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John S. Ferris reports on Marysvale agriculture and mining

(Deseret News, 11 September 1878)

Mary's Vale, Utah, August 22, 1878.

Editors Deseret News:

Permit me to use a short space in your columns on the present occasion in stating a few items of the natural advantage of Piute County in agricultural and also in mineral prospects. The Sevier Valley runs through the entire county from south to north, which is the course of the Sevier River, with many thousand broad acres of rich farming land, a considerable portion now being occupied in ranches and some good farms. The general appearance this season of the wheat crop is very favorable for a good yield, though the rains for the last ten days have retarded harvest labor. Some fields of wheat being cut rather green, and every afternoon, or in the evening the rains descend, which will cause the grain to sprout in the shock, unless the weather soon clears up.

The people of the valley are cutting and putting up many hundred tons of hay. There will be a greater supply of hay this season than any previous year since the Sevier Valley has been settled, and new settlements are forming along the river, where the water ditches can be most easily made to get out water from the river, to irrigate the land that has not been previously claimed and settled upon, and there is still room for the industrious and honorably disposed citizen to get land. A better climate cannot be found for stock-raising and general agricultural pursuits, the abundance of timber and fencing poles, to say nothing of the thousand of acres of cedars for fire wood, warrant me in saying that this is a country of combined advantages. And all that is necessary to make this a country of thrift and enterprise is to develop the natural advantages that are open to plain view.

The mines of the Ohio mining district, situated on the east foot hills of Mount Baldy, are now taking shape for development, and the near future will show one of the most enterprising mining districts in Utah. In Piute County the ores are of a good quality and in immense bodies. There has been late discoveries in the district that warrant the opening up of this county in a mining point of view. Some of the heaviest mines in the district prove to bear free milling and free leaching ores, containing no base ores. There are abundance of water and timber in the district, and the late discoveries of free ore in abundance will not cost five dollars per ton to work.

The main portion of the mineral belt is situated about seven miles west of the Sevier River, at Marysvale, in the heavy foot hills of Mt. Baldy, the ores of many claims contain gold, as well as silver, in regular fissure veins in granite and scrap rock formations. The general sampling of veins, so far as I can hear, will mill, from average sampling, $50 to $200 per ton. Some choice rock has assayed over a thousand dollars. The Giles mine is a gravel vein or fissure, containing six foot of good ore in ten feet of the surface. The Springtown has about 100 tons on the dump ready to be worked. The Jackson has in all about 60 tons, an other mines in proportion. The general class of ore is of a character to leach well. The Moriah is a heavy vein of free ore that leaches readily, the vein being eleven feet in the centre of the mine at the surface.

All that is needed here is machinery and business men to run it. This part of the country will attract attention among mining men and capitalists ere long. I have not the least doubt the combined advantages of the country, in timber land and water, and the rich mines will enlist attention from the Pacific coast.

I remain, respectfully, John S. Ferris.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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