Be it known that Noah Armstrong, John Thomas, Horace R. Allen, William P. Johnson, Aquilla Jones, William O. Rockwood, Charles B. Parkman, Matthew Baird and Elias C. Atkins have associated themselves together to form an incorporated company under the provisions of an act of the general assembly of the State of Indiana Entitled “an act for the Incorporation of Manufacturing and Mining Companies and Companies for Mechanical , Chemical and Building purposes” approved May 20, 1852 and all subsequent acts amendatory thereto and certify as following:
1. Said association adopt and shall be known by the name of the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company.
2. The object if the formation of this company is to carry on the business of mining gold, silver, copper, lead and other metals and minerals and of extracting the same from ores and minerals and such other manufactured as the interests of said company may require and to these ends to acquire and hold in its corporate name lands leases, water powers and all other property and affrustenances necessary or proper for any of said purposes to erect and maintain on said lands, lease holds, and water powers hoses mills smelting and other furnaces reduction works and any and all other kinds of machinery and establishment suitable for mechanical mining and other purposes.
Also to maintain such stores and transact such general merchandizing and exchange business as may be necessary in the purchase of ores and the sale and disposition of the various products of the mines and reduction works of the company. Also to construct and maintain all ditches, roads, railroads, tramways, and other works useful or convenient for the prosecution of the general business of the company and to carry on it’s operation in any state or territory of the United States of America.
The further object of said incorporation is the purchase and consolidation of under one general management of the following named mining claims and properties situated in Beaverhead County, Montana Territory:
The Cleve, Avon, Alta, Atlantis, Hecla, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and a portion or all of the Trapper mining claims. The Cleve and Cleopatra mill sites of five acres each .The Mill privileges of Trapper and Canyon Creek mill site and sampling and reduction works stone mill buildings, furnaces, shops, stables, assay office, and all appurtenances as heretofore owned and operated by Dahler Armstrong and Company at Glendale Montana said mining claims and other property being appraised at the sum of five hundred thousand dollars.
3. The capital stock of said corporation shall be five hundred thousand dollars divided into shares of fifty dollars each. Each share shall be entitled to one vote and the stock shall be subject to no assessment whatever…..
4. The affairs of the company shall be managed by a president and nine directors to be elected according to law. The president shall be elected by the board of directors from their own number. The directors to manage such affairs for the first year shall be Noah Armstrong, John Thomas, Horace R. Allen, William P Johnson, Aquilla Jones, William O. Rockwood, Charles B. Parkman, Matthew Baird, and Elias C. Atkins, who shall continue in office until the company shall elect new directors according to law. The directors shall have power except as otherwise required by law to appoint a secretary-treasurer, general agent, superintendent, and such other officers as the business of the company may require and to fix the compensations of all officers and employees and to remove and discharge the same at pleasure.
5. The principle office of the company shall be at the city of Indianapolis, Marion County State of Indiana unless changed by two-thirds vote of the stockholders and the mining and manufacturing operations of the company maybe conducted in any state or territory of the United States under the direction of the President and directors from the principle office aforesaid and all returns shall be made and all accounts conducted and dividends declared and paid at said office.
6. The following is an impression of the seal adopted by said company as it’s corporate seal.
7. The undersigned have subscribed for and agree to purchase and pay to the treasurer of said company at its fair value the number of shares of the capital stock of said corporation placed opposite are several names.
Noah Armstrong 2,323 shares....................valued at 116,150
John Thomas 629 shares ......................valued at 31,450
W. P. Johnson 914 shares....................... valued at 45,700
H.R. Allen 1,829 shares....................... valued at 91,450
Aquilla Jones 105 shares....................... valued at 5,250
William O. Rockland 105 shares....................... valued at 5,250
C. B. Parkman 105 shares....................... valued at 5,250
M. Baird 1,667 shares....................... valued at 83,350
Elias C. Atkins 2,323 shares........................ valued at 116,150
In testimony whereof we have herewith set our hands and seals this second day of January One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven: Noah Armstrong,, John Thomas, Aquilla Jones, William O. Rockwood, C. B. Parkman, H.R. Allen, Elias C. Atkins, M. Baird, W.P. Johnson
State of Indiana, Marion County SS;
Before me, Wm. McCorbaley, a notary public in and for said county, this second day of January 1877, personally appeared Noah Armstrong, Aquilla Jones, William O. Rockwood, Charles B. Parkman, and Elias C. Atkins and acknowledged the execution of the annexed certificate of incorporation.
Witness my hand and notorial seal this second day of January 1877.
