University of Idaho

Manuscript Group 360

Weber Mines

Papers, 1872-1991
3 cubic feet

The papers of three members of the Weber family involved in the Weber group of mines in Lakeview, Idaho, were donated to the University of Idaho Library by Edwin Fulwider in August 1992. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in April 1993.


The Weber mine, situated near Lakeview, Idaho, at the southern end of Lake Pend d'Oreille, was located between September 27 and October 8, 1888, by W.A.D. Bell, Peter Steinmetz, and Albert Chamberlain for Frederick A. Weber and Simon P. Donnelly, grubstakers. Of the eleven claims located, only four, East and West Chloride, Eagle Town, and Iron Dollar, were patented. By 1925 the family retained only four of the remaining unpatented claims, Southern Cross 1 & 2, North Star Placer, and Quartz. The first car of ore, 40 tons, was shipped to Great Falls, Montana in January 1889. The yield was 47 oz. silver, and $1.80 in gold. In 1889 Stephen Flemming bought a one-half interest in the mine, with Weber and Donnelly each holding one-quarter. Flemming died the following year and in 1891 Weber bought his half interest from his widow, Mary.

A 30 ton capacity mill was built at Lakeview between the years 1894-1895, but soon fell into disuse. In 1896 a forest fire destroyed all timbering and buildings at the mine and Weber and Donnelly borrowed from Messrs. Campbell and Hyman to rebuild.

About 1900 the property was taken over by a Chicago based company, the Pend d'Oreille Mining and Milling Company, but little capital was expended and eventually the project reached the courts. Due to a row with Donnelly, the Weber mine was closed down from 1901-1906. In 1905 Weber made a trip to the east to bond the property, and in 1906 a three-quarter interest in the mine was sold to Standard Development Co. of Chicago for $250,000, with a $50,000 down payment, thus enabling Weber to pay off the Campbell-Hyman loan. Standard Development never paid the other $200,000, but instead tried to steal the property by organizing a new company. Weber worked the mine for them from 1907 to 1908, then they took over. In 1912 they started the bottom level and shipped 15 tons of 160 oz. silver ore. Actual work at the mine ended about 1917 and litigation which had been started several years before was finally concluded in 1920. In 1921 Frank Weber, nephew of Fred, supplied funds to reopen the mine, but it remained idle except for an unsuccessful effort in the 1930s by Harold Drummond, Cliff Moore, and R.S. Handy to treat the ores by a leaching process. Several attempts were made to sell the mine in 1930s and 1940s; one of those initially interested was Henry L. Day. No sale was made and the mine was operated by lessees.

The interest of Frederick Weber descended to his nephew, Frank Weber, and Frank's daughter, Caro Lou Weber Bastian. The Donnelly interest was eventually acquired by W. Garvin Bastian, Caro Lou's husband. In 1948 Robert B. Austin of Spokane acquired a lease, known as the Austin-Meyer lease, on the Weber Mine and commenced operations in May of 1949. This operation, limited to the surface exposure, continued until the fall of 1965 when the ore body was depleted. In 1951 he subleased the portion of the property below the No. 3 tunnel level to the New Rainbow Mining Co. Considerable money was expended in reopening caved-in workings to reach areas indicated on assay maps resulting from the work prior to 1922 as having some ore zones. This work continued through 1957 when operations were curtailed because insufficient ore was uncovered to justify operations. The mine was sold to the Shoshone Silver Mining Co. in 1985.

Frederick A. Weber, a pioneer mining man in the Lakeview district, was born in Berne, Switzerland about 1846 and immigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of two. The family settled in Madison, Indiana, where he was raised and where he remained until he was 21. He then engaged in the hat and fur business at Evansville, Indiana for about 10 years. In 1876 he attended the Centennial exposition at Philadelphia and became very interested in the mining exhibit. He came home with the idea to make mining his future business, but he was unable to leave Evansville until 1880, when he went to Leadville, Colorado and commenced his career as a mining man. In 1883 he was in Salt Lake where he had an option on some mining property at Little Cottonwood, some 30 miles west of Salt Lake. While there, in the fall of 1883, the newspaper story of Pritchard's great gold strike in the Coeur d'Alene district was printed. He came to the Coeur d'Alenes, by way of Butte, Montana in 1885, settling in the town of Eagle, then travelled north to Lakeview in the fall of 1888 with Al Chamberlain, Peter Steinmetz, Billy Bell, and Si Donnelly. Weber died December 11, 1928.

