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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 20, 2016     Pahrump Mirror
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October 20, 2016

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16 Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Mirror The story of Harry Stimler can be traced to Wert- temberg, Germany and the young man who immigrat- ed to the United States from that country. Once settled in the United States he married a woman from Mis- souri. Their son, Henry P. Stimler, was born in 1842 in Illinois. As Henry grew he must have developed the ever-present wanderlust that afflicted many young men during that century and he migrated west. Henry ultimately settled in Belmont, Nevada (the Nye County Seat at that time) in the early 1870s and married a Shoshone Indian woman named Sarah. The marriage presumably took place in 1876 when Henry was 34 and Sarah just 16 years old. Henry was work- ing as a saloonkeeper in 1877 when their first child Lottie (full name Charlotte L. Stimler) was born. Two ears later a son they named Henry Christian Stim- ler was born. As the young Henry grew he became known as Harry, probably to differentiate himself from his father's first name. Since their mother was Shoshone Indian, both the children were listed officially as Native American in the census and both children were destined to play important roles in the development of the State of Ne- vada. Also in residence with Henry and Sarah were Turro and Minnie Stimler (ages 13 and 14). The two youngsters were most likely Sarah's younger siblings that the elder Henry was also helping to raise. During the period of time when Lottie and Harry were growing into young adults, Nevada was experi- encing a steady decline. The development of Nevada in the early days was due to its great mineral wealth, most notably the Comstock Lode. But with time the existing mines were being depleted and few new min- eral discoveries being made. With job opportunities dwindling, the miners moved on to other areas out of state to locate work. With fewer people to purchase goods, merchants also began to leave the state. It was a progressive down- ward spiral that continued until then Nye County Dis- trict Attorney (Jim Butler) camped for the night at a place known as Tonopah Springs. When Butler woke that morning in May, 1900 he discovered that his burros had found a silver vein. The town of Tonopah soon sprang into being. As min- ers poured into Tonopah, Lottie Stimler, now a very pretty young lady, set up a tent and opened a restau- rant. Before long Lottie also found her true love in John E. Nay and the couple was married on January 9, 1902. Lottie's younger brother Harry a/so helped at the restaurant when he wasn't roaming around the hills with his friend William or "Billy" Marsh. The saloons were always a popular hangout for the varied inhabitants of all mining towns. Tom Fisher- man, a Shoshone Indian, dropped periodically into the various Tonopah saloons attempting to ply free drinks from the local prospectors. Fisherman always carded several pieces of quartz shot through with stringers of bright shiny gold. The prospectors provided the booze and Tom Fisherman told the various tales connected with the gold-laden stones without revealing the exact location of their origin. After one such foray into town, a very wobbly Tom Fisherman mounted his horse and rode south into a heavy dust storm. Following a short distance behind was a small wagon pulled by a single horse. With the heavy whistling wind and thickly swirling dust the inebriated Fisherman did not notice Harry Stimler and Billy Marsh following a short distance behind. Tom Fisherman followed a little-used trail that led to Rabbit Spring, about 26 miles south of Tonopah. When Fisherman finally stopped for the evening, Stimler and Marsh pulled their wagon into his camp. Later that evening the two boys were told this was the area where the gold had been found. Within the next few days Stimler and Marsh filed a number of promising claims and headed back to Tonopah. There they told of the place they named Granpah. A short time later the name Granpah was changed to the present-day Goldfield. Harry Stimler and Billy Marsh had just discovered what would soon FATHER OF GOLDFIELD - The death of Harry Stimler, renowned as the father of the Greatest Gold Camp In The World, made headlines in the 1931 newspapers of the area. He was killed in Tecopa, CA by a man named Franklin Hall, who apparently had no motive behind the murder. be known as the Greatest Gold Camp In The World. The town of Goldfield was growing and in 1904 the city established the townsite of Stimler at the base of Columbia Mountain. A short time later the two friends, Stimler and Marsh (Billy Marsh, now known as Will), built an adobe house on one of the town lots. The two men remained friends as time passed. After a number of years as a prospector, Will Marsh turned to ranching and even raised muskrats for their fur. Harry Stimler always loved the mining game, both in prospecting and later as a promoter. Harry Stimler in all had three towns named after him. The first near Goldfield, a second in Jefferson Canyon and a third located about 10 miles south of Silver Peak. The town of Stimler near Silver Peak began with a bang according to the Goldfield Review of Octo- ber 26, 1907. "Three weeks ago there were about 30 people there; now there are no less than 200. There John Weisser are two saloons, a lodging house, a boarding house, a feed stable and about a dozen leases working their two or three shifts a day. "Seventy-five cents is what Tom Cartee, who runs the only restaurant in the place, charges for meals. It costs $2 a day to keep a horse there and $1 a night to sleep in a tent, while the price of liquids (glass of beer or shot of whiskey) is the usual 'bit' (25 cents)." This community was also the home of a very un- usual prospector whose name has been lost to history but who was commonly called the "spirit man." He claimed "spirits" directed his every action and he dug a 125-foot tunnel in the mountain. The floor and the tailing pile were both as flat as if a concrete path had been laid. Several times a day the tunnel was swept so the "spirits" would not get their feet dusty when they came to commune with him. Locals called the tuAnel "spirit walk." A trail 150 feet long was used to reach the tunnel and every three feet was a wooden stake with a single strand of bailing wire attached to the post's top. The wire was strung to the mouth of the mine and was dubbed the "spirit telegraph" by the area miners. The "spirit miner" informed the curi- ous that he regularly received messages through the wire. One day "spirit man" declared he had been called to Australia. He left everything he had at the mine and walked 20 miles to the town of Blair where he hopped a train and was never seen again. Through his life Harry Stimler prospered. Just after the discovery of Goldfield he married and had a son he named Gerald on March 10, 1904. The marriage did not last and Stimler never remarried but appar- ently he had custody of Gerald as his son showed up living with him in later census reports. Much of Stimler's life was spent as a mining promoter and he was involved in many of Central Nevada's largest gold rushes. Harry Stimler was in Tecopa, California in 1931 checking on a gold mining property with his son Gerald when he was fatally shot. The Tonopah Daily Times reported: "Harry C. Stimler, 51, famed among prospectors as the man who discovered Goldfield, was shot and fatally wounded early yesterday by Franklin A. Hall, storekeeper of Tecopa, near Death Valley, in Inyo County. "Hall, apparently stricken with a sudden fit of in- sanity, walked out of his store and, without a word, opened fire with a revolver on Stimler, who was sit- ting in his car... Hall then fired a bullet through his own heart, dying instantly." Stimler was shot at 9 a.m. in the morning. Three bullets struck him. One shot hit Stimler in the thigh, another in to the leg shattering the bone and a third in the stomach. Stimler was immediately taken to Barstow, California for medical care but due to the poor conditions of the roads did not arrive until 11 p.m. that evening. He bled to death while still about an hour out of town. Stimler's eulogy in the Tonopah Daily Times read in part, "These were the men who took a chance. Few had anything to lose if the game went against them. Therefore hazard was slender when the camp made good, these callow pioneers were forced into fortune." Much the same could be stated for all pros- pectors of that day. Harry Stimler was buried in the Tonopah Cemetery next to his father. Lottie L. "Stimler" Nay's last recorded residence was in Winnemucca, Nevada and she passed on Oc- tober 15, 1967. Gerald Stimler's last address was in Gabbs, Nevada and he passed during September, 1969. OLD TOWN BELMONT - A fire engine is shown at right, resting in the town of Belmont. The town was the original Nevada home of Henry Stimlgr, father of the later famed Harry Stimler.