About the Vulture Gold Mine
Henry Wickenburg and the Vulture Mine

Henry Wickenburg reached in Arizona in 1862. He was believed to be an Austrian or German immigrant, and had probably been a farmer. Some tales of Wickenburg’s origins say that his real name was Heinrich Heitzel; some say he was running from the law in Europe. Whatever the reason, Wickenburg ended up in California during the gold rush. It was there that he learned how to prospect and pan for gold. He was likely part of Pauline Weaver’s exploration party which traveled along the Hassayampa River. One version says this was when he spotted the quartz outcropping which later became the Vulture Mine.

Wickenburg initially worked the mine by himself, but began to sell the gold ore to other prospectors. By 1866 Henry Wickenburg had had enough of gold mining. He sold eighty percent of the mine to a man named Benjamin Phelps, who represented some eastern investors. The Vulture Mining Company was born.

The Vulture Mining Company announced plans to introduce modern mining methods, and to build a twenty-stamp mill on the Hassayampa River. The stamp mill site was to be twelve miles to the northeast, about one mile north of an existing settlement on the river. This settlement had already attracted merchants eager to provide the Vulture with goods and services. Henry Wickenburg retired from mining and established a farm near this settlement. The settlement became known as Wickenburg.

Henry Wickenburg, for his 80% interest, received $20,000 in cash, and a note for $65,000. The new owners soon claimed that Wickenburg didn’t have a clear title to the property, and refused to pay the remainder of the price. Wickenburg spent most of his $20,000 trying to collect on his note, but never succeeded.

Gold Fever | Henry Wickenburg | Highgrading | Ghosts | The Goldwaters | The Vulture's Discovery
The Glory Hole | The Hanging Tree | The Walnut Grove Dam Disaster |
The Vulture's "Profit Sharing Plan" | Gold Mines vs. Gold Placers | The Depression at the Vulture |
John and Marge Osborne | The Birth of Phoenix, AZ

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