Frank C. Weber, nephew of Frank Weber, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 29, 1876. At the age of 15 he travelled to Idaho to help his uncle at the mine. In 1901 he moved to Lakeview for the mining season, then in winter he would return to Indianapolis to keep his real estate business going. He married Louise Marguerite Hereth in Indianapolis on January 5, 1910; she died May 20, 1938 in Lakeview. His daughter, Caro Lou was his partner in the mining enterprise. He died March 27, 1962.

Carolyn Louise Weber Bastian, daughter of Frank Weber, was born April 7, 1914 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and graduated from Tudor High School. She married William Garvin Bastian, then in the navy, in San Diego on June 3, 1943; they separated on June 15, 1958 and were divorced May 21, 1962, although they continued as partners in the mine until his death in 1972. On November 27, 1990 she was taken out of Lakeview by helicopter and she died March 10, 1991.

For a more detailed history of the mine and the Weber family see Edwin Fulwider's book Caro Lou: the miner's daughter (1993).


The papers of the Weber family span the years 1872 to 1991. Included are correspondence, legal papers, financial records, and smelter returns maintained by the three members of the Weber family concerned in the operation of the mine. A majority of the correspondence concerns the mine, but a few letters are personal in nature. Also included are several items concerning the Niklaus family, relatives of Louise (Lulu) Hereth Weber.


The papers of the Webers were in labeled boxes when received. The material appeared to have been sorted by the individual generating the records and this arrangement was retained during processing. The photographs and Niklaus family records were with the papers of Carolyn Louise, and this seemed to be a logical place for them. The material within each series had no order, therefore it was separated by type; all correspondence was put in chronological order, except for those few cases where a group of letters was bundled together. Each of these groups was arranged chronologically and placed in separate folders labeled with the name of the correspondent. Folders were placed in alphabetical order within each series.

The papers of Frederick Weber, founder of the mine, include abstracts of title to the claims, early assays, correspondence, legal documents, many of which concern the acquiring of ownership from partners, the articles of incorporation, and several undated reports on mine production and potential.

Frank Weber's papers are the least voluminous and include correspondence concerning both the mine and his Indiana real estate business, legal documents, mining locations, proofs of labor, reports on the mine, some of which duplicate those in his uncle's papers, and a few smelter returns.

The largest series contains the papers of Carolyn Louise, or Caro Lou as she was known. Included are correspondence, both personal and concerning the mine, information on the Lakeview Townsite Improvement Association, legal documents including records relating to her mother's estate, maps of the Lakeview area, mining claim location notices, survey maps and tax returns for herself and her father. Among the non-mining papers are her baby book and related memorabilia, a notebook she kept while working with the Indianapolis Art League, engraved visiting and greeting cards dating from 1868-1890, and Niklaus family memorabilia including a 1872 travel diary of a trip to Geneva, Switzerland kept by Carrie Niklaus.

Among the photographs included in Caro Lou's papers are pictures of Lakeview in the 1900s, of Frank Weber's launch "Navy" with family members aboard, Weber family photographs, Spokane Falls and the Monroe Street Bridge taken about 1920, and a large group of negatives. Most of the negatives are of Caro Lou as a child, but they also include negatives of a trip to California, probably taken by her parents, and what appears to be an Armistice Day Parade, probably in Indianapolis.


I. Frederick A. Weber, 1889-1926	1
II. Frank C. Weber, 1906-1949	1-2
III. Caro Lou Weber Bastian, 1872-1991	2-3


Box 	Folder	Description					Items

I. Frederick A. Weber, 1889-1926

1	1	Abstracts of title to mining claims, 1901	3
	2	Assays, 1913-1925	34
	3-7	Correspondence, 1889-1926	359
	8	James G. Berryhill, 1904-1905	18
	9	Harry G. Blackwell, 1904-1905	47
	10	James J. Jennings, 1906-1907	18
	11	A.H. Weber, 1922-1925	37
	12	Undated and miscellaneous, n.d.	20
	13	Legal Documents: Agreements, 1894-1924	9
	14	Agreements: Mary Fleming, 1892	4
	15	Power of Attorney to locate and sell, 1897-1899	8
	16	Simon Donnelly vs. Fred A. Weber, 1907-1908	5
	17	Summons and complaints, 1922	4
	18	Water locations, 1889-1890; 1923	5
	19	Fred A. Weber vs. John W. Cheer, 1915-1916	11
	20	Fred A. Weber vs. Simon Donnelly, 1907-1920	3
	21	Will of Fred A. Weber, 1907	1
	22	Other Lakeview mines, 1890-1906	9
	23	Pend d'Oreille Mining and Reduction Company, 1903-1914	28
	24	Standard Development Company, 1906-1909	9
	25	Weber Group of Mines: Articles of Incorporation, history, etc., 1893-1942	13
	26	Reports, undated	9
	27	Financial material, 1894-1914	86

