Jackson Lee Davis “Diamondfield Jack”

Jackson Lee “Diamondfield Jack” Davis who was pardoned for murder in Idaho and moved to Nevada where he founded several mining camps. Davis was a hired gun who worked for the cattlemen “protecting” cattle herds and their grazing land from sheep famers.

Jackson Lee "Diamondfield Jack" Davis (12 Aug 1863–2 Jan 1949)
Jackson Lee “Diamondfield Jack” Davis (12 Aug 1863–2 Jan 1949)

In 1895, Davis is hired by the Sparks-Harrell cattle company to keep the sheepherders off of the grazing lands. After an altercation where Davis wounded Bill Tolman in a shooting. Following this incident, he fled south to Nevada to star or of sight. While in Nevada, Davis is known to brad about his exploits.

In February, 1896, Davis returned to Idaho and returned to work for Sparks-Harrell in Idaho. During this time, two sheepherders, Daniel Cummings and John Wilson, are shot and killed. Due to he previous bragging and his being in the area at the time, Davis became a suspect. Davis fled to Arizona and is eventually captured. Upon his capture, he is returned to Idaho, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death for of the shooting.

DiamondField Nevada  - 1904 - Paher
DiamondField Nevada – 1904 – Paher

keep the sheep back. Don’t kill but shoot to wound if necessary. Use what measures you think best. If you have to kill, the company will stand behind you – regardless what happens.

While “Diamondfield Jack” is waiting his execution, two other men, James Bower and Jeff Gray, confess to the killing. During their trial, the two men are found not guilty. Regardless, this trial raised doubt as to the trial and Davis is reprieved one day before his scheduled execution.

Following a series of appeals, Davis is again scheduled for execution on July 3rd, 1901. At this point in time, public opinion no longer supported the death penalty. His execution is rescheduled until the Board of Pardons commutes his sentence to life in prisons. Davis is eventually pardoned on December 17th, 1902.

Following his release, Davis moved south into Nevada. In the spring of 1903, when news of promising gold strikes in Goldfield, Davis travelled to the town. After exploring and prospecting he uncovered promising ore ledges on McMahon Ridge northeast of town.

Within weeks of his discovery, prospectors flooded into the area. “Diamondfield Jack”, ever the opportunist plotted a townsite for the location and build a toll road to the new town from Goldfield. In the fall of 1904, the town reached its apex. At that time, it boasted a Post Office, three saloons, restaurants, general stores, schools, church, livery, butcher shop, blacksmith and union hall for the miners, which is impressive for a town just six months old. Public servants such as a sheriff, notary public and lawyer also maintained offices in the new formed district.

Nevada State Historic Marker #251 Text

This historical marker commemorates the lasting notoriety of flamboyant western gunman Jackson Lee Davis (1870-1949), who was better known by the colorful name, “Diamondfield Jack.” As a young man, after unsuccessfully prospecting for diamonds in the nearby hills, Davis was jokingly called “Diamondfield Jack,” a nickname that he carried the rest of his life.

In the late 1890’s, Davis gained a measure of fame as a gunman for the cattle interests, including rancher John Sparks, who would later become a Nevada governor, that were attempting to restrict sheep ranchers from southern Idaho and northeastern Nevada rangelands. Following a sensational trial in 1896, Davis was convicted of murdering two sheepherders. He was sentenced to be hanged, even after others confessed to the murders.

In 1902, Davis was finally pardoned for the crimes. He moved to the central Nevada mining towns of Tonopah and Goldfield, where he became a successful mine operator. He also helped found several mining camps, including one called Diamondfield. In later years, he drifted into obscurity and died in Las Vegas in 1949 after being struck by a car.

Nevada State Historic Marker #251 Summary

Nevada State Historic Marker251
NameDiamondfield Jack Davis
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.98471, -114.67209

Resources

Dinner Station NSHM – Nevada State Historic Marker #244

Dinner Station Nevada NSHM is Nevada State Historical Marker number two hundred and forty four and is located in Elko County, Nevada.

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada
Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts the program became dormant in 2009.