State of Pennsylvania
City and County of Philadelphia
Be it remembered that on this Ninth Day of January A. D. 1877 before me Samuel B. Huey a commissioner for the state of Indiana residing in the said city, county and state duly commissioned and qualified personally appeared Horace R. Allen, William P. Johnson, and Matthew Baird parties to the foregoing instrument and severally acknowledged the execution of the same. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and offered my official seal the day and year aforesaid.
Sam B. Huey
A comm.for Indiana in Pennsylvania
Articles of Incorporation
In a Montana newspaper column published in 1879, It stated that, "Mr. Noah Armstrong has been superseded as Superintendent of the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company, of Glendale by Mr. E. Atkins. The reason given for this is, that Mr. Armstrong put too much of the net profits of the company into permanent improvements, and in this manner made the dividends smaller than the stockholders desired."
In 1879, Elias C. Atkins, founder of Indianapolis Saw Works, was appointed General Manager of the Mining properties and after two years in this position, led the concern into a debt of nearly 78,000. The forty- ton smelter built by Armtrong and Dahler in 1875 and the ten- stamp mill and leaching works which was added in 1878, ran irregularly on Hecla ore until fire destroyed all the buildings except the roaster, on June 25, 1879. This calamity, coupled with poor management, prompted a call from the stockholders to appoint a new General Manager. During the period of time that Atkins served as General Manager, M.A. Potter of Indianapolis acted as his cashier and book keeper. Henry Knippenberg formally accepted the position on March 01, 1881 but only after an on-the-spot tour of company property the month before. Following the inspection Knippenberg's report to the Board of Directors was not an optimistic one. Despite this report and his initial reservations, Knippenberg believed he could make the Hecla properties turn a profit so he accepted the position. He based his decision on fifteen years experience in the manufacturing business and his five years as a Pennsylvania coal mine manager. Knippenberg immediately obtained financing to correct the company's unstable condition. After getting $95,000 from New York backers, he wasted no time in getting to Glendale in April, 1881.
With the arrival of the of the Railroad into Melrose, Henry Knippenberg arrived with his new bride and book keeper to assume control of the properties. Henry appointed George B. Conway to serve as cashier and book keeper for the company. Conway arrived from Indianapolis with his new wife and would serve as Knippenberg's right hand man. During that same year, the company found it's way out of the red at a time when the company was in debt of nearly 78,000. Within three months, the firm's debt had been repaid and a ten percent monthly dividend was returned to the stockholders. The year 1881 saw the arrival of the Utah & Northern Railroad at Melrose, allowing for a smooth transition in the Hecla Mining Company's reorganization. The railroad made it possible to ship bullion out to the refinery at Omaha and also allowed supplies and coke needed for the company's workings, shipped in. At the Glendale furnaces, the bullion was molded into bars weighing about ninety pounds each. At times, a great many bars were piled up in the smelter yards, awaiting transportation.
Alva Noyes in his, "Story of the Ajax" tells of a conversation he once had with Henry Knippenberg which Mr. Knippenberg spoke as follows,”When I came to the United States from Germany, I happened to get acquainted with a countryman of mine, this old gentleman was quite wealthy, He took a liking to me and gave me much wholesome advice, when I found out the exact financial condition of our company and after having satisfied myself that a certain amount of money would place the mines on a paying basis, I went to this gentleman explaining just what was needed and asked for a loan, he let me have the money on my personal note and I went ahead and made a success. It was a mighty good thing that the ore was there in paying quantities or I would have been placed in a very disagreeable position”,
To quote Mr. Noyes "These mines were in large pockets and required an immense amount of dead work to find them, I am told that one of these pockets contained two million dollars. The impression that this young German made on the old financier proved to be the one thing needed to place a mine on a paying basis that was about to go under after thousands had been spent in its development. Henry Knippenberg quickly went to work reorganizing the new company into three divisions, appointing a superintendent for each.
James Parfet was in charge of Mining, headquartered at Hecla, George G. Earle in charge of reduction at Glendale and John M. Parfet, in charge of the iron mines at Norwood in Soap Gulch. By December 31 of 1881, the company's reorganization paid off with a profit of 237,729.76. The production of bouillon increased drastically that in 1885, the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company built at the Glendale Plant, 3 blast furnaces, 2 crushers, and a large roaster. A four mile long tramway was built between Hecla and the mill at Greenwood to improve transporting of the ore from the mines. Henry Knippenberg also involved himself in local politics, serving for a time as a Beaverhead County Commissioner, a state representative, and a member of Montana's 1889 Constitutional Convention.
