LIFE AND TIMES OF
AN INVENTIVE WOMAN
LOST IN A MANS WORLD
Dawn Y. Bunyak
B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1995
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
This thesis for the Master of Arts
Dawn Y. Bunyak
has been approved
f / Date
Bunyak, Dawn Y. (M.A., History)
Life and Times of Carrie Everson:
An Inventive Woman Lost in a Mans World
Thesis directed by Professor Myra Rich
This is an analysis of Carrie Billings Eversons life and career and how
events and gender stymied her development as an inventor. Bom in Sharon,
Massachusetts, in 1843, Rebecca Carrie Billings moved with her family to
Illinois where she eventually married Dr. William Everson. In Chicago, her talents
as an inventor emerged, which in turn led her to the cattle center of Abilene,
Kansas, and eventually to the Rocky Mountain mining center of Denver, Colorado.
After losing all their money to a raconteur in investment schemes, her
husband died leaving Everson to find employment to support herself while still
allowing her the opportunity to market her patents. After several false starts, two
partners were unsuccessful in marketing her patents. Everson then attended nursing
school for certification and found work as a nurse for the Denver Flower Mission,
the predecessor to the Denver Visiting Nurses Association. After a career with the
VNA, Everson worked for several years as a teacher and nurse for the Colorado
State Industrial School for Girls until she retired to San Anselmo, California.
In the last years of her life, Eversons mining patents came to light when a
court battle over patent litigation took place in British and United States courts. A
search began for the inventors of early patents related to the flotation process. In
San Francisco, a battle took place in the Court of Appeals a few miles away from
Carrie Eversons home. Despite advertisements seeking information about early
patent inventors, Everson entertained herself with news accounts of the battle and
died in 1914 never revealing her whereabouts.
This is the story about the life and times of Rebecca Carrie Everson and
her struggle to have her talents acknowledged in a male-dominated society and
industry. It is a story of inventions lost and found, personalities, conflicts, and one
womans search for new beginnings.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
I dedicate this thesis to Heather Thomas.
I would like to thank my advisor, Myra Rich, for her support of this project. My
thanks go to my committee, Mark Foster, James Whiteside and Thomas Noel for
their encouragement and review of my thesis over the past few months. Thank you,
Tom, for marketing my thesis to University publishers.
In addition, I would especially like to thank the University of Colorado at Denver
History Department for the funding through a Graduate Tuition Award of my
A special thanks to my family for the loving encouragement and patience with me
as I struggled through this process. Without them, I would not have achieved my
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. MASSACHUSETTS TO ILLINOIS 9
3. WILLIAM EVERSON 22
4. THE GOLD BRICK OF BOOSTERISM 33
5. DEVELOPING AND PATENTING A PROCESS 50
6. FAMILY CRISIS 60
7. TROUBLING BEGINNINGS 78
8. FAILED PARTNERSHIPS 93
9. DENVER FLOWER MISSION 110
10. COLORADO STATE SCHOOL FOR GIRLS 130
11. DEBUNKING THE MYTH 144
12. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION 170
My interest in Carrie Everson began in 1995 during research on a mining
and milling operation in southwestern Colorado. On a visit to the Arthur Lakes
Library of the Colorado School of Mines, I found in a nineteenth-century volume
on flotation milling a reference to a Miss Carrie Everson and her patent for
concentrating ore bodies. In several years of researching mining history, I had
never seen a reference to a woman inventor. I was intrigued.
Who was Carrie Everson and what was her story? Gradually, I uncovered
the complex and often contradictory life of a talented, intelligent woman who
developed her own strategies for survival in the nineteenth-century. Not only did
Carrie Everson file two mining patents, she studied nursing at the first nursing
school in Denver and became a visiting nurse with the Denver Flower Mission,
where she eventually became the first superintendent of nurses. She retired from
the Visiting Nurses Association, the successor to the Flower Mission, and then
taught, as well as treated the inmates, at the Colorado State School for Girls. An
examination of Carrie Billings Eversons life offers a unique glimpse into the
traditional and not so traditional careers of a nineteenth-century woman in the
West. More importantly, an analysis of Eversons life and career addresses how
gender values stymied her development as an inventor and irrevocably affected her
In recent years historians of nineteenth-century western womens history
have urged writers to approach the female story of the West without limiting
themselves to prescribed notions of gender, culture, and race. In her essay,
Women as Workers, Women as Civilizers: True Womanhood in the American
West, Elizabeth Jameson writes, We need to approach western womens history,
not through the filters of prescriptive literature or concepts of frontier liberations
and oppression, but through the experiences of people who lived the history.1
However, putting her story in his story as womens historian Gerda Lemer
encourages todays historians to do, is an exercise in decoding and reconstruction
due to the lack of records written by or about women. Lemer cautions historians
not to look for women in history by judging them by male standards. In other
words, historians should not restrict themselves to looking for women who have
done what men did, but should tell the story of ordinary women.2 Initially, I
planned to show how Carrie Everson patented a concentration process just like
many men in the field of mining have done. Without other examples of women
inventors in mining history, I wanted to bring Carrie Everson to the forefront, until
I stopped to realize that she was much more than an inventor of a mining process.
Patricia Limerick, in The Legacy of Conquest, cautions her readers not to
emphasize one side at the expense of the other when writing about the western
individuals experiences. I almost fell into the trap. If I pursued Carrie Eversons
role in the mining industry, I emphasized one aspect of her life and disregarded
others. And, as Limerick warned, I would fracture one whole, living person into
disconnected abstractions. Everson was a multidimensional person with many
rolesa wife, a mother, an inventor, and a nurse. Therefore, it was important to
reconstruct all the stages of her life.
Furthermore, it became imperative that I explain how events have different
consequences for each sex. Gender matters in socialization, expectations, and
worldviews. Everson and her accomplishments were affected by nineteenth-century
societal views and expectations of women. In the nineteenth century, a womans
role was defined and restricted by prescriptive literature and societal pressures to
the home and a non-public life, often referred to today as the womans sphere. This
was true principally for women of the middle and upper classes. Commonly
womans existence revolved around family life. Her economic and social
dependence upon her husband or other male family members affected the
conditions of her life. When the mining investment boom drew Carrie into the
study of metallurgy, her husband, William, from all appearances supported her
experiments and her unusual interests, which were not domestically centered.
However, because of the paucity of information, little is known about the couples
marital relationship or Williams thoughts on marriage.
Nonetheless, a womans marriage affects all aspects of her being and life, as
long as the relationship continues. In Eversons case, her husband fully supported
and participated in her experiments in ore processing, but unfortunately his death in
1888 irrevocably changed her life. Without a husband and an income, Eversons
comfortable, middle-class lifestyle ended. She continued to market her
concentration patent with the aid of two different male agents, but needed a ready
supply of cash. Forced to find an acceptable career to support herself and her son,
she turned to the relatively new and evolving career of professional nursing.
The reform fervor of the nineteenth-century middle class endeavored to cure
mans and societys ailments, or at least address the problems. In addition, it
provided female reform activists a voice and a role outside of their homes or, as in
Eversons case, actual employment. This activism challenged and undermined
nineteenth-century gender conventions. In 1892, the Denver Flower Mission hired
Everson as a visiting nurse. Her role as a nurse introduced her to a side of life that
she had never experienced. As Everson nursed the poor and indigent population of
Denver, it is more than likely that she realized that only her meager paycheck
separated her from their existence. For Everson, thankfully, her professional
nursing career was a long and healthy one.
However, at the same time her nursing career took off, Eversons career as
an inventor of mining processes ended. Several factors hindered her success in
marketing her flotation concentration process, but gender prejudice played a pivotal
role in her failure. Although Everson went on to co-patent a second concentration
process with her second agent, they never successfully marketed either of the
concentration processes. Then many years later her role as an inventor caught
In 1914, a battle over patent litigation occurred in British and American
courts and a search began for the early patentees of the flotation concentration
processes. However the attention arrived too lateCarrie Everson died in
November of that year. Because Everson could not speak for herself regarding her
processes and supposedly the only records of her experiments burned in a house
fire, many inaccuracies and untruths circulated in a flurry of newspaper and journal
articles about her involvement in the patents she filed at the end of the nineteenth
Because written evidence of the history of most women is limited, historical
reconstruction of their lives is attained through public documents, wills, deeds,
court records, and census records, and leaves much to conjecture. Even famous
women in the American past who did leave letters and diaries that capture their
personal thoughts, dreams, and aspirations, are surrounded by myths and legends.
In his biography of Jane Addams, Allen Davis asserted, Legends and myths
surround almost all the famous women in the American past, and capsule
summaries of their careers contained in textbooks and general accounts often
distort their importance or hide their significance behind a veil of half-truths.4
Myths and legends about Carrie Everson and her revolutionary concentration
method circulated in news accounts of the day. Eversons contemporaries, who
were involved in the search for the elusive inventor, only scratched at the surface of
her story and interest in honoring her for her contributions to the mining industry
died when the fury of the litigation eclipsed Eversons role. Carrie Everson, the
inventor, once again faded into obscurity, except for an occasional account that
perpetuated the myths.
The intent of this thesis is to illustrate Carrie Eversons life and role in
historywomens and westernhighlighting the complexity and significance of
her life and its accomplishments. I have attempted to present Eversons strengths,
as well as her weaknesses, to provide a well-rounded picture of her life. This is a
record, an interpretation, of her life in a chronological format that at the same time
strives to place her in the life and times of the nineteenth century. Of course, this
cannot be a definitive account of the times, but one that illustrates how people and
events affected Carrie Eversons life and her choices. At the same time, I strived to
present her story fairly. As one historian said, The emerging genre of womens
biography must be based on a search for womens subjectivity, where the subject
becomes known to us through her actions and her history.5
The thesis is divided into three sections separated principally by the stages
of Carrie Eversons life. The first section deals with her upbringing in her fathers
house in Massachusetts and Illinois and how this period of her life impacted her
future. The second section introduces her husband and children, their migratory
paths, and events that affected the family and its stability which spawned a budding
inventor. The rest of the thesis describes her life in Denver, Colorado, as a widow,
maturing creator and marketer, and professional nurse. The conclusion is an
analysis of Eversons life, the myths that surrounded it, and a discussion of why
these myths were perpetuated and encouraged. More importantly, the thesis
addresses how gender affected one western womans history.
1 Elizabeth Jameson, Women as Workers, Women as Civilizers: True Womanhood in the American West, The
Woman's West (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987) 161.
2 Gerda Lemer, A New Angle of Vision, Issues in Feminism: An Introduction to Women's Studies, Shelia Ruth,
ed. (Mountain View, Calif.: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1995) 20-21.
3 Patricia Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: Norton, 1987)
4 Allen F. Davis, American Heroine: The Life and Legend of Jane Addams (New York and London: Oxford
University Press, 1976) i.
5 Kathleen Berry, Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist (New York: Ballantine Books, 1988)
MASSACHUSETTS TO ILLINOIS
At the end of the nineteenth century, American editors, prompted by the realization
that there was a real need and a market for biographical and local history, published
a number of county and city histories. In 1884, Duane Hamilton Hurds history of
Norfolk County, Massachusetts, joined the ranks of an extraordinary number of
published county histories.1 Beginning his history with the earliest inhabitants in
the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Hurd described how in October of 1635, sixty men,
women and children left Dorchester, Massachusetts, to find fertile land in the
valley of the Quonticut, or Connecticut. Among the migrants were ancestors of
Carrie Billings Everson.
However, approximately twenty-five miles south of Dorchester, the party
reached a small valley. The Billings were part of a group of the settlers who
decided to remain in the valley. In the meadows, surrounded by Moose Hill on the
west, Bullards on the north, and Rattlesnake Hill on the southeast, the settlers
raised their cabins.3 In the spring of 1636, farmers cleared the stones and trees from
their prospective fields. When the Bristol to Boston post road passed through the
settlement, Carrie Billings ancestor opened a public house in his home which
operated a fronted the new road.4 Several generations of the family lived in the
tavern and operated a successful business. Travelers stopping for the night or a few
days, decided to stay, and the settlement grew. By the time that Carrie Billings was
bom, the settlement had grown and the town was now called Sharon.5
In the summer of 1843, Lewis and Elizabeth (Ellis) Billings celebrated the
birth of their third child, Rebecca Carrie Jane Billings.6 The son of a shoemaker
Lewis followed his fathers craft. Each colonial region developed its own peculiar
industry and Massachusetts was well-known for its boot and shoe manufacturing.7
Sharon, like many other small towns, had a large number of craftsmen. Larger
cities, like Boston, served mostly to collect agricultural and manufactured goods
and distribute them along the eastern seaboard and as far away as the English-
owned islands in the Caribbean. Many of the shoes and boots came from Sharon
In the early 1800s, master workmen, like Carries grandfather, and their
apprentices manufactured boots and shoes in their homes or custom shops, referred
to as ten-footers because the average size of the building was ten by ten. In his
history on the shoe industry, Harold R. Quimby asserts that the creation of these
shops marked the first effort to put shoe production on a factory basis.9 Skilled
shoemakers, such as Lewis Billings Senior, produced enough footwear for both the
local and regional markets. But times were changing in Massachusetts.
In the southern regions of Suffolk, later Norfolk County, Massachusetts,
manufacturers dammed streams to build mills and manufacturing centers. With its
abundant streams and brooks, the area was ideal for construction of water and later
steam-powered operations. As demand grew for boots, cordwainers moved out of
their home workstations and into small shops in Sharon. The first shoe
manufacturer opened a factory in Canton, a small town north of Sharon, in 1828.
Haulers moved shoes and boots by wagon on the Boston Post Road to the city.
Sharon also was becoming a factory town. The town had an iron works and other
small industries in and around town.10 In 1835, the Boston and Providence Railway
company completed its rail lines between Boston and Providence and opened
stations at Canton and Sharon.11 The railroad provided ready transportation for
shipments of goods to markets in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In an address
before the Convention of Manufacturers in the Shoe and Leather Business in 1842,
Amasa Walker said that no villages stood higher than the shoe villages of New
England in the moral, social, and intellectual condition of their inhabitants. The
business was a social business, he thought, the people were not crowded together
in factory buildings; they had many and great opportunities for reading and
instruction and mutual improvement. However, Walkers comments came just
before technological innovations transformed the industry.
By 1850, Sharons population had increased substantially, but death was
always around the comer.13 Elizabeth Billings died in the spring after delivering her
fifth child in January. Until he remarried two years later, Lewis relied upon an
elderly relative, Nabby, to look after the children: Lewis Parker, Elizabeth Abby,
Rebecca Carrie Jane, Alice Frances, and the baby William. Once Lewis
remarried, he and his new wife, Nancy, celebrated the birth of a daughter, Flora.14
Nancy and the girls took care of the house and Lewis Junior assisted his father in
the shoe shop.
Lewis business grew with hard work and industry. Eventually the girls,
including Carrie, helped their fathers shoe trade by pegging or binding tops. The
boot manufacturing business flourished in Massachusetts and soon the state became
one of the principal suppliers of boots and shoes, especially to the southern states.
