The Hope

Hope this is what many men had in mind when they began prospecting in this area.

Hector Horton is credited with the discovery of silver in 1865 on the mountain later known as the Hope Hill. Hector was searching for gold when he came upon a lead of high grade silver. Hector named this first claim Cordova.

Hector was not only a top ranked prospector but also a skilled brick mason. The 1880 census has him in Hasmark likely part of a crew building the Algonquin mill for JK Pardee. In 1881 he is planning the construction of the Kaiser House. The Boomer residence in Stone was also built by Hector so it appears he has left his footprint throughout the land. Hector travelled throughout the west but appears to have fallen in love with Montana. Born in Pennsylvania in1827 he passed away in Helena on October 6, 1890.

After Hector’s discovery Philip Diedesheimer a prominent mining engineer from Nevada was sent to the area to examine the properties. Diedesheimer gave a glowing report to the St. Louis Company and they put up $100,000 to work the mines. Diedesheimer was the manager and built the mill for James Stuart, the mill was first named the Stuart Mill and then renamed the Hope Mill. James Stuart being the brother of prominent Granville Stuart.

Philip Diedesheimer was well respected in the settlement and the people voted to name the town after him. Rather than call the town Diedesheimerburg it was shortened to Philipsburg in 1867.

The Stuart Mill was equipped with “ten 650-pound stamps, 6 one-ton pans and 3 six- foot settling tanks all driven by an 80 –horse-power engine and boiler.”

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