A Goldfield High School Trustee By John Rudderow and Deana Glatz

A. A. Codd, from
Who’s Who in Nevada, 1907

ARTHUR ASHTON CODD came to Goldfield late in 1904 at the invitation of his old friend and college classmate, Claude M. Smith.

Smith had been the District Mining Recorder of the Goldfield district since its organization in 1903, and was appointed Deputy District Mining Recorder, a position he held for about four years.

At that time, Goldfield was the largest mining district in the United States; during the years 1904-05, fifty to seventy-five location certificates a day were not unusual to record. In November 1905, Mr. Codd completed his Goldfield residence at 107 S. Franklin and had it ready for the arrival of his family that same month. (Editor’s note: The residence no longer stands)


While in Goldfield, Mr. Codd was in the forefront in nearly every mineral development in the area, the most notable being his St. Ives Leasing Co. located a short distance east of Goldfield. He also opened and/or operated properties at Weeber mountain, north of Lida; the Gold Quartz group in the Red Mountain section east of Diamondfield; Wonder; the Barry-Goldfield Co. of New York which developed the Potter group of claims south of Goldfield and a number of other places. Mr. Codd was also one of the most reliable brokers of Goldfield.


With all of his service to the mining industry, A. A. Codd’s greatest contribution was to the cause of education. During his time in Goldfield, he was one of the foremost factors in building a fine educational system there. In May 1906, in the election for the Board of School Trustees, there were two tickets, the Citizens ticket, composed of A. A. Codd, C. H. Beesley and E. T. Patrick, and the other, the Socialist ticket, composed of Fred G. Clough, M. F. Richter and C. M. Carpenter. The Citizens ticket was victorious.

Mary McLaughlin / Cedar Street School

Goldfield’s first stone school building [Cedar Street], two stories in height and 60 x 80, started under the administration of the previous Board of School Trustees, was nearing completion and the new board was tasked with increasing the current staff of teachers to accommodate this new school and to having plans drawn for another school house to accommodate the increasing population of students. The Goldfield Gossip of October, 1906 reported the total school census for the Goldfield district is 624 pupils.

At the new board’s first meeting, Beesley was appointed president, Patrick, member and Codd, clerk, a position he held through 1910. The board re-appointed Miss Mary A. McLaughlin principal and selected three teachers from the 37 applicants to teach during the coming term; their salaries were set at a VERY generous $120 per month.

The Goldfield News, February 9, 1907

Goldfield needs a new school house, one that will accommodate a thousand pupils. It can be built at a cost of $75,000 and A. A. Codd is determined that the obstacles in the way of raising this money be removed. In the event that a general bill fails to pass, he will endeavor to secure special authorization from the legislature for the calling of an election to vote $75,000 bonds for the erection of the much-needed schoolhouse.

In February 1907, Senator Pyne introduced a bill, known as the “General School Act” which authorized the trustees of the various school districts throughout the state of Nevada to bond the same for such sums as may be necessary for the building of school buildings, etc. A. A. Codd, as Clerk of the Goldfield School Board, secured an option on a lot facing on Euclid Avenue between Crook and Ramsey streets where the Board intended to build a twelve-room building to give enough room for the Goldfield school for the coming two years.

April 20, 1907, an election to approve bonds in the amount of $80,000.00 was held at the school house on Cedar street and passed. The cornerstone of the new Goldfield High School was laid under Masonic auspices on Sunday afternoon, August 6, 1907, by Thanksgiving, the new school was complete and was formally dedicated the evening of January 31, 1908.

The Goldfield News, May 2, 1908

… Goldfield is confronted with the problem … of providing adequately for the schooling of its children. No sooner is one building constructed than another is needed… Goldfield has a school population of 800, and at the present rate of growth, it will be increased to 1,000 before the beginning of another year. The present buildings … are over-crowded and additional school room is needed …

The present board … two members have been left with all the work, as the third member has been absent most of the time. … most of the work devolved upon the secretary, who is A. A. Codd. No man could have worked harder, more unselfishly, conscientiously and intelligently, than Mr. Codd, and when it is considered that he is a man of affairs, with large personal business interests, it was putting too much of a burden upon his shoulders, especially as there was no compensation attached to his services, and the only wonder is that he is willing to stand for re-election and go “through the mill” again. But this only goes to show his interest and enthusiasm in behalf of the schools.

Mr. Codd’s successful efforts in building a fine educational system for the then booming town of Goldfield attracted much attention and resulted in his election to a regency of the University of Nevada in 1908. In 1912, he was re-elected to succeed himself for the long-term regency.