According to the Massachusetts Tables of Industry produced in 1845, over
45,000 of its citizens worked in the shoe manufacturing industry.15 By 1850, six
thousand more workers joined its ranks. Almost half of the employees in the shoe
industry lived in Massachusetts.16 Many of the workers came from across the
As one of Americas busiest seaports, Boston welcomed hundreds of ships
that carried thousands of immigrants from around the world.17 In 1800, Boston
Town, or Boston, had a population of 25,000. Fifty years later it had burgeoned to
approximately 137,000.18 By the mid-nineteenth century, the American wholesale
market demand for shoes and boots could not be met by the small crafts shops.
Technological innovations like the sewing machine transformed the shoe industry
into a factory system which welcomed thousands of unskilled immigrants and
women. Craftsmen like the Billings were being forced out of business or into the
factories. Lewis had a growing family to feed and more than likely worried about
the market conditions in Massachusetts.
While the ships entered eastern ports filled with immigrants, more and more
easterners pressed into the Northwest regions of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
Promises of readily available land and growing markets prompted many of Carries
cousins and other Sharon residents, such as the Hewitt and Metcalf families, to
move. From 1850 to 1860, the population of Illinois jumped from 851,470 to
1,711,871 and a sizable proportion of the settlers were from New England and
especially Massachusetts.19 Lewis and his brother, Samuel, in search of a better life
for their families, followed relatives and friends to Bloomington, Illinois, some
time in 1853. Between 1850 and 1855, the period when the Everson family
arrived, Bloomingtons population grew from 1,611 people to over 5,000.
The Billings joined the numbers of boot and shoe makers who found their
way to Illinois from the shoe villages of the East. Not only were these skilled
craftsmen enticed by land, growing economies and communities, but by the cattle
industry that supplied the necessary resources for making shoes. Chicagos status
as a railroad, manufacturing, and shipping center attracted many businessmen. Its
growing trade in beef and cattle provided necessary resources for the shoe industry.
Ranchers shipped cattle to Chicago where they were processed in the meat packing
plants. By-products of the meat industry were used in the tanning of the hides.
While at times cow hides had become scarce in the New England states, due to the
distance between the market and producers, they were readily available in Chicago.
In their move westward, the Billings had several many travel options: train,
boat, or wagon. By 1853, fifteen rail links carrying over one hundred trains daily
passed between New England and the Northwest.22 The Illinois Central and
Chicago and Alton railroads serviced Bloomington. An extensive network of
canals, rivers, and lakes carried goods and passengers between New England and
the North West states. Wagons, carriages, and stage coaches traveled an expanding
network of roads between the states. While court battles raged between county and
state regarding who should take care of the roads, a large number remained little
more than dirt trails from settlement to settlement. As late as 1885, one author
claimed, In the state of Illinois, there are no roads. There are only places for
roads.24 These followed section lines, at times maddening travelers who had to go
out of their way to get to their destination. In the winter, they were nearly
impassable with mud and overflowing streams, which only made matters worse.
Whatever means of transportation the Billings chose to use move their family and
household goods, Lewis and Samuels families arrived in Bloomington, south of
The citizens of Blooming Grove changed its name to Bloomington when the
county of McLean was formed 25 The city was the terminus for two railroads.
Bloomingtons population swelled when the Chicago and Alton Railroad set up
shop in town after the line opened in 1854.26 The Illinois and Central Railway,
running north and south through the state and the city, had been completed three
years earlier. Bloomington was a growing city with 200 new buildings when the
In an effort to beautify their city, the town council established Franklin Park
after David Davis, W.T. Flagg, and W.H. Allin donated land in the northern part of
town. Trees surrounded the beautiful square and later respectful citizens added
military monuments to commemorate their dead.28 The council also set aside land
Lewis brother, Samuel, found plentiful work as a carpenter in the booming
construction business, as houses and shops rose quickly along new streets. Lewis
and his son, Lewis P., established a boot business at 1 South Rankin Street and the
business realized a profit rather quickly, providing Lewis Parker Billings enough
income to move out of his fathers house and into a boardinghouse.
When the Billings family arrived in Bloomington, they immediately
enrolled the younger children in the one grammar school available to them. The
next year the community had four schools, one in each ward: First, Third, Fourth,
and Fifth. In addition, a high school opened in the local seminary until the students
moved into their newly-constructed building in 1858.30 The Billings children
walked the short distance from their home to the Third Ward School.
Lewis and Nancy did not agree with the current social thought on continued
education for girls. Women were expected to be content with being virtuous
housewives and mothers. Authors in womens magazines tended to argue that
education only gave women ideas about breaking free of their prescribed roles.
Several editorials stressed the need for women to have some education in order to
properly instruct their children, but for the most part, societal mores placed women
in the home. Male writers did concede that should a woman become a spinster or a
widow training for a useful occupation was appropnate. Many believed that if
women suffered from the pressures of a rigorous university education that they
would suffer mental illness or worse, infertility. Fortunately, that attitude was
changing. Although many parents shared the prejudice of the time against womens
education, the Billings children, including the girls, finished the highest levels
available to them and what their parents could afford. An inquisitive child, Carrie
learned quickly and was especially interested in the sciences and mathematics. She
was a small, slender girl with a serious expression and serious blue eyes. Despite
her education, Carrie did not suffer any ill affects; and at sixteen, she completed
Many citizens of Bloomington considered education important and set
about raising funds to construct a college north of town. Subscriptions from leading
citizens, like boot merchant Oramel Rugg and the Harwood and Rugg Boot
Manufacturing Company, raised the almost $14,000 needed to rent a building and
begin construction on its campus. In 1857, the Illinois State Normal School, now
Illinois State University, opened in the Bloomington and North Bloomington area
in temporary housing. When a financial crisis gripped the nation that same year,
patron subscriptions dried up. But by 1858, the economy improved and monies
began to trickle in to the local bank where the fund was set up.
Although a wet summer ruined crops and set the agricultural economy into
a spin, local businessmen and manufacturers were not affected. When streams and
rivers overflowed their banks, the county and town officials improved drainage in
the county, as well as the city of Bloomington.33 Eventually, in 1861, a large
building rose north of the court house. Classes for high school and university were
housed in the same building and later a grammar school was opened on the
The county bragged that the Illinois State Normal College stood as a model
for Illinois schools.35 Teacher-training schools, like Illinois State, commonly
called normal schools in the nineteenth century, were publicly supported in many
states to provide teachers for the growing public school system.36 Rural schools
readily accepted Normal schools female graduates when the call to arms during the
Civil War took away many male students and teachers. Unfortunately, the
development of women professionals did not allow them to achieve the status or
pay of their male counterparts. Male teachers did not have any marriage
restrictions; however, in many districts, rules required that female teachers be
single. If a teacher married, she lost her job. And school boards did not pay females
as much as their male counterparts adhering to the assumption that they did not
have families to support. Boards consistently paid women teachers one-third to
one-half less than men.37 One contemporary writer declared that female teachers
could use their position merely as a waiting station until the train came to bear them
to their wedding. Many males were of the inclination that a woman working
outside of the home subverted the family. Although teaching provided a major
employment opportunity for young women, they received less pay, had limited
upward mobility, and received less prestige than male professionals.39
In 1859, Carrie found that teaching was one vocation that she could pursue
after completion of school. Not all teachers taught in formal institutions, but were
employed by wealthier families to instruct their children at home. A Bloomington
boot merchant, William Buttles, possibly a client of Lewis boot shop, hired
sixteen-year-old Carrie to be a governess for his three small children Samuel,
Sarah, and William.40 Carrie packed her bag, moved into the Buttles home, and
waited for the train to carry her away.
1 The late nineteenth was a period of remarkable activity in the publication of county histories highlighting the
males of pioneer families, businesses, institutional, and county demographics and landscape. This rush of
activity to record family and place history parallels the genealogical interest of the late twentieth century. In
1901, Jerome Smiley researched the Denver Times to publish his often referred to History of Denver and in
1990, Stephen Leonard and Thomas J. Noel published the update of Denvers history in Denver: Metropolis to
Mining Camp. Both books cover broad subjects and prominent individuals, but the 1990s history works at being
more inclusive in recording Denvers history. Nevertheless, the early county and city histories are important
2 At this time, the region and eventually state known as Connecticut was referred to as Ouonticut, its Native
American name. Early history of the region in this section is principally drawn from Duane Hamilton Hurds
book, History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1884) unless otherwise
3 Details of the valley were gleaned from accounts of the History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts and
contemporary maps of the period.
4 The Plan of a Survey for the Proposed Boston and Providence Railway map, surveyed by James Hayward and
completed January 1828 can be found in the Library of Congress Geographic and Map Division and is available
on-line. The Plan of a Survey for the Proposed Boston and Providence Railway Map, 19 October 1998,
[http://memory.loc.gov] (30 December 2002), and History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts.
5 History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, 455-456.
6 Thomas Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Sharon, Mass., to the Year 1850 (Boston: Stanhope Press, 1909) 13.
7 A history of merchant and economic development in the Revolutionary states can be found in Thomas M.
Doerflingers A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic Development in Revolutionary
Philadelphia (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986).
8 A brief history of the early days of shoe manufacturing can be found in The Endicott Johnson Corporation: 19th
Century Origins, by Professor Gerald Zahavi. Dr. Gerald Zahavi, The Endicott Johnson Corporations: 19th
Century Origins PhD diss., (Albany, New York: University at Albany, 1984, 2001),
[http://www.albany.edu/history/ej/origins] 2 January 2003, and Harold R. Quimbys Pacemakers of Progress:
the Story of Shoes and the Shoe Industry (Chicago: Hide and Leather Publishing Co., 1946).
9 Quimby, Pacemakers of Progress, 22.
10 Proposed Boston and Providence Railway map.
11 Proposed Boston and Providence Railway map.
12 Edith Abbott, Women in Industry: A Study in American Economic History (New York: D. Appleton and Co.,
1909; BoondocksNet Edition, 2002) 1 May 2003.
13 The towns population in 1810 was 1,000 people. By 1850, it had risen to 1,127. Baldwin, Vital Records of
Sharon, Mass., 4.
14 Baldwin, Vital Records of Sharon, Mass., 11-13, 75-76.
15 Abbott, Women in Industry.
16 In Abbotts study on women in industry, she compared 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census reports to find that
Massachusetts shoe industry employed 51,562 of the reported 105,254 employees in the U.S. shoe
17 For information on the urbanization of Boston consult Francis X. Blouins essay, The Boston Region, 1810-
1850: A Study of Urbanization (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1978).
18 Campbell Gibson, Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States, 1790 to
1990, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1998), Table 3.
19 Illinois Census Returns by County, 1810-2000,
[http://www.harpercollege.edu/~jedstrom/populationtables.htm] 1 May 2003; History of McDonough County,
Illinois (Springfield, 111.: Continental Historical Co., 1885); History of St. Clair County, Illinois (Philadelphia:
Brink, McDonough, and Co., 1881); and Biographical Record of McLean County, Illinois (Chicago: S.J.
20 1860 U.S. Census, Third Ward, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.
21 Histoiy of Bloomington and Normal in McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington, 111.: J.H. Burnham, 1879) 38.
22 Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, ed., The Reader's Companion to American History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin
23 John W. Cook and James V. McHugh, A History of Illinois State Normal University, Normal, Illinois (Normal,
111.: Illinois State Normal University, 1882) 14.
24 In the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McLean County, the editor quotes Elijah M. Haines,
author of Haines Township Organization, regarding the road condition in McLean County. Historical
Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McLean County (Chicago: Munsell Publishing Co., 1908) 654.
25 History of Bloomington and Normal, 18.
26 History of Bloomington and Normal, 18.
27 Histoiy of Bloomington and Normal, 39,62.
28 Histoiy of Bloomington and Normal, 60.
29 Information was drawn from the 1860 Census for Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois and John C. W. Bailey,
A Gazetteer of McLean County: A City Directoiy of Bloomington (Chicago: J.C.W. Bailey Book and Job
30 History of Bloomington and Normal, 51.
31 For an interesting discussion on nineteenth-century womens education consult Thomas Woodys book, A
History of Women's Education in the U.S., Vol. II (New York: The Science Press, 1929); Anthony E.
Rotundos, Learning and Manhood: Gender Ideals and Middle Class Family, in Manliness and Morality:
Middle Class Masculinity, 1800-1940 (New York: St, Martins Press, 1987); and Thomas Schlereths, Victorian
America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1991).
32 History of McLean County, Illinois (Chicago: William Le Baron Jr. and Co., 1879) 434.
33 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, 647.
34 Cook and McHugh, A History of the Illinois State Normal University, 15.
35 Cook and McHugh, A History of the Illinois State Normal University, 15.
36 Horace Mann founded the first normal school for teacher training in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1839.
37 Nancy Gabin, Women and Work, in Encyclopedia of American Social History, Mary Kupiec Cayton, Elliott J.
Gom, and Peter W. Williams, eds. Vol. 2 (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1993) 1546.
38 Woody, A Histoiy of Women's Education, 483.
j9 Gabin, Women and Work, Encyclopedia of American Social Histoiy, 1549.
40 1860 U.S. Census, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.
Carrie Billings had been teaching for four years when she met her husband-
to-be, the widower Dr. William Knight Everson. In 1864, the eye and ear doctor
shared second-floor offices with commercial merchant Richard Everson at 134
Clark Street in Chicago.1 The upper floors of the building housed apartments and
offices, while the lower floors were filled with a variety of mercantile shops. A
common room acted as sitting room and office, while William and Richard used
the smaller rooms as private quarters. A large portion of the population of Chicago
and American urban centers lived over commercial establishments and in
boardinghouses or hotels, a widespread phenomenon throughout most nineteenth-
century urban centers. Furnished rooms commingled with offices over store fronts
and were mostly occupied by single men and women.
The dirt streets of Chicago in 1864 were filled with carriages, wagons, carts,
and omnibuses kicking up a fine layer of dust. If it wasnt the traffic, the winds off
the lake swirled dust tornadoes into the crevices and open windows and doors. As
the city grew, manufacturing also contributed to air-borne pollutants. Disease and
pollution contributed to an increase in cases of catarrh, quinsy or tonsillitis, and
lung ailments and sufferers visited or called for an ear, nose and throat doctor.
Some of Eversons clients climbed the stairs to his office, while others sent for his
services. The doctor either walked or jumped aboard an omnibus to visit ailing
patients in their homes. At 45 years of age, Dr. Everson had been practicing
medicine for approximately twenty years.
William Everson had begun his medical career in Ohio, where he enrolled
at the Miami Medical College to study under Dr. Daniel Drake, a distinguished
oculist and skilled ophthalmic surgeon, who established the first medical college of
Ohio.3 Later he returned to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to study at
the Eclectic Medical School where he graduated in March 1852.4 As an oculist and
aorist, Everson specialized in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He had a
successful practice in Philadelphia, until the American Civil War disrupted his life
and took him to Chicago.
In the spring of 1860, in Chicago, the Republican Party nominated Abraham
Lincoln as its presidential candidate. In Baltimore, the Democratic Party nominated
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, also of Illinois. In the presidential campaign, the
nominees focused on the issues of slavery and sectionalism. Philosophical
differences regarding the topic of slavery alienated friends, even families,
communities, states, and the country. The time had come for Carries father, Lewis
Billings, and her future husband, William Everson, to make some difficult choices.
