Philip Deidesheimer: Jewish Mine Support Engineer of the Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Nevada

Philip Deidesheimer

Values Codes I-E-L


Philip Deideshiemer

Philip Deideshiemer

Philip Deidesheimer was born in Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany in 1832.

Philip Deidesheimer was educated at the Freiberg School of Mining before coming to America.


Along the way

At the age of 19, Philip Deidesheimer was working in the California Gold Fields in Georgetown.


Virginia City, Nevada

In 1860, he was hired to create a safe structure system at the Ophine Mine at the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada.

He invented a system of supports for the mines, using heavy square timbers known as square set timbering.

Philip Deidesheimer  did not patent his innovation and it became standard throughout the Comstock and other Western mines..

Deidesheimer was made Superintendent of the Ophir Mine by in 1875.

Timber Structure of the Comstock

Timber Structure of the Comstock

Philip Deideshiemer continued his mining career at the Young America Mine in Sierra City, California, where he became rich, a fortune he eventually lost.


Deidesheimer designed and supervised construction of a smelter in Granite County, Montana.

The town was named Philipsburg in his honor.


His Comstock story was a subject of an episode of Bonanza in Season One.

The "Bonanza" Deideshiemer Story

The “Bonanza” Deideshiemer Story


Philip Deidesheimer  died in 1916, in San Francisco.


Note: At the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nevada, Philip Deidesheimer is listed as a German engineer.

Deidesheimer had been a native of Germany, but was not allowed to become a citizen, because he was Jewish.

If you have any contacts with the Nevada State Museum, please notify them of their mistake.


More information can be found in the following issue of Western States Jewish History: