Sidney Bennett Tyler - 1906 - 1910
My grandfather Sidney Bennett Tyler was a mine superintendent in Rhyolite for some two to three years
about 1909. His wife (my grandmother) was Adela Shipley Tyler; and their daughter, my mother, was Carol Irene Tyler, who was
born in Mexico (near Torreon) on December 25, 1906. Their second daughter, Helen Brent Tyler, was born in Tonapah circa 1909
while the Tylers were living in Rhyolite. Sometime before 1912, Mr Tyler was transferred from Rhyolite back to a mine in Mexico.
(I am guessing around 1910 since there are no Tylers in the 1910 census)Denver based, he was a graduate of Colorado
School of Mines, and later, circa 1921, he was a mine superintendent in the White Mtns in California with the family living
in Bishop. - by descendant Bennett T. Squires
Homestake Mine 1908
Homestake Mine 1908
Homestake Mine 1908
Homestake Mine 1908
From the diary of Adelia "Heidi" Tyler courtesy her nephew Bennet T. Squires
My oldest sister Carol was about two and one half years old when my fathers father got in touch
with my father that he had some urgent business in Rhyolite, Nevada. In Rhyolite they were having a gold strike and my
fathers father with a group of some business people in Denver and some from the east were interested in property in Rhyolite.
They wanted my father to go there and look after the business and see if it would be well to invest and do anything about it.
So since the mine in Mexico was in a position to be taken care of by the people already there, there was no urgency for my
father to stay there and he and the family then moved to Rhyolite, Nevada.
Well Rhyolite, Nevada is nothing but something that you hear about. There is nothing there (a ghost town). South of Tonopah,
not too far from where Inyo County meets Nevada. Not too far from Death Valley and where of course it's very desert like
and a very hot climate in the summer time and the wind blows a lot there's nothing to keep the wind ...... to break it up
or get any shelter from it at all.
Because it was a hurry-up situation for all the people who went there it was more like a camp site than a real town. They
hardly spent any time to finish a building. They'd start it and then make it just enough to keep the wind and the sand out
and that would be it. The house where they stayed was nothing more than a tent built on a wooden base with a tent top. There
were about two stairs going into this little house, and there was no way of pumping water or anything like that. Water had to
be carried in.
They got water once a week in one of these large barrels like a keg -- a regular barrel -- and that would be all the water that
they would have during the week so that would have to be for everything. That would have to first be the water that you would drink;
you'd set that aside, and then the next water would be to get up and wash in the morning and so forth, but you would save every
drop of water no matter what it was used for. You never threw it out, you'd do it by layers and sift it. In other words, this is
for this, and this is for this, and this is for that and finally my mother would use whatever water was left to water her little
plants which she had started to grow on the outside.
Then, when the barrel was empty she would pound off the rings around the barrel and she would keep the stays and then she built
herself a fence around the yard. This was mainly when she hung her clothes outside and the wind would blow and the fence would
catch the clothes and keep them from going into all the neighbors' yards. And this was the day too, when you washed your clothes
in the sink and boiled water on the coal stoves. This was about the end of 1908.
My mother was pregnant with my sister Helen at that time, so it was probably early in 1909 anyway. Then, of course, being that
part of the country there were a lot of tarantulas and rattlesnakes and scorpions and some Gila monsters (but they were on the
shy side and you wouldn't see them much). But rattlesnakes....they'd usually kill one of those about once a day or certainly once
a week. Carol, who of course was running around at that time, she didn't have free-rein. You might say she spent a lot of time
in a high chair just to be sure she was out of trouble.
So then it came time for my sister to have Helen, and because it was a boom town, everybody there was trying to find gold, you
couldn't find many people there to do anything else. Of course it wasn't a town that had a grocery store or a pharmacy or anything
like that. There were no doctors in town, or nurses, no hospital or anything like that. So my father, making what preparations that
he could in advance knew about a doctor who was at the County Seat which is about where Tonopah would be, because that was a
railroad stop. He sent a man in a horse and buggy to get the doctor - and when he got to Tonopah, I believe it was, where he
picked up the doctor to take him back to Rhyolite. Well, the doctor was drunk.
Fortunately he did have a midwife that came along too. Poor mother had a very hard birth with my sister Helen. She was so exhausted
and it had been under such strain that she had to take some form of strychnine pill in order to stimulate her heart. Helen too, had
a very exhausting birth. It hadn't been easy. So it was a very trying time and a hard time for her to get over it.
She did get over it however. But Helen as a baby had an experience that was really life threatening. Helen was allergic; she
couldn't be nursed and she couldn't have milk. She just was very hard-up to agree with her. Finally they had .... there was this
Meade's mix. I believe that it was the only artificial kind of food that they had for babies at that time. They called it Meade's
formula. It had a cereal base, undoubtedly, and I don't know what else it had, but anyway, they found that that agreed with her
and that's what she was able to have. Because of the difficulties, she had a hard time, appearing somewhat undernourished because
of the strain that she had been under before. She was taking some kind of drops or something, that I guess was in some kind of
a form like a pill that was mashed up. Anyway, my mothers strychnine got mixed up with the other and she was given a small touch
of strychnine and her survival was touch-and-go at that particular time.
But anyway, I don't know how long they were there. I don't believe it was a year. Certainly no longer than it took for my father
that the boom was quite short lived and that what little gold there was quickly exhausted and that there was no future in it.
And then so again they went back to Mexico. They remained in Mexico from 19.. well, whether it was still 1909 or 1910 I don't know,
but anyway they stayed there 1911 at the same mine. That mine seemed to have an exhaustible supply of ore, being in an area where
mining still goes on in Mexico.
Thank you Bennet T. Squires for sharing some of your families history with us. Although the dates are a little confusing,
it gives us a glimpse at the lives of he people who lived in Rhyolite.
for more information or broken links. Thank You