I spoke with Mr. Manning, 83, today. His dad, Jim Manning, was partners in the Puerto Rico mine with Earl C. Johnston. The Puerto Rico Mine was the mine for which the tramway and terminal were built.
Mr. Manning is the father-in-law of one of my wife's friends and he lives here in Austin. Wow!
His dad was the mining engineer for Mr. Perry, owner of the Terlingua Quicksilver mine. After his wife died from influenza, the elder Mr. Manning went to down to Mexico in 1929 and submerged himself in the Puerto Rico mine. It was apparently a very productive mine.
The younger Manning was born in 1921 and spent many summers with his dad in the mine. He remembers playing in the ore buckets as a kid and his dad reprimanding him because it was dangerous. He said that his dad used the tramway to get the ore out at one time, although I'm not sure this is true. All history books say the tramway shutdown in 1918, or so, and the elder manning didn't arrive there until 1929. However, there's a possibility that it is true because I've seen a picture from the W.D. Smithers collection at UT Austin showing the tramway in 1928 fully intact. So, there's a possibility that they used it.
Still, it sounds like Johnston & Manning Asociación Minevadas (sp?) worked the mine after it was abandoned by the previous "tenents", probably the ones for whom the tramway was built. He said no one really "owned" the mine. In Mexico, he said, things worked differently. Through a process translated as "Denouncement" in English, you could go into Mexico and "claim" land that no one else claimed and filing the appropriate papers. This is what his dad and Johnston did. I also think this could have been what Carlos Moser did as well.
They mined silver and lead (where's the zinc?), mixed together in an ore he called "galena". He said that around WWII, they were mining manganeese out of the Puerto Rico mine, which was used to strengthen steel. They used five or so big International Harvester trucks to transport the ore from the mine to Marathon.
He said if wasn't so old, he'd go down there with me and show me around. I would love to go there with him. What stories!
So, after returning home from San Antonio, I checked my email to find a response to my query of the German-Texan Heritage Socity.
The geneology editor did research on my behalf on the "1910 Texas Census".
According to that census, he was living in hotel run or owned by a John M. Chambers in Precinct 3, Brewster County. So, it looks to me that he moved from San Antonio to get closer to the ore terminal, once ore started being moved on a regular basis.
He was born 1857 in Germany. He emmigrated in 1881 and became a Naturalized citizen. His occupation is "Miner, works in Mines on own". He has 52 at the time of the Census, his wife, Aimee L. Moser, was 29. She was born in Missouri.
The editor couldn't find any children. I'm surprised she found anything, as I didn't find Carlos Moser in any Texas census.
Still, this is a great lead and hopefully I can find descendents of Carlos Moser.
I decided to take a day of my vacation and spend in San Antonio to see if I could find anything about the Del Carmen Company, or its promoter, Carlos Moser.
The only thing I found, were these citations from the San Antonio phone directories, courtesy of the San Antonio Conservation Society.
From the 1908 City Directory:
Moser Carlos, r 221 Slocum Place
From the 1910 City Directory:
Del Carmen Mining Company (C Moser Pres), Alamo Bank Bldg.
Moser Carlos, pres Del Carmen Mining Co. r 106 W. Pecan. [His office was in Room 312; the phone book published tenant directory of major buildings in town.]
There was also a citation for a Thomas Palfrey. Maybe he's related to Paul Paulfrey, Farmer's boss.
From the 1912 Directory:
Palfrey, Thomas B. mgr The Medina Irrigation Co, off Swearingen-Mcrow Bldg. h 111 E Laurel (Barbara Lee); 0 1495, N 1279.
The directories published data from the previous year; so that for example, the 1910 directory is really from much of 1909.
This is cool. Now I know that Moser wasn't just the "promoter" as Farmer Jennings wrote. He was the President of the company. And, he's becoming more of real person, now that I know where he lived. 106 W. Pecan is currently a parking lot. Slocum Place didn't appear on the current map I had with me in my car.
My time spent in other libraries was a bust. No one's heard of Carlos Moser, nor the del Carmen Mining Company.
On the way back to Austin, I stopped off at the Humphries Cemetary in Martindale, near San Marcos. That's where Farmer Jennings is buried. I guess I went because I'm trying to understand the people who worked at the ore terminal as real people. While cemetaries are not my thing, it's satisfying to find the real people who make up the story.