Until October 1909, Mr. Codd kept his home in Goldfield. Even after taking up his residence in Reno, he traveled between there and Goldfield, attending to his duties on the Goldfield School Board and his various mining interests. In December 1910, Mr. Codd resigned from the Goldfield School Board. In his letter of resignation, he praised the Goldfield school system which, at that time, consisted of “four complete and modern fireproof school buildings [Cedar Street/Mary McLaughlin, Goldfield High School, West Side and Sundog] equal to any schools in our country…”

Fire Department: The Goldfield Gossip, November, 1906 issue

Goldfield will install the Gamewell fire alarm system…

Chief Inman, President Revere, Lew Woodward and A. A. Codd, representing the fire department, and Ben Rosenthal, A. J. Frye, C. B. Stanley and Fred Cloud, representing the town board, agreed that they would have enough money on hand … It was shown that the system could be put in here at an expense not to exceed $4,000, and a telegram was sent to the A. J. Coffee Company of Oakland instructing them to send their expert here. …
During the last two weeks Mr. Inman says he counted 154 residences either being constructed or remodeled and new contracts are being let daily. Chief Inman estimates that it will take at least thirty fire alarm boxes to properly protect the city, and this number will have to be increased in the near future if the town continues in its phenomenal growth.

Train Service: The San Francisco Call Bulletin,n January 1907

A. A. Codd served on a committee representing Goldfield in the Nevada Association of San Francisco, along with George Wingfield, George D. Pyne, Alex Russell and H. T. Bragdon. One of their goals – to secure better train service. The association took up the question with the Southern Pacific and, as a result, Charles S. Fee, traffic manager of the Southern Pacific, issued orders that was to give Tonopah and Goldfield a double daily train service to San Francisco beginning February 3, 1907.

Arthur Ashton Codd was born on March 7, 1870 in Greenfield, Lincolnshire, England, one of eight children born to William Codd and Ann (Thompson) Codd, both natives of England. The family came to the United States from Liverpool, England, arriving on April 7, 1888 and settling in Riverside, San Bernardino Co., California.

Arthur received his education in the public schools in Riverside, Stockton Business College and Normal Institute. On September 29, 1897, Arthur and Susan Rutherford Patterson, a native of Stockton, California, were married. They had three children: Lois Helen (1898-1970), Ashton Rutherford (1900-1977) and Monroe (1907-1914). Early in 1900, Mr. Codd accepted a position with the Studebaker Carriage Company in San Francisco. He resigned late in 1904 during the gold excitement at Goldfield, Nevada where he relocated to and would spend the next four to five years. In Reno, as a regent of the University of Nevada from 1908 to 1916, Mr. Codd was largely responsible for the great strides made by that institution during that time. In addition to his duties as a regent, Mr. Codd was also actively engaged in the mining business.

During the Rochester, Nevada mining excitement, Mr. Codd was president of the Rochester Hills Mining Company which owned three claims called the Aurora Group. He also secured a lease on the Nenzel property (Oreana) which he developed. Because of his connections at Rochester, in 1913 he commenced construction of the Nevada Short line railroad to carry ore from the properties.

On January 21, 1921, his wife, Susan, passed away after contracting pneumonia. On August 15, 1922, Arthur married Mrs. Helen (Heward) Blair in Reno, Nevada. Fraternally, Mr. Codd was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, a Knight Templar, Scottish Rite and the Shriners. Arthur Ashton Codd passed away on January 19, 1931 in Reno, Nevada. He is buried in the Masonic Memorial Gardens in Reno.

Arthur Ashton Codd, founder of the Nevada Short Line Railroad and a major mining figure in the Rocherster Mining District.

The illustration is from Alfred H. Dutton’s Notable Nevadans in Caricature, 1907. Mr. Dutton, Nevada’s most famous cartoonist, achieved national recognition for his work on the Goldfield Tribune from 1906-1908.


From Nenzel City to Rochester Town,
The line of Codd runs up and down.
Ten miles long and three feet wide,
It winds along the mountain side.

It hauls from there your golden ore,
And express and passengers galore.
Then, too, it handles all the freight
And charges for all the highest rate.

The railroad of the Silver Belt
Has already made its presence felt,
And the jitney auto will surely burst
If it fights the Road of Service First.

This road which runs by gas and steam
Is the realization of Codd’s pet dream,
For every mile you pay ten cents;
A dividend is the consequence.

When everything is said and done,
And every word of praise is sung,
You will agree this line of Codd
Is the best that ever happened by_ _ _  [i]

[i] Lovelock Review-Miner, April 23, April 30, 1915, Humboldt Star, May 5, 1915

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