II. Frank C. Weber, 1906-1949

	28	Assessment roll, 1942-1943	4
	29-33	Correspondence, 1909-1942	508
2	34	Correspondence, 1943-1948	113
	35	W.F. McNaughton, 1943-1946	14
	36	Woodley contract, 1924-1926	17
	37	Legal documents, 1906-1949	8
	38	Mining locations, proofs of labor, etc., 1928-1946	40
	39	Reports on Weber mines, 1907-1929	9
	40	Smelter returns, 1922-1934	8

III. Caro Lou Weber Bastian, 1872-1991

	41	Copper engraving plates, 1943	2
	42	Correspondence of Lulu Weber, 1909-1919	5
	43-45	Correspondence, 1919-1990	158
	46	Austin-Meyer and other leases, 1941-1967	52
	47	Garvin Bastian re: mine lease by Conjecture mines, Inc., 1967	42
	48	Garvin Bastian re: property, 1962-1968	19
	49	Garvin Bastian's estate, 1972-1979	34
	50	Divorce file, 1956-1962	50
	51	Flanner & Buchanan mortuary, 1953-1957	6
	52	Burt Lehn, 1970-1974	4
	53	W.W. Martin, 1973-1974	17
	54	Martin-Scheller lease, 1973-1983	17
	55	Lou A. Weber (cousin), 1972-1985	21
	56	Forest Service road survey map of the proposed Lakeview route, 1977	1
	57	Lakeview Townsite Improvement Association, 1950-1987	36
	58	Legal Documents: Birth, marriage & death certificates, 1914-1991	5
	59	Idaho, 1934-1981	9
	60	Indiana, 1899-1942	3
	61	Lulu Weber estate, 1936-1942	47
	62	Maps of Lakeview Mining District, n.d.	4
	63	Mining claim locations, 1967-1983	9
	64	Miscellaneous, 1934-1982	9
	65	Newspaper clippings, 1925-1984	28
	66	Quartz location notices (copies) and maps, 1949-1950	11
	67	Royalties on silver concentrates, 1979-1981	25
	68-73	Smelter returns, Austin-Meyer lease, 1949-1954	211
3	74-75	Smelter returns, Austin-Meyer lease, 1955-1958	82
	76	Smelter returns, various leases, 1963-1965; 1976	27
	77	Survey maps, 1971	2
	78	Tax returns for Frank and Caro Lou Weber, 1954-1962	14
	79	Timber sales, 1975-1977	10
	80	Baby book and other memorabilia, 1914-1932	24
	81	Indianapolis Art League, notebook and brochures, 1929-1949	3
	82	Engraved visiting and greeting cards, 1868-1890	15
	83	Niklaus family: history, n.d.	8
	84	Photographs and clippings, 1877-1903	21
	85	Carrie Niklaus travel diary and correspondence, 1872	15
	86	Photographs: Glass negatives, n.d.	3
	87	Caro Lou's Lakeview house, ca.1930-1982	9
	88	Caro Lou and the Weber family, ca.1920-1960	42
	89	Bayview & Coeur d'Alene, ca.1890-1906	14
	90	Frank Weber's launch "Navy" with wife, sisters & maid; Webers leaving Lakeview for winter in Indianapolis; Woman in boat with string of fish, ca. 1913	9
	91	Lakeview main street; Women vote for the first time in Lakeview, 1920s.	2
	92	Lakeview, aerial view, 1932; Weber mine, ca.1910; Weber open pit #1, ca.1980	6
	93	Indianapolis home; Garvin's family, ca.1940-1979	11
	94	Lakeview & vacation, ca.1966-1985	36
	95	Spokane: Monroe St. Bridge, Spokane Falls, ca.1920	7
	96	Miscellaneous photographs, ca.1900-1920	6
	97	Negatives, ca.1910-1960	261

November 1995 / mg360.htm

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