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August 03 , 2007

The Getchells and The Betty O'Neal


The Betty O’Neal Mine was located on the western slope of the Shoshone Range, about twelve miles southeast of the town of Battle Mountain, in north-central Nevada. Discovered in 1877, and incorporated in California in 1879 by San Francisco investors, the mine went through a succession of interesting owners and operators—including J.A. Blossom, the first settler in the town of Battle Mountain, and Sherman Wilhelm, the last person to drive a covered wagon on the Emigrant Trail—during the next half-century. Shortly before his death in 1918 the miner and politician Lysander Waterman Getchell gained control of the mine; but it was Lysander’s son, Noble Hamilton Getchell, a trustee and the general manager for the mine after his father’s death, who turned the mine into the most important producer in the Lewis Mining District and the largest source of silver in Nevada throughout most of the 1920s. With this start Noble Getchell went on to become a respected Western miner, statesman and philanthropist.

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