Sunday, September 18, 2005

James Barkley's notes about Horace Hamilton Minkler, and James Clark

James Clark's Depot Hotel (Advertisement), Elko, Nevada, 1882:

Depot Hotel Advertisement, Elko, Nevada. Courtesy of James Barkely and the Northeastern Nevada Museum.

My great grandfather, Horace Hamilton Minkler, track foreman for the CPRR, layed the last rail and final tie before they drove the golden spike, May 10, 1869. He appears in the A.J. Russell "champagne" photograph (see below). ... the track laying record ... 10 miles in a day ... was performed by a group of 8 Irishman under H.H. Minkler, track foreman, and George Coley, gang foreman ... April 28, 1869. H.H. Minkler came to California on the same vessel and worked with CPRR engineer Joseph M. Graham (who, on April 1, 1868, staked out what became Reno, Nevada). As shown on the January 1864 CPRR payroll, James Harvey Strobridge (age 37) and H. Minkler (age 35) worked for three weeks track laying out of Sacramento, California, and both appear together in the A.A. Hart stereoview #350 at Camp Victory, Utah on the day of the 10 mile record. H.H. Minkler layed track through Elko, Nevada, in 1869. The Depot Hotel and train station in Elko Nevada was owned and run by my great uncle James Clark, H.H. Minkler's brother-in-law. Minkler was married to Sarah Clark of Clark Station, and later became a farmer and Justice of the Peace in Kansas, later living in Missouri. Clark & Green were proprietors of the Depot Hotel in Elko, Nevada, and James Clark was proprietor of the Humboldt House, both meal stops on the Central Pacific Railroad. James Clark died on the same day that the Titanic sunk.

—James Barkley 3073 N. Main, St. Apt. 110, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

About whom David H. Bain wrote: "James Barkley, who has iron in his blood and steam in his nostrils, and history in his family tree."

CLICK for James Barkley's notes about Horace Hamilton Minkler, and James Clark.

CPRR Track Foreman Horace Hamilton Minkler.
A.J. Russell view at Promontory, Utah, May 10, 1869, detail.

CPRR Superintendent James Harvey Strobridge (left) and
Track Foreman Horace Hamilton Minkler (right).
A.A. Hart Stereoview #350, at Camp Victory, April 28, 1869, detail.

Transcontinental Railroad Centennial Poster, 1969:
"Sacramento Gold Spike Centennial Celebration"

Transcontinental Railroad Centennial Poster, 1969:
"Centennial Celebration of the driving of the Golden Spike
Dedication of Golden Spike National Historic Site Museum and Visitors Center
Re-enactment of the Driving of the Golden Spike
May 10, 1969 / Promontory Summit, Utah ...
Centennial Celebration Commission"


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley writes on 9/23/2005:

... Lawrence Hersh just sent me a copy of an 1874 Nevada Map showing me where my great uncle, James Clark's ranch was located about six or eight miles due north of Clark's Station. His ranch was 650 acres. James Clark died in 1912 in Elko, Nevada. He was 77 years old. He was known throughout Nevada in his day as Uncle Jimmy Clark and he was loved and admired by many people. I also sent a copy of the James Clark family history. Also news reports when James Clark sold his Depot Hotel in 1893. Then he bought the Humboldt House Hotel, February, 1893, and ran it for five years, then sold the Humboldt House Hotel and moved back to Elko, Nevada on January 8, 1898. Also J.M. Graham wrote a letter to my cousin in the 1930's to tell him about H.H. Minkler and their railroad history together. He was a long time family friend and sailed on the same steamship from Panama in 1867 but not in the same year. Mr. Van Warner was a ridding boss and H.H. Minkler's step-father. ...

—James Barkley

P.S. I was born James D. Minkler. I took my step-father's name when I was 12 years old.

10/08/2005 1:45 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley writes on 10/3/2005:

I thought I would send you newspaper articles and a letter from my friend Eric Moody of the Nevada Historical Society about my great grandfather's long time family friend and fellow employee with the Central Pacific Railroad, Joseph M. Graham, the civil engineer who layed out the streets of Reno, April 1, 1868. But Eric Moody said he never claimed credit for giving Reno, Nevada its name. This claim has been argued about for many years as who did it. Now Lynn Farrar said he did, but I don't know for sure. ...