Dinner Station stands as a reminder of Nevada’s stagecoach era. Established in the early 1870’s by William C. (Hill) Beachey as a meal stop for the Tuscarora and Mountain City stage lines, it was originally known as Weilands. The name was later changed to Oldham’s Station when a change of ownership took place. A frame structure originally accommodated the traffic, but a fine two-story stone station house, out-buildings and a corral were built following a fire in the 1800’s. Early in the Twentieth Century, both automobiles and hose-drawn stages stopped at and it became one of the most popular country inns of the time. After 1910, when automobiles become more common, the station ceased to be used.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER NO. 244 – STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE

Currently, the Dinner Station Nevada NSHM marker 244 is missing.

Dinner Station NSHM Map

Nevada Historic Marker Summary

ID244
NameDinner Station
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.09991, -115.86631

References

Metropolis Nevada – Elko County Ghost Town

Metropolis Nevada is a ghost town about 14 miles north west of Wells, Nevada and located in Elko County Nevada. The town was the brainchild of the Pacific Reclamation Company, which is based in New York. In 1909, the company envisioned build a city to host up to 7,500 people, which was surrounded by 40,000 acres of farm land.

Metropolis Nevada
The $75,000 brick Hotel in Metropolis Nevada

Pacific Reclamation Company opened an office in Salt Lake City beginning in 1910 to promotion the future site of Metropolis in the Nevadan desert. In 1911, streets, lots and even two public parks were staked out for development and the newspaper, the Metropolis Chronicle began publication in 1911. All of this promotion and interested boosted the cost of land from as low as $10 an acre to $75. Town lots ranged from $100 to $300 per lot.

The towns infrastructure was second to none in Nevada. There streets were graded and line with fire hydrants and street lights and a four block commercial district is established. Railroad tracked is connected to the townsite by the Southern Pacific, from Tulasco about eight miles away. A train depot is built to welcome new visitors who are greeted with a small tree lined park built by the railroad.

In 1912, a one hundred foot tall damn is built along with canals to distribute the water. As the reservoir filled, the town of Metropolis grew. Over 700 citizens called the town home, the majority being Mormon. To serve the population a Post Office is opened along with several business including a brick hotel, saloons and a wagon factory.

1912 also witnessed the demise of the town of Metropolis. Lovelock Valley filed suit with Pacific Reclamation Co. seeking an injunction from water utilization from the headwaters of Humboldt. The court ruled against the Pacific Reclamation Co, only allowing them to supply water to support 4,000 of the 40,000 planned acres of farmland. Following this ruling, the reclamation company went into receivership and the newspaper is closed in 1913.

The town continued but languished. By 1925, the town was in steady decline and the railroad abandoned its footprint in Metropolis. In 1936, the hotel is a victim of fire. In 1942 the post office is closed and in 1947 the school is closed.

Metropolis Trail Map

Town Summary

NameMetropolis Nevada
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.228056, -115.056111
Elevation5675 Feet
Population700
Post Office1912 – 1942
NewspaperMetropolis Chronicle Sept 15, 1911 – Apr 15, 1913

References

Dinner Station Nevada – Elko County Stage Stop

Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada
Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada

Dinner Station is a ghost town and stage station located in Elko County, Nevada. The station started with a wood building in the 1860s or 1870s. The station served as a station and meal stop for passengers on the Tuscarora and Mountain City Stages Lines. This building was destroyed by a fire in 1884 and was replaced by a two story stone building and corral. Stage service picked up travelers from Elko destined for Tuscarora and stop for dinner, which was happily provided for fifty cents. The station was one of the more popular inns of the era.

By 1900 the station had a population of 40 inhabitants. The budding automobile industry caused the station to loose some of its importance and necessity. This fact spelled the end of Dinner as city and it became just a private residence.

A fire in 1991 destroyed the sole building, however the structure is rebuilt in 1996.

Dinner Station Trail Map

Site Summary

NameDinner Station
Also Known AsWeiland Station, Oldham’s Station
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.0999142, -115.8661870
GNIS845151
Elevation1817 meters / 5962 feet

References

Midas Nevada – Elko County Ghost Town

Midas is a populated location and gold mining town located in Elko County, Nevada. The town is located in a valley along the Midas Creek on the south eastern slopes of the Owyhee Bluffs about 42 miles north east of Golconda, Nevada and 42 miles west of Tuscarora.

In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. - Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. – Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
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