The Imaginary Gold Mines of Kansas

The following illustrations are from an article of mine published in 2007 in the Mining History Journal.


Based on an old map showing the supposed location of a tin mine, Cyrus K. Holiday, one of the founders of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, sent prospectors out to find tin along the Smoky Hill River in Kansas.

There was, of course, no such tin mine, but the prospecting led to discovery of supposed gold deposits in Trego and Ellis counties, in central Kansas.


The gold was supposedly contained in ordinary-looking shale rock along the banks of the Smoky Hill River.  Although most assayers reported that there was no gold in the shale, investors listened to a few swindlers who insisted that the gold was there.

Promoters sold stock of companies formed to mine gold from the shale.  Worthless ore-processing mills were built along the Smoky Hill River.



[Mining Swindles] [A Hole in the Ground] [Other Mining Frauds] [Bre-X Fraud] [The Mississippi Bubble] [The Baron of Arizona] [The Imaginary Gold Mines of Kansas] [Mining Fraud Links] [Other Mining History]