As the Story Goes…
Jim Butler was camping around Tonopah Springs, the spring of 1900 when his burro wandered off.
While chasing it, Jim picked up a rock to throw at it & discovered some promising looking ore. He continued his journey and showed the samples to others, who showed little interest. After returning to his home in Belmont, Butler told a young attorney named Tasker Oddie about his discovery. Tasker had a friend who taught chemistry in Austin, and he enlisted the teacher’s help in assaying the sample. The ore valued at more than $200 a ton.
History tells us that the mines in this district produced in excess of five million tons of ore. At today’s market the precious metals produced would be valued in excess of $1,200,000,000.