—James Barkley

10/08/2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley writes on 10/4/2005:

... I wanted to send you newspaper articles from my friend Eric Moody of the Nevada Historical Society in Reno, Nevada. ... Joseph M. Graham was a long time family friend of my great grandfather Horace Hamilton Minkler and they both worked for the Central Pacific railroad for many years but he outlived H.H. Minkler by 20 years. J.M. Graham lived to be 97 years onld. I thought you would like this picture of him taken on his birthday at 95 years old. ...

—James Barkley

10/09/2005 5:10 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley writes:


William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


"H. H. MINKLER, farmer and Justice of the Peace, P. O. Dover. Has 160 acres of land northeast of the village. He came to Kansas in October, 1871, from Chickasaw County, Iowa. He was born in Clinton County, N. Y., June 25, 1830, and remained there until twenty-one years of age, learning the trades of shoemaker and tanner. For twenty-one years following this, he was employed as superintendent of railroad construction on various railroads in the Northern states, and Upper and Lower Canada; was on the Central Pacific Railroad from Sacramento, Cal. to Salt Lake City, Utah; returned to Chickasaw County, and remained one year, and then came to Kansas. He has been married twice, first in 1857, in Wisconsin, to Miss Annis Bump, a native of Wisconsin; they had one child - Clara, now Mrs. Waldo, residing near her father. Mr. Winkler's wife died in March, 1859, in Rock County, Wis. He was married again in 1868, at Clark's Station, Nev., to Miss Sarah Clark, a native of Pennsylvania. They have four children - Harry, James, Van and Ida. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1877, and is now serving his third term. He is a member of Alma Lodge, A. F. & A. M., by demit."

10/22/2005 12:11 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley writes:

See Castro Valley - Early Settlers - 1869:
J. H. Strobridge: The Railroad Builder;
The Strobridge House

10/22/2005 12:25 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley tell us that he has discovered that the Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco has a record of James Harvey Strobridge having membership in their society. He was a member of the Sacramento chapter and there is certificate at the Society in San Franisco that shows that he become a member in 1849. They also have a painting in the Society archives in San Francisco which is portrait of James Harvey Strobridge done by Thomas Hill.

3/15/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to thank the CPRR organization for keeping My great,great grandfather Horace Hamilton Minkler history alive.My father is James Barkley.

3/20/2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

A last picture was taken of the Depot Hotel in Elko, Nevada in 1903 before it was torn down and removed across the street. (Courtesy Elko Museum.) It must have been a sad day for my great uncle James Clark to see all this take place after owning and running the Depot Hotel for almost 20 years. Today his great great grand daughter is trying to help restore the Depot Hotel like new.

—James Barkley

5/29/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley reports that Clark's land is now an industrial area with an electric power station about a mile from the infamous Mustang ranch, that the rail line is now on the other side of the river, and that the nearby mountains are named the James Clark Mountains.

7/25/2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

I am sending you these pictures of my great uncle, James Clark's ranch taken at Clarks Station, Nevada, in Sept., 1879. [See pages 67-69 of James Barkley's notes.] I think they are great pictures and were sent to me by the Elko Nevada Museum and were donated by an old Clark family fried, Tony Premo who knew James Clark when he was alive. Tony lived to be 102 years old. I also found an old stage coach at the Visitor's Center in Old Sacramento with James Clark's name on both sides of the stage coach. It was made by the same company that made all of the Wells Fargo stage coaches in 1860-70.

—James Barkley

7/28/2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

This is a newspaper report about my great grandfather H.H. Minkler driving the last spike at the California-Nevada border in December, 1867 but was in the Alta California newspaper on June 18, 1868. (According to Lynn Farrar, Coburn's was the original name of Truckee.)

