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The first producing mine to be opened in the Cripple Creek gold fields was the Gold King, located in Poverty gulch, and the credit for it being made a producer is largely due to Messrs. Wm. Lennox and E. W. Giddings, of Colorado Springs.
It was through the persistency of Bob Womack that gold was discovered and the district claimed as the greatest gold camp on earth; but to Messrs. Lennox and Giddings is due the credit of making the first careful investigations, proving that gold existed here in paying bodies; that the prospects were sufficient to encourage a man of money to spend money in development work.
Bob Womack located the Gold King, and it was known as the El Paso. Messrs. Lennox and Giddings were interested. Splendid assays were shown them and they believed, or rather knew, that the rock from which the assays were made had to have a source; that it did not fall from the clouds.
Much against the advice of their friends. who could not see that the prevailing conditions would indicate the presence of ore bodies, they backed their judgment on the Gold King, and expended the sum of $35,000.00 before they received any returns.
Had it not been for the faith and persistency of those gentlemen, it is quite doubtful if the Cripple Creek district would have attracted the attention it did so soon.
Bob Womack's first shipment from the property was taken out in a wagon, and gave returns of $140.00. With such facts placed before them, Messrs. Lennox and Giddings recognized that somewhere on the property was a mine.
It takes nerve to spend $35,000.00 without receiving one penny in return, but they had it, and reaped the harvest.
The mine has been a steady producer, and has the distinction of being the heaviest producer in the most northerly limits of the district.
Up to July, 1901, the company has paid a total of $262,318.50 in dividends. No dividends have been paid since. The condition of the mine did not warrant them.
A leached condition of the veins was encountered, and the gentlemen again demonstrated their nerve and faith in the future of the district. In stead of suspending operations, as many would have done, they started heavier prospecting. The shaft was sunk down to the depth of 850 feet. Stations were cut and levels extended. The country was thoroughly and systematically developed.
Last summer they were rewarded by penetrating the leached condition and encountering large bodies of ore. The waters, that played such a part in the ore deposits of the camp, had simply leached out a portion and redeposited the values below, and now the mine is showing better than at any time in its history.
That the values had to come from below, and not from above, the management believed. They developed, and demonstrated that they were right.
The showing in the winze sunk from the 850-foot level of the Gold King, is better now than any showing that they ever had in any of the upper workings of the mine.
The mine has taken a new lease of life, and the gentlemen forming the board of directors are to be congratulated on the new discoveries, and must be given full credit for maintaining a stout heart and demonstrating that below the leached zone, which a few have found, there exists as large and rich ore bodies as were ever found nearer the surface.