The Idaho Weekly Statesman

Saturday Sept. 11, 1875



Failure of the Virtue Bank
At Baker City, Oregon

News reached here by the Umatilla stage yesterday morning that James W. Virtue had failed, and with his failure the failure of the Virtue Bank and the Virtue quartz mine. The immediate cause of this failure is not reported, but Mr. Virtue has been a good deal of a manipulator of business, politics and everything else in Baker county as Ralston was in California, only on a small scale, compared to Ralston, until combinations grew up againt him, and the squeezing process has compelled him to step down. The Virtue mine is incorporated in San Francisco. It has also been reported rich and probably Mr. Virtue's failure will not amount to more than a temporary suspension of the mine.

The Virtue Mine was discovered in 1863 by Jas. A. Pinney of this city. An immigrant in passing near the place picked up a piece of quartz rich with gold, which he took to Idaho City, and showed to Mr. Pinney, who with three other persons and the immigrant as guide went in search of the mine. Arriving near the place about 7 miles from Baker the party found a huge boulder filled with gold, and all except Pinney felt certain that the ledge was on the lower ground, and while they were prospecting around he climbed the side of the mountain and discovered the real ledge which is now worked. Mr. Pinney subsequently sold out for $2,000 as his business in Idaho City demanded so much of his attention that he had no time to speculate in developing quartz.


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