1994 Inductee from Mining's Past
Nellie Cashman was born in Ireland in 1849 and came to America in the 1860s. Miss Cashman’s sense of wanderlust and adventure first took her to the mining camps of the Washoe District and Canada, where she operated boarding houses and raised money for hospitals when she wasn't prospecting. She first gained fame when she mounted a rescue mission to save an isolated camp dying from scurvy. She arrived in Tucson in 1879, where she operated Delmonico’s Restaurant. She then moved to Tombstone to oversee the Russ House, a boarding house and restaurant. She later worked in Prescott, Globe, and the Harquahala district in Arizona and took on ventures in Baja California in 1883 and in Kimberly, South Africa, in 1889.
It was not uncommon for Miss Cashman to grubstake miners, visit and work the claims with them, or take care of them if they fell upon hard times. Miss Cashman followed the rush to the Klondike in 1897, where she was a store owner and grubstaker once again. At age 69, she set a record as a champion woman musher, taking her team 750 miles in 17 days. Miss Cashman died in Coldfoot, Alaska’s northernmost mining camp in 1925. She was known as the “miner's angel”, as well as an independent entrepreneur, adventurer and humanitarian. She typifies a significant contribution made by women in the western mining frontier.