Cass Hite

The Life of an Old Prospector

By James Knipmeyer

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9781607814719 (hardback)
9781607814726 (ebook)

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Cass Hite was a well-known prospector in the Glen Canyon area of southern Utah. He lived as a recluse yet knew most of the river runners, trekkers, cowboys, and Native Americans that passed through the region. He often wrote to newspapers and was in turn sought out by reporters for his vibrant comments. Hite followed the trail of gold and silver to destinations throughout the West—a time recounted in a memoir he penned in rhyming verse. After his death, his name remained prominent in the region. The tiny hamlet of Hite was an important ferry crossing of the Colorado River (since replaced by a bridge), and the nearby Hite Marina kept the name in the public eye for thousands of boaters.

Despite this notoriety, no one has written a full-length, scholarly account of Hite’s life. This biography fills that void, detailing Hite’s story from his birth in central Illinois in 1845 to his death in Glen Canyon in 1914. It corrects some of the long-accepted stories about Hite and puts others in their proper perspective, while revealing new information. Scores of photographs and excerpts from Hite’s own writing further illuminate this colorful prospector’s life.