Guide to the William Miles Read Papers, 1867-1929

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History --History, California Geographical (By Place) --California Engineering and Technology --Mining and Metallurgy

Guide to the William Miles Read Papers, 1867-1929

Collection number: BANC MSS P-G 251

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: William Miles Read Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1867-1929
Collection Number: BANC MSS P-G 251
Creator: Read, William Miles, 1849-1929
Extent: Number of containers: 3 cartons
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Miles Read papers, BANC MSS P-G 251, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Material Cataloged Separately

  • Photographs transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library
  • Two large maps from the collection have also been removed and catalogued separately.

Picture Nos. (BANC PIC 1905.11950-.11962--PIC)

  • 11950 Hamilton, Nevada: Hotel [?]
  • 11951 Entrance to Eberhardt Tunnel
  • 11952 Ely, Nevada, view
  • 11953 Ely, Nevada, railway station
  • 11954 Ely, Nevada [?]
  • 11955 Entrance to Eberhardt Tunnel, ca. 1875-1885
  • 11956 Eberhardt Mill with Frank Drake's house
  • 11957 Eberhardt Mill
  • 11958 The miners of the Monitor Mine
  • 11959 The Monitor Mill
  • 11960 The town of South Taylor
  • 11961 People associated with the Monitor Mine
  • 11962 Main Street, Eureka, Nevada

Portrait Nos.

  • 3197 William Miles Read
  • 3198 William Miles Read
  • 3199 Mrs. William Miles Read
  • 3200 Frank Drake
  • 3201 Jim Ragsdale


  • Map of the Monitor
  • Gore Mine Map of the Treasure Hill Mining Area

Scope and Content

The collection consists chiefly and most importantly of material relating to the development, growth and subsequent decline of the mining properties of White Pine County, Nevada, herein designated as the "Eberhardt and Aurora mines." The earliest papers detail the transactions of the White Pine Water Works of California, whereby water was made available to the newly-opened mining properties. The sale of this company to the White Pine Waterworks Company, Ltd., of London, a subsidiary of the Eberhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd., marks the initial growth of these mines. The several Reports, both to the Directors of the parent company in London and to the officials of the plant in Nevada, along with the complete file of deeds and agreements pertaining to the reformation of one company into another, may be consulted for clarification of these business activities.
The Eberhardt Mill and Mining Company had been established in the late '60s, and was sold to the Eberhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. in 1870. The two major companies acquired by the latter firm in the early '70s were the aforementioned White Pine Water Works of California and the Aurora Consolidated Silver Mining Company, in 1873. Deeds to mines in the Treasure Hill area purchased by Thomas Phillpotts for the Everhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. at this time are also included in one folder. Properties of the Everhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. were transferred to the Everhardt Company, Ltd. (date not known), and in turn transferred to the Everhardt and Monitor Company, Ltd. in 1885. Reports of the mines during this period are included in the folder titled "Reports." In 1888 the property was transferred to the New Eberhardt Company, Ltd., for which there are many more documents, including a ledger, journal accounts, pay roll sheets, and reports. The New Eberhardt Company, Ltd. was transferred to the Thistle Reef Gold Mining Company in 1894, and two years later to the Thistle Consolidated Mines, Ltd., which in turn was sold to William Miles Read. The latter continued to operate the property until 1904, when title passed to a company registered in the Transvaal.


William Miles Read was born in England in 1849 and came to the United States in 1865. By the early 1870s he was in White Pine County, Nevada, working for the Eberhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd., one of whose officials was Francis (Frank) Drake. Read's association with Drake outlasted their association with the Eberhardt mines; Read married Drake's niece, Rose, was a partner with him in many other Nevada mining ventures, and also served as administrator of Drake's estate after the latter's death in 1909.
Read removed to California, living chiefly at Capitola, and engaged in steamship operations between San Francisco and Alaska. He was also interested in California real estate, in Alameda and Kern counties, and his correspondence indicates a continuing involvement in Nevada porperties in the vicinity of the "Eberhardt and Aurora mines."
Read died on December 14, 1929, at the home of his daughter, Charlotte Read Jeffreys (Mrs. E. C. Jeffreys) in Oakland, and was buried from Santa Cruz. His widow, Rose Drake Read, and two grand-daughters also survived. One of the grand-daughters, Mrs. Dora Jeffreys Hoover has provided biographical and other materials, a manuscript map of the Treasure Hill area, and especially informative notes regarding the "Monitor and Gore" mine. Mrs. Hoover sold the collection to the Bancroft Library in 1953.