Republicans, who attracted mainly native-born Yankees, like the Billings
and other abolitionists, were located in the northern part of Illinois, while
supporters of slavery primarily settled in the southern portion of the state. The
southern boundary of McLean County contributed to the border that divided
northern and southern sentiments. The Billings found themselves in the middle of
When President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated in the spring of 1861,
the southern states seceded from the Union. When the Confederacy fired upon Fort
Sumter in April, it unleashed a fury which resulted in a battle between the north
and the south, abolitionists and pro-slavery proponents.
Although the citizens of Bloomington attempted to carry on as usual with
their lives, the effects of war eventually caught up with them. Government officials
called upon Bloomingtons youth to serve in the Union cause and many young men
enlisted in the 33rd Illinois Regiment. Bewildered youth, whose families did not
even own slaves, signed up not because they were for or against slavery, but
because they believed in the sanctity of the union of the states or just because they
were expected to. Lewis Billings was too old to enlist. He and family friends
watched their sons march off to war. A shortage of male teachers almost closed the
Normal School and many rural grammar schools. Years later, Carries son claimed
that during this time she taught at the Normal School. However, there are no school
records of teachers during this period to substantiate his assertion. Apparently the
school did not find it necessary to keep a list of their temporary instructors.
Lewis business picked up as the demand for boots to outfit Union forces
increased. At the same time, military campaigns in the South were beginning to
draw nearer to the southern most boundaries of Illinois, as northern and southern
troops marched into Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. News of clashes in the
towns of Cairo, Illinois; Paducah, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri, frightened the
residents of Bloomington.5 Many inhabitants of southern Illinois began to move
north away from the battlegrounds.
In Philadelphia, Dr. William Everson, as an Eclectic trained doctor, was not
called into service with the army even though there was a pressing need for
physicians on the battlefield. The current medical institution and its commission
did not recognize the Eclectic medical colleges or their graduates, citing informal
teaching practices and lack of clinical training.6 In conjunction with the
commissions declaration, the U.S. Army denied Eclectic physicians entry into the
military service. When Dr. Everson was not allowed to enlist in Pennsylvania and
after his wifes death, he moved to the Chicago area. During this tumultuous
period, someone introduced Carrie Billings to the widower.
The petite brunette with shining blue eyes was quiet and thoughtful and the
doctor, although not a large man, towered over his intended. He had a gregarious
personality and both were fond of music.7 Virtually nothing is known about the
courtship of Carrie and William. However, a blanket of orange and red covered the
forests of Illinois in October 1864 when Reverend C.H. Fowler officiated at their
wedding. Carrie was twenty-one years of age, five years younger than her stepson,
and William forty-five. Although John was older than his new stepmother, he and
Carrie had an amicable relationship and later corresponded when John left Chicago
to go to Cincinnati to study medicine. The doctor and the new Mrs. Everson caught
a train north from Bloomington to Chicago to live in Williams rooms adjacent to
his office.9 John lived nearby.
At this time, Chicago was the largest Midwestern city. When the cattle-
driving era began in earnest after the first rail shipment from Abilene, Kansas, to
Chicago in 1867, the city quickly expanded as more and more buildings joined the
thousand factories and seventeen grain elevators that surrounded the railroad hub in
western Chicago.10 Ten railway lines carried people, manufactured goods, and
cattle into the city. Laborers, if they could afford it, built homes next to factories.
As the neighborhoods fanned away from the industrial center, poor and wealthy
homeowners built houses next to each other. Increasing traffic on Clark Street
brought in traffic to Dr. Eversons second-floor office. As Williams practice
expanded, and with the birth a daughter, Jessie, in September 1866 and a son,
William, in December of 1868, he rented larger offices and rooms in the
After the Civil War, Bloomington also began to grow. The city government
hired construction crews and brick and stone masons to construct a new post office,
several more schools, a fine court house, and numerous churches. The population
of the city doubled in the decade between 1860 and 1870.12 By 1868, Lewis and his
sons, Lewis Parker and William, had moved into a larger shoe shop at 215 North
Main Street. The familys home at 518 West North Water Street was within
walking distance of the shop. Lewis Parker, his wife, Sarah, and their family lived
in the other direction on East Grove Street.13
Because of the distance between Bloomington and Chicago, perhaps the
Billings and Everson families did not visit as much as they would have liked. Over
the 1868 Christmas holiday, William, Carrie, Jessie and little William traveled to
Bloomington to see their parents and grandparents. Sadly, Willie and Jessie both
caught the croup and died on the twelfth and fourteenth of January 1869. Doctor
and Mrs. Everson buried their only children in the Presbyterian cemetery in
Bloomington and returned to Chicago.14
William threw himself into his work. Possibly because of the memories of
their deceased children, the couple moved out of their rooms and rented several
different houses before finally settling in Chicagos Tenth Ward.15 When William
and Carrie moved to the tenth ward, they were anxiously awaiting the birth of their
third child. Since Carries family was too far away to be of any assistance during
her confinement, William hired Sarah McReynolds to help with the house and take
care of his pregnant wife.16 Even middle-class housewives who could afford to hire
help with the laundry, cooking, and heavy tasks struggled with the load of caring
for their homes and families.
When Carries condition became apparent, she was no longer able to help
William at his office, because at that time, it was not appropriate for pregnant
women to be seen in public. As a result, she restricted her movements except to
and from the local shops. Carrie became impatient with her imposed imprisonment
in the house and sought solace in Williams extensive library. The library had a fine
collection of texts on botany, chemistry, and medicine from Williams days in
medical college. William had already taught Carrie a good deal about plants and
natural medicines. Now she had more time to read and study its principles. In the
evenings, they discussed her readings. Breaking from societal expectations about
womens education, the doctor encouraged his wifes studies. Dr. Everson was
proud of his young wife and grew to rely upon her knowledge instead of consulting
his reference books. He often bragged to friends and associates that Mrs. Everson
could operate his surgery as proficiently as he could. Despite Williams and Sarahs
care and Carries confinement, she lost the baby. The couple grieved. It was at this
time, that the Eversons resumed attending lectures whenever possible. This period
of study and Williams training Carrie in the surgery would later influence Carrie
Billings Eversons experiments, patents, and future as a nurse.
In 1871, a great inferno engulfed Chicago. On the 8th of October, around
nine in the evening, a fire began at 137 DeKoven Street on the Westside of
Chicago. At the time, the Eversons lived on Calumet Street. It had been an
extremely dry year and the city was parched. The city, built mainly of wood,
boasted 57 miles of wood-plank, paved streets and 561 miles of wood-plank
sidewalks. Chicago was a tinder box waiting for a spark to set it aflame.19
It is not clear what started the fire behind Patrick OLearys small cottage,
but when the flames caught hold that night, the city was a perfect sea of leaping
flames that covered the ground.20 William moved quickly to get his wife to a safe
place. It was difficult to find any free wagons to load up their belongings, but he
managed to find help to get his medical equipment and books to safety. As the
flames ignited the grease on the Chicago River, they jumped to the southern portion
of the city. The business section of the city was engulfed in flames and hysterical
residents fled to family and neighbors in the northern neighborhoods, west to the
plains, or southwest to the outer limits of the city. William and Carrie waited
anxiously and prayed.
When the police allowed families to return to their homes, the Eversons
found Williams office and their household goods untouched, but the fire destroyed
the homes and businesses of his clients. With a dwindling practice, William moved
his household to Grand Crossing, one of the areas unaffected by the fire, until
Chicago recovered. Once settled, they tried to pick up the pieces of their life and
begin anew. Happily, the couple welcomed a son, John L. Everson, on February 1,
As their young, healthy son grew quickly and Carrie regained her strength,
William began to experience health problems of his own including asthma. As the
city rebuilt after the fire, a new burst of immigration spurred a construction boom.
Factories spilled noxious fumes into the air. The railroad contributed to the cloud
that settled over the city until lake winds swept the air clear again. Carrie assisted
William in his office as much as she could and left the baby with their domestic
Already diagnosed with a heart ailment and now suffering from chronic
asthma, the doctor became more and more concerned about how he would support
his young wife and son if he were to become too ill to continue with his surgery.
When Carrie delivered a second son, George, in 1876, William realized that he had
become quite dependent upon his wifes assistance in the surgery. It was with
frightening clarity, that he realized that his notoriety and practice was growing
almost at the rate that his health was beginning to decline. What would he do if he
could not continue with his practice and how would he support his family? At this
particularly vulnerable time in his life, Dr. William Everson attended a lecture on
personal finances and investing.
1 An oculist is an eye doctor, while an aurist is an ear, nose, and throat specialist The 1864 Chicago Directory
listed the doctor and Richard Everson under their respective professions as well as the alphabetical listing. It is
not clear what the relationship was between William and Richard Everson.
2 As late as 1881, citizens found rooms in crowded cities with a shortage of real estate. A news reporter discussed
Denvers living arrangements in an October 11,1881, article in the (Denver) Daily News.
3 Population Schedules of the Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, Ohio (Washington, D.C.: National
Archives and Records Service, 1967); p. 90, Salt Lake City Genealogical Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
4 1840 U. S. Census Kensington, Fourth Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For information on the development of
Philadelphia read Diane Lindstroms book Economic Development in the Philadelphia Region, 1815-1840
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1978).
5 James McPherson, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction 3rd ed. (Boston: McGraw Hill, 2001) 170-
6 For more information on the Eclectic movement consult authority and historian John S. Hallers works, Kindly
Medicine: Physio-Medicalism in America, 1836-1911 (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1997) and
Medical Protestants: The Eclectics in American Medicine, 1825-1939 (Carbondale, 111.: S. Illinois University
7 John L. Everson, Autobiography of a Tramp 2002, [http://www.stanford.edu/~quanah/jack] 25 April 2000,
Chapter 1, p. 2-3; Denver Times, 18 November 1915; and Denver Rocky Mountain News, 19 November 1915.
Described as a quiet, retiring woman who was intensely interested in scientific problems.
8 John Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, The Mining American (27 November 1915): 8.
9 The coupled lived in rooms at 134 Clark St. Copy of page 177 of the 1864 Chicago Directory in a letter dated
May 8, 2001, to the author provided by Lesley Martin, Reference Staff at the Chicago Historical Society,
10 Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Harpers &
Row Pub., 1988)464.
11 Everson Obituary, Bloomington Pantograph (III.), 15 January 1869, and Chicago City Directory for 1867-1868.
12 History of Bloomington and Normal in McLean County, Illinois (Bloomington, 111.: J.H. Burnham, 1879) 39;
McLean County Directory for 1859-1860 (Chicago: J.C.W. Bailey Book and Job Printer, 1859); and Panoramic
Maps 1847-1920, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, 19 October 1998,
[http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pmhtml/panhome.html], 23 December 2002.
13 Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900; 1860 U.S. Census for McLean County, Illinois; and
Bloomington, Illinois, 1867.
14 Everson Obituary, Bloomington Pantograph (III.), 15 January 1869.
15 The respective residences of the Everson family were found in Chicago City Directories for the years 1864 to
1865 and 1867 to 1868.
16 1870 U.S. Census, Tenth Ward, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
17 Linda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron DeHart, Gender in Encyclopedia of American Social History, Mary Kupiec
Cayton, Elliott J. Gom, and Peter W. Williams, eds. Vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1993) 484.
18 Refer to Thomas J. Schlereths, Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915 (New York:
HarperPerennial, 1991) for attitudes and lifestyles in Victorian life.
19 1871: The Great Fire, 1996, [http://www.chicagohs.org/fire], 7 January 2003.
20 187 T.The Great Fire.
21Everson, The Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 1, and 1880 U.S. Census for Cook County, Illinois.
22 1880 U.S. Census, Cook County, Illinois.
THE GOLD BRICK OF BOOSTERISM
At the end of the nineteenth-century, Dr. William Everson was not the only
individual looking for a way to secure his financial future. Author Mark Twain
called the end of the nineteenth-century period the Gilded Age when Americans
suffered from California Sudden Riches Disease.1 It was an age that lusted for
money. Get-rich-quick schemes were a direct response to gold fever that struck
even the most intellectual or shrewd members of society. As one Denver Times
journalist remarked, There were tales of valor, feats of financiering and gems of
thought as grand, as shrewd, as rare as any ever written. It was an era when men
amassed fortunes in gold, oil, and steel; it also spawned the ingenious American
entrepreneur. The ideal of the self-made man triumphed. William and Carrie
Everson, like many of their contemporaries, set their sights on realizing a dream
that would establish them financially for the rest of their lives. Eventually, it was
the mining investment boom that eventually drew Carrie into the study of
metallurgy in hopes of improving their financial future. However, in the beginning
the couple trusted a man named Brick Pomeroy with their money.
The Gilded Age marked the beginning of the American Industrial
Revolution that transformed the economy. Although technological innovation has
always been a continuous process, the last decades of the nineteenth century
resulted in a wave of innovations in the collection and concentration of metals.
American society, which had been primarily agricultural, commercial, and rural,
became industrialized and urbanized. Three major developments brought about the
revolution: an organized national transportation network, electricity, and the use of
science in industrial processes. With the completion of the transcontinental
railroad and its accompanying telegraph and cable network, manufacturers quickly
transferred goods and resources to markets across the country. The coming of
electricity in the 1880s, which offered a more flexible source of power, resulted in a
new urban transportthe streetcar. In the mining industry, electricity transformed
chemical and metallurgical processes. The third development was the
professionalization of American sciences. The application of science in industrial
processes created and improved consumer and industrial products.
Manufacturers and wealthy industrialists built vast empires and monopolies.
Many of these men, like meat processors Philip Armour and Gustavas Swift, and
steel magnate and Pennsylvania railroad builder Andrew Carnegie, were from
working-class backgrounds or were immigrants who made their fortunes through
hard work and diligence.4 Their stories gave others hope that anyone could become
rich and powerful if only they applied themselves. Anything was possible in
Then news of a second gold and land rush came out of the West. Rumors
that a man could make millions of dollars in the gold fields spread across the
country. Reports of gold lying on the ground waiting to be retrieved, and land,
plentiful land, available to all who were interested created a mood of optimism
among shopkeepers, laborers, farmers, even doctors, lawyers, and accountants.
They wanted to believe that they too could strike it rich if they would only put
aside their normal skepticism and follow their dreams. Men, some with families,
loaded their belongings in wagons sporting signs Pikes Peak or Bust or piled
them on packhorses and headed west.5 However, gold was not the only way to
make it rich.
At the same time as the gold rush, the cattle frontier grew. Investors as far
away as England and Scotland formed some of the largest cattle companies in the
West. They invested millions of dollars in the American cattle industry. Cattle trails
and ranches covered the plains and western states. Texas cattle trails crisscrossed
the western landscape. One of the major routes led to Abilene, Kansas, where
cowboys and wranglers loaded the cattle into rail cars, which carried them from the
growing cattle centers in Kansas to Chicagos stockyards and meat processing
plants.6 The pungent odors from the meat processing plants hung over
neighborhoods in and around the plants. Even the Eversons could not escape the
choking smell from the plant when the wind blew in the direction of their home and
the lake. From the manufacturing centers, trains carried processed meats to growing
urban areas in eastern and western markets.7
By whatever means men chose to make themselves rich, only a few actually
became millionaires. Thousands of gold seekers never even made enough money to
carry them home again. Ranchers and farmers struggled to claim the land under
harsh conditions. Perhaps because failure did not make good copy, their stories
never seemed to appear on the front pages of newspapers or in the flourishing
booster pamphlet trade. Still, word spread quickly. Newspapers, books, even
lecturers, recounted the chronicles of adventurers and instant millionaires while
their readers and listeners snatched up their publications or attended how-to
Newspaper reporters at major papers, as well as boosters pamphlets, put
pen to paper and composed accounts of the Rocky Mountain mines. The
combination of a silver strike in Leadville and the statehood of Colorado provided
fodder for news agents and journalists to write engaging articles. Purportedly
successful mine owners and cattlemen placed newspaper advertisements in Eastern
and Midwestern newspapers encouraging others to join them in their ventures. An
ad for the St. Joseph-based Mountain Flower Gold Mine Company in the Mining
American claimed that everyone should invest in their gold mine, which they
promised would raise another crop of millionaires! If interested, the advertiser
encouraged readers to write the Mountain Flower Gold Mine Company.8 And they
did by the score.
Promoters also published pocket manuals on prospecting well into the
1880s. The Lake City, Colorado, newspaper, Silver World, advertised Henry R.
Pomeroys inexpensive Prospectors Pocket Manual telling where and how to find
gold and silver mines.9 Friends and families even sent letters and news clippings
abroad encouraging relatives and others to move to America and reap its wealth.10
Adventure travel books also spurred this feeling of optimism. Eager readers
quickly bought copies of western-frontier tales written by John and Jessie Fremont,
John Muir, and Clarence King.11 Their tales of exploration highlighted the West
and its resources and beauty. Other surveyors, like Frederick V. Hayden and John
Wesley Powell, followed suit with their own publications. Hayden included the
photographic images of photographer William Henry Jackson. Breath-taking
photographs of mountains, plains, and rivers filled their book, transporting the
western landscape right into eastern parlors. Riding on this enthusiasm and
contributing to womens interest in the West, Englishwoman Isabella Lucy Bird
published a compilation of letters to her sister. She described in colorful language
her experiences as a lady explorer and traveler while on a trip from San Francisco
to the Colorado Rockies.12 Dime novels romantically described the adventures of
western men and women and enflamed wanderlust souls. Carrie and William, as
voracious readers, probably read and discussed such adventure tales.
In addition, public lectures were popular in the nineteenth century both as
entertainment and a way to disseminate knowledge. Public, religious, and social
organizations brought in lecturers to speak on every conceivable topic.13
Reformers, educators, as well as schemers, spread their message through lectures.
The Eversons attended many such lectures.
Boosters or town promoters and businessmen financially supported many
such frontier publications and lectures, because it encouraged immigration into
their territories and cities. Trains carried more immigrants into the mining and
range cattle regions, than the Conestoga ever would. In 1870, Denver City in the
Colorado Territory had a population of 4,759, an increase of only ten persons in ten
years! A decade later, nearly 7,000 people arrived annually as people flocked to the
In 1876, Dr. Everson got his first glimpse of Denver when he sought the
restorative air of the Rockies. The city bustled with health seekers, miners,
ranchers, and farmers purchasing supplies before heading out to find rich mineral
deposits or cheap land. Uncontrolled speculation in mines, cattle, and land provided
swindlers and paper companies the opportunity to sell stock to many a gullible and
eager buyer. Denver was full of buyers and sellers. Their offices could be found all
over the city. Optimism and excitement was palpable and William wanted
desperately to be a part of it. After a few weeks in Denver, he returned to Chicago
fired with ideas and feeling rested. He never forgot the beauty of the Rocky
Mountains or the bustling mining center. At the same time, the city that William
called home was undergoing its own challenges. The industrial revolution had
transformed Chicago into a Midwestern terminus for internal migration and a
growing industrial center.15 William saw many immigrants, from other countries
and American cities pass through Chicago on their journey westward.
Into this climate of adventure and easy fortune, Marcus M. Brick
Pomeroy arrived at Chicagos central rail station. Physically Brick Pomeroy
resembled any average looking man, but with one tantalizing differencehis
charismatic personality. Standing five feet nine inches and weighing approximately
190 pounds, Pomeroys stature contributed to his dandified appearance. Dressed in
the height of fashion and bedecked with jewels, Brick exuded wealth and charm as
he spent money on a luxurious lifestyle and friends. He beguiled many people who
came to trust and tentatively respect the flamboyant schemer. One friend remarked,
Possessed of a wonderful personal magnetism bordering upon hypnotic power, he
(Brick) was enabled by the mere power of persuasion to draw from the pockets of
even the most conservative millions of dollars in his various wildcat schemes.16
Others claimed the promoter a mental giant, for no scheme was too colossal. Brick
Pomeroy was bom to gamblewith other peoples money.
In his Chicago office, Pomeroy published Pomeroys Democrat, one of
many circulars promoting western gold fields. His was one of many newspapers,
pamphlets, and guidebooks that painted vivid accounts of wealthy mine owners and
mining companies near Denver, Colorado, and other western states. His circular
claimed that the introduction of the railroad into most of the operating mining
districts provided affordable and comfortable transportation for tourists and
Ingratiating himself into the world of the wealthy and prominent Chicago
citizens that Dr. Everson frequented, Pomeroy entertained his investors with stories
of mountains of gold waiting to be mined and converted into gold coins to fill their
pockets. He told them that all of this could be attained from the comfort of their
own sitting rooms with only a little investment in his mining companies. It was not
even necessary for them to travel, because he would keep them abreast of their
investments through their subscription to Pomeroys Democrat and annual
company reports. His schemes were numerous and variedmining (gold, silver,
coal, and even water), milling, and transit companiesto interest the most
conservative of investors.
However, unknown to his investors, Pomeroy, sometimes with partners,
formed bogus corporations in the Colorado mountains, all of which he personally
managed. High in the snow-covered mountains in Park and Clear Creek County,
Colorado, the schemer leased mines to grubstaking, small bands of prospectors.
Nonetheless, the smart investor realized that flexibility assured financial
stability in a region that rode economic booms and busts. Pomeroy diversified
buying not only mining companies, such as the Boulder County Gold and Silver
Mining Company, the Black Hawk Mining and Milling Company, and the Climax
Mining Company, but also by investing in the Denver power industry through the
Denver City Coal Company, the Kaloo Powder Company, the Fleming Electric
Drill Company, and the Denver Artesian Water Company.17 Whether based on
Pomeroys own travels or accounts that he read, the publisher used the Democrat as
a voice to entice eastern readers to invest in his schemes which he described in
grandiose manner in his increasingly popular circular.
Subscriptions to Pomeroys Democrat increased as the paper circulated
more widely in the Midwest and East. Pomeroys editorials induced many to invest
in mining stocks that yielded little profit to anyone but the mining companies he
owned. It was said that millions of dollars found their way into his pockets. Once
subscriptions to his circular increased, Pomeroy initiated one of several lectures on
The self-described lecturer on financing and investing and publisher of
Pomeroys Democrat addressed groups of potential Chicago investors. In 1876,
after returning from his trip to Denver, Dr. William Everson attended Pomeroys
lecture on personal finances and investing.
Impressed by the charismatic and fiery rhetoric of Pomeroys speech, Dr.
Everson took out a subscription to Pomeroys Democrat. The entertaining accounts
of western regions captivated Eversons attention. He shared his excitement with
Carrie. Boosterism in Denver was running strong and the Democrat included
articles from newspapers in Denver, as well as reprints of Bricks articles published
in Eastern newspapers. At the same time, stories of successful gold investors
appeared in legitimate Chicago newspapers. Everson and other investors placed
their trust and financial security in Bricks enterprises. Dr. Everson had many
options to choose from to invest his money. After discussion, William and Carrie
set their sights on raising a tidy sum for their retirement by investing in Pomeroys
Golden Age Mining Company.
Positive that they had invested in a bright future, William and Carrie moved
their family into temporary quarters on the west side of Chicago until their new
two-story, brick house was completed at 2218 Indiana Street, not far from the lake
front. Each day Dr. Everson walked to his office on Washington.19 Established in
1871, the Indiana Avenue district was considered one of the most fashionable areas
in Chicago and later referred to as Millionaires Row. West of Lake Michigan,
Indiana ran north south from Twenty-second on the north and to Douglas on the
south.20 The Eversons new home, a short distance from the lakefront and in an
exclusive area, offered an ideal location for a prominent doctor and adventurous
boys. Carrie, like many middle-class women, ran the house and cared for her
children. Because she was so shy, Carrie did not keep up the social schedule of
many of her contemporaries, preferring to stay at home or attend lectures and the
theater with William.21
As theater buffs, William and Carrie soon became friends with John Hamlin
of Wizard Oil fame, who owned Hamlins Grand Opera House where the Eversons
attended many an evening show. Hamlins Wizard Oil Company, founded by John
and his brother, Lysander, promoted a liniment used for rheumatic pains, sore
muscles, and numerous other ailments, not only for people but horses and cows,
and sold their product in all parts of the country by traveling entertainers.22 John
made his fortune as developer and distributor of the ointment. Carrie especially
enjoyed performances of Shakespeares plays at Hamlins opera house. Both
William and Carrie were fond of the theater and attended many of the most
fashionable theaters in Chicago.
The move to Indiana Avenue proved to be lucrative. Soon a majority of Dr.
Eversons clientele came from the upper-class families who inhabited the west side
of Chicago. The practice got busier and busier keeping the doctor in his office all
day and half the night at times.
As his income rose and he had money to spend, Dr. Everson began
investing in gold mining ventures, his own and Pomeroys. Curious about her
husbands new interest, Carrie studied mineralogy and metallurgy.24 The doctor
encouraged his wifes interest. The scientific attributes of mineralogy fascinated
her. Pouring over tomes on metallurgy, like many inventors, Carrie became
conscious of the fact that technological advancements could enhance the field of
mining and make it more financially profitable. Eventually, electricity and other
advances transformed the chemical and metallurgical processes used to refine
As Carrie studied, William realized that after almost three years of investing
in Brick Pomeroys schemes they and other investors had received no dividends.
Overvaluation of mines brought more investors to their end. In 1932, T.A. Rickard,
in Man and Metals, declared, It is not generally understood that the over-valuation
of the rich mines of the world has caused more financial loss to the public than the
frauds and imposters.... Later his son, John, claimed his parents had enough
stock certificates to paper a room. Dr. Everson sent repeated queries to Brick about
his dividends and got no response. Eventually, he accepted the fact that he had lost
his money. Historian Raymond Colwell wrote, The romance (of mining) exists
during the years of anticipation, not in those of the realization. In many cases,
when the investor realizes his loss or the bubble of success pops, he walks away
learning a hard lesson. For Everson the romance was too strong, he did not walk
away, but continued to invest in unrewarding ventures.
Pomeroy, ever mindful of his financial backers getting wind of his
unsuccessful adventures, was on the move again in 1879. He packed up his
newspaper office and boarded a train to Denver, leaving behind the Eversons and
numerous other investors, embarrassed that they had been bamboozled and
considerably lighter in the purse.
In Denver, Pomeroy established offices at 433-35 Larimer Street.29
Subscriptions grew to 47,600 with most of them from eastern readers. Pomeroys
Denver newspaper, the Weekly Democrat, was the successor of his Chicago-based
Pomeroys Democrat. Two years later, he changed the name of the paper to the
Great West when he joined league with publisher John Keller. Both newspapers,
the Weekly Democrat and the Great West, lasted approximately two years each.31
One of the newspapers advertisements declared, This beautifully illustrated
paper, filled to the brim with matters of interesting reference to Colorado and her
[mining] resources, will reach its thousands of readers in every state and territory in
the union, and will have a marked influence in directing labor and capital to this
state.32 Average circulation of a western newspaper in the second half of the
nineteenth century was approximately fifteen hundred copies. Published circulation
figures were often subject to fabrication and variation. In most cases, a newspapers
circulation was one-third the figure its publisher claimed.33 Because Pomeroy
professed to have such a large circulation, other editors eyed his proclamation with
suspicion. Editors were not the only ones to doubt Pomeroys claims. Local postal
authorities did not believe the extent of his circulation and refused to mail Bricks
circular. Not to be denied, he telegraphed a contact in Washington, D.C. and within
hours the postal authorities were stamping his circulars.34 Doctor Everson and the
Great West subscribers received their copies in short time and many promptly
threw them out.
As the Chicago doctor bemoaned his familys fate, a determined Carrie held
on to the fact that her study of metallurgy and its processes could regain their lost
savings. She had an idea for a concentration method that just might alter the way
the industry processed its ore.
1 There is some question regarding the actual period of time represented by the Gilded Age. Many historians
generally recognize it as the period between 1865 and 1890.
2 Brick Pomeroy in Denver, Denver Times, 9 September 1990.
3 For more information on the Industrial Era, refer to Nell Irvin Painters Standing at Armageddon: The United
States, 1877-1919 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1987), American Eras: Development of the
Industrial U.S., 1878-1899, Gretchen Starr-Lebeau, ed. (Detroit: Gale Research, 1998), and Steven J. Diners A
Very Different Age: America of the Progressive Era (New York: Hill & Wang, 1998). Alfred Chandler, The
Industrial Revolution, The Reader's Companion to American History, Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, ed.
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999) 559-561.
4 Steven J. Diner wrote an informative and insightful biography on Andrew Carnegie, which was published in
1989 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
5 In the Western History Collection at the Denver Public Library, the digitized photograph collection has several
photographs of these hardy souls on the westbound trips. There are pictures of wagons with placards, crude
painted signs on the canvas of their Conestoga, even signs roped to their packhorses. It is an interesting glimpse
into the hopes and dreams of the western immigrants.
6 Warren A. Beck and Ynez D. Haase, Historical Atlas of the American West (Norman, Okla.: University of
Nebraska Press, 1986)30.
7 The history of the cattle industry is drawn from several sources, including John K. Matsushima and W.D. Farrs
A Journey Back: A History of Cattle Feeding in Colorado and the United States (Colorado Springs, Colo.:
Cattlemens Communications, 1975); Clark Spences British Investments and the American Mining Frontier,
1860-1901 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1958); Charles L. Woods Cattlemen, Big Business, and
Government: The Kansas Beef Industry, 1890-1940, PhD diss. (Lawrence, Kan.: University of Kansas, 1974);
and James A. Young and B. Abbott Sparks Cattle in the Cold Desert (Logan, Utah: Utah State University
8 Advertisement in the Mining American (27 November 1915): 8.
9 Advertisement in the 2 April 1881 edition of the Lake City, Colorado, Silver World, p. 2.
10 Locators like Old Jules Sandoz, spent part of their income on stamps writing letters to family members, friends,
and newspapers in the old country describing the good life in America. Mari Sandoz, Old Jules (Lincoln, Neb.:
University ofNebraska, 1935) 90.
11 John Charles Fremont, Memoirs of My Life (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2001).
12 Isabella Bird, A Ladys Life in the Rocky Mountains (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press: 1999).
13 James McPherson, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2001)
14 Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel, Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis (Niwot, Colo.: University Press
of Colorado, 1990) 30,44.
15 For more information on the urbanization of Chicago consult The Maturing Urban System in the U.S., 1840-
1910, Annals of the Association ofAmerican Geographers, LXVII (1977): 88-108; Carl Abbott, Frontier and
Sections: Cities and Regions in American Growth, American Quarterly (1985): 395-410; and David Ralph
Meyer, A Dynamic Model of the Integration of Frontier Urban Places into the U.S. System of Cities,
Economic Geography, LVI (1980): 120-140.
16 The biography of Marcus M. Brick Pomeroy is drawn from several sources, including his autobiographical
works, Early Life of Brick" Pomeroy, Better than Gold, Ourselves and Our Neighbors, Vol. 1 (New York
City: Advance Thought Co., 1889) and Better than Gold Ourselves and Our Neighbors, Vol. Ill (New York
City: Advance Thought, 1891), which can be found at the Colorado Historical Society in Denver, Colorado.
Additional biographical notes are primarily collected from newspaper and pamphlet accounts of Bricks life in
the St. Louis (Missouri) Magazine (October 1881) and Denver Times (8 January 1884, 9 September 1900, 31
May 1896). Bricks business operations in mining ventures can be found in the Rocky Mountain News (1872-
1884), Denver Times (1874-1900), Denver Republic, and Fort Collins Courier. Brick was highlighted in the
Centennial State, a publication recognizing prominent Colorado businessmen. News coverage of Bricks
involvement in the American and Pacific Tunnel can be found in the above newspaper sources beginning in
1881 and continuing into the 1930s. The American Pacific Tunnel and its promoter, Brick Pomeroy, has been
chronicled in Perry Eberharts Guide to the Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps (Denver: Sage Books,
1959) and in the Denver Post Empire Magazine 10 (5 July 1959): 6-7.
17 Brick Pomeroy in Denver, Denver Times, 9 September 1900.
18 John L. Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, Mining American (27 November 1915): 8.
19 John L. Everson, Autobiography of a Tramp 2002, [http://www.stanford.edu/~quanah/jack] 25 April 2000,
Chapter 1, p. 1, and Chicago City Directory.
20 Park Avenue District, 2000 [www.cityofchicago.org/landmarks/PrairieAveDistrict.html] 4 May 2001, and
Elisha Robinson, Robinson's Atlas of the City of Chicago, 1 (New York: E. Robinson, 1886).
21 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p.3.
22Kendra M. Young, Before the FDA Quack Cures to Medicine Shows, 2002
[http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/sst/f01/SST395-01/PublicPages/PerfectDrugs] 6 May 2003; book review of
Mark Evan Swartzs Oz Before the Rainbow: L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful World of Oz on Stage and
Screen to 1939 [http://www.press.jhu.edu/press/books/titles/sampler/swartz.htm] 6 May 2003; and E.C. Alfts
Elgin (Illinois) History available at [http://www.elginhistory.com/dgb/ch07.htm] 6 May 2003.
23 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 3.
24 Mineralogy is the science of minerals, their properties and the ways to distinguish them. Metallurgy is the
science and technology of metals.
25 T.A. Rickard, Man and Metals, Vol. 2 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1932) 1012.
26 Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, The Mining American, 8.
27 Raymond Colwell, 1950 Brand Book,Nol. 5 (Denver: University of Denver Press, 1950) 115.
28 Marcus M. Pomeroy, St. Louis Illustrated Magazine 21, no. 130 (October 1881): 369-432.
29 Jerome C. Smiley, History of Denver (Denver: Times-Sun Publishing Co., 1901) 663 and 1882 Denver City
30 Denver Times, 9 September 1900; 1882 Denver City Directory, and Smiley, History of Denver, 663. Although
historian Jerome Smiley states that in 1880 partners Pomeroy and Glafcke published the Great West newspaper,
the paper was not published until 1882. According to the Denver City Directories for this period of time,
Pomeroy advertised his newspaper, Pomeroy's Democrat, from 1880 until about 1882. His partner was a Mr.
Russell. Then in 1882, advertisements and listings began for the Great West with his partner Herman Glafcke.
This paper was published for about two years.
31 Smiley, History of Denver, 663.
j2 Marcus Pomeroy, When the World Was Young Looking Down Upon the Rocky Mountains Cutting the
Backbone of the American Continent by the A-P Tunnel Opening the Vaults of Gold and Silver (Colorado:
Atlantic-Pacific Railway Tunnel, 1881): 44.
33 Barbara Cloud, The Business of Newspapers on the Western Frontier (Reno, Nev.: University of Nevada Press,
34 Denver Times, 9 September 1900.
DEVELOPING AND PATENTING A PROCESS
The rapid growth of Doctor Eversons practice kept him in his office long
hours and overwork aggravated his asthma. Like many others afflicted with lung
ailments, in 1876, William headed west for the restorative clean air found at higher
altitudes. While on his travels to Colorado and Mexico, William provided Carrie
with a steady supply of samples for her metallurgical experiments. Over the next
several years, Williams jaunts took him to Rocky Mountain mining towns where
he listened to the latest mining news and scouted out potential mining investment
ventures in the West and Mexico. In 1881, William headed to San Juan County,
Colorado and, with prospects looking first-rate, he bought a gold mine.
William and another Chicagoan, Theodore Bryant, invested twenty-
thousand dollars in a mining patent for the newly-formed Everson Prospecting and
Mining Company in Silverton in southwestern Colorado.1 The twenty-five year old
Bryant worked as a bookkeeper for his father-in-law Dow Bogarts building
company.2 Before Everson left Colorado, he hired local San Juan County
prospectors to excavate the mine and send the product to market. Conditions of
mine life during boom times attracted outlaws and claim jumpers and caretakers
were quite necessary. The incorporation papers stated the main office of Everson
and Company was located at 108 Washington in Chicagothe same address as Dr.
Eversons practice. On May 4,1881, William incorporated his San Juan County
company with the State of Colorado.3 Later that summer, William and three other
investors, F.A. Barnard, Theodore Bryant, andN.H. Henchette, purchased the
Melvina Mine and filed for incorporation in Boulder County, Colorado.4 Barnard
and Henchette lived in Colorado and were assigned the duties of overseeing their
investment.5 In the July 15,1881, edition of the Denver Daily News, the company
advertised its stock and corporate offices in Chicago.
When Everson returned to Illinois and his medical practice, he was busier
than ever catching up with his caseload. A young woman tended to the house and
five-year-old George. During the day, young John attended school leaving Carrie
with time to work in her laboratory experimenting on mineral samples and an ore
At the end of the century, increased levels of mining prompted by the
steady demand for metals for manufacturing resulted in rumors that over mining
might cause the collapse of the countrys mineral wealth. There was a growing
world-wide awareness that resources of high-grade ores were not as plentiful as
believed. Concerned British and Australian inventors with financial backers also
began to experiment with new processes for refining ore. No longer was a miner
able to pick up a marble-sized nugget of gold from the streams rushing down from
mountain peaks. Complex ore bodies deep within the earth were readily available
but expensive to process. As miners excavated precious metals of gold, silver, and
base metals of iron, lead, zinc, and copper, they found the ore bodies contained a
large amount of waste rock. To separate the desired metals required more than
mechanical means of reduction. Chemists, metallurgists, and engineers rose to the
forefront in the industry to develop new and better processes. Process mania was on
to develop new concentration methods for mills and smelters.
The choice of a concentration method depended upon the type of metal and
how easily it could be separated from the waste. Metallurgists determined whether
gold, silver, or copper would be extracted in milling operations. The most
rudimentary form of metal recovery was gravity concentration. Concentrators used
water and agitation to sort the heavier metals, which settled to the bottom of
rockers, sluices, or pans, while the lighter waste was washed away.6 However, the
first step was to crush the ore. Stamp mills and rock breakers pulverized rock under
several heavy stamps connected to a camshaft. Stamp mills could not crush ore fine
enough to concentrate metal particles from low-grade ore bodies. Low-grade ores
are made up of millions of tiny particles or flakes of metal mixed with rock.
Engineers developed grinding mills, such as the jaw crusher, to reduce the ore to an
even finer state. Another form of concentration was lixiviation, a process of
leaching metals from waste rock prompted by a chemical reaction.9
In spite of the variety of techniques available, concentration mills still did
not recover a high percentage of metals and a majority of it ended up on tailing
heaps. Nevertheless, in 1880, a Georgetown, Colorado, mill man wrote a history
of the mills in his district and congratulated all the various attempts at finding
solutions to work the complex ores.10 In fact, he felt that no new processes would
be discovered or were even needed. Brick Pomeroy disagreed and claimed poor
technology as the reason for his investors poor returns.11 Carrie Everson, too, felt
that a more efficient means could be found to profitably mill low-grade ores on a
On a much smaller scale, Carrie reduced pieces of ore to powder by using a
mortar and pestle, sifted them through a 100-mesh screen, and assayed for them
precious metal content. She tested combinations of animal, mineral, and vegetable
fats or oils and ground ore to make an oily pulp and, in the concentration process,
mixed it in a water bath also treated with a variety of mineral or vegetable
components that acted either as a neutral soluble or acidic salt to aid in the
collection of metals. She found that wheat, gluten, lamp-black, soot, and others,
had a chemical affinity to oils and fats, also. Further study determined that
proportions of oil and acids had to be adjusted according to the type of ore treated
and the metals found in the sample. Eventually, Carrie used her knowledge about
the affinity of gluten and wheat in a future business venture, but for now she
primarily concentrated on her metal concentration experiments. Not only did Carrie
experiment with additives, but also on a myriad of pulverized ores or tailing
After experimenting on over twenty different ore samples, Everson met
with success.14 She found that mixing oil with pulverized ore then washing it in an
acidic water bath allowed the metals to adhere to the film on the water. Her
calculations included the percentage of additives to add to the pulp and the water
bath for the highest percentage of recovery.
Her process was simple. By agitating the mass of ore and oil paste on a
washboard surface in a tubful of treated water, the metals adhered to the film and
floated on top of the watery mess until the motion of agitation caused it to flow
over the edges of the tub.15 The undesired rock debris sank to the bottom. Once the
mineral laden scum on the surface of the water floated, she skimmed it off. In the
next step, the froth entered a roasting oven that caused the water to evaporate, the
oil to bum off, and the acid to decompose or evaporate as a gas. The final product
was a metallic mass.16
In her trials, Everson recognized and used a variety of principals
traditionally used in mining operations. However, the crucial difference between
gravity concentration and Carries eventual discovery was that she chemically
treated the pulverized ore and its water bath with acids and more significantly,
floated o^the metal concentrate. This was a startling departure from previous
mining and milling methods. With her experiment successfully operational, it was
time to draw up her conclusions and present them. But before Carrie could present
her argument or process to the world, Dr. Eversons health broke down. In 1881,
the couple spent several months in the mountains of Colorado. Rested and feeling
invigorated, the couple returned to Chicago to turn their attention to Carries
flotation process and how to patent it.
The couple recognized that the first step was to patent Carries discovery
before they began to market it or someone else may lay claim to the idea. They
were well aware that disputes over the proficiency of one process over another
were commonplace in the mining districts.17 Dr. Everson hired patent lawyer M.E.
Dayton of Chicago to assist them in preparing the letters of patent for Carries
Congress passed the Patent Act of 1790 to encourage technological progress
and by the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. Patent Office granted more than
half a million patents.19 Surprisingly, despite womans lack of property and voting
rights, Congress in 1790 opened the patent system to all U.S. citizens including
women. It was unprecedented that a woman now had the right to file inventions for
patent and rights to her own intellectual property. Nevertheless, the act did not
guarantee women any protection from formidable social, economic, and
psychological barriers encountered when filing for a patent.20
Carrie Everson learned that in order to file a patent, she had to follow four
important steps: 1) establish that there are no other patents pertaining to her
invention, 2) state that she in fact was the inventor, 3) explain the process or
invention clearly to a patent examiner stating that it is a new process and useful,
and 4) present a detailed description of the process or invention.21 In many cases,
inventors provided a miniature replica or meticulous drawings of the invention to
After researching patent gazettes, Dayton began the tedious process of
writing the letters of patent for the Everson process of concentrating ores. During
Mrs. Eversons period of experimentation, she had already considered the research
of other inventors. She discovered a patent (No. 228,004) filed by a Mr. Tunbridge
in 1880 to recover finely comminuted metal held in suspension in water by the use
of soap or a saponaceous compound formed by a partial or imperfect blending of an
alkali or an alkaline salt with a fat or an oil.22 To establish that her patent did not
infringe upon this prior patent, Everson acknowledged Tunbridges process in her
letter for patent, but concluded that her process was sufficiently different because
she did not use soap, but an acid, and that the Tunbridge method consisted of
removing as much earthy matter as possible from the water before its use in the
process. She explained that her method separated metal from earthy, non-metallic
matter, not soapy matter from water. Indeed, Dayton found that no other patents
resembling Carrie Eversons appeared in the records.
Dayton rewrote the letters of patent five different times for the patent
examiner, who complained that the lack of specificity deterred his
examinations. In exasperation, Dayton defended his client, [I]t appears possible
that the manipulation of the Examiner may have been faulty at some point.... It is
quite reasonable that a failure should result the first time of trial by the Examiner as
would happen to a housewife in making her first batch of bread, though further
trials would be successful.24 Despite such impertinence on the part of the lawyer,
the United States Patent Office filed Carrie Eversons patent, the Everson Process
of Concentrating Ores, on August 24,1886.
This was truly a remarkable occurrence. In 1990, Kathryn Phillips
researched extensively in the files of the U.S. Patent Office to determine how many
patents were generated by women. Phillips found that only one-and-a-half per cent
of the patents granted between 1790 and 1984 were presented to women. Not
only would Carrie Everson patent one process, but she later patented a second.
Overjoyed, the Eversons began to plan marketing of the process, but then a family
1 Denver Republican, 4 May 1881, p. 2.
2 1870 U.S. Census, Cook County, Illinois, 417.
3 Denver Republican, 4 May 1881.
4 Mining News in the Rocky Mountain News, 15 July 1881, p. 3, and the Denver Daily News, 15 July 1881, p. 2.
5 Frank Barnard lived in Bijou Basin Township, Douglas County, Colorado, and later in Denver. 1870 U.S.
Census, Colorado, p. 35 and 220, and 1890 Denver City Directoiy.
6 The earliest concentrator was a panner swirling his sand and water in a pan causing the water and the lighter
waste to fall over the sides of the pan and heavier metal to settle in the bottom of his pan. Later jigs and rockers
were used. The rocker looked like a small water trough on rockers with a handle for the miner to rock it back
and forth. A shovel of ore was placed in the trough, a water source flowed through it, and holes at the end let
the water and lighter waste drain out. The heavier metals dropped to the bottom.
7 The stamps fell upon a wooden or concrete anvil in a mortar box. Depending upon the metal content, ore was
roasted and then pulverized or it was mixed with water and then passed through the stamps. In wet stamp mills,
water was piped into the mortar box and as the stamps crushed the rock it forced the water and crushed ore
through a set of screens and onto collecting devices. Donald L. Hardesty, The Archaeology of Mining and
Miners: A View from the Silver State (Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Society for Historical Archaeology, 1988) 39-
8 Heavy metal cylinders were filled with rock or steel rods or balls. When the rods were rolled, the ore put into
the cylinder was ground by the movement of rock, steel, and ore. The product passed through screens until it
reached a sandy consistency and easily washed onward to the collection area. Water and gravity carried the
ground ore through the ore bin to the crushers and into the collection center.
9 For example, in a chlorine solution, bleach powder and acid, were added to crushed ores in a cylinder or vat.
Through a series of washing, settling, and eventually siphoning, a mineral-rich sludge was poured onto cloth
filters and the remaining metallic mass collected. Roasting and smelting further refined the metallic mass into
bullion bars. Hardesty, 49-51.
10 Robert Spude, The Ingenious Community: Georgetown, Colorado, and the Evolution of Western American
Silver Milling and Metallurgy, 1864-1895, Mining History Journal (Denver: Mining History Association,
11 Spude, The Ingenious Community, 12.
12 John Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, Mining American (27 November 1915): 8, and Carrie Eversons
initial patent, Process of Concentrating Ores, filed 20 August 1885 with the U.S. Patent Office and assigned
Patent No. 348,157. The patent was granted August 24, 1886.
13 Tailing is the waste from concentration processes. Heaps of tailing can be found clinging to the sides of
mountains or piled all over the mining districts of the West.
14 Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, 8; U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 348,157 (29 August 1885); A. M.
Gaudin, Flotation (NY: McGraw Hill Book Co., Inc., 1932) 2; Theodore J. Hoover, Concentrating Ores by
Flotation (San Francisco: Mining and Scientific Press, 1914) 3-6; The History of the Flotation Processes, The
Mining Magazine, (Fall 1909): 61-64; and Carrie J. Everson and Flotation, The Mining and Scientific Press
(15 January 1916): 82.
15 U. S. Patent No. 348, 157, and Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, Mining American, 8. As the caretaker
of the home, it was common to use a wash tub and scrub board to use hard rubbing in cleaning the households
clothes. It would make perfect sense for the female of the house to use common everyday housekeeping utensils
in any of her day-to-day needs, including experimentation.
16 Jeremy Mouat, The Development of the Flotation Process: Technological Change and the Genesis of Modem
Mining, 1898-1911, Australian Economic History Review, 36, No. 1 (March 1996): 6; The Western
Metallurgical FieldThe Everson Flotation Patents, Metallurgical and Chemical Engineering, 14, No. 1 (1
January 1916): 13; U.S. Patent No. 348, 157; The History of the Flotation Process, Mining Magazine, 61; and
Hoover, Concentrating Ores by Flotation, 21.
17 Spude, The Ingenious Community, 11.
18 Anne L. MacDonald, Feminine Ingenuity: Women and Invention in America (New York: Ballantine Books,
1992), 155. In Feminine Ingenuity, Anne MacDonald writes about some of the women inventors that she found
in the files of the U.S. Patent Office.
19 MacDonald, Feminine Ingenuity, 155.
20 For more information on women and their patent history, Anne MacDonald, a patentee herself, describes the
history and struggle women faced in filing patents. As of 1988, MacDonald found that a mere 5.6 per cent of
patents awarded were to women. It appears that the struggle continues.
21 Bert W. Whitehurst, How to Make United States Patent Searches (Boston: Galleon-Whitehurst Publications,
22 U.S. Patent No. 348,157.
23 MacDonald, Feminine Ingenuity, 155.
24 MacDonald, Feminine Ingenuity, 155, and citing M. E. Daytons letter to the patent examiner in the patent files,
U. S. Patent No. 348,157.
25 Kathryn Phillips, Professional U.S. Patent Trademark Office Study Finds More Inventions Credited to
Women, The Scientist 4, no. 20 (15 October 1990): 24.
During the years Carrie experimented in the laboratory and William was
building his Chicago medical practice on Washington, young John Everson was
free to entertain himself. His small world at first revolved around the family home
and the small bam at the rear of the property. He fed and groomed the family horse,
Nelly, and Bossy, the jersey cow. His constant companion was the familys Irish
setter, Fanny. He created adventures for the threesome, even though they never left
the confines of the property.1
At an early age, John learned to read and his mother lied about his age to
enroll him in school. At first his father or mother walked with him to the Scammon
School on West Madison Street; but when they moved to Indiana Avenue, John
walked alone to Mosely School at Twenty-Fourth Street and Michigan Avenue.2
That was when he began to daydream about what the world was like outside his
neighborhood. At the end of the streets, he glimpsed the waterfront of Lake
Michigan. William and Carrie occasionally walked John to the lake where they
watched the boats and ships moving to and fro on the water. In the distance, large
manufacturing plants loomed over houses and commercial areas and spiked Johns
At seven, John skipped school for the first time. He joined some classmates
and street urchins who were swimming in the shallow lagoons created by the rock
pilings along the lakes shore. It soon became a frequent occurrence. Johns healthy
imagination fueled by books propelled him into new worlds of adventure. The
structure of the classroom annoyed him and he grasped at any chance to break free
of its restraints. The street boys, who did not go to school, led a far more enjoyable
life as far as he was concerned.
William and Carrie did not know how to deal with their unruly child and
did not have the heart to punish him. Johns appearance and later Georges after the
deaths of three of their children, affected his parents and neither turned out to be an
adequate disciplinarian. The Eversons met with the school principal several times
to discuss Johns truancies. Despite punishment at school, it continued.
John joined the Careys Patch Gang, a group of youths who terrorized the
immigrant population and later the Prairie Avenue neighborhood with acts of
vandalism and petty theft. He and his cohorts roamed the streets between the
railroad roundhouse and the lake.3 Flimsy shacks overflowed with the working
poor and immigrants crowding into Chicago to work in the industrial plants.
Saloons, theaters, grocery and stationary stores lined the commercial streets
enticing the wily boy to steal food and magazines. During the industrial era and
with cheap immigrant labor, the first generation of urban criminal gangs appeared,
which resulted in the first city-police forces and the creation of reform schools.4
At eleven, a constable found John bathing nude in the lake off Sixteenth
Street and hauled him down to the local precinct. Johns horrified parents paid the
ten-dollar fine and bailed out their son. When they got home, a glum-faced William
gave John a sound thrashing.5 Afterwards, his tearful parent begged him to behave
and attend school. John wanted to quit school, but he relented and finished the year.
When John learned that there was a job as a messenger boy for the American
District Telegraph Company open, he persuaded his parents to let him take it
during his vacation months.6 Dr. and Mrs. Everson erroneously assumed that this
would keep their roving son busy and out of trouble. They reasoned that making
deliveries allowed John to explore the city and his restless nature might be satisfied
with the exercise. Instead, Johns deliveries often took him into the red light
districts of Chicago where he was introduced to the crooks, madams, and seamier
side of the city on the lake.
John continued to meet up with his roving band of friends. When not
harassing the neighbors, the boys entertained themselves by buying pornographic
photographs and books sold behind the counter or in the back room of seedy
newsagent shops or they attended burlesque theaters, their favorite being the Park
Theater on State Street.7 Then one day John ran afoul, not of the law, but his
When returning home one day, John found a knife lying in the street near
his home. He showed it to his father, who declared he could keep it since it was an
inexpensive make. A few days later, with the gang, John proudly showed off his
prize. An older and larger boy declared he had lost it and demanded its return. John
refused and a fight broke out. John went home and later in the day, the boy and his
father appeared at the Everson home to demand the return of the knife. The boy
described how he and John had gotten into a fight when John ordered the boy to
hand over his knife. Earlier in the day John had already admitted to his father that
he had been in a fight when his father became angry over his tom and dirty clothes.
So Dr. Everson made John turn over the knife without any opportunity for him to
rebut the accusation.
After the accusing pair left, William escorted John to the woodshed. Fearing
for her husbands health and her sons welfare, Carrie intervened because
Williams health had recently forced him to bed for several days. He had only just
returned to work. Despite Carries pleas to John to forgive his father, the furious
boy packed his belongings and ran away from home with a Patch Gang member
hitching a train headed to New York.
Carrie and William awoke to find John missing. The combination of his
poor health, guilt at his sons disappearance, and the subsequent search for his son
almost killed William. When the police could not find John and all clues to his
whereabouts dried up, the couple tried to carry on as best they could until their
sons return. Carrie continued to experiment in the lab. William worked as his
health allowed and traveled to higher climates when his condition worsened.
William concentrated on getting Carries patent filed and the couple took pleasure
in the fact that their second son, George, was growing and was such a good-natured
and obedient child.
Then one day after William and Carrie returned from a meeting with Mr.
Dayton, there was a knock at the door. It was late in 1885, when a small, wizened
man appeared at the door of William Eversons home. Standing nervously in his
new suit and twisting a derby in his hand, he declared he knew the whereabouts of
their son. Curly described his life with John traveling the rail and explained how for
a time he and John sold cheap jewelry to make some money. One day in Louisville,
Kentucky, a buyer spotted them on the street, followed them, and found an officer
to arrest them for selling jewelry they represented as gold pieces. Curly was
convicted of petty larceny and John was sent to reform school just across the state
border in Plainfield, Indiana. The judge sentenced John to the school until he was
twenty-one years old or paroled. Curly was sentenced to thirty days in jail. The
hobo explained to William and Carrie he knew where they lived because John gave
him their address in case he was ever seriously injured or died and he came to
Chicago enlist their aid in getting John out of juvenile detention. The overjoyed
parents, who had given up hope of ever seeing their son again, quickly prepared to
travel to Plainfield.9
John had been incarcerated for several months in the boys school at
Plainfield when the Eversons arrived. John was shocked to see William so thin and
ill. His parents explained upon Williams doctors recommendation and due to their
financial straits, the Eversons were selling their house, to move to a smaller
residence at 26 North Clark. Later that year William would close his practice.10
Eversons health problems, his frequent trips west, and investment disasters nearly
depleted the couples finances. They had recently discussed a move to Kansas or
Colorado where they hoped the climate would improve Williams condition.
William promised John to fight for his early release from Plainfield; but despite a
letter campaign to the governors of Illinois and Indiana, he was not successful in
obtaining Johns freedom. John served eight months before he was released on
good behavior and he headed westthis time with a train ticketto meet his
parents and brother George in Abilene, Kansas.
The Eversons hoped to start life over in Kansas. While Dayton took care of
filing the patent process with the U.S. Patent Office, William concentrated on how
to market the process and Carrie continued her experiments. One of many
experiments that Carrie worked on involved wheat and glutens with interesting
results. She found that the nutritive value differed between cooked and uncooked
grains with malts and partially fermented grains.11 Her supposition was that
malted, cooked grain, in the form of a mush, could be fed to weak, sickly range
cattle to fatten them up and where better to try out her theories but in the cattle
center of Abilene. Over the past several years, the cattle industry declined from
overgrazing and a cycle of droughts and harsh winters. The Eversons banked on
making some quick money off of Carries fattening agent for cattle.
Three major factors played a role in the development of the American
Westmining, railroads, and the range cattle industry. The dazzling nugget
tantalized thousands, drawing them westward in the early gold and silver rushes.
Railroads pushed westward and eventually into the mountains. The engineering
feats of men like William Jackson Palmer and his narrow gauge routes made it
possible for trains to haul tons of ore laden with gold, silver, and copper out of the
mountains to mills and smelters in the low lands. In turn, the transcontinental
railroad carried dreamers westward searching for wealth and a new life in the last
of the frontier. By the time the Eversons moved to Kansas, the demise of the Native
Americans and buffalo was imminent. Settlers and the rails forced the natives into
reservations or into the hinterlands. Wholesale slaughter of the buffalo freed the
range for cattle.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the stampede to the Cattlemens
Frontier in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, had spread into Montana
and the Dakotas as well. It replicated the gold rush era. Many entered the industry
eager for wealth and adventure. Investors from eastern states, Canada, Australia,
and British Isles incorporated and invested money in operations many of them
never saw. In a single year, twenty corporations capitalized twelve million dollars
in Wyoming. The largest American cattle corporation was actually a British
conglomerate which poured over seventeen million dollars into the region during
this period. The Swan Land and Cattle Company used cash raised from its investors
to purchase and merge small ranches in eastern Wyoming into a hundred-mile
estate with over a 100,000 head of cattle.12 This was only one of many large cattle
operations. Speculation resulted in paper companies without land or cattle selling
stock to gullible and eager investors.
Land was the water and rock of the cattle industry, which depended almost
entirely on the free use of public lands for grazing enormous herds of cattle. By the
1870s and 1880s, government land acts offered a variety of means to homesteaders
to acquire land in the West. The General Land Office sponsored public auctions.
Congress pushed through legislation providing such acts as the Homestead, Timber
Culture, Desert Land Act, and the Timber and Stone Act. Land purchases became
affordable for almost everyone.13 The numbers of small farmers and ranchers rose
in the Plains states. Even the men who fought so diligently in the Civil War were
rewarded with bounty land warrants. There were many ways to become a
landowner. As a result, the cattle industry dominated the Great Plains in less than
fifteen years after the Civil War.14
As settlers moved into the plains, towns and cities sprang up along the
railroad lines and cattle trails. Platted in 1861, Abilene was one of the first. In 1867,
Chicagoan John McCoy became a town builder. He advertised, promoted, and
developed Abilenes location at the end of the Chisholm Trail and as a rail center.15
Overnight the population of Abilene exploded. Soon the wide, dusty streets lined
with wooden sidewalks and false front stores filled with cowboys, immigrants
headed westward by rail, and new settlers in and around the growing town. In 1878,
Nathan Carr and sons passed through Abilene on their way to Colorado. Nathan
wrote in his diary that it was the hardest town he had traveled through yet.16 Not
only people appeared on the streets of Abilene. Between 1866 and 1886 some ten
million head of cattle followed trails to Missouri and Kansas.17
Abilene may have been a hard town in 1878, but by 1885 when the
Eversons arrived, it was becoming a beautiful little city with modem
improvements. In 1886, the Abilene Daily Gazette proudly declared that the towns
system of water works was forced to expand beyond the four miles of mains then in
operation to nine miles. Edisons incandescent light just arriving in the plains city
brightened the offices and stores of Abilene and plans were in effect to broaden its
availability to all who desired this artificial light. As a terminus of the Union
Pacific, they expected to become a first class shipping center with two of the
most powerful railroad corporations eyeing the city for competing railroad lines.
The Kansas Division of the Union Pacific passed through Abilene heading west
two times daily and another two times heading east. It offered only one time either
way on Sundays. While the newspaper gave an account of late trains daily and
weekly, visitors and cattle shipments came and went on a routine basis.19
The Abilene Improvement Company formed for the principal purpose of
drawing manufacturing to the city through boosterism. Mayor A.W. Rice, J. Ralph
Burton (later a Kansas U.S. Senator), and George Rohrer played prominently in the
selling the wonders of their city to others near and far drawing in investors,
businesses, manufacturing, and even inventors.20 Their advertisements appealed to
the Eversons and in 1885, William, Carrie, and George Everson traveled to Abilene
to introduce Carries cattle fattening agent.
Upon their arrival, the family found rooms at a local hotel. At the offices of
the Daily Gazette, Dr. Everson was introduced to George Rohrer, the publisher and
editor. Besides being a publisher and owner of the newspaper, Rohrer owned many
Abilene businesses, including its Opera House, a boot and shoe store, cigar store,
and the Laney Mining Company located in Summit County, Colorado.21 As many
of the local businessmen and city officials who owned businesses in town, his cash
base also depended upon the cattle industry. Fascinated with Carries findings on
the nutritive value of malts and grains, Rohrer introduced the idea of the mush to
local cattlemen and helped the family find a rental cottage on the north side of
When the Eversons arrived in Kansas, the boom period of the cattle industry
had taken a hit. The arid plains could only support cattle when weather conditions
were favorable. Neither cattle companies nor the government considered
conservation of the range and subsequent overgrazing exhausted the land. Absent
owners of cattle corporations did not concern themselves with food supply for their
herds as they continued to buy more and more young steers. They focused on
making a profit. Large herds decimated the natural grasses forcing them to travel in
ever widening circles to find sustenance until they encountered obstacles. Although
the railroad moved cattle to market, it also fractionalized the open range.
The Homestead Act and introduction of barbwire only compounded their
problems by breaking up the open range into smaller portions and creating
obstacles for grazing herds. The open range disappeared into pasturelands.
Ranchers fenced their lands in an effort to protect pastures for their cattle. Often
they did not even own the land, but fenced in public domain. Others bought up
small parcels from homesteaders or falsely purchased land under the act by placing
cowboys on tracts of land as homesteaders.
Losses followed periods of prosperity. Abruptly the weather changed. In the
winter of 1885, severe cold spells held the nation in its grip. The summer of 1886
gave no relief when drought plagued the Plains states and reached into the western
states. After Johns arrival in July, William and Carrie planned a trip to the
mountains near Denver when an August heat wave of temperatures at or above 100
degrees settled over Kansas and Missouri. William felt it was an opportune time
to introduce the Everson Ore Concentration Process to Colorados mining
operations near Georgetown.
After a few days rest in Denver, the Everson family headed to Georgetown
aboard the Colorado Central railway. When the Eversons alighted at the rail station
in Georgetown, they found a bustling community nestled at the foot of the
mountains. Golden yellow heaps of tailings near the entrances of mines high on the
sides of mountains resembled monstrous ant hills. In the valley, ore processing
mills and sampling works joined the ever enlarging mining town with its frame and
brick buildings. Georgetown had become more than just a silver mining camp; it
was a center for innovative thought and technological processes.
Assayers, metallurgists, inventors, and mining engineers from Mexico,
Germany, Britain, Canada, and the United States, including a small group of
African American men from the Midwest, lived in Georgetown, testing and
reshaping metallurgical processes on the districts hard rock ore.24 Small business
men, like blacksmith Hunter Criley and his brother set up blacksmith shops and
foundries to make mine equipment for mining operations. In their foundry, the
Criley brothers built ore buckets, cars, and simple mine equipment.25 Part of the
innovation aspect of mining is the on-going process of tinkering with method,
process, and technology to suit the needs of the ore that is to be concentrated.
William approached American and British mining outfits, including possibly the
small businessmen, such as the Crileys, promoting Carries process and offering
them the chance to build a fifty-ton test plant in sixteen square feet of space.
A newspaper reporter from the Georgetown Courier listened to Williams
promotions and ran an article in his paper. He reported that,
A perfect ore concentrating process, we stated in our last issue,
was, among other things, one of the needs of the west. We are now
told that this great desideratum is at hand. Mrs. C. J. Everson, wife
of Dr. W. K. Everson, of Chicago, now in Georgetown, has
discovered a process (for which a patent has been allowed), for
chemical concentration of ores, which, if what is claimed for it is
true, will supersede all other modes of concentration, and will add
immensely to the wealth and business interests of Colorado and all
other mining districts.. ..Granting what is claimed by the inventor,
the bullion product of Colorado ought to be doubled within a short
Despite favorable coverage of Eversons patent in the local newspaper, it did not
receive the acclaim she desired. It more than likely was because her discovery for
flotation was contrary to standards currently in use. For centuries, miners used
methods that relied on the weight of gold and silver to carry it to the bottom of their
pans and troughs. Her method did not make sense at all to them. Others were of the
opinion that no new processes would be discovered. It was too revolutionary for
even the innovative Georgetown mining operators.
The cooler temperatures and high altitude eased the doctors asthmatic,
symptoms and the family enjoyed the respite. They returned to Kansas by early fall
to find a telegram waiting for them. Although the August 4,1886 issue of
Georgetown Courier reported that the Everson Ore Concentration Process was
patented, the U.S. Patent Office actually granted Carrie a patent for her process on
August 24, 1886.27 Despite unfavorable results in selling the Everson process,
William decided that after their attempt to sell the fattening agent in Kansas the
family would still move to Denver to work in earnest promoting it.
Kansas temperatures again reached seasonal norms when the schools
opened in the fall. The temperature was not the only thing that had dropped. Local
newspapers reported that cattle prices were sliding on the Abilene market
exchange. Cows sold for $2.75 and $3.00 per one hundred pound, while steers sold
for $4.30 to $4.60 as ranchers sold off their stock so that they would not need to
over winter their herds. The cattlemen feared a shortage of winter feed. At the
same time, a packer and stockyard strike in Chicago shut down transportation of
cattle in and out of the city in October and November. As the Armour Company
and the Knights of Labor worked on an agreement, shipments backed up in cattle
centers waiting to move their stock to market. When Armour capitulated and
accepted a ten-hour plan for its employees, the trains began to haul cattle cars once
more. On November 21, the first large cattle shipment in months chugged out of
Abilene on its way to the stockyards of Chicago.
As the train with thirty cars of cattle aboard headed to Chicago, a northern
blizzard swooped down from the Canadian territories and hung over the West and
Northwest. Blizzards stopped trains dead on their tracks. The effects of this storm,
its vast extent, and severity, as well as the anti-fencing public domain laws, would
permanently end the cattle boom. Nevertheless, in the early months of the winter of
1886, investors were interested in hearing about the Everson fattening agent and
she conducted her experiment during those bitterly cold months on Kansas frozen
Rohrer helped the Eversons obtain an old gristmill on the edge of town to
use as a test site. With the assistance of local cattlemen, wranglers gathered and
corralled a herd of about fifty cattle at the mill. William, John, and George fed a
malted-cooked grain in the form of a mush to the wild open-range steers.
Nevertheless, without shelter from the frigid weather and lacking any hay or fodder
to balance the herds diet of mush, the results of the test became all too clearly
apparent. The thinnest and weakest cattle gained weight quickly, but the most
robust of steers sickened and some died. After the deaths of fifteen of the herd,
investors withdrew their money and the experiment ended. The herd was sold.
The couple believed the experiment failed because the hardiest of the cattle
ate more food than was good for them, while the weaker obtained just the right
amount of nutrient values. The experiment was successful in that the weakest of the
cattle were fattened and sold at market. One wonders if the severe temperatures and
lack of shelter hastened the deaths of the healthier steers or was even the true cause
of many of the deaths. Nonetheless, the deaths of the healthiest cattle scared off
potential backers. The Eversons lost several thousand dollars on this venture.32
After the failed experiment, William and Carrie discussed moving on to
Denver to market the Everson Ore Concentration process, but chose to wait until
spring and better weather. John worked as a chore boy on a nearby farm and
Carries work for the Burton family as a nurse for an infirm relative supported the
family during the remainder of the winter.
When the plains turned green again, William and George climbed aboard a
westbound train. Carrie elected to remain in Abilene until her patient no longer
needed her assistance. John enjoyed working for the Shepherds and stayed in
Abilene for the time being. William set out for Denver with high hopes.
1 John L. Everson, Autobiography of a Tramp 2002, [http://www.stanford.edu/~quanah/jack] (25 April 2000),
Chapter 1, p 6.
2 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p I.
3 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, pg. 1.
4 William Straus and Neil Howe, Generations: The Histoiy of America's Future, 1584-2069 (New York: William
Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991) 210.
5 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 2.
6 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 6.
7 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 3.
8 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 5-6.
9 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 5, p. 1-5 and Chapter 6, p. 1-5. In his autobiography, John writes that he was
incarcerated in 1884 and soon after his parents sold their home and Williams medical practice. However,
records show that the Eversons sold their Indiana Avenue home in 1885 and the practice late 1885 or early
10 Illinois State Board of Health, Official Register of Physicians and Midwives (Springfield, 111.: Weber and Co.,
11 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 1, p. 8.
12 U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, The Cattlemens Empire: The National Survey of Historic
Sites and Buildings, by Ray H. Mattison, Robert M. Utley, and William C. Everhart (Denver: Government
Printing Office, 1959) 48.
13 James A, Young and B. Abbott Sparks, Cattle in the Cold Desert (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press,
14 The Cattlemens Empire, 2.
15 The Cattlemen's Empire, 93.
16 Nathan Carr, 1878 Diary, TMs, authors collection.
17 Warren A. Beck and Ynez D. Haase, Historical Atlas of the American West (Norman, OK: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1989) 30.
18 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 8 August 1886.
19 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 3 July 1886.
20 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 8 August 1886.
21 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), September 1885.
22 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Intermountain Support Office, The Cattlemen on the
Western Plains, Undated, TMs (photocopy), pg. 7-10 from Grant-Kohrs National Historic Landmark file,
Intermountain Support Office Cultural Resource Files, Denver, Colorado.
23 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 7 August 1886.
24 Robert L. Spude, The Ingenious Community: Georgetown, Colorado, and the Evolution of Western American
Silver Milling and Metallurgy, 1864-1895, The Mining History Journal (Spring 2003): 1.
25 Robert L. Spude, Criley, Blacksmith, 7 August 2002, personal email (10 August 2002).
26 A Perfect Ore Concentrating Process, Georgetown Courier, 4 August 1886, quoted in Louise C. Harrison,
Empire and the Berthoud Pass (Denver: Big Mountain Press, 1964), 338-339.
21 Process of Concentrating Ores, by Carrie J. Everson, U.S. Patent 348,157 (24 August 1886).
28 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 7 August 1886.
29 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 21 November 1886.
30 The Daily Gazette (Abilene), 17 and 21 November 1886.
31 Everson, Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 6.
32 Everson, Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 6.
The streets of Denver were muddy from a recent rain when William and
George disembarked at Union Station that April in 1887. It was Georges first visit
to Denver and he stared with wonder at the bustling metropolis of 35,629 people,
the nations fiftieth-largest urban center.1 It was a beehive of activity. Boosters
crowed about Denvers boundless opportunities. Its rarified air cured most
ailments. Its schools were as fine as those found in the East. There were no slums
and the most modem of conveniences of water, electricity, and transportation were
available in its neighborhoods. Denver was a modem city on the plains.
However new arrivals quickly realized that despite improvements of
commercial and private enterprise, Denvers municipal infrastructure was lacking.
The majority of buildings in the downtown area were only three stories. False
fronts still graced the front of one-story shanties. The central business and
commercial district shifted from 15 and Blake streets to 16 Street when Horace
Tabor financed the construction of the Tabor Block and the Tabor Grand Opera
House in 1880 to 1881.2 A mixture of frame and brick buildings lined boardwalks.
Hotels and boarding houses offered cheap rooms to tourists and Denverites alike.
The majority of Denverites lived in furnished rooms.3 The city truly overflowed
with people. Renters could not afford the high costs of housing rentals. Builders
and real estate speculators bought up land to build houses and create new
subdivisions to meet the market demands. Meanwhile people, horses, wagons, and
buggies fought for right of way on dusty streets. In addition, electric and cable car
lines covered much of the city providing economical and ready transport around the
city and into the suburbs.4 Only 43 policemen protected the streets of Denver in
Suburbs hugged the city boundaries. Mansions materialized. Utility
companies formed and rushed to provide amenities of piped water, electrical
lighting, even telephones.6 Unbelievably tall power poles supported what seemed
like hundreds of electrical wires. Incandescent lights that arrived in 1880 lit the
streets. Ditches with water from the South Platte and artesian wells fed thirsty trees,
lawns, and the population. Unfortunately Denvers pure water was not as
boosters declared; it came with water-borne diseases. Shortly after father and son
arrived in Denver, George contracted typhoid fever. He died in his fathers arms
while his grieving mother suffered alone in Kansas.
After a period of mourning, William packed up his belongings and checked
out of the hotel. He ventured into the mining districts south and west of Denver to
sell the Everson Ore Concentrating process. He encountered stiff competition.
William returned to Georgetown and found that with the shift from local mills to
the smelters at Denver there were fewer operations interested in new concentration
methods. Railroads vied for business and freight charges dropped dramatically.
Operators shipped their ore to smelters on the plains. William then headed to
Cripple Creek and Leadville without success. Although William had been a
successful physician and surgeon, he was not a marketing giant like Brick
Pomeroy. He failed to convince Colorado miners that the Everson process would
collect higher concentrations of gold and silver and was more efficient than their
current methods. Too many miners and mining companies continued to believe that
high-grade veins of gold and silver were plentiful and current concentration
methods satisfactory. By September, a disillusioned William returned to Denver to
meet Carrie at Union Station.
When Carrie arrived, she was dismayed to see the physical state of her
husband. His clothes hung on his frame. He fretted so over their financial state that
he made himself sick. When John arrived in Denver with a little more than twenty
dollars, it was thankfully received. Construction in Denver offered ample job
opportunities and John quickly found a job as an offbearer to a molder in a
brickyard. He made $2.50 per day.7 It was hard work, but helped keep his family
fed and paid for their room. William continued to make trips to market the process
when his health allowed.
When Johns income did not meet the familys needs, he took to peddling in
the evenings for an unlicensed peddler. It only spelled more trouble for the family.
The merchandise he sold was stolen.
Pleased with himself for selling several razors in one evening, John pushed
up to the bar at a downtown saloon. While talking to the bartender, John mentioned
he had a Colt .45 revolver for sale. A fellow standing beside John asked to see it.
He turned the revolver to and fro, peered down the barrel, and asked where John
got the gun. He told the gentleman that it was his and he needed to sell it to pay his
familys bills. John was cheered when he saw the gentleman reach into his coat
front as though reaching for a wallet, but it turned to surprise when the detective
revealed his badge pinned to his vest. That night John found himself behind bars in
the City Jail on Larimer Street. John stuck to his story as the officers grilled him
through the night, but several lies and the fact that the gun was stolen from a
burglarized local hardware store boded poorly for the inmate. A policeman put
John behind bars to await trial on a charge of burglary.
While John was being arrested, William, on a marketing trip to Central
City, became ill and took the next train to Denver. Stumbling into the familys
room, he collapsed into bed and died of a ruptured aneurism. By the time, John got
word to his mother where he was, it was too late. His only comfort was that his
father did not die knowing he had once again been thrown in jail. Carrie went to see
John, but was unable to get her son released to attend his fathers funeral. She
buried William January 20, 1888, at Riverside Cemetery in Denver.9 He was 69.
Carrie had to borrow the thirteen dollar burial fee from friends.10
A grieving Carrie attended Johns trial with hopes that he would reveal the
individual who gave him the stolen goods, thereby freeing the young criminal, but
John refused to give up his accomplice and he was charged with burglary. Luckily
for him, he was not sentenced to jail, but sent to a local reform school. On a cold,
bitter January morning, the police loaded John into a paddy wagon and delivered
him to the Colorado State Industrial School for Boys at Golden. This would not be
the only association that Carrie would have with Denvers juvenile correctional
The Colorado State School was the states first juvenile detention home. In
the 1880s, Denver, like many American urban centers, experienced growing pains
as more and more people arrived. The explosive growth overwhelmed Denvers
city government and the community. As the citys socioeconomic problems grew,
so did its needs for social services. Tight living arrangements forced children into
the streets during the day if they could not afford to attend local schools. Public
schools would not appear in Denver until 1901. Beggars and orphans crowded
street comers for handouts. Vagrancy became an enormous problem. Churches,
neighborhoods, and eventually, city hall fought over whose responsibility it was to
deal with the indigent. Voters pressured their representatives to do something. In
response, state and city governments instituted laws that imprisoned those who had
no obvious means of support.
However, not all of Denver felt that jail was a solution. Organizations, like
benevolent associations and churches, struggled to assist needy members.
Philanthropists formed charity organizations designed to help those who did not
have such a safety net, but eventually they too could not meet the needs of the poor.
Charities approached businesses for donations, who in turn complained they had
too many socialites begging for money for the poor. As a result, many groups
joined forces in an effort to create more efficient operations.11 One such
organization was the Associated Charities of Denver, created when approximately
twenty-six organizations including the Denver Flower Mission (Visiting Nurse
Association), for which Carrie Everson later worked, Hebrew Ladies Benevolent
Society, Ladies Relief Society, and the Mount Saint Vincent Orphanage (Mount
Saint Vincent Home) joined forces to distribute relief through clothes, food, and
services.12 Despite the services charities provided, small, but growing, populations
of orphaned or discarded youth frequented the streets of Denver. They were
ignored until the young vagrants ended up in the court system and put in jail.13
Eventually, institutional settings became a necessary component of the
social and economic growth in urban centers such as Denver. Reformers, who had
visions of a better society, pressed state and city government officials to create
orphanages, insane asylums and eventually, poorhouses and reform schools.
Between 1870 and 1895, the Denver community built at least ten institutions for
the poor, orphaned, and insane.14 It felt reform schools would keep youthful
offenders away from trouble by educating and training them for employment. The
majority of those incarcerated did not commit any crime other than being poor and
wanting, yet served from fifteen to sixty days in county jail.15
However, the support institutions were not much better than the lives their
inmates had on the streets. As one writer claimed they were long on aspirations
but short on successes.16 The homes and schools labored on poor financing, even
poorer administrations and untrained, volunteer staffs until state legislation took on
the arduous task of regulating public institutions. Still they were plagued with
In his inaugural speech on January 22, 1881, Governor Frederick Pitkin
announced that he would push immediately for the establishment of a state reform
school to deal with the growing problem of youth offenders in jails around the
state. Within a short time, Senator James M. John introduced a bill to the Colorado
State legislature establishing a state school, the Colorado State Industrial School for
Boys. The author of the bill drew upon the language in an Ohio law that provided
for criminals from the ages of ten to sixteen to be sent to a reform school instead
of jail. The Colorado bill passed.17
When the bill passed the legislature, the State House appointed a three-
member committee to visit Eastern institutions to develop a plan for the Colorado
school. The initial $20,000 appropriation was soon followed by a $5,000 increase
for school building improvements. In May, W. C. Sampson, accompanied by his
wife and daughter, traveled from Plainfield, Indiana, to run Colorados school.
Officially, the doors to the Golden school opened July 16,1881. Its mandated
mission was to provide institutional care for children by educating each child
through vocational training. Sampson claimed it was their mission to provide for
each boys day-to-day needs, while building self-esteem. Thus, it was the goal of
the school to return their inmates to society as responsible citizens.18
Opened originally as a boys institution, the State Industrial School soon
accepted female pupils. Superintendent Sampson, Hon. MarkN. Megrue of Pueblo,
president of the schools board and others urged the Colorado Sixth General
Assembly to create a separate school for girls. However, their request got lost in the
clamor for funding for other state and municipal projects. Not until 1894 would the
girls be moved from the school into their own institution in Denver.
When John arrived in 1888, Sampson was the superintendent of the
Colorado State Industrial School for Boys. John marveled at how the school
operated on practically the same plan as Plainfield, the Indiana school that he had
been incarcerated in earlier, until he learned that Sampson had been at Plainfield.
The boy worried about his mother and how she was faring, but on the next visitors
Sunday after his incarceration, Carrie told John she was living with the Charles
Bush family at Twenty-Sixth and Holliday (Market). Bush and his partner Frank H.
Bradstreet, dramatic agents, had an office in the Burlington block.19 Due to their
kindness and generosity, Carrie stayed with the family during her grieving process
and until she could find employment. Because of her past experience in medicine,
Carrie considered getting nursing certification and inquired at the Arapahoe
Training School.20 She urged John not to worry about her, but to concentrate on his
behavior so that he might get early parole.
There were four families at the school. Sampson assigned John to Samuel
Poes house. Poe eventually became a Jefferson County sheriff. Although Poe was
a strict disciplinarian, the boys considered him a fair man and not unkind. Poe first
assigned John to work on the farm, but later he moved him into the broom factory
where he learned to tie brooms. John also worked several months in the shoe shop
under Mr. James Slater, the schools bandmaster, who also taught him to play the
John enjoyed the fact that the Golden school had fewer inmates than
Plainfield and even a small group of girls. Once John earned trusty status and
could freely move around the office building, quite often he met the girls, who
worked in the offices. House rules stated that fraternization was not permitted
among the sexes, but John managed to slip a note to one particularly pretty young
girl named Ada. A few years later, John happened upon Ada working as a barmaid
at the Central Theatre on Holliday Street in Denver. While having a drink together,
she tearfully told him she was diseased. He never saw her again and assumed she
had died.22 Just before Christmas, John was paroled to his mother and he joined her
in her rooms in Denver. She had found temporary nursing employment and was
enrolled at the Arapahoe Training School.
Victorian propriety placed limits and restraints upon women. Historians
Linda Kerber and Jane Sherron DeHart have explained that, Because gender rather
than individual talent or capability has been employers primary consideration,
women have been segregated into certain kinds of work, whether in the professions
or in industry. In the workplace, women and men were assigned jobs that
reflected the roles established. Women were channeled into domestic and
familial jobs. Traditional attitudes about womans place restricted employment to
fields that were seen as extensions of her role as nurturer and caregiver. Working-
class women, forced to work to help support their family, made barely subsistence
wages in menial jobs. If middle-class or educated women sought employment, they
generally found it in teaching or nursing.24
However, in the decades around the turn of the century, a large number of
womens organizations actively pursued social reforms through charity, suffrage,
beautification, and volunteer associations. Involvement in these associations, from
volunteer activities to paid employment, became acceptable. After the Civil War,
nursing the sick, visiting the poor, and assisting the elderly fit conventional
conceptions of womens work. It was a public form of domesticity and accepted.
Few championed the creative and innovative woman.
Alone and restrained by social conventions, Carrie Everson found it
difficult to market her concentration process. Without her husband to handle the
business aspects of her invention, Carrie accepted the fact that her process might
never realize a profit. She needed to find a job. After Williams death and Johns
incarceration, Carrie considered the options available to her. For many years, Carrie
had assisted her husband in his medical practice and frequently she had been
employed as a home nurse. With references in hand, she enrolled in Denvers first
nurses training school at Arapahoe County Hospital.
The hospital on Broadway was the brain child of county physician Doctor
John Eisner. In 1873, the county bought three acres of land from Richard E.
Whitsitt for $1,250. The first building of what later became Denver General
Hospital on Sixth Avenue opened to the indigent outcasts whom Eisner found
lying around in hen houses and bams, which resulted in the hospital commonly
known as the poorhouse. With construction of a new building, the hospital
became the County Hospital. After 1884 paupers were sent to a poor farm in
Globeville, north of downtown. Three years later the name Arapahoe County
Hospital was changed to Colorado City and County Hospital and the Arapahoe
County Training School for Nurses was established.
The nursing program opened in March of 1887 under the tutelage of Nurse
Hattie P. Shepard, who had been schooled at the Chicago Presbyterian Hospital, but
she was soon replaced by Miss Lettie G. Welch, a graduate of the Illinois Training
School in Chicago. The training program lasted one and a half years. However,
four years later, directors of the school expanded the program to two years.27 When
a second nursing school opened at St. Lukes in Denver, Arapahoe students
attended a thirty-six-month course to receive certification.28 Students learned
practical skills. Nurse trainees attended patients in the county hospitals thirty-five
beds where members of the staff gave students bed-side instruction. Resident
doctors presented to two or three lectures a day and staff taught textbook classes,
which may have used the popular textbook, A Hand Book of Nursing?9 The
students were not assigned night work, which would have been considered
unseemly for women.
Just before Christmas in 1888, John left the state school and moved into his
mothers small flat at 845 Santa Fe Drive. The flat was one of six located above
grocer R.B. Waddingtons store located just four blocks east of the railway tracks
and the S. Platte River in west Denver. Even in her flat, Carrie continued her
chemical experiments and still held out hope that she could sell her process with
the assistance of a promoter. John encouraged and supported his mothers nursing
studies and experiments. Carrie begged him to go to school again, but he was ready
to move on. After the holidays, John said good bye to his mother and jumped a
western bound train for San Francisco.31 Carrie chose to remain in her small flat on
Santa Fe Avenue, even when a nurses home was built in 1889 on the hospital
campus. As she continued her studies towards certification and a new career, Carrie
began to look for a business partner to sell her patent.
1 Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel, Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis (Niwot, Colo.: University Press of
Colorado, 1990) 44.
2 Leonard and Noel, Denver, 45.
3 Denver Daily News, 11 October 1881.
4 Leonard and Noel, Denver, 55-56.
5 Leonard and Noel, Denver, 66.
6 The phone came to Denver in 1879. Leonard and Noel, Denver, 48.
7 John L. Everson, The Autobiography of a Tramp, 2000, [http://www.stanford.edu/~quanah/jack] (25 April 2000,
24 February 2001), Chapter 6, p. 6.
8 Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 6-7.
9 Although the family believes William Everson is buried in the Riverside Cemetery, there is no official record of
his internment in the cemeterys records.
10 Jerome Smiley, History of Denver (Denver: Times-Sun Publishing, 1901) 776-778, and Kay Merrill, editor,
Colorado Cemetery Directory (Denver: Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies, 1985) 154.
11 Smiley, History of Denver, 776-778.
12 Denver Flower Mission and Visiting Nurses Association Annual Reports, In Charity Organization Society:
Serial of Annual Reports, for 1890, by the Denver Flower Mission. Colorado Historical Society, Serial 1-23,
I3Leonard and Noel, Denver, 65-75.
14 Leonard and Noel, Denver, 44.
15 The History of Services for Delinquent Girls in Colorado, TMs (4 February 1999) 1-2; The Modernization of
Juvenile Delinquency, 2000. [www.wiu.edu/users/mucdr5/jdmod.htm]. 13 April 2001; The Golden (Colorado)
Weekly Globe, February 1881; Leonard and Noel, Denver, 44; and Richard E. Woodward, Colorado Industrial
School for Girls, (M.S.W. thesis, University of Denver, 1948) Introduction.
16 Annette L. Student, Sadie Likens: Patron of the Fallen, Colorado Heritage (Summer 2001): 21.
17 Work Projects Administration, History of Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado, WPA Project 3548 (Lakewood,
Colo.: Foothills Genealogical Society, 1993) 511-512, and Colorado, Department of Institutions, Division of
Youth Services, Bulletin 10 (15 April 1963).
18 WPA, History of Golden, 511-512, and State of Colorado, Department of Institutions, General Assembly
Report, Legislature 1881, page 132.
19 The Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 7, and 1888 Denver City Directory.
20 John L. Everson, Carrie Jane Everson, Inventor, Mining American, 8.
21 The Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 7.
22The Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 7.
23 Linda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron DeHart, Gender, in Encyclopedia of American Social History, Mary
Kupiec Cayton, Elliott J. Gom, and Peter W. Williams, eds. (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1993) 486.
24 Kerber and DeHart, Gender, 484 -485, and Gerda Lemer, Women and History, Vol. 1: The Creation of
Patriarchy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986) 44-48.
25 Later the hospitals name would be changed to Colorado City and County Hospital and eventually Denver
General Hospital. Smiley, History of Denver, 111, and History of Visiting Nurses Association: First 50 Years,
n.d., found in Brief History: Highlights of VNA and VNS, 1889-1973, Scrapbook located at the main office of
the Visiting Nurses Association, Denver, Colorado. Quote was taken from Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J.
Noel, Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis (Niwot, Colo.: University of Colorado Press, 1990) 68, quoting
Maijorie Hombein, Dr. John Eisner: A Colorado Pioneer, Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly 13
(June 1981): 291-303.
26Leonard and Noel, Denver, 67-68; History of Visiting Nurses Association: First 50 Years, 10; and History
of Denver General Hospital, Denver, Colorado, 1860-1924, Louise Croft Boyd Manuscript Collection,
WH37, Box 1, Western History Department, Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado.
27 History of Denver General Hospital, Boyd Manuscript Collection.
28 History of Visiting Nurses Association: First 50 Years, 10.
29 History of Denver General Hospital, Boyd Manuscript Collection.
30 1893 Denver City Directory and Baists 1905 Real Estate Atlas, Surveys of Denver, Plate 13, found in the
Western History Collection at the Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado.
31 The Autobiography of a Tramp, Chapter 6, p. 7.
Despite her husbands failure to promote her process in the past, Carrie still
held out hope that a buyer might be found. On their initial trip to Georgetown,
William had approached many businesses. Perhaps he had even talked with Hunter
Criley and Carrie recalled the last name. Soon after Carries son John left town, she
found blacksmith Thomas F. Criley to assist her with her experiments. It isnt clear
if Thomas was related to Hunter Criley of Georgetown who saw Eversons process
in 1885 or whether it was just a coincidence that they were in the same business
and had the same name. Criley ran a blacksmith shop and lab in Denver for
several years. He and his partner, veterinarian surgeon James Hogeboom, tinkered
in mining equipment. When Everson explained her patented process, Criley
enthusiastically suggested that they become partnershe the promoter and she the
inventor. She accepted.
Thomas Criley was known for his gregarious personality and had a body to
suit the personality. At over 200 pounds, Thomas was quite the opposite of the
diminutive Mrs. Everson.1 However, the two had the makings of a good
partnership. Thomas expertise appeared to be equipment and marketing, while
Carrie supplied the scientific insight and patented process. Criley suggested that he