Bonanza Kings

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BONANZA KINGS, John W. Mackay, James G. Fair, James C. Flood, and William S. O'Brien, organized the Consolidated Virginia Silver Mine in 1871 near Virginia City, Nevada, from a number of smaller claims on the Comstock Lode. The term "bonanza" was applied to the large ore body that lay in a vertical rift of the hanging wall of the Comstock Lode. For three years after large ore bodies were uncovered in 1874, the mines produced $3 million per month. Production began to fall off in 1879, but in twenty-two years of operation the mines yielded $150 million in silver and gold and paid more than $78 million in dividends.


Greever, William S. The Bonanza West: The Story of the Western Mining Rushes, 1848–1900. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.

Peterson, Richard H. The Bonanza Kings: The Social Origins and Business Behavior of Western Mining Entrepreneurs, 1870–1900. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977.

Carl L.Cannon/h. s.

See alsoComstock Lode ; Silver Prospecting and Mining ; Virginia City .

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Bonanza Kings

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