Dan De Quille was the pen name of William Wright (1829-1898), a reporter for Nevada's Virginia City Enterprise
during the nineteenth century. He was notorious for his humorous tales, many of which circulated throughout the country as fact.
De Quille was hired at the Enterprise
in 1862, and he worked there on and off for over thirty years.
De Quille is often paired with Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) who was hired at the Enterprise
the year after De Quille started working there, and worked under him. The two were also roommates. Both De Quille and Twain were regarded as rising literary stars. In fact, during the 1860s many thought it was De Quille, rather than Twain, who would achieve literary stardom.
De Quille's most famous hoaxes were the Traveling Stones of Pahranagat Valley (published 1867) and Solar Armor (published 1874). However, he penned several other hoaxes, such as "The Wonder of the Age, a Silver Man" (published 1865) about the discovery of a petrified man made of silver, and "Mystery of the Savage Sump" (published 1876) about the discovery of eyeless fish living deep inside several Nevada mines.