Cemetery History

Only one wooden marker survived, but the name has long been erased by the weather

Only one wooden marker survived, but the name has long been erased by the weather

Death came quickly and early to the new mining camp of Midas.

The first murder took place in February 1908, just a few months after the first gold discovery was reported. The victim, Thomas Bean, was buried in Colorado where his family had waited while he checked out the new find in Nevada.

A community cemetery was not needed at that point, but it soon became necessary. The 1907-1908 winter was particularly harsh, and Elko County death records report that at least six men had died by the end of April 1908. Some succumbed to pneumonia; at least two committed suicide. A cemetery became essential.

Midas residents located their cemetery in a draw southeast of the main part of town, within easy walking distance of the primary road between town and the mining district. Most importantly, the earliest part of the cemetery is located in an area that can be dug with some ease. A cemetery record has not yet been located, but county death notices indicate that the first person buried in the Midas Cemetery was Edmund R. Deakin, 32 years old, who died from pneumonia on April 10, 1908.

A search of Elko County records and Nevada newspaper articles has identified 30 people who are buried in the Midas Cemetery. Local memories, ambiguous death notices, and the clearing of brush from the site suggest that an additional 10 people may have been buried there.

A fire in the 1950s destroyed all of the wooden markers, and only three original granite markers have survived. Records suggest that the last full burial was of Louis Reymond, a 52-year-old mining engineer who died on September 21, 1932.

As the town of Midas faded in the mid-20th century, so did its cemetery. Fires and theft ravaged the markers and fences, and by the 1970s, it was completely overgrown with tall sage and trampled by roaming cattle. Occasionally, a curious child would ask one of the old timers for directions, especially around Halloween, but most of the time, the cemetery and its occupants slept silently, undisturbed.

Until 1994.

Friends of Midas is a Nevada non-profit corporation that qualifies as an educational organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Supported by memberships and donations, Friends of Midas is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the history of Midas, which anchors the 115-year-old Gold Circle Mining District in northern Nevada.

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