poetry and prose about place

Great Grand Uncle Ed – silver miner

with 4 comments

My great-grandmother Ella’s brother was Edwin W. Hawk.  He was born in 1864, the sixth of eight children.


‘Uncle Ed’ was an adventurer and went west when he was only 16, to live in southern Wyoming.  The US Census of 1880 lists Ed as a laborer at Crow Creek, Wyoming (not far from Laramie, Wyoming).  By 1886, my great-grandmother Ella was living in Laramie.  No doubt she had come west to live near her younger brother.


By 1910, Ed was living in Humbolt, Nevada.  In 1920, he is listed as a lodger at Broadway Ave. in Lovelock, Nevada.  He is 56 years old, single, and a miner in a quartz mine.  Nevada is known as the ‘Silver State’ because of its silver mines.


Ed continued to work as a miner.  At the time of his death in Lovelock in 1940, probate documents show he had a cabin in Vernon, Nevada  and six mining claims in the Seven Troughs Mining District.   He had an estate of $3200, a watch and chain, and $80 in cash.


Vernon was established in 1905 as a base for those working in the Seven Troughs Mining District.  The landscape around Vernon is hilly, dominated by yellow sand, dotted with sagebrush.  The town dwindled in population as the silver depleted and was abandoned by 1918.  Today, it is a ghost town.


Ed Hawk, Ella's brother

Ed Hawk, Ella’s brother


I notice that the same photographer (J. Collier in Denver) took both Ed’s photo and a photo of my grandfather Leo as a baby (Ella’s son).  Ella lived in Denver until 1910 and perhaps Ed visited her there, and had his picture taken on a visit to see her baby.  For more information on Leo, see


Leo Norman (son of Ella and Frank Norman)

Leo Norman as a baby (son of Ella and Frank Norman), my grandfather and Ed’s nephew


Copyright  2014   Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2014 at 7:15 am

4 Responses

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  1. You have a good amount of family history that you’ve researched- makes me want to do it, too!


    Watching Seasons

    August 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    • Hi. The best way to start is just talk to the family members you know and write down their stories. I wish I had done more of that while I had the chance. Jane


      jane tims

      August 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

  2. You’re so lucky to have these pictures, Jane! Your Uncle Ed was very handsome – I wonder why he wasn’t married? We have a few bachelor uncles on our family tree, too. I often wonder how many men never married because they felt they didn’t have enough money to support a wife and children…


    Barbara Rodgers

    August 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

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