In 1861, Wade “Hamp” Williams Sr. (1817-1899), a place miner, discovered the famous Joe Walker Mine. He originally underestimated the mine’s value and quickly sold it for $2,000. The new owner reportedly made $25,000 within the first month and eventually became a millionaire.
His son, Wade “Hamp” Williams Jr., also attempted prospecting and made a minor strike on his first day at the Amelia Mine. In 1919, he and another miner, Jack Nosser, discovered silver at the Kelly Rand Silver Mine. Hamp Jr. eventually sold his share of the silver mine for $50,000.
This photo depicts miners Jack Nosser (left), Hamp Williams Jr. (center), and John Kelly.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections