University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Moscow, ID 83844-2351

Guide to the Ben Hur Mining Company Records, 1907-1940


Finding aid prepared by Michael Tarabulski

Encoded by, 2003
Funds for processing were provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the U.S. Department of Education HEA Title II-C "Strengthening Research Library Resources" program, the Library Associates of the University of Idaho and other donors.Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Overview of the Collection

Repository Name:

University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives

Moscow, ID 83844-2351

Collection Number:



Ben Hur Mining Company




1907-1940 (inclusive)


0.66 cubic feet




By-laws, minutes of meetings, annual reports, financial statements, correspondence with stockholders, stock ledgers and journals, assessment records, lists of stockholders, financial ledgers and journals, and tax returns of a silver-lead mining company in Mineral County, Montana.


Historical Note

The Ben Hur Mining Company was organized on April 9, 1907. Under the Articles of Incorporation, which were filed on April 25, the term of existence of the company was 20 years. The property, discovered by Frank Bell, was located three miles north of Saltese in St. Regis, an unorganized mining district in Mineral County, Montana. It consisted of five full quartz lode mining claims and an undivided one half interest in two others, as well as a mill site and water rights. The claims included Bell #1, Bell #2, Eureka, Atlas, Ben Hur, Woodburn, Highland Chief, Highland Chief Fraction, and Ben Hur Fraction. Adjacent to this property was the Day brothers' Bryan Claim.

The original board of directors consisted of George Trask, president, F.F. Johnson, John P. Sheehy, Frank Bell, and Richard Daxon. George Keep served as president from 1908-1911 when he was succeeded by D.S. Dickson. In 1920, F.J. Davey became president.

Money for development work was raised by stock assessments. When this failed to produce the needed funds money was borrowed from Jerome Day. He invested between $8,000 and $10,000 in the company, and, in order to protect his investment, attorney John Wourms advised the formation of a new company after the charter for Ben Hur lapsed. This new company could then wind up the affairs of Ben Hur.

At the time of dissolution, April 13, 1927, the directors were F.J. Davey, Peter Peterson, Charles A. Keeting, Frank Haun, and Eugene Keesey. In 1937 the surviving directors, Davey, Keesey, and Haun, wished to be relieved of their trust and organized the Woodburn Mining Company for the purpose of transferring the title of the property from Ben Hur to Woodburn.

Content Description

The records of the Ben Hur Mining Company span the years 1907 to 1940, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1907 to 1925. Included are company by-laws, minutes of meetings, annual reports, financial statements, correspondence with stockholders, stock ledgers and journals, assessment records, lists of stockholders, financial and journals, and tax returns.

Related materials can be found in the records of the Woodburn Mining Company and the Last Chance Mining Company.


Since there are so few records for the Ben Hur Mining Company no series designation has been made. However the physical arrangement of the material follows that of the larger record groups in the Day Mines collection.

The Records of the Board of Directors and Stockholders include by-laws and a minute book. General Correspondence and Related Records is an alphabetical series of files containing general correspondence, correspondence with stockholders, assays, assessment records and proxy statements. Included in the Capital Stock Records are stock ledgers and journals, a list of stockholders from 1926-1937, and records of the 1911-1925 assessments. Financial Records include financial journals, a cash book, and income tax returns for the years 1933-1939.

Removal of cancelled stock certificates, returned assessment notices, vouchers, paid checks, bank statements, and duplicate materials reduced the size of this collection by one cubic foot.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information 

The records of the Ben Hur Mining Company are part of the records of Day Mines, Inc., donated to the University of Idaho by Henry Day in 1984 and 1985.

Processing Note 

Initial processing of this manuscript group was done by Judith Nielsen in June 1987.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Ben Hur Mining Company
Lead mines and mining -- Montana -- History -- Sources
Mining corporations -- Records -- Montana
Silver mines and mining -- Montana -- History -- Sources

Detailed Description of the Collection


Series I. Records , 1907-1940


Minute book , 1907-1927

Book of by-laws , 1907

A , 1909-1920

Assessment records , 1910-1922

B , 1909-1915; 1938-1940

Bell #1 and Bell #2 , 1906-1926; 1940

Bills paid , 1911-1920

C , 1908-1914

Cornucopia lode , 1908

D-J , 1908-1940

K-L , 1908-1938

Lelande interest and litigation , 1909-1919

M , 1908-1912; 1940

Maps of Ben Hur mine workings , undated

N-S , 1908-1919; 1940

Statements, Financial , 1908-1919

T-Y , 1908-1936

Stock ledger , 1907-1922

Stock journal and ledger , 1907-1910

Stock journals , 1907-1926

List of stockholders , 1926-1937

Assessment registers , 1911-1925

Stock financial journal , 1907-1919

Financial journal , 1907-1920

Cash book , 1907-1919

Federal income tax returns , 1933-1939