The depletion of quality grade ore throughout the mining district and the devastating impact on the silver market resulting from the Sherman-Act signaled the end of an era as the Bryant Mining District abruptly came to an end around 1900. Several attempts were made after the turn of the century to ake the district a profitable silver producer again but these attempts were met with short lived success and the area was opened primarily to leasers and small scale mining.
Charles Dahler, Noah Armstrong & Co filed on the site for the construction of the smelter and sampling works at Glendale on August 10, 1874. It was recorded on August 28th at Bannack City, Montana Territory. The original stack was built of hand quarried stone from the area and was later enlarged using brick that was made by local brick masons. The smelter stack today shows the original construction of 1875 with the brick addition stacked on top of the original. Across the road from the orginal smelter stack is the building that once housed the Assay and payroll office. It represents one of the first buildings constructed in Glendale and ironically, stands as one of the last surviving structures more than 140 years later. As mining production grew in the area, there was a need to enlarge the mill requiring immense capital. Noah Armstrong, along with partner and saw manufacturing tycoon, Elias Atkins would return to Indianapolis and form the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company. Several wealthy financiers invested heavily in the Montana mining venture that would become the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company.
Investors included renowned surgeons from the National Surgical Institute, Dr.Horace Russell Allen and Dr. William Parker Johnson, Baldwin Locomotive Tycoon, Matthew Baird of Philadelphia, Indianapolis Rolling Mills Officers, John Thomas and Charles Breck Parkman, State Treasurer and Postmaster of Indianapolis as well as Governor nominee, Aquilla Jones and Prominent Indiana railroad and businessman, William Otis Rockwood were among the initial investors. William Otis Rockwood and Matthew Baird would have towns named in their honor (Rockwood, Tennessee and Baird, Texas). Vice Presidential Elect, Thomas Hendricks would also come on as an investor. Many of these men knew one another as they were affiliated in business and society circles of Indianapolis.
Upon the formation of this new corporation, the company previously known as Armstrong, Atkins & Co. was acquired through stock options, of which Noah Armstrong and Elias Atkins would become the two largest shareholders. Armstrong continued on as Superintendent and continued to develop the mines and smelter, acquiring additional mining assets capable of supplying ores to keep the smelter in operation.
By late 1878, there appeared to be a difference of opinion among the board members concerning how the mining properties were being managed out west. By years end, Elias Atkins took over as General Agent for the company and assumed charge of the daily operations of all mining operations. In July of 1879, The Hecla Smelter completely burned and the loss of the smelter caused production to halt. The company immediately went to work rebuilding the smelter, all the while, mining operations continued on Lion Mountain. In order to achieve the sustained temperatures necessary in the smelting process of the new smelter, the need for coal or charcoal became paramount. To meet this need, the company built two kilns for the purpose of burning cord wood into charcoal. It was reported in the June 1, 1876 edition of the Butte Miner, in the Glendale & Trapper column the following: "Glendale is improving quite rapidly this spring. Some seven or eight houses are now in the course of erection. Armstrong, Dahler & Co. have already built this spring two large charcoal kilns and contemplate erecting two more if these prove a success. They are also building a large roasting furnace for roasting ores. They intend to start their smelter this week.” Demand grew rapidly until eventually kilns were built on Canyon Creek, on upper Trapper Creek and in Sucker gulch. To meet the demand for coal, there were times the company had to ship charcoal in from as far away as Pennsylvania. Eventually, the cost to produce the charcoal was matched or beaten by the coal companies of Pennsylvania and coal was then shipped in by rail to the terminus at Melrose and hauled to the smelter by wagon load.
Back in Montana.......
Though the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company was formed in Indianapolis as early as 1877, the first mention or location found for their offices was in the 1887 directory giving their location as the Chamber of Commerce Building, Room 8. In 1890 they moved their office to the Board of Trade Building. In 1891, they moved again to 25 Wright Block where they remained until around 1897. In 1898 through 1904 their office was located at 120 E. Market, then in the 1905, they moved to 12 Union Trust Building where they appeared in the 1906 and final directory. Though it appears as though the Company moved its offices on a regular basis, in reality, the city rezoned, renamed and renumbered streets as well as buildings which accounts for the various names and addresses for the Hecla Company's headquarters. The Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade buildings were one in the same with each other, housing the Hecla Offices from 1887 through 1891. The 25 Wright Block address was one in the same with the 12 Union Trust Building and 120 E. Market addresses. Both structures have since been razed.