November 10, 2005

At the Archives of The Big Bend, Sull Ross University, Alpine, TX

Spent a good chunk of the day at the Archives of the Big Bend at Sul Ross University in Alpine. I wasn't able to dig up much new, but I did find a few tidbits (all courtesy of the Archives of the Big Bend).

From The Marathon Eagle (which looks like it was owned by the Alpine Avalanch because the tone of the writing is the same voice as the Avalanch).
Wednesday, July 20, 1910.
No. 29. Vol 2.
"Boquillas Bouqets" (Which is a list of one to two line items listing all the things happening).

"Carlas Masee of San Antonio here on Business connected with the mine."

OK, it didn't hit me when I was reading it when I was sitting in the archives; it only now hits me now, late in the evening in my hotel room. "Carlas Masee". Duh. It's a misspelling of "Carlos Moser". This confirms the 1910 Census that says he was in Marathon. But, if he was only visiting, then he and Aimee may have still lived in San Antonio. Maybe there are San Antonio land records, if they owned their house in San Antonio...

Why can't they get his name right? It's like the Avalanch/Eagle are reluctant to write anything about the mines and Moser, but, seeing as it's such a big operation, totally ignoring it would be too tough to do. Couldn't they simply ask him how he spelled his name? Marathon's not a big town. You could just walk up to him and ask him. Isn't that what reporters do?

Then, here's the next paragraph.

"Misses Smith and Simpson of Surra Majada Mexico are here inspecting the Del Carmen Mine with a view of reopening it, we have not learned their decision."

"Surra" must be "Sierra". Doesn't seem like this reporter can spell...

"Reopening it"?!?!? Hmmm.... OK, we know, "they [the investors] gave the deal to Moser" in the Southern Hotel sometime around 1908/1909 because it's in Farmer Jennings Memoirs. We also know the US Zinc Tariff came into effects sometime around 1909/1910 and it's effect was devestating for the Mexican Zznc industry because the US bought all of Mexico's zinc. And, we know from Moser's 1911 article was that he was there for the zinc. The new piece of information is that Aimee's son told me when Aimee was Marathon, Moser traveled to NYC to secure a loan.

So, it's conceivable that Moser wasn't shipping ore. But if that's true, it didn't last for long, as the following bears out:

Alpine Avalanch
October 26, 1911
Page 1, Col 7
“Another car load of 3 inch ore from the Del Carmen mines was shipped from here this week.”

This appeared on page 1. This is the first time anything about the mines appeard on page 1 in the Avalanch, except for the previous citation on from the Marathon Eagle. Why did these two citations appear on page 1? Why was it such a big deal when in the past it wasn't?

Something's going on and I'm not quite sure what that is.

According to the Alpine Avalanch, Moser was shipping ore as early as March, 1910. You can view the citations here. In fact, Customs Officer Rutledge moved to the Ore Terminal in March, meaning everyone was preparing for this thing to work.

What may have been going on is this: the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Bill of 1909 may have gone into affect sometime after March, 1910 and that's what caused the seeming shutdown of the operation after March 1910. The bill became law in August, 1909. Maybe the bill didn't go into effect right away, or maybe it wasn't practically enforced until Rutledge moved to the Ore Terminal....I'm simply not sure what's going on here.

Posted by Joelg at November 10, 2005 09:00 PM | TrackBack
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