March 25, 1910
S. Howard Leech Asks Why This City Does Not Build Up the District and Its Own Trade.
Editor El Paso Herald:
In behalf of the citizens and mine owners of the Orogrande mining district, I desire to register a decided protest against the "knocking" of El Paso against this camp. I have hesitated a long time in voicing this protest, but it has come to the point where patience has ceased to be a virtue and it is now a matter of self preservation.
So pronounced has this "knocking" become and so persistently is it adhered to by the El Paso interests that it has become a common street saying that it is impossible to get any mining man through El Paso out to the camp.
To make my meaning entirely clear I beg to quote a letter which the writer received yesterday. In explanation I will say that, together with a correspondent and associate at another mining point, I have worked for two or three months to bring this person from New York to Orogrande to look over a group of mining properties. This man finally advised us that he was coming west and would, on his trip, stop and make an examination of the properties in question.
Fails to Visit Camp
On his arrival at Denver, he wrote me when he would be in El Paso and asked for instructions relative to reaching Orogrande, which were forwarded to him at the Sheldon hotel. The following letter explains the result.
Tucson, Ariz. March 22, 1910.M.S. Howard Leech, Orogrande, N.M.
Dear sir - I am in receipt of your letter addressed to me at the Sheldon hotel, El Paso, of the 11th inst.
After discussing the Orogrande district with some engineers that I know very well in El Paso, I decided not to visit your property at this time, as my time was limited and I had under consideration other important examinations.
Regretting that I had not the pleasure of meeting you personally and inspecting your mines, I am Very truly yours.
This is merely illustrative of the conditions as they exist. Over and over again the same thing has happened to different people coming through El Paso on their way to Orogrande to inspect mining properties. This is not always chargeable to engineers by any means but the "knocking" seems to come from all classes, creeds and nationalities, so to speak.
To show the common feeling here when I advised the persons interested in the deal that this man was coming through El Paso they freely predicted he would never reach Orogrande, and so it proved.
Now it is true that we do not have any large number of dividend paying mining propositions in this district, at this time, but it is also true that there is not a more thoroughly mineralized district, or a district more thoroughly equipped by first class railroad, mail, express and general local conditions in the entire southwest. It is also true that there has been a good deal of excellent ore shipped out and smelted in the district. The very properties included in the proposition which this man was coming to look over have a shipping record of 4000 tons of copper - gold ores with value varying from 30 to 330 pounds of copper per ton and with gold values running from $1.00 to $9.00 per ton, and including 40 carloads that averaged about $5.00 in gold and $24.00 in copper per ton.
It is not claimed that this is a bonanza mine but it is an excellent prospect and was being presented as such and I have no hesitation in saying that there is not an engineer in El Paso that knows anything of practical value concerning this property, and very little if anything of value concerning any other Orogrande mining property, yet judging from appearances and plain insinuations that they take it upon themselves to turn our camp down, and this too, without knowing anything about the property.
Wants Fair Show
Were this merely a single or isolated case no attention would have been taken of the matter, but it has become notorious fact that El Paso as a city is eternally and everlastingly "knocking" Orogrande and this mining district and this in spite of the fact that El Paso gets practically every dollars' worth of trade done in Orogrande. Is this right? Is there any justice in such a condition. Does El Paso want to do business with Orogrande, or does she want to turn the trade to some other point.
The citizens of this community are beginning to ask these questions and some have gone so far as to advocated a business boycott against El Paso as a matter of self interest.
Why does not El Paso give Orogrande a fair show? Why does she , as a city, not help to build up this district and help develop our mines and thus help to build her own future and her own territory.
"Knocking" another locality never built up any city. Tearing down one community never builds up another. The territory surrounding El Paso must be fostered, built up and added in every possible way if El Paso would build her own structure permanently.
Some day Orogrande is going to be one of the greatest mining camps in the southwest, is the opinion of as good engineers as El Paso can boast. There is no question but that the mineral zone is here. The present question is one of development. Does El Paso want to help in this development or does she want to retard it. Which is she going to do?
Very sincerely yours, S. Howard Leech