Some new information has turned up. I am not in a position to do title searches in Colorado so what follows is speculation. Most of what I know is from the U. S. Census Records on ancestry.com. I made a little use of other indexes on that website, the Missouri data on usgenweb.com, the Creason family forum on genforum.genealogy.com, the Latter Day Saints’ web site, and Family Tree Maker web site on the ancestry of William Marion Creason.
First, the Cresson Mine is one of the richest sources of gold ever found. It was incorporated in 1895 by the business ancestors of the present owners, but they don't know who owned it before them. Supposedly they won the claim in a Chicago poker game. It included several mines including the Mary L., the Sadie Bell, the Draper, the Robin Hood, and the Friar Tuck.
I started by looking for anyone in Colorado named Cresson or Creason in the late 1800s. There weren’t many but I may have struck gold with two of them.
David Willis Creason (1846-1914) is of interest because he was involved with mining (his obituary states that he sold mining claims in 1895 and 1896) and he moved from La Jara, where he was a stockman and a judge, to Monte Vista in 1895, perhaps indicating a change in financial circumstances. The judge’s son, Charles D. Creason was listed as a miner in 1930. Interestingly, David W. Creason’s wife’s name was Sarah Desdemona. Take the first syllables of her two names and add an affectionate suffix and you get Sadie Bell! They had a daughter Mary Alice, which could have become Mary L. in the mine records (just as Creason could have been become Cresson, as it is sometimes written in the records).
Alvis Creason (1857-1934) was a young miner in a boarding house in East River, Gunnison Co. in 1880. Census records indicate that he moved to Alaska around 1895. He must have done well because he was in Oregon in 1900 (as Alver Cresson) and 1910 (as Al Creason), the first time with no occupation listed and the second time as living on his “own income” (he owned his residence both times). Interestingly, he had a sister named Laurabell Creason, born in 1864, and on the farm next door was a cousin, born the same year, named Corabell Creason. Again, we think of the mine, Sadie Bell. He also had a cousin Mary, but without a middle initial.
David W. and Alvis Creason were second cousins. They both descended from James and Rachel Creason who were born in Scotland around 1750 and who came to Kentucky before their offspring moved on to Macon, Daviess and Ray counties in Missouri. The lines of descent were James/Rachel – William/Elizabeth – David/Jerusha – David W. and James/Rachel – Walter/Susannah – Amos/Elizabeth – Alvis. David W. was born in Macon Co., but his obituary states that he came to Colorado from Ray Co., about 100 miles west of Macon Co.. That is the county in which Alvis Creason was born. Interestingly, both David W. and Alvis Creason had daughters named Ida.
One or both of these cousins may have owned the Cresson Mine before the present owners acquired it. They were in the right time and place, and both had connections with the mining industry, and both had associations which might explain the name of the Sadie Bell mine.
Of course, there are many ways the mine papers might have gotten into the famous poker game in Chicago. One is that stockmen take their cattle to market in Chicago, collect large payments, and traditionally gamble some of it away, but the poor poker player could have been the person the Creason’s sold their interest to.
As to my own relation to all this – there is none that we know of. The David W. and Alvis’ Creason great-grandparents were born in Scotland around 1750. My Cresson ancestors were French Huguenots who fled to Holland and then New Amsterdam in the 1650s and Philadelphia later in that century. Of course, many Huguenots went to Scotland, and James’ father and my progenitor were both named Peter (or Pierre), so perhaps we are distant cousins after all.
Please share this message with anyone in museums, historical societies or the mining industry who might be interested in the history of the Cresson Mine. Perhaps with this information someone who knows how to research Colorado mining claims could find out what kind of gold I am peddling.
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