Ottawa County, Oklahoma
The First Lead and Zinc Mining.
Around 1850 lead mining began at Granby, Mo. and soon after at Oronogo, Mo. There was a large influx of people into the area after that time and mining began at Joplin, Webb City, Carterville, and Aurora, Mo. During the 1870s, Galena, Kansas became one of the major producers of lead and zinc in the United States. But the real bonanza was still ahead. During the 1890s ore was found at Peoria in eastern Ottawa County, Ok. The next mining camp in Ottawa County was south of Baxter Springs, Ks. Ore was found on the Abrams land and the Sunnyside and Lincolnville camps were established. Sunnyside was about 4 miles south of Baxter and Lincolnville was about 1 1/2 miles southeast of Quapaw, Ok. Commerce, then known as Hattonville, was next. These camps flourished for a short time until the greatest find of them all was made at Picher, Oklahoma. Here are some early mines in Ottawa County. Primitive mining methods were used at this mine owned by the Sunburst Mining Co. of Baxter Springs. This outfit is very similar to those used by gougers at the end of mining days in the Picher field. It was located in Sunnyside district. The Mission mine was located west of Lincolnville and was the first mill built in the district. It was owned and operated by the Mission Mining Company of Baxter Springs, Ks. This picture is from about 1906.
The "Old Abe" mine was Lincolnville's most famous and was a good producer of lead and zinc. It was one of several mines operated by the Baxter Royalty, Co., which operated several mines and mills in the area.
Photo courtesy of John Taylor
A very rare view of the Lincolnville mines. The MaCawber Mine was a Lincolnville mine and this view is from about 1910. The MaCawber was located near the Lincolnville school and was in production by 1907. Most early postcards and photos refer to the Picher and other nearby mining areas as Miami and several old cards list the mine's location as Miami.District. These are the older style mills and derricks that were seen about that time. This old postcard has samples of lead and zinc ore attached to it. Photo courtesy of Fredas Cook.