Century Awards Wall Of Fame City Archives City of Deadwood

Ludwig S. Kelloch


May 17, 1893

Deadwood was founded on the work of thousands of faceless pioneers, men and women who braved the frontier to create a new home and a new life. Many of these intrepid souls left few - if any - official records of their time in the Black Hills. Though Ludwig S. Kelloch didn't even leave behind a proper spelling of his last name, he certainly left his mark: the deepest gold mine in the world.

Ludwig Kelloch - alternately spelled Kalloch, Kellogg and Kelogg - was born in Saint George, Maine, sometime around 1836. His parents, Sarah and Hanse, had ten other children. Little is known of Ludwig until 1860, when census data shows that he was working as a lumberman for Pope & Talbot in Kitsap County, a forested peninsula in Washington Territory. However, the following year Ludwig was back in the eastern United States, fighting as a private in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was discharged in 1864, a year before the war ended.

Ludwig S. Kelloch

By 1870 Ludwig had apparently returned home to Saint George, where he was farming with his family. But Ludwig was destined for more than a simple farmer's life. Through some mysterious chain of events, Ludwig entered the employment of mining magnate George Hearst in the years that followed. In 1877 Hearst - who viewed Ludwig as a trusted and experienced advisor - sent the former farmer to investigate the new gold discoveries in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory. After reviewing the Homestake claim and securing a purchase option for $70,000 from the Manuel Brothers, Ludwig made his favorable report back to Hearst. He claimed that the mine would bear enough gold for his grandchildren and their grandchildren. Considering that the Homestake Mine operated for 126 years, Ludwig's opinion was surprisingly accurate.

Ludwig stayed in the Black Hills and helped establish the new Homestake Mine, evidently serving as some kind of supervisor or manager. Little else is known about his life in the years that followed, although more census information shows that Ludwig was living in Galena in 1880, sharing a house or cabin with a young miner named Fritz Felke.

Ludwig passed away in the spring of 1893 at approximately 57 years of age. Records show that he was buried in Deadwood's Mount Moriah Cemetery, although his grave is unmarked and its location has yet to be confirmed.

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