Gold was first discovered in the nearby quartz rock by a group of wandering gold seekers who were traveling west to gold districts of California in 1849. By 1892 the town was established. Though named for a gold-bearing hill east of town, many other minerals were also found including silver, copper, lead, tungsten and arsenic. The railroad came to the area shortly after 1917. During WW I, the town provided arsenic to control insects in the cotton fields of the South. At this time there were about 3,000 residents. There were stores, a newspaper, pool hall, a school, a smelter and more.