By Kristy McCaffrey
The mining town of Creede—located in southeastern Colorado—was named after Nicholas Creede.
The early life of Creede is cloaked in mystery. His given name was William H. Harvey and according to one story he was born on a farm near Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1841. His father died when he was four and he was forced to support himself at age twelve. Another version states that he was born in 1848 and lived with his family in Iowa until he was eight. In a moment of despair, he changed his name when the girl he loved jilted him for his brother. Another tale asserts he changed his name in 1886 or 1887 while living in Julesberg, Colorado, due to trouble with Indians.
In the 1860’s, Creede enlisted in the famous Pawnee Scouts—Pawnee Indian braves led by white officers—who rode across the plains of Nebraska guarding wagon trains and defending settlers against hostile Cheyenne and Sioux warriors. Creede was quickly made a first lieutenant and fought Indians for seven years in Nebraska and Dakota. He was known as a great ‘war chief’ and became fluent in the Pawnee language. It was during this time that Creede saw the mining activities in the Black Hills and became enamored of the hunt for silver and gold.
During the 1870’s, he left the Pawnee Scouts and began prospecting in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California, achieving modest success with several claims. In August 1889, Creede and his partners—E.R. Naylor and G.L. Smith—were prospecting on Campbell Mountain (in the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado) when they located the Holy Moses claim. The mining boom of the Creede District began in the fall of 1890 when word spread that the Holy Moses had been sold for $70,000 to Denver investors.
|Creede, Colorado 1892|
Creede later located the Amethyst vein and the subsequent mines included the Bachelor, the Annie Rooney, the Sunnyside, and the Commodore. Creede’s share of the Amethyst mining operation was well over a million dollars. Not long after the discovery, the camp in the area (known as Jimtown) was renamed to Creede.
Creede eventually married but it wasn’t a happy union. While in the midst of divorce proceedings he died of an accidental morphine overdose on July 12, 1897.
~ Coming October 31 ~
Wings of the West: Book Five
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.