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Stephen B. Elkins papers

Identifier: Ms-0033

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of copies of originals owned by the West Virginia Collections of West Virginia University. Rather than cover the years Elkins spent in New Mexico, materials were copied which concern his mining interests during the 1890's. This copied collection is divided into five series: Correspondence, Legal documents, Land deeds and leases, Financial documents and assay reports, and Microfilm. The correspondence is full of letters to and from many prominent national and territorial figures. Among the significant correspondents are Carl Schurz, John Pratt, Lymann Trumball, W. C. Meigs, William Breeder, Abram G. Hout, S. A. Hubbell (Las Vegas, NM), G. C. Swallow, J. G. Blaine, Hamilton Fish, Ed Moore, E. Sherwood, E. O. Darling, Ida A. Logan, A. H. Hilton, Antonio Ortiz Y Salazar, S. M. Janney, Richard Hudson, Benjamin Harrison, William W. Dudley, J. Francisco Chaves, Edwin L. Bartlett, R. C. Kevens, W. P. Cunningham, J. P. Victory, John P. McCook, Allen Manuel, Edward F. Hobart, Lee English, Aldace Walker, J. C. Wilson, C. E. Dewey, Joseph Tarocque, W. H. Pettibone, J. L. Wells, John Longmaid, George McGee, Herbert Strickland, Leo F. Probat (Chicago architect), Bernard L. Rodey, O. X. Kelly, John R. McFie, R. L. Baca, B. A. Nymeyer, Thomas B. Catron, Miguel S. Otero, Pedro Sanchez, George Milroy Baily, B. Gordon Bromley, William Caver Wiederseim, Candelario Martinez, Edward R. Otero and General Benjamin F. Butler. Of the correspondence, the Butler letters are the most extensive and concern New Mexico land interests that led to the Butler v. Elkins lawsuit. Topics discussed in the correspondence include political matters such as appointments and J. G. Blaine’s presidential ambitions. An immense amount of the correspondence deals with the Cerrillos Coal and Iron Company and its railroad. Legal documents in the collection show the types of lawsuits that resulted from the attempts of eastern industrialists to tap New Mexico’s mineral wealth. General Ben Butler of Civil War and Reconstruction was one who sued Elkins. In a related case, E. O. Darling sued General Butler. Another lawsuit documented in the collection is Rencher v. Elkins. This series also contains stock agreements from 1885-1896. Land deeds and leases for the Candelario and Cunningham mines are included with information on the Mesita de Juana Lopez and Mora land grants. There is also additional land information about the holdings of the New Mexico Mining Company. For researchers in New Mexican history, The Ortiz Mine Grant book will be helpful. Financial records include documents from the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, the Cerrillos Coal Railroad Company, the Cunningham Mine and Mammoth Lode. The Cunningham Mine records include assay reports, expense and payroll accounts and receipts. In addition to the correspondence, legal, land deeds and financial records series, there is also a microfilm copy of mine plats and oversize correspondence.


  • 1869-1910


Biographical / Historical

September 26, 1841 Born near New Lexington, Derry, Ohio 1843 - 1847 Moved to a farm at Westport, MO 1860 Graduated at the head of his class at the University of Missouri at Columbia 1861 Taught school in Cass County, MO 1862 Enlisted in the Union Army as a Captain of Militia in the 72nd Missouri Infantry 1863 Moved to New Mexico and was admitted to the New Mexico bar and began practicing law at Mesilla 1864 Elected to the territorial legislature June 10, 1866 Married Sarah Jacobs of Wellington, MO January - March, 1867 Attorney General of New Mexico 1867 - 1870 U.S. District Attorney 1868 University of Missouri granted him the M.A. Degree 1872 Elected as a Republican to serve as territorial delegate to the 43rd Congress 1874 - March 3, 1877 Re-elected April 14, 1875 Married Hallie Davis, daughter of Senator Henry G. Davis January 12, 1876 Proposed a Bill for New Mexico statehood 1876 - 1890 President of the Santa Fe First National Bank 1884 Advisor and political Lieutenant of James G. Blaine, Republican National Committee for three successive presidential campaigns 1890 Moved to Elkins, West Virginia Actively aided the construction of the West Virginia Central & Pittsburgh Railroad (Western Maryland) Became interested in options on large tracts of coal lands on the Monongahela near Morgantown 1891 Secretary of War 1895 Elected to U.S. Senate, served until his death in 1911 1902 Purchased the Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad 1903 Wrote the Anti-rebate Act 1907 Completed Rail Road eastward to connect with Baltimore & Ohio 1910 Wrote the Mann-Elkins Act January 4, 1911 Died


3 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Photostatic and microfilm copies of papers of Stephen B. Elkins, a territorial legislator in New Mexico and later U. S. Senator from West Virginia. Correspondence, legal papers, land deeds and leases, financial accounts and assay reports from Elkins’ New Mexico period relate principally to his mining interests.

Processing Information

Merleen Dibert, December 1979 Updated by Charles Stanford, July 2007
Guide to the Stephen B. Elkins papers
Merleen Dibert, December 1979 Updated by Charles Stanford, July 2007
Updated July 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA