El Dorado


The History of El Dorado County, California by P. Sioli, pages 203-204

Up to the the time of its incorporation as a town, in the winter of 1855, the village went by the name of Mud Springs, and was a mining camp of some note; this was one of the first mining camps in the county, the first locations having been made in 1849 and '50. The name of Mud Springs, which is not unfrequently used even now, was derived from some springs near town that had been used by emigrants to water their cattle and other stock, by which means the surrounding ground had become quite muddy, and to distinguish these springs from the Diamond Springs, about two miles further up, the passing emigrants called the Mud Springs. The first quotation of the name of El Dorado, instead of Mud Springs, was in a correspondence under date of August 7th, 1855; but officially the change did not take place until January 1st, 1856. The incorporation line of the present place concerns all what was then known as Empire Ravine, Dead Man's Hollow, Loafer's Hollow, Logtown creek, Matheney's creek, Slate and Dry creeks. James Thomas was one of the first settlers, he erected in the winter of 1849 to 1850 a trading post and hotel, called Old Mud Springs House. The year of 1851 developed the camp to its utmost capacity. To the rich placer mines worked all around the discovery of a lot of quartz veins was added, and resulted in the erection of five steam quartz-mills on Matheney's creek, and four others on Logtown creek which, together with all the mines gave employment to not less than 500 laborers. A great many stores, hotels, boarding houses and other business places were engaged to provide the necessities of all of them. Among the residents of early El Dorado or Mud Springs we find just as many names of men who became prominent in time as any of the other towns of equal size in the county. Messrs. Blanchard, Meredith, Tebbs were the first attorneys; the Harvey Brothers and Dr. H. M. Fiske were the first physicians.

Of secret societies, the Masons are represented at El Dorado with the Hiram Lodge, No. 43, F. and A. M.; the Odd Fellows, with Aurum Lodge, No. 23,: the Grangers with El Dorado Grange, No. 178. In 1856 the Grand Consistory of Placerville granted a charter to organize a Lodge of E. Clampsus Vitus, at El Dorado, and the following Kinghts were elected officers: C. P. Jackson, N. G. H.; T. Foster, G. R. P.; W. D. Hinman, C. P.; J. E. Simmons, C. V.; T. J. Steward, G. R. F.; B. F. Davis, G. R. M.; H. W. Merritt, G. R. S.; P. Schramm, D. F. D.; E. Willow, G. R S.; Mr. Wetherwax, G. R. F.

El Dorado is located about half way between Shingle Springs and Placerville, on the Sacramento and Placerville state road; surrounded by a section of the country that is well adapted for agricultural purposes. The town is connected by a daily stage, running between Placerville and Shingle Springs.

On the night of the election day, in the fall of 1859, a difficulty arose between Messrs. A. W. Myatt and C. C. Bowker, in which the latter cut the former with a knife, killing him instantly. He was tried, found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to five years confinement in the State prison.

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