Nevada Consolidated Copper Company Records
Scope and Contents
The Nevada Consolidated Copper Company Collection contains administrative materials pertaining to the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company and its successor, the Kennecott Copper Corporation, between 1905-1998. The collection contains 11 photo albums with cyanotype photographs from the Chief Engineer’s Office depicting mining operations, equipment, and progress from within the mining pits. The collection also contains notes, manuals, and surveys about the operations, procedures, and history of the company, in addition to correspondence pertaining to the company’s numerous operations. The company maintained annual reports for every year with color-coded maps and photographs of mining pits. Also included is correspondence from employees such as the auditor, chief clerk, and business manager in addition to court claims, company agreements, and monthly statements. Other materials include ephemera and awards such as mouse pads, stamps, plaques, and framed letters and photographs.
- Nevada Consolidated Copper Company (Creator, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
On November 7, 1904, the Boston & Nevada Copper Company and the White Pine Copper Company merged to form the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. James Philip, Jr. was the first president of the company and Mark Requa was the general manager. Requa owned the Eureka & Palisades Railroad and acquired the Ruth property in 1902. The Ruth property was located near Ely in White Pine County, Nevada and was one of the first copper claims made in 1900 by Ruth McDonald. In 1903 the White Pine Copper Company was created by Requa to develop the White Pine Property, which contained 19 claims and 304 acres. As a result, the Ruth Group was formed. The Copper Flat Group sat next to the Ruth Group. The Copper Flat was originally organized by the Copper Flat Mining Company and further developed by the New York & Nevada Copper Company. The company later became the Boston & Nevada Copper Company and bought more property in the area. The Copper Flat Group consisted of 7 claims and 133 acres.
To transport ore Mark Requa acquired financial support for the Nevada Northern Railway from the Hayden, Stone and Company and Guggenheim Exploration Company on May 29, 1905. On June 1, 1905, the company incorporated the Nevada Northern Railway to build a line from the national railway to the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company properties. Construction began on September 11, 1905, in Cobre, Nevada and was finished a year later.
In 1905, the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company began mining in the Veteran Mine of the Robinson Mining District, located near Ruth, Nevada. The company was also looking for a partnership to create a smelter. The Cumberland-Ely Copper Company, which began on November 28, 1905, by Guggenheim family affiliates George Gunn and William Boyce Thompson, obtained 8 square miles of land near McGill, located 11 miles from Ely in White Pine County, with water access for building a smelter. In 1906, the Guggenheim family owned the Cumberland-Ely Copper Company and 40 percent of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company stocks. The Guggenheims attempted to merge the two companies, but the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company blocked the merger and a joint company was formed instead. The two companies formed the Steptoe Valley Smelting & Mining Company. Both companies owned half of the Steptoe Valley Smelting & Mining Company and half of the Nevada Northern Railway. On December 14, 1906, construction began in McGill and the smelter began operating on May 15, 1908. On April 13, 1908, the first copper ore was shipped from Copper Flat to McGill.
As copper mining grew, company towns such as Ruth and McGill were created to house workers and their families. Housing, services, and public facilities provided in McGill were under the control of the Kennecott Copper Company. Saloons and gambling were prohibited in McGill, but available in nearby towns. Housing was segregated by nationality or job status. Company town populations relied on mining production. McGill’s population was 1,904 in 1910 and grew to 2,864 by 1920. When the smelter was closed and demolished in 1983, the population reduced to 1,148.
The Guggenheims aimed to take control of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. On May 25, 1906, they announced that they owned 400,000 shares of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. The company also purchased property adjacent to Nevada Consolidated Copper Company property. On December 1, 1906, the general managers of Nevada Consolidated Copper Company and Cumberland-Ely Company, Mark Requa and George Gunn, retired. Pope Yeatman replaced Requa and Gunn as director of both companies and the Steptoe Valley Smelting & Mining Company. On August 30, 1910, the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company purchased the Cumberland-Ely Company. The Nevada Consolidated Copper Company completely owned the Cumberland-Ely Copper Company, Steptoe Valley Smelting & Mining Company, and Nevada Northern Railway.