Key to Arrangement



Ctn. 1

a. The letters of William Miles Read cover the years 1890-1929, and include two letter books (1900-1912) and 662 loose copies (1890-1929). The greatest number of loose copies date from 1912 through 1916, and 1928 through 1929. Letters received by Read number 238, originals and typed copies, and are arranged alphabetically, with groups of two or more letters included in separate folders.


b. The correspondence of Mrs. William Miles Read covers the year 1930, and is included in a separate folder.


c. The correspondence of Frank Drake, in one folder. (1873-1902)


d. The correspondence of E. C. Jeffreys, Read's son-in-law, dealing for the most part with Read's property in San Joaquin Valley, in one folder. (1918-1930)


e. The correspondence of Thomas Phillpotts, chiefly as agent for the Everhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. in the early '70s, in one folder.


f. A report by Dora Jeffreys Hoover is included in one folder at the back of this caron, along with a map of the Treasure Hill mines.


Papers of the "Eberhardt and Aurora mines."

Ctn. 2

a. Reports on the mining properties, 1885 to 1924, with maps and plans.


b. Papers of the White Pine Water Works of California and the White Pine Waterworks Company, Ltd., ca. 1867 to ca. 1877.


c. Transfers of the properties from the Eberhardt Mill and Mining Company to the Everhardt and Auora Mining Company, Ltd. (1870), through subsequent transfers to Thistle Consolidated Mines, Ltd. (1896) and sale to William Miles Read.


d. Deeds of mines puchased for the Eberhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. by Thomas Phillpotts in the '70s.


e. Workings of the mines, including papers relating to the purchase of wire for the tramway, together with plans and drawings of the tramway; specifications for a quartz mill; methods of reporting on workings, together with such reports; construction of the Centennial Tunnel in 1876; and ore reports of the Monitor Mill, 1887 to 1890.


f. Legal documents, including lists of papers pertaining to activities of the mines; papers of Kimber and Ellis, solicitors, 1872 to 1878, including copies of letters; and Power of Attorney given to William Miles Read by the New Eberhardt Company, Ltd. in February, 1893.


g. Financial documents, including statements of the Eberhardt and Aurora Mining Company, Ltd. for the years 1870 and 1871; journal account for Eberhardt and Monitor Company, Ltd., 1888; and ledger, journal account and pay roll sheets for the New Eberhardt Company, Ltd. for the years 1889 to 1894.


h. Deeds for city building lots, Eberhardt City and Treasure City, Nevada.


i. Papers of the Aurora Consolidated Silver Mining Company, and for the South Aurora Silver Mining Company.


Personal Papers of William Miles Read and Frank Drake

Ctn. 3

a. Personal journal of William Miles Read covering the period 1890, 1891, 1893, 1899-1929. (2 journals)


b. Papers relating to Read's non-Nevada real estate holdings - properties in Berkeley, Piedmont, and Kern County.


c. Read's bank deposit slips with the Anglo and London Paris National Bank of San Francisco.


d. Deeds and contracts relating to Read's and Drake's mining ventures in Nevada, including papers of the Protection and Rex mines, with maps.


e. Deeds and reports on other Nevada and non-Nevada mining properties, included with Read's papers.


f. Papers relating to Read's administration of Drake's estate, 1909-1910.


g. Miscellaneous financial papers of Read, along with miscellaneous manuscript and printed material included in Read's papers.