Tag Archives: mining

Student Tours

24 Jun

One of our favorite things to do is have high school students come into the archives and try out archival research! These students investigated topics on mining in Arizona and found some great material on the Bisbee Deportation, mining ghost towns, and the Greenways. We were thrilled to have them visit!

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Collection Spotlight: Hoval A. Smith

30 Nov

Click into the gallery to view these images.

 

One of the newest collections at AHS-Tucson is the Hoval A. and Nina R. Smith Collection, which was donated by their grandchildren: Leslie, Lindsay, and Morgan Smith. The collection consists of 39 panoramic photographs of places like Nogales, Tombstone, Douglas, and Globe, as well as various mining operations including the New Cornelia mine near Ajo, Arizona. The collection also contains assay maps, and mining data compiled by Hoval Smith. In addition to his involvement in the mining industry, Smith also ran for political office. Nina Smith was an active member of the DAR. The collection reflects these activities as well. Below is a brief biography of Hoval Arnold Smith written by his granddaughter, Leslie Cantrell Smith.

Hoval Arnold Smith was born in St. Ansgar, Iowa in 1876 to Norwegian parents.  He was one of six children and he lost his beloved mother when he was only ten years old.  He promised his mother on her death bed that he would never drink or smoke, and he never did. 

Hoval worked his way through the School of Mining at the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1901.  Before graduating, he went to Mexico to work as a miner and, after graduating, he went to the Arizona Territory to work for the Calumet and Arizona Mining Company where he became Chief Mining Engineer from 1902-1905.  Copper was of particular interest to Hoval and he soon branched out to become a successful independent miner, including as a principal founder of the Anaconda Copper Company. 

Almost from the outset of his time in Arizona, Hoval was interested in politics and, in 1909, he became Chairman of the Republican Party of the Arizona Territory.   In those days, the Republicans were regarded as the “progressives” and the Democratic Party was more closely identified with big business.

Although Arizona would not officially be a state until 1912, by 1911 the race for a U.S. Senate seat was in full force, and Hoval was running as the Republican candidate.   The majority of big copper businesses were for Mark Smith, the Democratic candidate, in large part because Hoval had insisted in having a mandatory workers’ arbitration plank in the Republican platform.  According to the Weekly Journal-Miner,   Wed. morning, Dec. 6, 1911, p.4,  (“Journal-Miner”)     the Copper Queen Press  had endorsed Mark Smith in an editorial entitled, ”Who is Hoval A. Smith that he should aspire to be a United States senator from Arizona?”  The Journal-Miner  wrote its own editorial entitled, “Sneering at Hoval Smith” and answered the question posed by the Copper Queen.  Describing Hoval as an idealist, the editorial pointed out that he was a successful self-made man who had worked hard to secure his education and who came to Arizona with only $3.50 to his name.

The editorial quoted Hoval’s opponent, Mark Smith, as follows: “ Hoval Smith is the man that waged Republican victory in this territory three years ago by his able management of the campaign as state chairman.  He is a man big of heart, big of mind, a courteous, kindly gentleman.  His chief offending is his Republicanism.”

The editorial went on to point out that whereas the workers, farmers and ordinary townspeople all were for Hoval, big business was for Mark Smith.   The Journal-Miner quoted a corporate president as representative of big business’s view of Hoval:  “Yes, Hoval Smith is a very able fellow; I like him personally, but he is pretty radical in his views; he is a good deal of idealist when it comes to dealing with labor problems.  He lets his sympathies run away with him.  He is responsible for the ridiculous compulsory arbitration plank in the Republican platform.  Some of the Southern Pacific strikers he used to work with when he was an ordinary miner got him to force that plank in the platform, and the funny thing is he really believes it [emphasis added.]”

Hoval lost the election to Mark Smith  43.84% to 50.35% with the Socialist candidate polling 5.8%.   He continued to be involved in copper mining and Arizona Republican politics, however, and when President Taft signed the declaration making Arizona a state, Hoval can be seen standing in the back left of the official photograph.  In about 1914 he married Nina Roberts Smith, a teacher from an old Maryland family, and they settled in Warren and Bisbee.  (Hoval had been one of the founders of Warren.)  They had one child, Hugh Roberts Hoval Smith.