In 1906, J. P. Morgan and the Guggenheim family created the Morgan-Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate to finance the Kennecott Copper Company’s mining in Alaska. In April 1915, the Morgan-Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate became part of the new Kennecott Copper Corporation. The Kennecott Copper Corporation acquired the Alaskan Syndicate stocks including 25 percent of Utah Copper. Edmund A. and Harry F. Guggenheim became the directors of the company. The company purchased more Utah Copper holdings, owning 95 percent by 1925 and controlled Nevada Consolidated Copper Company through Utah Copper stocks. Daniel C. Jackling ran both Utah Copper and the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. In 1925, Nevada Consolidated Copper Company and Ray Consolidated Copper Company in Arizona merged. Nevada Consolidated Copper Company received the Ray Consolidated Copper Company’s property assets in exchange for stocks. The Nevada Consolidated Copper Company divided into 3 divisions: Nevada Mines, Ray Mines, and Chino.
In 1933, the Kennecott Copper Corporation obtained 2,085,305 of Nevada Consolidated Copper Company shares through several exchanges. Owning 88 percent of the company, the Kennecott Copper Corporation acquired all of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company assets on June 12, 1933. On December 31, 1942, the company became the Nevada Mines Division of Kennecott Copper Corporation. In 1936, Kennecott Copper Corporation acquired Utah Copper and formed the Utah Copper Division of Kennecott Copper Corporation. After a recession in 1958, the company purchased the Consolidated Coppermines Corporation, which had previously been the Giroux Consolidated Mines Company until 1913. After the purchase, the company owned almost all of the Kimberly and Ruth mines.
The Kennecott Corporation, once the world’s leading copper producer, declined at the end of the 20th century because of copper prices and EPA laws. In September 1978, the company closed its Nevada mines and discontinued the McGill ore trains. The McGill smelter continued to operate with reduced production. The Kennecott Copper Corporation became Kennecott Corporation in 1979 and mined under Kennecott Minerals Company. On June 4, 1981, Kennecott Minerals Company was purchased by Standard Oil Company of Ohio. In 1982, the copper market forced Kennecott to close its Ray Mines Division. On June 20, 1983, the McGill smelter and Nevada Northern Railway shut down. In 1983, Kennecott Mining Company changed its name to Kennecott under the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. British Petroleum (BP) purchased the Standard Oil Company of Ohio and Kennecott became part of BP Minerals America. Rio Tinto Zinc bought British Petroleum mineral interests in June 1989. BP Minerals Kennecott Utah Copper changed to Kennecott Corporation a month later and is currently named Kennecott Utah Copper under Rio Tinto Zinc ownership. In 1991, Magma purchased Kennecott’s Robinson District mining rights and began mining in July 1995. In January 1996, Broken Hill Propriety Company, Limited purchased Magma and formed the BHP Copper North America, Robinson Operations. The company operated in Robinson for 3 years before finally closing the mine on June 25, 1999. Broken Hill Proprietary Company, Limited merged with Britain Billiton Plc in 2001, but operations remained closed in Nevada.
13.75 Linear Feet (24 boxes)
Language of Materials
On November 7, 1904, the Boston & Nevada Copper Company and the White Pine Copper Company merged to form the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. As copper mining grew, company towns such as Ruth and McGill were created to house workers and their families. Housing, services, and public facilities provided in McGill were under the control of the Kennecott Copper Company. The Kennecott Corporation, once the world’s leading copper producer, declined at the end of the 20th century because of copper prices and EPA laws. The Nevada Consolidated Copper Company Records is composed of administrative documents from the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, or Kennecott Copper Corporation. The collection includes cyanotype photographs, operating notes and manuals, annual reports, and correspondence between employees and other businesses from 1905-1998.
Arranged into the following series: 1) Public Relations and Marketing; 2) Operations; 3) Cyanotypes, Photographs, and Drawings; 4) Prospecting; 5) Annual Reports; and 6) Correspondence.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC in May 2019.
- Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC (Auctioneer, Organization)
- Nevada Consolidated Copper Company (Creator, Organization)
- Guide to the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company Records
- Ian McGlory, Katie Rierson, and Kaitlyn McKenna
- December 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA