WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
SILVER REEF CONSOLIDATED MINING COMPANY
Silver Reef, Utah
LOCATIONSilver Reef, Utah
HISTORYIn 1916, Alexander W. Colbath raised $160,000 to buy most of the Silver Reef mine properties to take advantage of the World War I rise in silver prices. He organized them into the Silver Reef Consolidated Mining Company which had an office in the Newhouse building in Salt Lake City and fitted up the old Wells Fargo Bank in Silver Reef for their office at the mines. The property of the company was cleaned up, retimbered and fitted for resumption of work. Thirty men, all residents of Washington county, were employed and a branch power line was built from the Dixie Power Company's line to the mines. Three electric hoists were installed and all operations were conducted by means of electricity, including the ventilation of the shafts by electrically driven air compressors. He leased part of the property to a New York company in 1920, which planned to build a mill, but cancelled their plans when silver prices dropped again.
In 1922, Alex lived in the old Wells Fargo Office in Silver Reef. He continued as superintendent of the Silver Reef Consolidated Mining Company.
In 1928, the American Smelting and Refining Company purchased 51% of his stock and did a great deal of development work. When the price of silver dropped to 26 cents per ounce, work came to a standstill.
On the 1930 and 1940 census, Alex was an iron mine operator, living with his wife and stepson in Cedar City. He served on the mining, utilities and manufacturing committee of the Cedar City chamber of commerce in 1935.
In 1950, Alex sold his Silver Reef properties to Western Gold and Uranium, Inc.