Scope and Content
Title: Haskin-Tonopah Gold Mine Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1929
Collection number: Mss91
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Haskin-Tonopah Gold Mine Collection, Mss91, Holt-Atherton
Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
To virtually "every living Nevadan more than forty years of age, observes the WPA Nevada
guide book, "Tonopah stands for modern Nevada, for youth, excitement, hope and the great
adventure of a lifetime." A major gold rush began there in 1902, following the accidental
discovery of a rich vein of silver. By 1913, production had reached its zenith at $9.5
million, and, by 1921, it had fallen to half that figure. Gradually, one mine after
another was turned over to lessors. By 1930 the population of the town had fallen to
2000, but Tonopah survived as a gasoline, machinery and food distribution center. As late
as 1940, notes the WPA guide, "residents are strong in the belief that explorations will
soon find new wealth."
It was apparently with that hope in view that Western Pacific Railroad locomotive
engineer, Joseph J. Haskin and his wife, Veda, of Oakland, Calif., acquired shares in the
Electric Gold Mining Co. of Tonopah. When the president of that entity, F.E. Horton,
created a new holding company, Weepah-Horton Gold Mining Co., many small investors like
the Haskins were unable to pay the two cents per share exchange fee Horton required to
convert their holdings from Electric Gold to Weepah-Horton stock.
Joseph Haskin may have been a friend of Horton's. His correspondence suggests that he and
his wife had helped Horton to sell Electric Gold stock in the San Francisco Bay Area. His
cus-tomers expressed concerns about the new arrangements, while Haskin repeatedly
reassured them. In June, Haskin paid his assessment after complaining to Horton about
being short of cash.
Joseph Haskin also invested in various Bay Area companies through his union--the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers--which held a controlling interest in the Pacific
Brotherhood Investment Corp. In June 1929 this group was investigated for financial
Scope and Content
The Haskin/Tonopah Gold Mine Papers consist chiefly of correspondence and clippings
pertaining to stock acquisition and ownership change at a particular gold mine near
Tonopah, Nevada. The Papers also contain a small file of materials relating to the
malpractice investigation of the Pacific Brotherhood Investment Corp.