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Special Collections & Archives

Manuscript Group 270

Oreano Mining Company

Records, 1902-1929
1.5 cubic feet

The records of the Oreano Mining Company are part of the records of Day Mines, Inc., donated to the University of Idaho by Henry Day in 1984 and 1985. Initial processing of this manuscript group was done by Judith Nielsen in June 1988. Processing was completed by Michael Tarabulski and Harriet Essiam in February 1992. Funds for processing were provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the U.S. Department of Education HEA Title II-C "Strengthening Research Library Resources" program, the Library Associates of the University of Idaho and other donors.


The Oreano Mining Company was incorporated in the state of Idaho on November 10, 1902; its capitalization was 1,000,000 shares, par value $1.00. The property, which consisted of five claims known as the Oreano group included the Oreano, Sinker, Pearl, Moonlight Fraction, and Pearl Fraction lodes, was located in the Lelande Mining District near Burke. The lode claims were patented in 1904.

At the first directors meeting, held November 15, 1902, Carl Amonson was elected president. O.E. Anderson, Peter Johnson, Matt Baumgartner, Charles Andres, M.H. Hare, and Charles E. Smith were the other directors. As the first order of business the new company purchased all of the property belonging to the Pearl Mining Company, a South Dakota Corporation, for 700,000 shares of Oreano stock.

In 1904 the company's directors changed. Among the new directors was John Wourms, with Herman Rossi joining the board in 1905. Rossi served as president of the company for many years, resigning from the board in 1916. Charles Smith, a member of the original board, was authorized, in 1903, to sell the company's stock on the east coast. In 1905 a letter from New Hampshire stockholders complained that the mine had been misrepresented and that they had paid too much for their stock. The stockholders went on to say they had confidence in this new board and its officers to improve the management of the mine. At this vote of confidence, the board agreed to a stock reimbursement for all purchases in excess of 20 cents per share.

Early directors meetings were concerned primarily with raising money to pay bills and purchase equipment. In 1904 Oreano entered into a contract with the adjoining Anchor Mining Company for use of Anchor's compressor plant. In order to raise money for the development of the mine frequent stock assessments were levied, the first of these in December 1905. The company reported disappointment in not reaching the ore body, but felt the new tunnel being dug in the fall of 1912 would prove successful. In 1916 the directors decided to sell 100,000 shares of treasury stock in lieu of authorizing yet another assessment.

In 1915 the Sherman Development Company to the north leased the tunnel on the Oreano claim in order to drill into their own workings.

In July 1918 Oreano levied one final assessment before closing the mine for the duration of the war. No more directors meetings were held until July 1922 when assessment #27 was levied to fund the rebuilding of the blacksmith shop and cabin which were destroyed in a snowslide during the winter of 1911-1912. After mining expert Fred Searles inspected the property, assessment #28 was levied in September 1922 and work on a 300' crosscut in the No. 2 tunnel was begun under contract. To facilitate this drilling a compressor and complete mining equipment were installed.

On May 20, 1923, the ore vein was encountered 280 feet from the initial crosscut. There was little ore but the quality was good. An assessment was levied in June to allow the work to continue. When the board of directors met on October 11 to approve payment of bills, there was no hint of a change in leadership. But, at the October 13th stockholders meeting, the first called since 1916, several new stockholders, namely Jerome, Harry, and Henry Lawrence Day, were present. A new board consisting of A.P. Ramstedt, Ramsay Walker, Henry Lawrence Day, P.J. Maggy, Jerome Day, F.M. Rothrock, and John Dolan, the only hold-over from the previous board, was elected. At this meeting a committee was formed to rewrite the by-laws of the company since the old ones contained items contrary to Idaho law, and included items that did not belong in by-laws. At the directors meeting Jerome Day, who was also president of Sherman Lead Company, was elected president. Dolan reported that while he had been with the Oreano only eighteen months and knew little about the company prior to that time, he found the records had been poorly kept. The directors decided to suspend work on the property until an audit could be made of the records.

In 1927 Sherman Lead again asked for an easement to work their property through the Oreano No. 2 tunnel. As part of the agreement Sherman relinquished their claim to the ore in the Oreano tunnel which Sherman claimed as its property due to its claim of the apex of the vein from which the ore was extracted. Since neither company could market this ore without precipitating apex litigation, Sherman Lead, in July 1928, offered to buy Oreano for 175,000 shares of Sherman stock. After a lengthy discussion the board accepted the offer and called a special meeting of stockholders. On August 23, 1928, the stockholders approved the sale and, on September 20, a final assessment was levied to pay the indebtedness of the company. The directors then decided on a pro-rata distribution of the Sherman stock at the ratio of one Sherman Lead share for each five Oreano shares held.


The records of the Oreano Mining Company span the years 1902 to 1929. Included are minutes of meetings, by-laws, financial statements, correspondence with suppliers and stockholders, annual statements and reports to state agencies, stock ledgers and journals, assessment records, voucher and check registers, and cash books


The records of the Oreano Mining Company are divided into four series.

The first series, Records of the Board of Directors and the Stockholders, includes minutes and other records related to meetings, articles of incorporation and by-laws.

General Correspondence and Related Records, the second series, contains an alphabetical file containing correspondence with suppliers and stockholders, bills and invoices, annual statements, and tax returns.

The third series is Capital Stock Records. Included are stock ledgers and journals and records relating to assessments

The fourth series, Financial Records, contains cash books and voucher registers.

Removal of cancelled stock certificates, returned assessment notices, vouchers, paid checks, bank statements, and duplicate materials reduced the size of this collection by 3.5 cubic feet.


I.	Records of the Board of Directors and the Stockholders, 1902-1929	1
II.	General Correspondence and Related Records, 1908-1929	1
III.	Capital Stock Records, 1902-1928	1-2
IV.	Financial Records, 1909-1928	2


Box	Folder	Description                

I. Records of the Board of Directors and the Stockholders, 1902-1929

1	1-2	Minutes, 1902-1929
	3-5	Records relating to meetings, 1922-1929
	6	By-laws, Articles of Incorporation, 1902-1923

II. General Correspondence and Related Records, 1908-1929

	7	A, 1923-1929
	8	Annual Statements, 1923, 1926-1929
	9	B, 1924-1929
	10	Bills and invoices, 1910-1929
	11	C, 1923-1929
	12	Cancelled checks, 1908-1912
	13	Capital stock tax, 1925
	14	Certificates, loose, 1928
	15	Collector of internal revenue, 1926
	16	D-E, 1923-1929
	17	Engineer reports, 1922
	18	F-I, 1923-1930
	19	Income tax, 1922-1916
	20	Income tax reports, 1916
	21	J-P, 1919-1929
	22	Patent, 1905
	23	Property reports, 19l5; 1925
	24	Stock list, 1924-1925
	25	R-T, 1923-1929
	26	Taxes, County, 1910-1916
	27	W-Z, 1924-1930
	28	Wage statements, Miscellaneous, 1909-1917

III. Capital Stock Records, 1902-1928

	29-31	Ledgers, 1902-1928
	32	Journal, 1902-1928
	33-36	Records relating to assessments, 1922-1923
2	37-38	Assessment receipt books, 1922-1928
	39	Records relating to assessments, 1928
	40	Assessment register, Flagstaff Mining Company, 1916

IV. Financial Records, 1909-1928

	41-42	Cash books, 1909-1923
	43	Voucher register, 1922-1928
	44	Bank statements, paid checks, and bank books, 1911-1923
	45	Miscellaneous, 1918-1924

mg270.htm / February 1995

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