5/28/1878 204,189 Machine for pitting & cutting fruit Charles P. Bowen Silver City
10/1/1878 208,509 Amalgamator Charles P. Bowen Silver City
9/2/1879 219,161 Improvement in balance slide-valves David B. Kimmel Idaho City
4/27/1880 226,933 Preparation for coating ingot molds Augustus Lawrence Simondi Silver City
8/10/1880 231,056 Paper bag Frederick W. Kroeber Idaho City
1/23/1883 271,145 Device for utilizing the force of currents and streams Franklin Manly St. Clair Silver City
4/1/1884 296,054 Combined knife & pen-holder Isaac Philips Silver City
5/13/1884 298,436 Wagon running-gear Alexander Womack Falk’s Store
9/16/1884 305,250 Joint-protector & igniter for fuses Eldridge A. Thompson Silver City
4/28/1885 316,528 Pick James P. Davis

Juan G. Robbins

8/18/1885 324,445 Pick Alexander Womack Falk’s Store
12/22/1885 332,978 Crushing-roll Enos A. Wall Bullion
Pulverizing-mill Enos A. Wall Bullion
10/26/1886 351,530 Pendant-stem for watches Fredrick W. Schimmel Murray
3/8/1887 359,020 Concentrator Clarence Wilbern Joy Atlanta
6/12/1888 384,420 Automatic sampling apparatus Allen Bradford Wardner
7/31/1888 387,011 Watch-case pendant Fredrick W. Schimmel Murray
10/16/1888 391,186 Razor-caster John Byron Parker Wardner
11/27/1888 393,360 Mail-bag Carson C. Cook Camas
5/7/1889 402,918 Trigger-setting mechanism for firearms Lodowick W. Gay Wardner
7/9/1889 406,680 Baling press Willard E. Walter Silver City
7/30/1889 407,934 Syringe Jay Kirkwood Silver Mountain
10/8/1889 412,586 Registering and indicating device for mines William F. Bath Wardner
9/23/1890 436,940 Door-securer Abram Duane Norton Delta
9/30/1890 437,450 Cultivator or harrow Anthony Peterson

Ole O. Raaen

12/16/1890 442,643 Railroad-rail brace David Lawrence

William H. Shumaker
Bay Horse

Bay Horse
7/21/1891 456,517 Ore-roasting furnace Patrick Marley Idaho City
2/16/1892 469,169 Figure toy Fred Otto Norton Silver City
4/5/1892 472,398 Wave-power motor Alfred Rosenholz Wardner
3/28/1893 494,392 Antifriction journal-box George Spencer Old Mission
4/11/1893 495,374 Cable-tramway grip Alfred Rosenholz Wardner
5/23/1893 497,929 Billiard-cue William H. Shumaker Bay Horse
6/20/1893 500,006 Stand William Kadletz

Robert B. Stocker
Lemhi Agency

Lemhi Agency
8/15/1893 503,215 Pipe-wrench Thomas H. Oxnam

James Joyce

Joseph Francis
De Lamar

De Lamar

De Lamar
9/12/1893 504,923 Concentrator David Walter Humphries De Lamar
10/24/1893 507,448 Washstand William F. Phinney

Henry H. Whitney
Standish, Me.

3/13/1894 516,619 Car-coupling James A. Ward Murray
5/22/1894 520,287 Plunger-worker for concentrating-jigs Otto Abeling Burke
8/14/1894 524,620 Boot or shoe Ernest A. Thurston Placerville
9/18/1894 526,242 Ore-concentrator Luther Look Soldier
1/15/1895 532,668 Railroad-switch James Joyce De Lamar
1/7/1896 552,843 Drill-sharpener Ole Larson

John W. Carlson

3/17/1896 556,613 Sled-propeller Willis A. Bradley Gem
5/19/1896 560,606 Car-coupling James A. Ward Delta
6/23/1896 562,550 Coupling-block for sprocket-chains Otis J. Merritt Seneaguoteen
7/21/1896 564,388 Locking mechanism for mob and burglar doors Otis J. Merritt Seneaquoteen
9/15/1896 567,911 Station-indicator Otis J. Merritt Seneaquoteen
9/15/1896 567,912 Striker-arm for station-indicators Otis J. Merritt Seneaguoteen
3/9/1897 578,447 Barbed-wire fence Samuel Dent Jansville
4/20/1897 D26,923 Design for an inkstand Cyrus W. Courtney

Jessie G. Courtney

6/8/1897 584,225 Bottle James F. Inglis Silver City
7/13/1897 586,344 Bicycle bell Carl Rosenholz

John W. Carlson

11/9/1897 593,459 Tool for miners’ use John Daniel Campbell Leesburg
6/21/1898 605,890 Animal destroyer Otis J. Merritt Seneaguoteen
8/16/1898 609,083 Puzzle Cyrus William Courtney Doniphan
11/1/1898 613,610 Swimming appliance Jacob Stroup Washoe
2/21/1899 619,765 Combined miner’s candlestick & fuse implement Jacob Frank Layes Lenville
2/28/1899 620,504 Folding umbrella Carl Andrew Rosenholz

John Henrick Lampe

12/12/1899 639,011 Water-motor Robert M. Blackmer Wardner
12/26/1899 D 32,031 Design for a cardoor hinge John W. Jones Salubria
12/26/1899 D 32,032 Design for a barn-door hinge John W. Jones Salubria
12/18/1900 664,146 Check-valve Thomas John Hackett Wardner