—Jim Barkley

Alta California, San Francisco, 18 June 1868


Railroad Connection of California and Nevada.
STRONG'S CAÑON, VIA COBURN'S, June 17th–9 P.M. — The last rail connecting California with Nevada was laid at 8:20 o'clock this afternoon. The honor of driving the last spike was awarded to Mr. H.H. Minkler, and it is to the untiring energy of Messrs. Strowbridge & Minkler that the Company is indebted for the early completion of this, the greatest railroad triumph of the age. The "army of occupation" will at once move eastward and be placed upon the unfinished line between the Big Bend and Salt Lake. The great drawback to this gigantic national work having been overcome, now with a fair field, and no favor, California enterprise will win itself a name for rapid railroad construction, second only to its great Eastern rival.

Courtesy Wendell Huffman, Nevada State Railroad Museum.

2/08/2007 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the ceremony at the California-Nevada border in December, 1867 as stated by Mr. Barkley, or at 8:20PM on June 17, 1868, as stated in the accompanying Alta California newspaper article?

2/08/2007 4:39 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

All I know on this score is what the article states. In other words, the "last spike" to which the 18 June 1868 newspaper article refers was driven in Strong's Canyon, just east of Donner Summit.

Because of slow progress on the railroad above Cisco and the need to get some railroad built so they could draw federal bonds, the CPRR sent crews on ahead and began building track east of Truckee in the summer of 1867, before the railroad had even been completed to the summit. In December 1867 the CPRR was able to lay their continuous railroad from Sacramento on to a point two miles east of Donner Summit. By that date the track down in the Truckee Canyon extended on to the second crossing of the Truckee--just east of tunnel 15 and the state line as then defined. Work then began closing the gap between the two segments of railroad, and there was hope of making the connection. But the storms of December 1867 and subsequent months made that impossible. That winter more rail and two locomotives (in addition to the San Mateo already operating east of Truckee) were sledded across the mountain, and in the spring-after the second crossing bridge was completed-track laying resumed eastward down the Truckee River. Soon thereafter, as the snow melted off the line above Truckee, work was resumed on the gap between the two segments of railroad. Again, the gap was between Truckee and Donner, it had nothing to do with the state line, but its eventual closing in June 1868 made the rail connection between Sacramento and Nevada. ...

Wendell W. Huffman
Curator of History
Nevada State Railroad Museum
2180 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 687-8291 v
(775) 687-8294 f

2/08/2007 4:45 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See an image of the Alta California, San Francisco, 18 June 1868 newspaper article.

3/12/2007 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Barkley reports that there is an interesting new Online Nevada Encyclopedia website.
The contact is Karen Wikander 800/382-5023.

3/06/2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

James Barkley reports that Horace Hamilton Minkler received a reward from the CPRR of $500 in gold coins for his role in the ten mile day. This is recorded on one of the the CPRR vouchers that Lynn Farrar gave to the California State Railroad Museum.

Jim also relates that he is related to robber Jesse James, and to actors Brad Pitt, and Mickey Roark.

12/27/2008 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A Samuel Minkler, aged 18 appears on the Canadian Census of 1881. He is listed as a surveyor, directly below Minkler is listed a James Bangs. Mr. Bangs is a distant relative whom I am researching. Can you confirm that Samuel is the son of Horace Minkler?

... The name Horace Minkler was mentioned in the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad and by coincidence(?) a Samuel Minkler was employed as a surveyor at the age 18 and I can only surmise, in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
It appears that our relative James Bangs worked as Samuel Minkler's assistant. ... Appreciate any information. ...

—Brian Kingman, Mount Lehman, British Columbia

3/11/2010 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R.I.P. James Barkley, great grandson of Horace Hamilton Minkler, track foreman for the CPRR.

We are saddened to learn today that friend and contributor to the CPRR Museum website James Barkley has died. Our condolences to his family. He will be missed.

5/23/2017 9:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for carrying my great,great grandfather's History and legacy of the Railroad and recognizing my father James D Barkley's passing I'm his youngest son John E Barkley his passing was on May 9th 2017 laid to rest in the Dixon Memorial cemetery.

6/26/2018 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: Nick Wright ""

I don’t think that is Strobridge in the Victory photo next to Minkler in Hart 350. Strobridge is on the top of the car on the left.

BTW, how do you know who Horace Hamilton Minkler is, could it be the guy next to him? ...

–Nick Wright

1/11/2024 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hart Stereoview #350. Railroad Camp near Victory, 10 1/4 miles laid in one day.

1/11/2024 9:22 PM  

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