Nina Roberts Smith had long been involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution and she became Arizona State Regent of the DAR.  As such and as the representative of AZ Governor Hunt, she stood next to President Coolidge on April 15, 1924 at the dedication ceremony at which the Arizona stone (actually petrified wood) was presented at the Washington Monument.

In 1933, Hoval authored the Copper  Brief,  a treatise which argued for the imposition of tariffs on imported copper.   In 1934, Hoval ran for the House of Representatives and lost to Isabella Greenway who was re-elected with 68.6% of the vote.  Ms. Greenway was a good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Several years after World War II, Nina and Hoval Smith moved to Washington, D.C. to be closer to their son and his family.  Their son, Hugh, had graduated from Yale Law School and had been in the Navy during World War II.  Hugh practiced law his entire professional life with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale,) while Nina and Hoval became beloved grandparents to five grandchildren who continue to benefit from their love and generosity.

If you’d like to view materials from the Hoval A. and Nina R. Smith Collection, please contact the archives at ahsref@azhs.gov to make an appointment.

 

Map Musings: Unveiling the Lenon Collection

13 Dec

In early December the Library and Archives welcomed what may be the single largest archival collection to be acquired in at least 50 years – and perhaps in the history of the archives! We are excited to announce the newest collection at the Arizona Historical Society: The Robert Lenon Map Collection! This collection will be an amazing resource for people interested in mining and minerals, geography, family and property history, and Arizona history as a whole. We will post periodically about this new addition, including our adventures in transporting a 600-cubic-foot map collection from Patagonia to the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, so keep an eye out here for more information!

 Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

Montana Mine Correspondence

22 Nov
I love the letterhead symbol on this one. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Honestly, I just love the letterhead symbol on this one. If you look closely you can see parts of a tank. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Lately I’ve been working my way through the correspondence series of the Montana Mine Collection. The majority of the correspondence, outside of that which is related to the financial business of the mine, is actually from a later period of the mine’s existence, when it was owned by a Mr. Hugo Miller. Most of this is the Miller family’s personal correspondence, offering an interesting insight into the lives of this entrepreneurial southern Arizona family.

As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Living with a miner is never easy! As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Miller owned an assay office in Nogales and mined on the side. It was not uncommon in the past for men and women with minds for business and an eye for good opportunities to work a mining claim into their business investments. Even now it’s not unusual for private citizens here in Arizona to have ownership of a small mine in the area that they work on periodically as they have free time. The letter you see below is an excerpt from a letter from Mrs. Gladys Miller to a friend and mentions the reality of living with the sort of jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur of a man that Mr. Miller was. From the excerpt you can tell that the Millers had great business acumen, even taking  boarders in their house to make some extra money. This correspondence suggests that the Miller family was a hard working one.

The letter below was interesting because of the context of the attached newspaper clipping. Again, this is a rare glimpse into the daily realities of living in past times. In this case, wartime rationing takes center stage as a friend, Edna, writes to ask whether the newspaper article is true and then asks her friend, Gladys, to purchase extra Nylons for her! Rationing during wartime meant people had to get creative in their daily lives to continue on as normally as possible. Having a friend who could easily get across the border to purchase stockings in Mexico definitely would have been an advantage. This is just another example of how people worked together and created good relationships during times of hardship.

As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

A clever way to circumvent wartime rationing. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

These letters are all great examples of how the correspondence in a collection can yield really interesting insights into the past. Whether it’s fun snippets such as these I’ve shared above or more serious historical connections, correspondence is always a treasure trove of historical moments.

Eagle-Picher Mining Maps

4 Oct

The kids are back in school, the last of the summer days are winding down and we can all see cooler weather not so far ahead, but here at the Arizona Historical Society we haven’t slowed down one bit!  We continue to answer your research needs as well as continuing our work on collections behind the scenes. Recently I completed one of the smaller series in my Montana Mine collection. This was a series containing maps and drawings. I didn’t have much to put in this series. There were only around 10 folders of maps in the entire collection, but they were quite striking. They’re all hand drawn and colored on a typical lined paper. They show different levels of the mine and although I’m not a mining expert myself, you don’t have to be one to enjoy how beautiful these are.

Something goes here.

MS 1473, Montana Mine Collection, Series 5. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Something else goes here

MS 1473, Montana Mine Collection, Series 5. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.