Census data indicates that he was born 1856 and that he was postmaster at Deep Hole in 1894. The 1900 Census lists his birth year as 1855. He is listed in the 1910 as living in Leadville, though his birth date is listed as 1850. He is also listed in the 1920 census.
Van Norman writes: "He (Raser) hired on as a general manager when he was twenty-nine years old (about 1884); the fired him when he was fifty-eight (about 1913). He spent twenty-nine years on that spread and managed it as his own." However, the May 5, 1901 Reno Evening Gazette article stated that he resigned after 11 years, presumably he rejoined the ranch at a later date. The Nevada State Journal, Saturday, January 25, 1908, Page 8 mentions Raser as the manager.
Van Norman writes that Gerlach died in 1913, but Louis Gerlach's Find A Grave page states he died in 1921. Van Norman goes on state that after Gerlach's death, Gerlach's son-in-laws fired Raser.
"Wednesday December 8, 1920 James Raser, the well known stockman and foreman for the Gerlach Cattle Company had his leg broken last Saturday at Deephole, and Dr. Kennedy, of this place was called to attend him. While helping to brand cattle his horse fell with him, falling on his left leg and breaking it just above the ankle and otherwise bruising him." (Surprise Valley Record). Van Norman writes: "It was a bucking horse that put the cane in his hand. A horse threw him right-there at the Deephole ranch. He never did walk the same again. After that, he rode the buckboard a lot. He had to get around to keep things going. There was no workman's compensation back then."
Thornton states that Raser discovered gypsum at Empire.
- Find A Grave
- Reno Evening Gazette "May 8, 1901," Raser resigns: "James Raser for the past eleven years superintendent for the Gerlach Live Stock Company at Deep Hole has resigned his position and S S Dean will hereafter be In charge."
- Sessions S. Wheeler, "The Black Rock Desert," p 159.
- Oddie Van Norman, Wes McGirr, "I Rode For Gerlach," Old West Magazine, Fall, 1974. (Nevada Historical Society has a copy)
- Nevada State Journal, Thursday, September 18, 1941, Page 4
- Clarence. J. Thornton, "Ch. 3: Ranch Life in Northern Nevada and Eastern California," University of Nevada Oral History Project.