1908: REAL DISCOVERERS OF THE UNITED VERDE MINE; Part 1.

"THE REAL DISCOVERERS OF THE UNITED VERDE MINE: STATEMENT OF MR. F. F. THOMAS, WHO PLACED THE PROPERTY."

"James A. Macdonald, now Vice President, was First President of United Verde Copper Co. --- Camp Named after Eugene Jerome."

"[The following was given to the 'NEWS' by Mr. Chas. W. Clark, son of Senator W. A. Clark, the present owner of the United Verde mine. Chas W. Clark is now the manager of the United Verde Copper Co. In giving this communication to the editor, he says: 'I hand you a communication which was written to Mr. Macdonald, and which might interest you. It will do away with the claims of ninety-nine out of one hundred people you meet who have discovered the United Verde mine, and I know this statement to be correct.' The Mr. Macdonald to whom the communication was addressed, is the present vice-president of the United Verde Copper Company.] --- Editor 'NEWS.'"

"When Mr. F. A. Tritle was appointed governor of Arizona in 1882, he employed me as mining expert to go to Arizona and look up paying or payable mining properties. I went first with him to Tucson and thence to look at any promising prospects or 'going concerns' that I heard of being offered for sale. I found nothing in that part of Arizona which seemed to me worth what was asked for it. Either late in the winter or early spring of 1882, at the suggestion of Governor Tritle, I went to Prescott and became acquainted with nearly every one in that town. Col. Bean had a property at Copper Basin near by and I went out with him to see it, took many samples and bonded it as it was much like ore I had worked at Ely, Nevada, --- the ore was generally very silicious. I was not very enthusiastic over it, in consequence, but knew about what I could do with it and I believed there was a slight profit in it if carefully worked on a large scale with copper then at 18 or 20 cents a pound. W. B. Murray, since dead, an associate of Governor Tritle in mining ventures, was in New York and tried hard to place it, but did not succeed in getting any offers and we finally made no effort to handle it and the bond expired."

"In the meantime I was examining everything presented or heard of within 100 miles or more of Prescott. I was looking particularly for copper ores. One day a man by the name of Angus McKinnon came into Prescott from his camp and told me he and his brother had a fine copper mine out in the Black Hills, about twenty-five miles from there, and that he would be glad to take me out to see it, and would be willing to bond it on certain conditions. I think he took me out the next day to see it. We rode on horseback by way of Sanders' station and crossed the Black Hills by trails from Sanders over on a mesa, down through Mescal and Walnut gulches, having to alight, walk and lead our horses several times owing to the steepness of the mountain trail. Finally, after we had gone some thirty miles, (it seemed to me really about twenty-seven), we reached the Wade Hampton, owned by the McKinnon brothers, Angus and John. There was only a log cabin there, located on Eureka ground, the adjoining patented claim to the south, and in it I enjoyed the McKinnon boys' hospitality. I liked the Wade Hampton property and surroundings. There was only a 45-foot shaft and a short drift north from the bottom, but there was an extensive iron grossan outcrop. The McKinnons agreed to give a six months' bond on the property if they were paid $500 cash and $15,000 by December following, the time of the expiration of the bond. We were able to employ them at $4 per day each while the bond ran. On my return to Prescott the $500 was paid and a bond given in my name for $15,000, running six months, and expiring December 1, 1882. I then went back to the Wade Hampton and put a small force at work in the mine and directed the work underground, which was not much on account of foul air, but more particularly as the owners were afraid of knocking the bottom out and spoiling a really good prospect. This fear I did not share."

"While at the Wade Hampton I examined and sampled the Eureka. All of my samples carried more or less silver and high grade copper, with a furnace for the Wade Hampton there was enough ore in sight at the Eureka to afford paying a high price for this mine. It was then I made up my mind that all the mines in the immediate neighborhood ought to be consolidated and handled by one company. I was taken to see the hermit claim owned by _______ Ruffner and one or both of the McKinnons. As the ore was very rich at this prospect and the mass was of good width, I thought it ought to be tied up and so bonded this property at what I thought was a big price at the time. I have forgotten the amount. I also bonded a claim which took in the Hermit spring and an old cabin, the property of Ruffner. I also, while in the district, found out the owners of the different claims in the vicinity. Judge Riley of Nevada, an old friend of mine, owned the two Chromes, the two Azures and the Venture, I think, in connection with two nephews by the name of Dougherty and a Mr. Barry. There may have been other owners but all of the claims were bonded. We also acquired title to the spring in Walnut gulch that supplied the water for the smelter and engine by a pipe subsequently laid to the works when erected. There were eleven claims in all, I believe --- the Wade Hampton, the Eureka, North and South Chrome, North and South Azure, the Hermit, the Venture, the Hermit Springs claim and two others north and east of the Wade Hampton and North Chrome. These three claims did not show any copper to mention, but showed some zinc and lead sulpherets and gave low assays of silver and gold. All of these claims were finally, as I had suggested, included in one general incorporation to ensure ore enough to work on a sufficiently large scale, and incidentally, to avoid possible objectionable neighbors."

"In the month of October, if my memory serves me right, perhaps early November, 1882, Mr. Geo. A. Treadwell, whom I had known for many years, came to Prescott and I invited him as a friend to go out to the Black Hills and see the properties I had bonded. This he did and was quite enthusiastic over the general appearance of the several claims."

"As the bond on the Wade Hampton was to expire December 1, and as Governor Tritle was feeling that it was impossible to place the properties by that time or make the purchase on his own account, and as he had expended considerable money in hiring miners which appeared as though it would be a dead loss, I suggested to him that I ought to be able to raise the money in New York with the showing of the ores and plain statements of facts and conditions and further suggested that he ought to send me on. As the ores were so attractive in quality, I felt perfectly confident of success. There seemed to be no other way to recover the money that had been expended in working the properties that were bonded and secure what appeared to be the most valuable property in northern Arizona. Governor Tritle sent me on to New York to place the property and raise the necessary working capital."

(Jerome News; Saturday, February 8, 1908; page 1.)

The Jerome Post Office was established September 10, 1883, with Frederick F. Thomas as Postmaster.

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